Food adventure!

So, I am deciding to take the steps towards becoming vegan. I plan to go all out vegan after the new year, and have been eating vegetarian this month of December.

This may weird some of you out. I understand, but it is my choice and my blog may reflect that as I add recipes and my trials and tribulations (failures) so I can track my progress and see what works and what doesn’t. 

I hope I can reach out to more veggie inclined folks this way, as I don’t know any other vegans around me. I’m pretty sure the only other ones in the state live on the side opposite of me, but maybe I’m wrong! (please, someone, prove me wrong)

I’m also slightly gluten in tolerant, and I have a kid who’s recently become VERY finicky with what she eats. Though she will demolish just about any raw veggies I put in front of her. So she will be my biggest critic I have to reach…..This is quite a challenge. I also live in THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE so sourcing ingredients is also …um…”challenging”. Yeah, we’ll just go with that. 

On a different tangent altogether, I have some ideas with how to revamp some things in my house so I hope to put up pictures of that too. First will be my kitchen table…in desperate need of an update. 

All in all, expect more updates in the future!!

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Pocket Diapers!!

So, I still keep trying to work cloth diapers into my DD’s diapering system. The bf is very reluctant to do so, so I want to try to find easier solutions for him. I got a new diaper cover from one of my local grocery stores, strangely enough..a Cutey Baby Wrap, which we’ll be trying out too.

Diapers are pretty pricey though, and since I love being a diy-er, I wanted to try making some pocket diapers.  With printer out of ink though, I had to try and draft a pattern myself, and well..I’m certainly not the best seamstress yet so my edges are kinda funky. haha! But, as long as they function I could care less.

All I did was measure my DD, waist and rise (rise is from belly button down between legs and up the back) and then doodle on some newspaper until I got a shape I liked. Referenced a few of her cloth diapers for it, and left a 1/4-1/2 seam allowance. I used some fleece for  the outer, and t-shirt for the inner.

I especially like how pointy my edges seem to have gotten…dang! haha. So have no fear if you can’t sew. Neither can I, and I got it just fine! I just cut my two pieces (make sure to put the sides you want facing out pointed inward when you sew) and I pinned around, making sure to leave about 2″ open on the back side so you can stuff your insert into it.

I may topstitch around these too, but eh they seem alright just with that sewing and turning. Did I mention I’m lazy?

I used 1/4″ elastic on the legs. I tacked down one end with a zigzag, then streeeetched it tight and sewed down, tacking it down well on the other end. I did not make them a casing (lazy). We’ll see if I need to add that as well…

I am just using some of DD’s prefolds as inserts, as they fit quite nicely actually! (she’s a toddler of 19 months atm) just folded into thirds and stuffed in there.

We’ll put these to the test (I’ve made 2 so far) to see how they hold up. Also what the bf’s verdict is on them. I’m going to get some of the disposable & flushable liners for bf’s sake too.

I did not add any snaps or velcro btw… 1)couldn’t find the damn velcro and 2) I can’t find a snap press like I want anywhere near me. I want to add some snaps once I can get a press. Probably going to be from ebay.

I’ll update on how these are working out.

UPDATE: Huzzah! I tried one out on her last night for bedtime..figured that’d be a good stress test. I can fit 2 of her prefolds into one, and then put one of her covers over the whole thing. NO LEAKS!! Though she managed to take the whole thing off first thing upon waking this morning. 😛 Velcro is quickly a no go for me. So yeah!! I’ll be making more of these 🙂 and working on some longies for her to cover her booty. hehe.

Yummy Homemade Toothpaste

I finally got a good combination down for homemade toothpaste!

My bf had major complaints on my last few attempts…too baking  soda tasting every time.  Which, I had to agree..and it’s hard to get someone to switch to homemade toothpaste if it tastes like you’re chewing baking soda. Yuck!

I don’t have any pictures just yet..I’ll upload some after my next batch. I had someone ask me to make them some so probably after I get theirs made!

Yummy Homemade Toothpaste

these measurements are approximate..adjust to suit your tastes

1 tsp Dr Bronners Liquid Castile Soap (I used the peppermint kind)

1 Stevia Packet

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp aloe vera

3-4 tsp baking soda

Few drops of essential oil(I added 3 drops of spearmint. Mine was plenty minty with the peppermint soap!)

Few drops of Vit E oil (optional)

Splash of hot water

Whisk

 

In a medium bowl, put splash of hot water and stevia together. Add coconut oil and aloe vera. Whisk together. Blend in the baking soda. Add the soap and whisk like crazy! It’ll froth up a bit and look just like commercial toothpaste!

Add the essential oils (if any) and then put in a jar or tube. I put mine in a little travel tube, but it was quite the pain to get it in there nicely..but then I have a nice lil tube of fresh toothpaste. Your choice.

