Monday, February 17, 2014

Oh Summer, Where Art Thou?

Just because this winter seems like it will never end.
Just because I miss summer.
I am going to post some of my favorite pictures from summer that haven't made the blog yet.

Is there anything cuter or more summery than a baby bunny?

One of my favorite annuals.  
I have no idea what its called.  
But it has very unique foliage so I can buy it every year.

I love this shot. Gonna have to use a wheat field in some Senior portraits or family pics this summer.

Can you smell summer in looking at this pic?  I can.

I miss summer.  
I cannot lie.  
There are many nice things about winter, including the Olympics this year.
 But, summer wins, hands down, every time.

May you go to sleep tonight appreciating what is, and dreaming of what will come.  
Because it will come.

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Yummy, Easy, and Healthy Granola

What is there to do on a Sunday afternoon?
I mean after taking a nap?
Why not make some granola?
I came across this recipe a few years ago, I probably got it from my sister. 
I have no idea where it came from, but I have adapted it a little to boost the health factor.
I have never been disappointed by this recipe, unless I burned it.
It is always delicious and filling.
Plus it smells amazing while it is cooking.

Here's the recipe:
4 cups Oats (not instant)
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup chopped walnuts 
1 cup pecans (any nut will do)
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup local honey
1/3 cup water
1 cup dried fruit 

*Heat the oven to 300 degrees
*In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, wheat germ, nuts, coconut, cinnamon and salt.
*Make a well in the dry ingredients and and the maple syrup, water, oil, and honey.
*Toss until well combined
Spread the mixture evenly on a cookie sheet.  I use parchment paper, so that I don't have to wash my pans.
*Bake for approximately 40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. 
You want to cook it until it is a deep golden brown color, but you do not want to burn it!
*Allow to cool in the pan
*If desired, you can mix in the dried fruit
*Store in an airtight container

I made a double batch so that's why I used 2 pans.

Come on, you have to admit, it even looks good!
You can almost smell it.

The list is pretty simple and it is super simple to put together.
The most tedious part of the process is the stirring and watching it to make sure it burns.  
And believe me, you don't want to burn it.  If you do, you might cry. 
At least I almost did the last time I burned it. 

This granola is very versatile.  You can eat it plain for a snack, put it in your yogurt, or pour some milk on it and eat it as cereal. 
 It is filling and nutritious.  
Whip up a batch and enjoy!

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Long, Long, Long Winter...

Let's face it, this winter has been cold and long. 
Long and cold.
Did I say cold?
Living in the frozen north woods of Wisconsin, cold can't keep us locked up inside. If it did, we wouldn't ever get to leave our houses.
So on the not quite so cold days, we bundle up and head outside.  One of our favorite winter activities is sledding.  We are fortunate enough to have a fun sized hill in our own backyard.
I like to try and get some action shots of the boys having fun out there.   Here is my favorite sequence from the day.  I like to call it, 
A story in pictures:

Ha! Ha! The boys had a lot of fun tumbling sledding down the hill.

Winter doesn't prevent little boys from climbing trees either:

Or falling out of them:

And of course dogs still do their doggy things.  
They remain mostly unfazed by the temperature change. Although I have noticed that they come in really fast form their potty break when the temps drop below zero/

I hope that if you live where it gets cold, you are finding ways to get outside and have some fun.  It can be easy to let the cold, dreary days get the best of you.  But is is important to look for the beauty that surrounds you and find things to be thankful for.

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