Merry Christmas from the Joneses
It’s holiday card season and how lucky am I that this lovely couple asked me to take photos for their Christmas cards! We spent some time in downtown historic Gilbert enjoying the gorgeous weather. I brought a few Christmas-y props and just let them play and have a good time with each other. Thanks Adrienne and Mike for being good sports and making this shoot so easy!
Live: Alanis Morissette @ Comerica Theater
I spent Thursday night standing in the Pit in front of the stage at the Comerica Theater for the Alanis Morissette concert. I’ve seen her multiple times in the past and I was happy to purchase a ticket when her Phoenix show was announced. She has a new album out (Havoc and Bright Lights
) and though she sprinkled her setlist with new songs, the crowd was clearly there for the hits. Strutting and prowling her way around the stage, Alanis belted out her hits whipping her hair back and forth and growling her way through her more popular “angry songs.” Though she seemed a little tired at the beginning of the show, she was happy and relaxed if not a bit reserved. I was thrilled that she did a few of my personal favorites like “All I Really Want” and “So Pure” Her first encore was a quieter, acoustic set with her band upfront, closer to the edge of the stage with Alanis perched on a stool. She sang three songs before leaving the stage and returning again for the final encore of the hit Thank U. Overall it was a great show despite standing in beer soaked shoes all night. Note to Drunk Girl: You can’t jump up and down with a full cup of beer without pissing off people around you.
“I Remain” (segue 1).
“All I Really Want.”
“Head Over Feet.”
“I Remain” (segue 2).
“You Oughta Know.”
“Hand in My Pocket.”
Have you heard of Movember? I hadn’t until earlier this year. It’s a movement of men who spend November growing mustaches to bring awareness to prostate cancer. It’ll be no surprise that my office is participating. We had a contest for our team name complete with mustache-themed prizes and I was able to score free hot foam, straight-razor shaves for the guys. The girls, not wanting to be left out of the fun, had a chance to show off their mustaches when I did a recent portrait photoshoot for our new and improved company website. Check them out, I think they are so much fun and full of amazing personality!
The Last of the Mustachicians – Mo Sistas:
A few weeks ago, my friend Barbara and I met for lunch and a movie. We both watch the PBS show Check Please, Arizona and Gallo Blanco was one of the featured restaurants. Since it is located near the theater where we planned to go to the movies, it was a no-brainer to check it out for lunch.
Located just inside the Clarendon Hotel, Gallo Blanco’s bright decor is very eclectic. Lots of funky colorful art and cool mini art installations decorate the walls. They have a bar and a patio seating and the interior of the restaurant is airy and light with lots of windows.
Barbara ordered one of their spicy Bloody Mary’s and I was impressed with the garnishes!
We ordered chips and the loveliest guacamole to start. There were bits of orange and lime in the citrusy dip that made it refreshing and light.
We also wanted to try the Elote Callejero- grilled corn w/ Cotija cheese and smoked Paprika. It did not disappoint.
We opted for an assortment of tacos and some herbed jasmine rice as our main course. I really wish I had more than just my iPhone to capture the meal… the colors were just gorgeous!
If you’re in the area, give Gallo Blanco a try. Your tastebuds will thank you!
401 West Clarendon Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85013
Birthday Scavenger Hunt/Surprise Party
So this happened the Wednesday before my 40th birthday:
I was supposed to have a meeting at 4:30 last Wednesday afternoon, but when I arrived to the meeting spot, this note was there. I was cracking up. After reading the note, I knew right away that the next location was the recently closed Honey Bear’s restaurant right across the street from my office. My friend Nicci decided to come with me and help me find the rest of the clues.
This is what I found at Honey Bear’s:
Off to Walmart we went where I picked up a pack of orange Tic-tacs (note: they don’t taste as good as I remember)
Once I made my purchase, I texted Paul to let him know that I was ready for my next clue:
It’s clear that my co-workers can pull a fast one like the best of them. I honestly thought someone went into my car and hid a clue without me knowing. Turns out, sneaky Nicci came along for the ride to plant the clue. I will never be a detective.
The next clue instructed me to drive to the Circle K (not the Square J or Triangle L) and make a phone call using the payphone. There was an envelope with $5 and $1 in quarters. I was intrigued and grossed out all at once.