It doesn’t froth up like regular toothpaste, but it also doesn’t taste like baking soda. Woo hoo! Big score there.  I’m wondering if there would be any merit to adding  Vitamin A or anything else to it. I’ll post any changes I make that I think are beneficial.

 

Overcast skies, simple afternoons

Bark in the park went really well, despite Flaming Gorge Days being the same day and increasingly strong winds. But it’s Wyoming, so what can you do? I sold my 2 pet beds before I even got set up! woo-hoo! I sold out of quite a few items and some garnered absolutely no interest. Good way to test out some items to see reactions 🙂 the kitty fishing poles went almost as fast too! yay for kitty love!

I realize it took me a while to post about it (bark in the park was saturday) but life got busy and er…I forgot to take pictures haha! My friend ashley stopped by and took one at least, so I’ll try and get that up. But I’m trying to get all nice and organized for farmer’s market!! Starts July  8th so be ready! 🙂 I’m getting rather over-ambitious ideas for my booth, so hopefully I’ll have everything ready-ish ..haha. I made a prototype new design for a swiffer mop pad, then immediately gave it to someone else to test out soo I’ll wait till I hear back on how it works before I post it up here. I’ll probably include a lil tutorial on how to make it as well. 🙂 I made a new version of a knit dishcloth sponge/scrubbie, and I’ll post a second post of the pattern itself.

I’ve also been busy in the kitchen..getting better at making bread! I made a wheat bread this afternoon. Not as fluffy as I would like but at least I didn’t destroy it! haha. I successfully made ginger syrup last night and combined with club soda to make-ginger ale! Too cool! It’s pretty refreshing and spicy, much different than regular ginger ale. Delish! I also started a sourdough proof and am attempting a ginger proof as well…I’d like to make sourdough bread and ginger beer! Along with some fruit soda. .blackberry, huckleberry perhaps? 🙂 My sourdough proof is already getting some yeast, but no go on the ginger proof…so we’ll see how it does. Takes a week at least for each to develop so I just need to be patient.

I also bought a fantastic book called “The Urban Homestead:Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City” which is marvelous and totally inspiring. It’s where I got the idea for the sourdough starter, and I am thinking I will try out a diy solar dehydrator to make some sun dried tomatoes! I totally recommend this book for anyone with a diy attitude! I”ll post pics if I accomplish the dehydrator 🙂 http://www.amazon.com/Urban-Homestead-Self-sufficient-Process-Self-reliance/dp/1934170011/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277939718&sr=8-1

Well I’m going to start some supper. I’ll be sure to take pics my first day at farmer’s market!

Busy busy busy!

So sorry I haven’t posted in a while!! I’ve been busy trying to catch up on projects. I finished up some baby items for a friend who should be in the hopsital soon and having that baby! ❤

I made her a little baby cocoon and hat to match!

I also made her a decorated wipes case (because white plastic is boooring) and homemade baby oil along with some yummy sugar scrub for herself.

I will be participating in a mini fair for the local humane society this saturday (was supposed to be the 12th but got postponed due to weather :/) I am trying to get as many things made as I can, including homemade pet bedding and hamster huts and cat and dog toys 🙂

Here are a few pics:

I set down the bed and called the fat cat over and he jumped right in! I had quite a time getting him back out of there haha! I made a little hamster hut out of jute too. 🙂

I’ll be posting pics of the actual fair after saturday too. Hopefully I’ll get a better canopy so I don’t have to battle to get it set up.

I’ve also been busy building up my bread making skills. I even made homemade butter to go along with it! Yummy! I also successfully made homemade crackers. Once I perfect doing bread and crackers I may do a posting on that as well.

Also: I hope everyone gets outside today and enjoys the warm sun on the solstice! ❤

DIY Snowed in day!

Ok so the weather outside is terrible. Which prompted me to start making goodies of course! Staves off the cabin fever 😉 hehe.

First up I decided to attempt bread. It’s still rising right now…had to toss the first batch away cuz I dumped in too much flour to begin with >.< oops! Note to the beginner: pour in like maybe 1/4 cup at a time. I didn’t use nearly the amount of flour the recipe called for! I’ll post some pics of that if it ends up tasty 🙂

I also thought about things we use that could be made at home with less preservatives and better taste. So I picked…ketchup! Weird I’m sure. But I loove me some ketchup. And I found some recipes online using just tomato paste! It was actually really easy! One can of paste, some water, some apple cider vinegar and an assortment of spices. Chinese 5 spice works well 😉 Oh some brown sugar for sweetness too. It made more than I would’ve imagined!

Had to use 3 baby food jars for all of it! But that could be handy…separate jars for everyone!

