Monday, September 21, 2015

The Best Banana Bread in the world. Seriously. It is.

I have this recipe on my long since forgotten food blog.  I have neglected it for two years at this point.  I do go back over and over for certain recipes though.  This would be one.
  
It is by far the BEST banana bread I have ever made.   The original recipe I wrote, down below, calls for blueberries.  I have used those, I have replaced with chocolate chips, I have left out the additional item all together and just went straight up banana.  ALL GOOD.  My kids don't eat nuts, but if you like nuts, throw those bad boys in place of the blueberries!

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 ripe bananas, smashed (smash, but leave some lumps)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter (I usually use unsalted, Eric bought salted.  I used that)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt, about 1/4 teaspoon or so
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh and rinsed-OPTIONAL (If you use frozen berries, thawed it would work as well.  You just run the risk of purple-ish bread, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour (I grabbed this instead of all-purpose out of the pantry, you could use all purpose if that is what you have)

 DIRECTIONS:


  1. Heat oven to 350F
  2. Mix together mashed bananas and the melted butter.
  3. Stir in the brown sugar, egg, and the vanilla.
  4. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the banana mixture and mix in.
  5. Stir in the rinsed blueberries.
  6. CAREFULLY stir in the flour.  
(You don't want to over stir this.  If you do, you risk popping the blueberries as well as getting a hard loaf of bread.  You want to mix it JUST enough to include everything, but not so much to lose the chunks of blueberries and bananas.)
    
    7.  Butter and sugar a loaf pan.  Yes...butter and sugar. You will thank me. Mine was 
          4x8.  It was a nonstick pan, but I didn't want to risk anything. 
    8.  Pour batter into the pan.  The batter is THICK.  I had to use a rubber spatula to get
         it all in there.
    9.  Put the pan in the oven and set the timer for an hour.  Start checking around 50 
         minutes.  You want to cook it until you put a toothpick in the center and it comes
         out clean.
   10.  Once cooked, place the entire thing on a wire rack and let cook for 15 minutes.
   11.  After 15 minutes, remove from pan and try not to eat it all right then.

Enjoy!


 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sock it To me reveiw...AND contest info!

Well, it is that time of  the year again.  Time for the Sock It To Me annual design contest! If you haven't heard of them before, you haven't read my blog very well!  You can check out past posts HERE and HERE. I will wait.

Coinciding with the design contest this year, is the release of their new fall line!  So, of course I jumped at the chance to grab some new ones.  I had this whole idea of me wearing the adorable socks and taking some fantastically autumn inspired photos, then I dropped an 8 foot long 2"x8" board on my big toe.  No frolicking anytime soon for me.  So instead, you get lovely sock photos taken onto of the table we are making...which is why I had the long board.  Stupid toe.

First three up are Unicorn vs. Narwhal, Relatively Cool, and STRETCH IT Knee High: Planets.  I kind of have a SLIGHT obsession with Narwhals.  I MIGHT have painted an awesome picture of one this past summer.  The Narwhal Vs. Unicorn was mine the second I saw it.  Pretty sure a unicorn would not beat a narwhal though.  Unicorns are pure.  I think Narwhals would fight pretty dirty.

Relatively Cool is going to look AWESOME with this little black dress I have.  It kind of flares in a 50's style.  That with some little cute slip ons, I might be the cutest at the craft shows this fall.

The awesome thing about Sock It To Me, is that they understand that people come in all different shapes.  The STRETCH IT line is made with super stretchy SOFT material so when the picture stretches to go over larger calves, the picture remains looking like the picture and not all stretched out.  If you have larger calves, you know what I am talking about. This line is AWESOME.
The Alien who Stole Christmas is TECHNICALLY for my husband, I mean they are men   crew socks, but honestly, I have big feet...so..ya know...pretty sure they are mine now. I need shorter socks too!
Halloween is coming up, but I celebrate year round.  What better way to than with Frankenstein's Sockster? These are fantastic kneehighs!   I am glad that his eyes are closed though.  Would be kind of creepy to have Frank staring up your skirt all day. lol
My ABSOLUTE favorite from the fall line are the Fawn Memories.  The deer actually WRAPS AROUND the sock.  Too stinking cute.
 
