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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Upholstered Dinette Bench Seat

Well, the dinette is as complete as it’s going to get, until we can retrieve our tools and really finish the job. On Wednesday the 28th, I took a bunch of scrap plywood and screwed it together (2 layers thick equaling 3/4”) to form a lid for the right bench seat. I had to use the skill saw to cut it to the required dimensions after it was all screwed together.

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After that was complete, I realized how dangerous it was for our girls with all the splinters sticking out everywhere.

IMG_2223I decided to upholster it for cheap. I went to Wal-Mart, bought some black “duck” fabric, 4 foam chair cushions and some 3/4” screws (so they were no longer sticking through the under side of the lid).

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I cut the foam cushions to the exact dimensions of the lid. After I was done with that, I set them up, wrapped the fabric around the lid and stapled it to the under side.

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Once that was accomplished, I cut 4 pieces of the 1”x1” scrap wood to screw into the underside so that the lid wouldn’t move around.

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(I should mention here, that I did this all by myself to surprise my Hubby when he got home after work.) Lo and Behold! An upholstered bench seat. It is very comfy.

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My Husband likes it so much, he wants me to do the same thing on the other bench seat. I told him once they are re-sided with the matching flooring, I will go to the fabric store, buy some actual upholstery fabric and do the job all professional. This half-***ed job is just to get us by until they are actually completed. Regardless, I am a bit pleased with the outcome, especially considering I did it outta scrap wood and $16.

Oh yea, I also screwed two layers of plywood together and cut it to fit as the backing of the lid on the left bench seat. There’s a crack now between the two pieces that make up the lid, so I’m going to join them together so nobody ends up getting pinched in it.     

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They don’t match, but they don’t look absolutely terrible anymore…and more importantly…they’re not dangerous. That’s the biggest thing. I just don’t want anyone getting hurt. It’s also nice to have somewhere to sit together and eat as a family. Now, we’re working on finding a makeshift table that’ll do in the meantime.

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I hope you all have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!!! This RV park is already CRAMMED full of RV’s! Very exciting stuff!

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Boho Hobos RV-egan: Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

I LOVE baking cookies! It seriously is my specialty. Once we moved into our RV though, I was burning stuff left and right in the oven. I was really scared to take on the task of baking cookies, for fear that they would be ruined too. (I’ve only been cooking with a gas stove/oven for 4ish months now.) Well, in the past couple weeks, I haven’t been burning the pizzas I cook for my family, so I thought I’d finally take a stab at some cookies…with one catch…they WILL be Vegan. If nobody likes them, that’s too bad (I really hope they like them), but all the more for me if they don’t.

So, on Tuesday the 27th, MHG and I rummaged through my pantry to see what we had in stock. Oatmeal, no raisins. The fixings for chocolate chip cookies…but no chocolate chips. Almonds, but not pecans or walnuts. The list goes on and on. Eventually, I flipped the lid on my oatmeal and lo and behold, a recipe for “Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies”. Ok, I thought. I’ll just replace the raisins with Craisins and tweak it in other places to make it Vegan and a tad bit healthier. So without further adieu, I give you, “Vanishing Vegan Oatmeal Craisin Cookies”.

Here’s what you’ll need (I will put the original ingredients we substituted in [ ] if you want to make the non-Vegan original version):

  • 1/2 cup plus 6 tbsp of Earth Balance organic whipped “butter” (I melted it for 10 sec’s in microwave to soften [1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tbsp. butter, softened]
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar [1/2 cup of granulated sugar]
  • 3 tsp of Ener-g Egg Replacer plus 4 tbsn of water (mixed thoroughly before adding) [2 eggs]
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour [1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour]
  • 1 tsp baking soda (I was out of baking soda, so I substituted with 3 tsp of baking powder instead…worked just fine)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • 3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 cup Craisins [1 cup raisins]
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat “butter” and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.
  2. In separate bowl, mix Ener-g Egg Replacer with its water until lumps are gone, then add the vanilla; beat well. Add to butter & sugar.
  3. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. A little at a time, mix this combination into the other butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla mix.
  4. Add oats a little at a time and mix well.
  5. Add Craisins a little at a time and mix in with spoon.
  6. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Press down with the spoon to flatten them out a bit…otherwise they will come out exactly as you shaped them while putting them on the cookie sheet.
  7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

I am pleased to report that they were a success. They weren’t burnt, or still raw on the inside. They were absolutely delicious and EVERYONE loved them!!! They only lasted 24 hours. Lol! (P.S. The BEST part about Vegan cookies is you can eat all the raw dough you want without worry of getting sick! Yay!IMG_2134

The Earth Balance “butter” and sugar creamed together.

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The Ener-g and water mixed together.

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MHG mixing up the egg replacer.

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The egg replacer added to the original mixture.

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MHG adding the dry ingredients.

P.S. That green bowl is a collapsing 3 quart mixing bowl by Progressive International. I HIGHLY recommend it to all my fellow RVers. The blue bowl doesn’t collapse, but I store all my other collapsing bowls of various sizes inside it.

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Adding the Craisins.

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The fun part! Rolling the dough into balls…

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…and placing them on the cookie sheets.

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Be sure to press them flatter with a spoon before throwing the into the oven.

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If you press them, they’ll come out looking like this.

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If you don’t press them, they will come out looking like this instead. It’s just a matter of aesthetics though, because they taste delicious either way.

P.S. replacing the eggs with egg replacer will make your dough a bit harder to hold together. Make sure to tightly pack the dough.

