Stepping Stone

DIY Memory Stepping Stone

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Stepping Stone 1Now you CAN save those precious hand and foot prints or even handwriting! 

This is a fabulous activity for kids of ALL ages, and what a terrific way to spend some valuable time together as a family.

It’s also a much appreciated gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day, birthdays, or simply a fun way to decorate your yard as a family project.

Do-It-Yourself Stepping Stones

*If you’d rather purchase a kit, than make it from scratch, you might want to check THIS out.



Buy a package of concrete at your local hardware store.

Stepping Stone 2

 Mix concrete according to package directions.

As you will see, we made several at a time.  Stepping Stone 3

Because we made half dozen at a time, for convenience Stepping Stone 4

We used a drill and a a mortar mixer in a 5 gallon bucket.

Stepping Stone 5 After making the concrete, pour into disposable aluminum pie tins and smooth with a putty knife, spatula or any flat object. Stepping Stone 6 Let the concrete set up enough until it will hold an imprint.

Then decorate with handprint, footprint, marbles, stones, have the kids write their names with a craft stick; whatever your heart desires! Stepping Stone 7

Allow to sit overnight at room temperature. And voila! Stepping Stone 8 They pop right out without any problem or hitch at all as along as they are dried completely through.  Stepping Stone 9

In humid or cold environments, let them dry as long as needed before removing them from the tin.Stepping Stone 10 These stepping stones can be placed outside in the garden or where ever you desire because they are made out of cement it can withstand the weather. Mom’s, dad’s, grandparents, friend’s, anyone appreciate receiving one of these and the kids will have a blast making them!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Ribbon or Rag Tie Flip Flops

DIY Rag Tie Flip Flops

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Ribbon or Rag Tie Flip Flops

DIY Easy Rag or Ribbon Tie Decorate Your Own Flip Flops

This fun, quick, inexpensive way to decorate your feet is so creative, yet easy with a little bit of fabric torn into strips OR some ribbon!

It’s a great camp craft, teen activity, girls day project to have for days at the pool, or to make to match your summer outfits, or just because you want to have an excuse to dress up your feet!!!

DIY Funky Flip Flops


• A pair of plain flip flops

• Fabric of your choice  OR 1″ wide ribbon would work just as well, cut into 6″ lengths

• Pinking Shears

• RulerFunky Flip Flops 1

Directions: First you will want to cut strips of fabric into 1 inch wide and 6 inches long.

The strips do not need to be exact.Funky Flip Flops 2Don’t worry if you don’t have pinking shears you can use a pair of regular scissors as well.

When cutting the fabric, use about 25-30 strips of fabric per flip flop (depending on the shoe size.)

Next you will want to tie the fabric around the flip flop straps.Funky Flip Flops 3When tying the fabric around the flip flop, tye it into one knot. Funky Flip Flops 4If you are going to use more than one type of material start alternating at this point.

You may notice your strands starting to fray. This is what adds charm!  Funky Flip Flops 5

Tie all the way down until there is about 2 inches of the flip flop strap showing.

You want to stop here, for comfort when wearing:)
Funky Flip Flops 6

Trim the edges to your preferred length.

Now you can make several, varying the color of the flip flop and fabric or ribbon!

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Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2017

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

I'll Tell You Why You Want One

BEST Home Garden Ideas

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BEST Home Garden Ideas

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll give you ideas on how to plant one, as well as why It’s important


BEST Home Garden Ideas

Do you want the BEST Home Garden but are afraid to start?

Have you ever tried having a garden?  Maybe a small one, or a large one?  Never dared one at all?

Well, I have so many styles for you, that I’m sure you will find a perfect fit for your space and situation.  And with these tutorials, you CAN do it and be successful to!

10 Reasons why having a BEST HOME Garden is worth the effort:

1- Having fresh food and produce readily available makes eating a more healthy diet easier and more delicious with the fresh ingredients too.

2- Having the food just outside your door lowers your budget since you won’t be running to the grocery store for the staples of vegetables and herbs.

3- This is a way to teach kids to work and helping them become more independent as they grow older.

