from the kitchen: hazel & junie’s granola

One of my favorite things to buy is bulk oatmeal. Probably because it’s so cheap. It’s not depressing to put it in your cart at all, unlike, well, maple syrup. Buying maple syrup is like buying a pair of shoes you end up eating, no bueno. Anyways, while shopping yesterday I grabbed about twenty pounds of oatmeal, and immediately the girls started asking me if we could make granola. In case you are scared of making granola, it’s easy. Ridiculously easy. I had this preconceived notion that granola making was for the culinary gifted … turns out it’s almost as easy as making toast. Long story short, I wasn’t home to make the granola, so Matt jumped in with his almost too perfect dad skills and whipped up the best batch of granola I’ve ever tasted. Seriously. It’s nutty, crunchy, slightly salty and not too sweet. The best part is that Matt let the girls add in whatever they wanted… and he wrote out the recipe using measurements like “kid handfuls”. Yep. I’m keeping him.
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Here’s the recipe:

*I’d triple this for next time, there’s only one bowlful left and it’s been 24 hours*

3 cups oats (get them in bulk, people!)
3 kid handfuls of sunflower seeds (1/2 cup)
4 kid handfuls of almonds, chopped coarsely (3/4 cup)
5 shakes of sesame seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup real maple syrup
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 egg white
1/2 cup olive oil, coconut oil or butter

Mix all your dry ingredients in one bowl, all your wet ingredients in another, then stir together in a big bowl
layer granola on 1 or 2 cookie sheets
bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

Around our life

It’s been days of horribly thick fog. It makes me feel like my world shrank down to the size of what I can see… which is my neighbors house. I can’t see the small planes landing in our little town’s airport, I can’t see the sky, I can’t see more than two cars in front of me while driving. I generally appreciate fog (it’s better than rain!) so I’m not totally down trodden (is that a real word?), but I do miss the clear sunny skies, and I miss the feeling of space. I was rummaging through my photos tonight, and here is a little window into the past couple of weeks, pre foggy funk.

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From the top left: all the yumminess we’ve been juicing. We’re all back up to health… not even a sniffle is left over here! Junie and Matt together, I adore the special bond my girls have with their dear ol’ dad. Took this photo about 5 minutes before I was bucked off. Look at those ears, totally sassing me. Cash has a middle part. I think it’s hilarious. The girls. A rare day where they didn’t look like homeless children. My sweet sugar pony, Pride. Stanley goes well with my color scheme in the living room. It’s been 6 months since Cash fractured his skull. He is still handsome in my book, and yes, he rocks a purple blanket. Sweet potatoes. I’ve been cooking a lot of weird dishes. I would’ve shared the meal I made with sweet potatoes, but it was weird, so there goes that one.

Winter Round Up

Winter is my LEAST favorite season… it’s usually either too cold to go or too rainy to go outside.  Around here, it’s usually the latter.  The days are also shorter, and sometimes it never gets light out because the clouds are so dark. It’s the worst. It’s like 5pm ALL day long.  I always try really hard in the winter to find something to spark life.  This week I made full on brunch for the girls because it was a. tasty b. contained an obscene amount of calories (always helpful this time of year) and mostly because c. it’s was something that was out of the ordinary. It reminded me of having a picnic in the yard in the summer… except instead of laughing in the grass we were laughing in the kitchen. Laughing and also yelling at the dog to get out of the room (he might be short but he can still easily reach the table with his hot dog body).  All that to say, here are some of my favorite ‘things’ to get me through winter… but even more so than things is comfort food and good company. Nothing is better than eating, laughing and talking with your people.

Untitled-11. A heavy wool grandpa sweater is a MUST in the northwest! 2. Wool Hat. I die. 3. I love my to-do list. This one has been a favorite! 4. Best charcoal mask and intense moisture… it helps with the inevitable scaly skin! 5. Cooking and baking go hand in hand with winter, and what a cute box to store recipes! 6. Brightly hued bags in the winter are like fake sunshine… right? 7. I finally got a pair of Hunter Boots (in kids size so they aren’t so tall!) and I’m so happy. Besides my slippers, these are what I wear the most, especially around here!

monday musings

Hello, brand spanking new week. Mondays are the best day to stay in bed a little long, make grilled cheese and tomato soup for breakfast (which we did), eat the kids fruit leather and not change out of my pajamas for… well, we’ll just see how long.

