Saturday, December 29, 2012

Homemade Granola in Mason Jars

This year we gave out mason jars filled with homemade granola to our family and neighbors as little Christmas gifts.
I love the idea of giving a handmade gift not only for Christmas, but for any occasion!
Here's my version of homemade granola.
{Note: this recipe makes enough granola to fill about 8 medium sized mason jars}
You can buy a Set of 12 Mason Jars from Amazon for Under $15 shipped!

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups sliced almonds (you can also add dried fruit/nut/seeds if you like)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
Wet Ingredients:
1 cup of honey
3/4 cup olive oil
Other items:
Items to decorate/wrap the mason jars in
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In a large bowl mix together old fashioned oats and almonds.
In a separate bowl mix together olive oil, honey and vanilla extract. Stir until well mixed.
Add the liquid ingredients to the oats & almonds and mix very well.
Next, add the remaining dry ingredients which are brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and mix very well.
**Make sure all ingredients are mixed together evenly
Spread the granola evenly onto a cookie sheet or baking pan
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes stirring/flipping the granola every few minutes to avoid burning.
The granola should be golden brown when done.
Let the granola cool for about 5-10 minutes before moving it into the mason jars.
The granola will stay fresh for about 2 weeks if kept in an airtight container (like the mason jars)
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas


I had every good intention of posting this yesterday to wish you all a very Merry Christmas but the day slipped away from us!
I hope you got to spend some time with the people you love!
We spent most of the day with family at my parents house and then with friends into the evening!
{Merry Christmas from the Pacurars!}
Stay tuned for a sweet recipe & DIY tomorrow!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Weekend in the snow

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We don't get much snow in Portland but being able to drive only a few hours to enjoy it is better than no snow at all.
And in my book, the holidays are just a little better when you get to spend some time in the snow.
Husband + some really cool friends + snow = a wonderul weekend well spent before the New Year.
I hope you are all ready for Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas around our home.....

For the most part we've been spending the holidays close to home.... here's what Christmas looks like around here: 


A "Merry Christmas" ornament I made 2 years ago:

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Look through the window at the pretty lights on our neighbors house + little Santa decor on my kitchen window sill:


Lots of time is being spent in our living room next to the tree and cozy fire:


We've hosted a few little get togethers. We always love spending time with friends & family but even more around the holidays:

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Norman is so cute in his little Santa sweater:


Christmas is our favorite time of year!
 Lots of tea is being drunk, lots of laughter is being heard, and lots of love is being shared in our little family this season!
This truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

What is this Christmas season like around your home?

Monday, December 17, 2012

{Happy Anniversary to my beautiful parents}

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Yesterday was my parents 34th Wedding Anniversary.
They are currently in Vegas having a wonderful time!
These pictures were taken in 1979 shortly after their wedding.
A few months later, they packed their bags and moved to the United States from Romania.
My mom was 22 and my dad was 26.
I can only imagine how adventurous and scary it must have been to leave everything they have ever known and start their lives in a new country!

34 years later and they have a lot to show for their hard work:
A beautiful home
5 children who are all very tightly knit
1 daughter in-law & 1 son in-law
2 beautiful nieces
My dad owns his own business which is thriving
My mom works as a Job Coach and helps Imigrants and Refugees find jobs & start their lives in the US
They put all 5 of their children through college

But most of all; they taught us to be hard workers, honest, and live with high moral standards.
They taught us to love God.
Value family.
Love each other.

These are my amazing parents.
I am so so thankful for them.

Thank you Mom & Dad for choosing family, honesty, hard work & integrity.
Thank you for loving us so much!
God Bless You!

I love you!


Friday, December 14, 2012

the dress

Dress: Ruche
Jean Jacket: H&M
Tights: Anthropologie
Purse: Vince Camuto
Lace up booties: Steve Madden
I haven't done an outfit post in a very long time....but I love this dress so much that I felt compelled to give it its own blog post.
{Even though I only have one picture of me wearing it & its taken via iPhone.}
I bought this dress from Ruche about a month ago:
I don't like buying clothes online because I don't know how they will fit but this dress is a winner!
It's just so practical! You can dress it up or dress it down and it has long sleeves which you can't see because I'm wearing this jacket!
If you have my luck, you know how hard it is to find dresses that have any sort of sleeve, let alone long sleeves and is still cute!
Let's just say I'm in love and you will surely be seeing me in this dress again... and again!
Alright enough about the dress!
Have a fabulous weekend!
xo, Denise

Thursday, December 6, 2012

DIY winter wonderland mason jars

I saw these adorable {winter wonderland mason jars} on display at Anthropologie last weekend. 
Aren't they so cute?
I love Anthropologie and I love an easy DIY project!

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{Step one} Put some glitter in the bottom of the mason jar
{Step two} Place trees standing up on inside of mason jar lid


{Step three} Tilt the lid sideways while holding the trees so they don't fall and close lid.
You can tape the trees to the lid but I found that they stay just fine w/out tape.
{Step four} Lightly shake the mason jar so the glitter distributes evenly

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(All supplies were purchased from JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts)
I hope you are enjoying the season!
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Leavenworth Weekend Getaway {Day 2}

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Pictured above: Central downtown Leavenworth. So  many cute little shops and boutiques to visit. Not to mention all the adorable restaurants. There are restaurants in the basements and top floors of these cute buildings. I love how everything is Bavarian. It's like taking a little trip to an old European village.


Pictured above to the right: Pavz Cafe Bistro. We ate here for breakfast on Saturday morning. I had the ham, egg & cheese crepe and it was delicious! Such a cute little place!

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Pictured above: hot chocolate while strolling through a town filled with Christmas cheer is a must in my book!


Pictured above left: Santa making doughnuts and yes, that is a real beard! No fake Santa's here! We ate 2 dozen doughnuts in one siting amongst the 4 of us; they were that good!

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Pictured above: the inside of Pavs Cafe Bistro. How cute is that?

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Pictured above: our dear friends Danny & Domnika. We had so much fun with them! So thankful to have such great friends to share life with!


Pictured above: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire!


Isn't this place so cute!?
If you haven't been to Leavenworth yet, I highly recommend it!
It's not a place I would go every year, but someday when we have children I would definitely take them here again!
I would also go later in December when there is lots of snow!
If you are thinking of visiting and have any questions about things to see/places to eat feel free to ask in the comments section!

I just love Christmas!
Happy Holidays to you and yours too!
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