Home Made Chewy Granola Bars
When looking for a granola bar recipe I knew I needed it to be incredibly easy since I’ll have to make it often, also I needed it to be something that the boys can still grab on their own while I’m either still in bed or getting ready for the day or whatever!
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These Granola Bars can be individually wrapped and stored in the fridge.
We used peanut butter instead of almond butter, mostly because I had peanut butter. But ether works great in these.
This recipe does have honey in it. At this point, I think I’m ok with local honey for the boys, in moderation. I did add a little less than the recipe calls for, mostly because I’m trying to change the boys expectations of things being so sweet!
And for the next batch I think I’ll double the recipe and use a sheet pan instead of an 8 x 8. I don’t think the boys would mind them being thinner (the first batch came out really thick) and my oldest wished they were shaped like the store kind (more rectangular) ?
Anyways, after getting over the shape of them, the boys loved them!
I forgot to take a picture and the first batch is already gone!!!
But we just made the second batch so here’s some pics of the process!
This time we used sunflower seeds instead of almonds (because that’s what we had).
Now that they are thinner.. I did notice they crumbled pretty easily.. so I want to figure out a way to bind them a little better.. next batch! ?
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- Update: We have made these a lot! The best thing about them is you can change this recipe around in lots of ways.. just use whatever you have in the kitchen today! And as for shape, we’ve tried thicker, thinner, we even rolled them in granola balls (big hit around here) they are all great!
For more articles from our kitchen check out these recent posts:
Hard Boiled Eggs
One of my favorite snack and lunch items, packed with protein is hard-boiled eggs!
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Now, I’m not going to pretend that boiling eggs on the stove is hard but the Instant Pot does hard-boiled eggs like a champ! And they are super-duper easy to peel!!
Here’s the method I use every time and it hasn’t failed me yet. (this is for hard-boiled, if you like them a bit softer you’ll need to adjust the timing a bit until you find your perfect method)
1 cup of water in the bottom of the IP. Place trivet in the pot and put all the eggs in!! I’ve seen some do as many as two dozen at a time! So this is a really awesome plan if you are making deviled eggs or salad for lots of folks.
Place the lid on and make sure your spout is set to seal. Set it for manual (high pressure) for 5 minutes.
When it is done the IP will beep and then will start the count up…. this is naturally releasing the pressure… I do this for 5 minutes. (set a timer so you don’t forget.)
Then release the rest of the pressure.. open and scoop eggs into an ice water bath and leave for 5- 6 minutes.
Now you have….
Instant pot Hard-boiled eggs!
Once fully cooled these eggs will slide right out of their shell. It’s so easy!!
And now I have a quick snack or even lunch ready to go in the fridge.
I like to make egg salad with mayo, mustard and salt and pepper. I don’t even need bread but if you want to make a yummy sandwich, easy peasy.
Green salads are always better with hard-boiled eggs
And grabbing a hard-boiled egg sprinkled with seasoning salt and pepper for a quick snack is filling and packed with protein!
Happy Instant potting to you all,
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Want to read more about why I love my Instant Pot:
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Family vacations for less and how our family of 5 ( two adults and three littles) vacationed at South Lake Tahoe for under $300.00 this summer.
We haven’t been on very many vacations as a family since we started having kids. In fact up until this trip the only ones we’ve gone on all together included extended family! So, for the first time just the 5 of us packed up and headed out of town! Living on a budget means we needed to figure out how to have a family vacation for less, so here’s what we did!
Sidenote: after this first experience as the mom on vacation I really think we should come up with a new word for it. Because the role of “vacationing mom” is a lot of work and certainly doesn’t have the same calm, relaxing feelings as vacation without the family!
Anyways, it is totally worth all the work and we made wonderful memories! And actually I can’t wait to go again!
For this trip we went to Lake Tahoe! It was a nice break from the valley heat and I just love that beautiful lake surrounded by trees and mountains!
We started by searching for hotels. There are lots of travel sites that help you find a good deal. A few of our favorite to search through are…
Airbnb is fun because you can rent a whole house (or even just a room if that’s all you need) watch out for added fees though.
Booking.com Great Prices and NO booking fees!
Vacations Made Easy is nice because you can build a whole vacation package while booking your rooms!
There are soooo many sites to help plan a budget friendly trip. Travel zoo, Groupon, Living social, home away, and so many more, are all great!
* When looking through these sites be sure to look for any added taxes or fees. Also, to get more of a value for your money look for deals that include meal coupons, drink coupons and other extras!!
For this trip we chose Lakeside Inn and casino ( I liked that the rooms and the casino part were completely separate so our kids never even went through the gaming area!) It wasn’t fancy or anything but it was clean and we were able to get a room with two full size beds!
