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Archive for the ‘pretty things’ Category

Cheers to a fun and picture-worthy 2013! May 2014 be filled with people you love and unimaginable adventures!

Happy New Year! xxo!

PS I posted a similar (shorter) video on Instagram a few days ago…maybe you saw it there; if not, follow me over there!: stephaniebrowngoat.

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As promised, here is the perfect weekend home that I just happened to stumble upon one day during a walk at Lake Chelan. I love the large back porch with arched entrances, the way the grassy green lawn slopes down to the blue water’s edge, the oversized adirondack chair, the large trees and beautiful landscape, and the unobstructed views of the lake and mountains as the home sits at the end of a small street almost on a point. The fact that there was an old-school wood-paneled land cruiser in the driveway (my most favorite car!) was a pure bonus! So, homeowners, if this is your beautiful home, I’d love to talk one day when we are in the market for our weekend getaway! ;)

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This is so amazing, I had to share it with you on this first official day of Autumn!

I found the image last year and, unfortunately, the link no longer works to give credit where credit is due…but, it was created by Nature’s Art and they state: “Natural leaf carving is actual manual cutting and removal of a leaf’s surface to produce an art work on a leaf. The process of carving is performed by artists using tools to carefully remove the surface without cutting or removing the veins.” Stunning, no?!

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And, now for some more real goodness…a simple, healthy, homemade breakfast bar using few ingredients! It’s perfect for a weekday morning, a toddler breakfast, a picnic breakfast food, or an afternoon snack. We’ve used them this week for all of those things and they were met with high approval.

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Banana Oat Breakfast Bars
adapted from thekitchn.com

Ingredients:
2 large, very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup pitted, chopped dried dates
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
Generous sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch square baking dish with butter.

Peel the bananas and mash them in a medium mixing bowl. Mash very thoroughly until no large chunks remain; the bananas will turn liquidy. Stir in the vanilla. Add the oats and stir them in. Then, stir in the salt, dates, hazelnuts, and cinnamon.

Spoon and pat the mixture evenly into the baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or unti the edges just begin to brown and crisp up.

Allow the bars to cool before enjoying with a glass of milk or an iced coffee…mmm!
Just cover the baking dish tightly with foil and store in the refrigerator. Will be good for at least 5 days, if they last that long!

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Spring is such a lovely time of the year. A few weeks back, I was lamenting the gorgeous Atlanta springs that we used to enjoy…and, then…bam!, spring arrived in full force to Seattle!

Flowers are showing off their colors and filling the air with their sweet scents, gardens are growing- in fact, Jack and I enjoyed the first of our lettuce last night on our chicken burgers!, and the sky has been filled with sunshine that warms our days to at least 70 degrees. It has been blissful and really hard to do much more than run to playgrounds, sit in the sun and read, and dine outdoors…

We have watched the flowers just outside of our living room window blossom right before our eyes! Does anyone know what type of flower these are???

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I hope that each of you, wherever you might be, is enjoying the last month of spring too!

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Pin It!

Okay…so, now I am officially hooked to another online social media site. I’ve managed, despite the persistent pleas and urges, to stay away from Facebook, but I absolutely cannot resist the lure of Pinterest! Have you guys tried it?

I could seriously pin from morning to night and I almost stooped to an all-time low over the weekend by introducing the “pinning game” to Jack. I didn’t do it…yet…but I, admittedly, think he would love scrolling through the fun things for kids and eyeing all of the delicious looking food.

I have boards ranging from fun party ideas to things to wear to recipes…it’s so incredibly addictive! Here are a few of my recent pins:

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My absolute dream home and backyard…ABSOLUTE dream!

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An amazing tabletop light display created with Mason jars…be still my southern heart!

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A fun, yet stunning polka dot cake.

Are you on Pinterest? Let me know, so I can follow you. And, follow me too…I can be found there under- browngoatblog.

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Animalz

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As promised in my post sharing photos and details of Jack’s Big Boy Room , here’s more on one of our most favorite toys…

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Animalz are the award winning animal toys, designed in Australia, made from sustainable wood and textile products. I have loved these little animals, who bend in all different poses, even before we had Jack! When I was expecting, I started our Animalz collection and even had a dear friend (Thank you, Lara!) who purchased some of the Arctic animals for Jack as a baby gift.

