simple banana bread recipe with sour cream via the sweetest digs blog

the best ever banana bread recipe

29th December 2014

Are you guys bakers? I am in waves. Usually around the holidays, I get into a bit of a baking frenzy. One of my good old standbys is banana bread. I have been making it since I was a kid. There’s not much I love more than a fresh piece of it out of the oven, all warm and delish. Anyway, I whipped up a few loaves this holiday season to have ourselves and give as gifts.

The recipe I like to use is this banana bread recipe from AllRecipes. It’s traditional, and I don’t do any of the additives like walnuts or chocolate chips. The straight up banana flavour is where it’s at for me. This isn’t gluten free or low cal or anything like that. There’s a serious helping of butter, sugar, and flour. But it’s good to have a treat every now and then, right? There are over 3000 reviews of it on All Recipes, with a 5 star rating. Can’t beat that!

I won’t go through the whole recipe – you can find it here - but this is what you’ll need:
-white sugar
-vanilla extract
-all purpose flour
-baking soda
-sour cream (I used Gay Lea’s Premium Gold)


Pretty basic stuff, really. You might not be used to adding sour cream to your banana bread, but guys, it’s amazing. I used the Gay Lea Premium Gold sour cream which is super rich and creamy – it’s made of just 3 ingredients. It totally gives the banana bread extra moisture. Nothin’ dry about these loaves and definitely no need to add butter on top of each slice. You can check out Gay Lea’s website for more ideas and recipes on how to use sour cream and other products.

You want the bananas to be super ripe. Either black ones that you have in your freezer, or ones that are going very brown on the counter. That way they are nice and mushy and really easy to blend in to your mixture.

I sliced my bananas in and then just mixed them around with everything else. Within a minute or so they were all mashed. DSC_0002

I find that banana bread doesn’t take much time to prep, but does take a while to cook. Maybe 10-15 minutes of prep time, but like 1 hour + (depending on your oven) to cook the loaves. I did 3 at a time.

And here is the result. Golden, with those natural cracks at the top.

Seriously, can you smell it coming out of your computer? SO good.


Here was my… ummm, helper (?). Basically she ran loops around the kitchen island as I did the prep work. Monkey.DSC_0006

So as much as I wanted to devour all of these loaves myself, I did give some as gifts. Here is one that I wrapped up in parchment paper and tied along with some other kitchen-related goodies (tea towels + oven mitts) for my sister. Handmade, practical, yummy. Plus, doesn’t it look cute? DSC_0019

simple banana bread recipe with sour cream via the sweetest digs blog

Have you guys been baking over the holidays? Got any favourite recipes to share? Gay Lea sends out monthly newsletters featuring great content, tips and coupons! You can sign up here.

Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.


merry christmas & happy new year

24th December 2014

Woah guys – sorry to not have been on here recently. Life has been over-the-top busy with the house renovation — trying to finish it up so that we can move in there over the holidays. A lot is happening very quickly! I promise to give you a good update soon, but for now I just wanted to jump on here and wish you all a very merry christmas. I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones, and take some time to slow down, eat well, laugh, reflect on your year, and watch a few holiday movies. I’m jonesing for some Love Actually.

Here are some snippets of Maya’s first visit with Santa Claus this morning (yep – on Christmas Eve … talk about last minute.. whoops!).

Quite a worried look. No tears, though!


And a family shot (which apparently didn’t help any with the whole worried-not-sure-what’s-happening-here look for M).


From my family to yours, merry merry! xo.


going retro with Big Chill

18th December 2014

So I have a direction for our new kitchen which includes grey and white shaker style cabinetry, gold hardware, marble-like countertops (quartz probably…), wood floors, and stainless steel appliances. I’m pretty damn excited about it (I promise pictures of it tomorrow!). But despite this being a totally dreamy design for me, there are many directions that we could have gone in. I’m not an only-white cabinetry kind of gal (don’t get me wrong, I *love* white, but not exclusively). In a different house with a different style, I could have happily gone with walnut wood or black cabinetry, a kitchen with concrete counters, one with vibrant morroccan style tile, or something retro.

Big Chill is a company that designs appliances. They have a ‘Pro’ line which are beautiful looking modern appliances in a variety of colours, but what gets me is their ‘Retro’ line. Yes, I’m talking about those rounded fridges in pastel colours.


How can you not love this mint beauty? It’s got that classic, stamped metal body but with all of the conveniences of a modern appliance.


The pale pink? Dying.


