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Posts Tagged ‘Phoenix’

Hey friends,

I haven’t done a restaurant review in a while and I’m hesitant to do this one because The Oink Cafe is close to where we live and a review will just mean that more people will go there.  I’m kinda liking the place and not sure I want to share it with everyone in Phoenix.  But…I think you’ll like it and my mom taught me not to be selfish, so…here we go.

The Oink Cafe in PV

When driving down Cactus Road a few months ago, I noticed that one of the retail spaces near Paradise Valley Mall had a new sign outside.  This spot seems like a wonderful location, but has been somewhat of a revolving door in the past years, not retaining businesses for any length of time.  Hopefully, this will be the exception to that rule.

Anyway, you may remember that a few months ago I won a year’s supply of bacon so that treat has been forefront in my mind lately.  While driving by this new restaurant, the tag line made me do a double take. It reads “Breakfast. Lunch. Bacon.”   What!  A restaurant that features BACON!!! Wow! I’ve got to take my husband there!

This weekend we had the perfect opportunity to try it out.  We had family visiting from out-of-town and when we described it to them they were excited about the adventure.  So, our party of 5 headed there around 9:30 on a Saturday morning.  Phoenix restaurants can get pretty busy on weekends for breakfast, so we weren’t sure what we’d find.  We checked in at the hostess station, then moments later 2 more family members arrived, which increased our request to a party of 7.

Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

Maple Bacon Donuts

While we were waiting we noticed all these amazing looking baked goods.  We didn’t get a chance to try any, but will definitely need to do that next time.  Take a look at all the bacon options.

The staff handled our larger party graciously.  And fortunately while it was already pretty busy, there were a few tables that cleared just minutes after we arrived and we were seated promptly.

We perused the menu and ordered a nice variety from our friendly food server.  Here are a few photos to enjoy.

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One item of note:  At the time of this writing, they have 5 different flavors of bacon (applewood smoked, honey cured, sugar cured, peppered, &  jalapeno).  I enjoyed the applewood smoked bacon with breakfast and someone else at the table got an order of the jalepeno and gave me a taste.  It was delicious, especially for those who like that extra little kick of heat in their meal.

We mentioned to the server that they should have a flight of bacon that people could order to try a piece of each different kind.  She said that they have it, but upon checking the menu we couldn’t find it.  Hopefully they’ll add it to the menu or maybe to the list of “specials” so folks can check out all the different flavors.  Plus even though their logo is a pig, maybe they should consider adding turkey bacon for those who want to try to be a tad bit healthier.

Overall, everything was very tasty!  From the time we ordered till the time we got our food was a bit long, but since we were busy visiting it wasn’t too bad.  We’ll chalk that up to being relatively new to the breakfast scene and hope the timing improves.  It’s definitely a place that we’ll visit again…maybe for lunch next time.

Hey maybe they should offer an ultimate BLT with all the flavors of bacon!  I’d order it.  How about you?

What do you think ?  Does it sound promising?  Do you think you’ll try “The Oink Cafe” if you have the chance?

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It’s been a busy and somewhat non-traditional month for us.  As you’ll see from these photos, there’s been a good amount of time spent with those we love, but somehow things were busy in other ways too.

Christmas NativityWe also went to the Musical Instrument Museum (the MIM) for our 34th wedding anniversary on Dec 9th, celebrated the holidays with a few of the non-profit groups that I work with and had a lovely evening with some other dear friends.  All of those activities don’t have pics posted yet, but hopefully I’ll get to it.

I’m not quite sure how the month got away from me, but we didn’t decorate inside the house until December 19th which is VERY LATE for me!  Originally we weren’t expecting to have any gatherings at our house this year, so I guess that gave me the freedom to put it off.  Then we found out that we were hosting our family gathering, so I got busy and did a few things.

We still have at least one more celebration to come with our son, Kevin when he returns from being overseas in early January.  That will be a special time to have him back home and in the U.S. hopefully for a very long time.

