Sunday, July 22, 2012

Best Granola Recipe

I did some research, looked on Pinterest and Google for a Granola Recipe.  That was on my summer list of things to do.  I have a whole bucket of rolled oats and my children have taken a liking to yogurt parfaits.  So, I found a recipe on Artisan Bread In Five.  It is called Aunt Melissa's Granola but I adapted it to my liking.  So, here is the recipe. Enjoy!
Granola Recipe
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup chopped nuts of your choice
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped apricots, and dried cranberries ( you can use what fruit you like)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment or a silpat.  Combine the honey, maple syrup, oil, water, and vanilla, set aside.  Toss together all of the dry ingredients (leave out the raisins and dried fruit until after the granola is baked and cooled.)  Add the honey mixture and toss with a spoon until the oats are well covered.  Spread the granola over two rimmed baking sheets in a thin layer.  Bake for 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Continue to check granola so that it doesn't get too brown and so that it bakes evenly.  After the granola is cooled, pour the granola in a storage canister and add the dried fruit.  Note: There are two pans, we pour each one in a storage container, one we add dried fruit for snacking and the other we leave plain without fruit for our parfaits and cereal. 

Here is a picture of our Yogurt Parfait.
We put yogurt in the bottom of a bowl, topped it with our granola and added strawberries and blueberries.  Yum-o!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Alcove Decorating

Ok, so here is what I have done as far as the alcove in my entry way is concerned.  I hung the bird cage.  I got a longer table so that the lamp could stay but you could visualize all of the decorating pieces in the alcove.  I added some vinyl wording above the alcove.  So, what do you professional mommy decorators out there think?  Honesty is important!

I would love to hear your thoughts!  Maybe I am finished, maybe I am not!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Some of My Fav's

We have quite a few projects that we are in the middle of!  Isn't that the usual, we have such great ideas and start something and then we find it so difficult to finish anything quickly.  It usually takes a while to get things done!  Grrrr!  Frustrating sometimes! 

So, my projects right now are:
  1. Finish Decorating the new Homeschool room
  2. Decorating the Foyer (have done some... you've seen the posts, I'm sure!)
  3. Finish Cleaning out the old school room (Maddie's new room)
  4. Paint Maddie's new room
As far as Finishing to decorate the new Homeschool room, I have ordered some ABC signs.  I went through and picked out all my favorite one's on Etsy.  I thought I would share them with you.  You'll find the one all the way at the bottom the one that I purchased.

I also wanted to mention that in sharing my projects, it will help me be better about finishing these projects that I have in the works!  Do you all have any projects that you would like to share?  I would love to see a link or a picture!

Cute As A Button Art

Bedlam Country Crafts
Spunky Fluff
Stevens Signs
Lola Decor
          And Here is My Fav!

The House of Belonging
 So, what do you all think?




Sunday, February 5, 2012

Marriage is Like a Garden

Marriage is hard!  Truth be told, marriage really does take work!  I can say that because I have been married for 20 years.  We have had some tough times and some amazing times. 

I have come to the conclusion that marriage is like a garden, if we sit back and expect it to take care of itself, it will be in ruin.  If we weed the garden, it will thrive.  If we water and feed the garden, it will grow.  But, if we forget about our garden or make something else a priority, it will die and what we will have is a garden (marriage) that is a complete mess, a garden or a relationship that is choked by weeds as the result of a lack of care.  The garden must be taken care of to flourish.  This is the same for a marriage!  Ok, you get it!

My husband and I recently started watching "Staying in Love" by Andy Stanley.  He is the pastor of Northpoint in Atlanta, Georgia.  He makes some statements that really help to put marriage in perspective.  He says we need to make love a verb.  I thought, what does that mean?  Well, it is so true!  Are we loving our husbands, are they loving us?  What do we need to do to love someone?  We have to show it!  Some of you are saying, well, he is not lovable.  Why should I love him when he does nothing for me? 

Well, Andy Stanley says that when we first get married or start dating, it is easy to be in love but staying in love is a challenge.  As time goes on and life happens, things change and it takes work to continue to have that feeling of being in love.  Couples find themselves in a spot where they feel like they didn't choose the right person.  We hear it all the time, "I am not in love anymore" or "I must hove chosen the wrong person."  He says that once you choose to stay with that person and make it work you are doing right thing.  By making love a verb, we are trying to love that person, not just having the feeling.  God's word in John 13:34 commands us to Love One Another, it is an imperative, a command. 

