Wednesday, October 31, 2012

it's halloween, no bones about it.

i celebrated this year's halloween as a last minute skeleton with carlyn, who was in-town visiting for the weekend. we attended old town scottsdale's "ghostball" at the how-is-it-still-there club axis radius (stop judging me). dj morgan page graced the outdoor stage and the australian brother dj duo "stafford brothers" kept the crowd dancing inside long past closing time. it was a fun c+t night out shakin' our bones & my new brunette 'do.

front and center for Morgan Page

axis radius and all its glory, people. not much has changed over the years. 

up close & personal with the awesome aussie djs.

snapped this one for you, newtons! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

eek! i've gone to the dark side.

take II
for those of you who remember my horribly tragic attempt at going dark in 2003, this is a lot different and much better. why? because it wasn't done in a bathtub. it's not "black widow" from a box. and it's not permanent dye. (what were we thinking???)

i've been in the mood for a change and contemplating brunette for a little while. 
a week ago, danny and i were playing around with this fun online hairstyle app... 

and then i mustered up the courage to start texting with my stylist. she told me she had a cancellation on saturday afternoon and it was mine if i wanted it. i stopped texting. the next morning i woke up to a text... "did you lose your courage little lamb?" and i booked it. come saturday night, i was a full blown brunette. 

i wasn't really nervous about going dark, i was more nervous about the thought of having to get back to my blonde hair if i didn't love it because i knew it would be a long process. but, the color turned out just how i wanted. warm & rich with some lighter pieces for depth without being stripy. no freakouts. no tears. looks like it can stay a while. 

it's totally different, but i'm really diggin' it. so is the ting. 
time to put the blonde bobbi pins in storage.

p.s. the last time i dyed my hair black (very different), my dad walked passed me in the hallway of our home and didn't recognize me. at dinner that night, he looked at me and said, "please never do this again." sorry, dad. i hope you agree this is a lot different than last time.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

hello, arizona autumn.

loving my fairytale pumpkin. the felines, too.

mom, we can't wait to hear about tonight's haunted halloween party! it's gonna be great. deep breaths. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

trader joe's and their magical brooms.

fall really snuck up on me this year. not to be annoying, but how is it the end of october? seriously. 
i walked into trader joe's the other night and my sniffer started going crazy. i know that scent! i had completely forgotten about these gems i discovered last year, and the sight of them made me a happy girl.  
these magical brooms are just $3.99 and will fill your home with the sweet cinnamon smell of fall.
idea: paired with TJ's wine or a bouquet of flowers, this would be a festive twist on the typical hostess gift.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

the trick for an actual date night.


over a glass of wine one night, a girlfriend and i got to talking about the types of conversations we have with our husbands, and she told me about something they'd learned during a church marriage class. i found it incredibly insightful and it's been something that's stuck with me.

there's a big difference between a dinner out and a date night.
and it's all about the conversation.

next time you're out with your significant other and you want it to be a date night, you absolutely can't talk about any "task" related topics (even if you think you enjoy talking about them)... these topics include but are not limited to:
-- the honey-do home project that needs to get done
-- the flights you need to book
-- either person's job, boss, morning meeting or next big project
-- the dogs, cats, kids or fish
-- the budget, credit cards, bank account, savings account
-- must do's like the oil change, gym, dry cleaning or  "thing" to buy/sell

when you think about it... early on in relationships, a date night is all about getting to know someone a little bit better. it's the thrill of learning something new and just because you've been together for years doesn't mean this should change. date night topics might include:
-- sharing your favorite new song, band or Pandora station
-- a new hobby or class that you're interested in pursuing
-- complimenting the other person on something you've recently noticed
-- sharing an interesting news article that you read that day
-- planning a dream vacation or scheduling the next date night (and budget / time off / the kids schedule isn't factored in)

with crazy work and personal schedules, its easy to understand why seemingly frivolous conversations are replaced with agenda-driven dinnertimes, but it is crucial to continue to grow and change with your partner. to keep the spark alive. to remain interested in their ever-changing personal interests and hobbies and know they're interested in yours. you don't want to wake-up one day and realize that you just assumed your partner's favorite song, restaurant and color was still the same as when you met them. we need to remember to ask and share.

in making a conscious effort to do this, it has encouraged both of us to stay more interested and to bring fresh topics to the table. i've even jotted down topics or thoughts throughout the workday to save and share over dinner. it sounds silly, but you don't realize how guilty we all are of redundant "deadline" driven conversations until you're forced to find something fresh to talk about.

try it. it's hard, but fun and leaves you feeling more connected than just checking to-do's off the list before the bill comes. 

it's pretty intimate. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

baby interaction: uncles vs. aunts.

we spent some time with our niece miss makaela this weekend. our interaction with her couldn't be more opposite. 

time with uncle danny went like this...
ummm... uncle danny, do you have any idea what you're doing? 

i don't like this! stop tipping me!

seriously... get that thing away from me! get a life, uncle dan.

dude, seriously. you're starting to bother me. i don't want to be clipped!

leave me aaallllooooonnneee loser! pick on someone your own size!

yup, now you've really pissed me off. i may not look tough in a bib, but i swear...

oh? you think this is funny? yeah. i don't. i'm gonna get that thing and clip you.

alright. alright. we can be friends again. 

and then there was time with auntie teri...
ooohhhh... pretty bracelet.

let's play tutu and pink princess dress up...

and give kisses...

and do holiday appropriate crafts...

and look at ourselves in the camera while taking pictures....

