The BEST Foot Warmer

The BEST Foot Warmer

This is Sherlock, my 10 month old kitty. He is a cave dweller, and will insist I make him a cave/tent using a blanket when I am at the computer, so he can go in and sleep between and on my feet. And, since my heater is broken, I am not going to turn him away! He has fur that feels like a rabbit, and is a big cat, so he definitely puts out a lot of heat.


Premade Oatmeal in a Jar

Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfast foods.  I grew up having it with milk and sugar (and sometimes cinnamon), whereas my grandmother would have it with butter and pepper.  My oldest daughter is an oatmeal fiend!  Every morning she would ask for oatmeal, and since I’m working in my office when it’s breakfast time, and their dad is a zombie in the morning, it made it difficult to make it for her.  We did try out the instant oatmeal packets…no.  Just, no.  It’s too expensive for what you get, and the amount of sugars is so much higher than I would normally use for myself, let alone for my daughter.  And, frankly, there is a lot of waste packaging with those as well.

I came across websites showing what they called refrigerator oatmeal, where it’s already mixed with liquids and fruits in canning jars, and set in the fridge for when needed.  It was interesting, but my fridge has limited usable space.  So, when I seen THIS post from Attainable Sustainable, I figured that this was the BEST solution for us.

I picked up a flat of half-pint jars, and (once washed) added oats, honey, powdered milk, and cinnamon (using the Smidgen measuring spoon) to each jar.  In the morning, Lizzy (who will be 9 in 16 days!) uses the Keurig to measure out water in a 1 cup measuring cup that has a good pouring spout, and adds just enough water to the jar.  She then shakes it a couple times, and leaves it to sit on the counter while she uses the bathroom, gets dressed, or gets her hair brushed. 

She loves them.  Seriously, I wasn’t sure if she would like it.  It’s always a risk with kids, right?  But, she’s already begged for me to make more.  Her sister doesn’t like oatmeal, and eats her cereal dry most of the time.  I’m planning on jarring up some of the cereal for her since she keeps telling me it’s “a really good idea mom”.  In Lily-speak, that means she wants a jar too. 

I plan on trying to add some dried fruit to the oatmeal (and cereal) once I replace my dehydrator.  Perhaps some seeds or nuts as well.  My non-oatmeal eater WILL eat rice with milk and sugar, and asks for that a LOT.  I may try out a Minute rice in a jar, made like the oatmeal, and see how it goes.  IF that works out, I will make her some jars with rice.  Image

Cinnamon Rolls!

My daughters spent a couple nights with their grandmother, and unfortunately, my oldest came home sick.  Fever, lethargy, nausea, and just a general feeling of blah.

I thought she might enjoy something sweet and homemade, and the Cinnamon Roll recipe I found at  sounded like it would be a good fit.  It had simple ingredients, used a bread machine to do the majority of the work, and it didn’t take long to do.

I started throwing the ingredients into the bread machine pan, and found out that I DIDN’T have a package of vanilla pudding mix.  The husband had the car, and besides, I don’t like taking the kids out when they’re sick, so I used some Bird’s Custard powder.  Now, the recipe says half a package of pudding, and then gives 3.4 oz as a size.  I admit, I had a bit of a brain fart, and weighed out 3.4 ounces, rather than 1.7 ounces like I should have.   When I started the bread machine, I noticed that the dough was a bit on the dry side, so I added in a little water while it mixed until it looked right. 
My bread machine takes 1 hour and 50 minutes on the dough setting, so I had some time to work on laundry (oh joy!).  Once the dough cycle was finished, I rolled out the dough, spread the filling over it, and rolled it up.  After a bit of time to rise again, I popped it into the oven to bake for approximately 20 minutes.  Topped with the frosting, it was a total hit.  And, even with my goof with the custard powder, the roll itself tasted great.

I plan on using my Food Saver to vacuum seal most of these for placement in the deep freeze.  That way, next time the urge to have a sweet hits, all I need to do is pull a couple out and microwave.


Hat for my daughter’s kindergarten teacher’s son

So, come to find out, my youngest daughter’s kindergarten teacher is a Whovian.  If you don’t know what that is, let me explain.  A Whovian is a fan of the BBC show Doctor Who, a show that recently turned 50 years old.  We are as well!  It’s one of those geeky things that we love.
She mentioned to my daughter that she wondered if I would be able to make he son a Dalek  hat.  I don’t think this was an official request, but I took it as a challenge.  Looking through all the patterns listed at, I found just the right hat: INSULATE!

It’s a knit pattern, and I’m really still just getting my bearing with knitting, even though though I have made some knits off and on.  After just a few short hours, I finished.  I made a mistake one 1 row.  The stitches got shifted over by 1.  Ugh!  I didn’t notice until several rows later.  But all in all, it turned out cute.  I will send this to school when she goes back to school, and hope it’s well received.



Who, What, Why…

So, if you are reading this, you may wonder who the heck is this person, what is her purpose, and why blog about it, right?

I’m a 37 year old mom of 2 beautiful girls.  I work full-time as an insurance analyst, and am lucky enough to be able to telecommute, rather than going into an office each day.  I love being able to work in my PJ’s!
I want to be able to explore all sorts of different skills, and I would like to share my experiences with someone, anyone, who may be interested.  Currently, I can crochet well, and teaching myself to knit, and I bought a spinning wheel earlier this year that I just haven’t sat down and really worked on learning how to spin my own yarn.  I have dabbled in a lot of different crafts over the years, but more often than not, I would be frustrated by the lack of money, and lack of adequate equipment, and it would fall aside for something new.  Now that I do have a little more money, a little more access to reasonably priced equipment, and (maybe most importantly) access to You Tube and it’s plethora of how-to videos, I would love to revisit some of the more interesting crafts.  Also, I’m working on my culinary skills.  I bake well enough, but I’m not very creative with main meal cooking.  I have been working on this, and think that I’ve made great progress.  And lastly, I love to learn how to do things on my own rather than depending on store-bought items.  I want to learn to make soap, and by making soap, I mean using wood ash to make my own lye, just so I can say that I can. 

Well, that’s pretty much it in a nutshell.  I’m sure I’ll think of something I should have added at a later time, but, eh, I’ll live:)