Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Easter and homemade granola

Easter is an amazing holiday for many reasons, the obvious that it is the day to celebrate the resurrection of my Savior, Jesus Christ! This one day of the year gives purpose for the other 364 days! The other great part of this day and weekend is getting to see family. I was blessed to spend this Easter with my husband and his mom's side of the family. Alan surprised me by bringing Bruce which was great and we really had a fun time catching up with everyone. Here is a picture we took after church on Sunday.

Me, Alan, Andy, Becki and Bart

I also made this really fantastic homemade granola recently! It was really easy to make and turned out great. I can't take the credit though, my mom made it first and actually just got the recipe off the back of the "HEB" brand quick oatmeal box. I always appreciate a tried and true recipe so I wanted you to enjoy this delicious find too!

Crunchy-Nutty Granola

2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts (I think the pecans are excellent)
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup Canola Oil

- Heat oven to 300 degrees
- Combine the quick oats, coconut, nuts, honey and oil in a large mixing bowl. Toss to coat. Spread mixtures evenly into a 9x13 inch baking dish or on a cookie sheet with parchment paper for an easier cleanup.
- Cook for 35 minutes or until the granola looks lightly brown. The darker the color the crunchier the texture.
- Spread the granola on a large sheet of foil. Let it cool and then break into smaller clumps. Store granola in a plastic bag or an air tight container.

I enjoyed the granola by itself as a snack and was really great with yogurt and fruit in the morning. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

function vs. style... why not both?

A while back I was frustrated because all of my necklaces were all either piled in a little bowl that had some of my jewelry in it or they were out on the counter, looking very messy. It wasn't organized and it caused my necklaces to get tangled which is never good. You're just asking for a chain to break. Anyways, I decided I needed something that was functional, but I didn't really want a jewelry box or anything else on our already filled up counter. Between a conversation with a coworker and an idea I saw online the idea was sparked and I was on a mission. I wanted to find a "big" picture frame that I could paint white, take out the glass and backing then use it to "frame" my necklaces. The plan was to put tacks in the wall and hang the necklaces on the wall with the frame around it for decoration. Well, I started by stopping by a Goodwill on the way home and what do ya know, I found something even better. I found a frame that had a burlap backing with no glass!!! And it was only $2.99, now that's what I call a deal. The frame was a country blue but I had some white spray paint at home that I knew would take care of that. I taped off the inside, sprayed two coats of white spray paint, let it dry for about 30 minutes and viola.

