Weekend breakfast: Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

I like to make big breakfasts on the weekend.

Big breakfast

All week, we usually have quick breakfasts so we aren’t late for school. And given the time between getting out of bed and getting out the door, the kiddos haven’t developed much of an appetite, so light breakfasts are ideal for us.

I also want all of us eating healthier.

There are no, what they call “kid” cereals in our home. They are so full of sugar and artificial colours, that I can’t fathom giving that junk to my kids. Our 5yo isn’t really a fan of cereal, but I still make her eat it on days when we have to rush. We tend to have hard boiled eggs, toast, yogurt, fruit and if it’s chilly, oatmeal.

This past weekend, I chose to make pancakes. Not only because they’re super yummy, but because we were low on eggs, I had a couple bananas that were dying and a container of Greek yogurt nearing it’s best before date.

This is the recipe I found, courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction:

Bowl of batter

Looks yummy!

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 and 1/3 cups (167g) whole wheat flour (or white whole-wheat)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg (or 2 egg whites)
1 cup (240ml) milk*
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large banana)
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar (or light brown)
1/4 cup (63g) Greek yogurt*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup add-ins like chocolate chips or fruit, optional
Directions:

Toss the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg, milk, and banana together. Whisk in the brown sugar and yogurt until no lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla until combined.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Stir gently until just combined. Do not overmix the batter or your pancakes will be tough and very dense. Add any mix-ins you prefer, but again – do not overmix the batter.

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat generously with cooking spray, oil, or butter. Once very hot, drop about 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle. Cook until the edges look dry and bubbles begin to form on the center or sides, about 1 minute. Flip and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 2 more minutes. Coat griddle/skillet again with nonstick spray for each pancake or batch of pancakes.

Keep pancakes warm in a preheated 200F degree oven until all pancakes are cooked. Serve immediately. Pancakes taste best right after they are made. Pancakes freeze well, up to 2 months.

*Recipe tested with both skim and vanilla almond milks. Soy milk, 1%, 2%, buttermilk, coconut milk, or rice milk are OK.

*Recipe tested with plain 0% Greek yogurt. Regular yogurt, any milk fat and your choice of flavor, is OK.

Of course I forgot to take a picture of the final results because the kids were screaming that they were starvolo, so here’s a pic from Sally’s Baking Addiction (they look better than mine did anyways).

Stack-o-pancakes

Photo credit: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Make sure you top with pure maple syrup, not the maple or butter flavoured high fructose corn syrup garbage that you can get in the stores.

Pure maple syrup

A great start to a healthier New Year! #YMCCommunity

Since January 1st of this year, I’ve been committed to exercising every day! Here we are now beginning February already and I’ve stayed committed!

Me and my workout buddy!

I started with two 30 Day Challenges, Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 3.0 and I occasionally get out running after the kids have gone to bed and hubby isn’t away for work.

This month, I’ve kicked it up a notch. I’ve changed up the 30 day challenges to work out other areas of my body that need some attention, but I’m still doing the Ab and Squat workouts because I’m seeing some great results. The Bikini Body Mommy Challenge is a 90 day challenge, so I’m still progressing through it. I check in daily with my Facebook Fitness groups so that I stay accountable and hopefully motivate the other members to stay on track or start their own journey to be healthier and happier.

Healthier you

We have a trip to Maui planned for the end of March and I’d like to feel good (and of course, look good) in a bathing suit and perhaps…a BIKINI!

What?!

A bikini?!

I’m hopeful that this will become a reality as I intend on sticking with the exercise. I plan on taking in a few of the fitness classes offered by GoodLife Fitness as well. I’ve been itching to get back into Zumba®.

Have you started a routine, whether it be getting in exercise or eating healthier, this year?

This post was written as a part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Surviving the “Man Cold” without losing it! #YMCCommunity

So, hubby woke up the other day with the dreaded “Man Cold”!

