Monday, December 14, 2009

Busy Times

Times have been very busy! Planning a Christmas party, buying Christmas gifts, sending out Christmas cards, making a calendar for my mom (very time consuming), cleaning, decorating, going to the gym to keep sane and then trying to spend regular time on other non-Christmas related things.

This last weekend was a lot of fun! Friday night we relaxed with a nice dinner and a drink at Ruby Tuesday. Hit up Target afterwards where I did my shopping for niece and nephews. They were really busy at 9:00 P.M.! Saturday I managed to do a ton! Finished up the Christmas cards, wrapped up the gifts and sent them all off in the mail. After a trip to the post office we headed over to Lowe's to purchase a Bosch dishwasher. They had a really good sale and we got a great deal on the high end Bosch! It should be arriving this week and J will install a dishwasher for his first time! Saturday night we used our free tickets to the Showstoppers at Casino Arizona in Scottsdale. The impersonators were Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Reba McEntire, Natalie Cole and the Four Tops. They all sang Christmas songs and the show lasted an hour and half. It was so much fun! I took lots of pictures and took a video of Elvis singing The First Noel. Seeing an Elvis up close made me really excited for our wedding in Las Vegas. It was almost as if it sunk in a little that we were getting married soon and in the Graceland Wedding Chapel! Only 3 months away already!

I've been trying not to spend too much time on the computer at night. I've been getting headaches lately at work and think it could be computer related. I'm trying to lay off the laptop at night and give my eyes and brain a break. It's hard since I spend a lot of time on it every night keeping up on everything.

On a different note, found out today that my brothers baby who is due in May is going to be a girl!


Today's Temperature: 62*

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Recap

It's been a while since I've been on here. A lot has been going on as our weekends have been busy and full. We are having a Christmas party, need to reserve our hotel for the wedding, need to create and order the invitations, buy presents, send presents and the list goes on and on. December is full and going too fast! The Christmas party is on the 19th and I have taken the 18th off to cook, bake and prepare. We've invited a few neighbors, new Arizona friends and J's family. It should be a decent turnout and a good time, don't have to worry about drinking and driving! The last time I had a party was at my apartment in Papillion and that was a poker party. The decorations are complete including hung mistletoe, the tree is twinkling and the external lights are all hung.

Sunday J and I went to the AMC theater in Awatukee to see Couples Retreat. The movies are $5 before noon and you get free refills on large pops or popcorn. Afterwards we ate a late lunch at Abuelos.

Saturday M and B invited us to lunch to their favorite catfish restaurant in Florence. The rest of the day was spent doing housework then watching the NE football game against Texas. Unfortunately, we lost by 2 points. It bothered me very much, took me a while to settle down and be able to go to bed that night.

The weather has chilled down a lot! The lows are in the 30's and the highs are in the 50;s-60's. Flagstaff is getting pounded with snow today though! We had clouds, rain and strong winds all day today.

So much for nice sunny weather! :(

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's Been A Week!

I've been MIA for over a week! The Christmas lights are up and boy are they bright! Took 3 days, but the LED is awesome! The inside is mostly decorated, the tree we'll put up this weekend. We've been invited to Mary and Barry's for Thanksgiving this year. She has it all covered, except I'm bringing the rolls, green bean casserole and a dessert.

Here is a site you can listen to full songs. I usually go to Amazon to hear the songs before buying the CD or the song off ITunes, but it only plays a portion. Now I can listen to an entire album all the way through! Check it out Here.

So, I've been reading tons of blogs about couponing and learning all the tricks. When I have a bigger family I'll be all set and should be a master by then! I'll post the sites in Blogroll soon so everyone can check them out. It's nice to get a good deal. It gets pretty exciting when I can get cheese for $.77! Albertsons had Kraft shredded, bar, and singles on sale for $1.77. I used my $1 off coupon to get them for $.77, I also did two transactions so I can have plenty of cheese for a while. Cheese is expensive, so I had to stock up while I could! Same for cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups. Target had them for $.49 a can, so I used my coupon and got 4 cans for $99!

Last night I made out our Christmas Party invitations. We are going to invite our block of neighbors and our Arizona friends and family. The party is on the 19th, I took the 18th off to do lots of cooking and baking!

That's all for now, until next time!


Today's temperature: 75*

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Some Deals

Looking for some good deals?

Target has Angel Soft toilet paper, 36 double rolls for $15.99. You can pair that with the $1 off coupon for your $14.99 total. I had a $5 gift card so the total for me was $10.99 (already used my $1 off coupon last month). Pay attention when Target offers a $5 gift card on some of their items, they come in handy later on. I got the gift card for buying 2 Vaseline pump lotions, I also had a $1 off coupon for the lotions. They have a few gift card deals going on now. If you buy 2 packages of Chinet plates you will receive the $5 gift card, those plates can come in handy for Thanksgiving or Christmas...

Amazon has Bon Jovi's new CD for $3.99!
Also, Pinks Funhouse for $3.99! I've not downloaded from Amazon before or bought a CD from them, but I might just have to buy Pinks album.

Walgreens has Blistex chapstick on sale for $.99 and you can pair it with the current Blistex coupon for a grand total of only $.49! I'll be hitting that up since that is the kind of chapstick I use daily.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Rest of our NE Trip

Saturday we drove to Wymore to spend the day with J's mom. We ate lunch at Runza, stopped at Pamida then hung out around the house. We watched part of the NE game before we hit the road around 8:30.

Sunday we had our much needed sleeping in time then hung out. We went to a late lunch at Keno in Plattsmouth before heading off to the airport.

The trip went fast as usual, but we conquered quite a bit in the time allotted.

Now that we're back home, it's time to start getting ready for Christmas and finalizing these wedding plans!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Part of the NE Trip...

We are back from our Nebraska trip. It was very successful and fun. With the timezone change, it makes it alot easier to travel to the Midwest. An hour ahead is waaay better than 2 and what a difference just 1 hour makes!

We arrived in Omaha at 10:30, ran to get our rental car (PT Cruiser) then made our way downtown Plattsmouth to meet some friends at the Waterhole to get our drink on! This was J's first time drinking in PTown, I've yet to drink in his hometown. All was good, we just ordered our 3rd drink at midnight and had to be booted out due to a bomb threat. Some ass decided to call the bar and issue a bomb threat! So we packed up and headed down a few stores to the next bar to finish the last hour. Rusty's was recently remolded and didn't look like as much as a dump as it used to! They even added self serve popcorn and peanuts! Of course the police and firemen were checking out the bomb scare, but they didn't stay long. We found out on Saturday that it was some random guy who just called it in. The guy is dumb because the bar has caller ID and all he did was pick up the phone and dial, so needless to say, he was traced within minutes, LOL. At least he made our night more interesting and something to talk about and remember!

Friday was a busy day! We hung out with my family that morning. At noon, me, J and my mom headed out to do some minor shopping. I went to Peels to get my must needed products, well, actually I love this one product and it is like crack to me! It felt so good to get home and start using it again! I know I'm a freak, but you find something you love and can only get it at one place and have only one chance to get it especially since the last time you were there it was all sold out, you become pretty excited to see it in stock! We then headed to Husker Hound and made a few purchases. Back in town we picked the nephews up from school and spent some time with them. We had to get ready for the Friday night wedding. The church was on the Creighton campus and it was beautiful! The reception was held as the DC Center. Afterwards we met up at Ameristar to see Lemon Fresh Day and friends. Always a good time at Amerisports!

To be continued...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween and Things

Halloween has come and gone. I put all the decorations away on Sunday. Now the house is all clear for LED lights! We had 44 trick or treaters. The costume trends were pirates and ninjas. We only had one without a costume and 1 adult dressed up as a Rock 'N' Roll Dad, complete with long black curly wig, hat, and his real tattoos; reminded me of Slash. He also had his own bag to catch treats in, that mooch!


The temperatures have finally risen back up. Last Wednesday was only in the 50's! Can you imagine going from 90's one day to 50's the next?! At least it came back up to the 90's, I'm not ready for the coolness.

Saturday I found some more nifty items from Goodwill. (we went to the NE football game Saturday morning at the bar, which is next to a Goodwill) I found a few more Fourth of July items and a set of Christmas spreaders. A few more Southwestern items as well. The spreaders will come in handy for a Christmas party we're planning on having.

We've notice a trend lately. Restaurant-bars are having all day happy hours on Sundays. It makes it a good deal to eat out for half price and still be able to have a good time. We figure if we're going to eat out once a week, we may as well do it on Sunday and get if half off! Unless we have a coupon for another restaurant, which usually consist of buy one entree get one free. We use those all of the time!

