Sunday, October 23, 2011

Granola Bar Recipe

Granola Bars

This granola bar recipe was shared with me from a friend, who happens to be our town's lactation consultant.  Thanks, Betty!
I've added flax seed and wheat germ, reduced the sugar, changed the white flour to whole wheat flour, and switched out the vegetable oil with coconut oil.  Therefore, I've made it my own! :)  I am so incredibly impressed with these granola bars.  They aren't too soft, and they aren't too hard.  They're just right!  They're also so delicious, my two year old calls them cookies, which works for me!

                                                         Let's get started!
First, we'll need to start with the ingredients.
Then, we'll add all of the dry ingredients and mix together.
Next, we'll make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.
We will then stir the mixture with a spoon, only to find that it's just easier to use our hands.
After mixing, add your extra ingredients.
Pour into pan and get ready to squish!
All squished down and ready to go in for 30 minutes.  Please note, the temperature in the picture is set to 375 degrees.  It should be 350! No worries, I just adjusted the cooking time once I realized that it was set too high.
All done!
Wallah! Beautiful and delicious granola bars. Also, a much healthier option than store-bought granola bars!

Granola Bars

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups whole grain old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup wheat germ
¼ cup flax seed
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients:
½ cup honey
½ cup coconut oil
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1-2 bananas
¾ cup chocolate chips
¾ cup dried fruit

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan.  In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center and pour in all of the wet ingredients.  Mix together well with hands and then pat the mixture into the pan.  Bake for 15 minutes and then turn around in oven.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes and then cool for 3-4 minutes before cutting.  Do not allow the bars to cool any longer than 3-4 minutes or they will be too hard to cut. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Personal Breastfeeding Experience/Background

Considering the name of my blog, I felt it was only fitting for the first real post to be about breastfeeding.  The question is, what angle should I take?  Should I discuss the benefits of breastfeeding, some of the specifics about breast milk vs. formula, the importance of nursing in public, tandem nursing, mothering through breastfeeding, expose the truth about “booby-traps”, or uncover some of the misconceptions about breastfeeding and some well meaning, but poor, advice that is often given?  When the topic of breastfeeding comes up, I get flustered and wish I could share all of this information with you all at the same time, but don’t worry, I’ll refrain for now.  I would like to share with you a little bit about my personal breastfeeding experience and background.

                                             Wesley nursing for the first time -
When Wesley was born in May of 2009, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed because it was better for the baby’s health, but I honestly didn’t know one thing about it.  I thank God that Wesley took to nursing immediately and that we never had any real problems or I fear that I would have given up quickly.  Wesley had a bad latch for the first couple of weeks which caused nipple soreness and blisters, but I just ignored it thinking that it was normal because of all of the breastfeeding horror stories I had heard when I was pregnant.  Those can be filed under the “well meaning, but poor, advice that is often given” section.  Thankfully, he corrected his latch all on his own and it was pretty much smooth sailing from there until he was four months old.  When we went to his four month check-up, he had dropped considerably on the weight percentile chart, and even though he had plenty of wet and dirty diapers each day and was satisfied after feeding, I was very worried.  I thought that I was starving my baby!  The pediatrician recommended starting formula, which I denied.  I waited another month and had his weight checked, and when he came back even lower on the percentile chart (he wasn’t losing weight, he was just gaining slower, therefore lowering on the percentile chart), I decided to start rice cereal (I do not recommend rice cereal as a first food because of the lack of nutrients) at five months.  I then started home made baby food at five months and two weeks. Looking back, I know now that he was perfectly normal, and there was no need to start baby food early.  Pediatricians using the CDC growth charts that are based on formula fed babies instead of the WHO growth charts that are based on breastfed babies is one of the many booby traps that will be discussed in future posts. 

