Sunday, December 18, 2016

Homemade Natural Dog Treats and a Doggy SURPRISE!!

 Hello!!! Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! I'm excited to share multiple things with you!

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This week's blog post is not what I had originally intended to write about. With it being winter our kids, like many others, are stuck indoors more than usual. I had planned to introduce some new indoor activities for my littles and share those with you. Who would have know that when I took the trash out, my plans would change?!

Here's the backstory...

(Don't worry, the doggy treat recipe is coming.)

Back in June, one of my local Facebook friends found a stray dog. His long hair was matted and he had clearly not been taken care of so she took him in. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to keep him so I volunteered to give him a home. We brought him home in July and my children adored him! We quickly learned that he was a runner and always needed a leash. We were careful when going in and out of the house but despite our efforts, he got out. This was mid September. I drove the neighborhood for days. I asked anyone who was outside if they had seen him and I called the local shelters. Our little Chewy (Chewbaca) was no where to be found.

Fast Forward...

It is now mid December. The trash is overflowing, again. So I pull the bag out and head out the back door. The only reason we ever go out the backdoor is to take out the trash, this usually only happens a couple times each week since we are actively trying to create less waste. So... as I was saying. I head out to toss it in the bin. I get to the bottom of the steps and I look up.... what do I see? My neighbor walking my dog! He immediately ran right up to me with his wagging tail! The lady was very kind. She said that she had put a sign on the community mailbox but we had somehow missed it. She gave Chewy back and wished me a Merry Christmas!

I brought him back into the house and called for the kids to come and see. They were ecstatic! This is when my plans changed. Chewy has been home for about 36 hours now. While I'm so glad to have him home, I feel sad for my neighbor who must have bonded with him also. She has another dog as well so today I have been baking for her. Dark chocolate chip cookies for her and homemade doggy treats for her dog. The children, Chewy and myself will be visiting her tomorrow with these gifts to thank her. Not only for taking care of Chewy, but for returning him to us also.

Now..... Time to bake!

These treats were incredibly easy to make! With just 2 ingredients, you really cant get much simpler. You will need...

Step 1. Dump everything in a bowl.

Step 2. Mix it all together.

 Step 3. Sprinkle some flour down on your counter and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to your desired thickness. I rolled mine to about 1/8 inch.

Step 5. Use a cookie cutter to cut out your treats. Knead the remaining dough back together and roll it out again to cut more. The leftover from the second time wasn't much so I just made a few circular ones by hand with that. I only had a day to make these so I used a bow tie cutter. I am ordering this Dog Bone Cookie Cutter for next time.

Step 6. Place them on baking sheets and make sure they don't touch. I had 29 bow ties and 4 round ones. Bake for 18-20 minutes on dark pans or 20-25 minutes on light pans in a 350 degree oven.

Step 6. Remove them from the oven and let cool. Easy Peasy.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. I look forward to sharing lots of new things with you as I discover them. This week I'm planning to actually do some new activities to entertain my little ones. 

Like  Serenity - A Bus Life in the Making on Facebook for more updates.
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Squishy Worm focuses on environmentally friendly products for a healthy body and a healthy home. New products are coming soon!

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fermented Limes.

So Many Yummy Limes!!!

A good friend of mine gifted me a plethora of limes and garlic this past weekend. I am still quite new to canning and fermenting foods but I have found a few things that are simple to do and enjoyed by my family. One is Honey garlic that serves as a great immunity booster. I will post about that later and come back to add a link.

My goal for this blog is to make a weekly post with something I have never done before. I love limes but have only really used them for a garnish or beverages. So, I took off to google and my Facebook groups about fermenting to see what I could do with them. It turns out that pickled Limes are a thing! I even saw a few Little Women references, apparently one of the characters was quite fond of them.

After spending what felt like all day looking at different recipes I found a very simple one and altered it slightly. The original method was a Moroccan way of pickling. It;s so simple that you can easily whip up a jar in 10 minutes or less and most of that time will be slicing the limes. I had a lot of limes and made a large jar so it took me just a tad longer.

