Last Sunday, I went with my mom and sister up to Flagstaff for the day. We had been wanting to do something different and get out of the heat, so we decided to drive up north for the day. We went for a walk at a park called Buffalo Park. It was so fun! The trail we took was a really easy 2 mile walk, not a hike at all. But we still got to enjoy really great views. Around the 2 mile loop, there were several exercise station where you could stop go a little workout and move to the next one. It was such a great idea! I wasn't dressed to do a lot of them, but we still had a good time climbing walls and attempting chin ups!
After our hike/walk, we went to have lunch. We got seated by a window, which was funny because we could watch everyone stop to catch Pokemon. I'll admit that I got some good ones up in Flagstaff! After lunch, we walked around some of the shops downtown. It was starting to rain and look very stormy, so we stopped at my favorite tea shop to get a tea for the drive home. I ordered an Earl Grey latte with lavender. It was so good! It was the perfect rainy weather drink.
We picked up a fun hiking book and are already planning our next trip up! If you live in the area and haven't been to Buffalo Park, go check it out! It's such a great place to walk and chat and workout with family or friends!
Where is your favorite spot to take a day trip? -Laura
Thank you! Everyone has been so supportive of my scrapbook, Instagram, and blog lately, so I wanted to do something fun. As a way of saying thank you, I'm giving away a $10 Starbucks giftcard! I feel like that's not enough to show how much your support means to me, so keep an eye out for more giveaways coming up!
This giveaway is also a mini survey. I want to hear from you, so be sure to answer the questions for extra entries!
And THANK YOU! I can't tell you how much all the sweet comments mean to me. You're wonderful!
If there is not a Starbucks near where you live, still enter! We can work out a different location that works for you if you win! Contest ends Sunday July, 24th at 11:59pm. Good luck!
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a book I've been wanting to read since it came out. Lately, I've felt overwhelmed with the amount of stuff in my house. Everything feels cramped and unorganized and it's time to change it. We've had a couple month to settle in to our new house, so now it's time to organized!
I love a clean, clutter free space. It's so much easier to relax or get projects done if everything is where it should go. But I tend to let life get in the way and don't make enough time for sorting laundry and picking up my shoes. I want to that change. I want to develop good, life long habits of maintaining a clean and happy home. If you're in the same boat, join me this month for my book club!
I started reading the book a while ago and something I noticed is that it talks about how throwing things away. If you're going to clean and purge with me, I want you to keep in mind which items you have that are still in working condition and can be given to a family member, friend, or donated and what you have that is no longer usable and need to be thrown in the trash or recycle. Even clothes can be recycled, so please make your tidying up as sustainable as possible. Comment or email me if you can any questions about this!
Our discussion will be on August 31st, which gives us about a month and a half of cleaning time! If you've already read this book, still join in the conversation to let us know what worked for you and what didn't. Also, let us know what you love most about your clean and tidy space.
Since this book has been out for a while, it should be available at your local library. But it's also still really popular and almost always on sale at Target. So pick up your copy and join me next month by reading and tidying up!
Well we are past the half way mark for 2016. I wanted to check in with my goals to see how I'm doing! It can be hard to stay up with yearly goals, but checking in makes it easier to see where you're at and how much you have left to accomplish.
At the beginning of 2016, I posted a list of 6 goals that I wanted to complete in the year. To be honest, this is the first time I'm checking in to see where I am. But I've tried to keep my goals in the back of my mind, so let's see where I'm at!
1. Complete the Whole 30 program. Check! I finished this back in January. I'm thinking about doing another one!
2. Buy a house. Check! We closed on our house at the end of March, so this is another goal to cross of my list.
3. Visit a state park every month. This is a goal that I've forgotten about. In my mind, it was to go to 12 state parks for the year and going once a month would have made that easier. Unfortunately, with all the house stuff and now that it's so hot, I haven't even been to one park yet. But I still want to try. I really want to get out and enjoy what Arizona has to offer, so I'm going to start making this more of a priorty.