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Why don’t you give ‘em a try! I promise you that you will not be able to tell that they are Vegan. Everyone will love them (as long as they like oatmeal cookies) and they are healthier for you too. Much love!!!

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wrapping Up August

There are just a couple days left to August. I’ve been so busy that it’s been the biggest of tasks to get out just the occasional blog. I haven’t really blogged what we’ve been up to the past week or so. I’ve only been able to get out the home improvement blogs. So, for those of you who are more interested in what my family is up to, here ya go. We started out by moon-gazing last Tuesday night.
Aug Blu Moon 2013
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We had a shopping trip to Wal-Mart Saturday and I bought Cindy a new outfit that I just couldn’t resist, and got MHG a new pair of jeans for the fall. Cindy’s hair is so curly out here in this humidity! I love it! She definitely got it from her father, cuz mine is straight as an arrow.
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We watched the 5th Harry Potter movie (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) and had a yummy snack. This is what the girls put together without ANY guidance or advice from me. I love that they love healthy foods! It’s carrots, baby orange slices, craisins, almonds and tomatoes. This was Cindy’s snack. MHG swapped the almonds for some turkey and the craisins for apple slices instead. She doesn’t like nuts or craisins.
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Sunday, Ahdoo went fishing. I cleaned our home all morning and when he got back in the afternoon, he put this all together for us. It was about 90 degrees and a thousand % humidity outside, so he thought I needed to soak my feet and the girls needed to do some water-play in the shade. It melted my heart. MHG wanted to get in the tote of water too, but I told her she wouldn’t fit…boy was I wrong, lol!
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Monday, we HAD to do laundry. It was pouring down rain, so we couldn’t play at the park for longer than 2 minutes. They had just enough time to swing before it started dumping on us.
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Good thing I took the time to do my hair up all cute. The rain tried to ruin it…but it was up well enough that it held it’s place.
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We were stuck inside the laundry room, so we made the best of it and practiced some yoga poses. Cindy is getting down her headstand and is absolutely adorable in her baby tree pose!
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MHG grows stronger every single day and is definitely starting to pass me up when it comes to the arm strength poses. Check out her full Lotus off the ground and her Crow pose!!! She’s even able to hold them for about 3-5 seconds, and that time grows longer every week! I am so incredibly proud of her!!! I am lovin’ that my girls love to do yoga with me! It’s so good for their health and they have no idea. They just think it’s fun. For the record, I can’t do either of these poses.
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Mommy even got in on the action. I love how Cindy is trying to copy us, it’s too precious. MHG can hold her tree pose for years now. I remember 3 years ago, when she was just starting to show interest in yoga and she could only hold it for a second and was flailing all over the place. Now, she’s rock solid. I can’t believe how fast my kids are growing. They are becoming beautiful young ladies…well, MHG at least. Cindy’s still just a baby to me. I love these two to the moon and back!!! After dinner, all 4 of us laid in bed together and watched the 6th Harry Potter (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince). I just introduced MHG to Harry Potter a couple weeks ago, and now her appetite is insatiable when it comes to getting through these movies. She absolutely LOVES them!
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On Tuesday, I got brave enough to roll out my mat in the hallway and see if I can still do my headstand. I haven’t tried in probably a month. I am quite ashamed of myself to admit that…but fortunately for me…I still got it. Now, I am going to practice it daily. I learned my lesson.
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Downward Facing Dog
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Tree Pose
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While Cindy napped, MHG and I made some homemade, delicious, Vegan, Oatmeal-Craisin cookies. That is going to be a separate blog for the people out there possibly interested in making them as well. The best thing about baking vegan cookies, is you can eat all the raw cookie dough you want without a second-thought as to if you’re going to die shortly thereafter or not! Here they are…
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That evening, we had the most beautiful rainstorm. There was never any thunder or lightning, so we had a ball in it!
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Yesterday, I “finished” the right bench and “completed” the lid on the left bench.  I’ll do a different blog on those, but in the meantime, here’s the finished pics. It took me a couple hours to build them…but I did it all by myself, and I don’t think I did such a bad job considering.
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Nature Shots
Our plants are growing ridiculously fast. Ahdoo and MHG repotted all of them on Saturday. Everything got moved up to a bigger pot. I lost track at roughly 30 tomatoes growing, and there already a lot more than that. My basil is about ready to be harvested, hung and dried. The Spearmint and Oregano I’ll probably let grow another month before I harvest them. My Parsley kinda sucks. If I plan on harvesting that ever, I’m gonna have to bring it indoors to continue growing…at the rate it’s going. I’m still uncertain what I want to do about it.
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Peppy
This skunk has been holding us hostage in our home (at night) off and on for the past week. Recently, a fellow RVer made the suggestion to comprise a 90/10 solution of water to bleach and spray the perimeter of our RV. I guess they don’t like the smell very much…go figure. I’m gonna do that as soon as I get some bleach…cuz I don’t use it or keep it around.
We call her “Flower” from the skunk in Bambi. She’s not scared of us…at all, no matter how many rocks Ahdoo kicks at her and no matter how loud he hollers. I’m sure she’s quite secure in her knowledge that her defense mechanism is always a fail-safe. She hasn’t sprayed us or anywhere around here and I’m hoping it stays that way. She may not be a she either…but we’ve been calling her a she since we had our first run-in with her last Friday night. She is a Hog-Nosed Skunk, not very big, maybe about 6-7 pounds. Every time I see her I get the adrenaline rush from hell. I end up shaking for a good twenty minutes after our encounters. Here’s to hoping the spray works!!!
Thanks for reading and hopefully you don’t have any skunks under your home!  ;)
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