Steph's Pick - Girls Night Out

Sep 27, 2008

I recently organized a "Girls Night Out" at a local Mexican restaurant for a bunch of girlfriends. Every Wednesday they feature what they call "Margarita's and Manicures" for $12. It's a great deal.
We gathered together and had so much fun. So much that our plan is to do it at least a monthly basis.
The reason why I chose this for my "Steph's Pick" is because I've come to realize recently how important it is to value time with the girls. (or if you're a guy - maybe football?). It doesn't have to be anything crazy - maybe just meeting at a local coffee shop or taking a walk around the nearest park. Just anything to get together with your girlfriends.
If you haven't had a chance to get out of the house recently, make arrangements to do it soon - you won't regret it!


Vegas or Bust!

Sep 24, 2008

Whenever my parents come into town, we're in for a real treat. They're always eager to take some sort of road trip. This visit our road trip took us to Vegas to see the sights and cheer on the ISU Cyclones as they played UNLV. Although the Cyclones did not pull away with the win (heartbreaking finish in OT), we still had a great time with the family. Erik, my brother, even met up with us (although he took a 27 hour bus ride to get to Vegas). We visited some of the major resorts on the strip, tailgated with ISU alumni, and even played a few penny slots.


Steph's Pick - Party Secret #2

Sep 19, 2008

Whenever I'm asked to host a party, the first thing I do is begin to think about a theme. Now a theme can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Often times a piece of scrapbook paper inspires me and other times an entertaining blog post. There are so many options out there - which is exactly what makes hosting a party so much fun!
Upon coming up with a theme I begin looking for all of the parts needed to put together the perfect party. Whether that is theme oriented favors, decorations or food - I filter every decision through my "party theme glasses."
So whether you decide on doing a simple color theme or going with something a bit more elaborate, I can guarantee, you will have such a great time planning the party. You may even be a bit sad when it's over with. I know I am.
I've included a few of my favorite idea's below. All of which I found on
Hostess of the Mostess, one of my favorite entertaining blogs.

Kids Birthday...Candyland Birthday

Bridal Shower... Bling Bride

Baby Shower...Bubbly Ducky Brunch

Christmas...Berries and Branches


kitchen renovation complete!

Back in June we had an unfortunate accident happen in our kitchen. Unknowingly, our dishwasher started leaking and managed to seep through our floors, cabinets and our downstairs neighbor's ceiling and walls. It was a mess to say the least. And a very messy situation to figure out. Between insurance, our contractor and our time out of the state it took much longer than we ever could have expected to complete. Thankfully everything is complete!!! Hurray!

I thought I'd post a few pictures of the process. The first photo is of our kitchen before everything - well not so much before b/c as you can see at this point we already had fans working to dry up the mess. The second is after our dishwasher and countertops were removed (an in-process photo) and the last is of the final product. We just need to upgrade the fridge and we're done for awhile! I think it looks pretty good if I do say so myself.


In process:



Surprise - Happy Birthday Amy!

Sep 18, 2008

This past weekend I was privileged to be able to fly out to New England to surprise one of my favorite people in the whole wide world, Amy Brill! For those of you who don't know, Amy and her husband Greg are dear friends of ours who have spent the past year in Ecuador. They recently returned and have been with their families in Rhode Island and Connecticut for the past few weeks.

I knew that Amy's 30th birthday was coming up and thought it would be fun to surprise her and fly out for her birthday celebration. So early this summer I made a few phone calls and booked the ticket. And I couldn't have asked for a more welcoming/surprised scream from Amy when I walked in and yelled "Happy Birthday" this past Sunday. It was priceless!!! She was shocked. Thanks Steve, Linda, Candace and Mike for helping me pull it off!

After the shock wore off we made plans to visit Boston on Monday where we took in all of the incredible history and beautiful scenery and got a chance to see our friend, Margo, who is attending MIT. Then on Tuesday we sat Oceanside and chatted about this past year. And there was a ton to talk about. All in all it was a fabulous time!

