Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Granola


With the start of school, I've been looking for snacks that dear son can have while he works on his worksheets and to curb his hunger until lunch time.  

Pretzels are my son's favorite snack.  They are inexpensive, but they really don't have any nutritious value.  On the other hand, granola with it's old fashioned oats, almonds and dried cranberries makes for a good snack with a lot of healthy ingredients a growing boy needs.

I like The Prudent Homemaker's recipe, which I've adapted for our taste.  I cut back on the salt as well as the oil and added a hint of cinnamon and almond (extract).  

We eat it dry like trail mix, but you can use it as cereal or as a topping for yogurt (or ice cream).

Below is my version:

Granola
(adapted from the Prudent Homemaker's recipe)

Preheat oven to 350°

3 Cups old-fashioned oats
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 Cup of vegetable oil
1/4 Cup of honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/3 Cup sliced almonds
1/3 Cup dried Cranberries

  • Mix together all dry ingredients (except the dried cranberries); add wet ingredients and stir well to coat.
  • Spread mixture on a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper (or a silicone mat if you have one).
  • Bake 15 minutes; stirring mid-way through.
  • Remove granola from the oven and stir (if you prefer bigger chunks of granola, let it cool before you stir)
  • Stir in dried fruit
  • Once completely cool, store in an airtight container


Hope your week is going well.

Blessings,

Heather


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Caesar's Creek State Park


This morning, I packed a light lunch for the family and we headed out to Caesar's Creek State Park.

It was a beautiful morning, the sun was out and really, there wasn't any humidity in the air.

We started at the Nature Center and took one of the trails that branches off behind it.  The dappled light in the woods is always so pretty.  
I thought the refraction of light in this picture was neat.  
Can you see the spider's web?


We followed the trail down to the lake, passing a couple of toads on the forest floor.  
I spy a toad...


or, two.


Once we reached the lake, "Blackie" had fun playing fetch; 
so did we!


After a short time, we headed further up the trail.  

I came across this pretty yellow wildflower growing beside the path.  A pleasant surprise among the browns and greens of the trees and leaves.


On up the trail, and growing right across our path, was a beech wood branch.  

If I was younger and more "spry", I would have climbed up on it.  Hubby is much taller (and has more upper body strength than me), so I asked him to do the honors.  

He obliged.


My hubby is a good sport isn't he?

On the way back through the woods, we came across this old, old tree.  I thought the light looked pretty on it, kind of calling it out with a spot light of sunshine.


When we arrived back at the nature center, dear son and I went to take a look at a Red Tailed Hawk and a Turkey Vulture they had in captivity.  They warned us not to get too close to the vulture as they have a tendency to "spray" when they are anxious.  

We respected the vulture (and the advice).

:-)

We ate our lunch and headed home.  Poor "Blackie" was tuckered out.  Hubby and the little one gave her a well deserved bath and she's been sleeping ever since.

I've got a homemade pizza in the oven and I made some of my grandmother's oatmeal cookies.  

May your weekend be blessed,

Heather

"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
Psalm 27:1

Friday, August 15, 2014

Frugal Friday


I thought it might be fun to share some of my frugal buys.  

I have to admit, I don't find these buys myself.  I follow a couple of blogs that usually highlight the best bargains at a wide variety of stores.  

The two below are my favorites:



This week Walgreens had some items on sale that I just couldn't pass up!

I got the above items for a grand total of $6.04!

Sugar is on sale (with their coupon) for $1.99
with my manufacturer's coupon I paid $1.62 each

Chicken of the Sea Chunk Lite Tuna was on sale (with their coupon) for .69 cents
with my manufacturer's coupon I paid .44 cents each

Lindsay Olives on sale (with their coupon) for .99 cents
with my manufacturer's coupon(s) I paid NOTHING!  Both FREE!

Dawn dish soap was on sale for .99 cents
with my manufacturer's coupon(s) I paid .69 cents each

I love a good bargain, so I thought I'd share.

This is my favorite coupon site if you are interested in saving some money!

http://www.coupons.com/

Happy shopping!

Heather








Mid-August This and That


My mind and activities have been focused on the start of school next week.

Last weekend I went to Wally-World and picked up school supplies and this cute glass apple candy jar.  Isn't it cute?  It was marked down on clearance for $4.50.  Dear son picked out the bubble gum to put in it.  I'll use the gum as a reward for good behavior.  

:-)


A baby bunny got stuck in one of our window wells.


Hubby got her out with a net.  She was "jack-rabbit fast" out of there as soon as he put her down.

We've had lots of frogs in the wells, but this is the first mammal.  Hopefully we won't get any skunks or raccoons.  


I got a new rug for the entry-way.


I found it at Home Goods.  
It was a fraction of the price compared to others I've found in the store and on-line.  

The table is an antique that belonged to my grandparents.  I've been looking for a mirror to go above the table and a buffet-style lamp to go on it.  
I may replace the small plant that is there with a fern.  I've never had very good luck with ferns though for some reason.


We are hoping to go for a nature hike/walk sometime over the weekend.  Kind of an end of summer family outing.  
Maybe I'll pack a picnic.

I hope your week was a good one.

Heather


School
School bells are ringing, loud and clear;
Vacation's over, school is here.
We hunt our pencils and our books,
And say goodbye to fields and brooks,
To carefree days of sunny hours,
To birds and butterflies and flowers.
But we are glad school has begun.
For work is always mixed with fun.
When autumn comes and the weather is cool,
Nothing can take the place of school.
by Winifred C. Marshall




Saturday, August 9, 2014

End of Summer Afternoon






This afternoon, we decided to head to one of our favorite parks, Cox Arboretum.  


They have a working dog at the park, so our pup had to stay home.

Most of the flowers have bloomed, but there was still a lot of color left to see.