The Man Cold

If you don’t know what this is…it’s a regular cold, but it’s “man-sized”.

By this, I mean, every aspect about the cold is exaggerated. Their temperature is “like a million degrees”, their heads are “practically exploding”, the bed is the only comfortable and warm place to lay, the kids are excruciatingly louder than normal, their energy is so drained that getting food or drink is nearly impossible, but going to the bathroom is easily achieved as long as there’s a clear path and no one disturbs him en route.

I figured out how to sort things out before the “milking it” got out of hand. As soon as the grumpy bear appears from his den, I immediately hand him a couple of Daytime Cold & Flu gel capsules and a glass of water.

Daytime Cold & Flu medicine

Wait about a half an hour and you are free of one more kid to take care of.

There, of course, is the lingering cough and runny nose still, but hand him a box of tissues and a handful of lozenges, and when afternoon nap time comes around, send him and the little ones off for a peaceful 2 hour break for Mom, so you can sip your cup of tea and catch up on your own stuff in peace.

Enjoying a cup of tea

Then at bedtime, hook him up with a couple Nightime Cold & Flu capsules, so you both can get a restful sleep. It would also be fantastic if they came with a snore suppressant as well, ’cause Cold Snores are the equivalent to a thunderstorm RIGHT. BESIDE. YOUR. HEAD, accompanied with the “Breath of Death”!

How do you handle the “Man Cold” when it rears it’s ugly head in your home?

Are your kids getting the proper sleep they need? #KidFitPillow

I remember when I was a kid, my first pillow was the “dead pillow”.

The "dead pillow"

This pillow became mine when my Mum retired one of her old worn out ones. It was flatter than a pancake and really couldn’t be classified as a pillow. I don’t know if they had the regulations for pillows for kids like we do nowadays, but chances are, since I don’t even recall using a car seat or a seat belt back then, the guidelines for kids and pillows was probably pretty grey.

When my husband and I felt that our daughter was ready for her own pillow, I decided to carry on with tradition. I gave her my “dead pillow”.

I’ve never seen a kid-sized pillow anywhere…until now.

KidFitPillow

The KidFit Pillow was designed to fit and properly support a child’s head and neck as they grow. It is built around a top-quality, perforated memory foam with holes that allow for airflow and better temperature regulation. This is great for us as both our kids are mini furnaces and ALWAYS sweat at night, even in the dead of Winter. The cover of the memory foam is removable and washable and the cover for the pillow itself, is ultra-plush, hypo-allergenic, and machine washable.

KidFit Pillows

Our daughter has been using her KidFit Pillow for almost a year now and she has slept so much better! Now our little Dude will be upgrading to a big kid bed, so I’d like to get him one as well.

The KidFit Pillow comes in 3 Stages:

Stage 1: for kids 2-4yrs old

Stage 2: for kids 5-7yrs old

Stage 3: for kids 8-11yrs old

Your kids sit in car seats made for them, so why would you let your kids not sleep on a pillow just for kids?

The KidFit Pillow is a recent PTPA Winner.

PTPA Winner

Kids ALWAYS have impeccable timing! #YMCCommunity

Just as you get that important call, the kids require your attention RIGHT NOW!

MOM! ARE YOU ON THE PHONE!?

MOM! ARE YOU ON THE PHONE!?

It never fails…

They could be playing nicely and quietly with their toys and each other for the past half an hour, then just as you answer the phone, the yelling and fighting begins.

Daddy mostly works from home, so he regularly makes and receives business calls throughout the day. His “office” is the door-less den near the kids bedroom, so it’s a little less than private.

Today, while he was on one of those “professional calls”, the kids thought that this would be the ideal time to start a “Fart War” amongst themselves and loudly announce every time one of them dropped a bomb.

What the...?

What the…?

I can only imagine what the person on the other end of the line must have been thinking hearing that come across the horn. Hopefully they didn’t catch it and there was too much noise on the line. Wishful thinking.

