Tasty Tuesdays: Banana Bread

Happy Tuesday!!

Last weekend Kaia Papaya's Girl Scout troop had a big yard and bake sale to raise money to attend a shin-dig in Louisville.  I decided I was seriously too lazy to go through all the stuff I know I need to have a yard sale and sell so I made banana bread.  It's so super easy to make and everyone in the house loves it.  I ended up making 6 loaves of the stuff.  I don't even have to look at the recipe anymore!

I don't have a fancy shmancy mixer (not for lack of really, really wanting one) so this recipe is convenient because you don't have to have one!  I made all 6 loaves just using that indispensable wooden spoon you see in the photo.

Easy peasy chicken greasy!  Ok, so maybe leave out the chicken grease...
Print away!
Don't forget to stop by Alicia's for more awesome "Tasty Tuesday" recipes!

P.S. Her philly cheesesteak recipe got great reviews at our house last night!

Little Boxes

A few months ago my dad showed me a few websites showcasing tiny houses.  Some of these houses are so eco-friendly and sustainable, but every time I visit one of the websites I hear the theme song from "Weeds".  Any  hoooo....  This morning the Tiny House Blog featured a round house built in 1997 in the UK.

It seems there is a bit of controversy and some people want them to demolish the structure.  It only cost them about $4,700 to build!  The house is about 21 feet wide and they have NO BILLS!  They use solar panels and a wind turbine, grow their own food and use a composting toilet.

View the full post here.

Friday Flip Offs - August 27th Edition

Friday Flip-offs are brought to you by Gigi at Kludgy Mom!  Go visit her blog and give her some love!

Though I've had a fairly good week, I haven't done a nice virtual detox in a while and it's time.

To my fragile, splitting, peeling fingernails...  Why can't you just grow like normal fingernails?  Though I love getting my nails done every couple of weeks, it's not only bad for my nails, it can be kind of costly.  Just grow already...  FLIP OFF!

To the people who barely spoke a word to me while in school (13 years ago) or now for that matter, who suddenly feel the need to think they actually know me because we are "friends" on some social networking site...  You do not know me at all so...  FLIP OFF!

To those crazy weird looking cave crickets in my basement... you are CREEPY go away and FLIP OFF!

Why is there a frog in my basement?  Could it be those crickets?  Ahhhhhh..... FLIP OFF!!

*sigh*  Well, that feels slightly better!  Want to have a little virtual detox of you own?  Join up with the blog hop and visit other Friday Flip-offs!

The Next Installment

It's been awhile since I did a "Yes Please!" post, but after searching for a photo for an earlier post I realized I needed to do another one.  It's been too long and we all need a little eye candy every now and then, right?

Alexander Skarsgard
He's a "bad boy" so what's not to love about him.  Bonus points because of the fangs, Mr. Northman. Oh and that Rolling Stone cover photo, too!

Joe Manganiello
Alcide Herveaux. Strong, seemingly sweet, and hot (in a werewolf kind of way). Plus we share the same birthday!

Karl Urban
Loved his role in the new Star Trek. Recently discovered his acting in Lord of the Rings and Ghost Ship.

Sam Worthington
This man is my new obsession. I watched "Avatar" just to see him. He gets bonus points because he's...
1) a terminator
2) in a movie with Christian Bale.

Weekend Recap

Kaia with the indestructible egg.
The Girl Scout troop had a shindig on Saturday afternoon at the park.  Hot dogs, potato salad, chips, drinks, and lots of little Girl Scouts!  Kaia Papaya and her partner Kaylee nearly won the three-legged race, but they scored big with the egg toss.  We determined that they had an indestructible egg.  It didn't even have the tiniest of cracks in it.  Luckily no one took an egg to the face... until after the game was over.  There will be lots of little girls with good hair after having soaked in egg for a while.  The girls had lots of fun and many new girls signed up for the troop.

