Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Our Vow Renewal:: Five Years & Still Going Strong



For over a month, Seth asked me what I wanted for my birthday and Christmas.  I'm a capricorn aka a "Christmas baby," born only three days before Christmas. This year, I couldn't think of anything I wanted or even needed.  After all of the craziness this past year, I was just thrilled to be home spending my birthday and the holiday's together.

You know the saying that giving is the best gift?  Well, I was daydreaming one day and realized that I just wanted to express my love and commitment to the man I married five years ago -- and a vow renewal was what needed to happen!  So, I spoke with one of the Pastor's at the our church and he informed me the end of December should work for their schedule and to contact the admin office.  Then, I contacted Stephanie at S.Strine Photography and we set the date for 12.28.2015!

In 2010, our wedding was planned 1,700 miles away and none of the churches I contacted would allow us to use their sanctuary to get married.  To be honest, only one of them responded and informed me -- because we weren't members and didn't know any members of their church, we couldn't use their sanctuary.  I had to have my wedding in Delaware because my grandparents couldn't travel, so changing the location was not an option.  So we opted for Justice of the Peace and got married in a cute little restaurant in Bethany Beach, Delaware.  After all that we've been through, Seth and I decided to start going to church this fall.  Now, we attend religiously {no pun intended}, so it seemed fitting to have our favorite Pastor from our church to renew our vows.

Unlike the day before our wedding {sunny, gorgeous skies and close to 70* weather}, our wedding day was very, very windy and cold and the timing of the outdoor photos was terrible due to lots of shadows.  In addition, our wedding photographer was inexperienced and didn't show up with a light reflector.  He did a good job, but truthfully there are only a handful of photos from our wedding day that I have printed and put in frames around our home.

So, this time around, I wanted to ensure we had an experienced wedding photographer. I have been "Facebook stalking" Stephanie's photography for close to 18 months and she had experience photographing couples at White Sands.  So, it just made sense to hire her for the job and now I must say, I am so happy we did!

Here is a sneak peak of the the photos from our vow renewal on 12.28.2015 at
White Sand National Monument in Southern New Mexico.


















 Photo credit: Stephanie at S.Strine Photography. 
What we wore:
& my sister's silver scarf; Seth's suit by Men's Warehouse

FYI:  The dress was SUPER, DUPER long for my 5'1" frame.  So I asked my mom, who is a seamstress, what kind of equipment I needed to hem the gown.  She informed me I needed polyester thread and a walking foot for my Singer sewing machine.  Thank goodness for Amazon prime because the walking foot arrived in two days and I thankfully already had white polyester thread in my sewing box.  My sister, Becky, helped me pin and hem it during the week of Christmas and 
I must say, I am uber proud of us for getting it done!


Thanks for stopping by and if you are in ever in Southern New Mexico or Southern Nevada and you are in need of a photographer--- Stephanie at S.Strine is your best bet!!

-Jenny

Sunday, December 27, 2015

In the Kitchen with JennyPennyAho: Shrimp Scampi



When we lived in the communal house for eleven months, we did a lot of quick and "as healthy as possible" meals.  We were limited to one bin in the fridge and one bin in the freezer for our cold items, as well as a small pantry (18" x 12").  So....imagine keeping all of your cold grocery items in one crisper drawer of your fridge, because that's exactly the size we were stuck with for eleven months!  It's tough, but we made work and had some pretty tasty meals in the process.
I bought the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook years ago and have a couple of entree's I make including shrimp scampi & beef and broccoli stir fry!  To make the shrimp scampi, I tend to keep frozen wild caught shrimp in our freezer (~$14/pound) and always have thin spaghetti on hand.  Two fresh items are: lemons & parsley (I just used dried parsley). You can choose to use fresh lemons or the prepackaged lemon juice at the grocer (I've done both variations, but prefer to use fresh organic lemons if possible).  Whatever lemons I don't use and they start to turn bad, I cut them up and toss them down the sink drain and turn on the garbage disposal to freshen up our sink drain.  Works like a charm and if you ask me, it works better than baking soda and vinegar!

