This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Roasted Chickpeas

December 21st, 2013

Last night we went to a holiday party.  We were supposed to take a snack of some sort.  Knowing there’d be the usual snack items already there, I decided to make roasted chickpeas. Mine were dried beans that I soaked overnight then cooked. I tossed them with coconut oil and roasted them in a 400 oven for about 40 minutes (or until most of them are crispy). I then removed them from the oven, poured them in a bowl and tossed them with ghee, honey and various spices like smoked paprika and cinnamon. Back into the oven they went for 5-10 minutes. They should all end up crispy and delicious, a little like pretzels.
Roasted Chickpeas
Sometimes I also love to add smoke chipotle to add some nice heat, but usually avoid that when I’m taking them elsewhere as most folks don’t enjoy that level of spiciness. One of these days I’m going to add mustard powder instead of paprika because I think honey mustard ones would be heavenly!

What crazy snack foods are you taking to holiday parties?

Friday Favorite: Great Companies

December 20th, 2013

I love doing business with great companies, the kind you know you can expect service from in the future should a product be defective or wear out before it should.  L.L. Bean is one of those companies.  I purchased these lovely knee high shearling lined boots about a year ago.  I wore them for a few months and then they were retired for the summer.
das boots 3
When I went to put them on yesterday the zipper broke – ACK.  I contacted L.L. Bean and they’re going to send me a new pair – YAY.
das boots 2
This is why I purchased these boots instead of other options out there. My parents have been buying from this L.L. Bean since I was a little kid and they’ve always stood behind their products.

Do you have any great companies that you love doing business with?

It Snowed….

December 19th, 2013

We’ve had a good deal of snow this week, Mr Chiots and I are happy.  We love winter and we LOVE the snow.  The snow makes everything lighter and brighter, it inspires me to grab my camera and head outside, inspiration to take pictures has been lacking around here lately.  Here are some lovely images from our sunny snowy afternoon yesterday.
Snowing 1
Snowing 2
Snowing 3
Snowing 4
Over the past week we’ve received 16″-18″ of snow!  Of course the snow brings with it much work, but it’s work we’re thankful for. Sometimes in the winter you need a little extra motivation to get outside and get moving. Plowing and shoveling are good for the body.

What inspires you to get outside this time of year?


December 18th, 2013

I must admit, I’m not a fan of carpet. Back in Ohio, we had managed to remove every last scrap of carpet from our house and replaced it with hardwood. It was perfect, easy to clean and it could be mopped.  It was nice to know that all the dirt was gone after a day of cleaning. Carpet gives me the heeby jeebies, I just don’t like that I can’t mop the floor every week. Add chickens into the mix and it really grosses me out. I know I’m always stepping in chicken poop outside, we try to take off our shoes before we come in, but sometimes it’s just not possible. This carpet is right inside the front door.
Cleaning the Carpet 3
Thankfully, I have an old carpet cleaner my mom gave me. It’s old, but it works really well still. I used this thing to clean the carpets at our old house and here I am using it again. I’m certainly glad I didn’t get rid of it when we ripped out all the carpet.
Cleaning the Carpet 1
As you can see, the carpet was far from clean – YUCK. At least some of the dirt will be gone after this cleaning.  I’m using the carpet cleaning mix from The Naturally Clean Home. The recipe is as follows:
Heavy Duty Carpet Cleaner
3/4 cup of very hot water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (omit for dark colored carpet)
1 Tablespoon of liquid castile soap
1 Tablespoon of citric acid powder (I used borax instead)
Combine all ingredients in mason jar. Blend well, pour into your steam cleaner and clean the carpet.
Cleaning the Carpet 2
I’m still debating ripping it out and simply painting the subfloor for a few years, but the resident aged chiots doesn’t like hard flooring surfaces much anymore. This carpeted room is her safety zone where she has great traction. We’re still debating, I certainly can’t wait for the carpet to be gone!

Do you love or hate carpet?

Baby Lobster, do, do, do, do

December 17th, 2013

I made a tiny crocheted wool lobster last week, it’s a gift. Someone asked me to make it for them so they could gift it to a family member. It turned out rather nicely for my first amigurumi project.
Tiny Lobster
It’s only about 3 inches long, and is so, so cute. I posted it on my facebook page and now I have orders for four more. They’d make cute Christmas ornaments for sure. I rather enjoyed making this little guy, I hope to get more into amigurimi crochet in the future. Another cottage industry might be born.

Do you ever sell any of your handicrafts?

(in case anyone is interested in the pattern you can find it here)


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.