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make your own granola

I do get tired of eating bran flakes for breakfast and I don't want to buy most of the over priced boxed stuff called cereal. Then I remembered I used to make my own granola back in the I dug out this recipe for Great Granola. I call it Coconut Cashew Cinnamon Granola.

This is a simple recipe with simple ingredients. I don't remember which magazine I cut it out of, it's been twenty years ago or so. Most likely
Vegetarian Times.

I did change it up a bit. In place of the nuts you can use whatever kind of nuts you have on hand. Cashew bits and pieces work well here. Coconut is an option, and a yummy one! I used fresh coconut a friend had just cracked open at my place a few days earlier. I didn't add the raisins as I'm not much of a fan. I didn't think of it until now, but dried cranberries would be fabulous!

Great Granola

1/4 cup + a dab (1/2 stick) butter (or margarine, if you prefer)
a little less than 1/2 cup honey
4 cups rolled oats (regular or quick)
1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened, if possible
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds or chopped cashews (I mixed up both)
1 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup raisins or currants

Oven at 350 degrees

In a large bowl throw in all the dry stuff except for wheat germ and raisins.
In a pot melt the butter and honey.
Stir the melted liquid into the bowl of dry stuff and mix really well with a wood spoon.
Spread in a large cookie baking sheet with edges. Some people call them jelly roll pans.
Bake in oven for 15 minutes, STIRRING EVERY 5 MINUTES. Make sure you push mixture from the edges where it will brown faster.
Stir in the wheat germ now and bake another 10 minutes or until lightly browned. (Mine is a bit more toasty in the photo.)
Remove and stir in raisins.

Cool completely then put in air tight container.
Lasts for weeks in cupboard or much longer in fridge.

I save by buying my oats, sunflower seeds, and nuts in bulk at my local natural foods store. If you want to control your quality further choose organic items.



special pieces for a special friend

One of my best friends, since we were about four, asked me to make a multi-colored bead bracelet and a necklace with strands of seed beads gathered up by a few focal beads. She didn't realize she was asking me to design something a little out of my comfort zone. You would think it would be a simple matter to mix a bunch of beads together, string it into a bracelet and call it done.

Not for me. I worried about the blue shade next to the green color and the round shape too close to another round shape. Was it too heavy on the browns...or maybe the greens...and did I use too many squares? After working out all the details I settled on the bracelet below. It's not that this was a complicated design or technique, but I wanted it to be just right.

Below is her necklace using vintage bronze seed beads, (the sparkly small ones) copper elements, amber and turquoise. It's long enough to slip over the head. I enjoyed designing and making this piece because I love the combination of the copper metal with these stones and bronze beads. I was thrilled to find these vintage seed beads, so long ago I had all but forgotten them, and now here they are in my friend's necklace. I love that!


good habits for a great life

This list was given to me by a dear friend and life coach, Helene Van Manen. Most of it we all know. Most of it we find a challenge to incorporate into life every day. Every day being the key word! I try to get in at least a few daily. How about you?

1. Give yourself some quiet time first thing in the morning.

2. Drink lots of water.

3. Eat three healthy meals.

4. Breathe 5 times before leaving the house or car.

5. Do some exercise every day. Make it fun.

6. Spend time with nature.

7. Acknowledge people in your life.

8. Give something to the world. Even a smile.

9. Keep a "blessing" or gratitude book.

10. Go to bed early.



the "just enough" life

My friend's garden harvest

My "Just Enough" list looks like this

Reasonable health.

Eating good food simply.

Clothes that are comfortable.

Warm home with a small footprint.

Free time for creating.

Time with family and friends.

Appreciation for the moment.

Sharing what I have with someone in need.

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