Monday, April 30

Mmmm. cake! {Click it up a Notch}

Our lil man turned 2 in April! OMG! :(
The official Party, with all his lil buddies is this weekend - pics to follow.

This is the cake E's uncle brought him on his actual birthday.. Maybe a little bit for a 2yr old - but he thought it was pretty awesome!

I'm linking up with Click it up a Notch for her April photography contest.
Stop by and link up as well!

Click It Up A Notch

PS this is my VERY 1st photog contest entry ever. Please feel free to leave me comments and/or constructive critism :)


Tuesday, April 24

Wordless Wednesday: 1 Cool Dog

The life of leisure
(ipod photo)

Barnyard Birthday Party

Barnyard Birthday Party planning in full affect! 

He loves animals..even though it may not look like it in this pic

My lil dude is turning 2!! Ahhhh! Like every parent I can’t believe this day has come so fast! (This past year has gone by especially fast since I’ve been back to work :( )

Alright – enough with the sappy stuff, here’s what I’ve got planned! (so far)
PS Let’s keep this on the DL (down low) since the Hubby doesn’t realize I’ve gone all Toddlers & Tiaras meets Party Mamas meets My sweet 16  for this party! Lol

Since our lil man has all the toys he could possibly play with or need (or that we have room for..) we decided to ask our guests to bring running shoes in lieu of a gift. These running shoes will go to an amazing charity (that our friend co-created) in Haiti called Little Footprints, Big Steps. (Their Twitter,  Facebook pages.) The shoes will go to the kids who stay/utilize the safe house.

Birthday Party To Do List:

Invites emailed! CHECK
I decided to save paper and stamp $ and ordered a similar version of these cute custom PDF invites designed by Sassy Alice DesignsThey were great to deal with!
Petting zoo animals arranged! CHECK
Goats, sheep, chicks oh my! We also have a potbelly pig and a padagovian cavie coming.. (Don’t worry – I didn’t know what a padagovian cavie was either, until I googled it.)
Where are we going to put all these animals in our wee lil yard?? Good question!...

There was only one rule

Bouncy castle booked! CHECK I splurged..but it was only $40 extra after I had booked all the other things.. Hubby might be a little surprised that morning when they off load it off the truck..eek

Pony rides ordered! CHECK
In all fairness this is something The Hubby wanted me to book for his recent 30th birthday (I guess he was deprived of a pony party as a kid! Lol) I didn’t think it would have been so appropriate to have a miniature pony at an adult birthday party…

How did you celebrate your 2 yr old's birthday? Did you go over the top as well? Or am I just crazy!?

To Do:
*Plan Barnyard Themed food to serve
*Buy Loot bag/party favors
*Order Balloons

Friday, April 13

Delish! Banana Bread

I’ve been craving banana bread lately.. I’m not really sure why but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with my Hubby constantly telling me he’s sick of seeing the sad looking black & frozen bananas in our freezer everytime he slides the drawer out. So I took to the trusty social media world to find me an A+ recipe to try out.

(The last time I made banana bread it was a little too dry and kind of bland.. I was on the lookout for something that would be as brag worthy as my chocolate chip cookies.)

Of course the wonderful world of web did not disappoint! I found some AMAZINGLY tasty looking recipes!!

Here are some banana bread recipes that I looked at on Punchfork but thought they would be a little over the top for what I was looking to pull off @ 645pm..
(PS If you haven’t discovered Punchfork …do it now!! It’s stellar!)

Drool worthy recipes!:
Banana Stuffed French Toast – Sounds heavenly and makes me feel chubby just looking at it!
Banana Cinnamon Bread – Different..

TOO MANY CHOICES: Banana Bread with berries, nutella, nuts, low fat, high fat, whole wheat, cupcakes, cake, skillet

With all these choices and a toddler who wanted to help before his 7pm bedtime I took inspiration from a Weelicious recipe and made a few modifications of my own:

delish! Banana Bread
Makes 1 9x13 loaf
Time: 1hr 25 min with toddler help (1hr 10 min without toddler help)

½ c softened Butter
¾ c white sugar
2 eggs (brought to room temp)
3 sm bananas (mashed up)
1/3 c milk (I used 1% but I’m sure others % would work just as well.)
2 tsp vanilla (I LOVE vanilla and will probably up this to 2.5 or even 3 tsp in the next batch)
1 tsp almond extract (I like this extract but you could omit if you want)
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 c of mini chocolate chips

