How to get a stuck bundt cake out of the pan

With the holidays coming up (fast), some of us will be retreating into the kitchen to bake goodies for presents or for entertaining. I admit, this is the only time of year I even LOOK at my bundt cake pan. And yes, I have had the stuck cake in the pan experience. I only wish I had known these tricks, I could have saved those hapless cakes 🙂



Charitable giving

With all of the weather catastrophes – floods, fires, droughts – not to mention our issues with the environment, human and animal rights, and of course, politics – we are inundated with pleas for money.  Before you shell out your hard earned cash, please do some research to be sure you are not sending money to organizations that do not manage their money well, or worse – scammers!

Start with:

You can also, do good with your money while spending it on something you might already be buying – if you shop on for example, they have the Smile program. You can designate where a % of your purchase amount will go, and everytime you shop at amazon – if you go to their special URL – it looks exactly like regular amazon with access to all the same features, the only difference is that it is tallying your purchase and then Amazon gives that % amount to your chosen group.

There are shopping portals that do similar things. You have to sign up and designate your charity (they have a list, and if your favorite isn’t on the list – there’s a way to notify them and they can be included, provided they are a legitimate charity). Some of those portals are and  

These are just a small sample of what is probably out there. Living smaller doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit in a cave…having a smaller carbon footprint, smaller debts, and smaller expenses means you can afford to be generous and to do more good in the world.

Hope you are safe and dry and have enough of everything you need, wherever you are.

Cheers, Natalia


We were nominated for the Liebster Award!


This is very exciting for me, and I am sending my heartfelt thanks to Sam in Yorkshire, England ( for nominating the Zen of Living Smaller for this wonderful award! The Liebster Award is something of a chain letter, in that it encourages you to nominate 5 to 10 other blogs and they do the same and onward  – extending the number of new readers to a blog and opening new horizons for many more folks. Cool concept!

There are a set of rules, once you are nominated – and I will do my best to adhere to them (you can find them at:  ).

So here’s my answer to #3 on the list of rules:  I have a love for sustainability and living smaller (mostly because I started out poor; clawed my way to middle class; accumulated a ton of stuff; lost it all; did it over again – twice more; and finally figured out that “Less is more”) – my fave blogs are all about living smaller (e.g.;; and, but I have a rather ecclectic (so I’ve been told) list of beloved blogs  – some science, some philosophy, lots of authors. Mostly, if the blog is about being a responsible human, I will probably like it.

#4 is to provide 10 random facts about me, here goes:

  1. I’ve been in technology since 1976 – starting in key punch cards and Microfiche and ending with a web start up company (with tech support and application development sprinkled through out the years and positions).
  2. I am a rescue pet owner – currently one 130 pound dog (Logan); two cats (Mister & Claudia); and three tortoises (Kili, Merri & Pippin).
  3. I’ve had pets all my life.  And they have been of all kinds – fish, birds, turtles, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, lizards, amphibians, snake, rabbit – as well as the standard dogs and cats.
  4. I was a licensed foster parent for a few years.
  5. I enjoy practical jokes as long as no one gets hurt.
  6. I don’t like surprises.
  7. I am an introvert and after being around people, I really need to hideout in my inner sanctum and read or play sim games until I can deal with humans again.
  8. I love sci-fi and fantasy; mythology and archeology.
  9. I read voraciously (check me out on Goodreads, if you don’t believe me – I set my reading goal for 2017 at 150 books and by June I passed it – I am at 169 books read so far this year).
  10. I have a wonderful, patient and supportive hubby (Bill) – who is amazing.

Okay now it is my turn to nominate some blogs, and please know that I personally find these to be interesting or entertaining and sometimes both:

  1. Just want to stay home
  2. Reclaiming my time
  3. WWWJust a girl kindleing
  4. Travelling through words
  5. Thrifty Campers
  6. Northier than thou
  7. Ranter

Well, that’s about it – I need to go inform these blogs that I’ve nominated them and also get some of my regular stuff up for the rest of the week.

Cheers! Natalia