Next up was homemade mayonnaise. First off if you do not have an electric mixer or hand mixer, go get one. This takes freaking forever by hand!! Seriously, it took close to an hour to beat this stuff into shape. All it is is egg yolks and oil, plus lemon juice or vinegar. But you have to add the oil sllllowwwwwwwwwwwwly. Very slowly, so as to avoid weird egg drop soup goo. I was adept at avoiding that but had to call reinforcements for egg beating. Poor Devin worked hard for something he didn’t much care for! I like it but then again I like the taste of olive oil. I added garlic and lemon to it as well to help with the strong oil taste. I’d recommend a lighter oil if you’re going to attempt it!

Well hopefully I can try out making butter too…mmm! 😀 I’ll share my experience if I try that as well! I’m off to go attempt a second loaf of bread while this one is baking…

DIY Shampoo & Conditioner

So I have been messing around with different types of homemade shampoo and conditioner the past week. It’s been an interesting week to say the least!

I started with the one recipe I see most often online-the liquid castile soap + water/tea +essential oils. The first time made my hair feel stripped and dry, so I tried adding a pinch of jojoba oil. This resulted in nasty greasy hair. :/ even when followed by the ever popular apple cider vinegar rinse. The ACV rinse does work well as a detangler, but doesn’t do much to cut the oil.

Hrm. So I started looking at other recipes people have made. I tried putting in some baking soda in the shampoo, and making up a conditioner from aloe vera and glycerin and lemon juice. That seemed to help the first use, but day 2 of that resulted in nasty greasy hair again. Bleh!

I realize that my hair will be going through a ‘transition’ phase while not using regular shampoo and conditioner, but I am impatient. hehe.

So back to the research board. I came across some stores selling ‘shampo bars’ and thought what! What the heck is a shampoo bar? Do you rub your head with a bar of soap? Well…pretty much. But I heard some good reviews in the forums I came across-like no more need for conditioner, hair doesn’t feel greasy, etc.

But I wanted to make my own! And I’m not sure I want to start making soap in my kitchen, so I found a nice alternative-hand milling! Basically melt down a bar of soap and add extra ingredients such as different oils, herbs, infusions, essential oils, etc. Basically what you want extra of that may have been made less during the soap making process, or something that wasn’t in there to begin with.

I had a nice castile soap made by a local gal that I used half of for some DIY laundry detergent that I decided  to use.  It took forever to melt down! It took like half and hour and i still had some chunks in it. I added coconut oil, jojoba, sweet almond and grapeseed oil. I added rosemary and lavender and mint essential oils. I also added honey and rice powder. 🙂 I poured it into a wax paper lined bowl and let it sit overnight in the fridge. It came out really soft! My boyfriend says it looks like caramel candy lol!

So I tried it out this morning…It felt strange to use a bar of soap on my head, I’m not going to lie. But as I’m sitting here waiting for my hair to dry, I feel no grease, no dryness! 😀 There may be something to these shampoo bars! I’ll update as I use this over the next few days…this may be a great great thing!

Burst o Creativity…and fluff.

So I have been busy concocting and scheming and creating in my kitchen the past week or so, hence the lack of posts 🙂 First off i tried to attempt a liquid laundry detergent. Didn’t sound too hard, just need to take your powder ingredients and melt together in a pot with water. Easy right? Welllll…not so much. It worked, but instead of the slime that everyone else online seemed to get, mine exploded into a giant ball of fluff and bubbles O.o  Like it’s a giant ball of fluff in my container days later since making it…it seems to work just fine, and even makes the clothes smell nice to boot! I think the fluff comes from me adding a dash of oxyclean to it…. If you want to try it, go for it 🙂 I used some locally made soap that smells awesome and all the same dry ingredients, plus a lil bit of kosher salt and maybe 4 cups of water? I used enough to get my container 3/4 full. Just use a much larger pot than I did..probably a nice big canning pot. Cuz it will get extremely fluffy/foamy!! Like I had to dive to save it from bubbling over and fluffing up my stove. Lol!! I’ll post some pics when I get a chance. 🙂

Onto second concoction: dishwasher detergent! First few times resulted in nasty white film. Everywhere. Which meant I had to go back and handwash all the said dishes.  Bleh! Not exactly what I wanted out of a detergent. So I did some digging and found out the Secret Ingredient to DIY Dishwasher Detergent-Citric Acid! Except trying to find that here was…well…challenging. As in, it doesn’t exist here. :-/ So I did some more digging and found out here (http://diynatural.com/simple-effective-jabs-homemade-dishwasher-detergent-rinse-agent/) that one thing that is really cheap and pretty much just citric acid-Unsweetened Lemon Kool-aid. Right on!!! And guess what? Works like a freaking charm! No more nasty film, plus my detergent smells all lemon-y fresh. 😀 Yay!

