Friday, December 10, 2010

Shopping with Shari

Making a list...checking it twice...

Since I tend to get a little homesick this time of year, my mom took a trip down to Phoenix to keep me company before I can get to Spokane for the holidays.  With her, she brought this year's Christmas decoration!  Drumroll please.....a white & red swirled glass ornament and a beautiful Santa!  I had just the spot for him and then bought some fake berries to wrap around his feet, the perfect touch.  We had such a wonderful time.  It's nice to have your mom around just for everyday activities.  We both wanted to get lots of Christmas shopping done while she was here, so that was our main goal! 

On our first day of shopping, we went up to Scottsdale.  It was retail therapy heaven!  There are so many great shops there it was almost overwhelming.  We tried to limit ourselves to the places that aren't in Spokane so we could maximize my mom's time here.  Sur la table sucked us right in, and we probably spent over an hour in there oogling all the fun kitchen gadgets.  If only we could buy stocking stuffers for ourselves!  But we were on a mission and only bought for others.  I can't wait for Christmas and for everyone to open their presents.  I keep telling Conor that I can't wait for him to see the great presents I found him.  So much so that I think he just wants me to tell him (or open them) so I'll stop talking about it!  Maybe I'm not someone who should be shopping this early.

Crate & Barrel was another fun stop full of more great stocking stuffers.  It was hard to stay away from all their ornaments, but Conor has put a stop to my ornament buying for the year.  Our tree is full, so I guess that seems reasonable.  During our shopping, we needed a sugar fix and headed straight for Sweet Factory.  Mmm nothing is better than a chocolate covered gummy bear!

We shopped all day 'til Conor was finished working and then joined him for dinner.  We had a couple of incredible meals at home, one of which was a dungeness crab cake appetizer followed by pesto encrusted salmon for the main course topped with brushetta.  Absolutely delicious, especially with a bottle of Keenan Merlot. 

We hit the town two of the nights and had a blast getting drinks and discovering some new places that Conor and I hadn't been to yet.

Cork Wine Bar for Happy Hour

Santan Brewery

Lattitude Ei8ht

This somewhat modern Thai restaurant is located in downtown Chandler.  We've driven by it numerous times and I had been dying to check it out.  My mom loves thai food so we figured this would be a perfect spot for dinner on her last night in AZ.  Everything was so amazing.  My favorite: tom kah soup.  Conor intruduced me to it about a year ago, but this is the best I've had.  If you like lemongrass, you will love this type of soup.  We were so happy with our experience there.  It was some of the best thai food we have had, and having lived in Seattle for 4 years that is saying a lot!  I already can't wait to go back!  We finished off the night with Shrek the Halls and Prep & Landing, my new favorite Christmas special.  If you didn't catch it on ABC look for it online because it is adorable and funny.  That night we also enjoyed white chocolate peppermint ice-cream from our dairy club, sooo good. 

To burn off all the food & wine we were consuming, my mom insisted upon getting some exercise every morning.  There are some nice trails in our neighborhood, but I have never felt comfortable going alone.  Nothing was stopping Shari, so every morning we took about a 4 mile fast walk.  And she means business when she says FAST walk...I bet she walks faster then some people jog.  But I kept up with her, and actually enjoyed it.  This is the jumpstart I needed to head into the holidays 5 pounds lighter, 'cause I know I will be endulging in all the Christmas goodies and cocktails once I'm home.  And an added bonus: the weather was incredible (upper 70s and sunny), so we were soaking up our vitamin D at the same time.

I was sad to see my mom leave, but I'll be home in exactly a week so the goodbyes weren't too sad!  Our next visitors arrive tomorrow, followed by Conor's dad and brother Ryan later in the week.  Time will fly by and I'll be in Spokane before I know it. 

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