Thursday, March 29, 2012

How does your garden grow?

When I was 13 or 14 my mom and step-dad bought an old farm house that had an acre or two of land behind it. My mother, having a green thumb, planted a HUGE garden. There was corn, various kinds of squash, tomatoes, and all sorts or fun things. I never helped her with the garden because I thought I had more important things to do... like talk on the phone, or drive my sweet Blazer around town. That was back when gas was a whooping $1.14 a gallon. Remember the days? I digress. Looking back now, I wish I would have helped my mom in the garden. Not only because it would have been the nice thing to do, but because I have this new fascination with gardening. I blame it on my neighbors, and the Fabulous Beekman Boys
But really, ever since I moved to Arizona, I dreamed of having a garden. First I lived in an apartment, so I had flower pots that dried up and shriveled in a rapid fashion. Later I moved in with Mr. P. Funk into his town house. We had little pots full of basil and mint. The mint died, but the basil thrived.
Finally when we purchased this home, I had room for a garden. We have lived here for about a year and a half and the Mr. built me my garden last week!
It was my job to move the rocks out of the way for the raised bed. I didn't realize that that was some pretty frickin' hard labor.


I filled the pictured wheel barrel 3 times! Then neighbor Joe filled it a few times as well! Thank God he came to assist. I ran out of steam fast!
While I was shoveling mini boulders, Pat was in his garage workshop building the raised bed. He has some mad skills if you ask me!


The guys later filled the raised bed with the smelliest soil in the world. Be grateful Willy Wonka didn't invent Smell-o-Vision.


The next morning, Pat and I woke up at the crack of dawn, as good farmers do, and got straight to seedin' the garden. Pat acted as the "hole" digger and I counted the tiny seeds with my nimble fingers.




Now we play the waiting game for the little sprouts to peak there leaves out. 10 -12 days the seed packets claim. After they are a few inches tall we will have to do some thinning of the "crops" so we won't have sexin' carrots or radishes.
This summer we planted Basil, Green Onions, Tomatoes, Carrots, Radishes, and Peas! I can't wait to see if our little garden produces! Growing my own food always seems to motivate me to cook fun tasty meals.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Postino East Opens! : Dinner

It has been nearly a year that we have been waiting for Postino East to open. It truly felt like an eternity though. The long drives to Phoenix for our favorite restaurant are now a thing of the past! Rather than going to Postino East on the official opening day, we decided to go on Thursday. We thought it might be a little calmer. Well, we didn't really think that. It is just when it fit into our schedule.
Finally we have arrived to the best place on Earth! Postino East! And, yes, we took my sweet ride Vanda.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

We were aware there was going to be a wait, given that it was opening week. After we put our name in we found a pretty sweet spot past the lawn, with a great view of everything that was about to happen to us lucky souls!

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

We also had a great view of the Gilbert Water Tower, which I think is definitely an East Valley gem.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

We had an awesome server bring out the wine/beer list as well as a menu to look over while we were waiting. Sitting where we were felt like we were just hanging out in our back yard with good people watching.

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We didn't know if the server was going to come back, so the dudes went up to the outdoor bar and ordered us some drinks. Avery delivered our wine as a nice brother-in-law would. I had the Zin and Chantele and the Red Blend. (I won)
I was such a beautiful night! We didn't mind the hour long wait at all! Once we were seated, my sister and I had to use the loo. The unisex loo that is! So, while you are waiting here is a little poster for your viewing

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 And the toilet paper is awesome. And I always want to steal a roll, but I don't. Karma is my friend!

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Here is our little AZ family. It was really a perfect night for hanging at this dope joint all night. It took us about 3 hours to get home from our Postino excursion, but it was worth every minute!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day : A Goat Cheese Bust

The Mr. and his friends were golfing all day, and I mean all day! They had 36 holes to get to before the Phoenix "winter storm" came rolling in so, I laid in bed until 8:30 am.
Lou Lou pretending to be me
Then I watched gymnastics until noon (avid fan). Shortly after my preferred programming was over I received a call from the Mr. saying he was on his way with a breakfast burrito (sweet), a quick break between golf games. Cripes! I haven't got a thing done! Jump in the shower so he thinks I have been semi-productive! I thought to myself.
After chumming with the dudes for a bit, they were on there way back to another course and I got back to business... Time to get ready for the day!
Some hair days are much better than others. I think any female can agree. Fortunately, today was one of the good days. Great day really!

I don't own a lot of green and on days such as St. Paddy's day this can really put me in a "pinch." (See what I did there?) Green clothes bring out the red in my skin. But, as luck would have it, I did receive this gorgeous Yellow Turquoise necklace from my mother for Christmas a few years ago. It is a staple piece for me. A little ZING in my bor-rang wardrobe. I decided to sport a green manicure too!
I am no hand model like my sister
After my super sweet manicure was done... it was time for an afternoon cocktail with my dear friend and good neighbor, Yurki. We jumped in her EXTRA large jeep and headed to Gordon Biersch. It not being an Irish Pub we were sure it wouldn't be packed. We found a seat right away and ordered two Marzens!

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Because we are not avid beer drinkers (though we are trying to be) it took us about an hour to finish these bad boys, along with our garlic fries. As always, the people watching was great! We also decided over our beers we were going to make green goat cheese for the pizzas to be had later.