Here are links to a few photos that I’ve posted on Facebook over the last month.  I hope you enjoy them!  (Note: I was told that some of these links didn’t work for those that aren’t on Facebook, so I’ve updated them.)

Randy Thompson’s Christmas Concert where Terry played in early December

Christmas with our Home Group (they’re like Family)

Christmas with my side of the family

Christmas with our Los Angeles area family and our precious friends, the Thompsons

Christmas cookies

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O.k., so I know that the last few months have been pretty sketchy as far as my blog posting.  You wouldn’t believe the back up of fun things that I have to post about though.  Here are a few of the activities that I have piling up in my photo files.  I can almost bet that I won’t get to all of them, but if you see something that sounds particularly interesting, let me know and I’ll work on those ASAP. Besides the busy schedule, I also have been having some technical problems with my laptop AND just hit the wall with the message that my external drive (where I store all my photos) is full.  Looks like I’ll be shopping for a new external drive.  Hopefully we won’t need to get a new laptop, but I’m a little concerned that it might breakdown on our trip in August.  Hopefully it will be resolved one way or the other before then.

Here’s a little sneak peak for one of the events.  This is Steve Larson and Bob Ryan performing in The Dubious Brothers Radio (Stage) Show for the Open Door to the World Annual Fundraiser last weekend.  Sorry, I don’t have the exact name of it.  Click to enlarge.  Lots more photos on that to come.

Steve Larson and Bob Ryan - The Dubious Brothers

Here’s the list of my latest activities that are waiting to post…any preferences?

  1. My sister’s new branch (it’s decorated and hanging on her wall)
  2. Dinner at the Mozingo’s with the reunion team – can you say AMAZING!
  3. Moving my mom to a new apartment
  4. Dinner at the Daily Dose Bar & Grill, then Fiddler on the Roof at Grady Gammage with Terry and his mom
  5. Greater Reach Ministries Fund-raiser Brunch at the…
  6. Historic Squaw Peak Inn – mini tour
  7. Open Door to the World – Dubious Brothers Show, Dinner and Fundraiser
  8. Glory Road band mini-reunion
  9. Putting in the patio at the Mozingos
  10. I’m growing orchids and they’re still alive!  Photos and everything
  11. Spring Training Dbacks game with the Truefaced Team
  12. Carefree Art Festival
  13. Grocery Shopping with my mom – just for posterity
  14. Uncle Al’s Hot Dogs
  15. Check Please Arizona” – New Phoenix metro restaurant review show on PBS
  16. Cantina Laredo Mexican Restaurant

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O.k., so you’re probably thinking that I can’t count or I fell off the face of the earth for the last 8 days because I just skipped from List # 3 to List # 11 on the “30 Days of Lists“.  Well, of course, its none of the above.  I’ve just been busy and decided to skip a few of the lists for now.

I’ve pretty much determined that I can’t realistically do any number of consecutive days of quality blog posting or crafts or scrapbooking or whatever because I just have too many other things tugging on my time.  In fact, I’m not quite sure how anyone with a full time job (or close to it ) can pull it off.

So, here’s my idea for those who might be listening/reading.  I think we should do a blogging or scrapping/art journaling challenge that’s only 1 to 3 times a week.  I think that’s much more do-able for the average Joe or Josephine (like me anyway).  I think that’s something that I could commit to over several months or even a year.  I’ll have to think about starting one of those of my own.  Let me know your ideas on what you would enjoy doing.

With that said, here’s the next list I chose, just because it sounded like fun!  Some of these are unique to Arizona, but many can be adapted to your local area as well.