I would happily use these mid-century appliances in a kitchen. In fact, I have always dreamed that maybe one day when we make over the kitchen in our family cottage (waaay down the line – the current kitchen is great) that we could use coloured retro appliances like this. I just think they are so fun, plus they come with all the conveniences of modern appliances. It’s not like they are old school in the functionality.

I went to Big Chill’s celebrity page, and it’s pretty fun to get a peak inside some of their kitchens. Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Miranda Lambert, etc.


Would you ever use colourful appliances in a kitchen? What about just a punchy microwave or something? What does your dream kitchen look like?

*Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Big Chill, but all opinions are my own, as always. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog! 


christmas projects: a roundup

15th December 2014

With everything going on at our house right now, this just isn’t the year for many christmas-related projects, crafts, etc. Just too busy with the reno, you know? Luckily Maya is young enough still that I don’t feel too guilty about not going all out.

If you’re looking to do some projects though, here are a few of my favourites from years past. They are all quite easy, and fun to do!

So you need to have wood slices on hand for these, but then it’s just a matter of painting and having fun doing different designs to make these wood slice christmas ornaments. I still love these colourful ones I did last year, and this year I did some with chalkboard paint and white sharpie paint markers that were super cute and I sold at a craft fair (forgot to take a pic!). DIY-wood-slice-ornaments-the-sweetest-digs DSC_1239

I made this paint dipped wreath out of clothespins that I had hanging around. God knows I don’t hang out the laundry, so they were perfect for this scandi style wreath.

DSC_1188 DSC_1193These mason jar faux snowglobes just took a trip to the dollar store for supplies, and turned out super cute. Bottle brush trees weren’t a big thing back then, but I would love to do some now full of different coloured trees. Would be amazing down the center of a table.


Need a simple gift to give to family, friends, neighbours? These mason jar cookies are perfect and easy to put together. Plus, they will use up some of those mason jars you have hoarded (if you’re anything like me…).

DSC_0956 DSC_0948There they are. Four easy holiday projects that haven’t gone out of style.

Are you guys in full decorating, baking, wrapping mode these days? There is a radio station here that plays just christmas music for all of December, and Maya and I are totally enjoying it on our drives in and out of town every day. There is some major singing along happening in the front, and “la la la” coming from missy in the back!

image (1)

life lately: the friday recap

12th December 2014

Happy Friday, lovelies!

In house news this week.. a garage door was installed. Yay for no longer having big pieces of plastic and wood boarding up the garage.

In terms of the look, I went for a traditional white door with ranch-style panels and “stockton” windows (from the Wayne Dalton brand). Similar to this guy:


There were some more craftsman style doors that I loved, but they were expensive and I felt like this was an area where I could happily compromise on the look. It’s funny – garage doors aren’t something I always notice on houses, but once you are looking for one for yourself, you all of a sudden look at EVERYONE’S doors. I have been finding everything has been like that. Front doors, siding, roof shingles, porches, steps/walkways, etc. Anyway, we are super pleased with the door and with the installers (Al Parsons, if you’re curious). More pics of the exterior next week – I forgot to snap any!

On the inside, some of the fun things are starting to happen. Like what, you ask?

Well, this.


Yes. That is a herringbone floor in the kids bathroom. Be still, my herringbone-loving heart.

I will go into more details about sources and stuff used in each room later on when I write posts on each room, but I’m going for a “Paris cafe” look in this bathroom. Think black and white, herringbone, subway tile, etc. I’m on the hunt for some reasonably priced black faucets for the vanities – anyone have any suggestions?

And to continue on the flooring trend, the hardwood started going down this week too. Hallelujah! We chose a maple floor that has, to me, the perfect combination of grey and brown.

We went with the wide-planked engineered wood version for the main floor, as I was really pining after the 6 inch boards…

image (1)

And then on the second floor, it’s the same colour but in solid wood, which comes in 3.5 inch planks.image (2)

I’ll go into way more details about how I chose this floor in another post, but as it’s going in I can happily say that I’m totally pleased with the choice (thank god… with this much square footage to cover, it’s a seriously expensive decision!).

The main floor was looking so clean and tidy before the flooring started to go in, and now it’s like a bomb has gone off again. It’s constantly like two steps forward, one step back.


In other news, we had one of the first snow storms of the year this week. It meant that we all hunkered down at home on Wednesday. Because we have a 1-hour commute into town right now since we are shacked up with my parents, it just didn’t make sense to try and brave the roads. Dan and I switched off on entertaining our little monkey while we both tried to get a bit of work done.

