Monday, August 28, 2017

Soft Maple & Brown Sugar Granola

Breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day. I'm just not usually hungry in the morning and I have a hard time finding things I like as I don't like to eat a heavy meal first thing. I typically just make a protein shake with lots of spinach and stuff, but that gets tiring after a while. 

I wanted to find something healthy, yet filling, so I started researching granola recipes. I tried a few, but just didn't find anything I really liked. I have found that most of the store bought granola is so hard that my jaw would be sore from chewing it! So I decided to just come up with my own recipe. 

After making it one time it was a hit and it was gone in just a couple of days! I've since made it several more times (and I usually double this recipe so it's enough for my family!) and I think I've got it just right! Hope you enjoy!
Soft Maple & Brown Sugar Granola

(3 cups oats total)
1 1/2 cups regular rolled or steel cut oats
1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Arrange pecans and almonds on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside.

3. Once nuts have been toasted, reduce oven temperature to 300°.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

5. Add oats to a large bowl bowl. Set aside.

6. In a 4 cup glass measuring cup, melt butter and coconut oil in microwave at 30 second intervals. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

7. Add maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and almond extract to butter/coconut oil. Stir to combine.

8. If using, add cinnamon and nutmeg on top of oats.

9. Pour maple syrup and oil mixture over oats and stir to combine.

10. Pour granola onto baking sheet that has been layered with parchment paper and spread into a thin layer. About 1/4 - 1/2 thickness.

11. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir around with a spoon. Mixture will look really liquidy but it is fine. The oats will absorb the moisture as it continues to cook. Put back in oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, stir and return to oven for another 10 minutes. After that it should be done.

Depending on your oven and if you do want a crunchier granola, return to oven for another 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook because even once it is removed from the oven, it will continue to cook a bit on the hot baking sheet. I would recommend making the granola as the recipe is written, then adjusting to your preference from there.

I do not like to break the granola up too much while I am cooking it as we like more of the granola clumps. If you do not like clumps in your granola, feel free to break it up more as you cook it. 

Once the granola is finished you can add in dried fruit or even mini chocolate chips if you desire. The great thing about it is there are so many variations on what you can put in it!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Five for Friday

Hello and welcome to my Five for Friday! I am linking up with Cup of Tea Bright on a BudgetDella Devoted, and BYBMG!

1. While we were at my grandparents house last week we picked a bunch of blackberries. I wanted to make something with them so I came home and made some blackberry syrup. I've never made blackberry syrup before, but I thought it sounded good! It made way more than I expected, but it tastes really good!
2. Our drive home from my grandparents ended up being SO LONG. What is usually about a 10 hour drive ended up taking us 12 hours! We were expecting it to take a while, since we were traveling the day before the eclipse, but we ended up getting stuck in traffic for a long time because of construction. We did have Chipotle for lunch, so that was a plus. ;)
3. The big eclipse was earlier this week. Which I think everyone in the entire world has heard about! We were at 99.55% totality here. My mom bought glasses months ago, so we were able to actually watch it. It really didn't get very dark here, just a little, and it did get a tiny bit cooler at totality. It was weird because colors were really dark and vivid. After seeing pictures from places where it was 100% totality and dark as night, we were really surprised that .5% it was still really light out.

4. Another thing we did this week was make bread and butter pickles. While we were at my grandparents house my grandpa was talking about how he had a bunch of cucumbers in the garden and my mom decided she wanted to make pickles. So we ended up coming home with a bag of cucumbers (And a bag of carrots. Carrots fresh from the garden are so good!) and my mom and I got to work making pickles! It's a bit of a process to make them, cutting, soaking the cucumbers in salt for hours, cooking, then putting in jars and canning. But it was interesting to see how they're made. I haven't tried them yet but my  mom and sister really like them!
5. If you saw last weeks Five for Friday post, you saw that we went to Mt. Rainier. We visited the gift shop and I picked up a couple of post cards. I always feel like gift shops are so overpriced, so unless I find something I really like, I typically end up not getting anything. I do, however, always like to find postcards. They're almost always around like 50 cents, so they're definitely cheap! I especially like ones that aren't photographs (since I always take my own pictures!) I like ones that are artsy or watercolors or something. 

