Monday, December 30, 2013

6 Ingredient Granola Bars

Fancy granola bar! (it's not that big-- it's on a small plate)

I realized a few weeks ago that Jon and I had pretty much cut out all super-processed foods out of our daily diet except for one thing: granola bars. And we ate a TON of them. We started buying them by the big box (about once a week, sometimes more), and it began to worry me. I craved them like no other food, and their addicting quality was no doubt due to the fact that they had *tons* of sugar and salt in them. They were practically candy with little nutritional value. 

Their addicting quality plus the fact that I couldn't pronounce half of the ingredients, PLUS their added garbage because they were individually packaged made me want to start making my own bars. I researched granola bars on Pinterest, wanting to find a healthy, easy, and simple alternative that didn't have any crazy ingredients, and this recipe has been the best one yet!

The no-frills ingredients!

This is typically an easy recipe if I didn't spill oats!

Or spill honey on my sock! Gosh!

The "hardest" part about this is melting the coconut oil, and it's really not hard at all.

Mix it up sloooowly!

Pack that shit down, freeze, and done!


4 Cups Oats (Gluten-free if needed)
2 Cups Brown Crisp/Puff Cereal (Rice Crispies should work, too)
1/2 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
1 Cup Nut/Seed Butter (I used peanut)
1/2 Cup Honey (or Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar) 
3 - 4 Tablespoons of Flax or Chia Seeds (Optional)

Line a 9x13 pan with tin foil or parchment paper and grease it (I just used sunflower seed oil). 

In a large bowl mix in all the ingredients. If it's not sticking all together, add a little extra honey. 

Press granola mixture into the prepared pan, and flatten with a potato masher. Throw it in the freezer for about 10 minutes and then cut your pieces (as big or as little as you'd like). Store the bars in the fridge, covered. 

Voila! Done!

Recipe via Yummy Mummy Kitchen

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday Thoughts

While we have spent many Christmases together, this is me and Jon's first Christmas as a married couple, and our first Christmas we'll be spending all day with one another. Last year I went home for the holiday and Jon stayed in Boston to welcome Mr. Clemens into our lives, and the years before that we either split the day or spent it apart.  This year will be a happy, loving relief from wanting to see our families but also wanting to see each other because not only are we not going home, we're having some family coming to visit us! Jon's father and younger sister will be arriving on Sunday, and we anxiously anticipate their arrival!

This will be, by far, the most intimate Christmas I've ever had. My family is quite large, and each year I spent Christmas morning with my three siblings and two parents, were welcomed in the afternoon by my Mommom and my Aunt, and then all eight of us shuffled down a few avenues to my other Aunt's house for Christmas where we were greeted by anywhere between eight to twelve family members. I will miss my family sorely this year, but I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with Jon's family and showing them the city that has been becoming my home these last few months. 

In these last few days before Christmas, I have a lot to do (I have yet to do any gift shopping and have only written out half of my cards [and still haven't mailed the ones I wrote!]), but I feel more in "the spirit" of the holidays than ever before. I feel like we're making it our own and starting traditions that will be remembered for years to come. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Cousins! And Tucker the dog

Yesterday I came home from a wonderfully exhausting trip back to the east coast. I initially decided to buy the plane tickets so I could see one of my dearest friends get married, but it also happened to be American Thanksgiving that same weekend! I managed to see a lot of my family and some of my closest friends while I was home, and feel like it was probably one of the most satisfying and productive trips I've had home. 

After reflecting on this trip soon after I got home, I realized that I have a hard time recognizing my need to be sad. I like to distract, deny, "be strong," and make excuses to not be sad. When my sister and I hugged goodbye, we both got teary-eyed, and while she admitted it, I hurried off and turned on emotionless business mode for the next 12 hours. It wasn't until I became upset with Jon for not changing the (admittedly very smelly) cat litter that I realized that something was off. I felt like I wanted to cry without knowing why, but realized (after I thought of Kate, Rachel, and I laughing about stupid youtube videos and started crying) that I needed to be upset and I needed to cry about leaving home again. Just that small recognition, awareness, and leaky eyes made me feel a hell of a lot better, and I feel much more settled.

Delayed layover in Toronto. They stamped by boarding pass instead of my passport!

Beginning of Thanksgiving with our first (of many!) guest, Aunt Mary!

Getting our nails did before Tara's wedding!

Getting all done up!

<3 <3 

This trip also resulted in finding out that Jon and I have quite a few visitors coming around our way in the next few months! Jon's sister and father will be joining us for Christmas, my mom and dad will be coming in March, my Uncle will be in Portland in May, and my Aunt may be following him in the summer! But most recently, my good friend Dana is hoping to come over soon after the new year because of Alaskan Airlines' current promotion: $200 round trip tickets from Philly to Seattle (scoop 'em up while you can, it ends Dec 9th)!

More awkward photo opps to be had soon!!