Healthy Homemade Granola


If you are looking for a healthy alternative to traditional sugary granolas look no further.  This easy to make homemade granola is quick to assemble, uses all natural ingredients and is modifiable.  This recipe was originally seen at Cookie & Kate, I just modified it a bit to fit my needs.




  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups raw nuts (I used raw almonds. Other suggestions might include pecans, pepitas, walnuts)
  • 1 tsp. fine grain sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup (honey can be substituted)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup dried fruit (I used cranberries. Other suggestions might include blueberries, cherries, berries)



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts, coconut, salt & cinnamon.  Stir to blend
  3. Pour oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix well, until every oat and nut is lightly coated.
  4. Pour granola onto large rimmed baking sheet and spread in an even layer, keeping it loose.
  5. Bake until golden, about 21 to 23 minutes, stirring halfway.
  6. Let the granola cool completely on pan, it will crisp more as it cools.  Stir occasionally if you want loose granola or leave it undisturbed if you want granola clusters.

Enjoy on its own, over Greek yogurt, in milk with fresh fruit.  Possibilities are endless.




The Hobby | Biker Photos


It all started summer 2017 with this girl, this bike and a camera I had received as a gift nearly three years prior.

I didn’t completely know what I was doing, and I certainly still don’t, but I knew I wanted to try and capture a few photos of Liz with her bike.  And what started out as a fun night of unknowns, turned into a hobby worth exploring.

But not for reasons you might think.

I am connected to many influential, intelligent, beautiful, gracious and inspirational women.   Add to the equation a woman who rides her own motorcycle and you end up with a pretty powerful subject.



According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, the number of women riders in America is growing daily.  In fact, in 2015 female motorcycle owners made up 14 percent of the industry.   In 2003, an estimated 9.6 percent of the motorcycle owners in America were women, which shows us an increase of over 50 percent in 10 years.

Nice work, gals!

Women Riders Now provided us with an even larger breakdown:

  • Slightly more than 17 percent of Gen X owners (born from early 1960 to mid-1970s), and 17.6 percent of Gen Y owners (born in the 1980s and 1990s) are women.
  • Among Boomer owners (born between 1946-1964), women make up 9 percent.


We are a highly educated group as well!

  • 47 percent of us have a college or post-graduate degree.



As I said…







Before I knew it, one session turned into another and another, and with those sessions I started to grow in my confidence, abilities and knowledge.   Each shoot I critiqued and analyzed to find something new to take away, whether it was a new technique or studying the settings I had used to get the desired outcome.  I fully invested in studying aperture, ISO and shutter speed and how they intertwine.  The importance of angles and subject placement started to take shape.

The positioning of the sun and the effects it had on the shooting range was an eye opener for me.  Using natural light to enhance the subject while avoiding unappealing shadows or bright, nearly drowned out spots, can be tricky depending on the time of day and location.


I started to work on the concept of depth and subject placement in order to get the end result desired, whether it be a bold, loud full landscape statement, or a naturally blurred or bokeh effect background with the focus on the subject.


I have learned so much, and have so much yet to learn.  I don’t want to be a hobbyist who is a simple “point and shoot” type.   There are plenty of “photographers” out there.  Anyone with a fancy camera can wave their hand in the air.

Am I a professional photographer?  Absolutely not.  Do I want to be?  No.  Am I trying to be?  No.

I am enjoying learning a fun hobby while working toward producing products for people that have a look and feel of minimal effort, but polished and a semi-professional edge.


But, my dear friends… it’s more than that.

Those influential, intelligent, beautiful, gracious and inspirational women I am fortunate enough to know?  I want you to see them too.


And I want them to truly see it in themselves.




I want to help boost confidence in the individuals in front of my lens.

I want them to own and embrace what makes each of them unique.


I want to pull out the happiness and joy these girls exude and put it in print for the rest of the world to experience.


I want these girls to feel pride when they see themselves in print.


I want to help build self-esteem, self-confidence, pride, happiness and joy into each of my subjects

one shot at a time.


And with that,

I think I found my niche.


I look forward to the spring months ahead where I hope to hit the ground running with more opportunities to capture photos of not only my friends with their bikes, but also to the many other strong, powerful women (and men) out there riding their own.