I had Yurki take pictures with a real camera so I could provide an awesome tutorial later this week. (I won't be doing that now.)While the cheese was hanging out, we started in on our green "Snakebites" (Harp and Cider and food dye).


So, as the title of this blog implied, 2 hours later, when the cheese should have been plenty ready, we untied it in hopes to start eating the gloriousness that is homemade goat cheese. But, all we had was a cheese-cloth balloon full of room temperature whey. I cursed under my breath and dumped out all the green whey/warm milk. *double-sigh* I am not really sure where we went wrong, but I must persevere and try again!

This cheese debacle was nothing several slices of delicious pizza and green Snakebites couldn't fix. We even talked Joe into making a pizza with green crust!

I hope you were able to enjoy your Saint Patrick's day! With or without green beers and green goat cheese.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I saved that weed for you

Recently I read an article on Yahoo! about “The 9 Secrets of Happy Couples” and one of the 9 points was about spending time together. Pat and I definitely do that, even if it means doing chores together. Last weekend we conquered the back yard. We fertilized the queen palm trees, re-planted the agave, mowed the yard and then we started weeding. Pat followed me with a little garbage can while I pulled the weeds. Then he jumped in and started pulling them too! We got to the northwest section of the pool were there were a plethora of dandelion like weeds. Pat turned around to me and said "I saved that weed for you. I knew you would want to pull it." It was the biggest weed of them all! Damn right I want to pull it and he knew that!
Is it a married couple thing that we find such happiness in chores? Or, is it a healthy couple thing? Regardless, I am thrilled to know that even when we aren't having fun out on the town, we are still able to enjoy each other and find the little things to make each other happy. Like saving the biggest weed! Or waiting at the door when the other arrives home from work. (Confession: I have been slacking on that lately, but am realizing the error of my ways).

Monday, March 12, 2012

Girl, you salty

Another newly wed happening happened tonight. Now usually I think I am a good-enough cook, but recently my cooking has been garbage! Garbage I tell you! Tonight was no exception.
It was my intent to make a left over bratwurst, broccoli and quinoa with curry dish. Sounds pretty amazing right? And how good of me to be using left overs, right? Right.

Well, if you have ever made quinoa you know you should cook it in a stock of some sort, so I did... But I doubled up on the bouillon cubes because they were borrowed cubes and I did not have the box to tell me the water to bouillon cube ratio. And, again, if you have cooked quinoa before, you don't taste it till it is done cooking and the germ has come out.

So, unknowingly I dished my seemingly delicious dish and to the dining table we went. First bite I said "geeze, that is a little salty." Another few bites and I felt like the first time I went to the ocean and was pummeled by waves. Gag reflex set in and dinner was done for me. Pat, being the sweet husband he is, told me it was really good and finished his. This was saltier than two Ramen Noodle packets in one pack of noodles. Torture nearly. And this coming from a girl who claims to love salt and has a serious addiction to sunflower seeds.

I boiled an egg for dinner and I didn't even have to salt it, salt still very prevalent in my system.

I do, however, think this could be a delish meal if made properly. Stay tuned and I will let you know.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Let's get real.

When I first started this blog, it was a place for me to post wedding stuff. Then we were married and it transitioned into something new. A Newly Wed Blog. I am realizing that I have not posted much about the newly wed things. I guess because as they are happening, I think they are just part of the relationship that has been going for 3+ years, not the first year married. But, last night I realized it may be just that. Newly Wed Drama.
I guess drama is not the correct word and we are definitely not fighting, fighting is a way of the past, but we are having some struggles. So, let's say newly wed struggles.
(Let me preface this blog with saying we are not in any sort of financial troubles.)
Money is the number one thing people warned us about prior to tying the knot. "It's the number 1 cause of divorce," people would say. Perhaps it is my newly wed syndrome, but I highly doubt money will ever be a big enough factor to tear us apart.... but why take the risk? This is the one thing we can REALLY control in our lives. Now is the time to take control and be smart about it. 
Four months after the wedding, when I was unemployed, Pat and I took another leap of faith and finally decided to get a joint bank account. We needed to keep all eyes on our finances at that time so we didn't dig ourselves in a hole. We did an amazing job and still lived fairly comfortably on one salary. We ate at home every night and Pat took his lunch to work every day. But, fortunately, we only had to live on one salary for a month. The joint account was a necessity at the time, and it is very convenient now that we aren't transferring money  for every bill or grocery trip. However, now we have really taken on bills as a household rather than as an individual. This has taken some serious finesse and several excel spread sheets.
It is really remarkable when we have more money than we have ever had because of our joint account, but the stress of money seems inescapable! A constant weight on us. It has been especially difficult because we have had Casa de Haire be more like Hotel de Haire since Thanksgiving. In turn, the alcohol, entertainment, gas budget has increased by 100%. We love hosting people, and entertaining a lot, so we had to figure something out.
In a bout of frustration last night, Pat and I decided we were going to revisit our budget and get our shit back on track. No more shopping at Trader Joes (except for select items), no more lunches out and less booze. These are really the only thing we can cut back on because we don't have cable to cancel, I don't have a car payment and we only drive to work and back really. We paid off our biggest chunk of debt last month and things are definitely going in the right direction now. (New car here I come... soon)

So, tonight, we are taking a much needed mini vacay from Casa de Haire and heading down to Tucson to visit the MIL and have some Man vs. Food eats and a good time. Then tomorrow, it is back to work on the house because our next guests are arriving on Friday!