We dropped little miss egg tosser off at her grandmother's for an evening of milkshakes and movies.  We headed out for yet another cookout!

Bernie & I
This one came with my new love... mojitos!  It's been awhile since I've been up past say... 10PM.  It's awesome how being around friends and peers (add in a shot or two of alcohol) can give you a second wind!

It really is a small world.  We ended up running into someone that we went to high school with and someone that had worked with my mom many years ago.  It has been quite some time since we've been able to get out and enjoy ourselves as adults.  Even Neil-age had a good time.  He made new friends and got to show off his fantasy football knowledge.

Now all that is left to do is to decide when the next get together will be!
P.S. Don't the little umbrellas make the drinks better?!

Getting to Know You - August 22nd

Hosted by Keely
1. If you could host a Reality TV show, which one would it be?
2. Do you put your seatbelt on before or after you start the car?
3. Shave or hair removal cream?
4. What's your favorite feature in a house?
5. What is your favorite "Fall" scent?
6. What tv show are you looking forward to seeing the most this Fall??
7. Personal Shopper or Personal Chef?
8. What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of "Fall"?

1. If you could host a Reality TV show, which one would it be?
-Survivor or the Amazing Race simply because of the places I'd get to travel to.

2.  Do you put your seatbelt on before or after you start the car?
-I tend to put it on after I start the car, but I always wear it!

3.  Shave or hair removal cream?
-I shave, much as I hate to.  I've done the removal creams before, I'm not a fan.

4.  What's your favorite feature in a house?
-The kitchen.  I think the kitchen is the heart of the home.

5.  What is your favorite "Fall" scent?
-All of them.  Crisp air, fallen leaves, warm apple pie.... ahhhhh!

6.  What TV show are you looking forward to seeing the most this Fall?
-Fringe and Monday Night Football

7.  Personal shopper or personal chef?
-Duh... chef!

8.  What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of "Fall"?
-Favorite.  Autumn is my favorite season.

Join in and link up at Mannland5 to get to know fellow bloggers.

Five Question Friday

It's my first "Five Question Friday" found at Our Happy Home, hosted by My Little Life.  
Click the button above to share more about you and meet other bloggers!

1. Do you have any nicknames and if so how did they come about?
- I don't really get called much except Mom these days.  I have a friend that calls me Peas 'cause I call her Carrots though.

2.  What is your birth order amongst your siblings?
- I am the youngest of 6.  Don't get all excited though, they are 5 half brothers and we didn't grow up together.

3.  In a movie of your life, who would play your significant other?
- A movie of my life would be more like a documentary, but if he had the choice it'd be Nicolas Cage.  I would lean more towards Christian Bale or Sam Worthington.  Aren't they scrumptious?

4.  What is currently your favorite song?
- This song has been stuck in my head for-eva...  I love Hayley Williams!

5.  Are you saving money right now?  Big or small purchase?
-Yes!  We are attempting to save up for an adventure to South Dakota next Summer.  If we're successful, we're thinking about going a little further west as well!

Those are my five answers!  Make sure to visit My Little Life to meet and learn about other bloggers!

Let the Sweating Begin

About a month ago, I entered a contest on the Family Circle/Momster website by asking a simple question.

When is the best time of day to exercise?  Early morning or afternoon.

There were literally hundreds of questions being asked.  I didn't think that my question would be one to get chosen, but it did!  

You can check out the other 9 Q&A's by clicking here.  Lots of great questions and insightful answers.  I'm so excited to have had my question answered, but... I also won a work out set!

How awesome is that!?!  Now I just have to find that will power to get up and get working!  I know it's around here somewhere....

What the *#$%&

GAP | $69.50 | Faded Black Wash legging jean
I have never been a fan of the skinny jean.  Possibly because I don't find them comfortable, but mainly because you have to be a size negative 10 to pull them off.  Now someone has designed some monstrosity called...

