What I’ve Been Doing This Week (2/2/2016)

Knitting for Comfort 
I’ve been finding a lot of comfort in my knitting this week. I often knit to wind down or relax from a busy day, but this week I’ve been getting lost in the repetitive knits and purls. Particularly in knitting these rainbow socks for my son. Melissa of the Spicy Homemaker podcast is hosting a Comfort Knit KAL in her Ravelry group and this certainly fit the bill. And to add to the comfort was his genuine excitement at their completion. “Yes, yes, YES! Woohoo!” He’s worn them everyday since.

Happy Mail
It’s been a wonderful week for mail! I love getting mail. Who doesn’t really? There’s nothing like seeing a package waiting for you at the mailbox. That’s why I do my darndest to make sure I have packages waiting for me as often as possible. But that can get expensive when going about it in the traditional way of online shopping. That’s where inexpensive and handmade swaps come in.

I am participating in a Winter Spa Swap where each package is to include a hand-crafted item, something theme related, something edible, and something crafty. On Saturday I received a perfectly curated package. Inside, each individually wrapped, was a handknit ear warmer that’s just beautiful, handmade stitch markers and a journal for notes, a deliciously scented rich vanilla candle, oatmeal facial masks, a bar of milk chocolate AND a book of puzzles for The Boy! I was so touched by the thoughtfulness that went into each item.

On Monday I was met at the mailbox by the first installment of a Disney-themed three month Sock Yarn Club from Shannon of The Yarn At Home Mom on etsy that I bought. Each month, Shannon will dye a new colorway inspired by a Disney movie. When I heard about the listing, I just couldn’t pass it up. And I’m so glad I didn’t! The first installment is based on Lady and the Tramp. The large skein is a beautiful variegated yarn with oranges, purples, aqua and stellina. The contrasting smaller skein is a matching aqua.  I can’t wait to knit a pair of socks with this. And did I mention, I’ve been wanting to knit a pair of socks with contrasting cuff, heel and toes?

Baking with The Boy
Yesterday we made banana bread. I love banana bread. I love banana bread so much that I buy too many bananas at the store on purpose so I know I can make banana bread. (Happy tip: if you’ve purposely bought too much bananas and they’re ready to become bread but you don’t have time- peel them and freeze them. Tada! You always have bananas for banana bread.) Luckily The Boy loves banana bread as much as I do. He gets so excited to make it with me. He helps with every step along the way...but I think his favorite part is the eating. I can’t blame him.

This time around we made two mini loaves- one regular and one spontaneously topped with Heath bar bits. Both came out delicious. It was the first time trying the Heath bits and they produced a nice crisp top coating. I’ve included the recipe I use below. I’ve used it many times and altered it several ways. It’s good on it’s own or you could try adding nuts or chocolate chips.

3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Cream together butter and sugars; mix in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time.
3. Combine bananas, milk and cinnamon. Add to butter and sugar mixture.
4. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Mix slowly, in parts, to wet ingredients.
5. If using additional mix ins, add them in here.
6. Bake for 60 - 70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely.

Well, I think that may be it for the highlights. Tell me what you have been up to this week. What brought you the most joy in your busy week?

.. Laura ..

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