Inexpensive Date Ideas:

  • Picnic and a movie in your own living room
  • Coffee and browsing at a bookstore
  • Happy Hour at a local restaurant – food and drinks are usually quite reasonable
  • Head out to a local coffee shop and enjoy the free music that’s offered.
  • Browsing the local arts, crafts and music festivals.  Many are free or very low cost.  Here’s a list of Free Events in AZ in March 2011.
  • This year my husband will be performing with his friend, Bob at the Tucson Folk Festival, which offers two full days of free music at outdoor venues in Old Town Tucson in the first weekend in May.
  • Head out to your local farmer’s market – buy some great food, go home and enjoy the process of cooking and dining together.
  • Ride public transportation downtown and take in the sights and sounds of the city.
  • Picnic in the park
  • A good old fashioned bike ride
  • Steaming hot clam chowder and a walk on the beach at sunset.

 

Single, Double or Triple Dates:

Day trips out of town – you’ll find lots of pics and stories on my blog about our weekend travels with and without other couples.

  • In Arizona we love destinations like Sedona, Jerome, Flagstaff, Prescott, etc.
  • The whole day can just be about a scenic drive.  The adventure is half the fun!
  • Look for interesting places to browse the art galleries, small shops, and quaint restaurants.
  • We also love getting out into nature and going on a hikes wherever we can find beautiful weather and gorgeous surroundings.
  • Places like: Oak Creek Canyon, Apache Trail, Tonto Natural Bridge, or any number of state parks, national parks and monuments in Arizona

Parent-Child Dates:

  • Story time at the Library
  • Playground fun!
  • Rainy day game tournaments – stay in your PJs and play together all day!  (board games, cards, video games, etc)
  • Draw, sew or do art projects together
  • Volunteer to help at a charity, church or community organization – it builds relationship skills, builds character and provides a lesson in thinking about others before ourselves

 

Chihuly Glass at the Desert Botanical Gardens

 

 

Fun For Anyone Dates:

  • Movies in the parks – lots of local shopping centers and parks host free outdoor movies when the weather is nice.  Take a picnic blanket or folding chair, your favorite beverage and a picnic of great snacks and enjoy the gorgeous evening watching a favorite classic movie. Here’s one going on now at the Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix.
  • Check out the Library Culture Pass Program – Library card holders can check out free passes through many Phoenix metro area libraries for free admission to selected area attractions like the Phoenix Zoo, AZ Desert Botanical Gardens, and many museums.
  • An awesome concert or an exciting basketball game are perfect for a night on the town.
  • A day trip to the snow for sledding or making snowmen.

 

 

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This Saturday I had the chance to do some exploring and shopping with some dear friends at the 7th Avenue Melrose District in Phoenix.  If you haven’t been there before, it’s a mile stretch between Camelback and Indian School Roads on what else, 7th Avenue.   I’ll do another post about our shopping day, but today I wanted to share about one of my fun finds!  This is the gang as we met to get our energy boost at Copper Star Coffee, right in the middle of shopping heaven!  More on that later too.

Our first stop was the Salvation Army at the corner of Indian School and 7th Avenue.  The sign outside said that they were having a 50% off everything sale.  Score!  Well, when we got inside we found out that until 10 am (just 10 minutes away) everything was 55% OFF!  Awesome!  So, while we didn’t have much time for browsing, we set out for some treasures.  One of the first things I saw was this metal plant stand.  Originally priced $29.95.  Discounted price $13.48!  How could I say no?  I was thinking that our front entry patio needed some Fall decor, so I picked it up and loaded in the car with the help of my friend Cathy.

And here’s what I was able to put together after I got home.  For now I just repurposed some of my other Autumn decor.   Some of the flowers are newly purchased, but otherwise it was things I had around the house.


Funny thing,  I’m trying to decide if I should keep the whole thing inside my entry because I like looking at it so much…plus with our Phoenix sun, things can get quite faded even in the Fall months.  Tell me what you think.  Does it belong outside or inside?  The outdoor entry patio is pretty bare too.  Or maybe I should take pics of it in both locations.  Let me know your thoughts on indoor vs. outdoors.