I placed the tacks where I wanted to hang the necklaces that I wanted displayed and I was a little suprised at how well they all looked together. Not only was this going to be way more functional it was stylish too... cheesy, I know. My most favorite part of this project was the fact that I now get to display some very sentimental pieces of jewelry in a way that I can enjoy them every day even when I'm not wearing them. Here's a little breakdown of the necklaces from left to right. The first necklace is a silver necklace with a round charm that says "mother, daughter, friend" my mom gave it to me this past Christmas and I absolutely love it. It is so special to me because my mom is one of my best friends and obviously, I love her so much. Thank you, mom! The next necklace was the first gift that Alan gave to me when we were dating. It was for my 23rd birthday and the dove represented purity which was symbolic of our relationship and the purity that we have in Christ... on a side note when he bought this gift he was also looking at engagement rings!!!!! The turquoise necklace next to his holds a very special place in my heart because it belonged to Gayle Clark, Alan's grandmother who passed away this past September. She is the first member of the Bean family that I met and was a little intimidating looking back on it because I know how much Alan cherished his grandmother and her opinion so if she hadn't liked me I for sure wouldn't be Mrs. Bean today. She is very missed but we are all envious because she is in heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Becki gave me her necklace and I was so touched by that gift, it will be a forever reminder of sweet Gayle. Wow, this is a little more emotional than I thought. Ok, the next one is fun. This awesomely cool key necklace was a gift from my sweet friend Erin as a thank you for helping her plan her wedding. I love things that are different. Erin has very good taste (obviously) and I absolutely love this necklace, it added a lot of personality to my collection too! The next necklace was a gift from my sweet friend and coworker, Natzyeli. She gave this necklace to me on my 22nd birthday and it is very special not only because it's from her but because she made it, can you say talented?!?! Ok, 2 more. The next necklace was a graduation gift from my momma. The diamond is from her engagement ring from my dad. She had it reset into a necklace and to be honest, the setting for the necklace really brings out the beauty of the diamond and this necklace is oh so special because of the history it represents in my life. My mom is a very strong and courageous woman who has gone through a lot for me and my brothers and sister, and when I graduated from the University of Texas it was one of those journey's that I never doubted I could get through, but the obstacles that we overcame getting to that point were indescribable and completely by the grace of God. And last, but not at all least, is a beautiful necklace from my Aunt Susan. The charm on this necklace is from a charm bracelet that belonged to my great grandmother. My grandfather was in the oil business and they traveled the world. Well each place they would visit my great grandmother would buy a charm to remind her of that place, and this charm is from Japan. It is a Torii, which is a Japanese gate that is usually in front of a shrine. We don't know why they were in Japan but it's pretty cool nonetheless. My aunt has given each of us girls in our family a charm from this bracelet for our 16th birthday's and this one was mine. I've never gotten so many complements from a necklace but every time I wear it someone says something about it and it makes me thing about my family and where I come from. So there you have it, that's the long version. Below the necklaces are some of my earrings, don't worry none of them have stories behind them. I hope you enjoyed that little DIY project and the "short" history of what's been around my neck lately.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Living Room - updated

I get it, I promised I would give you updates and I haven't. I'm a slacker. I realize that I'm more into reading blogs than updating my own blog. It's a problem. I get that. There is a bigger problem too, I'm going to start a blog for my business so I have a feeling this one will suffer even more. Who knows, maybe I'll get more efficient at blogging and I'll get better at this one rather than getting worse. Ha. Anyways, so last time I mentioned my obsession with home blogs and have had some decorating inspiration as of late. Well here are a few pictures. I did just a few small things and it really can make a big difference. We live in an apartment so until we have a house my decorating can only go so far.

The mantle before

Picture frames: wedding gifts from Pottery Barn, Dried rose: Alan gave it to me the night he proposed, Painting: I painted it when I studied abroad in Italy, Vases: tall one from Goodwill $1.99 and smaller amber one from Ross $3.99, "B": a wedding gift and was gold, I spray painted it white.
Total cost: $6

really poor before picture of the top of the bookshelf before:

Large vase: Hobby Lobby $15, White candle holder: Goodwill $2.99, Books: took the covers off of books we already had, white elephant: ironically a "white elephant" gift exchange present, free
Total cost: $18

no before picture, but here is the after

Green Pillow: Target, White pillows: Pottery Barn $12.99 (cover) had the inserts other white pillow from Ikea $8.99 (cover) $6.99 (insert), Yellow pillow: Ikea $10, Blue pattern pillow: Target $19.99, white book box: Z-gallerie $15.95, green flower tealight holder: $9.95
Total cost: $85

The book box is a great holder for the remote and coaster. They no longer have to sit out on the coffee table.

The comfy reading chair corner before:
White picture frame: Goodwill $1.99 (painted it white), square mirror: Salvation Army $.99, wood frame with bridal picture: had it, brown throw: gift from Pottery Barn, White pillow: Pottery Barn, Yellow Pillow: Ikea $10, white picture frame of Bruce: Target, ottoman: Target, side table: Urban Outfitters (temporary and looking for a replacement), lamp: Ikea
Total Cost: $13

Grand total: $122

So, that's what I've been up to lately. I put costs above for the items that I've bought since I've been updating our living room. All other items not priced we already had. I hope you enjoyed this living room update. Be looking for a little jewelry holder DIY project soon.