Sunday, January 30, 2011

Back in the saddle again

I thought that title was kinda catchy. I've been out of the loop, and out of the state, for about a week on a work-training trip to Oklahoma but I'm back home now. I have a lot of catching up to do, as well as reading a lot of your wonderful blogs, a pile of laundry, grocery shopping list and some meals to think of. My wonderful husband did help and keep the house fairly cleaned while I was gone, which was so awesome of him. I sure did miss him and my Lucy, and they missed me :)

I'll see you all very soon!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Awesome Monday

I hope everyone had a relaxing, fun-filled weekend! Today is my weekend, as I worked all weekend. 

Saturday night we had a couple over for dinner and played some games. So much fun! We absolutely loved having them over and can't wait to hang out again. 

I didn't keep up with any football games or hockey games, kinda getting lazy about that. Looking forward to trying to catch some Av's games this week on TV. The bad thing, living in Phoenix is we can't always get our Avalanche games on TV.

Here in Phoenix we had absolutely GORGEOUS weather this weekend. 76 degrees on Saturday, wow can't hardly believe its the middle of WINTER?! I'll take it. Only thing this means is, we're going to start gearing up for those 112 degree days this summer. But that just means more pool time :)

{image here }
Here's to a wonderful week ahead!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

I've been following this lovely blog by Hanna at bouffe e bambini and absolutely love reading her daily posts. She has all of these great shops that she promotes from her site that are handmade items. Gorgeous! She occassionally has giveaways and you can enter to win some of the great handmade items she shows. Well, I entered a while back in early December and I won!

Take a look at her post about the giveaway from Bebeloosh Mini Giveaway. The Etsy shop that sponsored this and the creator of these wonderful little bags is Elena Berlo by BebelooshMini. Hop over to her Etsy shop to see these cute little bags.

I won 3 of the reuseable sandwich and snack bags that are made from 55% recycled hemp and 45% organic unbleached cotton and beautifully decorated. The fabric is a mix of hemp & organic cotton and it feels and looks so durable. The closure is a velcro top. She has so many other items on her store site that are great. I'm excited to use mine. I got to choose the 3 designs that I won and here they are:

These bags are so wonderful. I've used them all week for my lunch and they're really cute!
Thanks again Hanna!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Homemade Pizza...again!

I don't know how many times I've made homemade pizza, but it never gets old and it's so easy! Thought I'd share the recipe. I changed it up a little this time, like you wouldn't have guessed right?! Turned out amazing! What a great, cheap, way to have pizza on a Friday night!

Yeast-free Pizza Dough
2 cup flour (I made one pizza with white & one with whole wheat flour)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
6 tablespoons olive oil

This time I tried it in my new mixer! I added all of the ingredients and then mixed it together. It was a tad bit sticky so I added just a little pinch of flour to be able to knead it out of the bowl without sticking all over my hands. The olive oil really helps keep it moist. So I flattened it into a cookie sheet and then added toppings.

Marinara sauce (or spaghetii sauce)
Cooked Italian sausage (about a pound but I didn't use it all)
Mozzarella Cheese

I love BBQ pizza but decided to be more traditional here. The Italian sausage was a GREAT addition. On the whole wheat pizza, mine, I did less cheese. It turned out great! The whole wheat one had a slightly different taste, but they were really most of the same. I made the crust a little thicker by not flattening them out to the entire cookie sheet. 

Ah-May-Zing! Having left overs for lunch today!

Enchilada's Crock Pot Style

I thought I'd go ahead and post the recipe for this. I've had a few requests for it and it is one of the best recipes for enchiladas I've found. I learned to make enchiladas in the crock pot, but have since learned the regular way. This is easy, and of course I've made some changes :)

Crock Pot Enchiladas {from the cookbook Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook}

1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onions (I always half this)
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers (I usually use a bit more)
16-oz can red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
15-oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
10-oz can diced tomatoes w/green chilies (I use Rotel)
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup shredded Pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese(I usually just use one kind of cheese)
6 flour tortillas, 6-7 inch diameter (Depending on the size of your crock pot the tortillas may be bigger or smaller)

Cook the beef, onions and green peppers until beef is browned & veggies are tender. Drain excess grease. Add the next 8 ingredients. I've found if you like Rotel, you can add an extra can in. It seems a little too "bean-y" to me at times. Combine (or just shred) cheeses. In a slow cooker layer about 3/4 cup meat/veggie mix, then a tortilla, then about 1/3 cup cheese. Repeat until last layer is cheese on top of a tortilla. I never use proportions right, so I have more or less layers with more or less meat and cheese. Oh well, tastes the same.

