6.30.2011

Visiting with these two lovely people!

Dancing at my wedding
These two adorable people are my parents and yes they are still very much in love after 31 years of marriage. While I don't get to see them as often as I wish, since they live in another state, this weekend my Sean and I will be hanging out with them and I couldn't be more looking forward to seeing them!

When the bananas turn brown

You know the saying when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, when your bananas become too ripe, then you make banana bread of course! I know I already did a Tuesday Treat this week so this post is some extra special baking I had to do because the bananas were becoming too brown.

The recipe calls for walnuts, but I prefer chocolate chips so I substituted the walnuts for chocolate chips and it turned out perfectly fine! 

First, gather your ingredients. 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 egg, 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of buttermilk (I used low fat milk if you don't have buttermilk on hand), 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 3 mashed bananas (as you can tell I only used two). If you want the walnuts, you need 1/2 cup and 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts (toast them if you want extra yumminess!)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare your bread pan (I used a 9X5X3) by lightly greasing then flouring it. Mix the flour and baking soda together in a small bowl and set aside, it will be added later to your wet ingredients in the mixer.

In your mixer, pour the sugar, the oil and crack the one egg and mix together. 


Then add the flour mixture you prepared earlier and give it a really good mixing in your machine, definitely don't forget this step, but not too much mixing that it is overmixed. 


Then mash your bananas up in another bowl, giving them a good mashing. 


Once the bananas are thoroughly mashed, add them along with the buttermilk and vanilla into your mixer. Especially during this step, mix all the ingredients together very well! If you need to stop the mixer and scrap the bottom and sides of the bowl, definitely do this.


At this point if you are adding chocolate chips instead of walnuts, add them in now and then mix. 
If you want to use the walnuts, I will describe how to add them in a bit.
Get your baking pan and add the entire contents of the bowl if you put in chocolate chips. 


If you wanted to use the walnuts, add half of the batter into the baking pan. Then sprinkle 1/3 cup of walnuts. Then add the remaining batter and sprinkle the 1/2 cup of walnuts on top. Bake your banana bread for 45-60 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean. Let the banana bread cool in the pan a bit before you take it out of the pan. Then slice, eat and enjoy! And tell me how good you thought this recipe is :-)

And a quick shout out to my Sean who bought me these beautiful flowers, thanks love!


6.29.2011

Kindness is...

I received this on my windshield during my lunch hour today. It makes me happy and 
have hope that not everyone is selfish in this world. What random acts of kindness can you do 
for someone else today?

Something to get you laughing...

Do Wednesdays seem like a drag to you? It is halfway through the week, you are almost to Friday but not quite yet but it is the exact same number of days from the previous weekend! What gives? Want something to laugh at? I am tempted to buy it for Kip :-)


Feeling a little bit country...

Sometimes I wonder if I was suppose to be born and raised in a farm, wearing cowgirl boots and looking all cute in western outfits. During high school, I DID NOT like country music at all. You see we lived in Tokyo, Japan during all four years of high school and the only English radio stations we had were broad casted from the military base on one night a week, it was Wednesday nights was country night. I refused to listen on Wednesday, refused! 

Then when I went to college that all changed. Even so much that my first ever concert was a Rascal Flatts concert (remember that Laura)! Now on my radio stations I pretty much always tune into the local country radio stations. Some of the best night sin my opinion are country line dancing over at the local place called Montana's. It is so fun to get a group of friends and dance your cares away to the tune of Alan Jackson, Sugarland, Montgomery Gentry, great times! My Sean and I joined another couple and took an eight week class to learn some more of the line dancing, which reminds me gotta go son to keep up my dancing skills! Sorry this post is a bit random and scattered but I will be sharing some of my favorite songs as of late and creating some outfits :-)

Currently some of the country groups I love are Sugarland, Jason Aldean and Chris Young.
I love this following song by Jason Aldean called Dirt Road Anthem.
  
followed by Stick Like Glue by Sugarland


and my newest favorite Chris Young singing Tomorrow (although I am not particularly keen about the sleeping with his girlfriend one last time before he breaks up with her tomorrow without her knowing, ugh!)


Now for the outfits to accompany some of these wonderful songs!

western wear
Outfit for a night at a bar or dance hall
western wear!
 Outfit for a casual day

6.28.2011

Wonderful giveaway!

