Zucchini Bread {Recipe Post}

I recently found myself with a confluence of factors that drove me right into the kitchen. I had a zucchini ready for use, I had found out some big news that day that I needed to process, and I had two people that I wanted to get something homemade to.

I have never made zucchini bread before, but it seemed like the perfect almost fall treat. After much googling I found this recipe... already ready for high altitude!! It looked good, and I love that she called it full proof, so I got right down to it with very few adjustments (dropped the nuts, added the OJ concentrate and made a single loaf).

Zucchini Bread
(Recipe from Raising Colorado) 
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Splash or two of coconut milk 

2-3 teaspoons orange juice concentrate
2 cups grated zucchini
1.Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. 

4. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. 

5. Add a few splashes of coconut milk and OJ concentrate, then stir in the zucchini until well combined. 

6. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 50 to 70 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan. 

This bread was lovely! A slightly crisp crust, but soft and moist center. Even Gwen loved this! My 6 year old couldn't stop eating a bread made of veggies!

It was very hard to decide to follow through on actually giving away most of this loaf, but I did!

Welcome to the neighborhood James, and thank you for your help Melissa! And thanks Raising Colorado!

I will definitely make this again, and next time it will all be for me.  :-)



As of last week it is officially Autumn!! The sun, while still hot, is changing over from its direct attack to the more enjoyable sideways glow. The morning are cool and crispy, and the mid-day heat much milder. I've officially started drinking all the tea we have in the house!

It might sound silly or cliche, but I truly love everything about this season. The food, the holidays, the colors, the decorations, and the weather - I don't love being too hot in summer or too cold in winter, and this is the best of both worlds. The shorter days, the baking, and getting to break out my long sleeved t-shirts.

Autumn always feel like a season of promise to me. I think its the association with the new school year, and especially with Lehigh's beautiful hill, but it feels like a fresh beginning. We switch from the travel and vacation focus of summer, to a more home-based focus for the cooler months.

What's your favorite season and why?


Badass Broad You Should Know...

If you haven't seen it yet, you should know that my best girl Babs writes a killer empowerment/dream chasing blog called Hiya Tootsie! Every month she has a great feature called Badass Broads You Should Know, and this month, I'm featured!!

Most of my deepest fears go back to one thing: disappointment. I’m always afraid of letting someone down: my client, my family, myself. It’s been one of my biggest stumbling blocks and has kept me from trying for things in the past – sometimes literally making me freeze. As I’ve pursued this dream, I’ve had to make the choice over and over to take the leap and push myself. Of course I’m not going to succeed every time, but you never succeed when you don’t try! I’m slowly learning that no one I love is going to be mad at me for trying and falling short of my goal, but I will be mad at myself if I never even give it a shot. I’ve gotten more comfortable with the choice to try, but it’s still damn scary every single time!

Check out the post here!!


Wordless Wednesday {Out with Friends}

Film on the Rocks...

Tea and Scones (with real Clotted Cream and Jam!) with my girls.

Girls Night Out

I'm so grateful for for my Colorado friends!


And then Her Garden Grew... Or Not

So my little garden in pots was not quite the success I had hoped for. Apparently in the move cross-country, I left my green thumb behind.

While the plants are all still alive (minus my flowers, which didn't make it through my July travels), that's about all I can say for them. See that lone pepper up there? Yeah, that was about it.

I still loved having the pots out there. I loved having my own green and soil I could plunge my hands into anytime I wanted, but it just wasn't exactly all I hoped it would be. When previous years brought you cucumbers the size of your forearm and bushels of tomatoes, well, one half grown green pepper isn't a bringer of much excitement.

Ah well, a learning experience, right? I'll try again next year, and hopefully it will go better.

In the meantime, any Colorado natives or gardeners with 4b-5b zone experience that wants to give me some advice?! Apparently I'm a much better gardener in the 6b zone. Ha!


