Corner Bookmarks!

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Today we made corner bookmarks and paper tulips! AJM really enjoyed these projects. She calls the flowers “Tuhlulips” and made several, including a double “tuhlulip”. She also went on to make her own corner bookmark characters.. tiger, hummingbird and another monster.
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We really had fun following along with our new found blogger Maggie of Red Ted Art. We started by watching her super easy to follow instructional video about paper tulips.
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Then we followed her easy video about making a corner bookmark bunny. Eventually we ended up on her monster corner bookmark.
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Seriously there are so many bookmarks, we could be making bookmarks all day!! It really was quite a treat making these and letting our creative process unfold.
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I even designed BAM her very on selfie bookmark.
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Hooray for easy paper crafts!

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

MF Week 2

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It’s been going well with the daily exercise routine. I took a day off last Wednesday and then Sunday. I have also been recording what I do on each days routine, because some of the number of reps are just beyond my level at this point. I hope the next time I di this program I’ll see a difference in what I’m able to do then. So don’t feel discouraged if you have to adjust the workout. As long as you’re pushing YOUR limits and feeling good, then keep it up!  I have also been doing this quick yoga routine everyday so far, except Sunday. I feel like I’m getting stronger already and have definitely noticed a difference in my stretching and overall body. Looking forward to another successful week of daily exercise!

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

The Woven Bracelet

Lately there have been a pile of tutorial style videos popping up on my Facebook feed. Some of them are pretty cool and inspire me to get creative! Here was my latest inspiration after watching a video about making bows using an easy technique. 
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It caused me to pull out the ribbons and search a bit more for other stuff that could be made using ribbons.  I stumbled upon this blog, showing how to make a headband refashion
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I just loved the look of it and have since fashed several paper ribbon bracelets following my first satin ribbon success.
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I’ll probably make a video of me and the girls using paper ribbons in another post. But for now hope you enjoyed the pictures of my woven bracelet.
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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!


 

MF Day 1 Complete

I completed day 1 of military fit. This morning I did a wake up and connect yoga session, followed by MF Day 1. I weighed and took my measurements before starting the workout.

As of March 1st:
At 5′ 1.5″
114.5 lbs
32.5 bust
26 waist
34 hips
10.5 arm
19 thigh
13.5 calve

I also took a before pic of my stomach area, but it came out super blurry.

I followed the workout with the calm app session called 7 days of happiness (day 2). I started meditations again Sunday. I recommend starting with their 7 days of calm, then 21 days of calm. Then work on whichever you like for the other 7 days options.

I’ve been also writing in a journal every time I think about it over the last month. It seems to help me sort through how I feel overall in my daily interactions with myself and people.

My shoulders and back are sore from the last two days of digging and I’m super tired. I keep waking up consistently 6.5 to 7 hours after going to bed. I have super vivid dreams and feel like I’m awake all night participating in them.

As far as my workout went, I completed all three sets, but did it amrap style. I kept telling myself “I do this” for each exercise starting set 2 and noticed a difference in how many reps I could do. There were times when I felt like giving up. But I talked myself through it. I feel like taking a nap. Ha!

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

Getting Into The Groove Again… with exercise.

I’ll admit, I don’t really know what happened exactly…but I fell off the “motivated to exercise” wagon a few months ago.

I think it all started with jellyfish.
Wait a minute. Did you just say jellyfish?
Yes. I said jellyfish.
Hahahahahaha.
Just hear me out! 🙂

Back in November and December our bay was invaded by jellyfush. I’m not talking about the sweet and docile moon jellyfish with very short tentacles that generally people do not feel their sting. I don’t. I’m talking about the kind with tentacles extending out from their bodies by like 2-3 feet who leave welts the size of a pencil eraser tip and it burns… alot. If you’re small enough these stings could cause some serious damage. Fortunately we can see very clearly into our water and there is a specific season for them. The season lasts only about 2 months at the end of the year (from what we’ve seen and been told by locals) and then they move on to some other, as of yet unknown to us, location. The moon jellies stick around for about another month.. but remember, they’re harmless. It’s still a bit unnerving to swim with them, so I just stay out of the water unless J gives the all clear.

That brings me to my point. I fell out of motivation with exercising.
I know.
I could’ve just skipped swimming and done other stuff.
But I didn’t.
Bad Dashaina!

So today I am pledging myself to start anew! Beginning March 1st I’m starting the fitness challenge Military Fit over at my favourite exercise website Darebee.  Here’s a preview of Military Fit for those interested in joining me for 30 days starting March 1 or 2 (whichever works for you). I’m a beginning of the month kinda gal.

I am downloading the entire program as a pdf and printing it 3 to a page style front/back printing…minimising excuses of internet, electricity or random acts of nature. I’m basically making it so I can grab my “workout book”  for the day and do it. I’m even attaching a pencil to keep track of my sets…a timer may need to be dug up as well.. hmmm.

I plan on starting with a light stretch routine for my body and feet then completing the workout for the day at level 1. I’ll be adjusting rep numbers and using the “to failure option” since in some of the exercises I don’t know that I could complete the number of reps indicated. But I’m going to give it a go!

