Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reusable Grocery Bags: Take 2!

I've had these finished for a few weeks now...I just keep forgetting to post them. It's just basically a pattern cut off of a plastic shopping bag, but with a pocket sewn to the front, so you can fold it up into its own little pouch. The tutorial is here

These pictures aren't so great, but you get the idea:



I find it hilarious that it's the MALE checkers who go on and on about how fabulous and cute they are. LOL...

Here are the bags plus the first one I made:

Friday, August 17, 2007

Anniversary trip to Jackpot, NV!

I never got around to talking about our trip, so here we are.

As I've mentioned, last Friday was our 5th anniversary. We hadn't been on any kind of trip since our honeymoon, but we're still plugging along on paying down debt, so we didn't want to do anything *too* big. We were looking for someplace cheap, close and less smoke-filled than the mountain resorts that we'd looked at around here. We settled on Jackpot, NV. It was about 2 and a half to 3 hours from here, just across the Idaho border, near Twin Falls, ID. From my understanding, the city was created when Idaho outlawed gambling, so it's literally FEET from the Idaho border. Awesome.

Here's Jackpot:



It is the tiniest little strip. It's almost laughable. I think there were 4 or 5 hotels and maybe 5 restaurants, with 3 of those being housed in our hotel and the hotel across the street. I was a little disappointed about the lack of food choices, but oh well. Our trip mostly consisted of: pool, hot tub, jacuzzi (in the room), eating, napping and gambling. It was fabulous. :)

The first night, we had dinner at Cactus Pete's, the largest hotel there and the main casino (the rest were a complete joke. I think our hotel "casino" had 5 tables and maybe 20 slot machines? I've seen bigger arcades. I would hardly call it a casino.)



We had a seafood and steak buffet and I actually tried some swordfish and ate a bit of shrimp (I normally don't care for seafood, but I'm always willing to try!). The best part was dessert. We literally took turns picking what we should get. My tummy hurts just thinking of all the dessert!

Jeff decided to play a little blackjack after dinner and we met the sweetest couple. They were probably about our parents' age and they were so cute. Carol (the wife) decided that I should be playing as well, so she gave me a $5 chip and helped with playing. There was lots of giggling and chatting and we had such a great time. Unfortunately, Jeff lost my big $17.50 win, but at least we didn't lose any big money. Jeff's good about walking away instead of pushing to win it back.

Here's our hotel, the Horshu:



It was very "old west" themed, but it was still nice. It took a while to get into our room at first, but otherwise, I was rather happy there. I'm so happy that we decided to get the jacuzzi room too. It was awesome. :) We stayed up late playing cards and soaking in the jacuzzi. Good stuff.

On Saturday, we drove about an hour away to Wells, NV and took the scenic drive to Angel Lake (I'll be posting scenery pictures galore later). It was a nice little break, but Wells was even smaller than Jackpot. We think it must've been the original casino town before Jackpot, but it's mostly a ghost town at this point. There were two little diners and a Burger King and that was about it. We stopped for gas, and were baffled by the price difference. It was .56/gallon more expensive ACROSS THE STREET. What?!
Proof:
Where we bought gas:


Across the street:


Anyway, so we drove up an insanely steep and windy road, but finally found the lake. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it was still pretty. I took tons of pictures and then we headed back to the hotel.

That night we ate at the little Mexican place in our hotel "casino". It was pretty good, and reasonably priced...and our AWESOME waitress brought us the biggest fried ice cream I've ever seen in my life (go Jeffy for not so subtly mentioning our anniversary!)...for free!! I really wish I'd had my camera. It was in one of those giant martini glasses...and it. was. awesome. :D How is it that I didn't gain 50 pounds on this trip? I just don't know.

On our trip back home on Sunday, we accidentally took scenic highway 30 around Twin Falls and it was gorgeous. I'm trying to figure out how to take my parents there when they come to visit. It was a stunning trip filled with mountains, foothills, dessert sand dunes, rocky canyons and breathtaking waterfalls. Who knew that all existed in Idaho?

Pictures of scenery coming soon!!


All in all, it was a wonderful trip. I'm so glad we went! It's good to be home though. I missed my bed, my quiet house and my kitty :)

Gratitude Friday: Prepare for the schmoop!

I didn't post last Friday because we were in Jackpot, NV for our little anniversary getaway. It was everything we hoped it would be and I feel refreshed and rejuvenated and even a little more in love with my darling husband.

I'm so grateful for my Jeffy. We've been married for 5 years and a couple for almost 1/3 of my life (which still feels a bit strange. My other relationships never lasted longer than 2 weeks). There are, of course, frustrating moments...but I can't imagine my life without him.



I could go into all the schmoopy details , but I won't bore you. All you need to know is that he's amazing. He's smart and wonderful and funny and he makes me smile every day. :)



I'm such a lucky girl.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

So, since we are surrounded by forests, foothills and all that good stuff, fires burning all over the state. Today happens to be a little clearer, but it's been pretty nasty. There are times where living in a valley sucks. All of the smoke from around the state just gets stuck here.

For reference, here's what it *should* look like:



And here's what it looks like right now:



Here are a few more pictures (you can click on them to see a larger image):








Close-up:



From the slightest distance, the foothills are almost non-existent:




Friday, August 3, 2007

Gratitude Friday...barely!

Almost too late...but it's been a busy day!

I took a walk that sparked the things I'm thankful for today (although my knees and lungs may not be thanking me tomorrow! ;) )

I'm thankful for...

-spiderwebs, even if I'm not so thankful for spiders. They're just so gorgeous.



-being able to walk through big subdivisions and shopping plazas and in the blink of an eye, be in the middle of nowhere



-hope in the bleak moments



-and quiet, peaceful moments, just when I need them most.