Banana Cinnamon Bread

I have finally gotten my recipe right for making banana bread! I have tried to bake a loaf on so many occasions and each time the inside always had a wet, undercooked taste to it. I am so proud to have finally gotten in right that I had to share my recipe with everyone! This was so delicious and had my boys coming back for seconds.
Ingredients:
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix the melted butter and mashed bananas together.
3. Add the sugar, beaten egg, vanilla and mix.
4. Add the baking soda and salt, mix.
5. Add the flour, mix.
6. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top (add more if you love the taste of the cinnamon – I’m sure I added more than a teaspoon!!).
7. Pour the mix into a buttered 4×9 loaf pan. Bake for one hour. Allow to cool and then serve.

 

 

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This Soccer Mom Thing

I am so proud of my eldest son, who not only made the Select U9 A Team but also made the Toronto FC training academy!! He has been really big on goals lately and this was a goal he had set for himself to complete by the time he turned twelve, so he is ahead of the game! I haven’t told him yet, but I’ve been looking at the personalized koozies from US Imprints for his soccer team. They’re basically personalised bottle holders, that I could personalise with the team badges, but we’ll see!
He loves to play soccer and to be honest I love watching him play. He has a knack of reading plays and is always at the perfect spot at the right time. And he loves the sport with all his heart. He is kicking a ball from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to sleep (my poor living room is turned into a soccer field more times then I wish!).
The only hard part is how much soccer he now plays. The commitment is four nights a week plus matches! Which is a lot between school, work, organizing both boys, doctor appts, etc…It was becoming so overwhelming and stressful. It took a while and I had to look up some pointers from other moms but I think we have finally come up with some strategies that work for us so that our family life and his school work does not suffer.
Here is what we are doing:
1) Crock pot meals! How I have become in love with my crock pot! I never used to use it (I actually have two and did not touch them for six years!). Toss the ingredients in in the morning and as long as it is turned on by noon it is good to go!
2) My son has a designated soccer bag that contains multiples of four of everything (four pairs of socks, shorts and shirts,etc.). We keep one pair of shoes in there, as well as an extra pair in my husband’s car.
3) One soccer ball in each of the cars (sometimes plans can change and you become the designated driver!!) along with a pump.
4) He has four novels in each of our cars so that he can keep up with his reading to soccer practices. I really do not want his school work to suffer because of soccer and this was the best way to keep up on his reading skills for us.
5) Package of wipes and diapers in each car (saves having to stock up a diaper bag every time we go out) along with a bag of toys that stays in each of the cars for our youngest.
6) Packing extra snacks the morning of for our youngest to distract him during the practice.
7) Soccer schedule on the fridge with lots of highlighting 🙂
Our routine is by no means perfect but it has helped make our hectic life so much easier! What other ways do you organize or prepare to help make the night/school routine easier if your child participates in sports?
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Chocolate Pie Day

I was recently given a chance to review Gay Lea Foods Real Whipped Cream with half the fat through the Divine.ca Review squad. It is still made with real cream but half the fat then the regular whipped cream.I decided to turn this into a great opportunity to have a baking day, who doesn’t love baking days?!.
My eldest son loves to bake and to be involved in the kitchen (the youngest just loves to watch and beg for food!!). I let him chose the ingredients for our pies and he decided he wanted to make a chocolate and banana pie (I can not complain – anything with chocolate is great!!).
I prepared the chocolate filling on the stove for him and once it was done we transferred it over to a ready made pie shell (love the ready made pie shells – allowed me to just focus on having fun with my boys). Once it was chilled enough (roughly four hours later) the real fun began.

My eldest put our whipped cream topping on and he loved being able to make designs on the pie. A lot of the whipped cream ended up in the mouth of my youngest (was he ever in his glory!!). Once the pie was fully ‘decorated’ with whipped cream, they enjoyed the rest with the left over bananas and strawberries that were in the fridge.
The whipped cream was delicious. It tasted so similar to the regular whipped cream that even my picky husband could not even tell it was half the fat.
Here is our final product:

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Date Night!

My husband and I went out on our first date night in over two years! I shudder at the fact that it has been two years since we have last gone on an ‘offical’ kid free date but it was a long time coming and greatly needed.
I have to admit I had some pretty serious jitters getting ready to go out. Odd thing to have had happen! It was the first time I was leaving my fifteen month alone at night and on the weekend. On top of that, I was nervous of what I was going to talk about with my hubby (weird isn’t it – we spend every day together talking about the kids, what we need to get done but never really talk about us and how we’re feeling with all the spiralling changes and challenges).
It turned out to be a great night! We headed out to Montana’s and enjoyed a delicious dinner of ribs. Our conversation strayed occasionally back to our kids but I found out so much about him and how he has been feeling since I have gone back to work and vice versa. I really feel like it helped our relationship as husband and wife. We made a promise that we would no longer let it get to years before we go out on a date again. We have actually set our next date night for next month! Any one have some tips, exciting places to go or fun ideas for dates?
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Mela-D Serum Review

I recently won a bottle of Mela-D Serum from La Roche-Posay from their Twitter giveaway. I was super excited to try it out! Having just had my youngest son about a year ago and the various hormonal changes that go along with that as well as PCOS, my skin has suffered greatly in certain areas. I have developed darker spots along my jaw line and cheeks which I try to cover up as much as possible.
Before I began to use the product I looked up some info on it. Mela-D serum is hydroquinone free! Which is great as it has been banned in many countries as it can not be ruled out as a possible carcinogen. What it does contain is: Kojic acid, Glycolic acid and Thermal dermobiotic (info from the La Roche-Posay website). Kojic acid is derived from fungi and helps in reducing the look of dark spots. Glycolic acid is an exfoliating agent helping to remove the dark skin cells.
When I received the serum it also came with a dropper (I have never used a serum before so this was all new and pretty cool to me!). I test tried it over a period of two days on the skin around my elbow as I have olive skin that is pretty sensitive and tends to react easily. I had no reaction so was excited to try it out on my jaw line and cheeks.  I found the serum itself to be non oily and thick enough that you can put a small amount on your fingertip and it will not roll off. It has a mild to moderate strength smell that is not unpleasant. It did not irritate or make my skin tingle when I put it on. The product comes with instructions to use at night, after cleansing and moisturising your face.
I used the serum for just over two weeks (I am still currently using it) and have noticed a slight improvement of the uneven skin tone and darker spots around my jaw and cheek areas. I am going to continue to use it for an additional three months as I am impressed with the slight improvements that have occurred and would like to continue to see these improvements! I would recommend this product to anyone with mild to moderate uneven skin tone and dark spots (as that is how my skin is currently) and also to olive toned and sensitive skin individuals (as with all new products test try on a patch area away from you face!). And as the product recommends always use sunscreen during the day as your skin can become sensitive during usage.
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