Healthier Banana Bread Recipe with Hemp Seed and Coconut Oil

I was so irritated when I dropped Peppermint oil instead of Vanilla into my brown sugar and butter mixture for banana bread. This, of course, happened after waiting for my butter to soften, and wouldn't you figure it was my last stick of organic butter! Hmm, peppermint with banana? nope I'm not feeling it! So, that meant only 1 thing, I had to find a new recipe with coconut oil instead of butter because that's what I had on hand.

It turned out to be a lucky mistake because I found a great recipe that was healthier and better tasting!

I love that the sugar is replaced by maple syrup in the recipe. I actually used Agave syrup, so if you don't have Maple that's another alternative for you. Even though I didn't have any millet, I felt inspired by this healthier banana bread recipe, so I threw in some organic hemp seed for some added nuttiness and protein! The hemp really gave it a great new taste!

healthier banana bread with hemp seeds and chocolate chips
Give the recipe a try, and don't be afraid to swap things out for the way you like it; except maybe the baking soda, bread is really not very good with out it, (I learned this in a forgetful baking moment.)


3 large ripe-to-over-ripe bananas
1 large egg
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup agave syrup 
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda (leave this out and your bread will be like a brick)
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup organic hemp seed (great source of protein with a nice nutty flavor)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (more if you like more chocolate)
Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a medium loaf pan. In a large bowl, mash bananas. Whisk in egg, then oil, brown sugar, syrup and vanilla extract. Sprinkle baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg over mixture and stir until combined. Stir in flour until just combined, then stir in hemp and chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool loaf in pan on rack.

Recipe modified from original recipe at Smitten Kitchen

I also have to say that I recently switched to a new loaf pan and I can't believe that I ever baked without it. Seriously, what a difference this pan makes! Just ask my husband how many times in the past 2 weeks that I've exclaimed "Calphalon is the best pan ever!" It truly creates the perfect crust without over cooking the bottom, and the inside is moist.

If you try the recipe, I'd love to hear what you think of it!

I'm telling you about this pan because I really like it. I was not paid to do so. However, my posts do contain affiliate links.

Music Monday 80's Style, Let's Dance #MusicMonday

It's Music Monday! How about some 80's music to go along with my failed attempt to #ExperienceItAgain with a popular 80's game.

Let's dance!

Rock on and enjoy the rest of your week!

Operation Game Has Changed, Where's the Big Loud Buzzer?!

This is one product revamp that may be a great change for children, but it sucks for adults trying to #ExperienceItAgain. It just wasn't as fun as I remember, but, of course it has been many years since I last played it...

Hubby and I found a great deal on Operation Game and thought it would be fun to play again. We couldn't wait to play it. Hubs got it open while I set out to find the 2 AA batteries we needed to get that infamous buzzer to work. We got all the pieces loaded in and were ready to play. The pieces have changed quite a bit since I was a kid.

Turns out the rest of the game has changed, too. There are no longer cards to tell you what piece to draw. Now, you just take turns taking out any piece. The winner is the one with the most pieces at the end. So, a little bit of a change, but it can still be fun.

Except, that it's not, not for an adult anyway, or really anyone over age 6. It's just too easy! The new pieces are easier to grab, and the openings are larger, so it's almost impossible to touch the side and set off that buzzing noise that makes the game challenging and fun. I had to touch the sides just to make sure it was actually working...Yup it was, we just couldn't mess it up. So much for our new fun party game; big fail for us!

It still could be a big win as a game for young children, but if you're hoping to #ExperienceItAgain with Operation, you will be very disappointed with the revamp. The one good thing to note of the updated version is no more searching for lost pieces inside the game! Yay for that, Hasbro!

Afterall, I probably spent more time as a kid trying to dig those pieces out than I actually spent playing the game. I guess they fixed it and I can't help but wonder if this is a be careful what you wish for case! Hmmm what other old game looks like fun?!

Disney Bears is a Great Adventure on the Big Screen!

Earth Day may be done, but taking care of our Earth and the animals on it, is never done. Another reason to like Disney is that they know this. With Disney Nature movies they can share all the beauty of our planet, and hopefully educate our children on the importance of taking care of nature.

