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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Homemade Granola

I have been wanting to make homemade granola for a while now because the mixed up boxes at the grocery store, to me, are really overpriced when I’m sure it is so simple to do myself.  After work yesterday I had to run several errands one was grocery shop so I picked up some almonds that I’m using in another recipe (stay tuned) and got an extra bag to whip up some granola. I haven’t tried any yet with my yogurt but just it alone is good so I’m sure it’s going to pair perfectly with my vanilla yogurt. 

4 cups raw oats
1 bag of whole raw almonds
1 tbs cinnamon
1 stick butter
¾ to 1 cup of brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl I measured out my oats

Since I bought the whole almond I took a knife and did a rough chop over them and mixed them in with my oats.

In a smaller bowl or I used a large measuring cup melt butter, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla together.  Once melted pour over oat/nut mixture and mix until all ingredients are coated well

Line a large cookie sheet with foil and spread mixture evenly across.

Bake at 300 for approximately 30 minutes.  I stirred mine occasionally so it wouldn’t clump but if you would like it to clump so you have granola clusters then don’t stir.

Let cool and then store in container!  It’s that easy.

Other things to add: dried fruit and coconut
Instead of butter as your oil base: coconut oil or canola oil
Instead of sugar as your sweetener: maple syrup, honey, or agave
Mix and match and use flavors that you like.  I stayed simple and with what I know would taste good on my first go but I would love to make a coconut version of this using flakes of coconut and also oil.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Favorite Blogs

I have a string of blogs that I can’t wait to see daily posts from.  These women are truly inspirational to me in many different ways from making me want to be a go getter (Emily at The Freckled Fox) to travel in style with baby (Lauren at Aspiring Kennedy) to many others.  Although I don’t grow my blog or try to like many others and over the past year my number of posts have severely decreased due to school and a busy home life but no matter what I love blogging and I think about it daily.  I have several ideas that I want to put out on my blog and then hope to grow from them but either way my blog along with these leading ladies still stay true to themselves.  They, like most women, are all so different but can find a something that is similar in us and that connects me.  Like most people unless you’re a blogger you don’t really understand the “relationships” we form with blogs and then one day the author behind it all. I get ideas and joy from reading these blogs and hopefully you will too.

Click on the names below to see what I'm talking about!!!!  Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lubbock Road Trip

Last weekend, May 16-18, Caleb and I drove to Lubbock on a Friday night to attend our cousin, Mia's, graduation.  We arrived around 11:30 and was greeted by a very pregnant Piper.  We stayed at her and Jordan's house and once settled in hit the hay for some much needed rest.  Saturday morning we met up with Mia, Josh, her boyfriend, and a few of her friends at Fuzzy's.  After a light Mexican breakfast we headed over to the arena for the graduation.  The graduation was really something I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't an all day affair it seemed to go by quickly even though it ended up being 3 hours.  After the graduation we headed over to the Tech seal for a few pictures with the graduate and all the family that came out to see her big moment. 

After pictures we headed back to Pipers house to change clothes and head back to the university so Jordan could give Caleb a tour of the school and the football facilities.  He really loved seeing the facilities, he smiled the entire time and was pretty much in awe.  We ate at Spanky's near the school after the tour and then headed to World Market.  I never have been to one before but I found some really good things.  The main thing that I wanted to go in there for was a spice I need to make a Dutch dessert but I also scored some coconut oil, crepe mix, and some Dutch sprinkles for Hendrik.  Before heading back to the house for some quality time with Piper she took us to the Pie Bar.  It is sort of like an ice cream shop but for pies in glasses and it was amazing.

Jac, Levi, and I at graduation

inside football locker room

practice field

me and Caleb at Spanky's

Dutch sprinkles


pie bar

birthday cake pie

After some coffee and adult talk Sunday morning we packed up and were on the road about 11.  We had a great trip and really enjoyed seeing Mia graduate and Piper before baby Jett arrives.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Canton Haul

First Monday of May Canton weekend I raced to Canton to get several items off my home to-do list.  I didn't want to be there all day especially since I was by myself but I had a ton of other things to do that day so off I came and went in a total of about 2 hours total driving there, back, and all.  I got pretty much everything I went for plus an item or two that I just stumbled upon.

My grand haul

two identical butterfly prints for the master bath

fixing for a wreath for the front door

a big P for my gallery wall and bags of fake lemons for kitchen

two of these smaller stars and 1 HUGE one all for the outside front of house

Well in 2 hours and about $260 later I was leaving one happy gal. 

Stay tuned for my wreath DIY coming soon to computers everywhere.

Insta Dump #2

Since my last Insta Dump HERE this what's been going on with my phone and social media!

From left to right top to bottom:
hot bath after moving/ sold my house/ a flat of strawberries/ homemade wreath for out front door/ corn is growing at farm/ gallery wall coming together/ pig thinks she's a cow/ coffee at 4 AM...finals/ date night in Rockwall/ date night with these ladies and their honeys/ veggies for Sunday supper/ at Mia's graduation/ love having boxes delivered/ touring Tech/ future Raider/ gardening progress/ GPS to home/ day of M.E. Road Trip 2014/ beer on beach/ raining on my last day of finals/ at the Wharf

My Garden 2.0

I did my very first garden in 2012, see HERE, and this year I’m doing another….

