Banana Bread Bars

During 2020 there have been a lot of banana bread photos and recipes circulating. People in quarantine have taken up baking and this quick bread started to take over social media pages. Banana bread is always a go to for me when the bananas are too ripe for us to eat anymore. We eat a lot of bananas, like A LOT, which is why it’s surprising that we had six overly ripe bananas. I was torn between doing two loaves of banana bread that I love in two batches (I only have one bread pan… for now) or do another banana recipe with the remaining 3 bananas. Then it clicked, I recently got a brownie pans from my fiancé’s parents with an insert so there are more delicious crispy sides. Hello, the ends of the banana bread are my favorite! How have I not thought of this sooner! I ended up adding a few toppings before baking to see how it baked with them. I chose mini chocolate chips, Nutella drizzle, and white chocolate chips.

Below is the recipe for 1 loaf of banana bread but take it from me, banana bread in a cake pan with something sweet on top, definitely a contender for best snack. Do you have a favorite flavor combination with banana’s I should try out next time?

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Christmas Cookies in July – Gingerbread Crackle

Christmas in July got brought to a new level last year when my mom and I made cookies while wearing our matching Christmas baking shirts and sang along to all the great holiday songs. We could smell the foundation of a new tradition right along with the root beer (Make sure to check out the Root Beer Sandwich Cookies from last year)! This year we planned on making the “Christmas Cookies in July” on July 25th, exactly 6 months or 153 days until Christmas! But who’s counting right? 😉 That’s exactly what we did, but in all the crafting and baking from the weekend this post got delayed a few days. Now it’s 151 days until Christmas, so even better news for a Monday!

We played around a lot with making a summer flavored cookie like orange creamsicle or lemon. What we landed on screams Christmas, a gingerbread cookie. This Gingerbread Crackle Cookie is the spiced equivalent of my favorite chocolate crackle cookies. I’m tough on my gingerbread cookie rating and this one exceeded my expectations!

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Quick & Easy Scrabble Ornaments

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I love Christmas! Christmas in July is just another excuse for my Christmas spirit to come out even earlier. In fact, I’m literally watching a Hallmark Christmas movie while I write this. This project didn’t take long and it used supplies that were already in the house. Plus, can you ever have too many Christmas ornaments? The options are endless for what you write on them. I’ve seen everything from names to fun holiday words (like what was done below).

I want to hear from you! Would you put a name or what holiday word would you put?

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Popsicle Stick Pallet Coasters

I haven’t posted for a while but it’s been such a wonderful month in our house. Exactly a month ago today, I went from girlfriend to fiancée! That’s right, your girl is marrying her best friend and I CANNOT wait. With all of the fun events leading up to the wedding, you know there will be some DIY projects. Make sure to stay tuned and follow the blog to see all of the updates.

These pallet coasters were so fun to make and I might be a little biased but they are super cute. The best part about them is that you can change up what they say or have on them to fit you better. My mom went with a holiday stamp and I went with stamping some personalized phrases.

Supplies:

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Date Night In – Cookies & Blanket Forts

My boyfriend and I like to go out for date nights quite often. When the COVID-19 restrictions went into place, we got creative with dates. Lounging at home is great and all, but after a while, it needs to be shaken up. Recently, the gym my boyfriend frequents reopened to appointments only. I wanted to do something special and with an hour of time I knew he would be gone, I got to work.

Do you remember blanket forts as a kid? I do! I remember trying to make them the size of the room and using every blanket, chair, and clip in the house to build the masterpiece. I remember crawling through carefully crafted “hallways” and “rooms” of the fort. I haven’t built a fort in YEARS. With the space of a house once again, a blanket fort was well due up. With my boyfriend gone for the gym, I got to work making the fort in front of our TV in the living room. I even planned the opening to be taller so we could cuddle inside with blankets and pillows while we watched TV. Once the fort was built and sturdy… enough. I grabbed some battery powered lights and carefully hung them above.

The finishing touch? Microwave popcorn and cookies! I used door dash to have a local cookie company, Crumbl Cookies, deliver right to my door.

My boyfriend was so surprised when he walked in the door, and it might be one of my favorite dates we have done! Just us and our pup cuddled up in the blanket fort = Perfect date night at home.

