04 18 14_0003_edited-1

Mr B and me on the trolley

I am always looking for new places to take pictures. When I am always doing the driving, this can sometimes be harder than it would seem. When I saw an ad for a trolley ride around the “best of Albuquerque” I hopped on. Albuquerque, pronounced AL-bu-kur-key, is a desert city. With very slight weather changes, it is a great place to be. But still a smallish large city. Not a very big airport at all, but the only major airport in New Mexico. I would bet that 90% of you have never heard of Albuquerque. And another large number of you don’t know New Mexico is one of the 50 states (I used to be a flight attendant. You might be shocked at the remarks I used to get.)

Mr B had fun on the trolley. It was a good little adventure and I learned some things about Albuquerque I didn’t know. For instance, the movie Wild Hogs? Picture it. Picture them all meeting up on their motorcycles, riding down the street and William H. Macy crashing into a street sign (somewhere Seattle it claims in the movie). Then they go into a Seattle biker bar. That whole part was filmed in Albuquerque. Anybody that watches Breaking Bad knows that it was filmed in Albuquerque. I personally have never watched it, I am more a In Plain Sight (also filmed here) kinda gal. The trolley guys even have a whole Breaking Bad tour. I am sure that didn’t hurt their business any. But what a cool job. Driving people around in a trolley, showing them the good stuff.

breaking bad house

Jesse’s house??

Famous Route 66 goes right through Albuquerque. A main street that is now called Central. Parts of Central you are told not to be on after dark, but the majority of the street is what makes up downtown, Uptown, the student strip of UNM and the entrance to Old Town. There is some real great stuff off of Route 66. There are some awesome older buildings that developers have come in and fixed up and turned into something else. For instance, the original Albuquerque High School is now lofts. What used to be a mental hospital (right off of the freeway) sat empty for several years and is now an upscale hotel. Once upon a time, I now can’t remember what building it was, some old building was torn down. Now there is a law that certain buildings can’t be torn down. So the original drive up motel on Route 66 sits boarded up. Some developer bought it and was going to tear it down to put up lofts and the mayor at the time had it declared an historic landmark. The original neon sign was finally removed to put in a museum and the rest of the building (not crumbling or anything) sits boarded up, waiting its what can we use this for fate.

off central

Somewhere off Route 66

Fun fact. Although New Mexico does not have any major league sports teams, Albuquerque does have a minor league baseball team. When the Duke’s franchise moved to Portland and a team from Calgary relocated here, they took a poll from the city to see what to call the new team. The people of Albuquerque unanimously voted for the Isotopes. What are isotopes and what do they have to do with New Mexico? Isotopes are some nuclear thing and tho Los Alamos, New Mexico is where the atomic bomb was produced, but this wasn’t the reason for the name of the team. At least not by the people that voted. A few years before the team was in question, there was an episode on The Simpsons. Homer had a hunger strike because he found out they wanted to move the Isotopes baseball team to Albuquerque. So the voters made it actually happen a few years later.

baleras railyard

I had said earlier that there is an act that buildings can’t be torn down. In the background of this photo is Downtown Albuquerque and the tallest building in the state. No need to build up here, there is plenty of room to build out. The buildings in the front of the photo are part of the Barelas railyard shops which have been closed since 1970. They are pretty vandalized buildings and completely empty. I noticed it would be a great place to use for a backdrop for photos. But the reason these buildings are rebuilt as lofts of anything is because they make lots of money in movies. Movies filmed in the vacant railyard complex include Beerfest (2006),Terminator Salvation (2009), The Avengers (2012), and the pilot episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The trolley guys said there is a scene from Transformers (where Bumblebee and a Decepticon crash into a railyard) filmed here too, but I couldn’t find anything that collaborated this.

Neil Young and the Partridge Family sing songs about Albuquerque. Tim McGraw and and Glen Campbell mention Albuquerque in a song. Even Bugs Bunny, while traveling around the world by burrowing underground; would often get lost while traveling and remark, while consulting a map, “Should have made a left toin at Albukoykee”. All three High School Musical movies are set in Albuquerque, at the fictional Albuquerque East High School (but not really filmed here). Microsoft began on April 4, 1975, when it was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque. Demi Lovato was born here. Neil Patrick Harris and Freddie Prinz Jr went to high school here. Jesse Tyler Ferguson from Modern Family was raised here. Here being Albuquerque but how many times can I say that word in this entire post? LOL. Albuquerque Studios is the largest production facility in the country and have filmed over 600 movies in New Mexico. The new movie Transcendence that came out yesterday, was filmed here. As well as Lone Survivor to name a few.

