Sneak Peek!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sneak Peek Day!
I am so excited for this new project that my boyfriend and I have been doing together and I could not wait any longer to show you a peek of what we have been working on!
I decided several months ago that I wanted to put floating shelves in the kids bathroom so that it would be easier to store their many items while bringing more flare to their boring and ugly bathroom.  Well maybe not ugly because I did decorate it a bit.
After many months of searching for shelves at yard sales, Target, Walmart, thrift shops, etc. And to no avail, I could not find any that were in our budget, nice looking or the right color.  
That is when boyfriend decided that he would just make me some!  

He has been working on making many awesome projects because he is going to be opening an Etsy store to sell all his cool items (birdhouses, walking sticks, shelves, planters, and so on), which I am sure I will tell you all about when the time comes. I find him to be so amazing that he took time out of his busy schedule to make me the two floating shelves, just the way I have been really wanting.
He started by measuring it all out on some wood and then cut using the one tool that really scares me!

Oh and did I mention the work bench he is using he made himself!  He is so handy *SWOON*
After making all the cuts he nailed on a front edge to the actual shelf so that I could set things on it without worry of things falling off the shelf when the kids or guests grabbed something from the shelf.

Now that we have everything put together and ready to be painted I have to figure out what color I am going to paint them.  I do know that the bathroom is an ocean theme and I am going to try and do the worn our sanded look on them.  So I do know I am going to paint it with a white primer and then paint over that a shade of blue.  My inspiration is this little glass jar that I found at a yard sale for 25 cents!  The color choices are endless though and matching the shelf to the jar and the other decor in the bathroom is going to be very tricky!

Tonight is the night that I am going to paint on the primer though so I guess that means I should really pick which blue I am going to use.  Ugh... Choices, choices!
I hope you have enjoyed my sneak peek!  Stay tuned for the update (which I hope to post in the next week or so). 

Ta, ta for now.
Have a happy Wednesday!

10 Things My Dog Can't Live Without

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

This post was originally a joke with my boyfriend last night but then I was thinking about it and the things that my dog, Jax, clearly can not live without is super funny.  He is a character, I am sure like most dogs out there, but how distraught he gets over certain things in his life is just hilarious!  So, for this Sept Farms link up I am writing 10 things that my dog can not live without (or he may perish, hehehe).

1. Squeakies
There is not one plant, watering tube, hose, leash, floor, carpet, pillow... well you get the point, that Jax has devoured and tore apart most everything, but then there are his squeaky toys.  I bought one for him when we first brought him home (he is now 3) and he still has it.  He carries any squeaky we give him with finesse and grace.  

2. His Momma
He think that I am just the bees knees.  He is very protective of all our family members but he will even growl at boyfriend when me and boyfriend are wrestling around.

3. Pizza
Just the smell alone will have him running! He loves every part of this flavorful food.  He will dig through the trash late at night just to grab a piece of thrown out crust.  

4. Marrow Bones
This is a favorite for many dogs but this is the one treat that we have had to tell the kiddos they are not allowed to touch once we give him one because he will snap at you if you try to play with him while he chows down on this.  And yes, we do not give them to him often because of how grouchy he gets if you try and take it away.

5. Chow Mein From Ms. Saigon's
I was eating this as a leftover the other night and realized that this may be his new fav food.  We were trying to train him to go into his dog house that boyfriend made for him and I decided to give him a noodle as a treat for listening.  At that point there was no more training.  He only had eyes for the noodles.  Side note: Ms. Saigon's is one of our fav restaurants here in Tucson, if you have never tried them, they are amaze balls and you should check them out!

6. The Living Room Rug
We have a rug in our living room that Jax just adores.  I know this because every single time he comes in the house he runs to the carpet, throws himself onto it and starts scratching his back with it (legs in the air like he just does not care!).

7. Hikes
This dog can hike!  Desert hikes, no problem.  Mountain hikes, easy.  Long and treacherous hikes, simple!  Jax couple hike for days with no break and he would be golden as long as he has his favorite people with him, he is golden.

8. Car Rides
So he may love hikes but car rides are definitely his second fav!  He will just go in the car and ride around with us (like when we are looking around at yard sales) and he is completely content because he gets to hang with his fam and he gets to get out of the house.  Oh and sticking his head on my right shoulder while I drive is one of his favorite past times too! 

