Monday, September 29, 2008

No Nap Today, Huh?

Sophie was tired at noon, but didn't want to sleep. She whined & cried in her bed for a very long time before I gave up and got her because, well, this girl likes her nap. And for her to refuse it is just unheard of.

So I sat her down for her favorite afternoon activity (watching Toy Story). But instead of her regular pillow, I put her into her car seat (it was in the house this morning), buckled her up, and gave her her blanket.

This was my tricky plan, since Sophie only sleeps in her bed or in the car.

And wouldn't you know it, the girl watched the ENTIRE movie, along with the closing credits. I thought my brilliant plan was doomed--until I realized that after the credits ended, she didn't make a peep. So I checked on her and found this:

(sorry for the low light. I didn't dare use the flash)


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Foodie Friday #3 - Streets of New York

Welcome back to Foodie Friday.
(for an explanation of the ratings, see here)

Streets of New York

Various locations throughout Arizona

Price: $$

Taste: * * * *
S&A: * * *
Value: * * *

Jake and I have certain chain restaurants that we deem "good enough". We are definitely not fond of chains in general (why do they always seem to disappoint?), but when you're in Mesa, AZ at the unsightly hour of 8:00 on a Friday night, guess what? They're your only option.

So anyway, we've picked a couple of these said chains that we can go to when we're in a pinch. And last Friday, Jake named Streets of New York as our "Safe Italian Chain". Meaning: If we're craving Italian food, and it's crazy late at night (read: 7:30 or so), we can go to Streets of New York and know that we're getting exactly what we came for: nothing spectacular, but at the same time, nothing gross. (Another safe chain on our list: Mimi's Cafe) So that is how they got 4 stars in taste. Not because they are a 4-star restaurant, but because they presented to us exactly what we came there to eat.

Now, you non-Arizonians out there are probably confused, because Streets of New York is actually an Arizona chain, not a nationwide restaurant. So really, it is local cuisine. It's just hard to remember that when there are 27 restaurants in the area. They serve the common pizza joint food - pizza, salads, hot subs, & appetizers.

Jake had an Italian Sausage sub, that he labeled as "ok, but not spicy enough", and I had the cobb salad, which was cobb salady (not much you can say about a salad). Our main complaint was that we were one of like 4 sets of people there, but our server took an extra long time before coming to take our order (Jake blames the lack of alcohol purchases, but I think he just got distracted in the kitchen or something).

Overall Rating: 3½ Stars

Got a restaurant suggestion for me? Let me know!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

For Granddad



(That's what she's been doing all morning.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bangs Have Feelings Too

Sometimes near the end of the day, I resort to the "Bangs Pony", just to keep Sophie's hair out of her eyes. The stuff cannot be tamed, people.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Foodie Friday #2 - Sweet Tomatoes

Welcome back to Foodie Friday.
(for an explanation of the ratings, see here)

Last Saturday, Jake and I had an evening that went like this:

Sophie: (crying)
Jake: We have NO food. Where do you want to go to eat?
Sophie: (throws a tantrum)
Abbie: Maybe we should go to a buffet, so it'll be easier on Sophie
Sophie: (screams for no reason)
Jake: That's a good idea.
Sophie: (crying)

So that's what we did. We went to Sweet Tomatoes. But really, if we were smart, the conversation would have gone like this:

Abbie: Sophie's tired & won't be happy no matter what. Do you want scrambled eggs tonight?
Jake: Yes.

Sweet Tomatoes
(various locations)

Price: $$

Taste: * * *
S&A: * * *
Value: * *

Sweet tomatoes is better for a lunch than a dinner. It starts out as a salad buffet, and then you move on to their hot dishes (soups, pizza, pasta, potatoes). I'm always 100% pleased with the salad bar, and when I think to myself "I feel like Sweet Tomatoes tonight", that's usually what I'm thinking about.

But after my delicious salad is complete, and I walk over to the hot dishes, I always think "Oh yeah. This part is never good." And its true. Their pasta (with exception to the macaroni on occasion) should always be passed up. It's cold no matter what.

I sometimes venture into the soups, but I usually only eat a spoonful or two before my brain registers to me that I don't like what I'm eating. I didn't have the soup this time, but Jake did. He tried the Split Pea Curry and hated it.

After salads, I always get a baked potato and Jake always has a baked sweet potato some pizza (really, it's just fancy bread sticks). Then we both get soft serve for dessert; Jake's is usually on top of the hot dessert of the month.

Sweet tomatoes raises their prices like once a week or something. It seems like it's higher every time we go. They do have regular coupons--they save you less than 15%, but it's something. I wish you could go and pay for the salad bar only. If that was an option, my rating would be much higher.

Before the tantrum phase, Sophie loved this place. There's tons for her to eat from the salad bar, and they also have fresh fruit. Kids 2 & under are free, and after that they have a super-reduced kids price. Like $1.69 or something. So it will be a good deal for her for a long time to come.

Overall Rating: 2¾ Stars

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

See Ya Later, Mama

This afternoon, Sophie picked up my bag, tapped me on the leg to get my attention, and blew me a kiss good-bye.

So I opened the front door for her and she slid my flip flops on, and headed out. With another kiss good-bye of course.

This little lady has places to go, people to see.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Foodie Friday #1 - La Piccola Cucina

Hello and welcome to Foodie Friday! It's a new feature on my blog, where I will review restaurants in the Phoenix area for you. Feel free to recommend places you love, or places you're afraid to try without an awesome review.

Here's a little breakdown of what you can expect to see each week.

(total bill for 2 people, not including drinks, tax, or tip):

$ = under $10
$$ = $10-$20
$$$ = $20-$30
$$$$ = $30+

(I doubt our meals will go beyond that scale)

(all on a scale of 1 [*] to 5 [* * * * *] stars)

  • Food Taste
  • Service & Atmosphere
  • Value

Total score will be based on an average of all the categories, with taste worth double.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Andy Pappas
La Piccola Cucina

2241 N. 7th Street - Phoenix

photo from flickr . .

Price: $$

Taste: * * *
S&A: * * * * *
Value: * * * *

This is a unique European restaurant. All of your food options are displayed in a cold case. You choose one meat and 2 sides (vegetarian option available), and then the food is warmed and prepared for you, and delivered to your table. The wait for our food was very short, but my meatloaf came cold. I would have had them reheat it for me, but I filled up quickly on my sides (a bow tie pasta dish and asparagus). Jake also enjoyed his sides (spinach pie and ratatouille) more than his meat.

The place is very tiny - only about 5 tables inside, with more seating on the patio. We were greeted individually by the owner (Andy Pappas), which was very nice and made the restaurant seem like a quality family-owned establishment. We even heard him serenading other customers with Greek songs.

Jake and I would definitely go here again. They also offer several sandwich options, which Jake said he would get next time. I would go for the dinner plate again, but try a new meat.

Overall Rating: 3¾ Stars

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


After an entire summer
of sleeping in shorts &
tank tops, Sophie was
finally able to go back to
her Feetie pajamas last
night. She looked too cute
this morning, and I haven't
been able to convince
myself to get her dressed
in her clothes. She may
just stay footed all day.

Monday, September 08, 2008

More Auctions

A Room Somewhere is continuing to host auctions to benefit the Nielsons, so take a look and bid away. I have this jacket up for auction there this week. Go check it out!

Friday, September 05, 2008