Our home seems to get smaller as the days go by, but we make due with what we have until it’s more feasible.

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment while on a phone call?

Every kitchen deserves a good set of cookware. #CirculonCanada

Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom and the Chief Domestic Engineer of my palace, I’m a little bit possessive about the tools of my “trade”.

IMG_3807.JPG
I spend a lot of time in the kitchen prepping and cooking meals from scratch for my family. Whether it’s baking, frying, boiling, sautéing or stir frying, my appliances and cookware certainly get a beating.

When hubby and I got married six years ago, we had cookware on our registry (as every couple does) and since then, I’ve killed several pieces from that set from using them so much.

I think my grandparents had a cast iron set that my Gramma used for decades. I think one of my aunts now has them. So a good set is important to have, especially when you are doing a heck of a lot of cooking.
/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/e2d/56378879/files/2014/12/img_3813.jpgCirculon is a top-quality cookware that has been around for nearly 30 years. They were the first company to introduce hard-anodized non-stick cookware, and the first hard-anodized cookware that is dishwasher-safe and suitable for all cooktops, including induction. Top quality DuPont Autograph non-stick delivers exceptional food release that reduces the need for oils and fats – resulting in healthy meals. Metal utensil safe, Circulon gourmet cookware offers a healthy cooking solution that is guaranteed to deliver long lasting non-stick performance and they back it with a lifetime guarantee.

Scrambly eggs

My kids LOVE bacon, and bacon grease gets super duper hot (once you get splattered, you’ll know what I mean), so the skillets I use need to be able to hold their own. It’s also nice to know that they won’t get destroyed if someone accidentally uses a metal utensil in them. And it’s great that these can just be tossed into the dishwasher to help save me from getting “dishpan hands”!

Be sure to visit the Circulon website to check out the fantastic products available as well as some tasty looking recipes to try out on those nights when you’re looking for inspiration.

I’m looking forward to cooking many more meals for my family in my new Circulon cookware!

Circulon cookware

Potty training boys! Where do I start? {Giveaway} #LilMarc #YMCCommunity

When our son was born, it was a fantastic surprise!

We didn’t find out the sex of either of our babies while I was pregnant because we wanted it to be a surprise! How many of those do you get in your lifetime.

Baby On Board

Our daughter came along first and we were so lucky that she was such a good baby, toddler and preschooler.

Potty training went pretty smoothly for us, with minimal hiccups. She was diaper-free by 4 years old.

Sitting on the potty

As soon as the Little Dude arrived, my first thought was, “What am I going to do with that?!” Referring to his penis.

I grew up in a house full of girls and had zero experience with boy’s “bits and pieces”.

Changing his diapers was a whole new experience.

I have been honoured by being “hosed down” a few times, but I must admit, clean up is pretty easy. No crevices for poop to hide in 😉

He has now passed the 2 year mark and it’s time to pull on his big boy underpants. Little Dude needs to be introduced to the potty.

Boy peeing fountain

But boys are different. They stand to pee. It’s OK to sit to pee too, but why not show him how to pee like a big boy and Daddy. But when you’re only 36″ tall, standing to pee in the potty isn’t that easy. You have to pull out the step stool, and get your pants down before the front of the toilet and floor get hosed down.

Lil Marc

Searching the interweb, I came across Lil Marc.

Lil Marc is similar to a urinal that you would find in public restrooms, only potty training sized!

Lil Marc Training Urinal

Lil Marc Training Urinal

It can be used as a free-standing unit or you can mount it to the wall. Simple to use and easy to empty and clean.

Potty training our little guy is going to be a feat in itself, but I think it will be a fun and exciting time for him with the help of Lil Marc!

THE GIVEAWAY!!

Lil Marc has generously offered to giveaway a Lil Marc Training Urinal to one lucky Raincity Parent reader! This giveaway runs from October 8th-17th, 2014 and is open to residents of Canada and the US only. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway