Month: April 2014 (page 2 of 7)

Something For Saturday: Healthy No-Bake Muffins

A little something for Saturday.

During one of the commercials between Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, while I was drifting in and out of the room, but always within ear shot, I heard the words, “healthy snack” and “no-bake” and hit rewind.  I adapted this short and simple recipe by taking out the shredded coconut and raisins and adding dark chocolate chips in their place.  These are satisfying and just the right amount of sweet.  Completely filling while still the ideal size for snacking.  And with healthy ingredients and no need for the oven, this will be a recipe we make over and over again.
no bake muffin final product blog pic

{You can find the original and unedited version of this recipe here}

Ingredients:

  • 1 sliced banana
  • 1 1/3 cup instant oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup strawberry preserve
  • almond butter
  • a generous handful of dark chocolate chips
  • 4 or 5 strawberries to cut in half and use as a garnish

no bake muffins ingredients blog pic{These ingredients may be some that you already have on hand making it that much more convenient to prepare}

no bake muffin oats in bowl blog pic{The strawberry preserve keeps these muffins moist and is even more delicious when combined with the dark chocolate chips}

Instructions:

1.  In a bowl, mash up one sliced banana with a fork.  Add the instant oatmeal to the bananas and mix together.  Spoon in the strawberry preserve and the chocolate chips and stir some more until all oats are coated.

2.  Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray (this recipe made 5 muffins).  Transfer the mixture into your muffin tins and top with a scoop of almond butter.  Garnish with a fresh strawberry half.

3.  Refrigerate overnight.

no bake muffins muffin tin blog pic{If you can’t resist the urge to try these out and don’t want to wait overnight, make sure to refrigerate for at least two hours before serving}

no bake muffin blog pic

Enjoy!

Quick Craft: Framed Pressed Flowers

I spend a lot of time on walks with Emma, many of them through our local park, where we stop and marvel at the return of tiny flowers that pepper the once bare, winter branches.   We collect our favorites and stoop down to appreciate their perfume, spinning them by the handle of their brown root to tickle my daughter’s nose.   Sometimes they collect at the floor of my car or get left behind on the grass or a bench.  But they can also help to create a very easy craft.  This one (once the flowers have dried a bit) takes under five minutes to complete and would be a great gift idea this Mother’s Day.

pressed flower finished product horizontal blog pic{This pink looks brighter against the white paper, so choose a background that will complement your flower}

Grab a frame, most likely you have one lying around the house that has gone unused.  Pick a couple of clusters of flowers to see which one(s) you like the best when you get home.  Lay your selection neatly between two sheets of paper towel and press a book or heavy item on top.  Leave still and out of reach from nosy pets or kids for a few days.  I left mine for two whole days before putting this together and they came out just as I wanted, but you can leave them for a longer period of time if you want them even more dried out.

pressed flower collage blog pic 3{I didn’t use any tape here, but it’s good to keep on hand in case you are having trouble with the paper staying in place and need a few pieces to secure the paper to the back of the frame}

Clip your flower or it’s stem if needed to fit into the frame the way you want it to.  Situate the flower as you would like it to appear in the finished product and press onto the glass. pressed flower collage blog pic 2{Choose cardstock in the color of your choice keeping in mind the room the frame will be placed in and the hue of the buds as well}

I would use cardstock or a heavier weight paper, so that the flowers sit flush against the backdrop and you don’t see through to the back of the frame.  Cut the cardstock to the size of the frame’s opening and place the paper over the flower.  Put the back of the frame on to cover the paper and fasten shut.

pressed flower finished product vertical blog pic{With pressed flowers, unlike photos, you can change the direction of the frame from horizontal to vertical without distorting the appearance}

Things You Will Need:

  • Picture frame
  • Flowers
  • Cardstock in your color of choice
  • Scissors
  • Tape (probably not needed, but good to have on hand)

 

I hope you try this craft out for yourself or to give as a gift!

