Smooth Yogurt Drinks

I started to make yogurt drinks (vanilla) in jars instead of using the blender.

Some benefits to just using a jar include:
1. Less to wash and easy to wash.
2. No foam so the drink is smooth all the way!
3. Easy to store leftovers in the fridge as a jar seals shut!

Even Julia likes them now! Im super happy!!

To fit in a regular size mason jar, add 1 cup of yogurt (or 8 heaping Tbsp) and 1/2 cup milk. Seal the jar and shake 10 ish seconds. Pour and serve!

To fit a spagetti sauce jar, like Ragu brand, add 1 1/2 cup of yogurt (or 12 heaping Tbsp) and 3/4 cup of milk.

My ratio is 1/2 cup of yogurt for every 1/4 of milk.

Daniel and Jack like having chia seeds added to their drinks. I get these at Bulk Barn too.

I still am in need to make my own yogurt, just did not get moving on that yet.

Chicken soup

Making a chicken soup for the family. Trying a new recipe.

The household has been hit with the flu. Some soup would be nutritious and I got some left over chicken.

Though I do not have the celery, which would be so lovely. Instead I have some red pepper that needs to get used. I will not be using noodles this time round. Don’t have any besides spagetti, don’t think I want to add those. Added 10 cups of water, not 12.

1 cube of bouillon = 1 tsp.

For our taste, salt is needed! 3/4 tsp of salt.

My daughter really did not like week g the herbs in the p.o., the broth is her favourite part, so I strained those out.

It really needs more bouillon. Celery would have been a great addition too. It’s a simple recipe, but I think it could use potatoes too needs more umph, even if I did not add noodles.


Repair What You Own and Refuse Free Items

I am very proud of myself! I refused to throw away a certain item when I was feeling forced to. An item that could be repaired easily. To someone else’s eye, it was doomed.

This item was one of our very first Compliments, Reusable Bag For Life. This bag must be 10 years old. It’s the only old one we have and its colour scheme is different from the rest of our other ones. I mainly use it to carry all my other reusable bags. Its our bag for bags.

So a couple of weekends ago, I was out shopping for groceries. I loaded our items onto the belt. As I started to load the first few bags into my cart, the cashier working took a brand new reusable bag from her stash, scanned the paper and then told me she was replacing one of my bags (free) as it had a rip.

I thought, oh. I had no idea. She showed more the bag, and sure enough, it was the bag for bags. A seam had let go at the top about 3 inches, maybe less. I said, “oh, I can fix that!” She said, no, they replace the worn bags for free. 

She continued my order and again I tried asking for it back, that it was a quick fix. She denied me. Told me its not a problem. Standing there, in this situation, my heart was pounding. I knew it was wrong. That bag could be fixed. Am I really going to let it go? I am not a person who stands up for myself. I usually just let go of annoying/irritating/bothering situations. Don’t sweat the small stuff, right! I thought about the words Refuse. Repair.

She emptied my bag of its contents, cloth produce bags, other reusable bags and a Nickle. She put the bag behind her on an empty till. Placed my belongings in the new bag and handed it to me. Inside I was shaking. Shocked. She did not understand me.

As I loaded the last bag in the cart, my bank card in hand, and the cashier waiting for me to pay, my heart still pounding, I stopped, stood back from the payment terminal and stated “I want to undo the transaction for the new bag and I want my old one back. I can fix it. I am cutting out waste at home.” I slightly mentioned about avoiding plastics and such.

The cashier (whom I see regularly, and is very nice, loves seeing the kids) took on an expression of confusion. She reached behind her, picked up the broken bag and gave it to me. As I was starting to empty the new one, she said to keep it, “You are a good customer”.

I continued with the payment, and as we were finishing, she asked me, “Is it hard? To avoid plastic?”  I said “yes, a little. Small steps and saying no, like I just did.” My mind was so boggled, I did not know what else to say in that moment. She nodded and we said good night.

I’m not upset with this cashier, she as only doing her job. But it goes to show how much things can just get tossed away over simple things. They should first ask for permission before removing and replacing the bag. Even mention that they can be repaired by the customer or someone the customer knows rather than assume no one can add some stitches.

I have to say though, a year ago or two, I probably would have let that bag go. So different mindset now! I am glad I have grown to reduce our waste, mend our things and stand up for myself. Even to be able to talk with others and give my own opions. That is new for me too. I like it!!

So a couple days later, I took out the sewing machine, I like the sewing machine, and mended the seam within a minute. It really did not take long!! If I did it by hand, probably a few minutes or less.

My bag is set for more trips. Side pockets for cloth produce bags. 2 thermal bags for meat packages. No contamination, no little thin white bags needed, and if there happens to be a leak, these bags clean very easily! All my other reusable bags fit neatly packed.

