Thought I might throw a random post (and a new recipe) your way tonight...Enjoy!
This is Ellie.  She is a dear friend of ours and she's a wonderfully talented hair stylist.  She cut Ava's hair for the first time a few years ago and when she was over the other day, I asked her to cut Carter's hair too.  I gave him a quick trim a few weeks ago, but recently I realized that he needed a better cut...which meant that the few dark, remaining locks of his baby hair, needed to go too.  It took me this long to be ready for that :) How could he be this old already???  But Ellie worked her magic and gave him a great big boy cut and it looks darling.  99% of his head is now toe-head blonde!  But lucky me, there is still a tiny bit of dark on the tips of a few strands of hair.  Just enough to make me smile :)
Thanks Ellie!
This is little Clara.  Well, the back of her anyway :) She came over to play and no one was happier than Ava.  Her maternal instincts came flooding out of her and she was all about hugging and kissing Clara.
Fortunately Clara was in the mood for some exploration...
...and it wasn't long before it was Clara who was giving the hugs and reaching for Ava's soft hair. 
Too precious!  Love to see a gentle side of Miss A.  She is a busy girl with energy to burn, but she does have a sweet tenderness about her that I just love.  Thanks for playing along Clara!
Fortuneately for Ava, she has a very sweet little brother who is always up for some playtime with his big sister!
While I was working on some paper work, I heard these two giggling and when I turned around, this is what I found!
C- "Hey Mom, Ava wants to play with me, can you believe it?"
C- "She keeps telling me to drink this bottle, so I am.  But I can't really taste anything.  What's that all about??"
**Sidenote-I adore this picture because Ava looks EXACTLY like my Mom, in her younger years.  I can't believe how much, actually.  She is a spitting image :) **
A- "Open up Carter!"
A- "Hmmm, if I just tap on this, it should make the milk come out a little bit faster..."
C- "Oh man Mom, this is so much fun!!"
A &C- "See Mom, we can be trusted together!!"
Me- "Hmmm...I think the jury is still out on that one :) "
Switching gears entirely, doesn't that look good? 
I had 4 very ripe bananas and I wasn't in the mood for banana bread.  So, I pulled out my Martha Stewart Cupcake cookbook, wondering what I might find and sure enough, she had a great one for banana cupcakes.  Who knew??  Actually they were banana pecan cupcakes, but we both decided that we could do without the pecans! 
So in case you need something new to try with your ripe bananas this weekend, here is the recipe for you!

Martha's Banana (pecan) Cupcakes

3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened read more at banana cupcakes with caramel buttercream - martha stewart recipes

1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar

3 large eggs

4 very ripe large bananas, mashed (about 2 cups), plus sliced bananas for garnish read more at banana cupcakes with caramel buttercream - martha stewart recipes

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.

Reduce speed to low. Mix any remaining wet ingredients in a bowl if needed. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.

Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days, unless otherwise noted.
 Frosted cupcakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days. Top with banana slices before serving.

And what would cupcakes be without frosting?? 
Well, boring.
Here is the classic buttercream recipe I used.  My icing flowers were courtesy of my 2 friends, who gifted me with a set of new pastry bags and tips to use in my new baking "hobby" :) I didn't really know what I was doing, but figured Travis was a good person to experiment on! 

Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1.In a large bowl, cream together the butter and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.
Yummm, doesn't that look good enough to eat?? 
And of course I'm talking about the cupcake too :)

Hope you have a great weekend!


Ron and Peggy said...

Looks so pretty and I'm sure it tastes GREAT. Love banana anything.

Darla said...

You DID get some great shots of Ava hugging Clara. So precious. That was so sweet. Can't get over how great Ava was with her. Mommy in training:) Those banana muffins look beautiful!!! I bet Travis is glad they're iced;)

SM Anderson said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe. Now I know what I am going to do with my wonderfully overripe bananas. The cupcakes were DELICIOUS. I hope you are enjoying the sun today!!!