Dogs Shall Not Pass....

We have two dogs that don't respect the "Don't sleep on my bed" rule, OR the "don't drink out of the toilet" rule, or the "don't chew up my lego" rule.  For that reason we found it necessary to put a piece of plywood across the bottom of the stairs to keep them from sneaking up.

The problem with a piece of plywood is that it typically doesn't stay standing by itself so I had to prop a chair beside the plywood, beside the staircase.  You get the idea.  A lot of crap at the bottom of the stairs and everytime I wanted to go up or down I had to hop this fence of assorted "stuff". It got irritating. Anyone who visited over the summer can tell you how hideous it looked.

I figured it was time to make something more permanent.  It took a few pieces of 1"x6" and two hinges but I finally have a permanent "keep off my bed" gate!

It only took a few hours

I got the original idea from this website:

The plans were for a baby gate but I used the general idea, scrapped the closing mechanism, and voila! When we installed it we tilted it slightly so it always swings closed.  The cats have actually figured out how to push it open and run through before it closes on their tails.

I'm a Draft Dodger!

It's FREEZING.  Like minus 30 degrees freezing. So last night I whipped this up for the front door where it seemed we had some cold air leaking in. Probably because the wind was at 100 km/hour.

SO simple... just some left-over polar fleece stuffed with foam, fibrefill and marbles to make it heavy and hug the floor. It probably took about 10 min to make. The cat slept at the front door this morning for the first time.... ever.

Homemade Caramel Recipe

Every year I try to make some things to give away at Christmas.  2013 I opted for Homemade Caramels, Peanut Brittle, and Cinnamon caramel sauce.

I have had a number of people ask for the recipe for the caramels so here ya go...

Homemade Kahlua Caramel

Homemade Caramel

1 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup light corn syrup
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk (or substitute two cups half and half or light cream BUT factor in a longer cooking time)
2 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
*1/4 cup Kahlua ~ optional

1. Line 8x8 pan with parchment paper, even up the sides.
2. Cut butter into smaller, even sized cubes for even melting. Melt over low in sauce pan.
3. Carefully add sugar by pouring it into the center of the pan. Stir slowly until well combined with melted butter.
4. Mix in corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk (or cream).
5. Cook and stir on medium for one minute, then to med.-high until boiling. You want to change temperatures slowly. Once boiling, insert candy thermometer
6. Reduce heat to about medium, adjusting so that you keep a moderate, steady boil. Stir frequently!
7. Watch thermometer closely!!
8. When thermometer reaches 244°, remove caramel from heat (this is low firm ball stage; reaching this stage from boiling takes about 30 minutes with sweetened condensed milk ~ longer with cream)
9. Stir in vanilla or Kahlua. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan.
10. Allow to cool for several hours. I let it cool to room temp. and then put it in the fridge.  Once it's well set I pop the parchment paper out of the pan and cut it with a pizza cutter.  Allow lots of time to wrap them... it's a pain in the butt.

** The picture above I doubled the recipe to make more at once.

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2014!  At midnight I was standing outside looking at this....

No moon, no clouds,(no writing) just stars!  It was beautiful.

Wishing you all an AMAZING year full of possibilities, adventure, love, and creativity!

No Waste shopping at Bulk Barn

I recently viewed a video on Facebook of a supermarket that creates no waste.  All of the containers are reusable and you simply fill, use, ...