Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Banana Bread with Crumb Topping

The great thing about being a cheapo and not turning on the AC is that the bananas get nice and brown really fast....PERFECT for making some YUMMY Banana Bread.  (but then of course I have to use the AC if I use the oven...oh well!  Just get those bananas ripe fast, I hate when you want banana bread and you have to wait days for them to turn!)

Anyways, there are so many banana bread recipes and I'm sure you probably already have a favorite one to use.  My recipe is from the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.  The one thing that just makes it extra yummy (but not extra healthy unfortunately) is to add a Crumb Topping.  So next time you make your banana bread, do this:

in a bowl, mix 3 TBSP flour, 3 TBSP brown sugar, 2 TBSP butter with about 1/2 tsp cinnamon.  
Use a pastry blender and mash together until it resembles coarse crumbs
Spread over the top of you Banana Bread before baking.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

FAB Friday - Mom Model

What's a Mom model?  A mom role model,  another mom who just does such a great job while at the same time is not an alpha mom trying to prove she's the best mom.  She's the kind of mom you really want to be like... smart, loving to her kids, down to earth, fun, patient, cool, creative, resourceful, hospitable, charitable, dedicated to her family, she's got her priorities in order, friendly and easy to talk to, full of great ideas (although she doesn't admit it)...you know...the works!  Well I have one mom model that I'd like to introduce you to today who I just think the world of.  She is always thinking about others and wanting to help.  She loves her family and is so creative in planning fun learning activities for her boys and is very resourceful, witty, down to earth and just a great person who can probably get along with anyone.  I've mentioned her on my blog before but I want to formally introduce you all to Codi from Melonbelly!

She has the most adorable, fun loving family, married to her college sweetheart with 2 cute little boys that my daughter wishes she could play with EVERYDAY!  I think if we moved in next door, my daughter would think that was the best thing to ever happen in her life! lol.  Codi has a great mom blog that is full of great stuff from frugal ideas for family fun, parenting articles, tips and fun stories, food and health, saving money and of course funny stories and thoughts that will make you laugh out loud.  She has a way of being so relatable (is that a word?) and you will love the cute pictures and stories of her 2 close in age boys! (oh and she was a school teacher before she started her family, no wonder she is so great with kids).

She is such a sweet gal, I met her when I was pregnant and we were both pretty new to the area and I have no family within 1500 miles.  She immediately came to my aide and totally surprised me with her generosity and thoughtfulness.  She gave me a baby shower/girls night  (when she barely knew me) and made me this awesome diaper cake and treated me to cheesecake factory.  When I went into labor in the middle of the night, she came to the rescue and took care of my 3 year old daughter....which I seriously can not be more grateful for because it was so stressful not having any family near by or knowing many people that I felt comfortable with taking care of Jordan or that Jordan would feel comfortable with.  I went into labor on Good Friday and was in the hospital during Easter, and she was thoughtful enough she made up Easter Eggs with surprises in them for my daughter and she arranged for me to have meals delivered daily for almost 2 weeks through our playgroup as soon as we got home so even though I had no family near by, she really made sure we were taken care of, that's the kind of person she is.  She's done many other things as well, and just amazes me at what an awesome person she is, truly a godsend.  She is a gem and so is her blog, so go on over and check her out!  And follow, you'll be glad you did!  I think she has some good stuff up her sleeve to come in the near future!

Friday Blog Hops

Enter my current giveaway!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Footprint Butterfly Tutorial

 well, I made the footprint gift for Grandma like I was hoping to do!  It was a big hit!

Footprint Butterfly Keepsake Tutorial

a round wooden "plaque" from hobby lobby (but could also be done on a small canvas or other shaped plaque)
foam brush
modge podge
tissue paper/crepe paper
non-toxic tempura paint
glue gun
I covered the entire front surface with modge podge and then lined up and pressed on my crepe paper.  After smoothing it out and letting it dry, I put a bit of modge podge around the edges on the back side and wrapped the crepe paper around (as you can see in the above pic).  I also hot glued a ribbon to the back for hanging.

