Bed & Breakfast & Beautiful Banisters

It has been a Summer of firsts! Including this: My first stay at a Bed&Breakfast. And I couldn’t have picked a better place! We stayed at the lovely and historical Fitz Rudolph House in the quaint and green town of Carthage, Illinois. 11760088_10203043064997332_1606391174578517101_n

I didn’t even know I was obsessed with turrets! And I may have snuck around to each individual room to photograph them…10981601_10203043067157386_1535872293946875532_n 11745353_10203043070917480_4754702781437075582_n 11745733_10203043075797602_7686584081718156561_n

My family stayed in the topmost room, the “maid’s quarters” and I thought I would not mind one bit cleaning up after strangers if I could be a part of such a beautiful household.

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The place was run by a friendly married couple. Talk about dream job; living in a beautiful home, meeting people from all over and having quality conversations, waking up and making delicious breakfasts in a sun filled kitchen…can you tell I enjoyed myself? It sure beat any hotel or hostel or couch I’ve ever stayed on. Here’s to small businesses, ’cause they really are that neat.

Hello MO

Having accepted a costuming job in the area and missing my mommy like crazy, I’ve flown to the Kansas City, Missouri area for the summer and I simply adore it thus far!

Not only is it beautiful, but my family is here and my heart is full!

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It has been unseasonably stormy (which I am rather a fan of) and constantly at least 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix and I have just loved it. One complaint? The humidity and my hair are not getting along…

Sometimes I have a hard time comprehending how green it is.

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And while the choices of entertainment are different from what we have in the city, I have already seen so much and met so many new people. So cheers to the summer and a change of pace!

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Headed North

Stand up if you think Arizona is ugly.

Now sit back down, son.

Even for those who have something against the desert landscape and find it “barren” or “boring” ( I’ve heard of these people and we will address this issue at a later date), there is some serious variety in this lovely state.

Now that school is out, my travel game is on. First trip? A journey to Cece’s hometown; Lakeside Arizona. Holy gorgeous check it out:

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If you’ve never heard of the place (highly likely) it’s a lovely little gem of a town by Showlow. It is jam packed with lakes and mountains and trees and Cece’s big tight-knit family. She was bred and born and raised right in Lakeside, here’s a picture of her in her natural habitat

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My favorite thing to do while exploring is to sit and to think. The fresh mountain air can do wonders for a foggy head. Beautiful places make me feel so close to myself and to God, my best meditations happen in nature. When I came back from thinking, Cece had made me a gorgeous flower crown!

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Dear Earth, thanks for the adventure. Keep me in mind this summer, I’ll be around.

Fancy in Phoenix

A trip into the city is just what the doctor ordered this week! After a short ride on the light rail into Phoenix I met up with my darling uptown girl, Sydney. Isn’t she just a doll? IMG_0495

We get along quite well because of a shared obsession for dressing up and enjoying the rich cultural experiences this gorgeous state has to offer. If you haven’t been to the Phoenix Art Museum recently (or ever) we cannot recommend it enough! Particularly the Andy Warhol exhibit, which is Sydney’s favorite due to a lifelong interest in Marilyn Monroe and 1950’s pop culture.

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Oh and edible art? A+

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We popped on over to The Old Spaghetti Factory for dangerous amounts of pasta and cotton candy lime-aid(!) And finished off the night at the Herberger for Arizona Theater Company’s unique staging of Romeo and Juliet.

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I just felt so posh! Big city, pretty dresses, wonderful art, and a delightful production. Phoenix may be seeing my face around more often.

Sunny San Diego’s Thrifting Highlights

On our fantastic journey to San Diego we visited a couple sensational thrift stores and I cannot wait to share! Lead by the lovely Kiera (who knew little cousins have know all the best thrifting knowledge?), all of the highlights were in a walkable distance along Garnet Avenue in downtown San Diego. Here’s my top 3:

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3. Goodwill 1430 Garnet Avenue, San Diego, CA

I know what you’re thinking! You’ve been to Goodwill, it’s nice but it’s not anything to scream about. Well get screaming. This was the fanciest, friendliest, most charming Goodwill I have ever had the pleasure to visit. They had an excellent selection of sun dresses and great quality stuff! I picked up a pair of sandals that look brand new and sick-nasty tie from their beautiful tie collection there. Who knew?

