Another zucchini recipe – Cookies!

I’m still trying to find ways to use up all of the zucchini that we have laying around my kitchen and figured I’d try making cookies with some of it. So I went off to see what Google & Pinterest could find for me.

I was led to a recipe on a great food blog, When Harry Met Salad, for chocolate chip oatmeal zucchini cookies. I was a little hesitant when the recipe said that you had to put the oatmeal in the food processor until it was finely ground since  I was looking something more like a regular oatmeal cookie but figured I’d give a try.

Here’s the recipe with my edits in parentheses.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated’s Baking Illustrated and Carole Walter’s Great Cookies
(makes about 4½ dozen 2½” cookies)

½ lb. zucchini ( I used about 2 cups grated – let drain for about 30 minutes)
¾ c.  lightly packed dark brown sugar (I used Demera sugar – not packed)
2½ c. old fashioned oats (I had less than 1 cup of regular so I used steel cuts)
2/3 c. + 2 T. sugar
1¼ c. flour (unbleached all purpose)
¾ t. salt
½ t. baking soda
¼ t. nutmeg (left it out)
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp (Used salted)
1 egg
2 t. vanilla extract
2 c. chocolate chips (Is 2 cups equal to an entire bag if mini chips?)
2 c. chopped pecans (or walnuts) (Left them out totally!)

Place the brown sugar, 2/3 c. sugar and ½ c. oatmeal in the bowl of a food processor and process for 2 -3 minutes until the oatmeal is finely ground.  With steel cut oats this took a long time!

Mix the butter until it’s light and fluffy and then add the oatmeal-sugar mixture a little at a time making sure that you mix well after each addition.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients in stages, mixing just until blended.

Mix in the chocolate chips and then finally the zucchini.

zucchini cookie batter

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about an inch or two apart.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the sheets for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

zucchini cookies

Now, these were ok…. I think that if I had used regular oatmeal instead of the steel cut then they would have turned out a lot better…. and less crunchy. I also think that I needed a little more flour so they wouldn’t spread out so much.

zucchini cookies - upclose

But all in all I think I’ll try it again with a few changes!

What are you making with zucchini?

The first day……. #22

The first day of school has come and gone without much drama or excitement around here. Honestly, the most difficult part was getting up before the sun around here.

I personally have been looking forward to this day since the 2nd week of summer vacation. Why? Well, summer break is a lot more work than sending the girls off to school every day especially when I have to go to work daily. I have to plan & shop for breakfast, lunch and dinner instead of dinner and cold cereal for breakfast that I get during school.

While I’m at work I have to answer the phone calls from the kids asking what’s for lunch or if I’ll order lunch to be delivered for them, can they go to this friends house or can they come to our house, and a host of other questions throughout the day. This can get tiresome after a while, don’t you think? If you’re unsure trust me… it is.

Now this summer has been a bit different because aside from the normal softball we also had drivers training, band camp and summer homework for AP classes. This equaled a lot of work for my oldest and us since we had to cut back on our vacations in August. I think that it’ll be worth it though.

Every year before we head out to school I drag the kids out and take some pictures for them. This year they added a few fun ones to the mix.


This is Caitlin my oldest and she is now in 10th grade! I know…. I know…. a teenager! But she’s a great kid, does incredible in school, plays sports, is in the band, and this year she’s taking AP classes which are technically college classes (for college credit too). She’s determined and knows what she wants.


Middle girl is Natalie and she started 7th grade this year. She’s following in her sisters footsteps and taking all the advanced classes that they offer. But she doesn’t have that same determination yet and really is a more fun loving, unique, and social type of person. This year she’s going to try cross country… this scares me a bit since she’s not the most graceful child and has the tendency to get hurt rather easily.

Also…. she’s my human stick child and I now know who wears those size 0 tall jeans I’ve seen in the store. Yup… my kid.


And finally we have the big 4th grader, Lauren. She’s my big talker…. like she never stops. As a matter of fact I think that she may talk in her sleep. But it’s ok because she’s cute! I mean just look at her! Everyone is her best friend and there isn’t a mean bone in that little girls body… she is friends with everyone that she meets.

