Sunday, March 30, 2008

My New LOOK!

If you have been reading for a bit of time, you know that I like to change the way things look around here fairly often. I don't know WHY. I do not like change in general....hmmm.....I guess I do like change, but I don't like changes like "new email programs" or "new computers".....ANYWAY..... I have run through the majority of blogger templates. I then branched into other free templates on line...but none of them were just what I wanted.

I contacted an online friend, Amy, and asked what I'd need to do to make a custom blog....She designs beautiful blogs. I wanted to be sure I LOVED and wanted to keep the blog that I had designed for a long time (I'm frugal/cheap), and the first step was to decide what I wanted. This was OVERWHELMING TO ME. I couldn't figure out what I wanted. I have been checking out istock looking for the right photos et al, and really, I couldn't decide. BTW - I've been meaning to recommend Amy's tutorials on her blog. I've learned a lot from reading here. I hope to make some little post divider things in the future.

Then I noticed YOUR blog Holly. I loved it. You told me where you got it - and I went exploring.

Michelle at Shabby Creations designs blogs....but I loved some of her templates...and the price is right for a pre-made template - $8. Her prices are ala carte. I decided I would be happy with a pre-designed template, and maybe some buttons. I didn't care for the buttons she had used before with this template and asked if she could make some to match the header. She did. I love it. She even INSTALLS it and makes sure your widgets are in place for $8. This I can afford. I hadn't changed from my pink flowers because I was waiting to find TIME to put all my widgets back. SHE did it for me....and that was worth $8 alone. Michelle was QUICK. I had my blog within 24 hours of paying her. I figure at $8 I can change the template when I'm tired of it.

Michelle just put 3 new templates up - one or two of them are limited editions....go check them out if you are interested. If you decide to use her services, please tell her I sent you....I want her to know how happy I am with her work.

The funny thing is that *I* liked Stella best (though I think I may have chosen one of the new ones if I'd seen it first), my family unanimously - at different times chose this template - Agnes. I didn't think it said ME - I thouht Stella was ME - but they all thought THIS is me. Michelle agreed. What does that say about me? I'm not sure. I DO love it. I think it says "joy". I think it is simply elegant....and I like that.

SUNDAY Potluck

Today was a bit different from our typical Sunday. It began as usual with RE (Religious Education). We had two new boys - which was a lot of fun.
We had a Unity Service today. We do this on 5th Sundays. Instead of having 3 services, we all come together for one service and a potluck afterwards. It's always a fun time. A couple of random photos:
Notice the "dust pan". ::snort::
I was stressing about needing more time to feel comfortable teaching Tuesday's study. Mike suggested this a.m. that I take my books and gym bag with us. He brought all home, and I stayed and studied. Then I took a break and went to the gym. I'm feeling much more prepared.
We're watching The Caine Mutiny from Netflix. Tomorrow begins another busy week.

"nola" bars.....

I've been searching for a couple of years for a granola bar recipe that my family would like. A couple of us have been happy with Sarilyn's recipe below. I was sharing with Deja that I'd like to make rice krispy treats without marshmallows, and she said her granola bars were close, and I'm going to try it some day with just rice krispies. The first time I made these I baked them. I just had her list of ingredients and missed some key steps. I tried them again with full directions yesterday. There are none left - folks even liked them at the Potluck. I think I'd like them better with Rice Krispies, but you can't beat the ingredient list of the Puffed Rice (whole brown rice). We call them "nola bars" because that is what Stacia calls them.
Deja's NO BAKE CHEWY Granola Bars (like Krispy treats)
1/2 C Honey
1/2 C Rapidura (brown sugar)
1 tsp vanilla (I used 1 T)
3/4 C Peanut Butter
2 C Oats
2 1/2 C Puffed Rice (Rice Krispies)
1 T Flax Seeds
1/2 C Dried Fruit
1/2 C Chocolate Chips
1/4 C Cocunut

Combine dry ingredients. Heat honey & sugar to boil. Stir constantly. Turn off heat and add peanut butter and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Pour over oats - MIX WELL. Press into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Cool and cut into squares. (I skipped the fruit and coconut and added 1 C chocolate. In the future I will try some sunflower and pumpkin seeds - but I wanted to get the kids used to these first.)

A local friend, shared this one. It's now our second favorite.
Sarilyn's Granola Bars1/3 C brown sugar (rapadura)
2/3 C peanut butter
3/4 C honey
2 T hot water (opt)
2 tsp vanilla
~Mix all these together.
2 1/2 C oats
1 C whole wheat flour
1/4 C wheat germ
1/2 C sunfloewer seeds
1 T sesame seeds
1 C chocolate chips
1/2 C nuts, dried fruit, seeds whatever you like (I put in flax seeds and pumpkin seeds)
~Mix all thse together in a larege bowl, then combine bowls and stir well.

Press into greased 9 x 13 pan bake at 350* for 15 - 20 min. Cut into bars while semi-warm and let cool completely before removing from pan. Approx 24 bars

Saturday Stuff...

We used the day to get things done around here.
Mike and I worked on filing our AK PFD's online (YES - we DO REALLY plan to retire in AK)

Mike and Jared worked on the Honda

We also scrubbed concrete in the little boys' room and then moved enough furniture back into their room that they can LIVE and Arielle and Stacia can reach their bed. We're now thinking of putting the carpet back as it cleaned up nice. We're hoping for a SUNNY day so the UV rays will do some bleaching for us before we put it back.

While they worked outside, I made and BAKED 6 lbs of meatballs

And Nola Bars - I've been searching for a granola bar recipe that most will like....I'll share more about that later....

THIS is what greeted me this a.m. I think I've found "the" granola bar recipe for the family. It looks a bit silly for the potluck, however. LOL