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click them and go on to make a purchase within 24 hours I receive a small commission. My family thanks you for your support.

First you'll need to wash your limes. I wash all of my produce in a bowl with Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and water. This not only cleans your produce but also helps it stay fresh longer.

Next you simply slice your limes and discard the ends. (If you have suggestions on what to use these ends for, please leave a comment and share!)
Once your limes are all sliced, toss them with salt until they are coated. I used Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt but you can use any PURE salt. By that I mean that you need to check the ingredients because many salts aren't just salt, they also include "anti caking agents". A finely ground salt is also best for this.

Once you toss these around and get them coated, pack them into your jar. I prefer Ball wide mouth canning jars. A wide mouth jar will make it easier to get your limes out when they are ready. The Moroccan method I mentioned before said to top the limes off with lime juice, put on a tight lid and place in the window for two days. I also read some other methods but decided to top this with filtered water and a splash of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Put on a tight lid and leave it on the counter to ferment. You will need to loosen the lid and "burp" the jar daily. Let this ferment for up to 2 weeks and then move it to the refrigerator. The cold will slow fermentation process drastically so you will no longer need to burp the jar at this point.

It has been 5 days and I'm so excited to use these limes! When I open the jar to burp it, it smells like a pitcher of Margaritas! The liquid has turned to a green, slightly pulpy juice. I even jumped the gun and tasted one, it tasted like a fresh salted lime. This is a great way to not only preserve your limes for longer but also to add more nutrition to them! I love fermented food. The probiotics that develop are reason enough to add fermented foods and beverages to your diet.
I'm going to let this ferment for another 9 days and then I have plans for these! Fermented Margaritas? Fermented Limeade? Yes please! I also want to make some Lime rice for Vegetarian burritos! Be sure to follow my blog so you don't miss out on those posts! I will also be sure to come back and add links for them at the bottom of this post when they are posted. I'm super excited!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. I look forward to sharing lots of new things with you as I discover them. This week I'm planning some new activities to entertain my little ones. I'm thinking I'll do some crafts with counting and some sensory play.
Like  Serenity - A Bus Life in the Making on Facebook for more updates.
Browse my online store Squishy Worm on Etsy.
and Like the Squishy Worm Facebook page.
Squishy Worm focuses on environmentally friendly products for a healthy body and a healthy home. New products are coming soon!
If you like this post, please comment and share it with your friends.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Getting Started.

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If you're reading this, thanks for stopping by! My name is Miranda and I have decided that this is a time in my life where I should start a blog. My current identity is a struggling mother and wife. I have a great husband and 4 feisty (feral) children. My oldest doesn't live with us full time so my days are spent unschooling my 3 younger children and trying to establish a work from home income that will allow my husband to be home with us. I have a constant battle going with depression and anxiety that makes things difficult but I feel like I am improving on these things at a very slow and steady rate that drives me.

Today is Sunday and my goal for this blog will be to post every Sunday about something new! Not because Sunday is a special day for me (Atheist here) but because Sunday is our "Monday", the start of my husbands work week and essentially mine as well. I will try to improve on my posts and content each week and I figure out exactly what I am doing. Just to clarify, when I say "something new", I don't just mean a new entry with chatter like this one, I'm not interested in having an online diary lol. I mean something I have never done before. I'd like to share things with you like new recipes, new sewing projects/tutorials, all things DIY, children's activities, natural remedies and in a few months I will be able to share about converting a school bus into a home!

If you could leave a comment, even if its just to say hello and maybe even share this, I'd appreciate it greatly! I hope that we can learn some things together or, at the very least, I can entertain you with the "pinterest fail" type entries that I'm sure will happen lol.

I just downloaded this free book, if it holds something new and amazing then I might find have my first fresh post for next week. You can click the image to get the free download also.

Before you go....!
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