Monday, October 19, 2015

All Natural Energy Bites {again}

So, I have this recipe that people keep asking for.  Maybe it's because they taste like mini candy bar bites, or because I rant and rave, they're healthy, they're fast, and they're easy to anyone that will listen.  And then we all grab another and maybe another, because healthy never equates to calories, right? 

All Natural Energy Bites
Adapted from
Makes approximately 16 walnut-sized bites

1/2 C. nut butter ( almond butter, peanut butter or any kind of nut butter--I buy Adam's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter)
1/3 C. honey
1 C. old fashioned rolled oats
1 C. shredded unsweetened coconut (you can substitute here with any dry ingredients, including nuts and seeds.  
I used 3/4 C. wheat germ and a small handful of ground flax seed)
1-2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tsp. spices (optional-I didn't add any, but you could add cinnamon or pumpkin spice)
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 C. of other add-ins such as nuts, seeds, dried fruit, dark chocolate chips etc. (I added chocolate chips)*

1. In a large bowl, mix the nut butter, honey, vanilla and salt if desired. 
2.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Mix well.
3.  Place in the fridge for 15 or so minutes.
4. Remove from the fridge and begin to roll the dough into walnut (or smaller) size bites.
5.  Place in an airtight container in the fridge or in the freezer (we love the freezer!) for a quick and delicious snack!

*Tonight I made this a bit differently than normal.  Here's the thing:  if you get the base goodness correct (the nut butter, honey, vanilla, sea salt), you really can't go wrong.  Just don't get too carried away with dry ingredients or they wont stick together. 
Once I had the base, I added 1 C. oats, 1/4 C. ground flax, & 1/2 C. almond flour.  Then I added a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

I quadrupled this recipe once, for a family reunion a couple summers ago.  It took hardly any time-except for the rolling, and I popped them in the freezer.  On my way out the door in the morning, I grabbed them, and threw them in the car.  And what do you know?  After a lazy day in the sun, my family snack was ready to go.  No plates, no wrappers, no fuss. Can't beat it.

Do you have a quick, go-to snack recipe that your friends and family love?  Let's share recipes!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer Homework Goes Viral

The kids have just four more days of school and school's out for summer.  Then it's playing outside until nearly 10pm and realizing that you still haven't eaten dinner.  It's movies and campouts in the family room.  It's sleeping in, river romps, and BBQs all the way through. Man. Summer we're ready for you.

Well sort of.  Last night on a whim, I started creating a summer bucket list of things to do with the kids.  And I came up with one idea.  One.  This could be a long summer.  

What I wrote down was this:

Golden Skate.  

And might I add this was very out of character?

Then, this afternoon, by some freak turn of events, I read that after 71 years of rollerskating and limbo contests, Golden Skate is closing its doors after this weekend.  I've got elementary memories of flying around that rink, and rolling those skates like a champ.  I even won one of those limbo contests.  We even had a limo pick us up from Golden Skate after our sixth grade graduation party.  If you grew up around here, I'm almost sure that you have memories of Golden Skate, too.

So what happens, now?  I take my kids to Golden Skate tomorrow.

Have you heard about the Italian high school teacher's summer homework assignment that's gone viral?  It's wonderful and sweet and good.  Here's a translated excerpt.  You can find the rest on Facebook.  The media has been doing a nice job of giving this teacher credit for his assignment by guiding people back to his account for the full read.  I'll do the same.  

1. In the morning, some time, go to walk on the shore of the sea in total solitude: look how it reflects the sun and, thinking about the things that you love most in life, feel happy.  
2. try to use all the new terms learned together this year: more things you can say, the more things you can think; and the more things you can think, the more you are free
3. Read, as much as you can. But not because you have to. Read why the summer inspires you adventures and dreams, and reading I look similar to swallows in flight. Read because it is the best form of uprising that you (for advice of reading, ask me).
4. Avoided all the things, the situations and people that make you negative or empty: try situations stimulants and the company of friends that there enrich, I understand and appreciate you for what you are.
5. If you feel sad or scared, don't worry: the summer, as all the wonderful things, puts in turmoil the soul. Try to write a diary to tell your state (in September, if you like, do we read together).

