Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Granella" girl

Hey everyone.  I didn't get a post in last week- I was SICK.  Ugh.  Coughing, coughing, coughing. And so, so, so tired.  I'm feeling so much better- not 100% yet, but much better.  The cold has moved onto bigger and better things, namely my girl and my husband.
So being sick for about a week and a half, I got sweet bippy done.  The kids are moved into the bedroom, the toys are moved into the playroom, but it's stalled out from there.  Nothing on the walls yet- but I'll get there.... someday!

If you follow me on Instagram at all, you will have seen this picture.

I'm in the process of getting myself ready for a Christmas gift show.  It's my first time being a vendor in it.  I'm really excited and nervous and behind!  I've got tons of work to do, but life keeps shaking my snowglobe and my days keep getting rearranged.  Oh well.  I will get'er done.  I have done it before, I will do it again.  And I will be a fashion plate while doing it.

Pretty cute, huh?  :P

I'll tell you more about all that stuff next week when (if) I'm finished, but today I wanted to share a quick, yummy recipe.

I was listening to the radio on my way to work the other day, and there was some clip from Sanjay Gupta, and he was talking about breakfast cereals.  I actually retained some of the info(!)- he had said to make sure that the sugar content is less than 10 g per serving- I had to do groceries today and have been totally craving granola.  I went into the natural  section and started checking out the tasty sounding boxes of cereal.  Holy moly.  Everything was at least 10g of sugar per serving.  Seriously- I saw some that were 13 and 15 g.  And this stuff is supposed to be healthy.  Healthy as a Snickers.

I came home and decided if I wanted some granola, I need to stop being so lazy and just make some. It's super easy, and I had all the ingredients at home.

This is a tasty fall-ish granola, with everyone's favourite flavour- pumpkin!  Pumpkin is great for you, it's full of Vitamins E, B6, A and C, fibre, folate, potassium and iron.  The sweetener in this one is maple syrup too, not table syrup (that AIN"T MAPLE SYRUP!!!  I don't care how many pancakes you put it on!).  The original recipe called for some white sugar, but I decided to dump it and it still turned out sweet and delicious.  So I'm done, here's the recipe and some pics to show you some steps along the way.

Pumpkin Maple Nut Granola

(adapted from Minimalist Baker)

3 cups large flake oatmeal (if you're gluten free, get yourself some GF oats)
1 1/4 cup nuts (I used walnuts, you could use pecans or maybe some almonds)
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling, real pumpkin)
1/3 cup maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Mix the oats, nuts, seeds, salt and spices in a large bowl.

Put the coconut oil, pumpkin and maple syrup in a small saucepan and warm it on the stove.

Whisk it together till it's all smooth. (or spatula it)

Pour the mixture over the oats/nuts/seeds and mix it well.

Spread it out on a baking sheet and bake for 22 - 25 minutes.

Once it's cool (if you can wait)- you can eat it plain, with yogurt, milk, almond milk, whatever your little heart desires.

Mine desires it plain.

So does hers.

This girl loooooves her "granella".  It's one of her favourite things.  She gave it a big thumbs up messy grin.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Halloween-y ideas

Good Friday to you all.  Today (at least right now) it's a grey, gloomy, blustery day.  The leaves are mid-way through the colour change- some are on the ground.  It's very fall-like today, so I thought I'd share a few Halloween things with you today.

I love Halloween.  I hate being scared, so I don't do the super scary movies, the blood and gore, I like the cute, goofy, fun side of Halloween.  (That kind of sums me up right there, doesn't it?)  In the picture above- the sign is one I made (I have a little side sign business- please feel free to check it out).  I really like the bold graphic stripes paired with the fancier frame- it's fun but not too goofy. The pumpkin is one I picked up at Michael's a couple of years ago and I vinyl cut a W and applied it. Took about 5 minutes.

I've told you before about my love for Pinterest.  I saw this craft idea on there a few years ago and decided to try it out.  I love it too.  The kids were much smaller, obviously- their feet would never fit on there now!  I just grabbed a small canvas at the dollar store, painted it black and did their foot prints.  You can't see it, but I also covered the sides of the canvas with a black and white damask ribbon, just to finish the sides off.

I made these cookies for Elise's class treat last year.  I made my favourite gingerbread recipe (I'll share it below) into boys, and then used some chocolate to jazz these guys up.  Super easy.

This guy was Halloween breakfast last year.  I bit the bullet last year and bought myself a donut pan- it is one of the best purchases I've made.  The kids love them.  They are donut-aholics- and these are cheaper and healthier (?) than heading over to Timmie's.  These ones were orange, I believe.  You can use any muffin recipe you have and put it in the pan and voila, you've got donuts!  I can't just leave it at that you know, I added 2 smarties and some vampire teeth- they LOVED it.  Win.