New gardening space, new method, all a little spur of the moment but I got it all done in one day. It didn't start out as pretty as my first garden since it was a complete spontaneous decision but I believe that my plants are going to be strong and better tasting.  At the end of March / beginning of April, when spring first hit us, I was running errands and had budgeted 80 bucks to spend at Lowe's for potted plants for the front door and well…veggies. I walked out 150 bucks later and had all that plus bird seed and potting soil. I wasn’t able to plant my veggies that weekend but I did get on the ball the following Sunday. I had it all planned out and thought that this was going to be a perfect project that wouldn’t take no time…well Hendrik pretty much had to do my entire project because my so called plans sort of unraveled before my eyes. My tiller wouldn’t start, then the tractor broke but finally he finished up the breaking ground/tilling part and I was able to plant. All Sunday afternoon I worked my fingers bloody and black and got all my little babies in the ground. With a little load of chicken poo that my honey spread for me they are going to shoot up in no time, especially after all the rain we’ve had.

I ended up planting a total of 20 tomato plants, 32 bell peppers, and 10 squash/zucchini. If you refer back to my first garden HERE you will see that I had more of a variety of vegetables like watermelon, cucumbers, jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, bell peppers, squash, okra, and zucchini but seeing what all I used most of and still do when cooking I thought it best to plant less variety but more quantity so I can pack the freezer for later in the year.

Seeing all that was done over a month and half ago several dramatic gardening events have happened.  Two weeks into my planting before my babies got a good start a light frost came and turned every one of my plants brown.  I just knew they were goners but I hung on to a small sliver of hope and just decided to let them hang out and see if MAYBE they would come back.  Well folks about two or three weeks later I drove by the garden on my way to the shop and BAM!  Under the weeds and grass over-growth were ALL my plants thriving.  That weekend I pulled a lot of the grass so I could see my plants better and since have been working every day after work to totally eliminate the grass and weeds.  My tomatoes have cages, my squash have flowered, and my bell peppers are fixing to start producing.

Here is a small update of when I started pulling grass and weeds. I have over half cleaned up NOW and hope to finish the rest this week.

I'm so excited that my garden hung on through my spontaneous decisions, frost, and lack of tending but I've turned it around and look forward to harvesting constantly throughout the summer and into fall. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Beauty Product Must

If you know me then you know I'm not girly girl but I have come to HAVE to one beauty product that is essential. 
Redkin Shampoo and Conditioner…
it doesn’t matter the “type” just the brand is all that counts for me. 
I had never used salon shampoo mainly because I never would give into the fact that it was any different than regular, should I say over the counter, shampoo.  Around 3 years ago I bought my first salon shampoo and it happened to be Redkin and I’ve been a sucker ever since.  Around 8 months ago I ran out of salon shampoo and really didn’t want to spend my un-had funds on expensive shampoo so I decided to go back to over the counter shampoo until I had some extra money or maybe even if I did have extra I wouldn’t be able to tell a difference and it would be no biggie.  Boy was I wrong!  After several uses my already straight and flat hair was even flatter to my head. 
It reminded me of high school when my mom would be me to do something with my hair and would tease me with the old Brady Bunch line….”MARSHA MARSHA MARSHA”.
After several months my hair then felt really dry, brittle and hay like. 
A couple weeks ago I just couldn’t stand the feel of my damaged hair and went to a salon in the town I work to get a trim as a walk in.  I asked her to inspect my hair and make sure it wasn’t damaged because it sure felt like it and she assured me it wasn’t.  The following day I had some appointments in Winnsboro and while I was at the Copper Leaf I snagged back some Redkin shampoo and conditioner. 
I’ve had several washes since and I just love the way my hair feels after. 
It feels lighter, softer, no frizz, more voluminous (for me) and just all around healthier. 
This small test is a true testament to me that salon formulated shampoo beats out over the counter shampoo any day! 

Do ya’ll use salon quality products?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summer Bucket List

This is more of a Spring/Summer bucket list for all the fun things I plan on doing since I hope to have plenty of free time. No Summer school!!! WHHOOO HHHOOO My first summer off in 3 years.  I am really going to enjoy June, July and pretty much all of August.

Before I get into my Summer list here's an updated version of my Winter Bucket List found HERE.

Although I didn't get everything on my winter list accomplished I did mark off quite a few items.

Now for my super fun Spring/Summer List:
  • Plan and have a get together at the house with friends and play volleyball
  • Go to a Rangers Game
  • Sell my house
  • Go on a girls trip
  • Ride my bicycle frequently
  • Plant a garden
  • Finish school with a bang
  • Plan a Fall trip
  • Attend my 2nd Hyrdo Stream shoot out with Hendrik and our couple friends
  • Wash my car weekly
  • Go on dates to winery and new restaurants
  • Start new blog series (in progress)
  • Surf and soak up the sun and water at the lake
  • Get my tan on in my lounge chairs in the back yard
  • Go to Canton
  • Get more blogging done since Hendrik is working late hours and I'm not in school
  • Do more DIY
  • Have pictures taken in the corn before harvest
  • Relax, unwind and enjoy every minute of free time and sunshine
Well there you go!  Those are a few of my major things I'm planning on doing this summer and stay tuned for even more goodness coming your way in the next few months!

Valentines DIY

Yes you read that right...Valentines DIY from over 3 months ago....what can I say I've been super busy.

Over at A Clueless Girl's Guide, Kaelah Bee is always making the cutest signs out of a wood and I thought that since it was decorative and not too hard I’d give it a go and make Hendrik a sentimental V-Day DIY plaque to put in the bedroom. WELL, I was wrong.  Below are my best efforts but my handwriting is too terrible to look girly and cute, my paint brush was too fat making my letters fat and ugly and it just all together didn’t turn out like I had envisioned.

Lesson learned: I may be creative in a decorating and crafting sense but when it comes to handwriting/drawing creativity I’m severely lacking in that department. LOL

I should have saved myself the trouble and just ordered one. Now my not so cute stump  sign is drying out in the top of the closet since I’m too ashamed to have it hung on the wall or on display at all.

If you are the crafty/drawing creative type this would be a great gift for many occasions for that rustic yet homey someone and I'm sure it will turn out way cuter than my above fail!

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