Fresh Start: Go Go Gronola with New Contributor!

As you all know, I think so highly of my sisters. Each have impacted me in a different way, and each of them have been given their own set of beautiful talents. When I thought about wanting to include some new topics on IHOD, I knew the next best thing to Martha Stewart was my sister Maria. She has this ability to bring life to a meal and every family gathering. My philosophy in the kitchen is usually “Just give me a recipe and I will make it.” I don’t have any creative juices left by the time I need to make dinner. I am sure for many of you it is the same! Maria will be offering some new ideas that will hopefully encourage you to not only try something new, but share it with loved ones. So thankful she will now be a part of the IHOD team!  (side note-how amazing is her hair?) Now I will let her take over from here…

Anna, my childhood sister-soulmate, prodded me into sharing my passion for cooking and good recipes on her blog.  Well, it didn’t take much before I was thoroughly on board!

Since I can remember, I’ve always had a  passion for cooking. Good food is important to me. A good meal can be a catalyst in bringing people together and creating happy memories. So much of life’s greatest moments are centered around a good meal: birthdays, holidays, weddings, and family dinners!

So I share My Food Philosophy: Because the effort to make good food is a gift to those around me, it’s happy memories, togetherness, the living part of life.

January always fills me with great anticipation because it’s a fresh new start to a new year. So with all those resolutions to exercise more, comes my resolve to feel healthy and eat well.
It’s a perfect month to share my favorite healthy breakfast recipe: Go-Go Gronola! Loaded with flaxseed and coconut oil and tweeked to be the BEST homemade batch of gronala you will ever make :)

Dry Ingredients:
9 C. of Old Fashioned Oats
1 1/2 C. Ground Flaxseed (Engery Booster!)
1 C. Sliced Almonds
1/2 C. Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
2 C. Sweetened Coconut (or unsweetened if you prefer)
2 pkgs of Dried Cranberries (you could also use raisins, but I’m not a big fan)

Wet Ingredients – Warm in a Pot
3/4 C. Honey
3/4 C. Canola Oil (I substitute with Coconut Oil if I have on hand)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
Preheat Oven to 325 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients, EXCEPT cranberries, in large bowl. Pour warmed wet ingredients over granola. Stir until well combined. Divide granola onto two large baking  and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes.
Let cool, stir in dried cranberries.

Makes a good large batch that lasts for weeks. I love it in the morning with vanilla yogurt.
Store in large sealed container and enjoy!

Here’s to your health and happiness in 2013!  

Family Threads – New Style Series!

I call this phase of growing out my bangs the sheep dog pirate phase. Suitable, right?
{Anna: Top: c/o Sheinside, Velvet pants: Gap, Tote: c/o George, Gina, & Lucy, Pumps: HM, Necklace: F21, Charm Bracelet: The Silver Acorn, Gold Bangle: InPink 
Gabriel: Shirt: Gap (similar), Jeans: TCP, Shoes: Converse via ebay (similar)
Veronica: Top, Leggings, and Boots: Old Navy }
Hi friends:) How was your weekend? I want to start incorporating more family style posts since the kids are always with me, and it just seems more natural. I know I will treasure the photos with them as they grow as well. Gabe promises to make an appearance too – right now he’s our camera man:) Hope you all don’t mind this new direction in outfit posts! I so enjoyed all the True Beauty Files looks, but as life is changing, so will the blog. I will still be doing some solo style posts and maternity style posts when as my bump continues to grow:)
Don’t be fooled by the lack of coats here. Although we were blessed with a sunny and warm day in Atlanta, I do believe we still have one more month of winter ahead before it comes to stay. One dose of Vitamin D brought the entire neighborhood out of hibernation and doing strange things like mowing lawns, and climbing on top of their roofs. I even felt motivated enough to go for that run I have been mentally pumping myself up to for four weeks…
Funny what a little sunshine can do for you.

Planning in Pattern: Tackling a Room Design

It takes me forever to plan a room design simply because I am drawn too many different colors and patterns, and can’t ever decide which to settle with. When it comes to pattern picking, I compare it with dating and figuring out which person you are compatible with, and when it comes to wallpaper, its deciding to get serious with that pattern you love. I know, I take this overboard. This is why, there is still nothing but a rug in our living room. I have plans to change that asap, and will keep you posted;)

After playing around with these patterns by Wallpaper Update and narrowing down different style I am drawn too, I felt like I was staring at a paper evaluation of my personality! These can all be found in the contemporary section. 

You should give it a go. Take some time to figure out your favorite design patterns. It will really help give you a better perspective at what style you are drawn to, and what you might be able to commit to;) I tend to go neutral with pattern and more bold with solids so that I can switch them out as needed. Looking forward to living room updates with you as I go along!

Happy January weekend!

*This is a sponsored post that is 100% my own opinion.