Phoenix Recap

Other than a brief stop at the airport there last Christmas, I had never been to Phoenix before. Brian had been there years prior for baseball but hadn’t got a chance to really experience it at all. We were lucky enough to be invited down by Brian’s parents to stay at his Uncle’s vacation home in Mesa which is just outside of Phoenix. Since we live only an hour away from the Montana border, it worked out a lot cheaper for us to fly from Great Falls to Mesa leaving early Friday morning.

Ph1Our week was filled with sunshine, a NCAA football game, shopping, and lots of Vampire Diaries for me (hey I was on vacation!) BTW American Netflix is SO much better than Canadian. Just sayin’.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIESThe football game was by far the highlight of our trip. We dragged Brian’s parents along so it was a first for all four of us. We started our evening out by having some appies at Buffalo Wild Wings (apparently this is a chain in the States) and we all loved the food and atmosphere of the place. It was just across the street from Sun Devil stadium so we paid for parking there (it was a lot cheaper than paying at the stadium) and walked over to check out the tailgaters. We all couldn’t believe how intense some people were about tailgating! Generators with 50 inch flat screens, BBQ, and lots of cornhole (bean bags).

Ph5(the marching band was phenomenal! Apparently they are in the top 5 in the States)

The energy of the crowd was the best part of the football game by far. It was incredible the amount of pride and excitement the crowd had for their team! We ended up leaving right after half time (I know I know lamesauce) but we had a really long drive to get back to the house. I would definitely go again though and would like to stay the full time and maybe hit some after parties afterwards just to get the full experience ;).

Ph2We did quite a bit of walking and shopping so Brenda and I treated ourselves to pedicures! For a full treatment it was only $30 so why not?! I thought my colour was very Christmas-y and helped to get me started in the holiday mood even though being in the desert and listening to Christmas music felt really weird to me.

Ph4I loved going for bike rides, drinking my morning coffee outside by the pool, and relaxing with amazing people and good food. Unfortunately on our last day there as we were driving back from a shopping day, Brenda and Garry’s rental car overheated and we were left on the side of a random desert road while the sun was going down. It was a scene from a horror movie I tell ya, but the rental company was nice enough to send us a cab and a tow truck. Thankfully they arrived in the nick of time because prior to the car problems I had downed a bottle of water and a medium Jamba Juice and there is no polite way to squat in the middle of the desert in front of your in-laws.

PH3Brian and I arrived home in the late afternoon and could not be happier to see our puppy (she had a hard time while we were away and kept injuring herself). However I couldn’t relax for too long though because I had to start packing for Whistler the next day.

xo T

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Treat Yourself Tuesday

Hello all! I am sorry for my brief hiatus from the blog, things just got a bit cray over the weekend then add in daylight savings time and that equals one moody Tawny. But today is special because it is Treat Yourself Tuesday which is hosted by Becky over at Olives ‘n Wine. The weekly link up is all about treating yourself (however big or small) and that is why I love linking up to it šŸ˜‰

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How have I treated myself lately? Well I have not worked out AT ALL since my long run last Sunday. I am not sure why but each day something came up to eat into my workout time. And then we traveled to Edmonton Thursday after work and didn’t get home until Sunday evening due to ridiculously bad roads that almost doubled our travel time. I brought my workout gear to the in-laws but that never happened. A lot of pizza and cake happened though to celebrate my father in-law’s retirement so I don’t feel bad because it was for a good cause šŸ˜›

This week off from working out is not the only way I have been treating myself however. I recently had 4 inches of my hair cut off and it feels A LOT better. It is still pretty long but the ends are not straw-like anymore which is always nice.

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I also treated myself and had my very first online shopping experience! Say what you ask? Don’t get me wrong I have bought stuff online before (especially from Etsy) but I have never bought clothes for myself online before. I have looked a lot, but never took the plunge. And wouldn’t you know it I bought two of the same shirt just in different colours. Pretty boring I know but I had to start somewhere. Baby steps!Ā I have a shirt similar to this and I wear it all the time so I know they will get a lot of use (if they fit right that is).

