Entries from September 2013

Pumpkin Spice Paleo Granola

September 30, 2013

PaleoGranola

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I spent a good part of this weekend in Palm Springs, California soaking up just a little bit more sun at the ACE hotel before the fall really starts to set in here. It’s still warm in Oklahoma but the high temperatures of the day are steadily getting a little lower and evenings out require a light sweater. The promise of autumn in the air has me prematurely craving carrot soup, roasted root veggies, and pumpkin everything of course.

So yesterday, a particularly laid-back Sunday, I was browsing my Instagram feed and came across this snap of chai spiced grain-free granola Liz was making. Her readers were asking for a recipe (I was secretly hoping for one too) and she was pretty much all but “It’s granola! Just throw together some nuts, seeds, coconut, and a lil’ bit of spice – then roast until browned.” And she’s right. It isn’t rocket science. But here’s where I confess that I have never made my own granola. So I decided to give it a shot and spell it out for those of you who have never made it yourself either.

Pumpkin Spice Paleo Granola 
Okay, so for real. You really don’t need a recipe to make granola. I didn’t really measure out these ingredients – so I’m making an educated guess here. Adjust accordingly based on things you like and don’t like. 

1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup goji berries
1-2 tbs. pumpkin spice
1-2 tbs. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a large cookie pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl mix together the coconut, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and nuts (leave the raisins and berries out). Sprinkle in the pumpkin and cinnamon spices and drizzle with olive oil (probably 2 tbs.). Then shake for a good 30 seconds. Then with a wooden spoon – just to make sure all the spices and oil are distributed evenly. Spread the mixture evenly across the cookie pan and roast until browned – maybe 20 minutes. But keep your eyes on your granola every few minutes – it would be pretty devastating to burn.

Once the granola is browned remove from the oven. Take an even larger piece of parchment paper and line your countertop with it. Transfer the granola from the hot pan to the cool counter and spread the mixture out as thin as possible to let cool. Once cool toss in the bowl and mix in the raisins and goji berries (dried cranberries would be great here too). I’m storing ours in a large glass container and will be eating on it all week.

24 Weeks | Fat & Protein

September 27, 2013

24WEEKS

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Since I hit puberty my mom has been pushing folic acid on me. It probably has something to do with the fact that she  has been working for the state, for decades, collecting data on premature babies through a maternal and child health program. Sometime within the last year my mom was reminding me of the importance of folic acid – that if I had not been taking the supplement by the time I found out I was pregnant it may be ALREADY TOO LATE. That my baby would already be at a higher risk for Spina Bifida and other neural tube defects. Of course I was all “Yeah, yeah. Whatever Mom.” about it.

I found out I was pregnant on mother’s day weekend. I got my mom a card revealing the pregnancy, and then I immediately went out and bought a bottle of pre-natal multivitamins containing, you guessed it, folic acid (folate actually, to get real specific). I felt a deep sense of regret and prayed to a God I may or may not even believe in that my baby didn’t have spina bifida … all because I didn’t listen to my mom.

Since then I’ve been listening. One tidbit she shared that has particular stuck with me is babies are made of fat & protein. I think about this phrase every time I cook – and I throw in a little extra coconut oil for good measure.

But my very favorite food advice comes from my more superstitious friend Libby, which is feed your cravings. If you don’t, the baby will have the face of the food you’re craving. What the what!? I think of this every time I eat pizza, a cronut, or a bagel.

Other Field Notes & Observations: 
• Jeremy heard the baby’s heart beat with his ear to my belly! I thought that was pretty rad.
• Otherwise, things are pretty much the same. A few aches, a few pains but pleasantly uneventful.

Anatomy of an Outfit:
• Tank – American Apparel
• Maternity Pants – Pea in the Pod
• Shoes – Ballasox
• Crystal – Shop Good

Related posts:
• 9 weeks | We Made Magic
• 13 weeks | Like A Gorilla
• 14 weeks | It’s Like Puberty
• 15 weeks | It Takes Time
• 16 weeks | Vivid Dreams
• 17 weeks | Pump It Up
• 18 weeks | Bebe Glows
• 19 weeks | Boy or Girl? 
• 20 weeks | Half-Baked
• 21 weeks | After Before
• 22 weeks | Feeling Good 
• 23 weeks | Mama Bear

Work / Life

September 25, 2013

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Tara and I recently had a photo shoot / video shoot with Choate House for our site redesign we’re currently working on over at Braid Creative, which is just one of the many projects we’ve got on our “Before Baby Gets Here” list. I felt a little bit like a badass business woman during our day-long shoot. The bump was in no way among the cast of characters and it was no excuse to wait ’til next year. Mid-day I got tired but decided to channel a pregnant movie star (specifically SJP as Carrie Bradshaw), power through, and get the job done.

I’ve observed that many women slow down with pregnancy. Little to no blogging through the first trimester nausea and exit strategies (or “slow-the-eff down” strategies) ensue. But I have been surprised to find that my impending due date feels nothing short of a ticking time bomb to Get It All Done. I’ve booked myself solid with Braid Method and Life Coaching for Creatives clients. Along with our website overhaul, Tara and I are also writing a book and creating our 4th Braid ECourse offering to launch this winter.

I’ve been surprised to find that while growing this babe I’ve also been growing my business into something that’s starting to feel a lot bigger than me. It turns out that I love what I do and that I’m actually kind of good at it. But for someone who absolutely thrives in the blend and the overlap, I have found a need for a little bit of work / life separation. The biggest being that we’ve moved out of our home office and into a dedicated historical but modest apartment space we’ve rented just for Braid. We call it The Braid Nest and it’s just as cozy as it sounds. Beyond that I’ve learned how to say no more often (in work and life) and have limited my email responses to canned replies or just a few get-to-the-point lines. I’ve learned to delegate and have dialed down my sense of urgency when it comes to taking over the world.

