Clear the Clutter: Guest Bathroom

Thursday, February 8, 2018

One of my goals for 2018 is to declutter/organize a room every month. Originally I had planned to work on the craft room. I figured I should start with the worst space while I’m still really motivated. I actually got a lot of work done in there (3 trunk loads of donations!), but I had to change course halfway through the month. Adam’s brother is staying with us for part of February, so I decided I should work on the guest bathroom instead. I want him to feel welcome and have plenty of space for his personal items, so I ended up cleaning out the guest bathroom for January.


This actually ended up being an easy project because there’s only the medicine cabinet and vanity to sort through. My goal for the medicine cabinet was to have one empty shelf Adam’s brother to use, so he doesn’t have to live out of a toiletry bag. I ended up throwing out some items (see below for disposal info) and organizing some in other areas. With that I was able to make enough room for a completely empty shelf. Yay!



For the vanity, there’s nothing in the drawers, so I only had to worry about cleaning out the cabinet. I got rid of a few things, but mostly just organized and grouped the items. I found so many bottle of bubble bath…I’m set to soak for years!



OK, so let’s talk about where all the extra stuff ended up going. A few things ended up in a donation box (extra straightener, mirror, foot massager, etc.), but a lot ended up in the trash. However, this gets a little tricky when you’re dealing with medicine. We had quite a few boxes of expired medicine and prescriptions that we no longer need. To dispose of those items properly at home, the FDA recommends the following process:


The FDA also recommends that certain medications be flushed instead of disposing in the trash. You can see the full list here, but it looks like everything on the list is a type of prescription painkiller (Percocet, Oxycodone, etc.). They recommend flushing those instead of disposing in the trash because they are considered especially harmful (in some cases fatal) if taken by someone not as prescribed. Basically, those are the prescriptions no one should be messing around with and they need to be disposed of quickly. If you’re concerned about the effects flushing medication can have on the environment and human health, the FDA addresses that here.


Once everything was donated or disposed of, I was able to cross this room off my list. It was an easier project that I planned on tackling the first month, but it feels good to get rid of things and have more space. I haven’t picked a room for February yet, but I’m still decluttering in general and will probably pick a room this weekend so I can get started.

Are you feeling the need to purge too? When’s the last time you checked the expiration dates on your medication. I had a box of cold medicine that expired like 2 years ago!


A Tour of Wrigley Mansion

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Over the weekend Adam and I went to the Wrigley Mansion for a tour and lunch for our February date (from our Year of Dates). Neither of us had ever been before, so it was a new experience for the both of us. We both loved the tour and really enjoyed out lunch at the mansion.


Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, Arizona was constructed in 1929-1931 by William Wrigley Jr. (yes, the chewing gum guy) as a 50th anniversary gift for his wife. It’s the smallest of the Wrigley’s six homes (Chicago, Philadelphia, Lake Geneva, Catalina Island, and Pasadena), so this was just considered their winter cottage.

 

William Wrigley Jr. died in 1932, so he only was able to enjoy the mansion for a year. His family continued to visit until the mansion was sold in 1973. It changed hands several times of the years and at one point was almost torn down so new condos could be built. Luckily it was listed as a historic place and bought by Geordie Hormel (yes, the Spam guy) and his wife before that could happen. They restored the property and today it’s available for events, houses Geordie’s Steak restaurant, and a wine bar.



Wrigley Mansion is open for guided tours Tuesday-Sunday. Tuesday-Saturday tours can be combined with lunch as part of a package. We booked the Big Red lunch package which included the guided tour and 3 course lunch for $37/person. I honestly can’t recommend this enough. Our tour guide was excellent and shared so many interesting stories about the mansion, the Wrigley family, and the Hormel family.




The views from the mansion are spectacular. Below is Camelback Mountain, but you can see to Downtown Phoenix and a lot of the surrounding valley from the property.



One of my favorite design features in the mansion is the Catalina tile that was used throughout the home. In addition to manufacturing chewing gum, William Wrigley Jr. also owned The Catalina Tile Company on Catalina Island. He had the tile shipped from the island to Arizona to use in designing his home. The original tile is still featured on the floors and fireplaces in the mansion. I think this proves that the decorative tile that’s trending right now can actually be classic and timeless.