9. Beer
This one is a complete accident!  My boyfriend spends a lot of time in the back yard due to all his wood working projects and has spilled a few beers in the past three years for us to realize that Jax loves beer.  He loves it so much he will lick the floor until there is not one drop left and it sounds like his tongue is rubbing sand paper on the cement!

10. Spit
Also a very nasty one but something he just can't resist.  If any person spits (yes this is gross) on the ground in the backyard (and it is not in dirt) Jax will lick it up just like he does the beer.  I wonder what it is about the spit he likes because clearly the person spitting didn't like what it was, hence they spit.  So weird.

So that's it!  My loving dog and all his weird must haves.
What is something your dog can't live without?

Ham vs. Turkey: Easter Traditions

Monday, March 28, 2016

First and foremost Happy Easter to you all. I know I'm a day late but I wanted to still post something about Easter. It's one of those times of the year where family gets together celebrates the reason for the season and put together some of their most treasured family traditions.
For me our traditions are simplistic. We do not have some crazy Easter egg hunts or any huge family gatherings with more than 7 people. For my family the traditions are simple but they run deep, at least for me.

Our celebration includes good food, fun and family.  The first thing that is always the same is that we have ham.  This is a fight (a nice friendly one) every year because my step-dad think it should be turkey but us polish people (my mom and I) believe that we should have ham and well the cooks always win so we have ham. :)
Also like many others we dye Easter eggs.  We have tried all the new-fangled kinds of dye but we always end up do a traditional dye job our our eggs.  Then we simply eat them.  No hiding and forgetting that one egg that will smell up the house for days after.

Something else that is always the same (traditionally speaking) is that we always play board games.  It is something that we all love doing, except for my boyfriend at times because he seems to think that my mom and I are plotting against him in a battle of house rules vs real rules. Hey what can I say, my mom and I our very opinionated people and like things to go our way. Hehehehe

So we eat at about 2 o'clock every year and then we just sit and binge on games, candy and snacks.  All the while yelling at each other that they are cheating or not playing right or laughing or secretly plotting on how you are going to beat everyone!

What are your family traditions?  What makes Easter just a little more special for you and your family?

Happy Easter everyone!

Oh Hey Friday!

Friday, March 25, 2016

September Farms is just an awesome blog that I love.  She comes up with the best ideas and one is her Hey Friday link up.  
This is my first one but I am sure it won't be my last.  Here are my 5 for Friday, things I thought about this week :)

5 Things I Thought About this Week:

1. Blogging Ideas
So I am trying to think up so good ideas to get more traffic here on my blog.  I think I have had a good start but would like to see more (doesn't everyone, hehehe). So I think I am going to add some reviews and more lists (I love a good list).  Also you will be seeing some crafty things, as I love to craft.  Don't worry, I am going to stick to my main Tucson theme but since it is the end of the school year I am not going to many new places because of the busy rush I am in to complete everything at work and at home.

2. I Should Own Stock in Starbucks
I love me a good cup of joe and after years of trying to pretend like I can deal with any old coffee I have come to terms that Starbucks is the one for me.  I can't help it.  My pallet just does not want anything else.  I can make my own at home and be fine but if I am out and about no other coffee will do.  It just stinks because by this time, with all the coffee I have bought, I could own a Starbucks!

3. Easter Just Came Up too Quick!
I don't know about you but I am not ready for Easter at all this weekend!  Luckily I don't have to worry about Easter lunch or anything because we are going to my moms but I have 4 kiddos that need to make sure they get their Easter baskets and I just plum forgot to call the Easter bunny!  I must get on this right away and make sure that their will be Easter festivities this weekend!

4. Healthy Living
I have done every possible diet you can think of and I still am not down to my weight.  To the defense of the diets, I can never hold to a diet for long periods of time but I do know the one that works the best.  What that means is no sugar, no processed foods, no yucky things you can't read on a label, etc.  I am talking about the clean eating kick (or just real eating as I like to call it) that everyone seems to be on now.  It really does work.  Did you know that what you eat is like 80% of your dieting issues.  Only 20% is the exercise.  So if you ate really well all you would have to do is really work out to firm up and lose the little extra in place you don't want.  I am going to start again with the hard core healthy living after this weekend.  I have been baby stepping it back this week but it will be in full swing next week.

