Hello Friends! I'm back from an unexpected blog break! I don't know how to explain it except that Summer has gotten the best of me. We are experiencing a heat wave in my part of the world. The days have been hazy, hot, and humid. By the time the sun goes down I can hardly keep my eyes open. We are all sleeping like logs! This is not a bad thing!
So what have I been up to? Well, let's see.... Two weeks ago I celebrated my birthday. It was extra special this year because my best friend Jen (seriously, since first grade) was in town! We haven't spent a birthday together in YEARS. It was such a treat. Her husband and daughter came to my parents house for my traditional birthday dinner - which is turkey with all the fixings, ala Thanksgiving in July! Yes, that's right - only my mom would baste a turkey in 90 degree heat! It's my favorite meal and such a delight to eat it on my birthday. By now I'm sick of hot dogs and hamburgers and craving Fall food. It tasted so good!
Jen moved FAR away after high school to attend college and never came back. She married and planted roots and is very happy where she is now. We've always made it a priority to stay close and keep in touch. It doesn't feel like she lives so far away, because we are so involved in each other's lives. My son is also over the moon for her ten year old daughter which is awesome. I hope that never changes. Having her visiting on my birthday was the best present I could have gotten! She surprised me with this Willow Tree plaque entitled "Friendship" - forever true, forever friends. We used to stay up all night taking about boys, painting our nails, and make chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Now we talk about anti-ageing creams, fabric softners, and raising kids. Life is funny. We are proud and grateful for our 30 year friendship! Wow. It's like the old saying goes...she knows too much...we have to stay friends! : )
We've been going to the beach alot over the last few weeks. My son is doing great with his swimming lessons. He's turned himself into a little fish and wants to be in water until he's literally a wrinkled prune! At four (almost 5!) years old he's already a better swimmer than I am!
As a kid I was never really fond of the water and as a result am not the best swimmer. As an adult I have come to love the beach and the ocean air. Drinking coffee on the beach in the early morning is probably one of the best things you can do in the summer. I go in the ocean and pool now with him - weather I want to or not. Just one of those things mothers have to do! : ) It's not really that bad if we stay in the shallow end. I just hate squeezing this 38 year old body into a bathing suit. I much prefer winter clothing!
Lately, when I'm at home you will probably find me puttering around the yard trying to bring all my dead plants back to life. It's been depressing. By the time I get home from work everything is dying of thirst. The heat wave is taking it's toll. I took this picture early one morning last week. Can you see the haze in the picture? You can almost feel the heat. It's oppressive. Ugh.
At least the tomatoes are doing well! Red ripe summer tomatoes are the best. I made a baked tomato casserole last night. Recipe to come!
And speaking of cooking, with all this heat I haven't been spending much time in the kitchen lately (hence the blogging absence). I did make chicken tacos the other night which was success (probably because it wasn't a hot dog or take out - real talk). Other than that, I've been keeping it light and easy.
However, thanks to air conditioning I CAN do some baking when the urge strikes. That urge struck me two nights ago. I was craving something homemade. I had on hand all the ingredients for sour cream banana almond muffins. Home baked muffins in August? Yes please! Just the thing to get me back into my baking groove.
They are really delicious and easy to make. All you need is...
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mashed banana (2 ripe bananas)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
In another bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs (lightly beaten). Mix in the sour cream and vanilla. Add the mashed banana.
Combine with the flour until just mixed. Add the nuts and stir until blended.
Divide among 12 muffin cups (greased or sprayed). Sprinkle tops with sugar if desired. I did : )
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. (recipe adapted slightly from Rita's Recipes)
Make them the night before and allow them to cool on your stove top. In the morning your kitchen will smell like banana almond....Mmmmmm....
The taste of a home baked muffin sends me to my happy place! Add coffee and the latest issue of People and I'm good for the day!
So that's pretty much what I've been up to. A whole lot of nothing and tons of everything! Before I forget I must announce the winner of my giveaway! I am SO SORRY I am late with this! The lucky winner is.....
Gemma from Musings of a Gem!
Gemma, I hope you enjoy your potpourri and vintage tin! I'm emailing you now for your address and then I'll send your care package out to you right away! Please stop by Gemma's lovely blog and say HI!
The next few weeks will be busy. I have a big birthday party to plan! You only turn 5 once! Rumor has it it's a Thomas the Tank Engine party, but that theme changes by the minute. The bouncy house has ordered (a must for a kids party!) and I'm in the middle of making goodie bags for 10 little boys and girls. I'm sure it will be the hottest day of year and someone will surely get sprayed with the hose. I just hope it's not me!
Before I end this post I had to show you this darling photo. Meet Molly! No, she's not mine : ( My friend Jan just got a new puppy. We met her last Sunday. Is she not the cutest?! She's 10 times cuter in person! Completely huggable and snuggable. I need this in my life. I really do ~