Thursday, February 28, 2013

52 lists -- week 7 -- things that make you feel healthy: mind, body & soul

 i found this list to be much easier than the first 5 of 2013 -- it is less reflective and more instinctual. that being said, it's super easy to say why you feel healthy when you're talking about your body; if you're eating well and taking care of yourself, normally, you feel good. but having a healthy mind (and soul) is just as important, and sometimes, it's harder to figure out how to make that happen. for me, i think the things that make my mind and soul feel healthy are the things that make me the happiest -- singing along to a blaring radio with the windows down, dancing with my kittenz, learning new things, and just sitting in the sunshine letting the heat and warmth soak into my bones. it can be hard to convince yourself to be healthy all the time, to eat well and exercise, but the things that make my mind and soul happy are things i would do every minute of every day if i could.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


as i left for work last wednesday, the clouds gathered in the distance. i had heard that there might be snow, but thought, "it's arizona, it must be a hoax." the internet said it was nothing to worry about, so i didn't worry. famous last words, right? 

for 70 miles, i drove through some of the worst rain. but it was still just rain. everywhere in the world, but arizona, gets rain. it's a thing everyone else deals with, so i did. and then i passed these signs 2 blocks away from work.

followed by a sign that said it was 41 degrees outside. 

i'm from virginia, i know what that means -- rain. not snow. blizzard, my butt.

then i got this picture from rcg: snow in tucson.



but i didn't experience it. by the time i got home, there was no snow on the ground and none falling. but the blizzard had been here. the mountains were proof of that. 

these are pictures from driving home wednesday night -- you can barely make out the mountain in the picture on the left. 

the santa catalinas the next morning. (you couldn't see them at all the night before.)

the tucson mountains.

Monday, February 25, 2013

2013 -- week 8 -- snow, beautiful mosaics, a rockin' concert, and a kitten birthday party

 it's amazing the art and beauty you can see around you if you just look for it. over the past year i've been much more aware of how the simple things can be beautiful, but tucson takes it to the next level. there are murals and mosaics all over town. some of this artwork is done by ben's bells (like the large "i am tucson" mosaic above) but a lot of it is small stuff on the sides of buildings, in the middle of cross walks (like the arizona mosaic above), on overpasses, and street corners. look around you, art is everywhere.

have you ever gotten a tarot card reading? i've always wanted to get one, so i bought rcg a gift card for christmas and we finally got to use it this weekend. it was crazy. we walked in and told the woman doing the reading nothing about ourselves; she just started. and what she interpreted from the cards was so intense. it was as if all of the thoughts we've been pushing to the back of our mind were revealed through the cards. the cards told us about our fears and our hopes and about our past; it was amazing. and incredibly uncomfortable. when we walked in, we weren't sure what to expect, but this experience has given us a lot to think about. maybe changes are coming?

tumamoc -- amazing views of tucson and a sore butt

when you think of the desert, you think of a flat, dry landscape. at least that's what i thought of. then i moved here, and it is definitely dry and flat, but it also has more mountains and hills than i ever could have imagined. and they are surprisingly beautiful. they are covered with saguaros and super rocky, but they have this quiet beauty that comes from being created millions of years ago. 

lucky for us, we know some awesome people who are from this part of the world, and they have been opening our eyes to the beauty of hiking and seeing the world from a new, higher up, perspective. this past weekend, they took us climbing up tumamoc "hill". (it's a hill in the respect that it is only 3000 feet high, rather than mt. lemmon's 9000 feet.)

they told us that the trail was about 1.5 miles and paved. awesome. we figured we'll do a quick little walk about this hill and then go grill out and enjoy the sunshine. we did not realize that we had 1.5 miles to go up 1000 feet in elevation. it was a steep climb. a really steep climb. but the views of tucson were amazing.  

the trail is easily accessible from the parking lot behind st. mary's hospital, which is located in the eastern part of downtown tucson at silverbell road and st. mary's road. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

food trucks at the gem show

everywhere you go, the new food fad is the food truck. it's awesome; it's a restaurant that moves. the only thing better than a restaurant that moves is a bunch of restaurants that move and all hang out together. read: a food truck round up. we've been to a couple already, but there was no way we could pass up this one up: 22 food trucks, an 80s cover band, and the gem show. done.

and per usual, the food trucks did not disappoint.

the twisted tandoor

red goat curry ($5) & chai ($1.50)

it was awesome to try the goat curry -- you don't see goat on a lot of menus so that was definitely fun -- because it was spicy, but not too spicy. and the chai was a wonderful addition; it cut the spice and kept us warm.

lobster cake with cajun remulade
wok char salmon with wasabi mesquite honey glaze
french dip sliders with havarti cheese and au jus
(3 tapas for $8 or 4 tapas for $10)

this was our first time trying the mobile bistro and it was AMAZING. it is such a novel idea to serve tapas out of a food truck, but they did great. the lobster cake was moist and flavorful, the salmon had an awesome blend of spicy wasabi and sweet mesquite honey, and the french dip slider was a mess in the way that only delicious food can be. this was definitely our favorite truck of the night.

sweet potato fries with sriracha mayo ($3)

we have a sordid history with foodie fleet -- the first time we wanted to try them, they sold out. the second time, the food was awesome. and then this time, our third go around was a mix of happiness and sadness -- we wanted to try the sweet potato fries and a belgian waffle. the belgian waffle was sold out (sadness), but the sweet potato fries were think and delicious. and the sriracha mayo was a nice addition. i think we'll try foodie fleet again, but the fact that they so easily sell out of stuff is cause for concern.