5. Not Broadcasting My Blog to Friends
Okay back to my blog (sorry) because I have also been thinking about how I have not really told any of my real life friends (no offense internet friends) about my blog.  I am a little nervous to because I don't want any of them to think I am copying their blog or blogging ideas.  I know that I am not doing this (as none of their blogs are like mine) but it still worries me because I care about what they think, even though  I am a tough cookie who doesn't care what anyone thinks. *wink*
I think I am going to tell them this next week though.  It will probably help my first thought from this post because they can help promote or at the very least come and check it out. 

Anywho... Thanks for visiting and checking out my post :)

Grilled Salmon Pouches

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Morning all!
Today I am bringing you a wonderful dish that I like to make for my family often. This recipe is very versatile but I am going to show you an easy version and you can add you own-ness to it. :)
So today is all about salmon!  I make grilled salmon pouches on the regular for my family.  It is a huge hit with them and me (mainly because the clean up is so easy!).
What I do is get my simple base of salmon, lemon, butter and some quick simple spices (for the complete recipe click HERE to visit my recipe page) and put them all together in a Leaning Tower of Pisa style.

Then I wrap this little guy up in aluminum foil.  How do I do this you ask?
Well first... I fold the sides up over the top of the tower o' fish.

Then I bring the top and bottom side up to meet in the middle and fold them over and together,  Be careful not to puncture the aluminum foil as it will let the steam out while cooking and you don't want that because that is how you cook the salmon.

Then cook the salmon on the grill for about 25 minutes and voila!...

Yummy salmon!
Now I said above it is versatile and that is because you don't have to stop with these simple ingredients.  You can add things like asparagus, zucchini, cayenne, or whatever your taste preferences are.  Just note that the cook times may vary with what you put in there. 
Salmon is done when it can flake from the skin,

Happy- Healthy Eating!

Tucson Ten

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I decided to link up with September Farm for 10 on Tucson with a list of places that I like visiting around Tucson.  
I have lived here in Tucson for many years.  It totals about 20+ years. I have gone to many places, seen many things and eaten many flavorful yummies.  Today's list is going to focus on places I have been though and why I liked them.  Some are fam favs others are just places I adore. None are in order of fav to least fav, I just kind of through them together. 
Hopefully, I can help you find your new favorite place. 

1. Madera Canyon
I know I said I was't listing in favorite orders but this one is by far my favorite place.  It is so peaceful and the variety of hiking trails is amazing.  This is located closer to Green Valley.  It has a gift shop area, cabins for rent, desert and foresty hiking trails and if you are lucky maybe you can find the waterfall near Proctor Rd.

2. Old Town Artisans Galleries
This is a great find in the downtown area. Located near the Tucson Museum of Art you will find many little treasures from antiques to sculptures, from wine to dream catchers.  They have a little bit of everything here and kids love to look at all the trinkets!

3. Kitt Peak Observatory
This place is pretty awesome whether you go there during the day for one of their self guided tours or at night with one of their reservation only tours (which lets you look through one of their huge telescopes!).  The kids will even think it is pretty neat!  You will be able to to see different telescopes including a solar one and there is a museum area that tell you all about what they do.  Did you know that Tucson uses special lights so the city is not that bright and doesn't bother the observatory?  Phoenix lights actually are more bothersome at times!  I learned that on one of the tours!

4. 4th Avenue
I love just walking up and down 4th looking at all the little shops.  Most of the shops and restaurants down 4th are locally owned.  Some of my favs is Rustic Candle and Creations Boutique.  They also have many cool vintage shops!  They also have a huge spring and fall street fair that you should definitely check out.

5. Mt. Lemmon (really the Cookie Cabin)
This is our little oasis from the desert.  Mt. Lemmon is a great place any time of the year because there are hiking trails, picnic areas, a ski lodge, a little town with artisan shops and the COOKIE CABIN.  So I guess I should tell you this spot is really reserved for the amasing cookies, chili and pizza that they serve at the Cookie Cabin on the mountain.  They are a little pricey but everything is scratch made and yummy!  Totally worth it because of the portion sizes too.  For example a cookie is the size of a paper plate!  Love me some cookies :)

6. Tumamoc Hill
Looking for a good workout/ hike?  This is a great spot!  It is an up hill battle (literally).  This hike is paved and goes up in a switch back zig zag to the top of the mountain behind A Mountain.  I like it because when you reach the top the accomplishment you feel is awesome and the view isn't too bad either!