After explaining the situation to my husband, he wondered what happens to these reusable bags. Are they trashed or recycled? So I went ahead and sent a message to Sobey’s via facebook.

I asked what happens to their ripped reusable bags. I know the policy is to replace the Sobey’s brand bags. The reply was, you may return the ripped “Bag For Life” to your Sobey’s store to be replaced.

I then said I knew that, but happens to the bags? Are they disposed or recycled. The response  was, “They’re recycled Rachel”.

I was not feeling there was enough detail. So I asked again, if they were made into new bags or something else. I did not get a response for a few hours, so I sent another message telling about my experience with my bag. Our question to wanting to know what happens to these worn out bags. I also said I know not all recyclable items are recycled, and was wondering if you knew where they go and what the result of the recycling was.

The response was simply, “all ‘Bags For Life’ are recycled.”

Oh dear! Not impressed! No answers. No conversation. No nothing!

Less Waste Essentials in the Home

Here are some of my less waste tools.

Steele bowls. They can be pricey, but if you slowly add to your collection of sizes it won’t hurt your wallet in one impact.
Steele straws and pipe cleaner. You can now buy these at Bulk Barn singly.
Steel strainer. This one fits mason jars. Great for transfering food to small spaces.
Glass jars great for storing dry cereal or pasta.
Beeswax wraps. These are so awesome to use! I keep one for cheese (blue). No more containers to take up space in the fridge. Great for wrapping cut fruit as well like the cucumber in the picture. Rince with cold water and hang to dry.
Will dryer balls. You can find them at the Farmers Market or make your own. I found our clothes had lots of static. After some searching, I found that the fleece garments are not a good mix with these dryer balls. I hang our fleece garments to air dry. I still found the clothes had a little static, so I placed a safety pin to each ball and problem solved.
Wooden cutting boards. They repel bacteria better than plastic. No worries about eating slivers of plastic either once they wear down. Wooden cutting boards are repairable and will not go to landfill.
Tea ball. There is a great selection of tea leaves at Bulk Barn. Skip the bag, box and wrapping all together. Takes more time to steep.
Reusable Keurig pods. If you have not made this switch, it is super easy! Bulk Barn carries many different flavours and you can grind the coffee beans there.
Metal measuring cups. Skip the plastic ones completely!!!
Metal spoons and metal carrot peeler. Again, skip the plastic ones. Take time to look for them, or go online.
Metal sick. Skip the silicone ones. They break down overtime. Wooden flipper. No accidently melting plastic. Metal tongs. Metal ladle and slotted spoon. Wooden spoons.
Skip the plastics. There are alternatives!!
Jars of all sizes! I even have some in the freezer for berries.
Reusable bags, thermal bags and cloth produce bags. The cloth produce bags are kept in the side pockets, at the ready for fruit and veggies. Medium sized for apples and oranges, bagels and rolls and others. Large bags for lettuce and carrots with tops, as those I buy without plastic. The thermal bags are for the meat packages. One for chicken. One for beef. No need of the white plastic bags to stop spills. These bags stop cross-contamination and are super easy to clean. Reusable bags for all other grocery needs. This neat pack is kept by the coats for easy, unforgettable access. My purse also houses a reusable bag and a produce bag, just in case.

DIY Deoderant Tryout #2

Trying this DIY deoderant recipe again.

I recently read an article that says you should detox from store bought deodorant for several weeks before switching to a natural (DIY) kind. It can cause irritation and other problems. When I first tried this recipe, two days later I was a bit inflamed and itchy.

So here we go!

Update January 17th, 2019

This homemade deoderant is awesome!!! No irritation!! I guess it goes to show to take several weeks without deodorant before trying a DIY kind.



Miminal Waste

I have made a list, a long list, of the items in our home. I kept track of the items we purchase on a regular basis (yearly) for our grocery+ needs. This list is a summery of time between November and present(December). I can easily look here to see what I can work on to eliminate any single use waste. Anything in orange are items still in unwanted packaging (to be switched).