The latest Disney Nature film in theaters now is Bears and it is fabulous!

Disney Bears follows a Mama bear and her cubs on a 1 year journey in Alaska. It shows just how universal love is as Mama bear has to go to great lengths to take care of her cubs. It has funny moments like when one cub gets his claw stuck in a clam, and a few scary moments as Mama fights with a bigger scarier bear. Some of the scenes may be a little too intense for very young children, but it is Disney, after all so it is great for school age children.

If you're looking for something a little different to get your kids excited about something besides video games, and electronics, this may be the perfect movie for you. Take your kids and teach them about these beautiful animals. Let them get excited about animals and nature, and the outdoors.

Our world is beautiful and we need to do everything we can to save it for the next generations. We can't get close to these Bears in the wild, but Disney did so we can enjoy the adventure of Disney Bears, and on the big screen is the best way to see it!

Other movies from Disney Nature:


I attended a free screening of Bears in order to complete this review. All opinions expressed are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links.

Gluten Free Spring Snack Mix Recipe

One of my favorite snacks to make for holidays and get togethers is Chex Snack mix. I usually have ingredients on hand, and the recipes are so easy. One of the bext thing about Chex is the many flavors they have that are Gluten Free. It can sometimes be difficult to find gluten free recipes, so if you have someone that is on a Gluten Free diet, this may be a nice little treat for them.

Just mix up a quick batch and put it in a nice container or treat bag and Wa La! You have the perfect Gluten Free Easter gift!

Gluten free spring snack mix

3 c. corn Chex (Gluten Free)
3 c. rice Chex (Gluten Free)
3 c. mini pretzels (Snyders has Gluten Free pretzels)
1 c. dry roasted peanuts (pecans or almonds also work great!)
2 c. pastel M and Ms (yes they are also gluten free!)
2 c. white chocolate chips melted (you can use more if you prefer more sweet taste)

Combine cereal, nuts, and pretzels in large bowl. Mix in melted white chocolate until lightly coated. Stir in M and M's. Spread on cookie sheet to cool. Enjoy!

disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own. Posts on this site may contain affiliate links.

Learning to Garden, Disney Style

I have to tell you about our time behind the scenes of The Land at Epcot. I didn't know you can do this, but for $20 a person (or less if you're a passholder,) you can go behind the scenes of The Land boat ride to learn more about growing vegetable with hydroponics. You don't need a reservation. Just sign up at the desk outside of Soarin'. They have multiple times throughout the day.

My husband and I went on this 1 hour tour and it was so interesting! We learned about pest control using other insects. This method is so much better for the environment and supports the natural ecosystem. I got to carry a small container of ladybugs through the tour. At the end, I released them on the eggplants to help control damage from other insects.
Ladybug helps to control pests in the garden

You can actually buy ladybugs for your own garden to help control pests. They are shipped cold, which is how Disney stores them. When they get warm, they come right back to life, like a little bug coma.

The Cast member leading our tour was fun and knowledgeable. She taught us all about how the plants grow, and how they supply the restaurants in Walt Disney World with fresh produce. This includes giving fresh sugar cane to the gorillas in Animal Kingdom! We even got to try a fresh picked cucumber. It was yummy!

We learned about coffee and chocolate trees, as well as bananas and spices. This tree is a pepper tree. Each pepper corn will be taken off and treated to make either white, black or red pepper for seasoning.
Mickey shaped peppercorn tree
The peppercorns grow like berries on the tree. Once they are picked if not treated, they will all turn to black. You can then grind it up and put it on your table.

Along with gardening, and the secret to growing Mickey shaped vegetables, we also learned about fish farming (Aquaculture), aquaponics, and how Disney saved the American Alligator from the endangered list. It was a fun tour and I'm so glad I spent the extra money to do it.
Next time you're at Epcot and have an hour to spare, I would suggest doing this tour. If you're like me, you'll leave ready to grow your own vegetables with aquaponics!

Oprah and Deepok Chopra have a FREE 21 Day Meditation Experience!

Meditation has made a huge difference to my life. With Fibromyalgia, Psoriatic Arthritis, and spine damage, I have chronic pain and fatigue. Meditation, (and yoga) helps with this. With a few minutes of meditation, I feel so much better. Even on days where I don't have pain, I meditate to help with my mental focus. It really makes a huge difference! That's why I signed up for the 21 Day Meditation Experience.