Take out your eggs, frozen bananas, and butter to let them all come to room temp (about 1-2 hrs)
Frozen Banana side note ** I like my bananas almost green so as soon as they get brown spots I can’t eat them anymore.. so they go in the freezer for baking. When you are ready to use them for baking, after they have somewhat thawed, break off the top, pinch the bottom of banana and they slide right out like a snake.. perfect for mashing!
Preheat oven to 350F
Grease the bread pan or put in parchment paper

Mix butter and sugar with a stand mixer until it’s light and well blended. (approx. 3-5min)
Add eggs 1 at a time (mix in 1st egg well before adding 2nd egg)
Continue mixing at a low speed
Add in mashed Bananas
Add Milk
Add Vanilla and Almond Extract
Mix all wet ingredients and in a separate bowl start mixing your dry ingredients
Mix together the flour, baking soda & salt
Add in the dry ingredients slowly so you don’t get the flour explosion from the mixer 
Finally add in the chocolate chips YUM!
Mix until JUST blended – don’t beat it to a pulp

Bake for 1hr (I started testing it with a toothpick at about the 50min mark. Once the toothpick comes out clean – she’s ready!)

Your house will smell DELICIOUS right about now!
Let the bread cool for at least 10 min IN THE PAN
Slice and enjoy!

Tips/Notes from me:
  1. Don’t get greedy with the cleaning out the freezer of bananas.. My bananas were a lil on the XL side so 3 was a bit too much banana mush
  2. I’m not sure why I do it but I always seem to start baking project at bad times… 10 minutes before toddler bedtime is not advised
  3. Apparently Banana Mush is very tempting to drop soothers in…I only had to fish it out twice… Toddler germs are all evaporated with the baking right? 

Do you have a Banana Bread recipe you would recommend?

To Do:
*Start freezing more bananas – this recipe rocked!
*Next time I will make a double batch – this was too good not to share with the whole office
*Download Wk 2 of C25K cause after eating ½ the loaf my arse needs to get in motion again

Tuesday, April 3

C25K Day 1

Wow! Is it sad that I can’t run for more than 60s without getting winded? (Don’t answer that…)
Recently I wrote about my loathing for running in my Winter Fluff post.

Winter fluff [win-ter fluhf]
Def. The excess poundage collected around the mid area, rear and thighs while you were busy hibernating over the cold winter months avoiding all conscious physical activity.

I discovered C25K (Couch to 5km) and figured it seemed geared to beginners and new runners – which is me fo’sure!

I downloaded a podcast from this blog (This podcast has upbeatcurrent pop and hip hop songs from 2009-2011! Yes!)

Here are a couple other C25K podcast I came across:

Here’s how Day 1/Wk 1 went:
  • I left later than I wanted to after having to deal with a soother debacle before bedtime so I was well into dusk (kinda sketchy on the trail)
  • I made it to the trail with my running buddy Tito (Our dog) for our 5min walk warm up. I’m feeling good at this point! 
Running buddy in action..
  • Here comes our 1st 60s run” says the podcaster chick….. (Wait a minute… I thought I was following the C25K plan that I had pinned from Michelle Ayala … Apparently not all C25K plans are the same. Newsflash for me!
  • Ok, no prob – I’ll deal, it can’t be that bad I told myself
  • By interval 4 I was hating the podcaster, my nose was running, I was frothing and the dog was annoying the crap out of me
  • I continued on for another 5 or 6 ‘run 60s-walk 90s’ intervals rocking out to Flo-Rida and Kanye.
{Just a side note… I’m using the term RUN very loosely! My runs were just barely jogs except for run 6 where I  RAN and just about died when I realized I had another 3 run/walk intervals to do! LOL}
  •  I have to admit I had to stop 2 of my runs at about 45-50s because I was completely out of gas
  •  My dog was completely confused at the whole run-walk thing. Everytime I picked up speed he thought he could go full speed, so during the entire workout I was yelling, “HEEL!... HEEL!, ok, C’mon!... C’mon!”
  •  I SURVIVED! (and even managed to stop in at my friends place on the way down our street to have a quick chat, a slightly winded chat but I was still alive..)
My tuckered out running buddy
I’m quite proud of myself! I completed a 30 minute workout and could still walk the next day. I’m a lil tender but it serves me right for running without doing any stretching.

To Do
* Get at least 2 more Week 1 runs in within 8 days
* Download Week 2 Podcast