Down East Dishsoap
Nature Clean oxygen bleach
Nature Clean powdered laundry detergent
Nature Clean powdered dish washer detergent
Wool dryer balls
10% Allen’s Vinegar
Paper products
Large Cashmere pack(24+)
Royale Tiger Towels and cotton rags
Single Tissue Boxes
Toothpicks, Touch brand
Bags and other plastic
Xlg garbage bags
Compost Bags
Xlg Blue Bags
Tin Foil
Steele Straw
Purel Refill Bottle
Disposable Blade only
Regular Toothbrush
Crest Complete, recyclable container
Bar soap(The Farmer’s Wife)
Shampoo Bar(The Farmer’s Wife)
Body Spray
Hair Gel in jar
Arrowroot and cocoa foundation, mascara, eye and brow liner
Gallio Olive Oil
Compliments Canola Oil
Mazola Vegetable Oil 2.8 litre
Compliments Vinegar 5%
Chicken/beef Gravy at Bulk Barn
Taco spice Packet
Chicken/beef Boullion at Bulk Barn.
Recyclable K-cups and Bulk Barn ground coffee
Tea at Bulk Barn
Hot Chocolate at Bulk Barn
Amber Honey at Bulk Barn
Chocolate bar types at Bulk Barn, Box board or tin foil wrapped
Compliments Ice Cream Cones
Candy at Bulk Barn or boxed
White Rice at Bulk Barn
Canned Soups
Catelli Spaghetti
Compliments Lasagna
Taco Shells
Bacon Bits at Bulk Barn
Croutons at Bulk Barn
Panko Bread Crumbs at Bulk Barn
Baking Soda at Bulk Barn
Salt at Bulk Barn
Club House Vanilla extract, 455 ml
Lots of spices at Bulk Barn
Sugar at Bulk Barn
Large Rolled Oats at Bulk Barn
Robbin Hood Flour
Brown Sugar at Bulk Barn
Powder Sugar at Bulk Barn
Cocoa at Bulk Barn
Baking Powder at Bulk Barn
Corn Starch at Bulk Barn
Coconut at Bulk Barn
Sprinkles at Bulk Barn
Decorating Icing at Bulk Barn or homemade
Shortening at Bulk Barn
Graham Cracker Crumbs at Bulk Barn
Breads and Breakfast
Peanut Butter at Bulk Barn and Kraft Peanut Butter
Homemade bread and Sub Buns
Sobey’s bakery single bagels and rolls
DIY Pancake Mix
Corn Flakes
Cheerios at Bulk Barn
Shreddies at Bulk Barn
Bran Flakes and Raisons at Bulk Barn (Raison brand).
Quaker Oatmeal
Pretzels at Bulk Barn
Mott’s Fruit Cups
Almonds at Bulk Barn
Cashews at Bulk Barn
Pistachios at Bulk Barn
Peanuts at Bulk Barn
Sunflower seeds at Bulk Barn
Dried fruit at Bulk Barn
Walnuts at Bulk Barn
Breton and soda Crackers
Grahm Crackers at Bulk Barn
Homemade cookies
Reusable Container for school juice
Bubble Gumball at Bulk Barn
Fruit and Vegetable
Prince Edward Island Potatoes
Single Yams
Single Onions
Single Garlic
Single Ginger
Single lettuce
Single Turnips
Single bunch of carrots with tops still on.
Berries in clam shell
Single apples
Single oranges.
Local Single Field Cucumbers
Fresh single string beans
Single broccoli/Caulifliwer with no wrapping
Single peppers
Whole Melons
Single kiwi
Single Bananas
ADL Coffee Cream
ADL Sour Cream
Scotsburn Cottage Cheese
Dairy Isle Cheese
Source, Yoplait Yogurt Tub
DIY Yogurt Drinks
Salad dressing
Jarred BBQ Sauce
Jam in Jars or DIY
Parmasan Cheese at Bulk Barn
Aunt Jamima Syrup and Sensations Real Maple Syrup
Eldo Paso Salsa
Miracle Whip
Parkay Margarine Squares
Boxed Canned Pop
Heinz Relish in jar
Mustard in jar
Heinz Ketchup in container
Active Dry Yeast at Bulk Barn
Instant Yeast at Bulk Barn
Heinz Worchestershire Sauce
VH Soya sauce
HP Sauce
Compliments Bacon
Deli Meat Packaged
Compliments Hotdog
Eggs in carton
Minute Maid canned Apple Juice
Five Alive Canned Juice
Fruitopia Canned Juice
Canned Iced Tea
Compliments Waffles
Packaged Meat
Cavendidh Farms French Fries
ADL or Scotsburn Ice Cream
Cold treats On Hold
Chocolate Chips at Bulk Barn
McCain Pizza Bites
Medicine cabinet
Presently looking for a better option in sunscreen.
Ombrelle Sunscreen, for Alaina
Off Bug Spray
Kids Tylenol
Adult Tylenol/Advil
Hall Stick
Pepto Bismal
Arts and Crafts
Want to DIY Bubbles
Large Chalk Pack
Crayola Paint, large size
Crayons and Pencil Crayons
Googly Eyes, Pipe Cleaners, Pom Poms On Hold
Stickers On Hold
Homemade Glue
Baby Supplies
Cloth Dispers and Reusable Liners
Arrowroot Powder at Bulk Barn
Coconut Oil at Bulk Barn
Reusable Wipes
Other Groceries
Duracell Batteries
Homemade Glue
Brita Filter Cartridge
Plain Gift Bags
Plain Wrapping Paper
Cat Treats in Container
Fancy Feast Hard cat food
Fancy Feast wet cat food, individual cans.
Arm and Hammer Cat litter, Largest Box
Tetramin Fish Food
Nutrafin Fish Tank Conditioner large size
Aqua-tech Fish Tank Filter

A lot of the items are going to be very hard to switch away from plastic packaging. For example, medicines. The best I can do is to try picking at least the recyclable packaging option, or if I can not find it in a recyclable package, then I must wait for the companies to get into gear and develope new ideas for more environmental friendly packaging and put them into place.

