• Rates & Packages
    • What to Expect
    • Find Me on Facebook
    • Follow Me on Pinterest
    • Subscribe
    • About this Blog

banana caramel coffee cake

banana caramel coffee cake

Just one of the many delicious recipes sampled at the scrapbooking retreat last weekend.  The recipe is below:

Banana Caramel Coffee Cake

Yield: 12 to 16 servings


  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 (13.4 oz.) can dulce de leche


  1. Combine 2-1/4 cups flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut 3/4 cup butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly. Whisk together eggs and next 3 ingredients; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  2. Spread batter into a greased 13"x9" pan.
  3. Combine remaining 1/2 cup flour and brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut remaining 1/4 cup butter into flour mixture with pastry blender. Add pecans, pressing streusel mixture between fingers until large clumps form. Sprinkle streusel over batter in pan.
  4. Microwave dulce de leche in a small glass bowl on HIGH 1 minute or until drizzling consistency, stirring once; drizzle over streusel topping.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 38 minutes or until streusel topping begins to brown and center of cake puffs slightly. Cool slightly.

stacey D - March 28, 2012 - 10:54 am

YUM! I think I will make it for our Easter brunch!!

Crystal Satnik - March 28, 2012 - 12:00 pm

How did I not know about this?!? I may have to make it now…

Tina - March 28, 2012 - 1:20 pm

We had it Friday morning and it was apparently never pulled out again, Crystal… buried in the fridge under the mountain of food.

Back to Top Contact Me Share on Facebook Tweet this Post Email to a Friend

cropping the weekend away

Greetings from the 2012 Spring Weekend Scrapbooking Retreat:

spring weekend retreat

I am cropping for real this weekend. [I didn’t even bring a laptop.] This post is coming to you straight from the house computer… making this week’s edition of 5 Fun Things Friday too much of a challenge to prepare. [A responsible blogger would have scheduled the post before hitting the road, but I am not that blogger. Instead I was busy making treats, buying treats, and otherwise preparing for the fun, fun weekend!]  Monday – it will be up on MONDAY and will feature at least two of the items pictured above!

Have a fantastic weekend.

René - March 26, 2012 - 7:59 pm

Thanks for the great retreat Tina. You’re awesome!

Tina - March 27, 2012 - 10:46 am

I am so glad you & Carley were able to attend. Thank you for the cupcakes. 🙂

Back to Top Contact Me Share on Facebook Tweet this Post Email to a Friend

create a legacy journal


I shared my grandma’s priceless journal with you in THIS recent post and promised to post the journaling prompts I’d used.  Several of the prompts are listed below, in addition to a link of the full list (100+ prompts):

  • What is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you and the worst?
  • Describe your first home as a young couple.
  • What is your advice to those younger than you?
  • Describe the most serious illness or accident you ever had.
  • Tell about your life as the children left home – new interests, what you did with the extra time, new employment, moves, etc.
  • What would you like to be remembered for?
  • Describe a typical day in elementary school.
  • Describe a childhood friend and something you did with him or her.
  • Tell about your grandchildren – how many, how did you feel about being a grandparent?
  • Tell about all of the places you have worked.
  • Tell how, when, where you learned to drive, and share any memorable experiences.
  • Tell something about each of your children – personalities, talents, and traits.  What makes them unique and special?

Click Here to Download List of Legacy Journal Prompts v.2 (this will bring you to another area of my blog; click on the link there to access the .PDF doc I have created)

Just print up the list, cut out the prompts, and adhere them to an empty journal (one per page).

My creation

These spiral bound, hardcover journals from Barnes & Noble work very well AND are only $6.98/each.

The pages are thick enough to even add a few images and/or embellishments.  (Just be sure to choose a large journal, not an itty bitty one!)  I’ll be adding a ribbon closure to mine as well and have encouraged my husband to doctor his cover up using things like THIS and THIS.  Then… START WRITING IN IT.  Not tomorrow, not 5-10 years from now… but TODAY.  I promise it will end up being the best gift you ever give your family.

Kathie - March 19, 2012 - 3:37 pm

Love this idea!!! Thanks for sharing all the great prompts.

Tina - March 19, 2012 - 5:07 pm

You are welcome, Kathie!

Tina - March 19, 2012 - 11:00 pm

Just an FYI… my husband spotted a couple of typos in the document so I’ve updated the .PDF with the changes!!

