Just Drinking The Coffee, Doing The Things

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Hello!

I hope you are all doing well! I’m pretty much convinced that there is no balance, because I have yet to find it. I like the idea of it, I’d like to have it but it either doesn’t exist or I’m not supposed to have it. So I’ve decided to just keep living until I’ve earned it.

A couple of weekends ago I was able to escape the ever changing weather of AZ and the infuriating work environment that has been keeping me down, to California. My family and I went to our happy place, Disneyland and also on a new adventure. My little sister and dad like to look up new places to drive to while out of town, as well as, new restaurants to try. This new adventure was too Manhattan Beach and Malibu. We had been to Manhattan Beach before but not this particular part. While Malibu was completely new.

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(Didn’t mean to get a good shot of that families stroller)

We originally planned to just grab a quick breakfast while on the way to Malibu from Anaheim but every place was packed. My little sister looked up places nearby and found the amazingly delicious Ocean View Café of Manhattan Beach. It has amazing views and an amazing breakfast selection. I had the Ocean View Omelet with bacon, cheese and avocado with Mexican style hash browns. I try not to be to adventurous food wise while on vacation but this was so delicious, I’m salivating just thinking about it.

I couldn’t have imagined a better start to the day, beautiful beach, and delicious breakfast with my family by my side.

From there we took the very scenic route to Malibu, it’s as beautiful as the pictures you’ve seen have shown. Not a lot of places to shop, at least in the areas that we were in. We went by the Malibu Pier, where the very aesthetically pleasing Malibu farm is located. We were going to eat lunch there; we decided to go somewhere else. I come from a very long line of picky eaters. We did get ice cream from the café, and that was pretty delicious.

The place we had a late lunch/early dinner before heading home was Paradise Cove Café. We walked along the beautiful beach, took a lot of pictures (some that you can see along this post) and then we had some of the best fish and chips we’ve ever had while we had our toes in the sand.

I highly recommend both the Ocean View Café and Paradise Cove Café. If you have any suggestions for places for me to check out, please comment!

 

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These thoughts and opinions are my own. I did not receive any prompts or endorsement to write these reviews.

*You are welcome to use my images, just please give credit where credit is due*

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National Cuddle Up Day

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Hello Everyone!

I hope this beautiful Saturday finds you all well. It feels like so long since I have posted and for that all I can say is life is crazy, as you well know, and life during the holiday’s is absolutely hectic. So for the beginning of this post I’m going to do a recap of what’s been going on with me. At the end, I’m going to share a recipe for AMAZING Hot Chocolate. This is in honor of today being National Cuddle Up Day! I don’t know if you’re like me, but I love being cozy, anything with sweatpants, fuzzy jacket/robe, fuzzy socks, cup of amazing hot chocolate and a good book or movie, sign me up, haha!

So where to begin….. The last post that I shared was the Rod Works blog event review(which if you haven’t checked them out, they have really cute holiday decorations) which was in September, so I guess I will go month to month, if that works for you J

October: In October, I got promoted to supervisor at my job, which was pretty cool at the time. Now not so much, haha! My bake shoppe was at the local’s farmer’s market, which we did pretty well. I went to the last concert apart of the country megaticket, which I gifted to my younger sister for her birthday. The last concert was Luke Bryan with Lindsey Ell andBrett Eldredge, which was amazing. If you follow Brett Eldredge on Instagram you would have seen his adorable dog Edgar Boogie, he brought Edgar out on stage with these adorable sound proof headphones! Halloween came and went way to fast in my opinion plus I had to work that day, which is never fun because nothing special happens at work.

November: November felt incredibly busy. It all started with my birthday/superheroes half marathon weekend. Which was not the best experience I’ve ever had. The night before we left, my dad’s father passed away, he was never a grandfather to me but I was very sad for my dad and all of the selfish family member’s only there for what they thought they deserved. It was awful and sadly still going on. I knew that my dad would not be joining on the first or second day but we hoped that he would join us on that Saturday. I had never spent my birthday without my dad, which for 28 years, I know I’m very lucky. It was really sad to be at a place that we all share together without him. I kept talking to him throughout the day, showed him the stuff from the expo in pictures. I spent a lot of money there, but it was special. Later in the day, he called and sang me happy birthday, I cried, like ugly cried, but it was really nice. I got my birthday dinner and cake, which the chocolate cake from plaza inn is so incredibly decadent, it made my teeth hurt, haha! Then it was time to call it a night, to prepare for the 5K the following morning. It went smoothly, finished in a great time, I’m not a runner so I’m happy with what I got. We went into the parks once we were all freshened up, no real soreness, just tired. The following day was the Thor 10K, which I completed again in pretty good time. That was my first time for that distance and I loved it. I even got emotional towards the end. There was a lot of stuff going on during that time, that I was worried I wouldn’t finish it but I did. Then the next day, the superheroes half marathon, was hard to get up for, those 3:30AM wake up calls SUCK! This one started out rocky, I was exhausted, emotionally and physically, I felt really fainty(thanks vasovagal syncope) and on top of all that, mother nature thought it would be a great weekend to rip out all of my insides. Needless to say, I didn’t finish but damn did I try. I felt really disappointed in myself for a few weeks after. When I got medically swept, I was taken on the sad wagon, to the bus with my mom and given my pity medal. I didn’t wear any of my marathon weekend stuff, not even my other medals. After al of that, I really just wanted to go home.

