Monday, July 23, 2012

Keeping Busy

   These days I find myself trying to stay as busy as possible.  I've had several family members attempt to help me with that goal by visiting, starting with my little sister, joined by my older sister.  Then came my Moma Deana.  She was quickly followed by my mom and little brother, who stayed behind with me after my mom left.  Even with all these visitors, however, I still find the month of July to be going by very slowly.  I'm looking forward to August, since it will bring with it my chance to be back in school, but it's still July.  So, I've been filling the time with projects as well as people.

   For my birthday, my mom gave me a sewing machine, and when she came to visit she helped me learn the basics, took me to get supplies, and even helped me begin a dress for Monkey.  I finished it today, and I'm so excited that it came out alright!

My beautiful model!
The iron-on my little brother picked out!
     The best part about this dress is that the material only cost me about $10!  I used three handkerchiefs you find at Walmart for $1 a piece, two pink camo ones for the front and back, and one black handkerchief for the bottom trim.  The iron-on was about $3, and the ribbon was about $4.  Talk about a bargain!  I didn't even have to buy a pattern or anything because my mom pointed me in the direction of this awesome website that has amazing tutorials!

    I've also been cooking up some goodies for my first care package to send to my husband.  Because it's a birthday box, though, I can't share everything I put in there yet, but I do want to share this awesome recipe for Homemade Granola.  Yes, J, if you're reading this you'll be getting a bag of it in your box.  The recipe is from Paula Deen's Holiday 2010 issue, but the recipe itself comes from her step-kids.  Here it is:

See, J?  It's all lined up by your box, ready to go :-)

Michelle and Anthony's Dried Fruit and Nut Granola

Here's what y'all need:
3 cups rolled oats
1 3/4 cups sliced almonds
1 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup firmly backed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 TBS butter, melted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 (7 oz) packages mixed dried fruit

Preheat oven to 250.  Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds and sunflower seeds.  In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, honey, melted butter, cinnamon and salt.  Add to oat mixture, tossing gently to coat.  Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for 1 hour, stirring mixture every 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan completely.  Stir in dried fruit.  Store mixture in airtight containers for up to one month.

   My favorite part of this recipe is how much you can play around with it.  Take the dried fruit for example, there's so many to choose from!  This time I went with mangos, bananas, and strawberries, and it was perfect.  However you mix it up, you've got a yummy, customizable, healthy snack to get you through the day.  

Y'all enjoy and have a great night!

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