Monday, January 15, 2018

Pinned It. Tried It. LOVE It: Homemade Honey Almond Granola

A while ago, I  wanted to get more protein and better grains in my breakfast and switched from cereal in the morning to Greek yogurt. Even chocoholics understand we can't live on chocolate alone! 

I usually add some blueberries , dried cranberries, chia seeds, almonds and granola. Granola can get expensive though, especially if you're looking for the kind with better ingredients, so I finally remembered to search Pinterest to see about making my own. Another moment of "Why didn't I do this sooner".

I found this HOMEMADE COCONUT OIL HONEY ALMOND GRANOLA recipe from Julie at  Lovely Little Kitchen that combined all my favorite granola flavors and had easy instructions to follow. 

Please pin recipe directly from Julie's blog (fair is fair!). 

You will need: 

  • 1 cup whole almonds, divided
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

and then follow the instructions on Julie's blog. 

Couple of tweaks I made to suit my personal preferences: 

I didn't chop my almonds too finely, barely at all. Since I was already putting whole almonds on my yogurt, including some chunkier and whole in the granola made sense. 

You can see where I left some whole, some chunky and some just broken. I did mine by putting them in a Ziploc bag and pounding them w/ the flat side of a meat tenderizing tool! I threw all of my dry ingredients in a bowl and then put the honey and coconut oil in a glass measuring cup and zapped it in the  microwave per instructions. 

Your honey / coconut oil mixture will thin when heated which makes it really easy to coat your dry mixture. 

Here's my granola spread out on a baking sheet (make sure you use one w/ a rim) before going into the oven. 

Another tweak I made was to leave mine in for a few minutes longer than the original instructions. Again, just personal preference. I wanted a darker toastiness if that makes sense, so mine was a total of about 15 minutes over the original 10. 

Golden goodness after coming out of the oven! Spread your toasted granola out on wax paper sheets to cool. Once cool, enjoy! 

Eat alone as a snack, in a bowl as cereal, or sprinkle on yogurt! Thanks Julie for a delicious and easy recipe.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

BFF Open House Link Party

Happy Friday Eve all and welcome to another week's opportunity to share what creative things you've been working on. Hope you're staying warm ( or in our case, up here in the PNW, dry).  Let's see some ideas from last week's party! 

The holiday decorations may all be put away but it's still nice to have a touch of Winter in our inside decor. We still have our Gingerbread Cottage up and it will remain all Winter. I love these DIY Icicle Candle Holders – Winter Luminaries With Snowy Pinecones from Sew Historically. 

I also love the monochromatic simplicity of this Winter White French Farmhouse Mantel from My Thriftstore Addiction that includes more re-purposed Christmas decor. 

Artsy VaVa shared this awesome cooler ( made by her friend Chuck) that she painted for him using stain. I love how the stain lets the grain of the wood shine through. 

No chocolate feature this week but I am drooling over these Homemade Baked Sugar Doughnuts from Brooklyn Farm Girl. Simple perfection!

Now, let's see what everyone's been up to this week!


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Simple Sewing: HTV Drop Cloth Pillows

My sewing skills are not even skills IMO. I can do straight lines and manage some curved things (barely). I won't even attempt any apparel.  

Should have listened to the Mumster and stuck with the sewing classes. At any rate, I can manage some pillows but hadn't tackled pillow covers. It got silly just making new pillows vs changing the covers, so before Christmas I finally tackled this. What a dummy! Why didn't I do this sooner?! It was so ( no pun intended) EASY! Thanks to Pinterest, I found this tutorial from Apartment Therapy and if I can do it, anyone can! 

It was fabulous taking the Christmas decor down knowing I could slide the covers I made off the pillows and make new covers. Look out she's dangerous now! 

  • HW Store Drop Cloth. I got mine at Home Depot.
  • HTV Vinyl. I used Siser Easy Weed
  • Images. Mine were from the Silhouette Store $.99 ea
  • Digital Cutter. I used my Cameo 3
  • Pillow Forms. Mine are 16x16 ( JoAnn's when they were 50% off)
  • Basic sewing supplies, thread, pins etc. 

Wash dropcloth and then cut to size based on tutorial instructions and size of your pillow form.   Even if you can't sew perfect seams, they're on the back of the pillow so who cares?! 

This is what the back will look like when you're done. 

Here's the opening through which you put your pillow form. Et voila!

Once the pillow covers were done, I chose my designs, sized and cut them using my Cameo 3 and Siser Easy Weed Heat Transfer Glitter Vinyl. I LOVE THIS STUFF!!! It really is easy weed ( weeding is the removal of the parts you don't want, revealing the image you're using) but for some reason the "E" in the "HOME" pillow decided not to cut cleanly so I had to do some work w/ my X-acto knife. 

