Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Holiday Season Begins!

Well friends, the holiday season is upon us! We began our holiday weekend on Wednesday night out to dinner to a fun little burger joint. We headed to church for a Thanksgiving service filled with many sharing their story of what they have to be thankful for. Many were very emotional. It was the perfect way to start the holidays.
I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving! Thursday morning we enjoyed breakfast while relaxing and watching the Macy's day parade. 

I made some loaded mashed potatoes to take for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Our dear friends, Pete & Ginger, invited us over for Thanksgiving. There were eight of us all together, and it was fun to experience some new food from different cultures.
Thursday night we headed out for some early Black Friday shopping! 

We had such a great time, and got all kinds of stuff! We headed out to Walmart, Target, and the outlet mall. There were so many people out and about! The festivities began at 6, and we were out of Walmart by 6:04-we were booking it! Some of the stores at the mall had lines to wait outside the store to limit the number of people inside. It was crazy and starting to get cold!!!
Friday morning we started decorating our home for Christmas. We had such a blast!

I plan on sharing our decorations with all of you next week, but here is a quick sneak peek! I made a new wreath this year. You can also see our tree peeking through the wreath.

Friday night we went to Love the Coopers. I won free movie tickets at a work meeting and used those for our movie and popcorn! 

It was very cute and funny and super festive. If  you have some free time this holiday season, I would totally recommend it!
Saturday we did more decorating, this time-outside!

This year, we had several little girls to buy gifts for!

We bought shoes for the little girl we got for the Angel Tree. Some of our friends just received their first foster child so we got her some pajamas. Our neighbor also turns one this week and had a big birthday party on Saturday so we got her some blocks. It was pretty fun shopping for so many little ones! Saturday afternoon we headed across the street for Abby's birthday party!!
Seriously I have to brag about our neighbors for a second. The party was very fun and full of their friends and family. My neighbor made and decorated the smash cake all on her own!! Isn't this incredible?!? She has never done this before. Everything was so cute!!

After presents it was time for the smash cake!

We spent the rest of our time over the weekend baking our Christmas cookies. I hope Matt enjoyed it, he was a HUGE help!

And just like that it will soon be December, and we will be busy, busy, busy! Our weekends are full of holiday events including a Christmas party we are hosting next weekend. I will put up pictures of our decorations next week. Enjoy the season and don't forget to stay present and enjoy it!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hello friends! I hope you are all adjusting to the changing weather. Ours went from really hot to real cold (for Phoenix), but we have had a few gorgeous days as of late. Well I was looking through my phone and noticed I took one picture in the last two weeks!! What have we been up to???? I will try to recapture it the best I can!
Two weekends ago we had another marathon hang out event with our neighbors across the street. Every time we hang out with them it seems like it turns into a marathon event! It's pretty fun! On Friday we headed over to their place for a bonfire and game night! Our Quelf game got pretty serious late into the night! Then on Sunday we had them over for supper and football. It is so awesome being friends with your next door neighbors! You really can't be late, and if you forget anything it is no big deal to run home and get it. 

That Saturday we did some more hiking at our go to place, South Mountain. I did not take any pictures since I figured you have all seen enough of those!
This past week was a busy week at work with early morning and late night appointments every single day. I am so looking forward to Thanksgiving for a little break! Friday we finally made it to a little pizza place several people had told us we needed to go. They were right, it was so good!! We filled up on appetizers and had enough for lunch the next day! Saturday we had some friends over for a bonfire. They had to leave early to pick up their daughter from the babysitter so we headed to Tempe to meet up with one of Matt's friends that was in town. We enjoyed a nice game of bags, and I am happy to admit I actually scored points this time!! 
I spent most of Sunday giddy with excitement of the holiday season approaching us. The Christmas cards are ordered, our Christmas party is planned, office parties are RSVP'd to, Christmas cookie ingredients are purchased, and a whole bunch of other holiday things are on the calendar. 

Our church is participating in an Angel Tree, and we were so excited to get involved! For those that have not heard of this program (me until last week), you pick a child to buy a present for who has been orphaned due to their parents being incarcerated. We chose to get a gift for a baby girl. 

I cannot wait for Thursday to enjoy some time with some dear friends but also to begin our Black Friday shopping and pull out the Christmas decorations!!! The holidays are near my friends, get ready!! 38 days and counting :)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Breakfast Skillet

We enjoy this breakfast most weekend mornings as of late. This is an easy recipe to substitute other items if you are missing something or want to try something else.