Back to Top Contact Me Share on Facebook Tweet this Post Email to a Friend

happy st. patrick’s day

this week

This week has been filled to the brim with taxes, sympathy thank you notes, family outings, and retreat preparations. I’ve also been trying to gather pictures together for my grandpa and other family members.  The good news is, with my part of taxes out of the way a huge burden has been lifted. The bad news…  I have barely even begun to scratch the surface as far as pictures go.

The boys and are heading out to see Grandpa this weekend. A couple of weeks ago he asked my mom and me for pictures of Grandma to put out on display (he wanted her alone, “just her”). I’d shown him the above image from my iPhone during our last visit and his eyes filled with tears as he focused in. The first thing I did when I returned home was order that image for him. Needless to say, we have a special delivery to make.

I’ll be posting the legacy journal prompts I’d mentioned in this post HERE on Monday. Have a safe and merry St. Patrick’s Day!

Crystal Satnik - March 19, 2012 - 4:04 pm

I recently had the same task – going through grandparents photos for a funeral service. Although it was sad, I feel like it was also healing. I think it helped to have all the pics of my grandfather out as proof that he lived a long and good life. I know how much you treasure photos, so I hope the process brings you some healing as well.

Tina - March 19, 2012 - 5:08 pm

I totally agree, Crystal.

Back to Top Contact Me Share on Facebook Tweet this Post Email to a Friend

doing what we’re meant to do

It’s not always clear (I’m talking Big Picture here) what we are supposed to be doing with our lives. With so many demands for our time (and so many of them GOOD), how do we choose? I guess that’s part of what continues to draw me into God’s Word over and over again. Years ago while enduring a painful season of grief and loss, I turned to the bible for answers. As part of the healing process, God gave me a tender heart towards women seeking answers and comfort in their own places of sorrow. He gave me a passion for making the very most of life along with the sharp awareness that our days here on Earth are numbered.

It was early in this journey (6+ years ago) that I created a special journal for my grandma.  I filled it with questions I wanted answered (What was it like when she first fell in love?  When and how did she first learn to drive?  What was her early marriage like?  What did she remember about her own grandparents?) and told her I would come looking for it after she was gone.

Guess what I went looking for and finally found over the weekend?!!!

my journal

Words cannot even begin to describe how much this book means to me. To see Grandma’s handwriting, to learn things about her I have never known. (For example, she never learned how to ride a bike… I NEVER KNEW THAT!)


You can only imagine how incredibly special it was to read her words aloud to my grandpa – her husband of 65 years. He offered additional details, even some of his own stories. It made me wish SO BADLY she would have answered all of the questions, not just a handful.

I talk OFTEN at the faithbooking crops about the importance of our words and stories. Each one of us has an important opportunity to create and leave tangible remembrances of our lives. A legacy. We have the opportunity to give our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren (and beyond) a glimpse into their heritage that extends well beyond mere images. You see, in reading Grandma’s journal I also found pieces of myself.

grandmas advice

Those connections help define a family and sense of identity. It feels even more important now that I’m on the receiving end of the journal. So much so, that I am going to make one (each) for Tony and myself to pass along to our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond.

And yes – I know I have shared the song below at least a million times but it was playing in the background as I was working on these images, serving as a powerful reminder. I just had to share it again.

If you want to leave your mark in this way, don’t put it off!  None of us has a clue as to what tomorrow might bring (Proverbs 27:1).

Renee - March 12, 2012 - 2:56 pm

LOVE this Tina! I too gave my parents books to fill out a number of years ago. Sadly my mom passed away unexpectedly and did not get the chance to fill it out like I wished she would have. Moving forward, I know that life is short and you just NEVER know when it is your time.

After that, I knew I needed to go out and buy books for both Aaron and I to fill out (something we need to be more diligent about doing). I am excited to see your list of questions though…thank you for this important reminder.

And I absolutely LOVE your grandmother’s quote about perspective and rose bushes! SO true!

Leslie Schiltgen - March 13, 2012 - 9:13 am

That is the greatest gift ever Tina! I started writing a journal to my daughter when she was five months old. Every day I write something in there about her day, what she did, how I feel, how she was. I am hoping that when she is 18 she will love it and appreciate all the memories and thoughts I had.

Tina - March 13, 2012 - 10:20 am

That is AWESOME, Leslie! She is sure to treasure it.

Tina - March 13, 2012 - 10:23 am

I’m sorry to hear your mom never had the chance to fill out her book. That sort of thing gives me a sense of urgency about my own. I’ll try to have the questions up within the week, Renee!

Back to Top Contact Me Share on Facebook Tweet this Post Email to a Friend