Monday, November 9, 2015

BlondieChell's Fab Granola Recipe

   Apparently I make this really fab homemade granola, and throngs of people desire the recipe. so here it is. To be fair, this is adapted from BuzzFeed's Granola Recipe, but a more specific version.

*BlondieChell's Fab Granola Recipe*

    To start, find a large mixing bowl, a pan with raised edges (I like to use wax paper on mine), some measuring cups and a spoon or small spatula to stir with.
   You will need:
   3 cups of rolled oats (aka "old fashioned oats")
   1 cup almonds
   1 cup pecans
   1 & 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
   1 tsp Pink Himalayan salt,
   1 tbsp ground cinnamon
   1/2 cup agave nectar
   1/4 cup olive oil
   1 tbsp vanilla extract

   1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
   2. Mix the oats, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, salt and cinnamon together in the big bowl until it looks well-blended.
   3. Add in the oil, nectar and vanilla extract. Mix super-well, until all the dry ingredients are wet with something.
   4. Line your baking pan with parchment paper, then smear the granola mixture onto that. Spread it out so it's as flat as you can get it.
   5. Put it in the oven for 20 minutes, then take it out of the oven and mix it around a bit, then put it back into the oven for 15 more minutes.
   6. Pull pan out of the oven and let cool. I like to take the parchment paper and wiggle it back and forth a bit so the wax paper doesn't melt to the pan.
   ....and....enjoy!!!! I let cook overnight, but then store in an air-tight container so it doesn't stale.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Bulu Box Promo #Sponsored

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   *This is a sponsored post, which means that in exchange for posting this ad, I will receive something in return. All thoughts and options are my own and I only post/showcase products I love!

Monday, July 13, 2015

What Happens When BlondieChell Attends Group Exercise Classes

     Ever have a friend who is a great friend and you've been through just about everything together, but then she goes and just stops friending in the middle of an intensish yoga/pilates/athletic training class called "Centergy"??
   Well, I do. and for the sake of this post, she shall remain nameless. But we shall call her "T".  And in order to understand her misguided actions, you must first acknowledge the kind of pressure she was under...that "I-didn't-come-here-with-her-and-I-have-no-idea-who-this-crazy-woman-is" pressure.
         The situation started when my good friend "T" and I decided that we would take our not-so-flexible bodies to a Centergy course offered at the local gym. Because sometimes we're over-confident and we enjoy trying new things.
        Since we arrived a little later than the designated class time, we were forced to unroll our yoga mats in the front row, while all the slender-bodied women who obviously take this class religiously were positioned towards the back of the room. The instructor was a gracious, elderly woman who seemed new to the routine that she was introducing to the class. (And if hadn't have walked away with at least one humorous story, it would have been a waste of an hour.)
      About three-quarters of the way through the class, we were led into this pose called "the frog". The instructor herself seemed confused on the exact position, but basically,  you fold over your mat (so there's a bump towards the front of you) then melt down into a wide-legged child's pose, mangling the soles of your feet until they touch. then you take one arm and shoulder roll towards the opposite side, sliding that arm under the other. Until you are stuck. And you remain in that position until your lose all feeling in your knees.
      Once I had completely committed the rest of my life to this pose, the instructor then led us to unmangle ourselves from the "frog". And I tried. And I tried. And tried. Apparently I was stuck- face-first on the floor with one arm crossed under the other and my knees bent at the most unnatural angle. I was also the only student still lying on the floor. And unable to make eye contact with "T".
      I tried really hard to convince my anatomy to move-to at least allow me to wiggle to one side so I could resume the class. But, no. Nothing was working. So I had two choices: remain in this position for the rest of the class time or disrupt the class by asking for help.  
      In a quiet voice, I asked the instructor if she could repeat the was to get out of the pose. She did. And again, nothing moved. As I lay there, tears flowed from my eyes. (Why?? I don't know. I wasn't crying.) I was embarrassed and laughing at my situation, but I don't think anyone else was on the same page with me. To them, not only was I stuck, but I was silently sobbing about it. Great.

