Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Odds and ends

I had tried holding off on posting until I had a neat package of a post for you. Unfortunately, home building is not a linear process and each phase requires days separated by weeks to finish. So, here is a photo dump of our recent progress!

We are about 3-4 weeks from being done. We need the wood floor installed, cabinets installed, countertops put on, plumbing fixtures in, bathroom lighting up, heat pump set, and carpet put in. Then it is just touch up paint and trim work and we are ready to go!

We had a little bug with the kitchen Cabinets that ate up about 2 weeks. Other than that, we are running a quick and efficient ship!
















Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Play Dough

I found this great recipe from The Imagination Tree:
http://www.theimaginationtree.com/2012/04/best-ever-no-cook-play-dough-recipe.html?m=1

Here is the super easy recipe:
Mix together-
2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
Add-
2 cups boiling water
Mix until it is a sticky dough and add color and flavor extracts. Knead until it turns into play dough!

Paisley and I spent about 10 minutes making the dough and eating our lunch at the same time. This was the most fascinating part of the process for her.

Once we mixed up the dough, I divided it into 4 bowls and added color and scent to each dough ball. Red was peppermint, yellow was lemon, blue was vanilla, and green was almond.

I kneaded them to combine once they were cool enough to handle. I had a blast making play dough, which is good because Paisley lost interest pretty quickly!

I hope to bring out the dough several times this week before it goes bad. Hopefully Paise will gain more interest as she experiences it more!










Friday, January 18, 2013

Retaining wall

I had John build a retaining wall on the north side of the house where the lot slopes down a bit. The north side of the house is the kid bedrooms and the only window is a transom above the tub/shower. I wanted the heat pump to sit up higher, so I put John and the tractor to work. After about 5 hours I came out to check progress and we realized that I had failed to communicate what I wanted. That was a days work lost for John, poor guy! After several weekends, he finished! It looks great! We plan to plant strawberries there this spring.










Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bulk Muesli

I've always loved muesli. It is filling, wholesome, and delicious. I was elated to bring John over to the dark side and win him away from sugar cereals several years ago. The best muesli out there (off the shelf) is Bob's Red Mill. The best price is to buy it in 10lb quantity for $2.85/lb from amazon.

A little over a year ago, we started making our own from bulk ingredients at the local Natural Grocer's. Here is the recipe:
10 pounds rolled oats
1 pound rolled spelt flakes
1 pound rolled triticale flakes
1 pound rolled rye flakes
10 oz sliced almonds
1 pound raw sunflower seeds
1 pound shredded coconut
8 oz dried cranberries
10 oz chopped dates in oat flour
1 pound raisins
1 pound maple almond granola
1 pound maple pecan granola

Mix everything by hand in a 5 gallon bucket. We store a bit in a glass jar on the counter and the rest stays in the bucket in the pantry. This makes 20 pounds and costs $1.87/lb. It is easily as delicious as Bob's and much less expensive. Plus, it is a great deal of fun for a toddler to help mix! Be prepared for a mess, with or without the toddler!