Category Archives: photography

San Diego Area Brewtour

A few weekends ago while we were down in San Diego for a concert, we took an extra day off of work so we could make time to hit up some breweries in the SD area.

We stayed just a few miles away from Stone Brewery – somewhere we have been dying to go for a loooong time (one of Chris’ favs), so that was our main place we wanted to visit.  Even if you’re not a big beer fan I totally recommend that you visit the brewery, it is AMAZING.  It’s gigantic!  There’s the brewery itself, a gift store, a giant restaurant, and outdoor “beer garden”. The garden area was much larger than I had expected, you basically walked around a path outside with tons of trees, a big pond and picnic type areas to sit around on.  It was also super packed!

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These pretzels were SO good!  So about the food: their kitchen was undergoing renovations during our visit so they sort of had a limited menu.  Chris and I both weren’t very impressed with our dinner, it was alright but definitely not as good as we’d hoped for the $$$ spent.  The snacks and beer, of course, were divine 🙂

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The actual brewery tours were sold the first 2 days we were in the area, and so we stopped back on our way home and somehow managed to squeeze into an open tour that day!  It was pretty neat and I actually learned a lot about the brewing process.

I failed at really taking photos of the other places we visited, but we had also made stops at Mission Brewery, Karl Strauss, and Lost Abbey / Port Brewing.  We had great experiences at all of them and can’t wait to go back down to SD and find more great breweries 🙂

New Year Kicked Off Right!

Yesterday was my most wonderful husband’s 25th birthday, and we celebrated by taking an extra long weekend and heading to Vegas with some friends of ours. It was Chris and my first time going ever, so The Grangers were the perfect pair to break of our Vegas virginity seeing as they’ve been a million times and even got married there!

We walked around way too much, drank some beers, gambled a bit, and had a good time. Here’s some evidence.

Played a game on the way where we had to guess the artist and song names that came on the radio, needless to say Chris and I failed 🙂

We got back late Saturday night after a long drive and a few stops at some outlet stores 🙂  Sunday was Chris’ birthday and I woke up and made him breakfast and asked him what kind of cake he wanted. He said banana, chocolate, and caramel. This is what I came up with:

Feeling Christmas-y

This last week has been all about the holidays.  It’s started to get pretty cold, which mean hot drinks, fires and the holidays.  I love fall, but I also love winter almost as much 🙂  We picked up a tree yesterday and that evening I spent putting up the lights and ornaments.

We’ve also started a few fires this week.

And of course put up some more decor; and what are the holidays without some yummy seasonal beers?

Another thing we try to do every year is get together with my family and put together some gingerbread houses.  Usually we are up in the mountains but since we don’t have a cabin anymore, home it is.  I don’t know what it was, but this year everyone had the hardest time ever trying to make the houses look at least decent.  The kit that Chris and I (mostly me) had to deal with was a “mini” gingerbread house village.   No words are necessary to describe this mess:

Yeah, no comment.  I was beyond annoyed with the whole situation (but the spiked eggnog helped!).  And for any Bakersfieldians, we dubbed this “Oildale Village.

And today, I took some Christmas photos of my cousin’s freshly born baby boy, he is SO sweet.

Isn’t he sweet?  So precious.

Well, our little family also attempted some photos today.  Sadie was good at first, and Tundra wasn’t having it.

But somehow we got one, WITH the dogs. I know right? It was chaotic. I will probably share the outtakes later…hah.

Crockpot Love: Short Ribs n Beer

I’m not sure if there is a breathing being on earth who doesn’t love a Crock Pot. So easy, so delicious.  Throw a bunch of crap in the pot, doesn’t really matter what.  I am pretty positive that nothing less than mouth-watering could come out of one.  Especially when it involves BEER. Can I get an amen?

So yeah, that’s kind of what I did here.

Crock-Pot Short Ribs w/Beer

Ingredients:
1 – 1.5 lbs of short ribs
A few shallots, sliced
A few stalks of celery, cut up into 2-3-inch pieces
3 cloves of garlic
Large bottle of a brown ale (I used Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale) *
Chicken stock – about a cup
Water
A sprinkling of salt & pepper

Throw everything in the crock pot! (Don’t you love that?).  Only add enough water to barely cover the meat.  I actually used no water, just added some extra chicken stock.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  Come home from work, make sure you have a towel nearby to wipe up the drool.  These guys are SO good, totally soaked in the beer and it tastes amazing.

*Note:  If you can’t find a large bottle, use a few small bottles. Remember, the better the beer, the better these will taste – so don’t skimp! 🙂

If you want to make a  side, make these yummy Sweet Potato Latkes.