                            (it may have resembled something like this....)    

       Since I was evidently stuck (I may also have announced this) some of the other class members along with the instructor rushed over unpositioned my legs for me. (Notice I didn't mention "T"?? She was frozen with the rest of the class-gawking at the sight I had become)
       After I was returned ot my full-upright postion, "T" leaned over and asked if I was okay. Somehow she had discovered how to friend again. We finished the class without anymore delays or surprises, and in the end, we felt stronger. And more secure in our relationship.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Grilled Mac N Cheese *Recipe*

    Unlike most folks, I try to stay away from traditional recipes (it also doesn't help that the kitchen and I are frenemies).  Instead, I let my imagination take charge, creating recipes that look like they came from a "What To Expect When You're Expecting" cookbook. Like this one.
     Simply put, it is a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with mac n cheese.  And it is yum. One of those "you'll thank me later" recipes.

        Heated macaroni and cheese (a great use for those leftovers!)
        Cheese (to make the sandwich stick together)
        2 Slices of Bread
        Butter (if you have any of Papa John's garlic butter sauce laying around, substitute that)
         1. Grease your frying pan with the butter.
         2. Layer heated mac n cheese and cheese onto the bread and place sandwich in frying pan.
         3. Flip sandwich over after a few minutes.
         4. Check to make sure you didn't burn the sandwich, and scoop out of the pan and onto a plate. Cut in half. Thank me later.

   This lovely photo is a variation of the Grilled Mac N Cheese. It's the "Mac N Cheese Quesadilla". Same concept, only I added taco meat and used tortillas. (The mac n cheese pictured is a special spaghetti kind my friend makes)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Kitchen: 1. BlondieChell: 0,

  I've had a very hard time deciding how to label this story and with which direction to take it in. Am I blaming my new calorie counter app for my mishap (as in, if I hadn't had entered the meal before I actually ate it, would this

have happened????)?? Or griping about how the children ate raw potatoes and apples that were waiting to be sliced while I bled to death (not to mention the 8yo who disappeared, only to reappear five minutes later, crying because he was afraid his parents would die.
    Some people laugh whenever I try to explain that "the kitchen hats me". Others mistaken my statement as my own personal dislike for the kitchen....when the reality is, I try my hardest to cooperate and submit to the ways of the kitchen. It truly is the kitchen who has a vendetta for me.
    Oh, I started my adult years with naive, lofty thoughts about things I could whip up, dreaming of one day owning one of those fancy-dancy KitchenAid mixers...but the kitchen had other ideas. My main foes include the microwave, oven and stove top. Why?? All I can think of is that they've had it in for me from the beginning...planning, plotting...whispering in the dark....mocking me as I sit here, typing this without the use of my right middle finger....because of last night's mishap.
    Let me set the scene for you: I'm in the middle of cooking dinner It's late and two of the three children are in the kitchen helping me, when all of a sudden, I REMEMBER that I had promised the Hubs that I would make potato chips!!! Uh-oh! So I proceeded to quickly clean, peel and slice potatoes.
    So while the last quesadilla was in the pan and I was slicing the future delectable home-made potato chips, something drastic happened. I lost a piece of my finger. It slid right off while I was slicing a potato and into the bowl holding potato slices.
    Knowing that this was not a good thing. I rushed to the sink to clean the wound. Blood spurted everywhere (did you know that since there's a lot of nerve endings in the tip of a finger, that means there's also a lot of blood??) I moved to the island in the kitchen with paper towels pressed onto my latest injury. I stood there answering the children's questions of "What happened??" and "Do you need to go to the hospital??".  Since I spent a good portion of my childhood in emergency rooms, I knew that my injury was minor....
      And that's when I started to panic. (I am *excellent* at panicking, by the way). See, I wasn't concerned so much about myself, but there was blood and it wasn't stopping...and my poor hungry children were noshing on raw potatoes and apples that were sanctioned to be sliced. All I needed was for the blood to stop and my children to be fed.....when the 8yo comes out of his room, crying. Because he suddenly realized that one day Mommy and Daddy may die. This helps no one.
      After texting a friend, I called the Hubs at work to come home...then our EMT friend who is 2 time zones away training. He confirmed my thoughts about an ER visit and advised me how to wrap it. My maimed finger and I made it through the night and the next day. The blood stopped flowing and I've downgraded the wrap to a Lighting McQueen bandaid, but the message remains clear: I'm not welcome in the kitchen. Though I do not take this warning lightly, there are times when I cannot avoid being in the same room with the kitchen, but I will be more mindful to tread softly.

