January 6, 2015


I've been making my own granola for a couple years now. I go through phases where I make it every week or I go months without it. I'm always happy though when I have a batch made up and I always say to myself it wasn't that hard and it's so worth it.
The best part about making your own granola is you control the ingredients. That means you can make it as healthy as you like or as inexpensive as you like. For me granola is always a better option over a bowl of regular cereal in the morning. It's always more satisfying. I often eat mine with almond milk poured over top but it's really yummy with yogurt too.

I feel like I finally perfected my recipe. The ingredients are usually dictated by what's on sale in the bulk section at the time. Once I found dried orange cranberries on sale and ever since I've added them to my granola, I love the flavor that they contribute. Another thing I've discovered about making granola is not to mess with it, just let it bake. Don't stir it at all. The only thing you need to do is turn it halfway through the baking time.
Granola also makes a great gift especially if you put it in a pretty jar. Here's the recipe that I use which has evolved over the years and will probably continue to. Just remember you can always change things up. Add honey instead of syrup. Use different kinds of nuts and dried fruit, maybe add some coconut. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

December 18, 2014

Introducing my Little Lady

It's hard to believe I'm a mom. Words can't express how incredible it is. It's amazing how quickly nothing else in the world matters. My little lady was born on November 20th we named her Aspen. She was 6 pounds 10.5 ounces and 19 inches long. Her arrival was only 1 day after reaching full term, she was a big surprise in many ways. We chose not to find out the gender so it was exciting when we finally found out the baby was a girl.
The experience of carrying and delivering her was wonderful. We chose to have her at a birthing center where they also provided all the prenatal care and education. The midwives there are so passionate about what they do and they prepared us really well. I can't imagine having a baby any other way. It was a positive, empowering and memorable experience. I would encourage anyone to really look into all the options available when delivering a baby and not just settle for the traditional hospital route.

My days since having this little lady have been very full. It's astounding how fast she's already changing and growing. I'm trying my best to enjoy every moment because I know she won't be this tiny and needy for long.

When my little lady was just two weeks old we took her to cut down her first Christmas tree. Some people were surprised that we would take our new baby on such an adventure so early, others wondered how we were even up to it. Cutting down our own Christmas tree is a tradition we've had while living in Colorado. It involves driving about an hour and a half through the beautiful Rockies to a National Forest station to get a $10 permit. Then we drive at least 45 more minutes to the National Forest and we hike through the woods to find the perfect tree. The distance we hike depends on the weather and snow. This year there wasn't nearly as much snow and the weather was perfect. We probably hiked in about a mile.

This was the best experience we've ever had, it was so much fun to have my daughter with us. I bundled her up tight and carried her in a wrap. She even decided she was hungry in the middle of the hike. It felt so good to be able to feed her right then and there and take care of her in that way. Being able to feed and nourish your child anywhere is one of the greatest feelings. I should have assumed I would breastfeed in the middle of the woods at some point but it still surprised me.
I know one of the reasons we were able to get out and about so early was because of the entire birthing experience. We went home only 4 hours after delivery which I know to some sounds insane. It allows you and your family to rest that much sooner and in the comfort of your own home. No one is constantly interrupting your rest by checking vitals. You get to immediately bond with your baby with no interference.

Since you go home so early the center requires a 2 day check up for the baby to make sure everything is going well, this is something they would typically do in the hospital. So we were forced to get ourselves put together only 2 days after having our baby and go to an appointment. I think that helped give us a boost of confidence. I'm a new parent so I'm constantly learning new things and trying to figure things out. Things as simple as dressing a newborn and knowing that her high pitched scream doesn't mean that she's in pain but just a little cold and uncomfortable. Everyday I learn something new and getting out the door with a new baby takes a lot more time.

I'm so happy you keep stopping by this space and care to read what I share. Just know that if there are times where I'm not around for a while I'm enjoying my little lady.

November 18, 2014

Linen & Medicine Closet Makeover

They say that nesting can be a pregnancy symptom. I would say that I've definitely got it big time. I've had it since the beginning. I feel like nothing is clean enough or organized enough. I've really had to try to let go of a lot of my expectations, like putting a fresh coat of paint on the entire upstairs. I'm thankful we got most of the downstairs painted and the nursery is just about how I hoped it would be. I honestly feel insane most of the time because I know it doesn't really matter. It's impossible to keep all the dog hair up and I'm sure a newborn really doesn't mind if everything is organized perfectly.

One of the projects I was determined to figure out was our linen closet. It has always had a weird smell to me and it's been a mess since we moved in a year ago. Ideally I would like to replace the shelves and line the walls with cedar but I don't have the time or energy for that kind of project right now. The biggest issue was the fact that the shelves were painted poorly to where the paint dried all drippy and then the previous owners tried to cover it up with rubber liners. They are the kind of shelf liners that feel sticky to the touch because they are made to keep things from sliding around and they stink something terrible. Although my husband says he's never noticed the smell.
This linen closet is where we keep our towels, extra toiletries and medicine. Our medicine has been kept in a variety of places over the years as we've lived in different kinds of houses. We've always kept it in one basket though. My closet project started with me organizing all the medicine so I forgot to take a picture of the disastrous before basket. I figured with a new baby on the way I wanted children's medicine to be separate and easy to find. It's amazing how much I found that was expired. I hadn't gone through that basket in a long time and it was all just thrown in there so we were never really sure what we had.

After I separated out all the medication and figured out how much room it would take up I got some materials to recover the shelves.
I found this particular material on a really good sale, I'm actually not sure what it is exactly, it's almost like a canvas. I think canvas or oil cloth would work wonderfully. I decided to recover the shelves in fabric using a staple gun and then apply trim to the front edge. It was pretty simple and fast.
The shelves feel and look much cleaner covered in fabric.
Once all the shelves were recovered I finished organizing the medicine and labeling all the containers. Then I put everything back in neatly.  
The closet functions so much better and it doesn't smell like rubber. I organized the medication into the following categories:

  • First Aid 
  • Pain & Stomach 
  • Allergy, Mouth & Cold
  • Supplements & Skin 
  • Ears, Nose, Throat & Mouth
  • Pain & Fever 
  • Tummy & Vitamins

There is also a container labeled Travel that has all the small travel size bottles and toiletries in it.
It was hard to decide how to categorize everything. You could certainly do this on a smaller scale and use less categories. The 3 drawers with bike tape are for children's medicine only. So far this system works really well.
When is the last time you went through your family's medication? I HIGHLY recommend it there's no telling what you'll find.

November 14, 2014

When Fall Meets Winter

When the seasons collide spectacular things happen. This year it seemed to happen a little early and a little extreme. Today made up for the last few days of arctic weather. It finally got above freezing and we were able to get out and get some fresh air.
I love the Colorado sun and blue skies. It always amazes me how quickly things can turn around and start to melt.
Although I think this may be happening just in time for another storm to blow in this weekend.
It was so good for us to get outside today and I wanted to test out my new camera lens. Everything always seems to happen at once. My main camera lens recently broke. It was very upsetting considering we have a new baby coming soon and I can't wait to take a million pictures of this sweet little one. Of course it broke right after we learned that we have a 3rd major car repair to take care of. Thankfully I found an awesome local camera shop that has used equipment and I got a new lens for a low price that wasn't actually even used it just came out of a kit. So far I think this lens will work just fine. 
I know most of the country has or is experiencing some unseasonably cold weather. 
I hope all of you are staying warm and take time to enjoy the collision of seasons.