DIY Pet Feeder

When we visited my sister for Christmas, we planned to be away for two nights. We knew our bunny would be ok – he had plenty of food, two water bottles, a large cage, and he was in a shady spot even though the weather wasn’t predicted to get too hot. But it would be the first time we had left our kitty.

He is arguably the most perfect cat ever. I may be biased… He is very affectionate, playful, and well behaved. He is allowed outside, but he is always inside at night, and whenever we are out. We knew he would be ok shut inside for that time. But not sure how he would go if someone came in to feed him. Pretty sure he would race to escape outside for a play in the sun, which would be hard work trying to coerce him back inside.

In the end we were only away one night. Of course, if we were expecting to be away longer we would have arranged for a friend or neighbour to drop in. We are lucky to have helpful people around us!

So I looked for options for a DIY cat feeder.

I found two that looked easy enough to make: one from This Big Happy, and one from The Owner Builder Network (pin doesn’t take you to a link/instructions unfortunately, but it seems easy enough to follow the photos).

I went with the first one because it looked a bit more stable.

DIY pet feeder sawitdidit.wordpress.com

I collected my supplies:

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One empty, clean plastic bottle.

One plastic tray or flat container.

Knife or scissors.

Hot glue gun (not shown)

Cut the bottom off the bottle, then cut out a wedge. This is where the pet food will trickle out. I find it easier to cut around plastic using a serrated knife, however I used scissors to cut the wedge.

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Glue the bottle to your tray using a hot glue gun. Be careful! It’s hot! It’s a bit hard to see the opening in this photo, but it’s there!

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DIY Pet feeder 1

And you’re done! I used a funnel to get the cat food in the top of the bottle. I put more than enough food to cover the two days we expected to be away. Most of it was eaten by the time we got home.

DIY pet feeder

He seemed to be a bit frustrated getting to the food still in the bottle. But it worked perfectly well, and I’m glad we gave it a go. Thanks Meg and family for sharing how you made your cat feeder!

What ingenious methods have you used to keep your pets fed and watered while you are away?

And, just because I can, here’s a photo of our beautiful kitty the day we brought him home from the Animal Welfare League in June 2015 xx

New kitty

Linking up with:

Coombe Mill – Trash 2 Treasure, To Simply Inspire – The Mommy Club, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen – Share Your Cup, The Crafty Wife – Wednesday Roundup, Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesday, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, Wondermom Wannabe – This is How we Roll, Average But Inspired – The DIY Collective, Too Much Time on My Hands – The Handmade Hangout, Love Bakes Good Cakes – Freedom Fridays, The Pin Junkie, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters, Shoestring Elegance – What to do Weekends, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Feature, Tatertots and Jello – Link Party Palooza, Domestic Superhero – Pinworthy Projects, Strawberry Butterscotch – Saturday Shuffle, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend, The Interior Frugalista – DIY Sunday Showcase, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best, Thoughts From Alice – Sundays at Home, My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies – Snickerdoodle Sunday, Plucky’s Second Thought – Cooking and Crafting With J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire Me Monday, I Should be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday, The Foley Fam – Sunday Funday, Pastels and Macarons – The Creative Corner, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Lou Lou Girls, Merry About Town – Monday Funday, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at Our Home, Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, Tip Junkie, A Peek Into My Paradise – Turn it up Tuesdays, The Dedicated House – Make it Pretty Monday, Cedar Hill Farmhouse – The Scoop, The DIY Dreamer – From Dream to Reality, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Wonderful Wednesday, The Crafty Wife – Wednesday Roundup, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesdays, To Simply Inspire – The Mommy Club, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen – Share Your Cup, Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, Wondermom Wannabe – This is How We Roll, A Tray of Bliss – Five Star Frou Frou, Table and Hearth – DIY Like a Boss, Average But Inspired – The DIY Collective,

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Microwave Fudge

Fudge. Everybody loves fudge, don’t they? If you don’t, I won’t be offended if you move on to the next post….lol

Soft, delicious, rich, decadent. No wonder it’s so popular!

I first tried making fudge in the microwave a few years ago. For Christmas. It was very well received! But the recipe that I used required liquid glucose, which I had no trouble finding in the supermarket, and it’s not particularly expensive…it’s just so very sticky and I don’t like working with it.