It also commands us to submit to one another in Ephesians 5:21. What does that mean?  Does that mean I have to serve my husband?  Yes, but that doesn't mean we do it alone!  God will help us! We must mutually submit to each other.  It means we both need to, but sometimes God calls us to step up and be the first.  That means I must choose my husband over everything else! 

I would love for each of you to watch this four part series with your husband!  If your spouse says, no thanks then I would love for you to take a look at these.  I bet your husband will begin saying, "There is something different about you."  What do you have to lose?

My hope in writing this post is that each of you think about what your marriage is like.  Does it need work?  Have we taken care of our "garden?"  Are we allowing the world to dictate what is right for our marriages?  When we don't have that "in love" feeling anymore are we too quick as a culture to give up and start again, looking for that feeling?  That feeling can come back, trust me, I know!  God can restore that "in love" feeling even if you think He can't!  I want to share with you what I have learned.

Remember, the garden needs care!  What are you doing to take care of your "garden" today?

key words: staying in love, andy stanley, marriage, marriage is like a garden, love, valentines day

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Not Finished, Yet!

Well, you know that I take the risk of ya'll thinking I am plum crazy!  This has been a trial decorating of a wall alcove.  I did not realize how difficult it would be to decorate an alcove.  Two things I have learned is that height matters and it is best not to clutter the area with too many things.  

My son graciously held up the bird cage so you could see what it would like like if it were hung. I also included another picture with the bird cage on the old table.  Did you notice that I changed out the table?  Does it look too dated? Which one do you like better, the bird cage hanging or it on the table?  If I leave it on the table, I am definitely going to find some vinyl words to fill the spot!  I do think I like the bird cage hanging, though!  What do you think?

I would like to say thank you to all those people who have taken the time out of their day to help me with this project.  With all that in mind, I would like to share some more pictures and ask for some more help.  No, I am not finished, yet!

Need Some More Help!

I've arranged things so nicely in my wall acove but what really bothers me is that I had such a hard time finding a bird cage.  There is one at Pottery Barn that is reallllllly expensive! 

I think it looks really funny because I don't have height.  I have a large space with nothing to fill it.  So, what should I do gals? 

I did buy some vinyl letters that say something sweet about Family that could fill some of the space.  Any ideas about how to complete the space or what to change?  I just love this lamp, do I have to get rid of it?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ok, So Here's What I've Done

In an earlier post, I asked my readers to give me some much needed decorating help.  I have taken some ideas from some of my sweet followers and I will show you what I have done.  Am I finished?  No, not yet!  I am thinking about painting the back of the alcove, and maybe placing some vinyl words at the top.  So, before I reveal the somewhat finished project, I'd like to remind you of the before picture.                                                                                                                                     

I would love to know what your thoughts are on what I have done!  By the way, I have kept the receipts for these items so that I can return them if I want.  Also, I am looking for a tall bird cage to put in the open space in the alcove.  I saw one at Pottery Barn, but too expensive!  I was thinking of putting in a fern. I am asking for the constructive criticism so please know that it won't hurt my feelings!  Added later: I just saw that Heather Bullard has the same lamp!  She bought them at Marshall's and I bought mine at TJ Maxx!  How funny!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Giveaway Winner

I used a random number generator and I'm excited to tell you that the winner of my giveaway was Tara from Between You And Me. Congratulations, Tara!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Need a Little Decorating Help!

     I am so tired of looking at my entry way as I come into my house.  I don't feel like it is very inviting and I need a little help.  Is there anyone out there who is willing to give me some advice or any suggestions to help me redecorate my entry way? 
     My biggest problem is that I do not know what to put in the little alcove. I am not sure if I should put a table in front of the alcove and how it would look because it would be two surface areas to put stuff on? Should I paint it a different color? Darker to stand out? What to do? Am I making any sense?  
     So, I need some decorating geniuses to help!  Help! Help! Help!  Where are my decorating friends when I need them:)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Hey y'all! I think this is the perfect time to host a giveaway.  I will be giving away a sterling silver hand stamped necklace with a heart and freshwater pearl.  This is the perfect Valentine gift and it can be worn with any outfit!  You can enter your name in the hat more than one time. You only have to do one or you can do all.  All you have to do is:
  • tweet about my blog
  • tweet about my Etsy shop
  • feature my blog on your blog
  • feature my Etsy shop on your blog
  • mention my Etsy shop on your facebook
  • mention my blog on your facebook
  • become a follower of my blog
Each one that you do to help get the word out about the giveaway will give you a chance to win the necklace! Please leave a comment with each item you completed.  This giveaway will begin today, Tuesday the 24th at 3pm and end on Friday the 27th at midnight.  I will post the winner on Saturday morning.  Y'all have fun now!  I can't wait to see who the winner is!  Please tell all your friends.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I am totally inspired when I look at my friend Lisa and her travels that have lead her to adopt two girls from Ethiopia.  To take on such a large responsibility in raising the money, to hope that it really happens and then to begin to provide for these babes is such an incredible thing!  God has moved every piece of the puzzle into place so that this great feat can happen!  If you would like to read some tear jerking and beautiful words, you must travel to her families blog to encounter their experiences.  I hope they bless you as much as they have me!