4- Growing own food helps us, and our family members, become more self reliant.

5- You get the nutrients and better nutrition from food produced at home.

6- Time spent outdoors gives the opportunity to think from the distractions of technology and the daily ‘grind’.  It also give the chance to talk to your kids or family members who are working with you and get to know them better, and share conversation. 

7- You get to try so many new varieties of foods, such as tomatoes for example, that you can’t purchase at the store or even local Farmer’s Market. 

8- Exercise is a huge benefit because you are naturally moving as you care for the plants.

9- You get to share!  Any extra’s you can give to neighbors and friends to enjoy and that’s a huge plus!!!

10- The new world of flavors and recipes are opened to you as you experiment with what you are growing in the garden!


Best Home Garden Ideas

>Do You Have A Garden? I’ll give you ideas on how to plant one, as well as why It’s important


This is our family garden one summer, but it changes from year to year. 


BEST Home Garden Ideas

Reasons to have a garden and the various types


This is a wonderful way to plant if you want to contain a variety that likes to spread, such as these strawberries so they don’t take over the garden area, or if you only have a small space to plant in.

BEST Home Garden Ideas

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!

Prepare the soil by removing any rocks and any debris. 

Dig holes large enough to accommodate the plants you have.

I'll Tell You Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll give you ideas on how to plant one, as well as why It’s important

These particular plants were meant to cover the pot, as it had special disintegrating properties that nourished the plants as they diminished. Check the instructions of plants you purchase.

I'll Tell You Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll give you ideas on how to plant one, as well as why It’s important

Place the plants into the holes, and make sure they go down deep enough that it covers the roots.

I'll Tell You Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll give you ideas on how to plant one, as well as why It’s important


This method is good for:



Herbs- mint particularly

And so many other vegetables

Choose a pot that is large enough for the plant.

Make sure the post has drainage.


Let Me Tell Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!

Pour a good potting soil into the pot, then dig out a space for the plant. 

Let Me Tell Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!

Stan likes to add in a good soil moist granule to help hold moisture in the dirt and gives better results with watering the plant. 

Let Me Tell Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!

Place the plant in the prepared hole and push the dirt over the top of the plant.  ***Make sure the plant is deep and covers up part way of the stem.

Let Me Tell Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!

If planting tomatoes or another vegetable that would need bracing, place the cage, centering over the plant. 

Let Me Tell Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!

Water the plant well, soaking deep into the soil. 

Let Me Tell Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!



This is allows a large quantity of produce in a small amount of space.  My friend Jami Tolman has a beautiful garden that she is creating using this method.  Jami kindly allowed me to take pictures and then sent descriptions to identify so you can make your own!  

This is our deep box set-up.   Each tier is 6 inches tall for a total of 2 feet at its tallest.  We wanted a variety of depths and like this set up best.  We planted carrots and peanuts in the top tier.  Potatoes are the next tier down.  We planted asparagus in the 2 twelve inch boxes.  Marigolds and nasturtiums are in the 6 inch box at the bottom.   

Let Me Tell Why You Want One

Do You Have A G
arden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!

This is my pumpkin trellis.  The pumpkin vines grow up and over.  Since pumpkin vines grown so long,  I turn them around at the bottom and they grow up and over again.  The pumpkins fall throw the net and grow hanging down.  It makes it easier to pick and they don’t get misshapen or rotten bottoms from being on the ground. 

Let Me Tell Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!

This box has beans on one side and kale, romaine lettuce and cucumbers on the other.  The cucumbers are right next to the center line and will climb up the trellis. 

Let Me Tell Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!

Bush peas grow on one side of this box.  The lettuce on the other side came up from last year.  There was an empty space in the box so I planted a pepper plant there.   When the peas are done producing, I will plant either bush beans there or hold off and do a fall crop of peas.  

Let Me Tell Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!

Growing tomatoes up a trellis like this allows you to grow one plant per square foot.  Pinch all the suckers off so your plant doesn’t get too bushy and help weave it through as it grows.

Let Me Tell Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!