I will not be doing pull up add on, but plan to try it at some point in the future!

If you think this sounds like something you’d like to do, join me. It doesn’t require you to sign up or shout out I’m in! (Though you can shout out “I’m in!” for extra motivation and accountability.)  I’ll be posting weekly as is my usual style and possibly putting up before and after info! Maybe even some pictures… We’ll see.

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

Homemade – Beef Stew

A few days ago I picked up a pound of beef chunks from our local market. I placed it in the frezer just before we headed out of town for a few days. Today, since we’re back and settled in,  I decided to thaw it out and see what could be done with it. Here in Panama,  beef is usually very tough and kinda chewy, even if you cook it to the perfect temperature. Also since I wanted something flavourful and quick, I decided to make a stew! It was delicious and soft and the girls just gobbled it up with the new homemade white bread I made yesterday as well. Overall it was successful.
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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

 

Homemade – Yogurt with UHT (Shelf Stable) Whole Milk

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For a while I dreamed of making my own yogurt. It seemed a daunting task. Thinking that it would explode if even the smallest outside germ was introduced on an unsanitised spoon or lid, I never ventured forth to fulfill my dreams. Looking back, it seemed such a silly fear. Yogurt is the simplest and most forgiving homemade item I make actually. It’s amazing what a little time can achieve. Below I have compiled a few tutorials I found on the internet, because why reinvent the wheel? These tutorials are well written and include several different ways to make your own yogurt.
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Curious? Read on to see how you can make your own yogurt too!

A straightforward tutorial with basic household items, you have on hand or can substitute easily:
Basic Homemade Yogurt Tutorial

A rather lengthy process with lots of extra ingredients, but good for those who choose a dairy free lifestyle, or are the adventurous yogurt type! 🙂
Yogurt with a Food Dehydrator

A video tutorial, using a yogurt maker, for those of use who “ain’t got time for that” reading nonsense. 😉
Video Yogurt Tutorial

And finally the easiest method of all, when you just don’t have time for fanciness.. or you’re electricity is out AND it’s pouring rain AND lightning is crackling all around you…. and you need a non electronic, indoor, activity to do with the kids as their homeschooling science AND cooking lesson that day. Oh! Just me then? Hmmm.
No Heat Yogurt Making Method

For those of us who prefer thicker set yogurt. Once you’ve chosen a method above and successfully achieve your first batch of yogurt, follow these suggestions below. I have found, using shelf milk, the most successful option has been letting it sit a bit longer, pouring out the extra whey and/or adding a bit of gelatin.
Thicker Yogurt Options

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My most recent method of yogurt making is the following method. I use shelf stable (UHT) whole milk, because it’s what we have access to at the moment. I do not preheat my milk or yogurt, I found that the shelf milk doesn’t need it. I plan on trying out the no heat method above next. I simply measure out a litre of milk into each cleaned out 2lb peanut butter jar, drop in a frozen yogurt ice cube, set 3 open jars in my my yogurt maker, set the timer for 10 hours, cover it with a huge pot and press start. When the timer goes off, usually at night, I just leave the yogurt undisturbed overnight. By the next morning it is slightly warm still, but cool enough to go right into the fridge.
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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

 

Monster Purse (shaped) Threaders

Over on the TAST Facebook group our faithful leader Sharon from Pintangle posted a question the other day asking for our stitching confessions. It was such a great question and really got quite a response! The most common confessions ranged from stitching things other than the fabric being worked, to our work (corners of the fabric, finger calluses, pant legs, even hair!) to spitting to thread a needle… and everything in between.

I must “confess”, I continue to do these two things on a regular basis, as well as a myriad of other confessions on the board. I found myself chuckling and mentally saying “yep, me too!” over and over throughout the course of the day. The most discussed confession was definitely the spitting threading technique. Some say it’s no big deal, other women recounted tales of Aunts and Grandmothers tsking them for this supposedly improper technique and teaching them the “proper” one instead.

I will say threading a needle is tricky at best, at worst it is a downright impossible feat that may reduce you to a puddle of tears.

Soon you find yourself bleary eyed, desperately seeking reprieve from your threading woes…

anyone will do, you say…

your spouse  …who is out-of-town, convenient.

your live in elderly parent… with eyesight worse than yours. Can she even see the needle??

the 4-year-old you’re baby sitting for the evening… who’s mother has a phobia of letting her handle sharp objects, and up until this moment you could completely understand the logic of this phobia… but she seems so reasonable with other toys, you say…and now you begin considering the logic of that silly rule, just this once.

the next door neighbor… after you desperately explain 3 times you are not trying to sell them anything you just need this needle threaded… what? a needle? never heard of it,  while slamming the door in your face. ..

perhaps your cat…. who continues to lick his paws giving you a look of complete disdain for the depth of which you have allowed yourself to sink.

Wait?

What?

That’s never happened to you?

Hmm…  just me then, alright.

