Sunday, February 2, 2014


is always a challenge month for our little household.  Kind of like Lent in a way.  Last year we lived with no paycheck (through no fault of our own.  Gotta love military clerical errors) and we survived.  Our savings took a huge hit but we learned how much should be in our savings to get us through at least 30 days.  This year is no different and we have challenged ourselves to test our emergency food storage and eating plans.

Last year or even the year before that we purchased Augason Farms 30 Emergency Food packs from Costco.  (Picture is linked) The price at Costco was easily $50 cheaper if not a little more.  I have seen Augason products on WalMart shelves (Island City, Oregon to be exact I have not seen them on any of the shelves here in Kentucky)

The rules for ourselves are simple, we can use anything in the house in addition to what is in the box, we buy no groceries for at least 10 days (except for the one scheduled "bountiful baskets" produce purchase that will come on day 7 because that is our primary source of produce and skipping a purchase opportunity requires another two week wait).  Why 10 days?  Simple, even though we have 3 boxes the 30 day box is designed to support one person for 30 days, so we figured that it should support 2 adults and 2 children under 5 for ten days.  If you have a "survival plan" that you don't rehearse, it isn't a "plan" it is a "hope for the best."  Here is what it looks like unpacked and inventoried: (it is not all 48 cans...this is one of each can available in the box)  There are 21 different varieties of cans, and some of the recipes included in the survival box require products not included in the survival box, such as Augason Farms GF Ultimate Gel (to make jelly) or Augason Farms Cheese Blend Powder to make spinach cheese quiche.   Obviously including a recipe in a box requiring ingredients not found in the box is not very helpful.

Day 1 -- February 1, 2014
Our oldest son really wanted a strawberry smoothie (it is pictured on the box). Easy enough breakfast.  The outcome was not half bad either.  The recipe made enough for 3 large cups.  The boys were fed. Lunch was chicken noodle soup for the boys.  I had left over taco meat from the night before.  (did I mention that I have a wheat allergy and that the 30 day box is not gluten free?  Yes Augason Farms sells a GF kit we just happen to not have it).  For dinner I defrosted a family pack of pork chops made some mash potatoes from the emergency kit as well as some corn.  I saved the left over pork chops for breakfast. My DH and I enjoyed a late night snack of some cold cuts, cheese and pears as we had a Netflix date after our sons were asleep for the night.

Day 2 -- February 2, 2014
Breakfast this morning was left over porkchops, biscuits made from Augason Farms pancake mix & dried eggs (along with water & butter) and GF country gravy.  I made GF biscuits for myself using Gluten Free Mamma's Pancake Mix, Augason Farms dried eggs and dried milk powder.  Breakfast was a success.  Cheddar Broccoli soup was requested for lunch by our oldest little George.  Comparatively speaking this soup was a lot tastier and overall delicious than some of the other powdered soup mixes available on the market.  We had the soup with some leftover biscuits.  Dinner was another recipe from the book Chili Cheese potatoes.  Consisted of Chili, Cheddar Broccoli soup over mashed (rehydrated) potatoes.  I also made some hamburger patties and heated up some GF rolls to go with dinner.  The left over chili cheese soup is going to be used for tomorrows breakfast.....Southwestern'ish scrambled eggs.

Til Next Time

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Home is Where....

the Army sends us and it has been that way for 10 + years, fingers crossed it will be that way for another 10+.  With that in mind I really wanted to make one of the many "Home is Where the" signs and plaques as seen all over the Internet.  Try as I might though everytime I set out to make it I never fell in love with the project and so it would sit unfinished in a craft box.  That is until I ran across this Etsy Shop.  Her sign was everything I was looking for in the simplicity of the message.  I wanted some typographical flair on my sign and thought this file from Lori Whitlock was perfect.  I also used the silhouette of the USA from Silhouette.

Instead of wasting vinyl to create my stencils I purchased some contact/shelf paper from the Dollar Tree to use.  I put my blade all the way to 1, made my speed 3 thickness 5.  I used my cutting mat.  
After peeling off the back of the contact/shelf paper I taped the liner and cut design to my board.  Because of my cut setting the blade went through the liner but not through the paper backing.  My cut file was more alike a perforation rather than a clean cut.  Maybe if I had used the double cut feature but I actually liked the way the worked out.  Gave me time to fuss with stencil, and the cut image was very easy to separate.
After I separated the cut image I painted in the negative space.  The colors I used for this project are: Wild Blueberry, Love Bird, Vanilla Bean, Wet Cement & Putty.  All colors are by Martha Stewart Crafts.  

My finished sign is 12x24 (I purchased a piece of craft wood from Michaels)  I am thinking of making little flags to put onto push pins and place them at the posts we have been located.  So maybe my sign is not exactly finished after all.  
Til Next Time

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