Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dueling Pianos at VinciTorio's

My friend, MaryAnna noticed that a local Tempe restaurant, VinciTorio's, was hosting dueling pianos on Saturday night, so we got a group of 9 people together and went.
 If you look real close, you can see the two men on the mikes - facing each other - playing the pianos.
 They really packed in a lot of people. 
There was a lot of singing going on and some dancing, too.
People were definitely in a festive mood.
 I ordered the capellini (with peppers, onions, and sausage).
Very good.
It was a fun night - something out of the ordinary.

Monday, June 29, 2015

While shopping at Big Lots...

I was looking in the food area at cake mixes.  I really like Big Lots.  I buy my water there and they have such interesting food items.  I swear they are items that never made it in the big stores, who knows?  Anyway, a lady who I don't know, told me that you can take any cake mix and add 1 egg and 2 cups of whipped cream (like Cool Whip) and make cookies.  So, I thought "why not give it a whirl?"
 She also told me the Pink Lemonade cake mix was really good.
 The picture below are the cookies BEFORE they were baked.
 Below is a picture of them after they came out of the oven.  Not a big difference.
 I thought they looked like pink blobs, and needed something...
 So I made buttercream icing.
Yes, that's better.  I added lemon juice to the icing for tartness.
Since they are made from a cake mix, they kind of taste like cupcakes.
There is no extra fat (oil or butter) added, so you might consider 
them to be somewhat healthier.
Can cupcakes be considered healthy?  Sure.
These are not my favorite cookies, but in a pinch not bad.
Maybe it was the Pink Lemonade.  Kids would probably love them.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Getting ready...

We have a mother/daughter trip planned for Cape Cod and Boston this year...
 2 mothers and 4 daughters
Looking ahead at the local transportation!  Exciting!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sophie can be a little cantankerous when it comes to bath time...

She never gives ME a problem, but the groomer told me last time that she is getting a bit nippy with her.  So we hope the solution is for me bathe her before she gets groomed.  Tonight was that night.
I take her to this pet supply store, Pet Planet, down the street.  For $10, you can use the stainless steel sink, their shampoo and conditioner, their heavy-duty drier, and towel to bathe your dog.  She can't jump out - although she tried today when I had my back turned.  What a bargain, right?  And the mess stays at Pet Planet.  I definitely love that aspect about it.
 I had a hard time getting her to hold still so I could get her picture.  I told her it was for the blog, but she didn't seem interested at all.  
She just wanted down off that table.
Tomorrow - the groomer!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I have been wanting PB cookies F-O-R-E-V-E-R !!

A co-worker, Rahya, was talking to me about some peanut butter cookies she ate.
She said they just weren't that good - they were store-bought.
I mentioned it was funny she brought that up because I have been 
wanting to bake some PB cookies.
We both agreed that they need to be crunchy - no soft centers for us.
 So to make her next day better,
I went home and baked a double batch.
 I shared them with people at the office 
but gave Rahya her own bag.
 It made her day.
Which made my day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Kimmy's birthday was earlier this month - Happy 27th!

I wasn't organized enough to get pictures of her dinner and our get together.  She requested chicken and dumplings for dinner, but she's not a fan of birthday cake.  I found a cake mix by Duff Goldman (a/k/a Ace of Cakes).  It was neopolitan, so I thought why not?
 The cake mix was really good!
It was a hit with the crowd.
Happy Birthday, Kimmy, a little bit late.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mama got a new pair of shoes!

No, I didn't.
But I did get something else.
Remember last September I bought a townhouse 44 years old?
I really needed new toilets!
I swear they were the original toilets.
 I am SO happy! 
They are so great.  I replaced both of them.
Here's the one in my bathroom.
And I am also getting a rebate of 50% back on both of them.
Can't beat that!

