Let's make Zucchini Bread!

The other night we made zucchini bread up.  A co-worker gave D  this giant zucchini that made for some excellent baking (and stir fry).  It turned out super yummy so I thought I would share here.   I searched the internet for a recipe that didn't have too much sugar in it, and then I adapted it slightly so we could use some whole wheat flour. 
Zucchini Bread Adapted from smitten kitchen (click here) 
Yield: 2-3 loaves 
3 eggs 
1 cup vegetable oil 
1 1/4 cups sugar 
2 cups grated zucchini 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup of whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Grease and flour  loaf pans, liberally. (we were able to get three loaves in one batch just by making them slightly smaller).
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk.  Mixing the oil and sugar, zucchini and vanilla. 
  4. Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nuts and dried fruit.
  5. Stir this into the egg mixture. 
  6. Divide the batter into prepared pans. 
  7. Bake loaves for 45-60 minutes  or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. 
I'd like to try it adding in like a cup of applesauce or cooked sweet potato for like 1/2 the oil and an egg but that's  for another time.


Best of Life Video - April 2012 - Just Wanna Dance with Somebody

Again looking back on all that happened in April I realize how I truly to live a blessed life.  Even when things aren't perfect and I'm frustrated about things I truly have a whole mess of things to be thankful for.  April was the month of soaking up life both in every day form and the special occurrences.   This was the month we started the kitchen remodel that was only completed like last week. This was the month of Kathleen's birthday, Men's Roller Derby, Smiley Prom, Travel to Raleigh, Travel to Mass, and other fun adventures.  It was a good month.  Songs are Just wanna Dance with Somebody - Whitney Houston and Okay, It's Alright by Me - Eric Hutchinson both songs from my regular rotation.   Sorry the video is "TINY"  I had to downsize it because youtube is being goofy.  And Jono thanks for the encouragement to take more video I plan to hop back to it in July full swing style.


AAFCS - Coats and Clark Blogging Panel Discussion

 This afternoon a group of us from the Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild went to the The American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences show to talk with Coats & Clark about blogging and social media.   It was fun to share both about Best of Life as well as the guild's blog.  Hopefully if you came out today to hear us talk you had a nice time and learned a little something.  If you have any questions about anything feel free to ask by leaving a comment.   Thanks so much to Lynn and Coats and Clark for having us and allowing us to share about our experiences.


Movie - Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Having home time this year has meant I get to see a whole lot less movies - going to movies once a week or every other week may be a thing of the past.  Not that I mind because I can fill my evenings with other activities, but sometimes a girl just wants to go to the movies and get expensive popcorn and see things on the big screen so when my friend Julie wanted to see a movie, I said lets do it.  
We picked Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, partially because of the time it was showing partially because we didn't want to see the other movies.  And we weren't disappointed.  It's an adorable story about a "retirement home" in India.  It's light hearted and funny and I must say I do love a movie about old people - who wants to rent Driving Miss Daisy or Cocoon with me - anyone?  ;)  Anyhow I did enjoy the movie and it made me want to visit India even more than I already do although I have to say I'm pretty sure that behavior of the Indian mother in the movie is NOT what it's like in Indian cultural but I could be wrong.  It also made me feel blessed to have many Indian friends who have taught me so many things about Indian culture.  Anyhow it's worth paying $10 + $10 for popcorn to see and I'd even rent it when it comes out. 



Happy Birthday Aunt Thea!

Wishing my SUPER FANTASTIC Aunt Thea a happy birthday! I just love her and think she's beyond swell.  Thanks for being my friend, aunt, project helper, and inspiration.  I hope your birthday is awesomesauce and if you lived down the street I would make you a quilted cupcake just like this.   I can't wait to see you next month!
(Image from here).

