pumpkin banana oatmeal muffins

Pumpkin Banana Muffins | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
Pumpkin Banana Muffins | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
pumpkin-muffin-1.jpg
Pumpkin Banana Muffins | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
Pumpkin Banana Muffins | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
Pumpkin Banana Muffins | Diapers & Skinny Jeans

The last few weeks have been some of those non-stop 'I just spent my entire week driving in the car' type of weeks. It's been busy, and we haven't been eating nearly as well as we could have been. I always start to feel a little guilty when things start to fall apart in the kitchen area of things because cooking for my family is one of my most favorite things about being a mom.

I've made it a point this week to stay closer to home and got a head-start on all of our weekly grocery shopping on a Monday for a change - see, I'm making progress! ; ) Prepping bigger batches of things to use for the week is so incredibly helpful when you have not one, but two little ones quite literally pulling at your pant legs requesting food 'round the clock. These little muffins are perfect for freezer storage and make excellent quick breakfasts with a side of fresh fruit and a smoothie, or even as a snack to tide those (always) grumbling tummies over until dinnertime.

pumpkin banana oatmeal muffins 

recipe originally found from food 52

ingredients

• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup wheat flour
• 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 2 tsps baking powder
• 2 tsps pumpkin pie spice
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 cup solid pack pumpkin
• 2 bananas (large ripe)
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/3 cup apple juice
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 2 tbsps old-fashioned oats (as muffin toppers)

method

Combine flours, 1/2 c. oats, walnuts, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Combine pumpkin, bananas, eggs, honey, apple juice, and vegetable oil in a mixer bowl. Mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; stir just until blended. Spoon into 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Sprinkle with 2 TBS oats. Bake in preheated 370 degree F. oven for 23-27 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins to wire rack; cool slightly. Serve warm with apple butter or fruit preserves. Makes 1 dozen regular sized muffins. (I used my mini-muffin pan and yielded ~20-24.) Enjoy!

The Sling Diaries IV: Adventure

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I've never been much of a city dweller. My entire life has been corn and bean fields, mooing cows, twenty minutes to the nearest grocery store or gas station and bonfires as the 'hip Saturday night' thing to do. I grew up in a rural, unincorporated town that was so far south of the city that to this day, I am still dumbfounded that I even ended up here right in the middle of it all, holding the hand of one child while I carried another slung upon my hip. I never thought I would be married with two children by the age of twenty-six; a bohemian in the big city. Everything is jumbled-up and doesn't make sense in practical terms, but in my heart feels as warm and right as a good book and cup of chai. This is me. These are my people.

Riding the CTA's 'L' train system, (short for elevated) was one of my favorite memories of moving to my first city apartment many years ago. I was newly single and completely uncomfortable in the company of my loneliness, so I did the most logical thing I could think to do: move to a new city, a very large city, and learn how to love myself again. Sirens from firetrucks in the distance acted as the soundtrack to my steps, walking alone in the cool, February air. Every few strides I would pick the pieces of hair from off my lips, blown by the evening breeze. My eyes quickly darted around to see if anyone had noticed - thankfully, no one had. I remember the feeling of excitement being on those trains at night. It was exhilarating and in so many ways felt like such a grand adventure; I never knew where I was headed, slightly wounded and empowered all the same. My spiritual equilibrium was thrown off-balance from years of feeling like I had to have someone... something I could be attached to. On those trains I had a wake-up call: I forgot to take the time to nurture my own dreams and hated feeling like I was the stereotypical woman, so hopelessly dependent on someone else.   

Clearly, lots has changed since then. I've found a true and lasting partnership, rooted in love and strengthened by individuality. Now I clutch the hand of our daughter, Sofia, who is so fiercely set in her ways. She parades around loudly (very loudly) to the beat of her drum, not thinking twice about what anyone says or thinks. Independence in every sense of the word. She is wearing the boots I bought her that are still a size too big, and carries a stick she found on the ground in her front coat pocket. I wonder how giant the buildings must look in her eyes. When you barely stand three feet tall, the perspective from the ground is remarkably unlike what I'm used to seeing day in and day out. Our youngest, Alba, gazes quietly from her cocoon of linen; shades of rich twilight envelop her as she sits tightened against my hip.

Today, I remembered what it was like to feel bewildered. I watched my children's faces during their first train ride - eyes wide and uncontrollably giggling. This simple act of a new experience, the same train my husband takes to back and forth to work each day, has brought us silly amounts of joy and I can't help but laugh to my self. I learn so much from this family of mine, from this city we live in. Adventure seems like such a grandiose term, doesn't it? Like I would have to road-trip across the coast or jump out of an airplane or something to achieve this so-called adventure people speak of. They say, "let's go hike the tallest mountain!" or "let's dive to the bottom of sea!" Those are the types of things I imagine Pinterest is trying to tell me when I'm wasting time looking at places I don't have time to see. Adventure is simple, really. It lives inside of all of us. It was riding your bike without your training wheels. It was waking up really late when your parents were still sleeping just so you could eat another bowl of sugary cereal. It was experiencing an every day, mindless activity and re-living it through the eyes of a child.

Maybe it's been there all along.

The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
adventure-7.jpg
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
adventure-1.jpg
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
adventure-highres-4.jpg
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
adventure-highres-16.jpg
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
adventure-32.jpg
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
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The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
The Sling Diaries: Adventure | Diapers & Skinny Jeans

It is with great sadness that I type the last of these words into our final entry for The Sling Diaries, Volume IV: Everything Shines. Words alone will never be able to describe the immense gratitude I feel for being involved with such an inspiring group of families and this amazing company. I'll be recapping my experiences soon, but for now, please allow me to extend and gigantic thank-you to everyone that helps to make The Sling Diaries possible. We are so grateful. And of course, to my wonderful husband for documenting all of these experiences and letting me edit away. A million times thank you xx xx xx 

14/52

14/52 | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
14/52 | Diapers & Skinny Jeans

14/52

I'm sure it's safe to say how much of a sucker I am for great light. I chase it. I search for it. I secretly hope for it. Downstairs at Erick's mom's house always has the best light as the sun begins to set; pooling through the front windows in shades of burnt-orange and amber. Sofia, you were upset here because when we stopped to visit, your Abuela wasn't home. It breaks my heart when you sob slow-motion tears over problems I have no control over. I absolutely hate seeing you so sad. After a few hugs and the promises of chocolate, the tears were softly swept away while Alba nursed sleepily on the couch - there's something about the soft light that calms us all.

( joining in with jodi )

13/52

13/52 | Diapers & Skinny Jeans
13/52 | Diapers & Skinny Jeans

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Sofia - sweet hands holding up her 'house'
Alba - invited inside and enjoying the fun

What a fun way to wake up over the weekend. The imagination of my daughters is something I hope remains far beyond the extent of their childhood. What a wonderful world it is through the eyes of someone so blissfully unaware, so daring and comfortable in their own skin. Each and every day, though I try my best at teaching, demonstrating or explaining, I'm instead reminded that it's me that is the one learning... from them.

( joining in with jodi )