Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Favorites + Living Hope CD Giveaway

F R I D A Y   F A V O R I T E S

The boys and I have been loving all of the sunshine this week!  I'm honestly not sure where the days have gone, but we've been trying to stay outside as long as possible! July, you are a wonderful month. :)

On Wednesday, I shared my great-grandmother Naomi's zucchini bread recipe. With three zucchini plants in my backyard, we are going to be baking a lot of bread for the next month :)  Though chocolate chip is usually my favorite, the fresh raspberry version was outstanding!

I am SUPER excited to introduce you to this new CD!

The restaurant Pizza Ranch has released twelve songs from some amazing Christian artists. Most of the songs are brand new and written exclusively for the CD, based on the theme of HOPE.

Pizza Ranch started in Hull, Iowa in 1981 by Adrie Groeneweg. In small-town, Iowa, he wondered why he had to drive out of town to get a pizza. With six specialty and single-topping pizza recipes from his mother, he started Pizza Ranch at age 19. There are now 190+ locations in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. (We don't have Pizza Ranch in PA, but I remember going to one in Pocahontas, Iowa when I was in high school, and it was tasty!)

Adrie says about the CD, "This album has a very special meaning for Pizza Ranch. Although Pizza Ranch is not in the music business, many things have been happening, conversations have been taking place, and doors have been opening for this album. Through these events, I believe it was obvious that God has been behind this for his specific purpose and putting it on our hearts to collectively create this project. As such, we call this our miracle album, Living Hope."

I would buy this CD just for the first song, "Future", by Francesca Battistelli. It's phenomenal!  I also have really enjoyed the worshipful songs, "My All in All" by Phil Wickham and "Savior's Arms" by Passion. It truly is an uplifting CD that resonates hope and reassures us that God is at work in our lives!

The CD is available to purchase at Pizza Ranch for $5 through August 31! You can also download it at  If you have a Pizza Ranch near you, go get yourself a copy!

To enter a chance to WIN this CD, enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post :)

I had been meaning to start a curtain-sewing project for many moons. Our front entryway had some old, filthy lace curtains when we first moved in. Eventually, I took them down and the windows were bare for months. Finally, I lit a fire under myself and got to work sewing this week! At first glance, the fabric looks to be plain white, but when the sun hits, you can see a pretty paisley pattern. I love it! I found it at JoAnn's, and I used a 50% off coupon, so it was only $11 for several yards. :)

I used clips from Lowe's to put the curtains on the rods, and they are so easy to open and close!

This is the BEFORE:


This is one of my favorite photos. It's of my grandparents and their six kids in the 60s. (My dad is the adorable kid on the far right.)

I am so excited to see my GRANDPARENTS in a few days! We've lined up a dogsitter/housesitter, and we are hitting the road for Minnesota! My grandparents met Nolan when he was one, but they haven't met Ephraim at all, and I have been promising them we'd come visit soon :)  We will be so blessed to see my other grandparents on our way up there, plus aunts, uncles, and cousins, too, and I can't wait :) :)  Pray for some traveling mercies for us--mainly that our kids will sit in their carseats without screaming the entire way ;)

Follow along with our adventures on Instagram @floralandfudge!

Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci

To enter the Pizza Ranch "Living Hope" CD giveaway, enter the Rafflecopter below!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Must live in US or Canada.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Naomi's Zucchini Bread

I had the privilege of knowing two of my great-grandmothers for quite some time. My great-grandma Naomi was a very sweet, quiet woman, and she knew her way around a kitchen! She passed away shortly after I turned eleven, but her legacy lives on in my kitchen, my linen closet, and my heart ;)

This is her zucchini bread recipe--and since I already have nearly a dozen zucchini from my garden, I better keep up the baking!


3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For a mix-in, you can choose to add:
2 cups of raisins
1 cup of nuts
1-2 cups of chocolate chips
or 2 cups berries (I used fresh raspberries)


Preheat the oven for 350 degrees. 

Mix sugar and oil together. Add eggs.  Mix in the zucchini. Gradually pour in the flour and spices. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and whatever mix-in you choose. Pour batter into two greased and floured pans. Bake for one hour, or up to 75 minutes if your pan is larger. (It's done when a toothpick or knife stuck into the center comes out clean.)  Enjoy!

These boys sure enjoyed their breakfast! (They of course chose the chocolate chip version.)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Steve's Birthday

I had some plans brewing for Steve's birthday weekend, but things didn't quite pan out as I'd hoped. On Saturday, Steve worked eight hours tiling bathroom walls at his parents' house while the boys and I went last-minute birthday shopping. When Steve got home, he was worn out, and he just thought it was work-all-day tired. But on the hottest night of July, I found him curled up with a cup of tea with his legs tucked under a blanket, and I realized he was feverish. He had a rough night of sleep, and still had a fever on Sunday morning, so we started canceling the birthday plans. It ended up being a relaxing lay-on-the-couch day for him. He gradually got better as the day went on, and he got his appetite back enough to eat a hefty slice of double chocolate bundt cake. The sun went down with a simultaneous thunderstorm and a Netflix marathon for the two of us. Though I hope to make up for his birthday later this week, it was all in all, a good day!

If only that Old Navy dog was real. . .  

I went through Steve's box of photos, and found this sweet one of him living in Alaska at age 6 or 7. :)

Never have I seen a three-year-old so excited for cake!

Happy Birthday, Steve!! Your boys and I love you so much, and we can't wait to enjoy this last year of your twenties with you!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Favorites

F R I D A Y   F A V O R I T E S

After such a busy week at family camp last week, we have taken it easy for the past few days. We've had a birthday party, a playdate, and a special trip to the ice cream shop, but for the most part, we've been at home resting up. 

Here's a little bit of a recap of the week:

On Wednesday, I shared this favorite shirt in my very last "What I Wore" post. It's a gold foil pineapple tank that was sold on Eleventh Avenue (and will hopefully be back on the deals site soon!)

We got home from vacation, and our garden had exploded while we were gone! I am so excited to see the corn developing. Look at these pretty purple silks!

So one little pumpkin seed produced all of these leaves and vines! They are taking up the whole box, plus spilling out into the yard, and climbing the fence in the back. I haven't counted, but I see many little pumpkins starting to grow (like the one below)!

Nolan found a giant zucchini!

And the raspberries--we're getting 50-100 a day! Yum! We get so spoiled with good fruit in the summer.

Speaking of fruit, I used blackberries and limes to make a virgin margarita, based on a Pioneer Woman recipe. It turned out deliciously sour and sweet--a perfect icy summer drink!

I shared these on Monday, but I wanted to repost a couple of my favorite new photos. We don't get to see these little nieces often enough, and I feel so blessed to have such cute kids in my life. ;) The little girl in purple turns 5 today, and I vividly remember holding her on the day she was born!

My Instagram friend Lyndsay posted this sweet photo of her and her son yesterday. 

The caption was:

"Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." -Andy Stanley

What an amazing viewpoint, and a great encouragement to me!

Thanks for stopping by today! Have an amazing weekend! We'll be celebrating Steve's birthday on Sunday, and I'm so excited!

Follow along with our July adventures on Instagram @floralandfudge!
Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci.
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