Friday, April 19, 2013

We've Moved!

I've moved my blogging to

There you will find my recipes, quilts and my new adventures in homesteading. Hope to see you soon!

Monday, March 25, 2013


Well, not the remodel I've been homing for but I have been working on the new website. Sorry for the lack of posts, but it's been really time consuming as I'm doing it myself:-)

Should be unavailing it soon though and have lots to blog about!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Modern Baby Quilt for Baby Chahal

Well my cousin is expecting her first son, how exciting, and so of course I had to welcome him to our family with a new quilt!

I had originally found this fabric for a quilt I was going to make for Maiyo, and still will after I finish his Dr. Seuss quilt. You all might recognize the print as its the same theme from the baby quilt I made for Maiyo 2 years ago, and my first ever quilt!

I just absolutely love this animal theme and color design by Riley Blake and couldn't pass up making more memories with this wonderful flannel fabric.

For the back I had some Minky fabric that I bought on a whim and it matches perfectly.

I also decided to try out this new modern quilting technique where you quilt the squares individually and them piece them together. I have to say that the technique is handy since I don't have a nice machine with which to quilt, but probably not the best technique for quilting with bulky fabrics like minky...oh well, live and learn.

Fabrics Used:
Hooty Hoot Kangaroo by Riley Blake
Cozy Cotton Flannel in Chocolate from Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Robert Kaufman Minky Cuddle Dots

'Sandwich' Squares

Quilting the Squares

Attaching Quilted Squares Together

Sewing the Tops of the Quilted Sandwich Squares Together

Back Side of all Quilt Squares

Front Side of all Sandwich Squares

Boarder Prep

Binding Prep

Sewing on my Signature Tag

Finished Front of Quilt

Finished Back of Quilt

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blog name Vote & Giveaway

Although I love the name Unicornis Creations, people just have too hard a time with the Latin version of Unicorn so I'm changing my blog to a more formal website and giving it a new name!

Please help choose a new name for my updated blog, cast your vote and enter to win a UC gift basket with Homemade Jam, Vanilla Extract, and Organic Applesauce ($25 value)

Comment here or on the UC Facebook page with your choice. Voting ends March 5th! (One entry per person:)



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Craigslist find

So I decided that it probably wasn't worth the time or effort to build another smaller coop for the new chicks, only if I could find a decent one on Craigslist.

Well mission accomplished. I found this rabbit hutch that was converted to a chicken coop for $60 in Scotts Valley. The family sold their house and had to remove the coop cuz the new owners didn't want chickens. They threw in a nesting box, ramp, 2 waterers and about 3 cubic feet of pine shavings! Score!

I'm very excited we were able to get such a great deal, this hutch sells new for $200 and it'll save Ana time and energy from having to build a new one, plus the materials would probably have been more than $60 so I'm pretty stoked.

This coop is going to house our chicks while they go through the pullet growth (basically teenage years) then once they're full grown I'll integrate them into the bigger coop and use this one as a separation coop for trouble hens.

We've been growing our chicks inside the house and it's driving me nuts. I clean them out every 36 hrs or so and the smell is just unbearable even with the constant cleanings and our air purifier on full blast. Especially the meat chicks who just eat tons and poop, super stinky. So we're gonna put this new coop to use this week and jerryrig the heat lamp so that they can go outside now (about 2 weeks sooner than i had expected).

If you ever want to raise chicks, don't raise them in the house. It's been a nightmare from the get go. And now I know what to be ready for next year. But I do recommend raising your own chicks if you can. It's a lot of work, but you have control over the situation. You can buy pullets or even full grown hens, and now I understand why they are so expensive, but unless you know the grower (like me:) you can't be sure what kind of feed they're given or how they're raised (like too many little chicks stuck in too small of a space.)

