If you’re happy and you know it….


I have a friend who is what I call a life sucker. Do you have one of these? You know the kind of person who would complain, even if they won the lottery. Nothing is ever good in their life (even when it totally is). The person that when you get done talking to them you feel like you need a nap because they sucked the very life out of you with their negativity. I am fortunate enough that this person lives in another state (I moved) so the life sucking has slowed down but it still makes me sad. When I was trying to point out the good things in her life to her last time we talked she said to me, “of course it is easy for you, you have a happy life”. Do I?
I find it amusing for the fact that our lives are not that much different. Yet how I see things is very different. When LS ( Life Sucker) had to pay for health issues for her dog you thought the world was coming to an end. She feels about her dog how I do about mine so we both would spend a small mint to make sure they were okay. But to talk her you would think that things like this only happen to her. She is very much, why do things like this always happen to me kind of gal. Well here is a news flash, they don’t. Craptastic things happen to people every minute of every hour of every day. You are not alone in that, she is not alone in that, I am not alone in that. Good things also happen every minute of every hour of every day. You just have to be able to recognize it. And that is the hard part for people.
My good things today included laughing at LFB hoping around in circles looking like she was chasing her tail. Driving down the road and seeing the red and golden leaves starting to pop out.  Eating a nice scoop of Strawberry Gelato while sitting with my blog designer going over the new design. My hair growing out just long enough to go back into a pony tail. CCS laying at my feet keeping them warm (it’s a bit chilly in the house). Laughing with my husband that we have had to talk WAY too much about animal poop the last week. ;) . Some people may not find any of those things particularly good. But boy, I sure do. And maybe that is the difference. Maybe that is the key.
In a dirty hippie ;) kind of way, the last few moments of my day are always spent meditating. Not in the chantey, humming kind of way, but in the sitting calmly with no distractions and concentrating kind of way. Concentrating on what? All the good things in my life. Sounds hokey, but I really do think it helps. Now don’t get me wrong, I have my bad days, we all do (I’m not all sunshine and rainbows coming out of my butt). But I try pretty darn hard to let my good days out number my bad.
I used to have a sign over my desk that read, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”. Those my dear readers are words to live by.
So today I offer up a simple granola. One that celebrates the flavors of Fall, with dried apples, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds (pepitas). Have it for breakfast or sprinkle it over yogurt and cake.

Fall is Here Granola

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
½  cup raw sunflower seeds
½  cup raw pumpkin seeds
¼ cup raw sesame seeds
1 ½  tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
2 TBSP canola oil
¼ cup honey ( I use creamed cinnamon honey)
¼  cup maple syrup
1/3 cup dried apples, diced
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, honey and maple syrup.
Pour oil mixture over the oat mixture and toss together. Make sure all ingredients are coated with the oil mixture.
Spread evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. Take out of oven and move granola around using a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon. Spread out again evenly onto baking sheet and place back into oven.
Bake for another 10-15 minutes depending on how crispy you like your granola. Be careful not to get it too dark or you will get a unpleasant burnt flavor, and no one wants that.
Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
Once room temperature, remove from pan and break up the larger clumps of granola into smaller pieces. Add dried apples and dried cranberries to the mix.
Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.


  1. Yum. Beautiful pics!

  2. Thankfully I don’t know many “life suckers” – they wouldn’t be too pleasant to be around, anyways, haha ;-)

    Kudos to you for focusing on the simple, positive things in life; and hooray for a simple (yet extravagantly delicious) granola recipe!!

  3. Ooh, I love a good granola! This looks absolutely delish.

    Thanks for the reminder about “life is 10% what happens to you …” Words to live by, indeed! :-)

  4. I taught a child last year whose parents were both hit by a car. He lost his mother and his father had significant brain injuries. He is just now, 10 months later learning to walk. I see this child every day and he laughs and enjoys his friends and talks to me about how tired he is from school (he is taking a full load with AP classes) and work(his dad hasn’t gone back to work, so he needs to earn money) but he smiles when I ask him about his dog, the soccer team, and his brothers who are away at college. This wonderful young man already knows how to be happy, to appreciate the small things. While my heart breaks when I think of what he has had to deal with at 17, I’m so glad I’ve known him-he helps me keep some perspective and to remember what’s really important. I really believe we make a choice to be happy. Sometimes it’s easier than others, but our happiness is up to us.

  5. I’ve had a few of those people in my life over the years… fortunately, not so much right now.

    The granola looks fantastic!

  6. You are very wise to look on the bright side! I have a friend who calls friends like you describe senators. Here in Canada, senators are appointed for life. And, oddly, old friends get forgiven all kinds of things that would kill a new friendship.

    Maybe we should keep our senators mouths full of granola at all times so that they are too busy to complain?

  7. I think it’s refreshing to try to keep a positive attitude :) This granola looks great. I love all the flavors and combination of ingredients.

