While we were in Phoenix last week, we invited my family to join us at Zoolights. We got there just after 6 and spent about an hour braving the crowds and enjoying the lights. Meanwhile, I was trying out my new lens I got for Christmas!! It is a Nikkor 24mm 2.8D to go on the Nikon D90 my stepdad gave me this summer! (Insert giddy laugh here!)

And a picture of the whole gang, to end the lot. :)

Oh wait, I caught this gem…

Way to go, Maebelle. Dig on.





So we took our little pumpkin to the pumpkin patch this weekend. All in all, not our best family outing due to how ridiculously overcrowded it was; however, we still enjoyed the sunshine, views of the Rockies, and company of each other. Toby was more interested in the hoards of people than the pumpkins, but I can’t say I blame him. There were some interesting people…

I’m going to go out on a limb and say Toby’s favorite part was sitting in the dirt, trying to eat dead leaves. If I had any doubts as to what the next 10 years are going to look like with our little man, he affirmed that it will be an adventure trying to encourage good things and discourage not so good things – like eating dirt, leaves, bugs, etc.

I mean, he’s already quite mobile and on his way to walking (at 7 months!), what was I really expecting?! Toby is going to give me a run for my money and I will enjoy (nearly) every second of it! :)

My favorite thing about this whole day… Toby’s hair basically matches his sweater or the pumpkins depending on the light! How cute is that!? Now on to his Halloween costume. I’m having trouble deciding which one to go with. We’ve thought of a few really good ones. Just when I’ve made up my mind, I change it again. You’ll have to stay tuned to find out what I eventually stick with – I will give a hint though, both can be found in Harry Potter, though one is a bit more fantastical than the other.






birthday filet

It’s that time of year again – my husband’s birthday!!! He’s past the hump this year, a hefty 26. So, how to we celebrate his entry into the latter half of his twenties?? Filet mignon, of course!! We rarely eat steak of any kind due to its price, but I found a great deal on a couple of filets at King Soopers and I couldn’t resist! Not only was our meat selection amazing, but we also ate it in an amazing setting… Steamboat Springs!

I surprised David with a trip to our friends’ cabin at Steamboat Lake for his birthday. It was quite the adventure: blizzard on the way up, getting lost, hiking in 4 feet of snow to the cabin, malfunctioning snowmobiles, snow avalanche that trapped us in the cabin, 5 feet of digging to escape, and getting our car stuck in the snow/mud. It wasn’t all bad, though! We had a quite, relaxing weekend away filled with quality time, intimacy, and delicious food.

Our menu:

Filet mignon with an aged Zin reduction
sauteed asparagus
roasted new potatoes
and pecan shortbread pie for dessert (store bought)

We prepared our steaks as I mentioned in a previous post – with a salt, pepper, and sugar rub that we seared on the stove and finished in the oven until the center of the meat got up to 130 (aka medium). I cannot stress enough the importance of allowing meat to rest after you remove it from the heat! Letting meat rest is essential to keeping meat tender and juicy. I know it looks so good that you just can’t contain yourself enough to leave it alone for 5-8 minutes staring at you with its juicy goodness, but it seriously makes the difference between so so meat, and amazing, mouthwatering meat!

We sauteed the asparagus in a little bit of olive oil over medium heat, and seasoned with salt and pepper.

We diced the potatoes, coated them lightly with olive oil and tossed them with salt, pepper, rosemary, paprika, and cayenne. We baked them in the oven at 400, stirring occasionally until the outside was crispy and the inside was nice and soft.

What a meal!! Don’t you wish every birthday could be this good? What is your favorite or ideal birthday meal?