Summer Snacks

Yesterday I made some snack bars from neglected cereals and nuts in the pantry. I’m the first to admit I am a serial cereal hoarder – I decide one day ‘Ooh I’m going to be healthy and start eating cereal!’, but this mindset is short-lived and often the cereal is left neglected in a Tupperware container in the pantry. It was time to make use of the neglected cereals, it was their time to shine! Here’s my take on how to make them, I completely winged it so excuse the vagueness, although that’s part of the beauty of this recipe, you can use what ever you want. It’s a fantastic way to use up the ingredients taking up space in your pantry, and gives you a healthier option than snacking on chips and chocolates (that’s what I do at least!).
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Ok so here goes…

INGREDIENTS

Like I said though, this recipe will work with so many different combinations and all measurements are approximate. Try it out yourself mix it up a bit and let us know how you go. Our batch made approximately 16 bars and one cup of crumbles we used as granola in yogurt.

    • 4 cups of Cereal – you can use a mixture of different types, or just one depending on what you have in your pantry
    • 1/2 cup of chocolate buttons
    • 3 tablespoons of honey
    • a pinch of salt
    • 1/4 cup of macadamia nuts
    • 1/4 cup of peanuts
    • 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
    • 1/2 cup of raisins or sultanas

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Some of our ingredients

METHOD

    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
    2. Line oven tray with baking paper (I’s say have the baking tray at least 6cms deep… ours was about the size of an A4 piece of paper)
    3. I put all the ingredients inside a mixing bowl except the honey and salt
    4. Then I got a small pot and put the honey in with the salt and heated on the stove top until runny
    5. Drizzle honey mixture on the dry mix and stir through – The honey binds the ingredients together. If you feel there isn’t enough feel free to add some more.

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    1. Pour the mixture into the backing tray and spread out evenly
    2. Get another sheet of baking paper and place over the top of the mixture. Use your hands to push down on the mixture which will make it nice and compacted and avoid them crumbling.

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The mixture compacted in baking tray

  1. Place tray in oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes for chewy bars and 25 minutes for crunchy bars
  2. Take tray out and immediately place in fridge for 10 minutes
  3. Take tray out and cut the bars into rectangles or squares using a pizza cutter
  4. Place tray back into fridge for an hour or so
  5. Remove tray from fridge and lift mixture out using the baking paper
  6. The bars should be able to snap apart along the lines you cut earlier
  7. Place in Tupperware container in fridge or pantry
  8. Any crumbles made can be used as granola to have with yogurt. Yum!

Hope you enjoyed our recipe! Do you have any low-cost healthy snack ideas? Snack bars in the supermarket can work out to be over a dollar each in some cases, this was much more cost effective and soo yummy! If you try this out please don’t hesitate to let us know how you go 🙂

Little Pop xxx

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Australia Day

G’day!

Today was Australia Day. 
For me Australia day (AD) has mixed connotations, it brings out both the best and the worst in people. It makes me both proud and not-so-proud to be Australian and I wish it wasn’t like this. There are a small majority of ‘Australians’ who take the goodhearted patriotism of AD and turn it into a nightmare by partying way too hard. The media has put on a good front trying to discourage excessive drinking and racism fuelled violence, but it still happens. Victoria Police say there are more assaults in the state on Australia Day than any other public holiday, most of this is non-family violence fuelled by a mixture of booze and racism. I feel like a small majority of people think it’s ok to hate on those from other nations on AD… as if they’ll receive a ‘pardon’ for their completely inappropriate behaviour and ‘F&$K Off We’re Full’ social media campaigns. I don’t even understand where this kind of racism stemmed from – don’t these people realise that once upon a time we were the outsiders? Indigenous Australians are the real ones who should be celebrating, the land is rightfully theirs. AD is a perfect day to spend with your family and friends, have a barbecue, go to the beach, listen to the Hottest 100 or just sit at home and have a cup of tea, because that’s the beauty of this country – we are free to be who we want, and to celebrate in what ever way we want.

