Spiced Buttermilk Banana Bread with Hazelnuts

This recipe is one of the most beloved in our home--we pretty much all go crazy for it!  The combination of bananas, vanilla, buttermilk, good sea salt, hazelnuts and aromatic cardamom make it my go-to recipe when the bananas are past their prime.  In fact, I buy a lot of bananas, just so I have an excuse to make this recipe.  I can easily down one of these perfectly moist, mini loaves in one sitting; so be warned that it's dangerously delicious!

If you want to save yourself some time (and I highly recommend you do so), buy pre-chopped hazelnuts.  You can find them in the baking aisle at your local Super Target, QFC and sometimes at Fred Meyer and Harmons.  Be sure to use good vanilla too--I like the Nielsen Massey (also at Target, Williams Sonoma, etc.) or the pure bourbon vanilla extract at Trader Joes.

One last note on my Spiced Buttermilk Banana Bread with Hazelnuts recipe...when I decide to make banana bread, I don't want to just make one loaf.  If I am going to the effort to make something from scratch, I want to make a lot!  More to consume and more to share.  This recipe will make either 3 large loaves (in standard loaf pans), 8 mini loaves or a combination of the two--4 mini loaves and 2 large loaves.  It's really up to you!

Pin It '''''


Top Wardrobe Essentials for Spring 2014

Now that it's actually starting to feel like Spring in the Pacific Northwest (i.e. you can actually walk out of the house without your wool socks and a jacket some days), I asked one of my favorite friends, stylist Beverly Jacobs, to share her top wardrobe essentials for Spring, 2014.  I hope you enjoy this edited collection!  Beverly really does have an eye for style--always has, always will--but, it's her energy and zest for life that I truly adore. If you live in the LA area, look her up!  

And, while we all know that what you wear isn't the most important thing in life, it is nice to know where to allocate your budget or what gaps to fill.  I'm all about bang for buck, so a tidy list like this is quite helpful to a gal like me, who truly has no idea what's trending right now (my uniform tends to be skinny jeans, boots and a striped shirt. like every day. help!).  What I found helpful for me, was to move down through the list, link by link, to get an overview.  Then, I thought about what I already had and how I could wear it differently (or just actually wear it); and, hopefully pick up something fun along the way.

the oversized white button down   /   a boxy striped top   /   another boxy striped top   /   brogues

the perfect casual pant with the perfect amount of slouch   /  rounded sunglasses   

perfect little jacket   /   lizzie fortunato scale bracelet   /   high rise skinny jeans

floral top   /   tropical floral print bag one   /   tropical floral print bag two   /   slip on vans 

cable knit sweater one   /   cable knit sweater two   /   crew neck muscle tee

Pin It '''''


Joyfolie Handcrafted Shoes + a Spring Sale Today Only

Have you ever spotted the beautiful, handcrafted shoes over at Joyfolie?  They are all so pretty and look so special to me.  If you've ever shopped for children's shoes, then you know how difficult it is to find mini versions of the stylish shoes in your own closet.

Pin It '''''


Hello Kitty Birthday Party

Over a year has passed since I planned this little birthday party for my daughter, Sophie.  I hoped to share these images with you much sooner, but you know how life goes sometimes.  Things just manage to get in the way, now don't they?  I have to admit, I relish in that fact that at least one of my children still enjoys a homespun party (I'll be riding that train as long as possible!).  

Just before she turned six last year, we discussed the type of party she wanted.  She was emphatic about having a Hello Kitty Birthday Party, which initially I had no idea how to pull off without being tacky. Thankfully, she's the cutest licensed character of them all.  Also, thank goodness she is often accompanied by polka dots.   

While guests arrived, I led the girls to a little craft table in the family room, where they each made their own Hello Kitty mask.  This type of distraction gave the littles a chance to channel all their energy towards creating something of their own.  The craft wasn't fancy or complicated, just something short and sweet to amuse them for the first fifteen minutes.  The alternative is your home turning into a bounce house... :)  

I used some pretty spoons I already owned for mini serving ware.  Napkins were simple, white and from the local grocery store.  I simply stamped them and used a bit of baker's twine as an accent. Super easy! 

Since I try to keep all of my children's parties within a $100 budget, you'll notice I reuse many of the same things for each party.  I included online links below, but keep in mind these are things you might be able to find locally too (bottles-grocery store; dishes-Target; tablecloth-Craigslist).  

These basics create a clean, flexible base for each party.  Add in fun paper, ribbon, flowers, balloons, garlands, straws, etc. and you have a "new" party each time.  Another money saver is to make the cake or cupcakes from scratch, versus buying them elsewhere.  The star of the dessert table can be a real money suck and since cupcakes are so simple to make, go ahead and give 'em a shot.  If you can make easy muffins, you can make a basic cupcake recipe. Promise!  

I typically snag a cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart and then use the Sprinkles recipe for the frosting.  

In order to fill up the table with treats and make it feel special, I supplemented the homemade cupcakes with some store bought treats as well.  When you have a Trader Joe's nearby, it's pretty easy to stay on budget and fill up your cart :)  It's the best.  Anyway, I found some pretty vanilla meringues (the girls loved these!) and yogurt covered pretzels from TJ's, as well as a bunch of Pocky sticks from Daiso (where everything is $!). 

A few other notes...

For party favors, I slipped a Hello Kitty pen and a few matching erasers in a clear, cello bag. Also, per tradition, we sent each guest off with a balloon as well.    

Pin-the-blank-on-the-blank is the classic, go-to party game for every child 7 and under in our home.  I just can't stop myself.  It's so fun every time!  

Also, I typically double up on straws because inevitably one doesn't function properly (especially if the straws are paper) and because it's more fun to have more color!  

To peek at other parties, head here.  Enjoy!

Pin It '''''


Lynne Millar Studio Sale

If you're looking to expand your original art collection without breaking the bank, you must peek at artist Lynne Millar's studio sale this week.  Lynne, formerly of the acclaimed blog Sugar City Journal, is now allocating her creative energy towards other pursuits, one of which is painting (of which I am so happy!).  Her original paintings are beautiful, affordable and perfect additions to your gallery wall.

Last year, I hung one of her pieces in a bedroom at La Maisonnette and I love the energy and beauty it brings to that space.  This year, I look forward to buying another piece and I hope you do as well! I've never seen her shop so full, so this is a great time to make a purchase.

Studio Sale  |  Main Website  |  Real Life Home Tour 

Pin It '''''


Five Favorite Dinner Salads

If you're on the hunt for some delicious dinner salads that leave you (and your kids!) satisfied, I'm sharing my five favorites over at Zupas this month (including this incredible Chinese Chicken Salad shown above). 

You can peek at the round up here.

image by me

Pin It '''''
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...