So there you have it… a recap of our first day of school or our 22nd if you add up all the first days we’ve had over the years. It’s the start of another busy and exciting school year that I am looking forward to.

Are you looking forward to the school year? How was your first day of school?

Be Enough Me – Working, Kids, & Guilt

I may have said this once or twice before but I feel guilty when I leave the house to go to work. I feel terrible that I’m not there for my son like I was for his sisters when they were little. I feel really bad when he follows me to the door and cries when I leave.

There are times that I wonder if he will grow up as smart and talented as his sisters because I’m not there to teach him things, do things with him, or help him in the same way that I did with the girls. It breaks my heart.

It upsets me that he spends all day with a babysitter who has children of her own to attend to in addition to mine and that he isn’t going to get the full attention that I think he deserves. Then I wonder will she sit with him and teach him to write his name, show him what the letters of the alphabet are, or how to count. The answer is simple…. probably not. It’s not her job and she isn’t paid to be a preschool teacher. Is it what I would like… of course.

I have missed out on so many things and so many of those moments when I could have taught him something good instead of him learning to scream when he wants something.

But this I do know without a doubt. I love my son and my daughters and they know that without a doubt.

I also know that I work so they can have the things they want, need, and desire. I work to help pay the bills because I have to, not because I want to. I am working so my son and his sisters can have a better life. Shouldn’t that be enough?

So for now I am making the best of our situation and spending what time I can with my children when I’m not at work. I’m making sure that I’m there for them when they need me.

I’m taking time off of work to do their school activities.

And yes, once in a while I’ll call in sick, take a vacation day, or just take an unpaid day off so I can stay home with them.

For us and for now…. that is enough.

This post is part of the Monday Link up with Just Be Enough a site that I am so incredibly proud to be a part of. What makes this Monday link up so special this month?

We are fighting Cancer and kicking it right in the ass with the help of two incredible partners: Bellflower Books and Crickett’s Answer for Cancer. For every 20 link ups received this month, Bellflower Books will donate  $75 certificate toward a 20-page memory book to a family identified by Crickett’s Answer who are fighting the good fight against Breast Cancer. Our goal is to be able to provide ten women the opportunity to receive a special book created by family and friends that will be treasured not only by the brave women fighting, but for their families as well. Having created a Bellflower book myself, I can tell you that this will be something extremely personal and cherished by those creating the book as well as the recipients.

Please help us make a difference in someone’s life by writing a post about what small moment you were proud to accomplish, that “Be Enough Me” feeling,  and link it up each Monday.


Because you CAN.

Our Weekend Getaway

This past weekend we went up to Crystal Mountain with the entire family… 13 of us total went. I have to tell you that this is one of the best places to go in Michigan! There is so much for the entire family to do that there is no possible way to be bored!

Instead of me rambling on and on about the trip I’ll share with you some of the pictures from the weekend.

Lauren on the water slide


Cait on the slide   Natalie on the slide


Andrew smiling   Mtn view


family   Beach


shoreline   dunes


Hapari Swimwear Model Contest

When I was younger I had all these hopes and dreams of becoming a supermodel, something similar to Cindy Crawford! Lofty dreams I know but I was young and knew little of the world around me other than what I saw in all the fashion magazines.

I would spend afternoon flipping through the pages looking at all the great clothes in the Esprit and Benetton ads wishing I had those clothes or that I was the model. And then I spend some time trying to figure out how I could talk my parents into the buying some of those outfits even though they were really expensive. On a side note…. I never was able to talk them into it.

But now my dreams can come true and yours as well! How you ask? Well, Hapari is looking for someone to be their next swimsuit model! How awesome is that? You can be a swimsuit model without having to wear strategically placed strings!

Here’s the deal for the Hapari Swimwear Model Contest.

Send an email to with the following included:

  • You’re best picture in a swimsuit (kudos for wearing Hapari swimwear)
  • You’re contact information (Facebook name, phone number, address)


That’s it! Super easy right? When they get the photo they will post it on their Facebook page and tag you it in.

