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No-bake granola bars

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No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
(recipe makes a 9x13 pan)
recipe by Carole Jones of My Kitchen Escapades
2 cups quick cooking oats (or pulse whole oats in a food processor a bit)
1 C rice crispy cereal
1/4 C shredded coconut
1/4 C butter
1/4 C honey
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix -In variations listed below

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats, cereal and coconut. Set a small saucepan over medium high heat and melt the butter. Add the honey, brown sugar and salt. Stir together then leave it alone as it comes to a boil. Once the boil has reached all the way around the edges of the pan, begin timing. Allow this mixture to boil for 2 minutes and 15 seconds. During this time, you may need to turn the heat down a bit so it doesn't overflow, but be sure it keeps boiling.
2. Pour the mixture over the oats, using a rubber spatula to get all the sugar mixture out of the pan. Mix the ingredients together until the oats are completely coated. Add in your desired mix-in then press very firmly into a lightly greased 9x13" pan. If you like your bars thicker, you can use a smaller pan. If you do not press firmly enough, the bars will fall apart when you eat them. Place them in the fridge for 20 minutes then cut to size.

Chocolate Chip
Add 1/2 C of mini chocolate chips to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan, allowing it cool just a bit or you will end up with melted chips. Sprinkle on a few extra chips over the top after they are pressed into the pan.

White Chocolate Cranberry
Add 1/3 C of white chocolate chips and 1/3 C of Craisins to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan, allowing it to cool just a bit first or you will end up with melted chips.

Candy Bar
Add 1/3 C of Heath bar pieces, 1/3 C of mini M&M's and 1/3 C of chopped pretzels to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan.

Peanut Butter
Add 2 Tb of peanut butter to the finished sugar mixture before pouring it over the oats. Once mixed with the oats, add 1/2 C peanut butter chips before pressing into the pan.

Raisin Nut
Add 1/3 C of chopped raisins and 1/3 C of chopped pecans to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan.

Sweet Birthday weekend

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A birthday tradition. (Birthday candle + birthday doughnut = first wish of the day)

This year's theme: Lollipop Candy. A big thank you for my wonderful friends and family. And a big thank you to Lisa Wheeler who made that magnificent cake! She LOVED it!a


naima8th



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^So very true. <3
I am going to play the devil's advocate for a minute, and try to defend the family that this tragedy happened to.

Information such as "Do not leave your child in a car unattended and in high rising temperatures" are plastered every where in the first world. We grew up with cars, and pretty much know how they work. But what about other cultures? What about those who came from third world countries and don't know any better? I get it, there is no excuse for the death of a child but accidents DO happen. Realistically, it could have happened to ANY OF US. And yes, it is a horrific event, but these type of information SHOULD be advertised on all cultural television channels or even posted in public areas in other languages. It could be common sense for us, but for a family who has no idea of the vehicle structures and how they can hold an insane amount of heat in them, they could use compassion, understanding, kinder words, and of course education rather harassing them for being terrible parents. Give them a break, they just lost their baby. Instead of giving them anger, and bad-mouthing them, let's send loving, gentle words. We all make mistakes, no one is perfect. They are grieving for Christ's sake!

http://www.theprovince.com/life/Three+year+dies+after+being+left+unattended+degree+Edmonton/8611047/story.html

Carbon Footprint Rambles

A lot of things have been going through my mind.

So you might want to skip this post if you aren't much of a reader.


Lots of events have been happening. Mostly good ones, very good ones. Some aren't as planned, and some I wished it never happened. However, I have learned to accept them, and carry on. No more dwelling, no more holding grudges, no more being mean, or being a bitch because frankly, what is the point? Why be that way towards people? Yes, some may deserve a good slap in the face, or a good bash on a concrete wall, but logically that's just not going to happen. They aren't going to snap out of it, they aren't going to change, so why waste my energy on them? That's just it. I won't. Not anymore. It's not worth my time. My time is precious, especially with my children and husband. They are the ones who need my energy. As well as for myself. *I* need "me" time. I need time for myself to regroup my thoughts, my dreams and my goals. (Which are still happening). And that is all I need.

We have received wonderful news that our lives may be on the right path to peace and stress-free lifestyles. We may be obtaining our first home. We may end up obtaining livestock, and continue to grow our own food, and be self sustained. This is exciting!!!! Especially considering where we live.

In the past 5 years, we've learned how costly it is to live organically. At least where we are, and assuming you rely on your local grocery store, or bigger grocery companies. Even in the last two weeks of attempting to go vegan, it is expensive. And not to mention lots of modified foods.

On the note of my attempt of going vegan: I watched the documentary: "Vegucated" - and it put my emotions into a panic shock. The images in that film were physically making me ill to the point of turning me off from eating meat, or touch anything related to an animal. It was that harsh. The images will never be erased from my mind. But after researching, and being conscious of where to poultry, beef and sea food come from, how they were raised, and slaughtered, (and let's not forget how incredibly expensive AND over processed foods + GMO foods are when we went vegan) it put me a bit of an ease. And quite honestly, I am not sure how one can survive without meats, without having a whack load of money to spend on "fake" food. No offense vegans, but I cannot live without my steak. At least I know where it comes from, and how it got on my plate.
I do still consciously purchase foods (the ones I cannot grow or hunt) locally and ethically. Even when buying my children's clothes, or any other necessities. I try and leave the least amount of carbon footprint. Because I want my great grandchildren to have this planet as their home. (Unless we suddenly discover a new planet similar to here, then I will be packing my bags and heading over to a new greener planet. And keep all the uncaring anti-gay, evil and careless consumers here...).