Tuesday Tutorial - Spoon Getter - Crafty #2

I have been crafty recently I promise I just NEVER finish anything well the other night I finished a few kitchen projects.  Including my second crafty project for the year which I like to call the "Spoon Getter".  Inspired by this photo from Pinterest from Toodeloo's Kitchen, when I saw it I knew I needed something similar for my kitchen because I hate having things on the counters.  So I set off to find tins to match my kitchen. 
Sorry these step-by-steps are not really that helpful this was completely trial and error for me I hadn't a clue how to do it. 
1. Gather supplies.  I found three with good prospects all various sizes and the right color pallet for less than $8 total at thrift stores and the flea market.  Thanks to Brittney and Dustin for helping me locate them.  In addition to the tins you also need various sized screws, nuts to fit, drywall screws, scrap wood, and pocket brackets.  I also used a good old DeWalt drill and a Stanley wrench. 
2. Wash the tins really well. 
3. Determine the order and placement of your tins.  I did mine kind of staggered because they are different sizes and I thought it added character.
4. Mark your tin's placement on the side. 
5. Drill holes in middle tin first then line them back up and mark the outer ones. 
6. Insert the flat machine screws into the holes to join the side tins to the center and affix a nut to each of the ends to hold it together, tighter with a wrench.
7. Cut scrap wood to size. I had some thin pine that was used to hang peg board in the garage so it was not to thick and easy to cut with the Rockwell tool however if you don't have a Rockwell you could use a handsaw just as easy - my friend thought the rockwell was overkill. 
8.Mark where the wood goes it needs to be at the top and even a second piece could have made it hang flush to the wall however I like mine tilted so it's easier to grab the spoons.  
9.  Attach the pocket brackets to the back of the wood.  They cost about $1.50 at Lowes and they allow you to put screws in the wall and then slide in the spoon getter otherwise I don't know how to describe them.
10. Put screws in the wall that measure EXACTLY from the center of each of the pocket brackets you just screwed on the wood.  Trust me when I say even the slightest off-ness will mess this up - this girl added about 8 holes to the wall on this. Leave them out about 1/4 of an inch to slide on the pocket bracket. 
11. Pre-drill holes in the tins to affix the wood with the brackets to the spoon getter.  Screw in the screws and then put a nut on the end so it's not poking you when you get a spoon.  
12.  Slide the spoon getter pocket brackets onto the exact right screws on the wall.  
13.  Add Spoons and boom Spoon Getter!

Project total less than $10 for all the tins and screws.  Thanks Pinterest and Toodeloo for inspiring this project.  I love it.  I can't wait to make more things and get my spoons from the spoon getter. 


Do Nothing. Do Something.

Seems like every Monday is sneaking up on me.  This weekend was no exception.  There was a WHOLE LOTTA intentional-ism this weekend.  It was a real "Do Something." weekend.  Many moments caught between: 
Girl Time
Race City Rebels Roller Derby with "The Nothing"
Chinese Food
Pool Time
PB&J's in the park
New Tire Acquisition
Volunteering at Stampout to Campout
Camping out on the Mall
Making new friends
Volunteering at church
Small group
Having date night
Reading the bible
Finishing kitchen projects
It was a good weekend one with many laughs, talks, lessons and things to remember.  I'm so grateful to have weekends like this even when my allergies are horrible, my life is pretty sweet.  Oh and a little plug for Wheeler Mission's Campout to Stampout and their objective to stampout homelessness if you want to donate you can do so here.

This is completely unrelated except I was reading Proverbs this weekend and it's kind of a an awesome verse to match the weekend so I'm sharing...  She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.  When she speaks, her words are wise and she gives instructions with kindness.  Proverbs 31:25-26
Have a great week!



Dear Jackie and Lisa - Book #9

What's that? Yes I completed another book and the month's not even over yet! Huzzah Huzzah! 
I bought this one when it was on sale on iTunes I need to really renew my library card so I can save money on books.  It's called the "Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach.  It's a sports book.  Although not your traditional rah rah kind of one.  But this was actually a pretty good read it wasn't the same old story.  I almost wish it was a true story, but it kept my interest and I can honestly say I didn't predict it would end the way it did so that's a good thing.  I also hope they make a movie out of it because well I really appreciated the character development in the book and sometimes it's nice to see Schrimshander, Swartzy, Owen and Pella come to life on the big screen.   However I would read it again and I would recommend it as well.  However I want to get back to reading real stories not not fiction because I just prefer them, I guess I better raid Jono's book stacks see what he's got if I don't renew that library card. 
Happy Reading!

