Baby its cold outside...lets drink tea!

>> Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The temperatures have really been dropping this week, which makes me soooo happy! We have spent the last two nights snuggled up with blankets in front of a cozy, crackling fire. I love cold weather. I love the things that come with it. Big comfy sweaters and cable knit scarves, cable knit anything really. I've really been wanting a cable knit throw. Like this one from Pottery Barn.
Oh yeah! Makes me want to curl up on my big, comfy couch, cover up with this beauty, and sip an extra hot cup of loose leaf peppermint tea while watching something on Food Network or reading a good book, either way.

Speaking of tea, I have a few tea related items on my Christmas wish list. A couple weeks ago I went to the Urban Tea Loft with my mom. I've been there before but in the past I ordered iced tea rather than hot. This time we ordered a pot of organic peppermint tea (noticing a trend) and it came in this really amazing pot that I've had trouble getting off my mind since this experience!

I NEED this tea pot, made by Ingenuitea. You place your loose leaf in the pot, fill with hot water and after a few minutes you place the pot over your tea cup and walla, out comes your perfectly brewed tea, minus any tea leaves! I almost bought one that night but displayed amazing self restraint, knowing that Christmas is just around the corner. But I must say the colder it gets, the more I really want to purchase this. So Santa... hint hint I really want this! Oh, and the double wall glasses they use are pretty sweet as well. They stay really hot on the inside but are not hot to the touch. Not to mention, they are very light weight, sleek and modern. Which isn't usually my style but I do like them.

I don't think this is the exact glass they use, but its close. This one is Bodum Pavina.

So Santa, hurry down the chimney, not when I have the fire going, and bring me a cozy cable knit throw and an Ingenuitea pot. Thanks!


A little secret...

>> Saturday, November 6, 2010

This may or may not be a secret, but it feels like a secret.... Ever heard of

This is a great way to try different dining establishments without breaking the bank. When you visit this website you will find a plethora of restaurants to choose from. You can search by state, city, or zip code. Once you have narrowed down your search, you choose a restaurant you would like to dine at and buy a certificate for a fraction of the price!

For example, on any given day you can buy a $25 gift card for $10.00. The only catch is, you have to spend at least $35.00 at the restaurant and they will add 18% gratuity. (Not a big deal). So you pay $10 for a $25.00 certificate, then you spend $35.oo at the restaurant. After your server deducts $25.00 from your total bill you only end up spending $20.00 total for a $35.00 meal. This includes what you spent on the certificate. Not bad.

However! Here is the best news! I never pay that price for my certificates. Somehow, I signed myself up for email updates from Coupon Mom and she sends me codes and notifications for 80% off periodically. So I stock up on $25.00 certificates for only $2.00 each! Sweet right?

Last night my husband and I used one of our certificates at Picazzo's Pizza in Tempe.

We used to eat at Picazzo's a lot when our daughter was on a Gluten Free diet. They offer a GF menu and have a separate kitchen. When you are on a GF diet pizza is something you would give your left arm for, so this was a sacred place for us. Our daughter was healed of her food allergies so we no longer had a need fo GF pizza and this place kind of fell of the radar for us.Until I saw them while browsing through local restaurants.

Picazzo's has added Organic to their menu vocabulary as well as hormone free and nitrate free meats. This restaurant has always been a fresh and healthy establishment but they have taken it to the next level!
Ken and I had a $25.00 certificate. We needed to spend $35.00 to use it so we started off with some baked wings. We went with 1/2 Buffalo and 1/2 BBQ Maple. They were as good as I remembered them to be. All the wings are baked and GF. Yum! Unfortunately we missed the happy hour by 10 minutes. They have 1/2 price appetizers and organic drinks. Oh well... next tme.

