Saturday, August 22, 2009

One Last Hoorah

Today, I say good-bye to my sedentary lifestyle along with sleeping til' 7am. As of Monday morning at 5:30 am I am getting my post-baby body whipped into shape by taking a kick boxing/strength training class at a local church.

I know you must be thinking that the above time is a type-o, I really mean 5:30, unfortunately for me, that time is correct. I have to work around my kiddos, so, I'm biting the bullet.

So, today, I am celebrating my commitment to healthy living and fitness by slamming down a couple of chocolate zucchini cupcakes and a root beer...I'll work it off on Monday.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Headed to Prison?

So, one of my readers so generously informed me in church this morning that killing a bat is illegal in Iowa as they are endangered species. This could be my final post.

I wonder if I qualify for Camp Cupcake?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Showdown With A Bat

(I took time out from my run-in to take a pic...would you have believed me otherwise?)

Not less than 15 minutes ago I had a run-in with a my house...under the cover of my son's toys. Friends, I couldn't make up a story like this if I tried.

Here I was, home alone (sweet Eva was taking a nap), cleaning house like the good wife and picking up my son's toys (who I might add had been told twice this morning to pick them up himself...another story for another time.) I bent down to pick up Ethan's guitar and heard a high pitched frantic squeaking. I looked down to see a bat staring up at me. Hmmmm, I thought, I didn't know Ethan had a bat realistic too! That's because it was real! I jumped back and screamed, which sent the bat flying through the house. So not cool.

He landed on the arm of the couch. This was a job too big for me, so I frantically called my big strong man...he didn't answer, neither did the big strong man next door or the big strong man across the street.

So, I grabbed the broom and devised my plan. I would swing the broom and hit the bat, going for the kill (I know, PETA is probably going to picket my house right now).

The problem with my plan? I've never been known for my hand/eye coordination. I swing and miss baseballs, golf balls, punching bags and pretty much anything else one could aim to hit.
Despite my weakness, I proceeded with my plan. I stealthily approached the bat, broom poised in the air, all the while praying aloud, "Lord, please don't miss, please don't miss, please don't miss."
I swung and...MISSED, which sent the bat squeaking and flying around the house! I was not abandoning my plan yet, so I began swinging wildly in the air and finally, bat met broom and went crashing to the floor. Now, I'll spare you the rest of the details as most of you would probably have found a way to have him peacefully exit the house. Even my husband sympathetically hailed the bat's goodness for ridding us of the pesky mosquito.
So, while I am still cringing from this debacle, I will take a moment of silence for the bat.

So, bat, here's to you, who today, took one for the team by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, pitted against a crazy woman wielding a broom.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What I Love...

I'm obsessed with the illusive Billy Button (Craspedia). These cute little guys are hardy, dry well, expensive, AND hard to find! So, you can bet I'm going to order some seeds from here and add them to next year's garden! I so want a simple vase with a few of these of varying lengths...sigh.

AND...One Last Post For The Day...Master Bedroom Redo

In 8 years of marriage we haven't really had "bedroom furniture". Mostly because we're minimalist furniture snobs and it's over budget! But, we've been checking craigslist and found this great Malm bed from Ikea and paired it with a couple of glass topped nightstands that Brent designed/built as well as a linear wall bookcase also by said designer/hubby. I'm pretty pleased with the just to get rid of the tan wall color and add some art!

ikea malm bed: a steal on craigslist
bedding: Area "rain" bedding
we actually purchased the rain bedding four years ago for a great
price...sadly it is quite pricey now!

linear bookshelf: b. jackson

glass and oak nightstand: b. jackson
square glass "vase lamp" ikea

Why I love the Dollar Tree

I'm all for a deal, but sometimes I think the "dollar stores" have a lot of junk...until I discovered the Dollar Tree. Ummmm....I'm in love! I found some great stuff for Ethan (cool coloring books, foam stickers, craft stuff), some large sturdy plastic zip bags for storing outgrown kids clothing (neatly) and the great square Libbey flower vases pictured above (I'm thinking of pairing them with the green "Astro Balls" from the CB2 website all guessed it...a DOLLAR! Now, admittedly they do have some "junk" like the silk flower adorned fly swatter (WHAT?!), but I'm no longer a Dollar Tree snob.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcake Recipe

We have an abundance of zucchini in our garden, and so have been using them in just about every way possible...but these little beauties of pure delight and decadence are by far my favorite way to use zucchini!

There's nothing healthy about this recipe...but, I assure you, once you take one bite you won't be able to stop yourself! They are moist, sweet and the perfect amount of chocolate; so delicious they don't need frosting! I'm not a chocolate person, but these take the...well...cake! As the recipe on the 101 cookbooks blog site said, "on a scale of chocolatiness...these are an 8 out of 10!" They are rich, but not so rich you can't enjoy them.

Give em' a try and let me know what you think!

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. melted butter
3/4 C. vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. buttermilk
2 C. grated zucchini
1C. Chocolate chips (I do half milk chocolate, half semi-sweet)
2C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (don't skip won't be sorry)
1 C. cocoa

Directions: Preheat oven to 35o. In large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, butter and oil. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, zucchini and chocolate chips.

In separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups. Bake for about 35 minutes (or'll want to watch these. It's better to be slightly under baked so the cupcakes stay moist. I pulled mine after about 20 minutes and they were completely done, yet still moist. My oven runs a bit hot.) Let cool on a wire rack and then enjoy!

An Entry of Pictures

I'm tired, and have done a terrible job of keeping my blog updated (can't imagine why???) So, in my laziness, this will be an entry of pictures! Eva is growing and changing and Ethan??? Well, he just cracks us up with the funny things he does so, enjoy!

Playing around with tape and helping paint the dining room...they kind of look like Super Mario Brothers?

ummm...licking the mirror?

An Oldie But A Goodie

You're probably wondering why I'm blogging about an old stand mixer...or maybe not, but indulge me nonetheless.
Who would have thought a 30-year-old Montgomery Ward stand mixer would have so much worth? Sure it's not the sleek color and design of a kitchen aid stand mixer...but there's so much life and story behind it...AND HORSEPOWER! This mixer is STILL going strong! (They sure don't make em' like they used to!)
My sweet mother-in-law pulled this guy down from her cabinet and offered it to me after hearing me dream (ahem...whine) about how I would love to have a stand mixer.
So, why so sentimental? This stand mixer was lovingly used to create the childhood birthday cakes and treats for her young sons and wedding cakes for her small business. She shared how often she used it and even reminisced of all the cakes she'd made (and taken pictures of...can't wait to see that album!). She then showed me some of her cake decorating techniques, gave me some pointers...and offered to show me more of what she learned! I can't wait!
This stand mixer opened up for us a fun afternoon playing around with frosting, chatting, baking and laughing. Now, it has a new home, proudly displayed on my worn counter and will continue to make sweet memories for our family.