I also found this amazing book called Better Basics for the Home and it is Freaking Amazing. Seriously. SERIOUSLY. I’ve got recipes from face wash to white wash to pooch wash in this baby. I could get super exotic and make this 3 part Mayan formula skincare regimen, or even just a basic cold cream. I ❤ this book. I made some peppermint face cleanser from it and it rocks..

I’ve almost got down a perfect shampoo/conditioner recipe now…once I get that one figured out I’ll post it too. Most of the ones I’ve found online make my hair freak out and get nasty ass greasy, no matter how much vinegar I dump on my head. Yuck.

I did learn that one of the best things I’ve ever put on my face is just some honey and sweet almond oil. Not only does my face smell like candy, it feels soft and silky too! That’s a sweet success right there 🙂

Also got some new ideas for sugar scrubs…god I love sugar scrubs. Anyone in need of one should contact me because I love making and sharing them! 🙂 I’ve also been into making body oils since well…I’m too impatient to make lotion, worry about preservatives for lotion, and have had amazing success with using oil instead. I’d highly recommend to anyone, especially here in our lovely lil desert (especially in the winter) to switch over to using oils instead of lotions. Makes for some nice smooth skin! ❤

Well that’s about enough for this post! I’m off to go create some more…probably something nice and hot since it’s snowing…like a foot of snow today. Argh I can’t wait for spring…..

DIY Laundry Detergent!

Ok so now it’s getting to the point where I want to make just about everything I use in my day-to-day life.  Not only can it sometimes save a pretty penny, it makes me happy knowing I can make everything I need myself. Possibly even better than someone else. 🙂

So in my continuing adventure of a DIY lifestyle, I’ve made chapstick, an aromatherapy neck pillow, and tonight I want to tackle laundry detergent! Especially because I am out…..haha.

So I’m scouring the interwebs and I see numerous sites and recipes all for diy detergent..so at least I know there is a ton of support out there for it! Huzzah.

Well I notice most of them are very basic…but I know me, and I’m going to have to spice it up a lil bit 😀 so I’ll be attempting to make a powdered, yummy scented well working DIY detergent! I’ll complete it with pics as well.

So I started with a basic 1 to 1 to 1 ratio of borax, washing soda, and grated soap (fels naptha). Oh I also tossed in some lovely Oxy Clean too for a cleaning boost. The grating took the longest 😛 I do recommend the finest grater you have, or and electric grater. Would save you plenty o time.

Woo! 1 cup of grated soap. Devin didn’t much care for the smell of it I don’t think. I thought it was strong but it seemed familiar..kind of like grandma’s old soap or something.

Anywho, I used an old Petron bottle to mix this all in. Fun way to recycle! 🙂 I  put in half of each ingredient in at a time, then shook like crazy, so as to evenly mix everything in my bottle.

Almost done! About halfway through shifting and shaking and dancing for the baby, I added some essential oils for scent…some lavender, jasmine and orange. Mmmmmm. Shake shake shake. shake shake shakeshakeshakeshake….

tadaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Right now it’s washing some towels for a test run! Woo. I also threw in a downy ball containing some white vinegar with a few drops of oil for scent.

I’ve always been a fan of white vinegar for rinse cycle…No it does not make your clothes smell like vinegar. I use it on baby’s cloth diapes and it works awesome. Hmm I just realized I didn’t put in any baking soda…whoopsie! hehe o well. Should work well on it’s own, but I’ll add that if I find it’s not cleaning well!

Oh yeah. I used maybe….3 tbsp for a load of towels. 🙂

Other sites like to crunch numbers on how this will save you money…it all varies but I’ve seen people saying it’ll cost anywhere from 1 cent to 44 cents. Not bad! 🙂 Plus then I can make it smell just the way I like 🙂

Annnnnnnd now for the results!

………..YAY! They are nice and clean and smell clean!! They don’t really smell like any of the essential oils I put in, but that could be well as they were girly 🙂 hehe

Conclusion: I dig it. Totally. I’ll probably play around with the ingredients a bit more until I get near perfection in terms of cleaning power and smell 🙂 If you don’t like the fels naptha purely for smell don’t worry, it doesn’t seem to stick around. Sweet!

Next post: DIY toothpaste…and toothpaste that will help protect your teeth, not just make em sparkly clean!

Chocolate Sugar Scrub <3

Holy. Freakin. Cow.

I want to eat my sugar scrub. No really it smells like chocolate cookies!

I am in love with making sugar scrubs…so easy to make, fantastic to use! Also tend to be fantastically messy. I made a vanilla orange body oil to go with it 🙂 Smelled like a bakery in my bathroom this morning! These may make an appearance at the farmer’s market this summer…or if you really really want one prior to that message me 😀