Purchasing items, ethically, is another big thing for me. We have boycotted some of the biggest brands for nearly 4 years. And I don't miss. I admit though, when everyone I knew was raving about Target, and how great there stuff were, I had to go in myself to have a look-see. And yes, they do have nice things, but I couldn't bring myself to buy anything from their store. Can't do it. Same with Salvation Army thrift stores. Sorry, no. Same with TOMS shoes. Nestle, and so on. Call me what you want. And yes, it does make me feel good that I boycott these companies. I'd much rather help a local family company, to help feed their children, pay their bills than to put more millions of dollars to a amoral billionaire.

Babywearing is safe. That's it.
The only safety concern is chin to chest, especially in babies under 4mos (which can cause positional asphyxia) and this positioning can and does occur in ALL devices babies are in: from carseats, to swings & strollers, to bouncer chairs.




Ultimately, forward facing out carries are harder on the wearer's body (pelvic floor, lower back, etc). And these carries are likely less comfortable for baby.




At babywearing meetings and workshops, people are generally there for more info and/or because there is something not working for them with their current carrier. THESE are the times when educators will (hopefully tactfully  ) mention optimally comfortable positions for wearer & babe, and will explain some of the reasons that can cause discomfort for wearer and/or baby, because that is the kind of information that the parents have sought out.




But, never thought that those carries are dangerous - unless there is chin to chest positioning - which I've seen in babies who are forward faced too early (against manufacturer instructions), and I've even seen that same chin to chest positioning in a poorly tightened woven wrap - with the baby facing in (and this position also sadly happens frequently in carseats not in cars).





I am a passionate babywearer, and I know there are many like me. I do understand the passion of babywearers; I really do, and I do think that kind of passion can move mountains (with a baby on board, of course!). I personally try to speak of these issues with balance and with compassion (as I myself spend a lot of money on my first carrier which was very uncomfortable for me. And I admit, I wore my 15mos daughter facing out in a Moby wrap and that was stupidly uncomfortable for me, plus it completely turn me off from babywearing until I had my second child).


However, attacking certain types of carriers or positions as dangerous when they are more aptly described as uncomfortable, especially in online setting: fb groups, etc., is more likely to make a new parent turn to a stroller than to a babywearing group to find a different carrier or a more comfortable position.



Share the babywearing love, not the hate of carriers, not the hate of "preferred positions" - the love.

Oh how I wish I had their imagination...

What kids will do to entertain themselves on moving day...

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STUFFY WAR!

Another great indoor activity for rainy days (or even a pyjama day): Stuffy war. Yup.

Literally gather every single stuffy in the house, and pile them up in two teams. Each team has to build a small fort so the other teams can knock'em down with the stuffies!

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Have fun!!

Fort Blanket with style!

Grab every blanket in your house that you have, those Christmas lights (before putting them away for the season), and create and indoor fort blanket with night lights!!!

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The kids, hubby and I had fun building it. I think that was the most fun part. Then we just ate some grapes and watched a good movie.

Great activity for those rainy days!

Enjoy!

Sorry!!!! Another photo dump update.


Lots has been happening. Good things, new things, EXCITING THINGS ... like...CHRISTMAS! EEEE! I love the holidays even more with my kids. It is so much more fun, and just full of blissful glee (no, not the show - although I LOVE that show).

From Making gingerbread men, houses, and setting up our tree. (BTW - we went with a regular tree, not real, and just did whatever the kids' crafts as ornaments, as well as some plushies, handmade ornaments. I decided to just dedicate this tree to their liking).


xmas
See?^ GLEE! 

hk
My first attempt at making a Hello Kitty hat for Naima. She asked for it specifically with a little red bow. She wore it so school too! <3
Although I did make a booboo - I made a a bit too snug. I miscalculated the size of her nogging. Oops! Live and learn!

sword fight

Dash's new thing: Foam Sword Fights. He literally cries out: "HAI YA!" when swinging the sword. It's awesomely cute.
swordfight


lol
Naima's Elf, Steve came out one night a covered her bedroom door frame with ribbons. That was fun to walk into :P

At Naima's school, they had a Cultural Food Sharing in her class. She asked for my mother's recipe of "sopaipillas". She remembers making them with her year ago. So, I was up for the challenge. For the first time, EVER, I made "sopaipillas" - a traditional fried pastry made with squash and flour. It can be a salty, savoury treat, or a sweet treat by adding a sprinkle of icing sugar. Yummy!

I made a special crocheted flower bracelet for a little Lu. Her favourite colours were pink, purple and blue. And I simply came up with that little number. I LOVE the star buttons on it.

From my little granola group, we each drew a Secret Santa. And this is what my SS sent me: handmade hat and scarf in a lovely share of turquoise. A coffee mug with its' own cozy sleeve, hot chocolate, tea and apple cider. Such a warm thoughtful gift. <3

And finally, babywearing. Here is Dashie modelling the new Girasol Double Rainbow in the gold weft, exclusively for PAXbaby. Just need to take a few back carries before I send it off to a new loving home. Sad to see it go, but this totally clashes with my skin tone. AND IT IS SO GORGEOUS! The colours in this photo, do not do its' justice. Simply gorgeous.

Tomorrow is errands day, cleaning day. So happy to have finished my Christmas shopping and do not need to be into that rush rush rush crowd this year.

Family Christmas Brunch, here we come!










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