Thursday, October 20, 2005

Deck the Halls

I am so glad that God gave people different talents. If we could all do the same things, how boring life would be. This morning I am thankful for the talents of the Pottery Barn designers. My Christmas 2005 catalog arrived yesterday and it is SO gorgeous. I know Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, but I start decorating for Christmas around November 1st. :) I've been decorated for Fall since September 1st and will have some mixed items up until after Thanksgiving. It's just the way we do it in my family (well, my Mom and I) to enjoy Christmas for just a bit longer each year. It's gone way too quickly each year anyway. The Christmas tree lights don't go on until Thanksgiving night, though. :) If you don't have the new Pottery Barn catalog, you need to get one.

Some of my favorite items this year:

Advent Calendar - Antique-white with 25 openings for small gifts. Also has a pin-cushion backing for attaching numbers with pins. I think this would be so much fun AFTER Christmas for small photos or layouts in your living room!

Jeweled Tree Topper - How fun is this?
Pottery Barn definitely has a lot of "bling" in the catalog this year. :)

Jeweled Pillow -
Ok, not very practical for my living room sofa,
but this is SO much fun! The red is my favorite.

And speaking of Christmas, my friend and fellow muse Heather D. White is the most READY person I've ever seen. She is having a baby on November 1st, so she's got her Christmas baking, shopping AND wrapping done. DONE! She is awesome! What a great way to ensure that you'll enjoy the holidays without stressing over undone details.
I just want to take a second to tell my Mom that I love her very much. I get all of my love of everything domestic from HER. She inspires me every day with how she raised me, how she decorates her own home, and how much she loves her family. I love you, Mom! :)
Another Barefoot Contessa recipe. She and Martha are my favorites :) (and they are friends! How cool is that?) The other day she made Banana Crunch Muffins on her show and I thought they looked so good. But she put coconut in them. YUCK. I can't even stand the smell of coconut. So I'm going to make these and modify the ingredients just a bit. I got some pumpkin granola today at Central Market so I'll use that in place of the plain granola and add some pumpkin to the batter as well. These look SO good and probably freeze well, too!
Banana Crunch Muffins
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
1 cup small-diced walnuts
1 cup granola
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Dried banana chips, granola, or shredded coconut, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 18 large muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don't overmix.
Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each 1 to the top. Top each muffin with dried banana chips, granola, or coconut, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve.
Have a sweet evening :) I'll be blogging again in the morning!
"Joy is prayer - Joy is strength - Joy is love - Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy. The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Christ risen." - Mother Teresa


Jana said...

I just adore your blog, Jennifer! It always makes me so happy to see that I'm not the only one who gets such pleasure from a simple catalog! You rock!!

Teresa Wilkins said...

Coconut: YUCK

I have a total dislike for coconut too! My entire family loves that coconut cake that is made and put in the refrigerator for 3 days before you are to eat it. YUCK! I was brave and made it about 10 years ago for my brother's birthday. I felt bad for him since he was going thru a divorce so I made him that cake. Never again! I Hate (oops, used that word) the smell, texture...everyting about coconut. Whew... got that off my chest!

Love reading your blog.


Anonymous said... and I connect on so many levels.....#1. I flipped when I got my Pottary Barn catalog. It really makes me think twice about picking my teaching career up again and making some money to support my desire for this stuff. I, too picked out that bling-bling star. My middle boy, Luke who is Noah's age wants me to put a star on top of our tree instead of my huge plaid bow. hmmmmmm
#2. Love decorating for Christmas...very into my tree
#3. We Both are asthmatics!
and #4. I hate coconut too!
I love your blog ...

Amber Lee said...

OH I love the pottery barn catalog. It is total eye candy for me. I haven't gotten the chance to look through it that thoughly, but I think I might need that advent calender!

stephanie said...

Must go to PB and get a catalog. NOW!!! Well...maybe later this morning. Doubt they're open at 1:45am. :)

I want that Advent Calendar.

I personally love coconut anything, but am alone in my affection. *sigh*
Guess I will have to make the modified version.


RN4JCHRIST said...

Ooooooo total eye candy!! Pb is sooooofar away from my house :(

Steph said...

okay..this entry needed a big old "If you have no money to spend read no further" disclaimer!!

I want ALL of it!!

Anonymous said...

Jenny - I am so proud to be your mom! I love you so much!

Melodee said... first visit to your blog so I have to first say what a stunning fireplace you have and decorated so pretty!

Total eye candy from Pottery enabler to enjoy more stuff! :)

Becky (mommaduck) said...

oooh...hope my catalog comes soon, can't wait! TFS!

Miss Carrie said...

I haven't gotten a chance to browse through the PB catalog, but I am definitely ordering that advent calendar today!

Sherry said...

OH MY GOSH>>> FIRST, I just got that catalog and LOVE everything you picked...
I LOVE the barefoot contessa... AND I just saw that episode with the muffins but I LOVE coconut.. sorry.. THANKS for the recipe... yum!

Jaime said...

Oooh I cannot wait to get my PB catalog in so that I can drool over it!! Your mom sounds like quite a woman!!! Thanks for that awesome recipe I have got to try these out!! -Jaime

SageHen said...

Love the calendar!

chris said...

i think I am going to order that calendar! i saw some of the new Christmas stuff at the store the other day and I do agree it is just gorgeous! i wish I had half the talent of any of the PB designers!

and again I want to thank you like a million times over for your awesome recipes! I have tried several and they are so delish!

take care and have a wonderful day!

Heather D. White said... freakin' cool is that advent calendar!!!!!! Are you going to do one of those? I would love to see your finished version. From all the cool stuff that you are into, I would love to see your home! You should give us a tour someday!!! I am just as excited about Christmas as you are. Problem with preparing so early, I am finding, is that I am SO ANTSY NOW and realize that there really are still 2 months left. But what a cool feeling to know that I will be able to ENJOY the entire holiday season!!!! It definitely pays to prepare early. Besides....I LOVE being surrounded by holiday decorations, etc. They can NEVER be up too early, in my opinion!!!! I would love to see your decorations once they are up!!!

Sophia said...

Oh, Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer. You're scaring my husband to death with this post! He may never forgive you! Too much eye candy for one beholder with a serious case of "already ready for the holidays syndrome"! TOO TOO FUN! What a fun treat to come home to this post!! Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas!! Have a great weekend! I missed you!