Chocolate Zucchini Cake

July 30, 2013

While in the garden this morning, doing my daily tending, I noticed 2 zucchinis that had appeared out of thin air. I definitely thought the hail had destroyed any hope of having fresh summer zucchini.. but thankfully my poor little plant was resilient and had made a triumphant return! The first thing that came to mind was of course - Chocolate Zucchini Cake. This was a staple growing up - I'm sure it was one of the only victories that my mother had of having us ingest some sort of vegetable. Its such a simple recipe, but such a treat. Super rich and moist, and that hint of cinnamon.... Mmmm! Go! Hunt down a zucchini and make it!

^add your butter, oil, and sugar^
^^p.s. mmmm... butter^^

^dear friends - do yourself a big ol' favour and invest in this stuff.. its divine!^

^look at all of those beautiful vanilla beans.. ^

^cream the wet ingredients together^

^add your flour and {beautiful} zucchini^

^at this point I just heap everything else in; Cocoa, BP, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg^

^don't forget the chocolate chips - I almost always bake with milk chocolate {my fav}^

^it looks pretty sketch - but trust me.. moist, chocolatey deliciousness remember!^
^^p.s. notice the spoon - almost everything I bake I whip it up by hand.. made with love, right?? or maybe I'm just still waiting for santa to bring me the mixer I've been asking for for 3 years... ;)^^

^moist, rich, and the perfect hint of spice^


Chocolate Zucchini Cake:

Bake 350 degrees
40-55 minutes

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil {I substituted coconut oil}
1 3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup {sour} milk {I substituted this with plain greek yogurt}
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups grated zucchini {finely grated}
1/2 cup chocolate chips
4 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
(I added an additional 1/4 tsp nutmeg.. didn't want the poor guy to feel left out)

Blend oil, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and milk together. Beat well.
Mix dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Spread into a greased 9 x 13" pan.

favorite moment of the day:

July 29, 2013

Ruby opening our door this morning at 6:40 with cookie in hand and enthusiastically saying      "GOOD MORNING"

The day started off right with cookies for all. We'll see how this development affects the rest of the day..

grateful for

July 28, 2013


Our sunday was a gong show. We try so hard sunday mornings to look put together and get to church on time.. but by the time church starts the hurricane begins. Screaming, crying, biting, bonking heads, random outbursts, runaways, and a lot of sighs and gasps from Ster and I - and thats only 10 minutes into our 3 hour stretch. I hope that people can look at us and just laugh at how ridiculous and hectic our life is instead of cursing us under their breath. Needless to say we haven't been getting much out of church these days. But at least we attempt it, right? Thats gotta count for something. The rest of our day made up for the mornings gong-show. I got to have a nap (YAY!!) while Ster took miss Ruby for an adventure walk and Ames napped (for 4 HOURS!!) Its so refreshing to have silence sometimes. The house was soon filled with a little tiny screechy voice again telling me all about the twisty sticks that she found, and the scrape on her knee that she got from tripping, and how daddy put medicine on it and made it almost all better (mommy kisses are magical and heal everything instantly, you know). Then I got plenty of shirtless boy snuggles from Ames. He is such a sweetie after he wakes up and his lips seem to be extra big and pouty, which make him even more irresistible. We headed to my parents for dinner and Sterling made dark cherry cobbler. It was delicious (good job babe!) When we got home we found a plate of cookies on our doorstep! We were so excited - we hardly ever get surprises like that. We really do have the coolest friends.. and needless to say the cookies were perfect (peanut butter chocolate chip - how do you go wrong?!) Then my lovely friend Kyla came over and brought me these beautiful flowers. I love visiting with her! I feel really blessed to have such great friends that are so genuine, thoughtful, and kind hearted - but who are also SO hilarious and so fun to be around!

^the Evanson's are our married couple soulmates (?? just go with it..)^

^my favorite^

Friday Faves

July 26, 2013

just a few of the things i've been dreaming about lately.. 

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven


July 24, 2013

^so beautiful!^

nothing sounds more perfect then going to waterton for the day with family. My brother and his family are up visiting from Phoenix so we are trying to cram as much adventure as we can into this week before they jet off. The day started off well enough - the kids were excited to be reunited - the shenanigans could commence. We loaded into my moms car and took off to Waterton. The first portion of the trip went fine - (my kids are pretty chill travellers, thankfully) but for some reason the moment that we hit Cardston all hell broke loose with Ames. Literally - ALL HELL. The trek from Cardston to Waterton has NEVER seemed longer than it did that day. And we aren't talking "wa wa" cries.. we are talking full out, high-pitched screeching at the top of your lungs, scream till your throat explodes, smash your head against a wall, jump out of a moving vehicle - cries. So being the #1 mom that I am I pulled over and snuggled my little guy till he calmed down I just cranked up the annoying kids music in attempts to drown out the shrilling sound. Probably not the greatest solution but I figured once we got there and got out of the car he would settle down and be the adorable boy that he usually is. (WRONG) The ear-piercing wailing continued consistently throughout most of the day, although there were a few (very few) hallowed moments of silence. But despite the ear assault from Ames it was in Waterton. No wind, gorgeous weather, and fun company. Also we ate Wieners of Waterton, (which never disappoints) skipped rocks on the lake, walked up Red Rock Canyon, saw 2 bears, played at the spray park, and visited the buffalo. Oh, and someone brought Coconut Marshmallows.. lets just pretend I only ate 2, okay? All in all - pretty good day.

