Oh, Valentine’s Day. We can’t believe we’ve celebrated 13 of you now. I remember being in our late teens and celebrating with chicken fingers and fries, eating in bed and watching movies all night. Life was pretty simple when we were dating and carefree. We spent so much time laying around and daydreaming about our future. It was pretty amazing actually.
[a few pages out of our photo albums above]
Well, the future has arrived for us. All the thoughts and plans of one day running off to a new city, settling down somewhere and having our own house have finally come to be. It definitely wasn’t as easy as the thoughts we had in our teenage brains back in 2005, but we made it here together. Valentine’s Day might be the most important day for some, a special date night for others, and just a silly made up holiday for the rest. We definitely don’t go all out every year. We celebrate love in a lot of ways and we try to keep each other guessing on special date nights and surprises, so Valentine’s Day doesn’t necessarily always fall on the 14th for us.
This year we’ll be traveling back to New York on the day of love. How fitting that all those daydreams of one day running off and living in our dream house have finally come true and we’ll be going back to where it all started instead of celebrating in our new house. Part of us is wondering what the heck were we thinking booking a trip on the night of Valentine’s Day, but realistically we are just so excited to know that we can go visit all of our old, favorite spots back home, spend time with our new baby nephew, enjoy a bit of cold weather, and most importantly, remember when we first fell in love. New York is flooded with memories for us. Our first date at the park, that middle point between our two houses where we used to meet on early spring days, the parking lot where every one in town would meet on Friday night and we would just laugh and be silly until we were the last ones there.
We’ve definitely come a long way. It hasn’t always been easy. We constantly think about the conversations we had when we were seventeen and the one’s we have now. So much has changed, but at the end of the day we are still here…growing up together…watching things evolve…and pushing each other to be the best versions of ourselves we could be. Whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s Day, we hope you are all making memories you can be proud of, falling in love with someone or something or some place because when you look back and reflect on the past, you’ll appreciate all the little things you never thought mattered.
Each season we try to start a littler earlier with checking a few gifts off our shopping list and every year we fall victim to the same go-to gifts for our loved ones. We’ve been trying to think outside the box a little bit and find some useful and fun gifts those close to us. We’ll be sharing a series of gift guides over the next few weeks and thought we’d kick things off with some gift ideas for the “go-getter” in your life. Think: the one who loves being outdoors, into music and all the new gadgets, the one who’s always ready for anything, the adventurer.
We tend to fall into a routine when it comes to getting ready, go-to outfits, the usual hair style, the “what’s easy today” sort of thing, but in celebration of the holiday season we wanted to mix things up a bit! We have some fun holiday parties coming up, along with a NYE bash we’re looking forward to, so we were really excited to team up with Aveda to bring you guys some holiday looks.
My sister recently graduated from the Aveda institute in Florida, and has been sharing all the tips and tricks she’s learned over the course of the 13 months she studied there. Unfortunately we never got the opportunity to visit her school, but we recently visited Juut Salon here in Scottsdale and got a closer look at the Aveda process. It was really special getting to see everything she’s told us about and picture her in a similar space, styling and getting people ready for some big events. She’s talented that one. #Proudsistermoment! 😉
We spent the afternoon with the very skilled and kind, Molly and Amie. We tried out three looks for the ladies, that are surprisingly easy to recreate at home with just a few products, and a classic men’s style that’s perfect for everyday while still being polished for an evening out.
Click “Read More” to see more of the looks below…. READ MORE
We’ve been carving out some time early each day to embrace the quiet, brisk mornings with our doors and windows wide open. The chill when stepping out of bed when our bare feet hit the hardwood can sometimes be a bit shocking, but once we’ve thrown on some cozy clothes and have gotten ready for the day, the lower temps are pretty calming. We still can’t believe we live here. It really feels like we found a special piece of the country tucked away in Phoenix. Our neighborhood is pretty quiet, with the occasional rooster or chicken exercising their vocal chords each morning (I guess you could call some of our neighbors “urban farmers”) and we welcome their clucks while prepping our morning brew.
Last night we drove back from Joshua tree (that place was such a dream!), picked up a pizza to-go on the way home, curled up, and watched The Santa Clause by the tree. As much as we look forward to Christmas day, the build up and little traditions carried out during the holiday season is our favorite. The music, movies, gift giving…just call us Clark Griswold. We love it all!
It feels SO good to have the house decorated for the holidays. At first it felt a little silly busting out the holiday decorations as quickly as we did, but with designs and decor up in the air for most of the rooms in the house (we can’t wait to mix things up a bit), it’s been nice having a room that feels somewhat complete. When we take everything down in January, it’s going to be a sad day in this bare living room, but that’s a ways away. For now, we’ve been enjoying trimming the tree and adding little holiday touches here and there. Picking up some fresh garland for the mantle and the archways makes everything feel so cozy. A few of you guys asked on instagram if we made it — I wish! We picked it up from a local nursery: Berridge Nursery in Phoenix. If you’re in the area, definitely check them out. It’s where we get most of our house plants too. READ MORE
Saturday night we gathered with some friends at our place to carve pumpkins together. We indulged in some Chinese food takeout and Halloween movie classics, while the pups had a playdate and guys, they actually played! They didn’t just bark at each other, as Henry has been doing with every dog he sees on our walks. We think he is still getting the hang of this whole “I’m a dog and can play with toys and other dogs” thing. He seems a little timid from the shelter and whatever may have happened in his past, so we were all pretty excited when they began frolicking around the apartment together…and of course, we took a ton of photos like proud parents. Haha!
We didn’t get many trick-or-treaters by our apartment complex, but we had fun with these two little munchkins.
Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!
See our pumpkin picking post here, Halloween costumes, and all of last years pumpkin carving action here. 😉
Friday night was our friends’ Matt and Leah’s annual Halloween bash! They have an amazing historic property, Tremaine Ranch, south of Phoenix and always throw the best parties. The grounds are beautiful with all the twinkling lights and old willow trees. You kind of forget you’re in Arizona with all the lush greenery. They always go all out with handmade trophies for best costumes, an interactive graveyard, and even made a photo backdrop to look like the living room from Stranger Things. They’re so creative, those two.
After running out of time with our handmade DIY costumes (maybe we’ll save them and finish it next year), we decided to take a quick trip to the mall to see what we could come up with. We found these body suits, grabbed some striped shirts, and berets and went as mimes. Simple and easy, plus we always love doing face makeup for Halloween so it was a win win for us.
Leah as Cruella Deville (wish you could hear her laugh, she had it down perfectly!) & Matt as Wolverine (the hosts of the party), us mimes, and Cody and Andrew as burglars.
Casting our vote for the costume contest. We are always so impressed that there are never repeat costumes. Some of our favorites were David S. Pumpkins from SNL and Harry & Marv from Home Alone complete with an iron mark on Marv’s face. Haha
Loved the table set up with brass candlestick holders. Matt made all these tables, by the way!
We are Robert and Christina: husband and wife, photo takers, adventurers and best friends. We like to laugh too hard, dance all night, and explore together. Here is a little glimpse into our lives in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.