Saturday, 13 December 2014

IN MY KITCHEN | Deliciously Addictive Granola

I love food. And it seems like a lifetime ago when I was able to eat whatever I wanted. 

I confess to having McDonald's sausage muffins with an icy cold coke for breakfast every morning on my way to University, followed by either Pizza Hut, KFC or more McDonalds for lunch on the way home.

Fortunately about 14 years ago, my body told me in a not so polite way that it had taken all it could with my less than self loving eating habits, by blessing me with full on allergies and food intolerances. Yes, I did say fortunately and blessed. I feel lucky my body told me so early on what it didn't like.

Now, I eat whole foods that are nourishing for my body, admittedly sneaking in the occasional potato chip (I'm only human!). 

I get excited about foods that are high in minerals. Like the humble pumpkin seed that is a little pocket rocket full of magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and iron. 

Bring in something that is nutritious, delicious and easy to prepare, and you've got my attention. 

This granola is all that. I was inspired by this recipe here but took out certain ingredients to cater for my and my boys'  diets.

- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/8 cup sesame seeds (too much makes the granola bitter)
- 3/4 cup whole almonds
- 1 cup (maybe just under) preservative free desiccated coconut 
- 2 tablespoons of honey*
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil*  
- 1/8 teaspoon of himalayan sea salt 
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

* 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons

STEP 1: Preheat fan forced oven to 150 C (fan forced). Pulse pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and almonds until they are roughly chopped. Do not over blend otherwise you will end up with flour.

STEP 2: Transfer into a mixing bowl. Add desiccated coconut, sea salt and cinnamon and combine well.

STEP 3: Melt honey and coconut oil in a small saucepan.

STEP 4: Add melted honey-coconut oil mixture into dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.

STEP 5: Line a large shallow baking dish with baking paper and spread mixture. Use the back of a tablespoon to make sure all the ingredients are nicely compacted. This will help the ingredients stick together in the baking process.

STEP 6: Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, remove from oven and give everything a stir. Use the back of a tablespoon and press down of the ingredients again before returning to the oven for another 10 minutes until golden brown. Make sure you keep a close eye on it in the last 5 minutes so it doesn't burn. 

STEP 7: Allow to cool fully before storing in an airtight glass container. 

It should keep well for a week but it doesn't last 2 days at my house. Serve with milk, or use as a topping for yoghurt/fruit or eat by the spoonful straight from the jar.

Hope you like it as much as we do! xx

Friday, 5 December 2014

Lesson Learnt | The Universe has it's own agenda

The Universe has a plan of it's own no matter how hard we try to steer things in a different direction, it has a way of doing what needs to be down.

Allow me to bore you with the details about how I came to this conclusion recently. 

Back in October, Jake (7) jumped into the orthodontist's chair during one of Mr 10's appointments. I casually mentioned two of his bottom adult teeth had erupted behind his baby teeth. The orthodontist said that was perfectly fine, however, the adult upper central incisor (front tooth) that had erupted was not meant to be there.

What? What does he mean "not meant to be there"!!?

Heading in with Teddy at Dr Mark's rooms. Big smiles showing me his supernumerary tooth.

X-rays showed a supernumerary tooth -- an extra tooth shaped like a canine tooth, that I had assumed was just coming down crooked. It was the most favourable outcome as it meant a normal front tooth was waiting to come down. It also meant his adult canine tooth was not coming down in the wrong spot either.

Our family dentist was booked up for a month so I contacted my previous dentist. She suggested a Paediatric Dentist, something I had not even thought of doing. Ahh, already I felt better knowing he specialised in seeing littlies. After our initial consult, we scheduled the procedure to be done with a local anaesthetic (LA) and happy gas. Thank goodness! No mention of a General Anaesthetic (GA). 

A week later, our family dentist phones me to suggest I see a very well respected oral surgeon which threw a spanner in the works. "Dr Mark" did my wisdom teeth under GA about 20 years ago so I knew the amazing reviews I googled were true. However, I was disappointed when told he does not provide gas with a LA. Noooo!! To me, the gas was crucial so my boy did not feel the the injections in such a sensitive area of the mouth. The gas was essentially the deal breaker in my eyes.

