Easy Wheat Banana Bread Recipe

Do you ever just have bananas sitting around and rotting away in your fruit basket? For some reason in my house, we always seem to have some begging to be added to a fresh loaf of banana bread. One week the bananas are gone within days and other weeks, no one pays attention to them and I end up putting them in the fridge because my kiddos refuse to eat mushy bananas. However, they love my banana bread.


Lately, I’ve been exploring making my simple recipe healthier by using wheat flour. I’ve experimented using different combinations of white flour and wheat flour without changing the quantity of wet ingredients needed. I once made a 100% wheat flour banana bread and it took forever to cook and was really dry. One thing I refuse to do is to add more butter to improve the texture and moist-ness of my banana bread.

Anyway, so let me tell you about my most recent recipe that I feel has worked very well. The resulting banana bread was not too dry, didn’t take eternity to bake and tastes goooood.

Here ya go! You’ll need:

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 cup wheat flour (Brand: King Arthur)
  • 1 ½ cups All-Purpose white flour ( Gold Medal)
  • 1 tsp baking Soda
  • 3-4 very ripe Bananas (mashed)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (this is equal to ½ cup of softened butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract(skip if you don’t have it)
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I use my Cuisinart Mini Food Processor to cut down on banana mashing time and effort

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Directions:

  • Set your oven to preheat at 400°F. Grease your loaf pan and set it aside. (I use a 9” x 5” aluminum pan)
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together sugar, white flour, wheat flour and baking soda. In a separate large bowl, mix together softened butter, eggs, mashed banana and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.
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    Egg and butter mixture

    Egg, butter and banana mixture
  • Pour flour mix into the large bowl of egg mixture. Slowly mix flour into egg/butter mixture with a fork. Stop mixing when all the flour has been soaked up by the wet mixture. (Avoid over-mixing or you will end up with tough/rubber-y banana bread)

    Batter is ready!
  • Pour into pan and bake for 45 minutes. Do use the Toothpick Test – I use a Bamboo Skewer stick.
    After 30 minutes in the oven.

NOTES:

  • Add a variety of nuts, chocolate, butterscotch or peanut butter chips, raisins, crasins, cinnamon and whatever else your soul desires.
  • Banana bread cooks faster in an aluminum pan compare to glass pans (in my experience).
  • This recipe will not produce super sweet banana bread. Use up to 1¼ cup of sugar to suit your taste.
  • Banana bread can be refrigerated and freezes well.

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Easy DIY Mini Fall Wreath

I always look for subtle ways to decorate and use colors while trying to avoid an overwhelming and loud effect. I like home decor that isn’t screaming at me and making me feel uncomfortable. Therefore, I made this simple mini Fall wreath for my front entrance.


For this project, I used a small wreath I initially made in the summer  while I was gardening and removing unwanted plants and stems that had grown too tall among others. I noticed multiple flexible stems and I saved them for this project. Here is how it looked (photo below) in the same position where I have the Fall wreath hanging right now. 


So where did the leaf garland come from?

Walmart! 

This is not the exact one I used. But it’s close enough.
I stumbled upon it on a faithful weekend grocery run to Walmart and bought it for $2.50. 

Later on that day, I simply wrapped the garland around the wreath and secured it with a piece of floral wire.

At this point, I realized that the left side was fuller than the right. So to remedy the problem, I clipped off some leaves with a pair of scissors and used hot glue to position the leaves to form a balanced round look. And tada! My new wreath was born!


 

Want to make a bigger wreath?

Buy a wreath ring from any craft store such as Michaels, AC Moore or at Walmart and wrap multiple garlands around it for a full and bold effect.

 

How to Makeover a Cushioned Accent Chair

Have you ever wished you could reupholster your furniture in a few easy steps without breaking the bank? Today I will be sharing my DIY vintage chair makeover project that required re-upholstery and what I did to bypass the detailed and tedious process of re-upholstering a cushioned furniture.

By the way, I forgot to take before photos of the chair because I was too excited to get my hands on it and make it over. However, I’ll take a stab at describing its before condition.

