Homemade Banana Bread

As we inch towards the end of August and closer to fall, I start wanting to bake a bit more. The weather here in Iowa is so nice and the nights are getting cooler, we actually have lows in the 50's this week.
The house is feeling more cozy and that puts me in the mood to bake.

Today I'm going to share a recipe for Banana bread with you. Whenever I bake this bread it always brings me back to a special time in my life. 

When we first moved to Iowa almost 6 years ago we didn't immediately move into our house. We actually lived at a hotel here in town for a couple of months while we worked on our home to get it more "move in ready".  My little boy was four months old and I was enjoying being a brand new mother.  It was definitely a big transition for me to become a mother, purchase our dream home and also have to move an hour and a half away from my family. I had never been away from my family before, so I was a bit homesick at times.





Every morning the hotel receptionist would bring in a fresh batch of homemade banana bread for breakfast. It was beyond delicious!  It sounds silly, but eating this banana bread actually brought me some comfort from being so homesick. 


The receptionist got so many compliments on this bread that she actually kept copies of it behind the counter to give out to travelers when they asked for the recipe.  I would like to share it with you today.






Banana Bread

1 3/4 cups of flour

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt




2 large bananas mashed, or three small

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whipping cream NOT cool whip

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla



Note: this recipe does not double well





First I peeled my very ripe bananas. I actually used four because that's what I had.





I mashed mine up with a fork.






Next I mixed together all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.






Then in a large bowl I combined the mashed bananas and all of the remaining ingredients.






 Now add your dry ingredients to the banana mixture.







I mixed it all together by hand.





Next spray your pan well with cooking spray. I used a regular metal loaf pan, but the lady that gave me the recipe actually used a silicone bundt pan.





 I plan on getting a silicone bundt pan as well for when I make this recipe in the future. The bread comes out really nice and and looks so pretty when sliced.





Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, until top springs back when touched.









Its done!




I prefer to let let my loaf completely cool before I eat it. Its actually best to bake it the night before, let it cool overnigt and serve the next morning for the best flavor.






The bread was always already cooled when I ate it at the hotel and the flavor was delicious. I also like to cover my bread with foil while it cools so it becomes very moist.






Now enjoy a slice or two!




I hope you enjoyed this post. Making this bread always brings me back to that happy, transitioning  time in my life when my little boy was a baby.  I hope you enjoy it as well and maybe it will become a new favorite!


-Larissa

DIY Floral Dresser Skirt

Not too long ago I was browsing around a small town thrift store, looking for nothing in particular, when a pretty fabric caught my eye. I was immediately drawn to it. Soft pink roses scattered about a gently worn white sheet with delicate green leaves...yes please. Although I didn't know yet what I would do with it, I had to bring it home.





It sat in my linen closet for a while until a light bulb went off in my head and I figured out what I would do with it.

In my spare bedroom I have a lovely antique french style dressing table. It is one of my very favorite pieces in my home. For a long time now, I have felt that there was was something missing from it though.






Enter: the pretty sheet that I thrifted.






I decided that what my dressing table needed was a sweet floral skirt!






 I looked around the house and found three tension rods that I wasn't using. I pick mine up at Walmart for a couple of dollars each.






Then I measured how much fabric I would need for each side of my dressing table.

Side note: Every time I lay out fabric on the floor to cut, my sweet angel Jeffrey always has to lay on it. EVERY. TIME. lol I just had to share a snapshot of him. Look at that cute face.






Once the fabric is cut to the desired length, I fold it over at the top and create a rod pocket like on a standard curtain. You can easily use a sewing machine for this, but unfortunately I don't know how to sew yet. I use a product called Peel n Stick Fabric Fuse.  It looks like tape and creates a seam very quickly.







Once that was finished, I was able to slide my fabric onto the tension rods and hang my pretty dressing table skirt.












Closeup of the details on the dressing table.






I am very happy with the end result. I feel like this piece is finally complete.





The chandelier that hangs in this room was purchased the same day as the dressing table as well. They both actually came from the same person! I love Craigslist.





I think the skirt adds so much charm, and the best part is that it only cost me $1 which was the price of the sheet.






Very shabby chic and so pretty!

Have you done a similar project in your own home?



-Larissa

Dollar Tree Autumn Wreath

Now that its the first of August I start thinking of autumn decor. Today I wanted to share a budget friendly autumn craft that I created using mostly Dollar Tree supplies. I wanted to get this post out early so if you wanted to create your own wreath, the supplies would still be available at Dollar Tree.




There has been a lot of buzz around the new velvet pumpkins that Dollar Tree is offering this year, so I decided to check them out for myself. I absolutely love velvet pumpkins and usually make my own each fall. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Dollar Tree velvet pumpkins and decided to take advantage of the one dollar price tag and create a couple of wreaths. There were several colors to choose from, but I ended up choosing white and orange.






For the first wreath you are going to need 8 white velvet pumpkins.






Next you will need a circular wire wreath form from the Dollar Tree. When we create our wreath we will be using the backside of the wire form.





You will also need one-two bags of Dollar Tree moss.





Ribbon. Dollar Tree has lots of options when it comes to ribbon, but I like to get mine at Walmart. I chose a pretty pink satin.




This is such a simple project. Start by adding a large circular amount of hot glue to the underside of your velvet pumpkin and immediately stick to the wire wreath form which should be underside up so that the wreath is cradling each pumpkin.




Continue until all pumpkins have been attached securely with hot glue.

Next you will need to fill the empty spaces between each pumpkin with the moss. Be careful not to burn your fingers while doing this step. As I am editing these photos, I noticed that I have some spots on my wreaths that need more moss, so I will be going back to add more! Don't skimp on the moss, especially if you are hanging your wreath on a mirror.





Once that is finished, cut your desired length of ribbon and tie a simple shoelace tie around the bottom of your wreath.







Now you are ready to hang it! I hung my wreath with clear fishing line, but a ribbon would be pretty also.




I love how simple and elegant this wreath is.




I actually tried to purchase a white velvet pumpkin wreath similar to this one last year from Joann Fabrics but they sold out quickly. For roughly eleven dollars, I think this wreath is just as pretty and elegant!






I do think I might change one thing to this wreath though...I might paint the stems a very light pink...I think that would be very pretty! If I end up changing it I will share another photo of it in a later post.




You could also add faux or dried flowers to this wreath as well to dress it up a bit. I really like my wreaths simple so I will probably leave mine as is.





The next wreath that I created is all about Halloween! I decided to go with the traditional orange pumpkins. When I decorate our front porch for Halloween I always go with the traditional orange and black. I feel like its very festive and kid friendly and this wreath will look great on our front door.




This wreath is created the exact same way as the white one. You will need eight orange velvet pumpkins.



Start adding your pumpkins to the wire form and don't forget to make sure its on the backside instead of the front.



Add your moss




This is optional but I decided to paint the stems of my orange pumpkins black with acrylic paint from Walmart. I thought it looked better than the brown.




Tie your ribbon of choice at the bottom of the wreath.





Now its finished! You have created a beautiful but traditional elegant Halloween wreath for very little money!





I staged my wreath on my mantel with some black crows. I'm loving the vibe that its giving off! Maybe closer to Halloween I might add some delicate black spider rings to it for a more spooky vibe.





I think my favorite wreath is actually the orange and black! So fun but very spooky elegant!



 I hope you decide to make a couple too!


-Larissa