Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale, AZ

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Is It Friday Yet?

  Went to California over the weekend and had a great time exploring a little town named Julian up in the mountains.  It was absolutely beautiful!  The trees were still turning and the mountain views were simply stunning.  I will definitely be going back for more photos.  Julian is known for their Apple pies and were managed to snag one before heading home.  It was one of the best Apple pies I've ever had. 

  The only draw back to the trip was that I got car sick going through the mountains.  It was the strangest thing as I have never been car sick a day in my life... Unfortunately, my tummy hasn't felt well since we've been back either.  I have very little energy and can't seem to get enough sleep. All this misery had me asking, "Is it Friday yet?"  I am so ready for another weekend. 😁

On a more positive note, today I learned that I out - performed everyone in my department last month! Yay!! 🎉🎉🎉😎  After just working for this place 3 months.  I'm  also about to be hired on as a permanent employee.

Anyway, here are a few photos from our trip, (no edits). I couldn't believe the quality of photos I got from my new Galaxy S5! It did better than my Nikon. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading,  "All About My Business"
Crystal Campbell

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

  We began the day at 7:30am at the local grocery store grabbing the last minute forgotten ingredients for our fabulous fresh Turkey. It happens every matter how hard I think and think, and check and re-check the goods during our Thanksgiving shopping, inevitably there are a couple of rogue ingredients that jump ship and make a run for it. 

  Once we got back home my sweet man did the dishes and then made us a nice plate of chocolate donuts and cherry roll for breakfast. Then we got  the Memosas the real fun began as were dancing around the kitchen while I prepared the Turkey for roasting.  I use fresh  garlic in my Turkey, so I'm over the trash trying to peel the garlic and decide to squeeze it to losen the skin, and I guess I don't know my own strength, cause the garlic cloves separate and go flying across the room with one sailing over my husband's head.  Go Memosas, go!

  So then I get the Turkey completely ready for the oven, pick up the pan, turn around and notice that I forgot to turn the oven on. So here we sit, still guzzling Memosas, waitng for the oven to heat up.  While we wait, my sweet husband offers to wash and peel the potatoes....well, he niavely offered to wash them not realizing I would be sneaking the peeling duties in with it. I am so thankful to have a man who loves to help me in the kitchen, plus he's an excellent cook himself.

  Around here Thanksgiving is a team effort.  Even our Bentley boy got in on the action, (safely from the sidelines of course). He's more of the "I'll lay here and watch the show" type of dog.

  Needless to say, although I miss my family and kids like crazy, this is turning out to be a pretty great day. I truly hope each and everyone of ya'll have safe and happy Turkey Day. Whether or not you are able to be with those you love, there is always much to be thankful for.  Don't forget to thank the one who has blessed us all with life. Thank you, Father God, for each day we live in the light of your love. Also, keep our service men and women in your prayers.

Enjoy the below photos of our little family in action.

Thank you for reading "All About My Business"
Crystal Crystal

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Party of One...

Sitting at my desk editing photos, drinking Dr. Pepper and listening to Christmas music.  That is my Thursday evening....alone.  The hubby is at a Mens Church Retreat for the next couple days, and it's my first time staying alone here in our AZ home.  Good thing  I have our dog, Bentley, to keep me company.  I don't do well when my man is not here.  I usually don't sleep and end up incredibly tired with bags under my eyes and looking oh so not sexy by the time my hubby returns.  Glad he loves me no matter what.

I haven't been able to edit photos since our computer crashed months ago and I lost my Lightroom 3.  I bought it online a few years ago for $300, but when I tried to find my order at the Adobe website, after reformatting my computer, it was no where to be found.  Really? Just gonna screw me out of $300 like that?  That is the last time I purchase a software download!!  It's software cd's for me from now on!!  Ugh...anyway, after I learned that my dinosaur of a computer will not support Lightroom 5, I found a free trial for Lightroom 3 again so here I am.