.... and read books nice and quietly.

and of course let's put on tons of chapstick.

and back to uncle danny to be crazy... 
let's throw the ball around everywhere!

and play "keep away" from an 18-month-old! 

really cool danny! you're winning! 

but the one thing that both aunts & uncles are great at -- getting them riled up, giving them a chapstick and then...
bye bye!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

here's to hoping for a lazy weekend.

he's totally gonna be annoyed at me for this. 
but i don't care. it's a favorite scene of mine. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

the world's smallest lobster roll.

before attending a charity fundraiser event last saturday night (Scottsdale 20/30's NiteFlite), we tried out a new restaurant in scottsdale, "the house," an old town brasserie. it's super cute, romantic and has a great patio, but it was the kind of dinner that required a late night run to taco bell. 

introducing... the maine lobster roll 
on the "shared plates" menu
nope, that's not just my portion in my fingertips. that's pre-sharing.

we had a little too much fun mocking our roll...
"what is this? a lobster roll for ants?!" 
(obviously said in the zoolander voice. not ringing a bell? watch here.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

books by numbers.

i love to read.
both my parents are avid readers and i'm so glad they instilled that quality in me.
it's a wonderful thing to get lost in a book.
to be able to entertain yourself for hours no matter where you are in the world.
i'm always leaning on other people for book recommendations,   
so here's a breakdown of my summer 2012 reads...

#1. Princess "Life Behind the Veil" by Jean Sasson: Recommended to me by Jenny. A fascinating look into the life of a real Saudi Arabian princess. I found myself telling Danny about everything I was learning - he loved it, too. Note: This is the first book in a trilogy and there's a good chance I'll be reading the others. B+
#2. The Fifty Shades Series by EL James: There's nothing more I can add to this that hasn't already been said (and you officially live under a rock if you haven't heard of this series). You're not going to feel any smarter after you read these three books, but they were great vacation books. Unlike a lot of people, I preferred the second and third book over the first because there was actually a bit of a story line. Although, by the end your eyes to do glaze over the sexytime parts and if she said "inner goddess" one more time... C+
#3. Where We Belong by Emily Giffin: As I mentioned here, I'm a fan of Emily Giffin books. I've read them all and was excited to see a new one hit the shelves, but it was just okay for me. Took me a while to get into it and it was uber predictable. B-
#4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: Recommended to me by Tiffany L. She warned me that it would take a few chapters to get into it, and it did, but after that - wow. This is the best book I've read in a long time. The writing is smart, quick and witty. The story line is fresh and there's a nice big twist that keeps you wanting more. This was another book that Danny "followed along" with because I kept telling him about the twists and turns. I highly recommend. A

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

grand canyon hike :: mooney falls.

okay, so mooney falls is best know for the hike down to it. it's straight down and you hold onto rusty chains to keep yourself steady. danny was behind me to talk me through where to put my feet and where to grab on to. casey was right above me and was loving danny's direction as well. not gonna lie, it really gets your heart rate going, but it's pretty thrilling at the same time.

walking down to the main "chain" area of the hike.

yup, i wasn't lying.

but then it's totally worth it because you see this.

travis and grant getting ready to go through the rock wall caves.

travis, the birthday boy! loving it.

looking through the cave.

slow and steady wins the race... three points of contact at all times!

how i felt right after i got down!

we're assuming the bench ended up there after the big flood.

the epitome of crystal clear.

travis and danny - both "Go Pro" cameramen with the matching wounds to prove it.

canyon babes after a "behind the falls" swim. 

so, danny went under the falls and found a little are you could sit behind and look out. 

the boys. and then they visually demonstrated that we were at mooney falls. i'll spare you.

mother natural. a naturale. 

tarah won the "gourmet" cuisine badge. slicing meets with a spork #camplife

the crazy chinese singing birthday candle that grant would ultimately have to destroy.

campside games - Left, Right, Center. i was the big winner of round #1!

headlamp in an empty water bottle = campside light.

danny was introduced to Toblerone chocolate. we've created a monster.

the next morning, danny & me plus heather & james got up, packed up our campsite and set off for the return hike. the rest of the group stayed an extra night. we powered through the hike and did it all in 4 hours and 15 minutes! taking my shoes off has never felt better. we hit the road, did a ghetto car wipe down via cucumber baby wipes and then stopped for a guilt-free lunch of beers, nachos, club sandwiches, hamburgers and ice cream. a shower and our bed had never felt better than it did that night..

....and that's a grand canyon wrap!
who's in for next time? 
(who am i?!)