Ken and I have seriously different taste buds when it comes to pizza. I typically go for a no sauce pizza with lots of veggies and pungent toppings like feta, blue cheese and any kind of olive variety. Ken is definitely a meat lover and jalapeƱos make him happy, at least at the moment. So we ordered two small pizzas. He got something meaty and I got the California. It was a thin crust no sauce pizza with Nitrate free apple wood smoked bacon (shockingly I went with meat.) It had feta or blue cheese, caramelized onions and fresh spinach. I was so excited for it to come to the table, I thought the combo sounded so great. But, NO! The bacon tasted like smoked salmon! It was the weirdest thing. I wasn't sure if it was the way it was smoked or what the problem was. Ken said it was because it was natural. He is such an organic hater, seriously. I picked off all the bacon and the rest of the pizza was good.

Our total came to approximately $39.00 including the tip. After our $25.00 certificate was applied we only spent $14.00 for a really nice dinner out!

Right now has a deal through November 8Th. You can purchase $25.00 certificates for only $3.00 the code is "meal."

Go! Hurry! Check it out!


Alone With A Marshmallow

>> Monday, November 1, 2010

Today I feel like a 4 year old alone in a room with a marshmallow. I have a decision to make, do I eat the marshmallow now, or wait a few minutes to be rewarded with a second marshmallow? Are you curious what I'm talking about? Think I have potentially lost my mind?

I just had a revelation while standing in my kitchen making lunch! I started thinking about a research study I watched on the news years ago involving several 4 year old children. In the study the 4 year old kids were left alone in a room with a hidden camera and a marshmallow. They were given one marshmallow and told they could eat it now, or wait a few minutes for the adult to come back with a second marshmallow. Several kids sat and smelled,touched and stared at the sweet fluffy cloud of sugar, but did not give into the temptation. Others would just sneak a little lick or nibble but not eat it. Some kids just flat out couldn't take the temptation and ate it almost right away.

I was in my kitchen making lunch and thinking about so many goals that I have. I have goals to eat healthier, to work out more, to spend more time with the people I love, including God. But for whatever reason even though I know that the short term sacrifice of doing those things will give me "more" out of life in the long run. I often find myself going for the instant gratification of the "one marshmallow" ultimately robbing my self of two. If I could just show a little more restraint, a little more self control, what would my life look like? I am not only speaking in terms of weight loss, although thats a biggie, no pun intended. I was thinking of this in the area of our finances. What would our finances look like if we could learn to say no to some things we feel like we "need" right now? Would we have financial freedom later? Wow! Not rocket science, I know. I just didn't realize how many areas of my life I have been living in the moment. I haven't been planning for the future, not really setting goals. Its funny because when I watch this video of the kids I want to yell,"Don't do it, just wait, it will be sooner than you think!" I wonder if God ever looks at us and wants to yell,"Don't do it, just wait! Better things are coming your way if you would just hold on!"

I didn't want to lose the freshness of his moment and the feeling it provoked in me. I am going to start setting some goals and putting them out there for the world to see, so stay tuned you can cheer me on, maybe we can even cheer each other on!

Check out this reenactment of the study. These kids are so funny!


Redesign Time!

>> Monday, October 25, 2010

Why? Why do the boys in my house leave the toilet seat up? Do they find it humorous that I stumble into the bathroom half awake each morning and nearly fall in? Why does everyone throw their towel on the floor? Why is everyone fighting over the smallest bathroom in the house?

These are the questions that haunt me. Okay, a little dramatic, but my kids have a very nice bathroom that they could have all to themselves. There is plenty of room to shower, get dressed, put on make up, even do a cartwheel. Still everyone in the house loves to pile into our super small 1920's bathroom that is really only fit for one person.

I have decided, I am taking over the back bathroom. It is going to be mine all mine muahahahaha! Kidding, well kind of. I've decided I am going to redesign this bathroom to my liking. Something that flows a little better with our house and my general style.

The floors are black and white, like this...

The walls are painted in "Soothing Green Tea" Which looks less like baby poop in reality.

Right now I have a Waverly black and cream damask curtain up that used to be in Cadence's old bedroom.

This style doesn't really reflect me. I definitely lean towards Anthropologie style. I like new items mixed with old. Comfortable and quirky but most importantly, homey and inviting. I decided I would start by looking at some shower curtains online. Here are a few I am considering.

