Friday, Jan. 1

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Comedian Paul Rodriguez Live @ Scottsdale Laugh Factory for New Year's (December 31- January 2)

Longtime comedian Paul Rodriguez has been making audiences laugh all over the world (in Spanish and English) for three decades with his unique brand of humor that is a perfect blend of his Latin heritage, the American dream and his undeniable universal appeal. As an actor and comedian, Paul Rodriguez's multi-faceted career includes starring roles and featured appearances in over 45 films and countless television series and comedy specials. In March 2015, Paul opened the newest location of the world famous Laugh Factory comedy club in Scottsdale, Arizona.  

Thursday, December 31 @ 7:00PM & 10:30PM; Friday, January 1 @ 8:00PM; Saturday January 2 @ 8:00PM & 10:30PM. 

Tickets are available at: http://www.scottsdalelaughfactory.com/ or (480) 607-6878. 

Free Menudo at Food City

Food City grocery stores will offer a FREE small bowl of Menudo to all dine-in customers, between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Friday, January 1, 2016, at the Deli Department.  
   
Friday, January 1, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
 
37 Food City stores statewide with Deli Departments 
(This FREE offer is for dine-in only, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016)
             
Menudo is known to be a popular hangover remedy, as many people believe that menudo alleviates the symptoms of a hangover.  

Menudo is a rich, spicy soup that's traditionally prepared by the entire family. Menudo gets its delicious flavor from lime, onions, cilantro, oregano and red peppers. A bowl of menudo is typically eaten with tortillas or other breads. 

For more information, visit www.myfoodcity.com

Make a New Year's Resolution to Neuter Your Male Dog or Cat During Altered Tails' "Happy Neuter Year" Campaign 

Altered Tails, a 501c3 organization and the Valley's largest spay/neuter clinic specializing in high quality, low cost services, recommends ringing in the New Year by making a resolution to neuter your male dog or cat during their "Happy Neuter Year" campaign in January.

Sponsored by PetSmart Charities, the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, the "Happy Neuter Year," campaign offers $20 neuter surgeries for male dogs and cats January 1  31, 2016.

This special $20 rate is even less than the organization's normal low-cost price and is available to everyone who owns a dog or cat that is not neutered. Pet parents who wish to take advantage of this offer must mention the "Happy Neuter Year" campaign when they schedule their appointment. This campaign is based on availability.

Altered Tails will provide 750 "Happy Neuter Year" sterilizations for $20 in January. Please visit www.alteredtails.org or call 602-943-7729 for more information or to schedule an appointment

Altered Tails, www.AlteredTails.org - two locations:

950 West Hatcher Road
Phoenix, AZ 85021 
(602) 943-7729

7246 East Main Street
Mesa, AZ 85207
(480) 807-1200

Financial Goals: Take Charge America

Improving one's finances is among the top New Year's resolutions. Mike Sullivan with Take Charge America, a Phoenix-based credit counseling and debt management agency, offers to tips identify the right financial goal and fully commit.  

Define your goal  be very specific. "Get out of debt" or "save more" is too broad. You are less likely to hold yourself accountable without a clearly defined goal. Attach a figure to it, and make it realistic.  

Make an ongoing, automatic commitment  For example, go to the payroll office and add a deduction for a new savings account, or increase the contribution to the 401k.  

Create a debt strategy  Look at opportunities beyond traditional debt payments to get out of debt. Consider consolidating high interest debt into a fixed personal loan, or entering into a debt management plan with a nonprofit agency. You can also reevaluate student loan repayment plans to find out if you're in the best plan for your personal situation.  

Reevaluate your monthly bills  There may be easy ways to save more money without adjusting your daily spending. Get new quotes for auto insurance, consider refinancing your home mortgages to a lower APR, eliminate premium cable services and take a good, decide if that gym membership is worth it, etc. 

Track your progress  You're more likely to accomplish your goals if you establish timelines and milestones. Tell close friends or family members about your goals so you have some outside accountability. Determine an appropriate reward for reaching each milestone.  

For more financial tips, visit www.takechargeamerica.org

Take Charge America 
(888) 822-9193 

Take Charge America is a Phoenix-based nonprofit that offers credit counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and debt management services for consumers struggling with debt.  

Bloody Mary Day!

It's Bloody Mary Day! A day to celebrate this cocktail as the perfect hangover cure! We make the perfect concoction with Tempe's The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen, and we're also whipping up New Year's Day brunch.