7. Titan Missile Museum
This one is a little out of place with all the hiking places and arts type things going on on this list but it is a must see for anything who likes a little bit of history.  You go on a guided tour of one of the last missile silo's, from the cold war era, in the United States.  You get to see the old school control panels and the missile silo too. 

8. Sus Picnic Area
This one you may not have heard of.  This is a picnic area in the Saguaro National Monument off of Kinney Rd.  This may seem silly but I like it because of the geology.  The geology is so different there it can be seen while you walk up a hill.  They say this is due to water (lake type water) use to be in the area during the time of the mountains forming leaving many different types of rocks.  I also like it because in the 30's CCC workers came in there and not only built the picnic area but built damns in the wash (which you can still see) that didn't work they way they wanted them too.  The area is beautiful and rich with history.

9. Hotel Congress
Now this place is a happening bar/ night club on some nights but the part I like about the hotel is not that scene.  What I like is the history and the look/ feel of the hotel.  A bit creepy and definitely vintage looking is what you will find as you walk up the stairs to the second floor.  I don't know if you are actually allowed to just walk around in there but because I am noisy and don't follow the rules I just did it.  I personally have never stayed there but just walking around the place makes me want to!

10. Sonoran Desert Museum
So you are not a get up and go out into the middle of the desert to see all the wild life kind of a person but you don't want to miss out seeing it either.  Then this is a good place for you!  I love this place because it feels like you are hiking while staying in a semi safe environment to roam and see all that the Sonoran Desert has to offer.  It is a one of a kind zoo environment.  You will only find animals that you find int he Sonoran Desert here, such as; coyote, javalina, mountain lions, big horned sheep and so much more.  They even do free flight demonstrations (I saw a raven and an owl when I was there).  The kids will love it too!

Artastic Weekend!

Monday, March 21, 2016

This weekend my fam bam and I spent our time running errands, cleaning house (trying to mark off my spring cleaning lists) and going to the 26th Annual Spring Artisans Festival at the Tucson Museum of Art downtown.  I was a little worried about going to this festival at first because we couldn't find it and thought that it was going to be a bust.  But then there they were, the little white tents that all people signify as festival tents.  We parked and walked to the festival, which was located inside the museum and around the outskirts, so it looked smaller than it really was.  

My boyfriend is getting into woodworking and so we come to these type of festivals a lot to get ideas and man were the ideas flowing at this one!  There were so many amazing booths and people there that we could pick the brains of it was awesome!  We say metal work, wood work, clay, watercolors, photographs, and so much more!
Not only was there cool things to look at, there were yummy treats too!  We ate carne asada tacos from a local church, ramen from a local food truck (Fat Noodle) and there were some other yummies that we just didn't get to. 

Overall it was a pretty neat event that I didn't even know existed until I was looking around Saturday morning on the local event sites (oh wow I should do a post about the ones I visit!, writing that down right now, sorry about the side track... moving on). 
If you didn't get to go this weekend do not fret!  The event happens twice a year.  Once in the spring and once in the fall (around Thanksgiving).  
Here is a link to check it out if you missed it ----> HERE

Have a great Monday friends!

The Spring Cleaning Blahs

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lets be honest NO ONE LIKES SPRING CLEANING... I am sorry but if you say that you do your lying to us (hehehe).  Unless your name is Danny Tanner, then I may believe that you love cleaning.
Either way, it has to be done and not like you think it should be.  There are so many things that need to be cleaned in your home that you may never have even thought of.  Have you ever thought about taking out and washing your window screens or how about vacuuming your refrigerator coils?  I know that I have fallen victim to thinking my house was spotless and it wasn't.
So my goal for the day is to create a massive list to help me remember all the things that I want to clean and need to clean.  In order to do that though I have enlisted the help of some of the blogs I love.  They have amazing lists, great tips and even printable items so you don't have to do any more work than you are already going to be doing cleaning.  They make it easier for me to get back out into the real world and not be shacked up in my house for days.  So here are some of my favs:

She shares a very detailed list of all the things around your house you may need to clean, replace or fix.  I love it because there are many things I forget about and will need to address in my own home.

She has 6 awesome printable's (FREE) that can help you in your check-listing world

I love this one because it gives you amazing ways to work with baking soda as a cleaner.  

