Wednesday, November 7, 2012

June in Pictures

Yup... I definitely fell behind!

DITL Mosaic
Danielle and Kyle's Wedding
Danielle and Kyle's wedding.
Virginia and Tekay
Birthday present - blue Ball jarRaiden
28. Fortune cookie

25. At Wok In
Grandma's birthday dinner.
Tortoise in a Top Hat
Sir Genbu.
Funny fortune cookie

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2012 NAMI Valley Walk

This past Saturday, Scotty, our friend Joe and I participated in the 2012 NAMI Valley Walk, a walk for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The NAMI Walks are set up to raise funds for awareness of mental illness and what's required to treat it and help people recover from or handle it. Scotty works for a behavioral health company, and his company contributed a large group of walkers. It was a nice fall day - a little warm but with plenty of shade and water available. There were two walks - a 1.2 kilometer and a 3 kilometer. We did the 1.2 because I had brought Raiden along and I was a little worried about him walking the whole way (turned out to be a good idea - he was pretty tired by the end).

Some pictures...

NAMI Walk 2012
Us in the parking lot, before the walk.

NAMI Walk 2012
Raiden enjoying the shade (he was such a hit with everyone, and a real sweetheart).

NAMI Walk 2012
Me with Raiden - taken by one of Scotty's coworkers.

NAMI Walk 2012
Us after the walk - in front of the Arizona State Capital Museum building, which is absolutely gorgeous!

I had a lot of fun and now have definite plans to return to the Capital Museum and check it out. I ducked in there to check it out briefly and loved it - I'm a history geek and I love Arizona so it was heaven for me.

Looking forward to the 2013 walk!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Doctor Who Premiere Party

Yesterday was a very exciting day - the premiere of the seventh series of  Doctor Who. It's my favorite show, so I was really excited to be able to have some friends over and have a fun premiere party. In case you want to have a party of your own I thought I'd share what I did for the party and how everything turned out!

My decorations ended up being mostly TARDIS themed for some reason. I wanted more Dalek decorations but maybe I can save some ideas for that for next year.

On the front door I hung a TARDIS sign:
20. TARDIS Sign

This was very simple to make. I just bought some balsa wood from Michael's and spray painted it with Rust-Oleum brand spray paint in Deep Blue. After the paint dried I added vinyl letters from Hobby Lobby. Scotty sealed it for me and added two hooks and some wire so that I could hang it to the front door. Total cost was under $10.

I don't have a picture, but I strung these TARDIS String Lights ($20 from FYE) in our entranceway.

I also made a TARDIS banner:

21. TARDIS Banner

For this project I used blue and white felt from Michael's along with sticky letters and silver ribbon. The white felt was the kind with the adhesive back. I cut out the shapes (each TARDIS is half a rectangle of felt) and used fabric glue to stick everything on that wasn't already sticky. 

The TARDISes each say different things: "Doctor Who," "Timey Wimey" or "Police Box." This was so that I didn't have to buy multiple packs of sticky letters. I just came up with what I could say that was reasonably Whovian with one pack of letters.

22. TARDIS Banner I also printed out some signs that will be familiar to Whovians out there. Click each link for a printable.

19. Signs

For the table, I used a blue tablecloth and bought white and blue utensils/paper plates/napkins. My brother made me the awesome TARDIS you see below. I already had the scarf and sonic screwdriver, and I picked up the red Dalek for $10 at FYE.

27. The Table

Food and Drink

My menu for the party was as follows:
  • TARDIS Coral (rock candy)
  • Fish fingers (fishsticks, marshmallows or cinnamon sticks) and custard (I bought a big tub of custard from my local Fry's Food & Drug bakery)
  • Cupcakes with ball bearings
  • Banana chips
  • Apples (not pictured)
  • Jammie Dodgers
  • Apple grass (I found this product in a candy store. It's called Galerie Edible Easter Grass, but I think apple licorice would have worked equally well)
  • Pizza (not pictured)
  • Celery with garden vegetable cream cheese (not pictured)
I had little markers saying what each food was along with a tidbit of information about how it related to Doctor Who. I will upload the markers to Google Docs when I get a chance - the file isn't on this computer.

23. Banana Chips
24. Jammie Dodgers

For drinks we had soda, beer, antiplastic (blue punch) and mixed drinks. We followed these recipes for various Sonic Screwdrivers:
Sonic Screwdriver
1.5 oz vanilla vodka
1.5 oz blue curacao
6 oz lemon lime soda

10th Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver (blue)
1 oz blue curacao
1 oz citrus vodka
6 oz Ginger Ale 

11th Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver (green)
1 oz blue curacao
1 oz vodka
6 oz orange juice

BBC America was showing a Doctor Who marathon so we put that on for some visual entertainment. We all enjoyed watching the premiere of the seventh series and I had a lot of fun putting this party together! :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pantry (No Eggs, No Milk) Cupcakes with Speculoos Cookie Butter Drizzle

The other day I wanted some cupcakes, but had no eggs or milk. Luckily I found this recipe for eggless chocolate cupcakes, which I think of as "pantry cupcakes" because you use items from your pantry, not your fridge.

I also wanted a frosting, and had a jar of this delicious stuff in my pantry...

Speculoos Cookie Butter
Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter I decided to just melt it and drizzle it.

Pantry Cupcakes with Speculoos Cookie Butter

They didn't turn out very pretty, but they sure are delicious. Next time maybe I will melt it a little less, or use a peanut butter frosting recipe such as this one but use the delicious cookie butter instead.

