Saturday, March 26, 2011

Simple Pleasures

A little Easter-ific transformation:

He should be holding these, but I don't trust myself to not eat all of them at once.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Newest Obsession

I know I'm totally tardy to the party on this one, but I'm officially obsessed with Pinterest.  Like, completely.

It's a break from reality and the chance to look at beautiful things.  It's a source of inspiration.  It's like the best parts of all the blogs you read rolled into one (with the exception of the witty words and moving stories).  It's also pretty freaking convenient.  I had a painful "Inspiration" Excel doc noting all the gorgeous things you ladies make that I wanted to copy - Pinterest is a million times better.  

Sure, there are things on there I don't much care about - high fashion, architecture, endless mini animal photos - but it's so fun to look.  And there's certainly an abundance of home decor, diy, and craftiness.  AND delicious food - ohhhh, the food.  I rarely bake anything but I probably have 20 types of cupcakes pinned.

They try to be all elusive and you have to request an invite to join - I did and it only took a day or two to get signed up.  Do it!  If you want to see the things I've pinned (and I'm only getting started!) check out the button in the sidebar.  Kim & Torrie also have some lovely things pinned - anyone else out there have boards I could stalk admire??  Leave me a comment and let me know! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Simple Pleasures

An ice-cold (caffeine free!) root beer on a hot spring day.  It was just the thing for an 84 degree March day!

ps - remember last week's SP?  There are pictures there now - check it out.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Ava!

So hard to believe that one year ago today, this little baby was born, making us official aunts and uncles:

Equally hard to believe?  That's she's grown up so fast.  What beautiful miracles can happen within the span of a year.

Happy birthday little Ava.  We love you dearly.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Simple Pleasures

This week's more-than-simple pleasure is the birth of two beautiful babies - Parks and Marlee - born early this morning, small but healthy, to some of the best friends out there.  Congrats Mikey and Kacy



Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chocolate Banana Bread!

[  Hi all!  I miss you!  Life is still hectic, but please know that the moment I do something mildly noteworthy, I'll blog it up!  Until then, I'm repurposing this week's newspaper article.  Don't judge me. ;)  ]

It’s no secret amongst our friends and family that I am certainly NOT the cook of the family.  I have never cooked a full meal in my life.  Never!  A knife is foreign in my hands, and I have no clue what to do with a raw piece of chicken.  Luckily, I found myself a husband that not only likes to cook, but is willing to do so every single night.  I come home to a warm meal on the table every day – and you can’t beat that!

However, when it comes to baking – and you’re talking chocolate and sugar and deliciousness – then I’m the one working the oven.  I try not to bake too often, since that simply results in goodies that beg to be, and are, eaten.  But for special occasions, or even rainy weekends, I give in to the goodness.  This weekend, it was banana bread.

My mother in law recently gave us some decades-old McCall’s cookbooks.  They are quite dated, reminiscent of hours spent in the kitchen, making a full meal for the family.  Certainly not the domestic life I lead, but those ladies sure knew how to bake! (remember the Christmas McCall's book?)

Here’s the recipe for the banana bread – and here’s a tip – substitute chocolate chips for the nuts and add a little cinnamon – making it a sweet dessert or breakfast bread.  The secret's in the orange peel!   Enjoy!

Banana Nut (or Chocolate!) Bread·      

·         2 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour
·         3 teaspoons baking powder
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         1 cup sugar
·         ¼ cup soft butter
·         1 egg beaten
·         1 cup mashed ripe bananas (3 small bananas)
·         2 tablespoons grated orange peel
·         ½ cup milk
·         1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (or chocolate chips!)

1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
2.       Sift flour with baking powder and salt; set aside
3.       In a medium bowl, with electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and egg until smooth
4.       Add bananas, orange peel, and milk, mixing well.  Add flour mixture, beating just until smooth.  Stir in nuts.
5.       Pour batter into prepared pan; bake about 1 hour, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
6.       Let cool in pan 10 minutes.  Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.  To serve, cut into thin slices

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Simple Pleasures

This face:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Breaking the Cycle

I know you are all always anxiously awaiting what I will do next.  I'm totally interesting and my life is full of excitement.

Ok, not really.  But I will continue boring you with my progress on my List.

One might recall numbers 14 and 42.  (ok, I'll give you a hint: give up Diet Coke and give up one big thing for Lent).  Well, due to my slow progress on the List, I'm combining the two, and taking it one step further.  I'm giving up ALL caffeinated beverages for Lent, with the intention of breaking my addiction.  I wanted to be sure I gave up something that would really take some thought and struggle - and this fits the bill, even though it sounds kind of superficial.

This is going to be hard.

I drink my morning coffee, and the occasional DCs on the weekend or at restaurants.  Over the past few years, I've replaced my daily sodas with coffee, which is probably a better choice - mostly because I make it at home and don't add a bunch of stuff to it.

However - a few weekends ago, I really saw how bad this was.  We headed off to church in somewhat of a hurry, and I didn't have the chance to make coffee.  Thirty minutes into the service - I had a migraine - like, my head is in a vice and it might possibly break in half or at least crack and omg that would not be a pretty sight in public.

Caffeine has become a crutch - and my body literally has withdrawls if I miss it.  I don't want to be chained to a chemical like this.  Mostly because I'm lazy and don't want to always have to brew.  I want the occasional coffee to actually be a pick-me-up when I really need it - not just a daily requirement.

SO - I'm going cold turkey.  It's sad to say - but I am starting early - this weekend - since I know I will spend a few days with the shakes a splitting head.  Wish me luck.  Send chocolate.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Etching Experiment

When Young House Love posted this about glass etching, I promptly added etching creme to my mile-long (just kiddingbut seriously, we're on a strict budget and my mom spoils me) Christmas list of things to have my mom buy me so I didn't have to buy them for myself.  And as expected, she came through!  

Armed with YHL's instructions, I set out to make a gift for my sister's 21st birthday.  I found a $4 pitcher at Ross - made for beer most likely, but I thought it would be good for margaritas.

You guys - my mom is awesome - she reads my blog (as does the whole fam! thanks!) and knows of my crafty fantasies.  She got me not just one Xacto knife - but a whole freaking set.  With it's own special box.  With replacement blades.  ahhhhhhhh........

I completely used YHL's steps - but here are pictures of my pathetic attempt anyway!  I too used painter's tape for my stencil - although mine was totally old and had lost some of it's stickiness.  So better tape would have helped - I had a bit of bleeding.  

 I waited about 5 minutes - and it was starting to eat the tape edges - and it was super stinky!!  But it definitely etched!  Not as much as I would have liked, but it still turned out pretty cute! 

Anyone etched anything fun lately??  I've got some cream to use! 
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