Last year my corn was about 5 feet tall and not done growing when a fairly strong wind blew it over.  I had to build support system to help them stand back up again which was time consuming and not very effective.  This year, I thought I would try to save them before they blew over.  I put a net over the soil and planted a corn in each hole.  Then I raised the net about 3 feet high and will help the corn grow in between the holes.  I will then place another net about 5 feet high and have a double support.  I am going to add 2 poles on each side of the long side of the boxes to stretch the net out seeing as it’s hanging down in the center right now. 

Let Me Tell Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll tell you the benefits of why you want one, small or large!

Thank you Jami for sharing your garden with us!

I hope you will start a garden, or prepare to have one next year!  Enjoy:)

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Home DIY Pedicure and healthy toes

How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

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Home DIY Pedicure and healthy toes

How to give yourself a basic home pedicure

How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

Do you wonder How to Give Yourself a Pedicure?

My daughter-in-law Tawni is our lovely foot model  going through the steps with a licensed and very knowledgeable technician, while she gets a professional pedicure so you will know how to give yourself a pedicure. 

Now you can give yourself a DIY salon spa pedicure at a fraction of the cost that will look professional and done correctly too by following the step-by-step tutorial.*

After the pedicure, you might want to pamper your hair with this Homemade Hair Treatment that works wonders.

And don’t forget your skin care. This Homemade Facial is perfect for any season to brighten and cleanse the face. 

Tawni:  I didn’t enter the world of pedicures until after I was married, and then I realized what I had been missing for most of my life! I had always thought that a pedicure was just getting your toenails painted, but it is soooo much more than that. Of course, a good pedicure can really add up ($$$), so a real professional showed us how to do your own at home! Side-note: Pedicures aren’t just for women. It’s important for everyone to take care of their feet, including you men out there! You don’t have to paint your toenails, but doing everything else will help your skin and feet so much. And no, it’s NOT girly!  

For an at-home pedicure you will need the following supplies (click for easy access to Amazon links)


Foot spa or large bowl big enough for both feet to fit in comfortably


Epsom salt foot soak (recommended by our technician) or this ONE


Exfoliator (such as a foot paddle. Try to avoid using pumice stones.)

A good lotion 

Nail polish remover with acetone (if removing nail polish)

Cuticle oil this, or this

Nail buffer (optional)

Manicure Set, This, or This

Orangewood or birchwood sticks  

If you are also going to paint your toenails you will need: 


Base coat & top coat, here’s a combination

Nail polish in color of your choice

Toe separators- this or this

Speed spray

Stickers/decals (optional)  

I know this looks like a pretty big list, but everything is really inexpensive, and once you have it all you’re set for quite a few pedicures.


All right, here we go with our pedicure!

1 – First fill up the bowl or foot spa with water as hot as you can stand it (it will cool quickly).

Add about a half cup of Epsom salt foot soak and stick your feet in. You’ll want to soak them for about 20 minutes, so this is a good time to catch up on your TV shows!How to Give Yourself a Pedicure


2 – When you’re done soaking, take your feet out and dry them really well with a towel. 

You can use a blow dryer to make the feet as dry as possibleHow to Give Yourself a Pedicure


3 – Now it’s time to exfoliate! Do you have dry skin and little cracks on your heels and toes like this?How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

This is where you want to exfoliate. Using slight pressure and quick motions, rub the paddle, up and down along those little cracks and dry skin until you can see them disappearing.

If you see a little more moisture, dry it off with your towel.

After exfoliating there may still be some small wrinkles on your heel; How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

these are part of your skin, so please don’t rub them off!

How to Give Yourself a Pedicure4 – If you have nail polish on your toenails, remove it with nail polish remover and a cotton pad or cotton ball.

Remember to use nail polish remover that has acetone, as that has more of a drying quality and you want your nails to be dehydrated before painting so the polish stays on better.  Acetone also kills bacteria!  

5 – Using an cuticle pusher, push back cuticles. How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

It is important to make sure that the cuticle stays connected to the nail, so don’t shove the cuticle back. Just push gently.

How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

If there’s a piece of cuticle hanging off or if you have hangnails, use the cuticle nippers to cut it off.  Do not pull them or rip them.

