Thursday, January 30, 2014

Work-With-What-You've-Got Granola

I've felt like making granola ever since my future sister-in-law, Lucy, showed me pictures of the granola she made. It looked so golden, crunchy, and wholesome that I've been craving it without even knowing what it tastes like! So I did what any good baker would do: I found a recipe and then completely changed it so that I could use the ingredients I already had at home. Here is my own version of a few different recipes with what I have.

Healthy Homemade Granola

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Baking time: around 15 minutes

2 cups of old fashioned oats
1/3 cup raw seeds (I used sunflower)
2 tsp of cinnamon
3 tbsp of maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp vanilla extract a nice pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 300. Combine all the ingredients in a medium/large bowl (I used my hands). Make sure you don’t have any clumps of coconut oil in there if you’re working in a cool room. Spread the mixture thinly and evenly on a baking sheet. Then, bake the mix for 12 minutes, remove and stir, and then give it another 3-5 minutes. The mixture won’t be perfectly crunchy at first, but if it’s a nice golden color then it’s done. Cool the granola on a wire rack and give it a stir every 5 minutes until it’s completely cool. Then, store the granola in a cool place in an airtight container for up to two weeks!

For my second batch, because I was having so much fun, I eliminated the vanilla and cinnamon, and added chopped dried cranberries instead. So yummy!

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Until next time!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Engagement Session

Before I talk about wedding planning, here's a little teaser preview of our engagement photos. Click to view the full size. I know I said this before, but next time I'll write about my wedding plans. Enjoy!

From English to Pscyhology

First off, I'd like to say "Hello" and "thanks!" to anyone who followed my Pinterest account to this page. It's so exciting to get notifications on my phone that people are repinning my blog images and then visiting my blog. Wonderful!

This week has been really hectic for me. In fact, all three weeks since going back to work from Winter Break have felt that way. All of my classes have been starting new units. My 7th grade language arts students are analyzing theme in poetry; my 6th grade gifted elective students are being introduced to mystery writing, and my 7th-8th grade combined gifted elective students are starting Psychology. That's right: Psychology.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Didn't you go to school to teach English? Isn't that what you're certified in?" Well, yes, 100%. However, any public school teacher can tell you that it's totally normal to be asked to take on a class out of your comfort zone. It's also a bit of job security if no one else can teach that subject. So I've been spending my Monday evenings taking a four-hours-a-week-for-the-foreseeable-future class to gain my certification in Gifted Education. While planning a wedding. While trying to learn about Psychology so I can teach it. This may sound like complaining, so let me clarify that I'm having a blast teaching these kids! I'm also loving the chance to learn about things outside of my field. Here are some projects we've done so far. I didn't come up with these ideas myself, so I'll add the link to take you to the true mastermind.

This first picture is of a white board display my students put together. I divided the class into groups of 5 and gave each a two page summary of a certain function or part of the brain. They had to read, decide what was the most important information, and then make a poster to teach the class. We did this after going over the main parts of the brain together.

This next picture is one of the most fun things I've done in Psychology so far: Brain Hats! I found this idea online and was hesitant to try it. With middle school students, it's basically a hit ("We love this! This is awesome") or a complete miss ("This is soooo dumb and there's NO WAY I'm making that!"). This was a hit. Several of the students decided to wear them the rest of the day, or at least until they were told that even brain hats are out of dress code.

My next post will be about the totally stress-free wedding planning I'm check back soon!

Until next time!