The contest ends September 20th, and they’ll be announcing the winner on their website and Facebook shortly after that.

But wait! There is so much more…

As the winner you get some great prizes!

  • $2500
  • A trip to Florida for the next photo shoot & stay at the beach house with the other Hapari models
  • Photo’s published in next years swimsuit line on the website, ads, and catalogs.

I love my Hapari swimsuit, how it fits, and how it covers all my squishy mommy parts! I’ve even been considering entering the Hapari Swimwear Model Contest myself just for fun! I just need to get a hair & makeup stylist to get me ready and then a photographer who can make me look awesome!

It Marks the Beginning of Summer

Every year the city I live in celebrates the life and times of James Oliver Curwood with the fun filled Curwood Festival. Now you’re probably wondering who in the world that is, right? He was an author who lived in Owosso and had a Norman chateau replica built on the banks of the Shiawassee river. It was here where he wrote and entertained guests. Now, the castle is a museum of Curwood memorabilia that visitors can check out while visiting Owosso.

Curwood Castle

Curwood Castle

The Curwood Festival is  your typical festival with carnival rides, games, parades, and food. And I love carnival food! I don’t know what it is about it that makes it so good! Elephant ears, fresh made lemonade, and italian sausage with peppers & onions… Mmm! I love the sights, the sounds, and the smells of it as I walk through.

Of course as with anything there is a downside to the three day event… the carnies and all the riff raff that seems to come out of the wood work this time of year. My kids like to say that they all come out from the sewers and then head back down until the next festival starts. I suppose that it’s a good theory since we don’t seem to see them any other time of the year.

Kids in Curwood Parade

The girls after the Kids Parade Friday - Cait shed her uniform immediately!

This year was a particularly busy one for us with Caitlin playing at the opening ceremonies with the freshman band, all three girls were in the parade on Friday night (there are two parades), we wanted to watch the big parade on Saturday & ride the rides (there is never a way out of this other than rain), and Sunday my oldest was playing downtown with the high school jazz band.

OHS Freshmand Band

The Freshman Band at Curwood Opening Ceremonies

We all have a pretty good time I think… except for those few moments (hours) where Natalie lost her cell phone. I am so surprised at how honest some people are because we checked with the carnival office throughout the night and someone finally turned in her phone! The lost phone resulted in us sticking around until 10pm while the girls rode rides and searched for the phone. Which didn’t seem to bother them all that much but their brother was getting pretty tired!

Curwood Festival Rides

The rides!

This year we had some special guests here who came to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Main Beverage Company here in Owosso. I know that for years they’ve been trying to get them here and it hasn’t worked out till now and they were a huge hit with everyone young and old.

Budweiser Clydesdale Horses

Budweiser Clydesdale Horses

The Clydesdale horses are beautiful animals. They were so well mannered with all the people hovering around them and the noise of music & carnival rides, but I suppose that it’s something that they’re used to since they travel all around the country to various festivals and events.

I think that fairs, festivals, and carnivals tend to bring out the kid in all of us. They’re fun and can bring us back to a simpler time when we were young and free.

Do you go to the fairs that are in your area?

They are the Fab Five!

Thanks to Trop50 for sponsoring my writing about fabulous bloggers. This year Trop50 is granting 50 Fabulous Wishes. Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to celebrate a friend with a refreshing attitude about looking and feeling fabulous!

There are so many amazing bloggers out there that I admire and love to read and to narrow it down to just five of them is no simple task. How do I pick one over another? What if I leave someone important out… what if this…. what if that… Do you see my dilemma?

Well, I’m going to try and narrow this down for you and share with you some new, some of, but in the end they’re all friends and great bloggers.

1. Single Mom on a Budget


I’ve known Jill for almost a year now and she is a terrific friend and has some of the best deals around for the Denver area, coupons, giveaways, and great ways to save. We met last fall during the Back to School, Back to Blogging even that Gigi over at Kludgy Mom was running. We both were looking for someone to be a faerie blogmother and decided that we’d do it for one another and since then we’ve been supporting each others posts, guest posting, and just helping out in general when one of us needed.