          Wesley nursing at fifteen months old - Two months pregnant with William -
Amanda Keener Photography -
Wesley nursed every two hours, day and night, for the first seventeen months of his life.  The only reason why he slowed down when he was seventeen months old is because I was in my second trimester of pregnancy with William and my supply had dropped.  Wesley was, and still is, in love with nursing.  He nursed for nutrition and sustenance of course, but he also nursed for comfort.  While nursing a child every two hours day and night may sounds absolutely terrible and tiring (which it certainly was at times!), it was also a wonderful way to make up for my missed time away from him while I was at work.  He needed his mommy time, and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world. Wesley is now almost 2 ½ years old and nurses in the morning, before and after nap time, before bed time, and in times of distress (sick, hurt, ect.).  If he had his choice, he would still be nursing every two hours, day and night.  We are coming to the end of our nursing relationship though, and I am gently weaning him, slowly but surely.

William nursing for the first time -
William was born in March of 2011 and had a slight problem with his latch on one side for a couple of weeks, but I was able to pop him off each time that he latched incorrectly and he would correct it.  William nurses often for nutrition and sustenance, but it is obvious that he could really rather care less about nursing for bonding or comfort.   I’m honestly worried that it is going to be a struggle to make it to the World Health Organization’s recommendation of nursing for at least two years, but we are going to work towards that goal one day at a time, and we will succeed!  William and I haven’t had any problems nursing, and I attribute most of our success to being knowledgeable in the subject.  Something that I would have considered to be a problem before, I no longer consider a problem.  William is very small and nurses often, but that isn’t a problem.  He’s perfectly healthy and normal in every way. 

                                            William nursing at four months old -
                            Amanda Keener Photography -
I started going to La Leche League ( when Wesley was almost a year old after stumbling upon it online while looking into different jobs that have to do with breastfeeding education.  I attend regularly and cannot recommend more strongly that if you are trying to conceive, pregnant, or have a little nursling, for you to attend at least one La Leche League meeting.  There is nothing like having mother-to-mother support surrounded by like-minded women with wisdom and experience in so many different breastfeeding challenges and topics.  I have lots of La Leche League resources and have started my own little advice line through Facebook for women with questions/concerns about breastfeeding.  I am certainly not a professional, nor have I taken any courses, but I do have experience, resources, and a passion.

Nursing necklace - & Jenny White Photography

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Hello, my name is Jennifer Vaughan and this is my very first blog post.  How exciting! For my first post, I think we had better stick with introductions and get to the craziness of my thoughts later. 
  This is me! -

I’m twenty-one years old and a home school high school graduate.  I have no plans to attend college, as what I want to do with my life does not require a degree.  I want to love, be loved, and be the best wife and mother I can possibly be.  I work two days a week, while my children are at Grammy’s house, at The House FM and My Praise FM Christian radio stations (check them out at & as an assistant to the promotion’s department and I am a new Silpada Designs Jewelry Independent Representative (check out my website at  I also co-own FromBlessingHands Etsy shop with my mother and sister featuring ring sling baby carriers, crocheted photography props and vintage light shade bird feeders, which you can view at Here are a handful of words you could use to describe me; I am excitable, obsessive, easily distracted, emotional and passionate.

I have been married since May of 2008 to the love of my life, Steven, who I happen to still be head of heels for.  Steven is very calm, practical, affectionate, and efficient.  We are complete opposites and balance each other out quite nicely. My husband is the assistant manager of Evans and Associates Big Fork Ranch, a hunting guide for Red Rock Ranch, and part owner/manager of The Buffalo Waller Ranch.   

          This is Steven! - 

Our oldest son, Wesley, was born in May of 2009.  He is an incredibly ornery, difficult, dominant personality and perfect in every way. 
      This is Wesley! - 
Our son, William, was born in March of 2011.  William is very mellow and sweet.  I think you can probably guess which child takes after which parent.  
        This is William! -

Letting My Breast Hang Out - A Weird Combination of Breastfeeding Advocacy and the Sharing of Everything That Goes Through My Mind will be a collection of whatever my little heart desires and what happens to be occupying my thoughts on that particular day and time.  I plan on featuring posts about breastfeeding advocacy, natural birthing, conservative political views, healthy and not-so-healthy recipes, chemical free/non-toxic/organic living, Christianity, ways to save money and special deals, specific chemicals to avoid, product giveaways and attachment parenting.  Please feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think, share your own personal stories, or let me know if there is something specific you would like for me to discuss.  I hope you enjoy my blog!