Basic Granola

IMG_1949

I looooove granola, but I feel like the ones we buy in the store are so full of sugar, and are SO expensive. So I decided to attempt my own, and I have to say, I’m pretty happy with the results! It’s not nearly as sweet, and has a great nutty flavor overall. I don’t know about you, but when something is so sweet, it’s easy to overeat it. So here you go, my homemade granola!

Ingredients
4 cups of oats
1 1/2 cup pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
handful of almond slivers / nuts of your choosing
1/2 cup of oil (I used olive but coconut would be REALLY good)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
extra add ins once it’s cooled: shredded coconut (add halfway through baking for toasted coconut), dried fruit, chocolate chips, and just about anything else you can think of.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liners.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, cinnamon, and salt. Add in oil, syrup, and vanilla and mix until everything is coated. Pour mixture out onto your prepared pan.

3. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir. Bake for another 8-10. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before breaking it into pieces. Once it’s cool, add in anything else you’d like, such as dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.

Enjoy!! I love this with a good greek yogurt. Happy summering!

Mudroom {Before & After}

It’s been a while since I’ve given a house update, but don’t worry – we’ve been working! And let’s be honest – it’s the hubby who does the brunt of the work around here. Our latest project (which was supposed to be a “weekend project” but was more like a “month project”) is just about complete. We have this little mudroom that the previous owners added off the kitchen. It’s our main way in and out of the house, and also houses our laundry. I’ll let the pictures do the talking, then I’ll share more details of everything we did…

mud ba 1

The mudroom when we purchased the house (L) …and now (R).

mud ba 2

The mudroom after a little bit of reorganization (L) …and now (R).

mud ba 3 copy

My hand hubby even replaced the screen door and security door, staining them by hand. Nice, huh?

IMG_1839 copy

While I don’t have a great before photo of the old sink, here’s the pretty new utility sink and cabinet the hubster installed.

So in total, here are all the updates we did:

  • Leveled the floor (because it wasn’t before)
  • Tiled the floor to match the kitchen
  • Tore out the old sink, mirror, and shelving unit
  • Patched some major holes in the walls
  • Painted the walls and trim
  • Stained and installed screen door and interior door (and also painted our side porch grey)
  • Installed a new shelf, sink, and cabinet
  • Installed blinds on the window

Phew! Not a weekend project. But I love it now, and plan to add a few more finishing touches as far as decor, like a table under the window and some other little touches. What do you think? Fun, right?

IMG_1564

 

 

Flight Behavior {Book Club}

One of my favorite activities since moving back to Nashville has been joining a book club in my neighborhood! Thanks to this amazing group of women, I’ve read books I would not have otherwise thought of, and and learned so much by getting to know new people.

flight behavior

So once in a while, I’ll share a book with you! We recently read Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, You may remember her from Poisonwood Bible, which is hands-down her most popular book. She is a beautiful writer with unique plots, and I highly recommend her writing. Without giving too much away, Flight Behavior is set in very rural East Tennessee. The main character’s personal journey of growth is one that I think anyone can relate to in one way or another. Check it out, and let me know what you think!

4th of July {in three ingredients}

I hope you had an amazing 4th of July! We had fun with our family and friends, which of course included a cookout. I love to cook and to bake, but sometimes, I just want to make something really simple – especially when I’m bringing it to someone else’s home. So today I’m sharing a few simple ideas for some three-ingredient, patriotic cookout contributions.

Fruit Salad

This is an obvious summer favorite, but you can keep it super simple with watermelon, blueberries, and bananas if you’re stick with a red, “white,” and blue theme. Add in strawberries, apples, pears, and anything else you love! And cutting watermelon into stars is fun for the kids, and for the adults.

IMG_1750 IMG_1754

Chocolate M&M Pretzels

Remember these beauties? I love these because every holiday has its own themed m&m’s, which makes it easy to create a treat that is holiday-appropriate. Substitute the m&ms with red, white, and blue ones to go patriotic. And if you like caramel, try using rolos instead of hershey kisses!

dsc_00031

Flag Kabobs

These are even more fun than star-shaped watermelon for the kiddos. Simply use kabob skewers with marshmallows, blueberries, and either strawberries, cherries, or raspberries (or all of them!) to create a fun little display. Let me know if you’re able to make yours with straighter lines than I did…

IMG_1755

What else? Do you have a favorite, easy, summer trick when it comes to all the cookouts and holidays? Please share!

Kitchen & Dining {Before & After}

I have waited a long time to share photos of our newly remodeled kitchen and dining room! Like with all of our projects so far, I have to give MAJOR kudos to my husband. He gutted our kitchen to the studs pretty much by himself. It’s taken six months, but I finally feel confident saying our kitchen is finished!

IMG_1084.jpg

The before kitchen had your classic orange and yellow wallpaper, and dark brown cabinets. There was no dishwasher, so we added one in where the refrigerator used to be. We built a new space for the refrigerator, and built our cabinets all the way to the ceiling. We also added canned lights to the ceiling to brighten things up!

Kitch B&A1

There was a wall between the kitchen and dining room that we removed, which has really opened up the flow between the two spaces.

kitch b&a2

IMG_1089

In the dining room, we ripped out carpet, painted the walls, and I took the old yellow cabinet you can see in the above “before” photo and turned it into a china cabinet.

IMG_0827.jpg

Dining B&A1.jpg

So tell me what you think of our bright little kitchen!

Here are a few more goodies from the process…Happy homeowning!

January 2016 {1SE}

My creative project for the year is going to be capturing just one second every day using the 1SE app, and compiling them into monthly snippets of my life… Remember that time I did this for about 5 months? I LOVED the result. What I loved most about it is what it meant to me – it was a sweet reminder of the little moments. Even cooking dinner at home or walking the dog became a special part of my day to day.

So to kick it off, here is my January! I plan to upload these videos to you monthly, and then I’ll compile one big 2016 at the end of the year. Cheers!

The Guest Room {Before & After}

I’m sorry to say I only took ONE before picture of the guest room. But as you can imagine from the picture below, it was a small, wood-paneled room that once housed a teenage boy.

Guest B&A

We painted the walls a light grey, and accented the room in as much black and white as possible. Here is a shot walking into the room – it’s hard to tell, but there is a funky black and white wallpaper on the ceiling! We are keeping it for now:)

Guest A1

And for our guests, who I hope are many, we have a few little touches…guest nashGuest wifi

Come visit soon and stay in our cozy guest room!