Friday, August 31, 2012

banana bread worth talking about

I figure this banana bread is worth blogging about since I make it...oh, about every week.  Oh man I love it so much.  It's called "Jami's Banana Bread" and NOT after my Jamie.  This recipe came from Miss Jami Hinshaw, a friend from my college days.  She would probably be surprised to know that it is still such a part of my life.  OK, this is the part where I share the love with you.

Jami's Banana Bread
2 large brown bananas
1 C sugar
1 egg
4 T butter, melted and cooled (OR applesauce or whatever.  I used greek yogurt, thanks to this handy pin)
1 1/2 C flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.  It makes a pretty small loaf, so if you have something smaller, use that.
3. In a bowl, mash the bananas. (Tip! Microwave the mashed bananas on high for a bit, until they're really steamy (1 min?).  This releases some of the moisture from the bananas so you can avoid the dreaded Soggy Loaf--but it still leaves all the delicious banana-y flavor.  A big thank you to America's Test Kitchen for that tid-bit.
4. Beat in sugar, then egg, butter and vanilla.
5. In another bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir just until flour is moistened.  NO OVER-STIRRING.
7. Pour into pan.
8. Bake for 1 hour.
9. Use all of your Self Restraint to not consume the whole thing before your significant other rolls out of bed. 

At least that's my step 9.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

riding the big wheel

I had to share these photos of our ride on the Seattle ferris wheel a few weeks ago.  Not too shabby for my little iPhone camera!
 gorgeous blue sky 

 amazing view of the city

 henry was, apparently, not impressed.

the sound (do you see an orca?)

...please ignore the sticky forehead prints on the glass (not ours)...

 henry and dad


What these pictures don't show is the 8 adults and one baby-in-carseat squeeeezed into the one car.  We were all thankful that a) everyone had showered that day and b) Henry chose this portion of the night to not scream.  The rest of the night however.........

I'm going to miss these summer nights!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

back to the beach

Why not throw in one more road trip to end the summer with a bang?  We packed up the car and headed to Neskowin for a weekend of family and beachy goodness.  Jamie's family reunion was on the schedule, and I went ahead and invited my whole family, so it was sure to be a fun time!  Activities included...
Whiffle Ball (Oliver calls the pitch)

 Beach Volleyball

Intense Pitching!

Toes in the Sand

Boat Rides

 Tow courtesy of Oliver, Adam and Pearl

Snuggles with Grandma!

 Cousin Love

Howell Kids Reading with Grandpa Tom

Climbing Proposal Rock

Beachy Bonfire
....and of course, S'more Eating!
Thanks for the great time, everyone!

Friday, August 24, 2012

a trip to grandma mary's

Henry and I went back home to Colton to see Grandma Mary, with Emily and the kids!  Here are some photo highlights from our trip...

Snuggles with Grandma (of course)

Pool Fun

Riding in the car

Fazzari's!  Neener Neener!

Mmmmm... Shotsy

More Pool Fun with Pearl

 Henry's first dip in the pool...good thing gma keeps it at a very comfortable 88 degrees!

Rockin' out to country music at Red Barn Farms

 ...and a very looooong drive home.  But totally worth it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

she read my mind

One of my customers wanted a project bag just like the one pictured in the main photo of this listing, but with a "g" for her daughter's name.  She told me,  

"This bag is adorable. I am getting it for my infant daughter to take all her stuff to daycare and back." 
She read my mind!  I've been thinking that this bag is the perfect size for just a few diapers, a pack of wipes, a burp rag, and a bottle if you're a bottle-feeding mama.  In fact, I've been using my "m" bag for just this purpose.  Then you don't have to drag your giant diaper bag on quick trips!  I'm sensing a whole new target market here...

UPDATE: After writing the draft of this post I got yet another order from someone who wanted to use this as a mini diaper bag! She writes:

"I have been looking for a cute little tote to bring to the park or something for my little girl. I have a large diaper bag, but sometimes, that is just too much and you just want something a little smaller and this is perfect! Everything else I find just isn't cute enough :)"

Aw! I'm blushing!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

i made something cute

Even though I already have a million bags, I added another one to the collection.  I can't help it if designers keep putting out new and amazing fabrics!  So this one is reversible -- one side has a monogram and the other has a pocket, just the right size for a phone, a debit card...a binkie?

The doily is from my stash.  Who knows where it came from now?  Probably Value Village.  Sometimes the best ideas happen on the fly.  Totally didn't plan this one, or measure, or even mark where to place it on the bag.  Scandalous!  But I think it turned out pretty cute, if I may say so myself.

 Do you love these fabrics too?  Here's the info (click the pic to order from my favorite fabric supplier):

 Josephine Kimberling : : Hope Chest Floral in Olive

Riley Blake Designs : : Ombre Dots in Yellow

Monday, August 6, 2012

keep calm and . . .

Well, I've fallen victim to the "Keep Calm" craze.  One of my fabulous customers wanted a bag with this saying.  How could I say no?  The customer is always right. :)  It did turn out pretty cute.  Designed by Tori!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

another ice cream adventure

I made my second attempt at ice cream using the Molly Moon ice cream book. This time I tried the Cherry Chocolate Chunk.

The second best part of this experience was that Jamie, who spoils me in many many ways, did the pitting and chopping of the cherries.  This motivation to be helpful probably had a lot to do with the fact that I told him I was making cherry ice cream rather than, say, cherry tofu salad.  I used Chelan cherries and Theo dark chocolate (and the answer to the question in your head is yes, I am going to be adding chopped chocolate to every ice cream I ever make).

 Chocolate makes everything--everything--better.

The worst part of the experience was waiting for the mixing and chilling. Ha!

So what was the first best part of this ice cream adventure?  Enjoying it with my sisters, hubby, and Auntie Carrie, of course!  Awwww.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

fun with peps peeps

 Here are some pictures of Henry's eight new friends.
My second choice for the title of this post was "my baby is huge"--can you spot him here?

What you are witnessing here is our first PEPS group meeting.  8 babies, 8 sets of parents, a whole lot of fun proppin' babies up on a couch.

 In case you're not familiar, PEPS stands for Program for Early Parent Support.  Almost every parent we talked to before Henry came asked us if we would be joining a PEPS group.  So far so good!  Everyone was super nice.  Maybe it's 'cuz they think our baby will eat their babies.  Henry sure looked like he was going to squash poor little Max like a bug.

 Max put up with this behavior like a champ for awhile, but there's only so much a 9-week-old can take.  Don't worry, we put Henry in the time out corner as soon as we got home.

We are lucky to be in the same group as our wonderful neighbors--here is Henry with their little girl Lily.  Future girlfriend...?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2 months old!

This was the look on Henry's face this morning when I told him he was turning 2 months old:

followed by:

 2 months old!  So how did I celebrate?  By taking no less than 162 photos!  OK OK, I won't post them all here.  But you have to see these...

We can't believe how much this guy is growing.  He is quickly outgrowing clothes, PJs, diapers, and I had to change the car seat straps to the higher notches!  And another big milestone from today was that he smiled after 9 am.  Usually we were averaging about 3 smiles per day, all before The Today Show annoys me so much that I have to turn it off.  Which is precisely 7:02am.