We came home that Monday, celebrated my birthday, with my dad, that Friday. Then that Saturday, the 18th, my older sister and I went to Las Vegas with our best friends who also happen to be sisters, for a quick overnight trip. We left around 9, got to our hotel around 1, which we stayed at the Bellagio, which was absolutely gorgeus. One bummer though, when we arrived our room wasn’t ready but they were in such a rush to valet our car, we took out all our stuff and were basically standing in the lobby with al of our stuff getting weird looks, apparently we’re the ONLY ones ever to travel with our pillows. Luckily, they were able to hold our stuff, then we went to walk around, get some food and then go back to get ready for dinner and our show. We went to dinner at Margaritaville, as a sort of joint birthday dinner for all 4 of us. We use to have a Margaritaville in Glendale, AZ but they left a few years ago and it was good as we rememebered. Then the show we went to was, Criss Angel:Mindfreak, which was all of ours first magic show. It was……interesting, the illusions were great but their aren’t many words to describe it. The following morning, we had the buffett at our hotel, which was expensive but delicious, big selection and very filling.

I do find it really funny that whenever we vacation with our best friends, that when we get home we don’t talk for a few weeks. Like one night we spend in the same room and we need weeks to recover but perhaps that is the secret to such a long friendship (26 years and counting) have a lot of fun, then don’t speak for a few weeks.

Once we returned home it was ready to prepare for my older sister, Lindsey’s, birthday and Thanksgiving, which happened to be on the same day. It was nice, as always, went shopping after dinner. Which I know some people are really against, but it’s something my family and I do together, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

The next day, I had to open the store at 6AM, which totally sucked but then I was off the rest of the weekend.

December: The first weekend of December was spent in Disneyland, celebrating my parent’s 35th wedding anniversary. Saturday night was the Candlelight Processional, which we had never stopped to watch before and we were curious as to who was the special celebrity guest. We had asked a few castmembers, and they told us it was very hush hush, but the president of Disney had personally asked the person to read the story of the first Christmas. The special guest was………..Christ Hemsworth!!! Thor himself!!!

My little sister, is obsessed with Marvel movies, and once she heard who it was, we had to stay and watch. I’ll share pictures soon!

Once we returned home, my bake shoppe was at the local’s farmers market for the 3 weekends leading up to Christmas, which were awesome! We even debuted a new “Chewy” Gingerbread cookie which is a gingerbread cookie decorated like Chewbacca. They were a huge hit! All of our cookies did incredibly well and I got quite a few orders and some repeat customers, which makes me really happy. Not to get emotional about it but I hope these people know that when they buy my cookies and tell others, they’re really supporting my dream and the career I’m truly passionate about and I can’t express how much that means to me.

Christmas Eve was spent with good people that we don’t see often.

Christmas Day is always a little sad but it was really great.

New Year’s Eve was also spent with good people that we are lucky to see every so often. Went for a boat ride to see the remaining Christmas lights, nice dinner and the toasting of martinelli’s at midnight. Then it was bed time for me, I had to open New Year’s Day, which was a bummer but now it’s in the past.

On Monday, January 8th, 2018 I’m embarking on a new weightloss journey. I will be following the points plus system from Weight Watcher’s and in the coming weeks, joining a gym and riding my new bike that I got for Christmas and really making a commitment to bettering my life. I cannot be making the same resolution every year and continue not to do anything about it.

I believe that this has now caught us all up and now you can FINALLY get to the thing you truly wanted, the hot cocoa recipe, haha!

 

This recipe I found on Pinterest and it comes from Wickedgoodkitchen.com

  • 3 cups Cane granulated sugar, organic pure
  • 2 cups Cane light brown sugar, organic pure
  • 3 cups Cocoa, fine quality unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp Kosher or natural sea salt

Just mix all of these ingredients together, I put them in my Ninja blender to make a really fine powder. It lasts for such a long time, depending on the level of chocolatey goodness you require. With making so much you can extend all of your cozy/cuddly days, does it get much better?

