Friday Five

Friday, September 22, 2017

One –Rod Works Blogger Night

On Tuesday night I went to a blogger event at the Rod Works in Gilbert and I was completely overwhelmed by the store. They seriously have the cutest stuff and the prices are so, so reasonable! I circled the store like ten times and I swear I saw new things each time. It took me forever to decide what to buy, but I’m so happy with what I came home with. I’ll have to post an update once I have everything styled. 

If you live in the Phoenix area, there’s a store in Gilbert and in North Phoenix. There are also stores in Utah, Las Vegas, and California, plus they are opening one in Colorado soon, so if you live in any of those places, you should definitely check them out!

Two –Ozark

Have any of you seen the new-ish Netflix show Ozark? It’s about a financial advisor (Jason Bateman) who moves his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks to launder money for a drug cartel. We finished the season last night. It’s definitely interesting, but some of it is a little far-fetched and completely crazy. BUT, I can’t stop watching…

Three –Clothing on Amazon

The past couple of weeks I’ve been on a clothing buying kick on Amazon. The top three shirts I’ve already received and I’m waiting on the bottom three items. Unfortunately, the three items I’ve received are all being returned. The first shirt is not nearly as cute in person, the second shirt was made out of a weird shiny material, and the third shirt was so cute and fit perfect, but the stripes were sewn slightly crooked and it would have driven me crazy.

The shoes and jacket are coming today, so fingers crossed. I’m a little nervous about the jacket being too small, but it’s cute, a great price, and free returns, so it was worth a try. The shoes are roxy brand and they are my favorite brand of casual flats. I have three other pairs of roxy casual slip-ons, so I’m hoping these are just as comfy. I’m obsessed with the polka dot and plaid shirt, so I really hope it’s as cute in person as in pictures…I can’t wait for it to arrive!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Four –Wind River

Adam and I don’t go to the movies very often, but we recently saw Wind River and we both really enjoyed it. It’s a thriller about a wildlife officer/tracker (Jeremy Renner) who finds the body of a local girl in the snow on the Wind River Indian Reservation. He teams up with a FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) to investigate the death. The movie was really well done and I still catch myself thinking about how it portrayed the will to survive. If it’s playing in a theatre near you, I highly recommend seeing it.

Five – Open House

We went to an open house last weekend and I’m completely obsessed with the master bathroom. It’s pretty much my dream bathroom. Unfortunately, Adam didn’t like the house as much as I did. It was obviously a flip, so he’s nervous about the quality of the work…and I kind of agree. It’s also overpriced for the neighborhood, so I don’t think I’ll be soaking in that tub anytime soon.

Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend? My mom is coming tomorrow and on Sunday we leave for our two week Scotland and Ireland adventure! I'm so excited, but I'm going to miss Adam and the doggies!  

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FabFitFun Fall 2017 Box

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Back in June I mentioned that I bought an annual subscription to FabFitFun as part of my yearly #treatyoself goal. Over the weekend I received my fall box, so I thought I’d share this season’s items with you. Because I signed up for a year, I’m considered a select member so I’m able to choose between colors/styles on a few of the items. The rest of the items aren’t shared ahead of time (although you can find a few spoilers if you look hard enough), so it’s fun to have some choice, but also have a few surprises. 

The highest value item ($98) in this season’s box is the cozy wrap from Mer-Sea. The scarf is available in three colors - gray, teal, and blush. Select members were able to pick their color and of course I picked teal. I originally planned to wear it as a scarf, but in person it seems way too big. It might be nice as a wrap on a plane or as a runner across a bed. That’s probably how I’ll end up using mine. 


The next item is a denim gym bag from Private Party ($59 value). There were three different phrases offered and I picked Gym & Juice. If you don’t get the Snoop Dogg reference, please enjoy this 90s rap classic

The box also included a Trestique Lip Crayon ($28 value). It was available in two colors and I picked the lighter Florence Fig shade. I don’t wear a lot of lip stick, but I really like this product. It doesn’t dry out my lips and it looks great with my skin tone. It gives me a bold lip without being too in your face.

For the next item all subscribers were able to choose between a belt or a beanie, but were unable to select a specific color. The belt options were brown or tan and the beanie was black or blush. I already have plenty of beanies (and live in Phoenix so they rarely get used), so I picked the B-Low the Belt Mia Belt ($55 value). I was hoping for the tan, so I was happy to see this one in my box.

