Lesson Learned; Should Have Used the Cast Iron Pan

Hey Everyone!

Earlier this afternoon I had mixed up a batch of gluten free, dairy free chocolate chip cookies, beings that today’s high was 32 degrees cooler than yesterday’s high. I don’t handle anything above 70 very well, and 65 to 70 is perfect summer weather for me. Yes, I know I should live in SE Alaska, and I would if I had a job. So, today, I had the energy to bake.

Most of you probably wouldn’t know that I really don’t like beef. I don’t like the smell or the flavor of it. My brother on the other hand loves it. He bought a steak to cook for dinner.

Beings that I haven’t cooked more than a package or two of ground beef, in making meals for others, in over a decade I didn’t think to grab the cast iron skillet instead of the red copper skillet since he was going to sear it on high heat.

This is what happened to that poor skillet:

It didn’t look like that this morning.

We also had the smoke detector going off and me running around the house opening windows and turning on fans. Between the smell and the smoke it was nuts.

Baking the rest of my gluten free, dairy free cookies was also put on hold during this steak cooking, because his highness is always more important than whatever the lowly peasant (me) is doing.

My cookies turned out really good by the way.

In trying to get the house aired out, I have a pot of cinnamon water on a low heat on the stove. I am not a fan of chemical aerosol sprays or other chemical laden sprays to mask smells if I can help it (I am slowly getting away from Scentsy). I definitely prefer more natural methods. My mom was the one who taught me about the cinnamon water trick to help with smells, so I am giving it a try.

Even though I am not a huge fan of the smell of most meat while it is cooking, there are some that I do like to eat once it is cooked, like chicken and fish. I also enjoy venison on occasion. I have yet to try bear or moose, but if they were cooked in someone else’s kitchen or outside (on a camp stove), I would definitely be willing to try them.

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What I am Warming Wednesday & Favorite Essential Oil Blends

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Now that I have had a few essential oils for a bit, I figured it was time for an update.

Most of the essential oils blends I am using are from Saje. I am still loving the DoTerra OnGuard as well. I have to say that the Saje Inhale seems to be helping with my allergies, they are usually brutal this time of year. At night, I am using several blends and creating my own nighttime blend, which I am loving. All of these that I am going to be listing are from Saje: 4 drops of be still, 4 drops of tranquility, 4 drops of unwind, and a couple drops of stress release.

This afternoon in my Scentsy Warmer, I have been warming 2 cubes of Eggnog and a cube of St. Nickerdoodle. Both of these scents are from the 2016 scents of the season collection.

To me St. Nickerdoodle smells like overly cinnamon apple pie. Egg Nog is a very sweet creamy scent. I decided to combine them and see what happened. I actually like the combination, it smells more like Apple Pie A La Mode.

While I am well aware it’s well past Christmas, as it is spring now, I am still kind of in a winter-y mood, partly because I spent this past weekend at the beach, where it was cool, and wet part of the time. I am also not a huge fan of a lot of the super sweet floral-y spring and summer scents. I prefer the clean scents and the richer, deeper scents.

I am also trying to get a lot of my Scentsy bars used up. I am trying to simplify my stash. I am trying to get down to two or three scents for year round, and two scents for autumn and two scents for winter/Christmas.

New Favorite Scentsy Scent!

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When I had first tried Scentsy and for the longest time afterward my favorite year round, classic scent was Coconut Lemongrass. Here a few months ago, I had kind of gone off the scent. It’s not that I hate it now, it just didn’t do it for me like it had. I was looking for a new all around clean scent. I still love Sunkissed Citrus, but it hasn’t held the same place that Coconut Lemongrass did. Sunkissed Citrus is a very clean yet summery scent for me.

It was a few months after Sea Salt and Avocado came out before I tried it. For now it has taken the place that Coconut Lemongrass once had. So I stocked up on Sea Salt and Avocado so I will have some for a while.

January was Bring Back My Bar month, and I was super excited when I saw that Mulberry Bush was brought back. I had purchased a bar of Mulberry Bush either before it was retired or on another Bring Back My Bar order a while back and loved it. I was sad when I had used it up. So when it was brought back, I stocked up.

I haven’t been a consultant in about a year. While I don’t miss being a consultant, I still love the products. Each season I enjoy looking at which warmers are being brought out, and which scents are returning.

The one scent that I was hoping would come back this spring / summer catalog was Apple S’mores, but it doesn’t look like it is coming back.

Preparing for Christmas

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I am one of those people who waits until after Thanksgiving to decorate. That doesn’t mean that I don’t start preparing for it earlier.

This year, beings that I have been working Retail, in a store that carries Christmas Decorations, I have been inundated with Christmas Decorations for the past month and a half. I have also been slowly working on purchasing the decorations I have liked over the past month or so.