neon scooter

Tho the wind may blow a lot, it is the desert, and sand with that wind, the climate is pretty ideal. In the spring there is some green grass, pretty flowers and blooming trees, but gotta watch out on overusing water. We don’t get a whole lot of rain but that is why so many movies are filmed here too. I don’t live in Albuquerque, but Rio Rancho is part of the metro area. I have lived here longer than I have lived anywhere else. I by no means am being paid by anyone for this post, just something I wrote after my adventure yesterday. I do find it to not be a meet a man kind of place, and not very single mom friendly. But there are worse things in life. My son likes it here, my family is here and I find great places to take pictures (just not in winter). I would really love to find a good meet-up photography group but it must not be a big thing around here outside of Balloon Fiesta. Hum I have a thought…something along the lines of the trolley and photography meet-ups. Wonder what way to start a business like that. Scooter rental tours?




Brownie Cookies

What is your favorite dessert? In college I loved brownies. Nice and soft. I would make box brownies (I think Duncan Hines was my fave) and after cutting them, I would freeze them. Then eat them straight out of the freezer. I love chocolate chip cookies that way too. Since taking up baking last year, I have tried to stay away from box mixes. Not only to challenge myself but also because most box mixes contain hydrogenated oils. I find so many recipes I want to try but they call for cake mixes or pudding…if anyone has a go to recipe for homemade cake mixes and pudding, let me know.

Thanks to Jen’s Favorite Cookies, I found a really good Brownie Cookie. Easy to make and really good. I already have plans for another alteration to the recipe.

brownie cookies

Brownie Cookies

  • ½ cup butter, cut into chunks (I only had salted so I didn’t use all the salt below)
  • 1 bag (10 – 12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup + 2 T. sugar
  • 2 T. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • chopped pecans (I didn’t measure these, sorry)

brownie cookies2Instructions

  1. Over a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate chips together, stirring until completely melted and smooth. (I don’t have a double broiler, and the bowl I was trying to use was failing me, so I finished it off in the microwave.)
  2. Meanwhile, mix together eggs, cocoa powder, and sugar, beating 3-4 minutes on high.
  3. Add melted chocolate to egg mixture, and mix well.
  4. Add vanilla, salt, and baking powder, and mix. Add flour and mix just until combined.
  5. Fold in white chocolate chips and chopped pecans.
  6. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet with cookie scoop
  7. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.

If you like the tops of brownies, you will love these cookies. I already know that next time I am going to try something else, and cook them a little less. They didn’t look done so I cooked them 1 minute longer. Which ended up not being needed. Hardly any recipe I have found on Pinterest to try calls for nuts. I add nuts to almost everything. Pecans and walnuts. I need to try almonds in something too. Yum. Call me nutty.

For this baking I also used something new. I knew that I didn’t have a very good food processor because it wouldn’t fully chop my peppermints. Or anything else I put in there. I decided to get the Ninja at work. I knew it had a lot of pieces but it basically has a blender as well. So I can get rid of that old one too. And the blades are double sets so it blends up higher in the bowl too. I did however, get told that they get returned a lot at work. I hope not. So far I think it works great. And so much easier to clean. It chopped the pecans up perfectly. new ninja


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I always forget to go check out new contests over there. Sad thing, I used to log in under another log in. Not realizing this, I have other awards over there but can’t get a hold of them to see if they can merge the two accounts. Bah humbug. But new award exciting none the less.

Hello out there

I have been slacking. Or have been so tired when I get home from work I don’t get much done. Eek. I have decided I need to focus on one room at a time in my house so it isn’t as overwhelming. I even found this app for my phone called Pendo. It’s notes but with photos. So each note has a picture of the room and the list of what I need to do in there. Well not sure that it has worked yet, but starting today I am working on the one room at a time. Period. When I lived in this house before renting it out, I had already added ceiling fans to every room. I had switched out all the door hardware to silver (I hate gold). I had painted every room (with the help of my parents). Put in some new lights except the hall lights. After the renters, before my brother and family, my parents had wood flooring put in and replaced the swamp cooler with a Master Cool (which still runs on water but more effectively). Interesting how because it is such a dry state, they like to use swamp coolers but we are supposed to be conserving water.