This chair was a light oak color and the cushion was covered with a large print floral (sage, brown) fabric. From the looks of things, the chair had been previously reupholstered and my plan was to reupholster it again. I was going to throw the chair a reupholster-reupholster party. My plan was to revive it with a fresh wood stain and a contemporary fabric for the cushion part of it. Mind you it only cost me $6.99 :).

The materials I used include:

  • Heavy/Medium Home Decor Fabric
  • Wood Stain
  • 3M Sand Paper/Sand Foam
  • Paper Towels
  • Small nails/Utility Staples
  • Hammer/Staple gun
  • Screwdriver
  • Paint brush (to apply wood stain)

So you ask, what is the trick I used to bypass the tedious re-upholstery process?

After unscrewing the cushion from the chair, I placed it in a 20” x 20” inch pillow cover that had been previously removed from a throw pillow. It was the best casing for the cushion! (I did not bother to remove the old fabric or replace the foam or plywood or cardboard or any other parts from the cushion.) On the underside of the cushion, I then pulled the fabric in several directions, starting the middle, folding it flat and nailing it into place to form a smooth finished look.

Before I sanded the chair frame
While sanding the chair frame

Next, I took the chair frame outside to sand. I sanded it with a 3M sandpaper, wiped it down several times with a damp cloth and let it dry.  Then I stained it with some Red Oak Stain, which I previously used in my DIY Bookshelf Nightstand Project.  I applied several coats of stain until I was satisfied with the results. I attached the cushion back onto the frame and tada!!!

I really enjoyed working on this project and you can too! It makes a great accent chair in my living room. I’m satisfied just walking past it. It brings me joy, hehe.

Feel free to leave a comment or questions for me.

Happy DIYing,

 

How to Add Some Bling to Your Plain Shoes

Alright so I recently came across some ideas to transform shoes from drab to fab. Women’s shoes, to be more specific. I immediately thought about my shoe collection and chose two pairs of shoes that could use some help in this department. However,  I’ll only talk about one in this post.

I bought my black Franco Sarto Black Open toe pumps from Nordstrom Rack a couple years ago. I wasn’t looking for a specific style, I just needed a new pair of black  heels to replace what I already had.

So you ask? What exactly did I do to update my pumps?!!! The answer is in the photo below! Yep – jewelry. You will need a necklace that can be separated into several pieces that match.


In addition to an unwanted or old statement necklace, you will need pliers to open the jump rings that were used to connect the pieces of jewelry together and to the chain. I used my set of tools for jewelry making. You don’t need anything fancy though. Any old regular plier will work fine.

My set of tools

After I took the pieces apart, I arranged them on the shoe as I would like. Feel free to try different angles and positions until you find the look you like. After this step, I applied E6000 glue to the pieces one at a time and to my shoe and let it dry for 24hours. Note: You might need to hold the pieces to the surface of the shoe until the glue cures a bit. The pieces tend to slide off a little and out of position. With all that said, here’s the finished product:

❤️❤️❤️

Are any of your shoes crying out desperately for a makeover? Please answer their cry for help ASAP! Hehe…

Yours DIYly,

Abi

DIY Pushpin Wall Art in 5 Easy Steps!

Do you like unique home decor? Do you appreciate personalized gifts?

I hope you answered yes to those questions because you are in for a treat.

Today I’ll be sharing how I made my  push pin wall art. It was a very easy and inexpensive project to make. I must say I like the end result and it has held up well since I made it about a year ago.


I believe I bought the canvas as a set from A.C. Moore while it was on sale and the push pins from Dollar Tree. A pack of push pins was $1, just like everything sold in Dollar Tree. I believe I paid less than $10 for a pack of 8, 14″ x12″ set of canvases. Enough of how much I paid for the items….how was it made? ….



You will need:

  1. Canvas (your size of choice)
  2. Acrylic craft paint (any color – you should probably choose a dark to allow the gold to pop)
  3. Gold push pins  – several packs (this depends on how many letter your word is and how big your letters will be). I used about 6 packs for this project.
  4. Card board or flat foam board (1/4″ thickness)
  5. Tacky glue
  6. Pencil

Step 1: Paint your canvas (2 to 3 coats). Leave to dry between every coat.

