Monday, September 22, 2014

Our Favorite Homemade Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

There are so many wonderful reasons to love fall...the crisp air, the changing colors, and my very favorite....baking!  Oh, how do I love to bake!  Homemade cookies, cakes, breads oh, my!  I have been making this Banana Bread recipe for over 10 years now, and still think it is the best!  Everytime I try another recipe I just wonder why, as if I am somehow cheating on my tried and true!

Banana Bread

3 overripe banana's
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Mash bananas in a large bowl.  Add flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and egg.

Melt butter and add it to the bowl, stir until just mixed.

Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Sprinkle on chocolate chips.  Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Note:  I have made this with only 2 bananas if that is all I have in the house and it turns out just fine.

Adapted from Parenting Magazine

Hope you enjoy this yummy quick bread just as much as we do. -Robyn

Friday, September 19, 2014

Simple Fall Hostess Gift

With all of the fall get togethers that are sure to fill up your weekends, you may be looking for a simple, affordable hostess gift.  I love bringing a little something to say thank you, I love homemade, but from the store is equally wonderful.  While visiting the gift shop at a local farm I found the most adorable little baking gifts.  They have a wide variety of super cute baking mixes and other cute kitchen accessories.  I choose a scone baking mix with a couple of coffee packets.  Wrapped them up with a little cellophane and tied with a bow and added a glitter leaf.  Sweet little gift for anyone on your gift list.  This can be altered with any baking mix...even a cute seasonal quick bread mix from the grocery is truly the thought that counts.

Thanks for visiting.  -Robyn

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pet Odor Carpet Spray DIY

Anyone have stinky pets???  Well, we do and her name is Savannah.  Oh, she is a sweet girl, but boy can she stink!  Just look at that sweet face.

I was on a mission to try and find a safe carpet odor neutralizer to get rid of the stinky doggie odor, or DO as I tend to call it,  in our carpets.  I found this recipe for a carpet spray on Pinterest.  I actually made a half batch since you cannot store the unused portion.  I wanted to make good and sure I was able to get rid of the stinky odors lurking in our family room carpeting.  Overall I was very pleased with this carpet spray.  It got rid of the light pet odor that was hanging out in the carpeting, however for the really stinky spots...not so much.  The odor was still there...even after the second application.  So I will have to keep searching for a carpet odor spray that is chemical free for the heavy odors, however this works wonders on the everyday stink that happens.  If you have any tried and true solutions I would love to hear about them.

Thanks for stopping by. -Robyn

Monday, September 15, 2014

Copycat Costco Mac & Cheese

I do believe we are a little late to the party, but we just recently discovered Costco's take and bake mac & cheese.  Holy cow is that good.  So naturally I read the ingredient list and set out to try and make this at home.  I have to say that my first attempt was pretty darn good, as told to my by my discerning family.  The entire 13x9" baking dish was almost completely cleaned out...not too shabby!

Copycat Costco Mac & Cheese

16oz. box of Cavatappi pasta, cooked and drained
10 oz. shredded white cheddar
1 cup shredded mild cheddar, divided
10 oz jar Four Cheese Alfredo Sauce
1/2 cup milk

Cook pasta according to instructions on the package.  Mix cooked pasta with alfredo sauce, white cheddar and 1/4 cup of mild cheddar and milk.  Pour into a greased 13x9" baking dish and top with remaining 3/4 cup mild cheddar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Enjoy!

Please stop back and let me know your thoughts.

Rustic Autumn Themed Wedding Shower

Good morning...I am so excited to finally share the autumn wedding shower with you.  A week ago I shared a little sneak peek of this shower here.  The link to the Etsy shop where I ordered the adorable invitations and the how to for the pumpkin centerpieces can be found in my earlier post.

We held the shower in a restaurant so the decorations were fairly minimal which makes this a very simple shower in the way of set up.  Here is a couple of pictures of the pumpkins that I made for the table centerpieces.  I was thrilled at how easy these were and how cute they turned out.  The tutorial can be found here.

Along with the invitations we included a little poem card asking every guest to bring along their favorite recipe to share with the soon to be Mr. & Mrs.  I found a simple brown kraft recipe box that I found at Hobby Lobby and decorated it with brown and white gingham ribbon and a monogram.  I found the wood pumpkin at Hobby Lobby as well, and painted it with chalkboard paint.  I painted the letter A and glued it right on, and attached the sunflower clip to dress it up a bit.

The shower favors were little milk cartons filled with a hot cider drink mix envelope and some caramels.  The cartons would not stay closed so I dressed up some small paperclips to solve that problems and thankfully it worked.  I followed this tutorial on how to make a monogram in MS Word and it was fantastic, what an eye opener...I had no idea how much you could do in Word.  I cannot tell you how excited I was after discovering that this was a possibility.  Just sized it down to be able to use a 1 3/4" circle punch and really cute personalized monogram for all of the favors (I had 8 to a sheet).

For the shower we had them set up on a tiered serving tray with a little tag thanking the guests for coming.