What do you think? Taking the paint color and my floors into consideration, would it be better to go with a white curtain? Let me know if you have any recommendations. I am all ears!

More later, my creative juices stop flowing when its past my bedtime, and as usual I am blogging past my bedtime. Night!


Food, Shopping, and More Food!

>> Friday, October 15, 2010

Day two in Flag was much better than day one! Thank goodness!

We started our day off with a cup of joe at Macy's.This is a hopping morning spot, for sure. A line formed almost out the door. Here is Emma enjoying her smoothie.

I thought the coffee was just okay, I was told through the grapevine that they serve better coffee than my coveted Lux...WRONG!
I ordered everyone, besides Emma, a Mocha Latte Royal. It was pretty smooth, but almost weak and lacking flavor. This green chili mushroom quiche however was amazing.
I think I will give it another try next time I am there, but I'll order something different. We spent the day downtown, looking at cute shops and enjoying the great weather.

I really liked Basement Marketplace a lot. They had some really cute clothes and jewelry.I didn't buy anything though. Just window shopping.
After we walked around for a few hours we ventured over to Diablo Burger. This is the place Ken picked to go for his Birthday. We couldn't go the night before because they are closed on Sunday.

Everything about this place reminded me of our friend Adam. From the music, to the decor and of course the food. We want to take a drive up with some friends to go back to this place. Yes, it was that good!
They serve their burgers on an english muffin which I thought would be weird, but it wasn't, it was delish!Their fries are to die for to. They are lightly seasoned with sea salt and rosemary. Yum! Oh and another plus, they have excellent water that they bring to your table in a glass bottle! Oh and the beef is grass fed! They recommend that you order your burger medium rare. I went with medium and I was really happy with it. As you can see. I am all about supporting local establishments and I love that they use all local ingredients! Take a drive, check these places out for yourself, and let me know what you think!


10/10/10 One strange day....

>> Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10/10/10 turned out to be an interesting day. We decided to drive up to Flagstaff Sunday afternoon to enjoy some cool weather and some family time for Kens Birthday. Things started out well. I booked a room at the Marriott on Priceline and saved 50% on our room ( a little plug for We had a pleasant drive up, checked into our room and it was fab. I grabbed the laptop to look up some local eats. I found a Pizza place called New Jersey Pizza Co. that had great reviews. We decided we would take a drive up to Snow Bowl to see if the leaves were changing yet then grab a bite. The leaves were just barley starting to change but still it was beautiful!!

We got out and walked around, took a moment for a family photo op.

Then watched the sunset as we walked back to the car...

By the way, these photos were taken by my very talented daughter Cadence.

We were getting really hungry so we headed over to New Jersey Pizza Co. The outside looked like a dive but it had great reviews so we went in. The dining room was really small and we were the only customers.
The waiter was nice, he told us about how they use local ingredients and sometimes they run out of things. Then he told us that there were a few orders ahead of us for delivery and we might have a bit of a wait for our food. I had NO idea what this really meant. We decided on 2 pizzas, A white pizza with canalized onions for the girls and a meaty pizza for the boys. We also ordered some cheesy bread sticks. We sat around and visited, we were the only people in the place. We waited, and waited, and waited for our bread sticks. About 40 minutes later they arrived. The waiter brought them out with some ranch and informed us that they were out of red sauce and that he would go make some and bring it out. Well we all had one bread stick then decided to wait for the red sauce. After about 10 minutes we gave up, and it was good we did because it never came! Okay hold on...things get worse!