Between Two Worlds

I've been in a little bit of a funk lately, struggling a bit with this idea of home, and where to call mine. Clearly our apartment is home for now, but Colorado still doesn't feel like "it." I have really sweet friends here, but I miss the ease of our PA friends. The farther out we are from the move though, the more Pennsylvania loses its "of course its home" feel.

I feel stuck between two world, and excluded from them both at the same time.

Everyday that we are here, Gwen and Travis are more entrenched in Colorado. I know I'm not the only one that misses the East Coast, Gwen still blurts out randomly, "I miss my old school" or "I'm sad I can't see [Pennsylvania friend's name]," but Travis is blossoming here, and Gwen is making better and closer friends every day. Each week that passes is one more that takes us farther away from Pennsylvania. Its a very, very good thing; and I find it terrifying. At what point, I now worry, do we tip over and pass the point where it would be harder for them to return then for us (for me) to stay.

I see online or hear about East Coast friends going out and doing things together, and I wish I was there. I go out with friends here and have a beautiful time, but lately there have been lots of last minute cancellations and I'm hyper aware that my Rolodex of people to call to come out instead is nonexistent. I had to fill in a form for a new opportunity the other day where they asked for two emergency contacts. I filled Trav in the first section, then drew a complete blank. I had no one else I was sure I could list, so the second section remained empty.

Friends become acquaintances that fade away, slowly but surely. Checking in less frequently until they are only there on holidays or birthdays. I feel myself fading too. Not all the time, of course, but without a sure home I feel myself becoming blurry around the edges. I sit down in my car to drive somewhere and get the strangest feeling that I could just sit there, while life goes on around me like a sped up movie, not moving until the seat slowly takes me in. That sounds very dramatic, and I don't mean it that way, but I feel "fuzzy" right now. 

This isn't the first time I've dealt with loneliness, especially not here in Colorado, but I'm feeling it more then I have since those first days. I'm flagging, I'm falling short for Gwen, and I wish I had any idea on how to make myself feel more settled. I want a real house of our own vs. an apartment; but I get a bit panicked thinking of buying one here.

I find myself again longing for a crystal ball to see the future and give me the answers.

Of course, there's no such thing.

I wish I had a nicer wrap up here, a neat bow to tie at the end. But sometimes there are no clean endings or brilliant conclusions. That's life, especially between two worlds.


Wordless Wednesday {Gwen}

This girl is definitely cooler then me... especially on chilly mornings.


One Beautiful Average Day

So often it seems that only the big events get attention. So I wanted to make a point to talk about a much more low-key day.

We had the pleasure a few weekends ago to have a completely free Sunday. Our weeks have been so full and busy, and there's often a few things going on every weekend, so a completely free day was a lovely happening.

We headed down the street to Parker and their farmers market, which we had just learned about! We sampled just about every offering they had: salsas, sausages, palisade peaches, candies, dips, and on and on! We ended up buying bags of items! I couldn't resist a meyer lemon olive oil, some chicken sausages and bacon, and those peaches (the best I ever had!). Trav grabbed a pepper relish, a hot sauce, hot & spicy peanut butter, and jerk seasoned trail mix. We both decided on the pear cobbler and some wine. Gwen decided on some kona ice.

After eating and buying our way through Main Street Parker, we headed home to nap and watch a movie.

We settled on The Little Prince, which is beautiful, sad, and inspiring.

It was a low-key, lovely day. In the grand scheme of things, nothing "big," but definitely one beautiful average day.


Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons! {2016 Roadtrip #5}

Can I just start by saying, FINALLY! Ha. We were originally supposed to take this trip back in April. Then we were hoping for June. But it finally worked out for September! It was definitely worth the wait.

I have wanted to visit Yellowstone ever since I was a child. It was one of the first National Parks I learned about. I watched as they brought wolves back in with amazing results. It's iconic landscapes and unique geothermal attractions, made it a must see. Despite the planning problems, I was not going to be kept away! Last Friday Gwen and I got up and started the 9.5 - 10 hour journey up through Colorado, and across most of the height of Wyoming.