(also – notice the haircut?! I solved the mullet problem by giving her a straight-across cut on the hair at the back, while she was distracted in the bath. Such a good tip from my sister in law!)


I popped by IKEA this week to see if they had a couple of things for our bathroom, and of course got sidetracked by all the pretty. Besides mint-coloured LACK tables for $4.99 (why didn’t I buy one of those again?!), I fell in love with some of the global-inspired textiles. I totally have my eye on some of these cushion covers…

ikea cushion covers

And this granny-meets-kilim rug had me at hello. Now to figure out where I could sneak this in without Dan noticing…

ikea rug

Oh, and don’t forget to enter the camp & cabin giveaway I have going on. The prize? One of these sweet camp & cabin fleece onesies (amaaaazing!) and $100 VISA gift cards. Basically you can throw on your onesie, be super cozy, and do some online shopping with your gift card. Pretty dreamy if you ask me.

snugabyeAnd I am participating in my last craft fair of the season this Saturday (phew! last one! it has been a BUSY two months!). If you’re in Ottawa and want to go on a sweet craft fair crawl, check these out. I’ll be at the Hub fair!

craft crawl

Have a great weekend, guys! We are planning on bringing Maya to meet Santa this weekend. I’m curious about whether it will end up in tears or a happy picture. She is a social girl, but the white beard might throw her… we’ll see!


getting a house Christmas present with RBC Rewards

10th December 2014

I have chatted before about my experience with RBC – well, with a seriously tight budget for Christmas this year, I thought about those points that we had been accumulating. It seems like the right time to put them into use.

The house is getting really close to the move-in point, which has me all kinds of excited. Is it weird that I kind of want to get the house a Christmas present? I’m all, “Hey dream house, merry christmas! welcome to the family!”. I told you – a little weird.


We usually use our points for travel, but RBC Rewards also has a big selection of products that can be purchased using their points, too. Think Kate Spade, KitchenAid, Apple, Future Shop and Best Buy items, and so many others. Here are some of the things that I have on my house christmas present wish list this year.

I love these fizzy water machines.

ProductImage (1)

This kettle is a classic and way cuter than the white plastic one I have. I love the cheery colour, don’t you?ProductImage

Now that we have more floors + rooms, my one Tivoli radio won’t quite do it. This bluetooth Bose speaker looks pretty snazzy and Dan says it has amazing sound.

ProductImage (2)

And if I was gifting myself? This rose gold and white watch by Michael Kors is a stunner. Is giving yourself a Christmas gift a thing? I’d like to start.ProductImage (3)

Maya isn’t quite old enough for it yet, but I’m totally digging this workbench by Melissa & Doug. Gotta get her DIY skills underway so she can help mum and dad around the house.ProductImage (5)

You can check out everything RBC has to offer through points here through their holiday destination guide. And I mentioned it before, but if you shop through the RBC Rewards eMall, you earn bonus points on every item purchased. More points = more presents or travel, which sounds pretty sweet in my books.

Are you guys points collectors? Ever used them to purchase gifts? Am I the only one who wants to get my house a Christmas present? Probably, huh?

This post was brought to you by RBC Rewards, but the images and opinions are my own. For more information, please visit RBC Rewards.

sweet find: camp & cabin giveaway

8th December 2014

So if you ever knock on my door around dinnertime (or afterwards), there is a 99% chance I will answer the door in my pyjamas. I basically come through the door at the end of the work day, go to our bedroom, and throw on my PJ pants. No snack, no drink, no nothing, until I get into the comfy clothes.

So imagine my absolute delight when I came across Snugabye’s camp & cabin onesies. A one piece fleecy pyjama? Hello, best most cozy invention ever. I’ll take 7 pairs.


How sweet would it be to snuggle up in one of these over the holidays? If you want to order one (they are on sale right now!), you need to order by December 20th to get it in time. Plus, use promo code ‘COZY’ to get $15 off an adult onesie.

Snugabye has been making comfy and quality sleep/loungewear for kiddos for 60+ years (since 1947!). About time they make something for mama’s and daddios, don’t you think?!

My ‘favourite things’ giveaway closed over the weekend (congrats to our winner, Daniela!), but don’t despair… Camp & Cabin has a contest running right now for a chance at winning 1 of 3 prize packs, which include a camp & cabin onesie of your choice plus a $100 VISA gift card. Sweet, huh?

Camp & Cabin

Contest is open to Canadian and United States residents only, excluding Quebec. The contest runs until December 15th 2014.

