Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Voice & Honey

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I’m thankful for workout buddies. I’m blessed to have a hubby who’s always game for a trip to the gym, but I’m also blessed with active friends. As we’ve posted about on the blog, Mckenna took swim lessons recently. I adored her swim teacher, who is a sweetheart and VERY active. So I turned her into a workout buddy. She runs with some friends most days a week (which I’m not bold enough to weasel my way into), so we meet 1-2 times a week at the gym on the days she’s not running. It’s perfect because it means that most days I still am working out with Ronnie, with a few sessions a week with a friend!

I’m thankful for Mckenna’s voice. Mckenna loves music and LOVES to sing songs. I really adore hearing her little voice. She carries a tune about as well as Ronnie and I (which isn’t impressive), but it is so endearing to hear her belting out a song.

I’m thankful for a Grammy who I enjoy. This one sounds silly, but I’m thankful for a Grammy (my mom’s mom) who I can talk to like a friend. I call to chat with my Grammy about once a week, usually in the car on my way to or from work. I know for some calling a grandparent can be a task you check off a to do list. But I am so thankful that I have a Grammy that I simply adore and truly enjoy talking to. We usually joke around and laugh a majority of the call, and I always hang up with a huge smile on my face! She’s one fun lady!!!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for honey. Since we've been trying to eat cleaner lately, yet my sweet tooth still exists, I've been eating honey to get my fix. I've particularly been fond of honey drizzled over frozen fruit. It's quite the treat after dinner!

I'm thankful for organized files. I've gotten much more organized over the years and it sure makes everything much easier. I've recently had to access old files and information and having it all labeled within file folders by date made everything a breeze. Now if only I could keep my desktop clean!

I'm thankful for teeny, tiny cantaloupe. We picked out first melon of the season from the garden and it was a cantaloupe. I had to pick it a bit early because it was starting to burn, and to my surprise, it was still incredibly sweet. I'm looking forward to the bigger one being ready soon now!!

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Rocky Point

We have our annual family trip to Rocky Point, MX coming up and I couldn't be more excited to head down south of the border! My family has been going for 30+ years and now bringing a family of my own is a dream come true. Here are the top ten things I love about the Rocky Point trip.

The drive down - We usually have 20-25 or so people caravan down at the same time to Mexico and stop at the same places every year. Since half of us are coming from Phoenix and the other half Tucson, we meet at a town called Why before heading down into Mexico. We usually stop at an ice cream shop right on the border before crossing and the taste of that ice cream signals to me the trip has officially begun!

The changes in Sonora - It's been amazing to see the first border town we drive through in Mexico change over the years. They are constantly building and are looking more and more like a "city" instead of a town in a third-world country. Don't get me wrong, they still have mainly dirt roads, plenty of buildings in shambles and are behind about 30 years, but progress is happening.

The first peek at the ocean - On the drive down, you always get the first peek at the ocean at the same spot. I can visualize that scene in my head right now because I have seen it so many times. The desert landscape changes to sand dunes, the dunes seem to roll for miles, and then all of the sudden, a bright blue ocean.

The first breath - I love taking in that sea air after we park the car at the house. The crispness of the air. The humid feeling on the skin. The sounds, the smell; it all brings back so many memories.

The assembly line - After traveling down as a large family for 30+ years, you learn some things. My family has learned to unpack and set up with the best of them. You should see how quickly we can unpack 6-8 cars! People are coming and going in all directions, taking stuff out of the nearest vehicle and then putting it where it needs to go. I'm telling you, we're a machine.

Sand beneath my feet - The first walk on the beach is always nice. We've been going to the same beach house now for about 8 years or so and the beach is literally steps away from the backdoor. Taking that first walk down the beach and dipping my toes into the ocean is always such a treat.

The meals - In Rocky Point, each family is assigned a day in which they take care of preparing and cleaning up each meal. We have many of the same meals each year and I always look forward to them. The dinner nights are usually hamburger/hot dogs, BBQ chicken, Shredded Beef Nachos, Steak and chicken soup. My family is in charge on steak night, so I really have to hone in on my grill skills!

The conversations - I don't get to see my extended family as much as I would like (mostly only on holidays), so it's nice to be able to catch up with everyone while we're down there. We have fives days to get all of the updates on what's going on with everything and there is always a surprise or two each year that I had no clue of regarding someone in the fam.

The bread/tortillas - I love the fresh tortillas and bread that we get each year. I know bakeries are here in AZ as well, but there is just something about the bakeries in MX that get me every time. The smell and the variety is always so awesome to take in. Plus, it always seems so cheap...and yummy.

The joy - Everyone has so much fun on this trip. And now, I especially love to see Mckenna running around with her cousins with a gigantic grin on her face. She loves the ocean, sand, sun and everything else that comes along with this trip.

Writing this blog post has me even more excited than before! We are so blessed to be able to do this each year and the fact that I'm taking my own young family is a dream come true :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mandi Monday: My Favorite Foods

Ronnie and I have been trying to eat pretty healthy since he's been out of the hospital. We always eat pretty well, but candy and desserts are our downfall. We have cut out any of those kinds of sweets, stuff out of boxes, sugar, know, anything that makes your mouth water. I kid. The thing I like best about eating well is that it forces you to get creative. Here are some of my favorite foods/recipes right now:

Sweet Treats
Since we like sweets..A LOT...we have a couple things we've been eating lately to get our fix.

Peanut butter and honey on toast. Really peanut butter and honey on good on anything! But on toast and apples are the go to right now. We use natural honey and natural peanut butter. I have a major sweet tooth and this does just the trick!

"Sorbet". We've been making our own "sorbet" of sorts in our Vitamix. The key is to add a ton of frozen fruit in relation to something not frozen (just enough to make the blender turn). One of our favorite combinations is greek yogurt with frozen mango, frozen pineapple and frozen pomegranate arils. The other favorite right now is fresh mango with frozen pineapple and frozen cherries (sometimes with a little honey for even more sweetness). It look just like sorbet and tastes delicious!!!

Caffeine Fix
It's heating up here in Arizona (in the 100s already), so a nice ice cold coffee is AMAZING. Lately we have been doing cold brew Toddy for our coffee and adding a splash of whole milk or soy milk. We like to drink it out of a mason jar and fill it to the brim with ice. There's something about watching the milk mix with the coffee in the mason jar that makes it feel like a treat.

Veggie-filled Dinner
We have been using a wonderful alternative to pasta (not that pasta is bad for you, but we enjoy this low calorie alternative), broccoli slaw. You just add a tiny bit of water, cover it on medium heat, and stir it occasionally until it's the softness you want. For the sauce, we've been using Full Circle Organic sauce, with ground turkey or sliced chicken breast, some tomatoes and basil from the garden, and some olives.

If you have any yummy recipes to share, send them along. We are always looking for fun, YUMMY, new ideas.