I'm editing photos from our trip to Sedona, Arizona last weekend.  We finally made it out there and it was even more beautiful than I imaged it would be.  I can't wait to get through all the photos so I can post them.  We drove around all day and through a huge mountain that housed many resorts, Inns and parks along the way.  We pulled off on a little turn about to take some photos of a babbling brook we saw down below.  It was quite a ways down, but we saw a few pathways so we climbed down to the water.  It was very challenging for me as I do not do well with heights; however, I knew I would get some great photos and I was determined to face my fear and get my shots.  My sweet husband helped me every step of the way and I am so thankful that I have such a sweet, loving man that supports my dreams.  He even helps scout great shots for me and doubles as my assistant and photog caddy.  LOL  We had a great time climbing over huge rocks & boulders for at least an hour.  I was so tired afterward, but it was exhilarating!  Not to mention a great workout.  I cannot wait to explore more mountains here in AZ and in Utah as well.

We ended up at the top of the mountain, (about 8,000 ft.), at a park where we could look down over cliffs while being kept safe by railings.  There was also a Navaho Indian Tribe there selling some beautiful handmade jewelry.  Of course I bought some as I am a sucker for anything that sparkles and glitters.  =)

Below is a sneak peek of our Sedona weekend.  There's lots more to come, so stay tuned.  Also, visit my Facebook page to see regular updates.  Have a great Friday tomorrow!

Thanks for Reading "All About My Business"
Crystal Campbell
Crystal Campbell Photography

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Great Recipe

The other day we had a breakfast potluck at work, so I decided to make a breakfast casserole that was shared with me years ago by a co-worker.  It is my "go to" recipe and a hit everywhere I take it. It is light and fluffy, (not heavy like a lot of egg recipes), and full of wonderful flavor.  It's very simple, but very delicious. I posted photos if it on my Facebook page and got a few requests for the here it is.  I hope it brings you as much eating enjoyment as it has brought me. 

                 Breakfast Casserole

6 Slices White Bread
1 Package Sausage
1-2 Cups Shredded Cheese
6 Eggs
1 Pint Half & Half
Salt & Pepper

1. Cut the crust off the bread slices, butter both sides and line the bottom of a  casserole dish. 
2. Crumble cooked sausage over the bread. 
3. Layer the shredded cheese over the sausage. 
4. In a separate bowl, whip eggs and half & half and season with salt & pepper. 
5. Pour the egg mixture over the entire dish. 
6. Cover and place in the fridge overnight, or at least 8 hours. 
7. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 


Variations: You can use any bacon or ham as well and veggies if you choose. You can add a can of Rotel, (drained), to the egg mixture for some southwest flair, or just experiment with different spices. 

I think next time I make it I will use ham and mushrooms.  Sounds so yummy! Just have fun with it!  Share your variations and photos in the comments below. I can't wait to see how y'all's turned out. 

Thanks for reading "All About My Business"
Crystal Campbell
Writer/Photographer, and some times cook. lol

Sunday, October 19, 2014

My Moutain Adventure and How I Got More Than I Bargained For

I was determined to go mountain hiking this weekend to make up for missing it due to illness last weekend.  I did just that...only I got more than I bargained for.  I wanted to post this yesterday; however, I was not up to it...I needed to recover.  In the year that I've lived here, Arizona has taught me a lot, and I mean a lot, of hard lessons about how to handle the environment.  Yesterday was the biggest lesson so far....

  I wanted to get up about 5 am and get an early start in order to have a comfortable hike before the heat of the day kicked in.  My sweet husband ended up turning the alarm off instead of snoozing it, so we didn't get up until 6 am.  I know that is still early for a Saturday morning, but it put us at the foot of the mountain at about 7 am.  These were the same mountains we were at a couple of weeks ago, (McDowell Mountains), only on the other side of them, so the sun would take longer to rise over them.  We were in the shade for most of our trek up the mountain which was a good thing for me.  We brought 2 bottles of water because it was cool and we only intended on walking about 5 miles, round trip.  Although we wanted to do a flat ground hike, (meaning no climbing up the mountain), we decided to follow the trail to Inspiration Viewpoint.  Now, I know that any trail with "view" or "lookout" or any such word in the title means an upward climb.  However, the sign said it was just 2.5 miles, so we decided to go for hard could it be, right?  We saw lots of people along the trail, including several elderly couples, which further boosted my confidence about this trek.

