Tuesday, December 31, 2013

More Sun Oven Experiments

I saw that you can hard boil an egg in the sun oven with no water, so...

I cooked them for 35 minutes and got a hard cooked egg.

Look What Else DH Bought Me..

A couple of days after Christmas, DH approached me and asked if I had received a book from him.  I replied that I had not. Oh.

This conversation came about because I mentioned that I wanted to go to Honeyville Grains, this past Saturday.  They were doing a food tasting and I was anxious to sample some of their freeze dried items.  DH said he too would like to go.  That is what triggered the book question and the search to figure out where he had put the book.

I had the book on left on my Christmas list. When I actually came into possession of the book, I was amazed at the simplicity of the idea.  It was one of those, why didn't I think of that moments.  The book is really a recipe book with several options for a main dish or dessert in a canning jar.  You have all your ingredients layered in the jar and then place an oxygen absorber packet on top and seal the jar.  By doing this, you are opening your #10 cans and using the ingredients instead of storing just one ingredient.  Since this book is from  Honeyville Grains, the majority of ingredients used are purchased through them.  But if you already have many of the ingredients on hand,  you may just need to purchase a few additional items to round out the recipes. 

How great is that, that you can have actual meals on hand, that you just add water to and cook?  Brilliant.  Many of the main dishes are made with freeze dried meats.  I ended up purchasing smaller pantry size cans of those items. I was impressed with the flavor of the freeze dried products.  I will be trying out some of these recipes in the future and coming up with some of my own.  I'll keep you posted on that front.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Just Some Updates...

The other day on my Instagram account, I posted a photo of some muffins I was making.  What's so special about making muffins you say? Well, Santa brought me a sun powered oven!
Yes, after talking about it for months, Santa needed to get me something for Christmas.  Living in SoCal, we have an abundance of sun all year round.  Lucky us.  While others were freezing back East, we were enjoying 80 degree plus temps in December.

I was anxious to try out the oven.  I unboxed it set it up outside.  Temps were running in the 70's with a slight wind.  I set it on a portable table and aligned it with the sun.  Since the sun is not as hot as summer temps, I wondered if I could preheat it to the 350 degree temperature I needed.  After about an hour, it reached the proper temp and I was able to cool and clean the oven as the instructions say. I allowed the oven to reheat to temp and then made the muffins.

I had a boxed cranberry orange muffin mix on hand and just used that. I made the mix according to the directions, except it said it would fill 11 spots and I filled all 12 muffin spots.

My concern was that the muffins might not brown as in a regular oven. 

As you can see from the photo on the left, the muffins achieved a very nice golden color. I allowed them to cook for about 2 hours.  I went to check on them periodically, and only moved the oven once to track the sun.

DH (dear hubby) and I were both concerned about the muffins being dry.  We were pleasantly surprised with the moist consistency and taste. I am anxious to try some other experiments with it in the future. 

In case of emergency, the oven can also be used to pasteurize water to make it safe to drink. All this just from the abundance of sun we enjoy here.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pics From the Emergency Preparedness Fair

DH explaining about water purification. 
Debra and Joel did a fantastic job. Anything you want to know about sanitation you could have learned from them.
Debra outdid herself with her props.
If the you know what hits the fan. You now know where to put it.
Thanks Debra for all your hard work!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


While looking for "loo" supplies I found this.  It is on special right now for $1.29 at Emergency Essentials.  (I love that store and their web site and their catalogs!)  Joel says it is the best little multi tool he has and he has more then I can count.  (Along with flashlights and tape measures.)  A great little tool to fit in any one's wallet or purse and perfect for a stocking stuffer.  It's the size of a credit card and comes with the two sided card, diagram and label.  (Don't tell my boys if you see them.)

11 Function Survival Tool

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It's That Time of Year Again...

The holidays are soon upon us, and we wonder what to get those near and dear to us.

Why not make a preparedness holiday, this year?  Here is the list from my Preparedness Minute that I shared with you today.

