Tuesday, 10 June 2014

PB & J Energy Bites

I found this recipe on Pinterest today. I think they are such a great idea! Lately we've been needing more quick snacks that are easy to grab-and-go, take to work, delicious (of course) and pack a nutrition punch. A couple tweeks to suit our family and we're ready to go!

These PB & J Energy Bites definitely fit the bill.

These are great for kids too! You can use Sunflower Seed butter instead of peanut butter and then they are suitable for lunches at school.

Pop all the ingredients in a food processor and these bites come together in minutes! 

I made a couple modifications, like leaving out the flax seed. Instead I used 1/4 cup chia seeds and 1/4 cup hemp hearts. To make them a bit healthier (this time) I swapped the chocolate chips for organic fruit juice sweetened Dried Cranberries. And now we have the J in PB& J!

Chia Seeds are jam (ha!) packed with goodness! They are high in lots of vitamins and minerals such as Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium. They are also a great source of fiber, protein and Omega 3's. These are the main reasons I use chia way more than flax. You can read a bit more about Chia Seeds here.

10g fat | |3g fiber | 2 g sugar | 3g protein

PB & J Energy Bites

1 cup Rolled Oats (gluten-free)
1/2 cup Natural Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy...I used crunchy)
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries (Organic fruit juice sweetened)
1/2 cup Unsweetened shredded Coconut
1/2 cup Honey
1/4 cup Chia seed
1/4 cup Hemp Hearts
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Option 1: (how I made these)
*Toss all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Roll into balls approximately 1.5".

Option 2:
*Use a stand mixer, or bowl & spoon to mix all the ingredients together. Roll into balls approximately 1.5".

Note: This recipe makes about 25 bites.
We devoured them today, so I will definitely be doubling this up from now on!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

5 Minute Pants Patch

As promised, here is a tutorial on how to do a super easy 5 minute pants patch!

What prompted me to patch up my jeans, you might ask? Well, for one, I'm cheap thrifty. But more importantly, I hate shopping for pants. I find it incredibly difficult to find a pair that fits me just right, and are comfortable. And that are in my price range (can I say again, cheap thrifty?).

I'm a curvy lady. I don't have thigh gap. For some insane reason, thigh gap is a physical attribute to strive for these days. It's viewed as a very attractive physical attribute to have. There is even a Wikihow page on how to get thigh gap. Crazy I say! As a nutritionist, this kind of worries me. How many young girls are going to starve themselves to try and get this!? Now, if you are just a skinny person and this comes naturally that is a totally different story, so please do not be offended by this rant and be happy you don't have this problem.

Anyways! Back on track here.

For those who don't have thigh gap, you might be aware of how the inner thigh part of your pants wear down before the rest are ready to be retired. Your thighs rub together when you walk, this wears down your jeans. It never fails to be the first part of my pants to give out. So what's a girl to do with these otherwise perfectly good pair of pants!? Why, patch them up of course!

Now for the super simple tutorial:

Step 1: Find a nice scrap of fabric that covers the hole by about a 1/2" on each side. I used a scrap from my quilting fabric (100% cotton).

Step 2: Turn your pants inside out, and roughly pin the fabric scrap ensuring that the hole is fully covered.

Step 3: Stitch a 1/4" away from the edge of your fabric scrap all the way around, at least once. I decided to go around twice this time (and intentionally made it a bit messy...just the look I was going for).

The top patch you can see is one I did at least 6 months ago. I only stitched around once, and it has held up well since. When doing this second patch, I restitched the 1st as I noticed a couple stitches thinning out.

And Voila! Good as new! All patched up with a cute fabric, and no one will see your undies. Barely noticeable from the back, not at all from the front.

Monday, 12 May 2014

A Honky Tonk Mother's Day

A big Happy (belated) Mother's Day to all the mom's out there! I hope you all had a great, relaxing day. I sure did! First, Fin let me sleep in. Then Colin made me breakfast in bed (which Fin proceeded to steal from me asked me to share with him) and took Fin with him to brunch and a hike with his family.

I got to sew for the first time in ages. Like really sew. Not just a quick 2 minute session - a great 3 hour session!

