And It’s Back to the Grind…

It’s official..the holiday season is over.  I started my last day of freedom (ya know..back to full work weeks..) with a few large cups of coffee and a tasty little breakfast.

Jason tells me I am the best breakfast maker, he loves my eggs, bacon and toast breakfasts. I secretly know he tells me this because he doesn’t want to make breakfast and he wants me in the kitchen cooking his breakfast and serving it to him and I am OK with that. Sorry, feminists 😉

Today, there would be no fried eggs. For some off the wall reason, the previous day, I decided to boil all of our eggs.

I jumped online and found an easy quick recipe for boiled eggs spread.

Instead of frying the pound of bacon, I baked it for 15 minutes at 400 F, chopped up a bunch of scallions, and slathered it in mayonnaise. Toasted some bread and voila…a tasty, easy..open faced breakfast sandwich.

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It’s not the prettiest but it was good..I promise!

Breakfast was followed by our new favorite past time..finding new TV shows to watch on Netflix. We powered through the first two seasons of Orange is the New Black over the holidays..great show and I read it is based on a true story! I may have to put the book on my “to read” this year.

We’re now hooked on House of Cards..good show. It takes some effort to keep up because it’s a political drama with all of the shady business but good scandals for sure… 🙂

So far..it was turning into a super lazy day. I had great intentions of jumping on my bike for a nice ride at some point in the day but there were so many things to distract me!

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House projects I will certainly never complete.

The internet is the devil (or is it my own mind?). Somehow, my thoughts turned to home projects. It started out with an online search for a new area rug, then on to book shelves, on to reading chairs, on to ceiling beams, on to whiskey barrel coffee tables ( I stayed on this one for a while..plotting to make my own starting with phone calls to Arizona Wineries to see how much they would charge me for an empty one)  on to Candy Crush. 🙂 The good thing about Candy Crush is you eventually run out of lives..what better way to pass the time while new lives generate than to pack away Christmas?

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See? I NEED a new bookcase! Christmas packed away, tree taken to the recycle center. Which by the way if you are not sure where to bring your “live” tree go to Earth911 and they will provide you the closest recycling center to your location. It’s not only for Christmas Trees either! It’s a handy website with plenty of information to distract you from your workouts! 🙂

For a lot of us..our last day of freedom is over and it’s back to the grind tomorrow so I wish everyone a beautiful week!!

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The Plan

A couple of months ago the plan was to bring in the new year with our closest friends and family in the desert..camping. It all sounded great until a few days ago when the plan started to sound…let’s say…mentally challenged.

Winter decided to make an appearance in Arizona!   We haven’t seen any snow in the suburbs outside of Phoenix but it rained all day yesterday and it was less than 30 Fahrenheit for the low. We would have died in our sleep. No doubt about it.

Jason and I thought it would be a better idea to have the celebration at our place. Have a nice cozy fire in the backyard (yep, on a NO BURN DAY, we would’ve totally done it) with our friends and our dogs and our drinks. That plan was perfect and the best thing about it? We wouldn’t have to drive anywhere…

For the most part, everyone was all in but…there’s always a but…they all have children under twelve. Of course the children would have been welcome BUT.. we have nothing entertaining at all for children to do in our house. They would have been bored to crazy.

Plan C…get our daughter to drive us to our friends house and then we could take a taxi home! Brilliant! 🙂 But…she left and went up north with her friends AND..that would mean we would be leaving our fur babies at home..alone…scared..to deal with the loud firecracker noises.

In the end, we decided to stay home with our fur babies and power through episode after episode of Orange is the New Black season two. In between we ate a delicious Jager Schnitzel with hunter sauce, beets and mashed potatoes courtesy of chef Jason. There was also whiskey and wine..of course.

Happy New Year people! In my heart of hearts I wish nothing but peace, love and prosperity to er’yone! 🙂

To Beat or Not to Beat…that is the question…

Cowboys – Josh Brent – KILLED someone – drinking an driving and only got suspended 10 games
Wes Welker – suspended 2 games for using Adderall – Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely for knocking the his then fiancé the bleep out..and most recently..
Adrian Peterson beat his kid with a switch and will most likely only be suspended for 6 games (but I think that has yet to be determined as the charges are so new)
By the way he was quoted as saying: “never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.”

Isn’t that what a huge percentage of abusers say? Oh, I’m sorry, please forgive me I didn’t mean to hurt you…at least that’s what I’ve come to conclusion based on my experience in Lifetime movie watching.