Lately we have been doing the wedding planning. Looking for hotels and restaurants. Too many to choose from which makes for a lot of Internet-researching time. It can be frustrating!

And lastly, we're headed back to NE this weekend for a wedding and quick family time.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Yum



Mmmm, spice cake mix + cream cheese frosting= great tasting cupcakes to put you in the mood for Halloween and fall!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Love This Bar

Friday night J and I met some of my work friends at Toby Keith's I Love this Bar & Grill. J and I attempted to eat here back when his family was visiting and there was an hour wait to eat at 8:30 that night (that was right after it opened). This time we arrived at 8 and got right in for a table of 6. J and I decided to share the BBQ pulled pork sandwich with fries. The rest of the gang were late, so we gave up our table after waiting for an hour and took seats up at the 85 foot guitar-shaped bar where we stayed the remainder of the night. A country band came on at 9:00 and the place started to get packed. They have a couple VIP rooms, a mechanical bull and a dance floor with stage. Most everyone was holding their 32 oz. mason jars of beer! The only thing I didn't like was mixed drinks were sold in plastic cups, I don't get why some bars do that. The music was good, the people were fun and we stayed until 1:00 a.m.! J and I want to go back just to eat sometime. They have a good menu with average prices. There were a lot of big parties and of course several birthdays happening, since they announce the birthdays Texas Roadhouse style (which annoys me). At 12:30ish a special guest arrived...John Michael Montgomery! That was pretty sweet!





Sunday, October 25, 2009

Outside Projects

Instead of finding a ladder at a garage sale, J found a great deal on a 10 foot ladder at Ace Hardware. Less than $100 for it! Now he can hang Christmas lights with ease. Here's a picture of him trimming the Mesquite tree with it:

J also took down the basketball hoop. The previous owners bought a mobile hoop and sunk the base in the ground. The hard part was digging that out. The base was full of water. Here are some pictures of this job:




Saturday, October 24, 2009

Choggs

Wednesday night we went to the Arizona State Fair. If you bring a bottle of water or a new pair of adult socks the admission is free (on Wednesday only). What a deal! We saw the Budweiser Clydesdale's and checked out the exhibits. Among all of the food vendors this is where J and I had our first chogg! A chogg is a cheesy corn dog and it's pretty tasty! J bought tickets to see Lady Antebellum which started at 7. The concert was great! Afterwards we shared a funnel cake and watched a hypnotist. The weather was perfect to spend the night outside!




Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday's Garage Sale Finds

Buy toilet paper or go to garage sales? Garage sales it is! I managed to get J to go with me this Saturday morning. We are on the look out for tools such as an extension ladder, rake and I'm still on the look out for a couple side tables and as always, holiday decorations. If I had kids, today I would have made out like a bandit! Every sale we saw had tons of baby and kids items.

Here is what we picked up today:


Large pumpkin $2

Three strings of Christmas lights, $1 a piece (they work!) and a heavy duty staple gun, $3 to put up all of the Christmas lights!


This is what I picked up 3 weeks ago from another sale, total $4 for 2 ceramic pumpkins

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hong Kong Bistro

Last night we tried out a new restaurant. Every time we drive by this place J makes a comment on how much he wants to eat there. It's in Chandler off of Gilbert Road called Hong Kong Bistro and it was great! We had pot stickers for the first time as an appetizer, which were free with our coupon. They substituted the soup for crab puffs (crab ragoon) for me and egg roll for J. We've been to 4 Chinese places here and this is the first one that would substitute. I won't eat the soup or egg roll so I'd rather sub it for crab puffs, which no one ever allows, which I don't understand. We had great service and plan on going back soon! We got a lot of food for less than $10 a plate.

Does anyone watch that show Say Yes to the Dress on TLC? I'm addicted to it!

The Chicago Trip

Our Chicago trip went well. The bitter coldness, wind and constant dreary-cloud covering made it kind of depressing. When you're used to seeing nothing but blue sky's and sun or have the ability to walk outside without shoes, sweatshirts, coats and jeans, it makes you appreciate your home. I'm used to walking around in tanks, shorts and flip flops! We spent a lot of time with my sister's kids, ages 6, 2 1/2 and 8 weeks. We met J's friend on Sunday afternoon for lunch. We took the kids to the Halloween store where they had a blast! We ate out several times including Panera Bread! Twice! It tasted so good! I even took over the baby at night so my sister could get some rest. We had a good time with the kids and hope to see them in March for the nuptials.

I managed to snap a pretty picture of what fall looks like, something we won't really see much of here.

Today's Temperature: 98*

Friday, October 9, 2009

Goodbye, Farewell

Well I'm winding down to bedtime. I'm all packed for our trip to Chicago to see my sister and kids. Tory has been dropped off at Uncle B's and J is finishing packing. I can pack in about 20 minutes, J on the other hand, takes a while, a while like at least an hour. I find it hard to pack for cold weather since my wardrobe consists of tank tops, shorts and flip flops. My long sleeved clothes are old, faded and I haven't worn in a year. You know what they say, if you haven't worn it with in the year, get rid of it. I think I should do that :)

When I come back, I need to post some pictures that I've been promising.

Something I've been craving is Panera. There aren't any Panera's in Arizona and I miss their white chocolate mocha's and broccoli cheese soup! I'm hoping to find one in the area in Chicago. Oh, and of course I miss the cinnamon crunch bagels!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Good Grocery Store Finds

Albertsons had 1 lb. packs of strawberries for a $1, Swiss Miss hot chocolate for .88, Sara Lee bread for $1.37, Simply Orange $1.99!! I couldn't believe how good of a deal these were! I bought 3 packs of strawberries last Friday and made strawberry shortcake for the United Way trivia night at work. That was a hit! 2 loafs of bread, went straight into the freezer. Today I decided to go back for more strawberries and Simply Orange, but they were out of orange juice, so I opted for more bread and strawberries. The strawberries will be cut up and I'm going to make another strawberry pie and use them for smoothies. When you run across good deals like this, stock up!

I forgot to mention I had my very first dental appointment in Arizona last week. It was rather long at an hour and 45 minutes, but they did a very thorough job. Well, I had to go back today for a cavity fill. I didn't even know I had one, but it showed up on one of the 18 x-rays they took! Yep, 18 x-rays. I've never had so many pictures of my mouth before. They used the pen to take digital pictures too. I've already set my appointment for my 6 month checkup. I need to get back on the 6 month program.

This week is countdown to Chicago. We're leaving Saturday morning and won't return until Wednesday night.

Yesterday after work I stopped at Tropical Smoothie Cafe for their happy hour special. Buy one get one free. It's a really good deal to get a free smoothie from them. I opted for dessert this time in which I haven't had yet. I went with the peanut butter cup smoothie. Boy was it tasty! It tasted smooth like it was ice cream and chocolate, you wouldn't even know that it was ice. I'm normally a blimey limey person, but this one hit the spot. I recommend that when you're having a bad day, make it Tropical Smoothie Day! That's what I do :)


Today's temperature: 84*

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October Already...?!!

Well another week and month down. I can't believe it's October already! My Halloween decorations are up and the house is freshly painted! The paint job looks great, I'll post before and after pictures later.

Tuesday night we tried out a new restaurant. We ate at Native New Yorker off of Gilbert road. This place just opened about a month ago and every time we drive by it's packed. Tuesday night is 40 cent wings. I only opted for 6 wings, 3 honey BBQ and 3 garlic parmesan and tried out their pepperoni pizza. The pizza was really thin and greasy, but it was OK. Their wings were crisp, crunchy and had a good amount of sauce. They were really tasty. Afterwards we checked out the new Shoe Carnival and JCPenny which is next to Native.

Friday was a big day because J reserved the chapel for the wedding. The date is now official! March 27 will come quick I'm sure :)





Today's temperature: 91*

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks 1 year since we've moved to Arizona. On this day last year we were moving our things into the house, unpacking, eating McDonald's for lunch, buying and moving the refrigerator in and we at Jack in the Box at 9:00 p.m. that night, our first time eating at a Jack in the Box!

We sure have come a long way over this past year! The year sure flew by! Time flies when you're having fun :)

More Arizona years to come and onto the next chapters of our lives :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Random Life Events

Wow! The temperature has cooled down nicely! It's been in the 90's and the nights have been perfect! I think it's time to throw an end-of summer BBQ and invite the neighbors over.

In 2 more weeks we'll be heading to Chicago to see my sister and new nephew. I haven't seen them in over a year!

