Old Brick House Vintage Market

Every month, the Old Brick House opens their doors for three days to sell their vintage and antique pieces. We enjoy exploring these types of boutiques, because they tend to be very inspirational for our home decor. Although, we both prefer modern and contemporary ambiences in our personal decor, we like to add character and antique pieces to ease the straight and neutral palettes.

Take a look at these awesome pieces we saw at our Old Brick House visit this October.

9E6ACBFC-ABB3-4FCE-8F90-EBAD087DE04DC726C101-314A-42FD-B373-41D638F6F4DD51F7F61C-A53F-48E3-BFD9-A9A37C7E57F91C447349-B355-4952-ABEC-022AE49D81A1665F595A-A23F-455D-8369-A83C870D811CCC038785-BA4B-49EE-89EA-50D53874C6A1

Advertisements

Nobody Likes You When You’re 23 

Wow, we are getting old. It’s so strange to think we turned 23 this year. For the transition into our “Michael Jordan year”, we spent it apart from each other, but still had a lot of fun!

Becca | Since Derek + I have the same birthday, we don’t get each other presents, but we like to go on a trip or do something together. This year, we had a fancy staycation at The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. We checked in on Friday afternoon + left Saturday afternoon. The Biltmore is an amazing resort + we were very fortunate to have been able to stay there!

File_004(1)

Lux Room | We booked the Cottage Suite with the Garden view for our one night stay. It was a quaint “mini-house” with a small patio. It was so cute and luxurious + we felt super fancy.

File_006(1)

Poolside | The resort has 8 pools. EIGHT! We stayed at the big “Paradise Pool” over the weekend because it had the swim-up bar and water slide.

File_003

Breakfast, Lunch + Dinner is Served | We got the “Summer Inclusive” package, which allotted us each a free breakfast, lunch + dinner at the on-site restaurants. For breakfast we had the buffet at Frank Albert’s, which served an abundance of yummy food! For lunch, we enjoyed  burger and grilled cheese at Frank Albert’s. And last, but not least, we shared a fancy meal together at Wright’s. We had an amazing food experience all weekend, and could not say better things about Wright’s. Absolutely delicious!

File_003File_007(1)

Overall Impression | Overall, Derek + I had a great time at the Arizona Biltmore. We got to enjoy each other’s company in luxury + I was able to enjoy a staycation at one of the best Arizona resorts. I would say that Year 23 is off to a good start!

Liz | Robbie + I took a trip to Castle Rock, Colorado for our birthdays. Those of you who do not know, Robbie’s birthday is two days after mine, so we like to combine our celebrations. Robbie’s family owns a vacation home in Castle Rock + love to visit as much as they can. This was my first time going + it was an absolute blast!

We first flew into Denver + had lunch at a rooftop bar ViewHouse Eatery while having the best view of Coors Field.

After food + drinks we drove about 45 minutes to Castle Rock + had a night in with pizza at the Riach’s vacation home.

The following day, Saturday, we drove about 2 hours towards the Rocky Mountains + spent the day in Breckenridge, Colorado for a fun filled day at the Annual Breckenridge Oktoberfest. At the Oktoberfest, they give you the option to buy tokens for drinks + a beer stein actually made in Germany! [The steins are pretty heavy cups]. After a couple of beers + glasses of wine, we decided to call it a day + head back to Castle Rock for more birthday festivities for Robbie.

Today, Sunday, we went on a beautiful hike. Roxborough State Park, about 30 minutes out of Castle Rock. It was about 2 miles round trip + had amazing views at the top!

Even though it was a quick trip, it was the most fun we’ve ever had! Twenty-three could not feel better. Thank you to the Riach family for a great birthday vacation! Until next time Colorado!

Becca + Liz | Even though we didn’t get to spend our birthdays together this year, we went on some pretty great adventures with our significant others! Cheers to 23!

Welcome to the Caribbean, You May Kiss the Bride

In our opinion, everyone should take a trip of a lifetime at some point.  Our older brother, Brian, and his now wife, Megan, decided to have a destination wedding with the family + close friends. Their destination of choice: the beautiful island of St. Lucia.

In May 2016, we packed our bags for the Caribbean. Catching a flight to Charlotte for one day then taking another flight to St. Lucia the next was an exhausting two days. However, as soon as we stepped foot at the resort, all the traveling stress disappeared. We got in our rooms and went straight to the bar for food + drinks.