Pantry Cupcakes with Speculoos Cookie Butter

Definitely a delicious experiment at the very least!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge, 8/8/12

1. In an effort to combat obesity, the mayor of NYC has plans to ban the sale of large sugary drinks (anything over 16 oz.), initially in restaurants, movie theatres, and street carts. Corner stores would also be affected if they are defined as food service establishments. You can read more here. Your thoughts?
I don't like the idea at all. People should be able to drink whatever they like. You can't ban everything just because it might hurt someone. 

2. Art festival, music festival, food festival…which would you most like to attend?
I think either a food festival or an art festival. I am not huge on music, but I like looking at art, and of course, eating is fun!

3. What are you irrational about?
Sometimes I can just get weird about things and I know it's irrational but I can't help it. I double check that I locked/closed doors, closed the reptiles' cages, closed the bathroom so the puppy can't raid the trash can, etc. Even if I know I already did. I have some OCD tendencies, haha...
4. Do you feel confident you’ll have a comfortable retirement?
I feel fairly confident about retirement. I work for the city so retirement money goes into the Arizona State Retirement System. Scotty has a 401k and we also have an IRA. I will have my 80 points to retire fairly early on from work (in my early or mid-50's) although I'm not sure if I actually will, haha.
 5. What’s been your favorite Olympic moment so far?
(Not ever, just in the 2012 Summer games.)
It would have to be the women's gymnastics team winning gold... that was a great moment.
6. What would you label as the messiest room in your house?
Hmm... if the garage counts as a room that's definitely it! It catches lots of random stuff and there are several boxes of magazines and game manuals we haven't gone through.
7. Do you follow your heart or your head?
I'm not sure actually, I always have a hard time with this question. I would say my head because I tend to go with what is logical and makes the most sense, but I am not immune to my emotions by any means.
8. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A New Spot

The other day we picked up a kitty/perch condo for Sneakers and Isis to use in the computer room and get away from Raiden. It's perfect for a kitty to sit on and look out the window, and Sneakers likes it a lot.


I also made sure to show Loki this is something she can climb (she tends to assume she can climb everything).

Sneakers and Loki
Sneakers, Loki and Raiden
Loki on the Cat Perch

<3 my animals.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Day of Good Food

Yesterday ended up being a pretty delicious day... in addition to rain and time spent with family, we also had some pretty darn good food! I thought I'd share a couple of recipes from breakfast and dessert...

Egg in Ham Cups

Eggs in Ham Cups

I can't remember where I saw the idea for these ham-egg cups but it was brilliant. Just grease a muffin tin, put slices of ham in, and crack an egg into the ham cups. Add whatever you'd like on top (we added salt, oregano, and diced mushroom), and bake at 350 degrees till the egg reaches the doneness you would like. I believe our eggs ended up in the oven for 20 minutes for a hard yolk. Next time we'll do them for a shorter amount of time so that the yolk is runnier. We had hashbrowns on the side - so good!

Strawberry-Glazed Brownie Dessert Bars

Strawberry-Glazed Brownie Dessert Squares

My mother-in-law made her delicious stuffed peppers for dinner, and I made a dessert. After looking at a lot of options, I decided to try Pillsbury's recipe for Cherry-Topped Brownie Dessert Bars... but substitute a strawberry glaze for the topping.

I made the brownie and frosting/icing the same way as in the linked recipe. For the strawberries, my husband showed me how to make a delicious glaze. Just core and slice up the strawberries and put them in a bowl. Add some sugar to taste and possibly a little bit of water. Stir gently, cover with saran wrap, and refrigerate for at least ten to twenty minutes. We added the strawberries after the brownies had been in the fridge for about an hour, then just kept it refrigerated till it was time to serve.

So good! I said that a lot yesterday, haha!

Strawberry-Glazed Brownie Dessert Squares

Friday, June 22, 2012

May in Pictures

May was a fun month, especially with Phoenix Comicon in the middle of it! My previous post has photos from the con - here are other photos from May 2012...

Night light

This stuff smells SO GOOD.
TARDIS craft in progress
Working on a project for when Doctor Who comes back...

PJ and RaidenCandice and Raiden
Scotty injured his knee in May, only downside of the month :(
Fourth Wedding Anniversary
We celebrated our 4th anniversary on May 17.
Mom on Mother's Day
Mother's Day at Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, Arizona! I love my mama.
Breakfast at Schnepf Farms
Mother's Day breakfast at Schenpf Farms.
Scotty and Raiden

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

At Phoenix Comicon

This weekend was my very first con. I felt like I had a pretty good idea of what to expect going in. I've seen Paul after all. And I'm a geek. These are my people.

I have to say the Phoenix Comicon was everything I expected and more. There was so much cool stuff there, and so much to see, I admit I got overwhelmed on Friday. I felt better about the whole thing by Saturday. And by Sunday I wished there was just one more day of the convention.

There was everything from Daleks to medieval warfare, LEGO cities to Jedi. We went to various panels and got to hear from voice actors Phil LaMarr, Maile Flanagan, and Quinton Flynn, and authors Janni Lee Simmer, and Kevin Hearne. We bought a bunch of art prints, ate at a bunch of yummy places in downtown Phoenix and in general had a lot of fun.

Some of my pictures...

Phoenix Comicon - Doctors and Companions
Phoenix Comicon - Dalek
Phoenix Comicon - Legos
Phoenix Comicon - Joe
Our friend Joe. You could actually fight with those lightsabers
Phoenix Comicon - Lego Guy
Phoenix Comicon - Video Games Panel
A panel on voicing video games
Phoenix Comicon - Us
Phoenix Comicon - Jack in the Void
Phoenix Comicon - With the TARDIS
Phoenix Comicon - Young Sith Lord
Phoenix Comicon - Looking Through Comics
Phoenix Comicon - Dalek "Caan't" Fit