Happy holidays from The Barmy Fox! I hope your holidays were amazing, whichever holiday you celebrate!
So far, in the two months that I have been blogging, The Barmy Fox has gotten over three thousand views!! I want to thank all of you for reading my blog! I started this out of boredom waiting for my visa to arrive, and now I am totally in love with blogging sharing all the things that I have made.
If you want to see a tutorial for something or are interested in sharing your own tutorials, crafts and/or recipes, please let me know! I'd love to share your stories and ideas (and try them out for myself!)!!!
Happy holidays and leave me some love!
It's Christmas Eve and believe it or not, all the presents are bought, wrapped and under the tree. What else is there to do? BAKE!
I hope your doggies get just as spoilt as mine do during the holidays (let's be honest-they're always spoilt). They get Christmas stockings with new toys and treats, new collars and/or leashes and get to open presents with us. Yeah, that spoilt.
Yesterday was Christmas cut out cookie day and today was gingerbread cookies. My dogs were drooling over all the treats coming out of the oven and I remembered-I have a recipe for homemade doggie treats that I never made!
I searched through all my recipes and found the one I saved. It's from mdspca.org, but most of the ones I saw online all had the same ingredients, so I just went with that one.
Homemade Doggie Treats
2 1/2 cups flour (wheat flour is best)
1/2 cup pumpkin (use 100% pumpkin, not the kind with added ingredients)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Throw all the ingredients (except the flour) in a bowl and give it a quick mix. Then add the flour one cup at a time. I had David use his hands because the hand mixer wouldn't be able to mix the dough-it will be thick.
Sprinkle some flour on your counter. When it's the consistency of a dough (mine was more like bread dough and stretchy) take it out of the bowl and onto your counter. Knead it a few times to make sure it's all mixed together and start rolling it out with a rolling pin. If you don't have one then just use a bottle of wine or liquor. It all works!!
Roll until it's about 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch thick. Then use cookie cutters to cut out your shapes. Since its Christmas (and I don't have a doggie bone cookie cutter) I used some mini cookie cutters I had-the dogs didn't care.
Put them on a nonstick cookie sheet about an inch apart. I baked mine for 20 mins and then flip then over and bake for another 10 mins.
Baking times will vary depending on how large you cut your treats. Mine were small, about an inch or two long and I rolled them out thin. If you use the regular size cookie cutters, then I would suggest 20 mins and then flipping them and baking for another 20 mins. Keep checking them to make sure they don't burn or get too brown, as then they will become very hard.
My doggies really really loved these! Apparently peanut butter and pumpkin go together better than I thought. Pumpkin is meant to soothe upset doggie tummies and relieve their anal glands (although I have no idea if this is true or not, my dogs never tell me anything). They are a bit hard but dog biscuits are supposed to be right?
Let me know if you make these for your dog and if they liked them or not!!
Hoping everyone has a Happy Christmas and sending my love to you all-and all your pets too!
Yesterday for Davids advent calendar, we made cornstarch and baking soda Christmas ornaments. It was so much fun!
Here's what you need:
1 cup of baking soda
1/2 cup of cornstarch
3/4 cup of water
Combine them in a pot over medium heat. Stir constantly. It will look runny for a while, but then it will thicken all at once and become lumpy. When they start to look like lumpy mashed potatoes, take off the heat and transfer to a bowl.
I was a bit impatient so I spread mine out in the bowl like this (above) so it would cool faster.
After its cool, roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick. David really wanted to do this so of course Iet him. He posed for some super cool photos as well.
I put some parchment paper on a cookie sheet and used cookie cutters to cut out the ornaments. We found that the easiest way to get the dough onto the cookie sheet was to pick it up with the cookie cutter and transfer it into the cookie sheet.
When you're all done, use a straw to punch a hole in the top to tie your string to.
Bake at 175/200 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Flip over halfway through. I baked mine for an hour and a half, so use your judgement! I also let mine sit out overnight and will paint them today, just to be sure they will be hard completely through.