That's jeans + leggings or just denim leggings.  The main difference between these and the regular skinny jean is that the jegging has more Lycra.  You know, so they can be tighter.

It's just my personal opinion, but aren't clothes supposed to cover you?  Not stick to you as if someone painted them on.  While browsing these... things.... I noticed that in nearly every photo the ladies were wearing heels.  What about the rest of us who rarely wear those heels?  Do they go well with say... sneakers?

If women aren't already overly self conscious of our bodies, this just gets worse.  Do babies really need to have denim diapers?  I mean ... they POOP in them!  I want my kids to be "fashion forward", but there is no way that I'd buy these for a toddler or infant!  Kids at that age don't really care what they look like.  They know what makes them uncomfortable though.

I'm sure that loads of people love these types of jeans.  That's why we have choices and choices are great.  So... make the right choice here people.  Please don't pay $70 for "jeggings"!

P.S. If you are a guy... skinny jeans always get a big ol' NO!!!   

iLove Tuesday Tunes *Elvis*

Yesterday marked the 33rd anniversary of the day Elvis Presley died. This is one of my absolute favorite Elvis songs.

Getting to Know You - August 16th

Getting to know YOU

Joining in on "Getting To Know You" this week...

To play, copy the questions and answer them. Then go visit MannLand5 and link up so other bloggers can visit and "get to know you."

1. What kind of athlete has the hottest body?
I have always loved football players, but after seeing some of those hunks at the World Cup... I'm not sure who to pick!

2. Are you a planner or a procrastinator?
Procrastinator!  I do make to-do lists, but then end up not doing them.

3. Diet or regular (soda)?
I try to stay away from them altogether, but if I do drink soda it has to be regular.

4. What's your one "must have" for Fall?
New hair color!

5. What's your favorite fast food restaurant?
My favorite place to eat fast food has to be Sonic.  They have the best selection of shakes and you can get whatever you want from their menu any time of day.

6. What do you think is the sexiest profession for a guy?
Hmmm...  definitely not the suit wearing type...

7. Did you wear braces?
Not currently, but I need them.

8. Would you rather have a guy that's super sexy or kind?
If you aren't kind, that's not sexy so....

Flying Friends

In a continuation of sorts from Friday's post...

I am so in love with these flowers!  Every day there are tons of butterflys and the occasional bee on them.  I wanted to share all the species types that I've seen. Enjoy!

The Night Sky

Friday night from 8:15pm - 9:08pm | 10 second exposure each shot | f3.5 | ISO 1600
I forgot about the Perseid meteor shower on Thursday night.  I was glad to learn that we could still see a few on Friday night as well.  We grabbed a quilt and headed out.

Since I'm still learning the in's and out's of my camera I wasn't sure about the settings so I kind of just played with it until I got something worth looking at!  I wasn't able to catch any meteors though.  I animated some of the images.  Watching the sky last night I couldn't see any perceptible movement from the stars, but they were definitely moving overhead.  You can also notice that as the night progressed more stars appeared.

We saw several meteors.  One that seemed to be huge and crossed the entire sky!  I can't wait until next year!  Anyone have any good tips for getting shots of the night sky?  Send 'em on over!

Taking Flight

Nikon d40 | f/5.6 | ISO 400 | SOOC

We have these zinnias that I planted in the Spring growing by our back door.  I had no idea what butterfly attractors they would be!  I have counted 8 butterflies fluttering around them at one time.  I can't wait to plant more varieties.

For the most part, it has been different species of swallowtails, mostly the Spicebush and Pipevine.  This morning I found a Monarch.  I ran back in the house to grab the camera and crossed my fingers that he wouldn't fly away before I could return.  He didn't and I was grateful.

I snapped several photos, but this one was my favorite.  I had intended to catch him with his wings spread, but he lifted off instead.  I think this is my favorite because it symbolizes so much going on in my life right now.   It has become time for me to let go of some things.  To take off and leave that flower behind.

It's the little things...

