Posts Tagged ‘gift’

Clara’s Top 5 Book Picks @ 14-Months

Little Miss Clara has started showing preferential treatment for the items on her bookshelf … BIG TIME. Pick something other than one of her favorites for a nighttime reading and she flails, stiffens, slides off your lap and toddles over to her bookshelf to fish out the proper one. She can recognize them by simply the spine. All of this at 14 months. Girlfriend has opinions! We are in for it. :)

Here’s a look at Clara’s top 5 book pics at 14-months. Enjoy!

Ringing it at #5 is the fabulously interactive Birds of a Feather
by Bernadette Gervais and Francesco Pittau. This lovely, over sized book is too large for Clara’s bookshelf so is stored on top alongside a couple of other over sized tomes. Clara will reach up over her head, look through them all, and then pull this one down and bring it to Mom or Dad for a tour. I say tour because at her age, this book is much more about an experience than it is a read. Every page includes fun flaps and realistic illustrations of all sorts of birds from around the world. Clara especially loves the page where lifting egg-shaped flaps reveals the bird that laid them. The language of the book is simple but scientific. I imagine she will enjoy this book for literally years. Coincidence that one of her first words was bird? Maybe not.

Coming up just behind at #4 is Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book) by Dorothy Kunhardt. Yes, good ole Pat the Bunny which was originally published in 1940. My girl, like her mother, thinks a good classic never goes out of style. Clara actually owns 2 copies of this little gem but the first we set her loose on is already so tattered and torn that we’ve retired it and we’re on to the second copy. She interacts with every. single. page. My favorite is when she presses her nose against the mirror, leaving a little cloud of condensation behind. Adorable.

Sliding into our countdown list at #3 is the new classic, Llama Llama Red Pajama written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney. This delightful book, with it’s rhythmic rhyme, is a joy for both parents and kiddos. In fact I’m rather fond of quoting it when Clara demonstrates a flair for the dramatic; “Please stop all this llama drama and be patient for your mama.” It’s interesting to watch her expressions as we read this one. I can see her start to tense up when baby llama gets really wound up and start to relax again when mama llama reminds baby of her love. It’s a real page-turner for the one-year-old set in that way.

Garnering deep love at #2 in our top 5 list is Margaret Wise Brown’s The Fish With the Deep Sea Smile. This book has a similar rhythmic rhyme to LLRP (above) and has been updated with fabulous modern illustrations. Clara likes to read this book all the way through once and then go through it again, this time turning the pages herself and pointing to the fantastical fishes that grace each page. Sidenote: did you know that Margaret Wise Brown wrote hundreds of children’s books (not just Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon)? What a fun lady.

And topping our charts is Lots of Lambs by Laura Numeroff and Lynn Munsinger. Clara absolutely adores this book. We read it practically every night. It’s chock full of fun interactive content like flaps to lift, textures to feel, and wheels to turn. The illustrations are light-hearted and clever and it’s got that rhythmic rhyme that makes my gal all giddy. Tonight I had to pull out the packing tape and do a little repair on this fan favorite to make sure it’s part of our bookshelf for many months more. I have books that I remember from my childhood and something tells me this will be one of Clara’s. Memories in the making, folks!


Darling Brand You Must Get To Know: Feather Baby

Feather Baby Kimono Hoody Jacket

How cute is my girl in her Feather Baby Kimono Hoody jacket? There are even little bear ears sewn into the hood. 2 grown women have told me they would wear this! HA!

Feather Baby’s not sponsoring this post or paying me in any way. I just believe this is an exceptional baby clothes brand and you should know about it. Look for it in stores, buy it online … it’s great stuff!


  • The styles are so adorable – seriously some of my very favorite of Clara’s wardrobe.
  • The quality of the clothing is readily apparent from the moment you first run it through the wash and slide in on your baby’s fat arms.
  • Everything is 100% organic cotton, sourced from Peru, and certified FairTrade.
  • Prices are appropriately high but their sales are really good and fairly frequent.
  • I recently had to make a size exchange and their staff was courteous and helpful.

Will’s step-mother has gifted us several items from the line. The below dress was our pick for Clara’s one-year photo shoot because the smocked style is classic enough to stand the test of time but the print is fresh and modern.

Feather Baby Handsmock Dress in Pink Garden

Feather Baby Handsmock Dress in Pink Garden, $78 original price on sale for $68.

They have a store in Atlanta that I am dying to check out next time I’m there but you can also shop online or find local boutiques near you that carry the line.

Feel like oggilng some squishable babies in painfully cute clothes just for the hey of it? Here’s the spot.

Feather Baby has announced a new toddler line called Frisk that I plan on getting to know, too! They launched in in August. Fancy!




Let Them Eat Banana Cake … for Breakfast

Attention people of the Interwebs. Last night, I made a bunt cake. And for the very first time EVER in the history of my ownership of this bunt cake pan, it did not stick! We’re talking 5 years, folks. Hallelujah! Isn’t she beautiful?

Banana Breakfast Cake

This recipe was given to me at one of my bridal showers by a member of my church. I love the entire set of recipes I got that day. There’s something so comforting and wonderful about being given a time-tested and family favorite recipe, handwritten on a cute card. In fact, hand-written recipes should be given as gifts more often. While I love looking for something new to make on Pinterest as much as the next person, there’s a texture and history to a recipe shared in a more traditional way that shouldn’t be lost.

There are lots of lovely things about this cake but one thing I really love is that when you notice you have a few over-ripe bananas, you probably have everything else you need to make it. It’s a nice alternative to regular old banana bread in that way. This is exactly what happened when I decided to make it last night and bring it to my Sunday School class this morning. 

The one thing I didn’t have in the fridge was buttermilk. But thanks to my trusty friend Google, I found out that letting lemon juice and whole, lowfat or nonfat milk sit for a few minutes produces the same results as buttermilk. This cake was proof positive that it works! I also found another darling blog to follow in the process (although it seems like I’m the last person on the planet to hear about

Now go forth and eat cake!

Banana Breakfast Cake
Serves 16
A lovely, banana-y cake that is equally good sliced and toasted for breakfast.
Write a review
Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
  1. 1 3/4 cups sugar
  2. 2/3 cup butter, softened
  3. 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 3 cups flour
  7. 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
  8. 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  9. 1 tsp baking soda
  10. 3/4 tsp salt
  11. 1 cup dried cranberries (or cherries, optional)
  12. 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Grease/flour a 10-12 cup Bundt pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix sugar, butter, bananas, eggs and vanilla until very lift and fluffy.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 325. Check the cake at 60 minutes. It's ready when a toothpick inserted in the center coms out clean.
  7. Cool 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
  9. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
  1. This cake freezes exceptionally well!
Bless Her Hearth