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2.25.2009

Go Suns!

Last night I was lucky enough to go to the Suns game with my parents and grandpa. My grandpa's law firm has season tickets and he had given them to my dad for last night's game. He also has his own tickets, but only 2, so the 4 that we had last night were great! We ate at a sports bar across the street from the arena before and they were having a 2 tacos for $2 deal. They were pretty tasty, not as good at mom's, but still good. The game itself was fun too. We won, which always helps, and it was a good game throughout. Here are a few photos of the action. I had forgotten my camera at home, so I snagged my mom's before we left for the game. Her camera doesn't have the zoom that mine does, so it was a good thing we were in the 14th row!

During a time out. Shaq is on the very right.

My mom and I. Not a very good self portrait but oh well!


They dropped Subway Sandwiches from the rafters. When they said they were going to do this, I got a little scared and thought that sandwiches would be dive bombing us! Good thing they had parachutes and were inside plastic cases.

This is a blurry photo, but it's one of my favorite parts of the game. It's this person in a blow up gorilla suit that comes out and dances around. It looks really funny in person. They have a big one too and they come out together and dance. Their names are Harriston and 1/2 Harriston.

And finally a little video for you. This is my all-time favorite part of the Suns games, besides the actually playing part of course. Ever since I was a little kid they've been doing this between 3rd and 4th quarters. It even helped to get the Gorilla names the NBA's top mascot. Enjoy!

video

2.23.2009

Confessions

I have a few confessions to make...the first being that I've been a bad blogger lately. I haven't blogged about anything worth while since before my birthday. I PROMISE that will change this week. There really hasn't been any reason for me not to, other than I download all pictures to our home desktop, a computer that I am rarely on, so I tend not to think about it. My second confession is that I have a lot of recipes that I haven't blogged about, or even bothered to take pictures of. I'll work on fixing that right now.

Before I left to see Chris, I wanted to bring him some kind of baked good. I guess I feel like he should have something from home, even though his waist line probably doesn't agree. Well for some reason a guy on my team and I started discussing our love for butterscotch, which got me thinking. I looked around online and found a recipe for chewy butterscotch brownies. These appealed to me for a number of reasons, most mostly because they would travel well and I love butterscotch. They turned out amazing. I used a combo of white chocolate and butterscotch chips and loved the flavor combo. They were honestly chewy too, something a lot of recipes boast, but fail to deliver, even days later.

A photo from the website. I was in too much of a hurry to do my own photography. In a hurry to eat them!

And my third confession of the day. This one is totally random but I thought I'd share. I couldn't care less about the Academy Awards. I'm sure that some people are reading this and cursing me, but I really don't care about any of it. Sure the fashion can be nice, and the speeches touching, but it's never managed to suck me it. Plus, I just realized that I haven't seen a single movie that was a winner in any category. I was totally content watching my recorded episodes of Grey's Anatomy and NCIS instead. So there. Those are my confessions for the day.

2.13.2009

Happy Valentine's Day / President's Day Weekend!

I haven't had a chance to blog about my birthday yet, and I wasn't able to download the pictures before I left the house last night, but today I am leaving to see Chris for the first time in 2009. My flight leaves this afternoon and I fly directly to Baltimore. Chris is picking me up and we are heading directly to Chaps Charcoal Restaurant. I saw this on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and it sounded soooo good. Every time I watch that show I am drooling. Well I found out that it is on our direct route to Avalon, NJ where we will be spending the weekend. I am so incredibly excited. After our dinner stop we will continue our drive to New Jersey. We are staying at his family's beach house for the weekend. I've been there once before and am looking forward to a very quiet weekend. I'm pretty sure most of the weekend will consist of eating and cooking. Since Chris doesn't have a kitchen in the barracks, I am planning on making him some things that he can take back and heat up in his microwave. He's requested enchiladas and lasagna so far. There are also a few places we are planning on eating at, including a pizza place and ice cream parlor. I hope everyone else has a good weekend too and look for some long posts the beginning of next week!

2.09.2009

Mexican Food and Chocolate

Friday night was my family birthday celebration. I am turning 26 tomorrow and am going to visit Chris this weekend, so we decided that Friday was a good night to celebrate with my family. There were 17 of us, including family from both my mom and dad's sides. My mom was amazing and made a Mexican feast fit for a king. She made green chile chicken enchilada casserole and a make your own taco bar. The food was beyond good, and I ate a ton. For dessert my mom made fried ice cream. The best part is that it's really not friend, but it tastes the same. Not only did it go with the Mexican food theme, but it's one of my new favorite desserts. She got the recipe from a work friend and it's probably a good thing I don't have it. My mom even decorated the house with Mexican themed decor. A few years ago we did a huge Mexican themed 50th birthday party for my dad, and we bought a ton of decorations. They've been used so many times since that we have gotten our monies worth and then some! It was really nice to see my family, I hadn't seen my dad's family since the holidays.

The spread. My mom did such a fabulous job.


*Unfortunately all the people pictures are on my mom's camera. I will post those tomorrow!

