Blueberry Lemon Zucchini Cake  


So yesterday a foodie friend shared a recipe that looked so good, but zucchini in a cake? Bread yes, ok why not! I use all sorts of fruits in cake but hadn’t used veggies, until now! 

So here’s the recipe I saw on Facebook from I Am Baker that was my inspiration, I switched it up a little based on my likes and what I had on hand. Y’all know that’s how I roll. 

Started with my mixer, again I’m lazy. And went to baking. 

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil 

2 cups sugar

3 tsp vanilla 

Zest of one lemon 

2 1/2 c shredded zucchini (drained) 

Mix gingerly, and then add the remaining ingredients 

3 cups flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder 

1 tsp salt 

Add flour a 1/2 cup at a time, give a stir and repeat. 

1 pint (2 cups) fresh blueberries 

Fold into cake batter. Pour into 2 greased cake pans. 

Bake at 350 35-45 min until cake pulls away from edges and passes the toothpick test! 


Lemon Buttercream:

2 sticks butter 

Apx 3 cups powdered sugar

Juice and zest from 1 lemon 

1 tsp vanilla extract 

Mix everything taste and add more sugar if you need it! 

Enjoy. 

The day I gave up

It’s probably not what you think. 
Some may think that trying and failing at things is a loss,heck no! I’ve had more dreams and ideas than even I can keep track of and I still find it ironic that my life has come full circle. As someone who’s always felt so self conscious about my own looks God empowering me with the skills to make others feel beautiful is almost overwhelming. Maybe that is why I ran from it for so long! 

Two years ago I gave up. 

I stopped fighting and starting listening. 

I prayed 

and promised 

to follow the path that God intended for me.

 WOW 

I mean really. 

WOW

Everything has changed. 

Not overnight 

Not in a month or 90 days 

But over time (no kidding, years….) everything  changed. 

I read a book that literally stuck with me to this day I quote Jeannie Allen as I paraphrase; “your calling in life… Is where your passions and your burdens collide” that’s where the magic happens. 

You see for years I kept thinking that my burdens were outside forces, things out of my control yet, just close enough to try. My horrendous relationship with my Mother, abandonment issues, toxic relationships with people, food, alcohol, what have you.

So 2 years ago I vowed to take care of me. 

That’s right. 

It was HARD 

I had to remind myself everyday 

I was not being selfish. 

I am important. 

I matter. 

I count. 

And ultimately God is the only one I can count on. People are flawed we make mistakes all the time. We screw up. We try our best and sometimes that’s not enough. 

That was the day I gave it all up to God. I was done. I was on the floor of my shower and promised him that this type A, anxiety ridden, spastic  would stop fighting and start listening. 

If he brought it to me I would do it. You see I had to be faithful. In all aspects of my life. Not just where I was comfortable.   

FAITH it’s a funny thing, you can’t be truly faithful if all you do is worry and undermine his plan. 

 I found Zumba class that I love and faithfully continue to go. I’ve met some wonderful  friends who support and love me flaws and all. I found a church that I love. I’m back in a career that I’m really good at, not to mention spread light and love to women daily. Having someone tell you, “thank you for making me feel beautiful” is priceless. Having the confidence in myself and knowing that I can make someone’s day a little brighter by giving them a new haircut or suggesting a new lip color may sound really superficial but I promise you it’s not. It’s magical and I’m so blessed to be able to take the talents that God gave me and use them to bring others joy. Isn’t that what it’s all about? 

Here’s me in May 2014 and May 2016. 


My heart is so full.  You can change anything if you want to bad enough. And you are the only one who can change you.  No one can fix you but you. I’m proof. 

xoxo, mama bird 

Birdie’s Glow


No filter, in a bathroom, at night. 43 years old. Think I’m aging fairly well. Thoughts? 

So, I don’t know about you but my skin had already taken a beating from the heat & humidity. I have a pool and my son swims daily and competes so we are at the pool, outside all the time! I mixed the most amazing little concoction tonight and I gotta tell ya. My skin feels like a newborn babies! 