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At $9 a piece, these animals can put a dent in your piggy bank, but, oh my, they are so worth it! Because they are wooden (made from a wood known as “needlewood” a fast growing tree harvested in a forest plantation) and hand painted, they are perfectly charming and provide cute decor for a baby room (A link to my post about Jack’s baby room which featured lots of Animalz on his shelves. Although you can’t really see them in the photos, I promise that they are there!). So, if you also love these little guys or want them for your future children, perhaps you should start collecting them now! Jack has loved playing with them for a while now and it’s fun to watch his imagination and pretend play skills grow while using these sweet figurines. I hope they will be a toy that he will want to pass on to his eventual children!

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We are excited to start collecting some of the new prehistoric collection as Jack’s interest in dinosaurs is just starting to take-off. If you are looking for a gift idea for little ones (or us… hint, hint!), these promise to bring a smile to faces young and old.

*last 3 photos from animalzna.com

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Dear…

GARDEN
I am sure hoping we can break ground on you soon! I have ambitious plans to build a raised bed in between the sidewalk and the street out in front of our house. Then, I will have lots of research to do to find out what to plant in the Pacific Northwest and when to get it in the dirt! I’m really looking forward to growing some of my own things again! And, Jack is going to be my big helper…he’s already been talking about “digging in the garden”.

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VACATION WEEK
Remember how good you were to us? Movie watching every night, family walks, dinners with friends, lunch at the bakery, drinks at the bookstore cafe, and our Seattle date night…oh, please, come back! We liked it better when you were here!

FARMER’S MARKET
We have missed you! It was good to see you again at the beginning of the month. We have made a fun promise to ourselves to visit you each Saturday that all 3 of us are at home (right now that is not often, sadly). And, we are going to find a fun treat to bring home with us from your tempting bounty and pair a visit to you with an outing for breakfast or lunch. The food stands at the market smell so delicious…we are excited to indulge in vegetable quesadillas next time we are there (or, of course, make another trip to Nook!

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SUMMER
The pairing of David’s vacation with the most outstanding February weather of sunshine, blue skies, and fifty+ degrees has made us super excited for summer! We are already mentally filling up our weekends (By the way, we are SO over the moon that we are going to have weekends together again!!! Starting in July, with the change to Radiology residency, we are promised weekends OFF for the whole academic year!) with overnight camping trips (reservations for summer campsites are nearly full by this time!), canoeing adventures, trips to the many beaches, picnics in the sun, and day trips! If you have Pacific Northwest summer recommendations, please, please share…but, all plans must include a 2 year old.

BOOKS
I am so happy to be reading you again. Well, I guess I never really stopped reading you, but getting through 4 or so in a year was about my pace. I’ve already many since moving to Seattle…thanks, in part, to motivation from my book club. I’ve read The Marriage Plot (not so good, I give it a 2.5 rating out of 5), Hungry Monkey (5 out of 5), Girl with a Dragon Tattoo (4.5 out of 5), Before I Go To Sleep (4 out of 5), and Operating Instructions: A Journal of my Son’s First Year (4 out of 5). And, I’m currently reading Epilogue, Parenting an Only Child, and Eater’s Manifesto. Next in line…Bird by Bird, Bringing up Bebe, A Visit from the Goon Squad, Julia’s Child, A Grown Up Kind of Pretty, Blood, Bones, and Butter, and the Art of Fielding.
Any good book suggestions???…I would love to hear them, please share!

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HOTEL WISH LIST
Hotel Endémico, located in Baja, Mexico in the wine-producing Valle de Guadalupe about one and a half hours south of San Diego, has officially been added to my “hotels that I must visit” list (don’t you have a similar list???…so many cool places to visit!). It is a “luxury camping hotel” and consists of 20 bungalows, each with a private terrace adorned with a clay fireplace and an unobstructed view of the winery and vineyards below. On the property is also a pool with a view of the valley and a fine food restaurant that uses organic foods and follows the “slow food” principles. The bungalows are $200/night…wouldn’t it be a fun and indulgent wine tasting getaway?! Who wants to go???

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