These were a lot of fun and SO easy to make! I can't wait to paint them later and see what David comes up with!
Be sure to stop by tomorrow for I heart Mondays!!!
When I was younger, it was called Gak, or Slime. Now it's called Flubber or Obeleck.
It's one of those things that are disgusting to touch, but you can't stop touching it and playing with it. It's not quite play doh but also not clay. It feels wet but isn't, and is always cold.
Gak is one of those things that is so simple, but you can't stop playing with it. The best part is, I know how to make it.
I looked on Pinterest and googled it, but didn't find one that worked for me, so I combined a couple and this is what I came up with!
2 bottles of Elmers school glue
Borax (in the laundry detergent aisle)
First, take two bottles of Elmers school glue, or 8 ounces. The white kind that you used spread all over your hand, wait for it to dry and then peel it all off. Wait, you didn't do that? Just me. Figures.
Pour the two bottles of school glue into a mixing bowl. Try to get as much glue out as you can. Then fill each of the bottles with warm/hot water, put the lid back on and shake. Pour that gluey water into the bowl with the glue in it. It looks like the picture above.
Now is the time to stir. It all mixes together quite nicely because of the warm/hot water.
Now is also the time to think of whatever colour you want and add food colouring to your glue and water mixture. I've made blue (shown), lime green (green and yellow food coloring), pink, purple, white with glitter, and red with glitter. Basically you can make whatever colour you want! You can add glitter as well, or leave it out. Up to you. But NOW is the time to add it!
Next, get a measuring cup and fill it with a half a cup of warm/hot water. Add 1 teaspoon of borax and stir until it is dissolved completely.
After its dissolved, next is the magic bit.
Pour the borax/water solution into the glue/water/food colouring solution, STIRRING CONSTANTLY. You should see some stringy bits forming, and for me, as I was stirring the Gak was sticking to my spoon, as you can see in the above photo.
Don't freak out. I did a little bit. It all happened so fast!
After its all mostly mixed together (there will be some extra liquid in the bottom of the bowl), grab about half of the Gak with your hands and put it on the table. Then take the other half and put it on the table as well.
This is when I washed the bowl and spoon with hot water and let it run down the drain for a while. If you aren't comfortable with this, you can use paper towels to wipe out the bowls.
Here is the first one I made, green! It's resting on the table. I let mine rest for only a couple minutes so that I could clean up the bowls.
It will be a little wet as its resting, but that's fine. I just wiped it up with a wash rag and was good to go.
Then you can take the Gak and play! Combine the two together and stretch it apart, watch it ooze through your fingertips or put it in a container for later!
Well done on your first batch of Gak! I know you'll want to make more. Store it in an airtight Tupperware container to make it last the longest.
I hope you enjoy your Gak!
No I did not forget about I Heart Mondays!! Swear!! I was out all day running errands with dad!
Here's this week's I heart Mondays!!!
One: These are fruit snacks. No that's not a typo. Fruit snacks. In Shanghai, there were no fruit snacks. And if you did find them they would be about $15 a box. No thanks. But this week I am really digging fruit snacks. I am fully aware that they are probably not the healthiest things in the world, but they only came in a box of six packets, so they'll be gone soon. :)
Two: FLUBBER. I'm posting the tutorial that I used tomorrow and man, it is fun. Id like to think of myself as an adult, and I was having a ball with it. It reminded me of the time when my little brother and I would stand on the back of the sofa (I wouldn't let your kids do this) and hold the flubber out in our outstretched arms and and are whose would touch the sofa first. Fun times. Seriously though, it is so easy to make and takes less than ten minutes.
Three: Our Christmas tree! That sucker is huge! But it is beautiful.
Four: Suprise (not) another Essie nail polish!! This one is a great red called 'jump in my jumpsuit'. It reminds me of Santa but naughtier. I also used Essie's drying drops this time, and they really do work. I don't know how I ever painted my nails without them.