Here’s what I used:


Mixed a little coconut oil with the Limelight by Alcone Scrubtini Sugar Scrub massage on my face for about 3 mins washed off with warm water and then applied 2 drops of Must Dew Skin Oil. Can you say HEAVEN? It’s like a Microdermabrasion without going to get a high priced treatment!! Score! And what makes this even better is the Scrubtini gives a killer shave and is an amazing body scrub! 

Want to try my secret to glowing summer skin? I’ll send you a sample! 

Xoxo, Mama Bird 

Clean your brushes! 


Did you know you should wash your makeup brushes monthly? 

Do you? 

I have to admit my own personal brushes NEVER get cleaned the way they should! But, now this will be yet another thing I will try to become better with.  On the upside I do have some easy tips that make said washing quick, easy, & painless. I use 3 everyday household items. Dawn (original blue), white vinegar, & olive oil. 

​(tried to upload video, it’s not working! Go visit my FB page to see it!) 
For almost all my brushes I fill up the sink with warm soapy water with a splash of white vinegar and swish those babies around until they appear clean, brush across a paper towel to confirm cleanliness, set to the side or rewash. Now for brushes that I use for foundation, lipstick, gel liners, cream shadows etc I prefer olive oil first. Oil removes oil! Pour a little in a cup, swirl dab, repeat if necessary. Then wash them in the dawn/vinegar mix and poof you have clean brushes! I like to get excess wetness out on a soft towel and then stand to dry. The drying, if you ask me is the worst part! It NEVER fails. I always wash them when I think I’ll not need thing or at least a day, never pans out. Just realized I have to hit the cubscouts meeting in a  few hrs. Typical. 

Now get all your brushes out and get to cleaning!!

Perfect BBQ Chicken Marinade 

 

I mean really who doesn’t love chicken on the Barbie? This perfection of a marinade came from just throwing random stuff in and winging it! Now the vinegar, you can use whatever you have. I typically use red wine, apple cider, or rice wine, but any vinegar should work great. The vinegar really helps to tenderize the meat. So if you are grilling skinless/boneless this will make them so much more tender! This is my summer go to grilling marinade. Enjoy. 

 Birdie’s Summer Marinade 

Equal parts: (typically 1/4 cup) 

Ketchup

Soy Sauce

Vinegar

1/2 that amount of vegetable oil

2 cloves crushed garlic 

Salt & pepper 

Salt & pepper chicken in both sides. Mix everything else together, dump on chicken and allow to marinate at least 4 hrs up to a day or two. Grill and enjoy! 

Mama Bird 

Quinoa Salad


I can’t say the quinoa craze has really hit me, the few times I tried it I thought it tasted like dirt! But, then  a friend made a salad that was good. So, I am giving it another try. And this is yummy!! Full of flavor, which I think is the key!! Mint, parsley, lemon juice & zest, balsamic, feta I think you are getting the idea! FLAVOR and lots of it!! 


1 cup quinoa 

2 cups water 

Cook according to package directions. Let cool. 

1/2 red onion, chopped 

1/2 English cucumber, diced

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, quartered

1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped 

1/4 to 1/2 cup feta cheese 

Fresh mint & parsley, finely chopped

Dressing:

1/4 cup balsamic

1/2 cup olive oil

Zest & juice from 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon honey 

1 teaspoon Good Seasons Italian dressing powder (my secret ingredient to so many recipes!!)

Season all the veggies with salt & pepper  place in large bowl. Make dressing and add 1/2 to bowl of veggies. Add quinoa, feta, and more dressing as needed. 

Again flavor is why this is so good but, it’s even better if you make it ahead. I make in the morning or even the day before. Enjoy this healthy gluten free salad. I’m serving with my favorite grilled Greek chicken! 

Bye bye makeup! 