I have a friend that actually posted a complaint on FB:
“My view of the nation of nosy liberal pussy children raising parents!!! Mom arrested for letting kid walk to park. So me mom was a criminal!!! Adrian Peterson indited for spanking with a switch so also me grandmother was a criminal wake up people u turned out fine and mind ur own fucking business!! ur creating a nation of pussies!!!”

This person was upset because a woman was arrested for allowing her seven year old (alone mind you) to walk to a park about a mile away from the house. Now I don’t think she should have been arrested BUT it did need to be brought to her attention (shockingly..I mean really??? who doesn’t know that you do NOT let your little walk the street by.themselves….There are way to many freakoids out there that WILL take and do bad things and kill your child…don’t you people listen to HLN??) anyway..I could rant on this topic all day long but moving on to my friends other complaint..

Adrian Peterson..indicted (friend totally spelled indicted wrong) for child abuse. He slashed his sons leg with a switch (because that’s how he as raised..you know..) Adrian Peterson..come on man…your 2 year old DIED at the hands of your baby mama boyfriend (due to chile abuse) and your going to scar your other son by damaging him yourself?? Disgusting.. I am not saying I am pro or anti corporal punishment of our children but even the line has a line and this…obviously is crossing it. And by the way…just because you are a spewing out God this and God that does not make your actions OK. Does not mean that you are a good hearted person. Actions buddy….actions…

OK so I think I have pin pointed both of the FB topics on friends post..A couple more..its says “wake up people u turned out fine” Really? Did we? I did..I was not beaten nor was I out roaming on my own..I had a group of friends and we roamed the neighborhood..travelled in packs or at least pairs! I also lived in military housing where the neighbors all looked out for us kids..If “Johnny” was out roaming the neighborhood believe me all the lookey loos (mom included) knew what he was up to or at least they were going to find out…. “U turned out fine” Notice friend did not say “I” turned out fine…exactly..your grandma beat you with a switch! of course you did not turn out fine…you drink a little, I am sure if you looked inward there are more issues that stem (pun not intended..happy accident) from being beat with a switch. I say this with peace and love of course..just pointing it out.. If I was in the south I would have to say “Bless friends heart”.

“and mind ur own fucking business” This one is the best…These children..that are being abused. They are our business. As a community it is our duty (remember the old saying “it takes a village’) to make sure these kids are safe. The kids are going to go to school with your kids. They are going to share their darkness – with the other kids on the playground. Those kids are going to bring it home and share their new found darkness with an animal in your house or with the other kids in the house or with the neighbor kids. It is a sickness that keeps on giving..

Thank you for letting me rant and my apologies if you do not share my views but that is totally OK.. I don’t judge your thoughts so don’t judge mine…

Now I say…Wake up people..

Arizona Style…

You know you have lived in Arizona for too long when you agree to someones crazy a$$ idea when they say…”Hey, we should go to the desert and take band photos”!

The date was August 31st, it was oh about 110 Fahrenheit and super sunny. I am pretty sure that around the time we left, 16:00, it was the hottest part of the day too. 

The trip was two fold, the guys wanted to get their trucks in 4×4 mode and they needed some updated band photos since the recent departure of our guitar playing friend Craig.

Cooler filled with ice, beer, ciders and burgers we headed up to the Table Mesa exit for some off road and photog fun!

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Our first sign of what was to come was the huge bright orange warning:  ROAD DAMAGE

On the drive up I noticed off to the east of the highway some significant flood damage. We had some good monsoon storms about a week ago and the nerdy people that build their lives and homes in the Arizona riverbeds (yea..I’m judging 🙂 )

…sure paid a good price.

There were trees, cacti, bushes, buildings not very well built, furniture, etc all washed away down the length of the river bed. I would have liked to have had some photos to share with you but honestly I was so wowed I completely forgot to grab the camera.

Back to our road! We met up and traveled east..passed through a rickety fence and as we passed by I see another warning. ROAD IMPASSABLE. Still..we continued on..

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Hmm..conundrum. The 4 wheel drivers assessing the situation.

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Odd enough, I was wearing my vans instead of flip flops so I decided to walk across to test the waters. You know..check out how deep the water was and point out big ole boulders in the wash. The water came up to the middle of my thigh (which if you know me…really is not that tall) and there were a few boulders the guys needed to avoid. Of course I was not done with my assessment before my mister jumped in the Tacoma and cruised across!!

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Success!

