Working to make my place a Home

Hey Everyone!

Today I went shopping at the store I work at, to purchase the rest of the Christmas ornaments I have been eyeing for the past week and a half, since we got them in stock.

I started buying the ones I like last week and picked up the last few I liked today. I might as well pick up the cute ones while they are in stock, before the mad rush for Christmas everything happens, and all the ones I like sale out.

Beings that my store is in the same complex as a mall that has a yankee candle store I decided to walk down to the Yankee Candle and at least smell the candles. I found one scent I actually like, which is the apple pumpkin. They were having a sale, the small jars were buy one get one free so I got two of the apple pumpkin candles.

On my way home I had stopped at new seasons and picked up a couple boxes of my favorite Steven Smith tea maker tea – no. 47 Bungalow.

While I am working to live a more minimalistic life, having a few things to make my future house a home. Besides just the fact that I enjoy Homemaking, hospitality has also been on my heart. Whether it is extending friendship and an open door to young women in college who are away from home and need that support system, a listening ear of someone who has already gone through it, and a home cooked meal every so often. Being that someone who helps them make their new home feel like home because they will be there nine months out of the year for at least four years. As well as young women who are through school and starting out on their own, and maybe moved someplace new for work and trying to figure out the whole adult with a job thing. Starting college and new jobs are always hard, and it is even harder when you move someplace new to do that, and pursue your dreams. I have been there, I have been through it. Being able to be there for other young women who are going through similar situations I have been through and be able to open my home to them to help ease the transition is something that is on my heart.

Advertisements

It’s time for Pumpkin

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday after I got home from work I felt like baking. Beings that I didn’t have to work today, I had the time to bake.

Now that autumn is finally here, as well as the fact that I love pumpkin food, and the weather is cool enough to actually warrant baking, I am back in my element. I love cooking and baking.

A couple weekends ago I made split pea soup, and this past weekend I made Chili.

Fall is definitely my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, pumpkin scents, pumpkin food, hot tea, the changing colors of leaves, I love the fall colors anyway.

I am actually excited that summer is over, and on to cooler weather.

Baking Brownies

Hey Everyone!

I have wanted brownies for the past couple of days, so I finally made some today. I had today off so it was a perfect time to bake brownies.

While I love baking all year round, I love it even more when the weather is cooler, and now that Autumn is here and today has been in the low 60’s, it was a perfect day to do some baking.

I used a package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie mix and a stick of earth balance vegan butter alternative. I did use eggs this time because I wanted the brownies to turn out right.

Fall Has to Be Coming

Hey Everyone!

Saturday, I had gone to Bob’s Red Mill and picked up some more flours to make up the brown rice flour mix I use for gluten free baking. I also got a package of the gluten free Shortbread Cookie mix.

Yesterday I had baked my Shortbread cookies, for being gluten free & vegan they turned out amazing. I had used my Scottish Thistle cookie stamp on them prior to baking them.

I had also cooked up some chicken yesterday, but I needed that for dinner. Cooking for dinner isn’t always the most interesting.

This summer, the wildfire smoke has been so bad. It hasn’t been just one wildfire that has been causing our air to be at an unhealthy level quite a bit, and our skies to look like the photo above. It has also been a very hot summer, the hottest since at least 2009.

While I was out and about for my job interviews today, I noticed that quite a few trees were turning already. I have been over this heat all summer, and I am so ready for cooler weather. The stores and nature (despite the heat and wildfire smoke), is leading me to believe that autumn is coming, and soon.

When Homemaking is a Passion

Hey Everyone! 

As a child, I was my dad’s little buddy when he would be working out in the yard, and I was my mom’s (and grandma’s) little buddy when they were out in the kitchen. As a kid I can remember my dad taking my brother and I fishing, and as I got a little older, I was the only one he took. Seeing a fish be cleaned always fascinated me. 

Growing up, I also enjoyed cooking and baking. Once I had to go Dairy Free and Gluten Free (and now egg free as well), cooking and baking have taken on new meanings. 

