The Land of AZ

Never having been anywhere desert-y before, Phoenix pretty much offered a photo at every turn for me. I paired it down (cringe) to a nice easy 75 for good ol' Facebook, but I'll try to rein it in even more here. Wouldn't want you exhausting that scrolling finger, now.
I'd highly recommend The Legacy if you're headed in a Phoenix-y direction. It's further out of town than the well known resorts, making it a place with all the amenities at less of the cost. The boys - both avid golfers - swore up and down it was the nicest course they'd ever played (including the others they hit in the Phoenix area). The spa services were excellent, and in fact my skin still feels amazing almost a week out from the mud wrap.
In need of a fancy dinner? J&G Steakhouse in Scottsdale is absolutely world class. Housed on the immense and jaw-dropping-even-in-the-dark grounds of The Phoenician resort, our celebratory "you're engaged!" dinner is one of the best meals I've ever eaten. Ever. Like... ever.
And entertainment? We stuck pretty close to our plans of golf for the boys, pool for the girls, but we did take a day morning trip to Goldfield in nearby Apache Junction. A mining town founded in 1893, it's a total tourist trap, but loads of cheesy fun in a really, really gorgeous location. We did everything from touring the bordello to making our own wanted poster to eating lunch outside at the saloon to a live country crooner. Go!
Under twenty photos: Pretty good, right? ...Just humor me.
Happy travels - Hug a cactus for me if you head that way!


Random Round Up: Phoenix

What a dreamy few days. And as all vacations do, this one flew by way too quickly. A couple quick Instagram snaps for you, with "real" pictures to come later.
Palms by the pool. Dreamy.
From above, landing at sunset.
A morning spent at the 1893 mining town of Goldfield in Apache Junction.
When in Rome...
Two of our dearest friends, engaged! So honored to be a part of it.
Have a great last half of the week, friends. In the meantime, I'll be dreaming of the pool, the sun, and the cacti... Sigh.



We may have had a pretty dry winter so far around these parts, but it still feels like winter. Off to warmer climates for a couple days!
SO excited to finally see one of these guys (aka: a cactus) in real life. I've been a lot of places, but never a real desert. Cheers to sun and great friends for a few days!

P.S. Random Round Up will probably be delayed next week, so don't hold your breath Monday morning. I have faith you can start the week without me. ;)


Pancakes Gone Wild

It seems like since I've entered into my new job position, I've had to whip something up to bring for a potluck almost every week. It's kind of a drag sometimes, but it's forced me to expand my "what's easy that I can make with minimal ingredient purchases" repertoire. Which, coincidentally, works out pretty well for you guys.
My cookies, pre-office chow down.
These cookies discovered on Pinterest are one of the most delicious things to come out of my kitchen in a long while. Blueberry White Chocolate - The combo sounds alright, but when you taste 'em all wrapped up in a cookie... It's like the most decadent blueberry pancake you've ever dreamt of.

The cookie itself is super straight forward - Pretty much what you would make for a basic chocolate chip cookie. Except forget the chocolate (I know, I can't believe I'm saying that either), and toss in blueberries (I used straight up frozen right out of the bag) and white chocolate. DO IT.

A big thank you to Megan Myers at Stetted.com for this recipe. She's a genius, I tell ya. A genius.

FYI: I used 3 cups of all-purpose flour, omitting the 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour. A friend tried them the way the recipe calls for, and got a slightly different result.
All all-purpose: Tastes like pancakes.
Following the recipe (2c. all-purpose, 1c. whole wheat pastry): Taste like muffins.
Both delicious.

Blueberry White Chocolate Cookies
Prep: 15 minutes   ~    Cook: 12 minutes   ~   Makes: 3 Dozen-ish
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or 3c. all-purpose and no whole wheat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, washed and patted dry (In Knots Note: I used frozen still frozen. No patting.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together flours, baking soda, and salt. Stir into wet ingredients.
  3. Stir white chocolate chips into dough, then add blueberries, taking care not to mash the berries much.
  4. Scoop dough onto baking sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes, until browned on edges. (In Knots Note: I scooped heaping tablespoon size.)
They're so quick. Make 'em right now and just try to tell me you didn't eat them all in 2 days. Honestly, I was glad I made them for work where they'd not all disappear into my belly.