Five: This dog is the Bernedoodle and I swear it will be mine one day. Who can have a bad day when there are pictures of puppies all over the Internet!?
Six: I am in the proces of turning the upstairs bedroom into a studio. With all the rubbish out and carpets swept, I finally had time to organise it. This is how it looks so far. I can't wait to move more things in there and get a making!
Seven: This little jem is something I found when we were going through the upstairs bedroom. This is an old photo of my mother. She looks fantastic and still does if you ask me. Love these old photos and will definitely hang it up somewhere (even if she hates it-I love it).
Eight: These are the photos that I still need to put in my scrapbook. Going through them lets me relive all the memories of the past year. I am truly grateful for the good friends I have and all the memories that we have made together. Love love love.
That's it for my I heart Mondays post!! There is so much to live each week, don't waste your time on negativity!!!
What are some things that YOU love this week!?eave me some love!!!
My cousin messaged me the other day asking if I would be interested in sending a couple more Christmas cards this year. I was extremely interested and wanted to know more.
She sent me this link from Today.com (below) and I was inspired. She said that her niece has also made a Christmas card for this little girl.
Addie Fausett is only six years old, and this might be her last Christmas due to an atrophy in her brain. Doctors are not sure how to cure this and are predicting she has about a year to live.
In the face of all this, her family are asking for everyone to send Christmas cards. She loves homemade Christmas cards the best, but really any will do.
Addie has two sisters, Shayley, 10, and Audree, 7. Cards can be addressed to Addie as well as her sisters, as I am sure this is a hard time for the whole family. To make matters more difficult, their father has passed away over the weekend.
Let's take some time to spread the love this Christmas. Cards can be sent to:
Addie Lynn and Sisters P.O. Box 162 Fountain Green, Utah 84632
You can also donate money through Children and the Earth, who help pay for children's medical bills or send a message directly to Addie through her facebook page.
Here is the article in Today which shows all the ways you can donate or send messages.
Here is the card my cousins niece sent her. It is so adorable!
Can't wait to get started on my cards and get them in the mail. I hope you do too!
Every year for our birthday we get to choose whatever we want for dinner (yes WHATEVER WR WANT!!!) and we can have anything we want for dessert. This is both exciting and intimidating at the same time. You want to pick the RIGHT something. Something that everyone will enjoy but also something feeling delicious. It's your birthday after all!!
David chose shrimp jambalaya (with smoked sausage) and a Victoria Sponge cake for dessert. Mom made the dinner and of course I made the cake, cause God bless her but she's rubbish at baking. Love you Mom!
Here's the recipe!
This recipe took lots of concentration initially because the recipe I found was all in grams. Ugh. I don't have a scale so it took some investigation and Google to get the recipe right.
Victoria Sponge Cake
200g unsalted butter (1 stick and 6 tbsp)
200g caster sugar (1 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
4 medium eggs
200g self rising flour
6 tbsp raspberry jam (David chose strawberry but you can use whatever jam you want!)
250 ml double cream, whipped
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Farenheit).
Mix together softened butter, sugar and vanilla. I used a mixer but I'm sure you can mix it by hand if you mix it well.
Beat in eggs one at a time.
Fold in flour with a spatula.
I don't like to use the mixer for this part because sometimes the flour gets everywhere.
Spread evenly between two 10 inch pans and bake for approximately 20 minutes. The tops should spring back up when you touch them.
Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Now it's time to make the whipped cream. I like to make the whipped cream right before I'm about the eat the cake so it won't get soggy.
Put the double cream in a bowl. I like to use the mixer again because I've made whipped cream with a shock by hand before, and it takes ages. And makes my hand hurt. Use the whisk attachment and you are good to go.
I also like to add two tablespoons of sugar and one teaspoon of vanilla.
Whip the double cream until it has soft peaks. You can test this by puttin. The whisk into the whipped cream and if it makes a peak and folds over a bit then it's probably done. You want that real good whipped cream consistency. Mine took about 5 minutes on medium speed with the mixer. Don't whip too long or you get butter!