4. Hike/walk 500 miles in the year. For this goal, the miles I wanted to count were miles that I actually went out to get, not just my every day walking around miles. According to my Fitbit my everyday miles are at 467.03. However, my intentional hiking and walking miles are only 25.39! This is another goal that is really important to me, but I've let excuses get in the way. I think if I work really hard that I can still get 475 more intentional miles done!
5. Read of 30 minutes a day. This is a goal that I've managed to keep up. I want to read 16 books this year and thought reading for 30 minutes a day could help me get there and it definitely has. So far, I've read 13 books and I'm on number 14. I know I haven't read every single day, but it's hard for me to stop once I start reading. I usually go way past 30 minutes. So I'm letting the days I went over 30 minutes fill in for the days I missed.
6. Keep up with my weekly scrapbook. I've done okay that this goal so far, but I'm currently behind. Luckily, I will be able to get caught up easily and continue on track for the rest of the year.
I've had a lot of fun with these goals so far. I tried to keep them pretty easy this year, so I didn't get stressed out and drop them like I usually do. I focused on goals that will help me build better habits while completing things that I want to do, like scrapbooking regularly and reading daily. If you're checking in with your goals too, remember that it's going to be flexible with yourself. If you have a goal that you realize is too hard of the year, extend your deadline or make the goal more realistic. If you find that the goal isn't important to you, drop it and start one that makes you excited. Let days that you missed go and keep working. Or use days that you did extra fill in for the days you missed. They are your goals, so that them work with your lifestyle and where you are now.
How are your 2016 goals going? What have you checked off? And what do you still have to accomplish? I'd love to hear! xo. Laura
During Week 8 of the year, the weather in Phoenix was amazing. I was outside almost every day trying to enjoy it before it got too hot. It was fun to capture my different hikes and walks in February.
I love the colors of this week. When I printed my photos, it was easy to see that orange would be a good color to add. Most of the pictures had orange, so that made it an easy choice. Also, blue and orange are contrasting colors and there was a lot of blue from the sky in most of the pictures. This helped make the pictures pop even more! I kept it pretty simple this week and let the photos tell the story.
I always like to add alphas, so I used a few different types to add as embellishments. I used a pretty card from a past Studio Calico kit, vellum, and thicker's letters to create a journaling card. Using the type writer on vellum is still one of my favorite techniques!
Cork embellishments were also an easy choice of this week, since they compliments the desert photos so well. Cork alphas and embellishments are fun to use, but be careful and plan out where you want them. They are very hard to remove once they are stuck, because the cork can fall apart.
That's it for Week 8! I've been getting a little behind on this project, but I'm still having fun with the weekly format! -Laura
I can't believe I'm just now getting around to sharing the before photos of our home! We've changing a lot since we got the keys in March! We still have a lot of projects to check off our list. It's so fun to finally have a place of our own that we can paint and change and decorate however we want. It's been a lot of work, but it's been so fun.
I want to show you what the house looked like on the day we got the keys. Our house is a little over 700 square feet and has two bedrooms and one bathroom. It's a little smaller than what we were looking for, but it has a basement, which is pretty rare in Arizona. The basement is about 300-400 square feet and it gives us the extra space we were hoping for. You can check out the layout of our house here. It's to scale and it gives a clear picture of what the space looks like.
For the before tour, we'll start with the living room. The living room is the first room you walk into from the front door. We knew right away that we wanted to get rid of the carpet. We were told that they previously rented out the house, so we felt more comfortable pulling out the carpet. We liked the idea of putting in bamboo hardwood.
Walking in the door, we also knew that we wanted to take out the wall between the kitchen and the living room. The living room has two large windows that let in lots of light, but the wall blocked all the light from going into the kitchen, which made it feel dark and sad. Not the vibe we wanted the kitchen to have. So the wall had to go.
The only other thing we noticed that we wanted to change was the paint on the wall. It was easy to see that the whole house had been freshly painted, but it was done with a terrible light yellow/white color. I had been dreaming about a house with fresh, white walls so painting was a must.
Eventually, we want to change out the fan and update the windows and blinds, but for now making it feel like our home is our main focus. I've changed a lot so far and I'm excited to show you our progress! More before and progress posts coming soon! xo. Laura