Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sometimes you just gotta go to bed to..

avoid eating everything in your kitchen.


At least I do.


So that's where I am right now. In my bed, blogging about food instead of eating it. Seriously, I'm not hungry but I LOVE my kitchen. The only problem with that is that there's food everywhere in there (surprising, I know) so I'm removing my (already stuffed) self from the situation.


I will NOT be tempted by the piping hot loaf of banana bread cooling on the stove. But I will tempt you...


Remember that too many nanas post? Well, I got one recipe, so (against my better judgment) I decided to test banana bread recipes. (Seriously, making four loaves of banana bread the week before I get in a bathing suit? Not exactly a great decision.)


The good news is, though that my fav recipe is the Hungry Girl one. (Don't know Hungry Girl? Check her out.) Miraculously, I didn't change much. (Usually, I'm swap happy, but this is so good for you, I controlled myself.) Here's the recipe with my notes.


1 1/4 C whole-wheat flour
1/4 C all-purpose flour (I used all whole-wheat b/c I didn't have AP flour)
3/4 C Splenda granulated (I used Splenda for baking and may decrease this a little next time)
1 1/2 C mashed bananas, about 3
1/2 C egg substitute, like egg beaters (I used egg whites)
1/2 C no-sugar-added applesauce
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt (I think I forgot this...maybe, maybe not... hmmm)

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In large bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  • In small bowl, combine wet ingredients.
  • Add wet to dry.
  • Bake in large loaf pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray for 50 mins or until it passes the toothpick test. (My bread took only 35-40 mins. Don't forget to check on yours!)
  • Makes eight thick slices. (Stats for one slice:Calories: 140, Fat: 0.5, Sodium: 267 mg, Carbs: 31g, Fiber: 3.75g, Sugars: 7g, Protein: 5g)

Yum!

The big reveal

*Gulp*

Ok ... so ... I've been putting this post off b/c I'm not 100% sure about this... but here goes...

I've ... been ... designing ... this:
Ok. There. I said it.

So, here's why I've been hesitant:

I think I might want to sell it. I mean, like, make multiples in a variety of colors and combinations, and sell them. But I need HONEST opinions before I do. Brutally honest. (Ok, not, like G.I. Jane brutal, but honest nonetheless.)
Like would you actually purchase that little wallet? and adorable (if I do say so myself) change purse? (Or even a set of them that include a bag?) And if you would, how much would you pay?

I'm trying to figure out if this would be worth my time (I mean, I LOVE it and am dying to crank out multiples, but I don't really have that many people that I know that actually WANT it.)

Other things I think I'd make are: appliqued onsies, coffee cozies, decorative pillow covers.

So, dish people. Tell me I'm totally crazy and shouldn't add anything else to my plate. Or not.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Google reader -- a blessing or a curse?

I SWEAR I will post about this weekend's Pi Phi adventures. And recipes. And crafting. But I can't now because I have fallen into the black hole time suck that is called Google reader.

Do not, I repeat, do NOT go to www.google.com/reader.

And do NOT add your favorite blogs to it in three quick steps. (Hit the plus sign, type in the blog name, and add it to your subscription list.)

And whatever you do, don't then start marveling at the way they are displayed -- just like an e-mail in box -- marking unread posts in bold and unbolding them as you scroll down. Don't drool over the fact that new, inspiring posts automagically appear as soon as they are live.
I mean, unless you're subscribing here of course. In that case, go for it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wanted: Your favorite nana recipe

I was out of town over the weekend (more on that later), but I came home to a house nearly fully in order and a stocked fridge. It was like a dream come true!

My parents, who stayed the weekend with Ben, also did a little shopping. And my dad's Costco addiction, coupled with the Thomas family forgetfulness (yes, I am a recipient of the forgetful gene) left me with:

* 9 fresh bananas they purchased from Costco Saturday
* 2 ripe bananas I purchased Thursday
* 2 over-ripe bananas I had purchased the previous Sunday
* at least a dozen frozen bananas in the freezer

So, right now at least, we have a nana situation.

We are in dire nana need.

What do I make with all these nanas? Cause my little monkey can't possibly eat them all himself.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Things I Want: A matryoshka doll

(I'm thinking of starting an occasional series called Things I Want. This my first installation, so let me know what you think.)