We can't wait for Greg & Amy to be back in AZ. We've missed them a ton.


Steph's Pick - Party Secret #1

Sep 13, 2008

So I have to let you all in on a little secret - when I started "Steph's Pick" I never thought it would be hard to come up with a new "pick" each week. But this week I was totally stumped!!! I feel like I'm losing my passion for totally random things. I was honestly a bit discouraged.

Fear not - in the middle of my panic attack over not being able to come up with a new pick for this week, I thought of starting a "Steph's Party Secrets" series where I'll share some of my favorite party idea's. For those of you who know me well, you know I love throwing a good party. I'd be happy camper if I could throw a party or help plan a party every week :)

This weeks Party Secret isn't much of a secret for those of you Flies Blend blog readers, as I'm sure you've seen that I use lanterns for a ton of my parties. But honestly, chinese lanterns are the BEST way to decorate for a party. I've used them for wedding receptions, baby showers, bridal showers and will probably find plenty of other uses for them. When I use them for parties I try and buy at least 3 different sizes of lanterns - just to give a little dimension. I use them in place of balloons outside to designate which home is hosting the party, I use them on the food table or just around for a little added color and to pull the theme together.

I've found these at various locations. A great place to find some unique lanterns is
Cost Plus World Market. I've also found some great small one's at Oriental Trading Company. Just to give you a few idea's.

So for your next party - plan on picking up a few lanterns - they're great!!!

Note: For "Steph Pick" readers (which may not be many of you - I have no idea) - I need your help! I need your idea's for future Steph Picks. If you have any idea's - comment below!!! Thanks


a new blog

Sep 7, 2008

Since entering the blogging world, I'm always looking for a new blog to read. Just last week Nick & Abby Flies started their own blog - Yipee!!!! Check it out!


Steph's Pick - a Fall Treat

Sep 5, 2008

The entire time I was in the mountains this past week, I couldn't help but get excited about fall. I love the changing of colors, the cooler temps and the great food!!! Especially the treats! (Note: although this doesn't really happen in AZ - I still get excited about this season) In light of this, I thought I'd post one of my favorite fall dessert recipes (thanks to Jess)

Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake
1 2/3 cup Butterscotch chips
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup 100% pure pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 and grease bundt pan. Microwave 1 cup butterscotch morsels for 1 minute.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt & nutmeg. In a separate bowl stir melted morsels, pumpkin, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla with wire wisk. Then combine two combinations.
Bake for 40-50 minutes.
Optional: Butterscotch Sauce: Bring 1/3 cup evaporated milk to boil and then add remaining butterscotch. Return to boil & remove from heat. Pour over slices upon serving.


Erik & Mtns

Just last weekend, my brother booked last minute tickets to come visit us. We had an awesome time with him. The days were mostly spent poolside while the evenings were filled with great food and entertainment. We took him to some of our favorite places to eat and were able to go to The Comedy Spot one night and to a Diamondbacks game the next. Thanks for coming out Erik - we wish we lived closer!

I was also blessed to go on a Mtn Tour this past week for work where we checked out various locations for our ministry's major donor event. In just over 4 days we were in Vail, BeaverCreek, Park City and Tahoe. It was a crazy trip - but it made me so excited for cooler weather. Each morning I was able to get up early, take a walk, start a fire and read with a cup of coffee in hand. It was perfect!!!


our camping adventure

Sep 1, 2008

Just last weekend we were finally able to find a weekend to get out of the sweltering Phoenix sun with a couple friends of ours, Kevin & Joy. We traveled to Lynx Lake (near Prescott - just 2 hours northwest of the valley) for an evening under the stars. It was so wonderful being outside. I couldn't get over how great 70 degree's felt and how incredible the pine trees smelled. It was so energizing for all of us.

Although the lake itself was a sorry excuse for a lake (this coming from two Midwest natives), the getaway proved to be a ton of fun. We would highly recommend getting away, even for just a one-night camping trip before fall schedules get the best of you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by 2008

Back to TOP