Can you believe it’s already July?! This summer is seriously going way too fast for me. I realized that I haven’t posted my garden updates. So here is the garden at week three. Most of the vegetables are thriving, but the flowers have stopped growing because of all the rain we’ve been getting. We got 5 inches in one day! The garden could really use some nice hot sun at this point.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
I was in the middle of reading Peace Like A River, which I’m back to reading, when the library emailed me to say they had Station Eleven on hold for me. I had requested it a while back. Since I only had two weeks to read it, I took a break from my other book and read this one in a week.
I really enjoyed the book. The plot immediately hooked me. I had to keep reading to find out what happens. The book centers around five individuals and how they deal with an epidemic that essentially wipes out most of the population. Some of the character’s pasts were intertwined. I really enjoyed seeing how the characters each handled their different circumstances and adapted to the world around them. I was a tiny bit disappointed in the ending. I was hoping to get a little more about how the characters responded to the discovery of their connections in the past. For me it seemed that the book only slightly touched on it before wrapping up.
I would recommend the book for sure, but not to everyone. It was thought provoking and very interesting. However, I don’t think it’s really a book my mom would enjoy.
It was a restless night around here for some reason. We were out of town this weekend visiting my parents and sometimes I think it takes Harper a day or two to adjust back to sleeping by herself once were back home. She woke me up a couple times in the middle of the night and then early this morning.
I figured since I was up early that I might as well bake some homemade banana bread muffins with my over-ripe bananas. This is a super easy recipe that I found on Pinterest a while back. The only thing I do to adjust it is to add some chopped walnuts to the tops of half of them. The kids don’t like the nuts, but Jeremy and I sure do.
3 brown bananas (1 cup mashed)
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour*
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk or lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Get out a 1/2 measuring cup and a 1/4 teaspoon (these will be all you need to measure your ingredients).
In a large Ziploc bag, mash the bananas. Add the eggs, seal the bag, and shake and squish until combined. Add the sugar and mix well. Dump in the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Before zipping and mixing them all the way in, mix them together a little with your measuring spoon. Now add the oil** and vanilla and shake and squish until well combined.
Snip the corner of the bag and squirt the batter into a lined muffin tin (if you don’t want to clean the pan, line it with tin liners so the grease doesn’t come through). Don’t make the hole very big at all because the batter is very runny. Pinch the corner between each muffin.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
To make the glaze, just mix together the powdered sugar and milk or lemon juice and spread over cooled muffins.
**I make my mix in a bowl instead of using a plastic bag.
**I don’t add the glaze. I’m sure it’s delicious, but we like butter on our banana bread so that’s what we put on our muffins.
**This time I used a mini muffin pan to bake them because my big one was dirty and I was too lazy to wash it. The mix made almost two batches and instead of 20 minutes, the baking time was 12 minutes.
This is a quick, easy recipe using ingredients that I always have on hand. But the best part is the kids love them. Give them a try! Oh, and check out Yammie’s Noshery for tons of other delicious recipes.
Loving, really loving our little garden.
Celebrating that it is officially summer. Hooray!
Enjoying all the warm weather activities. Hello swimming pool and sprinkler.
Opening the windows every morning to let in the fresh air before the days heat arrives.
Planning to set up the water blob for the kids this weekend. We only usually do it once a summer and they think it’s the greatest ever.
Working on not putting too much pressure on myself to entertain the kids every second of every day.
Drinking lots of sun tea. and water.
Eating more salads and grilled food and always looking for new recipes.
Buying fresh flowers at Trader Joe’s on every trip. They just freshen up the house to much.
Reading Peace Like A River. I took a break to read Station Eleven because I had it on hold at the library. Book report coming next week.
Watching Supernatural on Netflix. Jeremy is hooked.
Listening to my kids playing or bickering all day long. The best is when they’re getting along and making each other laugh hysterically.
Looking forward to date night with good friends this Saturday. It’s been too long.
Hoping you enjoy your weekend!
My plan was to order a garden journal to keep track of everything happening in the garden this season. I looked at etsy.com to find one, but everything I liked was international shipping and I didn’t really want to pay more for shipping than the actual item cost.
So instead I searched for chipboard notebooks and found just a plain one that I liked. I decided to decorate the front myself. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s mine. I plan to add monthly calendars and some pockets inside the front and back covers as well.
All I did to decorate it was use a few Sharpies to draw what I wanted on the cover. I decided on tomato and basil because those are my favorite things to grow. My lettering is not fancy. I would love to take a caligraphy class sometime to actually learn some skills, but this will work for now.