 Here's what you need:

2-3 large potatoes
1 pound breakfast sausage
3 eggs
1/2 cup green peppers
1/2 cup spinach
olive oil
coconut oil
salt and pepper
onion powder
ground turmeric

Here's what you do:

Begin by washing and dicing your potatoes. Turn on your burners and begin melting your coconut oil (or whatever you choose to cook your potatoes in). Cook potatoes in first skillet. I like to season mine with salt, pepper, and ground turmeric. 
Brown your choice of breakfast sausage in separate skillet. 
Once sausage is browned, set aside in bowl covered with tin foil to keep warm. Next scramble your eggs. I like to add about 1/3 cup of milk to keep my eggs nice and fluffy. I also added salt, pepper, and onion powder. 
Once your potatoes and eggs are cooked, add eggs, sausage and vegetables to potato skillet. Cook about five minutes or until vegetables have softened. Top with cheese or salsa as desired.
Matt also likes to turn his into breakfast burritos. Feel free to fill tortillas with these as well. He also warms them in the skillet to make them a little bit crispier.
We have also used other peppers in our skillet and gone without the spinach. I think grape tomatoes would also be a great add in! This is very simple and easy to change up as needed. We have made this without potatoes for a little less carbs. You could easily try bacon or ham instead or even go meatless. Enjoy your new breakfast skillet!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Biplanes and Boats

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! Here was our excitement for the week.
Matt flew up to St. John's again to meet with some more clients. When they were getting ready to come home, a pilot with a biplane was getting ready to take it out for a spin. Matt and his co-worker jumped in to check it out.

Matt & Sloan ready to fly!

Nolan gave me a tip that the drag boat racing finals were in town over the weekend so went and checked them out on Saturday. We got our redneck on and had a ton of fun! The view was also pretty cool as the backdrop was landscaped with every mountain range within sight of Phoenix. There was a wide range of boats racing. There were also several biplanes flying around together that dotted the top of this photo.

This was of my favorite series. Four boats raced around the track together.

But the most exciting part was the top fuel drag boats. Throughout the day we saw speeds of 50-125 mph. These things went 250 mph! It was crazy cool!! :)

Sunday afternoon we spent some time with our neighbors and their new baby! It was fun for us and hopefully a little relief for them. 
Have an awesome week! On Thursday I will post a breakfast recipe we have been using almost every weekend. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Sweet Chili-Lime Noodles with Vegetables

What you need:

1/2 package cooked (1/2 lb uncooked) spaghetti (I used Fettuccine)
1 bag of frozen stir fry vegetables
10 oz. canned or cooked chicken
sweet chili-lime sauce (recipe below)

Sweet Chili-Lime Sauce

3 T. bottled sweet chili sauce
3 T. lime juice
1 t. ginger
1 t. minced garlic

What you do:

Cook pasta as desired. Also cook frozen vegetables as desired. Prepare sauce. Combine all ingredients in the pot you cooked your spaghetti in and stir. Allow to cook until warm. 

It's so simple and so tasty! Enjoy! The pasta could easily be switched for brown rice or quinoa. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Hello friends! I hope you all enjoyed your Halloween and even more are enjoying all your leftover candy! We had the most beautiful night for Halloween. 
There was also such a beautiful sunrise the other morning when I was on a walk. I love pretty backdrops!

Friday night we headed to a high school football game. I was feeling very nostalgic and missing out on one of my fall past-times. One of my families had an older child that is a senior in high school. It was homecoming at their high school and the outside of their house was covered in decorations in preparations for the game. We headed to the Chandler-Hamilton game. Both high schools are located on the same road, about 4 miles apart. The rivalry was intense! There were 12,000 people there!! A little bit different than a D2 game in Nebraska! The ASU coach also flew in on a helicopter to watch the game.

On Halloween we headed up to Mesa to watch some AZ Fall League baseball action. There was a costume contest so all of the kids were dressed in their costumes. They also were collecting tons of candy! The game was fun to watch, and it was seriously the most gorgeous day!

We headed back home to prepare for our trick or treaters. I guess I forgot to take pictures! We actually got more visitors this year than last year and most came in a 20 minute period. It was nice to see some neighbors including the new baby down the street! We went over to our friends' place to have a bon fire. They also made cotton candy which they passed out in addition to tons of candy. In the time we were there I saw multiple kids come back to their house for seconds!! I would too-best house ever! Our friends are also in the process of becoming foster parents. One of their siblings also foster children and one of their kids was there. He was the cutest! All in all it made for a great Halloween! Happy November!!

Skillet Sausage 'n' Rice

This was so yummy and gave us a taste of Cajun! Again so simple and quick. I also found this in my Southern Living cookbook. I need to bring this one out more often.

Here's what you need:

1 (16 oz.) package smoked sausage
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chicken broth
4 servings of instant brown rice
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black  pepper

Here's what you do:

1. Cut sausage into 1/2 inch slices. Saute in large nonstick skilled over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove sausage slices, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 T. drippings in skillet.
2. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic to skillet, and saute over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until tender. Add chicken broth, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet, and bring to a boil. Cook instant rice as according to package. Add rice, sausage, salt, and black pepper to skillet. Reduce hear to medium-low, cover, and cook 5 minutes or until rice in tender. 

Makes 4 to 6 servings. 
Dinner is done in less than 30 minutes!