When you are ready, so am I.











ISO versus Apeture vs. Shutter Speed  – oh my.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Christmas has arrived in our home!


Harley couldn’t be more excited.


‘Tis the season for evenings of nothing but Christmas lights turned on, soft Christmas music playing in the background and holiday candles glowing.


And naps under the tree for Grimmy.


I love the peacefulness and renewed sense of spirit and hope that this season always provides.


And the general feeling of joy that seems to be spread across the city and our neighborhoods.


Wishing you a Merry Christmas season as you embark on the many holiday gatherings with family and friends.




The Grand Tour | Exclusive Omaha Screening

Amazon Prime Video is taking over Omaha this weekend for a free event that I’d love to share with you.

Coffee Cruise Omaha AKA Cars and Coffee Omaha have been asked by Amazon Prime to host an exclusive viewing of Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour show THIS Saturday night, October 21st.

Already into season two of the record-breaking The Grand Tour, audiences will see presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May embarking on their most extensive Grand Tour ever, traveling through more locations than before and attempting to avoid any further mishaps and injury along the way. The trio will spend over 100 days across five continents, racking up more passport stamps from Croatia, Mozambique, Dubai, Spain, Switzerland, Colorado, New York and many more exotic locations around the world.


The event will be held on Saturday the 21st at HyVee on 3410 N. 156th St.   The parking lot opens at 5:30 with complimentary food and beverage for the first 400 who fill out a survey for Amazon.  The screening will be outside on a 20′ x 26′ screen with professional sound system. “Drive-In” movie style! There will be some seating provided by Amazon, but a folding chair of your own is also recommended.

Car lovers – bring your classics and cruise on over for this exclusive screening!   What a great Saturday evening event for you and your family.


We Grow As One: The Courtyard Ink

Feature #1 in the We Grow As One series comes from Courtyard Ink.

Courtyard Ink came to my rescue this last summer when I fell into an unfortunate predicament that left me with an order that needed to be placed ASAP.   Several frantic emails went out to local screen printing shops in the metro area and of the responses I received, Courtyard Ink stood out as the BEST possible solution for me in multiple ways:

  1.  The no-nonsense response
  2.  The politeness and eagerness to accommodate
  3.  The competitive pricing
  4.  The impressive turnaround time
  5.  The flexibility to add a few extra orders within said turnaround time
  6.  The payment structure (I didn’t have to place 100% down prior to the order being processed)
  7.  Their logo was simply badass

Brad and Steve pulled through on my order and even placed an EMERGENCY order with a 24 hour turnaround time when I had a few extras the last second.

Talk about customer service! 

These guys get it.

Courtyard Ink was established from a variety of unique circumstances: college entrepreneurship class, a buddy’s basement, a heat press, a final project and a first customer.   From 2008 to now, Courtyard Ink has seen a move from a basement to a few storefronts to where they currently reside on 1415 North Saddle Creek Road.

Courtyard Ink has built a solid reputation by simply being one of the best in the screenprinting and embroidery business.  Through word of mouth, old school networking and advertising and repeat customers, Brad and Steve have created a solid foundation to which business will continue to grow.  I am a prime example of a first time customer turned repeat.

1) They pulled through on my down to the wire order for my annual biker chick run:


2) And in return, I went back to them for a large shirt order I needed for my program at work:


Courtyard Ink specializes in screen-printed or embroidered apparel, so if you are in the market, I encourage you to go see them for your next order.


You can find one or both of the guys there Monday -Thursday from 9-5 or Friday from 9-4.   They value their time with family and friends so weekends are locked tight to personal downtime.  I commend them for that decision as I strongly believe that in order to have a successful business, you have to remember to take care of yourself as well.  It’s nice to see these entrepreneurs figured that out early on.

What’s next for you and your connection with Courtyard Ink?


Thanks, Courtyard Ink for the stellar customer service and great product.   We look forward to seeing continued success and growth.




This post is part of the We Grow As One series highlighting our community, small businesses and the people behind them.  First National Bank of Omaha is sponsoring this series of posts, but all words are mine.