Along came the others. There was only one little hiccup. One of the trucks didn’t have enough clearance to cross so we decided to stay where we were instead of leaving the low rider and driving another five miles to the ancient ruins. All was not lost though..the band photographer got some good shots of the guys in that perfect little spot anyway. You’ll have to check http://www.hogjawmusic.com or look the band Hogjaw up on Facebook to see those as I didn’t take the pics so I don’t have authorization to share. 🙂

I can share some silliness those so keep reading for those little shots!

Those on foot walked across the “pond” to get to the other side.

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Before the sun went down all the 4×4’s crossed back to the other side.

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While the guys were taking pictures, the ladies enjoyed the scenery and company.

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And then the shenanigans began!

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BOONES FARM! The epitome of teenage drunkenness trouble in a bottle..at least it was in the 90’s haha! Come on now, you lie if you say you never sneaked a slug off the Strawberry Hill back in the day! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a Girls Day Out…

Crap, I was supposed to wake up, at the latest, 0700. The plan was to hit the 0915 Power Yoga class at Sutra Midtown ~ the drive is a little over 15 miles.

Yea, well Kiah didn’t wake me up until after 0800..no way were we going to make it.. Instead we figured we could make it to the Basic Yoga class at 1045, be done in time for lunch! Perfecto!

We left in a timely manner but stupid construction put us a little bit behind schedule..that and the weirdos on the road doing like five miles UNDER the speed limit..Honestly..I really don’t understand..

I wanted to take some pictures of the place for the you all but we got there just in time to toss our belongings into a cubby and head to class!

From the spacious front room – decorated with super cute yoga apparel along with walls clad with amazing local art – the front desk attendant walked us through the clean hall and into the “dungeoneaque” practice space. The entry door was really neat..it was made of iron and had welding marks.. like it was a bunch of little iron piece welded together..and it was a sliding door.

The room was dimly lit and was full of aspiring yogis in savasana setting all intentions. Kiah and I followed suit.

Just like myself..my yoga practice has been random and inconsistent. With that said..My skill level is somewhere between a beginner and the intermediate level. These past few months have set me back so my STRENGTH is totally at a beginner level.. This class actually worked out pretty well.

The instructor reminded me of Seth Meyers a little (1st impression) as the class (slowly) progressed..I was beginning to work deeper into going back to the basics. Damn…that was tough. I forgot how much hard work it is to build strength. I was surprised my legs were so weak, my wrists had a hard time holding on and that I actually broke a sweat. 😉 Mr instructor did such a great job at reminding us to root ourselves and to keep breathing. Those who don’t yoga..yes…we doing yoga…must sometimes be reminded to BREATHE 😉

Although I would have much preferred an intermediate class (they flow faster and require less strength..in my opinion) it was great to get back to the basics and the instructor did a wonderful job at reeling me back in. I will definitely be back to see what else Midtown Sutra has to offer!

And…next time I go back…I will take pictures..the vibe of the place is excellent..you have to see it..

After class, we jumped into the ridiculously HOT car (thank you to the brilliant man who invented window coverings for cars!!!) and drove downtown for a little lunch.

Again..traffic was HORRIBLE..guess who forgot this weekend was Phoenix COMICON.?? Yep..me..bad decision but we stuck it out. I am pretty sure we drove around for like 25 minutes trying to fight traffic and figure out how to get to the restaurant before finding the parking garage adjacent to out destination.

Walking to the Pizzaria Bianco was like walking in an oven..People..it’s friggin HOT here.

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I have been obsessing about this place for months having heard it was one of the best pizzas in the nation..naturally I was curious!  Surprisingly, the wait was not too long and we were seated within two minutes of arriving. The inside is super small, the tables too close together and the acoustics are not that great..it was loud. We opted to dine outside. Thankfully, there was a little bit of a breeze, some shading and we had cold cold drinks..I prefer dining outdoors so I was completely OK with it.

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The staff was wonderful. So attentive but not annoyingly so…and the lady who brought us our AH MA ZING pizza margarita even entertained us and took a picture of me and my lovely when I asked her to. 😉 Thanks lady!!

Now..check out the goods:

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Thin crust with just the right amount of crunch with every bite. The freshness of the tomatoes and sauce is well worth the 15.00 we paid for this little pizza. The mozzarella cheese was perfect and the basil…mon amie…I am not a pizza expert and have no idea what constitutes the best pizza in the nation but I would imagine this place deserves big props for what they create.