From the time I was young I would help my mom make Sunday dinners when she would make them, as well as holiday dinners once my Dad’s mom passed away. I also grew up helping my mom can and make jam in the summers. 

My later high school years were when I really began to enjoy learning about what women’s roles were during the 1800’s, especially those who lived on the frontier, as well as between the 1920’s – early 1960’s. More specifically what life was life for women who didn’t come from money or marry into money – women like my grandmothers and great grandmothers. Women who cooked, baked, gardened, kept a house and even went to work if they needed to. 

Now that I am older, I have heard stories that my grandmother had told my mom of her youth and young adult life, as well as stories that my mom has told from when she was around. 

Part of my love of Homemaking and the history of it, is that at one time many women gardened, or if not, the food they had available was all local and ethnically raised. Knowing where my food comes and how it’s raised / grown is important to me. Just from my own experience, with the young women I have known here where I live, I am one of the few (like that I can count on one hand) who know how to can food, as well and knowing how to make a meal from scratch. 

This past week I have been home on my own, which means that checking the raspberries and other plants in the backyard as well as watering everything. I have also been doing my fair share of cooking, baking and cleaning, so those I live with could come home to a clean house. 

In college, when I had my own apartment, I found a love / tolerate relationship with cleaning. While I could find things I would rather do than clean, I don’t hate it either. I also found that cleaning is a good stress reliever. If I just needed a break from studying/ homework and needed to clear my head and destress (and it was too late to go far a walk), I would clean my apartment. I came to kind of enjoy cleaning, and I always enjoyed having a clean apartment. 

While in college I also found a love for decorating the space I live in, and make it smell good. Over the years I have been working in building up my fall decorations and winter decorations stashes. 

I am all for women being able to do what they want with their lives, and follow their dreams and pursue their career goals. I am by no means advocating doing away with the all the work that women (and men) before me and have done to give me the opportunity to pursue my own dreams and find out what I am passionate about. There are so many things I love doing that 2 or 3 generations ago, I would not have been able to do. 

I definitely want to help preserve and share the history of my grandmother’s and great grandmother’s generations as well as the history of their mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers. 

The Day isn’t over yet…

Hey Everyone!

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.

I get asked this all the time

Hey Everyone!

I get asked quite often for the recipes I use when I post pictures and such of what I bake. 

Beings that I am dairy free, egg free and generally gluten free, I try to be as careful as possible when cooking and baking. 

I am not vegan, as I still love honey, and I still eat certain meats. Though I am not a fan of the meat that comes from the grocery store. I seriously am the type of person who prefers to catch it myself or have someone close to me catch it / hunt it. 

When it comes to baking, this is the baking book I use. 

It has made gluten free baking so much similar for me. Many of these recipes are not dairy free so I substitute my dairy free alternatives for the dairy products. 

My favorite dairy free alternatives include:

For milk I use:

•Blue Diamond unsweetened unflavored almond coconut milk

•Silk unsweetened unflavored coconut milk 

For a butter alternative I like:

•Earth Balance organic whipped spread 

•Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread

In baking I also use in place of butter:

•Crisco Shortening

•Coconut Oil

In baking instead of eggs I use:

•Bob’s Red Mill gluten free egg replacer

A couple things to note: 

•when baking with shortening (when the recipe calls for butter or margarine) you need to add a table spoon or two of water in addition to what liquids are called for, because shortening is 100% fat based where as butter is about 80% fat and 20% water based. 

•when baking with Egg Replacer I add roughly an extra table spoon of water for the equivalent of 2 eggs replaced (about half a tablespoon per equivalent of one egg of egg replacer) as I noticed that the egg replacer is drier, gloppier and thicker than a beaten egg. 

•I have found that texture/ consistency wise as well as not having an overpowering different flavor, that the almond coconut and regular unsweetened coconut milk are as close as I can get to regular milk for using in recipes.