Friday, August 19, 2011

Biking, Blueberries, & Banana Beer Bread

Mmmmm! Blueberries are back in season & the best U-Pick farm is just 1 mile from our house. So close that I usually just ride my bike & try to fit as many containers in my basket as possible. I love snacking on them just plain or putting them in my yogurt in the morning! The last batch I got i decided to do some baking with. Go {here} for blueberry baking I did last summer. I searched online for a lemon blueberry cheesecake recipe and came across one on the Food Networks site - it was delicious!
{Graham crackers for the crust}
{blending the filling}
{before going into the oven}
They were so good I forgot to get after pictures because we ate them too fast! Sorry! but trust me they were delicious! Go {here} for the recipe!
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Another recipe I tried was for banana beer bread. Adam found the recipe on {Deschutes Brewery's} facebook page & wanted to try it out. We had some extra ripe banana's so I whipped up a batch.
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 medium bananas, mashed
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1/4 cup beer Twilight Ale, Black Butte Porter or Obsidian Stout
{I used Twilight}

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 91/4-by-5 1/4-by 23/4-inch pan. In a large bowl blend together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, walnuts, and salt. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until foamy before beating in the bananas, butter and beer. Combine the two mixtures, blending until the two ingredients are moistened.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean and the top is golden. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan.
So good! I think next time I make it I'll add blueberries in it too ;)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yard Projects

We had BIG plans for our backyard, and well we didn't quite get them all done, there's still time this summer - or we might just wait till next.. but here's a preview of what we've been up to in the yard.
{painting our bird house to match the rest of the patio items}
I found this glider while we were in Bend over Memorial Day dogsitting. My sister & I were on a coffee run and I spotted this driving by a yard sale. I think I said "TURN AROUND!" not expecting Cali to actually turn around, she did! (she is not a garage sale goer!) It was only $25 and a perfect addition to our patio! {see here for other chairs found last summer at a garage sale}
{I made patio pillows! Out of a clearance tablecloth from Target, linen napkins from InkWell, & a table runner I picked up last year on clearance at Z.Gallerie}
{i picked this metal butterfly up from an estate sale for $1, I thought it was cute}
 {slate that we got from a friend, we had plans to build a patio with it, but have decided that we don't know what we're doing and would rather just have a new concrete patio poured. We've used the slate in other areas now - I'll blog about that soon!}
This is the area we planned on laying the slate. Since our plans have changed it's just sand for now.
{free labor - aka mom & Barb! Thanks for your help!}
{the pots in the above picture - I spray painted yellow & white & planted Petunias and Begonias in them}
{I put together these hanging baskets. I love how awesome they are doing! the flowers started off very small}
 {a good friend gave us this hammock- we love it!}
 {finished patio pillows!}
{the same friend gave us these large planters. They already had the topiaries in them, then I planted the petunias around it. I'm debating whether or not to paint the pots white.}
{finished glider painted to match our other pieces! - not sure why I didn't get a close up, but you get the idea}
Our backyard is defiantly enjoyable and has come a long way since last summer, but our future plans include: 1. Getting a new concrete patio poured. 2. Building a new fence/gate on both sides of the house. 3. Building a fire pit out of the slate. 4. Going in with the neighbors to rebuild the last side of old fence we have left... Maybe next summer! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Our Powder Room

I finally feel like our bathroom is worth sharing. I posted back in March that I was working on some things.. we'll it's now August and I just finally finished the shower curtain. I'll blame summer for my procrastination. The only thing left on my to-do is creating a new light fixture. I have some ideas in mind but nothing concrete yet, so until then here is our completed bathroom {minus the light fixture}
{picture from TjMaxx - Mirror tray is from GoodWill, I painted it white}
{mini frame is from PotteryBarn, I made the print inside}
{Towel from Target}
{I cut off an extra strip of the shower curtain & sewed it onto the towel}
I'm happy with how everything pieced together, just can't wait to get a new light fixture!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

DIY Clear View Shower Curtain

My first shower curtain I bought was a Cynthia Rowley 'Swell' Pop-Picnic pattern from target. {I loved it!!!! So much that I got the matching bedding & dishes.. good 'ol Target!} It was very hard to part with but as I've gotten older I think I've toned down my love for color, just a little.
{these were my sheets  - the shower curtain looked very similar, but at your eye level there was about a foot of clear so you could see out & it let extra light into the shower - Loved it!}
Since I've parted with my 'first love' shower curtain 3 years ago I've always copied the clear view idea and sewn my own into my new shower curtains. I've done 3 since, 2 everyday ones and 1 Christmas one. Here is a step by step to how it's done.
{before - gorgeous ruffle shower curtain from Urban Outfitters}
Materials needed: Shower curtain, 1 clear cheap shower curtain {$2.99 @ Target}, sewing pins, & measuring tape.
First, stand in your tub and determine where your head height is and make a mark on the back of the curtain so you know where to cut. Then determine how tall you want the clear view to be, {I do about 12"} keeping in mind the full length so it doesn't pool too much at the base. Our rod is a little higher than normal since Adam is 6' 3"! Take your shower curtain down and cut.
Lay out your clear vinyl and cut a strip a little wider than what you've determined you want. Since it's really hard to sew on the plastic shower curtain I've learned to put a small strip of scrap fabric along where your seam will be so your sewing machine foot doesn't get stuck while you're sewing. Layer your items: shower curtain, vinyl, then scrap fabric - pin all together.
Then sew! After the top section of your shower curtain is sewn to the strip of vinyl repeat steps and attach the bottom section.
Make sure to measure the distance between the bottom of the top section and the top of the bottom section to keep the distance the same all the way across before you pin.
Pretty simple fix to brightening up the shower and fixing the awkward "high-water" look where the curtain doesn't touch the floor and shows off just the base of your tub.
Our bathroom is just about complete!
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