Kaia Papaya:  Mom come here!
Me:  What is it?!
Kaia Papaya:  Get the camera, get the camera!  I found a heart on this leaf!
Me:  Ok, I'm coming, I'm coming.

I let her take the photo since she in fact found the subject.  I think she did an awesome job.

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Book Review *Patton: The Generals*

This book "Patton: The Generals" by Agostino von Hassell and Ed Breslin is about General George S. Patton, Jr.  A great military man who was misunderstood.  He came from a long line of military men on both his mother's and father's side of his family.

I originally chose to review this book because somewhere very distantly in my ancestry, I've heard we are related.  I was hoping to find out more about this enigmatic, colorful man.  I was not disappointed.

Reading this showed me that the movie I had seen was not as near to the truth as I had considered it to be.  General Patton's rival General Omar Bradley worked as the film's chief consultant! Obviously playing to all of Patton's less than wonderful shortcomings.

I learned that while several of his decisions were not exactly agreed upon by others, they usually ended up being favorable to his decisions.  He was a family man, a military man, and quite the perfectionist!  I'm so glad that I decided to read up on one of the greatest generals of the United States military.

*Thomas Nelson Publishers has provided me with a copy of this book.  They do not require a positive review to do so.

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday

On first glance this image looks just like a couple of kids waiting for the school bus.  Unfortunately this is actually a photo of my nearly 11 year old son sulking, crying, and generally acting like a 2 year old.

This is the first full week of school for them.  Every single day I've had to confiscate his Nintendo DS from either his backpack or his pocket.  This morning he tried to pull off a whopper I wasn't falling for.  He said, "But M-O-M... it's "game day"!"  Uh... yeah, right.  It's Wednesday.  I may have been out of school for 13 years, but I know that teachers don't have "game day" in the middle of the week and they certainly aren't doing any reward parties 5 days into the school year.

This isn't the first lie that I've caught him trying to pass off as truth lately.  It's a bit scary to be honest because he's become so very good at it.  I'm not sure that, without mother intuition, I would even know that he was trying to pull the wool over my eyes.

So question of the day... is this a normal pre-teen "thing"?  Did or have you ever caught your kids trying to sneak things past you?

Check out these other Wordless/Wordful Wednesday blogs... A Beautiful Mess, Handbags and Handguns,  Live and Love Out Loud, Seven Clown Circus, and 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tasty Tuesdays: Christine's Italian Stir Fry

I've posted this recipe before.  The whole family absolutely loves it so I decided to share it again and add it to Alicia's Tasty Tuesdays!  These ingredients aren't rock solid... there more like guidelines.

I usually don't measure out the portions.  I also usually grab a bag of Great Value deluxe frozen veggies.  The one with broccoli, snow peas, little corn cobs... that one.  I've been adding some turkey smoked sausage.  This recipe is so good because you can add to it or take away from it whatever you want to make it yours!

Want to add a family favorite recipe or check out other recipes?  Visit Alicia's blog hop!

iLove Tuesday Tunes *Beautiful*

I'm a huge Eminem fan.  Now like all musical artists, there are some of his works that I don't care for.  This is not one of those works. One thing I don't like, this video has been censored. I hate censorship! Still a good song though and the point of it comes through.


So this weekend was fairly uneventful.  And I'm not complaining!  On Saturday morning we all headed out to do a family fishing day, but we barely got 10 miles down the road when I started to feel a bit nauseous so the greatest husband ever brought me back home and the greatest son ever stayed home with me.  He and I enjoyed a day of laziness sitting on the couch vegging out to movies like Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Never Back Down.  I even snuck in a bit of a nap.  WHAT?!  A nap??  I knowww.  I never, ever do that.  We also found this poor creature outside in the grass...