REMINDER: if you're using words , remember to mirror your file before you cut. The great thing about the Cameo 3 is that if you've chosen HTV as your material, the software will prompt you to choose "mirror". Whew! 

Here are the ones I made for Christmas: 

For these I used polar fleece and flannel (backed with Iron On Pellon) for the images, also from the Silhouette Online Store.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Cardmaking: Cupcake Birthday Cards, First Cards of 2018

I've been easing back into the creative world with the New Year, but January always starts off fast with several birthdays, including a big one for my son later this month. 

The first card  is for a couple whose birthdays are a day apart, so I made them a joint card with one birthday cupcake for each.  The other is for my brother in law and the colors and style worked for him so easy peasy. 

I stashbusted my paper supplies and used one sheet each of :
  • Flocked damask paper
  • Acetate sheet with gold script
  • Antique gold glitter paper
  • Gold and white foiled paper
  • Black cardstock, matte and metallic
Along with:
  • Foam dots 
  • Self adhesive acrylic rhinestones
  • Coordinating washi tape

I was a Girl Scout so "make new friends but keep the old" is a thing with me and that applies to tools too, so for this one I used my "old" Cricut Expression I've had for years (while I've acquired other machines) but it still works like a charm and I bought those cartridges for a reason! I used an image from the Damask Decor cartridge. Not going to lie , I dream about a black Cricut Explore Air 2 machine (hear that Cricut people...just sayin') . 

I cut the base layer cupcake in black matte and the top in the white and gold foil paper . I like layering images using foam dots, and offsetting them slightly for depth. 

While the images were cutting, I cut my panel layers, and layered as shown: 

Once my panel was finished I attached it to the card base which I'd cut from metallic black cardstock , and then attached the cupcakes, finishing with a self adhesive gold dot. 

The second card followed a similar process, I just changed up the paper combo a bit. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

BFF Open House Link Party Happy 2018 !

Welcome to the first BFF Link Party of 2018! Hope everyone had a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. We enjoyed having our son home for an extended break and now everyone's back to their routine.  

Let's start the year off right with some creative inspiration! 

This is a big organizing week, and who doesn't need a calendar? Lindsay from Simply September has got you covered with a slew of downloadable, printable calendars!

This is also the time of year for goal setting whether that's blog related, general life related or for a specific project. Planners are everywhere in every style and 3 Winks Design also has some great strategies for getting started on 2018 Goal Setting. 

If you're thinking about tackling a BIG project this year like a room makeover or a house makeover, then Karianne from Thistlewood Farms has you covered because she did a TON of then in 2017 and has her top 10 to share. 

Whatever you're planning for 2018, I look forward to seeing your creativity! Let's see what everyone's been up to so far ( me...not so much!). 


Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 Word of The Year: Open

For 2017, I didn't do a word of the year. I generally don't do resolutions and 2018 won't be an exception, but in the past few years, I have done a word of the year so I have something to focus on and remind myself of a commitment I made at the start of the year, even when sometimes falling short of the intent. Maybe since I didn't have a word, that's why I felt adrift in 2017? Who knows.

At any rate, I did decide on a word for 2018 and that word is :

For me this means being open to new things...possibilities, opportunities, new people / places / things. I tend to be a creature of habit, don't love change and have a tendency to stay in my comfort zone. But this year I want to be more open...more spontaenous, risk more, not have it all laid out before I start. Oh boy! 

Anyone else have a word or a phrase of the year they want to share? 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

BFF Open House Link Party : Farewell 2017

Hard to believe that we are at the end of 2017, but here we are. Thank you all, old friends and new, who have made coming to my little party a part of your weekly activities. I truly enjoy seeing all of your inspiration and creativity and appreciate you taking the time to share it here. 

Wishing all of you, my wonderful "Chocaholic" followers, health, happiness, and continued creativity in 2018! 

Whether you're going out or staying in, here are some ideas from last week's party that are perfect for New Year's Eve! 

Let's start with this festive Creamy Apply Mocktail (non-alcoholic) from Play Dates and Parties! Whether the adults don't drink or you want something kid-friendly, it's perfect. 

If you are looking for an adult beverage , Leslie's also got you covered with this Peppermint Mochatini cocktail and this

that Craft Beering shared on Leslie's blog. 

Of course you can't have cocktails ( or mocktails) without appetizers. These oney Sriracha Kabobs from Looney For Food look delicious. 

Ask Dr. Ho shared a recipe for a tasty Mushroom Herbed Cheese Bruschetta

And Baked Brie is always a great appetizer. This one from All That's Jas topped with nuts and cranberries looks spectacular.  

Whatever you're doing this NYE, stay safe and have fun! Now, let's see what everyone's been up to this week.