Disclosure: I am part of the Snugabye Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.


life lately: the friday recap

5th December 2014

Okay so I missed last week’s new “friday recap” feature. One for two – not such a great track record so far, huh? Well, I’m back at it this week!

The house? It’s getting close, you guys. From the outside, it’s really looking like a house. The garage door is being installed today, and then we just have the porch to finish, plus the whole site to clean up (I’m looking at you, dumpster). Oh, and lighting. Those dangling cords need to tie into lights.


Things are also moving quickly inside. Everything on the main and upper floors is done being primed, the furnace is now on (heat!), trim around windows has happened, some tiling is complete, the doors are being hung right now, and hardwood floors will be installed next week.

Yesterday I spent the better part of the afternoon there just cleaning up. So. Much. Dust.


In other life news, our little munchkin is fab. Look at how out of control her “fountain pony” had gotten in the pic below. So long! But the problem was the hair was always covering her eyes when it was down, and the girl just won’t have anything to do with a barrette or headband. I’ll put it in and distract her, but inevitably she’ll remember it’s in there a few minutes later and pull it out.

So I got the nerve up and cut her bangs ever so slightly. But now I have the old mullet problem. I don’t really feel like paying to take her in for an actual haircut yet, but am nervous to cut the back myself. Plus, I love putting in little pigtails. #hairproblems. Anyone have any advice on cutting baby girl hair?

Here she is, being all brave and a big girl at the Doctor’s office for her latest round of vaccinations. Pantless, are per usual of course, and dragging around ALL THE BOOKS.image_2

And although temporarily living in the country is a pain in my butt right now with the long commute every day, there are some perks. Like the CP holiday train that came through town last Friday night! It’s a big train that is all lit up, and travels across Canada, stopping in towns along the way. One of the cars open up, and a band comes on and plays Christmas tunes. You bring canned food to donate to your local food bank. All in all, a fun, feel-good, event! It was chilly, but we bundled and danced to the songs. Maya loved the lights.

Three generations…
IMG_20141128_185655Alright – gotta run and get back to my loooong to-do list today. If you’re in Ottawa, come on out to Urban Craft tomorrow. I’ll be there with my shop, the sweetest digs co.

Hope you guys have a great weekend! Anything on the agenda?

DIY christmas and swiss cross felt pennants - super cute and easy to make - via the sweetest digs

DIY felt pennants (really easy, really cute!)

3rd December 2014

I have a cute little tutorial for you guys today. I haven’t been doing much in the way of Christmas decorating or projects, seeing as we are still shacking up at my parents’ place and ridiculously busy right now with house reno/day jobs/etsy shop/blogging/commuting/parenting/etc, but I couldn’t help buying some felt at the dollar store the other day and came up with these DIY felt pennants.

DIY christmas and swiss cross felt pennants - super cute and easy to make - via the sweetest digs

It’s really simple. Grab some sheets of felt (usually about 30 cents a piece), some wooden dowels (you can get a pack for a buck or two), your hot glue gun, scissors, and some twine.

I didn’t take many pictures of the actual process, but it’s easy to explain.

Step 1 >> Cut the triangle out of the bottom of your piece of felt. I measured the mid point and then drew lines with a ruler from it down to the ends so that it would be even-ish.

Step 2 >> Fold over the top of your felt piece, over the dowel, and then run a bead of hot glue along it. Press down and hold in place until it dries. {If you wanted to get fancy – you could sew this, but that is beyond this lazy DIY gal}. DSC_1233

Step 3 >> Turn your pennant over, and then cut out whatever shapes you want and glue on. You could also use iron-on appliques, buttons, fabric… really, you could glue on just about anything. I free-handed some shapes out of the felt I had. I’m super into black and white these days, so I did a christmas tree and a swiss cross.

Step 4 >> This is where your twine comes in. Just tie it on either side of your dowel (tie on one side, leave enough slack at the top, and then tie on the opposite side, and cut off excess). Twine works well here because I find it’s easier to get a really tight knot.

I had fun making this bright ice cream cone one.


The inspiration for this project came from the “be one of a kind” pennant I had made at BlogPodium with the We Create Hoopla girls. This one uses fabric instead of felt, was sewed {fancy!}, has iron-on letters, and gold string that I wrapped around the dowels for hanging. DSC_1239Cute, right? They are super cheap to make, and you could totally prep the pennants and then get the kids in on the action with decorating them. I’m definitely going to be putting one of these up in Maya’s new room, and think I’ll put the swiss cross one up amongst a gallery wall.