Being in the south Caribbean comes with about 90% humidity. But what made that better was the open beach and two different pools we had access to! Don’t forget the free endless food + drinks! The first few days we arrived to the Sandals Resort, we explored, drank some great liquor + ate some delicious food.

On the fourth day of being in Paradise, Brian + Megan said their vows to each other. It was the most beautiful setting at sunset. Megan walked down the aisle with her Grandfather and was the most stunning bride. It was a beautiful ceremony followed by a family dinner at one of the restaurants at the Resort.

Brian + Megan’s Wedding

Our last day on the island of St. Lucia, we all agreed to a little get-away (from the resort) + an adventure around the island. Our dad signed us all up for a boat + island tour to explore the top tourist/local spots on the island. Our tour guide picked us up in a speed boat + we traveled to the other side of the island, stopping at hit spots on the way. We snorkeled at the white sand beach, spotted famous resorts (including the resort Ben Higgins brought his ladies on Bachelor Season 20), + bathed in a volcano mud bath. We ended the tour having a delicious lunch at the tour guide’s mother’s home, which was hidden deep in what seems the forbidden jungle.

We can’t thank our parents enough for giving us the opportunity to go on this family vacation. It was by far the best experience + we’d give anything to go back to our little piece of paradise.

Day Trip | Flagstaff

A couple of weeks ago, our parents invited me to visit our brother, Brian + sister-in-law, Megan, in Flagstaff for the weekend. I enjoy visiting + getting away from the warmer weather, + of course, eating great food. On Saturday, we did some shopping Downtown + witnessed the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight at Brian + Megan’s friend’s house. On Sunday, Megan took us to her local Farmer’s Market at Downtown City Hall.

There were lots of people at the Farmer’s Market + more vendors than expected. I saw at least 26 puppies, so you know I was having a great time chasing them around. I was surprised of how much of a variety there was in what the vendors were selling. There were fruits + vegetables, tacos, jewelry, coffee + pickles being sold by the very nice people. I had a very positive experience.

File_000File_002File_001

As we were walking out, I decided to sample a peach that a man was serving. I kid you not, this was THE BEST + JUICIEST peach I’ve ever eaten in my entire life! So we bought a few for the ride to lunch, because they were just too delicious to pass up. Seriously, so good!

File_003

We then made our way to brunch at the well-known Mexican restaurant, MartAnne’s. I was told that this joint served the best breakfast, so I had pretty high expectations. MartAnne’s exceeded those expectations. I ordered the Chorizo Breakfast + I finished every bite. The chorizo had a tasteful kick to it, but nothing too extreme. The tortillas were fluffy + authentic, while the hash browns were nice + crispy.  I very much enjoyed my brunch + customer service while visiting MartAnne’s. I recommend it to anyone traveling to Flagstaff.

File_004

Holy Ground: Joe’s Real BBQ

Everyone has family traditions that never seem to go away, no matter how many differences + changes occur. A location that has grown to hold a place in our family’s hearts is Joe’s Real BBQ in Downtown Gilbert.

File Jul 07, 11 29 48 AM

Joe’s Real BBQ officially opened on January 20, 1998, when we were just four years old. We couldn’t tell you about our very first time experiencing their tasty BBQ sandwich + fresh homemade applesauce, but from what we remember, we’ve been eating BBQ there our entire lives. We would visit after basketball tournaments with our club teams, call it dinner for an ordinary Tuesday night + most importantly, share memories with both sides of our families, as we rely on it to be a common meeting place.

This BBQ joint holds a very special spot in our hearts because it was the memorial spot where we gathered to remember our Grandpa Rudd after he passed in December 2015.  All of our Dad’s side of the family came to Arizona (stayed in our house actually) for Christmas that year, although Grandpa Rudd didn’t get to make it to see everyone. Since there was no funeral planned, we shared a special moment at the place where we all felt closer to him + to each other.

We continue to eat here very often, + enjoy the memories that we have created + continue to create. Joe’s Real BBQ is a place where we gather as family, no matter how long it’s been, or how far we live. This BBQ joint is delicious, but it holds a lot more than just the amazing pulled pork sandwich + homemade Root Beer (which we highly recommend).

What are some of your family traditions that you resort to?

California Livin’

Living in California for a little over four years gives you a certain perspective. Expect to drive 20 minutes to go 3 miles. Yes, the freeway is always like that. Don’t worry, that road construction is almost done, it’s only been 2 years. Will there be parking? Probably not, expect to walk 17 blocks away from your destination and pay $25 to park half the day. California has its issues, don’t get me wrong. But there’s something about just sitting on the sand and listening to the waves hit the earth.   The sun setting right on the water is the most beautiful sight. Once you smell the sea water + feel the sand in your toes, all the stress in your life somewhat washes away with the waves. Although I am an Arizona girl at heart, California is a beautiful state to call home for a little while longer.