And if you can't raise chicks, don't worry about it cuz it really is a lot of work, which if I had a full time job, I would not be going through this craziness!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Free Ranging

No scraps for the girls today so I'm letting them free range. Only trouble is keeping them from going too far down the hill or over to our neighbors. So I've planted myself in a lawn chair at our fence entrance and am keeping them in check while Maiyo's splashing in puddles:)

I've decided to change their diet of lay pellets and corn/soy scratch to a more natural and unprocessed diet of whole grains. Along with all our kitchen scraps, this diet will help them produce even better tasting eggs with more frequency as well!

Anyway, I've been researching recipes for a while and finally Pam over at Peaceful Vally Farms posted her concoction and I'm super excited to try it out. All I have left to find is Whole Oats, amazingly, all of our local feed stores are out at this time.

Here's the recipe if you're interested, but check out Pam's blog for more detailed info.

Chicken Feed

3 parts Rye (grass seed)
9 parts Barley
9 parts Oats
9 parts Wheat (winter red)
4 parts Black Oiled Sunflower Seeds
3 parts Flax Hansen
2 parts Oyster Shell
Plus Grits, Greens & Bugs

Can give chicken bones from stock! Lentils & peas are good too

I'll post results a few weeks after I've switched their diet, probably in April, but Pam says its working well and she has 50 chickens, so I'm pretty sure it'll be awesome!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blog Name HELP! (& Potential Giveaway)

Hey Everyone,

So I'm looking to revamp my blog and turn it into a website with a page each dedicated to food, crafts & quilting, gardening, cycling, family life and random crap.

But I need a new name! Help a lady out, why don'tcha! (Living the Crazy Jungle)

Or do you have a suggestion???

So far I'm leaning towards Living La Selva Loca, pretty catchy don'tcha think:-) 

*Once we have a few names submitted (must be available domain names) I'll set up a vote and you'll have a chance to be entered into a drawing for some Jam & Vanilla Extract!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lotion Bars

So with all of the homemaking, washing, and super cold weather we've been having here in La Selva Beach, my hands have been completely tortured. But I'm not a huge hand lotion kind of gal, I'm not even good about moisturizing my face every day, it's just not something I do.

SO when I came across this lotion bar recipe I thought it would be a perfect solution for my poor hands.

And it is! Because the bar reacts to your body heat slowly, it doesn't just glop all over, which is exactly what I love about it. Also, it only has 3 ingredients; Beeswax, Shea Butter & Coconut Oil, simple to make and you can pour it into any kind of mold you desire.

The directions are pretty simple, only I would pour straight into the mold from the double boiler, don't bother transferring to a measuring cup or other instrument in order to pour into a mold, as the mixture cools rapidly. And, if you don't feel like making this yourself, I have some 1.5 oz bars available for purchase (just email me).

Lotion Bars
Makes 4-1.5 oz bars

2.25 oz Bees Wax (Best if you can buy from your local Bee Keeper or Apiary)
2 oz Shea Butter
2 oz Unrefined Coconut Oil
*Optional: 4-6 Drops Essential Oil

-Melt all ingredients in a double boiler over simmering water.
-Be sure to occasionally stir to help break everything down.
-Once all melted turn off heat & add Essential Oil*.
-Pour mixture into molds and let cool for about 30 mins.
-If needed, once cooled, place in freezer for 30 secs to help with release.

I used a silicone mold and a metal mini muffin pan to make these. The silicon mold bars popped out with no effort but the muffin pan needed to go into the freezer, then the bars just popped right out!

Kiwi Lemon Jam

Well, it's Kiwi season so of course I have a bunch of kiwi's to play with. My first recipe is non other than a jam recipe, of course!

I think I found this recipe through Punk Domestics, but it's on a blog called Vanilla Garlic (makes me think of Garlic Ice Cream-if you've never tried it, I'd suggest once is good enough) anyway, I'm having a lot of fun reading it so go check it out.