Now it's time to layer the cakes. Put one layer of cake down on a plate or platter. You might have to cut a bit off the top to make it flat.
Then add the jam. I used strawberry jam and a bit more than the six tablespoons. We love jam. Spread it just to the edge, but not dripping over.
Then layer the whipped cream on top of that.
Then put the other cake on top of the whipped cream.
Finally, dust the powdered sugar on top to make it beautiful.
No need to make it pretty on the plate, the whipped cream and jam smashes out and it all gets eaten up!
David loved his cake and went back for seconds...and maybe even thirds!
Such an easy cake to make and tastes so good.
I hope you enjoyed the photos and try to make this at home! Leave some love!
The best part about I heart Monday, and the reason I take time to do it each week, is that it makes you take time to appreciate the things that make you happy. You can add a photo a day, or just reflect on your week. What made you happy? What did you love?
The people in my family are avid news watchers. This is both good (to stay in the know) and bad. Most of the news is about people being shot or a store robbed. It's not very often that you hear about all these animals getting adopted from the Toledo Humane Society, or someone who got their layaway paid for (both of which are real stories I have read this past week). It seems the news channels save these stories for the online version of the news. It would be nice to hear something GOOD for once! And that my friends, is why I started this.
This week there are more than I thought!
The first is Project Life. If you don't know about this then you are REALLY missing out! They are journal/scrapbook kits that are so easy to use. You buy them in parts, the binder, the style of cards (they have loads of different themes), and then the page protectors. They even have some embellishments that you can also purchase. They are a bit pricey but I bought mine at Michaels and used a 50% off coupon for each item. Thanks for helping Dad! So in the end they weren't that bad. I'll give links to the products at the end. :)
The idea is that you use their page protectors which have different layouts along with their cards and your own photos to make a scrapbook page.
They even have an app (.99 cents) that lets you scrap on the go! I prefer printing my photos though, and love that 'put together' feel of a scrapbook, so I just purchased the app for photo edits and the cute card packs. I've used the app for my I heart Monday collages today!
This is the first page of my scrapbook and I am loving it already! I'm sure I'll change it about five more times. But for now here's what it looks like. Good vibes!!!
These collages are using the Project Life app, and have some cards mixed in with the photos. I'm just going to explain the photos!!
1) The first one is the Christmas tree cookies. These are from pillsbury and are of the 'take them out of the package and bake' variety. They remind me so much of home and Christmas. Yum! Plus they're 2/$5 at Kroger this week!
2) Number two is the Christmas tree! We are decorating it tonight and got all the lights on. This is my first Christmas in about three years away. I do miss Christmas at home, but I also miss Christmas in Thailand!
3) I found these cool ribbons when I was cleaning out the upstairs bedrooms. I love this natural colour scheme with the pop of red.
4) I found this box in the garage while looking for a box to hold my homemade advent calendar that I wrote about yesterday. I love the writing on the box and how it looks worn and weathered. It makes me wonder where it was before I got it from the antique market!
5) This is just the blotter napkin that I use when I am painting with watercolours. I always find that the napkin looks so interesting when I am done with it, and I end up saving them all!
6) This is a coupon code from Walgreens. Use PRINTSORDER to get your photos printed for 10 cents each! Such a good price and the code is good until December 6th. I've just printed 700 photos from the last year to use with my Project Life scrapbook supplies. So excited!
7) Number seven is a photo I found from the summer. I love how it looks. The colours are so vivid. It reminds me of summer.
8) Yesterday we put up all our Christmas lights. Our house looks like a freaking gingerbread house! We bought LED Christmas lights a couple years ago (maybe last year I can't remember) and they are so bright!
I want to thank everyone again for all the kind wishes, thoughts, prayers and kind words you all have sent my family since the accident. We are all so grateful and appreciative. We are still recovering and still very sore, but we will eventually heal and things will go back to normal. Thank you all so much.
Lots of love,
I'm Tory, the creator behind The Barmy Fox. My current loves