Friday, December 19, 2008

Vegetarian Musings

I have been a Vegetarian for a year! A fellow veggiesaurus (yes, I just referenced Jurassic Park) told me that the first year is the hardest, or was it six months. I don't remember, but anyway apparently the hard part is over. Not that it has ever been all that hard.

When I started out on this endeavor I didn't give any thought as to how long I planned on living this lifestyle, I was just concerned about having enough self control to not backslide. I still don't know how permanent this is, I'd certainly like it to be permanent, but who knows, maybe I'll decide to have kids and when I'm pregnant I'll crave meat. That would be horrible! It happened to a friend-of-a-friend, she couldn't stop eating McDonald's, and they are the worst.

Here are some cool things about being a vegetarian:
  • Spend less money on groceries
  • Spend less money at restaurants because things like pasta primavera are always cheaper than steak, or even chicken.
  • Spend less time deciding what to order at restaurants. I'm notoriouse in my family for taking forever to make up my mind about what to order. Now I'm always the first one done because as soon as I see the words, beef, chicken, steak, lamb, goat, shrimp, crab, turkey, etc. I move on to the next thing, or better yet when the menu is organized by protien I can skip entire sections! I get excited about the strangest things, i'm weird, I know, my mother-in-law tells me all the time.
  • Eat less fat, especially saturated
  • Eat less calories overall
  • Eat less soidum & other things that are bad for you
  • Tends to make you eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains & other things that ARE good for you, partially because you have to read the labels on EVERYTHING. For instance: cambell's minestrone soup is made with chicken broth and its not all that good for you because like most canned soups it's high in sodium, like 960mg! That's almost half the amount of salt you should eat each day!
  • I lost a few pounds, yay!
  • Less cholesterol
  • I get to feel good about myself when I read articles or hear stories/news reports about how bad mass farming is for the environment, and how wastefull it is. So humble of me, isin't it?
Sorry about getting preachy in there about some stuff, but I want to encourage you all to think about what and how much goes into your body. You don't have to become a vegetarian, just take care of yourself.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It Worked!

I successfully shamed myself into sewing more on my cross stitch project. Here are the results, which you can compare to my previous post:

As you can tell, I decided to post on my progress once a month. Now I need to work on blogging more often so that my life doesn't seem so pathetic.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cross-Stitch Project

At the end of February 2008 I bought this cross-stitch kit:

I started within 2 weeks and have been dabbling in it ever since. As of today here is what I have done:

Pretty pathetic, eh? Actually, it's even more pathetic when you consider all of the medium and light colored green thread has been added within the past month and a half, or so. Of course, by "or so" I mean more like 2-3 months, but I get so busy with life that I lose track of big spaces of time.

So, I have decided that I have to post my progress on the blog every week, 2 weeks, or month, in order to use humiliation as a motivator in finishing this project. As you can tell I haven't decided the frequency in which to post the cross-stitch. This is because I don't know yet how much time will be adequate enough to hide my shame.

My hope is that making all these tiny stitches will improve my hand-piecing skills for the king-size quilt I am making. ALL BY HAND. That project will take even longer than this one, but that is a post for another time.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ben's 25th Birthday Surprise

Last satuday was Ben's 25th birthday and I took him to Seattle for the weekend. He had no clue we were going anywhere until we turned onto the road that becomes the road that goes to the airport! We were supposed to get out of Phoenix at 3:30 in the afternoon but didn't end up catching a flight until the last one for the day at 7! Oh well, I got catch up on some reading. When we got to Seattle we rented a 2009 Hyundai Sonata and drove to our hotel to check in. We had a really late dinner at the 5 Point 24-hour cafe with our friends Aaron & Kristen.

The next day we slept in and found out that this was the view outside our window:

I couldn't have asked for a better one. We walked the 5 blocks to the Seattle Center and toured the Sci-fi Museum, where I bought Ben a nerdy Serenity shirt. We hung out in the hotel the rest of the day until the grand birthday dinner at Anthony's Bell Street Diner.

A few of our wonderful friends that helped us celebrate.

The nerds from Ellensburg that made the trek.

More of our friends.

I have more pictures but I didn't want to call anyone out and embaras them. That evening we saw Aaron & Kristens new house and enjoyed the warmth of their hot tub. We also saw Cara's new town house. The next day was spent relaxing and catching up with more friends.

Between the success of our friends, the beautiful rainy overcast weather, and the general pleasantness of the population, we really missed this place and can't wait to move back. To all our friends: thank you so much for keeping the secret and making this Ben's best birthday ever!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

I know, I know, I haven't blog in quite some time. To make a long story short: I've been learning to balance work and home while fitting all the things I have to do each day into only 24 hours. Plus the digital camera broke. But not to worry, Ben got these great pictures of my first trip ever to the Grand Canyon:

Standing on the ledge looking down

I always knew it was a giant ditch, but seriously, this thing is HUGE! Not to mention very beautiful. It was so nice to get up out of Phoenix. It was cool enough that we were able to do a 2.5 mile hike of the South Rim from the parking area to El Tovar Lodge.