We quickly found out how much that we have in common and that we got along well! She’s been a great friend and is always there when I need her.

So take a few minutes and check out her blog and some of the incredible deals she has to offer.

2. Ciao Mom

Elena and I met when we were paired as writing partners for The Red Dress Club. She is an amazing writer and I love reading what she writes whether I see if before it’s posted or if I just happen to be wandering by her blog. She recently vlogged and I was finally able to “meet” her! She’s a wife, a mom, and most importantly a survivor. Go over and read what she has to say… you won’t be sorry. I promise.

3. Mommies in Timeout

For some reason Elena (yes, there are two of them on my list!) doesn’t have a button, but I’m fully confident that when she has her blog redone that she’ll have one then!

I met Elena a few months ago through The Red Dress Club as well. I started reading through her posts based on the prompts and was pulled into her blog and have been reading it ever since. She too, is a great writer and knows how to tell a story! I should also mention that she is one of the reasons that I actually stepped outside of my comfort zone and started doing vlogs. So a huge thanks should go to her for that because I vowed that I would never do it!

I recently had the opportunity to actually met her in real life and she is one of the nicest people that I’ve met and I was so glad that I had that opportunity. What’s even better is that we live less than 2 hours apart and can get together again.

4. Kludgy Mom

Kludgy Mom

Okay, first of all if you haven’t heard of Gigi’s blog yet then you must living under a rock or something! She’s is so talented and always has something really cool going on at her blog like the Facebook 500, App Girl Friday, Back to School, Back to Blogging or her newest event, The Summer of Love.

I have learned a great deal from all the great info that she has shared with everyone and really appreciate it. It’s people like her that help us who are new to the blogging world and encourage us to stick to it.

5. Dysfunctional Supermom

Dysfunctional Supermom

Brandi is just awesome. She is funny, open, honest, foul mouthed, and all around a great friend. We met a while back on Twitter when she asked about blog buttons or something and I offered to make her one. Since then we’ve been friends and I’ve been reading her blog daily (or when she posts).

She tells it like it is and doesn’t hold back, and best of all she doesn’t apologize for anything. She is who she is and is confident in that. I admire that because I’m the quiet chicken in the back of the room where as she’s the one being loud and having a great time talking to everyone. I know that if I needed something and asked her she’d come through for me even though we are several states apart.

There you have it friends, the Fab Five! If I didn’t mention you that doesn’t mean that you aren’t totally awesome too… it just means that I was limited to five and these ladies were the first to come to mind.

Share with me a great blog that you read!

Don’t forget to enter the 50 Fabulous Wishes contest for a chance to win $1,000 to celebrate a friend with a refreshing attitude about looking and feeling fabulous. I was selected for this Tropicana Trop50 sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. I received compensation to use and facilitate my post.

Melodic Monday’s ~ Where I repeat myself

So you may have read in a previous post where I said that I’m a big Staind fan. It’s true.

Aaron Lewis

Last week my iPod seemed to know exactly what I needed to hear and was playing Staind and as usual one random thought led to another and I was looking to see when they were in concert again.

It was a happy day! Aaron Lewis (lead singer of Staind for those who don’t know) is going to be here in my lovely state of Michigan, live and acoustic! AND on a Friday night! This last bit is important you see…. being a mom that has to get up at 5ish in the morning to go to work makes it hard for me to do things on a weeknight.

So the music gods were smiling down upon me. I was excited. Was being the important word here because I quickly found out that it’s sold out. In all reality the music gods were just taunting me.

Anyway a co-worker pointed out that Aaron Lewis has an album out and that it’s pretty good. And with that I was off to check it out. It has a country sound to it which is different from what you’d expect from him, but it’s really good.

The name of the album is called Town Line and you can get it for $6.99 on iTunes too!

My favorite song is Massachusetts but I couldn’t find the official video for it so instead I give you Country Boy. After you listen let me know what you think!


Oh… and if you’re wondering where this Melodic Monday thing started head on over to Dysfunctional Supermom’s corner and read about it.