Friday, November 25, 2016

Christmas Wish List | Black Friday Deals

Black Friday shopping has never been at the top of my wish list. I have, however, had to work a retail job on this day, and I don't really want to do that again. That being said, online shopping isn't so bad. I could get used to Black Friday shopping if it involves shopping from home while wearing pajamas.

Christmas isn't too far away, and there are so many great deals right now. I've managed to knock some items off of my shopping list, but I can't help looking a little for myself as well. Here are a few things on my wish list. A couple of them are great Black Friday steals!

Christmas Wish List 2016

I typically ask for pajamas each year at Christmas, and these pajamas are perfect for Christmas day. --- thermal pajamas

For years I've wanted a Rebecca Minkoff bag. The Avery bag is on sale currently, but I love this Mini mac bag too. --- crossbody bag

My Christmas wish list wouldn't be complete without a pair of Kate Spade stud earrings. I usually get a pair for a gift each year. Pst! They're on sale. You can't go wrong here. --- stud earrings

I worked at Anthropologie for a while, and I often found myself sniffing the Voluspa candles after the store closed. They are quality candles and smell amazing. This fragrance is perfect for winter, and it makes your house smell like a Christmas tree. Yum! --- voluspa candle

These booties have been on my wish list for quite a while, and they currently have an amazing Black Friday price. --- cutout booties

If you read my post from last fall, you know that I really wanted this dress back then. I finally got my hands on it during this Nordstrom Black Friday sale! It's about half off, and I can't wait to wear it. --- black trapeze dress

What's on your Christmas wish list?!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Schnepf Farms | Arizona Fall Tradition

Last week we braved the heat and celebrated fall at Schnepf Farms' Pumpkin & Chili Party. This was our second year attending the party, but it was unseasonably too hot for eating chili this year. We did, however, take full advantage of the plethora of pumpkins.

picking pumpkins

The sun was shining so brightly this year. We sweated our butts off on the hay ride, train ride, and in the pumpkin patch, but we wouldn't have missed it for anything! Schnepf Farms has activities and fun that our toddler loves, and we have fun just watching him enjoy it.

sunny day hayride

our rosy-cheeked toddler finding the perfect pumpkin

In typical toddler boy fashion, we headed first for the hayride and then to the train. There is nothing that makes our boy smile like the sound of a train whistle. Tractors are a close second, so we packed in some favorite activities quite easily in our short trip to the farm.

With the scorching sun and heat, we didn't stay long. Though we did take time to pick out a wagon full of pumpkins to take home. We added a jar of peach salsa and apple butter to our purchase on the way out as well. Even though this was a short visit to Schnepf Farms, it was a fun one.

Happy fall everyone!

What are your favorite fall traditions?


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Arizona Sightseeing | Mogollon Rim with Kids

Since moving to Arizona, we kept hearing about the Mogollon Rim and how beautiful it is. Like true non-natives, we slaughtered the name for quite some time until finally taking it upon ourselves to learn the pronunciation (mug-ee-yun) and see it for ourselves. My husband had seen it from the air plenty of times, but, like all impressive geological phenomena, you have to see it up close.

visiting the Mogollon Rim
toddlers.... they always cooperate for pictures

In celebration of my husband's birthday, we decided fall would be the perfect time to go visit this mythical Mogollon Rim. Much of Arizona, especially the part where we live, hadn't gotten the memo it's fall. Pinetop-Lakeside, however, hopped on the fall train and was showing off it's beautiful leaves when we pulled into town. We enjoyed a glorious drive with two sleeping kids and arrived at our hotel just after dusk. After unpacking and getting settled, we fell asleep and woke up the next day to a lovely forest view from our second floor unit.