This Chef, Garrett McCord, is out of Sacramento so we share the same seasons and local produce which means I'll be trying out a bunch more of his recipes for sure. I loved the idea of this recipe, with the marraige of Lemon & Kiwi, but after making it, the only problem I had is with how overly sweet it turned out so next time I make it (and as detailed in the recipe below), I'll probably increase the fruit and cut out some sugar.

I also made a few other changes like letting the kiwi & lemon macerate together overnight and I added a little pectin to firm it up a bit. I'm very happy with the end result and I must say, it is a very esthetically pleasing jam as well, so great for gift giving!

Kiwi Lemon Jam
Makes ~42 oz

4 lbs Kiwi (Peeled & Sliced in rounds)
2 C Unrefined Sugar
1 Lemon (Washed, De-seeded and diced)
2 Tbsp Low-Sugar Pectin

-In a large bowl mix sliced Kiwi with 1 cup of Sugar, set aside.
-In a food processor, pulse diced Lemon & 1 cup Sugar for about 1 min, let sit for about an hr.
-Mix Kiwi & Lemon sugars together and let macerate in the refrigerator overnight.
-Place fruit in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil then lower to medium, add in Pectin and stir frequently until sugar is dissolved and fruit is mushy, about 15 mins.
-Ladle into sterilized jars and process for 10 mins. (or keep in refrigerator for up to 2 months) Water bath processed jam will keep in a cool dark place for about 1 year.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Anybody have any Applesauce??

Ok, so I've finally finished harvesting, cooking and processing all of my apples. In total, I believe I processed about 6 bushels of apples this season, that's almost 300 pounds! Wow, now that I look back, I can't believe how much I've done with them...

Let's see, Apple Pie Jam, Apple-Pearsuace, Apple Butter, Apple Rings, Orange-Apple Cranberry Sauce, Apple Muffins, Apple Pectin (more about that in another post) and of course Apple Pie and Applesauce! Plus all the ones Maiyo & I ate whole or in our oatmeal! What a bounty to be had from our trees, I'm sure thankful to Ana's parents for planting 8 apple trees on our property and glad we are finally putting all that awesomeness to good use. Before I meet Ana, he never harvested the trees and the beautiful fruit all went to the local deer, such a waste. And then I came onto the property and was so overwhelmed that it took me a good three years before I started harvesting the trees properly (I mean other than picking a few apples to snack on). I actually think my harvesting the trees last season helped them produce such a great bounty this season, so I'm hoping next season is even better!

This year also marks the first year that I actually started baking with applesauce (as a substitute for oil) and I'm loving it! So of course I had to make a ton of it to hopefully last me the rest of the year since now I'm using it up in breads and as a go to snack for Maiyo.

Growing up I hated applesauce, of course I had only ever tried store bought, yuck, and it wasn't until I moved into this house that I made an attempt to try it again. After trying a few different recipes, I found that I'm very particular about how my applesauce is made. I don't like cooking the cores with the apples as I feel it leaves a bitter taste, but I do leave the peels on, I feel that you must use a majority of sweet apples, I like to only add a little water so the apples don't get scorched on the bottom of the pan and I cook the sauce down to make it thicker. Sounds complicated, and it kinda is, but trust me, it's worth the effort!

So here's my applesauce recipe, the end result is a beautiful pure, perfect color, not overly sweet, thick applesauce.

Makes ~8 pints

10 lbs Sweet Organic Apples (Washed, Cored and Sliced*)
     -I use a mix of  Pipin, Red Delicious, Cameo, Pink Lady & Golden Delicious
2 C Water (I use filtered water)

-Wash, core & slice the apples then place in a stock pot.
-Add Water and cook on medium heat, occasionally stirring, until all apples are so tender they mush right up when you spoon them.
-Run apples through a food mill to discard all tough parts (peels, stems, seeds, etc.) *If you do not have a food mill, then peel the apples before you slice them & cook them, once they start to mush up, mash them with a masher.
-Ladel into prepared jars and process for 15 mins or into airtight containers in the refrigerator.
-Processed applesauce will last for 2 years, unprocessed jars will last in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Apple Pie Jam

Ok, I keep meaning to make applesauce, apple butter and apple pie, but I just can't get over this apple pie jam! It's pretty wonderful stuff in a cup and makes making personal sized pies/turnovers a cinch, so I'm making another, bigger batch.

