Furloughed: Adventures in Homemaking (Part 2)

[Click here to read Part One]

As I described in Part 1 of this series, I have had a lot of time on my hands lately as a furloughed federal government employee. Since Josh and I both work for the government, we have no income until Congress deems it appropriate to re-open the government. So as we rolled on into week 2 of the government shutdown, it started settling in that we might be out of work for awhile. Though the House passed a bill reinstating back pay for feds, it is unclear when it will pass through the Senate and when that money will show up. 

Thus, I've become quite creative with activities that require little to no money spent.

Furlough Day 8:

Banana Walnut Pancakes and Race Bib Wall Display

We woke up around 11 AM yesterday (I know, tough life) and instead of pouring a usual gigantic bowl of cereal I decided to make pancakes. This dish is one of the few that I always cook instead of Josh, and I love trying out new recipes and ingredients. I've made many iterations of "healthy" banana nut pancakes, but yesterday I craved the real deal. So I browsed allrecipes.com and found a highly rated recipe that looked like a winner.

Banana Walnut Pancakes

Click here for allrecipes.com recipe

Makes 6 servings
(really, 2-3 large servings. I got about 10 medium sized pancakes out of this recipe)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1. Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil and bananas.
2. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.
3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot.

These turned out DELICIOUS. I only used about 1 1/3 bananas since some reviews said that 2 bananas made the pancakes too mushy. I also threw in the remainder of a bag of walnuts that I had, though I wish I had more on hand. This will definitely be a go-to pancake recipe for me in the future.
Race Bib Wall Display
After demolishing the pancakes, I decided to take advantage of another day off by tackling a project I've been meaning to do for years. I've saved every single race bib and medal for the past 5 years, and so far they have sat in a folder and a shoebox in my room. Now that we have a home office that doubles as my "clothes room," I decided to decorate an empty white wall with my running accomplishments. 
The display came out great, and only took a couple hours and a few dollars to make: 
The first thing I did was make a trip to A.C. Moore, where I felt like a fish out of water but ended up purchasing the following items:
  • Brown postal wrapping paper:  $2.49
  • 3 rolls double sided tape:  $5.49
  • Thumbtacks:  $1.49
  • Big "wooden" letters (R,U,N):  $2.99 at 40% off = $1.79 each
Total Price:  $13.35
I originally wanted to use cork board but it would have been about $24 to buy the amount I needed for the display. In the spirit of the shutdown, I went with the postal wrap which was considerably cheaper at $2.49.

The process was quite simple. I hung the RUN letter with old poster putty that I still had from college (yes, I graduated in 2009.) For the bib display, All I did was unroll the postal wrap, layout my bibs chronologically, then line the back of each bib with double-sided tape and place accordingly. I cut the postal wrap AFTER the bibs were taped so it would be sized appropriately. Then I hung the whole display on the wall with thumbtacks and poster putty. As you can see, I've left room for a few more races to come! 
Afterwards, I was inspired to display my medals as well, and realized I had been underutilizing the potential of my glass-topped desk. The desk just so happens to sit right beneath my new wall display, so I gathered my medals and arranged them inside the desk, also in chronological order.

Here's what the final result looks like: 
Hope this post inspires others to proudly display their running accomplishments!

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