  8. Great attitude and great granola! LS suck.

    I love to make my own granola too. Sometimes I add ground ginger and some crystallized ginger bits.

  9. Oh my, I can totally relate to the “life sucker” story. There are just some people I don’t have the energy to tolerate for long periods of time. They just drain the life force out of you! The granola looks great! I’ll have to try it out!

  10. Man do I wish that we had leaves turning around here! It’s finally in the 60’s at night and staying OUT of the 90’s during the day. Granola looks good. I’ve never made it but think about it often!

  11. Well, I certainly hope LS is reading this right now! Hee hee. And: congratulations on the ponytail! See, we have the upper hand on happiness already!

  12. I have a coworker who is a LS and I try to avoid her all the time now. I just can’t take it anymore! Life is too short to waste time having the happiness sucked out of you. I suppose beautiful granola is an apt choice for reconstituting your life force!

  13. I always liked “Eat a bull frog first thing in the morning and nothing else worse can happen to you the rest of the day.”
    I like your Granola so much better.
    Really Peabody the good things in life stare some people right in the face, even slap them in the face and they don’t get it.

  14. Spot on about LS’s. LOL…reading MKIHC’s comments made me guffaw!The good thing is that though there are plenty of both LS & positive hippie types, the latter are greater in number & know how to count their blessings, no matter how small they may be. A friend just sent me my morning quote via SMS…”If you can’t find the brighter side of life, polish the darker side”…Happy Morning!! Wish I could have that dishy granola for brekky…YUM!!

  15. A bowl full of Autumn! Love that you take the time to appreciate the good in your life…it makes a difference. A friend of ours, going through his second round of chemotherapy said “Misery is Optional”. If he could say that going through what he was going through, my life sure looks pretty sunny! Hope you are feeling better, that both furbabies are doing better, and that you keep contact with the Life Suckers to a minimum.

  16. I know those people! They are like vampires! Toxic!

    That Granola looks fantastic!



  17. OH I used to work with an LS!! I considered her a major time sponge. I shudder to think of it. But on the other hand, this granola looks delicious. I have been craving energy-rich breakfast fare like this recently!

  18. You can keep your granola, but I love your philosophy.

    Seriously, love your blog – keep up the great work.

  19. “Craptastic things happen to people every minute of every hour of every day. You are not alone in that, she is not alone in that, I am not alone in that. Good things also happen every minute of every hour of every day. You just have to be able to recognize it.”

    YESS!! So true! Thanks for the positive start to the day, Peabody, let’s hope some Life Suckers read it and take it to heart :-)

  20. This looks SOOOOO good! I actually C&P’d and sent to my dad b/c I know he’d be SURE to make this (he bakes everything with most of these ingredients!). Thanks!! :)

  21. Mm, that looks like a big bowlful of happiness to me… I love granola and could eat it everyday for months on end. Fall really is the perfect time of year for it, for some reason; We always see a huge spike in granola sales at the restaurant around this time of year. I just had to make a giant bucket of it (yes, a bucket- the size of the batch won’t fit in a bowl or anything else) just to keep up!

  22. Yay! Thanks for being so positive, Peabody! You always cheer me up! I am sending lots of positive vibes for LFB – hope she’s doing okay! Keep us posted.

  23. Thanks for sharing. I found your blog through Simmer Till Done.

    I agree with you. I believe I have the power to always stay on the sunny side of things. I’m not always successful, but I always try. Embracing the simple joys of life always helps.

    Keep on the sunny side,

  24. I love your food, Pea, but your posts are also a big reason for me to come back here every time.
    I think that many of use take things for granted only to regret that later in life. I try to look at things in a positive way and try to find joy even in the smallest things. That has been wonderful to me, and, I’m sure, to others around me.

  25. I have a similar saying taped to my monitor at work. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can always control how you react. Anytime I’m feeling a little down and wanting to do some LS of my own I read it and it does make a difference. Thanks for the great granola I can’t wait for Fall to be in full swing.

  26. Simply wonderful view of life. I choose not to hang around LSs and do my best not to be one!

    Delighted to find your blog!!!

    (And the granola looks fantastic!)

  27. Thank god the LS in my life is only an acquaintance and not a friend. So, I do not have to spend too much time with her – but it’s a bummer being with her. I come out thinking “what she complaining about? if I could afford 600 dollar prada shoes – i’d be the happiest gal in town!!” LOL! But nah! she thinks her life sucks. I am glad to have you though Pea – I come here see a gorgeous drooling recipe and my day is just perfect!

  28. My husband knows someone like this, and I hate it when they spend time together, because my husband will always be in a bad mood the rest of the day. I figure life is too short to spend time complaining. And really, once you start dwelling on the negative, it seems to pop out of everywhere. But the same happens with the positive – and I’d rather see all of the good things in my life than the bad things!