How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

6 – After pushing the cuticles back, rub a little cuticle oil on them.

7 – Using the orangewood or birchwood stick, go under the sides and tops of the toenails a little bit to get out any dirt or gunk that might be stuck in them.How to Give Yourself a Pedicure8 – The next step is optional.

If you have little ridges on your toenails, you can use a buffer to smooth them out if you want your polish to lie more smoothly.How to Give Yourself a Pedicure9 – Next clip and/ or file your toenails.

Filing will give it a smoother look, but either way make sure you clip or file in a straight line. If you go too short on the sides of the nail, it could cause ingrown toenails.How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

10 – Now for the best part, the foot rub! You can do it yourself or bribe your significant other to do it for you.

Work a good amount of lotion into the foot first. Then starting at the heel, and working your way up, use long, smooth deep strokes upward to rub the foot. How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

You can use your thumbs, fist, and/or knuckles to do this. Make sure you really work out those knots in your arches! Also, stretch the foot back and forth. When you get to the toes, pretend like you’re “milking” them. 

How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

Pinch at the bottom of the toe and pull away.

How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

If you’re not painting your nails, then you’re done! If you are, then follow these steps:  

1 – Dehydrate nails with acetone (or polish remover that has acetone in it) and a cotton ball or pad  

2 – Use toe separators to separate your toes. Either invest in a pair of sanitizable gel separators, or use disposable ones BUT make sure to throw them away when you’re done.How to Give Yourself a Pedicure3 – Apply a base coat first. This is like a primer and will make the polish stick better.How to Give Yourself a Pedicure4 – Apply the polish color. It’s important to not flood the cuticles or it will cause the polish to lift and chip as the cuticle grows.

Paint one coat on all toes and then paint another coat.

You can use any polish you’d like, but a higher end polish has more pigment in it, which means fewer coats to paint and faster drying time.

5 – Apply the topcoat. How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

6 – It is a good idea to invest in a speed spray. A speed spray has conditioning oil in it and keeps debris (lint, etc.) from sticking to the nail

7 – If you like stickers or decals you can put them on your nails after you apply the top coat, and then apply another top coat. And you’re done!

Some professional tips:

– Make sure you keep things very sanitary. After using the foot spa, clean it out well (such as Scrubbing Bubbles) and store it in a dry place (not under the sink). Then before you use it wipe it out with a Clorox wipe. Also clean your exfoliator when you’re done. Use rubbing alcohol and a little brush to scrub it off, then clean it with Scrubbing Bubbles. Even if it’s your germs that are on it, you don’t want other ‘things’ growing. Also make sure you sanitize the toe separators, cuticle nippers, everything you used.

– If you have acrylic nails and want to remove polish color, don’t use polish remover with acetone. Just use regular polish remover.

– Put a rubber band around the lid of the nail polish so if your hands are still greasy from the lotion, you can still get it off.

– If polish gets on the skin around your toes, it won’t stick very well because of the lotion you put on earlier. Use your fingers or an orangewood stick to get it off easily.

– If you start having problems with your feet, please go see a podiatrist!

I want to thank all who helped make this very informative post, it’s really helpful:) Carrie

*No medical doctor or physician of any kind was referenced for this post.  Giving yourself a pedicure is at your own risk, these are all tips and guidelines, but no one involved is in the position to give advice and cannot be held responsible for any injury, infection or damage that may result. 

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

DIY Memorial Grave Decoration

DIY Patriotic Memorial Decoration

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A wreath made from red, white and blue tulle netting, decorated with artificial flowers then set on a wooden dowel so it can be used outdoors.

Graveside Cemetery Homemade Marker to honor family and military


RAIN, SNOW OR SUN will not bother  this easy to make DIY Patriotic Memorial Decoration.

Display with pride, in memory of  your loved one or friend; while honoring your country with red, white and blue!

This homemade Patriotic graveside decoration is so quick to make and inexpensive too. 

It can be outside in the weather and used year after year; or easily converted to a wreath, as shown in my tutorial.