I’ll also continue to post garden updates here to help me keep track of the progress. I’m still so new to this gardening thing and have lots to learn, but I’m loving it so much. Just my tiny garden brings me so much joy already. I can’t wait until it starts producing and we can harvest our own food.
We had a great day celebrating Jeremy yesterday. He doesn’t make a big deal of Father’s Day, but I enjoy making things special for him. He does so much for us everyday. I told him he was in charge of choosing our activities for the entire day.
We started with cards and snuggles then it was coffee and breakfast from Starbuck’s and then a drive through one of our favorite neighborhoods in town.
Then he decided on paddle boating since it wasn’t too hot outside yet. (If you’ve ever been paddle boating in the heat you understand) So we made the drive to Mahoney State Park just outside of Omaha. They have tons of family activities that we plan to take advantage of when the kids get a little bigger like horseback riding, but for today it was paddle boating. The last time we were there Harper was only one and it was super hot. The kids were almost too young to really enjoy it. This time they loved it. We did a 30 minute ride and bought the kids some fish food from the market. Turns out we didn’t feed the fish because the geese followed us around the entire time begging for the food. It was pretty cute. We also saw two big frogs and a turtle. We all had a great time.
After paddle boating we drove across the interstate to the Wildlife Safari. We hadn’t been there since last fall. This time we got lucky and the bison were up close and personal. It’s was pretty awesome. There was also a disgusting amount of the 17 year cicadas out there. They were dive bombing us the entire time.
We ended our day with a late lunch/early dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and then it was time to head home. I love getting the kids out and about. We try to take full advantage of all the local attractions as often as possible. Omaha is a great city.
Today I wanted to share a craft with you that the kids and I made yesterday. I’ve had this idea in my mind for a long time, but I needed to buy Sharpies to make it happen. I finally remembered yesterday while I was at Target and bought a package.
Tiny Play Houses
-Plastic Happy Meal milk bottles from McDonald’s (yes, we do eat at McDonald’s sometimes) I just love the shape of these little bottles.
-Utility knife (*note*this is a job for the adults, not the kids)
Clean out the plastic bottles. I suggest saving the lids for them. Let them air dry. Then using your utility knife carefully cut a “door” in the bottle. Once the door is cut, use your Sharpies to decorate your little house.
The kids really liked decorating their houses. In order for them to look more like a house (i.e. mine in the center), kids may need to be a bit older. My drawing skills definitely are great while drawing on a plastic milk jug without a plan, but it was just supposed to be fun. Hudson added the red cardinal to my house afterwards.
It would also be cute to cut out actual windows. You could also decorate them with stickers or decoupage them with tissue paper. It would be fun to make a whole town using these as well as other plastic containers and include a bakery, post office, library, etc. The possibilities are endless.
We just got back home after the worst vacation ever. I don’t actually think you could even call it a vacation because we ended up spending four days driving all the way to North Carolina and back. I’ll spare you the details and just say that I hope we can plan something for later in the summer to make it up to the kids.
Even though we didn’t end up having a true vacation, we did end up crossing a few activities off of our Summer Bucket List. We’ve been enjoying our summer as much as possible despite all the rain, and gosh has it been raining a lot!
A lot of the remaining activities require warm sunny weather so hopefully we’ll get more of that soon!
If you would like your own copy of our Summer Bucket List click over here.
I’m just a tiny bit obsessed with our new garden. I could stand out there and stare at it all day probably.
The garden is looking pretty good so far. The corn is really popping up now. I can see tiny basil, lettuce and spinach seedlings popping up as well. We’ve had a ton of rain the past few days and it’s totally affecting our spinach. Two of them look okay, but I think the other two bit the dust.
The sunflowers on the side of the house are doing pretty good, but it looks like they might be getting chomped on by some slugs or something. How do I get rid of them?
Obsessing over our garden. Obviously.
Crossing activities off our Summer Bucket List like crazy. Super fun!
Enjoying my living room filled with peonies. The season is almost over though…
Preparing for our first family vacation in three years. It’s going to be awesome.
Reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.
Watching Supernatural on Netflix. We totally got sucked in.
Listening to my kids play, argue, play, argue. You get the picture. Ah summer break.
Planning Harper’s fairy birthday party. I’ll share more later.
Needing to go dress shopping today to find something to wear to Jeremy’s sister’s wedding this weekend. I always have the hardest time picking out dresses.
Thinking we might have to make a trip to the local donut shop this afternoon to celebrate National Donut Day.
Filling up the swimming pool for the kids. It’s finally going to be warm enough and sunny today.
Hoping that the summer slows down just a bit. I can’t believe it’s already June.
Wishing you a relaxing weekend!