Monday, June 22, 2015


My girls, Kate and Kim, have such an influence on my life.
That's an understatement, right?
I knew when they were babies, my life would be different,
and I could not imagine what that would encompass down the road.
They really are my best friends and introduce me to a lot of things.
One of those things are ...
Nail stickers.  Kate uses them instead of polishing her nails.
She had a Facebook party and to support her, I bought what I needed to get started.
I tried them and have to say I really, really like them.  
They last about a week, and usually longer, but I find I am so excited to try another print,
that I automatically want to change them out every Sunday night.  
These are the three different sets I've used.  
Here's what I like about them:
1. They are EASY to do.
2. They are dry the instant you put them on.
3.  NO smudging.
4. Great designs, normal or a little funky, you choose.
5. NO chemicals when taking them off.  I hated that!
I use a teaspoon of coconut oil and work off the stickers.
6. You can mix and match sets.
7. And did I say NO smudging?  NO smudging!

Maybe you want to give Jamberrys a try?!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

My latest indulgence

was to buy a Keurig.  I have had a Tassimo now for a couple of years and really like it, but I think a Keurig is better for more basic coffees - flavored but not foo foo drinks.
So every morning, I fix myself a coffee - and I'm LOVIN' it!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Peach Pickin' Time

We have a peach farm in the far east valley, Schnepf Farms.  For the past two years, Nicole and her girls (Myah and Kylee), have invited me along when they go pick peaches.  Last year was hot, hot, hot!  This year the weather was quite comfortable.
 We started off on a hay ride to get out to the actual orchard
where you start picking.
This year they invited along two of their friends who used to be their neighbors.
 You can really see the peaches on the trees.
 This is the line we stood in to get our peaches weighed and purchased.
 The peaches were beautiful! 
 And the grounds are pretty.
That's Kylee in the blue pants walking toward us to say hello.
Sam, Myah, and Nicole, are in the background.

 I just had to take this photo - I'm headed to Cape Cod this summer!
 They also hold a craft/vintage sale on the grounds.
Our ride back to the pain part of the farm 
and ultimately home.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mexican Dinner!

Not too long ago, I had friends over and fixed a complete Mexican dinner ...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Another of my mother's quilts

This is the Cadillac of quilting machines.
I went to Diana's house to quilt another quilt top found after my mother passed away.
Each of the girls (Susan, Gail, and myself) received one of the quilt tops.
I quilted mine a while back, but Susan and Gail have not done theirs yet, so 
I brought Gail's back from Florida on my last trip.
 All of the patterns on Diana's quilting machine are now electronic.
We had a little bit of trouble and we couldn't finish quilting the top.
I was no help to her in trying to figure it out.
Later in the week I found this in my office ...
the quilting finished.
I just love seeing the work mother did.  It was so precise.
And she used fabrics that truly were scraps, which I believe to be the true beginning of quilting.
I still need to finish the trim before sending it back to Gail,
but the Diana did such a beautiful job on the quilting.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

While in Florida, we had some things to take care of...

It was a sad decision, but my dad wanted to place my mother's ashes in the ground.  
Their headstone was recently finished and placed at the cemetery, and since all five kids were together in Florida, Dad felt this was the right time.
 My mother's only living sister, my Aunt Elna Mae, and her husband, Uncle Raymond, are both 98 years old.  I credit their longevity to being missionaries in the field (Mexico and South America) and not eating all the processed food most of us here in the States grew up on.  
Aunt Mae is truly remarkable for being 98.
 Even though the sun was out, there was a lot of shade in the cemetery.
Quite relaxing actually.
 My sister, Gail, is on the left.
My cousin, Colleen, is on the right - I grew up with Colleen coming for most holidays - and more.
She was close to our family because when her parents were out of the country, 
she and her brothers would spend it with us.
My mother was at times as close as she could get to her mother.
 My Dad was always close to them - especially now.
 Rudy gets started.
 We were all amazed that we were allowed to dig the hole.
In fact, we were told if we wanted it done, we had to do it ourselves.
Never would that happen in Phoenix, right?
 We had a little ceremony, sang one of Mother's favorite songs, 
and it was definitely a sad, sad afternoon.
Before leaving... a group photo
Front left to right: Dad, Susan
Back left to right: Jeff, Jean, Gail, and Ed