  About halfway through I began finding it a challenge to breathe, (I was sick with a bad head cold, sinus and congestion just a week ago), but it was not bad.  I just had to stop more often, especially after an incline, to rest and catch my breath.  So I continued on...I was very excited as I've never done anything like this before. I remember commenting to my husband, "We are doing it...we are actually hiking through a mountain!"  LOL (When we were on the other side a couple of weeks ago we did a flat ground climbing.)  After walking a while, a raised cliff area sitting a few steps off the path caught our eye.  There was a nice desert breeze in this area that we did not feel on the path.  We just stood there, feeling that wonderful breeze, looking down over the valley below and the surrounding mountain range.  I just couldn't behold all this beauty that God created and not give my praise and thanks.  So my sweet husband and I bowed our heads in worship and prayer.  It brings much joy to my heart when I think of all the beauty that God created on this Earth just for us.  Yes, he created every beautiful, wondrous, breathtaking sky view, mountain, ocean, forest, natural cave and rock formations...etc., just for us humans to explore and enjoy!  That is the love our Lord has for us.

  We returned to the path and carried on talking, laughing and marveling at the green terrain of the rolling mountains surrounding us, the various species of cactus and even saw a small cave that housed who knows what inside.  It was a wonderfully fun climb....until we got about 3/4 of the way up.  At this point, I was feeling fatigued and coughing a bit.  My husband went ahead of me to see how much further it was and motioned to me to come up as we were almost there.  I thought, "I've come this far, I might as well go the rest of the way."  I went up and around the bend and had to stop again.  I really wanted to make it, but I was huffing and puffing and wasn't sure I could.  Just then, Scott pointed to where we were going and I saw it was right there within my reach.  I couldn't come this far and turn way!  So I went and we made it! felt so good.  =)

  It was a beautiful sight.  I've never been up on a mountain like that.  Another amazing thing is that I was never scared of the climb, not once.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am absolutely terrified of heights.  This was a good trail, but most of it was very rocky and at some points narrow.  I couldn't believe I was standing up there on that viewpoint at 2,725 feet elevation and enjoying it with no fear!  It was a great achievement for me.  I can't even explain the joy that filled my heart to be up there on that mountain.  I know I wasn't nearly as high as most people go, but it was a momentous occasion for me.  My hunny bunny called me over to a rock that made a great chair for me.  When I sat down it felt soooo good as the rock was very cool on my bum. LOL  I just sat there, catching my breath, enjoying the view and making my triumphant post to Facebook.

  After about 10 minutes or so, it was time to head back down the trail.  I decided to track our way down, so I turned on the "Map My Fitness" app on my iPhone.  The sun was up over the mountain now and it was getting warmer; however, it was mostly a downhill trek, so it would be I thought.  I felt great at first.  I had gotten a second wind and started down the mountain with great enthusiasm.  Then, about 1/4 of the way down, I really began to feel the heat of the sun.  There was very little shade now that the sun was high in the sky.  I stopped at every bit of shade I could to catch my breath and try to cool down.  Scott had saved most of his bottle of water for me, but by now it was hot.  No matter, hot water was better than no water, so I took several sips at every stop.  As we went along I began to feel very fatigued, plus my feet were getting very tired.  I was stumbling more along the trail as my feet weren't quite clearing the rocks and the toe of my shoes would catch on them.  I almost twisted my ankles about 3 or 4 times and I could feel blisters forming on my big toes.  This was not the wondrous fun trip that going up had been.  

  We were about half way down when my breathing became very labored and my head started throbbing.  I put my hand on the top of my head and it felt very warm; that's when I began to worry a bit — Since I was a small child I have been very sensitive to the sun's heat.  I am at a much higher risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke than most people — It was soon after the throbbing began in my head that I began to feel a bit light-headed.  Now I knew I was in trouble.  My husband was unaware of any of this and thought I was just getting tired.  He knows about my sensitivity to heat, but has never witnessed it to this degree.  We passed several people and couples all along the way and they would just look up and say "Good Morning" as they passed by.  I don't think I "looked" like I was in distress enough to draw attention.  However, we were very low on water and I had to use some of it to pour on the top of my head.  At this point it was more important for me to cool down than to drink it.  We continued on with my head throbbing, feeling light-headed and now nauseated and weak.  Scott was beginning to get concerned, but I was already scared.  I was beginning to think I wouldn't make it down this mountain alive.  I knew that if I passed out, that was it...the end of me.  I began to pray and asked God for his strength to carry me down that mountain.  I praised God and sang praises to him in my head.