Do you love Kate Spade? Oh I do! I have a little green bag that my mom found at a thrift store and I am no joking, it really is a Kate Spade bag! Anyways do you love her jewelry? I do and if you go over to Vintage Apple now, you can enter to win a bracelet! Good luck to everyone who enters!

Tuesday Treats are turning patriotic

In honor of the upcoming 4th of July in hopes that you can make this dessert for the holiday for the BBQ or family and friend get together you are attending on Monday, here is the perfect patriotic dessert you can bring for everyone to enjoy! Seriously you can eat these things as dessert or just use them as a decoration on your table. Pour some sand into a vase and stick these marshmallow firecrackers (yes I just named them) in there for some creative decorations. These marshmallow firecrackers are super super easy to do.

First gather your ingredients, white chocolate, big marshmallows (the miniatures just won't cut it), shredded coconut, red and blue food coloring and wooden skewers.

Separate the shredded coconut on three different plates. On one plate, put a few drops of the red food coloring and on another plate put some blue food coloring. Using a fork mix the coconut around to get all the coconut either red or blue. See below.

Trust me the red coloring is on the left and the blue is on the right
Color the coconut!
Radiant red!
Beautiful blue!



Finished coloring the two plates of coconut, the third plate is suppose to remain the white color on suppose, you know for red, white and blue!



Then take the marshmallow and skewers and on the end of each skewer stick 
a marshmallow on it but don't put the marshmallow all the way through.


Melt the white chocolate until it is completely melted. Then dip one of the marshmallows in the chocolate, roll it around so the entire marshmallow has chocolate on it then roll it around in one of the coconut plates. Use just one color of coconut for each marshmallow. As you can see I did a total of 6 marshmallow and I used 2 marshmallows for each of the three colors.




One is finished!


Finally once all the marshmallows you are making are completed, let the chocolate cool and harden before you place them in the jar or vase you are using and viola! the finished product!



What do you think? Marshmallow firecrackers! Do they look a bit like fireworks or am I totally making it up? I will have another Tuesday Treats this week but that is a secret and completely under wraps, sorry.

6.27.2011

Scenes from the weekend

Happy Sunday evening everyone! It is this time of the night when I love to start relaxing and preparing myself for the week ahead. Does anyone else do that? Start slowing down from the busyness or craziness of the weekend, sometimes it is both. This weekend my parents in law came into town and my mother in law bought me the cutest appetizer plate set. How cute is that? It is perfect, 12 plates and every week for my Tuesday Treats, I serve usually about 12 people.


She also bought me a cookie and bar book, so expect a lot of recipes from there for my Tuesday Treats. We almost always go out to lunch with them when they come into town and this weekend was no exception. Our favorite place? It happens to be where we held our rehearsal dinner, at a wonderful BBQ restaurant called Frisella's. The owners and their daughter are so cute, whenever they come in, they recognize us and always say has it been almost a year of marriage yet? I enjoy going to restaurants that take interest in their customers and is definitely one reason why my Sean and I keep going back. They make the most excellent homemade potato chips ( who does that anymore?!), a terrific tri-trip sandwich and the BEST sweet potato fries I have found yet. Anyways check out the restaurant here:




Also this weekend, my Sean and I attended a wedding on Saturday evening. The bride looked beautiful, she had a lot of cute details incorporated, and she had a champagne, blush, cream color combination with a black chandelier theme. Obligatory photos of my Sean and I at the wedding, mind the cheesiness please :-)

Waiting for the ceremony to begin

The beautiful couple

Congratulations!

Loved the lights all around the venue

KISS!
On Sunday, my Sean and I started teaching Sunday school for the 3rd graders at our church for the summer. Let me tell you I have had a few opportunities to see my husband with children and each time, it confirms to me what a wonderful dad Sean will make. My heart is soaring right now and is so full of love for that man! 
We went out to lunch with his parents and afterwards spur of the moment decided to view some open houses in our area. Not that we are looking at buying anytime soon, but we are educating ourselves for pretty much the biggest and most expensive purchase we will make in our lifetime. I'm excited to do a post of my dream house, with a great backyard and awesome kitchen! Oh yah and I pretty much ate my weight of this delicious fruit during the weekend,


I told you I really really really love watermelon a ton! I pretty much have bought one every week during the month of June, am I a watermelon-addict? Very much on the edge, anyone know how to help my addiction?