I will say, this was probably the camping trip I was least prepared for in terms of time spent immediately beforehand. I had looked at trails and made some plans way back before our initial first trip date. Then I had booked our campsite when things got changed around. But the two weeks leading up to last weekend were some of the busiest I'd had in a while. I found myself getting my tires changed the day before we left, and packing at car at 11pm that night! Thankfully, we're pretty much pros at this by now, and we knew exactly what we needed.

I'm not going to lie... we played hookie from school and work on Friday to go. Its a day's drive, so not bad, but long enough, and we wanted to be there in time to set up the tent before dark. That gave us all day Saturday and all day Sunday to play before leaving on Monday (Labor Day - so no school or work!) to come home.

The drive up was long, but nothing we couldn't handle at this point. It was also rather pretty! Wyoming is a pretty state, especially the Northern (and Western) areas.

I don't think Gwen knew quite what to expect from this trip, but between seeing an Elk and some nice geothermal steam action within our first 20 minutes in the park, and she was sold!

I was sold before we even got there, but especially so once I saw that it was already Autumn in Yellowstone! I got to see reds and oranges that I have hardly seen since leaving the East Coast.

We set up camp the first night, and got to bed a bit early, since I knew we'd be up early the next day.

Saturday was our Yellowstone day. I'd originally picked two trails to hike, but we ended up scrapping those plans in the interest of just heading out to see all there was to see!

"Artists Paint Pots"

We started heading North towards Mammoth, making frequent stops.

We got to see a bear from the side of the road (he was wayyy far down the hill, the closest I wanted to be to any bear!).

We stopped in Mammoth for lunch, and to hit up the Visitor's Center for our National Park Passport stamps. We also got to check out some elk having their own grassy lunch from a random lawn!

The magic of Yellowstone... Gwen tried her first hamburger!!

We saw more elk on the way East from Mammoth (towards Tower Falls), and then got caught in the most Yellowstone of traffic jams:

We were happy to wait (those guys are HUGE!).

Tower Falls was lovely, as was the river below.

After that we headed South (but on the East side, instead of the West). We hit more "traffic" then too! Our final animal tally ended up being one bear, a few deer, and more elk and bison then we could count! (No illusive moose or wolf sightings, we were a little bummed about that!)

We ended that day with a trip to see Old Faithful. You can't go to Yellowstone and not see Old Faithful!

It was suitably impressive! (Though the grey skies and clouds did not make for the most impressive pictures... sorry.)

Sunday was our Grand Tetons day, though we hit up a few more spots on our way out of Yellowstone:

Its only about 1.5 hours from our campsite in Yellowstone down to Grand Teton National Park... and it was definitely worth the trip!

We stopped at the Coulter Bay Visitor's Center since it was towards the top of the park, a great place to get our stamps, and it was the site of the first trail I'd picked out beforehand.

It did not disappoint!

Unfortunately we only got about a .5 mile out, and half way through our picnic, when the clouds rolled in and the lightning started flashing!

We hightailed it back to the car, then decided to wait out the storm by heading a little farther South into the Park and seeing some other views of the mountains.

While the second trail I picked ended up being a bit farther down then we wanted to go, there was plenty to enjoy in between!

We took a few turns to get us closer to the mountains.

And explored along the edge of one of the many lakes...

It was all so amazing gorgeous!
After that we did head back up to complete our hike, and it was so worth it.

We headed back to Yellowstone that night, grabbing some dinner in one of the towns, then turning in early.

Monday we were up bright and early to start the return trip home (I packed up the tent in the rain... bah!). We had to pull over just one more time before leaving the park, I was loath to leave all this beauty behind!!

It was a gorgeous weekend. We definitely could have spent longer in both places, but we really enjoyed our days, and I'm so glad we got here. It was so good to get home to Trav and Daisy, and I can't wait until I can take Trav back there.

In the meantime, check Wyoming (and Yellowstone) off our list!