Banana Bread + A Cinnamon Sugar Crumble Topping

Thursday, January 10, 2019

These winter days have us going a little stir crazy inside the house. There is way more energy than there is square footage, so I'm always trying to think up a way to expend the wiggles while we keep indoors. And I'm the type of mom that enjoys calm activities that leave me feeling refreshed instead of totally spent. So when you have bananas that are on their way out, you mash them up and get to baking. 

Greer's favorite way to bake is by sitting on the counter or stand tippy-toes on her little pink stool. She wants nothing more than to stir the batter. Her second love is dumping in the ingredients. And do you know what she really loves?? Getting sneaky little licks of the batter. I can't blame her, she gets that one from her mama. 

On this occasion, Greer gladly stirred from her stool, asking for bites of banana along the way. We finished making my mom's banana bread recipe when I got a zinger to do something a little different. So I added in some cream cheese and crumbled together a cinnamon sugar topping. The result?? A freakin' fabulous slice of banana bread to go with my coffee. 

  • What You'll Need
    • For The Bread
      • 3 (very) ripe bananas, mashed
      • 1 stick of salted butter, melted
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 1 TSP vanilla
      • 2 eggs, beaten
      • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 1/4 TSP baking soda
      • 1/2 TSP salt
      • 1/2 block of cream cheese, softened
    • For The Topping
      • 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP granulated sugar
      • 1 TBSP all-purpose flour
      • 1 TBSP butter
      • 1 TSP cinnamon 
  • What You'll Do
    • Preheat the oven to 350°.
    • Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla, eggs, and cream cheese. Mix until well combined.
    • Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, then add to the sugar mixture.
    • Add the mashed bananas, mixing evenly into the batter. 
    • Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan (use cooking spray to prepare).
    • In a separate bowl, crumble the butter, sugar, flour, and cinnamon until thoroughly mixed. 
    • Evenly spread the crumble topping over the top of the batter. Gently press it down on the batter (not into).
    • Bake for 60-70 minutes, until an inserted knife comes out clean. 
My favorite way to eat this in the following days is by heating up a slice in the microwave and adding butter. It's scrumptious and also 3-year-old approved!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Greer Girl!

Friday, December 21, 2018
**written last night on Greer's birthday eve

It's been a tradition to rock my little lady to sleep on the night before her birthday, and this year was no different. After brushing teeth, pulling down the sheets, and slipping into pajamas, my sweet girl climbed into my lap and laid herself down in my arms. I cradled her like my tiny baby, tucking her long legs into me and snuggling a blanket around her. Almost like she knew I was feeling a little extra emotional, she reached up in the darkness and touched my face, lifting hers up to meet mine and placed the sweetest sugars across my cheeks, nose, and lips. Then she quietly said, "Thank you." I asked her why, and she responded, "For the sugars." 

Just like I did on the day she was born, I leaned over and rubbed my cheek against hers taking in the softness. Then I brushed her hair away from her face, and told her to close her eyes and dream of all the fun we would be having on her birthday. She peeped back, "...and rainbows." My girl wanted to also dream of rainbows, which unexpectedly struck a cord in my heart, the symbolism not lost on me. Greer is my rainbow baby, and I appreciate that sweet reminder of the Lord's faithfulness to us through her life. 

As I hummed the song I've been humming since she was an infant, Greer drifted off to sleep. I silently prayed for her now, for her future, and the gift that she is. And while I rocked back and forth I had a good long cry. Because the years are so fleeting, and there's no slowing them down. Because I love my daughter so much that it hurts. And while I want to bottle it up forever, there's really no way to keep her this little. It makes me sad, happy, excited, and anxious to watch her grow and blossom into the person the Lord has made her. I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness for her life and the gift and privilege it is to be her mom. 

These three years have been packed full of milestones, firsts, memories, adventures, giggles, tears, stuffed animals, bandaids, bows, and all the sugars. On the eve of her birthday, I can vividly remember sitting in bed with husband the night before she was born. I was huge and uncomfortable, yet savoring the last hours of feeling her dance in my belly. I was so very excited and scared of what awaited us the next morning. I knew life was going to change the moment I first saw her, but I had no idea just how wildly it would. How much my heart would grow, my arms could hold, and my mothering instincts would take control. Motherhood has been a wonderfully wild ride, and I can only imagine what's in store. Happiest of birthdays to my Greer girl!