Everyone was also able to pick between an apple cider vinegar hair rinse or teeth whitening powder/toothbrush. I had a hard time deciding, but went with the Molr Teeth Whitening Powder and Toothbrush ($44 value). However, I haven’t tried brushing my teeth with this yet because I’m still doing some research about how it affects the enamel on your teeth. I think this might be best used once a week vs. twice a day as the instructions say.

Now we’re onto the surprise items! The first surprise item was a myTagalongs Hot/Cold Pack ($15 value). Well, this one wasn’t a total surprise because they posted a spoiler on Instagram, but the color and phrase were a surprise. I love that you can microwave it or put it in the freezer depending on your needs. This is definitely going to come in handy!

The next two items were both surprises…and definitely good ones! I love that both products are ingredient conscious and cruelty free! The Whish Renewing Mud Mask ($48 value) is made by a local AZ company and smells amazing! I’ve only tried this once, so it’s hard to give a complete review, but my skin felt so soft afterwards. I haven’t tried the Deco Miami Lavender Cuticle Oil ($12.50 value) yet, but I definitely need to! My poor cuticles look so bad right now!

Last, but not least this Coxet Wire Heart Ceramic Jewelry Holder from IMM Living ($33 value) was also in the box. It's cute, but I don't need another jewelry holder, so this might end up being a Christmas gift for someone.

I should also note that everyone also received a 10-count sample of Cottonelle cleansing cloths. These don’t count towards the official value of the box and are just an extra product for everyone to try.

Overall, I like this box more than the summer box. Like I said last time, I wouldn’t have picked most of these products on my own, but that’s the whole point of the box.  My favorite items are the hot/cold pack and the Whish mud mask (and I have high hopes for the cuticle oil). My variation of the fall box included $393 worth of products for only $45 ($180 annual subscription/4 seasonal boxes). I would never pay full price for most of these items, but the box is definitely worth $45 (or $50 if you’re a single box subscriber).

If you want to try FabFitFun, you can use this link to save $10 off your first box. If you don’t want to commit to a full year, you can sign up for just one box using the code and get everything above for $40 and then cancel.

Do you subscribe to FabFitFun or some other subscription box? We used to get Bark Box for the dogs, but now that we have three dogs one subscription doesn’t come with enough toys for each dog and I don’t want to pay extra for a toy add-on or a second box.

Pike Place Market Food Tour

Thursday, September 14, 2017

One of my favorite parts of traveling is the food. I love trying new dishes and the local specialties when I visit a new place. So when one of my friends suggested booking a food tour of Pike Place Market for our recent trip to Seattle, I was totally into the idea. They went a couple years ago and he said that they really enjoyed the tour and that it was a great way to try a few of the popular places in the market. I’ve gone on a few food tours before (Scottsdale, New Orleans, and Venice, Italy) and loved them, so I knew booking one was a must.  

After some research I decided to book Savor Seattle’s Signature Tour of Pike Place Market. There are a few other companies that also do tours of the market, but this one fit our schedule and had most of the samples that I wanted to try. It’s also ranked as the #1 tour of Seattle on Trip Advisor. After taxes and fees it ended up being $100 for the two of us to take the tour. TIP: Sign up for their newsletter to get a coupon code for $2 off per ticket.

We ended up picking the 10:30 a.m. morning tour because we figured it would be the best timing for eating the samples as lunch. We got a bit of a late start that morning, so we didn’t have a chance to eat breakfast beforehand. I would definitely recommend eating something small before the tour because we were starving by the time we reached the first stop.


The morning of our tour we met our guide Justin near the gum wall (so gross). We met everyone in our group and headed off to our fist sample. Oh, and before we get to the food I have to mention that Justin was great! He was funny, shared some really interesting stories about the market, and was a master at fending off random tourists trying to sneak our samples.

OK, let’s start with our first stop: Daily Dozen Donuts. We each got to try a couple of the cinnamon sugar mini donuts. They were hot, fresh and a great way to start the tour.

The next stop was Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt. I know Greek yogurt doesn’t sound that exciting, but trust me when I say this isn’t your typical grocery store yogurt. It’s thick, delicious and hands down the best yogurt I’ve ever had. We sampled two flavors and the marionberry was by far my favorite (the passion fruit was a little too sour for my taste). We ended up coming back here a couple days later for breakfast. I got the marionberry again and Adam tried the lemon curd (he really liked it).

Next on the tour was Beecher’s Handmade Cheese (you can see the cheese being made through the windows!). To start we tasted the fresh cheese curds. Our next sample was the cheese they make using those curds (Flagship cheese). Finally we tried their mac and cheese (and one of Oprah’s favorite things). The mac and cheese was seriously good and I ended up getting a cup of it at the airport when we flew out. Yes, they have a location in the airport!