My Yoga classes have been going well also. I've been doing it all summer and generally do it twice a week. It sure helps me relax from crappy work and makes my body feel much better.

We're in the process of getting our house painted. One of our neighbors has a painting business and he proposed an offer too good to pass up. Times are tough so you can get some really good deals right now.

I think this weekend I'll be bringing out my Halloween decorations. It's time to get the house spooky! We had a decent turn out last year and with very little decorations, the kids screamed and got scared. Just wait until they see the floating ghost swinging between trees!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Accidentally on Purpose

My new drink to order at a restaurant is an Arnold Palmer. It consists of half lemonade and half iced tea. I had my first one at Gordon Beirsch a couple weeks ago. I assumed theirs must be a specialty since they list it on their menu. I had 2 big glasses and took 1 to go! Awesome stuff!! In case you don't know, it was named after the professional golfer, Arnold Palmer.

Saturday night we were invited to a neighbors b-day bash. It came complete with a huge spread of food, like ribs, brisket, hot dogs, corn on the cob,cake and a DJ! We had a good time and met a lot of different interesting people. One guy even used his teeth to take off metal beer caps!! He said it's easier, LOL. The DJ was shut down early due to the cops being called.

Yesterday's steal of the day was from Anne Taylor Loft. I bought a white, dressy-ish, casualish shirt for only $4.88! I also bought a couple shirts for $10.00 a piece. It's a great time to buy short sleeved shirts, tanks and dresses since all of the fall sweaters are moving in. It's weird to see sweaters out while it's over a 100* here.

Tonight was a great night for new shows on TV. How I Met your Mother, new show starring Jenna Elfman called Accidentally on Purpose, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. I really enjoyed Jenna's new show. I love her and it's great to see her back on TV!



Today's temperature, 107*

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Goodwill Finds

I've decided to jazz up my page a bit and added a background. Today is NE game day, at least this weekend it's showed on regular TV so no need to go to a bar and be there 2 hours early to get a seat! Last Saturday was Goodwill's 50% off everything sale and I found some great finds! I had went a couple days beforehand to scope out what was there so all I needed to do was grab and go. I knew I wanted to be right when they opened the store at 9, which worked out perfect since the bar opened at 9 so we could get a seat for the NE game. Jason got a table for the game and I went next door to go shopping. I have been on the lookout for Southwestern art and decor and holiday decorations. I only spent $28.00 total! I found 3 southwestern pictures and plenty of holiday decor. Here are some pictures:

(I have issues with putting pictures on here, if someone knows how I can put them up across the page like I see other bloggers, let me know. All I can do is get them going down the page, which I don't like. I've spent a lot of time in the edit Html tab-is this normal?)















Thursday, September 10, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

Once again, not in the writing mood. But it's September 10th now and a lot has been going on. I'll start with last Friday. Friday I took Jason out for his Saturday birthday dinner. He chose Texas Roadhouse, which is always a great place to go, not to mention, my favorite restaurant. Before we went, I let him open 1 of his gifts. He's very eager about opening gifts and if it was his choice he'd want a gift for everyday for at least a week working up to his birthday. He had a steak and I had the ribs.

Saturday was Game Day and Jason's birthday. An honor for Jason since his favorite thing in the world landed on his birthday. I had ordered a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting from Basha's grocery store and picked it up that morning. He opened the rest of his presents and we broke into the cake. Then it was time to get ready for the game. We left at 2 for the 4:00 kickoff. We thought getting to Skip and Jan's an hour and half early that there would be plenty of seats. We found the last two chairs with a guy who was there by himself. It was nice to met a new NE fan, someone who I'm sure will be our football watching friend now. He just might be more obsessed with NE football than Jason. After the game ended we ate Mexican food at Si Senor.

We had it planned to visit Tombstone on Sunday. We left the house around 8 and arrived there at 10:30. It took us the full 2 and half hours to get there and we had to go through some rainy spots on the way. We were hoping it wasn't raining in Tombstone because you spend the whole time outside. It was forecasted to get rain the entire weekend. When we saddled up in Tombstone, it was chilly and cloudy. I had a sweater on along with my tank top, shorts and flip flops! The temps were in the 70's. We found ourselves in the old Oriental Saloon and a new friend named Sue. She gave us some history about the Saloon and the famous bar and bartender from the old west times. She then asked if I wanted a coffee, so we walked up to the general store to get "the best coffee in town". At 89 cents a cup, she even bought it for me. We chatted a bit while she poured 3 coffees for her work friends. I helped carry coffee back down to the Saloon and we chatted more. She was my new Tombstone friend! We decided to make our way on to the attractions and by noon, the sun was out, my sweater was off and the town was very busy! We ate at the Crystal Palace for lunch, went to the OK Corral gun fight show, the Boothill cemetery and checked out many little shops. It is defiantly a place you can spend a whole day as we didn't leave until after 4:00.

It was nice to have Monday off to just have a day to do nothing and that is pretty much what I did.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This Past Weekend

Happy September 1st! I can't believe August is over, summer is over, well, most of the summer for me anyway. Since summer seems like it lasts until November, then fall comes in December-January; that's when I notice the trees and plants change color. I've been slacking in the blogging department lately. Lots to write about!

Last Saturday, temperature 114*, I took Mary to Scottsdale. She had never been and I wanted to check out some consignments stores and was looking for shoes for wedding day. We started out downtown poked around lots of little stores, southwestern stores mostly. Up a few blocks to 5th avenue, I found the consignment store called Back to the Rack. I was also in need of a new purse. I spent about 10 minutes deciding between two, appeared to have never been used, leather, in great shape, Gucci purses. At less than $100.00 I bought a Gucci, black, medium sized, leather purse with separate compartments. It had the cell phone and key pocket, which is a must for my purse requirements. We ate lunch at a quaint Mexican restaurant called Frank and Lupe's Old Mexican restaurant. The place is so small, it has about 15 tables total, but the food is excellent. We continued on for more shopping at the Biltmore Fashion Park. It's right outside of Scottsdale, classified as Phoenix. I found my shoes at the Macy's there! It was time to wrap up our day and there is no better way to end a day of hard shopping like stopping at the Sugar Bowl for ice cream! We bellied up to the bar, Mary ordered the Tin Roof Sundae and I opted for the Desireme Banana Split. Holy Cow! This was awesome!! We have decided that anytime we come to Scottsdale, the day needs to end at the Sugar Bowl. J was golfing all day in Queen Creek so I decided to bring home a couple slices of homemade apple pie (one for me later) for his snack.

Saturday night we hung out at home and I rented 'Then She Found Me' with Helen Hunt, a so-so movie, not a big deal to see. Friday night we rented 'Valkyrie', a must watch!

Sunday I had a few things I needed to finish shopping for. I stopped at TJ Maxx and bought a pair of black, Bandolino peep-toe dress shoes for only $10.00! That wasn't on m list, but was a nice find ;)

I'm still enjoying my current read!

Today's temperature 107*

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Friday's Grilled Steak... and other things

Last Friday J and I were invited to P and S's house for supper. If you remember I went to their house for the Wei of Chocolate party a few weeks back. When we arrived P was in the kitchen playing chef. As he was cooking, we were snacking on cheese and crackers he had already sliced up. He cooked up a top quality meal! We had steaks from the grill, cooked perfectly, fries which he cut and fried himself, snow peas with some oil and sesame seeds and all kinds of other flavorful seasonings and a tomato salad. I was worried about the salad because I don't like tomato's. The salad consisted of sliced tomato's with gobs of red onions and blue cheese crumbles on top, then you add olive oil and vinegar on top. It was SO good and refreshing! I didn't taste the tomato at all! The snow peas were so good too, and I can't remember if I've even had snow peas before, maybe in Chinese food? After supper we watched the movie Taken. The movie was all action packed and predictable, but it was so action packed that it didn't seem like a very long movie. During our movie P put in a dessert. Nothing like watching a movie eating dessert, a warm crisp cookie dough topped off with ice cream. He had to tell me how me made it because I can see myself craving it often!

The entire time we were at their house there was a big monsoon, so big that on our way home we saw many branches all over the streets. So big that it actually cut power out in some parts of town, it certainly made the news the next day! The plants here don't have long root systems so they easily fall down with very little wind. We hope someday it would get so windy that it would blow our mesquite tree down out front. That tree is a big pain in the ass! It never stops growing and has to be trimmed back at least twice a year, but it has to be trimmed so it's not top heavy, if it's top heavy then it will likely fall over from the wind. J decided to tackle the tree trimming for the first time yesterday. It's such a big job!