They have over 300 styles of fun and funky socks.  Is there anything you think they are missing ? If so, head over to their contest link and enter!  The contest runs from Sept 8th until Sept 30th 2015. 

What can you win?  Thanks for asking! 
1st Place: Cash prize of $2,000, their design will be manufactured on real socks, and 15 pairs of awesome Sock It to Me socks from our current line!
2nd Place: Cash prize of $500 and 10 pairs of socks.
3rd Place: Cash prize of $250 and 5 pairs of socks.

Remember...simple coloring is key.  No shading.  Good luck!

Sock It To Me provided me some adorably cute socks in exchange for me telling you about the awesome new products and the contest.  All thoughts, opinions, broken big toes, and images are all my own.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

It is the Carolina Renaissance Festival time....HUZZAH!!!

The very first date Eric and I ever had was to the Carolina Renaissance Festival.  We met the week before at a concert and this was the first official date. It was such a chilly day.  Ever since that day, we have tried to hit the Renn Fest at least once a year. I look forward to this announcement every year.

"Time travel to the Carolina Renaissance Festival where history comes alive with non-stop day-long entertainments, arts and crafts, games and rides, jousting knights on horseback, feasting and so much more! Each day inside the 25 acre Village of Fairhaven is filled with an abundance of attractions and entertainments for all ages. Enjoy your best day out in history 8 consecutive weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, October and November. Details online at Carolina.RenFestInfo.com"
My readers get to save with your visit! FREE Child Admission! - Receive one FREE child admission for children age 5 - 12 with purchase of one full price adult ticket at Festival gate. Children under 5 are always free. Coupon is valid at the Festival ticket booth! 
 

See you there!


I was provided complimentary tickets in exchange for telling you about this awesome event.  All thoughts and trips down memory lane are all my own.

Disney On Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic comes to Charlotte!

Hey guys!  I have been MIA for basically this summer.  Feels good to be back.  What better way to welcome myself back than to inform you of a new show coming to Charlotte AND give you a chance to win 4 free tickets to the show! YIPPEE!

"Grab your Mickey ears and get ready for the ultimate Disney experience at Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt! Be charmed by a cast of over 50, with Mouse-ter of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse, sweetheart Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana. Relive the magic of Disney's Frozen with Anna, Elsa and the hilarious Olaf as they discover that true love is the greatest magic of all."  V might explode from excitement over them!

"Sing-along to over 30 unforgettable songs including "Let It Go," "You've Got a Friend in Me," and "Hakuna Matata." Exciting moments from Disney•Pixar's Toy StoryFinding Nemo, Disney's The Lion KingBeauty and the BeastAladdin and more will leave the whole family with memories to last a lifetime. Show off your moves at the Disney Magic of Healthy Living dance-along pre-show inspired by the Disney Healthy Living commitment as the celebration of the century skates into your hometown!"

Every single show I have been to that Disney has put on has been nothing short of Magical.   I am so excited for this.  I might be more excited than V AND we are taking my mom!  She has never seen a Disney on Ice show before!


The show is running September 30th through October 4th here in Charlotte.  You have a chance to win 4 free tickets to opening night Wednesday Sept 30th at 7pm RIGHT NOW.  It is ONLY for opening night, so make sure you can go!  I have zero clue about where you will be sitting, but Disney + Free = awesome, right? Also, you MUST make sure to use an email that I can reach you at. You have 24hours to claim your winning tickets!  If you don't email me back, I have to draw someone else! Enter below and good luck!!!

If you don't want to wait and just want to buy your tickets now, head to this link to do so:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Feld Entertainment gave me tickets in exchange for my promotion and contest hosting. Opinions are my own.