Sunday, January 25, 2015

Road to California Quilt Show

 Went to the Road to California quilt show Thursday with a group of friends .I was really good my husband gave me a hundred and sixty dollars for the show. It cost 10 for gas,14 to get in, 12 for lunch, and 10 for dinner, and I came back with $93. I decided a couple of months ago to live more simply.  I am so proud of myself for sticking to it I did buy some felt and a great cat quilt pattern. But I only bought what I truly wanted. Normally in the past if I had it I would spent it.
I also got to meet Eleanor Burns ( Quilt in a day ). She was so sweet and friendly to everyone.



 Can't wait for next year's trip. I thought you might like to see some of the Quilts from the show.
If you would like to know what made me want to live  more simply  just click on the link.http://www.michelleslittlepieceofheaven.blogspot.com/2014/12/shockers-and-changes.html  









 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

HOMEMADE NO GRATE LAUNDRY SOAP


 No more grating soap for laundry detergent .Yes you heard right ,no more grating. I love my old laundry soap but hated having to grate that hard bar of soap. With this new recipe I found I don't have to. It works just like the old one with mostly the same ingredients. It is so much easier and faster then the old one. You will need.
1 gallon container
1/2 cup arm and hammer washing soda
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup liquid Castile soap
2 tablespoons baking soda ( optional )

Bring half a gallon of water to a boil, add your other ingredients   . Whisk till dissolved then pour into your gallon container. Add enough hot water to full the container. That's it  your done.  Use a 1/4 of a cup to 1/2 cup depending on how big your load is.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Make your own flavored waters


I found this floating around on face book. Sounded like something worth trying.

As a rule, you should try to avoid as much as possible industrial food and beverages
1) The classical : lemon/cucumber:
Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water + 1 cucumber and a lemon, thinly sliced + 1/4 cup fresh finely chopped basil leaf + 1/3 of finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
2) The granite : Strawberry/Lime or Raspberry/Lime
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 6 strawberries / 0r Raspberries and one thinly sliced lime + 12 finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
3) The digestive : Fennel/citrus
First: infuse 1 to 3 grams of dried and crushed fennel in 150 ml of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool.
Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water + lemon juice (put the leftover lemon in the mix) + a small thinly sliced orange + 12 fresh chopped mint leaves + the infusion of fennel seeds. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.
4) The antiOX : Blackberry/Sage
Note that a part from the berries, sage leafs is the herb that has the highest antioxidant content.
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of blackberries that have been very slightly crushed + 3-4 sage leaves. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.
5) Watermelon : watermelon/Rosemary
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of watermelon cut into cubes + 2 rosemary stems. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.
6) The exotic : Pineapple/Mint
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of pineapple cut into cubes + 12 fresh mint leaves finely chopped. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
7) The traditional : Apple/cinnamon
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of apple cut into cubes + 2 cinnamon sticks + 2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
8.) The zingibir : Ginger/tea
In advance: heat 1 teaspoon of ginger in two cups of tea, let it cool down.
Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water with two cups of the ginger tea + 4-5 pieces of fresh ginger cut into cubes. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
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Cheese and Onion Buns


 I pinned this recipe from http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca
 I wish I had tried it a lot sooner. They turned out so good. I only used half of the dough for the cheese and onion buns. The other half I made hamburger buns out of it. Both ways taste great. I did change the recipe, but only to make it more user friendly for these first time bakers.  

 Yeast Dough
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup potato flakes (instant mashed potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons yeast (instant, fast rising)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
  • 6 - 6 1/2 cups flour
  1. Stir together the water, potato flakes, yeast, and sugar. Let set for 5 minute .
  2. Add eggs, softened butter, and yeast mixed with 3 cups flour.  ( stir the tablespoon of salt into flour before adding )
  3. Beat with stand mixer on high speed.  You can also knead by hand.
  4. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until a soft but knead-able dough is formed. 
  5. Knead well. 
  6. Place in a greased bowl.
  7. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. (About an hour in a warm place.)
Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
 Directions:
  1. Punch down dough, and divide in half.
  2. Roll each half out to form a 16 x 12 inch rectangle.
  3. Brush each piece with half the melted butter; sprinkle each rectangle with half the cheese and poppy seeds.
  4. Beat egg, and brush lightly over long edges.
  5. Starting at one long side, roll up tightly, pinching seam to seal.
  6. Cut thick slices (about 1 1/2") and place on parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. 
  7. Press buns to flatten to about 3/4" thick.
  8. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  9. Brush lightly with beaten egg.
  10. Top each roll with onion slices. 
  11. Add a dollop of mayonnaise on top of each bun (about 1 teaspoon). Spread on top of buns with knife. ( I used a little less.
  12. Bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Cool on racks.
Yield: 20 large cheesy onion rolls.

*Here's what I love about this dough.  It is a wonderful refrigerator dough...and keeps well for several days in the fridge in a sealed container. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

First Test Of the new Start


 If you read my last blog post you already know that I am trying not to spend or waste money.  I am turning over a new leaf as they say.  Today was the first of many test.  Yes I did spend money at Joan's, but not for fabrics or crafts. I bought a dollar pair of gloves. Yes I need them ( I pledged to buy only what I really need.)  my hand were freezing.  Normally I would of bought a pair for around 10 dollars. 
 It was really tough being in the store today because every thing was on sale ( after Christmas sales)  I saw some fabric I would love to have for  $16.99 but walked away. OK maybe I did carry it around a little bit before putting it back. But I did put it back.  They   also had needle work patterns on sale for half off.  I didn't even go near them. That was a temptation I know I couldn't win.  There was also this cute Christmas throw with kitties on it. I love Kitties! But with a forlorn look I walked away.
 I walked out of the store head held high.  Only to have to return, because my one dollar gloves had a
hole in them.   

