Monthly Archives: November 2011

‘Tis the Season…


It has been a beautiful fall out here in the desert… no snow, but lots of sun and crisp, cool mornings for sure.   With the fall comes holidays and I am so thankful to be able to experience some exciting holiday traditions Southwestern style! 

Last weekend, for example, Chris and I went to the Phoenix Zoo for Zoo Lights which was a fun-filled night of Christmas lights and music… I even rode a camel!  It was cool to see so many little kids and families enjoying the evening together.  I will definitely go back again next year!

We also finished all of our Thanksgiving shopping and set the Turkey out to thaw.  Tomorrow is our first time hosting Thanksgiving together!  I’m a little nervous because I’m a perfectionist, of course, but luckily it’s just Chris’s parents joining us and they’re laid back and sweet 🙂  I think everyone will have an awesome time (and hopefully I won’t set the apartment on fire!!!)  I’m loving the feel of our little home… it’s cozy and smells good, like pumpkin and cookies.  Can’t wait for the parade, turkey, trimmings and wine tomorrow!

I was thinking the other day about how different life feels now out here in the Southwest.  Chris would probably say that I still have my “crazy girl” moments, but I think on the whole, things are a LOT better now than they were before.  Adjusting to change is always hard (especially for me) but I guess the more you do it, the easier it gets.  So in the spirit of counting my blessings, here are a few things I am extremely thankful for:

1) My job which allows me to feel a connection with the people and issues in this world that I care so much about.

2) Having a cozy apartment that really feels like “ours.”  I no longer refer to where I live as “Chris’s house” but rather “our place.”

3) My wonderful family and friends whose love I can feel whenever I read an email, pick up the phone or Skype.

4) The holiday season… a reminder of the generosity, compassion and love of humankind. 

5) Health and happiness… the ability and determination to exercise and eat right.

6) Chris… for loving me at my best and worst.  I am so lucky to have found a boyfriend and best friend all rolled into one 🙂

Happy holidays to you and yours!



Restaurant Hopping and Palm Springs Fun :)


My car had frost on it today.  I actually had to turn on my defroster.

Why this made me pathetically happy on a Monday morning I will never understand.  But I think as it gets closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am more delighted than ever to feel those little pieces of home and the seasons.  🙂

This past weekend was nothing short of eventful.  Friday during the day I treated myself to a little mani/pedi (this NEVER happens… and it was fabulous.  I highly recommend Polished Nail Spa for anyone who wants high quality at a reasonable price).  Chris and I then did what I like to call a “restaurant crawl.”  That means we ate not once, but twice (note: there has not been a heart healthy post this week… this was a deliberate move on my part). 

Restaurant #1 was Tarbell’s with Peter, Sarah and the gang…. and OH. MY. LORD.  It was to die for.  I had the scotch steak with mashed potatoes and a whole array of desserts, plus a 40-year old port.  We felt like pretty high rollers 🙂  You gotta get here…. trust me on this.  OOOO and we got to meet the head chef, Mark Tarbell!!!

Restaurant #2 was Roka Akor (I love that this name is a palindrome, btw).  Chris and I met his parents there and had some delicious sushi/sashimi and loved the ambiance.  It felt very trendy.  Sometimes I feel like I am on a reality TV show because the world I’m living in now is so very different from the one I left!  Beverly Hills or bust… good thing I fixed my unibrow that morning. 

The rest of the weekend we helped Chris’s parents move furniture to their new house in California and got to see Palm Springs, which was really cool.  I haven’t been to California since I was 15 and it was fun to be back!  Plus, the mountains out there were breathtaking.  They were snow-capped and everything which made me crave a good hike and/or ski trip (not that I can ski well at all or anything).  But we got to talking about how fun it would be to camp out here (Southwest or West) and the benefits of roasting marshmallows in the wilderness.  Mmmm… excited to be back in a few weeks for Thanksgiving!

Ok, I am going to pause here since it’s November for a “thankful moment.”  Here’s your chance:

What are you most thankful for right now? 

Tasty, Crisp, Fabulous Fall!


Long time no post, eh?

Happy Saturday, kids.  Let me start by saying what a beautiful fall day it is today in Scottsdale.  Went out for a walk this morning and was able to wear a fleece jacket (53 and sunny)!  Had a nice hot coffee and chatted on the phone with the fabulous Melissa C. for almost two whole hours as I walked.  Hooray for physical activity on a crisp November morning!

Before my update/suggestion list, I want to just say that homemade soup is a truly wonderful, healthy invention for those of us trying to make it through the holiday season in the same pants size.  Chris made a WW friendly tortellini soup for me the other night and not only was it delicious, it was only 4 points if made with spinach tortellini or 6 if made with cheese!  Plus, it was hearty and filling.  Love that.

And I’ve decided there is no greater way to move and catch up with friends and family near and far than during a nice old-fashioned walk.  I could walk for days… it clears your head, gets your blood flowing, and gives you a chance to have some pretty awesome and meaningful convos with the people you love.  To another heart healthy week!

Okkkk… back to the point of this blog – Southwestern Living!

Chris and I went to the ASU Gammage again this past Thursday to see the Blue Man Group… oh my gosh, how incredible!  I highly recommend that everyone get out and see these guys when they get the chance.  They have unbelievable energy and such creativity, humor and talent.

Trying a new restaurant tonight…. The Cove Trattoria.  More to come on that after I have a real review to give you.

Had the BEST Halloween night… fun times with new friends and adorable trick or treaters… and Monday is the Old Bags Luncheon to support Homeward Bound which is super exciting!  It’s going to be a beautiful day at the Biltmore to support a great cause.

Life should settle down after this week…then I’ll have much more to say, I swear.

To a wonderful, adventurous Saturday! XO