  A little bit later, we stopped under a very little shade tree so I could rest. I was shaking, hot and in very bad shape.  More people passed by...and passed by....then, an elderly couple stopped, looked at me and the lady asked, "How are you doing on water?"  Scott explained that were were very low and the woman immediately gave us a full bottle of cool water she carried in her fanny pack.  I was so grateful... I wanted to tell them they were angels, an answer to prayer, but all I could squeak out was a faint, "thank you" with tears in my eyes. I knew that God heard my prayer and sent that couple to me.  At the time, I didn't really think about it but later, as I reflected on the situation, I thought their question a bit curious.  Most people would ask "Are you okay?" or "Do you need help?"  The lady's question was so point blank, like she knew exactly what I needed.  The couple went on their way and I poured some of the water over my head and sipped at the rest as we walked on.  Of course, I made it down the rest of the way.  I know God carried me the last 1.5 - 2 miles down the mountain.  It was at that point, (shortly after receiving the water), that I felt a strange sensation come over me and although I knew the throbbing and dizziness in my head were still there, I didn't feel it.

  When we were almost at the base of the mountain, Scott ran ahead to get the car and blast the AC for me.  I made it to the little rest area and got some water from the fountain there.  It felt so good to let the ice cold water fall over my face and on my head.  But it wasn't over...when I got into the car I said to my husband, "I'm may be out of danger, but now I need to recover."  I felt so sick all the way home.  I climbed our stairs, (my one last climb of the day), and barely got into the house before I found myself hoovering over the toilet giving up all the water in my body along with some stomach acid.  The strange thing is that once this happened, I felt so much better.  It was like my entire body just released everything bad that was welling up inside and then just relaxed.  I immediately started drinking ice water and laid on my bed with the fan blowing over me.  I sent Scott to the store for some Gatorade to replace the electrolytes in my body.  It was only 11:30 am when we left the mountain.  I spent the larger part of the rest of the day recovering and drifting in and out of sleep. 

  The interesting thing is that when I reached the bottom of the mountain, I took my phone out of my pocket to stop the tracker app.  I was shocked when the "My Fitness" app said I had gone 5.69 miles....what!  And that was just coming down the mountain.  I thought I was only hiking 2.5 miles each way.  I'm not sure why the mountain trails signs said 2.5, but I have a hard time believing my GPS tracker was off by that much.  Of course, no technology is perfect.  However, I have to say that when Scott and I normally walk, I track it with that app and it is always about 4 miles from door to door.  The miles it tracks around our local park matches what the local park signs say it is.  I felt that the hike up the mountain was definitely more than 2.5 miles.  I believe we actually hiked 11.38 miles that day round trip.  That's a long cry from the 5 mile round trip we thought we would be making.  No wonder I had such a hard time.  

  My husband felt incredibly guilty; however, in the end, it was my fault.  I know my limits, I knew we would be in the heat the way back down, I knew we only had 2 bottles of water and that I had not eaten that morning.  I should not have pushed myself like that.  So, lesson learned.  I made it very clear to Scott that I will not be doing any more hiking until we buy the gear we need to carry plenty of water and snacks.  Oh and, by the way, I also checked the temp when I got in the was just 84 degrees.  Arizona is no joke!  The mountains are beautiful, but they are also brutal and have no mercy.  Many of people, young and old, have died on these mountains and I was almost one of them.  LESSON LEARNED!!!!!  Never again will I go anywhere in this state without being prepared. 

  I did have a great time, (up until my incident), and have posted pictures of our adventure on my Facebook page.  You can see my album by clicking here.  This morning we went to church and I must admit that I sang my Lord's praises a little louder and with more conviction.  I've spent the rest of the afternoon resting and then writing this.

I hope you enjoyed my story and learned as much as I did.  Please learn the easy way...from my mistakes.  =)

Thanks for reading, "All About My Business"
Crystal Campbell