Zucchini Marathon

Today I woke with a mission: Zucchini! While my garden was sadly unproductive this year (thank you very much crafty groundhog!) we have a neighbor that delighted in sharing his abundance of zucchini, yellow squash,

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies with Pecans
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies with Pecans

and tomatoes. And I, for one, am grateful! One of my secret joys is dawning one of Granny’s old aprons and having a crazy day of baking and cooking all afternoon long until dinner time. Six hours of grating zucchini and putting it into cookies, muffins, breads… And I still have some left over for fritters and fried zucchini!

It happens so rarely that I get to take a day for such Suzy-homemaker activity (as my sister calls it). I enjoyed, as well, baking a Shepherd’s pie for my family’s dinner – as only a self-respecting Irish girl can do with her first batch of potatoes from the garden!

Zucchini Bread

Sure some other things had to suffer. They always do. Sometimes you’ve just got to forget the good and take what’s best. Laundry is not going anywhere. (Oh my, that it would!) As long as we have clean clothing for work tomorrow I will catch up on it in the evening.

What matters now is that my family has some healthy, yummy treats for the week. And can I just say how great it feels to know they came from home-grown local produce?  Also having a well-stocked pantry was a big plus. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized all that I could make without a single trip to the grocery store.

Banana zucchini walnut muffins are going to taste great for breakfast in the morning!  And next week it will be back to school (so hard believe already). So, I will have to look for yet  more tasty, healthy breakfast recipes and snacks for lunches. Off on my next mission!

Banana Zucchini Muffins With Walnuts
Banana Zucchini Muffins With Walnuts
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What Makes Life Simple?

The past two weekends have been a bit different than usual. My husband and daughter were both sick and I spent a lot of time trying to get some things
imagedone while caring for them. Just making sure they had what they needed.  Lots of fluids, something they were able to eat, and some medicine to relieve the symptoms they were dealing with.

Having them sick, however, did not mean that the normal routines of our home came to a stop. There were still plenty of things to be done. Laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping, and so much more. But I knew that it was a weekend to scale back and do only what was necessary.

So, while my days were a little out of the ordinary, they were far from hectic. In fact, it was a rather relaxed and enjoyable weekend. How? I realized imagethat it was because I have been diligently planning ahead. By utilizing both my daily planner, and my smart phone, I have been keeping track of things I need to get to and setting reminders for them. Entering anything I remember that needs done, or purchased, at the moment I think of it so that I don’t forget. Amazing how that works! Things start falling into place for me. I am on time so I am not impatient and hurried. I have a bit of margin in my day to do things like play cards with my daughter, talk with a neighbor, or write in my journal. I even snuggled up on the bed with our two cats, in the sunshine, and enjoyed a quick catnap!

Sure I had to incorporate shlepping hay for the ducks, and lugging water buckets in the absence of my daughter. I also drove the car payment over for my husband who usually drops it off along his way, but I don’t mind doing those things in addition to my own responsibilities. Even if it means my declutter projects have to take a back seat for a few days. (Plus I got to discreetly treat myself to a chocolate peanut butter swirl cone on my way home!) I find peace and joy in caring for my family. It’s where my heart is truly at.

So, as fate would have it, I started feeling a bit under the weather myself this weekend.  However, I had found a great app to organize my daily routines and it helped to keep me on track even as I powered through the yuckiest imagemoments of my day.  In addition, I have discovered an app (with rave reviews) that allows you to upload photos from each piece of your wardrobe. You can put in a bit of information and receive feedback from other users on what to pair together for fresh ideas. I am really looking forward to giving it a go as I have been thinking about minimalizing my wardrobe to only those items that I truly love, or need for work, that can mix and match into many variations. It may take a while to upload all of those photos but I’ll let you know how it fares in my quest to simplify!

imageWhile I often think of simplicity as “turning back time” to an appreciation  of simpler things, which is in fact a big part of the appeal for me, one can’t deny that modern conveniences were created for a reason. Initially to make life a little easier. (And oh boy would life be a whole lot easier if I had a dishwasher!)  Instead so many devices and appliances have allowed us the “convenience” of working ourselves into a frenzied 24-7 non-stop culture. They do make tasks easier… but, at what cost? Everything in moderation as they say!

Would love to hear what helps you to simplify? Please leave a comment. Thanks!image

“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:10-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