Been doing any crafting lately? What have you been up to? I’d love to know!

favourite things giveaway, via the sweetest digs

favourite things holiday giveaway

1st December 2014

Alright you guys, it’s the holidays and I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to y’all for popping in here all year, leaving comments, being so encouraging with my Etsy shop this year, keeping up with our renovation, and just being the sweet readers you are. In case you ever wondered, yes I make some money from this blog but it is really pretty minimal –  the main reason I do it is because I just love this community of readers and fellow bloggers so much. You guys are the bomb diggity.

So enough of the mushy stuff, I wanted to put together a giveaway as my way of saying thank you and happy holidays! All of the items in this prize pack are from Ontario makers – most of whom I have met on the craft fair circuit. So wanna see what is up for grabs?

favourite things giveaway, via the sweetest digs

Time to get all Price is Right model on you. Picture me sweeping my hand next to these pictures to display the goods and in my fanciest sequin ballgown.

First up is this fun and dainty necklace with a half inch sterling silver disc that has hand cut from recycled silver and stamped with a tiny anchor, matey. Finished off with a brass hammered finish pennant charm. These are set of a beautiful, solid 18 inch sterling silver chain. The length of this chain will allow the pendants to sit about 2 inches below your neckline. Made by the super-popular Salvage Jewelry Co. $60 value.


Gotta have some earrings to go with your necklace. How about these ridiculously gorgeous and understated rose gold Capella earrings (rose gold!! druzy! my faves!!). The posts are gold-plated stainless steel. Made by Daring & Dapper. Value $20.

darling and dapper

Next up is something for a sweet little babe in your life. Little Yeti Shoes are lovingly handmade using real leather. The shoes have soft soles, which are gentle on baby’s feet and perfect to toddle around in. Elastic makes the shoes easy to put on and stay on. $30 value.

These gray and pink ones are so cute, don’t you think?


I couldn’t have a giveaway to thank you guys without including my own Etsy shop – the sweetest digs co.! Up for grabs from me are 2 prints of your choice. $30 value. Some of my favs include this “you make life magic” one

graphic 30 -make life magic

And “our little adventurer”

little adventurer - etsyb

Sweetest girl ever, Emily, makes the most delicious smelling candles EVER for her Campy line. She’s also the one behind the super sweet Almonte-based shop, Hello Yellow. This “it’s your birthday” soy candle and pack of polyhedra ornaments are up for grabs. Total value $40.


And lastly, I’ve got you covered for some holiday cards for your family and friends. My girl Jessica from Ink Blossom makes these gorgeous cards — that is a drawing that she did herself! So talented, amiright?

6-pack of handmade Christmas cards featuring horse with sleigh bells. Includes 6 hand-illustrated 5″x7″ folding cards on white linen with taupe wood grain textured envelope. Saying inside: “In the air there’s the feeling of Christmas”. Value $24

ink blossomSo that’s my big thank you to you guys for being the best readers EVER. Enter the giveaway below using Rafflecopter. Open to Canadian and Continental US residents (void where prohibited). Closes on Sunday Dec 7, 2014. [Update: Apparently Rafflecopter has been having issues today with their widgets. If this doesn’t show up for you right now, pop back tomorrow or later in the week to enter. Sorry for the inconvenience!]

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And want to enter some more giveaways to win some other amazing prizes? Well, a group of my blogger friends across Canada have all put together giveaways of their favourite things. Kind of a la Oprah and her favourite things series, minus the whole free car for everyone thing. If only bloggers could wheel and deal giveaways like that! Anywho, visit all the blogs listed below to enter your name into these draws. Unless you know, you don’t want to win awesome free stuff, that is.

group giveaway

Go check out these other fabulous items and ENTER ON EACH BLOG for your chance to win. 9 blogs with 9 winners! From left to Right, they are:

Reader’s Afternoon Escape Giveaway from Satori Design for Living

Juxtaposition Antlers from The Happy Housie

Cozy Day in with Suede Moccasins & Tea Diffuser from The Sweet Escape

Silhouette Prize Pack from Fynes Designs

Light Scoop Deluxe from Suburble

Taylor Linens Waikoloa Embroidered Pillow from The DIY Mommy

Favourite Things by Ontario Artisans from The Sweetest Digs

Cozy Winter Afternoon Reading Basket Giveaway from Echoes of Laughter

Merry & Bright Favourite Items from City Farmhouse

Good luck!