Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Fiesta Bowl Parade

It's hard to believe that I am a Phoenix native yet have never seen the Fiesta Bowl Parade in person. This year, I found a good viewing spot in my neighborhood, which is often on the route for parades.

Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation's float
Cute dancing salsas accompany the chips.
Ballet Folklorico Alegria's colorful costumes.
Tempe High School's float.
Texas Christian University's band.
Chevys from various years rolled through the parade.
Mini horses.
Corona del Sol Steel Band performed from a tropical-themed float.
U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin was the grand marshal of the parade.
The Winslow community float makes me want to visit soon.
USS Arizona
Arizona Twirling Athletes had adorable costumes and impressive baton-twirling skills.
The town of Williams also participated, with a Western-themed float.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cheri's Desert Harvest

As I have written about before, I've been making an effort to shop more from Arizona-based companies. I started by shopping for produce at my neighborhood farmers market, and now I've added local companies' websites to my list.

Recently I ordered a gift set from Cheri's Desert Harvest, a Tucson company. For $19.95, I got four 5-ounce jars of honey: pickly pear cactus, mesquite, desert blossom, and orange blossom. From what I gather on their website, it comes in a decorative gift box.

Because of the holiday, my shipment was delayed on the Christmas gift, so to make up for it, the shipment was sent by next-day air instead of standard FedEx shipping. They also included extra candy in the box.  A nice touch that shows they value my business.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Las Noches de las Luminarias 2012 at Desert Botanical Garden

I’ve written about my love for the annual Las Noches de las Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden, and I loved it this year just as much. While I recently visited the garden and have seen the Philip Haas sculptures, it was nice to stroll along the walkways adorned romantically with luminarias, enjoying the sounds of music and merriment emanating through the area.

 My favorite performer this year is Porangui, a Brazilian musician who played various instruments and whose energy and enthusiasm lifted the audience’s spirits. It was fun to watch and participate in the music making. The crowd even learned from Portuguese words and shared a few laughs.

As I have said before, the event makes for an entertaining, festive night.

Monday, December 17, 2012

My first taste of True Food Kitchen

In the spirit of being healthy, I followed my Sunday morning yoga class, free at the Biltmore Fashion Park, with brunch at True Food Kitchen.

 I'm a fan.

The vegetable scramble ($10) was delicious, and nutritious to boot. I paired it with honey lemonade ($4), refreshing and not too sweet. After countless downward dogs, my body thanked me.

I also ordered a Quinoa Johnny Cake ($9) to go. Tasty, and filling.

The Johnny cakes are served with Greek yogurt and maple syrup.
I'm excited to try the lunch and dinner options while treating my body to a savory and healthful meal.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A rainy trip to Louisville, KY

Louisville is a beautiful city.

Soon, the clouds took over. But as a Phoenician who doesn't see much of it, I didn't mind.

Driving back from Indiana.
We visited Louisville's Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats, for a behind-the-scenes tour. Any baseball lover would enjoy a game at this field.

I would love to do more exploring of downtown Louisville on the next visit.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shopping local at Central Avenue Farmers Market

In a quest to buy as many of my Christmas gifts from local Arizona companies this year, I shopped at the Central Avenue Farmers Market this weekend.

I was specifically looking for Absolutely Delightful Honey, which I tasted at the Desert Botanical Garden’s Chile and Chocolate Festival, but I didn’t spot them there. I was only able to find large, $30 jars of honey made in Florence by the Health Foodie. While the mesquite sample tasted great, I was looking for smaller jars.

Among my finds were spices from AZ Saltz (623-556-7488) and handmade dinosaur-shaped puzzles for kids from Decorative Woods (602-264-2885). Decorative Woods’ owner said proceeds from the sales of toys would go to Operation Smile. I also bought some barbecue sauce from Reatta Foods in Scottsdale.

Lastly, I tried out some coffee from the Shine truck, which does just as its name suggests. Not a bad Saturday morning!