A family of four walk into the the restaurant. (This is not the beginning of a joke) I glance over at them, I'd say it's pretty normal to look at someone who is walking into a room when you have been the only one there for an hour. We go about our convo talking about how hungry we are. Emma starts to get a migraine. I am praying for her and trying to comfort her, I glance over at the other family and happen to make eye contact with the Mom, I smile. We go back to talking about how we have been waiting over 1 hour for our pizza. Laughing about possible reviews we might post on Yelp. Out of nowhere the mom from the other family loudly asks, "Is there a problem?!?" I look over at her and ask, "With what, the restaurant?" She says, "With us." I say "No, why?" She says, "You have been starring at us since we walked in!" Then she went on to say," Is it my shirt?" She was wearing a Texas State shirt. Ken said, "Hey we are tired and have been waiting for our food for over 1 hour, there is nothing wrong with you." Awkward!!! So for the rest of the night we were terrified to look anywhere but down at our food. Is this really strange behavior ,or is it just me? After this long wait you'd think the pizza would've been amazing. I will just say I have had better, for sure, I was not overly impressed.
To top things off Emma is feeling worse by the minute. We had plans to go to Wal Mart and get the kids something to swim in because they forgot their suits. Emma insisted that she still wanted to go. So we get in Walmart and are walking around and Emma begins throwing up in a cup she brought in with her. Lovely, people are running in the opposite direction. I'm thinking, Oh well, it is Walmart, home of "interesting" people and dirty diapers found in carts. Whats the big deal? Poor Emma, her night was pretty much ruined.
10/10/10 turned out to be a pretty strange day, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our next day in Flag was much more promising. More on that later, for now I'm off to catch some zzzz's!


Dear Ken....

>> Saturday, October 9, 2010

You're 37...that sounds so weird to say! It definitely doesn't seem like that long ago that we were celebrating your 21st birthday at your parents house. I think I gave you a bootleg Henry Rollins VHS from East Side Records and some necklace that I may or may not have made for you. (We were so punk rock haha) Yup, that seems so far, yet so close. This picture was taken around your 21st birthday I think you are wearing the necklace....

I know it is your Birthday, not our anniversary, but I cant help thinking about our time together that has passed and what the future holds. For some reason you turning 37 sounds a lot stranger than me turning 34. Maybe because its so close to 40? When I think of my teenage friend Ken turning 37, it just sounds weird. I'm not trying to make you feel old I promise!

And now....
Here we are, married with three beautiful kids!Busier than ever, still working things out, still figuring out what makes each other tick, still really different yet becoming strangly alike. Older yes, but still "just us".. I actually think you have gotten better with age. Seriously!

I'm proud you're my hubby and I love you very much!

OK now Drum roll............10 things I love about you.

( In no particular order)

10. I love that you have your own hobbies and let me have mine.

9. I love that you are devoted and committed, to whatever you decide to do.Like riding 65 miles on a bike with your friend to support him in his goal.

8. I love that even though you are rough around the edges at times your a super softy. Like when you cry in movies, love that.

7. I love that you never make me feel self conscious about how I look, You always make me feel pretty even when I'm lookin homeless.

6.I love that family is very important to you, and you are a good dad.

5. I love that you give me freedom to fail, but don't point out my failures.

4. I love that you have a man crush on Vince Vaughn, haha, don't know why just think its cute.

3. I love that you are quick to forgive and put the past behind us.

2. I love your triceps, your legs and your hands. They are really nice. :)

1. I love that you always love me even when I'm not lovable.

There are many more things that I love about you but those were the things that my fingers keyed in there you go!

Celebrating you today, all you are and all you will be. I love you, you are the best!

Happy Birthday Ken!


Could it actually be happening?

>> Sunday, October 3, 2010

Could it actually be happening? Really happening?Am I turning into the budget conscious organized person I always admired but never dreamed I could become? I am definitely not there yet, but I find myself slowly growing in these areas, feeling like it is possible to be laid back and creative as well as organized and frugal. Might I actually be finding some balance in these areas? Or am I in a weird phase. One of my kicks? Maybe I was abducted by an organization alien in the night. Nope. I think God is actually answering my prayers. I have been praying HELP in this area for awhile now.

I'm craving organization in my life....

These photos make me really happy. They make me want to run out and by jars and labels baskets and bins. I am not joking whatsoever. I am really excited over the thought of organizing and cleaning my house and getting rid of a bunch of stuff!

One thing that has been really hard for me is I LOVE a good find. I often pick things up for my etsy store or a friend or myself. This has been bad for both the clutter factor as well as the budget. I don't spend a lot by any means but I think I sometimes spend unnecessarily. So I am working on that.

