rotten bananas – yum!

It’s finally getting cold and cold weather makes me feel like dancing baking.  We are forever having the last banana go bad before we eat it.  If this happens to you too, don’t throw that nana out!  Toss it in the freezer.  They will turn dark brown on the outside (see below.)  Overripe nanas are perfect for banana bread.  Save up a few and then use my recipe below.  It has almost half the butter or sugar I’ve seen in other banana bread recipes and still tastes delicious.
banana bread recipe
Ingredients:
  • 3-4 overripe bananas, smashed (I leave em a lil chunky)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
What to do:
1.  Pre-heat your oven to 350.
2.  Lightly grease your 9×5 loaf pan
3.  Combine the flour, baking powder and something else in a bowl.
4.  In a second bowl, cream the brown sugar and butter.
5.  Add the bananas and eggs to the creamed sugar and butter.
6.  Add the wet mixture to the dry one, stirring until just mixed.
7.  Pour into your loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes.
banana bread recipe
It is delicious as-is but I also like to spice it up occasionally with some nuts and cinnamon or nutmeg.  What is your favorite thing to make when cold weather arrives?

a superhero birthday

We went to a superhero birthday party recently.  What a cute theme and the favors were to.die.for.

superhero birthday party

The cake is way awesome too.  Such a great idea!

superhero birthday party

The party was at one of those kids jumpy places and it was Emmet’s first experience with such a place.  It was really funny to watch him get bounced when the bigger kids would run by. It didn’t seem to bother him but he did prefer to check things out from the non-bouncy areas.

superhero birthday party

Daddy showed him how to slide down the bouncy wall.

superhero birthday party

superhero birthday party

Halfway through I remember to set my custom white balance as the lighting was horrid.  I used a napkin!  I’m kind of proud of myself, using what I learned in my online photography course in real life.  Go me!

put this on your face

I have an esthetician, Rachel.  I heart her.  She does my brows.  When I was working for the man she also did facials for me but I don’t get those anymore because I’m saving our pennies for E’s $169,000 college education.  Yes, that is how much the friggin’ online calculator told me it was going to cost for 4 years of tuition at an in-state public institution by the time he goes to college.  Holy crap, right?

Nourishing Lavender Milk

Anyway, Rachel told me about a new line she is carrying that is organic.  Of course, that perked my interest and I was about out of moisturizer anyway.  The line is Farmaesthetics.  I went to their website just now as I am writing this and they are winning all kinds of awards.  It is pretty refreshing when a company whose products are 100% natural utilizing certified organic herbs, flowers, oils & grains from American family farms gets recognition.  These are the kind of companies I like to support, provided their product rocks.  The moisturizer I use is called Nourishing Lavender Milk and it smells delicious.  It provides the right amount of moisturizing for my normal to dry skin.  I love that I am not putting any crazy chemicals into my body.  Our skin is our biggest organ!  Nourishing Lavender Milk comes in a glass apothecary bottle with a pump that just begs to be reused.  It costs $34.50 for 8 ounces.  This will probably last me 6-8 months.  I think.  I look forward to my cleanser running out and trying another one of Farmaesthetics products.  Now let’s just cross our fingers that they don’t sell the company to some big nasty cosmetics company and all the values go to hell.  It is a total bummer when that happens.

Do you have a favorite organic/natural skin care product?

*This is a product I discovered and purchased myself.  Nobody paid me to write about it. I am in no way getting compensated for this.  I just wanted to share this awesome product I found!

swimming and schlepping

We took Emmet swimming at Barton Springs every Sunday this summer and spent countless hours splashing in his little pool in the backyard.  We went to a weekly meetup at another Austin swimming hole and there was also our jaunt to Krause Springs.  The kid L.O.V.E.S the water.  We had more than one parent tell us it looked like he was really swimming.  Yep, he IS that good.

baby swim lessons

Now we’ve taken on swimming lessons.  We’ve been a couple of times and it is a blast.  I have about 15 new songs to learn, only two of which are twists on songs I actually know.  I’ll get there. I get a great leg workout because the water is no more than three feet deep and hits at about my waist.  Well, you see, you hold your kid while you’re in the water.  Except when I do that, Emmet is not actually in the water.  So I have to squat or lunge to get him down into the water.  Combine that with holding 25+ lbs  and mommy is getting 30 minutes of lunges and squats.  Nice!  No wonder my jeans are starting to fall off.

What do swimming lessons have to do with schlepping you ask?  The schlepping comes after the swimming lesson.  You take wet wiggly baby and get them dried off and into a fresh diaper and clothes.  Now you are left with a soggy parent.  The first lesson I took my wiggly dry clothed baby into the dressing room so I could change.  Said baby continually tried to crawl under the door and out of the dressing room.  Have you ever tried to put jeans on when wet and trying to block a baby from crawling away?  It doesn’t work so well.  Once I got dressed I went and found the other mom in my class to see what her getaway strategy was.  She was still in her bathing suit, with a cover up thrown on and soaking wet.  That is how she left.  Soaking wet and schlepping a wiggly baby and a bag of wet bathing goodness.