At each place setting we had a little sweet treat.  We used the salted caramels from Costco and wrapped them in little cellophane bags.  I made the little acorn tags using the same craft punch and my embossing tool and stencil.  I also made little place setting cards (which I forgot to photograph), but was able to find an Avery template which made this so easy.

Thank you for stopping by to see what was new.  If you should have any questions please feel free to ask.  Thanks again -Robyn.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fall Wedding Shower Sneak Peek

The weather this weekend is absolutely beautiful here in the Midwest, which makes me giddy for fall.  I have been planning a fall wedding shower for tomorrow and couldn't wait to share with you a quick glimpse.

I ordered the invitations from Sunshine Printables on Etsy.  Sasha was absolutely wonderful to work with.  She had the invitations to me within 24 hours of placing my order and couldn't have been any sweeter.  As part of the invitation we asked that each guest fill out a recipe card and bring it along to put into the recipe box for the bride to take home with her.  I found the cute little poem here and just altered it slightly to fit our needs.

I made the pumpkin centerpieces from just a few simple supplies from Hobby Lobby.  The pumpkins were already white, which made my life that much much as I love to spray paint it was easier to purchase them already done.  First I added a couple of glitter fall leaves found with the seasonal picks and just cut the stem with wire cutters and pushed them into the foam pumpkin under the stem.  Then I saw these adorable pumpkins with jute wrapped stems and just loved the look.  I followed this tutorial to make the curly-cue stems.  Then just added a bow and the pumpkins were finished.  I used Dollar Store candlesticks painted silver as stands.  I am pleased with how they turned out.  Hopefully the person who ends up as the lucky winner will too, as this is a party gift as well.
Hope you enjoyed and will come back to see the rest of the shower.  Thanks so much. -Robyn

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Skeleton Costume DIY

It is that time of year again...Halloween costume decision time.  This is a very big deal in our house...a decision of epic proportions, or at least it seems.  Last year our youngest choose to be a skeleton...sounds easy enough...especially with the help of Pinterest.  Well, as usual what seemed super easy ended up taking hours to complete.  While I wouldn't say that this is a difficult costume, I would say that it was very time consuming.  I found this wonderful skeleton pattern to use here at  I originally thought that I would use felt and sew the bones on, but knew that wouldn't wash well.  I wanted to be able to wash this costume for him to be able to wear as many times as he desired.  So I choose to use fabric paint.  I purchased a black sweatsuit that I finally found at Walmart (you would not believe how hard it is to find a plain sweatsuit).  I found that using the copy paper as stencils was not going to work, too flimsy.  So back to the drawing board I went...this is where it became time consuming.  I cut out each bone piece, then traced it onto clear contact paper, and then had to cut it out a second time.  After all of that cutting my fingers were cramped...however after that is was really easy.  I peeled off the backing and stuck each stencil right to the fabric and was able to paint.

Don't forget to put a piece of cardboard (I just cut up cereal boxes) in between your layers so the paint does not bleed through.  I did two coats of paint.  Once it is all dry just peel your stencils off and throw them away (I will admit this was a little painful..after all of that hard work).  However, once you see your final product you will forget all about it.

Good luck with your homemade skeleton costume.  Hope your little one enjoy's their costume as much as ours did.  Would love to see your final product.

Thanks for stopping by. -Robyn

Monday, September 1, 2014

Witch Portrait Craft DIY

Around here we LOVE Halloween....we can hardly wait for October 1st to pull out all of the decorations.  Witches are a very popular theme around we decided to make our own silhouette.  The frames were from Goodwill and spray painted black.  The background is made from scrapbook paper cut to fit the frame.  I drew the witch freehand and then cut her out.  If you prefer I am certain there are many witch templates to be found either on Pinterest or Google Images.  Just tape it in and put the frame back together.  Instant Halloween decor that you can match to any style that you like.

Thanks for stopping by, -Robyn

Fall Wedding Shower Gift

Greetings!  It has been awhile since I have posted anything, however now that the kids are back in school hopefully this will change.  Fall is around the corner and this is my absolute favorite time of year!  I wanted to share with you a wedding gift I put together for my brother and his beautiful wife.  They were married in the fall so naturally I wanted to go with this as the theme.  First stop...Home Goods, as I love any excuse to shop there.  The serving dishes, wooden utensils, and fall towels all were from there.  As well as the candy dish,  I filled that with the autumn holiday m&m's.  The bushel basket was from Hobby Lobby and I added a Paula Deen magazine....I just LOVE Paula! There were Keurig Apple Cider k-cups to enjoy on those crisp fall nights.  Then it was on to the nursery section of the hardware store for a pie pumpkin and a small mum.  I stenciled their initial on the pie pumpkin with acrylic paint and wrapped the mum in burlap fabric and tied it up with a bow.  I placed it all in the bushel basket with a fall bow.  I was so pleased with how this turned out and my sister-in-law loved it.

Hope you enjoyed stopping by to see what is new.