One of my favorite stories from the tour was how William thought women deserved to be pampered. Once a month all of his female employees were allowed to get their hair and nails done on company time…and he paid for it! He was also one of the first to institute the 5 day work week and provide benefits for his employees.



The tour ended in a hallway of photographs. There are pictures of the mansion, the Wrigley family, and the Hormel family. I thought this old picture of the mansion was really interesting. Now it’s surrounded by homes and offices, but when it was first built there was just desert and farmland.



After the tour we were free to explore on our own and could head down for lunch whenever we were ready. We had lunch in the part of the restaurant that was the mansion’s original dining room. We both started with salads and for the main Adam had a grilled chicken sandwich and I got the chicken pesto pasta. For dessert Adam picked the chocolate mousse cake and I picked the apple tart. Everything was delicious and the service was excellent. With tip, the tour and lunch was a little over $100. I thought that was really reasonable for everything, but if you’re on more of a budget they also have the Juicy Fruit lunch tour which includes the tour and 1 course for $26/person or just the tour for $15/person.



If you live in the Phoenix area and have never been to the Wrigley Mansion, I highly recommend a visit. Or if you are visiting Arizona, it’s definitely worth a stop. The tour is mostly indoors, so it would be a good place to visit in the summer too.





Old Town Scottsdale Food Tour

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

On Saturday Adam and I went on our January date (for our Year of Dates). This month’s date was a food tour of Old Town Scottsdale! Food tours are one of my favorite things to do when traveling (you can read about our Pike Place Market Seattle food tour here), but they are also a fun way to play tourist in your own town. Plus if there’s a restaurant you love, you can go back anytime! I’ve actually been on this tour before, like eight years ago with a friend, but most of the restaurants have changed, so it was a new experience for me too.


I booked the Taste of Old Town Scottsdale Lunch Tour with Arizona Food Tours, but they also have a progressive dinner tour, sips and samples tour, and a Downtown Tempe happy hour tour. I definitely want to try another one of their tours sometime! Although we definitely need to do it before summer hits or wait until next winter. I can’t image walking around in the summer heat. Anyway, we met our group and guide a little before 11 (perfect for a lunch tour) and headed off to our first restaurant.


Our first stop was The Rusty Spur Saloon, the oldest saloon in Old Town Scottsdale. When you picture an old western bar, this is it. There was even live country music while we were there! At this stop we sampled the South of the Border Burger. I forgot to take a picture, but I’m sure you can picture a slider with green chilies, bacon, and cheese. Adam said it was his favorite food of the day.



Our next stop, AZ88, was a complete contrast to The Rusty Spur. It’s bright, modern and definitely more stereotypical Scottsdale. There we sampled the shrimp ceviche and gallettes (flat bread with bacon, caramelized onions, black olives, and parmesan). I’m not a huge fan of black olives (and I LOVE seafood), so I definitely preferred the ceviche.




The next restaurant we visited was Malee’s Thai Bistro. At this stop we tried the Tom Ka Gai soup and a spring roll. We also got our choice of a beer or glass of wine. This was the one restaurant that was also on the tour last time I went, but the soup is delicious so I didn’t mind going again.



From there we headed to Cowboy Ciao to try their famous Stetson chopped salad. The picture doesn’t look that appetizing, but this was probably my favorite of the day. I loved the combination of everything and the recipe is actually available online, so I’m going to try to make it at home one day.



Our last stop was dessert at Super Chunk Sweets and Treats. We tried three of their cookies and they were all delicious! We tried their famous Mesquite chocolate chip cookie, the oatmeal rye cookie (which sounds boring, but is amazing) and the cowpuncher cookie (made with Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne pepper). Mmmm cookies! OK, maybe this was my favorite stop…


 

We had such a fun afternoon trying new restaurants and learning about Scottsdale. The people on our tour were all very friendly and we really enjoyed talking with everyone at the different stops. I can’t recommend food tours enough when traveling or even playing tourist in your home town. They are such a fun way to experience a city and meet new people. I’m already looking up food tours in Nashville for our trip in April!


 
 
 

 
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