Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Health Nut Granola Bars

A few months ago one of my best friends shared a recipe on her blog for some delicious granola bars.  I have made made them a few times since she originally posted it and each recipe has had something different.  That's the beauty of a good granola bar recipe, you can throw in whatever you feel like and it typically turns out good.  Here is the link to Rebecca's blog "From the Pants to the Hat".  The recipe I will be sharing today is more on the organic, grains and nuts variety.  I recommend both, this is just what I made today for us :)


2 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. pumpkin seeds
1/4 c. craisins
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
1/4 c. raw whole almonds
3 T pulverized chia seeds
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. honey
1/2 c. coconut oil
2 tsp. real vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and form a well in the middle.  

Measure out the liquid...if you are lazy do it like me in one measuring cup.  Pour into the well in the dry ingredients and mix with hands (i used a sturdy rubber scrapper and it worked well too.)

Spread in a greased 9x13 or 9x9 and bake for 18 min.

Allow the bars to cool for 5min and cut before they cool completely.  
After they have cooled, melt some dark chocolate chips in 10 sec intervals in the microwave. 

Fill a ziplock bag and drizzle on top of the bars.

 I wrap them individually in Saran wrap and put them in a freezer bag.  They keep for a long time when stored in the freezer.  And sorry for forgetting to flip this pic.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Nap Time Notions: Easy Playroom Curtain

This is the first post I'm filing under the the title of Nap Time Notions.  If I ever get around to doing or blogging my other projects, they will most likely be categorized under this title.  The whole point is these are projects you can do during those sacred hours (or hour) of the day where your little joys are down for their naps.  Don't feel badly if it takes two naps to accomplish.  

My playroom is an evolving place.  I someday hope it is as cute as it is functional.  I have several ideas of how to accomplish this goal...we shall see if I ever get around to it.  We have this fabulous window that lets in tons of natural light during the day.  It is way too bright in the mornings, but other than that it has very few flaws.  Out of necessity we had some old dark brown curtains that did not mesh well with my grey walls.  A few weeks ago we finally put up the blinds in here and it was an almost complete transformation.  Those silly brown curtains were still bugging the fire out of me, so I went to my fabric box and remembered I had 15 yards of a grey and neutral chevron that I was going to make into curtains in our old house.  I am sure that these will be out of style sooner than I would like, but thankfully, I'm not too worried about it.

Project:     Playroom Curtains with Unfinished Side Edges
Quantity:  4 Panels
Time:        1 Nap (and some for a mistake)

Step 1:  Measure your length and add 2 inches.

Step 2:  Iron your fabric.  Cut the correct amount.  Fold the cut ends twice and press. 

Step 3:  Hem the top and bottom to give a clean look.

Step 4:  Don't even touch the sides because the selvage edge is already finished for you. (this is if you are using a heavier fabric like duck) 

Step 5:  Gather the curtain in equidistant places along the top of the panel and clip with your curtain rings.

Step 6:  Hang up.

Step 7:  Notice where you got in a hurry and cut one panel about a foot too short.

Step 8:  The kids are up so you will fix it when they go to bed.

Happy Crafting

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Time I Needed Ricotta...

I had it set in my mind that I was going to make this pasta dish that my sister had mentioned.  I thought I had everything, which ususally means I do not and I should check my list again.  After I went to my refrigerator and saw that I was indeed missing a key ingredient of Ricotta, I decided to make some.  When I browsed the world wide web for recipes I came up with a delicious one by the fabulous Barefoot Contessa.  However, there were a few problems: 1) I needed heavy cream...didn't have it.  2) needed white wine vinegar...didn't have it.  Therefore I moved on to finding a recipe with only three ingredients that I did have: Whole Milk, Salt and Lemon.

Thus I was able to conjure this one up.  

3c Whole Milk
2T Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp salt

This is my new favorite milk.  It is from our farmer's market and it is low temp. pasteurized.  So it's as close to Raw milk as I will get with a ten foot pole. (I'm paranoid)

 This next step is key.  Juice the whole lemon, even though I told you you only needed 2T.  This is because when you spill the first measured amount all over the kitchen floor, you will have another dose ready.

Next you heat the milk and salt slowly until it reaches 190 F.  Be sure you stir constantly to avoid the milk scorching.  And keep your aproned belly away from the burner.