I am getting itchy though with these new changes. I love my house. The layout. The closets. I would stay here but I know that in order for my son to live with me I need a house closer to his school and my parents. I just keep telling myself that I am learning new things and can make my next house as pretty, even if it is older. My dad finished getting the willow tree out of the middle of the back yard. Why people put those things close to houses is crazy. They don’t grow deep roots, only invasive ones that grow towards the surface so they grow towards houses and sidewalks. He said once he got the big roots cut at the surface the stump fell right over (my son and I had already cut off all the small branches). I used to have a flower bed around the base of the tree. But my brother’s dog liked to chase birds around the circle, so the grass has to be replaced. The bricks were moved and I am going to use them to make a flowerbed by the fence where the neighbors over water and weeds grow from. I figure I might as well get free water and grow something that will cover up where they are staining the fence. Although, they must have several raised beds because I notice in this photo some water damage there too. 03 08 14_2478

The room I am focusing on now is the hall bathroom. Before my brother moved in, I painted it this color I really loved. Replaced the light, the mirror and the shower rod (I really like the arched ones so you don’t have the shower curtain right on you). Oh yeah, I also had to replace the toilets while they were living here. bathroomYou can see the old color next to the beadboard. Once I got moved back in, that color started getting to me. It made me think of a Mexican restaurant. Too much. So I painted the room the color from the living room. A very lovely milk chocolate. I am for sure using this color again in my new abode. I didn’t take a good before picture, so these are works in progress. I went to try and hang the large piece of beadboard myself yesterday. It doesn’t fit. My parents decided it was better to hang the wall piece first instead of the big piece. We used the baseboard and made sure it was level. See the big gap up against the wall with the arrow. That is why the big piece doesn’t fit. I am going to try to sand it down a little and see if that will work. I also had to take the toilet tank off so I could paint behind it and get the yucky baseboard out. Not sure why it had water damage because the plumber told my brother nothing was leaking. The vent in here was so rusted (mostly from my brother running the cooler all day long) so I spray painted it with Rustoleum’s hammered. It’s silver now too. I also used that paint to spray the metal plate that is up against the wall from the toilet hose. It was really rusted. Makes me think that was what was leaking onto that damaged baseboard. Slow leak so the plumber didn’t notice it. I love hammered spray paint.

I have been doing some baking, created a gallery wall and all these little things around the house. Even though it feels nothing is getting done. I found the best banana bread recipe ever. I will share more on all that later. banana bread


S’mores Muddy Buddies

smores muddy buddy

I kept seeing pins over and over for Muddy Buddy this or Puppy Chow that. I had not only never tried either but had never heard of them. So of course I had to find the best looking one and make it for myself. I made one with Miscoff. Then I couldn’t stop. I made more. Two more to be exact. I only made half recipes of those and also made up cute little packets of them for New Years and took them to work. I am sorry, I can’t remember whose recipe I adapted this one from. I made these earlier this month. But I just got internet (YES!).

S’mores Muddy Buddy

4 cups Wheat Chex cereal

1/4 cup crushed graham crackers

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tbsp finely crushed graham crackers

3/4 cup mini marshmallows

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

1/4 cup Nutella

smores mb 2

Mix Chex, crushed graham crackers and 1/3 of marshmallows together in a mixing bowl.

Put powdered sugar and finely crushed graham crackers in a large Ziplock baggie. Shake up.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt chocolate and Nutella together. Once melted add remaining marshmallows. Stir until half melted. Pour over Chex mix. Keep stirring until all cereal is covered.

Pour cereal mix into prepared Ziplock and shake until all is covered with sugar mix. Pour out onto parchment paper and spread out. Let cool. Enjoy. (May be stored in an airtight container for days.)

Once again, I love Pinterest.



Memories, Dreams and Reflections 2013

Goodbye 2013. I welcome this new year. I am ready for it. Lots has already changed and I welcome the adventures.


1. Me

me '13

2. I Love YouiloveuWhat’s not to love about that face?

3. Still Laughingstill laughingJust look at him. Enough said.

4. Winter Wonderlandwinter wonderlandWe had snow early this winter. But it wasn’t a whole lot. It wasn’t even this winter to be technical. These cupcakes were a wonderland of another kind though. I will post more on them later. I made them for 2 different Christmas potlucks. Yummy Butter-pecan cupcakes with Cinnamon buttercream.