As a blogger, I love reading recipes on fellow blogger sites.  I have actually saved a few and use them all the time. However, I despise having to piecemeal the recipe items into a grocery list because the blogger 1) hasn't provided a list up front 2) separated it it by pictures and explanations! I didn't want to frustrate anyone reading my blog, so I've provided a recipe/grocery list below and also provided step-by-step directions with pictures.  :)

So without further a-do, here's the Shrimp Scampi recipe I use at least twice a month
(recipe cred:  Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook (2006)):

Items you'll need:
  • 4 tsp EVOO (I guess-ta-mate and don't actually measure it)
  • 1 pound frozen wild caught large shrimp (peeled & deveined) -- wild caught is so much tastier (& healthier) -- we've tried farm raised and wild -- wild is soo much better!
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup low sodium chicken broth
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 Tbsp dried parsley (a heaping go 1/4 Cup of fresh parsley)
  • dash of salt
  • a few grinds of fresh pepper
  • thin spaghetti noodles (cooked)
1) Mince the garlic.  




2) Cut lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a cup.  I bought this nifty lemon press (?) for less than $10 at the grocery store.  I use it all the time, so it was worth it.  Before I owned it, i just squeeze the best I could and then had my husband squeeze some more just to make sure I got all of it. :)
                   









 3) Boil water for spaghetti noodles and cook noodles according to directions.
*My sister is gluten free, so when we made it for her, we substituted the spaghetti noodles for cooked spaghetti squash.

4) Then, add the EVOO to the frying pan (I use a deeper frying pan) and let it warm up on medium heat. 

5) Toss frozen shrimp into the frying pan with the EVOO. Cook until pink.  My grocer sells these:




6) Once pink, use a slotted spoon to remove the shrimp to plate (keep them hot because you will add them on top of the noodles shortly).


















6) In the frying pan, combine the lemon juice, chicken broth, parsley, salt, pepper and bring to a boil and continue to boil uncovered until the sauce is reduced by half.









7) Fork a serving size of cooked spaghetti noodles into a bowl, spoon a serving a shrimp over the noodles and then top with a spoonful of sauce. (I've made this recipe for years and when we made it the other night, the sauce turned out thicker than usual. It must have been my sister's special touch because I don't have any other explanation for it. It was just as delicious as usual!)






8) If I have an extra lemon, I garnish the dish with a slice of lemon, but it's completely up to you!


I hope you enjoy this quick and easy meal as much as my husband and I do!
Thanks for stopping by JennyPennyAho!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015: Remembering My Grandpop

View from Grandpop's back patio (May 2015)
Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho
Today, I reminisce about my Grandpop. My Grandpop, Meyrick, lived to be 93 years old and he joined my Grandmom in heaven last month.  Whenever I called him, he would always say "Hi Jenny Penny."  He is one of the reasons why I chose to name my blog JennyPennyAho.  He was truly an amazing person.  Seth and I are grateful we visited Grandpop six months ago at his home in Delaware.  I am also very thankful I spent time holding his hand and comforting him during his final days on this earth.  I wouldn't trade that time for anything in the world. :)

This week, my parents decided to take a road trip and go to a restaurant for Thanksgiving.  They traveled to a nice mountain town in Pennsylvania and on their way home had a lovely supper at a delectable buffet near their home.  This holiday was hard for my parents and I think getting out of town helped ease the pain of being the first Thanksgiving without my Grandpop.

All of my Thanksgivings before moving out west eight years ago, were spent with my Grandpop and Grandmom at my parents home in Delaware.  He would make the stuffing on Thanksgiving Day at my parents home.  I remember watching Grandpop meticulously chop all of the ingredients.  My sister and I would help mix it with the wooden spoon and by hand before transferring it into the casserole dish (my recipe even states: "mix with wooden spoon and by hand").  :)  As far as dessert, my Grandpop was an excellent baker.  He baked the pumpkin pie at his Philadelphia home and transported it in a brown paper bag every year when I was a young girl. After Thanksgiving supper, we would put on the kettle for tea and each have a piece of Grandpop's delicious pumpkin pie. It was perfection every year. :)

This year, Seth and I are so happy to be home in New Mexico. This morning, I made my Grandpop's stuffing and I look forward to sharing it with my husband and our friend for a small Thanksgiving supper later today.

Despite the horrible events occurring around the world, I hope each of you have a wonderful day with family and friends and truly thank God for everything He has given/provided for you.  We are truly blessed and we hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Jenny Penny and Grandpop (May 2015)
Photo credit:  my mom

Prepping Grandpop's stuffing
Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

12 Reasons Why You Should Get the iPhone 6S


Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho
I've had my 4S since May 2013.  I am been well overdue for a new phone and wanted more GB too.  As for my husband -- he finally joined the 21st century and got a complete upgrade.  He went from having a slider phone with no data plan to the brand spanking new iPhone 6S.