Once I get enough I like to arrange them in a frame like I did here!
Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Five for Friday

Hello and welcome to my Five for Friday! I am linking up with Cup of Tea Bright on a BudgetDella Devoted, and BYBMG!

1. We've been in Washington this week visiting my grandparents and it has been SO nice! It's always great to see my grandparents and my dad was able to get the week off and join us, so it's been nice to see him too! We haven't seen him since the Fourth of July weekend!

We drove up to Olympic National Park one day and went for a hike. The scenery was just beautiful! The weather was nice too! Not too hot and not too cold. The trail was deserted too, so it was nice not running into a bunch of people!
2. And we also drove up to Mount Rainier! Despite the fact we lived most of my life in Washington, my siblings and I had never been up there before. My mom had gone when she was a kid, but that was the last time she had been too. We started at the lodge, which was at 5,400 ft in elevation, and we hiked up to 6,700 ft in elevation!!! The hike was around 3 miles round trip, which goes to show just how steep the trail really was! We basically walked about 1,300 ft in elevation uphill in 1.5 miles. Needless to say, we were all quite sore the next day! 

I have lots more pictures and will have a full post soon! 
I made my dad stop so I could get a picture of the volcano evacuation sign. Not something you see every day!
3. I bought this nail polish in So Daupe by Sinful Colors at Walgreens and I really really like it! It's just a really pretty kind of grayish purple (it looks kind of brown on Walgreen's website, but it's really pretty in real life!) I've had it on for 6 days now and I only have two tiny chips in it. (I use this top coat.)
4. I was at Trader Joe's earlier this week and found this sparkling water. I really like grapefruit Perrier, but Albertson's is the only store in my area that sells it, and since I hate shopping at Albertson's I won't go there. Anyways, I was really excited to give this a try and it is really good! And it's only $0.99! 

They also had lemon, lime, pineapple, and a tangerine & clementine or something flavor. 
5. In case you missed it I shared a review of my July Ipsy glam bag!
Have a great weekend!

And sorry if you have left a comment this week and I haven't responded yet, I just haven't had a chance to get to them yet!

Monday, August 14, 2017

July Ipsy Glam Bag Review

Seraphine Botanicals Lychee + Gold Blush: I really liked that this product is all natural. The color is pretty bold, a little goes a long ways! I thought the shade looked nice with my skin tone. Maybe a little too warm if I'm being really picky, but overall a nice color.
Ciaté London  Wonderwand Gel-Kohl Hybrid Liner in Black: I didn't really care for this eye liner. It wasn't as creamy as I would have expected from a kohl liner. The color was bold at first but was fairly easy to wipe off. It just didn't do a good job at lasting throughout the day. And the brush was useless. It's too soft to be able to smudge the liner and just doesn't do anything. Overall I didn't like this.
AHAVA  Mineral Hand Cream: This lotion didn't feel too greasy and while it was pretty absorbent, I wouldn't consider it super moisturizing. It has a rather nice light scent to it, almost like lilacs. Overall I did like this hand cream.
TONYMOLY I'm Real Sheet Masks in Green Tea and Lotus: I'm not really into masks, and I prefer cream/mud masks over sheet masks, but these were okay.
Green tea mask: While my skin was a bit red after using the mask, it didn't irritate my skin. After using it, my skin felt soft and smooth. The scent was subtle. 

Lotus mask: The smell was nothing like a lotus, to me, it smelled like that cherry cough syrup I'm sure you all remember taking as a kid! I didn't like this one as much. It just didn't really do anything for me.
OFRA Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Gold Rush: I didn't care for this eyeshadow. It's too shimmery and the gold is just kind of an ugly color.
Overall this was a pretty decent bag. The only products I really didn't care for was the eyeshadow and the eye liner. And even then I like the items in general, but I just didn't care for the shade of the eyeshadow and the eye liner just wasn't that great. The blush and the lotion were probably my favorite items in this bag.