As the busy gifting season winds down here at Garland Collection and Sweetlips and The Bean enjoy their last day of school before break, I’ve begun working on my holiday wish list. While pretty packages to unwrap are certainly lovely, I’m actually pining for a couple of weeks of quality time with my family and some serious rest.

Here is my nothing-to-do list along with holiday go-to’s (including a favorite RECIPE!) to get the jobs done: 

Wish List Full Board

DATE NIGHT:Some all dressed up one-on-one time with the hubby is desperately needed. Here’s what I’m wearing…SKIRT; BLOUSE; GARLAND COLLECTION VINTAGE DEMARIO EARRINGS; CLUTCH; SHOES

SWEET DREAMS: I need to sleep…like a lot. Here’s what going to help me catch some zzzz’s. (I always wear an eye-mask. I like to literally shut out the world at the end of the day. My cousin just gave me one of these beautifully patterned robes and I’m loving it. They’re great last-minute gifts too!) ROBE, EYE MASK, SLIPPERS

WELL READ: I’m still finishing up “The Goldfinch,” but I’ve got a mile-high pile of books waiting to be explored. Here’s all I need to delve in…BOOK; GLASSES; BOOKMARK 

COOKING WITH MY KIDS: There’s nothing cozier to me than cooking with my kids. In full disclosure, I am not ashamed to admit that I tell Sweetlips and The Bean that “Love” is an ingredient in every the directions include kissing the pan and Mommy before each item goes in the oven. KIDS APRON, OVEN MITT, BRUSH (Selection of vintage Garland Collection cookie jars.)

I’ve shared this BANANA BREAD RECIPE before, but Sweetlips and I created a new take on it this week and it’s well worth a try at your home. In this version, we’ve taken out the chocolate chips and instead, marbleized the bread with a mix of cinnamon and sugar.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a separate bowl whisk eggs with the vanilaa. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg mixture until just incorporated.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas; mix to combine (Will look a bit curdled).
  3. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. Pour half the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle half of the sugar and cinnamon mix on top. Pour in the rest of the batter evenly on top. Repeat with the cinnamon and sugar.
  4. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes (I like the bread to be on the moister side, but sometimes it needs up to 65. Keep checking it at the end). Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap to keep. Tastes even better the following day!

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