1)  3D Touch is awesome.  I had to look at some videos to see how to use it, but 3D Touch allows me to access my apps so much quicker.  It doesn't work for all of them, but I'm so happy it works with messages, email and calendar.  I love that I can easily add an event or compose an email using 3D Touch.

Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho
3D Touch for email
Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho
3D Touch for adding/viewing calendar events


























2)  It's light and sleek. (I huge difference from the weight of my 4S.)

3)  I can zoom in while taking a video.  I love this!  I don't have kids, but I do have Hugo and he's my fur baby.  Seth calls me a crazy dog mom and I am constantly taking photos and recording him.  I like being able to zoom in on Hugo when he's doing something silly without being right next to him like I used to do with my 4S.  I'm so glad I went up from 16GB to 64GB, because I've heard the photos and videos can take up more room than on the older version.

Video Credit: JennyPennyAho
I figured out how to use the video zoom 
feature at 1:15 in this video.  


4)  Picture quality is top notch. I love taking photos with this phone.  It actually records "live," so there is a couple of seconds before and after a photo, so when I view it I can choose the perfect 'frame' to use as my final photo.  My 4S had trouble taking photos at night, but my 6S took the perfect photo of an event we went to last week:  movie under the stars!

Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho
Movie under the stars at our friend's home (Liz & Chad).
5)  LTE is super fast and I don't miss 3G one bit.  A few weeks ago, I was in the middle of I-10 riding in the backseat on the way home from Albuquerque watching Hulu.  I think Hulu has more glitches on my PS4, than it did on my iPhone.  I swear everyone in Alamo uses up all the band width between 8pm and 10pm and I can never watch Hulu (freezes, starts and stops....ugh!) 

6) The battery lasts soooo much longer than my 4S ever did!  When I had the 4S, my phone would be at 50-60% by lunch time and now it's hovering around 85%.  I haven't changed my usage of the phone, if anything, it's increased since I'm still learning about the 6S and playing around with apps and it's features.

7) I never had a lock (pass code) on my 4S, because I was too lazy and too impatient to deal with entering a code in every time I needed to use my phone.  The Touch ID makes it simple and efficient.  I set mine with my thumbprint because it's the finger I use to push the home button every time I use my phone. (Apple requires you to set up a 6 digit code as the backup. I've noticed the iPhone requires it after the phone has restarted for the initial login, so don't forget your passcode!).  Seth just informed me he likes the Touch ID too. :)  I'm so glad he entered the 21st century (finally!).

8)  Approving/confirming iTunes purchases has never been easier with Touch ID.  I love that I can just use the Touch ID and it's approved.

9)  "Paste and go" is awesome for accessing websites. It's skipped a step.  On my 4S, I would have to  copy,  paste and then click go/return.  Now it's only 2 steps.

10) The screen size is PERFECT.  My 4S was a bit small and it frustrated me when it came to using the keyboard. As I said above, it is the perfect size for watching Hulu and videos. 

11) Voice over LTE (VoLTE) --  I can talk on the phone and utilize apps at the same time.  Example:  I can talk on the phone and surf FaceBook or look up locations on google maps at the same time. I doubt it works for everything, but it's worked for me because I can check things while I'm waiting on hold.

12) We used Amazon to buy our accessories.  I ordered the Spigen iPhone 6S case in champagne gold. It's not too bulky and is rubbery, so I have a good grip on it when I'm holding it.  I don't drop my phone much, but I've dropped it at least once or twice and it's protected my phone.  My husband got the Spigen in gunmetal.  I also got a pink leather Snugg "wallet" for the times when I want to have my money, IDs and credit cards with me.  It's light weight, non bulky and protects my phone if/when I drop it. It also has a magnet to keep it closed and when I've got it open the magnet keeps the flap open. Seth and I also put a JETtech screen protector on our phone.  It was suggested by a friend to put the glass screen protector, so if it was dropped the glass screen protector would most likely shatter and our phone screen would not, but we felt the JETech was sufficient for us.

Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho
Seth's Spigen (gunmetal) case

Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho
Snugg pink wallet/case

Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho
Snugg pink wallet/case opened 
Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho
Snugg pink wallet/case opened with tilt feature

I hope you all are having a wonderful week.  It's been NUTS at work, but I'm looking forward to my first weekend off since August this coming weekend!  I've already got plans with Seth to go to a friend's house to play some board games.  Hugo was also invited to play with their cute dog Dottie. :) Happy Hump Day!
 
*The opinions within this post are my own and I have not been endorsed to promote any of the products mentioned.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

My First 2 Months as Assistant Professor

Photo credit: JennyPennyAho
I have been very busy new educator and the past 75 days as flown by!  I have my ups and downs and somedays I just come home and vent to Seth. When those days occur,  I just feel overwhelmed and wonder why I'm doing this.  Then, I go into the lab the next day and my students prove that all those days of preparing for lessons paid off! Yesterday was the last day I'll see them until their final exam in December and I just couldn't have been more proud of them!  They performed venipunctures  and answered practice exam questions like pros! I just wish everyday was like yesterday. :)

Here's what I've learned:

1)  During my graduate studies, I considered myself a "professional student."  I knew how much to study, when to study and how much time to put aside to get my schoolwork completed.  I scheduled time and worked hard to complete papers or other assignments, so I could attend fun events whiling living in Vegas. If I couldn't swing it, I just didn't go.
What I've discovered is: Community College students do not know how to manager their time with studying and always wait to the last minute to take quizzes and then wonder why they got locked out of the quiz!!  It's definitely a learning experience and I do my best to give them studying tips and recommendations to make them successful students, but truly, there's only so much I can do.  They've got to grow up eventually. When I get frustrated, I just need to remember that I was once a 20 something student trying to get through college too.

2)  Lesson planning is hard work!  The lead instructor and my other colleague meet once a week to prepare for the upcoming class.  It was tough in the first few weeks, but now we can get a planning session done in 20 minutes or less.  Typing up the lesson plans and keeping them in files will help us for next semester, now that we've worked out most of the kinks.

3)  Work trips!! I took my first work trip to visit a consortium participant (for the grant I got hired for)  just outside of Albuquerque and it was wonderful meeting educators who have integrated basic skills into their courses successfully!  I don't know when my next work trip will be, but I enjoyed getting out of my little town and exploring another part of NM, even if it was just a hotel stay and a visit to another campus for six hours.

4)  Having two experienced educators working by my side is super helpful.  They provide constructive criticism, so I can constantly improve my teaching style.  In the beginning of the semester, I was just reading my notes to the students and asking a few questions here and there.  Now I throw a lot of "what if" scenarios into my lectures to make them critically think and also provide real-life stories to help them realize the seriousness of health care.  I've been commended for my weekly "announcements" in the online learning system to keep my students abreast of upcoming deadlines and important information for their learning and clinical.

5)  I have been an RN for 12 + years and the basics is nursing is common sense to me.  I have found it fun and yet difficult to break down the basics of nursing (turning a patient in bed, dressing and redressing someone with a weak arm or leg, etc.).  I have performed these skills for so long that it comes easy and now I've got to break down every skill into steps (sometimes there are more than 30 steps).

6)  My new desk is awesome!  I still need to decorate the wall (I'm thinking I'll do a gallery wall of some sort).  It's a great, comfortable space for me to get work done while at home. I also need to get a comfy upholstered chair, but for now I'm using one of my dining chairs.  This is the kind of chair I'm looking for, but I just haven't had the time to shop for it.  Maybe online is the way to go! After all I bought my awesome desk from Overstock.com!


Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho


Photo credit: Wayfair.com

6) Integrating technology:  Tomorrow I'm going to try a new instructional method by making a few videos of myself completing some skills the students had difficulty with and then post it on the online learning system.  I informed my boss of my intentions and she informed me she bought a webcam and computer just to make videos in the lab.  I told her I'd use my iPhone 6S tomorrow, but I'd be happy to try the webcam when I'm not in a rush to get the videos made.  I'm glad she's on the same page as me and I like being creative to help my students be successful.

7)  Completing new employee training has been super helpful!  I'm about to finish up a two-week online course for "online teaching" and they've provided wonderful tips to help me be a successful educator.  This past week, they challenged us to record a video of ourselves and post within the online learning system.  I had a lot of practice with YouTube this past year (when I recorded Seth's progress while in San Antonio) and it was super easy for me to record an video, post to YouTube, change it to "unlisted" and then post it within the online learning system.  My video was clear and easy to hear.  I noticed the people who used webcams had grainy videos and static.  I think I'll stick with my iPhone for now and then check out the webcam my boss recently purchased for our dept.