**while tucking her into bed tonight, as I was standing back up from placing once more sugar on her oh-so-soft cheeks, my Greer looked up and said, "Thanks for the best evening!" My mama heart was done for. 

Holiday Home With The Hills

Thursday, December 20, 2018
The halls are decked and there are just five more sleeps until Christmas! Come on into our holiday home, and enjoy a little look around at the way we like to enjoy this time of year! Decorating our home for Christmas is my favorite, and I love the way the glow of the twinkle lights makes everything feel cozier. Don't you?

This year, I really wanted a touch of pink in our décor, so I jumped at the notion and started with some pink mercury glass ornaments and mauve velvet ribbon. I love the sweetness of the pink mingled with the green, and I think I'll be building on this color scheme in the years to come. I'm kind of smitten. Go ahead, take a look and see....

Lit wreaths hanging from the windows is quite possibly the most charming touch this time of year. Adding extra charm with velvet ribbons and patterned bows is the perfect way to add a personal touch! And the elegance of a flocked tree, oh my! I never gave a flocked tree a chance and on a whim decided to. I'm in love. It's the prettiest sight and really completes the dining room Christmas décor. 

I hope you enjoyed this mini tour! I hope you have the MERRIEST CHRISTMAS!! And thank you  so very much for reading the blog and following along! I am truly so delighted by each of you! xo

Limewashed Brick Exterior Makeover

Friday, December 7, 2018
A huge thank you to Romabio for helping us transform our exterior using their Avorio White Limewash
All styling, photos, and opinions are mine alone. 

We've done it! That is, we've taken on our biggest DIY-to-date, and I think we might be a little crazy for such a big undertaking, but oh my is it worth it. Our sweet little 1950's ranch has been ours since the end of summer 2016. When we first bought our home, it had been sitting vacant for about 11 years, and the outside needed a lot of love. More so, it needed charm. 

Over the last two years we've been working on our house from the inside out, with the exterior always on our mind. In its original state, it wasn't truly reflective of our style and the work we have accomplished with the interior. Thanks to Romabio, we finally began the exterior transformation using their Avorio White Limewash, and our sweet little home exudes so much character now. To say I'm obsessed wouldn't even cover it. I cannot believe what a difference limewashing our brick has made, adding shutters, attaching window boxes, and painting our porch has done. Our neighbors can't either!

We went with Romabio's limewash for a handful of reasons:
  1. The limewash is non-toxic, making it child- and pet-friendly, which is huge for our young family.
  2. We knew we wanted our brick to be white, but we loved the idea of a patina. Using Romabio's limewash, we were able to achieve that look instantly. The limewash will patina over time, but washing it off 30 minutes after applying it gave us the artistic ability to create the look we wanted. That subtle pop of the natural brick peeking through is kind of my favorite.
  3. It's a one-coat process that gives ways to an old world feel. I love the warmth and coziness of our interior and wanted to carry that through to the exterior.
  4. There is little to no maintenance involved. Can I get an amen??
For detailed instructions, visit the Romabio website, or check out this great video tutorial from a PRO applicator they recommend. 

We ended up limewashing our brick and stone to transform the entire exterior. One tip I would give anyone taking this process on is to be aware of the texture of your brick. Our particular brick is very textured and porous. To work with that, we diluted the lime 66% for thicker application. This also meant that we would need more buckets to get the job done. But, after trying a thinner dilution, we knew the thicker option was going to give us the best look. And did it ever!

To contrast our new white brick, we went with a deep chocolate shutter and painted the porch floor and stoop. Rounding out the house, we added two dimensions of landscaping. Remember, originally our home had no landscaping at all. And well, that just wasn't pretty. So we added white window boxes with my favorite, ornamental cabbage, and then put in shrubs. The difference of our before and after is staggering. I can't stop looking at our home!

As it is, time is hard to come by with two littles. So while the front and one side of our home are finished, we have the back and second side to complete. While the temperature and weather were nice for the first part of November, we most likely won't get to the remaining parts of the house until spring, or if a warm day pops up in-between. It's certainly a lot of work, but more than worth it. Our curb appeal has increased exponentially, and I think our neighbors are super happy to be looking at the beaut our home is now. I know we are! 

Be sure to check out where you can purchase Romabio with their Store Locator!

Once you have your product, Romabio has plenty of information, tutorials, videos and tips on their website to help you out. Their instagram feed has hundreds of examples if you're having trouble deciding on one of their seven pre-tinted shades of Classic Limewash. And, I'll be posting more photos throughout the year. So stay tuned...