Monday, March 30

Remember that cocoon?

I posted a coocoon and mentioned how I was swapping it for free photos. Well they posted baby photos of it in use. Check it out!

Funny how professional photographers take better pictures of it than I did... :P.

Friday, March 27

FO Fridays - Coocoon 2

I made another one for a friend of mine. We are swapping as well. I get children's photos of my kids and she get this.

She is a professional photographer. you can see her family blog here and her photo blog here. Yes she does all of her own HTML and such. She is very talented. (I can do HTML too I just haven't had the time!)

Thursday, March 26

Super Simple Flavored Vinegar

Every so often I come across a recipe that calls for some specially flavored vinegar. Raspberry, blueberry or something. Now this isn't often enough to warrant actually BUYING flavored vinegar. Instead I make enough flavored vinegar for a recipe about 3 hours before I actually cook. Traditionally that means actually having the fruit/flavoring on hand and fresh but my way is a complete cheat.

What you need:
1 cup white vinegar
1 teabag of whatever flavoring that is called for

Set vinegar in clean GLASS (plastic doesn't work for some reason... don't know why) cup or bowl with teabag in it. Let soak for 1 to 3 hours.

This keep up to 3 month refrigerated if kept in glass with a lid. Never tried freezing it.

This is linked to The recipe swap on The Grocery Cart Challenge and Food on Friday's on Ann Kroeker

Converting a bread recipe to machine...

This is very least for me. It is mathematical and well, I like math... a lot... too much maybe...but I digress...

You have to start knowing how many pounds your machine holds. The standard sizes are 2 pounds, 1.5 pounds and one pound.

2 pound machine holds 4 cups of flours/grains.
1.5 holds 3 cups.
1 pound holds 2 cups.
(note this is just flours and grains... don't go and add in the sugars or dried milk!)

Add all the flours and grains in the recipe together. (In the recipe I gave last week the original recipe called for 10 cups of flour/grains... sure it make 2 or 3 loaves but would not fit in a bread machine!) Err on the side of too much flour (ex: if the recipe says something like "5 to 6 cups for kneading" go with the 6 in the math.)
For this math we are going to have you plug in numbers:

"P" is the percentage you need to multiply the WHOLE recipe by.
"B" is the number of cups you can fit in you bread machine.
"O" is the number of cups you got from the original recipe.

P = B/O

Plug in numbers and calculate.

Now take P and multiply it by each ingredient in the recipe. It is best if you don't have to round but if you do go out at least 2 decimal points before rounding.

The first time you make the "new" recipe check it out in the machine 5 minutes into mixing to see if it is too dry or is too wet. add one teaspoon of water of too dry and one teaspoon of grain if too wet and then wait another 5 minutes and check again. Continue until it looks good.

Saturday, March 21

babies + coffee

So now both children have now high amounts of caffeine. No I didn't let them drink coffee... they have both eaten coffee grounds/beans.

Hubby was making coffee this morning and dropped a few bean while filling the grinder.... and G is a fast crawler. You can guess what happened.

Though this is not how N ate coffee grounds. N is a finicky neat eater. In fact, when she spills any food on herself she INSISTS on a wash cloth to clean up and WILL NOT eat anymore until clean... she has always been like this. She is also VERY good at eating without spilling.

So when she was about 10 months old she got into the trash... or more notably, the coffee grounds in the trash. Being the super neat eater she was I didn't know she had eaten any coffee grounds and of course she didn't want to take her nap... and had a major diaper blow out.

She did this for about a week before I figured out that she was doing this. Looking back it is funny but at the time I was really frustrated that she was not taking naps because that was my "clean the house then knit" time.

Friday, March 20

Noticed something...

I have been doing FO Friday's for a few weeks and I guess they are not as popular as I had hoped... in fact I go from having 25 to 30 subscriber to my blog all week and then seem to drop down to less than 10 on Fridays. This tells me that it is not only unpopular but it is down right a killer. So what is wrong with it? Is it Mister Linky making you feel bad that you didn't finish anything all week long? I am kinda thinking that is the case and as such I am only going to use Mister Linky once and a while from now on and I will give everyone a fair amount of warning too.

OK, now that I have made that announcement I might as well tell everyone that I don't know how much I will be posting come April until June. We are packing up early April but that means packing the computers as well and that means no internet... I know... It is sad. As such I am giving everyone warning of leaving for a while...

Thursday, March 19

FO Friday - pretty and cheap table decor

What you need:

  • votive or other small candle
  • drinking glass (thrift stores have these for cheap mine was 10 cents)
  • dry erase markers and wet erase markers
all you do is color the markers n the glass and then put a candle in and light. So easy and cheap and if it is one of your "good" glasses then you can actually "erase" it off with either a dry cloth (dry erase markers) or water (wet erase markers). This isn't that good of a pic but you can get the idea.

