Jul 30, 2012

Payson, AZ

It's Monday and I'm feeling it.
I went in to LA Fitness after work to open a membership. I thought I would ease into it by getting a guest pass for the next three days. Today was day one. I worked out for 15 minutes. ROUGH!
Did I really run a half marathon just 4 months ago? Because no one, including myself, would believe it. Use it or lose it I guess.

 Thursday night before falling asleep, Ryan and I are in bed talking. When I think about things in life that are THE BEST, this is one of them. He tells me, when you get off work tomorrow, we're going to drive up to Payson and stay the night. He's taken care of a hotel and already has an itinerary planned. I love my husband's surprises and our spontaneous weekend trips. And not to brag, but look at what beauty I got to see. Tons of pictures, of course, in the process of being uploaded.

I would say it's crazy, but after talking with others who have similar experiences, it's not that crazy I haven't seen a lot of the national parks in AZ. Being born and raised, I've seen very little really. Technically I have been to the Grand Canyon, but I was maybe 2 years old. Does that really even count? Didn't think so.

However, with Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, Check!


Wouldn't it be cool if we shared "what did you see this weekend?" highlights and see who could top who. I'm crowning myself the winner for this weekend when we saw a javelina right stinking in front of us, charge towards us, and then the dang little piggy ran all the way home... or at least away from us. It would have been a hilarious video of me shrieking and running away, but photos will just have to do.

Oh, and this sucker was from our Payson, AZ trip. You can see it was such a romantic weekend getaway for the two of us. :)

Jul 24, 2012

1/3 mexican girl posole

You know what is a great invention? the Crockpot. Yes. A device that you throw a bunch of a food in, turn it on, leave for a few hours, come back and it's all ready for you to eat. A complete life saver, especially for my husband's sake.

A tid-bit of information about myself, i'm 1/3 Mexican. Grandpa was full, Grandma is half, which leaves me about 1/3. Do I know how to cook Mexican food? Unfortunately no, other than the chicken enchiladas my grandma taught me. But other than that, the extent is a cheese quesadilla. :)

Ryan served his LDS mission in Mexico and one of his FAVORITE dishes was posole. For his birthday last year, I thought I would find a recipe and try and make posole for him. And I so happened to come across a recipe for posole made in a crock pot. Now give me one second to defend the crockpot posole, because I got a good rationing for cooking posole in a crockpot from a full-blooded mexican I work with. :) I have never tasted posole IN Mexico, but my husband has and as far as he remembers, he says this recipe is very close. He loves it, I love it, and it's easy. SO, without furtrher ado, this is my 1/3-mexican-girl posole crockpot recipe. :)

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small can of diced green chiles
2- 8oz cans of chicken broth
1/2 yellow onion chopped
1-2 jalepeno chopped *depending on how spicy you want it
1- 8oz can chopped tomatoes undrained
1/2 green cabbage shredded
2 green peppers chopped
Approx. 50 oz hominy
1 tbs cumin
1 tbs chili powder
salt and pepper

Here's the really hard part.
Throw everything in and cook high for 3 1/2 hours or 5 1/2 on low.
I add the shredded cabbage last hour.
When it's ready, get two forks and shred the chicken. It usually just falls apart on its own when stirring. Serve with warmed corn tortillas and lime. And maybe a dallop of sour cream. :)
* We usually have pork. If so, have pork chopped up in bite-size pieces when thrown in.

Jul 20, 2012

Friday welcome home

The husband came home early from work today sick. So it was a double surprise coming home at 3:30 and having him there, as well as a gift to celebrate a new holiday Ryan just made up, "wife's day".

Jul 17, 2012

airing out dirty laundry

house wife 50's
I remember when Ryan had gone camping one weekend last year. Before leaving town, I specifically told him, "CALL ME WHEN YOU'RE GETTING BACK INTO TOWN!" I was very specific and I made sure to mention it to him several times before he left. I was hoping he would think my request was because I'd miss him and wanted to be home when he got back.... which there is truth to that. But most of the truth is, I wanted to make sure our apartment was picked up. I can be a bit of a slob and if the hubby is out of town, there is no way I'm going to be cleaning up while he's gone.