Monday, December 29, 2014

Shockers and Changes



My husband pays the bills so I really didn't know what we spend our money on. Boy did I get a wake up call. I happen to see our Bright House bill. ( home phone, cable, and internet ) Lets just say it was up there near the two hundred mark. And the bad thing is we don't watch a lot of TV. Maybe a hand full of shows. We also haven't used our home phone in forever. The only time it's used is when someone calls us on it when they can't get us on our cell.
My husband keep a log on what we spend and where. This was my next shocker! We eat out way to much! Then you add in the things we buy that we really don't need. It's amazing how much we waste.

I spend a lot of time looking at blogs that talk about living a simpler life ,not to mention you tube videos. I love all the homesteading shows like Alaska the last frontier, Ricking it all ( off grid living ) and Pioneers . I have 3 garden spots , chickens and I even raised a pig. But somewhere down the line I am still not getting the whole idea of a simpler life style.
 No, I don't want to live with out water or lights. I do how ever need to get away from the idea of consumerism. I love cooking ( hate washing dishes ) so why not just stay home and cook.
 I have so much fabric for quilting ,yet if I see a fabric I like I buy it.  Then  I turned around and sold 3 big tubs of fabric at a yard sell this summer. What's wrong with this picture? I can't remember half the stuff I bought last month, so I really didn't need it.

I am making a goal for my self. I am starting out small and going from there. First thing is to get rid of cable. We have Net flix and Hulu Plus ( which we also rarely watch) that total 16 dollars a month. I will keep them. They do have some of the shows I watch. Second, now that Christmas is over, I will not buy anything I don't REALLY need. I am going to write down what I normally would of spent eating out or shopping and see just how much I have saved. I may shock my self.

The next step is my food bill. I will buy something planning to make it only to have it go bad in the frig.  Or I will buy meat ( on sale) and stick it in the freezer in the garage. Only to forget about it and it get freezer burned. It's time to think about a weekly  menu. Using up all the food I have stored in my two freezer. The small one does have a lot of veggies from the garden in it.  See I am not all bad LOL.
 The first part of my journey begins. Don't worry ladies I will be posting my bragging and complaining and even ratting along the way for your enjoyment. Be warned you will hear my pain.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas House tour.

I won't bore you with a lot of words.  Ok, maybe a few. I never was one to keep my mouth shut. You can always skip over the words and just look at the picture.

 My old girl Dusty loves to sit and lay on the Christmas throw.
 This was a Christmas gift from my friend Penny. I love this quilt.
 The nativity usually stays here in front of the fireplace. But since I had a fire going I put it in front of the TV 





 I love all the bubble lights.

 Dinning room
 The deer head is one I made my husband. He wanted to get a deer head for over the fireplace. This was the compromise so far. I am sure I will lose this battle and we will end up with a real one.



 Kitchen



Hope you enjoyed the tour. May you have a blessed Christmas this year.





Saturday, December 13, 2014

Homemade dog treats



Even our dogs need a gift under the tree at Christmas.


Homemade Dog Treat Recipe
  • 2 cups boiled and pureed carrots
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
Combine pureed carrots & eggs, mixing until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly – dough will be sticky. Place dough on floured 12×16 cookie sheet, sprinkle dough lightly with flour & roll out, adding a sprinkling of flour if it gets too sticky. (dough will be about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick) Cut into desired treat sizes. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or to desired crunchiness. (They continue to harden as they cool)  As with any shelf-stable dehydrating, make sure these treats are completely dry before storing or they will mold.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New dog and family member

Had to take my old girl Dusty to the vet due to an eye infection.She is fine ,but not happy about the drops we have to put in her eyes nor the dog that came home with us.
 Since I had to wait on Dusty to finish with the vet and the pet lodge was right up the street I decided to walk over and get Sabrina a new tag.  While waiting on her tags I over heard a guy talking about  the puppy that a neighbor just thru out to fend for it's self. He had called Marley's mutts unfortunately  they were full.  I turned to look at the puppy and heard my self saying That I would take the dog if my husband was on board with it. I don't know who took over my brain or mouth. But there it was out there.  Eric ( the gentleman's name ) said he had a co- worker that might have someone who will take the dog. But hadn't heard back. He then went on to say how much he would of liked to keep the dog but couldn't. He gave me his number and let me take a picture of him holding the dog. When I showed my husband the picture he wanted to meet the dog.
I called Eric and got his address. On arriving my husband instantly fell for the puppy. Eric was telling us how much he liked the dog and how his other dogs had fallen in love with her. When we said we would take the dog he informed us that he had to wait on the other guy to call him. That he would get a hold of us tomorrow. So we left empty handed. My husband was sure he had decided to keep the dog for him self. I could tell he was really disappointed. Then later that afternoon I got a phone call that they would like to bring us the dog. When they arrived I told him how my husband was sure he would keep the dog. Eric said he would like to but couldn't. At the same time his wife interjected that they were NOT keeping the dog. I have a funny feeling she was the tipping point to us getting the puppy.
I so enjoyed seeing my husband face when he came home to find the puppy sleeping with Sabrina.  Sabrina and her get along  really good together. Sabrina does get on to her when she gos after the cats. As far as Sabrina is concerned the cats are part of her family and therefore under her protection. But Tasha ( that's what we named her )  will learn the rules. She does  follow Sabrina's lead not to mention following her  every where. Luckily Sabrina has no problem acting as her mom. We now have 3 cats ,2 dogs, and 9 chickens. I think we are now a full house. No more animals.  At least that's my story and I am sticking to it.