I started reading a book called The Chocolate Lovers Club by Carole Matthews. So far it's a great read!


Today's temperature high: 103

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Scottsdale

Saturday morning I awoke around 7:15 and sat outside to read my Phoenix magazine with a cup of coffee. It was 80 degrees out and beautiful! It was such a nice cool down, even though the humidity was up to 80 as well. I haven't been able to sit outside in the morning like that since the Spring! I think I relaxed out there for a good couple of hours when J finally woke up and joined me. We chatted about how I was thinking it would be a good day to check out the Scottsdale Fashion Square. We hadn't been to Scottsdale yet to check it out and I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. We drove around downtown Scottsdale to check it out the have lots of quaint stores, restaurants, and art galleries. We didn't get out to walk around, but I'll probably head back soon. We continued onto the mall. The first thing we did was eat at the Yard House. They have the worlds largest selection of draft beer which was a big draw for J. I ordered the summer salad which had strawberries, oranges, blue cheese crumbles, and avocado with a spicy vinaigrette dressing and J went with the spicy Thai pizza. The food was excellent and came out very fast. Another great restaurant to add to our list!

The mall is extremely large indeed, but it is just a plain ol' mall. Sure there was a Crate and Barrel, Neiman Marcus, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade, Coach and all those fancy stores, but I don't shop those stores so they aren't necessary for me. I love my San Tan Shopping mall just 15 minutes away! It has everything I need and then some! I guess this mall is the IT mall in Scottsdale, the place where celebrities and wealthy people go to shop, but it's just a plain mall to me nothing special. I didn't really notice the Plastics that Scottsdale is known for though. Maybe I should have sat down to do some people watching. The chick at Jimmy Choo gave me a once over look top to bottom, which annoyed me. I guess my Old Navy flip flops weren't a hit with her ;) My only purchase I made at the mall was from Bath and Body Works. If you love the air refreshers refills then they had a 6 pack for $24.00, another steal for me since the two pack refills cost $12 regularly. After the mall, we drove through Paradise Valley, which has million dollar houses, I'm sure there are plenty of celebs living amongst.

The drive continued to Fountain Hills. Fountain Hills is a small town, population about 26,000. I would love to live there because it has everything you need for a small town, plus it has great views of the city below and mountains, but isn't too far away from the Phoenix airport. This town hosts the worlds fourth tallest fountain! That was my Scottsdale trip in a nutshell :)










I read a lot of blogs on here in which ladies furnish or accessorize their house only by finding good quality items at inexpensive prices from garage sales, Goodwill, or regular stores. Being frugal is something I'd like to think I am. I only buy if it's on sale (has to be a real-well worth it sale) or if I have a good coupon. An example of a recent great deal was my wedding dress from David's Bridal, a steal for a brand new dress at $99.00. I also purchased 2 tanks tops from A'gaci for $2.99 a piece, that is under $5 with tax! Those tanks are perfect for my Yoga class!

I've stopped at a few garage sales in the past month and have only found a couple good finds. I'm actually on the look out for southwestern art and accessories and two side tables. Now I know I'm not pregnant, but I hope to be someday in the future so when you find $20 books marked down to $1, that's a steal! Another week I found a small chili pepper dish for only .50 cents. Would you believe that I found a vail for my wedding dress at JoAnn fabrics for only $10! I'm going to jazz it up with some white ribbon around the edge, only $1.99 for a spool of ribbon. I'll be posting more of my frugal finds soon!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dress Has Been Boughten

....and NO I haven't set a date. That is the #1 question everyone is asking. There are many things to think about when it comes to selecting a date, plus I don't like to plan that far in advance. I can tell you I've narrowed it down to sometime between January and April in 2010.

Over the weekend I decided to take a gander online David's Bridal. They had a sale that just started on the 14th. I looked through 15 pages of the sale dresses and created an account so that I could save some as my favorite. I saved 4 on Saturday then logged back in on Sunday to see if I missed anything. I added 3 more that I decided I wanted to look at.

I asked M if she wanted to go with me. She's an older lady who's never had children so she was trilled and tickled to death. She cancelled her appointment of donating plasma to join me on my dress quest. We went right after work on Monday and I had my print-out pictures of the dresses. After someone finally came to ask me if I needed help; I had a deer in headlights looks I'm sure, I was introduced to a lady who I gave her my instructions to. I stated I wanted to see 3 dresses and the rest I know I wanted to try on and that I'd either be leaving with or without a dress that day. She laughed and asked if the wedding was very soon. She was very nice and understood what I expected. It was time to get down to business. She advised me to pick out some shoes so that we can have an idea of dress length. When I was finished with finding my shoe size, she had all the dresses pulled and ready for me to start trying. It was interesting trying these on. All of these dresses have been tried on so many times and had broken hooks, buttons and makeup all over them. I can say that lace looks a lot different from far away or on a picture than up close. I found one that I thought wasn't too bad, but I really wanted to try on the steal of the day! It was the 2nd to last dress I tried on and it fit perfectly! I don't think many women could say they need no alterations. The dress fit perfect and it was the last one! For a mere $99.00!!! I'm all about sales! I will get a bra sewn in since you can kinda see the strapless in a couple of places. I'll need to bring it back in 6 weeks prior to wedding day for them to clean and press and add the bra. Right now my classy-elegant dress is sitting in a garment bag in M's closet. I've decided to keep at least one thing traditional and that is the dress. For that price I wouldn't have even been able to buy a white prom dress, so I might as well go for the real deal :)

Sunday J and I took my ring to Helzberg to get sized and to look at wedding bands. My band is already selected, but J had his narrowed down to 4. Afterwards I spotted a beautiful diamond necklace and matching earrings on clearance and thought they would be great jewelry for wedding day and for lifetime. I purchased the necklace and put the earrings on layaway. The necklace is a total 1/2 carat and the earrings are a total 1/2 carat. It is all going to look stellar when pulled together!

It's funny to hear the lady at DB call me a bride. I didn't think of myself as a bride and it didn't really hit me until she said that. Last week I realized that J is my finance and that's what I will be calling him at this time. It's weird to say and hear those words! It that just me?! I didn't waste any time at the dress store. I had my camera with me, but totally forgot to pull it out. So that I could remember that day. Some of the dresses I tried on overly exposed my chest and all M could do was laugh at me! It would have been funny to capture those moments. I had a nice experience at DB, although I've never intended to buy from them, but if you find a deal you roll with it no matter where it is. Most women take days, weeks, months to find the right dress and maybe sometimes it takes people to find the right dress, but for me, I did my homework, kinda had something in mind already and just tried on what I thought would work within a price limit. If you don't set a price limit you can easily fall in love with a very expensive-one day-dress.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Humid

Some of the interesting things about moving to another state is you get to experience the weather for the first time, all year through. This time of year is considered monsoon season, which means the dewpoint has to be above 55 degrees usually for 3 days before it rains. I can definitely tell when it's humid out now. It's not anywhere near as bad as Nebraska/Iowa, but there is a difference. My biggest tell all is my hair is a little frizzy and my skin is oilier. The air is also heavy. Generally monsoon season starts the first week in July and last through mid September. The lightning here is crazy! Most of the nights when I'm driving home from the gym I can see lightning in the distance. I'm not sure if this is a heat lightning or if there is actually a storm somewhere south. I've never seen so much lightning before moving here. I think I am now able to predict a "monsoon" or a drizzle of rain. The summer heat hasn't been bad at all. Not nearly what other people say or think. 110 is not a big deal. Over 110 is hot though. 70 is getting chilly and 80's-90's are perfect! I have a feeling this winter is going to be a tough one for me. I foresee many jacket and jeans wearing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Trip...scroll down

I started writing about our San Diego trip, but apparently Blogger doesn't post it as a recent post. You'll need to scroll down for the San Diego report.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Chocolate Party...With Wine

Thursday our realtor's wife, Sheila hosted a girls night out for a Wei of Chocolate party. She was kind to invite me to meet her friends. I wasn't sure what to expect from this party since I've never heard of this type of chocolate, I just heard the word "chocolate" and decided to go check it out. Sheila had a nice spread of fruits, cheeses, dips and lots of wine. 2 glasses and some mingling later, we started our chocolate party. It was actually two parties in one, one for flower essences (Lotus Wei) and one for chocolate infused with flower essence. These two ladies have been long time friends and are now business partners. They sell their products world wide from hotels, to spas, to boutiques. It didn't dawn on me how important these women were until I read up on them online. They've traveled the world and have started their own business in which is booming and thriving world wide! We got to smell all kinds of flower essence sprays and ate flower essence infused chocolate. Each is a remedy for what you're in need of. If you're in need of dissolving stress then Inner Peace would be your chocolate of remedy. Going to that party made me realize how much of a laid back person I really am. All those women were all high strung, bad energy, ball of messes. Needless to say, they were buying up the essences and the chocolate while I heading home to a good night's rest in my comfy bed...essence free.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Engaged!