For lesson number two I tried her strategy.  I schlepped well.  Only now it’s officially Texas winter weather and today at 11am it was no more than 50 degrees.  I need a new plan.  While I strategize I will be thankful I am doing this in Texas winter weather and not up north real winter weather.  No chance of frozen hair down here!

Any input on my new strategy is much appreciated!

baby swimming lessons

we made it

Emmet’s first birthday is in less than a month.  I’ve never been a particularly emotional person but motherhood has changed all that.  I’m emotional over this birthday.  Where did the past year go?  How are we leaving babyhood behind already?  I’m not ready yet.  AGGHHH!

What an amazing year it has been.  I am so *SO* thankful that I was able to quit my job in July and stay home with E.  I know it’s not for everyone and I fully respect that.  It was absolutely the right decision for me.  I do not miss my job one iota.  I have a budget spreadsheet, a rad camera and I have this blog.  I don’t have much free time but when I do, those are the things I fiddle with.  I have never been happier.

I have so many wonderful memories of this first year.  Here are my favorites:

  • Taking naps with Emmet.  There is nothing better than waking up next to a sleepy, smiling, DELICIOUS smelling baby!  Nothing.better.really.nothing.
  • Spending time outside together.  We played with grass, leaves, dirt and splashed in his little pool for hours this summer and fall.  Lil man LOVES being outside.  Mama too!
  • Rough housing/tickle sessions on the bed.  This is nearly a daily activity that I hope will continue for at least a few more years.
  • Reading books.  I can read you his favorite 5 books by heart. I have read them over and over and over and it never gets old. “Who’s hiding behind smiley dollie?  Smiley baby!”
  • When he was  about 4 months old and started sitting in his bumbo seat he became fascinated by his toes.  He would lean forward reaching further and further until one day he could get his toe in his mouth.  It was so cute watching him try to reach them and then when he did, he sure didn’t seem to expect the mouthful he got.
  • Family dates!  Time to time all three of us go out to eat together.  I will never forget the sushi dinner that we inhaled in 30 minutes.  E was pretty little then and his tolerance for eating out during the witching hour was pretty low.  Now we get to share some of our food with him.  It’s so cool!

I think E’s birthday is as much a celebration for him as it is for Dylan and I.  This whole parenting thing is no small undertaking.  It really does take a village.  I think we’ll have to dedicate a date night to celebrate, just the two of us.  While part of our “village” loves on lil man.  And I’ve got a party to plan!

Eat your vegetables

If you have Netflix you have access to a plethora of documentaries about food.  We have watched several of them over the past few months the most recent of which was Forks Over Knives.  After this last one we decided to eat less meat by having more vegetarian meals.  We are a couple of weeks into this and I am pretty satisfied with it.  I feel better after dinner when no meat is involved.  We’re also eating vegetarian the right way and actually getting more veggies instead of more Cheetos.  This part is important because some folks don’t do it the right way and end up feeling like crap.  So, if you don’t eat Cheetos what do you eat?  Here the meal plans from the last two weeks:

Week 1                                                                                            

  • Roasted portobello mushrooms with goat cheese, roasted red pepper & a salad
  • Stuffed bell peppers
  • Potato and leek frittata
  • Chicken barley soup
  • Baked potato with broccoli, cheese and green beans
  • Veggie pizza and a green salad

Week 2

  • Roasted portobello mushrooms with goat cheese, roasted red pepper & a salad
  • Chicken enchiladas
  • Spaghetti
  • Veggie pizza and a green salad
  • Orange chicken, sugar snap peas and brown rice
  • Baked potato with cheese and green beans

Speaking of meal plans, I like the one here.  There are lots out there to choose from if you poke around the blogs.  I really want to find a rad quinoa recipe.  I am not finding a lot in my usual places so I have some more research to do.  I also need to do a better job eating veggies in season. I tried beets. They are gross. I love sweet potatoes and butternut squash but D will not eat them.

What is your favorite vegetarian meal?

Wednesday with words

I’m taking an online photography class at Clickin Moms.  I am really learning how to use my camera to get the shots I want.  Sometimes my head spins a bit trying to put all the pieces together but it’s going well.  Getting feedback on our assignments has been like a little beacon of light in my child rearing feedbackless world.  I get all excited to see how I did and read the critique about 50 times.  I forgot how much I like feedback.  There are no end of year reviews in parenting.  Maybe there should be.  I might make up my own.  Enough of my type A nonsense.  Here’s my handsome hubby looking all moody.  I may have woken him up from a nap to be my subject so I could complete an assignment…Austin SAHM blog