Monday, August 26, 2013

Super Food Granola

One thing I have been really curious to try recently is chia seeds. I am not sure how I decided to jump on this bandwagon...probably Pinterest. They are the ultimate super food. Here is a good article about the top 10 health benefits of chia seeds.

For my first chia seed adventure hubby helped me make homemade granola. It turned out pretty well and was definitely waaaay better than my last homemade granola which tasted like burned grossness.

Super Food Granola

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup nuts of your choice (We had pecans on hand so thats what we used. I think walnuts would be delish too)
1/4 cup flax seeds
3 tablespoons chia seeds
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup honey (or sweetener of your choice--you could use pure maple syrup or agave nectar)
1 large egg white
1 cup dried fruit (we used a blend of golden raisins, cherries, cranberries, and blueberries)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl mix all ingredients except for the egg white and dried fruit, making sure that the liquid ingredients evenly coat the dry ingredients. 

In a small bowl whisk the egg white until it is frothy, pour into the large bowl of granola, and mix until evenly coated.

Spread the granola onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Half way through baking flip the granola over using a spatula. Mix the fruit into the granola as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let cool and store in an airtight container. 

*We got our chia seeds, flax seeds, and "golden fruit blend" all from Trader Joe's 

This granola was fabulous. It is not super sweet, but the honey and fruit adds just the right amount of sugar. I love that it has both chia seeds and flax seeds, and doesn't contain the questionable ingredients that store bought granolas have. Plus, its way cheaper to make your own! My next chia seed adventure is going to be chia seed pudding. Stay tuned, I'll let you know how it turns out! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

A New Blog

Hi everyone. I wanted to share my new blog adventure with you. I will still be blogging on A T-Shirt and Pearls, but I am starting a second blog. 

If you read my last post on here you know about the stillbirth of our daughter Emma. I will blogging about things related to that on my new blog On A Butterfly's Wings

I understand that it will not be for everyone, which is why I am going to write on a separate blog. However, I do hope you will take a minute to check it out. Yes, its uncomfortable and sad, but stillbirth is real and it happens more than you think. If we stay silent about it then the statistics will never change.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


In one of my recent posts I mentioned that my hubby and I were dealing with a tragedy, but I wasn't ready to share any more than that. Well, I think my post today will make a little more sense if you have an understanding of what we are going through. Our beautiful precious daughter Emma was stillborn on July 2. These last five weeks have been the worst of our lives. Over time I plan to share Emma's story and our journey, but for now it belongs to just us. 

I have spent a lot of time recently online reading blogs and various resources, and participating in online support groups.

I recently came across one blog post that was really inspiring to me. Lindsey of Still Breathing blogged about allowing room for beauty and joy. Lindsey shares about choosing beauty and how appreciating the beauty in the world around us can soften our grief. I love Lindsey's use of the word soften, because I'm sorry to tell you that I don't think you ever get rid of your grief, instead you learn to live with it.

I am not at a point in my grief where I can find much joy, but I can recognize beauty. I have enjoyed spending a lot of time outside and find peace from what I see in the world around me. I have decided that if I force myself to consciously appreciate one beautiful thing from the world around me each day that slowly I will not only be finding beauty, but moments of joy too.  
Lindsey documents her moments of beauty and joy on Instagram using #joygrief. I have decided that I will document mine using #findingbeauty with the hope that one day I too will find the #joy{in moments of}grief. Click here to follow me on IG.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

One of my favorite desserts is the basic chocolate chip cookie. Warm and soft from the oven it is the perfect sweet treat, but sometimes you need to jazz things up a little.

Meet the Loaded Oatmeal Cookie.

These cookies are full of yummy bits and it is impossible to eat just one! Don't say I didn't warn you...

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies


2 sticks softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup M&Ms
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add vanilla and beat until mixed.

In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Mix in oats, M&Ms, pecans, and peanut butter and chocolate chips.

Scoop dough (I have a super handy Pampered Chef cookie dough scooper, which I highly recommend) onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire cooling rack.

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

The great thing about this recipe is that you can adapt the cookie to whatever sounds good to you. Add different mix-ins and take out the ones you don't like. I'd like to try a version with Reese's Pieces. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer Wreath DIY

Well its been a little quiet around here. Hubby and I have been dealing with a tragedy and blogging has been the last thing I have cared about recently. I think that I will eventually blog about what we have been going through both as a means of therapy for myself, and in hopes of reaching out and connecting to someone else who is going through the same thing we are.

But, for now I just want to talk about wreaths, and in particular my summer wreath DIY project.

I am not much of a DIYer, in fact my DIY Pinterest board is called DIY--I don't. I just don't seem to have the patience for DIY projects. However, in light of recent events I have been looking for some things to pass the time and distract myself, and I decided that I would make a new wreath for my front door.

I almost took a picture of my current wreath to show you how totally disgusting and in need of replacement it was, but then I realized was totally disgusting, and I didn't think you needed to see that. Let's just say we have a bit of a spider problem around our house, and my cheery yellow floral wreath had turned into haunted house halloween spider web fest. 

Luckily, I have a wonderful friend who is crafty and she helped me plan my design, took me shopping for supplies, and crafted with me. Its much easier (and more fun) to keep your patience and be crafty when you have a friend to enjoy it with. 

Here is my final product:

The original plan had been to wrap the entire wreath with the moss and use the burlap as my accent, but I ran out of moss and was not going back to the store (plus it was kind of expensive). All of my supplies came from Hobby Lobby.

The supplies I used are:
- styrofoam wreath form
- wide burlap ribbon (one 30 ft. roll)
- moss ribbon (three 3 ft. rolls)
- one package of floral pins
- three pre-made burlap rosettes
- hot glue

To make the wreath start by pinning the beginning of the roll of burlap ribbon against the back of the wreath form at a slight angle. Continuing wrapping the ribbon around the form being sure to keep it very tight. After wrapping twice around stop and add a pin on the back to keep the ribbon tight and in place. Continue until the wreath is covered (I ran out at the very end. I started the moss on the area that wasn't covered so you couldn't tell.) Follow the same procedure with the moss. Glue on your flowers.

The wreath was super easy, even for someone who is craft challenged like me. I love the look of the burlap and moss against my cheery yellow front door.

The good news is that my wreath is flat enough to fit between my front door and the storm door, so it is protected from the weather and the yucky spider problem. 

I think this wreath will be the start of my craftiness. Stay tuned for more projects.