February Festivities

by Jenn (eating bender) on February 4, 2013

Hello, February! I’m already feeling the love this month, courtesy of Michaels.


I had to stop myself from picking up an Easter-themed door hanging, too. One holiday at a time. Although I will say that the coupons on the Michaels app make it hard to resist (and no, Michaels did not ask me to say any of this – I just think it’s an awesome store).

This month has gotten off to a great start thanks to a very special visitor who was in town this past weekend – Jill! It was the first time I’d seen her since 2012 and we had an amazing time catching up. We spent our Thursday and Friday working, albeit on separate projects these days. On Thursday we worked from 32 Shea, a delicious local coffee shop that even makes its own seasonal syrups.


I had a nonfat latte with “Vienna” syrup, a mixture of vanilla and cinnamon. It really hit the spot.


It was a lot of fun to work across from this lady again. Just like old times!


On Saturday we woke up bright and early to begin our mini road trip to Sedona. The weather was absolutely perfect for us this entire trip – 60s and 70s with plenty of sunshine every day.


This was Jill’s first trip to Sedona, and I don’t think it’s ever possible to talk it up too much. There is something about turning the corner into a world of gorgeous red rock unlike anywhere else in Arizona that gets me every single time. I think she agreed! The backdrop behind us in the picture below doesn’t even seem real, but we were surrounded.


One of Jill’s friends recommended ChocolaTree for lunch, an organic vegetarian eatery that boasts an impressive array of eats, including an entire case of mouthwatering vegan chocolates. I decided to go with the house kombucha and a Mediterranean wrap, which came with veggie hummus, homemade falafel pate, tomato, clover sprouts, romaine lettuce and cucumber. The ingredients were served in a sundried tomato wrap with a side of creamy garlic dill dip. It was ah-mazing!


For dessert, I tried a sea salt caramel, blueberry-lavender chocolate and a dark chocolate almond butter Buddha, all of which tasted as good as they sound. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around and taking in the sights.


I’m fairly certain that we never would have made it in the Wild West with these faces.


And this dancing statue (it rotates!) continues to be one of my favorite things to see in Sedona.


We had an absolute blast during Jill’s stay, ending her visit on Sunday with the exact opposite of an organic vegetarian meal: a trip to In-N-Out Burger. As always, it was worth every greasy bite. Their secret sauce is the best.


After dropping Jill off at the airport, I headed up to the Benders for the Super Bowl. No game is ever as good without your team in it, but I have to admit that this one was entertaining. The game was exciting (thanks in large part to the blackout), and the commercials weren’t too shabby, either. I was also in awe of the Sandy Hook chorus, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys…and then this moment:


As if Beyoncé wasn’t amazing enough, a Destiny’s Child reunion that included a group rendition of “Single Ladies” just about made me fall on the floor giggling with happiness. It was my teenage years all over again. Happiness. Did I mention happiness?

Congrats to the Ravens on their win. I have several favorite commercials, but this one made me cry (I was still shaky after the DC reunion…) and was just so cute I couldn’t resist posting it.

Did you watch the Super Bowl? What was your favorite moment, commercial, etc.?

I will miss you football. See you in the fall.



1 Cara (Twinthusiast) February 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm

You lovely ladies, you! I would like to go to all those sweet coffee shops, like now. So fun.
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2 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 9:54 am

Maybe when the girls are a little older we can all take a road trip to Sedona (girl’s trip, perhaps) – it would be so fun!

3 Pearl February 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm

What gorgeous views! I was in the middle of Costco when Michelle and Kelly joined Beyonce on stage and I almost screamed in delight. I’m sure that would’ve scared a few shoppers.
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4 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 9:55 am

Haha, I don’t blame you one bit! Especially getting to see them on all of those Costco TVs. :)

5 Ari @ Ari's Menu February 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I want to try that coffee shop! You’re discovering all sorts of fun places I’ve never even heard of. I’ll have to make my way out there and check it out. And I love Sedona soso much!
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6 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 9:56 am

You definitely have to come up to my neck of the woods and hang out – there is so much I want to explore! We can trade off between Phoenix and Mesa adventures. :)

7 Erica February 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm

That syrup sounds AMAZING! Glad you two had so much fun! Sedona looks amazing. I really want to visit there.
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8 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 9:57 am

Please do come and visit AZ! :)

9 BroccoliHut February 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Haha! You and I would be good friends if we lived near each other–I LOVE Michael’s! It’s definitely one of those stores where I go in to buy some ribbon, and I come out with candles, craft scissors, scrapbook paper…
I was elated by the Destiny’s Child reunion too. It took me straight back to middle school!
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10 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 9:57 am

I so wish we lived closer to one another so that we could bond over Michaels…while listening to Destiny’s Child! :)

11 Kelli February 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Love this post, Jenn. Hope that we can do a Sedona trip when Lauren and I visit at some point! It looks like a nature-lovers paradise! I’d love to go to ChocolaTree as well!

