Preparing For the Ladies Retreat

Hey Everyone!

So, I am going to be attending a ladies retreat this weekend, and I have been slowly preparing for it over the past couple of weeks.

last week I had picked up what I am going to be giving as gifts.

Today I ran errands to pick up the dry goods for what I will be using in part for meals for myself and the food intolerance friendly breakfast I am making for Saturday morning. I am also going to bake up a batch of gluten free vegan muffins Friday morning before I leave, to take with me.

While I did a test run of the gluten free and dairy free egg casserole I am planning on making, I also spent the time to do up the tea and sugar free sweetener bags I am giving as gifts.

I love doing all this crafty Homemaking stuff. I enjoy doing things for others and using all the creative ideas I get to bless others.

Beings that I have food intolerances myself, I can understand and relate to others who also have food intolerances. Being able to cook for myself and others who have food intolerances is a passion of mine, besides loving to cook in general.

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DIY Gluten Free Dairy Free Pizza

Hey Everyone!

I had been wanting some gluten free and dairy free pizza for a few days now. I finally got around to making some today.

I had gone to Bob’s Red Mill and the grocery store to get what I needed to make my pizza and gluten free and dairy free Cherry Brownies.

I used the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust for my pizza. I had sprinkled corn meal on the pan I was going to use to bake my pizza on, I then used olive oil instead of pizza sauce. I topped my pizza with Jimmy Dean Maple ground sausage that I got most of the way cooked before I drained it and put it in my pizza. I then also topped it with a red pepper I had diced up, as well as diced tomatoes, sliced olives and spinach, and then baked it. It turned out great for my first attempt at making my own gluten free and dairy free pizza.

I also had been kind of craving cherry brownies, so while I was out I had picked up a package of the Bob’s Red Mill gluten free brownie mix, as well as dairy free butter alternative (in the stick form), and maraschino cherries. I added some diced up cherries and some of the cherry juice to my brownie batter. It took forever (like an hour and a half) to actually get done….. but they taste good and that’s what matters.

While I was at Bob’s Red Mill, I had also picked up a shortbread pan, so if I want to make gluten free dairy free shortbread cookies, and I don’t want to take the time to make round cookies and use my Scottish Thistle cookie stamp, I can put the dough in the shortbread pan and bake it that way.

Today I was totally in a cooking, baking and errands kind of mood. It was a gorgeous day, more like early spring (like late March / Early April) than still the dead of winter that is typical for early February. It got up to 60 degrees (Fahrenheit) / 15 – 16 degrees (Celsius) today. The Daffodils are starting to come up and bloom.

Buying Men’s Razors (budgeting series #1)

Hey Everyone!

With everything I love doing, and the lifestyle I am living and want to continue living (and take it to the next level and beyond), it is time I really start budgeting and learning how to save money / spend less when I do shop, I am working on learning how to maximize my use of coupons, store apps, store rewards programs / money saving programs, Ibotta, and doing way more DIY stuff.

Learning to be Frugal is what I am trying to do.

I still have a lot to learn, especially on which things it’s ok to buy the generic brand or the less expensive option, and on which things you want to buy the name brand or more expensive item, because the quality is better. When it comes to things needing to last, spending a bit more money for a quality item, that you then maintain, will last for a while.

I have know about and used the Safeway club card for years, as well as looked at in store deals and in store coupons when I am looking at, say shampoo or razors. Yeah, I have the ones I like, but when it comes to shampoo and conditioner if one of my favorite brands is on sale or has a coupon to save some money, I would go with that brand. For instance, one of the brands of shampoo and conditioner I bought today were on 2 for $10, when they are regularly $5.99 a piece. I also got a bottle of each shampoo and conditioner of one of the Herbal Essences bio renew line of hair care. I had seen that it was on Ibotta for get $1.50 back on each one, effectively making them $4.49 instead of $5.99.

One of the frustrating things, is that women’s razors are always more expensive than the men’s razors. Seriously, there is no reason we need girly colored razors when they guys work just as well or better, and cheaper. That is why I bought a package of the guys razors instead of a similar product marketed to women. There was also an in store coupon for $2.00 off, which is even better.

This is just the first post in a series I hope to continue in the future.