Here’s a tip thoug…if you are dining with a male…you’ll need to order  two pizzas…Kiah and I could have probably eaten one per.. we are thanking ourselves for not because that would have been glutenous of us but..we totally could have..

We tossed around the idea of checking the menu again for maybe some dessert or a salad..luckily we just paid the check and left.

Half way home Kiah spotted a little cupcake shop she’s been wanting to try out so I swung around and we went in.

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The Treehouse Bakery is a vegan bakery..

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The selection was not big but they did have the vanilla, chocolate and an interesting combo of strawberry basil..I am curious about that one so I just might have to go back for that one.

The lady behind the counter amused me when I asked her to find the biggest one because Kiah and wanted to share one 🙂 and then she offered to us this  cappuccino hazelnut delight!

I am not sure how, without butter, she made the frosting taste so buttery but it was super good!! Glad we stopped. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Culinary Bucket List 2014 ~ April

Longer days and warmer weather…summer has quickly replaced Spring! With that we need light meals that refresh our palates 😉

This months CB dish is Chicken-Pineapple Fajitas..I followed the instructions from this website (Nope…I still do not know how to make a link with just a word…sighhhh) http://www.bhg.com/recipe/beef/chicken-pineapple-fajitas/

The hardest part of this recipe was cutting the pineapple. I’ll be honest..I had never cut a pineapple before last night.

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I didn’t like it..way to much work.. I will recruit a sous chef to do this task next time I make something with fresh pineapple.

You are supposed to brown the pineapple in a pan..WARNING..this takes some time..who has the patience to allow these things to brown?? I waited and waited then flipped then waited some more. Grew impatience then took those slices off the pan, threw a few more on and moved onto taking the middle out and cutting the good bits into pieces.

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Remember when I asked who had time to allow these babies to brown?? Well. suggestion..find

something else to do, you’ll forget about the pineapple and VOILA…they will brown! 🙂

This batch came out much better..while I was cutting up the not so brown fruit..the others were left alone to do their job.

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I started this post in the middle of the process..sorry, the pineapple fiasco was a big deal and I had to get that off my chest right away. Before the fruit drama…I grabbed a big metal bowl, tossed in some sliced up chicken breast, baby sweet peppers, Caribbean Jerk marinade and some pepper and I let that sit while I was tending to the ‘apples.

After the fruit is done and set off to the side, I used the same pan to fry up the meat and peppers:

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Jason and Kiah opted out of the pineapple…they missed out.

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So good. Zingy taste with a little bit of fresh sweetness and lets face it..EVERYthing is better with cilantro!

Eet smakelijk!

 

 

Not just another Valentines Day Post ;)

Social media was completely out..of..control.. yesterday with everything Valentines. Valentines day is a day to express your undying love for your significant other. It’s kind of like Thanksgiving to me. You know? The one day of the year everyone is so very thankful for everything they have been complaining about, on social media, earlier in the year.  Same thing. 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a complete hater of this Hallmark celebration of love..but…why not celebrate the love of your life everyday? I could go on and on but I am bored with the topic and so glad VD 2014 is over. On that note!

The love of my life and I had sushi last night. Yep, we braved the crazy VD crowd and headed out to one of our favorite, family owned, neighborhood restaurants.

Sushi Yuki, http://www.sushiyuki.com/

I debated with myself on this post..Should I really tell all of you about my secret sushi spot? It is such a hidden gem and one of the things I love about this place is that it’s never super busy so the service is great!

Luckily…I have very few followers and even fewer followers who live in my area. 🙂

There were more patrons than what is typical but we were still able to walk in and be seated straight away. Score…no wait!

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I really need to invest in a compact point and shoot camera for occasions such as this. I do not like crappy cell phone pictures of food nor do I want to bust out with the big ole DSLR camera in a restaurant. Goal number three for 2014…

Moving on…the upper left we have some absolutely delicious Yellowtail Sashimi.. I think I used the exact phrase, “Oh….this yellow-tail is like butter”

That’s actually a terrible saying because I would never eat butter straight up…gross.

In the middle is a philly roll…the salmon melts in your mouth and at the end of it you taste the zing of cream cheese ~ cream cheese and salmon..two of my favorites 🙂

The green one was good but not my favorite..it’s called a caterpillar roll. The chunky funny looking guys on the upper right..fresh water eel or Unagi…an all time favorite of both J and me..

We should have ordered more sashimi..we were finished in no time and I am pretty sure Jason was still hungry 🙂

Next time…there will be more!!!