I'm excited to annouce J and I are engaged. Last Saturday about noonish J dropped to his knee and asked if I'd marry him. We were in San Diego, on the beach on Coronado Island. What a cool place! We are thinking marrying on a beach somewhere or there is always the option of Las Vegas!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

San Diego Trip

Friday at 2:30 I rushed from work to get home to jump in the car and head to California. Many border patrol stops later we arrived for the night. We decided to drive part of the way and stay in a less expensive hotel for Friday night. We stayed in El Centro California. The hotel was very nice! It was newer and there were tons of shopping around. I had researched a place for us to eat and it was only across from the hotel. A place called Burgers and Beer had good reviews. Naturally we ordered burgers and yes, they were awesome!

We woke Saturday morning to have a great breakfast at the hotel then headed out around 9:30. A couple hours later and we were in San Diego and headed for Coronado Island. We arrived at the Island about 11:30ish, parked a block from the beach and went down to see the ocean. We started to make our way up to the shops and restaurants in the downtown area when J dropped to his knee and asked me to marry him. Some pictures and phone calls later, we finally headed to the downtown area. We walked a little bit, but I was eager to be on the beach instead. We headed back to the beach and stayed a couple hours. Around 2:30 we headed to our hotel for the weekend. We stayed near the airport, next to the San Diego Bay. This was another great hotel! Nice views, good location, privacy and quietness, just what we were looking for. We settled in and relaxed a bit before heading over to Oggi's for pizza. We just had to walk across the parking lot to this good pizza joint!

Sunday we drove to Ocean Beach and walked the bridge out over the Pacific Ocean. The bridge was pretty cool because you are walking over the ocean and looking back at the beach. There is also a cafe on it. It was cloudy so not much sun was peeking through. We walked down the beach to check out the dog beach. San Diego has several designated beaches for dogs. It was amusing to watch the dogs, they love the beach and water! Ocean Beach was definitely a busy beach with lots of good people watching. There seemed to be a lot of hippies and locals occupying this beach. We thought we'd head up to check out Mission Beach and grab some lunch there. We couldn't find parking anywhere, after spending nearly an hour looking for parking and dealing with people and traffic we decided to forget it. We were wasting precious time we could be spending somewhere else near water. We headed back towards our hotel and grabbed lunch near the marina on the San Diego Bay. Sitting outside watching the boats enjoying the weather for our lunch was just fantastic! We hung out at the marina a bit and enjoyed the city views and people watching.

Sunday night we went to the Gaslamp area of downtown. There are tons of restaurants and bars to choose from. A lot of Italian restaurants, fancy mostly. We stopped for a drink at The Whiskey Girl then searched for a place to eat. After all of our eating choices we went with Nicky Rotten's. J ordered the pizza and I opted for the chicken parmesan with spaghetti. It was great! The homeless folks were out and about. I've never seen so many homeless people before. I guess if you're going to be homeless, San Diego is the place to do it.

All good things must come to an end. Sunday at noon we were out the hotel and back on the road. This trip was filled with many first for me and lots of good laughs, experience and adventures and a time I'll never forget.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Valley Fever

Have you heard of Valley Fever? I just learned about this a few days ago. Check out that link. I heard about it at the vet clinic when I was picking up Tory's diet food. A lady was telling a story how her dog has Valley Fever and she was talking like it wasn't a big deal. I would think it would be a big deal especially with pets. I just hope I don't acquire this fever!

After work I stopped at Fry's and bought a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs for a total of $1.88! Fry's has some really good sales, not to mention that is my grocery store of choice.

The Yoga classes have been going well. I'm surprised how sore I get the next day. I've been going every Tuesday and Wednesday and the class lasts an hour. I have definitely lost weight as my pants have been a clear indication. That make me a couple pounds away from my goal weight!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Countdown to Cali!

It is countdown for our trip to California. This will be my first time visiting California and the first stop is San Diego! In Arizona, San Diego is a must go-to every summer for Arizonians. It's a place to go to cool off from the high temperatures. I have Monday off due to a Canadian holiday-Civic Day, so we'll be able to have a full 2 and half days of beach. We don't really have any plans at the time, except to visit the Gaslamp area and Coronado Island, a couple of restaurants to check out and then some beach time. The next time we go we'll probably do more of the San Diego stuff like the famous zoo. You bet I'll be taking a ton of pictures for this trip!

Has anyone been watching Bravo's Miami Social? I discovered this show today, more reality shows, but this one is a little different than your Real Housewives. I always get addicted to these reality shows because I think I'm fascinated with their life styles. It seems like they have loads of money, but never work or when they do work its nothing but fun. Where do these people get their money?!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Carefree Lifestyle

Have I said how much I'm digging the Yoga class? Back when I was going to hair school and when I worked in a spa, I was a little bit hippie. Although I didn't dress hippie, I was totally into incense, astrology, zen, reiki, massage, Chinese symbols, drinking tons of water and eating very healthy, taking vitamins, low maintenance, Wild Oats stores, herbs and remedies. Now that I've gotten out of that business and into the corporate world, I've changed my lifestyle and have gained weight, stress, inpatient, less focus on myself, loss memory, bad drinking and eating habits etc. Damn this corporate world! I crave my tranquility back, along with the body. A lot of my changes had to do with growing up and adapting to this technical world. J never knew me back then and how different of a person I was back then and I'm not sure he'd understand. I lived the free-style life and try to keep some of that alive in me now. I'm more of the carefree- see what happens-last minute, laid back, sorta plan type of person. J is the opposite. I over think certain things, but I hate thinking. Work has been stressful for me for the past month, finding the Yoga class has taught me to stop stressing, over thinking and to ground myself again. If you find yourself in these situations, remember to ground yourself. There will always be a tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm Back!

We made it back from Nebraska on Sunday. Our flight left Omaha at 3:00 pm, 30 minutes late. We touched down in Arizona at 4:00 pm. This was our first time flying US Airways and not sure we'll be doing that again anytime soon. Which is too bad because I'd like to support the Tempe based airline. Oh well, moving on...

We arrived in Omaha at 3:00 pm on Friday. J made his favorite stop at QT and our eyes bulged at how "cheap" gas was, $2.14, while it was $2.49 here! At one time Arizona had the inexpensive gas prices in the states, now it's flipped. We headed on down south to Plattsmouth to stay at my parents house for the night. They were already down in Kansas so we had the place to ourselves. We rested a little bit, washed up and headed out to pick up Sonny to go eat at Zios Pizza. We headed downtown and found out Zios moved down the street into a bigger, waaay nicer place. Afterwards, we made our way to 72nd and 370 to Farrens Irish Pub, across from my first apartment. I had to take a quick drive through the old apartment complex to see if anything had changed and let the memories flow back. Jim, Brian and Natalie met us at Farrens where we stayed there the rest of the night.

Saturday morning J and I left for Kansas at 9:00. We made it there by noon and got checked into our hotel, Embassey Suites in Overland Park. We dumped off our luggage and then headed to Paola to check out my brothers first house. Paola was 30 minutes from the hotel, so we didn't get to spend much time at the house since we had to be back to change and be to the church before 4:00 for the wedding.

The wedding went good then it was onto the reception. The reception went well and I was the cake cutter. I passed out in a coma that night by midnight. The trip was catching up with me. It wasn't until Monday that I realized I hadn't drank any water that whole trip. I drank nothing but coffee, pop and alcohol! I guess I hadn't realized how all that caffeine was keeping me going. We had a great breakfast at the hotel Sunday morning, then we left at 10:30 straight back to the Omaha airport.

Back in sunny Arizona was a change from the 7o's Midwest temps. We only brought shorts back for the trip and we were actually cold on Friday night, since the low was in the 50's. At least there wasn't any humidity. It's defiantly monsoon season as we've had quite a bit of rain this past week.

My Yoga classes have been going great! I love it! The Bodypump class has been going well also as I have been increasing my weight lately. I guess I'm getting some strong muscles now!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Here We Come!

