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


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


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


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.