Once you reach the desired temp, turn off the heat and pour in the lemon juice.  Stir only 2-3 times and let it sit for 5 min.  After this you pour into a double layer of cheese cloth over a colander into a bowl.  

You can tie it up and let it cool for 30min to 2 hours depending on the consistency you are desiring.

This was my finished product.  I mixed it in with linguini, asparagus, tomatoes and lemon chicken.  I also mashed some blackberries with it for Maggie.  It was yummy!

Also, save the whey and add it to whatever recipe to boost the protein.

I modified this recipe from this blog.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How We Told the World #3's a...

Incase some of you aren't friends with me on facebook or don't follow me on instagram, you might have missed our latest announcement to the world...

We are extremely thrilled by this! (for the record we would have been extremely thrilled with a girl as well)  We have done something a little differently with each child, in regards to discovering the gender. 

With our first we did not find out until he graced us with his presence.  Loved it.  Probably my favorite way to go about this process.

With our second we found out and told the world right after.  My grandad was in the hospital and was on a rapid decline, we were so glad we were able to share that with him.  He passed away before she arrived.  I think I snapped a pic and put something on facebook to announce it, but nothing creative at all.

With our third, we were very tempted to not find out again (seeing as it was my turn to choose) but the prospect of having 3 under 3 and not having the correct clothes in the drawers led this mother to deeply desire to have a little order in out life.  I also hadn't felt like anything had been very special for this baby so I wanted to take a little time and think of some way to tell our families.  We are now spread across the south TN, OK, AR, and TX.  So having a party was out of the question.  So I put on my apron and made some cookies.  

As I was walking through Joann's I found these giant letters and started giggling as I thought of my children holding them.  So into the cart they went.

As a photographer, I feel like in session with children I am constantly reassuring parents that the meltdowns are completely normal.  I can show you proof that I only got one good one.  My dear husband came in from work and snapped these.  All we needed was one, but here are just a few of the outtake that will make the baby book as well.  My personal favorite is the second one.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Good 'ol Fun

Things I love:

1) warm sunny days
2) tutus
3) being pregnant
4) my anthropologie yoga pants that you would think I bought at goodwill because they are so worn out
5) sidewalk chalk
6) bubbles
7) dance parties in the backyard with my kids
8) naturally, my children

Monday, February 25, 2013

Jack and the Neverland Pirates {2 year old Birthday}

For Jack's 2nd birthday, I took a cue from his very most favorite tv show, "Jake and the Neverland Pirates", and turned our home into the Jolly Roger.  

Being a Photographer, I have learned the hard way that if you want to enjoy and remember your children's special parties you need to hand the camera over.  I am soooooooo thankful that my friend Kim Boyd (zoë wedding art) for coming over and spending her day doing what I wouldn't have done.  So I encourage all you moms to hire someone, it's worth every penny to not have to worry about it!

I wish I had taken a picture of the invites (Target) and the RSVP insert (zoë photographic group: design by annie), because the were stinking adorable!!!  

The Dessert Table.

The RSVP card had a place for each child's shirt size.  I painted and customized them so when the kiddos were doing crafts their own clothes wouldn't be at risk.  It also came with an eye patch.

The guest book was a painting my mom did of Bucky, from Jack and the Neverland Pirates.  I had flesh-colored paints and they put a thumbprint and signed their name above.  I went back later and drew on faces.

The front of our house was the front of the boat.

Each child got a mustache, if desired, a tattoo.

This was the sword decorating station.  My wonderful sister helped by cutting out the swords from cardboard.  Such a simple and wonderful craft.   

The next station was the "Skull and Bones Stomp" (Jake reference).  I rolled out bubble wrap and let the kids jump like crazy.

Capt. Jack Ingle got to go for a ride.

The back porch was the back of the ship and the dinner setting. 
I didn't want to have to find enough little chairs so I used hay bails and covered them with fabric.

The menu:  Orange Ships on Water.  Sea Dogs.  Cannon Balls.
I am paranoid, so they are Hebrew National Hot Dogs.

He had a chair like Captain Hook.

I tried to find a fake such luck, so I made a slingshot station, which flopped, but was fun to watch the Granpas try to get working. :)  

So instead, I had the kids line up and see who could throw their potato the furthest.

The Capt. enjoying a snack.

Some kiddos collected the treasure.

To finish off the evening, I made the Lost Boys Hideout (Peter Pan reference) where they got to watch an episode of Jake.

Happy Birthday Little Pirate!