Monday, June 30, 2014

Joyride, Wild Horses and BIG Breakfast

This past week we celebrated our 4th anniversary! We got a great deal on Groupon for a room at the Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, so we made plans for a little stay-cation.

The day before we left, we took Mr. A out to lunch at Joyride, a local taco shop. The owners of this restaurant are known for taking old buildings and converting them in to trendy new restaurants. We love their other restaurants, Postino and Federal Pizza, so we were pretty excited to try it out. The decor is funky and fun...I wanted to take pictures of everything, but i showed some restraint.

We both ordered their lunch special which includes 2 tacos of your choice and either a side soup or salad. Cass got the tortilla soup with a crispy fish taco and a shrimp taco. She wasn't crazy about all of the slaw and fixings on the taco...she'd prefer a street taco. I got a salad, The Standard taco and a carnitas taco. I thought it was all delicious. The standard taco is made with chicken and honestly, I would not normally order chicken tacos, but it was really good! It's topped with Aji Amarillo, which is something that Cassandra's dad uses in his Peruvian cooking and what lead me to order it in the first place. It was tasty!

They also serve ajuas frescas, which are refreshing juices that are made from fruit. They offer different kinds and the option to make them spiked! So you can build your own with rum, vodka, tequila, gin, Frangelico or Amaretto. I got a strawberry and watermelon mixed with rum. Yumm! 

And of course, I had the best lunch dates ever!!

The next day Cass and I dropped the little man off with her parents and headed to Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino. This casino is pretty small, but the rooms are really nice and we had a blast! There was a band called Powerdrive playing at the Encore Lounge and we sat and watched them for 3 hours! They played a lot of diverse styles of music and had the crowd dancing! It was fun! 
Then we headed to the slots where I won $228.00! Everything about the stay was great and we want to do it again with some of our friends.


The day after that, my mom was in town and my brother, the world traveler (he just returned from his European vacation so we're teasing him about having crepes in Paris) had just gotten back so we all went to breakfast. We went to the ever so popular Matt's Big Breakfast. This is a small restaurant that is exceedingly popular and almost always has people waiting outside...even in the AZ heat. We were fortunate enough to walk right in and get a table. This was my first time going there and I liked it. They have fresh squeezed orange juice, make their own jelly, and used cage free eggs. This place is such a big deal in Phoenix that I feel like I'm being sacrilegious by saying this, but besides the toast and jelly, it didn't really stand out to me. It was good, but I'm not sure I'd want to stand in the heat for it. If you do decide to give it a try (why wouldn't you?), then I recommend getting the home fries and trying the toast and jelly. 

I'd love to hear from you, and your opinions about any of these places.

Friday, June 20, 2014

DIY Play dough

For Mr. A's 2nd birthday, a friend of ours gave him a reusable grocery bag filled with the ingredients for making play dough, some food coloring and cookie cutters. It was a great gift and I loved it! She also left us with the recipe and I was a little nervous when I saw that there was cooking involved, but honestly, its super easy to make.
Here's the recipe:

2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup of salt
2 tablespoons of veg. oil
1 tablespoon of cream of tartar

Kool Aid or food coloring for desired colors.

I just threw all of the ingredients, excluding the coloring, into a pot and stirred it over medium heat. It cooks pretty quickly, so I just stayed closed and kept stirring until it pulled away from the sides and formed a ball in the center of the pot. I would recommend that you let it cook a little longer than you think you should, so its not sticky. The longer it cooks, the less sticky it will be (I jumped the gun on my second batch and it was a little more sticky). Once you think it is at a good consistency, let it cool so that you can handle it.


I used my spatula to kind of cut it in quarters, and decided I would make 4 different colors. It made more than I thought it was going to.

We used Kool-Aid to color it because it also makes it smell amazing!! Mr. A's favorite part was pouring the Kool-Aid in the dough. 

Here are the final results: 

We used orange, cherry and watermelon flavored Kool-Aid and 2 packets per ball of dough. I wanted to see if the dough would look different with food coloring, so I used food coloring for the blue and it really didn't look any different. The kool-aid smells really good, so make sure you tell your kids not to eat the play dough! My favorite was the orange; it smelled amazing and made me want to drink a glass of Tang! 