This trip we were trying to not leave to big of a mark on our budget, and this is how we managed to keep the cost really low:
Its February! yay! We have less than a month until our due date! And boy am I feeling pregnant these days!! Can’t wait to meet this growing boy and to be done being pregnant! haha It’s truly amazing what our bodies can do, and being a part of this miracle is incredible!
I loved not cooking last month! I had a freezer stocked of 30 meals and didn’t have to worry about much when it came time to getting food on the table each night. No matter how busy we were or tired I was!
So, we did it again for this month! This time I chose to create my own menu from scratch, searching through so many wonderful recipes at Once a Month Meals! I mixed it up with different serving day options, mostly using my Instant Pot but also my oven!
I love how easy it is to find recipes your family will enjoy, and customize them for your family size!
This time along with the 30 meals for us, I also made a few dinners for my parent’s freezer and selected a few different recipes for lunches for myself. (Pizza stuffed sweet potatoes, turkey zucchini boats, and marinated chicken thighs, yum!)
I won’t deny that it was a lot of work and at the end of the day this time, I began to feel like I over did it… (at this point just trying to walk and breath is a workout though! ) AND the truly awesome thing is now I’m done cooking for a while and providing dinner for my family each night involves very minimal effort and hardly any mess! In fact looking at our schedule we will probably stretch these meals out through March as well!
I wanted to show you a few of the details and lists that I love about Once A Month Meals and why I wouldn’t do this without their wonderful help!
We started using the new service at Walmart a little over a month ago. And not to sound dramatic BUT it has changed everything about grocery shopping for our family!
How Our Family Uses This Service
I place an order through Walmart Grocery Pick up once a week! I still do a monthly stop by Winco Foods bulk section for the staples like flour, sugar, etc. And Monthly Sam’s club trip for our big things. But as for our weekly needs like produce, bread, snacks, breakfast, and other meal items. It’s all been coming from Walmart and I haven’t had to step inside a Walmart store in a long time! (insert happy dance here)
We have discovered (at least for our area) same-day order/pick up doesn’t work. Because they are just so busy, in fact one of the workers told Ryan they have had up to 70 orders in a day!!
So, I place my order the night before I want to reserve a pick up time and I’ve never had a hard time getting the time I want.
Because I can fill my cart anytime on the app I usually have a few items in there all the time. When I’m standing in the kitchen and we use up the last piece of foil, or Ryan is digging in the fridge and says, we are out of lunch meat.. Instead of writing it on a list somewhere, I just put it in the cart on the app and it’s there, ready for when I complete my order.
We have been reserving to pick up between 5-6pm and it’s works out so great for us. Ryan gets off at 5 and then heads over to pick up the order. We usually choose to have our own bags in the trunk and the workers just put all the groceries in them right there at the car.
What happens when Walmart is out of an item you have ordered?
The remodel adventure continues…
When most people heard that I wanted to do wall paper in part of my new kitchen they questioned my interior design capabilities! haha and while I don’t know how skilled at all this I am, I will say that if you haven’t looked at wall paper in a while you might be surprised!
My design plan was for one partial wall, as sort of accent wall. We don’t have a lot of busy accents in our space, and lot of mellow grey and white. So I wanted something of a pop and perhaps help soften the more industrial features we were adding to the room! I found so many fun wall paper samples with graphics, words, photos, etc. The one I picked is even washable and pre-pasted!
Alexander Graham Bell (and I’m sure many others) said ” Preparation is the key to success!”
We are in the midst of the preparations this week!!!
The count down to countertops has begun and we are super motivated and excited!
We have not been short of projects that need to get done before we can pour the concrete countertops!
Cement boards were screwed down to the cabinets
Bracing (permanent and temporary) were fitted.
We had to make final decisions on how far we wanted the countertop to come out and how round of a bullnose we wanted at the end!
The guys set the sink in its place once more to be sure everything was fitting just right!
Holes have been cut for the cook top and faucet!
And then came the framing!!! Took the guys nearly all day to frame up and finish preparations for the concrete!
This week has been a full one and very exciting for the kitchen project!!
It began with prep prep prep! 🙂 Covering the new floors with paper, patching up some more holes, etc.
The walls were textured (thank you to my Father in Law for doing a great job!) on Tuesday afternoon.
The girls flew into action on Wednesday night for painting the ceiling and walls! Want to see?
I love the dark color and I think we get away with it because it’s only in a few spots and everything else will be a calm color/feel. It’s also high gloss. The benefits to this is it will be easily cleaned and it also gives a great shine to it! We also painted the drop ceiling a new white color.. I don’t remember which white.. there are far to many options for white!!