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I celebrated by making a list of 10 things which make me proud to be an Australian citizen

  1. Pavlova (need I say more?)
  2. I have always found it pretty cool that our country takes up a whole continent. 
  3. Our unique mix of flora and fauna – 80% of Australia’s plants and animals do not occur anywhere else
  4. We have a really good gun-control system… certainly better some than other countries. 
  5. We are the lucky country! Australians have so many opportunities throughout their lives.
  6. WIFI & Google Maps – believe it or not Australians played a large part in the development of these two nifty technologies.
  7. The beaches… We have a beach house on the Mornington Peninsula and I’ve gone there ever since I was a kid. The air is crisp just as the sound of the waves is soothing. Nothing beats munching on $3 worth of chips whilst watching the sun set on the beach.
  8. The slang: bloody oath! Fair dinkum! I’m Nackered!
  9. We have a pretty good voting system… it’s not perfect but everyone gets a say.
  10. I like the mystery that Australia holds to other nations… do we really ride kangaroos? Are drop bears a serious threat? What about cute cuddly Possums and Koalas, they couldn’t possibly hurt a fly could they?

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So Happy Australia Day fellow bloggers, I hope celebrated safely and found time to soak up everything that makes this country great. 

Ooo Roo!

Little Pop

 

The Digital Dark Ages

After not getting any photos printed into hard copies in years I finally got around to it last night. I found an app which allows you to order your prints online from your phone and then go pick them up at a more convenient time. I went and collected them this afternoon, nothing special just a few shots from various 21st, 50th and a few weekends away I’ve been on the last few years. It felt really neat to see and hold all those captured memories in hard copy. Three years ago we went on a trip to Europe and I still haven’t gotten around to printing those off even though it was probably one of the best trips of my life. Why is it that we don’t put as much emphasis on keeping hard copies of our photos these days? I understand the notion that keeping our photos in digital form saves space with the elimination of photo albums piling up around the house and cluttering our bookshelves, but i certainly believe that keeping those hard copies (not all of them, just a select few) still serves a purpose in modern society.

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Me, in the backseat of a car we rented whilst in the UK

It had me thinking what if we were to enter into a ‘digital dark age‘? By keeping the majority of our historical documents digitally we are severely minimising any physical documentation of our lives for generations to come. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure most of us are taking photos but then we are storing them on devices we are not sure will stand the test of time… who’s to say the iPhone you take everywhere with you and use for all your happy snaps won’t go the same way as the floppy disk? If this is the case we risk this being one of the least documented eras since… the dark ages.

I’m just putting this out there as I really enjoy going back through our old family albums and I think it would be unfair to deprive future generations of that luxury.

Sure, you can move photos onto a portable hard drive of some sort, but what if someday that too becomes harder to access due to technological advances?

What if by some small chance something happens which means we can no longer access any of our digital files at all.

On a lighter note if we are able to develop a universal storage device that can stand the test of time then this will not be such a problem.

If not… we may be the last ones to see our family photos ever again.

Do you still print off photos?

Little xx

Ugh… Summer.

Well Summer has well and truely set in here in Melbourne. This is the weather forecast for the week
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Temperatures above 40℃ for four consecutive days, come on mother nature you’re not even giving us a chance here! As you may of picked up from the tone of this post we are definitely not summer people. I would much rather it be cold and rainy outside so I can curl up in bed , listen to the rain outside and open up a good book than this hot and humid weather we”re getting.
I’ll do my best to avoid making this a whiney ‘poor me…Its too hot’ post today, besides there’s a cool change coming through on Saturday.

Here’s our top tips for keeping cool and staying safe these next few days:

1) Make sure you have plenty of refreshing snacks and beverages at hand. I like to make up a bowl of salad at the beginning of the week we tend to keep it simple using just spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, carrot and a bit of fetta or avacado. I have a massive sweet tooth though and so also make up some home made iced tea to sip throughout the week and maybe a bowl of jelly.