Add in a solar powered light to shine on it at night, and you can spotlight your much-loved friend or family member for all to see. 

Also, Memorial Day is a perfect time to tell the stories of family and friends who have given their life, or served our country, so that we can enjoy the freedoms and opportunities we do.  

I hope you will take a moment to explain what a difference these hero’s have made in our everyday life.  Gratitude is the greatest attribute we can demonstrate

 EASY Do-It-Your-Self  (DIY) Patriotic Memorial Decoration


3 rolls of tulle, each 12 yards 6″wide



White HERE

10″ Styrofoam circle HERE

Embellishments if desired THIS one has carnations, daisies and roses to choose from

Wooden dowel for sticking the decoration into the ground HERE is an option

Optional:  Patriotic Outdoor Solar Stake Lights like THESE



Begin with the tulle and Styrofoam circle

Cut tulle into 24″ lengths.

DIY Memorial Grave Decoration 1

Fold tulle in half and place behind the styrofoam circle as shown below.DIY Memorial Grave Decoration 2

DIY Memorial Grave Decoration 3

 Pull the loop over the top of the styrofoam circle and pull the two ends through the loop as shown below.

DIY Memorial Grave Decoration 3Repeat all around the circle and you will use about all of the tulle on the spools.DIY Memorial Grave Decoration 4

Determine the length you want the tails of the tuelle to be and measure, trimming all around. 

I held the end of the ruler at the inside of the circle and at 7″ trimmed the tulle netting to make it more even and uniform all around the outside of the decoration/wreath.

DIY Memorial Grave Decoration 5

 If desired, using glue gun attach embellishments. 

I glued the flowers right into the knot of the tulle since the hot glue would melt the Styrofoam.

DIY Memorial Grave Decoration 6

 Cut or break the dowel to the length desired. Push the dowel into the styrofoam circle, adjusting the tulle as needed. 

DIY Memorial Grave Decoration


  This can easily be made into a wreath also by adding a ribbon, tulle or hanger.DIY Memorial Grave Decoration 8


If you are head­ing out to clean the markers-headstones at the ceme­tery, my very clever hus­band fig­ured out a quick and effec­tive method to cut the over­grown grass and foliage.  

He used a pizza cutter and it worked so slick!

Bonus, the pizza cutter still works amazingly!Memorial Day 1

Then Stan used a kitchen dish scrub­ber with a han­dle, a bit of water and look how great this fam­ily marker looks!  

Memorial Day 2

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

More On This Topic:

Why Do We Have Memorial Day

The Reason For Memorial Weekend

Why Do We Have Memorial Day?

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The Reason For Memorial Weekend

The reason for Memorial Day Weekend

WHY do we have Memorial Day?

Is Memorial Day just a weekend to watch parades, get together to eat food, take the kids to play at parks, or simply have a vacation from work?

It is a national holiday, so there should to be a good reason behind it- right?

And while we are on the subject, is there much of a difference between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day?

If you have ever wondered about these questions and more, I have some other interesting information for you so you can understand the significance and magnitude this day represents.  Please teach and help others understand how precious our freedoms are, and how others have sacrificed for us to have them. That is how we maintain our liberty, otherwise it is easily lost.


Did you realize that there IS a marked difference in Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day?

Memorial Day is set aside to honor all in the military personal who sustained wounds while fighting for our country, and died as a result from injuries.

Veterans Day is a time to remember and honor everyone who has served honorably, at any time of our country’s history, whether it be war or peace time.

Now,  lets talk about the Flag.  Do you know HOW it’s supposed to be raised and lowered?  

Here is the correct way: 

Flag Observance

On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.

The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country.

At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

When did Memorial Day become a National Holiday?

Memorandum to the nation on May 2, 2000

As Memorial Day approaches, it is time to pause and consider the  true meaning of this holiday. Memorial Day represents one day of national awareness and reverence, honoring those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values. While we should honor these heroes every day for the profound contribution they have made to securing our Nation’s freedom, we should honor them especially on Memorial Day. In this time of unprecedented success and prosperity throughout our land, I ask that all Americans come together to recognize how fortunate we are to live in freedom and to observe a universal “National Moment of Remembrance” on each Memorial Day.