We stayed two nights in Flagstaff. I fell in love with the place and I told Ben that if we had to stay in this state for the rest of our lives we would live in Flagstaff. We have decided to make trips to Flag a monthly ritual.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Part 3: The Finale

On the last day of our trip we drove through southern Utah and into Arizona. The northern half of the state is pretty in a desert/barren sort of way and there are many different types of land formations as you can see:

Back on the road to Arizona

more red rock formations in southern Utah

I am not sure if this is in Utah or Arizona but isn't it pretty!?

This was actually way off in the distance but I was able to get an excellent shot

We crested this hill on near Flagstaff on I-17...

..and then saw this is comming down out of the mountians

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Part 2: Red Canyon

On Tuesday April 15th we made it into Utah and ran into snow in Salt Lake City. We spent the night at Ruby's Inn at Bryce Canyon and planned to do a little sightseeing the next morning. However, when we checked in around 8pm it was already 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and as you can imagine the next morning was very cold. Seeing as we didn't have any of our winter gear we thought we could go to the visitors center and there would be some sort of vantage point at which we could grab a few pictures. The entrance fee to the park was $25 and we felt that was a bit much for just a photo-op and no hiking. We did get these amazing pictures of Red Canyon though:

Snow in Utah!

Ben got out of the truck and took this amazing picture at the
entrance of Red Canyon

Rock Formations in Red Canyon

This was taken on the road between
Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon

I love the conical pine trees and rocks
contrasted against the sky

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Part 1

Ok, back to the trip that inspired this whole blog. I finally have gone through all 500 of my pictures and have chosen a few to share with you all. Monday April 14th after we left Ellensburg we drove down through Oregon and over to Idaho where we spent the night. Here are some pictures I took along the way:

The Rolling Hills of SE Washington

Crossing the Mighty Columbia River

Welcome to Oregon!

Beautiful Oregon Farm Country

The Great Open Country Near the Oregon/Idaho Border

Snow in Idaho!

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Red Elvises

Last night Ben, his brother Noah, and I went to The Rhythm Room in Phoenix and saw The Red Elvises perform live. It was great show! There are a ton of videos of them on YouTube but because of the sound quality they do not do them justice. Their sound is reminiscent of the 1950's Elvis and the Beach Boys, and most of the members are from Russia and former Soviet block countries, thus the name. They will be back in September and I recommend to everyone that they go. Also for our friends in the Seattle area, they will be up there in mid-July. Check out their website for details.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Robot Art & a Jewel of a Restaurant

Ok, time to take a break from the trip, although I haven't been doing much of that lately anyway. Last night Ben and I went to my friend Jason's art gallery in downtown Phoenix, called The Trunk Space, and saw some really cool robot art by Jon S. Borrette. We really enjoyed all of his pieces and were amazed by the detail that could be created with pen and ink.
Afterwards, I took Ben to one of my favorite restaurants which is the only one I know of that is within walking distance of work. I go whenever I can get an hour lunch break. The Willow House is so good in fact that I ate there twice in one day. They have the general cafe fair of coffee, tea, cold drinks, soups, salads, and sandwiches. They also offer more unique items such as a pita pizza and a hummus & pita platter that are both excellent. They are vegetarian and vegan friendly without making omnivores feel disdained.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Snoqualmie Pass

On Monday of our trip we drove from Seattle to Ellensburg, WA the town of our Alma Mater, by way of I-90 and Snoqualmie Pass. I was able to get some great pictures of the still snowy landscape. It even started snowing on our drive! I really missed having snow this winter. I will cherish these pictures this summer when Phoenix gets to 120 degrees.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Whidbey Island

On Saturday morning of our vacation we went through the storage unit and packing up the rest of our stuff then we spent the rest of the day relaxing.

Sunday was the really fun part: we went to Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound and I of course forgot my camera. I rode a ferry for the first time in my life. It was so cool. We spent the day with three other couples and another friend. We all went wine and cheese tasting. The girls went to a few little shops in Coupeville and the guys went to some sort of old military fort. Our friend headed home and the couples got together and enjoyed our wine purchases in the hot tub. Then we all headed home and I got to ride the ferry again!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


A couple of weeks ago Ben and I were able to go on our first vacation together as husband and wife. It was also my first paid vacation ever!!! The first day we spent time with my family in southwest Washington State and we got to see our niece who is now a year old, a relatively smart one year old I might add. We also started organizing all the stuff we were bringing down. Sadly, this was somewhat of a working vacation because were finally going to finish moving our stuff down to Arizona.
The next day we drove up to Seattle in the moving truck and went to our friend's wedding. Shout out to the bride & groom! 10 years to the day that they had been together. I wish them all the best!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spreading My Wings

Ok. So here it goes, my first blog entry. I had been contemplating writing a travel blog for quite some time and now that I have a trip to write about I am going to give it a go. This blog will primarily be a travel log of vacations, day trips, and my eventual plans to travel Europe and the rest of the Globe with my husband, Ben. However, since our income and amount of vacation time built up won't allow for much of the week-long or more variety of traveling I will have to spice it up with other entires. I'll probably include my hobbies such as quilting, scrap booking, reading, cooking and the like. I may also include a bit of an exercise log, not to be overly boastful or bore you, but as a motivational and accountability tool for myself. Hopefully this can also be a tool to keep our far away friends and family aware of the goings on in our lives, instead of having to do the annual Xmas letter.