**Recipe says to cook on low for 5-7 hours or until heated through. I don't buy that, I think it'll be burnt up. Everything is cooked already, and all you are doing is melting the cheese and warming everything together. Once it is all cooked and you layer it in the crock pot, I'd give it 45 min-1 hour on high, then check it, turn to low and monitor for another 15-20 minutes. I'm nervous leaving this cook all day, so its a pretty quick crock pot dinner for me.  

I hope you try this out and I hope it works for you. Let me know how it goes! Sorry for the lack of pictures, having trouble uploading.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another week ends, another begins {Fabulous Friday}

Wow I know I meant to and  actually started a couple posts but I didn't get around to posting anything this week. It's been one of those weeks. The hub and I did some grocery shopping together, for a change, and bought some new pillows. Ours were getting pretty beat up and kinda yucky (from sweating when we sleep, hey you would too if the overnight temperature was in the 90's!). So that's a great start to our spring & summer months ahead.

This weekend will be mostly work for us both. Josh has been busy at work and I am not off until Monday. Beautiful weather here in Phoenix, 72 degrees yesterday! I know, you're jealous right?! It has actually been pretty nice, a strange thing for us for January.

I'm working on a post to show you all some things I won in a giveaway. So cute! I know, I know, gotta get my butt in gear. I've just been so wiped out when I get home from work.

Have an AWESOME weekend everyone!

Friday, January 7, 2011

{Fabulous Friday}

I decided to join in on the fun that Ria at Life as a Wife!  has put together. 

This weekend isn't anything too exciting for Josh and I. I work Saturday but get Sunday off and Josh gets Sunday off. This is pretty rare actually that one of our days off match up together. The story of our lives, our schedules not matching up.  I also am very fortunate to have a job that makes me work the weekends. So nothing to complain about here. Plus, I usually like working weekends. Its pretty quiet!

I can't believe it has been a full week into the new year already. I have a feeling this will be a great year ahead.

As I'm writing this I realized that I had it in my mind that I worked Sunday but now realize I don't, I have Sunday and Monday off. Silly me, my schedule is never consistent so I have to always check. Oh well, that's good news though since Josh and I will have Sunday off together. My weekend starts on Sunday and then back to work on Tuesday.

I hope you all have a Fabulous Friday & Weekend as well!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A year in photos

While I began this post nearly 3 days before the end of the year, work and loading all these pictures has taken its time and now we are almost a whole week into the new year. Wow, where did this whole year go? Time sure has flown by. This year definitely had it's work cut out for it, and a fine job I might say that it did. Sounds like I'm giving a report card to someone, right?! {Disclaimer: you may experience a lot of pictures ahead. You were warned.}

This year had many milestones and events that took place and that took Josh and I to a new place in our lives. We spent most of our whole first year of marriage in a new place with new people and new things and learned a lot! To start this year off, a lot happened in just the first two months! Even though our wedding was last September, our first anniversary was this September and it was a big milestone.

In the first two months of this year (Jan & Feb) I graduated (actually in Dec '09), got a job transfer/offer and had to move out of state for this. Woah, woah, woah, back the horse up. Out of state?! Josh and I both grew up in Colorado and have lived there our whole lives, college included. While we've visited other states, never have we lived anywhere else. And especially in a place where we knew NO ONE. What a better test of a newly wed couple for their 1st year of marriage then to pick them up and smack them down in a whole different state away from all of their friends and family?! It was and still has been quite the test. I must say we've had our tough times and our great times, and we've gotten through all of those together. It really strengthened our relationship with each other knowing that we only had each other and we had to rely solely on each other. We've dated and been together for 5 years and just 1 year of marriage. I'm so glad we were able to experience this together. Don't get me wrong, we both miss our families & friends back in CO INCREDIBLY, but we've started to call Arizona home.