I highly recommend this one because its fall in a jar, and I so love the fall.

Many changes I made are very personal, most of which is the cut down on sugar. I use low-sugar pectin because I like to preserve the flavor of the fruit and this holds even more true for this jam. The original recipe is here at Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen, but you can see the significant changes in my version, and definitely for the better!

Apple Pie Jam
Makes ~52 oz
(recipe can be doubled or tripled)

4 C Crisp Apples (bout 6 depending on size, Peeled & Diced)
~1/2 C Water
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp Low-Sugar Pectin
1 1/4 C Sugar (Divided)
1 C Brown Sugar

-Peel and dice the apples then pack firmly into a 2 cup measure.
-Add water in between all the apple pieces to fill to 2 cups, repeat (or use a 4 cup measure)
-Put the apples, water, lemon juice and spices in pot.
-Mix 1/4 C Sugar with Pectin and add to fruit, stirring until well combined.
-Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.
-Add both remaining sugars, stir well and bring back up to a full rolling boil for EXACTLY one minute while constantly stirring.
-Then turn on low and ladle into sterilized jars, cover and process for 10 mins.
-Enjoy on toast, as a turnover or hand pie, mixed with yogurt & granola, in oatmeal or on your pancakes!

Sunday Baker Challenge

We'll as most of you know I had my son 16 months ago. I gained 40 pounds when I was pregnant with him and I've only been able to drop 1/2 the weight since then, not that I've really tried...

Well it's time to finally hunker down and get back into shape! I was 168 lbs when I got pregnant, a little on the high side even though I was super fit and at the end of a 23 race cyclocross season. I've always been on the big side, only once did I get 'really skinny' when I was running I got down to 135, but that was far too skinny for me. My ideal weight is around 145-150 but my goal this year is 155. That means at 184.8 this morning I have 30 pounds to loose!

To keep motivated with the training, I'm gonna try and take the Sunday Baker Challenge. Sunday Baker is a food blog I follow and get inspiration from, and I thought it'd be nice to have other ladies to motivate me. I'm terrible with journals, keeping track, and staying motivated, so lets see how this works.

I'm not on a diet or running any resolutions (I hate resolutions!) but I do want to race cyclocross next season so I need to get this weight down. Any encouragement and support is welcome!

Here's my before side & front shots:

Waist: 38 Hips: 43 Weight: 184.8

Today's first challenge: walk 30 mins & drink 8 glasses of water. No Problem!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Trail Mix

This Christmas I'm giving away homemade gift baskets. One of the yummies I plan to include is my Trail Mix that all my friends absolutely love! Making your own mix is economical and you get more control over what you add. Best thing though is that there is no cooking, roasting, or baking needed, as all I do is combine a bunch of items I love and voila, Trail Mix!

Mix all your favorites then pour them into pint jars and add a little fabric square for the finished effect and there you go!

Trail Mix
Makes ~6 cups

2 C Granola of your Choice
1/2 C Sesame Sticks

1/4 C Each of the Following:
  Hazelnuts (Chopped)
  Pistachios (Shelled & Halved)
  Pumpkin Seeds
  Sunflower Seeds
  Banana Chips
  Dried Cranberries
  Dried Mango
  Dried Pineapple
  Dried Golden Raisins
  White Chocolate Chips
  Milk Chocolate Chips

-Chop up all Dried Fruit & Banana Chips into 1/3 inch pieces.
-Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Will keep for about 2 weeks.
-For Gluten Free, Omit Sesame Sticks and make sure Granola is GF!

(total cost for my last batch, which was 1.5 times this recipes, was only $7!!!)