We took a break Friday night for a wonderful birthday date!! Ryan’s birthday was Saturday but since we knew we would need the whole day for the kitchen, we took off friday night to dinner and a movie! It was great to have a sitter for fun instead of work 😉 And it’s always fun spoiling and spending time with my husband! Man, I love that guy!! 🙂
And he makes 33 look smokin’
Saturday Morning (after more birthday presents!! ) We got to work. These guys put in something like 13 hours on this kitchen today! And it really shows… It starting to look amazing and this is the fun stuff, we actually get to see the transformation (instead of all the work hiding inside the walls or wherever)
We decided to wire the oven and get that in, in hopes of allowing me something to cook in! The cabinet for the oven/microwave was a bit to big for me, so the guys had to assemble that one. It’s beautiful, seriously!! And I’m super glad Ryan insisted on the Microwave we found at Ikea’s as-is department. It was just a display model, but they took 45% off of the price! The oven and microwave together just has such a sleek look! very fancy!
It was a really fun surprise when I came home from picking the boys up to see the progress the guys made while I was gone!! check this out!!
This center cabinet will hold my cooktop. Between the wall cabinets will be where the hood is! and that whole wall will be the backsplash that I am soooo excited about!
I really like how much the molding at the top of the wall cabinets adds just a little finishing touch! There will be molding at the bottom edge of them too!
I felt like celebrating the progress so I ran out and bought an apple pie and some ice cream! So, we baked a pie in our brand new oven!! * A note on that.. our manual didn’t say anything about it, but if you get a new oven I suggest turning it on empty at first, there was a lot of smoke and burn off from the factory dust or whatever.. didn’t smell very good at first!
Then we decided to install my little desk area and this little cabinet even has the countertop!!! Jonathan used this little area to test out the cement counter! The only thing it needs is some finishing touches and a seal on it. I absolutely love it! And we even put in an outlet and usb outlet into the countertop! (Can you tell I get really annoyed with my phone dying?? haha and I always have to look for a spot to charge.. well, not any more!!)
I think we were all feeling pretty good about how the hard work is turning out!
And before calling it a day we got one of the pendant lights up! It’s gorgeous!
These Home Depot lights look like the ones I fell in love with at pottery barn! but instead of costing over $100 a piece they were $30.00.
30 bucks that’s it!! 🙂
We bought the old-fashioned styled light bulbs at Battery plus and I think it adds a great little touch to them!
I think it’s turning out beautifully! I’m excited to be able to bake some dinners now and give our crockpot and bbq a little bit of a break! And the plan is to work on the sink soon so that’s super exciting!!
And the boys have loved playing with the cardboard…we sure have plenty! 🙂
Well, what do you all think of it all so far? Are you able to see the vision? It feels like it is actually working, we may even get a kitchen out of all this! hahaha Yes!!
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You’ve probably heard of this movement to get rid of cable tv. Many call it ” cutting the cord” and they are going with alternatives like internet streaming channels in order to cut down on a huge bill!
I hated our cable bill, Why is it so much just for television? We went through most cable companies available in our area. Switching back and forth in order to wrangle the best deal we could, it was a headache and despite the effort it was still a pretty big bill.
The ROKU player. Here is a little bit from the company about this product:
The Roku player is Netflix Members’ #1 Rated Streaming Device and voted Engadget’s Home Entertainment Device of the Year!
The Roku player is like having your own video library at home with over 300,000 choices – from the best movies, TV shows to sports. The Roku player is the easiest way to watch anything and everything from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, MLB.com, Pandora and more instantly on your TV.
The Wall Street Journal, CNET, WIRED, and other publications have given the Roku player overwhelmingly positive reviews. Now there’s a Roku player to fit every budget starting at $49.99.
Basically, you buy the roku box (or stick if your tv is hung on the wall) and you use Roku as sort of the portal to all your membership accounts for streaming. Memberships like Netflex, Amazon prime on Demand, Hulu. Even specific channels available on Roku, for example, MLB.com, PBS.com, Kids channels,music even games.
Some of these charge a membership fee, others are free. But even with fees, we have seen a huge drop in our monthly bill from what the regular cable guys are charging! And I like that we are paying for only the services and channels we use, instead of the lump packages from cable companies of a hundred channels and shows we don’t watch just to get the news channel we do.
When choosing our memberships, we searched for our favorites shows, shows we would miss when we cut the cord and decided on which streaming companies would provide us with enough entertainment. *currently our paid memberships include Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon (Amazon prime on demand comes with your prime membership).
Check out Roku for yourself, maybe you’ll find it can help you save on entertainment as well.. plus some of their products include awesome features like voice command and remote locator!
You can also buy Roku from Amazon. And if you are anything like us, you’ll be glad to know they even have extra remotes and accessories you can buy… you know, in case your two your old dunks your remote in your coffee one morning… just saying! 🙂
There are other companies out there like Roku. Apple TV, Fire (from Amazon) The best thing to do is just compare all that they do and price and see what fits your budget saving goals and entertainment needs best!
Hope this helps in cutting one of the biggest monthly bills most american homes have. And hope you enjoy the savings as much as we are!
Let me know if I can help in anyway.
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