Random Round Up: True To Title

Here's where the 'random' portion of this title comes in... Mondays like this. It's time to get ready for some vacation around here, and the warm weather is calling my name. So while I do piles of laundry and dust off the suitcases, you check out a few snaps from the week:
A little cousin turned four!
INCREDIBLE new cookie recipe discovered: Blueberry White Chocolate. 
Breaking in some vacay-bound wedges by wearing 'em for housework duty.
Box breaking-down rampage in the garage. Past due, obviously!
Made a friend in a local shop this weekend - Ella, the very tiny, very fluffy pooch.
How about a new and rather amazing cookie recipe this week? Oh, alright. If you want. Keep your eyes peeled for that! Happy monday, y'all.


Medal Head

I'm Olympics obsessed. I don't care what sport it is, I'll watch it. Even Ice Dancing, which apparently I'm supposed to swoon over because I'm a woman, but don't really care for. *yawn* Give me Skeleton or Super Combined  or even Biathlon any day.

Predictably, Norway has landed the highest number of total medals with 12, and Germany the most gold so far with 6 (as of Wednesday 2/12). Those two always shine in the winter games. Canada rounds out the top three, also one I'd expect to see up there.

It's amazing watching these people achieve their life's dreams right in front of our eyes, don't you think? I love how the world comes together for a few weeks every couple of years.

The Olympics run through February 23rd (they started the 7th), and here in the U.S., NBC stations are carrying coverage. Also, if you have access to CBC (Canadian Broadcasting), the hubs and I have been watching there - Awesome, thorough coverage of pretty much every event. Enjoy the games!


Random Round Up: Snow Day

Finally, some moisture around these parts (sorry non-west-coasters, I know you're sick to death of everything wet)! It came in the form of snow, and we tried to enjoy all 24 hours of it.
Opened a pomegranate under water. Result? Amazing. Look here.
I have stay in and watch the Olympics? DARNNN. ;)
Snow here is always kind of magical.
Catch, snow day style.
My own Walk of Fame star.
Tucker hasn't really liked snow in the past, but this year he decided to embrace it whole-heartedly. A little live action:
We've switched back to a cold rain, but I'm trying not to complain since it's so needed. Cute rain boots are the order of the day. Have a great week!


Talkin' Tin

I wanted to tell you about the faux tin tile I found online to give the wall behind my new chunky shelf a little oomph.
I've always loved the tin-tile look, but have you seen the price on actual tin tiles? Yikes. And the local home improvement store's fake options made of plastic were not much better at $20+ for each 24"x24" square. I actually had them in hand at Home Depot, ready to gulp and drop the $80, when it occurred to me to whip out the ol' smart phone and give Amazon a quick perusal.

Light shining down on me from heaven in the lumber aisle and angels singing: I found them. At $3.50 each and made of polystyrene (aka: pressed styrofoam), I shelved those $20 plastic versions and placed my online order.
I had already grabbed a super-strong double sided tape to hang the plastic tiles, so decided to stick (ha) with that to adhere my foam tiles.
The tiles were so light and thin (but not too thin that I felt like they were going to crumble or anything) that all I needed to do was measure (and measure again, per usual), and slice my way down a ruler's edge with an x-acto knife.
Snipped off some tape, stuck it to the tile, and stuck the tile to the wall, gently pressing along the length of each with my fingertips. Easy, peasy, done.
I'm so impressed with the finish, and because the shelf is so deep, I'm not worried about wear and tear on the styrofoam. These tiles are made for putting on ceilings, out of the reach of daily touching or any jabbing objects poking at them. If they were in a more easily bumped area, I probably would have had to go with the plastic or real metal version.

But so far, all who've seen them in person have thought they were real tin. Not bad for fourteen bucks! Alright, including shipping and the tape it was probably around $30, but I'll take that any day.

I'd totally recommend this method to anyone. Hmm... Our dining room ceiling could use a little visual interest....


Thirty-One: All Kinds o'Fun

Happy, happy birthday to my one and only!
After The Color Run
 This past 30th year of yours has been one good time, and I can't wait to see what's to come with 31.
On top of Hawaiian volcano Haleakala.
Let's cheers to another year... my dear!
Love you.
Apple Cup


Legion of BOOM.

Have you heard? Lil' football game yesterday.
 The 12th Man is riding high indeed.
Seattle Seahawks: 2014 Super Bowl Champions!