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I am also treating myself to a week-long trip to Phoenix this month where we will be tailgating for my very first time! American friends: if you have any pointers on this they would be very much appreciated! We are going to the Arizona State vs Oregon State game and apparently their rivalry makes for a pretty good game. Hockey is Canada’s favourite past time but it is usually too cold to do anything crazy for it. The closest we have gotten is going to see a Heritage Classic game a couple years ago where I wore thermal leggings under snow pants, two hoodies, a winter jacket and a toque and still froze (the entire game was outside). We then went out to the bar afterwards in our outfits which was pretty hilarious.

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Right after the Phoenix trip I leave for Whistler for a work conference however I somehow managed to talk my sister and my friend into tagging along with me so it is a work trip/girls get away so I am so excited for it!

So tell me: how have you been treating yourself lately?

xo T

Wing Bet

I don’t know how, but our kitchen cupboards are FULL of gadgets and random cooking appliances that we use once in a blue moon (I am looking at you hamburger press). The exception to this is our counter top rotisserie that we use once a week and is super handy. But the point is, we don’t need more kitchen “stuff”.

With Fall comes football season and with football season I lose my husband every Sunday into a blackhole of NFL RedZone and sport bet tickets. One or two of his friends usually come over too and snacks are always in high demand. Last year one of his friends brought over his actifry machine and made wings in it and since then Brian has been trying to convince me to buy one of these machines. Knowing that we have no more room for random kitchen gadgets I said I could make homemade wings for him on Sunday and if they were better than the actifry then we wouldn’t buy it. The Wing Bet was born. Have I mentioned that I have never made wings before? How hard could it be!?

I knew that Brian prefers dry wings but that he also likes hot wings on occasion so I made two batches of wings from two different recipes. I went off this recipe for the hot wings and this recipe for the dry wings.

I started by lining two baking sheets with tinfoil. First up, the hot wings. I varied from the original recipe a bit because I was only working with 1 pound of wings:

– 1 lb wings

– 1 tbsp oil

– salt & pepper to taste

I just used a large mixing bowl and tossed the wings with the ingredients until evenly coated then placed them on one of the baking sheets (the hot sauce goes on them after they come out of the oven).

Then I started on the dry wings. For this batch I put the wings in a large ziplock bag then put in my ingredients. For this recipe I used:

– 1 lb wings

– 3 tbsp olive oil

– 1 massive glove of garlic from the farmer’s market pressed in a garlic press

– 2 tsp chili powder

– 1 tsp garlic salt

– salt & pepper to taste. Brian loves pepper so I added A LOT of pepper.

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Massive clove of garlic

I started by adding the olive oil then locked the bag and massaged the wings until they were evenly coated. I then added the garlic and massaged until evenly coated. I repeated this process with each ingredient because I didn’t want one wing to have all of the chili powder on it or something like that. I then placed this batch on the baking sheet and put both batches in the oven at the same time at 375 degrees F for 1 hour.

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While the wings were in the oven I cut up some farm fresh carrots and celery and made a dipping sauce for the hot wings (oh yeah I went all out!). Neither Brian or I like bleu cheese so I couldn’t find a good recipe that I liked online to dip the hot wings in. I ended up “winging” it (ha) and the result was pretty good! For the dip I used:

– 1/2 c sour cream

– 2 tbsp miracle whip

– 1/2 green onion (I used the whole white part and half of the green part)

– 1/2 of a massive garlic clove

– 1 tsp dried oregano

– squirt of lemon juice

– dash of s & p

It was nothing fancy, I just wanted something refreshing and cool to dip the hot wings into.

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I pulled the wings out of the oven and checked the temperature (it was my first time making them so I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to get anyone sick).

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For the hot wing sauce I mixed 1/2 c of Franks Red Hot Sauce and 1 tbsp of butter and poured most of it on the wings (it made too much sauce so I didn’t use it all)

I then plated both batches with carrots and celery and presented it to the boys.

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First bite.

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And the verdict is…

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I think my kitchen will be saved from another gadget. Although now I am expected to make these every week so I am not sure if I won this bet or not…

xo T