8) I've been lugging around my laptop, heavy textbook, binder and other materials four nights a week and it's gotten old really quick. So..... I purchased a rolling bag from Amazon and I just got notification from UPS that its arriving TOMORROW! I can't wait to use it!  The great aspect of this bag is it can actually unclip from the "rolling" portion of the bag, so I can carry it if I chose too.
McKlein USA Berkeley Leather Rolling Laptop Tote EXCLUSIVE (Black)
McKlein USA Berkeley Leather Rolling Laptop Tote
Photo credit: Amazon.com


Thanks for stopping by JennyPennyAho!  I will provide another update after the semester ends in December.  Wish me luck with getting the new course I'm developing published to the online learning system and finishing out this semester with a bang! :) 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wine Club Essentials

I couple weeks ago, my lovely friends Aimee and Maggie hosted Wine Club at Aimee's home.  Aimee choose Pinot Noir as the October Wine Club Wine (even though the October wine is listed as Zinfandel in the WC book).  I LOVE Pinot, so I RSVP'd the moment I received the Evite. October Wine Club was nice and cozy at Aimee's beautiful home in the mountains of Southern New Mexico.  The menu for the night was homemade pizza and pumpkin donuts with homemade whipped cream. I can't even begin to tell you how good the pizza tasted.  I named Maggie's kitchen: "Maggie's Pizza Shop"...and it is now my favorite pizza shop in Alamo.

While Maggie was rolling out the pizza dough and Aimee was serving up appetizers, I snapped a shot of the gorgeous NM sunset.  


Photo credit: JennyPennyAho (iPhone photo taken 10/3/15)


Now I'd like to provide you all with the list the essential items for hosting a successful Wine Club:


-The Wine Club Book (I mentioned this book in my Screaming Snow Cone blog post and you can buy it on amazon here.) Sometimes we don't follow the book and just pick one and assign regions, but if you're just starting a Wine Club, this is a great book to follow.

-Note taker:  We just to assign or ask one person tow rite the notes of each wine, but truthfully it was hard to keep up with.  So the girls in Alamo started using 8.5"x11" paper posted on the fridge, wall or just one the table for each person to write their "thoughts" about each wine

-Different colored pens: Everyone can write their own notes about each wine.  The color will signify who wrote it.

-Wine bottle covers: We used to wrap the bottles in aluminum foil and write the number with a sharpie.  But someone in Alamo, got a family member to sew some fabric bags for the wine bottles.  They circulate each month to whoever is hosting and we use chalk to write the number on fabric.  You can use a rubber band to secure the fabric bag at the neck of the bottle.

-Wine glasses: Good 'ol 12 pack of glasses and champagne flutes (for January Wine Club!) 

-Wine opener:  Old fashioned or electric

-Foil cutter:  This isn't required, but handy to have.  I like it because I am never good at cutting the foil off. This makes it so much easier.  If you buy an electric wine opener, it should come with one attached to it.  

-Decanter: My sister-in-law sent me this glass decanter & aerator (Soiree) to attach to the bottle for red wines.  When you pour the wine, you turn the bottle completely upside down and allow the wine to cover all sides of the glass ball.  This aerates/decants the wine, so you can drink it right away rather than waiting for it to "aerate" for 10-20 minutes.  Here is the one she bought me. I LOVE red wine, so I notice a difference when it's not decanted/aerated and I recommend anyone who drinks red wine to buy a decanter. 

-Wine charms: (Or chalkboard paint painted on the bottom of each glass).  If you've got six ladies over your house talking and drinking wine, it's easy to forget who's glass is who's.  So with the wine charms, they can choose a symbol or charm to signify it's their's. Or you can try the chalkboard paint!  My friend Aimee coated the bottom portion of the stem of each wine glass in chalkboard paint and provided white chalk for us to write our names. Read about how to make DIY chalkboard paint dipped wine glasses HERE.

Please let me know if you have any questions about starting your own Wine Club!  I'd love to hear your comments.
Thanks for stopping by JennyPennyAho.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Getting Ready for Work Made Easy

Do any of my lady readers try on multiple outfits before picking the perfect one to wear?  I swear my bed and closet look like a tornado hit them whenever I'm deciding on an outfit to wear.  One month ago, I switched from scrubs to business casual five days a week and it's gotten even worse!  Don't get me wrong, it's GREAT wearing "normal people clothes" to work, but it's not fun when you need to a) look professional for eight hours and b) be comfortable.