How do you say bye-bye to your makeup? Well, if I’m feeling lazy or just plain worn out, which is most nights let’s just admit that now! The make off remover wipes by LimeLight by Alcone are by far the best I’ve ever used. And y’all I’ve tried a ton of them. Expensive ones, mid grade, store brands, baby wipes you name it and these are top notch. They feel like cloth and are huge! Moist enough to get every shred of makeup off. ALL of it. None of the other brands I’ve tried ever actually get all the makeup off. My white washcloth always had makeup residue. Not now! And the box you get 24 for $12.95 or 80 for $30 

Did I mention they also remove stains from your clothes? Hey hey, another multi use product!! No wonder all the celebs carry them in their bags! 


I am an independent Lead Beauty Guide with LimeLight by Alcone you can click the makeup icon to the right to visit my site. 

I don’t use it because I sell it. I share it because I LOVE IT! 

Xoxo, Mama Bird 

Best Ever Baked Chicken

  

Talk about easy and delish! This was a real hit! It couldn’t be easier! Inspired by a Pinterest recipe, but like all recipes, I use them for inspiration and tweek as I see fit! This was no exception! I do love s dump and bake recipe!! So here goes:

chicken breast boneless/skinless season with s&p, place in casserole  dish sprayed with non stick spray

1/2 cup mayo

1/2 cup sour cream 

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dry Italian dressing mix

2 teaspoons dry Ranch powder 

Mix everything together and dump on top of chicken. Make sure chicken is covered completely with mixture.  Bake uncovered 1 hour at 350. 

I served it with roasted broccoli. YUM 

ENJOY! Mama Bird

What’s that smell?! Roses

  
  As a beauty industry veteran and self proclaimed beauty product hoarder, I gotta tell ya that I still love to try new products, I have my tried & true favorites (will do a post on that soon).

 Yesterday  I ran to the supply store to get a boars hair brush for a friend (simply the best brushes ever! Will change your hair!) Anyhoo, while shopping I asked what’s new, what are you currently loving? “Do you like the smell of Roses?” she asked. Why yes, yes I do! 

Y’all I am in heaven. The smell is perfection. Just enough to remind me of sitting and playing at my Mema’s house when I was s little girl.  

Matrix has really stepped up their game. This oil, yes oil shampoo leaves your hair feeling super luxurious without any weight what so ever! I’m amazed!! 

I’m sure your hairdresser can hook you up or you can find it at Amazon, ulta, etc. 

enjoy!! 

 

Fried Chicken 

  
I posted on Facebook last night that I was in search of some great fried chicken right here at home. In Hickory, NC who makes some tasty chicken? I mean I love the Bo and all but, Jack & I had been talking about fried chicken and decided we would add this to our search. And boy lots of my peeps shared their favorite spots. Mountain Fried Chicken, which I had never even heard of came up more than anywhere else. And after a quick Google search I was able to locate and see that they indeed were open on Sunday! So yeah we had a lunch plan after church, which can be a real issue. We are horrible at picking a place! 

We arrived about 12:40 and there was a line out the door! What? Well, it moved really fast at this no frills spot. It’s a bit shabby, plastic silverware, foam plates, packaged lemon for the tea! Hush your mouth, this is a sin in my opinion. However, for good food I’m willing to deal with the fake lemon. Once, but really in the south you gotta have good tea & real lemon. Anyhoo, you order cafeteria style, choose how many pieces of chicken along with what cut. I’m a single breast girl.  J had 2 legs, and hubs had thigh & leg. The chicken was great. Just like the tag line on the sign said, “It’s not greasy”, it wasn’t. Very moist even the breast, crunchy outside, great flavor. Very good. We all ordered different sides, my plate pictured above was by far the most monochromatic and not my typical plate! Mashed potatoes were really peppery, baked apples were not too mushy or cinnamony which was good with me! The green beans seemed to be straight out of the can. Pintos (I don’t eat them) boys said were good and both enjoyed the potato wedges. Chicken is definitely why you’re going to go here and you’ll be happy. Next time I’d probably get a box of chicken to take home and have my own sides.

Mountain Fried Chicken is open daily and the staff was very nice. They have daily specials and off 10% off on Sundays with your church bulletin (dang it I tossed mine in the recycle bin!) next time. 

What did you have for Sunday lunch?