It was fantastic. And relaxing.

And delicious. I made the best smoothie ever.

And now, I present Honky Tonk! Well, Honky Tonk quilt top. I'm calling that a win though!

It wasn't that long ago I gave you guys a sneak peak of it here back when I had just cut up the cute fabric by Moda. You can find Honky Tonk herehere, and on clearance here.

On a side note, this sucker was crazy hard to photograph today! It was a gorgeous and sunny day, but insanely windy. Since I was alone, I had no one to hold it up. Pretty much everywhere it was set down it tried to blow away.

Even though this week crazy busy, I'm really hoping to at least get it basted. It's a nice baby sized quilt, so that shouldn't be too hard. Right?

But I need your help! I actually have 3 perfect options for backing and I can't decide!

The minky would make it nice and cuddly for the sweet baby this will end up with (it will be in my shop once finished), but the green or coral will be much easier to work with when quilting. So please, leave a comment and tell me what you think would look best!

Be back soon with the promised DIY herb garden, Fabric bin liner tutorial, and 5 minute pants patch tutorial!


Sunday, 4 May 2014

May the Fourth be With You

I'm squeeking in the Star Wars celebration just in time! And this is what happened tonight:

Tonight Colin and I honoured the great Star Wars by watching Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back. It was one that I still hadn't seen (what!?), and is Colin's favourite. Win-win right?


An extra bonus for me was getting some more work done on R2D2. It's still a slow, slow progress, but progress none the less. As many of you might know, Yoda makes his appearance in Episode 5. And now I really want to make a Yoda quilt! One at a time though...i'll add it to the (already too long) list.

I had my Little Blue Birds to keep me cozy for the movie/sewing time too. I love this quilt. It was the second quilt I ever made (last spring - my first was for my soon to be born Nephew). It's just barely big enough for myself as a lap quilt and I backed it in a super soft Chocolate dimple dot minky. I'll post more on it later, and have more photos too!


So three just weeks came...and then went. Far to fast. Again. I've been dabbling in a few different projects (besides the loads to do with Real Nutrition), and wanted to make sure I keep you guys in the loop!

On the way I will have a DIY Wall Hanging Herb Garden AND a tutorial on how to make Fabric Bin Liners. I promise you won't have to wait another three weeks for them either. This mama is trying desperately to get organized (and get energy).


This past week we had a really nice day (yes a nice day), so I took Fin for a walk to the Arboretum. He had a blast crawling around and playing with the grass.


I got pretty excited to see that all the trees are blooming! Every year it amazes me how fast all the trees bloom and then bam! Everything is green and fresh and summery.

This kid makes my heart melt.

See you soon with a DIY project and a tutorial!


Monday, 21 April 2014

Feathers + Banana Bread Muffins

Guys, I've got the sewing itch. Bad. So little has been done this month. It's all I want to do, but I have so little time. And the time I do have is when Fin is sleeping, so I cannot use the sewing machine. I'm going to have to find a solution. And soon! Or I just might lose it.

Now on a positive sewing note...

I have managed to sew up a few blocks for my Scrappy Feathers Quilt.

I've been day dreaming and brainstorming for the back...and it's making me even more anxious to see this quilt done!


So, sad new is the lack of sewing lately. The good news, is that I have been in the kitchen! I finally bit the bullet and used my Banana Bread recipe to make Banana Bread Muffins.

They came out just as amazing as the bread does!
Moist, light & fluffy.

I might love the muffins even more for their portability. It's really nice to have a healthy snack that I can just grab and go.

Banana Bread Muffins

5 very ripe bananas, frozen then thawed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup softened coconut oil
2 cups Gluten Free All purpose flour*
1/2 cup Muscavado sugar (coconut sugar works nicely as well)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Xanthan gum

Optional add ins:
1/2 cup Chocolate chips, walnuts, dried fruit, etc.

