Friday, June 28, 2013

Healthy Eating | No Bake Chocolate Bars

I tried this recipe yesterday afternoon.  Usually I am not into making sweets, especially chocolate.  I'm not that crazy about chocolate.  (I know, throw the tomatoes; I'm ready)  But these were touted as being "yummy" AND "nutritious" at the same time, so I decided to give them a go.


These must be some of the best chocolate snack bars I have ever tasted.  They are oatmeal and peanut butter based, with honey as a sweetener.  Instead of using chocolate chips, I used the cocoa powder substitute and used honey instead of the required amount of sugar.  They came out great!  

So, here is the recipe.  
Yes, it came from Pinterest.  
Where else do you expect me to get my inspiration? :)

Best Ever Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Bars

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (you could also substitute butter)
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, raisins, or dried cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips (or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil over medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stove. {Watch this closely. Mine started to burn!}
Remove from heat once it’s melted together and add in the oats, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, nuts/raisins, and vanilla. Stir together until the chocolate is completely melted.
Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and cool in the fridge. If you’d like thicker bars, you can pour the mixture into a smaller pan.
When the mixture is hardened, cut into bars and eat. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Like I said, it calls for chocolate chips, but I followed the directions on the cocoa powder box for the equivalent and used honey in place of the sugar. Yum!

Have a lovely day!  Tomorrow my bestest friend in the entire world is coming to spend the night so I gotta get this place straightened up. :D 

PS.  What do you think of the new blog design?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Homestead Diaries | The Blacksmith's New Apprentice

Today kept me busy with spinning some of my alpaca and angora blend yarn I've been working on lately, but while I was in the house, the blacksmith shop was clanking away.  There is a new apprentice there who's first day was today, can you guess who he is?

Yep, it's my brother.  I finally talked him into coming by the farm and seeing what it's like.  They have a woodworking shop which Mom thought he might be interested in, but right away he wanted to work with the blacksmith.  So today was his first day in the shop, and he enjoyed it.  He made a few iron hooks and a fire poker with a little leaf design on the top, and already has plans for new things he wants to make.


It was a real scorcher today.  The farmhouse was cooler since it's brick and hasn't had the chance to heat up yet, so I was grateful to be inside.  It didn't stop us all from taking quick trips to the air-conditioned log house though, where we were able to cool down and get a drink.  Imagine living without any air conditioning at all!  I honestly don't know how they did it...

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Birthday

Yes, I know, I went super creative on the title today.  But yesterday was a birthday, my brother's 15th, the day after my parents' anniversary.  He was like their little anniversary present the year he was born. :)

Yesterday afternoon we went to the Cox Arboretum and enjoyed the gardens.



In the middle of the park was this amazing "Tree Tower" which had not been there last time we visited.  It was really, really high up there, which of course meant my mom would have no part of it. (She's deathly afraid of heights)  Therese went halfway up and turned around, but Stephen went all the way to the top.

After I took his picture from the bottom I ran up there too.  The view was amazing.

The Ohio countryside.  Rather flat, I know.  I like Pennsylvania better, but Ohio has it's pretty parts.
Actually right after I snapped this picture Stephen came up behind me and gave me a little nudge.  Thought I was a goner for a second. :)

After the tree tower we visited the turtles.  They were so cute!

Don't ask me what he's doing here.  Just don't ask.

This turtle was eying me incredulously.

When we came home, I finished making Stephen's cake, which was a Chocolate Cherry Cake.  Yes, I found the recipe on Pinterest.  It was super easy, and it tasted like the Black Forest Cherry cake which I made him a couple years ago, but was a lot simpler.  He likes that cherry/chocolate combination.

Oh and guess what he got for his birthday?  Strider's Elven Knife.  Now that he's just as obsessed with LOTR as I am, my parents thought this would be very fitting.

No, I'm not jealous.  It's just an elvish knife.  No big deal.

Okay nevermind yeah I'm really jealous.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Very Special Anniversary

   Today we celebrated what I deem to be one of the most beautiful marriages of our time.  

My parents were married June 18th, 1983, thirty years ago this day.  

May God shower his blessings upon the two best parents one could ever ask for.

I only pray that one day, God willing, I will have a marriage as blessed and beautiful as theirs.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Homestead Diaries | Painted Roses

It was beautiful this Saturday.  I spent the morning in the farmhouse helping with the 4-H group that was there, hovering over whirring sewing machines, guiding little hands as they tried their best to keep their seams straight, helping girls pin their blocks together, and trying to keep up with empty bobbins and tangled threads.  Unfortunately I was not able to get pictures since I was so busy, but the afternoon was much quieter, so after cleaning up the fabric scraps, locking away the machines, and sweeping the threads off the sitting room floor, I decided to take a pitcher outside and clip some roses.

After I arranged them, I decided to try painting them in watercolors, so I set up my supplies at the kitchen table and went to.

Sorry this post had to be short and sweet, but I have to leave for babysitting tonight, and my brother and dad just got home from a week long campout, so I want a chance to visit with them before I leave. :)

God bless,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lady Galadriel

I just completed this white Galadriel-inspired gown today.  After finishing watching the Lord of the Rings for the first time ever yesterday (I know, I'm seventeen years old and I only just saw it), I am now a hopeless LOTR fan.  So of course, this opens up a whole new realm of creative possibilities, and I just had to make something elvish to start with, so I made this gown.

 I made the crown with twisted wire, something I am completely new at.

 The belt is probably my favorite part of this set.  I used my Celtic knot beads, joined them together, and added a leaf toggle clasp to the front.  Very elvish. :)

"The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it..."  
~ Galadriel

I have the dress in my etsy shop here, and I also have an Eowyn dress in the making which I will post pictures of soon.  Have a lovely evening!

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