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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

{Git in Mah Belly} Homemade Granola

Thanks for your sweet comments yesterday...glad to know my voice and incessant grinning didn't scare you off! Today I'm sharing a simple recipe for a staple around our house...granola. I know it's readily available in the stores, but when the weather starts to turn, I like to get my Betty Crocker on and bake. It's really so simple to make, and this way I know it's all-natural. I've made a few variations, but this strawberry version is one of my kid's favorites.

Hi Sugarplum | Homemade Granola

{Ingredients}

1 cup strawberries, washed & hulled
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup honey

Hi Sugarplum | Homemade Granola

{Instructions}

+ Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
+ Blend strawberries in a blender or food processor until pureed. Set aside.
+ In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, cinnamon and salt. Stir in pureed strawberries.
+ In a small bowl, mix vanilla into melted butter, and stir in honey.
+ Pour vanilla-honey-butter mixture over oats, stir to combine.
+ Spread granola on a baking sheet in a thin layer, and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes.
+ Remove from oven and let cool for one hour
+ Store in airtight container.

Hi Sugarplum | Homemade Granola

My kids eat it with fruit and yogurt for breakfast, and even love it packed in their lunch so they can build their own parfaits. (See my lunchbox ideas here.)

Hi Sugarplum | Homemade Granola

It also makes a sweet and thoughtful gift...perfect for friends, neighbors and teachers.

Hi Sugarplum | Homemade Granola

I can't wait to make another batch...this time, maybe I'll try it with pumpkin! Making homemade granola...what's next, I move to Colorado and start wearing Birkenstocks?! ;)  Git in mah belly!

Monday, September 15, 2014

That Time I Made a Video About Blogging

Well that weekend flew by way too fast!! I guess it's an indicator that we really enjoyed it...I just wish we could have enjoyed it a little longer. Truthfully, I still haven't caught my groove since school started almost a month ago. I wonder if back-to-school has the same frenetic pace on rustic islands? As much as I'd love to head back to Vieques, I know living there wouldn't allow the crazy-cool opportunities as presented to me here. Like filming videos about blogging.


One of my favorite blogger networks, Izea, wanted to film video bios on some of their creators, and asked if I was game. Because of Izea, I've been lucky enough to work with brands like Puerto Rico Tourism, Breyers Ice Cream, Elmer's Glue, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups...so of course I said YES! Plus, I thought it'd be fun to see what filming a video was like.

So what was it like?! A lot of work! And equipment! And saying and doing the same thing over and over. And over again. But at the same time, so much fun. An amazing crew from Austin arrived bright and early, and because it was a rare rainy day, they brought even more equipment than usual.

We started with the interview portion...which was videoed and recorded for sound. It took me awhile to get used to the microphone...apparently I do a lot of wild arm waving when I talk. And how about I remembered I was mic'd up (that's fancy TV slang) about halfway through going to the bathroom!! That wasn't embarrassing. #sarcasm

 Hi Sugarplum | Video Shoot behind the scenes

They wanted to film me creating a project and post from start to finish...so I chose a simple craft that didn't require a lot of steps, or wait time (like spraypaint projects). They recorded me gathering supplies, walking through the house with supplies, laying them out, photographing them, creating the project, and picking my nose. Just kidding...but really, they used still cameras, video cameras, and even a go-pro camera to film and shoot me at every stage of the project. And I reenacted each stage approximately 87 times.

Hi Sugarplum | Video Shoot behind the scenes

Hi Sugarplum | Video Shoot behind the scenes

Hi Sugarplum | Video Shoot behind the scenes

Hi Sugarplum | Video Shoot behind the scenes

Hi Sugarplum | Video Shoot behind the scenes

I couldn't believe how much patience they had for the whole process...not to mention all the technical skill that goes in to each set-up. We had a great time, and I was so inspired to spend the day with Jo and Miguel, who are wildly creative in what they do. And their biggest job was after they left...in editing down all that footage into a fun, two-minute video!

Hi Sugarplum | Video Shoot behind the scenes
My outfit: Top (similar) | Necklace (similar) | Jeans | Belt

The entire shoot took nine hours. Yep, NINE! Clearly I was exhausted and in no position to cook dinner...so I took these cuties out for tacos. It was a great day.

Hi Sugarplum | Video Shoot behind the scenes

I'm not really sure what Izea plans to do with the video, but it was a fun experience, and I'm so glad I went for it! Hopefully you'll keep reading this blog after hearing my voice...why is it so hard to listen to yourself talk!!?? And don't even get me started about the goozle that's suddenly appeared under my chin...when did that happen?! Mr. SP dies laughing every time he watches it...apparently my awkwardness and little shrug at the end is 'so classic Cassie.' Whatever that means. It was embarrassing saying that tag line 87 times!!!



The pom-pom pillow is an actual project I created and photographed, so I'll share the post and tutorial with you later this week. I think it's safe to say my career as a video-blogger ended as soon as it started! Sugarplum, out!

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