Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Banana Nut Bread

Banana-Nut Bread
Makes two 9 by 5 inch loaves or six 6 by 2 ¾ inch miniloaves
If you use miniloaf pans, reduce the baking time to forty-five minutes.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups ripe mashed banana (about 3 medium)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup (about 4 oz) walnuts or pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk *SEE BELOW FOR SUBSTITUTION*
Nonstick cooking spray

*If you do not have buttermilk, make your own:  Pour 1/2 tablespoon vinegar into a liquid measuring cup, and top off to the 1/2 cup line with whole milk.  Let stand for 5 minutes before using.  Voila!*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat two 9-by-5 inch loaf pans with cooking spray; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil on medium-low speed until combined.  Beat in the flour mixture.  Add the vanilla, banana, coconut, nuts, and buttermilk, and beat just to combine.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.  Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a toothpick or sharp knife comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Remove loaves from pans and let cool completely.
Bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic, for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months.

{I freeze one loaf, after cutting it into two or three sections, so I can thaw out small portions as needed.}

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Everything in its place, and a place for every thing...

Since we've moved into our new home, we are still struggling to find order in the everyday tasks.  With two toddler twins running around, it's hard to maintain a sense of order amid the toys and chaos.

We are taking it one day at a time, though, that's for sure.  I like to focus on the 'hot spots' when tackling organization.  Our hot spots are our pantry and closets.  What are yours?  It seems that it's easy to let things go when they're behind closed doors...but it's these areas that we frequent the most in our homes, and that can bring us the greatest satisfaction once organized properly.

Here are some tips I'm looking forward to using in my own home, and hope they inspire you too.

Beautiful ideas for an orderly pantry, maximizing every little nook and cranny...
{Courtesy of "House of Fifty"}

Great tips for organizing your closet, no matter how limited your space is...
{Courtesy of "Lonny"}

{Stay tuned for update on one of my upcoming projects -- organizing my own walk-in closet}

Love the look of personalized stationery

Few things are more personal than a hand-written note, from time to time.  In these days of e-mail, texts, and Facebook posts, it's nice to drop an old friend a line just to say hi, or to thank them for a sweet gesture or gift.

I'm a big fan of personal thank you cards and greetings, especially since all my friends and family live far, far away.

Here are a few pretty ways to stay in touch with your loved ones...despite the distance.

House of Fifty

Beautiful publication, featuring inspiration for your home, as well as great tips to help organize your life.

The articles are so relevant.  I enjoyed reading about stencil art, being that we have just bought two lovely stencils to use in our master bedroom and the girls' room, and am already looking forward to using their tips for decorating with children's art as the girls get more creative.  Even the trend on shorter curtains spoke to me, as I just created custom-made curtains for our kitchen.  

I hope you enjoy this publication as much as I did, and find inspiration everywhere, for your home and life.

{Happy Decorating}

Monday, August 22, 2011

Haute Decor Designs - Services Offered

{Haute Decor} Services Offered

{inspiration for my own bedroom}

{Home Sweet Home}
Wondering how to freshen up your home, with just a few simple touches?  Longing for a bright, airy space to liven up your day?  I can help.  I'm excited to announce that I'm now offering my services, at very affordable rates, to those both near and far.  Contact me for more information.  I'd be happy to offer you a free consultation.

Personal Design Services
If you live in or around the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area, I am available for design consultations. Whether you want to freshen up your existing home decor or want to bring in fresh items, I can help! 

Expecting a baby?  I specialize in Nursery Decor.  As a mom to twin girls, I know how to maximize the space you have!
Guest Rooms
I can help you create a lovely guest room that can still be used as a den or office space, so that you don't have to sacrifice precious space!
Bed Rooms
Create a bed room you love.  Eliminate clutter, brighten up your space, and make it a lovely room to retreat to at the end of a busy day.
I can help you select the right cabinets and counter tops to suit your personal lifestyle and your family's life.  Personalize your kitchen with the right final touches and accessories.
Create beautiful bathrooms with plenty of storage that evoke that spa feeling and make you feel like you're staying at a five-star hotel every day.

During the process, I can help you with:
Space Planning:  making the most of your current space
Personal Shopping:  
selecting furniture and accessories
Color Consultation:  selecting the perfect palette for your home
Redesign Services, such as furniture rearrangement
Personal Organization:  Organize your closets, kitchens, bathrooms
Home Staging:  Clear clutter, freshen up your home for resale

Virtual Design Services
Not in my area?  No problem! I can still help you create the room of your dreams.  My virtual design services are available to anyone in the world! 

All Virtual Design packages include:
Design board which includes paint color selection, photos of furniture and accessories, and any other items suitable for your design
Scaled floor plan including furniture arrangement layout
Product shopping guide containing links to online resources
Virtual Walk-Through of your design, with step-by-step instructions on how to put your look together


Room dimensions
Photos of your space
Inspiration images of the look you desire

We will work together (via email and phone) to create a fabulous room, custom designed just for you and your budget!

{Sample Design Board - Master Bedroom}

For more information and rates, please email me at {hautedecordesigns@gmail.com}