A DIY Birthday Gift + My Usual Go-to Granola Recipe

I like to think that I'm pretty good at saving money, but in actual fact I'm not. OK, that's only half true. I'm just not the kind of person to spend my money as soon as I get my hands on it. I like saving up all my money until the end of the year (because - Christmas sales!), only to spend it all - and on really expensive things. So basically, the end result is the same anyway. 

So it was my friends birthday on Saturday, and I needed to get her a gift. But there was problem. After the post blues of Christmas shopping I was in no position to buy expensive gifts. For me, I was literally broke. I have this one rule where I must keep a certain amount of money in the bank (call it budgeting if you will), and no matter what reason or situation I'm in, I cannot go below that amount. It is a big NO NO. But then I also have this other rule where I cannot give bad gifts. Man am I troublesome because, unfortunately, I was on the bottom line of my bank. There was barely anything left. But then I thought, if you can't buy a gift, you might as well just make one.

|Store-bought gifts + DIY Gifts: Homemade Granola + Vegan Hot Chocolate

I was on the net flicking though here when this idea caught my eye. DIY stuffed jars! Thankfully I had enough money to buy some decent things but the idea of making these jars seemed pretty cool. I find that people often really appreciate gifts that you make yourself. I have a friend who is really good at crocheting/knitting and she makes these really rad (cute!) pencil cases and plush toys for peoples birthday. But since I'm not that talented, I just made some easy AND cute little jar gifts (as pictured) for my friend's birthday.

For my DIY Jars:

  • Jars// I bought from my local discount store for about $3 each
  • Vegan Hot Chocolate// I used esamee's beautiful vegan hot chocolate and decorated using baking paper, brown wrapping paper and cooking twine. Labels - lined with fine red pen. Words - Sharpie pen
  • Granola// (Recipe is below!) Decorations - Simply a pretty ribbon and brown wrapping paper with edges lined with red pen and sharpie used for the writing. Simple as pie. 
Now, time for the GRANOLA.

Now this is my 'usual' go-to granola cereal I usually make for myself and the fam - and in this case for my friend! I say sort-of because it's never the same because I usually make it from whatever is left in my pantry. Nevertheless here's a 'recipe'.

A Rather Nutty Granola

Yields: One Extremely Large Jar (Feeds a hungry family of Four for 1.5 weeks)


3 cups Rolled Oats
1 cup Buckwheat 
1 cup (chopped) + 1/2 (whole) cup Almonds
3/4 cup Walnuts (chopped) 
1/3 - 1/2 cup each of nuts and seeds of choice
  • Seeds I used: Sunflower + Pepitas
  • Nuts I used: Pistachios, Hazelnuts + Macadamia 
4 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
2 tbsp Raw Honey
2 tbsp Almond Butter
1/4 cup water (choice of oil)
1/2 tbsp Cinnamon
pinch of Nutmeg (optional)
2 tsp Maca Powder (optional)

Preheat Oven to 180 degrees (C). In a large bowl combine oats, buckwheat, and your range of nuts and mix well. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients together before pouring into the large oat-nut mixture. Incorporate well, making sure the oat mixture is well covered. Line a large baking tray and spread granola mixture evenly. Bake for 10 mins first, then stir and repeat every 5 mins until a the whole mixture turns into a nice shade of golden brown (total bake time usually takes about 20-25 mins). Let granola cool completely before eating. Or store in a nice big jar to make it last longer. 


Can replace Almond Butter with any nut butter or omit. 
Can replace buckwheat with more oats or another choice of grain (rye flakes, quinoa flakes, etc.)

Hope you enjoy.

- So, I thought.

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Potato, Coffee + Generally Food obsessed Brisbane Chick.


  1. This looks so lovely Clarissa! Once again, your friend is so lucky ;)

  2. This granola seems delicious!
    I'll admit receiving a hand-made gift is always lovely, because it shows that you've put time into it :)