Thursday, July 13, 2017

OUR TRIP TO PHOENIX, ARIZONA- WHAT WE DID, WHERE WE ATE, AND WHERE WE STAYED


Last month my husband and I traveled to Phoenix, AZ for a conference.  Every few years, we attend the annual meeting of our Southern Baptist Convention along with thousands of other pastors, ministers, and messengers from churches all over the country.


The first day and a half is the Pastor's Conference, and then the next two days are basically a big meeting mixed in with worship, sermons, and reports from all of our Southern Baptist entities.  It's always good to catch up with friends and fellow ministers from around the country and hear about the good work our missionaries are doing to spread the gospel around the world.  One of the most powerful times of the conference is when groups all over the arena surround our new missionaries with prayer and commission them as they go out across the world to share about Jesus.


Since this was basically a "business trip," we didn't have a lot of spare time to roam the town and sightsee, but we did manage to squeeze in quite a bit of seeing the town here and there between sessions.  Thankfully, we were there during a "cool front" and the weather was mostly in the 90s, none of this 120 degree business that's currently been going on!  The weather was lovely- pleasant mornings and evenings, and even the heat of the day wasn't unbearable.


WHAT WE DID


We had some time the evening we arrived so we headed for Old Town Scottsdale.  We enjoyed walking the quaint streets and blocks of shops and restaurants.  It was a Sunday evening so most things were closed, but we still got in some fun window shopping!

I could not get over all of the beautiful landscaping...the bougainvillea was breathtaking!  Along with many varieties of huge cacti everywhere and sweet wildflowers, the landscaping greenery begged to be admired.


This dress was perfect for travel- so comfortable yet looked pulled together, and easy to dress up or down with your choice of shoes and accessories.  Although be prepared if you wear it while flying... the sleeves are so full that TSA had to pat down them down going through security.  ;)

(this post contains affiliate links)
Gray Ruffled Sleeve Dress  ||  Sneakers  ||  No Show Socks  ||  Monogrammed Tote



One of my fellow ministry wives from our church found out that Phoenix has a Last Chance Clearance center for Nordstrom.  This is truly the last stop for merchandise!  There are tons of shoes at bargain basement prices- some have obviously been worn and returned, but most are in perfect new condition.  We heard rumors that people line up an hour before the store opens each day to get in, but we went in the afternoon and it wasn't too bad.  Be ready to dig if you go (literally- piles of shoes, accessories, home goods, etc. loaded up in bins to look through- plenty of racks and hanging rods also though), but there are some awesome deals to be found!  

This day I wore this orange gingham dress with skinny pants.  It's very lightweight so it's cool, but it's also thin and short for me, so it needs a slip or pants underneath it.  It would probably be perfect as a wear alone dress for petite sizes.





Our last full day was mostly spent at the convention, but we slipped away for a few hours in the late afternoon for dinner and to explore a bit.  Phoenix is surrounded by mountains, and although we didn't have time to do any hiking, we did check out South Mountain Park, which has a road you can drive to the top of the peak.  The views from the top look out across downtown and all of the surrounding areas for miles and miles.  Easy to navigate take a peek by car if you're not up for hiking the landscape, or there are plenty of trails around if you do want to hike.


We had just been to dinner so this is what I was wearing to tromp around on the top of the mountain... ;) good thing those shoes are comfy!  A good pair of white trousers is such a staple for me- I wear them weekly and often to church with a nice blouse.

White Pants- similar here or here  ||  Blouse- similar  ||  Tassel Necklace  ||  Clutch- TJ Maxx


One evening I wore this casual combo- stripes + floral + leopard = love!





On the day we headed home we had a little bit of time before we headed to the airport, so we stopped by the gigantic shopping center Fashion Square.  I think just about every store you can imagine is here!  