Which leads me to the next thing I wanted to tell you! Did you know that Fry's grocery store takes all competitors coupons??? Including the Fresh and Easy coupons you get in the mail?

Yesterday I went grocery shopping at Fry's and she let me use a $10 and $5 off coupon from Fresh & Easy!! So good! The friendly clerk also informed me that they except all competitors coupons like Target, Bashes, Walgreen's etc. Okay I think this is great news. Did you guys already know this?? If so why didn't anyone tell me? So I ended up saving $106 on my groceries! Not bad right?

Oh and to top the day off I met my friend for a shopping night cap and I actually scored a pair off $100 boots for $16.99! All because I have big feet. Size 10 and up were an extra 60% off. This was the first time I was excited about having big feet.

Are they too biker-ish? I don't know, but I like them. Oh ya, and I got a purse. It was originally over $200 and I paid $20! Woo Hoo! See? This is why my house fills up with "stuff", I was justified in these purchases because I had birthday gift cards.

Isn't it cute? I'm loving the ruffles!

Hopefully this isn't a phase, but a new way of living. I will fill you in as I work to create a place a rest in our cozy nest.


Free Stuff? Yes please!

>> Thursday, September 16, 2010

Who doesn't love getting something for free?

As promised, I wanted to fill you in on a few great birthday freebies! There are definitely more than three offers out there but I decided I would share my top 3 with you. All three of these offers are painless AKA you don't have to sign up for anything. So easy, it almost feels like stealing. 100% legal though I promise. :)

1. Mojo Frozen Yogurt!
Deal: Bring in your ID on your birthday and receive a free yogurt. Simple as that. I don't know if there are any limitations, but they seem super laid back. I got a full cup that was almost $8 worth of yogurt (didn't eat it alone, stop judging me) for free!

This is one of my favorite spots to hang out in general. I have spent many summer nights, okay winter too, hanging at Mojo with my family and friends. I love that their yogurt tastes so real, unlike many artificial tasting yogurts out there. Although, I have to say, lately I have not been enjoying the Tempe Market place location. It just tastes funky and kinda fake. However the one on Mill does not disappoint. This picture makes me happy. This is one of my new favorite flavors. Skinny Blueberry! Its actually made with agave nectar instead of sugar or artificial sweetener! Yum, so refreshing!
2. Joe's Farm Grill
Deal: Bring in your ID on your birthday for a free meal up to $10. If your meal is over $10 they will take $10 off whatever you order. Nice!!

If you haven't been here...GO!!! It is really tasty. Everything is made from scratch and a lot of the produce is even grown on the premises! Just look at this food. Are you drooling yet?

A few of my favorite things to order here are the fried zucchini, farm burger, garlic fries and the buffalo chicken sandwich.Even there sweet pickles are homemade! Really everything is awesome. I love to dip the zucchini in their homemade blue cheese dressing. It comes with marinara, but I always swap it out for the blue cheese dressing.

Also they have a free burger day once per year when they give out free burgers all day long. Google it for the date, I'm not sure when it is. Last year it was in November.

3. Krispy Kreme

Deal: Bring in your ID on your birthday for 1 dozen free donuts!

Who doesn't love a donut that adds 5lbs to your waistline by merely glancing in its general direction as it floats down the river of oil and then bathes itself in a sugary waterfall? I think that once a year on your birthday you can justify diving into a box of these warm, melt in your mouth donuts. Why not? They are on the house! Oh and if the donuts alone aren't indulgent enough, you can always make yourself a Krispy Kreme burger!

This is not part of any deal, but I couldn't resist ending on this note. I have never seen anything like this! Can you imagine the calorie content? As disgusting as it may be, I kinda think it would be good.

Stop drooling...goodnight!


So you say its your birthday?

>> Monday, September 13, 2010

So you say its your birthday? Well happy birthday to you!" Who sings that anyway??