So when I saw Fast Ed making it on a Better Homes and Gardens program I quickly jotted down the recipe. He didn’t use glucose! In the interests of having a site for you to reference, I searched and searched until I found his recipe online. You can also find it on my Yum! Pinterest board 🙂

Here is Fast Ed’s Microwave Fudge recipe:

  • 395g sweetened condensed milk
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp golden syrup
  • 180g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla paste

1 Combine the sweetened condensed milk, butter, sugar and syrup in a microwave-proof bowl and cook on medium-high power for 7 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.

2 Mix in the chocolate and vanilla and stir until combined, then beat well until glossy. Spoon into a lined 17cm x 27cm slice pan and flatten. Set aside to cool, then cover with cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour until firm. Cut into 36 pieces.

It is important that you use butter when making this recipe. Margarine won’t work. I use the generic brand, and have had no issues.

It’s also important to use a glass bowl or jug. Plastic won’t cut it. I treated myself to a large Pyrex bowl specifically for fudge making. Of course, I can use it for other microwave dishes as well!

I had almost no brown sugar when I started making my first batch, so I topped it up with white sugar. The second batch I only had white sugar. Both still turned out perfectly well.

I always have golden syrup in my cupboard….until I needed it for this. I was considering substituting Maple Syrup, but chose honey instead.

If you have a 200g block of chocolate, use the whole lot (minus a square or two for quality control!). Don’t get precious about it.

Make sure the boiling sugar and butter mix has stopped bubbling before you add the chocolate. It only takes a minute or two. Otherwise you risk burning or seizing it, which makes it go grainy and look yuck. Still tastes good, though.

And if for some reason your fudge doesn’t set, don’t throw it out. Package it up and present it as topping for your ice-cream!

You can add flavourings to your fudge. I made craisin (dried cranberries) and chopped nuts with milk chocolate for my first batch, and Cointreau dark chocolate for the second.

Microwave fudge

The craisins and chopped nuts were about 1/2 cup in total. You can add whatever you think is a good combination. Coconut, dried fruit, chopped marshmallows, crushed biscuits…. You could also press the dry toppings on top of the fudge instead of mixing them through. Mimi does a delicious one with crushed ANZAC biscuits on top 🙂

For the Cointreau I poured in a good splosh at the end. That’s a very technical term. It’s similar to a splash, but better. Again, you can choose whichever liquor you prefer. As this adds to the liquid content of the recipe, it doesn’t set quite so hard. You could compensate by reducing the golden syrup…or just let it be.

When set, cut into whatever size pieces you like. I know Ed says it makes 36 pieces, I’m sure I got more by making them a bit smaller. Whatever you are happy with.

Here I am preparing the fudge and homemade marshmallows for packaging:

Microwave fudge . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

In the top right of this photo you can also see a sneak peak of the jars of Nuts and Bolts – I thought I didn’t have one!

I used plastic chinese containers left over from a party to present the gifts. I topped them simply with a fabric flower. I have to thank Mimi for giving me that idea … and the website to source the flowers at a very good price !

I layered the treats between squares of baking paper to stop them sticking together.

Christmas packages of fudge and marshmallow sawitdidit.wordpress.com

A very sweet treat indeed!

Linking up with:

To Simply Inspire – The Mommy Club, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen – Share Your Cup, The Crafty Wife – Wednesday Roundup, Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesday, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursday, Wondermom Wannabe – This is How we Roll, Too Much Time on my Hands – The Handmade Hangout, Love Bakes Good Cakes – Freedom Fridays, The Pin Junkie, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters, Shoestring Elegance – What to do Weekends, Tatertots and Jello – Link Party Palooza, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, Domestic Superhero – Pinworthy Projects, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Wonderful Wednesday, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend, Strawberry Butterscotch – Saturday Shuffle, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best, The Interior Frugalista – DIY Sunday Showcase, Thoughts From Alice – Sundays at Home, My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies – Snickerdoodle Sunday, The Foley Fam – Sunday Funday, Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire Me Monday, I Should Be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday, Plucky’s Second Thought – Cooking and Crafting With J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Pastels and Macarons – Creative Corner, Merry About Town – Monday Funday, Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, Cedar Hill Farm House – The Scoop, The Tip Junkie, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Lou Lou Girls, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at our Home,The Dedicated House – Make it Pretty Monday, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Wonderful Wednesday, The DIY Dreamer – From Dream to Reality, The Life of Jennifer Dawn – A Little Bird Told Me, That Recipe – Tasty Tuesdays, A Tray of Bliss – Five Star Frou Frou,

Our Aussie Bush Christmas

This year we celebrated Christmas in the picturesque Hunter Valley with my sister and her family. My parents, my brother and his family also came, which made 15 around the table! I have another sister, but she lives in Hong Kong so wasn’t with us this year.