  29. There always seems to be a LS in every crowd. And it’s always about them but they don’t seem to realize it at all. I do try to be positive because I think it makes one positive.

  30. What can I say !! You re obsolutely right . I agree with you 100% :-) Nice granola yummy.

  31. What an inspirational blog post. Yup I have more of those LS people than happy people at work. I love your site and will definitely come back to see more.

  32. Creamed cinnamon honey? Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm! And the granola looks really good! I love the name you gave it!

  33. i love granola. this looks like a perfect kind to make for fall! thanks for sharing :)

  34. I so know what you mean about the life suckers. They need a nice dose of perspective. ;D Ask them to volunteer at the soup kitchen or the children’s ward at the hospital for a day. :D That ought to do it. hehehe

    By the way, that is indeed the best looking granola I’ve ever seen. Nice job!

  35. First of all, the granola recipe looks awesome. I will definitely try it as I eat granola on my yogurt for breakfast. What a great “fall” one to try!

    Secondly, I like your outlook. Probably because it is much like mine. I tend to look at the brighter side of life and think of the good things. Thinking of the bad just drags you down and how can you enjoy life that way? I’d rather be happy! Those LS (and I know a few) get lectured by me when they start complaining. Things could ALWAYS be worse. It takes much less energy to be happy and content!

    GREAT POST. :)

  36. P.S. If you haven’t figured out – Grumpy can be one of those LS….he’s the one I lecture. LOL

  37. I am a very “focus on the positive” kind of person. Which can be draining since I spend most of my energy trying to get my negative nelly husband to see how good he has it.

  38. …clap your hands!” Sorry, couldn’t resist – after all, I spend the bulk of my time with two very young, very handsome (future) men. : ) Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you, for the attitude smack. I needed one. I will definitely take your advice and try to meditate on the good more. I try hard to focus on the good, but seem to always end up only thinking about the negative (at least that is how it feels). Anyway, I know exactly what you mean about LS’s and I’ve been feeling like I have been acting like one lately. Exhaustion is a good reason, but not a good excuse. So again, thanks for refocusing my attention on the little things in life.

    SO – that granola looks and sounds fabulous. I only finally made granola for the first time a few weeks ago and I think this version would be a big hit around our house.

  39. I hear ya! I used to have a life sucker (we call them black holes) or two in my life. I kicked them to the curb. Life is better and my energy is better spent on people who are more deserving of it. Love granola, but never thought to make it. It’s that milk thing (although I could have it with yogurt).

  40. Oh man, I totally know exactly what you’re talking about. With an LS, you spend the whole time trying to convince them that their life isn’t so bad, which they don’t even want to hear — it’s exhausting! But the good news is, your granola looks delish. I don’t love granola, but I love making it and it’s been WAY too long, and my husband loves it. So you’ve inspired me – thank you!!!

  41. How true your words of wisdom are. My favourite mottos are ‘whatever happens it’s an experience’ and ‘onwards and upwards’
    We can take pleasure in even the simplist things in life, like your yummy graola. I love eating it when its still freshly baked, slightly warm and crisp.

  42. Thanks for sharing this granola recipe… all the tasty goodness of fall in this perfect snack! “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” – I couldn’t agree with you more… and this is the only way I’ve ever known to live my own life. Thanks for sharing the same sentiments!

  43. Love a good granola… perfect to make for the beginning of fall too. I know what you mean about those life-sucker people. It’s sure hard to have them as friends, isn’t it? My husband is the most positive person in the world. My seven year old already knows what an ‘optimist’ and a ‘pesimest’ is. Isn’t that funny? My hubby drills it in the kiddos head that we are an ‘optimist’ family.

  44. What a great post, Peabody! Truer words have yet to be written. I have that quote framed and hanging up in my hallway. I try read it every morning, especially on the days that I just don’t want to do it all again. I am a very positive person, and have had many a life-sucker in my life as well. Nice to know I’m not the only one who uses that term. The granola looks like autumn, by the way.

  45. Sadly, the closest life sucker I know is my sister. But I try to help as much as I can, and we don’t see each other very often even though we live only a few blocks apart.
    I see life the same way you do. My happy days greatly outnumber the sad ones and I am proudly responsible for it.

  46. I love granola! Everyone seems to be making it lately. I need to get on the band wagon. Just trying to finish up a few boxes of stuff first. Yours looks great!

  47. I’ll add your granola to my list of things to be happy about.

  48. We posted granola today too! Don’t you just love it? I will have to try your version.

  49. I don’t think anything in your post sounds hokey at all! I heartily agree with everything you’ve said. We have to recognize all those wonderful happy moments that come to us each day :) Too many people miss out…

    I know what you mean about the life suckers…

    This granola looks wonderful!

  50. What a beautiful granola!i couldn´t take my eyes from the photos!
    Life can be so beautiful,there are sad days,is true, but those exist to make you apreciate the happy ones even more! Right?
    Viva a vida!

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