This was a fun little project and you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen already! 
Have you ever made your own play dough? 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Salsa, Dominoes and Family

I'm a little late on blogging this week. Albert and I went to my hometown and spent 3 full days at my parents house, so I was playing catch up on housework and fishing lure orders! I enjoy going to see my parents so much and the icing on the cake is that my best bud also lives there and I get to see her and her precious family. We hitched a ride with my nephew and his girlfriend; they just moved back from Tennessee, so it was great to catch up with them. I got to spend time with a lot of family this weekend, and see people I haven't seen in a long time. There's something refreshing about spending time with family. I can't even tell you how many games of dominoes we played or why we laughed so much, but it was nice to sit around a table with some of my faves. and just laugh.


My mom whipped up some delicious salsa, my niece helped make dinner and I popped open the wine. That's my kind of co-op!

I also got to go visit my bff and her sweet kiddos. They recently visited Lego Land and Disneyland, and her oldest son JJ, was telling me all about it. He remembered everything...I mean, everything. He remembered that name of one of the restaurants and that the name was spelled incorrectly...he's 7. It was so cute, because he's usually so chill and quiet, but he was just bouncing around telling me about it all and recommending rides that Albert might like.  Then to top it off, he wrestled around with Albert, which made him the happiest 2 year old in the world. JJ has no clue, but Albert always talks about how they're friends and he wants to be a big boy like him. JJ mentioned that he doesn't like Sponge Bob and Albert has brought it up everyday since then. 
We also got to spend time with this gorgeous baby:

Albert got to spend time "working" in the garage, sipping on root beer with his papa and I got to enjoy my nieces, nephews and wine with my mom and best friend. The only thing missing was Cass, she was off supporting our family and missing out on the fun. 

I'm thankful for my family, the one I was born in to, but also the people who have become family. I had multiple moments where I thought, "this is the highlight of my trip." 

To Top it off, Cass took me out to see Maleficent and dinner when I got back. We had a blast!

I LOVED Maleficent. Did you see it? What did you think?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Create your own snack caddy

Good Morning! I'm feeling a little chipper this morning...I got up at 5 am to go for a run with my buddy. As I sat on the couch to put my shoes on I realized that it was so quiet, I could hear the clock ticking. On top of that, the house was clean, like really clean! I was so tempted to grab a book, open the blinds and enjoy every second of my quiet, clean house. Don't worry, I didn't do that. I got my lazy keister up and went for a run jog. I don't know what I'm happier about: the cool morning air, the release of endorphins, or the fact that I went for a jog, showered and am enjoying a cup of coffee while Albert and Cass are still asleep! YAY! I love my little family, but I recently realized that I don't have a lot of alone time. Well, I almost never have alone time. I am a stay at home mom, so every errand I run, every moment of every day I spend with my little man right by my side. I'm not complaining, by any means, I just realized this a few days ago. I had some free time, and I spent it cleaning out the cupboards and deep cleaning my house...and I enjoyed it! Anyways, while I was cleaning out the cupboards I realized that all of the dang boxes were taking up room in our very limited space so I decided to make a snack caddie. My sis had given us an art caddy for our birthdays and it was so awesome. It was mason jars filled with crayons, glue sticks, pencils and safety scissors. I keep this out and we use it often, however I thought it would be a little more functional as a snack caddy. Here's what I put in it. Marshmallows: Albert loves these things and they are one of his favorite treats! He gets them when I want to reward or thank him for helping me or being a good boy. Graham Crackers: One of Albert's favorite snacks. Sometimes I put peanut butter on top, but he loves to eat them plain too. Fruit Snacks: My sis-n-law just gave us an economy size box of Mickey Mouse fruit snacks. Albert would eat them all day long if I'd let him. Chocolate Stars: These are essentially chocolate graham crackers shaped as stars. I usually buy the honey ones, but Albert caught me in the right mood so I let him get the chocolate ones.
Also, not all of my snacks fit in the jars, so with the small amount I had left over, I made to go snacks for Albert.

Goldfish would also be great, I just didn't have enough to fill the mason jar, so I made a to go snack for Albert with them. 
I also put all of my tea bags in jars to save me a little room. Is it just me or does everything look better in mason jars?

As you can see, I'm constantly trying to find new things that I can put in a jar to save me some room and add a little eye candy to my shelves. (That's right, I referred to jars as eye candy).

Do you have any other snack ideas for a snack caddy or to go snacks? I'd love to switch up the snacks when they run out.