Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (& the most non-Pinterest-perfect pictures ever!)

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Happy sigh. I came home from working at our office space for the afternoon and was met by an excited Silas who had been eagerly looking forward to my return so we could play another game of baseball together.

The warm sun, green grass, and my enthusiastic 5-year-old we’re too alluring, so I didn’t even change out of my flats. :)

I’m so grateful for sunshine, beautiful weather, and for breathing room in my life again after a full few weeks. It’s amazing what those three things do for my soul!

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After baseball, I’d promised Kathrynne I would make some Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins for her. I haven’t made this recipe in years, so I’m surprised she even remembered it!

But she brought it up earlier in the day and talked about how she wished I would make it again. We happened to have some bananas that were on their last leg, so today was the perfect day to make it!

Kathrynne’s still feeling pretty miserable and running a fever and very little food sounds good to her, so I was especially happy to hear that she was hungry for something.

Silas & Kaitlynn asked if they could help me make muffins. So we had some fun together in the kitchen before dinner…

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I know that there are a lot of amazingly staged photos of recipes abounding on cooking blogs all over the internet. And I have no problem with these beautiful pictures. In fact, I find them inspiring, artistic, and mouth-watering.

But we all know that Pinterest-perfect, magazine-worthy pictures and backgrounds aren’t really real life.

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So tonight, I snapped some very un-staged pictures while I helped the kids make the muffins. Looking at these pictures, I’m reminded that this is the stuff that memories are made of. The messes, the every day moments, the time together.

And to me personally, these pictures are much more meaningful than the most artistic food photograph out there. Because these are my people and we are living life together — dirty dishes, spills, cluttered countertops, and all!

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These muffins are neither healthy nor Trim Healthy Mama-approved, but they are yummy, frugal, and so easy to whip up. Here’s the recipe… and you’re welcome! :)


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Gretchen’s $46 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan



2 Skippy Peanut Butter – $2 each, used $0.55/1 printable (doubled) and $0.50/1 coupon from the 2/8 SmartSource insert (doubled) – $0.95 each after coupons

1 Post Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal – $2.50, used $1/1 coupon from the 2/8 SmartSource insert (doubled) – $0.50 after coupon

2 Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta – $1, used $1/2 printable (doubled) – Free after coupon

3 Dannon Oikos Yogurt – $0.88 each, used $1/3 printable (doubled) – $0.21 each after coupon

2 Yoplait Yogurt – $0.50, used $0.40/2 printable (doubled) – $0.10 each after coupon

2 Cucumbers – $0.69 each

1 bag Spinach – $1.89

2 Kraft Sliced Cheese – $2, used $1/2 printable (doubled) – $1 each after coupon

0.89 lbs Roma Tomatoes – $0.85, received $0.25 back from Checkout 51 – $0.60 after rebate

Total with tax ($1.21) after coupons and rebate: $10.32


1 SeaPak Shrimp Scampi – $4.34, used $1.50/1 coupon from the 2/8 SmartSource insert – $2.84 after coupon

1 pkg Kroger Bacon – $2.99, received $0.25 back from Ibotta – $2.74 after rebate

1 pkg Driscoll’s Raspberries – $2.99 AND 2 Lemons – $0.79 each, used $1/$4 produce mailer coupon

1 Green Leaf Lettuce – $0.99

1.95 lbs Cabbage – $0.76

1 can Kroger Pineapple – $1.09

1 pkg Kroger Flour – $1.79

0.71 lbs Broccoli – $1.34

1 gallon Dillons Milk – $2.59, received $0.25 back from Ibotta – $2.34 after rebate

1 pkg French Bread – Marked down to $0.89

1 Hormel Rev Wrap – $1.99, used Free e-coupon (no longer available) – Free after coupon

Items a part of the Mega Sale (Buy 5, Get $5 off): 

3 Frosted Flakes Cereal – $1.99, used $1/2 printable (no longer available) and $0.50/1 printable – $1.49 each after coupons

1 Breyers Ice Cream – $2.99

1 pkg Hormel Sliced Turkey – $2.49, used $0.50/1 coupon from the 3/8 SmartSource insert – $1.99 after coupon

2 Kraft Cheese – $1.79 each, used $1/2 e-coupon – $1.29 after coupon

4 Quaker Oatmeal Bowls – $0.79 each, used 2 $1/2 coupon from the 3/1 RedPlum insert – $0.29 each after coupons

2 Irish Spring Gear Bodywash – $2.49, used 2 $2/1 coupon from the 2/22 SmartSource insert – $0.49 each after coupons

2 Mr Bubble Bubblebath – $0.99 each, used 2 $0.50/1 printable – $0.49 each after coupons

Total with tax ($2.56) after coupons and rebates: $36.06

Total for both stores: $46.38

Menu Plan for This Week


Cereal x 2

Eggs/Toast/Fruit x 3

Oatmeal Cups

Biscuits & Jelly, Bacon


Peanut Butter & Jelly Rice Cake Sandwiches, Fruit

Pizza Quesadillas, Veggies

Tossed Salad x 2

Yogurt, Fruit, Cheese Slices

Cheese/Crackers/Veggies/Turkey Meat

Spinach Smoothies and Cheese Quesadillas


Shrimp Scampi, Tossed Salad

Hoagie Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit (We still have fruit from the last 2 weeks of grocery shopping that needs to be used up.)

Steamed Cabbage & Cubed Venison, Rolls

Black Bean Quesadillas, Steamed Broccoli

Chicken Pockets, Steamed Cabbage, Sliced Apples

Lasagna Casserole, Oatmeal Raisin Muffins, Tossed Salad, Green Beans

Hawaiian Haystacks

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