I had the same problem when we were living in Texas this past year.  I had to wear "normal people clothes" five days a week for all of the appointments and errands we ran and was having trouble deciding on outfits to wear.  After talking about capsule wardrobe with my friend and sister, I decided to at least try an style app to help me pick out my clothes.  I knew my wardrobe in Texas was a small portion of what I had at home, but it was a start.  So....I downloaded the "Stylebook" app on my iPhone and spent several hours taking photos of my clothes loading them into the app.  It was WORK and I must admit that if I had a job at that time, I know for a fact I would've given up after 5 mins.  I just didn't have anything else better to do with my spare time so I uploaded 31 items and 8 pairs of shoes to the app.  I used the app for most of May and maybe twice in June and I haven't looked at it since.  And I still haven't decided if I will switch to a capsule wardrobe.  I like the concept, but haven't actually done it.  After being home a couple of weeks, I tossed the shirts and pants I don't wear into a donation pile and dropped them off last week. I definitely think the Stylebook app would be helpful for someone who has a capsule wardrobe.  I believe it could help them match up items in their wardrobe to make an outfit that they might not have matched up otherwise.  To give you an idea of what the Stylebook app is capable of, I've taken a screenshot of a couple of outfits from May 2015.

Photo credit: JennyPennyAho (iPhone Screenshot)




Photo credit: JennyPennyAho (iPhone Screenshot)


As I said earlier, I gave up on the Stylebook app months ago. After a few days at my new job, I went back to my "elementary school days."  Do any of your remember when your mom made you choose your outfit the night before and hang it on the wooden hook in your room?  Well, folks, I still do that and it's worked out perfectly.  Actually, every Sunday afternoon or evening, I pick out the entire week's outfits and line them up on an empty rack in my walk-in closet.  It has saved me tons of time in the morning.  Today, I actually slept in for another 15 mins past my alarm and still managed to get out of the door on time because I didn't have to think about what I was wearing today.  I had it lined up in my closet ready to grab and put on and my jewelry was laid out on my dresser. It's not the greatest of photos, but I did take a selfie of my ootd and sent it to my sister and my Mom this afternoon.


9.16.15 #ootd 

Another bonus of having a business casual dress code is wearing jewelry again!   My costume and fine jewelry isn't collecting dust in my jewelry box anymore.  I was lucky if I wore one piece of jewelry a week when I spent time with girlfriends out at the movies, dinner or for Wine Club.

How do you plan your outfits for the week?  Do you use an style app?  I'd love to hear your comments!

Thanks for stopping by JennyPennyAho!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Jenny's Best of San Antonio/Great Attractions Edition

Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho

Last week, I shared the Great Eats of San Antonio and now it's time to review the best attractions in San Antonio.  We were in South Texas just shy of one year and we explored during the winter, spring and summer months.

When you or a family member is in a wheelchair, one of the toughest jobs is finding accessible attractions that are actually worth seeing and fun.  Seth and I had both visited San Antonio in the past, so we weren't interested in going to the Riverwalk, despite it being accessible with elevators.

During the winter months, we ventured out to movie theaters and got caught in the rain A LOT.  Texas just had a bad winter and the spring brought tons of precipitation. I wanted to find places to visit that kept us indoors and out of the rain, so after a little research and phone calls, we booked tickets at local sporting events and other local attractions. Once the rain stopped, we ventured outdoors to explore more attractions.

::Outdoor Attractions::

Botanical Garden - We visited during the winter months (when it wasn't raining) and had a lovely time.  There was an artist who had built Lego's in different shaped flowers and an insect too. Unfortunately the rose garden wasn't blooming when we visited, but I've heard it's gorgeous.  It was wheelchair/stroller accessible.  By the time we got to the rose garden, Seth was tired and it would have been a bumpy ride. Thankfully the rose garden wasn't in bloom yet, so we didn't feel like we were missing anything.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Shane
Seth and I under the waterfall in the fern room.

Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho
I've never seen a pineapple other than in the grocery store.
Have you?

Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho
I couldn't help but take a photo of "Sleeping Beauty's Castle."
It is my FAVORITE Disney movie.
Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho
I swear this bee was at least 4 feet long hanging suspended from the ceiling in an atrium.
It is made ENTIRELY of Legos.
Seth was in awe.

Japanese Tea Garden - We visited this garden in July 2015. This garden was so lush and gorgeous and best of all it was FREE!  It was wheelchair/stroller accessible.
Photo credit: JennyPennyAho 

Photo credit: JennyPennyAho
Downtown Riverwalk - It's a given, you travel to San Antonio and you stop by the riverwalk.  It's definitely worth seeing if you've never been to San Antonio.

San Antonio Missions - Calling all history buffs.  This was a nifty "traveling" tour of the 18th century missions along the San Antonio River.  My friend Amy and I toured them on Easter Sunday this past spring.  Most of them remain as functioning churches.  It is wheelchair/stroller accessible.

Photo credit: JennyPennyAho (iPhone)
San Juan Mission - San Antonio, TX

Photo credit: JennyPennyAho (iPhone)
San Juan Mission, San Antonio, TX

::Other things to do outdoors::

Pearl Brewery district -- Check to the Pearl Brewery Farmers Market during the summer months (Sat & Sun). I bought some fresh local produce and meats from local butchers.  I even tasted some wine from Poteet, TX.  It was a bit too sweet for my liking, but still something new to try. It is wheelchair accessible/stroller accessible.  Lick and Boiler House (mentioned in Jenny's Best of San Antonio/Great Eats Edition) are located in Pearl Brewery district.

Photo credit: JennyPennyAho (iPhone)

Explore the surrounding area and parks:
The Texas wildflowers are gorgeous including the Texas Blue Bonnet, which is the state flower. My sister lives in a small town outside of Austin and took Hugo and her dog to a field of blue bonnets.  I've included that photo she took of Hugo and some photos of the flowers that were in the backyard and park located near the communal house we lived in from November to August.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Shane (JennyPennyAho's sister)
Hugo posing in the Texas Blue Bonnets

Photo credit: JennyPennyAho (iPhone)
Spring in Texas
Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho (iPhone)

Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho (iPhone)
Spring in Texas with hundreds of butterflies.


::Indoor & Outdoor Sporting Events::

AT&T Center:  Rampage Hockey was a lot of fun during the winter months.  We specifically asked for wheelchair accessible and lucked out with seats right on the ice in section 18.  On Superbowl Sunday, there was a party at the communal house and I won two tickets to a Spurs game.  I also got a free ticket to see the Largest Indoor Rodeo. The rodeo is held annually in February at the AT&T Center.

Photo credit:  JennyPennyAho (iPhone)
T-Bone the Rampage mascot came down to our area for a photo.
The guy on the far left in the photo is actually a photographer -- we were right on the ice!

Photo credit: JennyPennyAho
Seth enjoying the Rampage hockey game in section 18.
There is NOTHING better than ice hockey seats right on the ice! Nothing!
Photo credit:  screenshot of Rampage Hockey website
Section 18 was AWESOME.  There are 3 rows of seats in a raised seating format.
Our "handicapped seats" were next to the raised seating. I had a chair
to sit on and Seth sat in his wheelchair. 

Photo credit: JennyPennyAho
T-shirt shooter at the Spurs game back in February 2015.

Photo Credit: JennyPennyAho (iPhone)
Indoor Rodeo.  I had nose bleed seats, but still enjoyed the evening.
Since the seats were not accessible for Seth, he stayed home and I went by myself.

Photo credit: JennyPennyAho (iPhone)
Indoor Rodeo

San Antonio Missions Baseball -- Located at the south end of San Antonio on 90 west.  We are huge baseball fans and enjoyed every minute of the game! Our friends Melanie and Nick joined us and it was a wonderful evening out.

Photo credit: Melanie Dolese
Before the game started.

Photo credit: JennyPennyAho
Seth enjoying some funnel cake during the game.

Photo credit:  JennyPennyAho
Great view of the field.  We were directly behind 1st base.

Have I talked you into visiting Texas now?  We never thought we'd be living in San Antonio, but we made the best of our stay in Texas despite the circumstances.  As you can see, we got out to do fun stuff and have a lot of cherished memories now.

Hope ya'll had a Happy Thursday!  Wow!  I never thought I'd type or say ya'll, but I guess Texas wore off on me. Thanks for stopping by JennyPennyAho!