Tired of being tired?

In the garden (September 28)

Things are slowly coming to a halt here in the garden.  Our broccoli and dill are still growing like crazy, but everything else is slowly starting to finish their season of glory.  The pumpkins are looking lovely though and we can't wait to cut them and use them in our fall decor.

We've had so much dill this growing season, I've started jarring the seeds for planting next season.  I've been collecting lavender blooms as well, which I enjoy a lot!

We've started saving seeds from other growth as well.  The beans and peas are always the easiest to save.  

We are still waiting patiently on our pepper plants to show signs of a bloom.  So far, nothing.  We'll see what happens with it before the growing season ends.  


The last few days we've had a little rain here and there.  It rained pretty heavy for about an hour this week, so that has helped with how dry everything has been here.

The rain seems to have brought out the rolly pollies too.  

The front flowerbed sure enjoyed the rain shower.

I've added a lot of colorful flowers this year, in hopes of encouraging honey bees to come around more.  It seems to have worked!  They are loving the sunflowers!

Yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes have been growing strong.  

I've been making a lot of sassy water with the cucumbers.  If you don't know what sassy water is, you're going to love it!  I like to add cucumbers and mangoes to mine.  Check out all these different ways you can flavor your own water naturally via Pinterest.

Loving the haul of carrots coming too!

We have been enjoying them daily, if not weekly.  So yummy!

Gotta love the gardening manicure that comes with not wearing gardening gloves.  :)


So now we anxiously wait for all of the pumpkins to ripen up and for the rest of the plants to give us a good harvest before the weather turns colder.

Vegan banana bread

Eating vegan or vegetarian at least one night a week has given me new ways to cook and enjoy food.  Meatless Mondays have always been a top option in our house, but incorporating baking goods throughout the week in that, has been a fun adventure!

My family and I love banana bread and in order to make it vegan, I did a little experimenting and came up with the perfect recipe to create a vegan banana bread.  ......and it tastes great!

• Ingredients

2/3 c sugar ( white or brown sugar)
1/3 c oil (I used extra virgin olive oil, but vegetable, or canola would work too)
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 c mashed overripe bananas (about three medium bananas)
2 tbs. pure vanilla extract

• Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Smash ripe bananas in a small bowl, or measuring cup and set aside.
3.  Add oil to bananas and mix lightly.
4.  Mix dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl attached to an electric mixer.

5.  Slow mix the dry ingredients together on low speed.
6.  Add banana/oil mixture and speed up mixer to medium speed.

7.  Mix for about one minute and add vanilla extract.

8.  High mix the mixture for about 45 seconds.

9.  Pour mixture into a prepared loaf pan.

10.  Bake for 45-55 minutes, checking at 30 minutes.

11.  Sprinkle with cinnamon halfway through baking.


A school photo shoot and train tracks

Along with the fifth grade shoot from last week, we decided to do more shots along an abandoned set of train tracks here in the Willamette Valley.  With the dryness of the air here currently, it actually served as a great backdrop for our pictures.  Not to mention, it makes me sad to know that my little guy is now a fifth grader!

You can see more photos from this fifth grade photo shoot here, here, and here.

Fifth grade, here we come!

This year marks another year of homeschooling for my little bean pod.  Of course, he isn't so little anymore; This year we roll into fifth grade!  We decided to do a little before school photo shoot with him and celebrate the starting of a new school year.  He wants to be the Cake Boss when he grows up!

You can follow along with our classroom throughout the year at Rain Valley Red Snails.  We post a classroom update every two weeks and would love to have you stop by.

It's going to be a great year!

See more pictures of this photo shoot here and here.