This year, at work, one of the main themes for our decorations this year is “Nordic Lodge”. Beings as it has taken up more than 3 fixtures on Center of Floor, it is a pretty big deal. There have been a few decorations that I have seen every time I have gone to work that I loved, so I have picked them up.

Autumn and Christmas are my two favorite times of year to really decorate for the season. I love decorating this time of year and make where I am living look festive. When I was in college, I didn’t care so much about my first apartment, as it was kind of a crappy apartment, that never felt like my. My second apartment while in college, from the time I first walked into it, felt like home, and I decorated it a lot more.

I definitely want to decorate more when I get my own place again, and make it feel homey and cozy.

Yesterday, the newest Holiday Scentsy Warmer I had ordered (as well as some bars and a holiday brick) arrived. I got the winter stag Warmer, as well as 3 bars of lavender white Balsam and a brick of Silver Bells. One of my favorite scent combos this time of year is Very Merry Cranberry and Silver Bells. On its own the very merry cranberry is a bit to sweet and a bit too much for me. The Silver Bells helps tone it down and add in a light minty, cold & crisp mix to it, which I love.

It definitely struck me yesterday when I had pulled the warmer out of the box to see it in person that the side of the reindeer has a bit of the Nordic pattern similar to what some of the ornaments I had bought at work have on them.

Haven’t used Scentsy much lately

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I got thinking recently of how little I have used my Scentsy warmers and wax in recent weeks and months.

This summer was so hot, it was often too hot to have my window open to help with air flow, and it was super smoky this summer to boot.

Since the weather has changed, I have been sleeping during the day, and for the few hours I am home and awake before I leave for work, it has been late, so I haven’t used any Scentsy in weeks.

Beings that I have been up this afternoon and don’t have to think about going to be again to be back up at 10:30 pm to go to work since I have the next couple days off as well as the weekend, I am enjoying my Scentsy warmer and warming some Apple S’mores. Apple S’mores is one of my favorite scents, especially for fall. It’s sad that Scentsy only sells it during the spring and summer, because it is more of an autumn scent to me.

The Day isn’t over yet…

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Today has been one of those days where I feel like I have been on the go all day while running on empty the whole day. 

I didn’t go to bed until about 2 this morning, and woke up about 7:20 this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up and got my day going. I was out of the house by about a quarter to 10. 

I ran several errands, including to Fred Meyer, Starbucks (today was one of the rare days where I needed coffee rather than tea), then on to Cost Plus World Market, before going to Joann’s and Safeway before coming home. I got home about 12:30 (I was gone all of not quite 3 hours). 

School supplies have been out for like a month, and now all the fall decorations are out as well. While I couldn’t care much less than I do about the school supplies, I was stocked to see all the fall decorations out beings that Fall is my favorite season. 


All I picked up at Joann’s was a new set of size 1 – 2.25mm dpn needles for socks, since a couple of the once of the set I have, have broken. 


Once I got home and put stuff away I knit for a little bit before starting on dinner, at about 2:45. I made a batch of lentils, which takes some time to cook. 


The lentils were ready to eat about 5:30, which was great timing. While the lentils were cooking, I mixed up some gluten free, vegan chocolate chip cookies. After I had dinner I baked them up.

It’s days like today that insanely busy with everyday life, and I am on my own, doing what I love, including cooking, baking, errands, even cleaning, makes me happy. It also makes me miss the days when I was in college and had my own place to take care of and keep up. It was all my own space, and it was all my responsibility to clean it, cook, bake, do all the grocery shopping, and it was all my own space and I didn’t feel like an intruder o someone else’s space or be restricted on what I could or couldn’t do, or do them when those I live with aren’t around. It’s hard when you have to live with others because you don’t have the means to be on your own, at least for me it is. That is kind of why I got excited to have a week to myself, and being able to do my own thing, and have a bit of that freedom that I did back in college. 

This is why I have been looking for jobs in other parts in the country, preferably where the cost of living is lower. It seems like there are not a whole lot of jobs for someone with my educational and work experience background in this part of the country.  I would love to stay in the Pacific Northwest if at all possible since I know the culture and I know what grows in this part of the country. Yeah I feel torn on this issue, a part of me wants to stay (by stay I mean small town within about 2ish hours driving from my parents house) but the other (larger part) is like “hey, there is more of the world to go see, go see it and experience some place else and learn about their history through immersion” as well as “SE Alaska would be awesome, and perfect. What I can’t get at the store (GF from Bob’s Red Mill and possibly Mrs Meyers cleans day), I can order and have shipped, as it would totally be worth shipping a few things to have the outdoors stuff, fishing, hunting and everything else that is me”. 

