Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl

While there are thousands of other blogs with thanksgiving recipes, I thought I'd throw one out there that is great for any day of the week. It's also great for any meal of the week.

In the last 6 months, I've made a lot of banana bread. I typically buy a small bunch of bananas every week at the grocery store, but they don't always get eaten. I like my bananas nearly green and Isaac seems to be as picky about bananas as his mama. So we end up with lots of brown bananas, which means lots of banana bread. I've had some successes and some total failures... and then I happened upon the Holy Grail of banana bread recipes: Banana bread with nutella swirl.

Be still my jiggly thighs.

I couldn't help but share the recipe here. Even Jordan was pretty impressed with this deliciousness. Even better, it was a super easy recipe that included ingredients that I generally always have in my pantry. Drop what you're doing and make this. You won't regret it.

Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl
(original recipe @ Chef in Training)
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 & 1/4 cups mashed banana (I used 3 large ripe bananas)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup nutella

Preheat oven to 350º (side note: I used a dark, nonstick pan to cook my bread, so I lowered the temperature to 330º and baked it for an additional 10 minutes) Spray 9x5 pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well. Add mashed banana, vanilla, and milk. Mix until well incorporated. Add in dry ingredients slowly, but don't over mix. In a microwave safe bowl, heat nutella for 15-20 seconds, or until slightly warmed. Stir in 1 cup of bread batter to warmed nutella until well mixed. Alternate banana batter and nutella batter in loaf pan and swirl once with a knife to combine. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean (side note: I covered my pan with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes of baking time to prevent the excessive browning that I frequently notice with banana breads.) Cool pan for 15 minutes before turning bread out onto wire rack to cool completely.... or cut into it while still slightly warm and enjoy!!!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we have!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Road Trip 2014

So a little over 2 weeks ago, we took a road trip to visit our family in Augusta. For all inquiring parties, 1,150 miles separate Rockport from Columbia County, Georgia (which is really moreso home to family) and all three of us survived the trip. If you're scratching your head, here's the rationale: Mr. Isaac had a birthday recently, which now means he's old enough to need his own airline seat (not only that, he's also much too big to carry in my shrinking lap for a few hours at a time.). We aren't made of money and flying with a 2 year old is kind of a nightmare. There's an inflexibility that comes with air travel and despite spending about 18 hours in a car, I LOVED the ability to stop and go as we pleased as we crossed 5 states.

My biggest tip for road tripping with a 2 year old: a million distractions. We had snacks, toys, movies, and coloring pages. We sang songs, counted cows, checked out all the other cars and trucks on the road, and made plenty of stops, even just to get the wiggles out.

Enough about the travel, the trip itself was wonderful! It might have been one of the most fun trips we've taken back to Augusta. We had lots of time to spend with our family and friends. I felt the least rushed and the least spread-thin (therefore, less frazzled and exhausted). That being said, we still missed seeing some important people, my ankles looked like sausages each night, and I needed a few days to recover when we finally got home.

It was so much fun to see Isaac really bonding with our family members and dearest friends there in Georgia. They are all people that we unfortunately don't get to see very often and I think this was the first time he was old enough to really appreciate his Grammy, Big Daddy, Aunt Jenn, Mary, Christopher, Papa Ed, Grandmama, and all the other people we were blessed to visit. Not only was that a really sweet thing to witness, but I got lots of sweet friend time in... and a baby sprinkle too!

And now, the obligatory photo dump! (don't worry, 88% of the pictures are of Isaac.)

We went to the park several times
Cheeks for days.

The infamous Cheese("KEEEEEES"!!!!) Face
Boll Weevil Carnage. 

