Do you Valentine?

I’m not an over the top, cheesy, lovey dovey kind of person. I’m just not. And it was still a great day. Valentine happiness came my way in the form of flowers and cupcakes and cookies and dinner and wine. And more importantly, the people behind them: roommates, boyfriend, co-workers, piano students, and Oma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cupcake is from a piano student. The petals are marshmallows, cut diagonally, and dipped in sprinkles. Ingenious, no?

Haven’t had enough talk of love? Check out these links for some well-written, encouraging content. Regardless of the state of your love life. Promise.

Linford Detweiler, of Over the Rhine, wrote this beautiful letter yesterday. The opening greeting is poetry.

Emily compiled a list of relationship advice. Advice that applies to most relationships: family, friends, housemates.

February is Library Lover’s Month. Ever borrow cookbooks from your library? Give it a shot! I hear the library is an untapped resource…

 

 

Granola Bars

My life is so full. And I’m so happy.

I was reading an article in one of my roommate’s magazines tonight. The author pointed out that we often remember the happy times that we’ve had and we look forward to the happy times that are to come, but we forget to notice the happy times that are in this moment. And I don’t want them to go unnoticed. Because my life contains so much activity and so many people that bring me so much joy. Why shouldn’t I celebrate that?

I spent a solid 4 days last week surrounded by views like this:

and this:

Since New Years, I’ve been teaching piano lessons to 6 wonderful kids. And loving it. I even got some Valentine’s happiness from one of them today. Cute, isn’t it? I definitely needed sugar to adorn my desk and tempt me.

And tonight, I have the night off. And I’m home. It’s been awhile since those two phenomena have collided. So I’m unpacking and doing laundry. I did the dishes. I made dinner (leftover stirfry+chicken broth=great soup!) I made granola bars.

It’s all in the small things. I’m convinced.

These granola bars–so easy. I will never buy from the store again. I used this recipe as a starting point, and ended up with this!

You’ll need:

  • 2.5 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (or other)
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. all-spice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In an 8×8 dish, mix together 2.5 cups of oats, 1/2 cup of wheat germ, and 1/2 cup of seeds (I used sunflower). Toast in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While that’s going, combine the remaining ingredients in a sauce pan and heat until butter is melted and brown sugar is dissolved.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Mix dry and liquid ingredients together in another bowl. Grease your 8×8 pan, and spread the granola mix into it, pressing down with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 23 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Store in an air-tight container.

I wanna know: What/who in your life has been bringing you happiness recently?