homemade low-sugar granola

DIY, food & goodies By August 4, 2011 17 Comments

while steve and i were away for our anniversary we had the most delicious granola trifle {granola, yogurt and berries}. i was determined to make a low-sugar version when we got home. we’re eating phase 2 of the south beach diet right now–so we can have healthy carbs, but we’re avoiding sugar. this granola is full of oats and nuts–so it’s good carbs and protein and it’s so yummy!

here’s the recipe…

mix all dry ingredients:

5 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup wheat chex cereal {crushed}
for nuts below i used a nut chopped to crush them into smaller pieces}
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup peacans
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

for the glaze, mix the following ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat until smooth

2 cups splenda
1/4 cup agave nectar
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 stick butter
salt to taste
cinnamon to taste

pour sauce over dry ingredients and mix well. sprinkle granola onto baking sheet and bake at 350* for 10-15 minutes or until golden. serve with yogurt and fresh berries.

what was the last yummy thing you whipped up in the kitchen?


diet tricks that would change your life {south beach diet update} by Lisa Leonard

family, food & goodies By August 2, 2011 31 Comments

some of you have asked how we’re doing on the south beach diet–so here’s an update!

the first two weeks are called phase one and it’s fairly strict–mainly lean meats, cheeses and lots of vegetables. i got creative with lots of spices and yummy cheeses. we ate zucchini lasagna, grilled chicken on the bbq and had salads with spinach, fresh basil and mozzarella. the food was delicious but the sugar withdrawls were pretty painful. on day two i almost didn’t think i could go into the workshop because i felt to nauseous.  i ate breakfast and took a couple tylenol and then i felt a lot better. after the first week i actually felt more energetic.

now we are in phase two. we’re adding fruits and whole grains back into our menu. i am surprised how flavorful {and sweet} the fruit tastes–it’s such a treat.  i’ve lost about 4 pounds and steve’s lost at least 12 pounds.  we’re going strong! my favorite foods these days are homemade granola with plain yogurt and berries, scrambled eggs with fresh basil and mozzarella and grilled salmon. yum!

do you try to watch your sugar intake or do you just indulge?

p.s. sugar, i still love you and i miss you!


sugar is my weakness

adventures, food & goodies By May 31, 2011 25 Comments

when chrissie and i met in santa barbara a few weeks ago we couldn’t just walk by. we had to go in. we had to sample something.

crushcakes is a new cupcake shop in my favorite little getaway town of carpinteria. and i couldn’t be happier that they opened a little shop there.

we shared a vanilla bean cupcake. it was perfect.

we added sugar to our iced teas since the cupcake wasn’t sweet enough. ha! i even doodled in the sugar. sugar = happiness. or at least a moment of pure pleasure.

what’s your weakness?


sunday inspiration {via pinterest}

decorating, food & goodies By April 17, 2011 89 Comments

i’m inspired by spring this week! here are some of my favorite bits of inspiration found on pinterest this week!


1. easter eggs in muffin tins. so easy!

2. the happiest cake ever. love!

3. the shape and color of this side table is perfect.

4. library card wrapping. simple and sweet.

5. cutest spring wreath from allora handmade

6. hand-stitched hands. makes a perfect keepsake.

7. watercolor + eggs = so beautiful. alisa burke is a genius.

this week i definitely want to try to watercolor easter eggs and maybe the stitched hands. love it all! what’s inspiring you?


sunday inspiration {via pinterest}

food & goodies By April 10, 2011 23 Comments

love these pendants lamps, open shelving and the touches of mint green.

the sweetest little bowtie baby shower from the pleated poppy.

a woodland baby shower from life rearrange. love these mason jars with greens and butterflies!

this seems like a do-able little craft. and it documents the child’s hand size at that age. {love}

i don’t need to throw a party to have paper straws in my drink. i think i should buy some!

i made these as a little girl. and i think i’d like to do it again!

i heart the pillows. and the couch too.

love this outfit.

thing on this list most likely to make me drop everything and give it a try? probably the cupcake cones or the mason jars with butterflies. how about you?


heart-shaped cinnamon rolls

DIY, food & goodies By March 31, 2011 46 Comments

i saw these heart-shaped cinnamon rolls over at be different act normal and i was smitten!

instead of making my own, i just popped open a package from trader joes. i used their jumbo cinnamon rolls. they are seriously tasty. please excuse my cookie sheet. it’s been through a lot!

i unrolled one side until it was the same size as the inside roll and created a point at the bottom of the heart. reshaping the cinnamon rolls took about 2 minutes.

i love a super fast, super sweet project.

we are a big let’s-make-breakfast family. i make pancakes a couple times a week and usually cinnamon rolls and eggs at least once a week. 

what’s your favorite family breakfast?


making a lazy susan work hard

DIY, food & goodies By February 24, 2011 46 Comments

i was out thrifting with my mom last week and came across a lazy susan begging to be made pretty! since i’ve been on my yellow kick lately–i thought that was a good place to start.

here’s the ‘before’. blah, boring, heavy 70’s dark wood.

i thought this was going to be a piece of cake project, but nope. it took about 5 coats of paint to cover the dark wood. then halfway through i started to question my choice of yellow. i was seriously tempted to throw the whole thing in the trash and call it a day. but i plugged along.

now it’s sitting on my kitchen island with sweet daisies, fresh fruit and napkins. adding some happiness. you can see our kitchen chairs are lime green and my aqua, reupholstered chair in the background.

can you tell i’m ready for spring? how about you?


Why we LOVE baking (heart-shaped cookies!)

food & goodies By February 7, 2011 28 Comments

matthias and i tried to make heart shaped cookies this afternoon and although they were tasty, they were coming out blob-shaped rather than heart-shaped.

then i got the idea to use the cookie cutter right AFTER they cookies came out of the oven. it worked so much better!

now we have yummy heart-shaped {rather than blob-shaped} cookies. love it.

what’s your favorite thing to bake?