I called it "the big ol' bug", but it was actually a cicada.  I found a stick and was able to get the little guy to grab onto it long enough to snap a picture or two.  Neil-age told me that even though he was a guy he really didn't want to hold the stick so I could take the photo.  He did it anyway.  Then we put him in one of our Dogwood trees.  I guess he'll live to chatter another day.

Chris sent me a text to tell me that Kaia Papaya had caught her very first catfish!  I felt even worse for not being there to capture the moment on film, but when they got back home she was happy to tell me all about it and pose for some photos.

All together it was a very relaxing weekend.  Now I guess it's back to the daily grind!


They were surprisingly chipper to be awakened at such an early hour.  However, it was only the first day of school.

I'm certain by next Thursday, they won't be so happy to get up.  But there they went, my babies.... now in the 4th and 5th grade.  My son's last year in elementary school...

I'm not ashamed to admit that I did get a little teary eyed seeing them get on that bus yesterday, but then my daughter turned to me through the window with her wave goodbye and her blown kiss and I knew that they would be fine.

"Listen to the MUSTN'T's, child,
Listen to the DON'T's,
Listen to the SHOULDN'T's,
The IMPOSSIBLE's, the WON'T's,
Listen to the NEVER HAVE's,
Then listen close to me ---
Anything can happen, child,
Anything can be."  --Shel Silverstein

Walking on Sunshine

The Coffee Lovin' Mom, Amy, gave me an award!  Isn't she super sweet for doing so? I think so!  I may be biased though because it's my very first award so that makes it ever so speshul!

Da Rules about this award:

The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogging world.

REALLY?! I'm so honored. I try to be as positive and creative as I can, but I sometimes feel lacking in both categories.  This gives me new found incentive to be more active in my own positivity and creativeness!

Da rest of Da Rules:

*Put the logo on your blog and/or within your post.
*Pass the award on to twelve bloggers.
*Link to the nominees within your post.
*Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
*Share the love and the link to the person from whom you received this award.

And the nominees are....

  1. A Beautiful Mess
  2. Sailor & Company
  3. Be Yourself
  4. Journey Wildly
  5. Mila's Daydreams
  6. Tongue -N- Cheeky

  7. Lolly Chops
  8. eighteen25
  9. Strawberry Cake
  10. 5371 Miles Away
  11. Things I Can't Say

Wordless Wednesday

Coco's Fresh Squeezed Giveaway

Cole from Letters to Coco is having a giveaway on her blog!

Shauna has some of the cutest handmade items in her TWO Etsy shops!

Interested in entering the giveaway?  Click here!  

Giveaway guidelines:  
*Follow Coco on her blog.
*Comment the post and tell her what your favorite Etsy shop item is.
*Extra entries if you follow Shauna's blog, "like" her shop on Facebook, and if you mention this giveaway in a post of your own.

Good luck!

Raw(e) - Lamps

I'm so happy to announce that Quackers won last week's Raw(e) challenge at Sailor & Company!  Thanks Vanessa!  The shot might not have turned out the way I wanted it to, but it was certainly unique.  I get to choose this weeks winner.

This week's theme is LAMPS.  I'm adding my shot, but obviously won't be choosing myself!  I can't wait to check out all the unique lamps!

This is one of two table lamps that I bought at Target several years ago.  I love 'em because they go with just about anything!

Join up over at Sailor & Company!

Christmas in July *sort of*

Remember when I told y'all I was a winner in Paige from Some Days You Gotta Dance's "Christmas in July" giveaway?  I got my purse today!!  Look at this cute stamp on the box!

I won a $20 credit to the Sugar Owl Design Etsy shop.  She has some of the cutest things!  My first choice was a brown purse with a pink bird and poppy flower.

After I let Carmelle know, she pointed out that she was having a "Christmas in July" sale of her own (7/16-7/31).  So I jumped on over to her shop to check it out.  I found a great tote for when I need more room!

Make sure to go by and visit her shop!  She has birthday banners, count down chains, beautiful flower pins, and awesome hair bands.  Click here to visit her shop.