Friday, January 13, 2012


Well, today, I need to share my heart.  I have been reduced to tears.  I am learning daily that I really can't do it all!  I am so insufficient in every area of my life.  God is teaching me new things every day much I need Him.  I felt so overwhelmed this week with home schooling my four and taking care of our baby, doing laundry, making meals, keeping the house clean, taking kids to extracurricular activities, and just the daily routine.  Sometimes, I feel like my children don't realize the sacrifice that I make to teach them at home.  My prayer is that they recognize the time and investment that I have contributed to keeping them at home.  I have often been so mislead by my thoughts.  I think, I want to make sure that I teach them everything so that they can say that Mom gave us every opportunity available.  I have come across some home schooling Moms in the past that have not done a thorough job of educating their children.  Wow, was I judgmental!  What I am learning is that character is far more important than my children being the smartest of the smart!  I spoke with a seasoned Mom today and shared my frustrations.  She said, "Do you remember everything you learned as a child in school?"  You know, I really never thought about that but it is true.  I didn't get the best education but I sure turned out okay and I actually feel like I had an accomplished career as a Nurse.  But, why am I so intent on doing it all?  I had to really think about that!  I think I have become so puffed up with pride that I try to do it all, without God's help.  I think, I can give my children a private school education at home.  Man, I am so prideful.  I've made some mistakes in driving them hard and not working often enough on character.  As I look back, I should have started every day with a devotion, talking about the Lord.  But no, I just kept driving.  At times, I can see that school is becoming miserable for all of us.  That same friend said when things aren't going well, her husband would tell her to slow down and make cookies.  In other words, enjoy your children, do something fun.  It's not until I get to the point that I can't do any more, exhausted, frustrated that I stop being stubborn and listen to what God's telling me.  Tahra, cut back on the schooling, they are supposed to enjoy it!  Tahra, spend more time teaching them about me!   Tahra, enjoy them, they won't be here much longer!  Tahra, don't get angry, frustrated, and feel defeated.  You know, we only have a short time with our children.  Have I done all that I can do to love them, to instill God in them?  As you can see, God is working on me, changing me, molding me with his ever loving hands.  There have been times when I wish I could take back some unkind words.  Lord, please make me what you want me to be.  Take my life and use it for your glory.  Help me not to be judgmental of others, to be puffed up.  I can't do it all!  I need you! It is so hard to be vulnerable. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Handmade Stamped Necklace...Carpe Diem

Hand stamped Sterling Silver Necklace...Carpe Diem
Today, I have decided to daily try and post a picture and link of one of my pieces of jewelry that I have created.  I have been having trouble selling anything as the market has seen such a decline in business.  My hope is to inspire each of you to be creative!  I hope you will enjoy these pretties!  Thank you for taking the time to look and I would love it if you could share them in some way.  I would like to add a little treat, type in freeshipping (no space) when you check out at my shop on Etsy called Designs By Tahra.  This will allow all of my followers and whomever you tweeted or shared to have free shipping!  Would like to hear how the economy has affected your lives!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Good Healthy Eats

We really desire as a family to start the New Year out right by eating right.  I have bought Mahi Mahi at Target before and couldn't find it this time around.  The last time I made it, it was yum, yum, yum!  So, I decided to go get some more frozen fish and so we tried the Alaskan Cod.  On the back of each kind of fish, there is a recipe that is usually really easy to make.  This one turned out really good so I thought I would give you the step by step recipe.  The brand at Target was the Archer Farms brand.
 It is wild-caught which is better for you than farm-raised.  

 I started out by seasoning the Cod with salt and pepper and adding a dollop of salsa.  I used the Greenwise Publix brand because I really like this brand.  I drizzled a mild olive oil over top of the salsa and placed it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  

Once the fish had cooked for 20 minutes, I checked it with a fork to make sure it flaked.  Then I added Monterey Jack Cheese, just enough shredded to melt over top.  The recipe called for Pepper Jack but I chose not to have the added spice since I was serving the kids.  I popped it in the oven for another 2 minutes just to melt the cheese.  

Here is the finished product! Yum-o!

 I hope you enjoy this recipe, we did!