This year we had a time deciding on Halloween costumes.  Elise went back and forth about a hundred times.  Girl is indecisive!  Max though, he knew right away.  "I want to be Two Face, mommy."


Forehead slap.  For reals child?  I wasn't sure where I was going to get a purple and orange suit- since it HAD to be purple and orange.  So, I just kind of put it at the back of my mind, until I realized a couple weeks ago that I HAD to have both kids' costumes ready for October 11- there is an awesome Halloween in the park at a provincial park near us, it's fantastic.  So I went to the thrift store and found and old boy's suit, perfect size, but it was BLACK.  Now there is another version of Two-Face...

He agreed to be the black and white, so long as I didn't do it too "old school".  His exact words.  Um, excuse me, aren't you 6?  Anyways, we had the suit and I came up with the idea to spray paint it.  Let me just say- EPIC FAIL.  Looked like crap and add to it Tim's fear of Max wearing a chemical suit and blowing up into flames beside a camp fire.  So back I went to the OTHER thrift store, and I had to piece it together, a black suit jacket, black fleece pants and a black tie.  We bought some fabric paint and Tim painted half of the "suit".  And here's how it turned out....

And a couple more, cause they are so cute.

Elise ended up a witch (I coerced her with the tutu, girl can't turn down a tutu), and I think they look fantastic.

I still have to figure out what treats they are going to take for school this year, I have a bunch pinned but haven't decided on anything yet.  If you follow me on Instagram, you'll probably see it first.
Have a great weekend!

Almost forgot!  

Big Batch Gingerbread Dough

6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground ginger
1  teaspoon ground cloves
1  teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1  cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups molasses

In a large bowl stir together first 6 ingredients- set aside.  In another large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, and butter until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in the molasses and 2 1/2 Tablespoons water until well blended.  Beat in half of the flour mixture until evenly incorporated.  Stir in remaining flour mixture until well blended.  Working in the bowl, knead the dough until very well blended and smooth and shiny.  If the dough is too stiff add up to 3 more tablespoons of water- if too soft, add more flour until firmer and more manageable.

Divide dough into thirds and place portions in airtight plastic bags (or wrap in plastic wrap, which is what I do).  Chill in fridge for at least 4 hours- let warm up slightly before using.  (You can refrigerate the dough for up to 4 days, warm it for 15 minutes before using.)

Working with one portion at a time, knead the dough until softened just slightly.  Roll out on floured surface 1/4 inch thick (I've been known to make mine a little thicker and the cookie is softer, which I like)  Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 to speed up the chilling.  (The cold dough will hold the cutout shapes much better when cutting out and when baking won't spread as much)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Cut out shapes, reroll scraps.  If the dough gets too soft, put it back in the fridge to chill again.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in the middle of the oven for 6 - 12 minutes.  Centre should be barely firm- for softer cookies underbake (my preference) for crispier, overback slightly.  Transfer to the sheet to a cooling rack and set the cookies stand and firm up about 3 minutes, then, using a spatula, transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

*you can freeze these as cutouts and bake them fresh when you need them, or freeze them, undecorated, after you bake them*

adapted from The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Bagget 
(I LOVE this book, be sure to check it out) 

Friday, October 10, 2014

50 shades.... of blue

ah not, really.  More like 5 shades.

Happy Friday everyone.  Here in Canada we are on the verge of a nice long Thanksgiving weekend. Pretty awesome.  I love holidays- and Thanksgiving kind of kicks everything into high gear- Halloween comes screaming up on it's heels, then before you know it, Ho, Ho, Ho.  I LOVE IT.

(Free Printable via the Tomkat Studio)

When Christmas music makes you want to kill yourself:

We are not doing Thanksgiving here at the hosue.  I am still lucky enough to have a mama and mil that make the dinners.  I think that makes it taste even better- seriously.  So not having to do the company thing frees us up to get this kids' rooms done.

This .....

is driving me CRAAAAAZY.

On Tuesday, I broke out the yoga pants and got started.  Taping and priming and painting.

Gone are the green walls.  When we did our reno, this was the one colour that the crew did not like. They loved everything else, but they hated this one.  It grew on me, but I never really loved it either. I've come to realize that I have a hard time living with colours with a yellow undertone.  (Which is why I will be painting the kitchen next!)   It was supposed to be mixed at 1/2 strength- good grief, I can't imagine if it was full strength.  But it was bright and happy and full of energy- just like Elise.