And here’s a bit of personal trivia.  Do you see the sign above the plant stand that says “Grandma Perkins Pumpkin Patch”?  Well, I bought that at a craft store in Ohio, near where I grew up and where much of my extended family lives.  Guess what?  My grandmother’s last name was PERKINS!  Is that cool or what?  AND she made her living running a roadside fruit and vegetable stand along one of the highways on the coast of Lake Erie.  In the Fall they sold pumpkins from their PUMPKIN PATCH!!!  Do you think whoever made the sign knew of that fruit stand?  Seems awfully coincidental.  In any case, I was so thrilled when I found it!  It reminds me of her every time I bring it out in the Fall.

So let me know your thoughts about the location and come back to hear more about our awesome shopping trip in the Melrose District.  Thanks for stopping by!

I’m linking back to Metamorphosis Monday!

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Let’s Rewind…
Life has been so busy for us over the last few weeks that I’ve missed posting about several wonderful outings that we’ve had, so I’m going to rewind a bit and see if we can catch up on some of the fun.

Back in mid-September we had one jam-packed night!

We had the chance to ride the Phoenix Light Rail (aka Valley Metro) for the first time. After work, we drove down to central Phoenix with Marshall and Cathy and met some other friends, John and Suzi at the Metro station at Central Avenue and Camelback Road. Coincidentally, that’s around the same place where I had taken pictures (above) a few weeks before when we drove down Central to Terry’s musical “gig” at St. George’s.

I like the new look of the area. It looks a lot different than when I went to Central High School back in the 70’s. The Baskin Robbins and Lunt Avenue Marble Club are missing from the north corners of the intersection and of course the light rail fills the southwest corner.

Within minutes, the clean and quiet train delivered us just steps from Chase Field, so we could watch a Diamondbacks game with a great group of friends and folks from Open Door. The Dbacks played the Colorado Rockies and won 7 – 5. That was a nice bonus.

After the game, we were treated to fireworks above the stadium.

Then we heard two Diamondback players share about their faith. Stephen Drew and Blaine Boyer.

And to end the evening, we got a free concert by the band, Mercy Me also at the stadium. You could tell by watching him, that the leader of the band, Bart Millard has a sweet and gentle spirit and a great voice, of course. (Amy you need to look at his favorite artist/band and movie in his bio.)

They closed with one of my favorite songs. Actually I want it to be played at my funeral, o.k.? It’s called “I can only Imagine” and it’s about going to heaven.

After a long full evening we headed back to the Metro station to catch a ride back to our cars. The ride back was much more crowded, but still very smooth and fairly easy. A few other friends were on the same car on the train ride back…Don, Carol, Bruce & Ellen.

Soon we arrived at our Central and Camelback stop. It was after midnight, but well worth the long evening. We said goodbye to John and Suzi, then headed home.

What a fun adventure with a precious group of friends…and the next morning Terry and I had to get up and drive to Los Angeles to see Amy, Andrew and Kevin. Crazy weekend, but what a blast!

More on that to come…

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Love the message in this art!
Check out this awesome art work that I saw when we were at the Second Saturday Coffee House last week downtown at St. George’s !

This is done by Derrick Kempf a local Phoenix artist.

Sometimes I have to admit that I don’t get some artwork. Sure, the colors and designs can be lovely or shocking or surprising, but it’s hard to get into the head of the artist to see where it all came from. I love this collage because it is so fun to look at and actually provides a positive message to everyone who sees it. These positive reinforcements would be a treasure to have in any room and I love the cottage/beachy casual feel of the piece. Be sure to click the pictures to enlarge so you can see the detail.

I would love to have a collage like this one for my family room wall. The promises and identity statements that it conveys are excellent reminders of how God sees us all the time.

Here’s another shot of some of his other work that was there. It was so nice to have all this great artwork to look at while the music was going on. Thanks Derrick, for sharing it with us.

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