on the menu: cocoa banana nut muffins



This is really a quick bread but I baked it in muffin cups instead of a loaf pan. I was craving muffin-shaped things, and muffins are so easily shared.


I used the Cocoa-Nana Bread recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours (recipe here), with the cocoa powder much reduced (I didn’t have enough, but it’s delicious this way too), and chopped pecans added in.

So moist that no additional topping is necessary. Delightful.

classic freshwater pearl studs: a giveaway!* [closed]

*This post is not sponsored, etc.

Perhaps you will remember my oft-mentioned enthusiasm for pearls? My pearl stud size guide?

I have on a number of occasions now given pearls as gifts (not infrequently to myself), and each story is one of success. It’s hard to go wrong giving pearls away, so here we are!

For the size guide I modeled various sizes of gem quality freshwater pearls from the vendor Pearls of Joy, and I’m going to give away one of my favorites: the 7-8mm pair.

You can read about my thoughts on the different sizes in that post. The 7-8mm–these really measure in at 8mm–was the size I found the most proportionate and versatile; transitioning effortlessly from casual to elegant, suitable for a wide variety of ages.

It’s difficult to capture how beautiful they are in a photo. Excellent quality and luster.

IMG_6605Here’s what you can win:

1 pair 7-8mm white gem quality freshwater studs from Pearls of Joy with appraisal paperwork and pearl care card (here I am forced to admit that I don’t have a prettier gift box).

[These earrings were worn only once for the purpose of modeling. The posts have been sterilized and they are in pristine condition.]

IMG_6607Here’s how you can win:

for 1 entry:

  • leave a comment on THIS POST (if you are on the home page you will need to click on the post title above to see the post page and comment options) and
  • like my facebook page (you can use the shortcut in the sidebar or this link).

for extra entries:

**Let me know in your comment how many entries you qualify for (1, 2, or 3).**

So your comment might look something like: I wd luv to win pearlz! u r so stylish! 1 entry for me.

or: Hi from Raleigh! Cool blog! 2 entries, please!

or: I love peonies, too. x3 please!

You get the idea.

This giveaway is open internationally. It will close September 15, 2013 at midnight EST.  Please be honest about your number of entries: details of the winning comment will be verified. If you post more than one comment, only the first will count toward the giveaway. The winner will be announced on the blog on Thursday, September 19, 2013.

Good luck!