Bloody Mary Day celebrates the drinking of the Bloody Mary cocktail, which is described by some as the perfect hangover cure despite containing the very thing that made you hung over in the first place: alcohol! The Bloody Mary is most often made with vodka, tomato juice and some spices, served on the rocks with a celery stalk or a dill pickle. source: daysoftheyear.com

Here is a recipe for bloody mary:
Classic Bloody Mary recipe:
(serves 2)

2 lime wedges
4 oz high quality vodka
8 oz Tomato juice
4 dashes Tabasco Sauce
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 pinches celery salt
2 pinches ground black pepper
2 pinches smoked paprika

Put a little celery salt onto a small plate. Rub the juicy side of a lime wedge along the lip of a pint glass. Then, roll the outer edge of the glass in celery salt to coat it; repeat with the second glass. Put some ice cubes in both glasses and set aside. Put the lime wedges into a shaker and add the remaining ingredients. Shake gently several times, then strain into the prepared glasses. Garnish with a celery stalk and the leftover 2 lime wedges.
T
he Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen in Downtown Tempe by Executive Chef Aaron May boasts a cozy "cabin in the mountains" concept with a hearty food and beverage menu. 

The Lodge offers high quality comfort fare for New Year's Day and all-year round.
Brunch will be offered starting at 11 am on Jan. 1
    
The Lodge is adjacent to Downtown Tempe's Farmer Arts District and Mill Ave.
    
To celebrate National Bloody Mary Day, The Lodge has a Bloody Mary ($7) concoction that is made with Whiskey Willy's Bloody Mix and Smirnoff Vodka and stacked with a cherry tomato, green olive, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, salami, pepperoncini, and lime skewer
    
The Lodge will be open from 11 to 2 am on New Year's Day

For more information visit their website: http://www.thelodgetempe.com/

The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen
26 S. Farmer Ave.
Tempe, AZ
(480) 967-0578

First Day Hikes

If you're looking to start the new year off on the right foot, why not take a hike today? Ste Parks in Arizona and across the country are sponsoring the "First Day Hike" outing.

There will be 20 hikes offered at 18 parks. First Day hikes are included with the park admission fee.            

Here are the First Day Hikes and activities closest to the Valley: 

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park: Bird walk at 9:30 a.m., two-hour guided walk at 10 a.m., Arvel Bird (Celtic fiddle and flute player) concert at noon. 55 miles east of central Phoenix on U.S. 60. $10, $5 for ages 5-12. 520-689-2811, azstateparks.com/Parks/BOTH.

Lost Dutchman State Park: Ranger- and volunteer-led hike on the Treasure Loop Trail at 9 a.m. 6109 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction. $7 per vehicle. 480-982-4485, azstateparks.com/Parks/LODU.

Picacho Peak State Park: A moderate, ranger-led hike along the Calloway Trail at 10 a.m. On Interstate 10 at Exit 219, about 75 miles south of central Phoenix. $7 per vehicle. 520-466-3183, azstateparks.com/Parks/PIPE.

Slide Rock State Park: At 10 a.m., take a moderate hike of about 2 miles with interpretive tidbits on the park's homestead, flora and fauna. 6871 N. State Route 89A, Sedona. $10 per vehicle. 928-282-3034, azstateparks.com/Parks/SLRO.

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park: Hike at 10 a.m. down the Gowan Trail to the observation deck. The hike will last about an hour and a half with a trail distance of about a half mile. The trail is steep and requires several steps. It may be difficult for visitors with physical limitations. 10 miles north of Payson on SR 87. $5, $2 for ages 7-13. 928-476-4202, azstateparks.com/Parks/TONA.

Find out more: For descriptions of all the First Day Hikes around Arizona, go to www.azstateparks.com/fdh.

Commitment Day Fun Walk/Run set for 10 a.m. on Jan. 1 at Life Time Fitness Gilbert

Fourth Annual Commitment Day 5K Fun Run on Jan. 1. For those who prefer the great indoors, all Life Time clubs will have several activities taking place to mark your commitment to a healthier 2016. Registration is open now through race day at www.commitmentday.com/arizona/gilbert

Commitment Day Fun Run at 10 a.m.
Life Time Fitness Gilbert, 381 E. Warner Rd., Gilbert, AZ 85296