Isaac had a BLAST on all of Big Daddy's "toys." Here, he's driving a dump truck!
And now he's on one of my dad's two tractors. Little boy heaven.
We had a ton of fun during our trip to Augusta. The travel went smoothly and I can easily see us making the drive again in the future... the post baby #2 future!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Baby Sprinkle

Here's a quick little recap post of the sweet little sprinkle that my sisters and best friend threw for baby Mims #2. Almost immediately after announcing our impending bundle of joy, Casey insisted on throwing us a shower to celebrate. I was both flattered and a little concerned... I don't really know how I feel about big showers for second+ babies. Also, we have so few needs, that I didn't really see the necessity in having another shower for this baby. I made all these feelings known to my sister, who quickly brushed them away and insisted on having some sort of celebration for the newest member of our family (isn't she great?). I agreed on the condition that the shower would be more of a sprinkle and easy for her to organize.... basically small, simple, and sweet.
Cutest little invite ever.
My Aunt Dottie (L) and my mom (R)
My dad's wife, Diane
The two Holly(ie)s
My sister Jennifer (L) and niece Mary Elizabeth (R)
Mom and Nana
In all the pictures my sister took, we got zero bump shots and zero shots of me with Casey! I'm so bummed about this (lack of sister shots, not lack of bump shots). She even looked particularly cute that day! Despite my unfortunate lack of picture, the sprinkle was absolutely perfect! We all dined on awesome Boll Weevil desserts and had some quality time to catch up with each other. Much to my surprise, baby M got a ton of great stuff as well!!! We left with a car full of baby goodies and hearts full of love.

Many many many thank yous to the three lovely ladies who made this sprinkle happen.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Isaac's Big Boy Room

As promised, here are all the details for Isaac's new toddler room!  Here is his nursery post for comparison.

It was a HUGE goal for me to have Isaac moved over and transitioned to his new room before baby #2 arrived. Jordan and I decided months ago that Isaac would move out of the nursery and occupy our then-guest room. We already had furniture in there, so not only would we save by using our existing full size bed and dresser, but then we didn't need to purchase a new crib. Luckily, we didn't even need to change the paint color!

As a side note, I had to search high & low for the paint color names for this room, because apparently, when we painted it 5.5 years ago, I was a terrible blogger and didnt include that in ANY of my home reno blogs. Shame on me. 

So my entire inspiration for Isaac's big boy room was to re-use as much of his nursery gear as possible. His crib sheets weren't particularly babyish and I adore all the little bits and pieces that decorated his nursery. I wasn't ready to turn all of those things over to the attic, so I worked with as much as I could. Not only was there the convenience factor, but Isaac has really grown to identify with the things in his room as being "his." If I could ease his transition from baby to boy by using familiar items in his new room, why in the world wouldn't I try to incorporate it??

My favorite item of his room BY FAR is his quilt. Rewind about 2 months and I'm holding 2 crib sheets, the crib skirt, and bumper wondering how I could recycle these items. (Unfortunately, I still haven't figured out what to do with that bumper.) I mentioned this to a sweet woman at my church, who scooped up the crib sheets and skirt and completely took on the task of transforming them into a quilt for my baby's bed. She oversaw every stitch, helped me pick out every coordinating fabric, and blessed my pants off by paying for every inch. Then (as if that weren't enough), she surprised me with coordinating pillow cases and a monogrammed throw pillow! I just can't even describe how much this all meant to me.
There is no significance to the numbers 5, 6, and 7 on the wall there. I liked the colors and I only had 3 frames. I have prints for the remaining numbers 1-10, so maybe I can find a way to incorporate the rest without breaking the bank buying 7 more frames. I'd also like to change the drawer pulls on the dresser... hello 1991.