1. ResQMe, The Keychain Version of the Original LifeHammer
2. Some type of gas-shutoff tool like this 4 in 1 Emergency Tool
3. Hand Warmers
4. Sewing Kit (or put your own together with parts from your sewing supplies)
5. Ammunition Ammunition is always welcome. :)

6. Various ways to make fire: Magnesium and Steel, Waterproof matches, Stormproof Lighter etc.  Maybe some dryer lint fire starters as well.
7. Flashlight or Headlamp
8. Water Purification Tablets
9. Knife or Multi-Tool
10. Emergency Blankets
11. Seeds and gardening hand tools
12. Pick-me-ups like Travel games, or a deck or cards, puzzle, etc.
13. Canning lids or even better–Reusable Canning Lids
14. N95 masks

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Almost a Steal!!!

I told you I don't like to pay more than $2 or $3 for a knob, and today I didn't.  I was in the New Hobby Lobby in Anaheim Hills on Santa Ana Canyon Road.  (Where Mervyn's used to be)  I found darling knobs on sale for 1/2 price that I just couldn't pass up.  Than I found one of their "Clearance" sections.  Knobs were about 60%-70% off.  Look how cute they are.  I have several pieces of furniture in my garage just waiting for my inspiration juices to flow and I will match up furniture with knobs!!  Stay tuned!!!

The flower is resin.  The turquoise is blinged, than a colorful one,
a metal and resin, and another colorful one.

The orange one is wood, the two pink one's are blinged-rhinestones.
The other three are just colorful and beautiful.

Four of these are metal knobs.  The other one is a clock face.
Can you believe those prices?!!!  Check back and see if you can spot them on a piece of furniture.
                                   Happy shopping and watch for those "Clearance" shelves!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Re-birth For Everything!!

Do you know that I love Thrift Store shopping?  I found this little nightstand one day.  I think I paid about $5.00 for it.  I didn't have a need or any plans for it.  I just liked it and it was very reasonable and I couldn't pass it up, so I bought it.  It ended up sitting in my garage for probably 8 months.  I call it, "living with it" till I get the inspiration of what to do with it.

One day I was sitting in my "Game Room" working on the computer, I turned around and looked at the little table that was on the side of my sofa and thought, "that's cute but nothing special.  What can I do with it?'  After a couple of minutes the "nightstand" popped in my head.  Who says a nightstand has to be by a bed?!

This is the results of those two events.

Notice the dried look of the wood.  It was dirty and scratched.
It was so dull but I thought it had such character.  I love it and I knew it could have a great 2nd life.

 Does this even look like the same wood?  I use a mixture of 3/4 C oil and 1/4 C vinegar.  (No, I am not making salad dressing.)  It can be any kind of vinegar, white or cider, and any kind of oil, olive, vegetable, canola.  You get the idea.  I put it in an empty water bottle so I can shake it up while I work on the project.  I use a clean old tea towel and wipe the furniture with the grain of the wood.  I turn my cloth as it gets dirty so I don't put the dirt back into the piece.  The vinegar cleans it and the oil brings it back to it's glory.  The wood is beautiful now!!  Note:  NOT ALL FURNITURE NEEDS TO BE REFINISHED!!!  Sometimes it just needs to be cleaned.  I didn't use any paint or stain on this!!  I promise!!!


I collect cute knobs when ever I see them CHEAP!!!!  I generally don't pay more than $3 or $4 for one.  And I usually only buy one or two.  But if they're REALLY cheap and REALLY cute, I might buy 5 or 6!!  I very seldom use all the same knobs on a piece.  (Remember me saying I don't follow rules too well?)  I find knobs at Cost Plus World Market, Pier 1 Imports, Anthropologie, Jo-ann's, Thrift Stores, Home Depot... I'm always looking.  (I have a list longer than your kids Christmas lists of things I keep an eye out for)

Once I put it by the sofa and lived with it for a week, I felt it was still lacking something.  It just wasn't "done"!!  I decided to cover the open shelf on the bottom with "something", scrapbooking paper, fabric, contact paper, wallpaper...?  So I was off to Jo-ann's.  My "Game Room" is also my "Travel Room".  It's where all our "tchotchkes" and art and collectibles from our travels are.  So I used that as my inspiration for the fabric I chose.  I love this fabric.  The sales lady told me it is Ernest Hemingway inspired.  Perfect!!
The fabric was $14.99 a yard and I bought 2 yards.  I had a 50% off coupon so it cost me $14.99.  

I used craft glue stick and scrapbooking tape to attach the fabric to the wood.  I wanted as little damage to the wood as possible if I decide to remove it some day.  Also, there is a raw edge of the fabric along the front bottom, so I got a pack of leather cords at Jo-ann's and glued that across the front and up the hump , around the corner, over all the raw edges.  