Love this because it really gives a good detailed explanation on how to clean your carpets.

So whether your a big time cleaner or a little one (like me) there is help out there to get you on the right track!  

"Amerirish Corned Beef"

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Every year I have a tradition of making corned beef on St. Pat's Day and this year was no different. I started the tradition originally about 13 years ago when I met my boyfriend.  His entire family is Irish and I thought to help bring a part of his family into our little family this would be a good tradition.  Some years I go big with lots of treats too but some years (like this one) I am just to busy and stick to just corned beef.
But I wanted to share it with you, especially since some of the side items came from a little adventure my daughter and I had last weekend at the Heirloom Farmers Market here in Tucson.  We found huge carrots and amazing little white potatoes.  The carrots though were so big and plump they were bigger than my hand (and my hands are huge!)

Any who...
I made this corned beef in my crock pot (like I do every year) but this year I changed it up just a bit.  I would normally follow my same recipe but this year I couldn't because I didn't have a bottle of Guinness. *GASP*  So instead I used a bottle of Bud Lite...hehehehe.  I am calling this the "Amerirish Corned Beef".
I have to say that this was the best corned beef dish I have ever made! I ate pretty much the majority of the meat and definitely most of the amazing carrots!  And when I say most I mean out of the crock pot I ate most of it by myself, hehehehe. My boyfriend also loved this meal and said he would never have known I didn't use Guinness!  Check my recipes page for the recipe :)

After this amazing meal I made the kiddos a treat (which I wasn't going to do but my amazing boyfriend ran to the store special for me to make it).  I made the kiddos a rice crispy skill bar but I used lucky charms.  I owe a big thank you not only to my boyfriend but to a co-worker who inspired me to make them.  She actually blogs too and you can see here over at the Bubbly Brunette.

So to this St. Patrick's day, Cheers and I hope everyone was safe and happy!

Spring Break... T- Minus 3 Days and Counting!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

One thing that I am proud of is the job that I have.  I am a kindergarten teacher and have been one for the last 5 years.  I could tell my whole life story about it but what you need to know for now is that I do love what I do.  I love the joy that I may bring to a kid that had a really rough morning or the excitement I see in their eyes when instead of doing yet another boring assignment I break out the paints and the kids jump for joy.
Here is the thing though...
When it is the home stretch of school year, and yes I consider the beginning of March the home stretch, you start to count the days of when it is all going to be over and you dont have to get up in the morning and worry about anything other than how much lounging you are going to do throughout the day verses how much productivity you are going to do.  I am talking about summer break of course and whether you believe a teacher should have a schedule with a summer break in it or not matters none to me because all teacher deserve that break.  We have had to deal with millions of questions, tons of grading, hours upon hours of time spent out of the classroom keeping up with the latest trends in education, volunteering, marketing, open houses, etc.  Teacher deserve that break, but it takes so long to get there so what do we look forward to before than?  Spring Break!!
Spring break for my school this year is really far away, so it has been rough but we are almost there!  The light really does come at the end of the tunnel.  I have to get through today (picture day), tomorrow (conferences) and Thursday (an open house) first.
One day at a time is what they say, so today I am going to get through these pictures (which I dont want to take, at least not with me in them).  Hopefully I look presentable enough :)

The Blog Life

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Blogging is not a new concept.  I know that I have been blogging in some capacity for the past 9 years.  Finding the right thing to blog about is what makes blogging so trying though and why many people may give up.  Whether people blog to tell about their life, the newest trends, food, family, work, coupons, movies, shoes, books, or whatever... Finding a niche for people to look at your blog and keep looking at your blog is hard.
Making this blog I decided to throw out the care in blogging.  Do I want people to come to my blog and see what I have been up to and to give cool tips, OF COURSE! :)
But the thing is I am not going to worry about if you are the one that is going to keep coming back.  I am just excited that you came today and you will consider the option of coming back.

ANY WHO! Hehehehe
Maybe that was not the best way of starting this new blog, that I hope you will frequent often, but I wanted to keep things real because that is the person I am.
I am loud, opinionated and actively trying not to care what others think about me.  The first two don't work well with the last always but that is why I am here.
So thanks for joining me in this ride called blogging and I hope you have your seat belt buckled (and maybe your wearing a helmet) because it may be a bumpy ride! :)