Summer is in full effect

I feel like time is passing super fast this summer already and we're barely in the middle of June. It's going to whisk away before I know it. Anyhow summer hit this past weekend with a boom, and it's going to be whirlwind tour.  So I figured it was time for a little around here list.
Around here I started helping with youth group.
I cut off 12 inches of my hair.
I bake birthday cakes for nobody's birthday.
Around here my momo comes to visit. 
We have pancake breakfast.
I intentionally support my friends in various ways. 
We have family chats about PRIDE weekend. 
My feet got sunburnt at the track. 
Around here we Facetime JJ.
My friends leave me messages on my car.
I am photographed by random asian tourist with said messages. 
Around here I cheer Tisha on.
I shop at the handicraft exchange and Talbot Street Fair. 
We planted the tomatoes.
New relationships are forming.
Around here I go swimming at Jilly's.
We celebrated Queen's birthday.
The new fridge arrived and I could not be more thrilled. 
I get to be home for the entire month of June.
Around here summer is in full effect.



Be Intentional - Basketball

Part of getting intentional this summer means getting out of my comfort zone.  So when talking to my friend Kemi I suggested we play basketball, even though I know any coordination/speed I had in my younger days is LONG since gone.  I sent out an email to my small group at church (aka Citigroup) and some other friends and we got together two whole teams to play ball in the park by my house.  
Everyone was at various skill levels, and very encouraging.  It was hilariously awesome.  I learned that adult Katie cannot keep her focus on the ball, game, or her man despite my best effort and encouragement from others, but I made one basket and best of all I had great time. 
Afterward the girls went out for some Pho and we just chatted it up catching up on everyone's lives.  Thanks so much to Artie, Erica, Jason, Josh, Jono, Bry-Town, Kathleen, Megan, and Kemi for coming out and for avoiding making fun on my wickedly horrible skill or lack thereof - I love you all.
(PS enjoy the photos I love their rawness and how you can see each persons personality in them - I only wish I had gotten photos of Erica guarding Artie).


Dear Jackie & Lisa - Book 8

Another book completed last week and I'm in the home stretch of another too. Look at me READ! Anyhow I completed The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. 
This was a New York Times Best Seller.  It's fictional story about newspaper people's lives and how they intertwined as well as the newspaper business. I picked this up in an airport I'm a sucker for a good cover design. It was okay but it definitely wasn't anything spectacular. It's not the type of book I want to read or even really like to read. Regardless it was well written, kept my interest long enough to finish it and well I got it on sale. Overall I doubt I will read it again and plan to gift it off to someone in the near future. Stay tuned for more reading. 
Happy Reading!


Tuesday 10 - Not Crying Anymore!

Despite my little meltdown last week, things are really awesome here.  I really have no reason to melt down about floors in my kitchen, my friends are so great for me and too me, their support and encouragement has been awesome. I think no fewer than 10 people asked if they could come help lay the floor.  And Josh and Matt were here right away to move the old fridge - they are not perfect but they are better than expected and Jono and I did it record time.  THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE EVEN IF YOU DON'T READ THIS!
Onward and upward... since it's Tuesday and I'm not crying anymore here's a little love list for this week. 
1. Public Transport Ridership is up. Indy we don't need more super bowls to get transport moving.
2. Super Awesome Deals at Woodruff Place Flea Market.  I spent $10 and walked away with some loot!

3. Coca Cola ad campaign by MWM. Hello pretty colorful awesome.

4. Super Awesome Breakfast for Lunch after church Sunday 10 people turned into 20+ and it was great fellowship. 
5. Perfectly Imperfect Floors
6. Playing Catch with my brother (when was the last time you played ball with your bro?)
7. My Friends.
8. A Clean house - Thanks Faith.
9. DeLish Blueberry Pomegranate Trail Mix Crunch - Yummy.
10.  Finding out I get to work from home for 3+ more weeks!  yes please!


Cats Wearing Shoes a Quilt for Kathleen

I'm excited to say I finished this one just a month after my friend Kathleen's birthday.  Kathleen picked out this fabric with me one day when we were thrifting - I of course was like "when will I need cats wearing shoes?"  to which she exclaimed "when you make me a quilt".  
So I set off attempting to use this print - I discovered very soon that I was not excited about "fussy cut" prints, however I found a way to make this work and I must say I like this quilt much more than I thought I would.  Extra "white space" really made me jazzed about it.  Fabrics are Robert Kaufman + the Cats Wearing Shoes which was a Burlington Coat Factory Sheet circa probably 1985.  All the binding was from scraps both of the fabric used in this quilt as well as leftovers from others.  I'm pretty sure Kathleen loves it and can't wait to cuddle up in it.  Thanks to Dustin for holding the quilt up for her as it's much bigger than she is.  Happy Be-lated birthday Kathleen. 

This makes quilt #5 for 2012 and I have two others near completion as well. picasa