I called the number and someone with a crazy voice answered and instructed me to go inside, but a 40 oz. beer and the cashier would hand me the next clue. (Turns out it was our newest coworker, Abby, who altered her voice for the phone call.)
I have never, ever, in my life, bought a forty, so Nicci suggested Micky’s. Here I am waiting to buy my beer.
The next clue sent me to IKEA to pick up a tape measure. When we got back to my car, the final clue was taped to my window:
Finally, the end point was revealed: My Wine Cellar in Tempe. When we got there, I was led to a table with co-workers, their spouses, and my guy. They decorated the table with flowers, balloons, and cupcakes. Someone ordered a glass of bubbly champagne for me and I relayed the story of my adventure.
Big thanks to db, Paul, Nicci, Summer, Sheridan, Mackenzie, Adrienne, Mike, Julie, Johnny, Criselda, and Abby. It was a huge surprise and so much fun!
5th and Wine
My guy took me to a great restaurant for my birthday dinner: 5th and wine. Located in Old Town Scottsdale, it’s the perfect place for a casual dinner that feels and tastes luxurious without breaking the bank. We started with the roasted olives and two types of bruschetta- classic tomato, basil, mozzarella and brie, apple, fig. They were both unbelievable. I might have to start making brie-apple-fig sandwiches for lunch.
For my main course, I ordered the hangar steak. It comes with fries, but I asked to substitute the fingerling potatoes. I was not disappointed. They were thinly sliced into “chips” and braised with fresh sage and thyme. The hangar steak was juicy and cooked perfectly. I had a glass of bubbly Prosecco with it.
For dessert, we decided to splurge on the chocolate mousse. It was light, chocolatey and did not have any bits of chocolate chips or nuts in it, which, in my opinion, ruins the smoothness of the mousse. I might’ve spoon-wrestled my guy for the last bite.
We are already planning a reason to go back to 5th and Wine. We’ve heard they have a great happy hour and there is often live music out on the patio. Now that it’s starting to cool off that might be how we’ll spend some fall Saturday evenings.
5th and Wine
7501 East 5th Ave
Fresh & Easy Video Contest
It’s been a hectic April and May, but June and July look to be a little quieter, I think. It’s heating up in Phoenix which means a lot more inside time. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up on this little blog and tell some fun stories from the past few months as well as announce some surprises I’ve been working on.
One of the fun things my guy and I did a few weeks ago was enter a contest that our favorite grocery store is hosting. It’s a meal idea video contest, so we whipped up this four minute video and entered it. You can watch it below:
We found out last week that we’re one of 10 finalists! I’m so excited! First prize is a $1000 Fresh & Easy gift card, which would be amazing to win. If you’re interested in voting for us, you can do that here.
I’ll keep you posted on the outcome!
Gilbert Farmer’s Market | Gilbert AZ
We spent a recent Saturday morning at the Gilbert Farmer’s Market. It was warm for an early April morning but the market was bustling with vendors and shoppers. Lots of samples were eaten and goodies were purchased. Check out the chickens that one of the vendors brought. They were GORGEOUS. I can’t wait to buy some eggs next time!
MINI Rally to Coolidge, AZ
A few weeks ago, my guy and I joined the local AZ MINI club on a rally to the Coolidge Airport for a “fly-in.” The local Lion’s club cooked breakfast and we walked around and checked out the planes. It was a great morning motoring with other MINI owners and a fascinating up-close look at the aviation hobby that seems to be so popular here in Phoenix.
Tempe Worldwide Instameet | March 11, 2012
I’m helping organize the Tempe Worldwide Photowalk Instameet on Sunday, March 11th. If you’re available, we’d love to have you join us! Here are the details:
Let’s meet at the Tempe Performing Arts Center. There’s plenty of free parking there. We can check out the fountain behind the Arts Center and then walk down by Tempe Town Lake, under the railroad bridge and onto Mill Avenue. We could even grab a bite to eat and share our instagram pictures over a cold beverage.
If you’re interested, click this link to RSVP. I’d love to meet you and take an Instagram photowalk on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Hope to see you there!