            And I have spared you the most gruesome photos that contain blood and gore (but hey, I'm a blogger, so taking pics is a must!!!)  Here is my first wrap (hey, not bad for wrapping left-handed!!!) and what I down graded to....along with the top view....but who uses that side of their middle finger anyways???

My paper towel and masking tape bandage.              What I eventually downgraded to....

View from the top. Ew. You're welcome.

Kitchen: 1. BlondieChell: 0,

Monday, March 30, 2015

BlondieChell's March #MomFail Moment

          Total #MomFail moment over here this weekend. It all started on Saturday morning. I slept in, then was woken up by the volume level of three kiddos. I did my my best to keep them out of my hair for a few more minutes by telling them to make me some coffee. (Because I  couldn't think of anything else to keep them busy). I heard the 3yo yell "I'll do it!!! J-----!!! Make Mommy some coffee!!!"
           A few months go, I did teach J how to make it for me....but he didn't get the memo that I switched to drinking straight black. And his 3yo bro decided to "pitch-in" so what they brought me was an overly sweetened cup of what I can only assume to be a semblance of coffee, with noticeable floating grounds. Yum. (Did I mention the only creamer I had was an unopened bottle of Peppermint Mocha....bought sometime in December?? Well...that's where the creamer came from). Needless to say, I wasn't grateful for it. *Then* all of the kids started asking for coffee.
        Now, I've read reports about how caffeine can be beneficial people on the autism spectrum.  I've tried coffee with J before, but it was only once and I couldn't gauge the results. So, I told J he could have some. Then the other two started begging. What was a Mom to do?? Of course J shouldn't *really* be getting coffee, but I wanted to see the effects.....(caffeine is calming for me) so I
conceded and gave all three of them a "little bit". Because I couldn't figure out how to fudge my way of this one.
      Well, A surprised me. She didn't like the taste at all, so she didn't drink any. M jumped ship and started running around (we channeled his energy into cleaning the windows....which he was too excited about...then he starting crawling on all fours chasing a tiny white feather around the house saying "Butterfly! Baby butterfly!!!"). J seemed fine, but then as the morning progressed, so did his behavior. He started to resemble the hyper 3yo.  So I'm going to conclude that caffeine is a stimulant, not a suppressant for J. At least I have my answer, right??


Monday, March 23, 2015

This One Weird Trick That Keeps Your Water Bottle From Freezing

   As you know, life in Alaska means that it is very cold at times. And if you leave any liquids in the car they may freeze overnight. Which instead of water...and of course it will take forever to melt.
   And since winter is still lingering in some parts of the world (not Alaska, hehe) I thought it would be an opportune time to share this!
    I'm really good at leaving my water bottle in the car, so one would think that I would learn not to.
    Nope. One thing I did notice though, is that the water wouldn't always freeze. This started happening when I would leave my bottle in the seat with my extra jacket.
     So I experimented. (And yes, it went well!) As long as I kept my water bottle under some sort of clothing or bags, it wouldn't freeze. If I left it in a cup holder, I would find ice.
     The moral of the story is, if you're too lazy to bring your bottle inside, yet still desire it unfrozen, throw something over it.