Well for some of us… it’s moments like these when you may find yourself in need of your very own Monster Purse Shaped Threader!

The one post that inspired this particular crafting adventure is found here. (I just love Wild Olive and all the fun inspirational and informative posts Mollie puts up on her blog!)

Since AJM and I have been working on embroidery samplers we’ve been having some needle threading issues of our own. When I presented the DIY Monster Purse shaped threader idea, she was very excited.

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They were both very excited for craft time!

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Though she didn’t quite understand exactly how it worked, she had faith that I was leading her in the right direction. We picked out some materials, based on Mollie’s suggestions (and based on what we had in the house) and got to work.

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Here you can see we’ve got some 32 gauge craft wire, Felt sheets cut into a few pieces, various colours of embroidery floss strands, large blunt needle for hole punching and our mini glue gun!

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We followed the basic instructions over at Wild Olive. First we folded the felt and poked some holes in the center.

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Even BAM helped!

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Then spent a half hour embroidering our big felt pieces.

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Finally we assembled our monster purse shaped threaders!! I did this by putting a little hot glue along the inside and pressing the wrong sides together, like a sandwich with one closed end. I added a little hot glue on the metal wire, where it is inside the felt sandwich and on the openings where the wire loop comes out of the felt.

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Yep, it’s hard to tell who’s cuter… the threader or the model.

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Well I suppose it’s time to hang them up and move on to dinner!

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you buy something other than what is in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you  shop by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

 

Pasta Pizza – Freezer Meal

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In my house there are two things my family just gobbles up; Pizza and Pasta! So I happened upon this idea the other day, when digging through the refrigerator looking for a dinner plan. Why not put pizza and pasta together?!?  I grabbed some curly pasta and tossed it in a pot of boiling water, gave it a quick stir, then turned off the heat as soon as it started boiling again. I left it on the burner, off,  set a timer for 2 minutes longer than the package recommended and moved on to making tomato sauce.

This can be as simple or complicated as you make it. Some days I’m all about, “how many veggies can I sneak into this sauce and puree?” Other days I’m in a hurry and it’s fairly quick and simple. It all starts with the same old saucepot.

Today’s sauce was meant to be quick and simple. Into the pan went 2 (3 oz) cans of tomato paste, 3/4 c water (2 canfuls) a pinch of oregano, a pinch of mixed herbs, a tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, a Tbs of honey, a tsp of vinegar (I use the apple cider variety), 2 chopped tomatoes (pureed with my stick blender when I put them in the pot). I turned the heat to medium,covered the pot and cooked until the sauce had reduced by about 1/4.

While that was simmering, I peeked through my refrigerator and realized there was a pile of carrots and peppers I needed to use up. I went ahead and shredded a couple carrots and chopped up a pepper, and tossed them into the sauce and headed over to tend the noodles.

Drained and back in the large pot, I poured the sauce over the noodles and gave them a good mixing with my wooden spoon. I dished out even portions into two 8×8 pans, set the timer on the oven and began setting up the pizza topper.
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The pizza making ingredients I used were, sliced pepperoni and sliced mozzarella. I sprinkled about a cup of mozzarella on top of each pasta pan and finished up with pepperoni. I have a plastic lid that fits over one pan, so I sealed it up and placed it into the freezer.

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The second one I out in my oven at 350 to bake for 15 minutes, then I turned it on to broil until the cheese was golden in some area and served it!

It was a big success!

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The portion I froze made a delicious meal a few days later, when we had a less than super amount of sun day! The noodles were a bit overdone when I reheated, so next time I’ll leave them in the water for a shorter period of time, cool them completely and cool the tomato sauce completely before adding it to the freezer noodles portion.

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

Freezer Meals!!

It has been raining by the bucket full for the past week. Since we’re getting electricity from solar panels, we haven’t been getting much. Today was the first day the sun came out long enough to catch up on laundry and dry it! Woo hoo!

All this rain is great for the rain collectors and plants, but makes cooking dinner and other meals a bit tricky. This morning I decided to google search precooked freezer meals. The plan here being maybe I could precook things and then just thaw out and reheat for a shorter time in the oven or on the stove. Saving electricity and making clean up a bit easier. Also it would give me a few days where I don’t have to hang out in the kitchen cooking.

I found a great website Happy Money Saver! I just love how well Karrie has her website organised, packed with loads of useful information AND recipes for freezing meals. I intend to visit often and glean all her pearls of wisdom. My goal after visiting her site today is to spend a day making 30 meals, then aim for 50! Sounds a bit intimidating, but after today’s success at making 7 meals in the 2 hours it didn’t rain, I think I totally could do it!

The first recipe that caught my attention was her Fried Rice freezer meal. I haven’t been super successful when it comes to freezing rice, but thought I’d give it a try again, using bags as storage this time!

I used her recipe more as a guide. I cooked a 2lb bag of brown rice and let it cool. While it was cooling I scrambled 8 eggs with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper, then set it aside. While this was cooling off, I washed a bunch of ziploc bags I found while cleaning out my freezer.

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!