Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Midway Ice Castle ... and I started using a DSLR

This Arizona girl is starting to warm up to some of the colder parts of Utah.
While we still aren't the biggest fans, we can appreciate the beauty of the snow and the fun that comes with it. 
And then we promptly run back inside and grab some hot chocolate. 

Monday night took us up to Midway to see the ice castle. Sadly, the strangely warm winter we had this year meant that they were only open for three days instead of the regular two months.
 We were lucky to catch the place open on their last night.

If you are in Utah, a trip to the ice castle is a must. It was absolutely beautiful and such a good time.
The castle includes a light show to music, slides, tunnels, and fountains. So fun.

And.... I officially cracked open the DSLR that we got for Christmas. 
Let me tell you, I have a LOT of work to do. The camera is tricky... but it was fun to try it out.
I spent a good chunk of the day figuring out what settings I would need to get a decent night picture of snow.
I felt pretty justified when a legit-looking camera man told me that the key was to shoot in manual and up the ISO, and then looked at the camera and approved of the settings.
Now I just need to figure out the other aspects... because these pictures obviously aren't the very greatest, but I figure the only way to learn is to break out the camera and use it as much as possible.

So let me over-picturize this post for you:

There was also a fun "Frozen" theme. We caught a fun shot with Olaf, 
but sadly didn't wait in the long line of children to meet Anna and Elsa.

The light show also included fire!
Let me share my feeble attempts to catch the beauty of it... and basically failing.
I know that shots like this have something to do with shutter speed... 
but I obviously didn't quite figure that one out on Monday.

This next one is possibly my favorite picture from the night.
Brad went through some of the tunnels and slides and I decided to take pictures and not risk a fall.
We'll have to go back next year when I'm not pregnant to try all those things out.

It was such a fun night and we definitely plan on going back next year.
If you are in Utah (or just want to see some really amazing pictures of the castle),
go here for more information and to keep up to date on info for next year's castle. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Comedy Sportz

If you're in the Provo area and looking for a great, affordable date night, you definitely need to check out Comedy Sportz. They are a clean comedy joint that gives you over an hour of laughs for only $8! And if you go on Thursdays, you get a shorter show for only $5. I haven't seen it, so I can't speak for the Thursday show, but it's definitely a great deal. If you aren't in the Provo area, never fear. They have Comedy Sportz groups throughout the nation. Find your nearest location here.

We had never heard of Comedy Sportz, but when my cousin suggested it for a double date, we were game to give it a try. I will be totally honest and tell you that we were a little worried about what we were getting ourselves into. We had been to one other comedy show in the area and it was pretty bad... just not funny at all. So we went into the show with relatively low expectations, but trusting my cousin that it was actually a great show. And it didn't disappoint! We loved the whole show and laughed like crazy.

Comedy Sportz is an improv show, so no preparation and you don't know what you're going to get. They don't make jokes about Sports, (apparently some people think that's what they're getting when they buy tickets to Comedy Sportz), but they do comedy as a sport. Basically two teams of comedians play "games" and the audience votes on who wins each round. The referee also has a lot of say in the matter, and is one of the funniest of the group. If you ever watched Who's Line is it Anyway, the games are similar to that. At least from what I remember of the one episode I watched of that show in my entire life... you know. And with it being totally clean comedy, you don't have to worry about feeling uncomfortable at all. The crowd was full of kids, teenagers, college students, adults, and even grandparents. So you can feel comfortable making it a family affair. Our show was sold out, and it sounds like that's pretty common for the weekend shows, so get your tickets in advance here

In all, a laugh-out-loud funny show that we would recommend to all. So glad that we were able to go!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli

When I was home for Christmas last month, I promised a dear friend that I would post some recipes 
again now that I am feeling better and have quite a bit more time on my hands.
And I must admit, I really enjoyed coming up with my own recipe again. 
There is something really fun about making something from nothing and figuring it out without a recipe. 

Now, my food photography is a whole other story... I definitely need to work on that one.
But even if the picture doesn't show it, this is a really yummy dish and you should definitely try it.

Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli

2 Large Chicken Breasts
1 Large Broccoli Crown
2 T Butter
1/2 C Teriyaki Sauce
2 T Soy Sauce
1/2 C Water
2 T Crunchy Peanut Butter
1/2 T Ginger

1. In a skillet, melt butter. (I used my electric skillet, but it also works on the stovetop)
2. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and add to butter. Cook until brown, about 8 - 10 min.

3. In a bowl, combine teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, water, peanut butter, and ginger. Stir well until         
    peanut butter is mixed in well. 
4. Add mixture to chicken. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 8 min.

5. Chop broccoli into small pieces. Add to chicken, recover, and cook for 4-6 min. Don't overcook. 
    The broccoli is extra delicious when it is still semi-crunchy.

Serve over rice (we prefer brown) or with chow mien. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Smash Burger Date Night

Truth. Pre-pregnancy, I was not a burger eater. I would get one every now and again, and only if everyone was going out for hamburgers and it was a thing. And even then, I usually chose a chicken sandwich or something along those non-burger lines.

But cue pregnancy, and suddenly I am a hamburger person. But not just any hamburger. Definitely not a fast-food burger. A good, loaded with extra yummies burger. Yuuuummm!

So this week, date night sent us to the ever-talked-up Smashburger. We were a bit concerned that it wouldn't live up to expectations, but it was actually super yummy!

Brad went with the Spicy Jalepeno Baja Burger with sweet potato fries. This monster of a burger included fresh jalepenos, guacamole, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and all on a chipotle bun. It definitely had a bite to it, but we would absolutely recommend it if you're into that kind of thing.

Fair warning that the pictures aren't great... the lighting was really weird inside of Smashburger.

And I went with the Beehive, a delicious burger with honey BBQ sauce, haystack onions, bacon, and cheddar cheese. I didn't know it at the time, but apparently this is a Utah only burger, but let me tell you, it was delicious! If you are a Utahan, I would absolutely recommend it!

And after salivating over the amazing looking shakes, we decided to extra splurge on our calories for the day. Why not? And after running into a friend who told us that smashburger has the best shakes in town, it sealed the deal. I went with the salted caramel, and Brad went with the Butterfinger. And they were both absolutely worth the splurge.

And if the never-ending line behind me doesn't show you that this place is seriously good, then just go and find out for yourself. And don't think about all you're eating. Just go with it. Get the burger, fries, and definitely the shake. Then eat all your veggies the next day. It will be okay!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Coming Back!

Well, it's finally time that I get back to the 'ol blog.

We took a nice break for Christmas, and let me tell you, it was much needed. AZ does Christmas right.

The extended delay was for a number of reasons. Mainly that we are moving into a new apartment! Hooray! This new apartment has luxuries like heat (definitely a must with cold UT weather), walls with baseboards, carpet that actually reaches said walls, full sized couches, and an ice maker. Life is good.

Last week, we were very blessed to have my mom, grandma, aunt, and cousin in town to help us with the move. Since Brad was back to school and I am 7 months prego, this was a HUGE blessing.

We are still working on decorating, but it was great to get the big things taken care of and to get started on the nursery! I think showing you will be easier than telling you, so here goes. Somehow, we didn't take any pictures of everyone when they were here... SAD! Just know that they worked their little tails off and I am sooo grateful!

So it's been a good month since I last blogged. I will be better now that I am settled, not working (weird, but fun to await our little girl and get things done), and back in a blogging mood. Welcome back!

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