Dried Fruit

Interesting read! Dried fruit

I bought some dried fruit at Bulk Barn last week. I have been meaning to buy some for a while, but my son Daniel inspired me to finally do it. He has been making himself trail mixes. He uses almost everything! Almonds, peanuts, cashews, sun flower seeds, crackers X3, Cheerios, bran flakes, cornflakes, shreddies, and a few chocolate chips. But he does not like raisins. Nor is he a berry eater.

Alaina, Julia and Jack have been making their own too, inspired by Daniel. Way to go!

So I thought this may be a good opportunity to buy some dried fruit from the Bulk Barn. With my cloth bags I purchased one dried blueberries, cranberries and strawberries. I figured the other kids would like them too. I myself was not a fan of cranberries, and I never had any other dried fruit besides raisins.

We tried them together, and no one likes them but me. The strawberries taste like straberry jam! Probably because they were infused with a sweetener.

I will have to select some other fruits as well and keep an eye out for those extra sweet ones, I’d rather natural, nothing added. No need.

My next big adventure would be to dry berries and store them myself at home. Some day I would ove to have a bunch of tpes of berries and even some fuit trees. Though we need to aquire a taste for those besides apples.

30 Minute Rolls

I made a pot of turkey soup for suppe, and load and behold, I had no bread to go with it.

I looked up quick rolls and grabbed this recipe to try out. Though, its more than 30 minutes by the time you mix and knead the dough!!

I shaped them in balls 3 different ways. Balled as I would to make buns, cut to size and placed, and then shaped by hand.

I left 1/2 cup flour out as it was really dry. Also, the recipe called for active dry yeast, but I think instant yeast would suit the short time frame better.

First time I made this type of roll. Will probably tweak this one or find a new one for next time. I would love to have rolls for most supper dishes! Everyone would!!! I like fast dishes, not all day ones!

They look okay, but the ones I shaped oil my buns look much better.

Nope. Not good. Not long enough in the oven but getting too brown on top. Flour tasting. But it will do for this meal.

This one looks great. I think you need time to make rolls. Will try soon!

Christmas Baking with the kids

This year I made the traditional Plum Pudding. My Nanny’s recipe she used for many many years. This year instead of using foil pans, which would be tossed after one use, I used my bread pans with a sheet of foil to seal the top. Minimal waste!! I buttered the pan, and the plum pudding slid out with ease!!! No sticking!!

This is a pic of before steaming. I will post a picture soon of the ready to eat stage!! Yum!

The kids helped make some sugar cookies. Everyone had their turn to roll and cut the dough to shapes they picked and sprinkle sugar to decorate before baking. It sure was nice to have that time individually!

1st up, Thomas.

2nd up, Jack.

3rd up, Julia.

4th up, Alaina.

5th up, Daniel.

Cookies sure turned out yummy!!

Next, because of little time available, I rolled and cut the ginger bread cookie dough to shape. Baked and iced them too. Though, the kids are not a fan of ginger bread cookies, I love them. The recipe is the best one I have had! Also, they were iced with icing from the Bulk Barn, no waste!!

School Ice Skate

Ice skating is one of the most fun activities with the kids. Though, I only go with the school, once a year. I am reminded this time, again, that this activity needs to be done more!

For me, skating is relaxing. Its calming. Free. And the 2 big kids can go on their own. So skating with them or around them is so much fun! Makes me feel good!  I am not a great skater myself. I can go fast and not  fall, but I dontmknow how to stop properly. I fear of falling flat on my face! Haha!! I was trying to figure it out myself, going slow, and I think I know what to do now. I got to show the kids what to do. Its great to encourage the kids and help them when needed.

Seeing them starting out clumsy, falling, and struggling to stay up and then see them on their own making their way and trying over and over to do better (and are doing better) is just awesome! What an experience!!

So far, Daniel has gone 5 times, Alaina has gone 3 and this was Julia’s first time! The four of us had a great day!!

Julia posing for her picture
Off she goes
Skating along the did not want to take my camera on the ice, just in case. Julia needed a lot of help since it was her first time.
Julia finally got one of these to help her stay up
There she goes!
Alaina. She did awesome!
Alaina on her way, and Daniel far back, in the middle, black jacket and white helmet.
Very proud of these two!! Daniel is very determined to get from one side of the rink to the other without falling, and he did!!
Amazing kiddos!!