Thursday night 10:45, finally done packing for our trip to Nebraska and Kansas. We'll need to leave the house no later than 4:20ish to make our 6:00 flight. We've not parked at the Phoenix airport before so it may take some extra time to figure it out and grab the shuttle. We will arrive in Omaha at 3:30ish with a layover in Denver. This is going to be one big travel day for such a quick trip. Thank goodness our trip back home is non-stop. I'm not looking forward to the weather back there. Highs of 60's-80's with lots of humidity-yuck!

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Big Weekend

Tonight I visited my second Yoga class and I'm really enjoying it. I haven't been in the gym part for a month now. I've decided to stick to classes 3 times a week to mix things up. Two Yogas a week and then Body Pump once a week. I'm surprised that I actually felt sore the next day after my first Yoga class. Having the relaxation and calming from the class has made me miss working in a spa. I've actually taken the measures to start to reactivate my Cosmetology and Esthetics license and obtain my AZ license. The are many spas here including med-spas. Since most spas have decided to jump on the band wagon by offering benefits, the industry becomes more appealing.

J and I will be heading back to the Midwest for my brothers wedding this weekend. This was the most stressful ticket purchase I've ever had to do. Ticket prices are outrages this time of year. At least J is patient in ticket searching and purchasing, unlike me. It feels good to check one stressful item off my list! Now what to do for a gift?...

One thing we'll be doing when we go back is heading to our favorite pizza place- Zios!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yoga Time

Since I haven't been going to the gym except for the Body Pump class on Thursday's, I decided to try out the Body Flow class tonight. The only time I tried Yoga was when I bought myself a DVD and tried to do it at home, but I didn't make it through the DVD because it made me tired. Well, that was probably 5 years or more ago. I enjoyed the class tonight and we had a "nap" time towards the end for about 10 minutes. I think I'll be doing it more often since it was a relaxing class. I could use some relaxing-stressfree time in my day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our 4th

Many of you probably wonder what we did for the 4th of July. We've been enjoying spending time at home lately and trying to save money. Friday night we went to Payton's Place in Gilbert to check it out. I was craving wings and I knew a bar would be able to satisfy that craving. I ordered the medium wings and they were awesome! They come in the size of a dozen, so the medium was plenty hot for me and it took me a while to finish all those wings. When we arrived it was our surprise there was a couple of guitar strumming guys setting up to play. Bill and Sam were their names and they were hilarious! We were pretty much the only people left in the bar so it was like our own personal show.

Would you believe it actually rained on Friday night!?! It rained for more than 10 minutes and the wind was mighty powerful. This is really the first storm we've seen since living here and it's the beginning of monsoon season. We'll finally get to see what this monsoon season is all about. It is a major thing down here I guess. I'm sure the one thing that doesn't help when it rains is that they don't have gutters here, so there's no where for the rain to go.

Saturday we slept in and laid around until about 1 then decided to head out to the grocery store, Lowes and the Tropical Smoothie Cafe. I made us a late lunch then we laid around some more until we decided to head to go to Red White and Brew for 4th of July supper. They had a guy there singing with his guitar and they were offering a free shuttle to and from the Tumbleweed fireworks. We were all pumped to do that and see the fireworks, but we realized that we didn't want to have to wait for the shuttle to pick us up the show. It was really hot out and I didn't feel like waiting for a ride and deal with traffic. So we headed back home and watched Neil Diamond's fireworks in Boston.

Sunday J installed the new outdoor fan. The one that came with the house was all warped and was probably not made to be outdoors. We were given a brand new fan from some friends of Uncle B, which worked out perfectly since we were about to buy one. J is becoming quite the fan installer! Now that he has the curtains down pat. haha

Monday, July 6, 2009

Movies

J is not a big movie person, so he surprised me last week saying he wanted to rent some movies. I'm always up for movies so it was easy to pick out rentals. We headed to the trusty $1 rental 3 times! Here's what we rented:

Revolutionary Road-Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio. I'm a fan of both actors, but wasn't sure what to expect from this movie. I'd say its rental worthy and you have to watch it with an open mind. It didn't end like I was expecting though.

Paul Blart, Mall Cop-Kevin James. I have always liked Kevin James as a comedian, King of Queens is a great T.V. show and he is hilarious in his stand up routine. Rental worthy, I thought it was funny and light hearted.

Bride Wars-Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. I'm a big Kate Hudson fan, all of her movies make me laugh and they are fun-free spirited. Needless to say, J didn't watch this movie. I thought they left it open for a sequel. It was only an hour and half long, so it went by quick.

Gran Torino-Clint Eastwood. I haven't heard anything bad about this movie. By the looks of the previews I actually thought it might be violent, but it was only violent in one place. It had a really good story mixed in with comedy and sadness. Defiantly rental worthy.

The movie we saw in the theater 3 weeks ago was The Hangover. This one is theater worthy and will also be rental worthy so I can catch the things I missed the first time. I like Bradley Cooper, he was in that TV show that was cancelled (can't remember the name, Bachelors or something like that).

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Strawberry Pie


I think I mentioned previously that I was going to make a strawberry pie for the first time. Well, I did and it turned out fabulous! I bought a graham cracker crust from Wal Mart, the non-label inexpensive kind, a container of the glaze, which was sitting next to the strawberries from Fry's and used a container of strawberries. I actually bought strawberries from Fry's when they were on sale for $1.99, washed them and took out the stem, then put them in a freezer bag into the freezer until I was ready to make the pie. I wanted to have it for when J's mom came to visit so I didn't want to make it too in advance. The day she was scheduled to come, I whipped it up. Took maybe 15 minutes and into the refrigerator it went. Here is a picture of my first, delicious strawberry pie.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oh Canada

Something that I've been noticing is that our blue lounge chairs are lightening from the sun. Generally I lay my swimsuit out in the sun to dry, but my green and white polka-dot swim top is fading. I guess I won't be laying them out anymore and we'll see how long it takes for the blue to fade to white from all of this sun.

Now, it's been a long time since I've been on here and there has been a lot going on to tell about. J's family was here for a week and a half. J's niece, husband and kids drove down his mom. While they stayed with the husbands father in Mesa, J's mom stayed with us. We took her to the top of South Mountain, over to Wickenburg, up to Payson and then to Canyon Lake in which we rode the Dolly Steamboat which was her first time on a boat. We ate at various restaurants and she saw other sights around our neighborhood, Uncle B's house, Saguaro Lake, Fountain Hills and all of the Arizona scenery. We had a pool party and BBQ one Saturday with his niece and family. A week later J's sister and her husband drove down to pick up mom and take her up to Las Vegas. They stayed for a couple of days and joined us on the steamboat ride. They took her up to see the Grand Canyon, The Hoover Dam and into Las Vegas where they will stay for 3 days. To be 75 years old and to experience all that she has in this past week and a half has been exciting. She battled a cold through it all too. We hope she can make it back down again someday.

The drive to Payson last Saturday was awesome! It's about 2 hours away from our house. It was such a beautiful drive up to Payson with mountains galore. Since the weather has been hot here in Chandler, over 100 degrees, Payson's elevation was high enough to cool us down for a day, a perfect 90 degrees. We cruised through town a bit, then ate lunch at the Bee Line Cafe. J and I shared a slice of apple pie for dessert. So far, that was the best apple pie I've ever had in a restaurant.

The Dolly steamboat ride at Canyon Lake was really cool. It was pretty educational since the lake has a lot of history. We even saw some wildlife there. It was a HOT 108 degrees which made it the hottest day we've experienced since living here.

One of my favorite things about summer is eating watermelon. My mom always used watermelon as a way to cool down coming in from the hot outdoors. J's mom bought us a watermelon from a lady who sells them on the side of the road. She's always in the same spot selling oranges or watermelons and there's nothing like getting fresh fruit. I've been munching on awesome tasting watermelon for a while now.

That about sums it up for our week with our company. I had today off from work since it's Canada Day and it was a very fulfilled, relaxing day. Too bad I have to go back to work for two more days.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Short, but to be continued...

It's been a while since I've been on here. J's family has been visiting for the past week so we've been keeping busy. I've neglected the gym for at least 2 weeks, minus the 2 times I went to the Body Pump class in the last 2 weeks. Oh well, I just haven't been motivated for the gym lately and I'm sure next week I'll be back at it next week.

Sunday we took a drive out to Wickenburg which is about an hour or so from Chandler. It's an old western looking town. It's pretty charming with a lot of little cafes and restaurants there. We decided to stop at the Golden Nugget for an afternoon snack. They served homemade pie, so apple it was! Along with their soup special, chicken noodle. It was all great! Afterwards we headed across the street to Traders J's for souvenirs.