The cooler temperatures, quiet mountain breeze, and fresh air were just what we needed. Our first day we explored Woodland Lake. It was the perfect little hike for kids, and the paved trail worked perfectly for pushing our little one in the jogging stroller. Our two year old could easily navigate the path and loved the fishing pier and all of the ducks. I even spotted a Lewis's woodpecker and added it to my life list (nerd alert) of birds.

view from the Woodland Lake Trail

again... toddlers and pictures can be a challenge or pure entertainment

Having grown up in Michigan myself, and my husband Colorado, it's nice getting out of the desert and being surrounded by tall trees every now and then. Our two year old had a great time playing with sticks and running free. Just getting outdoors and hiking a little, we were able to unplug somewhat. We really must do this more often!

walking the Mogollon Rim Trail

Woodland Lake Trail bridge

Hiking isn't quite the same with kids. Our two year old doesn't want to ride in the hiking pack anymore, so we can only move as quickly as he does. While he's interested in every little stick, leaf, and bug, as adults we sometimes move so fast that we miss those things. Hiking with a toddler reminds you to slow down and take in the little things. Seeing the world through a two year old's eyes can be a challenge at times, but it's so fun to see the outdoors a little differently.

looking for the perfect stick

We had a really relaxing stay in Pinetop, Arizona. It's a place we'll visit again. We're thinking it will make a great summer getaway when the temperatures soar in the Valley of the Sun. I think the Mogollon Rim gets overshadowed by the ever popular Grand Canyon. There's just so much beautiful landscape to see in Arizona. You can see everything from mountains and canyons to desert and forests.

overlooking the Mogollon Rim

I hope both of our children will get enough exposure to nature as kids. It's something that both my husband and I took for granted having grown up in small towns. Getting outside is something we all need and we benefit from it. Not only can we all use a little more leg stretching, it's just good for the soul to unplug a little while taking in what was here long before us.

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Hiking with Kids in Pinetop-Lakeside
(both of these trails were jogging stroller friendly)

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Past Year | Family of Four & Our House

If you've followed my blog, you may have noticed an absence. It's been over a year since I've shared my life here, and I'd love for that to change. However, all of you parents out there know how much time it takes each day just keeping up with little ones. I thought one was time consuming, and then we added another child to our family. Now we're a family of four. Just like that.

life with a toddler = interesting family pictures

Since my last blog post a year ago, we not only added to our family, but we also bought our very first house here in Arizona. It was one of the most scary and exciting things we've ever done. How's that for boring?! If you've read my about me page, you'll see that we don't exactly stay in one place for long. Making a commitment to Arizona was a little scary, but it's been great so far. Summers are scorching hot, although not as difficult as a humid Florida summer, but we are only a couple hour drive from drastically cooler temperatures. Not to mention, the mountains aren't far away, and that makes us slightly less homesick for Colorado.

this was the beginning of our house

I hope to post more regularly, but I'm not the best with time management lately. For now, I'm just happy to share a little update with you all. I have a few trips and maybe some house stuff that I want to share with you all, so I'm hoping to be back soon!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Most Beautiful Place in America

Deciding on the most beautiful place in America is quite subjective, but Good Morning America did vote Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes as number one back in 2011. Having been there a number of times myself, I'd have to say it's definitely tops when it comes to natural beauty. There aren't many places, if any, like it. Seeing the giant dunes climb out of a big blue lake is pretty amazing. Describing these places can sometimes be difficult for me, so I hope the pictures help a little.

Sleeping Bear Dunes on a misty August afternoon

After all the years of being with my husband, we'd still not taken the time to see Sleeping Bear Dunes during any Michigan trips. I'd always wanted to take him, so we made sure to visit on our trip this summer. Plus, we purchased a National Park pass back when we visited the Grand Canyon in May. We had no excuses to not see it this time around, and I wanted to stamp our son's National Park passport as well. He's already racked up an impressive number of stamps, and it's something that will be fun to continue over the years.