All in all, I feel like Isaac's new room is a perfect little sanctuary for my growing boy. He LOVES it, and I couldn't be happier with the way things have come together. I love the colors, and I think it's still a sweet-yet-boyish room. Excluding the few new accent items I purchased, his entire room was done for pennies. It has been a major success and I hope he loves it for years to come!
Details:  Furniture: Old hodgepodge of mismatched hand-me-downs. Wall Color: Bungalow Beige and Plantation Brown by Sherwin Williams. Bed Rails: Amazon. Quilt, pillows: Handmade (find the crib bedding and blanket/pillow pictured in the chair at Pottery Barn Kids). Crib Skirt: Pottery Barn Factory Outlet. Wall Art: Handmade by Laura. Curtains: Land of nod. Wall Frames: HomeGoods, At Home (aka: Garden Ridge), Hobby Lobby. Metal Wall Accents: Kirklands from about 8 years ago. Prints: Zulily, Etsy. Book holder: Gift from a friend (modeled after this). Basket: World Market. Blankets: Homemade gifts. Dresser frame: Mud-pie. Side table Lamp: Marshall's. "I": At Home. Round Mirrors: Hobby Lobby

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hollie Mims: Wedding Photographer?

If you're scratching your head at the title, don't worry, I'm still scratching my head a little also. It was truly an adventure worth documenting! Haha!

Rewind a few months with me to when dear friend of mine asked me to do makeup for her upcoming wedding. I was totally flattered at the request and of course said yes. A chance to play with makeup on someone other than myself = the most fun ever. We met up several times to shop for and apply her bridal makeup. I loved every second of it! 

A short while later, she asked me if I'd be willing to take pictures of the girls getting ready since I'd already be there. I warned her of my sub-par photography skills, but she assured me that was ok and so I agreed to this request as well. I didn't figure there was a whole lot of pressure in getting these types of pictures, right?

Yay! Wedding makeup!
Fast forward a little further and suddenly I'm the "second shooter" to her primary photographer (another mutual friend) and photographing the entire wedding! Needless to say, I was a bundle of nerves. I would never claim to be a photographer, don't have any fancy equipment, and know little to nothing about editing photos. Furthermore, I know nothing about composition or white balance and shot all of these photos in auto. And yet, here I am, post-wedding, trying my hardest to make these pictures look somewhat presentable (hey, at least the bride's makeup looked great). I definitely had some total fails, but there were also a few that surprised me.

I still absolutely would not claim to be a photographer by any stretch of the imagination. I did not get paid for this "gig," and I don't see myself photographing any more weddings in the future! Haha!

Regardless I'd like to send best wishes to the happy couple! Love you both to pieces!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

30 Week Update!

Goodness gracious, it's been an awfully long time since the old blog has been active. Many apologies for that, we've been a busy little bunch here! You can expect lots of posts and updates over the next week or so. I've got a lot to catch up on! 

In the meantime, here's a quick pregnancy update. I completely missed the 28 week update, mostly because I worked that day and then never sat down long enough to write a post and snap a bump picture. Either way, nothing much has changed in the last 2 weeks, except now I'm 3/4 of the way to my due date! Check out the belly shot (here's a reference from just 10 weeks ago and then 6 weeks ago!):

Total Weight Gain: Somewhere between 22-24lbs now. Sheesh. So far, I am replicating the exact same weight gain pattern with Isaac: steady at first, then a giant leap at 28 weeks, followed by very small increases over the last 10 weeks. 

Fetal size: between 15-16" long and approximately 3 pounds! 

Movements: This baby still continues to amaze me with it's almost constant movements. There isn't a moment of the day where I'm worried about this kid's well being. 

Symptoms: Heartburn. Definitely starting to have some contractions here and there, but nothing to get too excited about. A few days of fatigue thrown in the mix, although I blame that on an active toddler.

Gender: Still a mystery! I thought we might have settled on our girl and boy names, but now I'm kind of floundering a little bit. 

Cravings: Nothing 

Aversions: Also nothing. Boring!! 

Next up: I have apparently passed my glucose test since I never got a call to schedule the big, mean 3-hour test. Also, the 28 week ultrasound of baby M looked perfect. All the cranial anatomy was completely normal and baby's growth was right on track. I start to see my OB every 2 weeks now and  only have my GBS swab to do between now and the end! 
01 09 10