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2. United Cerebral Palsy Thrift Store 1454 Garnet Avenue, San Diego, CA

This store was just a gem! NOTE*** Requires some digging, if that ain’t your strong suit, this may not be your store. However they do have some really killer stuff including some clearly marked genuine vintage clothing worth much more than they are selling for. They also have this sweet board that lays out what is on sale for what discount every day (see photo above) and offer a student and military discount on top of it all. I walked out with a brand new Loft dress, a head scarf, and a couple tops for under $15 dollars. Most of it I didn’t even know was discounted!

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1. THRiFT Trader 1460 Garnet Avenue, San Diego, CA

Okay. This place is the bees flippin knees. The exterior and interior were equally awesome and had the most adorable dressing rooms. But while ambiance was a huge selling point, it was not what put THRiFT Trader at the number one spot. They featured a great selection of clothing at a really great price.. that is any item (unless otherwise marked) or 5.99 or 4 for $20. I picked up my absolute favorite finds from the trip at this place and at one point had Cece climbing to the ceiling of the store to remove a shirt from a mannequin for me. It was really cute. 10/10 would recommend.

Needless to say I had quite the hay day. And now you are well equipped to have one yourself (thanks Kiera). Pictures of the cutest pieces will be popping up on the blog in the future, so stay tuned folks

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San Diego-go-going Away

The squad and I took a rather spontaneous trip to San Diego and it was too wonderful not to share. Between Logan’s recovery, Marin’s upcoming graduation, and my general distaste for stress, we all needed to get out and just go. And oh my stars I couldn’t be happier that we did. Upon my return life hit me like a school bus full of chubby kids, but the vacation? Pure bliss

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I remember floating in the waves, thinking all my problems were so far away from me. I am very grateful for the point I am at in my life where things like this are possible. I am practicing being where I am at. Meaning not dwelling in the past or living solely for the future, ’cause right now is pretty neat too, even when it’s hard.

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I also can not believe my incredible luck that the ones I love the most were born into my very own family, or in Cece’s case, lives right in my own house! Cool. Love surrounds me. Victory indeed.

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Happy Spring! And be watching, San Diego has great thrift stores (and how could I go somewhere and not check that out?), there are posts coming with the dirty details.

Mr. Cannoli goes to Glendale

This Presidents Day we made the great return to our hometown, nestled comfortably between Sun City and Phoenix lies sweet Glendale, and Glendale has my heart.

While in Rome do as the Romans. While in Glendale? Well first hit up Romanelli’s, Arizona’s finest Italian market and pick yourself up a cannoli (we prefer the chocolate ones) and scoot your little booty on over to downtown Glendale, the Antique Capital of Arizona!

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The antique stores up here are totally charming and each have such a unique personality. Our favorites are Zola Bell’s and Pink House Botique

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I adore Zola Bell’s toy section and extensive shelves of doll house furniture. Little known fact: It has always been my dream to remodel and decorate a doll house. Yes I am a child.

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Logan picked up a sweet Vote Kennedy pin here for $6.

Rare selfie of the best friend/blog photographer , Cecelia Casey
Rare selfie of the best friend/blog photographer , Cecelia Casey

The Pink House Boutique is an entirely different breed of stores. They feature both antique and new clothing, jewelry and accessories and the store is simply adorable. We didn’t get many pictures there but Cece picked up an adorable crop top and I left with a peach circle skirt and an Arizona necklace, both of which I am head over heels in love with, and will be featured in a later post.

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Ta-ta Glendale! You’ll be hearing from us again soon.

In Defense of Yuma, Arizona

You may have heard of Yuma, Arizona, but unless you are local or frequent the San Diego area, it’s entirely reasonable that you haven’t. That’s completely understandable because Yuma is a whole lot of this:photo

Which I actually find quite lovely, but I get why it’s not the most popular vacation spot.

I have a wonderful cousin who lives there whom I adore visiting. Usually we go driving and blast the music while we enjoy the view or just hang around the house. But as I discovered during my visit last weekend, she’s been holding out on me.Apparently, Downtown Yuma has a perfectly charming handmade/vintage shopping district!

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Although it was poor timing on MLK Day, as a good number of the stores were closed, it was definitely a trip worth recommending, especially to resident Arizona thrifters and I intend on making my way back there ASAP to check out the boutiques we missed.

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My favorite part? Bandanna Books! Where I picked up a couple of plays on the cheap so I can brush up on my classics.

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