If the thought of meditation makes you think of sitting cross legged while chanting nonsense and om, well, okay, that's one way of meditating, but it's not the only way. You don't have to go all yogi guru to strengthen your life through meditation. The great thing about meditation is that anyone can do it and it can be done anywhere.

If you're looking for a way to get a better control of your life, increase your energy, calm your nerves, relax, and get stronger mental focus, meditation might be just the thing.
Focus on the Peace around you.
Good news you can now join in on the completely FREE 21 day meditation experience with Oprah's Life Class and Deepok Chopra. Oprah is doing it so you know its got to be good, right!

There is one meditation and focus per day starting with Day 1's focus on security, followed by Day 2 Happiness. Each meditation is available for 5 days, so if you want to join you have a few days left. If you try it, I'd love to hear about your experience!

Sign up at

I received no compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own. The post may contain affiliate links.

Calling All Amateur Pitchers, Disney Wants to Give You $1 Million!

If you know someone that can throw a mean fastball, you have to tell them about this! Disney is looking to give away $1 million to a fast arm.

In honor of the new movie, Million Dollar Arm, Disney will be holding a contest to find nine finalists. The nine finalists will get to go to the world premier of Million Dollar Arm in Hollywood, CA. At the premiere they will get the chance to throw 3 pitches for $1 million. Any finalist that throws 100 mph pitch will win the money.

Do you have what it takes? or Do you know someone that does? If so, here's what you do to enter.

On April 25th or 26th go to ESPN Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, FL or Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA to tryout. If you can't get to one of those places, you can also enter in NYC on April 26 at Tribeca Family Festival.

3 finalists will be chosen from each tryout location and sent to the World Premiere. That's a heck of a prize on its own, even if you don't win the million!

Of course there are a few rules, you have to be a U.S. resident, and you have to be at least 18 years old. Get more info here including all the legal mumble jumble.

So, if your child is finally an adult, then get him or her to enter and all those weekends spent at travel ball tournaments might just payoff!

  I received no compensation for this post. I just think this contest and Disney are pretty cool!

Favorite Songs From the 2014 Country Music Awards #MusicMonday

It's Music Monday, and with last night's Country Music Awards, I can't help but have a little Country music running through my head. There were many great performances, and a couple not so great, but we can't all agree on everything, right?

Anyway, let's get our Monday going with some of the songs I like best from last night's award show.


Muppets Most Wanted is Full of Suspense, Laughter, and Music. It's Just Plain Fun!

One of the things I like most about Muppets is that they are truly timeless. It doesn't matter if you watch old Muppet Show reruns, or new Muppets movies, they stand up to the test of time. They are also ageless because you can enjoy Muppets as a child and as an adult. They just have that magical spark of fun. The latest Muppet film is no different, Muppets Most Wanted is fun from the first song right through the last dance number!

Muppets Most Wanted is still in theaters. If you haven't seen it yet, you really should. It is worth the trip to the theater. I was a little hesitant to see it, but like I said Muppets are always good, so I figured I might as well go and enjoy it. While I knew it would be good, what I didn't know was that it would be just as good if not better than the last one.

The movie opens with a silly song about it being a sequel to the last movie that got the "band" back together. Professor and Beaker appear to remind us that it is technically the 7th sequel. Wow! 8 Muppets movies. Can you believe it?! I remember when the first one came out, and I saw it in the theater with my grandmother. That was the movie that gave us the great song about rainbows. The Muppets are always giving us great new songs that you can't help but hum along to. This movie does the same thing; plenty of great musical numbers, lots of laughter, suspenseful and heartwarming moments, along with some fabulous celebrity cameos. Some of my favorite moments include cameos from Ricky Gervais, Ray Liotta, and Ty Burrell. There are also some surprise guests that help to make Muppets Most Wanted a film you'll most want to see.

Don't feel like you have to have kids to enjoy this movie, because you definitely don't. You are never too old for fun! I have no doubt you'll have a blast.

♪It's time to put on music, it's time to light the lights♪

 I attended a free screening in order to complete this review. All opinions expressed are my own.