Friday, May 19, 2017

Flats & Handwashing Challenge 2017: day 5

It is time for the 7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge, this year we have a new host! Check out Cloth Diaper Revival! This annual event aims to raise awareness about diaper need and cloth diapers as a solution. Click here for more info on the #flatschallenge. 

Happy Birthday to ME! 

There, now that that is out of the way.  Blogging has once again become more of a challenge than the challenge.   Partly cause I just don't have time and partly because i can't keep saying the same things over and over.  I guess that is a sign that i've been doing this too long!  Folds, I still only know the same folds i knew for the last 7 years, mainly using kite fold.  there, done.  Hand washing, still using basically the same method i have the last few years.   A little different cause i'm in a different house.  But I still wash in a deep sink, with gloves, utilizing the help of my kids.   

My first #flatschallenge baby is now my wash helper .. awww.  
So now I'm going to talk about my 'cheats' this year.. 1st.  I'm using disposables at night (one per night)- I've done flats overnight, i've used other kinds of cloth overnight - i've used flats full time overnight on an bedwetting child.  So, I'm good.  I also threw on a disposable when we were headed to the ER for stitches tuesday night! My BABY (18 mo) fell and busted his lip open, 2 stitches.  That ended up serving as our overnight diaper since he wore it all night so, doesn't even count, right?  I'll also mention that the rules say any night time diaper, they don't say 'no disposables.' This isn't the first year i've interpreted the rules this way ...   

Since I know i may not get around to blogging the 'final thoughts' topic (I'm assuming that is the last topic.. haven't checked) One big thing that has surprised me this time around is how easy it has been to hand wash.   Since we moved last fall and I now have a LONG list of daily chores that i haven't had in the past (feed water animals, large garden, plus endless projects -including surprise projects, for example, we had to build a fence last night when we discovered deer had been eating our new cherry trees)  Part of the reason it has been easier is because i'm cloth diapering an 18 mo old who only needs 4-5 diapers a day, tops.  
Yesterday I skipped washing cause i only had 4 diapers.  I will wash when i have 5.. washing 5 diapers doesn't take long at all.  In 2013 and 2015 when i did the challenge with a younger baby I was washing around 10-12 diapers a day.  I could realistically be only hand washing every 2-3 days with a toddler.  Hand washing diapers also seems like less of a big deal since Ive been hand washing dishes full time for 7 people for over 6 months now.  I miss my dishwasher SO MUCH.  If we had to hand wash all our laundry... eh. it would suck, but at least i'd know how.   Is this realistic for everyone? probably not.  But, it is doable. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Flats Challenge 2017: Cost ?

It is time for the 7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge, this year we have a new host! Check out Cloth Diaper Revival! This annual event aims to raise awareness about diaper need and cloth diapers as a solution. Click here for more info on the #flatschallenge. 

This is just silly at this point.  I am literally using the exact same diapers i used last year, and on the last kid.  Same covers, same flats, same snappis ..  I've been using them for so many kids they should be paying me. (and in a way, they are)  So if you really want to know what they cost, see my post from last year where i linked back to all of the previous years posts and breakdowns.  There is just no reason to re-write this and i can't say anything else about the cost of my diapers. 

I can show you my brand new clothes line!  For the cost of some bolts and rope and a little concrete (the wood was found in our barn)    

Monday, May 15, 2017

Flats and Handwashing Challenge: 2017 Farmhouse edition

It is time for the 7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge, this year we have a new host! Check out Cloth Diaper Revival! This annual event aims to raise awareness about diaper need and cloth diapers as a solution. Click here for more info on the #flatschallenge.

Since the #flatschallenge last year, we moved from our large suburban home to a farm house build in 1880 on almost 12 acres.  We have 2 sheep, 3 goats, 28 chickens, and 7 guineas,  9 rabbits and 8 cats. We have a washer and dryer, but no dishwasher!  Hand washing dishes for the last 6 mo for 7 people has not been super fun.. if i had to hand wash all our clothes.. well, it just wouldn't happen.  I have some new things that i've always wanted for this challenge,  a utility sink and a real clothes line! (not just a line tied up on my deck)

So why am I taking the challenge?  Honestly, biggest reason is because I've done it nearly every other year (missed one year due to not having a kid in diapers).   I really liked it the first few years, it changed the way i cloth diaper and taught me a valuable skill ... now that i always cloth diaper this way (except with baby #5 i've stayed lazy about using cloth while we're out.. as in, i don't) it just doesn't seem as fun/challenging/exciting..  but i'm going to do it again, and challenge myself by using cloth while we're out... (So far, day 1 at almost 2pm and my 18 mo old hasn't peed in his flat yet.. i will admit, i didn't change him til after breakfast around 9:30 .. )   I'm hoping to switch to flats full time, get him feeling wet when he pees will help with potty training down the road..   or maybe I'll just go back to my pockets (stuffed with flats) and disposables while we're out ..

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Vegan cinnamon rolls or sticky buns!

1½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast 
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegan butter, softened or melted**
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, more or less as needed 

Combine water, sugar and yeast in mixing bowl, let proof while you gather other ingredients.  Add butter and salt, stir and then add 3 cups of flour - add the rest slowly until dough is only slightly sticky, knead until smooth. 

