28 February 2013

Getting married in Phoenix

A few weeks ago I headed out to Phoenix to celebrate my friends Amanda and Branden get married. I went to graduate school with Amanda in Texas and finally met Branden when I moved to DC last year. I'd never been to Phoenix and since it was Presidents' Day weekend I decided to extend the trip Friday to Monday.

Friday when I arrived around 2 pm I dropped my bags, changed into my bikini and headed to the pool. It was in the mid seventies the whole weekend and the pool was heated so chilling by the pool was amazing for this winter exhausted east coast girl.

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After welcome cocktails I headed with another long lost grad school friend to have dinner at a place called Sandbar. We actually had to walk across sand and by a pool to our seats. We each enjoyed a margarita and I had some delicious tacos before heading back to bed (the two hour time change was brutal).

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Saturday morning I got up early to run 10 miles. The resort had a four mile route they recommended so I ran that twice and threw on another loop to get 10. The morning temperature was perfect for running in a t-shirt and shorts and the route took me past about 500 cacti. I learned I loved cacti, mountains, polite suburban runners, and the desert air truly is dry (I stopped at CVS for a bottle of water).

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where the road ended and golf course began

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the sun was intense

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so pretty

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a little closer
After my run I rinsed off and we headed back to the pool for a few hours before we had to get ready for the wedding.

The wedding ceremony was in a pretty church a 40 minute drive from the resort, luckily they bussed us all there. Amanda actually glowed during the ceremony (as evidenced below).

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i do's
We headed back to the hotel for the reception. I got ridiculously happy when I noticed we were having cauliflower puree instead of mashed potatoes. Oh and the cake was delicious too. Then we DANCED!

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hey, I made the background of this one!
The next day called for hot tub and brunch. Then I did some reading by the water feature while I waited for my friend Kandyce who lives in Phoenix to come pick me up.

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everyone deserves one of these in their backyard
Next up, Phoenix outside of resorts...

21 February 2013

pretzel bites

I went to my cousins' to watch the Super Bowl a few weeks ago. They were making snacks so I wanted to make something a little different, but would complement most things. After checking a few blogs and websites I decided I wanted to make pretzel bites. I found a recipe on Two Peas and Their Pod and decided to go for it.

First I mixed and kneaded the dough. I don't have one of those fancy mixing machines so I did it all by hand then I covered the dough to let it rise while I went for a four mile run. When I got back it was GIANT, ok not really but the yeast had done its work. 

I split the dough into countless balls and got to rolling (don't worry the fish mat has never been used for fish).

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I used my kitchen scissors the cut the snakes into bites. Then it was time to boil them in a baking soda/water mix for 30 seconds. This step was MESSY. The baking soda steam got all over my kitchen. 

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I spread them on a pan, coated them with egg, and salted them with salt.

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Baked till golden brown.

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And delicious.

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Served with German Mustard or Queso.

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19 February 2013

A little of what I've been up to...

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walk the moon show at 9:30 club

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new bike racks at Dupont

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crafting so I feel better about ruining a pan

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chalkboard magnetic wall hanging

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nailed to the wall

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trying out a new way to cut grapefruit

13 February 2013

Hearts for Valentine's Day

Last night I headed over to a friend's house for what she called a "love fest". Just friends gathering together for tacos, gossip, games, and brownies with ice-cream. When she asked me if I would bring a desert I immediately suggested brownies (I don't know why brownies equal love to me). I later decided they would be heart brownies, then while talking with my sister the baker we decided I should ice them. My original idea of writing conversation heart type phrases on them wasn't working (and the Bachelor was on TV) so I just drew more hearts instead. I think they turned out lovely and tasted lovely as well. I made these from scratch, following the recipe on my canister of cocoa.

First I searched through my cookie cutter collection for something appropriate, as you can tell below I had LOTS of options. 

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I lined my pan with parchment paper so after they cooled a bit it was easy to pull out the brownies for easy handling. I cut out as many hearts as possible and ate the scraps.

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After they were completely cool I mixed powdered sugar with water in a ziploc bag, cut out the corner and used it to pipe icing on my the brownies. Some I just outlined, others I filled in completely.

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Now you still have time! Go make heart brownies for everyone you love or just some of your coworkers.

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11 February 2013

Space Jamz

A friend of mine had great seats to the Wizards/Clippers game last week and I was luckily enough to be invited along. We were three rows back and had VIP wristbands which allowed us to have all the food and drink that we wanted. Which equaled a sausage with kraut, a few nachos, and ice cream for me (and a few bud lights).

It was a lot of fun being up close, not only for the players but also being close to G-Wiz (the mascot) and the cheerleaders! Wooo! The Wizards haven't had the best season, but they pulled off a win for us!

I haven't paid much attention to the NBA since junior high, but I definitely think I should go to more Wizards games as the arena is around the corner from my office.

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Bonus for the evening was when I realized late in the game that my old idol, Grant Hill plays for the Clippers. Seventeen years ago I pulled out his rookie poster from Sports Illustrated for Kids magazine and last Monday I saw him play live. Even though he's no longer a starter and looking a little older, it was still amazing to see him play.

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a blurry 33

05 February 2013

Penny for your art

This month's Handi-hour was penny jewelry. A penny artist was there creating sculptures and cutting pennies up. They had supplies for earrings, rings, key rings, necklaces, bracelets, and more. So of course I made one of each. My earrings fell apart on the walk home, the glue on my ring never stuck, but I'm still wearing my bracelet, using my key ring and wore my necklace to work one day.

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porter and pennies

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modeling my necklace