After a week of deliberation, I made a booking to see Dr Mark, as I knew I owed it to my son and myself to explore all options. Dr Mark greeted Jake with a big smile, kind words and open arms. They connected straightaway. Dr Mark agreed to do the procedure in his rooms with super strong numbing gel. Jake also said he preferred Dr Mark.

The day arrived. The numbing gel went on. Two seconds later, the tears came. At this point, Dr Mark declined to proceed for fear of traumatising our little man further, and suggested a GA in hospital. When my boy wasn't looking, more tears came...from me this time. The GA was what I had been trying so hard to avoid.

Surgery was booked for the end of the week, and in the 4 days leading up to it, my imagination ran wild with worst case scenarios. I also phoned the Anaesthetist with a lots of questions and then emailed him some more questions. Not paranoid, lol. 

The big day arrived and I could not even eat. I am grateful to all my friends and their words of reassurance and encouragement beforehand. I felt very silly about my anxiousness but I was unable to control it. It was a bit nuts. 

Waiting to go into theatre with Teddy. 

So, back to why I believe the Universe has it's own plan. 

Dr Mark explained afterwards that the tooth had a tiny hook shape at the tip of the root making it tricky to remove. This was not visible in the X-rays. Had it been done in his rooms, it would have been a "shamozzle". His word, not mine. Had we gone with the Paediatric Dentist, well...he may gotten further with the gas but would have faced the same challenge of a difficult to remove tooth (i.e. a shamozzle).

Mr 7 with Dr Mark afterwards. And Teddy too. I love this photo!

Everything went smoothly. In hindsight, I can see that despite every effort to avoid the GA, the Universe had its own plan to ensure the best outcome for our boy. And that was under a GA. 

Jake was meant to cross paths with Dr Mark, who has an amazing presence and a natural ability to put us at ease. I believe he was the best person to look after our little guy. Not to mention how the boys thought he looked a little like Santa Claus lol.

Some things just work out the way it's meant to. No matter what we do. You just gotta have faith. 


Saturday, 22 November 2014

PROJECT LIFE | June 2013 (Part 2)

I realise that if I continually have a month I am working on, and keep editing and printing photos, I stay more motivated than if I have a break.

Even if I edit or print just one photo a night, I feel like I'm making progress and will look forward to doing another one the next night.

So here is another spread for my June 2013 family album:

You may notice I haven't included a monthly title card in this spread. That's because I had one in the first part of June 2013 here. My thought is I don't really need one on every double spread if it's a follow on as I date all the photos anyway.

So here's a close up of the LHS:

Supplies: Kellie Stamps (RAD set and woodmounts), Becky Higgins Core Kit (Jade and Midnight)

And the RHS:

Supplies, Kellie Stamps (EPIC, RAD and GOALS), Becky Higgins Core Kit (Midnight and Kiwi) 

The photos of the boys jumping (above) were a bit random and unplanned but I really love them. They had just come home from a birthday party with helium balloons!

Close up of the filler card I made using a stamp from the new release EPIC stamp set from Kellie Stamps.

Stamp from Kellie Stamps: EPIC set

I have one more double spread to do to finish the June 2013 pages for the family album. 

However, I predict a slight delay as I am waiting for hubby to select photos from his overseas trip. I may just put it on hold and start my next month of photos -- much less stressful and far more productive in moving forward!

Here's to getting more photos into pockets! Thanks for dropping by xx

Monday, 17 November 2014

PROJECT LIFE | June 2013 (part 1)

I'm back again to share another spread as promised. 

I'm working backwards from November 2013 (because December had way too many photos for me to even fathom). I am a third of the way through June 2013.

I finished this one last night:

I have even included a selfie lol. Nor did I realise how dirty the bathroom mirror was until I printed the photo. 

So here's a close up of the LHS:

Stamps from Kellie Stamps. 4x6 filler card from Paislee Press.

Not a lot of journalling needed for the above photos. I did however include a month in review card to detail a few of the main "events" from the month.

Stamps from Kellie Stamps: RAD and Mon - Fri (retired)

Here's the RHS:

It was really nice to have a few photos of Mr 10 because it is not unusual for him to literally run away the minute the camera comes out. Not to mention the sneaky pic of hubby as well.

All stamps from Kellie Stamps

I'll be furiously (but happily!) editing more photos tonight. 

Wish me luck for a productive night. Wishing you a productive and restful evening xx

PS. I have also joined the Project Life Link Up here at the Day to Day blog. Pop on over and join in!