So if you want to join in please read the rules...

Wednesday, March 18

Oatmeal bread recipe

I don't buy bread. I make bread everyday. I used to make it by hand but then I had kids and that just became too much work... enter the bread machine. I did the math and converted my recipe for the bread machine. (I'll post how to convert recipes some time next week.... promise. Scratch that I have posted it here!)

The recipe cost me 15 to 17 cents per loaf. This does not include power. If I include power I think ti came out to 20 to 23 cent per loaf back in 2005 when I got the machine. So we are talking cheap here... very cheap. Now note: I by ALL ingredients in bulk at Sam's Club. That means I buy 50 pounds of flour (Used up in 3 months) at a time and 5 gallons of olive oil at a time (used up in 5 months).

The reason I make oatmeal bread is because oatmeal is a whole grain and it the cheapest whole grain you can buy!

Oatmeal bread (2 pound loaf)

  • 1 cup oatmeal (Quick Oats)
  • 3 cups flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup dried milk
  • 1/8 cup sugar (you can sub honey or molasses but will not get as big a loaf due to it not rising as well)
  • 2 table spoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 packet of yeast (or if you buy yeast in bulk like me 1/2 table spoon)
Put all wet ingredients first followed by all dry ingredients. Put on either whole grain setting or normal bread setting (you might need to experiment to see which works better...).

more recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge.

Tuesday, March 17

Teaching about God.

If you wanted to teach your child to read what would you do?

A) Spend time going over the ABC's/spelling, get age appropriate books, help them read through them, and read to you child.

B) Send them to the library once a week for an hour and hope they learned something.

C) Read to yourself, and hope they just happen to pick it up.

Kinda obvious that A is the best answer, but many parents teach about God by only doing B and/or C. You send your child to Sunday school once a week and/or go to Bible Study yourself and hope that somehow your child will just "pick up" information about God. This doesn't work. in most cases.

You need to actually teach about God. And someone made it easy! Family Time Training has a goal to help families train their kids from preschool up. They even have a free activity every month. Go check them out. Think of it as actually giving you child working ideas on how God works and how Jesus work.

Monday, March 16


We volunteered this weekend at a place called ECHO. It was a lot of fun. They had Farm Day and has all sort of cool things going on (in fact one of the goats gave birth!)

Volunteers got to have a lunch break and get some time free time to play. If you are living in Fort Myers and looking for a volunteer opportunity you might want to look into it. They allowed us to take out 2 kids to help out too so you can teach the kids about helping others and be out all day.

Thursday, March 12

Wednesday, March 11

Not feeling well.

I am sorry i have been ignoring my blog. Packing is taking up my time as it sleep (sinus infection like thing). I will continue to host FO Fridays but might miss participating in a few of them.

Thursday, March 5

FO Friday

The What a Kool way to dye group on Ravelry is having a Dye A-long. This month is themed Mardi Gras and I am participating.

the yarn is sock yarn (Buckthorn Stripes by Patons Kroy Striped Sock yarn). The green has 2 Lemon Lime KAs, 2 Berry Blue KAs and 1/2 a Grape KA. The purple is 2 Berry Blue, 1 Blue Raspberry Lemonaid KA, and 1 1/2 Grape KA.

Please look at the rules before posting.

FO Fridays Participants
1. Nette

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Wednesday, March 4

One of those days...

You know they type where the kids just seem to be on your last nerve and you just can't wait until nap time... yea... that is today.

Monday, March 2

New Houseing Frustration!

As mentioned before, we are moving soon and though I am not expecting to be given steep price discounts or have a perspective landlord "save" me a spot without prepaying for a saved spot, i do have a few "rules" that I follow before I am willing to rent... and it seems that NO ONE can meet these exceptions.

Now I don't think these expectations are super high either and to show you here is a list of my 3 prerequisites:
  1. 5 bedrooms (I know people are going to want to come visit for extended periods of time... we need the space!)
  2. yard with fence (I want to be able to plant things and have a swing set... or something like it)
  3. up to date on mortgage or at least be not in foreclosure (Come on, we just had 70-80% of homes foreclosed on in my area and I am going to guess that about 90% of those were rentals... I have seen people sign a lease and then a WEEK later be told by the bank that they have to move out! This is MANDATORY because I am not going to let it happen to ME!)
I can find LOTS of houses that I like in Hawaii that fit the first 2 prerequisites but I have yet to find a single landlord that can give me a straight answer and tell me that they are willing to take me to the bank and PROVE that they are up to date or not in foreclosure. SERIOUSLY people!

Anyway... end rant.