Here's the new colour.  Deja Vu from Beauti-tone.  We always use their paint, I don't always use their colours, but always, always the paint.  We like how it covers, how it wears.  And bonus, when you buy 10 gallons, you get one free.  It's a pretty nice little perk.  I'm done painting, but I didn't take a picture cause the room is still in quite a state of disarray.  Next week- I hope.

This is going to be the kids' bedroom - the clothes will be in here too.  That means I have to get 2 sets of clothes stored away in here.  And Miss Elise is quite the clothes horse.

Enter "the dresser".

Yup, "the dresser".  Please note, the dresser does not have a dog head sticking out the side.

This dresser came with the house when we bought it.  It has moved all over the house, from Max's closet when he was a baby, to downstairs to hold linens, back to Elise's room, back to the basement. It's one of those pieces.  It's no heirloom piece by any means.  But, it's lightweight, has 4 drawers and it's free.  Perfect.
I love Pinterest.  How one can while away the time on there- am I right?  I've been pinning stuff for a long time, and I actually do a lot of the things I pin.  So I had pinned some cool dressers and this was one of my faves.

Painted drawers. Just choose your colors from a paint chip card with gradient colors and then buy the little sample jars of each color.


I was out in the barn one day, probably avoiding pulling weeds, and I looked at "the dresser" and thought, "hey, I have some teal paint.  I'm doing this.  And I'll pull weeds later."

I took out all the drawers and took the hardware off.  See this is no spectacular piece of furniture.  I only had to paint the fronts, which made me happy.

I repainted the outer shell in the trim colour I have been using in the house.  It was a Para paints colour from the Sarah Richardson colours- called vintage.  I love it.  (And I love Sarah.  She is just awesome.)
I also painted the top drawer in the white-ish.  Next I took the teal I had left over from my bedroom, and put just a little into the container with the white.

Next drawer, I added some more blue.

And again, but I don't seem to have a picture of that one.

I looked at the dresser again and it had this big space on the bottom that looked just like a drawer.

(I have really nice painting equipment, don't I?)
And I thought I should paint that too, or it might look kinda weird.  So I painted it full strength teal.

And here it is.

I really like it.  I think it's really fun and it was an easy project.  Just some time, some paint, some flip flops and a photo bombing dog and you can call it done in an afternoon!

I'm already thinking it might not stay in that spot.  We have to move the monster bunk bed in and then I'll figure it out.

When I was out running this morning, I went by a yoga studio that writes inspirations on the sidewalk in chalk.  Today's was "Let your days be full of both thanks and giving."  I really liked that- hope it brings a little inspiration to you today too.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Legos and Minions and Sparkles, Oh my!

Hi everyone, sorry this post is a little delayed this week.  The past few years, along with getting older :P, I'm getting migraines.  And they suck.  All I can do is pass out in a dark room for hours and sleep till they go away.  Not fun.  (If you have any remedies, I'm so open to hearing them.)

So to the matter at hand.... about 3 years ago, we did a big renovation in our house.  We only had 2 bedrooms, and we have 2 kids.  We got in an awesome contractor and they reworked half of our main floor.  What was once a dining room, 2 bedrooms, a closet and screened in porch- is now 3 bedrooms, a full bath, a hall and a small office/den.

I really was excited to decorate both kids' rooms.  I was pretty happy with how they turned out- however, Elise's was no where near fancy or pink enough for her.

But, my kids don't like to be alone- be without each other more like.  They are buddies- someone thought they were twins at the grocery store a few weeks ago.  They aren't- they are 2 years and 2 days apart, but they are each other's other half.

So even though there are two rooms, they only sleep in one and Max's Legos have thrown up all over the other.

Oh heck yes.  This is what we are dealing with.  I thought I'd share a "real life" picture- stuff is not always neat and tidy and perfect over here.  But I did tidy up and take some pictures of what their rooms are "supposed to" look like.

(Don't mind the furry photo bomber.  She wouldn't move)

Yes, that IS a giant minion and we had to bring it home on the plane from Florida.  Funnily enough, his name is Tim.

Here's the plan.  Move them into what is now Elise's room and make what is currently Max's room into a play/toy room.  We picked up a bunk bed on Kijiji, and it's hanging in the barn waiting for one last coat of paint.  I've stripped all the vinyl from Elise's walls and will be repainting it this week.
This is a peek at my inspiration....

I picked up that rug from Target, it was on dirt cheap sale- as was her new quilt.  I'm hoping to get some of each of their personalities in there but keeping it in the rustic vintage-y style I've got going on in the house right now.  A neutral shell with hits of blue, red and pink..and some sparkle.  I've learned that if you've got an Elise, you've gotta have sparkle.  I've got some projects to share once I get things moved in there.  Wish me luck!