The work / life balance doesn’t seem like much of a struggle these days. When I put my energy where it matters, it’s not a tough act to juggle.

Asking for Proof

September 23, 2013

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Last week I started reading a book called E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality. Now, I already believe in the power of manifestation and have found it to be true in my life that thought is cause. But to approach metaphysics from a scientific method sounded pretty cool.

So I started reading E-Squared. The book is written by a freelance writer who by no means takes herself too seriously. For example, the first experiment is called “The Dude Abides” which is in fact, a Big Lebowski reference and the gist of it is to explicitly ask The Universe (or God, a term I’m still not completely comfortable with) for proof that it, whatever it is, exists. And get this – you’re even supposed to give this request for proof a time limit.

So on Wednesday, September 18th at 10:30PM I gave The Universe 48 hours to give me a concrete sign that it exists. Now, part of the experiment is REALLY BELIEVING that the proof will show up (which starts to get shady… I mean, c’mon… the hard part if you’re truly a skeptic is the REALLY BELIEVING part, right?) – you’re supposed to actively look for the proof coming your way. I have to admit that I felt a little funny making arbitrary demands from The Universe for proof (rather than my typical route of manifesting what I want) but it’s just an experiment. No big deal.

Well. The very next day, on Thursday, September 19th, just before 11PM I was abruptly disturbed from a blissful slumber by an indiscernible yet VERY LOUD NOISE. Jeremy was still awake next to me, reading Game of Thrones. I pop up as the cats run for their dear life across the house. “What was that!?” We get out of bed (naked, of course – my sister jokes that I’m always naked in my stories) and investigate. It turns out a huge tree that had needed to be cut down had come crashing down on our back deck. It did a little damage – mostly busting up an outdoor table with a glass top – but overall, it could’ve been much worse.

Jeremy spent all of Saturday morning cleaning up the mess. He was all sweaty and really working hard as I leisurely worked on a blog post and perused Pinterest. I started feeling guilty so I went out and confessed that the whole thing may have been my fault – that I had asked “God” for proof that “He” exists and I think this fallen tree may have been it. Jeremy, even with his atheist leanings, asked me why I couldn’t have asked for some benevolent proof. I explained that I was hoping for a free trip to Paris but that the book I was reading told me I couldn’t get specific in my requests … yet. But hey! At least the tree didn’t take down our power line (that it had been dangerously leaning on), right?

So was this tree crashing down in our backyard proof that God exists? Only if I really believe it is.

23 Weeks | Mama Bear

September 19, 2013

23WEEKS

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Being pregnant has brought out all sorts of inner-animals. In fact, I know lots of women will watch videos of other women giving birth to prep for delivery but I’ve been scouring YouTube for videos of animal birth and deliveries. I want to know what a gorilla looks like giving birth. I want to know what a bear looks like giving birth. And I’m hella jealous of how easy it is for kangaroos to give birth.

So lately, I’ve come to understand the cliche of the Mama Bear. I’ve become fiercely protective of this little bump. For example, I get outraged at cars speeding down my residential street and running stop signs. Or I’ll move seats to the other side of a restaurant when an employee starts wiping down the windows with toxic aerosol cleaner right next to me. But I also find myself inappropriately fantasizing about the violence and fury I would unleash on anyone who dare try to hurt me or my baby. I have to talk myself down by saying “Whoa, Kathleen. That nice lady in the park was just smiling at you. She does NOT want to cut your baby out of your stomach and raise him as her own. Simmer the eff down.”  Because despite what Nancy Grace and MSNBC says, most strangers are actually really good people and not out to getcha.

I’ve also become protective of my time and energy. Perhaps my wildly productive days at work have left me feeling introverted in my time off. I just want to hunker down and make a cozy nest with Papa Bear and our two little kitty cubs. Maybe get the chiminea going and make a palette on the back deck. I’m ready for the weather to cool off so I can roast some root veggies and go into full hibernation.

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Other Field Notes & Observations:
• I’ve been sausaging myself into my pre-maternity clothes for about 10 weeks too long. So this weekend Jeremy and I went to a fancy maternity store in the mall and I bought myself 4 pairs of legit maternity pants with full stretchy panels sewn in. I should’ve done that earlier.
• This baby feels like he’s growing faster than my belly can keep up. My skin, muscles, and tendons (or is it ligaments?) are feeling done – but I know we’ve got a long way to go.
• Sleeping has started to become a bit uncomfortable. Specifically, rolling from one side to the other. Which concerns me… because again, I know I’ve got a long way to go.
• My lower back is feeling better since last week! I think practicing good posture, working out, and staying hydrated could be helping.

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The Outfit: 
• Top – Urban Outfitters (maybe 4 years old?)
• Vest – Gap (maybe … 5 years old?)
• Maternity Pants – Pea In the Pod
• Flip Flops – tslops via Blue7
• Bralette – Target

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Related posts:
• 9 weeks | We Made Magic
• 13 weeks | Like A Gorilla
• 14 weeks | It’s Like Puberty
• 15 weeks | It Takes Time
• 16 weeks | Vivid Dreams
• 17 weeks | Pump It Up
• 18 weeks | Bebe Glows
• 19 weeks | Boy or Girl? 
• 20 weeks | Half-Baked
• 21 weeks | After Before
• 22 weeks | Feeling Good 

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