Thursday, February 28, 2013

Granola: family style and Paleo

Before Hubs wooed me and won my heart I was a single gal living in a large foreign city and loving life.  I also was not a consistent cook.  I had my moments of glory.  Moments where it seemed domesticity was my middle name and I was going to conquer all cobwebs and dirty toilets   I had blissful glimpses of what being a wife would look like and I dreamed of it daily.  I wanted to be a wife and mother.
But those were fleeting glances.  I was definitely a bachelorette living like a bachelorette with fleeting moments of wife-hood...ness? Wifehoodness? 
Anyway, the thing that shocked me most about marriage was that my adorable Hubs wanted meals... big meals, like three meals a day, with all food groups present.  Seriously? I have to give you vegetables? And protein? And carbs?.... Three times? Well, maybe twice he wants a full balanced meal and breakfast can be easier.  What can I say? Marriage has changed him too! But if Hubs had his way he'd be eating Chinese breakfast aka soybean soup, Chinese "donuts", pork buns, and rice porridge.
Anyway, I could eat (and do eat when Hubs is gone) cereal for 3 meals a day. It's got your fruit, your dairy, and your grains. Cereal is all I require to survive.  Well, cereal and popcorn. But my love for popcorn is another topic for another day.
With cereal, I especially love granola! I love love LOVE granola. It's got this tangy saltiness, tart dried fruit and sweet undertones of the honey melting into one beautiful dish. I love granola!

Recently, I started doing paleo and was a bit sad to realize that I couldn't eat cereal.   Well, I recently discovered this beautiful website full of glorious recipes and one of them being GRANOLA.
So I adapted it (didn't need that much sweetness) and have made my own combining my Grandmother's wisdom and my desire to cut back on refined sugars and processed carbs.
So without further ado; Schupbach Style Granola and Joanna's Adapted Granola!
Make, Eat and then softly sigh knowing that all is right in life when one can enjoy a bowl of cereal

Schupbach Style
7 c. oats
1 c. sweetened shredded coconut
1 c. almond slivers
1/2 c. honey
2/3 c. oil
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
Place in 2 jelly roll pans and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally   When cool, add 1 c. raisins.  Store in air tight container.

Joanna's Paleo Adapted Granola
2 c. almond slivers
2 c. chopped pecans
2 c. sunflower seeds
2 c. unsweetened coconut shredded
1/2  c. honey
1 c. melted coconut oil
Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and sniffing the sweet air of deliciousness. When cool, add craisins.  Store in air tight container.

Now, if you don't mind, I have some granola to take out of the oven, cool it and eat it.
What do you like in your granola?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

i'll admit it

Okay, so I'll admit it. There are days when I'm a "better" mother than other days.  Days when I rise early, get showered, dressed and cleaned... make pancakes from scratch with blueberries, bounce up the stairs to get my rising babies while birds are chirping alongside me and woodland creatures folding the laundry downstairs....

Side note: they should make a disney princess who's married and has a kid. I'd love to see her whistle while she sweeps up cheerios for the 16th time that day. ;)

Anyway, I do have the days where I am thankful and grateful and my God-cup is full so full that I am overflowing and spilling all the blessings onto others.
I hear ya sister. Some times we do better than others...
and then. there are other days. Days where I can't sing because I'm selfish and I don't want to sing. :) 
Days where I feel like I'm a performer at a dinner and show kind of place because no eating will be done unless I am doing "wheels on the bus" with full motions...
Days where Baby Beluga turns into 30 verses instead of 3.
Days where mommy says, "blah blah blah" because it makes her feel like a little victory after having read the same book forty-two times. ha ha ha take that! I'm reading the book but I'm reading it MY way, suckers!
Days where I can recite all of winnie the pooh and baby einstein rhymes because I've read them forty-two times.
Days where I drive laps around the pike in downtown long beach because they're taping my favorite show and I am hoping for a sighting of a star (yup, true story) and babies are crying in the backseat because they should be napping and I respond with, "Don't you know how important this is to me?" Baaah! (just airin' my dirty laundry people!)
Days where pigeons attack my stroller because I've let the snacks spill all over and I'm too scared of catching fleas so I try to combat the pigeons with a coffee cup.
Days where poopie diapers are like nuclear bombs, destroying everything in their path and making it seemingly impossible for new life to grow there ever. again.
Days where snacks explode all over the car.
Oatmeal gets rubbed in hair.
Days where I feed my Love Bugs cookies for breakfast lunch and dinner because... well, because there's oatmeal in there?!
Days where I lay my head down for a sweet night's sleep and Elmo's song runs through it to lull me to sleep... and Lord love me, I can't keep my toes from tapping.
Days where I think Elmo is passive aggressive and manipulative...
Days where I think Elmo is so stinkin' cute and I wish he were real...
Days where I can't remember the last time I showered... and come to think of brushed my teeth.
Laundry sits in the basket till I'm forced to empty it on the bed so I can put the next full load in.
Blueberries wind up in ear canals and Love Bugs trying to pick their boogers or clean their own bottoms during changings...

