a delicious breakfast!

Chocolate Zucchini Muffin
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Beat eggs in large bowl. Add sugar, oil, and vanilla and beat again. Stir in zucchini. Sift flour in separate bowl. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix. Slowly add dry into wet while beating on low with mixer. Pour into 2 well greased 8x4x2" loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees F for  60-65 minutes.
For muffins: pour into paper lined muffin cups and bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes.
*Can drizzle with glaze, frost with chocolate frosting, or add powder sugar to top.


A Garden Fresh Dinner

This is one of my favorite things to make with fresh green beans. It is so yummy and comforting. Its ham, green beans, onions, and potatoes. I add extra ham for my husband (he doesn't eat the green beans) but will eat everything else. I only make this in the summer and fall. Its more delicious when you have all fresh ingredients (like in the summer), it just doesn't taste the same when you make it other times of the year.

6 medium red skin potatoes washed and cut into 2" chunks
1 lb green beans washed, snapped and cut into 2 inch length
1 large sweet onion, chopped roughly
1 1/2 lb of peppered ham and/or bacon, chopped roughly into chunks
1 cup  water
salt and pepper to taste

How To Make:
Brown bacon with onion for 5-7 minutes. Add ham (if using both) and brown a little more. Add water,  potatoes, and beans and allow to cook down. Simmer for 30+ minutes until fall is fork tender. Stir every 5-10 minutes. Do not allow water to evaporate. Serve with cornbread.

Now, what to make with my peas...


From The Garden

Here is a picture of my first large picking from the gardens. I worked outside last Friday pulling weeds,  watering, and picking. I see shortcake, salad, zuchini bread, and beans for dinner in my near future.  
I've been picking strawberries and lettuce for a month and peas for a couple weeks.
I have created wonderful salads- Feta with mandarin oranges; mixed vegetable with homemade poppyseed dressing; egg salad on a bed of lettuce. My family just loves the peas- we eat thm raw all the time. My girls will pick them while they are outside playing. They run and get a handful out of the fridge for a snack. 

The zuchini and yellow squash is finally ready to pick. Time to make fried breaded zuchini, squash salad, and yummy zuchini bread.



We have been so busy around here with my oldest's softball schedule. She is playing for a team that is located nearly an hour from our home. She also over an hour from our home. Its been crazy just making all practices throughout each week. She has played in tournaments at least 1 to 3 hours from our home.  Although its been a lot of sacrifice and time, we enjoy watching her play and doing what she enjoys and does well. This is her last year playing 16U level ball. She will have to play 18U next year. She has mentioned that she may not play at all. We are trying to hold on to the days we have left. She has played baseball/ softball since she was 6 years old. Its been our life, her life.

Here is my oldest daughter (left) Haleigh with one of her best buddies from High School (right) Alexis. Her friend also plays for this organization but, plays for the 18U team. They were hoping to play for the same team but, it did not work out that way. Good thing... they both play 1st base.

I have always tried to make something crafty for most teams she has played for. Whether its snack bags, cards, scrapbooks, frames, etc... I enjoy crafting and like to share unique creations with the girls that also are  memories.  I decided to make Softball tags for water bottles for the girls.

I came across this stamp set many years ago (It is not SU!). I jump on anything that has to do with softball. Its very hard to find softball themed items for paper crafting/ scrapbooking. Most the time I use baseball themed things with adaptions. This was the first stamp set I ever saw that had GIRLS playing ball.

I wrapped each water bottle with misc pink paper and taped with regular scotch tape. I found Propel powder individual packets at our local Warehouse Club and have used them all season. They pack so easy in the basket and are easily added to water bottles.  
I attached an individual packet with glue dots onto paper and bottle. I stamped each image with Archival black ink. Colored with PrismaColor pencils and blended with Gamsol. Inked edges of each tag with Melon Mambo SU ink. Used 2 different sized star punches, scalloped oval, 1 1/4 inch circle all from SU! Used my die cut for Florette (mentioned in previous post). Attached all items with 3D glue dots, mini glue dots, or hot glue gun. I wrapped black ribbon around lid (loose) and hot glued to back of tag. Allowed ribbon ends to hang past bottom of tag.

I made a couple specific for our team's pitchers (right). The batter image (left) is for the rest of our team. I hope the girls like them.


Patriotic Rockets

Hope you all had a great Holiday. The 4th of July is one of my favorite Holidays. I love patriotic decorations, seeing flags throughout landscapes, family picnics. Most of all I love what it stands for FREEDOM! This country is such an amazing place to live. Everyone should be very thankful each and every day.

I made these adorable rockets from toilet paper and paper towel rolls. I stumbled upon these adorable rockets while reading one of my favorite blogs http://tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com/2011/06/red-hots-and-blue-fourth-of-july-rocket.html. After seeing  the first sample I did further search and found other ways to make these rockets. Martha Stewart http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/patriotic-crafts has a great tutorial and how to make them into party poppers/ favors. Here's how I  made them.

empty paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls
strips of designer papers
(11x12" for towel, 4x8" for TP roll)
circle cutter
firm hold adhesive
glue gun
ribbon 15 inches in 3 patterns/ colors

Wrap each tube with decorative paper of your choice. Apply tape strip to both ends and in 2 places within center. I reinforced tape at end with hot glue.

Cut 3.25" circles out of various designer papers. This will be used for the coned top of the rocket.

Cut a straight line 1/2 diameter of the 3.25" circle as shown in picture above.

Bring ends together overlapping until the paper forms cone shape. Use hot glue to hold together.

make 3-4 loops into each strip of ribbon. This will be used for flames at bottom of the rocket.

Adhere all loops together with hot glue. Hold together until set and attach 3 various looped ribbon pieces to bottom of rocket.

I used to make my accordian flowerette by hand but I came across this fabulous one that runs through my die cutting machine. I use this for all my small flowerettes. The diecut makes it so much easier.
If you make by hand- cut 1.5 x 12" strip. Score at each 1/4" increments, accordion fold, glue ends together, apply hot glue to 1 " circle and press center down to form flowerette. Hold until glue sets.

Wrap ribbon around bottom of rocket for further decoration. Add circle sticker, stamped image, or stamped verse to center of flowerette.

Here is a photo of various styles I made. I think they turned out super cute.