Since it’s still so new into the year, we’re still busy tweaking our life. I find it helpful this time of year to assess our little lifestyle and change what I don’t like, and keep what I do. Honestly, with moving and working my tail off the past six months I’m at a spot where I am more disappointed in how things are than seeing things that I want to keep. We’ve recently been eating HORRIBLE (too much sugar and processed crap) which of course leads to getting sick more and feeling lethargic and depressed. Not my idea of fun. So, Here is what our little family is changing for the new year… (which makes me sooo excited!!)

Eating better. I am a firm believer that you are what you eat… and that food can be either medicine or poison. I’m cutting out most our refined sugar intake (like 98% of it), and cutting out anything that isn’t a whole, natural food. And cutting our most our soy (soy is in EVERYTHING).  It’s been week two of eating like this, and although it’s not convenient, it’s also not hard and we feel so much better. I explained to the girls why we were changing our diet and even Juju, who got to pick out a treat at the store picked strawberries because “dey awe hewfy”. For information on growing a healthy family, I like this blog.

Explore. It’s so hard to get out this time of year in the Northwest… you go outside and you’re soon miserable thanks to that horrible misty rain that soaks you to the bone, and the chilling cold wind making it worse, but our life is severely lacking in adventure. I remember when we were dating (what feels like 50 years ago) and we took this random road trip to Alberta, Canada. We left late in the night and drove until the NEXT night. We took a 6 hour detour just to go say hi to a friend who lived in a town called “Seven Persons”.  We drove for 36 hours to be at our destination for 18 hours. But it was an adventure. We got to see the sunrise twice. We talked and laughed and saw grizzly bears and drank a lot of Tim Hortons to stay awake. I dearly miss going out and seeing things outside our tiny bubble of our life. So this year I want to begin adventures with the kids. Leave for the weekend and just drive until we reach a destination, and then play. Take pictures, enjoy being strangers in a new land, and hopefully start a seed of adventure and exploration in the girls. And probably Stanley… you can’t really leave a dog alone. Darn.

Finally, I want to finish decorating this house. Oh my word, this is the BIGGEST task ever. We moved into our current house with hardly anything. And this place has A LOT of space. And things to make a house a home aren’t cheap.  Just look at my Pinterest… (oh Pinterest, the constant reminder of what we don’t have). But, little (and I mean tiny) by little things are coming together. I’m all about having a simple style, but even within that realm it seems impossible to make much progress… besides finding yet another awesome bud vase or jar at the Goodwill.   I’ve included a few photos from our living room. I rummaged around the house to make our credenza a bit more bearable (the lamp is burning my eyeballs though), and of course a photo of my favorite chair. That needs a bookshelf behind it and a rug and a table next to it. Babysteps.

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the week of gloom

We’ve been fighting off quite the bug this week. This is the second time in a month we’ve all been down with whatever is going around… typically we’re the last family standing when it comes to getting sick, but this time, with our bad habits of not eating fresh and consuming too many treats, we have become easy targets. I finally got our juicer out and got rid of any processed and sugar filled foods in the house and we’re on the mend. This has seriously been our life for the past FIVE days.  Stanley has been such a good boy watching over his girls while they rest.

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turning over a new leaf

I’ve always wanted to have a personal journal of our story, and of our life. Not because I think our family is unusually amazing, and not because I think my mothering skills are far superior and deserve attention. Not in any way, actually. Simply because we have a unique and original adventure. No one in the history of the world has our story, nor will it ever be perfectly repeated. Being a mama who works from home, and has a professional blog, I find myself always wanting to talk about my kids, and the weird curry lentil stew I make…but it’s never quite appropriate. So here is this space. A place to talk about Junie’s bedhead, Hazel’s emotional state after giving away her beloved rabbit (but really…) and yes, even that weirdly awesome curry lentil stew I made.  Whether or not you agree, time goes by way too fast. I remember holding my sweet babies and wishing for time to stand still for just a bit… and it didn’t. I love reminiscing through photographs and words to remember how I felt during certain stages of life. And that’s what this is. A place for us.

 

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