I wore my trusty gingham shirtdress (which comes in GREEN now too and is currently half off!) for our travel home and threw in a cardigan for the chilly plane/airport.  This outfit has been on repeat this summer!  I've said it before, but I could not love this tote more.  I carry it daily, but it's especially great for trips.  We loaded it down with my laptop, big camera, a novel, my husbands iPad, as well as all of my normal "purse" items.  It often gets this kind of abuse and doesn't look one bit any worse for the wear... I'm so impressed with the quality and how the straps have held up.  

Gingham Dress (1/2 off!)  ||  Similar sandals here ($25!), here, or here  ||  Similar Earrings here or here  ||  Monogrammed Tote



WHERE WE ATE

A little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale.  After a day of traveling we chose it at random and our traditional enchiladas/beans and rice plates were good.   More "authentic" Mexican and spicier than this Tex-Mex girl is used to!



An old church converted into a restaurant.  Beautiful, very cool atmosphere, and very good.




Downtown, has only been open for a few months.  We went for a late night dinner and all had tacos.  They were good but the star was the table side hand made guac!  They bring out scads of ingredients and custom make your guac to order.  Probably the best guacamole I've ever had!


Ray and me, our Pastor and his wife, our Worship Leader and his wife (such a fun crew!)


Southern favorites with a slightly gourmet twist.  We stuck with the classics, and I loved how they used sweet old china to serve on.  The biscuits were huge (that's a dessert size plate, but still!).



Downtown, nice courtyard or inside dining, delicious!


A must stop before we headed home to the land of no In N Outs!  






WHERE WE STAYED

Along with a huge number of the conference attendees, for convenience we stayed at the Renaissance Downtown and the accommodations were fantastic.  There were so many shops and restaurants within walking distance, if you're downtown for meetings you really can find everything you need right there.




So, have you been to Phoenix?  What are your favorite spots?   I enjoyed it SO much more than I expected to, and would love to go back for more play time next time!  We both said if you can make it through the summers it would be such an amazing place to live.


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Friday, July 7, 2017

IF YOU MISSED IT {APRIL-JUNE} AND CUTE SHORTS!


If your schedule has been as busy as mine lately, you might have missed a post or two around here!  Here's the best of April, May, and June.  If you're all caught up, scroll on to the end of the post for an unbeatable deal on some super cute shorts that my daughter and I are loving.  :)


It's hard to believe, but this house has been our home for 10 years.  In this post I gave you a before and after tour from the very beginning, and shared how my style has changed over the years.



I was ready for a fun change for Spring and Summer, so I switched out the drapes in the living room and breakfast nook.  Panels really aren't that hard to make, and I showed you how in this DIY Curtain Panel Tutorial.



I shared a few recipes- you must try the pink lemonade pie this summer if you haven't yet!


We have a huge garage sale every 2-3 years.  I really don't enjoy it, but it's always worth it in the end to get rid of things we don't need anymore and earn a nice chunk of change in the process.  As a seasoned garage sale giver and shopper, I shared my best Tips for a Successful Garage Sale.



I scoured one of the online fabric sites I use the most and put together some fabric combos that would mix and match nicely in a room.



I set a Pink and Green Easter Table this Spring, and it's probably one of my favorites yet!  By changing out the color scheme this general idea would work for several other occasions, too... showers, birthday parties, or other holidays.


One of the biggest problem areas in my house got a little makeover, and now I'm finally in love with a little nook that I've always disliked.  



Finally, we got a "new" front door!  It spurred on a few other changes too for a Front Porch Mini Makeover.



Ok, this doesn't exactly fit with a recap post, but I didn't want you to miss out on this deal!  My daughter and I have bought several pairs of these shorts this summer, and they're all perfect.  AND THEY'RE ON SALE FOR $12 UNTIL TOMORROW NIGHT!

These are probably my favorite of the bunch- the fabric is thick, the 7" length is just right, and the tiny embroidered lemons make for a much more expensive look than they are! (includes affiliate links)


We both had on new shorts for the Fourth this week.  Emily's are perfect to mix and match with a variety of tops and mine are lightweight, super cool chambray.  Two thumbs up on both of these!