I don't know why, but for about two years now, I have desperately wanted a matryoshka doll.

For all of you scratching your heads, matryoshka dolls are also called nesting dolls or babushka dolls. And I want one.

Of course, being me, I've got to be incredibly picky before I just buy a set. I want one or each of the following:
  • authentic, antique matryoshkas that are wooden and beautiful like the ones you see when you do a google image search: here
  • modern, unique martryoshkas like the ones by this guy: Made by Joel
  • whimsical, functional matryoshkas like these cool measuring cup ones: At Urban Outfitters

I haven't the faintest idea why I feel I MUST have a matryoshka doll except for the that I think some childhood friends had them and that they are beautiful. But it will be fun searching for them this summer when the antique shows, flea markets and garage sales are in full swing!

Kisses from Sassafras

It's already come and gone, but I couldn't help but post my Valentine's Day dinner....
Yep. That's ice cream, a mini kiss cake (from Sassafras, of course!) and Starbucks.

The mini kiss cake are created by some sort of magical process that involves baking a red velvet cake, then crumbling it and mixing it with frosting, then dipping it in chocolate.

I have no desire to learn to do this myself when AJ's already perfected it.

Delish!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Today was one of those days...

Not the days that mama told you about. One of those glorious days when parenting seems effortless, everyone is happy and you think to yourself, I want eight more children right now. This is easy.

Today, Ben and I played, ran errands, went to the library and even went on our first date.

Ben was my Valentine today and after a very sophisticated dinner of chicken w/ ketchup, ravioli from a can and strawberries, we went to HEAVEN.

Heaven has several Columbus locations and is more commonly known as Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.

To make things even better, there was a special angel in heaven tonight, AJ Perry of Sassafras Bakery.

OMG.

There are not words to describe the amazingness. (See what I mean? Amazingness isn't even a word, but it is appropriate in this circumstance.)

We got a slice of AJ's apple pie and a trio of Mackenzie Creamery Goat Cheese w/ Cognac and Figs, Gooey Butter Cake, and Blackstrap Praline.

Let me start by saying this: I do not like pie. But AJ has converted me. I will now eat only her apple pie. It was like... apple pie from the gods. I am still thinking about it. I'm thinking:

I should have bought an entire pie. No. I am so glad I didn't buy an entire pie, or it would already be gone. But next time, I'm buying an entire pie. Maybe I should just set up some sort of slice-a-day delivery service with AJ. I means, she's in Gahanna, not that far from my house. Stop it, self. You do NOT need pie daily. That is ridiculous. But AJ's pie, should be, like, it's own food group. I mean, there are apples in it, after all. Apples and love. There's nothing wrong with THAT.

And, I could go on about the ice cream for hours. But nothing says it better than Ben did. His face literally lit up with each bite. Before every bite, he looked at me and said, "Mama!" Then after pulled his spoon out of his mouth with gusto (seriously, I should have brought the video camera) he looked at the ceiling and declared, "Mmmmmmmmmmmm!" Even the person working mentioned to me how much fun he was having just eating his ice cream. And, of course, he was practically BESIDE himself when it was all gone. I considered buying a pint for him. But decided that it wouldn't really be for him and that I would likely devour the entire thing myself. (Can you tell I have portion control issues?)

And if you don't believe me, check out these pics of him in action. His love of ice cream is proof he is my child.







Thursday, February 11, 2010

Garbage on display

I have this thing about garbage.

I feel very strongly that it belongs hidden. Unseen. Stored under the sink and in the garage.

Brian does NOT agree.

We had a major fight -- there were tears -- over our first garbage can. He INSISTED on registering for a $100 stainless steel garbage can. $100! For garbage!

I was appalled. All I wanted was a plain can under the sink, and to maybe splurge on one of those slider things. I couldn't fathom the concept of putting garbage on display.

Well, I lost. Someone ACTUALLY bought us the $100 garbage can. Defeated, it has sat at the end of our kitchen counter (in a completely inconvenient spot when I'm cooking, by the way) in two houses now.

Recently, I've been faced with the same dilemma. We have curbside recycling pickup in our new neighborhood (which I love b/c before we moved, I drove my recyclables to Meijer each week). The big red box (generously provided by the city of Gahanna. Thank you, Gahanna... On second thought, we probably pay for it through taxes. Thank you, citizens of Gahanna) is ugly but having it in the kitchen is sooooo convenient. Even Ben can (and does) recycle.