I'm especially fond of the last task:

15.  Do the good

What's on your summer bucket list?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

10 realizations had while writing my final research paper

My entire day today is planned around working on my one and only thesis paper.  Ten things have happened while writing this thing:

1)  I've come to realize that I enjoy doing research.  Entering key words and having them pull up a million archives on your very topic, is satisfying.  It's like going to Ross or garage saleing.  It fulfills my love for a good treasure hunt.

2)  Life has come full circle again.  Funny how that happens.  It's time to go ahead and add another circle to that grad school-who I am aesthetic--with the handful of circles.  Life has come full circle in the way that while I write furiously for this final assignment, I do so with interest and passion.  How could I not when I'm writing about telling one's story.

3)  With this said, I now consider myself a narratologist.  Had you ever heard of such a thing?  The dictionary refers to narratology as "the branch of knowledge of literary criticism dealing with the structure and function of narratives and its themes, conventions and symbols."  My cup of tea.

4)  Which has had me considering getting this tattooed more frequently.

5)  This is the last research paper that I have to write.  Ever.  But that just sounds so unrealistic.  Seriously.  How could this be, when at the end of 5.5 years of schooling, I could decide that I've been enjoying doing this research?  I guess I'm growing up.  I've been coming into the areas that are meaningful to me, and researching the art of narrative is of greatest interest.  Obviously. I'm a story teller.

6)  And then there is this: at this juncture in time, I can't imagine this being the end of my educational journey.  I love to learn.  I love school.  Makes sense, right?  I'm a teacher.  But schooling is not all titles or the certificates.  For me it's about the personal investment that comes with allowing yourself to be fed and to grow.  Life becomes boundless when you position yourself to be poured into.  You may do some busy work, and at times, you may feel your eyeballs would be better poked out with a fiery metal rod, and you may think about bailing.  A lot.  Because it's not like anyone is forcing an education on you.  But you don't, because it's worth it.  And there is way too much to be learned in life than to be hanging out in the bleachers.  Sure, the lessons of life can happen anywhere--in the woods or while meeting chance strangers, and all of that's necessary and priceless.  But getting a {formal} education is just one of the coolest gifts I've ever given myself, and it has made me better in my relationship with others, too.  So we'll see.  In due time, I may head back--to study narratology.

7)  Which reminds me...a successful acquaintance once told me, that she doesn't like to learn.  Still trying to reconcile that notion.  I'm not sure she listened to what she was saying.

8)  With this said, I've got many books that I'm ready to consume this summer.  Since starting grad school, reading a book for pleasure has been a thing of a past.  My list of to-reads has been growing, and I can't wait to settle into them.

9)  Then there's the sun.  I'd like to enjoy that.

10)  And finally, because I like lists of ten, and as narratology would suggest--the story does not end.  “The story is beautiful, because or therefore it unwinds like a thread.  A long thread, for there is no end in sight.  Or the end she reaches leads actually to another end, another opening, another ‘residual deposit of duration” (Caine, et al., 2013).  This is just a fragment of my query.  Beautiful, right?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Stumbling For Center

Currently.  So much life has happened.  So many new experiences, new people, uncomfortable, tiring, rewarding, soul-stretching days, and tremendous gratitude for where life has taken me over the last year and a half.

I'm done student teaching, I graduated from Washington State University (for a second time) last weekend, and I'm a teacher with a Masters without a gig.  The demands of being a stay-at-home parent are in full swing, and I thank the heavens that my kids are so charming.  The 100 "Mom!" yells a day have jolted me back to my favorite role.  It's sweet.  And bittersweet.  It's just that when you've seen so much, been part of something great, given so much heart, and then one day it's over, an emptiness sets in.  The screen goes blank.  It's another room vacant.  It's an unfillable void because only that duration of experience belongs.  What was captured in that timeframe are of the things nostalgia thrives on.

So I'm here. Stumbling for center, and living the thing through until life settles itself again.

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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