I’d love to hear from you! Comment below with your at home date night ideas!

DIY Monogram Succulent Sign

While we have been settling nicely into our new house, I’m still trying to add the little touches that make it feel more like our home. One of the best ways I know how to do that is to add little details that I have made. For a while I have seen monogram signs stuffed with beautiful succulents but never attempted one. After looking at an empty spot on our office bookshelves, I figured this would be the perfect addition! A trip to the local Joann’s in my mask and I was off to the races.

I love how this sweet sign turned out and already have plans on how I could make it even better and possibly put it up on Etsy? Like if you would buy one!  

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May The 4th be With You

Calling all Star Wars fans, this is our day! Growing up with an older brother, I got an appreciation of the Star Wars franchise from an early age. In fact my Star Wars and Jurassic Park fandom stem from watching the movies with my brother anytime they were on (and frequently in between on VHS/DVD) and enjoying the time with him. To this day I’ll never turn down watching the original trilogy; especially Episode VI which is my favorite! Today has been filled with Darth Vader and R2D2 pancakes, cookies, and watching a movie or two. The makings of a perfect Star Wars Day celebration for our little family.

Are you celebrating Star Wars day? Comment below with how!

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Hand Lettering Challenge – #LetterdaySaturday

One of the creative pieces I struggle with the most is freestyle hand lettering. The main reason is because I ALWAYS compare it to the perfect writing that this computer will make. The computer doesn’t have imperfections but with lettering there is inevitably a small twitch of a pen mark or the second “L” doesn’t have quite the same thickness in down stroke as the first. While brainstorming upcoming posts, this seemed like a perfect challenge for myself and anyone that would care to join!

I’m calling it #LetterdaySaturday. Letterday Saturday is where I take a scrap piece of paper and just have fun testing out some letters and embracing that any small imperfection makes it that much more unique. These won’t be framed or hung on the refrigerator. Instead they will likely be tucked away or recycled after completed.

To watch this unfold, follow my Instagram @take2create! If you want to participate, make sure to tag me and use the hashtag #LetterdaySaturday!

This first one is a little reminder for myself as I improve on this skill to say “I’m Learning” and not “I’m Failing”. When I consider something I’ve done wrong in lettering as “failing” instead of “learning”, it doesn’t help to shape where I’m going. It’s contributing to the negative, give up attitude instead of focusing on how to improve and the progress.

A Coffee Lover’s Review of Whipped Coffee

Dalgona coffee, AKA whipped coffee, has been trending in the past few weeks and I finally caved on trying it out. The history buff in me was dying to know why all of a sudden this drink is everywhere on my social media feed! Thankfully the New York Times answered that question for me. It first gained traction in South Korea in January after an actor, Jung Il-woo tried it in Macau and said it reminded him of the honeycomb toffee confection called dalgona. It resurfaced again with a TikTok user prepping it at home and now it feels like everyone is giving this drink a go.

Have you made this whipped coffee drink? Comment below with what you thought of it!

Dalgona Coffee – Recipe Included!

First thing to clear up, the reason I waited so long to try it. Instant coffee is not my favorite. That is saying a lot considering I’ll drink just about any coffee. Everything from the remnants of yesterday’s bottom of the pot roast at home to the fancier cappuccinos and peppermint mocha’s and cold brews. Instant coffee is bitter to me so it had me a little nervous. Putting my preference aside, I couldn’t help but wonder what it tasted like. Curiosity got to me and early last week I was ordering instant coffee on Amazon to try it out.

I judged the coffee on three things: difficulty, taste, and would I make it again.

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4 Ingredient Nutella Mug Cake

Is there anything better than a single serve mug cake when you are craving something sweet? Lucky for me, Nutella is always stocked up at our house because of my boyfriend’s love for it. I’ve made mug cakes in the past but with my pantry being a little low on bakery items, I decided to test out a simpler recipe. I am absolutely in love with how this fluffy Nutella mug cake turned out!

P.S. What you can’t see in the photo is where I snuck a bite before covering it up with whipped cream for photos. I couldn’t help myself! 😉

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