Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Arizona Adventures: 1/4

 Arizona - home to the wild, dry, sunny desert, full of mountain ranges, cactuses (cacti?) rattlesnakes, coyotes, cowboys, and my snowbird parents. After running through the Minneapolis airport, I was able to meet up with my parents, and later sisters for the week. This post, I wanted to talk a little about the adventures I had, and things to do in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.

For the first day my mom surprised me with horseback riding - the area is a huge spot for equestrians, and the desert is a beautiful place to slowly meander through while riding a horse. I hadn't been on one since middle school, but I've always been fascinated with these animals. They are so big, beautiful and intelligent. I had Big John, and he was a big fella who was thankfully patient with me as I yanked this way and that, learning the ropes (ah! that's where the saying's from!). One thing I can't imagine though, is how people back in the day could ride horses all day long, day after day - traveling across the country. We were only gone for two hours, and getting off I already had a cowboy gait!

 Lots of beautiful wildlife in the desert - while riding we saw a pack of coyotes!
 The other big activity for the week for us was hiking. The first hike my dad took us on was Black Mountain - and let me tell you this is not for the faint of heart (great first pick, dad). This mountain was aptly named - it is made of black shale rock, and seemed to have a vertical incline of 90 degrees. There were points in the climb where I, gasping for air, generously rasped out to my companions "go on with out me, I'll never make it!" But they wouldn't give up on me until we made it to the top. The views were worth it - 360 degrees of mountains and valleys all around us.
 Of course ya gotta have good hiking boots - mine are Merrell, and were a great fit. Being high enough to prevent me from tripping and twisting my ankle, but the neoprene made them pretty light weight and easy to walk in.
 The next hike was the LADY's hike! And much, much more enjoyable. This was Pinnacle Peak, which is an easy loping hike that goes up and down with lots of different opportunities for incredible views.
 On our last day we hiked Tom's Thumb - which was probably my favorite. This hike was a little big longer, with steep and then level parts, so very do-able. But it's only once you get to the top that you see Tom's thumb!

 Well - my dad keeps me young. He is more active and in shape than all my sisters and I combined, I swear. Outside of our house were some mountain biking trails that he took me on. I was a little nervous at first, and while the first half was a slow, gradual up up up and wasn't that exciting - I'll admit that going down was a blast! Hitting the dips, bumps and rocks fast on your bike gives you adrenaline and made me feel a little invincible. I definitely recommend trying out mountain biking!
And of course, a lot of time time was spent relaxing and laying out by the pool!
More stories and outfits from Arizona to come, and if you're visiting the area/have visited the area let us know what else you like to do there!

Naomi Joy

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Maximum Use

Well.. the dwindling of posts must mean that temperatures have been dwindling here in Michigan as well. Yup, it's hard to get outside the house, let alone off the couch when all I want to do is cuddle up in a ball in front of the fire watching The Bachelor for the rest of winter hibernation. Who's with me??

You may have heard of all the snow Michigan has been receiving the past week and my daily workout has consisted of an hour of shoveling snow - my arms are going to be real buff this winter. Even though the cold and snow can sometimes get me down it's time to make the best of it and keep on pushing through until the daisy's start pushing through spring ground and we once again have summer and are reminded why we put up with these Michigan seasons.

For this outfit I paired one of my summer maxis with a sweater and jacket - worn with long johns this would probably keep you quite warm when temps go into the negatives! Even though I don't have an actual DIY post for this - this sweater was a very easy revamp I did. I bought a pack of sew-on crystals form the craft store and arranged them in a repeating pattern on an old sweater. Twenty minutes later you have an on-trend sweater!

Naomi Joy

Jacket- Younkers
Sweater - Zara revamped
Skirt - Banana Republic
Boots - Wolverine 1000 Mile Arc Boots

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!! Can you believe it's 2015?? We're living in the year that Marty from Back to the Future II comes to prevent his son from ending up in jail! But instead of taking you to the future, I want to take you into the past. The year is 1922, the music is pumping, the drinks flowing, and the dance floor shaking from The Charleston. Welcome to Gatsby's.

For this NYE, I teamed up with my good friend Becca to throw a fabulous Great Gatsby party - and wanted to transform the house so our guests would feel like they were stepping into a different era. The center piece of the kitchen was our bar - we bought cardboard letters and numbers to spray paint gold, and wrap in gold tinsel... all gold everything. We also made a Happy New Year banner with strips of gold fabric (similar to the one from  this party) And a miniature Happy New Year banner for the cake! I think I became asthmatic from all the balloons we blew up, and my hands still smell like latex...but who doesn't like balloons??

We also set up a photobooth with my camera on a tripod so guest could come and go taking pictures. There were fun props to use as well!

 Everyone looked very dapper and flapper - I think everyone enjoyed themselves:)

And now, it's my BIRTHDAY! I was almost the New Year's baby in a tiny hospital in Georgetown, Ontario - but some little boy beat me by an hour, and now HIS picture on the front page of the local newspaper is in MY baby book to remind me everyday how close I was to that great honor. Alas, I will still enjoy this day immensely with my close friends and family.

Naomi Joy