Coneflowers

Sunflowers

They have so many pretty hydrangeas too.  

I don't know all the different varieties, but I enjoy their beauty.


Snowball/Annabelle?

I do know this one...
An Oakleaf Hydrangea; their flowers had already started to turn.


Even with the many people milling about, there were still quiet spots you could enjoy if you wanted.





After the park, we headed to Lazy Boy furniture to look around and dream about new furniture....

Well, I was the one dreaming, the "boys" were being good sports.

:-)

I made Baked Chicken Fajitas for dinner and a peach cobbler in the crock pot.  Both are well-loved around here.

All in all a pleasant family day.

Next week is our last week of summer before we start back to school....

sigh...
summer was too short

Until next time,

Heather





Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Next Jump in the Blog Hop



I want to introduce you to a blogging friend of mine named JoAnn of JoAnn's Creativity Blog.  

I met JoAnn through a mutual blog we both followed several years ago.  JoAnn is a Christian homeschool mom and we hit it off right away.  

She has a variety of hobbies that she enjoys working on including photography, crochet, stamping and cross stitch to name a few.  She and her family recently went gluten free, so she has been sharing some fun recipes that she has been trying.  

Please pop over and say hi to JoAnn and may the blog hop continue.

Have a wonderful evening,

Heather

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Getting Close to Halfway


I wanted to thank those of you who took time to leave comments on my last couple of posts.  I always appreciate your kind words and encouragement.

I'm getting close to the halfway point on the Bobble Diamond Afghan.  I've been doing a few rows whenever I get a few minutes.  It is a slow moving project because other than the bobbles, the whole thing is worked in single crochet.  

I'm determined to finish it though!

I found some colors in my stash that will work for the Country Fresh Blanket.  The colors will be perfect for fall, which will be here before we know it!  And, it looks like I'll have enough of the colors to make the full-size blanket.  If not, I would likely only have to purchase one or two skeins and I can live with that.  I'll share more on that in the next post or so.

On the reading front, I'm still reading The Giving Quilt.  


In this book, a group of women are making quilts for Project Linus.  I thought it was interesting when I read that as I know a lot of people crochet (or knit) blankets to donate to Project Linus* as well.

That's it for me.

Until next time!

Heather

Linking up with Ginny for her weekly Yarn Along.  

*Updated with a link to Project Linus

Monday, August 4, 2014

Blog Hopping

Happy Monday morning!

I was invited to "hop" on the blog hop wagon by Taci at TACIStudio.  

I don't think I've ever done a blog hop before, so this should be a lot of fun.

Before we begin, let me tell you a little bit about Taci.  

She is an avid crocheter and makes a variety of pretty projects.  She is very generous with her crochet time and gives a lot of the items she makes as gifts to family and friends.  I met Taci through Gracie and Teresa's blogs.  They live in the same area and have become close friends.  Please take a minute to visit Taci and say "hi".  

Let's get started!

What am I currently working on?

I just found this work in progress from last fall.  I am currently working on it as I contemplate a new afghan project.  

WIP - Bobble Diamond Afghan

How does my work differ from others?

I enjoy making blankets and trying new patterns.  I tend to choose more earthy colors for my projects and most of my yarn stash will attest to that!  

So, while I love all the colors of the rainbow, a lot of my projects tend to lean toward earth-tone colors.  

Mosaic Afghan - 2010

Log Cabin - 2011

Why do I write/create like I do?

When I became a Mom, I became a stay-at-home Mom.  

I had worked for more than 25 years before that and the evenings were mostly spent catching up on housework.  Since I was now home, I was able to devote some time and energy into a craft in the evenings.  

I would challenge myself with fun and more experienced projects and with those challenges I learned new techniques and stitches.  

The past year, as our house was being built, and while we were in the apartment, I lost a bit of my "mojo".  
But, now that we have moved and are getting settled into our new home, I foresee a lot of fun crochet projects in the future.

Fireside Cheer - 2012
Using drop stitches made the afghan reversible

Fisherman Afghan - 2012
The center panel stitch was new to me and I thoroughly enjoyed learning it!

How does my writing/creating process work?

If something interest me, I blog about it.  

If I see something pretty, I want to share it with others through pictures and short snippets.  

If I see something on-line, that inspires me, I make it!  

Pineapple Shawl - 2014
Inspired to make by seeing Lacy Crochet's pretty shawl

And, finally, taking my cue from Taci, I'll share with you my favorite project to date...

The Floral Hexagon Afghan.
(pattern by Lucy of Attic 24)

Floral Hexagon - 2010

So I think that is it in a nutshell.

This was fun; looking back on old projects and looking forward to all the new ones to come.

Thank you Taci for asking me to participate!

Happy Monday,

Heather



Sunday, August 3, 2014

A New Bed


Flower bed that is.

:-)

Yesterday and today, we worked on putting together a small flower bed by the mail box.


We worked the soil, loosening up the hard clay dirt and built this small "retaining" wall out of rock from our yard.

And yes, there is more rock where that came from!

Then we put down top soil, planted the plants and put down fresh mulch.

I picked out full sun perennials for the little bed...


I selected an evergreen holly (in the back), a yellow mum (for late summer and fall color), a knock-out rose (that is looking a little wilted in the heat right now, but will perk up with time)...


purple asters, perky Shasta daisies, and a bayberry shrub (which is also evergreen).

I just purchased small plants, it is less expensive that way, and they will grow, in time, to a nice size.

Last but not least, ole Peter Rabbit has come out into the light of day after more than a year of storage.

Welcome to your new home Peter.


I'm off for a bike ride with my husband and son.  Dirt, mulch covered and all.

Heather

P.S.  I hope you'll stop by tomorrow for some crochet talk as I was asked to participate in a fun blog hop.  
Toodles for now.