 

I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday, I’m off to the Arizona Coyotes game against the New York Rangers. Go Yotes!

Pick Your Poison…

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Hello!

I hope you all have been doing well so far this week. It has been crazy busy for me, so much so, I can’t remember what I did Monday, haha! On Tuesday we celebrated my little sister’s 17th birthday. We went to Top  Golf for the first in Scottsdale, we weren’t really sure what to expect but we had a really great time. We can’t wait to go back!

Anyways, today is National Pick Your Poison Day, not literal poison. Most of the time it’s referring to alcohol but that’s not what I’m talking about today. It is open to any interpretation when it comes to making decisions.  Below you will find two of my favorite guilty pleasure recipes, my poison if you will. And you will, you guessed it, pick your poison.

 

Cookies ‘n’ Crème Krispies

  • 1/4 Cup (1/2 Stick) Unsalted Butter
  • One 10 oz. Package Marshmallows
  • 5 Cups Puffed Rice Cereal
  • 2 1/2 Cups Crème Filled Chocolate cookies, cut into quarters
  1. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Heat the butter in a large nonstick saucepan over low heat until melted. Add the marshmallows and continue cooking, stirring until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cereal and cookies and stir gently just until mixed to avoid breaking up the cookies any further.
  4. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Cool completely until set, about 20 minutes, before cutting into 3×3 1/4 inch bars.

 

Death By Chocolate Brownies

  • 1/2 Cup Salted Butter
  • 8 oz. Coarsely Chopped Semisweet Chocolate
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs, Cold
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  •  1 1/2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks or Chocolate Chips
  1. Melt the butter and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, pour into a large bowl, and allow to slightly cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Line bottom of an 11×7-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  3. Stir sugar into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Add in the eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour and salt, then the chocolate chunks until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 37-45 minutes, or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan.
  4. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides, and cut into squares. The brownies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temp for 1 week

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Only Bake Sale Cookbook You’ll Ever Need

Wolf, Goldrich, Laurie and Brams, Pam. The Only Bake Sale Cookbook You’ll Ever Need. New York, NY. 2008. Print

 

Sally’s Baking Addiction

McKenney, Sally. Sally’s Baking Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cupcakes & Desserts For Your Sweet Tooth Fix. New York, NY: Race Point. 2014. Print.

Loyalty Is Everything…

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Hello!

Is it just me or did the weekend just fly by?

As always, I made the mistake of going shopping with my sisters and spent money that I really didn’t need to, but I had fun at least.

Today is National Loyalty Day. I know if I’m alone in this or not but when I read a quote pertaining to whatever it is that I’m over thinking about, it really hits me, I’ll make a decision based on that feeling. It may seem silly but that’s me, I guess.

Sadly, throughout high school and college, I found myself questioning the loyalty of friends and friends that were like family, however I did learn something.

Extramadness.com definitely captured it in this quote:

” Loyalty is not grey. It’s black and white. You’re either loyal completely, or not loyal at all. And people have to understand this. You can’t be loyal only when it serves you.”

To me, this is saying that loyalty goes both ways and you have to mean it. You can’t just be loyal when you want or need something from someone, it has to be completely, unselfishly, genuine, otherwise you don’t deserve it yourself.

Anyways, now that that rant has happened, I’ll wish you a happy Monday and I’ll talk to you soon!

Save A Life, Adopt A Shelter Pet

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Today is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, as well as, Pet Parent’s Day, so they go hand in hand. In my household we have a total of 5 rescue fur-babies, 2 dogs and 3 cats.

When I was younger, my dad told me when we were looking for a new member to add to our household, that it was important for them to choose us. That process has held true as long as we have had pets in our lives and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We have loved and will always love all of the animals we had the privilege to care for. The slogan is very important, adopt don’t shop. Now I’m not going to get political, I highly dislike when a blog post starts innocently enough but then take a very unwanted twist. There are so many animals out there just waiting for their forever home.

I know that not all of my readers don’t live in the same general area as me, but I thought I would share a few locations around the valley of AZ where a potential fur-baby is waiting for you.

 

Arizona Humane Society- www.azhumane.org/

  • Arizona Humane Society Sunnyslope Campus

9226  N. 13th Ave/1311 W. Hatcher Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85021

(602)997-7585

  • Nina Mason Pulliam Campus For Compassion

1521 W. Dobbins Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85041

  • Petique at Biltmore Fashion Park

2502 E. Camelback Rd. Ste 167 Phoenix, AZ 85016

  • Petique At The Shops At Norterra

2460 W. Happy Valley Rd. St. 1149 Phoenix, AZ 85085

 

There are also a number of rescues that would be happy for your patronage.

 

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

 

 

 

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Sorry, I had to!