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


6.24.2011

Date night with the husband

Tonight it is date night with the husband, which consists of eating this:


watching this:


and this


We decided to rent two movies for the evening because we were at redbox and after we got True Grit, we got a promotion, a second movie for only 50 cents, we couldn't resist!

Finally, we will finish our night with this!



What are you doing this Friday night? What would be your ideal evening plans?

6.23.2011

Doing the Meet and Greet thang...

I was browsing other blogs yesterday and I came out A Little Bit of This and That with a neat-o get to know more bloggers and let more bloggers know about you project. So I decided to participate. Mind you, since I just started blogging last month, my answers won't be filled with thought-provoking answers or just lengthy and in-depth statements but that will all come in time. But I am doing my part for this project :-)






1. My blog is a little sneak peek into my daily life as a wife, mother to a dog, a baker, a house project designer on a budget, and a friend. I just started blogging last month! I started blogging because I would read other blogs daily and was getting a lot of great ideas from their blogs. Ideas for decorating my home, for cooking and baking and for just doing things about one's daily life After reading other people's for awhile, I decided to give it a shout so here is my try! What I love about blogging is meeting other bloggers, being able to write and have a little place to call my own and just let me be me. 

2. My top 5 favorite posts are any of my Tuesday Treats posts, the post I just wrote about my passport and the post about my cute and very friendly dog, Kip.

3. Since I am still new at this blogging adventure, I haven't received a ton of traffic on my posts but I hope through this meet and greet project, I will gain more followers and meet new friends!

4. Currently, I do one weekly feature called Tuesday Treats. My Sean and I belong to a couples bible study and for a little bit, snacks were a rare occurrence and when bible study moved to our house each week, I love to entertain and provide yummy treats for my friends. So whether bible study is at our condo or hosted by another couple, I still bake. I called it Tuesday Treats because I do my baking on Tuesday nights. Look for it each week! Sometimes I may post just one recipe or other times it will be two.

Please introduce yourself to me, I love to get to know new people and my signature line in all my emails and for life is just keep smiling, so just keep smiling folks!

One of my most treasured possessions is my passport

One thing you must know about me is I love to travel and pretty much have been doing it all my life. I was born in Japan, even though I am not Japanese, attribute my birth place to my dad serving in the Air Force. Obviously being born on an island, you either have to leave by plane or boat. So I have pretty much had a passport all my life. We moved back to Japan during the beginning of my freshman year in high school, so passport once again. My passports (yes I have had multiple ones already) have had stamps in from the countries of South Korea (twice), the Philippines, Australia, Saipan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy (twice), the Czech Republic and Hungary. Next month, I get to add some more stamps as mentioned in my post on Tuesday when I go on my cruise with my husband's side of the family, plus it will be our one year wedding anniversary (already!?, wow).

My passport is very meaningful to me because I showed where I have been in this world so far and it has stamps to prove the experiences I have and the friends I have made. My passport and my friends around the world are a picture of my childhood and how I was raised. I consider myself a person who loves to learn about other cultures, what their food is like, what their customs are like and how they celebrate events like weddings. Anyways I know this post is a bit more depth about me and I am just very excited to go on the cruise next month in the Caribbean because it allows me to do one of the things I love the most, put more stamps in my passport. This trip however will be marked in a brand new passport because I took my husband's last name when we got married last year. So it will marks a new stage of my life, traveling with a husband! I love that my husband is so open to traveling and experiencing new cultures as well. That was a major bonus when we were dating, if he wasn't, yes it would have been a deal breaker (sorry, hon). I enjoy traveling, but I enjoy traveling that much more because I get to experience new countries and cultures with my husband, my best friend and love of my life. With all that said, I am ending this post on a fashion and surface level note, with some cute outfits I designed for this cruise on Polyvore. Hope you enjoy! Tell me where have you traveled to and what are some of your favorite traveling memories?

cruise outift






airplane outfit
This is my traveling outfit, gotta be comfy on a plane and slip-ons are perfect for removing at airport security