That's all I have for now. Time to go to bed.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Bitter Taste

Anybody been watching that Newlywed show on ABC? Nothing beats the Newlywed game show, but this show is pretty funny too.

I've been in a gym slump lately. I've been good about going to the Body Pump class on Thursdays, but the rest of the week has been unmotivated. Lately I've been real busy doing things around the house that I'm too tired to go workout. I've actually cut way back on my portions and I've lost a couple of pounds. It seems like on weekends I'll gain a pound back, but at least I'm maintaining. I'd still like to lose 5 more pounds and work on muscle tone.

Ever since I gave up coffee for lent, I have hated my Folgers coffee and the crap they have at work (even though I used to water it down at work-it was like drinking oil). I'm still all about the fancy coffee from coffee places, my favorite is always a white chocolate mocha. But it's weird how I don't want it as much as before. I've been drinking hot tea again at work and it tastes really good with a dab of sugar of course.

My new patio chairs came in today! Good ol' Ace Hardware. This completes the set, I had only two chairs and a table. Now I hope I can find the same cushions as I have on the other two chairs.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Little Bit of Relaxing

A pretty relaxing weekend it was. The week went pretty fast at work, but work is work. I scored some good deals on fruit from the store on Wednesday. They had pineapples for $1, strawberries for $1.99, head of lettuce for $1, bag of baby carrots $1 and other various fruits and vegetables less than $3. I think I'm going to go back for more strawberries. I want to make a strawberry pie (for the first time). Friday night J and I ate at Chili's. I haven't been there since High School! It was pretty tasty.

Saturday we ate breakfast down the street at Carden's Cafe and Bakery. They recently closed up and now it's back open. They serve breakfast and lunch, sell their own coffee beans and bread on the side. It was inexpensive and a good experience. We spent most of Saturday doing house stuff. I stopped over at Target to buy a deck storage box, they are less than $100. I recommend buying one if you have lots of outdoor stuff like me to hide away. I actually keep our pool towels in there also.

Saturday night we decided to try out Tailgaters Grill in Gilbert. We had no idea it would be packed full of UFC fans or that there was even a fight happening. We got the last little table in the corner. I had an awesome buffalo chicken salad and J opted for the chicken fingers with fries. The food was good and the place was cool. It's only been open for a month or so and business seemed to be booming. Dessert was at Sonic.

Sunday I started off with Starbucks. For some reason I had a hard time waking up even after sleeping in til 8:30. I washed my car and did massive house cleaning while J met up with a few guys for golf. Overall the weekend was nice and calm. This weekend J's family will be here so i imagine we'll be pretty busy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hooray for Weekends!

Update from Friday...Jim Breuer and his warm up comic relief were great!! It felt so good to laugh so hard after a long-drawn out-stressful work week. Jim didn't do his goatboy impression, but he was still great. I was not a fan of the Tempe Improv one bit. Getting the over 21 wristband and tickets were fine. It was the fact they try to cram a ton of people in a tiny area. You're sitting on top of each other badly. Service was terrible too. It took about 10 minutes for a waitress to come take our drink order (vanilla wafer martini) and about 8 minutes to receive it. We put our food order in right away, but that took 30 minutes for a half order of nachos. The waitress never came back until last call which by the time you would have received your last call drink you would have had to slam it. Getting out was chaotic too, we hung at our table until most of the crowd left. It's a shame they don't have a bigger place for our great comedians to perform.

Friday was also an after work gathering at Dos Gringos. I knew I'd only be able to have one drink since I needed to make it home for Jim Breuer, but our department manager showed up and ordered a round. So two vanilla vodka-diets later, I'm giddy and pretty much drunk. After Jim Breuer at 10:00, we went back to Dos to meet up with the rest of the partiers who stuck around. Two more vanilla vodka-diets later we headed next door to Iguana Mack's. Iguana's was packed just like Dos, however, they both had a different crowd. The drinks were more expensive at Iguana's and the crowd was dirtier. Although they did have a DJ and a dance floor. I ordered my last drink of the night and we sat outside for about an hour before I knew it was time for me to be home. The car ride was bad for me, but enjoyed being home, motion free with the toilet.

Saturday was slow going at first for me, but I had to get to my 9:45 massage appointment. Again, a great way to end the stressful work week. I also had my 3rd chiro adjustment. Then it was off to some minor errands. We spent the rest of Saturday at home, relaxing and doing house stuff. Later that night we went to On the Border to fulfill J's Mexican food craving. It was such a beautiful perfect -weather- night to sit outside. It was our first time going to this restaurant and we had a great experience and good food. They are a chain restaurant, so their Mexican food isn't as authentic as some of our favorite Mexican restaurants, but this place was decent. Sonic for dessert to end our night.

Sunday was a big sleep in day. We had breakfast at Denny's then stopped at a few open houses in the area. The rest of the day was spent laying next to the pool and hanging out at home.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Short One

What's been going on this week? Well, work has been sucking, I didn't go to the gym on Tuesday, I drank instead, or on Wednesday, just lazy. Therefore, I didn't go to the new class like I said I would.

Tomorrow J and I are going to the Tempe Improv to see Jim Breuer. Yes, GOATBOY from SNL! I think this is going to be great! I'll let you know how it goes.

Tonight I'm headed to the Body Pump class.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another Fun Week

Now that I've finished my Sedona trip, this week has also been full of fun.

I haven't been running at the gym as I would like to. I do however, run for about 5 minutes in between walking. I am still doing the Body Pump weight class on Thursdays and am going to add in another class this week called Body Active, which is more of an aerobic class.

J finally got all of the curtains up in the living room/great room. They keep the hot sun out to keep the house cooler. The curtains were such a challenge for me, but I conquered it! It's really hard to buy curtains for big windows without having custom curtains made. Either the curtains are too short or too long or you have to keep raising the rod to make it look right. I solved most of our problems by buying the clips, I recommend the clips! The clips added the needed length.

J bought tickets a couple of weeks ago to a Diamondbacks game. His favorite team are the Braves so since the Braves were going to be in town, it was his opportunity to see them. The game started at 6:30 and we were down at Chase field by 5:00ish. Chase field is amazing! It is air conditioned with every type of food and drink you could imagine! They have a Fridays in there up at the top, they have a pool, and huge kid play area in which you can watch the game from any of those places. It was like a baseball resort. Of course the roof opens and closes. When we arrived it was closed. About 6:15 they opened it, but they kept the air conditioning on. It was such a nice and comfortable place to watch a game. We'll be going back for sure.

After the game we headed over to Cooperstown. Yes, this is Alice Coopers restaurant. He opened it in 1998. It is only 3 blocks from Chase Field and 2 blocks away from US Airways Center. They have bands there on Saturday nights and if you bring in your game ticket you get in for free. I had an Ozzy Devil Dog drink and a Frito Bandito pie. YES! A frito pie!! I've never seen that on a menu before. J ordered the buffalo chicken sandwich with fries and baked beans. The food was great and reasonably priced. There is Alice Cooper memorabilia on the walls. The servers have black makeup on their faces and wear all black. The tables are covered in Alice pictures and a black and blue bar with 4 large screen projectors showing your favorite sports. It has a large outside area covered and uncovered with a stage. We were told that Alice comes in 3-4 times a month and will actually work and visit with guests, just like one of us. We want to go back on a Saturday night to check out the bands and of course to see if Alice makes an appearance.

Saturday J and I met Mary and Barry for lunch. They wanted to take us to their favorite catfish place but it turned out it was closed and didn't open until 3. We were there at 12:30, so we decided to head over to Apache Junction to take them to Filly's. Of course I got my fried chicken there, it's so good. That night we met up with Stephen and the gang at Abuelo's for drinks and dinner. It had been about 2 months since we saw everyone.

Sedona: Part 3

Sunday was our last day in Sedona. Anne and Vern cooked breakfast then we all headed to the nearby town of Cottonwood. It took about 20 minutes down the mountains to get to Cottonwood. This is a much larger town that includes all the fast food places, Wal Mart and everything you need to get by in a small town. Since Sedona only had 2 fast food places and a couple grocery stores, Cottonwood is the place that Sedona homeowners go to for all their needs. We carried onward up to Jerome. Jerome was a old copper mining town. It's high in elevation compared to Sedona, sitting at 5,200 feet. After the mining had subsided, it became a ghost town until some hippies found it and decided to bring it back to life. It is now ran by hippies which includes many little shops, lots of places to eat and you can do a tour of the old mine. The mine was closed, which surprised us since it was a holiday weekend with lots of out of town visitors, but we proceeded to check out the shops. Jerome is now know as the "America's Most Vertical City" and "Largest Ghost Town in America". It was also known for being a brothel. There are a few plaques with prostitutes pictures on them. Bikers like to go up to Jerome to a famous biker bar and there were a ton of them there! We went up to have an afternoon snack at The Haunted Burger. This old building is supposedly haunted. J and I shared the BBQ burger with fries. It was delicious! After spending most of our day in Jerome we headed on down the steep mountain and back into Sedona to pack up and head back home.

