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.