Let dough rise until it has about doubled in size.  At this point, place dough onto a floured surface, punch down. Now you can either make it into 24 dinner rolls.... OR... roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/4" thick.  Spread Filling on dough (recipe below), roll and slice into ~12-15 equal slices.  Option 1: place rolls into a greased pan.  Option 2: place rolls into a pan on top of sticky bun topping (recipe below).  If you go with option 1 you get cinnamon rolls and top with a powdered sugar and water/milk frosting after they come out of the oven.   

Once they are in the pan, let rise until rolls are close to touching each other.. probably 20-30 mins. 

Bake 375 for 30 mins

The Topping
6 T. vegan butter, softened (recipe below)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
Optional: 1/2 cup (or more) pecan halves, crushed. 

The Filling
4 T. vegan butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

** I used this vegan butter recipe: 
4 tablespoons almond flour
5 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1/2 cup melted & room temperature refined coconut oil (the kind that does not smell coconutty)

1. Place almond flour, milk, salt, nutritional yeast & vinegar into a blender and blend until smooth
2. Pour in the refined coconut oil and olive oil then blend on full speed until velvety smooth and light and airy. 
3. Pour into a container, cover and refrigerate. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Gluten Free Vegan Bread -

I've been making this one for years but now I Keep losing the recipe so I'm posting it here .. probably again. 
In a large mixing bowl combine:
1 1/2 cups millet flour
1/2 cup teff flour (or oat flour or sorghum flour, all have worked for me)
1 cup sorghum flour
2 cup potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour
4 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp active dry yeast (not rapid rise)
4 tsp olive oil
3 1/4 cup warm water (not hot)
Mix with electric mixer–using paddle attachment for two minutes.  The bread dough will be more like cake batter than traditional bread dough.
 Pour into two nonstick or well-greased loaf pans (or one big one), place on a warm surface (such as on top of the pre-heated oven), and cover with a towel. Allow to rise until batter extends a bit over the top of the pan–generally 50-70 minutes. (Batter should take up about half the loaf pan before rising.)
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove loaf pans from oven and cover with aluminum foil. Return to oven and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven. (Insert a toothpick or knife into the center to see if it comes out clean or doughy, if you aren’t sure when you pull out the bread.)
 If you won’t be eating it within 2 days, after it’s cooled, slice it, freeze it on cooling wracks and throw it in a large ziplock bag. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Wash Routine: Day 4, Flats and handwashing challenge 2016!

It is DAY 4 ish of the flats and handwashing challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry

Ok so I missed day 4.  it is really day 5 and I didn't wash on day 4 either so i've got a very full load of probably 20 flats, 2 covers and 2 pockets to wash. 
Big deal? no. not really - what is going to be a big deal is that it is rainy today.. and I do NOT have room for that many diapers to hang indoors - PLUS i have a friend coming over this afternoon and i don't really want diapers hanging all over the dining room chairs, stair railing, bathrooms etc.  We'll see ...

Same bucket, still there..

Here is a recap of my washing routing, I'm not going to retype all of this, because.. it is all right here, 2011 was about the same as 2012 and 2014 is the exact system i'm using now.  I even still had the bucket and little jars of supplies under the kitchen sink from 2 years ago. we'll call that "being prepared."


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Day 3 random thoughts on the flats challenge

Welcome to day 3 of the 2016, 6th annual, Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry! 

  I was looking through my past challenge posts, and folders of pictures on my computer... and I see the babies growing up, baby after baby, toddler after toddler the same diapers (literally) the same clothes on a new baby... just like everything else with babies and toddlers .. they grow up and the next time you do it again.. Until you don't and they just grow up .. This is too sad. Moving on.. 

So here I am hand washing diapers and using the occasional disposable wipe.. I have cloth wipes, i could use them, but i haven't this time (baby doesn't poop often). We use all cloth napkins/tissues in the house, we use cloth to mop the floor, wipe tables and counters, we use cloth dust mops, not to mention clothes and towels and dish towels.  There are 7 of us - while hand washing diapers could help in some situations, and hand washing is a good skill, in general.. how would this work if i suddenly had no washer/dryer .. the mountain of laundry even if we didn't include clothes, where would i even begin to put such a mountain of laundry.  How would i even go about transporting that amount of regular laundry to a laundromat - my big utility-style kitchen sink can only hold so much!  We washed clothes with limited wardrobes on vacation, using all disposable paper products, and still had to do at least 1 large load a day to keep up .. if we had to hand wash all of the cloth things (even if you don't count clothes), would i have time to do anything else? Does proving that diapers are hand-washable, and that I can hand wash them, really prove anything? should i be hand washing everything for a more realistic challenge? in which case, i'd need a decent clothes line.. my set up that holds one day worth of diapers wouldn't cut it.  and no, you probably couldn't pay me to give up a week to hand washing all of the clothes.  I think in a true emergency we'd have to just wear dirty clothes.. Dirty diapers wouldn't cut it though, so I guess that is where this is useful ..