Wednesday, July 29

What We Wore // floral tops and a bit on dating

Happy Wednesday guys:) Every time I mention going on weekly dates with my hubby, I always gets loads of you asking how we manage it- which is a totally understandable question, but with such a simple answer I figured I'd just get that out of the way here: We use baby-sitters!
We made a goal when we got married that we would try to go on a date every week. Pretty lofty! But something that my parents did that I thought made awesome sense. Sometimes we can manage it for a few weeks in a row, sometimes we'll go a few months without an 'official' date. But we feel like paying a baby-sitter is small price to have a few hours alone together whether it's going out for a nice meal or movie, or simply going for a walk or to the grocery store (which lets face it is what we usually end up doing:)).

With so many small kids, you can bet that it took us a long time to find someone that we felt comfortable leaving them with for any length of time. Eventually we tried using the sweet oldest teenage daughter of some of our good friends, and she was wonderful! She brings one of her other sisters with her to help out, and the kids are always so excited to see them. She knows their routines and needs by heart, and it works out great for us.
Emily - 
rue 21 blouse - thrifted

Martin - 
h&m shirt (out of stock, simi here and here)
black watch - gift 
guess shoes (out of stock, similar here and here)

So! I know that going on dates on a regular basis when you're parents may not be totally doable depending on your situation, but maybe by 'shopping around' for baby-sitters or swapping with friends it could become a bit more manageable. We'd highly reccommend it for sure:) We love being parents more than anything of course, but there's nothing better to strengthen our relationship and get us on the same page (which ultimately leads to better parenting) than by having some quiet time together as often as we can get it. The end.haha

Out of curiosity, what's your favorite type of date? Have a great rest of your week!

Sunday, July 26

Weekend Wrap-up

This Week: was full of list making, long night talks, cool breezes in the afternoon, and creamsicles. It was also full of nail painting parties (the joys of having lots of girls), cartoons, time-outs, fresh melon, and a dangerous trip to the carwash, so pretty average and good all around:) 
Side-note: Every time I think we're getting into a steady rhythm, something big comes up that could potentially throw everything off balance. Now that Evie is a month old (wahhh) and sleeping and eating right on schedule, it's time to potty-train John! This is the first little man that I've ever had to potty train and I confess that I was a little scared to get started, but there's no turning back now, and since I've been changing three kids diapers 5+ times a day for the last month, nobody is more motivated than me to get this thing done.haha

Weekly Snapshots: 

To-do's and Goals for the Week:
- take the kids to the new park
- try breaking out the vlogging camera again
- write up a fitness/health plan for when I'm ready
- start a new book
- run that old laundry load again and actually dry it this time...
- juice every day
- potty-train John :)
- try doing my first make-up tutorial for my YouTube channel
- stick to the new family/house routine as best as possible
- keep after Martin to stay on top of his medication
- sort my sewing room once and for all
- whiten my teeth
- have a date with Marty
- call about piano lessons for the girlies
- work at answering my texts faster
- take lots of deep breaths :)

A Few Facts: 
  •  I realized that I might just be the only person using RewardStyle that didn't get or share anything from Nordstrom in the past month.haha #bandwagonfail
  • We have something super dooper exciting happening this week that I can't wait to share with you guys! And I'll just say right away that no it has nothing to do with Martin or pregnancy or short hair-cuts.haha
  • I can't believe my sweet baby girl is already a month old:( Don't like it one bit.
Something To Take Away:
"Whatever makes you weird, is probably your greatest asset" - Joss Whedon via Pinterest

Thanks so much for visiting, and I appreciate you so so much! Have a great day,

Saturday, July 18

How martin's doing - a video update

Here's to lazy Saturday afternoons, family Costco runs, fresh batches of garden produce, and the chance for a date tonight! I hope you've been having a good weekend so far:)

Martin and I decided after I announced on my blog and everywhere else that we wanted/needed to film a video together sharing his diagnosis with my YouTube Channel, since it can be so separate from other social media branches. I just knew that like with my blog, once things had changed so much, I would have a hard time being able to film hair tutorials or weekend vlogs, etc without addressing it, but it just took us a little longer than we thought to finally feel up to making it. So here it is! A brief history for those that hadn't heard the news at all, and also an update to where we are now for all you sweet folks that have been inquiring as to how he's been feeling, etc:

As I said I hope that we were able to answer some of your questions, and also that it was clear enough info for you:) Feel free to leave any more questions you may have below since we really rushed over it all and left lots of holes.

As always, I can't thank you guys enough for continuing to send thoughts and prayers our way every single day! I spoke about that all in the past tense in the video, but it's very much still a support and encouragement 24/7. And now that that's done I feel like I can really get back to posting regularly again! It's a good day:) 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Friday, July 17

Simple, Perfect Banana Bread

Hey dears! So this is a bit exciting for me to be posting a recipe again after all this time, and I hope that you're excited to give this a try, because you will be so so happy that you did. I try very hard to not be overly dramatic or over-the-top when choosing adjectives to describe clothing, makeup, food, etc. I think that generally words like 'bliss' and 'amazing', 'breathtaking', etc, can be thrown around too readily when it comes to clothing, make-up, etc, and I don't want them to lose their effect here on my blog if that makes sense.haha
So when I say that this is the perfect banana bread, you can be sure that it is in fact the perfect banana bread. See how easy that is? haha In all seriousness though, I've been on the hunt for the best recipe ever since I started cooking, but it was always too dry or too flat/dense, too raw in the middle, or too much lard, etc. So when I found this one in an old cooks illustrated magazine and decided to give it a try, I decided right off the bat to tweak it a bit as I always do (just taking out unnecessary steps and changing a few ingredients, etc), and it came out amazing! I'm so happy that finally my search for the perfect banana bread is over. Lets get to it:

Perfect Banana Bread
makes 1 9-inch loaf

- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 5 large, very ripe bananas (about 2¼ lbs.), peeled
- 8 tbsp. (1 cube) butter
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 dash each of cinnamon and nutmeg

1. Preheat your oven to 350˚ F. Rub a bit of olive oil around the bottom and sides of your 9 x 5 inch baking pan, and than dust the oil with a bit of flour (or you can just use cooking spray if you're unsure). Set the pan aside.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine together your flour, baking soda, spices, and salt; whisk together and set aside.
3. Add your bananas to a larger mixing bowl and microwave on high for about 5 minutes. Carefully pour out a bit of the separated liquid (just a few tablespoons approx), before adding in your stick of butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir the ingredients till the butter is melted, before adding in your dry ingredients and 2/3 of your chopped nuts, and mixing gently till combined.
4. Pour the batter into your prepared pan, sprinkle the granulated sugar evenly over the loaf, and add a frame of sorts around the edges with your remaining chopped nuts. Bake for 65-75 minutes (I know, I'm sorry!) until a toothpick comes out clean, and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes on a wire rack before gently tipping out of the pan to slice and serve.

I recommend enjoying it immediately with a bit of butter on top and a big glass of milk, and if there are any leftovers (don't count on it), wrap them up in plastic wrap and leave on the counter. Easier access at midnight and all that:)

That's it! I hope that all makes sense since I tried to be very clear and concise in my description. :)

We've made it half-dozen times or so  this year, and I'm so glad that the family was patient enough in waiting to eat it this time around that I could snap a picture for you guys. I'd love to hear feedback on what you think, if you're planning to make it, how you loved it, or any questions you may have, but seriously it is so so easy this way- I'm sure you'll be just fine:)

Thanks for reading today loves,

Recipe Source: Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, July & August 2010