The Beauty of Motherhood

The beauty of motherhood
Pure joy of make believe.
Adventures through imagination.
Dreams taking flight.
These children search for the beauty in small ordinary things.
They find laughter and joy.
I find I believe.

Make believe.

DressUp
Dress up time as a princess and a fairy.

Imagination.

Imagination

Dream.

DareToDream

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Balancing is an Art

Balancing is an art.
Life is uncertain.
Moments so unstable.

We stand, sure-footed
And a wind, an unforeseen circumstance
destabilizes the most confident.

Falling is not failing.
It’s a lesson to persevere
Don’t ever give up.

We grow stronger
more confident
more flexible

Balancing is an Art
Not learned in a day
A lifetime of commitment.

My daughters learning to balance.

My daughters learning to balance.

To-Die-For, Amazingly Rich, Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Frosting. And it’s Healthy!?

To die for chocolate cake!

Yes, you read the title right. A healthy chocolate cake? That is to die for and richly delicious? It is true my friends!

Now, by healthy, I don’t mean it can replace your veggies or you should go and eat the whole thing, but as far as chocolate cakes go this recipe…takes the cake 🙂

One serving, about a 2.5 by 3 in slice, of cake minus frosting is ONLY 136 calories, just a hair over 2 g of fat, 15.4 g of sugar, and has 4 g of fiber and 4 g protein! Here’s the nutrition info thanks to sparkpeople’s recipe calculator.

I tweaked the chocolate banana cake recipe from the joyofbaking.com

The original recipe had a lot more sugar, all-purpose flour, canola oil, and a little less banana and cocoa powder.

Here is what I did, and it was soooo rich and moist and beyond delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon King Arthur’s Whole Wheat White Flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 medium-sized super ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon (optional, but I sure love to add cinnamon to everything I can!)
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax-seed (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. (but since I used a glass pan I set it to 325 F!)
  • Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  • Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and flax-seed. Set aside.
  • The dry ingredients all mixed together

  • In another large bowl, beat together the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, applesauce, and vanilla extract.
  • Love to use my mixer to make sure the wet ingredients (especially those bananas!) are beat up really good!

  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • batter in the pan, ready to go into the oven!

  • Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  • When completely cooled, use this frosting recipe!

Of course the frosting adds a bit more calories (just over 100) with some extra fat (9 g) and a tiny bit more sugar (5 g), but I think this is an improvement over the traditional frosting made with butter and tons of confectioners sugar. Depending on what recipe is used you can easily get just as many grams of fat (if not more), and exponentially more sugar (between 20-40 g!)

I made this as a birthday cake for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and they, along with everyone else at the party LOVED it and I just had to share this wonderful find with all of you too!

Reinventing the Peanut Butter Sandwich

I love Peanut Butter.

Now that I have my declaration of love out let’s move forward to peanut butter sandwiches. Mostly these are accompanied by a jelly or jam. In a previous post I showed a delicious peanut butter sandwich made with real, fresh strawberries.

In my quest to eat more veggies I decided to broaden my peanut butter sandwich making beyond fruits. And this is what I’ve come up with thus far:

Delicious PB and sliced carrot sandwich

And I also tried a little red bell pepper with my beloved PB

PB and red bell pepper sandwich, yummy!

What vegetable would you like to try with a peanut butter sandwich?

Hello world!

I decided to start this blog for two reasons. First, I wanted all the helpful ideas I like (mine and those of others) in one place so it is easily accessible and organized. Even though I will be writing about things which pertain to my life and may be personal (with sensible boundaries), I am not pouring my soul out on the Internet, which is why I am keeping it open to the public. I am not about to get all emotionally gooey, political, rant, or complain.

With that being said I would request that all comments are kept positive. As I intend to be blogging positively I expect there really won’t be many if any negative feedback, but if you do have something bad to say, keep it to yourself, please. If there is somehow a disagreement over something I’ve written or on someone else’s comment please keep it dignified and conversational, not crass and confrontational. Also, I definitely welcome constructive criticism on what I share. I most definitely have room for improvement, lots to learn in all areas, and I’m interested in others ideas if they are similar or a 180 from my own.

The second reason I started this blog is simply because I enjoy writing and if any of these ideas are able to help somebody else besides myself then I am all the more glad. And sometimes it just doesn’t hurt to have a little feedback on things running through my head 🙂

Most of my posts will be relatively short as my personal free time is limited as I am a mommy of a newborn and a young toddler. Speaking of time, my favorite author, C.S. Lewis once said this, “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” I am currently (and probably always will be) working on a little thing call Time Management. Maybe you’ve heard of it? 😉 So this is a great reminder to me that we all have the same amount of time and it goes at the same rate and I need to use it wisely. With that said I need to end this post and hopefully get in my two month old baby girl’s last feeding of the night. And fingers crossed she will sleep six hours again 🙂