2) Please make sure your pets are made as comfortable as possible on these crazy hot days. Keep them indoors as much as you can. Dogs and Cats do not have the ability to regulate heat by sweating like we do. The only way they can regulate their body temperature is by panting. Make sure they have plenty of access to fresh water, we even put a few iceblocks in the water to keep it nice and cool. Our dog really likes when we freeze some chicken stock with a few treats for him to suck on, a bit like a doggy ice cookie 🙂
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These are our pets Gypsy the Ragdoll cat and Archie our Spoodle.

3) Keep the house insulated! We have a northern facing house so in the afternoon the sun really belts down through the back window and there is potential for our little house to turn into a hot, hot sauna very quickly. We have block out blinds which are positioned nice and close to the window to avoid heat entering the house through that back area.

4) Please stay out of the sun wherever possible. It may seem really lovely weather outside to some but keep in mind how high the UV index is on these days. Your skin can begin burning in a matter if minutes (maybe less) outside. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer, so please be sun smart this Summer 🙂

5) Keep hydrated! You all know how important it is to stay hydrated year round, especially during summer. So drink plenty of water!

What do you do when it’s hot? Smosh has by far the most creative list I’ve seen on the net so far.

It was not so long ago

Today we ventured into the top of my wardrobe to de-clutter – somewhere which hasn’t been touched since we moved in.

We had a wonderful afternoon unveiling old treasures from my childhood… art work, stories, photos and so many beanie babies. We had such a good time laughing and remembering so I thought I would share a few of my favourite pieces.

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Photos from when I was just over a week old.

The caption reads ‘Asleep again, Juliet is giving me a rest’

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Clearly an artist in the making here… although I am a fan of the colour scheme.

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Experimenting with texture – the cat rather liked this one.

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‘This flower smells eggstra eggstrodinary!’. It has become apparent upon reading this eggstrodinary card that from a young age I found my own jokes much funnier than others did – I still laugh at my own jokes 😀

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This one was my favourite that I saw during this clean out.

I also found an unfinished short story I’d like to share… I wish I’d finished it because it’s rather intriguing.

‘Once upon a time, there was a boy called Sam. It was bed time at number 24 Springfield. Sam crept down the stairs, he could hear his mother and father talking about building a time machine. Sams father turned away and walked off into the shed so sam turned back and went to bed. 
In the morning he hid in the cupboards, his mother thought he had gone to school. When his Mother and Father went off to work Sam crawled out from the cupboard, he was hungry so got himself some breakfast before wandering into the shed. There was a huge box in the shed. Sam knew what it was – a time machine! Sam thought it wouldn’t hurt if he went in and had a try. When he went in he saw lots of little buttons with numbers and symbols on them, Sam pressed START. The machine then asked him to press a number so sam pressed SIX. Sam’s Mother always told him about her life growing up in the 1950’s and he has seen photos of her back then… The door opened. 
 
He was somewhere very different now, but he spotted someone familiar. It was his Mum. Sam ran up to his Mum
she said “go away shorty!”
Sam said “but, but… but Ma it’s me, your son”
Sams mother replied “I don’t have a son. Stop it, just go away you’re such a pest!”
 
Sam felt like such a nobody… his own mother couldn’t recognise him. Everybody stared and laughed at same, oh no he wasn’t wearing the right fashions. He ran to the time machine, when he got there somebody was inside. It was a hippy… The hippy said “Come with me to heaven” Sam tried to tell the hippy that this was not an elevator to heaven, it was a time machine but it was too late the weird hippy already pressed number TEN. 
 
The time machine didn’t move, it didn’t stay either. How annoying, they were stuck in thin air”
 

That’s all I have of the story… maybe one day I’ll finish it off.

We did part ways with alot of the toys and made headway with other items. When de-cluttering sentimental items it may be better to use the gently, gently approach rather than our usual ruthlessness. Besides, in all our de-cluttering and getting rid of stuff, it’s nice when you come across those few items that have personal values attached to them. There are some things worth keeping.

What are some of your favourite childhood memories you’ve found when cleaning up?

Little Pop

P.s. We were hesitant in throwing out the Beanie Babies… we aren’t sure if they’re worth anything. If you have any knowledge on this subject matter we’d love to hear from  you!

‘Stuff’

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TGIF

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