I LOVED the Clydesdale horse commercial. It made me cry, too. Another favorite was the Dodge Farmer commercial and, of course, the Goat Dorritos commercial (which I voted for almost every day to win the Dorritos crash the Super Bowl challenge!). Is it a shock that all of my favorites are farm/animal-related?

Thanks for such an uplifting post! Miss you and can’t wait for March!

12 Monica February 5, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Awww I cried during the commercial too! And I thought of Kelli.

Sedona looks like a fun place to visit! Especially the ChocolaTree. And you can never go wrong with Inn N Out :)
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13 Kelli February 5, 2013 at 9:26 pm

@Monica: What would be even better is if you, me and Lauren could visit AZ one day! And I still owe you an email about our rescheduled cooking adventure. :) Will write you soon!

14 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 10:02 am

@Kelli and Monica – Both of you and Lauren need to come to AZ for a Pinterest party!!

15 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 10:00 am

@Monica – I’m so glad you cried, too! :) And I totally agree – ChocolaTree and In-N-Out couldn’t be more different, but both couldn’t be more delicious.

16 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 9:59 am

I would love to do a Sedona trip when you come – you will be in heaven! Like Monica, I was thinking of you during all of the commercials you mentioned, and am not surprised in the least that they were farm/animal-related. 😉 Miss you, too – March can’t come soon enough!

17 Susan February 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Glad you and Jill had a good time! We missed you in KC, but you were here in spirit. :)
Hmm… let’s see… I quite enjoyed the commercial with the M&M singing “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”… haha.

18 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 10:02 am

I wish I could have been two places at once, that’s for sure! It looks like you all had a lot of fun. :) I loved that M&M commercial, too!

19 Marianne February 5, 2013 at 2:18 am

Sedona looks like an amazingly beautiful place. I’ve never been to Arizona, but I’m thinking one day I need to make it down there.
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20 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 10:03 am

You definitely should pay it a visit. Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon? I recommend both if you come to AZ…as well as dinner with me, of course. :)

21 Melissa @TryingtoHeal February 5, 2013 at 8:43 am

What a great time with Jill! I seriously need to get to Sedona because those rocks are just up my alley of…absolutely exciting and majestic to look at! haha…I’m such a geology nerd. 😉

I missed the whole super bowl, the commercials and the half time show…although thanks to bloggers like you i’ve been able to see the really good commercials! I didn’t cry over the horse one, but I definitely felt it!
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22 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 10:04 am

Oh, you would LOVE Sedona! We’ll have to go someday for sure!

23 Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady February 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

The scenery in the pictures is simply amazing! Thanks for sharing. I missed the game due to work but the only thing that had me down was missing my girls perform. I love me some DC3!!!
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24 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 10:05 am

Thanks, Joi! I love Destiny’s Child, too – I can’t wait to hear more from them! Have you heard their new single?

25 a farmer in the dell February 5, 2013 at 11:44 am

what fun! Those coffee drinks sound amazing. Loved all the pictures.
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26 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 10:05 am

I’m definitely craving some of that coffee this morning! Thanks, Andrea. :)

27 emily (a nutritionist eats) February 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Serious fast food question:
Culvers or In-and-Out? :)

28 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 10:07 am

That is SUCH a tough question. I would have to say…In-and-Out for the secret sauce, but Culvers for that buttery-good feeling. Fortunately I have recently discovered there is also a Culvers here. Lunch and dinner one day? Actually, I’m not sure that’s so fortunate after all… 😉

29 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner February 6, 2013 at 6:23 am

I didn’t watch the Superbowl, but I googled ‘best superbowl commercials’ the next morning and cried at the Budweiser commercial. I don’t even like Budweiser, but they have an amazing marketing team!
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30 Jenn (eating bender) February 7, 2013 at 10:08 am

I’m so glad that commercial got you, too. :) I agree – not a huge Budweiser fan personally but I always enjoy what they come up with!

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