We love having a ‘Ros’ Christmas, because food is her thing. We all do a great job at Christmas, of course, but she is a bit more used to feeding the hungry hoards. And if you are ever in this part of New South Wales, I recommend visiting Mojo’s: the restaurant, the Deli, or grabbing one of Ros’ picnic hampers. No, I wasn’t paid to say that! But she is my sister so I am allowed 😉

Anyway, because I love Christmas so much, I am going to share our Aussie bush Christmas celebration with you all… Prepare for photo overload!

We arrived first, so were able to lend a hand setting up. Here’s the simple but tasteful table:

Aussie bush Christmas 6

Bunting adorned the rafters

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There’s been a lot of rain lately, so it was very green and lush

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Love these rustic Santas decorating the tables

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Saffy didn’t want to miss out on the celebrations 🙂

Aussie Christmas 2

Mosquito coils are a necessity in this weather

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I contributed a baked camembert for the before-lunch nibblies

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I also made Nuts and Bolts, and there were plenty of dips and chips as well.

Nuts and Bolts sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Present time before the meal – no-one can wait any longer!

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Our entrée was DIY smoked salmon bruschetta

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Main course was traditional baked ham, turkey, and potato bake, along with a couple of fresh salads. There was plenty of wine, juice and soft drink to wash it all down.

Aussie Christmas 4

We were all very full after these two courses, so everyone took some time away from the table. Checkers was a popular pastime

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Later, everyone joined in a game of cricket, including the dogs and the horse. A gentle stroll was required to reach the pitch

Aussie bush Christmas 13

Aussie bush Christmas 16

Aussie bush Christmas 17

Fresh watermelon was most welcome in the hot afternoon sun

Aussie bush Christmas 14

and Saffy appreciated the watermelon rind

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Thongs and flies, synonymous with an Australian summer!

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Exhausted from all the cricket, we returned to the house

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‘Dinner’ was dessert – Christmas pudding (and custard), trifle, gingerbread, nougat and shortbread. Plenty of fruit was brought out as well. This confused the kids no end, but they managed! It was nearly 7pm by this stage!

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Ros’ famous Christmas pudding

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Two camp sites had been set up to cater for all the extra bodies. Thankfully, it wasn’t too hot so the campers were quite comfortable.

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Aussie Christmas 3

We enjoyed each others’ company as the sun went down

Aussie Christmas 1

We had a lazy start to Boxing Day, but were treated to a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, Christmas ham, bacon, roasted tomatoes and toast. Yum!

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A generous local friend had offered the use of her pool, so off we went after breakfast. How’s this for a pool with a view?

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More culinary treats were on the menu, including mum’s smoked salmon puffs

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There were plenty of shenanigans in the pool

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Back to the house and some leftovers for lunch, before packing. A storm was approaching so we had decided to head home rather than camping another night. We were sorry to be leaving a little earlier than originally planned, but we will all catch up again before the school holidays are over.

After all that fun, no-one can blame a boy for falling asleep shortly after we begin the drive home!

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So that’s our Aussie bush Christmas. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas as much as we enjoyed ours!

Linking up with:

A Tray of Bliss – Five Star Frou Frou, Love Bakes Good Cakes – Freedom Fridays, Shoestring Elegance – What to do Weekends, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Too Much Time on my Hands – The Handmade Hangout, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen – Share Your Cup, Crafty Wife – Wednesday Roundup, Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesdays, The Life of Jennifer Dawn – A Little Bird Told Me, Merry About Town – Monday Funday, The Interior Frugalista – DIY Sunday Showcase, Thoughts From Alice – Sundays at Home, Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire me Monday, I Should be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday, Pastels and Macarons – The Creative Corner, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Julie’s Lifestyle – Cooking and Crafting With J&J, Raising Fairies and Knights – Bloggers Spotlight, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Lou Lou Girls, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at Our Home, Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, Tip Junkie – Tip Me Tuesday, The Dedicated House – Make it Pretty Monday, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, A Tray of Bliss – Five Star Frou Frou