^sweet haze^

^^this is what most of the day looked like with Ames..^^

^then we found his happy spot.. rocks^

^bear-crawling like a boss^

^Ruby in deep reflection^

the paradox of the new shoes

In an attempt at living my life more the way I want to I ordered myself a nice new pair of running shoes... you know, to motivate me to be the best runner that there ever was - so I can magically run 10 miles without stopping and not even breathe hard. New shoes are magical like that, right? So it took me days of searching online to find THE perfect shoes (they have to be cute and the right color, you know?) After I had found the perfect shoes that would make me look so cute being a "runner" I ordered them and waited like a kid waiting for Christmas. They came and they WERE magical. So cute, fit just right, just perfection. So I wore them around the house for the morning, naturally. But in the days that I have had them do you think I have put them on since, or worn them for their intended purpose? (NO) I mean, they are new and perfect and clean.. I wouldn't want to dirty them up.. {heaven forbid} or make them less cute right? So, I guess the point I am trying to make is this - I need to get off my lazy butt and make things happen in my life. If I want to be this different improved person, well then, I need to just DO those things. I'm not going to get anywhere just looking at my cute new shoes. I'm not going to be that person that runs 10 miles effortlessly if I'm too scared to put those shoes on and get them a little dirty. So here's to getting a little dirtier.

^but I mean, really - look how cute they are!^

soo.. who wants to be my running buddy?

raspberry finger hats

July 18, 2013

Today was a great day.
Lets face it - I always know its going to be a good day when I have a bra on before 8 am.

The day started with Ruby sneaking in to our room oh-so-quietly and whispering to us that she was indeed up and that the sun was awake too. Heart; melted. The kids ate their breakfast without meltdowns or force feeding, and then hugs and kisses for daddy and he was off to work. I made it a point to not check my phone or computer and to just play with the kids until Ames went down for his nap. Once he was down Ruby and I decided to have a mini-date and go work in the garden. She is a sucker for dirt and water. We made our rounds in the garden looking for weeds and watering plants, then she made sure that her little "garden" of weeds were well maintained. The garden is pretty pitiful this year from the crazy hail that we got - not much was left but we are trying our darndest to salvage what we can. Luckily our raspberries were sheltered by the fence and we still have oodles of them. So we spent the morning looking for the nicest, darkest, juiciest raspberries we could find. It was the cutest thing to watch her examine each one, making sure it was just the right shade or red before she plucked it off and promptly put it in her mouth. After getting our bowlful we sat together on the porch swing and stuffed our faces. Then like any good mother would - I taught her how to do raspberry finger hats. She of course loved it and I just sat back and soaked up every adorable second of it. 

The rest of the day went just as great, and I felt like I was very present in my own, and my children's lives. Its funny how we can get so distracted from that sometimes. That other things can suck our attention away so easily. But today, today I felt like I was a step closer to that person that I'm trying to be more like.


July 17, 2013

Do you ever feel like this?
I feel like this has been my latest self-struggle. The desire to want to be better, to be the best you can be. But then in reality its so hard to make such a drastic change all at once. Or change - period. I have these realizations that I am wasting precious time in my life. That I am wasting so many great and fun opportunities with my children while they are still young and tiny and precious - or wasting my health by not enjoying how healthy my body can be, or wasting my spirituality by not having more growing experiences, or not being the best wife I could potentially be - and it irks my soul! I feel so much guilt - all because I am too tired, or too lazy, or unmotivated. But how do you REALLY change? Because as many times as I have gone over this dilemma it never pushes me hard enough to make a complete and lasting change. 

So this is my starting point. 
I am going to be patient with myself 
(because I tend to think things need to be changed and perfect right. this. minute.)
and I'm going to allow myself to become the person I dream of being. To evolve into her. To be more of what I want, and less of what I don't. 

ready. set. go.

pictures! pictures!

July 11, 2013

We had one of my greatest friends take some photos for us a few weeks ago. She is amazing, and talented, and smart, and funny, and just an all around great person. I aspire to be like her. The pictures she captured were lovely despite all the crying, screaming, bribing, running away, eye-rolling, leg stomping and tantrums in between. I am such a stickler for yearly pictures of my babes and our little family, (I think its so important) and I'm lucky that I've got a supportive man that goes along with it (thanks babe)
 I just feel so overwhelmed sometimes at how beautiful my little family is, and how lucky I am that they are mine and that I get to be a part of this goodness. 

^Ames' infamous 'bear crawl'^

^Ruby's ULTRA cheeser grin^

^How DREAMY is this man of mine!^

the beginning

well, here's to a new adventure in blogging..

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