I mixed some tempura paint and then used a foam brush to apply it to my daughters feet, while she sat on the counter in the bathroom.  I pressed the the plaque against her feet to make the prints.  I realized after the fact, it would have made better butterfly wings if I had done her feet with the outsides facing each other like I did with the baby's feet.  
As soon as I got her prints, I set it aside, and we washed her feet off in the sink.  Then later while she was taking a nap and her footprints had dried, I did the baby's footprints in the same manner.

 After both set of footprints were dry, I decided to go over them with another layer of paint to add some depth and definition.  I also painted in the simple butterfly body, nothing complicated...anyone could do it!
After looking at it...I couldn't stop noticing the upper right corner is so bare, but I only had one shot to do the kids feet and maybe didn't arrange them the best...I just couldn't think of what I could add to that space without it starting to look to cheesy or something...I had a couple ideas but then decided to leave it the way it was.  What would you have added to balance it out?

Here is a little poem I wrote and attached to the back of the plaque on card stock. It's from the point of view of a little grandchild exploring their grandmother's garden, in their own world just observing the details.  The gardens of grandma's are always a special place to explore.

Grammy's Garden

I tiptoe down a secret path
smelling flowers as I go
I come upon a small bird bath
and what do you suppose?

A little robin cooling off
splashing water to and fro
and then I see a butterfly
alight upon a rose.

and then I see a butterfly
alight upon my nose!
-that might be a cute illustration

Enter my currant Giveaway...5 days left!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fun Finds!

Okay I wasn't even going to post today, or be online because I have a bunch of stuff to do and relatives in town but I guess I just couldn't stay away!  I was checking out Verity at The Light Garden and just adore her work!  She makes prints and wallpaper...here are some examples!

Awesome right?

And then you all know how it is...you just look at one blog and then wind up on more!,,,,Here is the other blog I came across while broswing The Light Garden....

 See the tutorial HERE

anyways...gotta run but had to share these gems!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Handprint craft for Grandma

Grammy and Grandpa will be here soon and we are excited to see them, and celebrate Grammy's birthday too!  I'm wanting to have the kids make a birthday craft for her, encorporating handprints or footprints or a combo of both my 3 yr old and 4 month old.  Maybe a handprint flower (3 yr olds hand) paint a stem and then use the baby's footprints as leaves?  I don't know, I'll let you know what I figure out, but I did come across a link with some really sweet poems for grandma (or grandpa) to go with handprint crafts!  Check it out here.  I think I like poem #9
This is my hand.
My hand will do
A 1000 loving things with you
And you will remember
When I am tall…
That once my hand
Was just this small.
~Author Unknown
The idea of making a butterfly with footprints popped in my mind too and I thought I was clever, until I googled it and found out it's been done a lot...which is fine...lots of cute ideas for inspiration! 

Here are some great projects using footprints and handprints that I've found to give me ideas!  I'm going to do something tomorrow so I'll let you know what we end up doing!

 Footprint Potholder by Handprint and Footprint Art Blog (her entire blog is handprint and footprint art ideas!)

2 birthday's ago I made this cute handprint gift for grandma's that you can check out Here.

As I was searching for ideas I also found out there are many books dedicated to handprint / footprint art!

Creativity for Kids My HandprintFrom the Hands of a Child: Special Seasonal Art Activities for Primary ChildrenCalendar Kids: Handprint Quilts Through the YearHand-Shaped Art: Start with the Shape of a Young Child's HandHappy Hands & Feet (Kids' Stuff)Handprint Wall Art Set In PinkHandprints and Kids' Art Trim by Carson Dellosa®Handprint Quilts: Creating Children's Keepsakes with Paint and FabricEd Emberley's Complete Funprint Drawing BookPrecious Moments Handprint Kit