From there we went to Chukar Cherries. As their name suggests, they are all about cherries. We sampled a couple different dried cherries, chocolate covered cherries, and a chocolate covered honey pecan. After the tour we went back and bought a bag of the chocolate honey pecans and a bag of the black forest cherries. We also got a free gift (chocolate covered cherries) for being on the tour and signing up for their mailing list.

The next stop on the tour was Pike Place Chowder. The line for this place was ridiculous so we were really happy to be with the tour and not have to wait in that line (seriously, the line was down the entire alley). We tried the clam chowder (of course) and it was the best clam chowder I’ve ever had. Not surprisingly, they win a lot of awards for best chowder at competitions around the country. They also have a location in the downtown area (with no line), so we went there for dinner the next day.

Our second to last stop was Piroshky Piroshky. We tried the potato and cheese and the cinnamon cardamom. If you’ve never had a piroshky, it’s basically a hand held pie with various fillings from Eastern Europe. I wasn’t too impressed with the potato and cheese, but the cinnamon cardamom was delicious. Adam said it was one of his favorite samples of the day.

We ended the tour with crab cakes at Etta’s Seafood Restaurant. It’s one of the many Tom Douglas restaurants around the city and the crab cake was definitely high quality. There wasn’t any filler mixed in so you could taste the fresh Dungeness crab. We were only given a sample size crab cake, but our guide said that they are huge if you order the dish at the restaurant. I wish our crab cake had been at least a little bigger, but that’s really my only complaint about the tour.

At the end of the tour Justin passed out discount cards and a list of restaurants around the city where they were valid. Most of them offered 10%-off, so it was a nice addition to the tour and they saved us a few bucks on our trip. We forgot to use our card a couple times, but we did take advantage of the Chukar Cherries discount and the free truffles offer at one of the nearby shops.

We both really enjoyed the tour and I think that it was a fun way to try some different places around the market that we probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise. It’s also a great way to get familiar with the market because it’s big and crowded, so it can be a little overwhelming at first. The tour lasted about two hours and I suggest leaving yourself another couple hours to go back to any of the places on the tour and explore the rest of the market.

Have you ever gone on a food tour while on vacation? They’re such a fun way to learn about a new place (and try new food).

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Goodbye Office, Hello Gym

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A few months ago I showed you the new desk that we bought for the office and rambled about switching up the layout of the room. Well, we ended up REALLY changing the layout of the room because we decided to turn it into a home gym!

Adam and I have been trying to exercise more, but we struggle to get to the actual gym. Adam’s original plan was to turn half of the garage into a fitness area. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to turn our office into a workout area at first, so I went along with that plan. BUT, we live in Phoenix and the garage is like 1000 degrees in the summer, so I knew deep down that wouldn’t work.

Eventually I realized that we needed to make this house work for our family, even if that means turning a pretty space into a room of exercise equipment. I feel stupid thinking about the amount of work (and extra money) we were going to put into the garage to make it usable in the summer just because I didn’t want to ugly up a room we hardly use. We use the desk area and computer, but not THAT much. The rest of the room is really only used when we have more company than can fit in the guest room, maybe 2 or 3 times a year. So, now the room is our new home gym.

I’ve had the treadmill for years, but we just bought the exercise bike. It’s the SB800 bike from Sole Fitness and it was stupid expensive. BUT, we aren’t paying monthly gym fees anymore and it’s getting me to actually exercise, so I guess it was worth the money. We got rid of the small TV when we bought the new computer, so we moved the TV from the master bedroom in here. It’s a lot bigger than the old one, so it was a nice upgrade. We also bought a Roku stick for the TV so we can watch Netflix while we exercise. 

The stripes are staying, but I’ll probably change out most of the other decorations. We’ll probably get rid of the sleeper sofa and other furniture at some point. It would be nice to have more room for a small weight set or just more room to stretch out.

By now you might be wondering about that new desk…well, it’s now in the guest room. Remember the finished guest room from the Fall 2015 One Room Challenge? It’s now a guest room/office.

We had to push the bed against the wall to fit the desk, which is not ideal, but it’s really the only way that everything fits. I need to re-hang some of the pictures and find a few new pieces to fit this layout, but I think it’ll all work out just fine.

I’ll share more details about these rooms as we get everything rearranged and organized. Hopefully we’ll be able to call these rooms complete soon!

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