5. Birthdaybirthday

6. FriendsfriendsThey may be cousins but they are good friends when they want to be too.

7. I Was Inspiredi was inspiredI kept seeing all these Funfetti recipes. So I was inspired to try some for myself. They make very lively cupcakes.

8. Spring Feverspring fever

9. TraveltravelA water tower at the Santa Fe Railyard. I travelled to Santa Fe to take pictures and the train depot/tracks are for traveling. ;)

10. Summer Days

summer days

11. A Day In My Lifeday in my life

12. All Smilesall smilesShe had so much fun on the bull, once she would get up on there.

13. Autumn Harvest

autumn harvestFor any of you that don’t know what these are, the chili ristras are made in the fall with dried chili pods.

14. Family


15. CelebratecelebrateThey made these blow dart guns first thing at the party (Mr B turns 10). He just had to blow out his candles with his.

16. Let’s Do It Againlets do it againAnd again. My little cousin is quite the camera ham. But she is so cute who could blame her.

17. I Miss Youi miss uI recently moved back into my house and only took my furry friend with me. But I miss my Tobi not being there every day.

18. BeautifulbeautifulShe’s sassy. Imperious. But when she wants to be she is also sweet and kind.

19. Dress Updress upBirthday party fun.

20. MacromacroHalloween Funfetti cupcakes.

21. HolidaysholidaysIt was so cold in my house. My heater would run and run and not get warm. The damper closed itself. This became Mr B’s attire. Lol. Had to go to Nana and Papa’s house dressed like that on Christmas morning.

22. My Favoritemy fave

23. Don’t Ever Changedont ever changeHe was scared to death of getting on the horse, his first time riding. Something we have in common. But he did it. And he enjoyed himself.

24. Just Becausejust becauseBecause it is a cool statue outside a gallery in Santa Fe.

25. Hopes and DreamshopesThis happens to be a picture I took at Peter Piper Pizza at my nephew’s birthday party and when I was trying to figure out what to use for this idea, I noticed the numbers on the wheel. And added the arrow. I am living my 40th year and while I have dreams bigger than I would like to mention out loud (send a man my way) my word for the year is Adventure. To me that doesn’t mean I have to go seek craziness around every bend. I don’t think I will get up on that horse. Like Walter Mitty, but again not to the extent of climbing the Himalayas. Take the adventure when it arises. So far I have been trying new recipes. I am loving Pinterest. And photographing almost all of it. Good or bad. I also made myself a list of 40 photographs I will challenge myself with to be completed by my birthday. Play along if you like and keep me posted if you come along on the adventure.40th bday challenge

Can’t get Ashley’s button to work but sharing over at

No Internet


I am sadly without internet for the time being. I have been doing anything I can on my iPhone. I think I have suffered long enough. Lol. Time to take the plunge and find a way to use the internet to make money to pay for it. Hum. I would totally advertise for you internet service to pay for my internet. Lol. Anyway. I’ll be back bloggy world. Don’t you worry.

Goodbye 2013. Welcome 2014. I welcome new changes. Adventures and experiences. Have you seen The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Like that but maybe not climbing the Himalayas.

Happy Thanksgiving


Not the Big One Yet

As some of you may know I have been working on the Divas and Dreams 40 Photo Challenge. Some of the prompts have been slightly hard for me to find so it is taking me years to complete. But it has inspired me to do my own 40 photo challenge for my 40th birthday. I have given myself a year to complete it so it will be my 40th birthday post. If anyone wants to play along here is my list:40th bday challenge

Tis the Finale

This season only. And though fall is not near its end. It is nearing the end of the beauty. Its starting to get colder. Drier. Gloomy without rain. Windy so the leaves are falling. But what gorgeous sunrises. I was stuck inside all week at work so no way to capture any of those. Maybe in the morning. Beautiful afternoons. Still warm enough to drive with the window down. And I love being able to bundle up under the covers at night. I sleep better. finale2I drive by this tree every day on my way home. I finally went back today and captured it with some sunflare. Not exactly how I saw it in the car, but it’ll still do. I went and grabbed my niece for a little walk around her block.

finale1It did have some lovely leaves up close.

finale4She even got some leaf crunching in, after I steered her away from the grasshopper she was playing with.

finale3On the way back to my brother’s newly acquired house, we passed this house. I would love to have this front yard/path. It is just lovely. I will have to remember to go check it out in the spring all colorful.

Nurture Photography/ Fall 2013


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