Wednesday, March 31

Granola Bars. Chewy, oh so yummy goodness.

A few weeks ago the husband saw Fresh! (the "sequel" to Food, Inc.) and came home with the declaration that our house should be completely pre-packaged boxed goods free from now on.  We've already gone the route of abstaining from buying any bread product (well, other than fresh tortillas, I must draw the line somewhere!), and we keep the house primarily organic and buy local where we can. Even though as it is we barely buy processed goods, making all our breads/muffins/pitas/pizza's AND everything else like practically ALL our snack foods, well, that's going to take a bit more effort and planning on my part. But, hey, I'm up to the challenge. It really does cut down on waste product for the environment, and is definitely healthier for the family, so here we go.

Anywho, all that to say, I was going a little nusto without my prior staple FiberOne Bars.  Luckily a few FB friends posted about this granola bar recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  Thank you God.  They are absolutely delicious!  Thick and chewy, hearty, and totally customizable to your taste preference.  I'm going to make ten batches and freeze a bunch.  The hardest part is waiting for the pan to cool so you can cut into them.  Then, of course, having to keep your hands off them so they last more than a day..

The best granola bar recipe I have ever tried.  Do it, make these if you haven't already! 

Here was my favorite customization:
For the 2-3 cups dried fruit and nuts I used-
  • 1/4c roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4c pecans, unsalted (I chopped these a bit)
  • 1/4c walnuts, raw (I chopped these a bit)
  • 1/4c flax seeds
  • 1/2c dried cranberries
  • 1/2c shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/2c dark chocolate chips
And then for the liquids, I used-
  • coconut oil instead of the butter
  • 2T. honey
  • 1t. vanilla
I put in the rolled oat, oat flour, salt, cinnamon, and water as specified, used only 1/2c of the sugar, and I added 1/4c of roasted almond butter.

Tuesday, March 30

What we do for an IPOD.

(Photo taken from the Apple site)

The hubs signed on to participate in the "biggest loser" competition among the teachers at his school. To win an IPOD.  I fattened him up the best I could over the weekend, and we made sure to add in a few DQ Blizzard runs as well to increase his chances of a high initial weigh in, lol. He is all business about this IPOD, um, I mean, lowering his BMI..  Yeah, no, truthfully, it really is all about the IPOD.  But you have to realize, we are those people who live under rocks. Dark ages here. We don't have "I"-anythings, or even knock off somewhat related to "I" things.  So this is a big deal here people.

In honor of his first week of the competition, husband has requested salads. He did not specify that it had to specifically be leaves, so here's what he getting.

The menu:

Monday: Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
Tuesday: Asian Noodle Salad
Wednesday: Black Bean- Couscous Salad; lavash crackers
Thursday: Warm Bacon Spinach Salad; whole wheat boule
Friday: Greek Orzo Salad; pitas, hummus & tzatziki; Tandoori chicken

Saturday, March 20

My Tessie.

We put our dog to sleep yesterday afternoon.  It was one of the toughest decisions I've had to make.  Tessie was a Yellow Lab/Vizsla mix, and was the sweetest dog I've ever known.  I adopted her ten years ago from a run down shelter in San Diego and we were instantly inseparable.  I even brought her to work with me. She was constantly happy.

The past year though, Tessie started developing internal tumors and they quickly spread.  She gained over 20 lbs in tumor weight.  A few weeks ago, the vet told us she had about a month.  We had hoped she'd pass peacefully at home, but the last few days were really rough on her, and while she still attempted to follow me around like a puppy and mustered up plenty of tail wags and smiles for me, I could see she was now in a lot of pain, probably constant. Her insides were shutting down and her muscles giving way. Yesterday I knew it was time, she was ready, just waiting for me to let her go.

She scarfed down a bacon cheeseburger and fries and we soaked up the afternoon sun.  I have memories a mile long of that dog.
I miss you sweet girl. See you again some day.

Friday, March 12

Gunnar's doll. And the boys' dressers.

Here is Gunnar's doll. Or rather what it looked like for the past few months.

When I had Logan, I thought it would be nice for Gunnar to have his own "baby,"  so I made him this Bit of Whimsy doll. It's the "John" pattern.  I actually finished sewing him up the night I went into labor.

Except, if you look real close, you'll notice the poor thing had no face.  I loved how the doll sewed up, and was really tired (and having contractions!), AND was a little nervous about embroidering the facial features since I've previously only embroidered flat before.

So I finally came around (and got the courage!) to give the doll its' face. As I finished embroidering the first eye on, he took one look at it and starting welling up. "Oh no, oh no, OH NO!," he said, pointing at the eye.  I said, "Honey, don't worry, it'll have another in just a few minutes.  I promise.  It's okay."  To which I got the response, "NO! No eye!  Oh no, Gunnar's doll!  Oh NO!."

Really?  Are you kidding me.  I could have left it faceless all this dang time and called the doll finished a LONG time ago. Really?  *sigh*.  Oh well.  But alas, toddler emotions are quite fleeting, and Gunnar has come to accept and love little Gunni doll.

So now he has a face. All done. YAY!

Oh, and that reminds me! The boys' dressers are done!  I forgot to post them finished. These dressers are super old and sturdy, really well made.  Husband found them out by someones trash one morning on his way to work and of course loaded them up in the back of the cruiser immediately. (not a surprise I'm sure to most of you that know him...)
And here they are re-done and in the boys' room.

Our neighbors hated us for a few days while Scott worked on the driveway to strip off the gazillion nasty paint layers and prep them for their new-found blue glory. They thought they were so ugly.  I'll give them that.  But *we* could see the beauty they had to offer.

Above is a before pic of one of them, although at this point most of the paint had already been stripped off.  And sorry about the wonky perspective, it'll be the last time I let husband take the pics.  Yes, Scott, that's YOU I'm talking about. lol.  Just kidding, love you honey. :)
Husband did an awesome job! They look even better in the boys' room than in pictures.

(ETA: I doubled the size of the original pattern of Gunnar's doll.)

Thursday, March 4

Sweet memories.

Memory triggers. Its really amazing how our brain works, isn't it.  A scent in the air, a random car passing by, a strangers laugh, a song, the weather.. so many moments, in an instant, can send us back to another place and time.
 This picture was the aftermath of cake decoration for Gunnar's second birthday.  I absolutely love this picture. It reminds me of so much more than just the cake itself and all that went into creating it.  Flashes of wonderful moments emerge in my mind. My boy's wide eyes and the giant smile that broke out from his sleepy face that morning as he awoke to see before him his very own balance bike... how despite his dad and I pulling out our best tricks, he still fell asleep on the way to his own birthday party, and missed the first 30 minutes sleeping peacefully in his car seat while the other children played (lol)... I can remember the friends that came, and even where everyone sat as we sang happy birthday and Gunnar blew out the candles with dad's help... how proud of him I was for potty training a month prior... I can picture him pushing around a truck he opened at the party, it was the very same bright orange shade as the shirt he had one, and he was completely, blissfully engrossed in it the rest of the afternoon... my belly with sweet Logan growing inside it..

Amazing isn't it.

So thank you, Sarah aka La Maison Boheme, for this post, which for some reason reminded me of those vividly colored toothpicks sitting on a paper towel.

And if you've made it this far, thanks for reading and perhaps something within this post will trigger a wonderful memory for you as well. :)