Breakfast Crush

This is for those of you who love oats, who like a substantial breakfast and may have been cutting down on those refined sugars. I have been making muesli, granola and the like in many different versions and incarnations over the years. Each time I try to cut out the oil or the sugar, reduce this or that hoping to make a better healthier batch of breakfast love. But it was Sarah Britton’s granola that inspired this most recent offering. And just quietly I love it. Love. It. Really.

As usual there were a few changes, just a few tweaks. I didn’t have any flaked coconut so I used desiccated coconut and I was generous with my rolled oats. What I have enjoyed for breakfast is the coconut oil – it has transformed the toasting process. And if I am honest I think the addition of sea salt just makes the toasted almonds sing. So this is my new breakfast crush. I am fussy. I like breakfast, but I get tired if it fails to perform or deliver that wow, yum factor.

This has it all – Breakfast Crush Granola.

Breakfast Crush Granola
Ingredients:
4 -6 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds, chopped roughly
1.5 cups desiccated coconut
1/4 tsp. finely ground sea salt
1/3 cup liquid honey
4 Tbsp. coconut oil
Directions:
1. Preheat over to 180°C.
2. In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, whisk oil and honey together.
3. In a large bowl combine oats, almonds, coconut, and sea salt.
4. Pour oil and honey mixture over dry ingredients and stir very well to coat. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from oven and stir. Place back in oven but remove and stir every 5 minutes or so until the oats are golden brown (approx. 25-30 minutes).

The Promise

FINALLY. The kids are back to school today. Yes, after three weeks the routine has returned and I have to admit I am so glad. Just quietly I think they are too.

It has been a different holiday for this family of seven. My man worked through this school holidays, taking just a long weekend in the middle. The weather here has been awful. Cold, wet, stormy weather, true to winter in the southern part of Australia. Our home has been partly painted so we have experienced the aftermath of a pseudo renovation – think weeks of unpacking and reorganising kid’s chaos. And I have been tired. Maybe it is the winter blues, perhaps it is midlife discontent. Just maybe my fight for joy has been superceded by being overwhelmed by the ordinary, staring at four walls and the groundhog day nature of domestic life with a large family. “Mum, where are you Mum!” I know you understand – the days when every child calls your name twice, all at the same time. When the needs and wants turn into commands, when the boredom is offset only by another movie because it is so wet and cold outside. The kids want sugar and you want wine – at one o’clock in the afternoon.

Looking over my holiday snaps I was struck by this image. Looking over the river in our beachside town. It was an ordinary day – we were attempting a family walk, with grumbles  and stumbles and cajoling along the way. And there was a rainbow. In the midst of the greyness of the day, in amongst the familiar scene of Port Fairy there was a promise. Hope. Beauty. Colour.

I realise there are daily reminders in creation, in the words I read, the people I meet that all provide me with hope, encouragement and a new way of looking at life. I just have to be willing to see them. The little ray of sunshine that causes the bow in the sky. The presence of joy that is there if I will see.

You make known to me <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-14104A" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 12px; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”>the path of life,  in your presence there is <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-14104B" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 12px; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”>fullness of joy; at your right hand are <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-14104C" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 12px; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”>pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

My Life in an Instagram

Life in pictures. It is a neat concept and one that I have only recently been observing as I have started to use Instagram more. Do you use Instagram? I wonder what advantages you find posting pics rather than words or status updates? Have conversations via hashtags?

I love this snapshot of part of my life last month. All @7mouths2feed.

Friendly Advice Family Advice

I wonder what your response is to this quote? I think I like it. And I think it resonates. I can think of a dozen times throughout my years when this sentiment could describe my own situation.
We are not good at affirming each other, encouraging one another and celebrating their joy, reward and fullness. We tend to be critical, judgemental, awkward in our silence and lack enthusiasm when a friend takes the first step to actually do something new and BIG. So I have saved this quote so that I am inspired to not be that someone that says “it cannot be done.” I want to be sensible and realistic about the circumstances and context too, but I want to commit to listening well to others, to expanding their horizons. And I suspect this applies firstly to my own family. I am often telling my children no because it doesn’t suit me and I have no energy for their new and BIG idea. I don’t want my limitations – being tired, grumpy, selfish or busy – to limit their opportunities.

Evernote Crush

Evernote. You may be a convert already but I am only now finding the time to ‘play’ with this little app.  And I think it could potentially change my life. It will challenge my habit of collecting moleskins and beautiful journals. It will stop me writing in several journals at once. It may help me to stay on track with a whole range of documents, ideas and administration. It will allow me to illustrate ideas as they come, to track the flow of new thoughts, creative projects and memos. And these lovely jottings will be synced across my devices.

So I see you may still be unsure. In the last week I have used Evernote to:

  • Collate research notes
  • List blogging ideas
  • Clip important documents from the web
  • Annotate a photo – with Skitch
  • Copy and paste inspirational quotes
  • Note important websites to visit
  • Store important receipts
  • Journal my ideas
  • Make shopping and to do lists
I have a long way to go. I need to use it each day for a week to get a real run on its full potential. Sacha Chua’s  is inspiring in how she used Evernote for Visible Thinking. She uses Sketchbooks to illustrate what she learns and helps people engage with Visible Thinking. Evernote is her vehicle. Her Vodcast makes Evernote look so simple and the obvious way forward for any creative. Enjoy!

Frozen Holiday Treat

We had such a hoot visiting Frozen at Melbourne’s new Emporium in the CBD. What is there not to like about a serve yourself frozen yogurt mecca, with toppings that will blow your mind. It was like being a kid in a candy store. Yep, we were 5 kids and 2 adults making choices about berry yogurt, soy mango, almond and vanilla and chocolate. And then we had to line up at add all the toppings – lollies, chocolate, macaroon lolly pops and then you could add nuts, chia seeds, or pomegranate pearls.

 The presentation was clean, streamlined and oh so pretty. I liked minimal presentation, the warmth of wood, polished concrete floors, some retro light fittings and a young Asian dude weighing our cups of yogurt treasures. Yes you pay by weight – so there was much parental guidance in the self serving!

I imagine you could create your very own Frozen bar at home. Invite some friends over for dinner and have a party creating amazing treats for everyone. Note the American jelly beans and large chunks of Turkish Delight in this cup. Hhhmmmm. Enjoy xx

Pom Poms

School Holidays always demand a little bit of craft don’t they? My gorgeous sister in law pointed us to the very special pom pom maker aka fluff ball maker, says the advertising on the box. These inexpensive plastic devices have you making pom poms of all shapes and sizes in a matter of minutes. Seriously good fun. So get your pom pom skates on these holidays and create pom poms to adorn jumpers, beanies, scarves, coats or make a beautiful bunting.

Revamping your wardrobe or making over your kid’s room is so simple with bright pom pom love.