life is messy.
but life is also loads of fun.
I'm never going to end up on a magazine cover or walk a Hollywood red carpet ... but I'll admit it. I'd take my cheerios-ground-in-and-accident-stained rug any day over that fancy shmancy carpet, anyway!
As my good friend Jamie hashtagged, "good play makes a good mess" and I couldn't agree more.

Invite some mess into your life. Let your little ones discover and adventure and yes, probably rip off the cover off a book (or two).  But let them know they are more important than whether anyone else thinks I look like a good mother or not. And this goes for all you married with no kids and singletons too! Enjoy the freedom to make messes and learn from them or just live in them. Life isn't perfect! Enjoy it!

How do you invite "good mess" into your life? 

Friday, February 01, 2013

recharging the batteries

*Thanks to everyone who responded to my last post! Love you all and praying for those who were honest about their own struggles!

I talked about my trip down "postpartum depression lane" and one thing that helps me when the days get hard is to do things that recharge my batteries. And recharging my batteries was one of the best pieces of advice I received when I was in the throngs of babyhood.  I'll never forget when a dear friend and fellow twins mama told me that I needed to take time every day for myself and do what was good for me! She went on to explain that for her, it was drinking a small glass of wine just to relax.  She laughed and said she'd even had a glass of wine at eleven a.m.  Judge all you want... but it helped her to face the day and relax.  Actually, better that you don't judge, cause that's just a bad habit to develop, encourage and entangle yourself in.

Anyway, I love my friend and I loved her advice.

So I'd like to talk about things that can recharge our batteries and I'd like to hear from you; what recharges your batteries when you need them filled. I especially want to hear from you introverts. I feel like introverts will have some great insight into "unplugging" and "recharging"! So let me hear them.  What are some ways you recharge?

For me... there are a couple things...
1. reading a good book.  I always try to have several books around. When I expressed to my bestie Kelli that I always read my books too quickly she suggested that I check out several books at one time.  Kelli's so smart. :) If you're stumped about what to read I suggest getting on this site Goodreads to see what your friends are reading, read through reviews and get suggestions as to what to read next.  I currently have six books to read in the month of February.  Everything from spiritual encouragements to raising chickens in your backyards.  You can't go wrong with reading a good book!

2. a night out with friends.  While I still have my flaming "extrovert" moments those are further and farther between.  So even a night out with 1 friend is still a good and necessary recharge to my batteries.

3. doing something for someone else. I need to write down a list of things I want to do and budget for them because when I take time out of my day and think of someone beside myself it helps me remember that there are others out there besides me. Disclaimer: this is different than thinking of my Love Bugs. It's good for me to think of fun ways to love them, new stickers, trips to the park, spontaneous trips to the aquarium, etc. but I'm thinking of doing things for others who aren't in my every day schedule. :) This includes care packages for friends, crochet projects for new babies and sending a beloved piece of snail mail to someone I'm thinking of.

the small things in life make me so happy
Something I've been trying to do recently
4. is to record at least one thing from the day. Something special from the day like something I saw, people I was with, things I did, moments.  Trying to capture those moments help me to not get too focused on the upsets and frustrating times.

Finally for now,
5. taking 15 minutes every day to pamper myself. Some times I do a mask, sometimes a glass of wine, sometimes I literally make a cup of tea and STARE out the window. I don't talk to anyone, I don't get on my computer, I don't do anything but relax.

What do you do? How do you relax and recharge?