How does this story end? Monday morning, bright and early, a few hours before he was supposed to get home, he SURPRISED me and showed up without a phone call. He thought he was being sweet by surprising me with an early arrival, but the surprise was not wanted. The place was TRASHED! And I mean, so trashed that I was actually embarrassed. Cereal and junk food all over the counters, dishes piled up, clothes all over the floor; I had just woken up and my eyes were blood shot red and my hair was a bird's nest.

From that time forward, Ryan learned something about me. I'm a MAJOR SLOB up until 10 minutes before he gets home. So today, now that I'm home from work, I should be picking up. Instead, I'm sitting in our recliner, my bowl of Life cereal on the armrest, blogging, and staring at the piles of clean clothes over our living room floor that need to be folded and put away. Luckily, Ryan has gotten in the habit of letting me know when he's leaving work; my que to start cleaning. :) Muah haha. I can have my dirty secrets right? Please tell me I'm not alone on this.

Jul 13, 2012


Friday the 13th
I'm not a very superstitous person, especially when it comes to friday the 13th. But today, the superstition set in. I went in to work this morning and SURPRISE! I was off orientation and on my own without warning. I have nursing experience and don't need much orienting to my new hospital, but still, give me some heads up why don't ya.
That was only the beginning...

my first case, on my first day off orientation, I had someone from quality control sit in on the case to observe us all. this rarely happens but of course it happened to me. These people stand in the corner with their clipboard, staring you down, and give you the evil eye as they ding you a point every chance they get. She said I did well when she left. Hopefully she wouldn't lie to my face. I'll find out how honest she was in a few weeks.

Ok, quality control is gone. Things should be better right? Wrong. Second case of the day, i have someone from INFECTION control come and say they are sitting in on this case. WHAT THE HECK??? TWO OF THESE PEOPLE IN ONE DAY??? Is this my painful initiation to the operating room? Bring it on!!!!!

Let's just say the curse broke at 3pm when I clocked out and ran out to my car to drive away-- not before grabbing a free cookie from the lounge though. ha. There's something about leaving work on a friday knowing you have a short few days of freedom. I have a big smile on my face right now just thinking about it. :) :) :) :)

Hope you have a grrrreat friday the 13th and a happy joyful weekend of no work.  

Jul 12, 2012


Here's my china cabinet!!! Remember what it looked like before? Like this! My first project will be the longest.project.EVER! And it will stay in my parent's garage for probably another year. But at least it's not such an eye-sore to whoever parks there car in there. It has some work to be done but I'll get around to it when I get around to it.

So I just got off the phone with Grandma. The one-sided conversation was me venting about having to work SUCKS and how Ryan and I want to retire ASAP and grandma laughing hysterically the entire time. She was able to get a few words in every time she would gasp for air saying, "oh my poor baby." Let's just say I'm not feeling much better about things.
Last night was a late one. We were viewing some houses and had car problems. So it was Ryan and I hanging out in a QT parking lot with an AutoZone employee working on our car until 1130pm last night. Ryan had to get up at 4 this morning and I was up at 5:20am. I'm typing this with my eyes closed right now; THAT'S how tired I am. Blah blah blah. Elizabeth, stop complaining. Ok. I guess we can't just be billionaires magically. And Grandma's tough love taught me, "Be grateful you have a job." And reality is, we are grateful for our jobs. But still, early mornings and running low on sleep SUCKS.
So, here's dinner for us tonight. No idea where I got the recipe but its got the perfect KICK. BOO YA! And it will be an early-bird dinner for us so we can get in bed and have a 12 hour sleep to be well rested for Friday's work day. :)
20-24 raw shrimps;
1 finely chopped small onion;
1/2 cup olive oil;
1 tbsp lemon zest;
3 gloves garlic, minced;
1/2 cup lemon juice;
2 small red chillies, seeded and finely chopped;
1 tbsp grated ginger;
1 tsp turmeric;
Mix all the ingredients other than the shrimps together in a bowl, add the shrimps and cover over night. When ready to cook, remove the shrimps from the marinade and stir-fry them until crispy with clarified butter or coconut oil. Once ready, add the marinade to the wok and bring to a boil while tossing.

