Day 15: Orange Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread


New day.  New oven.  A big box of oranges.  Still tons of zucchini in the freezer.  Time to bake some orange chocolate chip zucchini bread.


The Snake’s Trip To Great Harvest Bread

Back in March I won twelve free loaves of Great Harvest Bread at a triathlon club meeting.  I can only get one loaf a week, but I do not have to go every single week.  So we have been at Great Harvest fairly often because their bread is pretty much the best.  And they now have gluten free too.  My kids kept seeing a sign on the door that they serve ice cream sandwiches.  So we put it on our summer bucket list to go there for ice cream sandwiches.

ImageAnd wow they are pretty big ice cream sandwiches…on their giant cookies they make fresh in the store.

ImageCan you see the snake in the picture?  I bet you can guess which of my three children ate the whole thing without any help from me?

ImageYep that would be my son.  And I bet you can guess which child got the most ice cream all over her face, shirt, and pants?


Yes, that would be the youngest!  She was very content to share her ice cream sandwich with me.  The cookie was amazing!

ImageAs we were leaving to go to Great Harvest, I asked my son if he had the snake.  He said, “Why do we have to take the snake, mom?  Can’t we leave it at home?”  Once we got there he wanted to take all these pictures of the snake and feed it ice cream.  I am liking our summer tradition of taking the snake everywhere.





Happiness Project: Fruits and Veggies As A Snack

I want to eat more fruits and vegetables as a snack.  This is why I forced myself NOT to make peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies last week even though I was craving it.

I have friends who swear by smoothies…including green smoothies.  I love mango smoothies and peanut butter, banana, and oatmeal smoothies.  But I found the calorie content is much higher than I would normally eat for a snack. I am also keeping a food diary on My Fitness Pal again.

So I tried to make a carrot/apple/banana green smoothie and I even followed a  recipe.


And it was nasty.  I tried to give it a fair shot and drink the whole thing to which my husband replied:  “How are you enjoying your seaweed?”


My kids tried it and said it was gross.  I cannot say I really blame them.

What I learned from this whole experiment is I like fruits and vegetables.   I just do not prefer them all blended together.  I have had a couple salads this week.  I also have had banana halves, fruit and lowfat yogurt, and raisins.  I will continue to eat more fruits and veggies with my meals and as a snack.   I am a little afraid to venture into the green smoothie territory again.

Kids Running Games

My children are training for the Awesome 3000 which is the one of the largest kid’s races in our town.  The first year my daughter ran it, I put her through hard core training.  I realized that was not totally necessary for a five and a half year old.


We do run laps around the parking lot or run through the trails in the park.  We also have fun with running games.  This is one we recently tried…


Fill a bowl or plate with a snack your children like.  I used Teddy Grahams, but you could do crackers, chocolate chips, cereal etc.


The kids start at one end of the parking lot.  Yell, “On your marks, get set, go!”  They run to the plate, grab one Teddy Graham, run back and put it in a plastic cup.  They go back and forth until all the Teddy Grahams have been moved from the plate to the plastic cup.


I varied the number of Teddy Grahams by their ages.  The oldest can run longer than the youngest obviously.

11-DSC08304When they complete it, they can eat the snack.

And a good warm-up or cool down is doing stretching or circuits.  Again make it fun so they enjoy it.  You could even play catchy music.


We have three trees in our yard.  By one tree, they had to stretch and touch their toes.  By another tree they had to jog in place.  By the third three they did jumping  jacks.


When I yelled “Switch” they ran as fast as they could do the next tree.


If exercise is not fun, kids (and adults too!) are not going to want to do it.  So many people think running is boring, but it does not have to be with a little bit of creativity.

December Photos Day #6 Christmas Tea

It is interesting how Christmas traditions start from something last minute or random.  Something that took little planning if any.  Last year as we took out our Christmas decorations, I came across a little Christmas tea set.  I am not sure who gave it to us or where it even came from–it might have been a white elephant gift. I told my oldest she could have a friend over and I would set up a Christmas tea for them.  She had so much fun with it I decided I would do it again this year.DSC07740I set up a tea for them in front of the Christmas tree.  My middle son played “waiter” and brought them their snacks and tea apple juice.

Long before we had kids, I wanted our house to be a place of hospitality.  As a child, I remember people of all kinds from different parts of the country staying with us–old friends, extended family, an exchange student etc.  It was so good for us as kids to learn the art of hospitality from my parents.  I want the same for my own kids.  Now that my kids are getting a little older, I have loved having their friends spend time in our house.