Friday, February 26, 2010

My Favorite Restaurants

Here is an old restaurant meme.  If you want to play, here are the rules:

1. Link to name of person that tagged you.
2. Include state and country you live in.
3. List top 5 favorite local restaurants.
4. Tag 5 other people and let them know they've been tagged

I live in the East Valley area of Phoenix in Arizona.

1. Casanova Brothers: GREAT NY style pizza, delish pasta dishes & even desserts.  If you're looking for good Italian food in the Phoenix area, I'd say this is the place to go.  Lots of fresh, homemade menu items.  I'm a spaghetti girl, so I'll always recommend that, but they have awesome pizza ... some of my faves are cheese, veggie, & caprese.

2. Costa Vida: If you haven't been, GO!  My favorite menu item here is the veggie salad ... beans, rice, hot tortilla, guac, pico ... yum!

3. Del Taco:  As for fast food, Del Taco is probably my favorite these days.  I can feed my family for under $10 and I think Del Taco tops Taco Bell.  Let's see ... at Del Taco some of my regulars are the veggie works burrito, tostadas & crunchy tacos with beans.

4. Gecko Grill: noticing a pattern ... it's hard to find good food around here that's isn't Mexican ... but Gecko Grill is loved by all!  I love their cheese enchiladas (without onion for me), tostadas, rice, grilled fish tacos & I can't leave without a cold glass of horchata!

5. I'd have to say that the Cheesecake Factory wins my final spot.  For special occasions, I like to go get grilled Mahi-Mahi with mashed potatoes & asparagus.  I love cheesecake, so I always try to save room for dessert.  I don't think I have a favorite flavor though.  Do you?

So, now I gotta cheat.  If I could eat anything in the world right now, it would be a big ol' fat sandwich from Primanti Bro's in Pittsburgh.  They're HUGE & most definitely unique.  If you go to the Strip District location on a Saturday, even in the middle of the afternoon, be prepared to wait in a line that goes out the door & down the street!  They put the fries & coleslaw right on the sandwich ... mmm ... heaven.  I think that's what I'll be making for dinner tonight. 

So now I need to tag 5 people…

Tara Phelps
Katie Minharo
Audra Campbell
Nancy Tiffany
Sarah Marshall

I wanna know where you love to eat!  Play along, leave me a link to your blog & I'll pay you a visit!

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ashley Hall Music

About once a month, I play my violin in church.  I always play arrangements by Ashley Hall, who is in my ward.  He has a website where you can go to listen to & download his arrangements for choirs, instrumentalists, duets, etc.  All his music is free and he even has a link to other free sheet music websites ... great resource!  If you're looking for a nice musical number, take a peek at his site.

PS Ashley's arrangements are very simple & easy to put together which is nice because they can be used by a variety of people and you don't have to spend countless hours practicing.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February 21, 2007

On February 21, 2007, Peacock officially became a member of our family.  There were some intense moments in that courtroom when we thought we were going to be sent back home (a 10-12 hour car ride) without a finalized adoption.  In the end, everything worked-out in our favor that day.  We are so thankful to have a little Peacock in our family!!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Homeschooling Help

Are you a homeschooling mom or a parent who wants to supplement their child's education?  If so, check out this website!  It's free and has oodles of helps & fun stuff.  Your Pre-K through 2nd grader can work on everything from math to spelling to Spanish to art using Head of the Class.  Create a free profile & you're ready to go.  Thanks to my friend Tara for sharing this website with me!

While playing around on the Head of the Class website, I came across a link for where I found even more games & lessons for grades Pre-K through 6th.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Conversation Cards

In my search for communication lesson ideas, I came across these conversation cards.  I will be printing them & putting them in a cute container for my dinner table.  If you have a coupon for 50 free prints at Costco, you can get these conversation cards for FREE! 

Here are some examples of some of the conversation cards:

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Improving Communication Skills Lesson 8 Manual 2

This week I will be teaching lesson 8 which is "Improving Communication Skills".  Great lesson which I hope the girls will take & use in their everyday lives.

I like this game idea that I found on
"My counselor gave this lesson today and it was really, really good. She handed each of us a blank piece of paper and had us write a complete sentence. Mine was ~ The boy jumped over the moon. Then we passed that sheet of paper to the person on our right and they illustrated our sentence. Then they folded over the sentence "the boy jumped over the moon" so that just their picture was showing and passed it to their right. Then that person had to write as sentence describing what they thought that picture was saying. And then we opened them up and returned them to the original person. It was a very effective object lesson, and the girls really enjoyed it. (Shared by Angela Paladeni) "

My handout this week will be this:

I'm not sure what I'm going to attach to the handout yet, but maybe I can find some kind of candy cell phone.  Any ideas???  If you have an idea, please leave it in my comments for all to see!  :)  Or maybe just a homemade goodie would be nice.