A Few Of My Favorite Things {This Week}…

{A few of my favorite things this week that I either just discovered or already know I couldn’t do without}

ranunculus blog pic 3{These beautiful blooms above are from Metropolitan Plant Exchange}

1.     Chocolate Covered Almonds – Although I try my best to keep healthy snacks with me on the go, apple slices or baby carrots packed in small, sealed-tight Ziploc bags, when I am itching for a sweet (and salty) treat, this one is hard to resist.  The generous handful of triple chocolate covered almonds with gray sea salt nails it every time.

chocolate covered almonds blog pic 2{This sweet and salty goody above can be found at Starbucks}

2.     Ranunculus – With spring in the air, I have  been swooning over brilliantly colored blossoms to fill my kitchen or to plant for my mom.  I have never been familiar with the flower, ranunculus, at least not by name, but the layers of paper thin petals attracted my attention.  My favorite are the pale orange version.

ranunculus blog pic

3.     Kindle Book Lookalike Cover –  For all of you book lovers who love not just the content, but the thick, yellow tinted paper, the weathered spine, the very weight of it, and have crossed over to the age of modern technology, this is for you.  This will get you pretty close to the real thing, though there are no pages to flip, and you can choose from a variety of classic novel titles.

kindle book cover blog pic 2{Classic book cover for kindles by Klevercase}

4.     Tea House Doorknobs – I have had my eye on these for several weeks, stalking the Anthropologie website to make sure they were still available.  They would make a new house feel old, in a good sense.  Adding a touch of charm the way only years and dust usually can.  And they would be a perfect addition to Emma’s nursery, filled with a mix of old and new things alike.

77823_clr_b{This image taken from Anthropologie’s website}

Enjoy!

Just For Fun: Breakfast For Dinner

Last night, my husband had an impromptu late meeting and my daughter had a piece of grilled chicken leftover from what I made her for lunch, so it was supper for one.  That, coupled with the fact that I have been stuck in a chicken rut myself, I was rummaging our cabinets and my brain to find something simple enough, yet a change of pace.  So, I settled on an old standby: breakfast for dinner.

breakfast for dinner blog pic

My favorite is an omelet stuffed with fresh spinach leaves and mushrooms.  Filling while still healthy.  Allowing me to sneak in an extra helping of greens for the day and the best part of all…the glass of red wine that accompanied the meal.  Completely acceptable now that it was dinner.

Hope you try it out one night this week!

A Few Of Emma’s Favorite Things {This Week}…

{A few of my daughter, Emma’s favorite things this week that she either just discovered or already knows she couldn’t do without or some kid stuff that her mommy may love even more than she does}

beads blog pic{Colored beads from Michael’s craft store}

1.     Dallas Clayton – This awesome children’s book author continues to come up with creative, inspiring stories with vivid illustrations that spark a kid’s imagination.  The messages are always positive and powerful.  His are some of our favorite books to read together or give to other little curious minds.

dallas clayton blog pic

2.     Baby Sara Dresses – So, this line of dresses may be more of one of mommy’s favorites, but they are always soft and always in the sweetest fabrics and prints.  Their fine details make them stand apart, like the yellow pom poms at the collar.  You can find the line in Nordstrom or on Amazon or in specialty boutiques.
baby sara blog pic 2

3.     Handmade Water Bottle Shaker –  The first time I made something like this was in high school and it was with an empty plastic one gallon water jug.  We filled these jugs with different size beads and decorated the outside with our friends’ football jersey numbers in our school colors.  Turns out kids still love to shake things and make noise and the combination of the two is still as captivating.  I have a ton of water bottles that I like to reuse by filling with colorful beads and securing the top shut with some decorative craft tape.

water bottle shaker blog pic

4.     Boots –  In early autumn, I was looking for a pair of brown boots for my daughter to wear at her birthday party.  It was outside at a pumpkin patch and they would have been the perfect accessory.  The party came and went and I didn’t find a pair that hit me, but a month later I discovered them online and she has worn them ever since.  They are sturdy, but not clunky enough where she has trouble walking in them.   And the scuffs that have come from normal wear and tear only add to the appeal of the shoe.

next boots blog pic

Enjoy!

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