So here is my solution:


A fabric basket. I used several tutorials found in the Internet, a lot of guessing and my seam ripper often. But it serves its purpose of (kind of) camouflaging the big box and it will match our kitchen ... once we get it painted.
If you're really interested, I'll put together a tutorial for you. But I'm really just interested in knowing. Am I crazy? Or do other people out there have this complex?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February wreath

I'm always skeptical when people talk about how lucky the get visiting the Goodwill for crafting supplies.

Well, consider me a doubting Thomas no longer.

I found this ribbon wrapped wreath for 99 cents on a random trip a few weeks ago. Score! (Please excuse the cell phone pic, I was too excited to grab my actual camera. Though my photography skills aren't much better with it anyway.)
And even though, I'm not really one to go crazy for front door decor (partially because I hate our front door), I can't turn down sprucing up the house for an out of pocket expense of 99 cents!

There's not much of a tutorial here. Just, remove the ugly pink ribbon (in my imagination this was part of a tacky bridal shower) and wrap it in the jute you have left over from the twine ball project (or justify the purchase of jute because you can accomplish at least two projects on the cheap) using hot glue every few inches so the twine doesn't slip.

(Do you see why I hate this door. What did the previous owner do? Try to rip off the knocker?)

A word of caution. This will not take 15 minutes. Try, oh, 90 or so. The wrapping takes time and because my roll (skein?) of twine was so large, it was easier to cut it into pieces until the roll (package?) was smaller. Of course, those 90 minutes could be spent watching DVR'd episodes of Martha and What Not to Wear. Just beware that hot glue.

Finally, hang the wreath. I had to hang mine like this because this wreath was too thick for my over the door wreath hanger. (And I just couldn't wait.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Making the best of the snow

Posting has been erratic lately because I've been busy creating.

I'm spending the rest of then night preparing future posts... but to tide you over, check out our wintry weekend fun.

This is an example of why Brian and I are well paired. I was ready to stay inside instead of bundling up and I am so glad I didn't.

The clip's a little long, but I think the best part is the beginning. You can hear Ben crying on his first run, then ask to go again.

[30 mins later]

... ok, maybe not. I can't figure out how to get the video to rotate. So if you want to watch sideways, check it out. Otherwise just stay tuned 'til tomorrow!


video

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails...

I always wanted a boy first. Mainly because I always wanted an older brother myself.

I have a very good friend who has an older brother and I just thought that was the coolest, best thing ever. How fun to have a big brother to look after you, translate slang that went over your head and bring over cute boys for you (and your friends) to swoon over?

(I distinctly remember a phone call inviting me to come over and watch her brother and his friends dig a hole for and plant a basketball hoop. Yes, watch. Not help. Just watch. It. Was. Awesome. )

And now, I have him. My perfect little man. Who is a boy through and through.

I have always felt strongly that nature and nurture must work together. But, let me tell you, nature is definitely a, well, force of nature. He loves anything on wheels, any type of ball, using any stick-like device as a bat and of course his "choo choo."

Even as an itty bitty baby, he did boyish stuff. For example, when we showed him Bearsly, his enormous teddy bear for the first time, he tackled it. He ALWAYS wanted to play with real keys and remotes -- not the toy stuff. (I mean, how does a 6-month-old know which is which?!) When Brian took him to home depot and let him out of the cart, he immediately scaled the nearest John Deere and sat squarely in the driver's seat, hands on the wheel. And just last week, he half-sneezed mid-bite of applesauce, spraying it everywhere, which has lead to nearly nightly time-outs as he tries to recreate the spray with any applesauce-like consistency food.

I could go on, but you get it. Ben is all boy.

So what's a crafty mama to do? Everything is ruffles and bows and glitter and glitz. Only so much of which I can modify for myself.

Well, first, I'll be making fabulous things for anyone I know with a little girl. (Seriously, invite me to their birthday parties. I promise adorableness! And all I want in return is the corner piece of the birthday cake... you know, the one with the most frosting.)


And second, I'll be obsessively reading http://www.dana-made-it.com/ and http://www.madebyrae.blogspot.com/. These two crafty ladies already inspire me daily, but this month they're having all boy crafts! Woo hoo!

I am certain I'll be trying some of these out soon!