The latkes were good, but a little too greasy for me. Heck, they’d probably be too greasy for anyone. But they tasted DELICIOUS.  Next time I will try and bake them.

Technology Geek

Friday my I got a lovely e-mail from Verizon stating that I was eligible for a phone upgrade.  Little did they know I have been counting down this day for MONTHS.   Finally, my little Motorola Droid just hasn’t been cutting it – it’s sooooo slow, and the camera just isn’t up to par.  I know that seems silly, but I really just want 2 things in my phone – for it to not be slow as hell and to have a great camera.

After a lot of research and review-reading I ended up ordering the same phone that my husband has.  In the world of iPhone-obsessed friends, I feel a little out of place but that is OK (aslongastheygivemeinstagramsoonkthnx).  I actually would have considered an iPhone, but I was kind of shocked when I saw that they don’t have 4G.   There’s at least 10 phones (or more) in the same price range and they all have it.  ANYWHO.  New phone. Coming tomorrow. Win!

So in honor of my old phone, I wanted to just grab a few recent photos off of it.

New coffee drinks from F&E; holy yum.  Much cheaper than those bottled Frappuchinos, too!  And isn’t their packaging the best?

This was the 2nd pumpkin I carved this year.  It proceeded to get disgusting and moldy before Halloween even came 😦

On the road to the bay area this weekend.  Driving the I-5 through the middle of California is ridiculously boring and ugly, it makes me cry every time we have to make this drive!

Showing off my fantastic nail painting skills whilst on said drive up north.  It was all good until I had to paint the right hand. #fail

Saying good-bye to SF.

A little present the husband got me this weekend.  It fits perfectly above our fire place 🙂  I LOVE IT.

Michigan Pt. 1

Sunday we arrived back home from a 10-day trip to Michigan to visit with Chris’ family.  We hadn’t been back there to visit in 2 years, which is a lot of time to not see your family!  I didn’t want to leave and I’m already wanting to go back.  Just for the scenery alone.  Flying back over California into LA, I was thinking “dang, it’s SO ugly here”.  It is. I don’t really get why tons of people live here, but that’s just me. (Uh yeah, what am I still doing here by the way? hah).

Enough of that. Here’s some pretty fall shots from our trip.  I’ll share the 2nd most fun part of our trip in a another post. And that would be, all of our beer and food tasting 😉

Oh! One important thing before the other photos…we planned a meetup with Lauryn, who’ve I’ve been blog-following for years!  I love my bloggy friends 🙂  We went to Union Woodshop for dinner, which was pretty much my dream place.  They serve beer in mason jars AND the decor was pretty dang rad. If you’re in Michigan you should definitely check it out, it was delicious.  Thanks Lauryn for an awesome time!!!

Deer!  I was so excited I got a good shot of the deer, we had to be super sneaky walking around to find them.

I love how this cell phone pic turned out:

Are you drooling yet? Gah, sooo beautiful!

It’s Fall! (ish)

It’s finally sort of Fall.  By sort of I mean, the weather was fall-like last week, and now it’s warmed up again, but still much cooler than it was 2 weeks ago.  Better than nothing I suppose.

I think one of the reasons for my lack of blogging is because summer seriously depresses me, because it’s SO hot for so long.  It makes me grumpy, tired, and just negative all over – and you don’t want to read a bunch of grumpy posts complaining about the weather!  Especially if we aren’t getting out of town/going on many trips.

I’m pretty sure I owe any readers left a few recipes that I’ve meant to post, but just haven’t. Like those awesome gluten-free donuts and chocolate stout cupcakes (which, apparently, I thought I blogged about but I did not. Fail.). And share quite a few other epic recipes that anyone who can bake needs to try asap.

Some other tidbits to update you all on..

  • We’re headed to Michigan for 10 days on Thursday! I’m super excited – all of Chris’ family lives there and we haven’t visited in 2 years! Sad….we didn’t go last year because we got married and went on our honeymoon. Which bring me to…
  • Our anniversary! It’s coming up in the 23rd 🙂  The trip is sort of our celebration I suppose, we don’t have anything else planned than I know of.
  • Here’s some recent phone snapshots of what I’ve been up to. My camera was dead for a few weeks because I lost my charger.

Bakersfield Oktoberfest! First timers. It was pretty legit!
Decorating for Halloween in the house. Speaking of…

I’ve also been shooting zombies.

My favorite band came out with a new album. Love.

And I am going to see them in November 🙂

Made a little deer art for the wall.