psycho: sliced ribeye, grilled onions, jalapenos, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, mayo & pepper jack cheese ($8)

 this is our second time trying serial grillers, and it was no less amazing this time than last. in fact, it was so good last time that we ordered the same thing the second time. keep up the good work serial grillers, and if you wanted to drive by my house and drop off some sandwiches, i will always welcome that.

korean tacos (3 for $7)

we've eaten at mafooco more times than i can count, and everytime it has been great. the korean tacos are made with a sweet sauce, but the self-applied sriracha really brings out the amazing in the flavors. they also have kimchi quesadillas, which are equally awesome, although they are normally sold with just kimchi and cheese, i recommend adding some of the beef to them for a more well rounded flavor.

carolina style pulled pork sandwich with champagne vinaigrette cabbage slaw ($8)

our friends ordered this for the main reason that it was carolina style. and if the noises they were making while eating it are any indication, this pulled pork hit the spot. this sandwich got two greasy, finger licked thumbs up from a north carolina native.

if you want more information about local food truck round ups, check out the tucson food truck roundup's facebook page for event dates and times.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

the gem show

tucson may be a small(ish) town in the desert, but every february it becomes the host to the second largest gem show in the world. people come from all over to show and sell gems, precious metal, beads, fossils, and jewelry. it's amazing. and awful. 

it's amazing because the stuff you can see at the gem show is crazy cool. and because the entire city is overrun with the gem show. there are tents up in previously vacant lots. the hotels are full and you can even go see vendors in their hotel rooms. but it's also awful, mainly because the traffic is crazy and the drivers crazier.

they have 135 million year old fossils you can buy.

they have loose gems for purchase.

there's amber with close-up pictures of the trapped bugs.

and they have huge rocks filled with crystals.

and there is so much more. i was just too mesmerized to take pictures of everything.

what events make your town unique?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2013 -- week 7 -- best valentine's day present ever + week 6 of #52lists2013

when i was a freshman in college i decided to turn a doodle of mine into a tattoo. it was a simple six petal rainbow flower. as i got older, i realized that it was too symmetrical and i wanted something more. so i tattooed a bunch of five petal flowers up my side. it took me two tries to get it just the way i wanted it. but it's time to add to it again. 

this time i'm thinking of adding a skull to the vines of flowers. i've done a lot of research and looked at a lot of different ideas with the main inspiration being a sugar skull from day of the dead. the above sketch is what i came up with. what do you think? tattoo worthy?


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

52 lists -- weeks 1 through 5 -- a chance to reflect

over the past couple of months i've been trying to read more blogs -- i figure the more blogs and websites i check out, the more ideas i'll have for my own blog. i'm still working on that part, but in the meantime i found a cool new project to work on this year: 52 lists.

i'm pretty into making lists. but normally my lists are about the seventeen million things that i have to do. when i found moorea seal's blog and her new project, 52 lists, i thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect about my life a little. 

however, being reflective is hard. really hard. as a result, these lists are pretty sparse, but i'm hoping that the more lists i complete, the easier it will be to reflect about where i've been and to see where i'm headed. who knows, maybe i'll even be able to pull my life together with the help of these lists.

Monday, February 11, 2013

2013 -- week 6 -- gems, precious metals, art, and a busted lip?

if it seems like i have no photos from during the week, it's because i don't. how can i be so busy everyday, and still feel like i did nothing that's worth photographing? and then the weekend comes and i'm just as busy, but everything is photo worthy. it's insane.

it's also kind of crazy that it's already february. amiright?

arizona sonora desert museum

people in tucson rave about the desert museum. people who've visited tucson rave about it. it's THE place to visit.

i was skeptical. it's a museum about the desert; how awesome could that really be?

then i found out it wasn't a museum so much as a zoo for desert animals. i became intrigued. so we decided to take the heinzanyis there when they came to visit. and i was pleasantly surprised.

i will say this -- i am so glad that we went during the winter; it was sunny and in the 70s when we went, and even then almost all of the animals were asleep. i can't imagine that they would be bouncing around in 112 degree heat. plus, there is about 3 miles of walkways, which could be brutal during the summer. luckily, there are water fountains every 50 feet or so.


my favorite part of the day was the prairie dogs. obviously. i mean look at them; they are so freaking adorable. and they are big kissers. how cute. i could sit and watch them for days.

the desert museum is pretty cool because they built the animal "cages" into the surrounding environment, using the animals' natural habitats. the "cages" that the coyotes and the javelinas live in are large and are designed to be as real to life as possible. unfortunately, that means it's difficult to see these two animals because there are a lot of places for them to hide. that being said, it's nice to know that these animals are protected while being in an environment that directly replicates their natural habitat.

stop it arizona -- you're so pretty.

twice a day you can see the raptors flying freely across the desert. but don't think you have to walk all the way down to the special auditorium; you can see and hear the presentation from other places in the museum as well. and it is definitely super cool to see these birds of prey doing their thing.

the desert museum has both an aviary and a hummingbird house. the aviary is filled with beautifully colored birds from around the world, while the hummingbird house has tons of tiny speedy hummingbirds. 

it was in the hummingbird house that having a fancy camera was definitely a plus. those little suckers are so fast that you really have to have a fast shutter to capture their awesomeness. unfortunately, the iphone camera still cannot do rapid shots, especially if you are using the hdr function. as a result, i am currently in the market for a cool app that allows me to control how long my iphone camera shutter stays open.