My dad joined us on our trip to the dunes. We left somewhat early in the morning for the drive to Empire, Michigan. It's a little more than 2 hours from the town where I grew up, so it's an easy day trip. Thankfully one of my good friends lent us their hiking pack for the week we were in Michigan. It made for the perfect ride for our little guy. We tried him in a pack before, and he hated it. Thank goodness he actually really enjoyed riding around in our borrowed pack. We're going to have to get one for hikes in Arizona!

 panoramic shot from above the dune climb

taking a break and eating a few snacks

While everyone else took a little rest, I decided I would tackle a taller dune and try to get a glimpse of Lake Michigan. From the dune climb area, it's quite a hike if you want to get all the way to the great lake. I did get a peek at it through the mist from atop a tall dune. It was a long ways away, but I saw it. The best part of climbing these dunes is running down them so quickly that your legs can barely keep up with your body. It's fun; I promise! I must have a thing for dunes, because back in 2010 I insisted on climbing the Great Sand Dunes in Alamosa, Colorado as well. Climb on, I say!

my dad and us... glad we brought some sand toys

no joke... this is a very steep climb

After visiting the dune climb, we took a drive around Pierce Stocking scenic drive. From there, you can park in a pull off and it's a short walk to a dune that directly overlooks Lake Michigan. If you're short for time, this is a perfect spot to quickly experience some incredible views and get some pictures. We did just that.

 someone won't wear sunglasses... or hats

Pure Michigan

One day I hope to return and maybe even camp somewhere nearby. There's so much to see and do all around the Sleeping Bear Dunes, that a few hours hardly scrapes the surface. We really enjoyed our day at the dunes.

blue skies, green trees, and lots of sand

Do you have a favorite outdoor park? Even just a local one? I love getting outdoors. I think it's great for renewal and getting grounded again. Sometimes it's so easy to forget that we have these incredible places right out our front door. I'm looking forward to exploring more of Arizona, and I can't wait to return to the Sleeping Bear Dunes again!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

TSC : Football, Food, & a Birthday

Today is all about football, food, and celebrating the birthday
of someone very special to me... my husband. Happy Sunday everyone.

we're finally getting a bit of a cool down here in the desert

reading -- well, I'm still not really reading anything at the moment, but I do want to read "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. My aunt mailed her copy a while ago, and I just haven't found time to sit down and read it.
writing -- just this Sunday Currently for the blog. I imagine I should probably think about putting together a meal plan for this week. Does that count as writing?
listening -- I finally signed up for Spotify. Thanks Lauren! Right now I'm enjoying "Pulaski at Night" by Andrew Bird and also "The Less I Know the Better" by Tame Impala.

any Spotify peeps know why this play button doesn't work??

thinking -- that I'd really like to see something new. I can't stand not getting out and seeing the surrounding country! There are a couple of national parks in Arizona I'd like to see, and I also really want to visit Solvang, California... oh, and maybe Disneyland. :-P
smelling -- Nothing right now... but I am anxiously awaiting my Scentsy delivery! I can't wait to have our place smelling like fall. Yum yum.
wishing -- for much cooler weather and to get outside more! I can't wait to take part in all of the upcoming fall festivals and events.
hoping -- that the Broncos win today of course!!
wearing -- light blue skinny jeans and super cute Young, Fabulous & Broke top that I found at Marshall's for cheap... and my Pandora bracelet.
loving -- my Spotify songs that take me back. There are so many great songs I sometimes forget about that I enjoy listening to lately. It's been fun finding new music on there too.
wanting -- a person who will do my grocery shopping for me. Haha! I've really grown to dislike the whole process of grocery shopping. It's nice quite as easy with a little one, but I guess someone has to do it. Now who wants to shop for me?
needing -- patience. I don't always have a lot of it. It helps to take a deep breathe every now and then... and relax. Maybe I need to find a good yoga studio for some me time. :-)
feeling -- ready for fall. Seriously.... this is about the time of year I start hoping to wear boots and scarves, etc. Again, remember how I can use some patience... ugh.
clicking -- through some of the Sunday Currently entries to see what others are up to today!

* If you missed previous editions of The Sunday Currently, you can see them all here

Now link up your edition of The Sunday Currently with Lauren

Happy Sunday!!