It is my desire to be able to create more quality content for all my blogs. So here is hoping in the near enough future I will find a new job, and a place of my own again, and share how I decorate, what I cook and bake as well at pretty much everything I can Homemaking related.

Speaking of decorating, I know I already mentioned that Fred Meyer and Joann’s have fall decorations for sale already, and that got me all excited, beings that I am totally a fall person and love everything about it. I am also so over this heat and no rain for days on end. I am so ready for cooler days, grey overcast skies, pumpkin and pumpkin spice everything, the changing leaves, needing a jacket when I leave the house and being able to wear jeans without being too hot. 

While I have been home I have been warming Apple S’mores scentsy cubes. That is how ready for Fall I am. To me the Apple S’mores is totally an autumn scent.

Learning to live a more Frugal lifestyle 

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If anything, the past 11 years, has taught me how to live a more frugal lifestyle and how much “fluff” and extras I really don’t need. 

While having to be Dairy Free, generally Gluten Free, and generally Egg Free, that costs more than your normal grocery haul would, unless you shopped solely at new seasons or Whole Foods or some place life that. 

I have been learning how to live with my food intolerances and live a frugal lifestyle. 

That is one of the things I am wanting to do, is live more frugally, and do as much as I can, myself. I definitely prefer doing my own canning. While I would rather spend a bit more on buying local fruit and vegetables and canning my own fruit, pickles and jams as well as doing freezer jam. I have been learning the value of not having cable tv, or even hulu plus or Netflix. While it is nice to have some movies and some series of TV on DVD, I have learned the value of a hard days work. I am tired of being stuck in the city, where it isn’t as easy to get out side and work with my hands and be productive, as gas prices are climbing, and it is so expensive to live in the city. I honestly don’t miss having Netflix and Hulu. 

I am also trying to spend my time more wisely, and not waste my time on computer games when I could be knitting, or reading books. 

While I do have a list of yarn and knitting things I would like to accrue, I am trying to work through the yarn I have. The needles and swift I would like would be useful for more than one occasion. 

I am also trying to reduce my Scentsy budget to something more reasonable, like keeping a few bars of my favorite year round scent, one or two summer scents, a couple fall scents, and one or two winter scents, and not have excessive amounts of any one scent.

Books are one “luxury” and pass time, besides knitting that is worth while that is more of the enjoyment of it. 

Learning how to live a frugal lifestyle is important to me, and while I would live to live in, or near a small town, I really don’t want to more than a couple hours away from Portland. This is on the sole basis that my bakery is here, tea and tea shops are plentiful here, and Bob’s Red Mill is here. Not to mention the Gorge isn’t all that far away, to go get fruit to can, or Sauvie Island, or other farm stores that would carry pickling cucumbers, dill and garlic to can garlic dill pickles. 

I have been realizing that I don’t need as much stuff as I once thought I did. 

You don’t need the fastest internet, or all the cable channels, or a wall full of dvds, or the most expensive car or house, or best vacations to live a fulfilled and happy life. Honestly, I prefer the feeling I have at the end of the day when I have worked hard and am actually tired, or spent the day with those I care about, or played a board game with good friends, or watched the sunset over the ocean, or sat around a campfire at night, away from the city lights and saw all the stars in the sky. There is so much more to life than having to have all the latest and greatest, or the biggest and best. 

Life is so much more than being focused on the material things. Yes, having a comfortable house is nice, but so is making memories with friends and family and taking joy in the simple pleasures. 

Honestly, I am not a huge fan of eating out. I would just as soon grill up some burgers or salmon on a summer evening, and make some side salads, and a homemade dessert, and enjoy dinner on the back patio or in the backyard, and have a fire in the fire pit in the back yard once the sun goes down, over going and sitting a restaurant for however many hours. That is part of my aversion to city life, I always feel like I am having to go somewhere and do something, and spend money left and right to have fun. I am the type who prefers sitting at home reading a book, and some of my best and favorite memories involve sitting around a campfire with friends having a good conversation. 

As I get older, and I learn more about who I am, I definitely feel like I live in the wrong era. I feel like I belong in a by gone era, where women did more Homemaking and living off the land. While I really don’t want to give up indoor plumbing, running water, electricity, modern appliances (and refrigeration), there is something to be said of the country life. You know, having a freezer full of chicken meat that you raised yourself, as well as ham, pork chop, bacon, pork roasts and such that came from pigs you raised, fish that you caught (and some that you also smoked yourself), as well as venison, maybe some moose, and elk. Not to mention some homemade freezer jam, as well as a pantry that is well stocked with home canned fruit and pickles, as well as the gluten free and shelf stable dairy free necessities.