For living here for as long as I have, I don’t take advantage of the beach as much as I should. I do try to go as often as I can, but life somehow gets in the way of things at times (everyone is pretty familiar with that). But I always enjoy a trip down to the beach with friends or even by myself to clear my mind. Here’s a list of my top 3 favorite beaches in Southern California.

Laguna Beach

  • Location—Small coastal city in Orange County
  • Amenities—Popular surf spot, basketball court, volleyball courts, hotels
  • Food + Shops—Many upscale restaurants + boutiques
  • Known for—Art galleries, beautiful cliffs + gardens surrounding the Main Beach.

 

 


Victoria Beach

  • Location—  Victoria Beach, Newport Beach
  • Amenities— Scenic views, hidden lighthouse tower
  • Food + Shops—None near this spot (surrounded by beach houses)
  • Known For— Quiet + relaxing space with a tide pool, hidden lighthouse tower.

 

 

Mission Beach

  • Location—San Diego
  • Amenities—Belmont Park on the pier, volleyball courts, beach houses for rent
  • Food + Shops—So many! Ranging from Mom + Pop businesses to worldwide chain establishments.
  • Known For— Large ocean front for biking + walking, various hotels, Belmont Park and carnival games + rides.

 

 

Happy Beachin’! Tell us your favorite beach spot on the west coast in the comments below!

The Breakfast Club

“You ought to spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself + a little less time trying to impress people.”—Vernon, The Breakfast Club 

These are words to live by. Although the film, “The Breakfast Club”, is a classic, it’s not what I am going to discuss today. I had a lovely lunch date with our dad + wanted to highlight our experience with a local breakfast joint we have grown to love + visit quite often during the agonizing workweek.  

Located in Old Town Scottsdale, The Breakfast Club is minutes from my dad’s office, and just a couple blocks from mine, so we tend to meet up here for easy access and delicious brunch options. Just being in Old Town gives me the fancy + sophisticated feels. With the contemporary + clean layout, Old Town Scottsdale is a great place for happy hour with the girls, or a midday stroll window-shopping with the rents.

breakfastclub2

The Breakfast Club is a place that continues to cater to our needs with great modern + classy vibes, friendly service, + yummy food. They have the dining area, bar, + patio seating offered to enjoy your meal. Their breakfast options consist of fluffy pancakes, cinnamon-swirl french toast, stuffed-omelets, right-out-of-the-oven skillets, + hearty oatmeal. If you’re looking for more of a lunch choice, they also serve roasted hot sandwiches, easy-to-eat wraps, + leafy salads.

breakfastclub4

breakfastclub5

My heart wanted to order the BC Signature French Toast, aka “heart attack on a plate”, but my mind and body wanted something less destructive for my arteries. So, today I ordered the turkey club wrap with a side salad. The wrap had roasted turkey breast, crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, tomato, avocado, pepper jack cheese + chipotle mayo all wrapped up in a warm chipotle tortilla. My side salad was simple with balsamic vinaigrette. To drink, I usually just get water (sorry to disappoint). Everything I have ordered there has been so natural + yummy, and today was no different. My wrap was warm, yet the veggies were still cold + garden-fresh (magic?), and my salad was a perfect compliment.

breakfastclub1

My dad ordered the lean + green omelette, which contained eggs, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, onion, bell peppers + swiss cheese with a side of EXTRA CRISPY bacon, complimented with a glass of green tea. He finished his meal within minutes, and he will agree that everything he’s had here in the past has been delicious.

breakfastclub3

Usually at these lunch dates, it’s just me ranting about all the so-called “struggles” I’ve been going through since the last time I saw him (like 2 days ago, I try to see my parents pretty often). But I will defend myself + say that he makes me do it. He’s the one always asking the questions! I love having lunch dates with both my parents. Being the last of their children to officially move-out of their house, we are still their princesses (no shame).

Together, we recommend The Breakfast Club for your next brunch date. Thank you for lunch, Dad! Let’s do it again sometime.

The Do’s + Don’ts of Traveling By Cruise Ship

I have only been on two cruise vacations, so I am no expert. But both times I traveled with my in-laws, who are experts. Derek + his family grew up going on cruise vacations (6, at least), and I am so lucky to have had the privilege of joining his family on a couple of cruises in the five years Derek + I have been together.