We had a fantastic weekend in Sedona. We saw a lot of great things and did a lot of great things in our short stay. We can't wait to go back someday, whether it be to cool off from Sun Valley or to have a quick weekend getaway.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sedona: Part 2

Saturday morning we woke up around 7:45ish, got dressed and met Anne and Vern upstairs to head out to breakfast. We were going up to the Sedona Airport restaurant for breakfast. They thought it would be a good view for us since the airport is on top of a mountain. After breakfast J and I hopped in the Benz and headed to check out Oak Creek Canyon. It took about 30 minutes to drive up to the look out. It's also the same way to Flagstaff. After our scenic drive we headed back down to the other side of Sedona to the see the Chapel of the Holy Cross . We think it has the best view of all! Afterwards we strolled through some of the shops just inside town. We stopped at the Oak Creek Brewery and Grill for a drink and appetizer. I'd recommend going there if you're visiting. One last visit for the day, we went uptown to the various souvenir shops where we saw a Native American performance. We didn't stay long, mostly because I knew I wasn't going to buy anything, I buy my Southwestern items at the Mesa swap meet nowadays, and it's a tourist trap so there were a ton of people walking around. We headed back to the house by 3:30.

We met Anne and Vern's neighbors and good friends, Phil and his wife (I can't remember her name!) and their new puppy-Nico. Phil is a hoot! He's retired from the Air Force. Anne's mother-Doris also join us. Anne fixed a nice supper as part of my birthday celebration. Salad, with homegrown lettuce with homemade vinaigrette dressing, garlic butter rolls, oven baked potatoes and a fantastic steak. She also had a cake for me all set with Happy Birthday candles I got to blow out. I haven't done that since high school! It was very nice of them to make my birthday homey and familish. Doris and Anne even had a few gifts for me. The rest of the night we visited and drank wine.

Keep checking back for the last part of our trip...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sedona: Part 1

I'm not much in the writing mood at the moment and my weekend post will be really long. So I'll start with Friday for now....

Friday I dashed home from work, changed clothes and packed up Tory. We were out the door by 4:25 to head to Sedona for the weekend. My cousin Anne and her husband Vern have lived there for 13 years and I've yet to visit them. In fact I haven't seen them in about 10-13 years. After stopping at Circle K for J's "road trip mt dew" we were on our way out of town. Well, just past Phoenix we ran into traffic that slowed us down a lot. The sky was cloudy and dark, not the usual Sun Valley we are used to. Finally out of the slow traffic, we trucked on through the mountains and a few rain showers. We arrived in Sedona by 7:30. It was such a beautiful sight to see coming into Sedona. Red rock mountains and read dirt all over. We found their house up in the hills of the mountains and made our way in their gate. They greeted us, showed us their downstairs guest quarters and then had a small supper for us. The rest of the night was conversation and we headed to bed just after 10.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Countdown to the Weekend

I wish tomorrow would be Friday. Even though I had Monday off, this week has been looong. We've been busy with the Canadian conversion and it's been hectic.

The high price off gas is making me mad. In some places it's anywhere from $2.09 to $2.15.

The temperatures here have gone back down to normal temps of in the 90's.

I've been keeping up with running at the gym. I haven't done 10 minutes straight. I'll walk for 10 minutes, run for 5, walk for 10, then run for 5. I'll stay on the treadmill for a full hour.

It's countdown to our weekend trip to see my cousin Anne in Sedona. We'll leave Friday afternoon as soon as I get home from work. It will be nice to get out of town for a weekend.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Extended Weekend

MMM Chocolate milk! Especially after a nice warm brownie with homestyle vanilla ice cream. I made the best brownies tonight. I highly recommend a box of the Hershey's brand that comes with the chocolate frosting. It's called Hershey's Supreme. I also recommend using 3 eggs instead of 2 to be more cake-like and a pan smaller than 13x9. I discovered the best vanilla ice cream about 2 weeks ago. You can find it at Basha's grocery store, for us in Arizona anyway. It is the generic Food Saver brand for Vanilla Homestyle ice cream.

Today I had to go in to work. I was in by 8 and wasn't sure what time I'd be getting out. Luckily I was home by 2. This abled me to enjoy my afternoon. Which consisted of pool time of course, baking brownies and Texas Roadhouse. I received an email for a free appetizer. We ordered the baby blossom, indulged on the bread and I added a Cesar salad and J added a bowl of chili to complete our meal. Of course I always have their sweet tea.

Saturday afternoon J and I had Peter, his wife Sheila and their new baby girl Willow over for a BBQ. It turned out to be a good time as always. You might remember, Peter is our realtor. He worked hard for us to find our home and were able to establish a friendship with him and his wife.

Friday night J and I went to the symphony downtown Phoenix. We grabbed supper from Mi Amigos then headed over to the symphony. They played songs from Oklahoma, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music. It was really good. We ended our night at an Irish pub called Seamus McCaffrey's.

Now, I can't wait for my day off on Monday! Tory goes in for surgery on her belly. I have a massage appointment and a chiropractor appointment in the morning to start the day off.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This N That

For those of you who like Alice Cooper, you'd like hearing him on the radio. He lives in Phoenix and he does the night time shift on station 93.3. He has a nice radio voice.

Tonight I went to the Body Pump class. I haven't done this in 4 weeks! It felt good to be back and now I am sore. I did a 6 minute run before the class along with a 10 minute walk.

On the weather portion of the news, they mentioned that we have had 9 days of triple digits this year. Compared to the 0 they had last year. The weather has been unusual ever since we moved here. They've had more rain than average, more wind than average and now more heat-earlier than average. Generally, it doesn't really heat up until mid June, early July. Although there have been high temps, I can only say 3 of those days were pretty heated for me.

On the agenda for Friday this week, J and I are going to a symphony. Rogers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma. I've never been to a symphony, but I've been to plenty of plays so I'm pretty excited.

Sunday I have to go in to work for a full day. We are having a clearing conversion on the Canada side and it becomes effective this weekend. Although, I would love to have my 3 day weekend I've been waiting for, I'll be able to take off a different day of my choice. At least I get Monday Victoria Day off!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wow Wednesday

Today President Obama came to Arizona for the second time this year. He spoke to the graduating class of 2009 from ASU. It was interesting to see how this all panned out. Friends, family and guests had to be there 4 hours before the commencement. You weren't allowed to bring your own water, food etc. in. In fact 95 people were treated for heat stroke or heat related conditions. It reached 101 degrees today. We got to see Air Force One come in on the t.v. and watch his speech. What a cool thing for these students to experience. What a crappy time to come into this job market too. It was mentioned that Arizona ranks at #43 for education. Yikes! I hope they improve their schooling before my kiddies get in!

Tonight was my day off from the gym. Not to worry, I replaced it with pool lounging and pool volleyball.

It's finally Wednesday, the downhill slope to the weekend!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Torture Tuesday

About a month ago I subscribed to the Phoenix magazine. It was only $24.00 for 2 years worth. I love this magazine! It has articles about the Valley, best rated restaurants and a calender of happenings. My June issue arrived today and on the cover it says: Summer Getaways, 25 of the Valley's coolest pools, plus 8 easy beach vacations, Top 10 Arizona Summer festivals. Once I start to read this issue I'll post a list of the locations. It's such a great informative magazine!

My run tonight was kinda weak. I didn't think I was going to make it 8 minutes, but I refocused and made it through. Tomorrow will be rest day, then back at it on Thursday.

Tuesday's are the most anti-climatic days and I hate them. Today drug on. At least we have our weekend to look forward to. It is filling up already!

Monday, May 11, 2009

It Keeps You Running...

I made it 8 minutes for my run tonight! Last week I ran 4 times for 5 minutes each day. Five minutes doesn't sound very long, but it sure is when you're running and watching the time. This week I am upping my time to 8 minutes. I'll have to see how the 8 minutes go this week before I can decide if I will up it again next week to 10 minutes. I'm pretty proud that I've started running again.