 Here is the finished project in it's place of honor.  I am so happy and I just love it!!  So much cuter than the table that was there!!!   Stop by and see  it when you're in the neighborhood.

My summary of expenses:

nightstand                                                 5
oil, vinegar, tea towel and empty bottle    0
knobs (I'll guess)                                       7
fabric  (I have 1/2 yd left)                        12
leather strip (what I used from the pack)    1            


Priceless to me!!!

P.S.  I had been looking for a nightstand for the side of my bed for almost a year!!  Wait till you see what I put there!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Let's Go "Organize Crazy"!!!

I am forever organizing my home.  I can't help but look at something that can hold
 or contain something else and I say to myself, "Where can I use that in my home?"  
Well, I'm going start sharing what I feel have been my success stories.  


Organization #1

I found this at Ikea for $7.99

This is what it looks like opened.

                   This is what I did with it:  
                                 I organized all my slips, full and half, and by colors.

                                                 I organized all my scarves by color for 
                                        easy season access.

                                                 I organized my skirts by color and design.

                                               This is the flip slip of my skirts.  
                                I only put the skirts that do not wrinkle, 
                                         the ones that travel well.

 I have found this takes up so much less space .  Plus, I put them away much faster than I did when they were on hangers with several other skirts.

This organizing hanger can be used in every room in your home in so many different ways.  Get creative and have fun and GET ORGANIZED!!!!!

Keep checking back for ORGANIZATION #2.

I dare you to challenge me to your organization dilemma.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

72 hour kit assembly

Our first offer of the 72 hour kits was a BIG success.  
We had over 230 kits ordered.  
We had a great turn out for the assembly on Friday, 
September 27th.  Husbands joined 
wives and the missionaries showed up and did 
they ever help!! Sister Baird and Sister Neilson spent 
about 1 1/2 hours in the morning repacking the kit to get 
everything in it.  We decided we had to do an assembly 
line to get them each packed in the exact same way.  
It worked and everyone pitched in and we couldn't have 
been successful with out each and every one who showed 
up and worked their little hearts out.  

Thank you, each and every one you!!!

The items set up waiting for assembly.

Let the assembly begin

And they worked,

and worked,

and worked.

We even had fun!!

And laughed thru out the night!!

We ran out of a few items. Many stuck around till more 
were delivered. And we got back to work.

All along, the bags were being sealed.

All 230 plus!!

We didn't go home till they were all fill and sealed!!

And then we were done.  They were handed out to those who purchased.  
We cleaned up.  And we went home.  Some a little more beat than others.  
But we were very happy with a very successful Provident Living Activity.

Again, a very heartfelt sincere thank you to all who purchased them
and helped to fill them and make this a success.  

I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness. We want to be found with oil in our lamps sufficient to endure to the end. President Spencer W. Kimball admonished us:
“In reviewing the Lord’s counsel to us on the importance of preparedness, I am impressed with the plainness of the message. The Savior made it clear that we cannot place sufficient oil in our preparedness lamps by simply avoiding evil. We must also be anxiously engaged in a positive program of preparation.”      L.Tom Perry October 1995

Monday, September 9, 2013

Life Hacks

Two minutes is never enough time to tell you everything I need to. Check out this site to get more useful info.

Baking Small ~ Blueberry-Banana Bread

For me, it doesn't make much sense to bake using full-size pans anymore. DH (Dear Hubby) and I are empty nesters and won't finish a standard size loaf of quick bread anymore. Or maybe I should say, DH won't but I will.  Not good.  So to remove temptations and end the waste, I decided to bake smarter.  I found smaller pans that can  make individual size portions or  enough for two or three portions.  So, by doubling a batch of quick bread (to use up all the bananas) I was able to bake several small sized portions.  They are also the perfect size for after school snacks or a treat.

I wrap each individual loaf in plastic wrap and then put them all in a Ziploc freezer bag.  I am able to take out only what I need, when I need it.

So next time you think about making something like a quick bread or even meatloaf, try using smaller pans and enjoy baking smarter.  You'll love the convenience without the waste.


  • Butter, for greasing the loaf pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the loaf pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed to yield about 3/4 cup of mashed banana
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) fresh blueberries


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until blended. Stir in the bananas and blueberries. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool for 15 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours.

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