File Jun 15, 12 37 26 PM

Both trips, we went to the Caribbean for 7-8 days, and I was a sea-cruising mess both times. The first cruise was with Carnival, when I was 19 years old, and the second cruise was a couple years later with Norwegian. I kind of had a little more of my shit together for the second cruise, but there’s still lots of room for improvement.

Yes, I stressed on my first cruise. I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t pack correctly, I lost a lot of important information + items (which I eventually found, thank goodness), but I did not enjoy my first cruise the way I wanted to.

To avoid disrupting your cruise vacation, I am going to share with you my do’s + don’ts of traveling by cruise ship based on my personal experience + mistakes.

Do’s.

#1. Pack light outfits. There’s nothing worse than wearing heavy clothes on a ship. Packing light + airy clothing, such as cotton tank tops + shorts, will allow you to be more comfortable and enjoy your time on deck. I struggled my first trip because I brought some “normal” clothes, meaning denim shorts, and thick + stiff dresses. I ended up wearing the same cotton shorts + 3 tanks tops the whole week because I was in + out of the pool, the buffet, and the room. I might as well just brought one dress and worn it all week (but I don’t recommend that, see Don’t #2).

#2. Bring a lanyard. I know it sounds strange, but holy crap, your stress + worry will vanish with this tip. It is amazing how many times you will go in + out of your cabin in a day at sea (almost 16 times). So it is important to have easy access to your room key for whenever you need it. I didn’t do this trick my first cruise, and I about lost my key 18 times. On my second cruise, my future mother-in-law offered me a lanyard. The people at the front desk had a hole-punch machine for room keys, and they punched it for me to attached to me lanyard. I simply wore the key around my neck and never took it off the whole trip. This way I could go back and forth from the deck to my room without worrying whether I had my key or not! Genius.

#3. Have cash + card. Always bring your credit or debit card on a cruise, and also some extra cash. The first time around, I didn’t know any of this, and struggled to pay for stuff + buy what I wanted. The cruise line puts your room expenses (tax, cleaning fee, room service fee, etc.) on your card. This makes it so you just tell the person what room you’re in on the ship and they will charge the room card. Food + most drink packages are included in the cruise price, so you do not have to worry about that. However, the spa, speciality restaurants + additional expenses are not. I would recommend bringing extra cash for the days you’re at port. These are the days you are off the ship and get to travel the islands + cities on foot. Most ports take American cash, however, most do NOT take credit cards. So if you are wanting to purchase items at port, it’s nice to have cash available.

Don’ts.

#1. Get “shwasted” on the first night. I know that you’re probably excited to be on vacation, but try not to over do it on your very first night on board. The ship will have special events going on to stir up your night, but I recommend not getting too carried away. There’s nothing worse than having your first full day at sea with a major hangover. Seawater + hangovers do not mix well, just ask Derek. I recommend taking your time with the free drinks. You don’t have to drink all the alcohol on the ship in one sitting, there will still be some tomorrow.

#2. Forget dressy attire. Most cruise ships have dinner restaurants that require a dress code. This was my favorite part, because we would get all dressed up, then go eat unlimited fancy dinners! One night I ordered three lobsters, don’t judge me. But if I haven’t packed an outfit that wasn’t a tank top + shorts, they would not have let me eat. I am not saying you need your former prom dress, or wedding gown, but something that you would wear to a nice + casual cocktail party (is there such a thing?). Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on those fancy nights.

#3. Lay out without sunscreen. For the love of God, please take my advice! I am white, not like pasty white, but pretty close. My skin does not handle direct sunlight very well, but I always want to be tan! So both trips (didn’t learn my lesson the first time, I guess), I got SUPER sunburned. The first time was just me being stupid, by laying out on a raft in Tortola for 4 hours without a lick of sunscreen on. Obviously, I turned into a lobster by lunchtime. However, the second time (with my luck) on our first day at sea, my chest developed a heat rash. So I was miserable for 3 days trying to get rid of that (I recommend itch cream, it really works). I managed to stay in the spa for most of the days to heal, which I highly recommend (mostly because they give out oranges… ). I have definitely learned my lesson to just put the damn sunscreen on! I promise you will get tan no matter what, just make sure you protect your skin, or you will ruin some of your vacation. 

File Jun 15, 12 38 57 PM

Although I have learned A LOT about traveling by cruise ship through my experiences + mistakes, they were still amazing vacations that Derek + I got to share together.

Which cruise should we take next and to where?