Life In Photos #18

This is a pretty quiet week in photos! But, I spent the majority of this week sick so there was much less picture snapping and much more nap taking. Luckily, I started feeling better on Friday and now am pretty close to 100% again!

magic sorting

We practice sorting geek style in this household! The hubs gives our little all his valueless Magic the Gathering cards and she has quite the collection at this point. We love to dump them out and practice sorting them into piles by not only color, but different background and edging patterns as well. Or she’ll pick the subject (usually, animals) and we sort them out. She loves it!

eli with banana

Oh, Eli and his banana. My kitty Eli has always had a weird obsession with our little’s play food. He loves to bat it around (while ignoring most actual cat toys). He is fixated on the banana, which I find hilarious because he is actually terrified of real bananas! If you set down a banana peel near him, he flattens his ears and body, and tries to slink off as sneakily as possible. It’s so strange. So I guess he must show his dominance to the evil plastic banana.

relaxing on the couch

I snapped this pic of my little watching Milo and Otis one rainy afternoon and I just love it. She looks so grown up. I still call her my baby, the hubs and I both still say things like, “Who will watch the baby?” or “The baby’s sleeping”, but she is definitely not a baby anymore. Damn you parenting cliches and your absolute truth!

Hope the weekend is treating you well!
We’re off to see Guardians of the Galaxy today and I CAN’T WAIT!!!


Making Fruit Popsicles

It’s about time for another recipe! Once spring shows up, I am ready for sunshine, and with sunshine comes ice cream. However, since the birth of my daughter, I’ve really started paying attention to what we eat, and looking for alternatives to sweets with all the extra sugar. Enter fruit popsicles. These have been a favorite around here since my miss was old enough to have them. They take some prep time, but they are so worth it!

You’ll need:

  • A food processor
  • Spatula
  • A small sieve/strainer and spoon
  • Paring knife
  • Fruit
  • Any additional flavorings (I used chocolate sauce, peanut butter, and Nutella)
  • Popsicle molds/forms


Gather all your fruit. I used strawberries, raspberries, and bananas for mine – all the house faves!


I made the raspberries first. Put a bunch in the food processor – I didn’t measure, but I’d say I used about 1 Cup worth.


Since mine were frozen, I had to stop and scrape the edges several times, and I added in a bit of hot water to thaw them as they processed, and made a puree.


Now, the tedious part. Sieving out the seeds. I put scoopfuls of the raspberry puree into the sieve, and mashed it all around with a spoon repeatedly until only seeds were left. It takes time, but is so worth it to have lovely smooth popsicles.


Then I poured it into my popsicle molds. I made one just plain raspberry, then filled the other halfway so I could mix it with strawberry.


Then I started on strawberries! After taking off the stems, toss them in the food processor until you get a puree.


Then sieve just like the raspberries. For the strawberry, I filled the rest of the half-raspberry to make a mixed berry pop, and filled another empty halfway to make strawberry-banana.


For the rest, I mixed it with some chocolate sauce to make a chocolate-strawberry pop – YUM!


Onto bananas, which seemed so easy since there are no seeds to sieve out! Just puree and go. Banana is my favorite, so I made the most variety.


From top left, clockwise: Banana-chocolate-peanut butter, strawberry banana, banana-chocolate, and banana-Nutella.

And there you have it! Toss in the freezer for a few hours, or overnight as we did, and you have a delicious not-too-sweet treat. We use all natural peanut butter, so there is no added sugar there. The chocolate syrup does have sugar, but since I homemake that too (click here for the recipe I use!) at least there is no HFCS!

The best part is, my little thinks we are having ice cream popsicles, and thinks it’s the biggest treat to just have one in the afternoon. She watches me make them, but any frozen treat to her is ‘ice cream’ so that’s a bonus!

I hope you enjoy some – let me know what fruit combos you use! I have yet to try kiwi, but I think it could be delicious!


Nom Nom ‘Nana Bread

Thanks to my two and a half year old I now pronounce the word ‘banana’ as ‘nana’, and thus apply it to all banana related things.

It was cool enough last week for me to get in some baking. Yay! Upon opening my freezer, I discovered that I had SEVENTEEN overripe frozen bananas in there. So naturally, some banana bread was in order! Especially since it then meant I had room for some fro yo in the freezer. Yummo.

I always use overripe bananas when making banana bread. I usually wait until they are fully spotted and brown in the fruit basket, then I pop them in the freezer where they last for a long time. . .I don’t think mine have ever really lasted longer than a couple weeks in the freezer since I bake all. the. time. But I would say they’d last many months frozen for sure. I use the overripe bananas mainly because they are so much sweeter than ‘ready to eat’ bananas, which really cuts down on the sugar you have to add. (Just as an FYI, the reason the banana fruit browns is the process of the starch turning to sugar – hence the sweeter-when-brown deal.)  So I got out my recipe book and went to town!

This recipe is my dad’s version – I’ve been eating this banana bread my whole life!


  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed bananas (roughly 6 average size bananas)
  • 1 & 1/4 cups white flour
  • 1 & 1/4 cups wheat flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
    Adding walnuts is always optional; I can’t stand them, so my bread is nut-free!
    Preheat oven to 350F.

Add flours, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. . .

. . .and mix well!

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In a separate larger bowl, combine oil and sugar and beat until creamy. Also, mash your bananas – I usually do it after the oil/sugar step. I opted not to photograph getting the frozen bananas out of the peels and mashing them because frankly, it looks incredibly gross. It really does – seriously unappetizing. . .but I promise you’ll end up with delicious banana bread!

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After the oil and sugar is creamed, add in eggs and beat well.

Then pour in your mashed bananas and mix until fully blended together.

Pour you dry ingredients into the wet mixture,

and combine thoroughly.

And of course my little baking assistant always gets to sample the batters!

Pour batter into loaf pans. I use a silicon pan with four mini loaves as you can see. I find them much easier than dealing with metal ones – despite being stainless steel all the ones I used to have would end up rusting. These are amazing, completely non-stick meaning no greasing is needed, and super easy to clean. Can’t go wrong in my book! If I feel like making full size loaves, I use glass pans, which definitely DO need to be greased before the batter is put in! These also make great muffins – fill your muffin tins 2/3 full.

Bake for 45min to 1hr for loaves; I’d check muffins after 25mins. Once out of the oven, let cool for a full hour for loaves – thirty minutes for muffins. Then pop out of the pans and enjoy!

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This bread also freezes extremely well. I usually give away some of my loaves to my family, but occasionally we’ll pop a couple into the freezer to have on hand. A couple slices with a cup of tea is one of my all time favorite breakfasts. . .or afternoon snacks. . .or both in one day. Yum.

Lastly, a quick aside about my baking. You may notice in my photos there aren’t any electric mixers – handheld, or stand. I don’t use them in everyday baking (I use a handheld mixer when I make buttercream frosting – doing that by hand would just be too difficult for my taste). I know I’m a bit old fashioned at heart, and maybe that’s why, but I’ve just never seen a need! Everything I make is easily done by hand with a whisk. Yes, it takes a bit more elbow grease, but I’m fine with that. However, if you use a mixer – simply apply it where it’d normally be used!