This memorial observance represents a simple and unifying way to commemorate our history and honor the struggle to protect our freedoms.

A few ideas of how to celebrate this holiday’s true meaning:

Read a story of history about a battle for our freedom Watch a documentary about a leader, or a war, that was vital for our life today Visit graves of deceased soldiers Say a prayer for our soldiers and military serving us today Provide or organize a project for “Adopt A Soldier”. Click HERE for information.

At 3pm, your local time, is the official time to observe a moment of silence, or the playing of “Taps” We are incredibly blessed as a people, and nation, to live in a country of opportunities and independence.

Freedom always comes at a cost someone paid the price. As we celebrate this day, may we pause to recognize, appreciate and say a prayer of gratitude for those who have valiantly sacrificed, to allow us the liberties we enjoy today as citizens of this great nation. What a wonderful day to remember this great gift, and ponder ways we can live to improve life for all.  

For an beautiful and quick outdoor cemetery DIY grave decoration, that can also be a door wreath, click HERE.  

On this post there is also information on how to easily clean a grave marker. 

DIY Memorial Grave Decoration

DIY Memorial Grave Decoration










Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Pets & Summer Care

Summer Pet Care

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Pet 1

Summer Pet Care

This is my son and daughter-in-law Ashley’s dog DARKO.  They love him and take the best of care for his safety and well-being, with an occasional treat, lol.

Ashley generously put together a list of ways to help keep our pets safe this summer, particularly with all the festivities including the fireworks and loud noises, heatstroke and the Yellow Dog Project.  Please click HERE to read this terrific post she wrote and thank you again Ashley for taking the time to help us all be more informed so our pets can be happy and healthy!

Banana Bread

Shirley's Banana Bread

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Shirley’s Banana Bread

Shirley’s Banana Bread

Don’t you hate dry, un-flavorful banana bread?

I can show you how to make banana bread that is BURSTING with flavor, extremely tender and I learned from the BEST – My Grandma Shirley.  She taught me some tricks of how to make amazing banana bread that even people who swear they hate it, like mine.

To make this bread is very simple, just go to the next page and I’ll show you how.

Shirley’s Banana Bread


1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shortening (butter flavor is best if available)

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1   1/2 Tbl. butter milk (best)  OR  1 tsp. vinegar in 1  1/2 Tbl. milk (to make it sour)

1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in  1   1/2 Tbl. butter milk  (best)  OR  dissolve soda in  1   1/2 Tbl. water

 4 bananas WELL ripened and mashed *Notice from the

This picture shows how dark they are, and they really could have been a tad bit riper too.

Shirley’s Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 335 degrees (if your oven will not let you adjust to this temperature, 350 will work, just keep a close eye on the bread).
Prepare bread pans with cooking spray or parchment paper and cooking spray – this allows the bread to come out nicely and not leave chunks in the pan when cooked. You will get the following out of one recipe:   
1 pan 9×4  or  2 pans 4×8  or  4 pans 3×5
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.

There will be bits of the shortening that do not mix in completely, but that’s ok.Shirley’s Banana BreadPour the batter into the desired pan(s), tap gently a few times on the table or counter to release air bubbles, then place the pans into the preheated oven.

The cooking time will depend on the size of pans you use. If using smaller pans, the cooking time will be less, the larger pans will require a longer the cooking time.  Basically, it will be anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour.

The trick is (besides the very ripe bananas and buttermilk) is to take the bread out of the oven when there is a little bit of the bread on the toothpick when you insert it into the middle of the bread. It must be a little bit of crumbs, not raw batter.Shirley’s Banana Bread

Let the pans sit on a cooling rack for 10 minutes or so, then tip out the bread and let it cool ALMOST completely.

Now either eat

 OR wrap in plastic wrap or put it into a zip lock bag. This will help to retain its moisture making it wonderfully tender, moist and so delicious.  

Enjoy in the next couple of days, or freeze for up to 3 months.Shirley’s Banana BreadRecipe and copyright by Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013  (recipe from Shirley)
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.