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease your muffin pan (or line with muffin cups...that's what I do)
*Mix the bananas, eggs and coconut oil on medium speed in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 or 2 minutes. This will help make the bread rise nice and high. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can try using a hand mixer!
*Add in the flour, sugar, baking soda & xanthan gum. Mix on low until all ingredients are combined. Scrape down sides if needed. Add any additional ingredients (like chocolate chips or walnuts, yum!).
*Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full.
*Bake for about 30 minutes on the middle rack. Use a toothpick to test the center. If some batter comes up with the toothpick, bake for another 5 minutes and check again.
*Transfer to a wire rack to let cool.


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Spring is in the Air

I'm alive!! Hard to believe, I know. So...um...where did the last 3 weeks go!? It's been nutso here with a teething baby, back to back days of fevers, clingy baby, clingy baby, hosting seminar, etc. The clingy, teething baby has really what's kept my hands full. And off the sewing machine. And pretty minimal in the kitchen.

BUT I'M BACK! And with this pretty baby too.

No more (or very few) cell phone pictures here! Plus, with Spring just around the corner comes more sun and better lighting. Seriously....it's so difficult to take nice photos with no sunlight. Thanks winter.

While I couldn't get to my sewing machine these last few weeks, I gave in and cut up this cute fat quarter set I bought a while back. It's Honky Tonk by Moda.

I decided to go with a simple block quilt so it would come together quickly. I got all the fabric cut up during nap time.

And planned the layout during a short sleep session late at night when Fin was feverish...no sleep that night. (So please excuse the late night cell phone photo)

Look at R2D2!! (and the cute sleeping baby in the corner)

I've been making great progress with the embroidery this week.

So pleased with how it's coming out. Colin and I can't decide who's more excited to see this quilt finished.

The warmer weather this week sent me out on a walk with Fin. And I ended up at my local fabric shop, Fabrications. It's such a cute shop, and they always have different stuff when I go.

Apparently when I got there Spring was on my mind. I didn't really notice until I got home how Easter-y they are. But I love them. They're so fresh.

It's rare that i'm drawn to low volume prints, but these were too cute to pass up.

I think these little bunnies are my favourite. Cute bunnies, plus gorgeous aqua with charcoal grey. Pretty!

Hop little bunny. Hop!


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Exciting News!


The last couple weeks have been BUSY! And sadly, it hasn't been with sewing. I keep seeing all my projects sitting there....waiting...begging to be worked on, or even finished. But no.

This pretty stack has barely been touched and is still waiting for me. See you soon scrappy feathers...

And poor R2 is still looking pretty bare. Though with what i've been able to get done, you can see how amazing he's going to look once all that embroidery is done!

What have I been so busy with then?? I'll let you guys in on a little secret. Ok a kinda big secret. I'm excited and happy to say that I've made the decision to not go back to work once my maternity leave is up. Gasp! Instead I will (finally) be starting a nutrition practice. Cause you know...I'm a Nutritionist! A Registered Holistic Nutritionist to be exact. I'm pretty excited to finally take that leap! Not only will this allow me to work from home to be with Fin (and save us loads of money on child care), but i'll be able to delve deaper into my love for nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. And that's pretty awesome.

Since I have 2 months to bring in a full-time income i've been hard at work, during Fin's naps that is. Website planning, networking, meetings, updating forms, planning & creating workshops... B U S Y!

When Fin's not asleep (and it's not -a billion degrees out), we're getting out and having fun!

Playing Peek-a-Boo...

Or I'm chasing him around, because he's crawling now! (Pardon the messy bed which he was playing on earlier..but speaking of the bed, don't you think it needs a quilt!? Me too. Don't worry, it's on the To-Do list.)

Check me out on facebook Real Nutrition by Eryn Harding, like my page, and get lots of tips and recipes to help keep you healthy! I will also be posting when and where my workshops will be on my facebook page, so that's another great reason to follow. I am accepting new clients (so if you're in Ottawa..!), and am sorting out the logistics behind Skype to reach out and do consultations for those not in Ottawa (but still in Canada), or with busy schedules (why not use a lunch break to get healthy).

No need to worry though....i'll still need to keep my sanity and relax by keeping my hands busy. And that means sewing, cooking and more. Bringing Back Handmade is still going strong!