Alright, that wraps up your reading material and shopping picks for the weekend, hope you all have a great one!  I'm in the middle of a big project- you can follow along with my Instastories for some sneak peeks!


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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

MY FIVE FAVORITE SUMMER ACCESSORIES



Welcome to My Five Favorites today!  Are y'all moving a little slow this morning like I am after a full day of celebrating yesterday?  What a fun day but we're ready to get it in gear and share this month's MFF with you.  Pam from Simple Details, Lisa from Shine Your Light, Kris from Driven by Decor and I are all set to share our favorite Summer Accessories with you today.

I'm so thrilled to have my sweet friend Mallory from Style Your Senses as our guest host today.  I've known Mallory for years and am not only continually inspired by her home, but her fashion sense as well!  She knows what she's doing and has such good taste, I know you'll enjoy her work too.  Case in point, check out this jaw-dropping nursery that she recently completed for her new sweet baby girl.  I'm speechless!  Since Mallory is equally talented in her home and fashion picks, she's the perfect guest to share her favorite Summer Accessories with us today, too!



This post contains affiliate links.


BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN

Aren't you shocked that this is my #1 choice?  In the past few years I've added blue and white all around my house, it's the perfect complement in so many places!  I have it out year round in my house, but I think it's crisp color combo especially lends itself to Summer.  It pairs so well with many of the colors of Summer, too.  




I find most of my pieces at Ross or Homegoods, but here are a few good pieces available to order online.  








TASSEL JEWELRY

I'm a sucker for pretty much anything with a tassel on it this season, in home or fashion!  

Tassel (several colors available) or similar here  ||  Spring Entry Tour


 Hot Pink tassel earrings






Skirt  ||  Shirt- similar  ||  Tassel Necklace  ||  Clutch-TJ Maxx  ||  Shoes- old




HEAD PLANTER

This has been one of my favorite pieces over the past few years.  It's another one I've used in several different places and in different ways.  It's great to fill with succulents and holds up beautifully indoors or outdoors through the Summer months.




Actually, this is a favorite accessory any time of year!  (And he's been several different colors, too.)








INTERESTING TRAYS

I've come across a couple of new trays lately that quickly became fast favorites.  Whether I use them for grouping small items together for a vignette or use them to serve from, they're such a great staple to have!

 Pagoda Prints  ||  Frames- Michaels with Gold Spray Paint, Similar Brass Frame with Mat  ||  Mat Cutter  ||  Round Marble Tray  ||  Candle  ||  Lady Bust  ||  Similar Glass Knobs


Cinnamon Iced Tea  ||  Yellow Tray- Homegoods  ||  Similar Necklace




POM POM SANDALS

I've had these for about a month and I've worn them so much they've already been worth my money!  I get tons of compliments on them every time I wear them and they coordinate with so many different outfits.  One fun accessory is a great way to snazz up an otherwise plain outfit!


I found this exact pair at Ross, but here are some that are very similar.  I've seen several in stores recently too that are being marked down for the season, so keep an eye out!







What accessories are you loving this summer?  Be sure to head over to these blogs to check out their favorites too!



Missed any previous My 5 Favorites posts? Catch up here!

My 5 Favorite Tips for Organizing Your Home
My 5 Favorite Home Decor Accessories
My 5 Favorite Ways to Decorate for Spring
My 5 Favorite Pillows
My 5 Favorite Ways to Decorate an Outdoor Space
My 5 Favorite Fabrics
My 5 Favorite DIY Projects
My 5 Favorite Ways to Use Mixed Metals
My 5 Favorite DIY Artwork Projects
My 5 Favorite Tabletop Accessories
My 5 Favorite Recipes for the Holidays
My 15 Favorite Favorites- Holiday Wish List
My 5 Favorite Organizing Tools
My 5 Favorite Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day
My 5 Favorite Thrifted Finds
My 5 Favorite Ikea Products
My 5 Favorite Paint Projects
My 5 Favorite Home Gadgets



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