Over the past few months I have really begun to see why things are really necessary in life and what things are not. Once the holidays are over, I am getting rid of my Hulu Plus and Netflix subscriptions, as that is when the seasons of a couple shows I am currently watching will be over, and I will be caught up as much as possible on The Black List.

Total Solar Eclipse Day

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So far today, I have got in eating food, making tea, picking raspberries, watching the total solar eclipse from the backyard, made raspberry freezer jam and labeled the dill pickles that were canned yesterday, and I got all of that done before noon. It was a very productive morning. I am taking a short break before I go deal with getting the chicken marinating for dinner. I literally remembered the chicken while I was sitting here writing this post. 

This is how dark it got in Portland, which was in the 99.2% totality range. It got more dusky or like looking at the back yard through sunglasses. It didn’t get that dark. 


Once I got the chicken marinating, I put the pickles away, and cleaned the kitchen, and mopped the floor. Now I am trying to relax before I cook the chicken I put to marinate earlier. 

Weekend Homemaking 

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After spending time yesterday finishing up a pair of socks before going out with my mom for treats at my favorite bakery here in the city, before running an errand and coming home. 

This morning, I went out and picked raspberries, and got two whole pints since I missed picking yesterday. We have been getting about a pint or so a day. The two pints I got today went in the fridge, in hopes that come Monday or so I will get another couple pints of raspberries from the backyard so I can make jam this week. 

Earlier this afternoon I started a new pair of socks, using KnitPicks Palette Yarn in Victorian and Larch Heather, before going to the grocery store. 

On the news the past few weeks and months the news has been making a bigger deal of the total solar eclipse than has really needed to be made, and has had a lot of people freaking out and at some grocery stores there have been runs on certain items. Today, and last night at our local Fred Meyer and Safeway Stores (in the 99.2% totality range), it has been business as usual. 

This evening, after making dinner is was my job to go through the bag of pickling cucumbers and pull out the moldy ones after having dumped them out on a towel. It was kinda gross. At least the ones that weren’t moldy, will be put in a vinegar brine and heated through tomorrow. 

Tonight I am hoping to get a little more knitting done before I settle in for the night and read for a while. 

Raspberry Gleaning

Hey Everyone!

With my family being gone last week, it was up to me to go out and pick the raspberries in the backyard as well as to water the plants. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed going outside and picking raspberries and watering the plants, seeing as I want a place of my own where I can have a garden and grow my own vegetables and berries. 

Homemaking, urban homesteading, knitting, 

In the modern era, especially in places that are not food deserts, grocery stores are all over the place. Don’t get me wrong, there are somethings that really are more worthwhile / economical to purchase from a grocery store. I don’t know about other parts of the country, but out here, we have Trader Joe’s Stores, and they have a really good selection of dried fruit, nuts, trail mixes and that kind of thing for a really good price. Not to mention the dried foods like flour (and not gluten free flours as well), sugar, coffee, oats and such that people would often purchase at the general store or mercantile in town. So going totally without a grocery store is not something I totally want to do without. With that being said there is definitely more I want to do for myself or buy from farmers markets or fruit / vegetables stands. If I can’t grow it myself or it would not be practical to grow small scale, I would rather buy it from local farmers via a farmers market or farm stands / stores (like what they have out along the fruit loop in the gorge or out on Sauvie Island). 

I have been out picking raspberries pretty much every day for the past week and I love it. Today I got about a pint of berries. 


Having property and a garden takes hard work. I am definitely someone who doesn’t mind working hard and getting my hands dirty or callused.  

I am also a huge fan of cooking from scratch, and simple dinners that fill people up, that are also not step intensive or difficult. Yesterday I had tried a new recipe (for me anyway), that was a little time consuming, but really easy, and only had a few ingredients and a few steps. The most time consuming part was removing the excess fat from the chicken, letting it marinate and then letting it cook. In and of itself the marinade had like 5 ingredients, and you put it all together, and then put the chicken in (I used a couple gallon size bags) and let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours, then I dumped the contents of the bags into a roasting pan and put in the oven for about an hour. It turned out really good. I had also made baked rice to go with it. 


I feel like I am fairly realistic about how much work it takes to grow A garden, can fruit, freeze fruit and vegetables, and raise some chickens and maybe some pigs for meat. It all takes time and effort, and a willingness to get in there and get hot, sweaty and dirty. 

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.