Early Saturday morning my dad left for our friend's winery in Southern Arizona to help with some construction, so my mom and I had planned a full morning. We started with a speed workout for our half marathon training program. That was a pretty interesting situation since we needed a track and it took us 3 schools to find one we could use. We ended up running at my mom's old high school! After that we went to a farmer's market that my mom has started going to. It was great b/c there were quite a few vendors, and they love giving samples. I didn't think I would buy anything, but I ended up with some focaccia bread, hummus, and a fat free organic muffin. Oh and we got breakfast burritos. I can't wait to start making it a weekly thing.

After the farmer's market, we decided to head over to the Glendale Chocolate Affaire. It's been going on for years, but I've never been and we decided this would be the year to go. It ended up being a lot of fun. There were probably 30 chocolate vendors, arts and craft vendors and non-chocolate food vendors. Some offered free samples, which we took advantage of, and we oohed and aahed a lot at all the different chocolate items. It's a good thing we had already eaten breakfast. My mom and I ended up sharing a nutella crepe, which reminded me so much of my days in Germany. We got to sample some wine and chocolate pairings which was really cool because the winery is based here in Arizona. I also bought some fudge made in Michigan to take back east for Chris. Overall, it was a really fun experience and I think I could stand to go again next year. Hopefully Chris and my dad will be able to join!

Our nutella crepe, I used to eat nutella daily when I lived in Germany

YUM!!!


My mom and our crepe. It was her first taste of nutella, but I'm guessing not her last!

2.05.2009

A Busy Week

This week has been pretty busy after work for me. Tuesday was my parents' 30th wedding anniversary. Congratulations Mom and Dad! I love you both very much and you are the best parents...EVER. My parents, my gramma and I went to Donovan's, a swank steakhouse by their house to celebrate. The meal was amazing, my mom and I shared a crab cake appetizer and then I had filet mignon smothered in bleu cheese and a port wine reduction sauce. It was honestly one of the best steaks I have ever had. To top it off, I insisted that I needed dessert and ate an entire brownie with ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and strawberries. It was worth every calorie.
My parents before the big dinner.

Tonight I went over to my friend Colby's house to make dinner at her new condo. She got married a few weeks ago, and I hadn't seen the new place, so we decided to hang out and cook dinner. It was just the two of us (and their dog) and we made buffalo chicken pizza and bread, and then made dessert. It was very fun because Colby likes to chop stuff, so she did all the chopping, while I took care of the assembling. We also had some wine that they bought during their honeymoon in Napa. Here's a few photos of our creations.

The Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Very simple to make and oh so good.

Our dessert creation...layers of graham crackers, white chocolate pudding and strawberries.


Their puppy Sarge. I couldn't resist, he's adorable!

2.03.2009

Super Weekend

This weekend was pretty darn busy, and it didn't exactly start off on the right foot. Over the course of the week, I had a few small disasters at the house.

1. I came home one night to a sprinkler leak, but didn't realize until the next morning that our bubblers had never turned off and that I had possibly been watering the sidewalk and street for up to 36 hours. I managed to get all the water off, but that resulted in having no landscape watering at all.

2. The ice maker in the fridge stopped working which wouldn't have been so bad except that I'm an ice freak.

3. I opened a fabulous letter from our HOA informing me that the front yard needed to be cleaned up within 10 days or we would be getting a fine. And by cleaned I mean deweeding the forest that was growing in my front yard.

So needless to say I was a little stressed going into Friday. I took Friday afternoon off and came home, bought some weed killer, and started deweeding until it was dark. Saturday morning I got up for an 8 mile run with my mom and then she and my dad headed over to help with problems #1 and #3. My mom and I worked in the smaller weeds while my dad tried to find the problem with the bubblers. After a while my mom left to do some shopping (lucky her!) and my dad and I continued. He wasn't able to find the problem, even with help from a sprinkler store. He was amazing however and finished all the weeding and even mowed my lawn while I was getting my hair done. I couldn't thank him enough for all of his efforts, it saved me so much time and worry.

Sunday was my day to enjoy. The Cardinals were finally in a Super Bowl! My parents and Gramma came over and we had queso dip, spicy bean dip, pigs in a blanket, various snack mixes, buffalo chicken sandwiches, tater tots and cupcakes. I ate waaaaaaaaaay too much food and was hurting by the 4th quarter. Oh well, it was totally worth it. Here's what our super bowl party looked like...

My cupcakes decorated with sugar footballs, Cardinals helmets and pom poms. They were butter cake with buttercream or fudge frosting.

Peanut and my mom in their Cardinal Red!

My Gramma was working on one of her quilts while watching the game and Hawkins was one very interested kitty. He liked to watch the needle move around.

Oh and I saw on my friend Megan's blog that she had fun super bowl facts...I have one too. Three years ago I was invited to Chris' house for a Super Bowl party by my friend Emily. I barely knew him, I'd met him once a few months before, but we ended up spending a good portion of the party talking and joking around. Apparently her and her friend Erin were trying to set us up, unbenownst to me. Who would have guessed what 3 years later would bring? Thank you Super Bowl!!!