Here are some photos from the year, some are out of order, but you get the idea.

Breakfast the morning before we left with some family

Some of our dear friends, who now have those beautiful baby boys, the day before we left

Last stop as we left Colorado

We visited my brother in Oceanside, CA for Easter in April

A trip to the Botanical Gardens in April

A trip to the Botanical Gardens in April

A trip to the butterfly pavillion in April

A trip to the Botanical Gardens in April

We moved in March

We moved in March

I made homemade ravioli's, one of my cooking adventures, May

Helped my brother move from California to Colorado in June, we're in Oceanside here

Our first canyoneering trip in Arizona in June

Yes, I jumped off that (this isn't me though) in Arizona in June

Our first canyoneering trip in Arizona in June

Our first canyoneering trip in Arizona in June

The boys camping  in Colorado in June

The "titanic" boat incident, camping in Colorado in June

Visiting family in Colorado in June

Visiting family in Colorado in June

Visiting family in Colorado in June

Camping trip in Colorado in June

Josh being goofy :)

Lucy turns 1 year old in July

Steph & Erin get hitched in August

Along those same lines of moving to another state, how about the weather?! That is what I do for a living, forecast the weather. I absolutely love it and wouldn't change it for the world! Though, one of the things I do love about weather is the ability it has to change each and every day. You never know what the next day will bring. However, in Arizona most of the time the weather is exactly the same. No change. Who would want to forecast "Hot today, Hotter tomorrow"? I suppose the weather geek in me was excited to experience 114 degrees, but I'll be honest, it was brutal. And Josh works outside doing landscaping and irrigation so he felt it worse than I did, since I sit in a nice office. He sure has put his brain to work learning all the new plants and vegetation and the way things work down in the desert. Our condo now has multiple kinds of plants & cactus all over the place! Nonetheless, we survived our first summer in the desert!

Some other exciting things that happened this year for us: we got a couch! Yeah, yeah, laugh it out. We thought it was kinda funny too. We didn't have much to sit on in our living area. When we first moved we went out and got 2 chairs that recline a bit but didn't need much else just being the two of us.

We also went on our first real hiking/canyoning trip in June with some friends we met here in Phoenix. We went cliff jumping and hiking through a canyon up near Payson, AZ. What a blast!

For our first year anniversary we went up near Prescott, AZ and hiked, camped and went kayaking on a lake. So nice to explore parts of Arizona. Some of these places make it feel a bit more like Colorado in the higher terrain.

We have hiked South Mountain many times which is in Tempe, AZ right next to where we live. This is a huge mountain park and we haven't been able to explore it all but it is a great little hike to get your heart pumping.

Almost forgot, cooking! For some reason I got the cooking bug shortly after we moved. I think it was party due to the fact I didn't have anything else to do in my free time. I'd just graduated from college in December of last year and the lack of having to do homework and spend all my time at school had caught up with me. Plus, I didn't have anyone I knew to hang out with here besides Josh. I didn't have my Stephy to hang out with. So I began taking up cooking. I love cooking! I've always loved to cook, but over the course of this year I have really taken off with it. I love reading magazines with recipes, cookbooks, making my own recipes up and the list of daily blogs I read for cooking ideas and meals (and for pure enjoyment!) is quite long. I hope that I've inspired some others to go out and cook. It's really not that hard and a lot of meals can be made quick. You'd be amazed how quick I throw stuff together when I get home from work. Though my dishes may not be "Iron Chef" appearance approved, they taste pretty darn good!

We've also been fortunate to have 2 visits each from both sets of parents, we must be missed! On one of the visits this little bugger (picture above) came along, our nephew Kayden. His first real plane ride. We had a great weekend and loved having our families come out to visit us. The Dewey Hotel is open and rent is free, so plan your trip now! {However, you can't stay forever!}

Well as this post is well overdue and pretty long, kudos if you're still reading, I suppose I better head out.

We're looking forward to another great year full of adventures and so many wonderful things to come. See you very soon!