Jul 10, 2012


The other day we went to Subway. It's been a usual dinner for us with all the house hunting going on and because  the sub of the month is wicked good.

Anyway, just wanted to share a nice lil experience when we were there this weekend. There were three guys, in their late 20's maybe, who were in front of us in line. By the time we finished placing our orders and were walking to a table to eat, we noticed these three guys, eyes closed, hands clasped, saying a prayer together. We happened to be at the table next to them so we heard their humble prayer.

It was one of those moments where you stop and reflect: there are good people in the world. Yes, there is wickedness and evil; but don't let that belittle the abundance of goodness there is.

Jul 9, 2012

My sleeping baby

Saturdays Ryan likes to sleep in. And it's not really sleeping in, I just say that when I'm awake before him and patiently and quietly go eat breakfast and wait for him to wake up. Last Saturday I thought I'd clean up a little bit before he got up and when I went into our bedroom to take a pile of shoes in, this is what I saw. A 6'7 body hidden somewhere under the pile of blankets and one big and bare foot.
Our weekends have been booked with house hunting. We have had mostly terrible luck and have been in a few homes we would like to have never stepped foot in and have completely erased from our memory. I won't go into details but it pretty much involved a middle-aged pastey-white creepy man that left our realtor, Ryan, and myself speechless leaving his home. Ryan and I stopped at a gas station afterwards to go wash our hands. Our new rule is to not view homes where people are still living in them. Vacant homes ONLY!!!!!!
On a brighter note, we did find one in particular we have our eyes set on. Ryan says I shouldn't get my hopes up incase we don't get it...... too late.

Jul 5, 2012


Last night was probably one of the coolest experiences of watching the fireworks display. It may be difficult to read about what we did without getting jealous, so just try and be happy for us. TOTALLY KIDDING. but seriously....
Some friends invited us to go on a hike to overlook all of the Phoenix valley fireworks! We hiked up a mountain in central Phoenix and were able to see the fireworks shows in Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Biltmore, Central, and some out in Glendale. We had no radio with us so we sang our patriotic songs acapella.... And we sounded very patriotic if I do say so myself.
And afterwards, with our group shot, I had a Braveheart moment with the whole "FREEDOM!" pose. Nice touch right?? :)  

Jul 2, 2012

Paleo crack for a rough Monday

I'm feeling a little rough today. We are in the process of buying a home and went hunting for "the one" on Saturday. We finally got another car since ole' red died on us and let me tell ya non-Arizonans: House hunting and car shopping in the middle of the AZ summer should be down right illegal. Trying to make big grown-up decisions with sweat dripping in your eyes and down your back is NOT what I had in mind for a Saturday. It is what it is though. We're grateful we're in a position to be buying but our 650 sq foot apartment seemed more appealing afterwards. 
 Plus, today was my first official day back in the operating room. Last week I was doing classroom work so you can imagine the stellar sleep I got last night. The OR nightmares are back. I go to work all day,so having to dream about work the night before should be double over-time right?? Hence, why I'm feeling a little rough on a Monday. Anyhoo, I wanna talk about food now.
I made these forever ago and am finally sharing them. And I had to share because this was a first-timer for me. First time making my very own crackers!!!!
I'm kindof a wheat-thin and triscuit finatic. Especially with some cottage cheese. I can clean out a box for a snack easy-peasy. So on my paleo 30day challenge, I made myself some of my own wheat-thins but paleofied and they are definitely better than that wheat-thin business. Just sayin.
recipe via Primal Palate

2 cups almond flour
1 cup flax seed meal
2 eggs
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cumin (didn't use)
2 tsp garlic powder (didn't use)
2 tsp onion powder (didn't use)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl combine flour, flax and spices. Whisk eggs and pour over flour mixture. Add in olive oil. Sitre all ingredients to form dough.
Roll dough into a large ball and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Cover dough with separate sheet of parchment and roll out in 1/4 inch-thick-layer.
Score dough with knife to desired cracker size.
Bake crackers 15 minutes. let cool, beak crackers into squares, and serve!