Today was my sweet little, yet not so little, boys birthday. He turned 11 today! I can hardly believe it Look at that face!
I love his little mole to the right of his nose, the way his eyes light up when he smiles, the loud belly laugh that you can hear from across the house when he's highly amused. I love the way he is tender, yet rough and tumble. I love that he has a sweet spirit that cares deeply for people and loves much.This kid has a sense of humor that will make ya snort. His impeccable sense of style comes naturally and is not to impress, yet it always does.

Happy Birthday Buddy, you Were the best birthday present ever!

Jake was born the day before my birthday, which guessed it! Mine is tomorrow. Or today depending where you live! I love having our birthdays a day apart. We usually end up kind of celebrating together. Its fun!

Today for Jakes birthday,I woke him up singing Happy Birthday with a maple long john and a cup of coffee in hand. That's right this kid loves coffee! I wouldn't usually wake him up with sugar and a cup of jo, but today was special. I on the other hand can not live with out that morning cup of dark steamy aromatic goodness! Must have coffee, trust me it ain't pretty when I go without. Love that feeling of stumbling across the floor half asleep and pushing the button on my Keurig, and 30 seconds later gripping my warm cup of heaven...Oh wait this was about Birthday stuff. I got a little distracted by coffee talk!

So after school we went on a mission to cash in on some birthday freebies around town. It was fun, I haven't really done that before. Sure I've had the average free dessert with an embarrassing song sung buy non enthusiastic waiters. But today!!! I actually did a little research! We were able to score about $40 or more in free goodies!

Hate to leave you in suspense but my pillow is calling, and I cant have bags under my eyes tomorrow for my birthday, right? So I will post again tomorrow and fill you in on our birthday finds so you too can cash in on all the freebies around town for your birthday!

Adios for now....


Ode to the Bundt!

>> Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wow! Can't believe its been so long since I blogged last, didn't mean for that to happen! After my friend Peggy asked me today when I was going to get back to blogging I felt like my excuses for not blogging were lame and I needed to just make time to do it. Not like its a pain, I love to blog, its just making the time.

So life has taken a big turn and new things are on the horizon. I have gone from homeschooling my three kiddos and working miscellaneous jobs as a make-up artist to having three kids in school and working regularly! Big changes, but they are good!

More on all that jazz later. I wanted to make this short and snappy tonight because no longer can I wake at 8:30am or 9:00 and lounge in my PJ's, coffee in hand, taking my sweet time. Nope! This girl is up and at um every morning at 6:30am. So this once night owl is learning to re-set her inner clock!

Okay so.... I am working at Nothing Bunt Cakes! Clever play on words indicating that we sell nothing but bunt cakes. :) Let me just say this was the biggest God send/blessing ever. It is so my cup of tea and the store is cute as a button. Not to mention that the hours are perfect. Closed on Sundays and I work the hours my kids are at school. Praise the Lord!

This store has the cutest logo and some seriously tasty cake. You can tell Nothing Bunt Cakes is the product of two very clever and creative women's dreams come to life! OK I think I am gushing a bit. But seriously, I really do admire the amount of thought, detail, and creativity that has gone into this franchise. OK enough, short and sweet right? That's what I said. You can read more if you would like at

I stumbled across some celebrities that think these cakes are pretty sweet too...

Adam Lampert

Alice Cooper

Team Jacob ( Don't even know this kids real name, sorry)

Are you craving a Chocolate Chocolate Chip bundt cake yet drizzled with butter cream cheese frosting?? Or maybe a White Chocolate Raspberry??? Yum!
If you know me, you know I am OB-SESSED with cupcakes! So these little cuties,Buntinis, are Nothing Bundt Cakes version of the beloved cupcake. They come in a box of 1 dozen and the are assorted with the top four flavors. You can also call ahead to make your own assortment. Apparently during a TV interview the news anchor slipped and said, " So they are bundt holes?" Oh my, not good. I guess he covered his slip up well by comparing to donut holes or something. Haha, I find that quite amusing.

Okay, well there you have it, more than you ever wanted to know about my new job most likely. As you can tell I am quite smitten with it and its nice to like going to work each day!

Hope you have nothing bundt sweet dreams. DORKY, I KNOW!

Good Night...I will be back soon I promise.