happy thanksgiving!

i hope everyone has a great thanksgiving, with lots of quality time around loved ones, and of course lots of food! 

happy thanksgiving!


easy recipe // granola

i love granola, and it is so easy to make! another added bonus, is that when you make it yourself, you know exactly what you are putting into it, and you can tweak it to how you prefer! i include a lot of nuts in my recipe, but if you don't like nuts you can use dried fruit or try something different! i am actually thinking about gifting granola in mason jars with the recipe attached for christmas gifts for our neighbors and close family friends!  this recipe is adapted from 100 days of real food.


3 1/2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw sliced almonds
1 cup chopped raw walnuts
1 cup chopped raw pecans
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
6 tbs coconut oil (or unsalted butter)
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
parchment paper
large cookie sheet


1. preheat the oven to 250 degrees and cover the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. in a large bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, walnuts, pecans, coconut, sunflower seeds and spices (not the salt).
3. heat the coconut oil and honey in a sauce pan over low heat until they melt and mix well together, then add the vanilla and salt.
4. pour the melted liquid over the dry ingredients and mix well with a spatula so that everything is coated.
5. spread the mixture evenly onto the cookie sheet and bake for 75 minutes. about halfway through, take the pan out and mix the ingredients a bit with a spatula so that it cooks evenly.
6. let the granola cool for about 30 minutes, and it should break apart easily or you can put it into a bag and pound it into small pieces (i am usually able to just break it apart very easily). granola is good for 2 weeks, if stored in an airtight container!



christmas top five

i'm linking up today on the friday 5s. this week im sharing my top five on my christmas list. this is my top five this year,

{1} This robe from target would be a nice upgrade from what I already have, and it has a hood! it's pretty simple and affordable, but that's just what i need!{2} i would also love a new journal{s}. i used to write a lot more, even if just some basic thoughts, and i miss doing it!

{3} did you know that old navy has "tall" sizes offered online? being 5"9, this is so great for me! in tops i wear a medium, but always end up buying a large because the sleeves or even just the shirt itself is just too short! #tallgirlprobs i love that now ill be able to order some cute button down shirts that actually fit! here are some of the shirts i love:

{4} a few years ago a good friend got me a scarf from GAP and in it the one i still use the most often. it is big, soft, and super warm! they still carry the same style scarf in newer patterns, and i would love to get another one to add to my rotation.
{5} Kindle Paper White (with special offers, Wifi & Free 3G). i love reading, and having a kindle allows the purchasing books at a cheaper rate, and even rent books from the library!

what are your top five for christmas this year?


linking up with:

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the vortex returns

snow is still happening here in michigan! that picture above is an unfilterd, and taken through my window yesterday afternoon: a whiteout. the snow that we had gotten from monday-tuesday has exceeded any amount that we got in a 24 hour time period last winter. and last winter was the "BIG-polar vortex" winter. well...its back, and i would say its back in full force! i am so thankful for a job that allows me to work from home, because going out yesterday in my little car was not an option to me!


year 27

yesterday was my 27th birthday. turning 27 was a bit strange...i'm further now from 25 and closer to 30 (and if we are really technical...i am now on my 28th year of life and just finished my 27th). and i know, i know, im still young and still in my twenties but this last year was my first full year of many things. being far away, it was my first full year of not seeing family for 12 plus months. my 26th year was my first full year of being married. it was also my first full year being a "homemaker"; tackling interior design (or what i think it is), meals on the table each night, being a host to guests, and keeping things clean. i have learned a lot about myself in the last year, more about my emotions, my spirituality, my desires, wants and needs. And while these are things that i learn and grow more in each year, now that i am married, i happens in a whole new and exciting way. when i turned twenty, my vision of where i would be today, at 27, is certainly different that where i actually am. first of all...i most definitely did not think i would be living somewhere that would be cold enough for snow on my birthday...yes, it has been snowing for the last 3 days here in michigan (!). i also thought i would have been married for a longer amount of time, and already starting a family. the honest truth is that i thought i would have a least one babe by now. i didn't think that both my grandpas would already be in heaven. i also wouldn't have imagined that i would be an aunt and how much love i would feel for my niece. isn't t funny how God reminds us -everyday- that his plans are the only plans that matter? i may have had these thoughts of what i would be doing at 27 when i was 20, but after watching my life unravel further as each year goes by, i couldn't have imagined anything happening in any other way. i am so ready for what this year brings and the ways that i will grow and change this year!


iris visits // no pictures to show

How is it that one of my best friends comes to town and we take no pictures? I literally have 2 pictures from our time together. guess that means we were having too much fun to even remember about documenting it? next time...next time. we made sure to take iris to some local restaurants in town, we did plenty of shopping, and plenty of quality time - which is most important! now i am already looking forward to the next time we reunite!


chi town // chicago shopping trip

yesterday morning we left the house at 6:15 am to horseshoe the lake michigan coast over to chicago. i have now lived in michigan for 2 years and yet to make the 2 and a half hour trip to this amazing city. chicago is my most favorite city that i have visited {so far...} and i was so pumped to be hitting the pavement for a shopping trip! we took the bus, which made the drive time a little longer, but i did like the convenience of "just being along for the ride" and no one having pressure to drive. we started the day at Garretts to get some popcorn to beat the rush and avoid a very long line. we shopped all day and even hit up a few high end stores for the fun of it. {side note; every time i walk through free people, i fall in love with pretty much everything, then i check the price on the pair of $98 leggings and my brain just about explodes. still love their style though...} the picture of the guy drumming on the plastic bucket? i love his sign: "be prudent, help out a student. giving is living". so...i wonder if he makes more sitting on the street all day rather than working? anyway, we ended the night at cheesecake factory, hence that big bowl of pasta above. love that place! i didnt even get a picture of my cheesecake because i was so excited for that first bite! if you have never tried "adam's peanut butter cup fudge ripple" get it next time your there. seriously. as you can see in the last picture, we hit the beginnings of another november snow on the way home. needless to say, 22 hours later, it is still snowing outside! all together a great trip, and there were even some christmas decorations that snuck in!


new digs

how excited is everyone for the new look that is now live?! I'm sure your not quite as excited as me and toby are...wait...let's be honest, toby is really screaming inside because he is in yet another selfie. 

that time i became an aunt // avery marie

this last weekend i flew home to visit with family, but most importantly to meet that little ninja turtle above! my first niece, avery, is four weeks old. i was able to spend so much time with her over the weekend (her first halloween-hence the ninja turtle costume), and for that i am so grateful. i also was able to see my sister as a mother; how she stepped right into the role of taking care of her baby girl in every way possible with all the love in the world. i am so, so proud of my sister!


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