old bananas, etc

I am eating this right now.  It is so good…….

So last night I overfilled my goulash casserole and it dripped all over the bottom of the oven as it baked and filled the kitchen with smoke.  As a result, I can’t make my lemon banana bread this morning until the oven self cleaner is done.  It’s 34 degrees outside, the sun is shining brilliantly, my house is once again smelling of smoke as the oven cleans.  I have windows and doors open to keep the smoke alarm from going off.


This morning the first thing she said to me was, “Can I put a puzzle together?”  And then she asked me, “Are the Northern Lights REAL?”  After questioning, I learned that she saw a picture of them in Kindergarten.  The puzzle is of Alaskan animals and the Northern Lights can be seen in Alaska so I was floored by the entire conversation which occurred much too early in the morning (6:30am).


We bought this small piece of furniture this weekend from the guy down the road.  He refinishes pieces and we really like him and his shop.  It’s very rustic and down to earth.  This small chest of drawers, very narrow but made of hard wood, has two shallow drawers and one deep drawer.  From now on the mail and papers get stuffed into it rather than piled on the counter.  The pile was driving me nuts.

I’m freezing..hold on…I gotta turn the fan off and shut the door….


We also bought this chest.  The top opens and shuts without a latch which makes it easy to use and also no children or cats can get trapped inside of it.  I’m using it to hold all the wrestling things and any back packs and bags that I can fit into it, in this way the spot near the door doesn’t have QUITE the pile of stuff it normally does in the evening.  If I put a blanket on top of the chest Gentleman Gray will curl up and sleep on it too; it’s also a cat bed.


I went to the grocery store before I picked up David from newspaper club yesterday so I could get a few things for goulash dinner.  And guess what?  I discovered a new-to-my-grocery-store flavor of FAGE yogurt!  It’s sooooooooo good!


ALSO this is very exciting…..Panera bread in the grocery store!!!!!!  I discovered it yesterday by the hot soup station.  I LOVE their tomato basil and I bought the white for the kids and as you can see, it’s almost gone already.


This is what I’m going to bake as soon as the oven is done cleaning itself.  I said in a few posts back that I wanted to depend more on my cookbooks than the internet and when I realized this morning that I had old bananas, I went and sat on the floor by my cookbook shelf to search for a recipe……and it looks great.  I found eggs in the coop this morning that I will use, too.

B A N A N A  L E M O N  B R E A D

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups mashed banana
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking soda
3 Tablespoons grated lemon peel

Grease 2 loaf pans or one bundt pan.  In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar.  Blend in the eggs, bananas, and juice.  Stir in the dry ingredients.  Add the grated lemon peel.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Of course, I don’t know how it will turn out.  If it’s a flop I’ll come back online later and cross out the recipe.

Lastly, we (mostly Jacob and myself) have been currently working on a room in the basement and I wanted to show you our style of decorating.  It’s not so much decorating than filling up……and we love it.

Our inspiration?  “The Burrow” from the Harry Potter movies….here is a picture:


Now, our room will not be the same because of the very unromantic drop ceiling but that’s beside the point.  What we love is “clutter”, pillows, blankets, comfy lived in couches and chairs, rugs, books everywhere, all kinds of stuff hanging on the walls, just a very eclectic humble and cozy room…..

So far, this is what we’ve accomplished out of practically nothing (cast offs, things from the thrift store, stuff from our own storage that I had put away).

And by the way, this is only part of our basement. There is also a section which is a bedroom for three of the boys, an exercise room with a treadmill, and a storage room.  This part is Jacob’s bedroom/PS4 video game room.  When teenagers come over this is where they end up.  Because it is the basement we threw caution to the wind and cheerfully hung things up everywhere (the walls were bare a month ago).  And we aren’t done!  Jacob is having just as much fun as I am with this space.  It’s been a fun project for us.



Obviously not a very good photo of the curtains, but they are very cool vintage Star Wars curtains that I bought at Iroquois Antiques “back home” several years ago.  David wants me to leave them to him in my will.


The wooden shelf to the far right of the photo next to the TV is Jacob’s rock collection.

The desk was already down there but they moved the two bookcases down, along with the blue chair and the rug.  Michael and Jacob bought the coffee table from walmart but they are looking for another one, possibly a round wooden one.

(this is also Michael’s room when he stays the weekends with Jacob)


I bought the clock at Target.  Army guys are solid medal from a tag sale.  Cross stitched army guy also from tag sale.  Art work from Emily to Jacob.


Old quilts covering our shabby old very very comfortable couch.



The black frame is from the Family dollar.  The gold frame is from Goodwill…I love that it had seven spaces for my seven children.


“It’s not much, but it’s home” ~Harry Potter


“Comfort is born out of use, therefore the comfortable houses seem to be the ones that have been lived in.”

“Clutter=finding solace and a little beauty in the things we cherish in our everyday lives at home and at work”

“I want my house to be comfortable, not perfect”

all quotes from a wonderful book titled A PERFECTLY KEPT HOUSE IS THE SIGN OF A MISSPENT LIFE.  Not a life/decorating style for everyone, but I personally like it so much and it speaks my language for what an ideal home looks and feels like.



8 thoughts on “old bananas, etc

  1. Being missionaries who live on a tight budget, our whole apartment, as well as most of what we wear is from thrift shops. I really enjoy finding treasures! It’s kind of a hobby of ours. Recently, I was looking for an old, vintage looking lamp. I spotted a lovely one in a shop, but didn’t think I could afford it. I was so blessed when the lady told me the price! Now, it is in my home and I just love it! I also buy old sheets and duvet covers and make rag rugs from them. Those rugs are so cozy and warm looking! I think your basement room is wonderful!

  2. I love the idea of the chest to use as a ‘staging area’…to keep those things you need to grab before heading out the door. It’s a beautiful one, too.

    That key lime FAGE sounds ‘to-die-for’. I’ve only ever had the plain. I usually doctor it up myself. I’m going to have to try the Key Lime!

    I think it’s a special thing that you and Jacob are fixing up the basement together. I love your relationship with your kids, and I enjoyed seeing what y’all are doing with the place.

    Hope you are able to stay warm! Kara

  3. Looks like a cozy basement. I like your ideas and putting it together.

    Good thing you have a self cleaning oven to help you out! We don’t so every time I spill..oops I just burn it off with the next meal lol.

    Love your chest! It’s purposeful but pleasant to look at.

  4. I love that you are quietly bucking the minimalist trend and saying, “I like my home comfy, full of sentimental nick-nacks, stacks of books, mix-matched blankets and quilts… perfectly imperfect…a place to rest and play, and feel at home.” It’s just what a home ought to be.

  5. Yummy! Love blackberries! Your new furniture is great,and that room is awesome! Most awesome because you and your son put it together. What a cool mom son thing!:)
    I’ve got to start using my recipes in books… I usually make things from pinterest; ). Sweet Sarah,inquiring minds want to know,and it usually doesn’t matter to them what time it is! Lol.

  6. It’s so fun to craft a space to make it look like you want it to! I share your value of comfy and lived in and warmth!! Your room is looking like a very cozy space. How fun to share the creation of it with Jacob! Love the frame with the seven pictures.

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