When we started this blog 'a life made simple' way back in 201, I was planning for it to be about the where, what, whys and hows of what we thought was a simple life. I have to say that over the years, as we have travelled during the winters and worked steady through the summer months, I have really wondered where the 'simple' fit in.
And now more then ever I am wondering about where the 'simple' fits in. I've been thinking about that as a blog post for a few weeks but tonight isn't the night - it will have to wait.
Along those lines, however was that the 'simple' back then was really to be more about living frugally. Our lifestyle requires us to be frugal. Being frugal is actually not so simple but it is the one things I hope we can hold on to as we go forward leading a more stable life - now that we won't be traveling south for the winter.
For us, and many others - to be frugal means to be conscious about where our money is spent and finding ways to make do without something or to be creative about procuring it. For me, one of my favourite things to decrease our spending, while at the same time increase the quality of the products we consume, is to make things myself.
For years now I have been making our toothpaste for instance. I admit to not doing that while on the road - which is why I often question how simple the road life is. As many of you can attest to - there are many things that are much simpler when living in a house then on the road.
Last week I tackled something else that I've been wanting to make homemade for some time.
Almond and coconut milk.
I did make almond milk once a couple of years ago and loved the result. The other day when I took my first sip of my first batch I wondered why I haven't continued.
Learning a few weeks ago that commercial almond milk is only about 2% almonds I decided to once again make our own.
By the way - last week we picked up this fancy new blender for me. I'm the kind of gal who likes domestic gifts. I've been putting smoothies out for years with a little itty bitty single serve blender from Walmart. I knew I needed a new blender so did some research. I decided if we were going to invest we may as well go all the way.
The Ninja Ultima turned out to be the one I chose. Imagine my excitement when it went on sale at Canadian Tire a few weeks ago - down to $139 from $249!
Not the most exciting photos but hey - it's a pretty easy process. The almonds have to be soaked overnight which is one of the best things about making the milk yourself because it sprouts the almonds. I used Wellness Mama's recipe which you can find here.
Here's my Ninja in action - it's powerful so it's loud. No doing this while someone is napping!
Without cheesecloth I used a tea towel for straining. As the recipe mentioned, I then put the almonds on a cookie sheet, dried them and put them back in the Ninja.
Amazingly good and really a pretty easy process - well worth the effort. With that I moved on a few days later to Coconut Milk - which is beyond amazing. We are particular fans of Trader Joe's Coconut Milk but this even beats that!
I have to say that I haven't worked out the cost - so I'm not sure if we are saving money by doing this. All the articles I've read say that it is cheaper to make your own even with the high price of almonds.
I also wanted to share with you are newest find that we are now quite addicted to - Organic Fair Soda Syrups. I do want to get into making our own sodas also but these are doing quite well in the mean time. The soda syrup is generally essences, herbs and spices - which we add to soda water.
If you are wondering how the campground here at Fintry has been going it's been great. Well, of course there are those things that aren't so great that come with the territory but all in all we are having a super season so far.
We've been full on the weekends with still fairly quiet weekdays. That's about to change with the end of school and start of summer vacations this week. We expect to full or almost full most nights from this weekend until the September long weekend.
Our flower, vegetable and fruit gardens are also doing great - I'll take some pictures soon.