Please feel free to use my handout in your classes as well.  Just save it to your desktop & print it from home or I recommend printing it at Costco as a 4x6 with lustre finish.  Any questions?

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I must apologize for my lack of blogging this past week.  I've been outside enjoying the warm, sunny days with my little birds.  On Monday we had a bean taco picnic at the playground.  After a Dr appt. on Tuesday, we had a picnic lunch at the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert, AZ.  It was almost too hot for our little hike around the water!  And we're only in Feb!!  And speaking of the Riparian Preserve, check-out THIS website for some awesome photos!  On Wednesday I had to take my Turkey to see a pediatric surgeon in Phoenix and afterwards we ate lunch outside on Bushka's patio and let the kiddies run wild for a while.  It's been a busy week and today I will spend hours working on Peacock's hair.  In my spare time, I've been homeschooling, working on YW stuff, cooking, cleaning & all kinds of other mom stuff ... it's been a good week.  For those of you who are patiently waiting for a lesson 8 handout ... it's on the way!

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Halloween 2009

I know I'm way behind here, but my goal is to make some scrapbook pages this year & to actually get them printed & into a scrapbook!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

That Easter Morn

Here is a sample of what you
will hear at the concert:

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Living in Love & Harmony Young Women Lesson 7 Manual 2

This Sunday I will be teaching lesson #7  ... Living in Love & Harmony.

There are lots of cute ideas at
... some that I'm considering are:
I put together a little hand-out this afternoon for the YW.   It might be fun to attach a Valentine's treat or a piece of rope (if you do that object lesson) or a box of Lemonhead candies (to go with the lemonade).  As always, I recommend printing my hand-outs at Costco with a lustre finish & this handout is 4x6 inches.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Love #5

K ... So, I was always one of those moms who vowed that we'd never own any kind of gaming system cause they're nothing but a waste of time, right?  But I have to admit that I broke down and a while back we got a Wii.  I also have to admit that I ♥ Wii.  We stick to games that are fun for the family & get-togethers or that have some educational value ... like Penguin got a Wii game for Christmas that teaches ballet.  The games that get used the most & that are the favorites are the ones that involve musical instruments ... ones like Beatles Rockband & my new ♥   ... BAND HERO!  (Way better songs than Guitar Hero!)

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Love #4

If you're making Mexican food for dinner & don't have time to make fresh salsa, try El Sol Salsa.  We ♥ it at our house.  If you go to THIS LINK, you can read about some places that sell El Sol Salsa ... or you can go directly to their bakery/restaurant in Chandler, AZ.  I usually try to get mild so my kids will eat it, but the medium isn't too spicey & I'm not into spicey foods.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Love #3

At our house, we ♥ Trader Joe's A Midsummer Night's Cream.  We tried getting rid of Penguin's eczema for years and this was the only stuff that helped.  Peacock can have some very dry skin, but when we use this thick moisturizing cream, her skin is silky smooth.  One of the best things about Trader Joe's lotion ... it's cheap!  I can't remember the exact price, but I think a bottle of it is around $3.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Love #2

(Sorry I'm slow in publishing these posts!)

I ♥ my Chi hair straightener!  I've tried other brands of straighteners and I stand by my Chi ... it really does work better!  I've tried different Chi straighteners and I have to say my favorite is the cheapest Chi that I recently bought at Costco for about $30 less than I've ever seen them anywhere else ... even using coupons ... even cheaper than asking someone with a license to get you one from a beauty supply store.  (Did I mention that I ♥ Costco?)

(Thank you to for the photo since I'm too lazy to take a photo myself!)

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Love #1

(Photo courtesy of

I thought for the first two weeks in February, it would be fun to share things that I love.  I ♥ Costco!  I ♥ that I can make one stop & get everything that I need from photos to new work clothes for my hubby to dinner to DVD's.  Although I miss our Waterfront Costco where they knew my whole family by name, it's always fun to run into people that I know at my new local Costco.  If you're looking for a place to pick-up a Valentine's gift for your ♥, Costco has some great options.  I wish that I would've taken a photo, but about 3 weeks ago my sweet husband bought me some gorgeous hot pink roses ... 20 to be exact ... from Costco.  They stayed nice & beautiful on my kitchen counter for almost 3 WEEKS!!  If you're requesting flowers from your ♥, you might want to hint that you'd like some from Costco. 

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