Step 2: After final coat,  hand write the word of your choice with a pencil.

Step 3: Cut a piece of cardboard that will fit the back of your canvas (this acts as the support to secure the back of the canvas when you push the pins through and for your protection)

Step 4: Using tacky glue, attach the piece of cardboard or foam board to the back of your canvas. Let dry.

Step 5: Start pushing pins into your canvas to outline the letters of your word.  Then add more rows of push pins as you wish.

Put your spin on this project and spell out names, symbols or letters. The possibilities are endless!

Happy Crafting,

Abi

How I Transformed a Storage Shelving Unit to a Nightstand.

Being a book lover means I have to have a book around me wherever I go. I usually carry a book in my bag with me when out and about or at work. I might not get a chance to read it but it’s comforting to know that I can just whip it out when I get a few minutes to myself, which rarely happens. This is why my nightstand is practically a book shelf! I scooped this baby up at my favorite thrift store, Savers, for $6.99. It was sturdy enough to be used as a nightstand even though it was made of particle wood boards in a light oak color. The coolest thing about it was that it was built on caster wheels for mobility.

On the weekend following the purchase, I set out to transform this new addition to my collection. I sanded it first and then stained it with a red oak stain by MINWAX. This project almost turned into an epic fail because I did not completely wipe off the stain every time I applied a coat. I left it to dry for over two weeks and I still ended up with a sticky nightstand/bookself. Wood staining amateur problems….. *shakes head*.

After spending sometime researching the issue, I found out I could apply another coat to loosen up the sticky surface and then wipe it again. Completely! This idea ended up being a life saver. Who knew? After 24 hours, I ended up with a nice clean semi red oak surface, which wasn’t a surprise to me being that I was staining particle wood and not real wood. What I did was more like painting the surface because the particle wood did not absorb the stain. Nevertheless, I was satisfied with the end product.

To dress it up and add some color, I used some adhesive shelf liner aka contact paper to line the top surface and bottom shelf. I had several prints in my stash but I chose a gray and white Chevron print to compliment the gray, blue, navy, turquoise color scheme of mi cuatro.




Also featured in these photos are my DIY fabric-covered lamp shade, DIY rope vase  and contact paper covered boxes.

Happy DIYing!

DIY Woven Storage Box Makeover

Have you ever not needed any thing per say but still visited a thrift store weekly just to see the things you scoop up and eventually flip?  I dream of  going to the thrift store as a scavenger hunt adventure, at least once a week. So on my thrift store trip last week, I picked up this unique woven storage box. When on these scavenger hunt adventures, I look for items that are unique and like nothing that can be found in retail stores. This woven storage box definitely fit that category and it was not going to be left behind. I bought it for $3.99 and it was a sage green color. I was intrigued by it because it was unique, impeccably made and looked handmade. (I’m sure it was It has to be handmade!)


So this last weekend I decided it was time to have some fun with my thrifted woven storage box. I had some gold spray paint on hand and that was the only item I used. I just sprayed on a few coats and let it dry. Hooray to the outdoors and great weather!

In transition. While i waited for the coats of paint to dry, I magically turned some pine cones to gold, with my spray paint of course.

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Since the gold pine cones turned out beautifully, I couldn’t help to….well….paint another one red.

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The finished product. Love Love Love it!!!

It now has a home on the console table in my living room, next to a blue and yellow vase. I will eventually think of what to store in it, but it look good enough just being pleasing to the eye for now.

Sitting pretty.
Side view. I also bought that large multi color vase at my local thrift store. Once I laid my eyes on it, I knew exactly where it would look awesome in my home. I will eventually jazz it up someday but I like it just the way it is for now.



I’m very pleased with the my green-turned-gold storage box and looking forward to returning to the thrift store for my next find and flip. The pillows are from my Modern Sweet Home Pillow Cover Collection and they can be found for sale here.

Happy Crafting,

Abi