Destination Arizona: Bisbee

Two years ago, for our tenth anniversary, Jon and I wanted to explore a city that we’d never been to.  We only had a few days to get away, so we opted for an Arizona destination.  Bisbee kept coming up in our discussions, so we set out, just the two of us for this curious little town.  Road trip!

What used to be quite a thriving mining town for both silver and copper has become a haven for artists, collectors, history fanatics and tourists alike.  It’s charming buildings are nestled upon and between the hills of Bisbee with museums & tours abound.

bisbee old building

jon and ashley insta

ashley insta

eat:

We stumbled upon this little cafe called The Savory Spot draped in greenery.  We enjoyed cups of coffee, orange juice, breakfast burritos and pancakes underneath this canopy of trees.  It was a super delightful way to start our day of exploring.

bisbee cafe

bisbee cafe

bisbee cafe chair

bisbee tree

Santiagos seemed like the place to be, and being just beside/underneath our hotel, we popped in for a margarita and a hefty burrito.

san ramón

hotel san ramón
Cafe Roka : they boast modern fine dining, a wine bar and live jazz music every Friday.  And while we regrettably never made it to eat at Cafe Roka, we did manage to sneak a photo out back.

cafe roka

cafe roka wall

And they, for sure, win the award for the coolest door.

cafe roka door

High Desert Market and Cafe was a great little spot to pop into and grab a quick, fresh snack after our hike up the stairs…more about those in a minute.

bisbee view

play: 

Bisbee is FULL of history, and with that, full of tours, trails & museums.

We went 1500 feet deep into mine.  My chest felt a bit heavy about 100 feet in, but I willed it away and took some deep breaths.  I survived.

bisbee insta

The stairs.  Oh the stairs.  Being on a hill, this little town dons a 1000 Great Stair Climb!  It sure does show off the town and allows for some incredible view of the city.

bisbee stamp

bisbee stairs

glamper

stairs sign

 

a view from the top of the stairs.  And Jon trying to figure out where we are…

bisbee view

vines

old house

pretty fence

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drink:

bisbee brewery

brewery

brewery

The Old Bisbee Brewing Company was a great little stop in our day of antiquing and architecture appreciating.  They serve only brews and brats.  And both were delicious.  It took us a bit to find this one, as we kept getting distracted by all of the signs and grandness of the brewery pictured above.  But that one’s vacant.

The OBBC is pretty small and in the heart of the historic brewery gulch, enabling you to enjoy your brew while looking out to the mountain view from the elevated patio.  Such great people running this little joint and they offer mini tours of their tap room as well!

brewery view

 

see:

The architecture and charm of this little city kept my heart a flutter the entire trip.  I couldn’t help myself from snapping image after image of these beautifully old and rundown buildings.  And the SIGNS.  Oh the signs.

old building

bisbee old building

bisbee building

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bisbee door

doors

tile sign

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stair well

stairs

rocks sign

 

buy: 

Bisbee is temporary home to some incredible treasures.  Jon and I spent the entire afternoon going in and out of shop after shop FULL of antiques and amazing vintage finds.

antique sign

old wall sign

main street

 

That little charmer of a city sure does hold some special memories for our anniversary trip.  I love being in a city that I’ve never been to and just really taking the time to explore the ins and outs.

xoxo//ashley.

 

 

 

12 Birthday Postcards For My Little One: A DIY

 

I was inspired by  Oh Happy Day (a blog you should definitely check out!) to create a postcard collage and decided to make it into 12 postcards that I can give to Marina on her birthday over the next 12 years. I thought it would be special for her at the end of the 12 years to have this accumulation of handwritten notes from her mama that were designed to fit together, showing her how much I have loved and cherished her every year of her life.

Other ways to use this DIY:
- Notes to a spouse over the next 12 days, months, or anniversaries
- As suggested by Oh Happy Day, mailing a card to 12 family members to have them fill out and return for a grand birthday surprise
- Commit to writing to a long-distance friend once a month for a year, and at the end, they will have a beautiful photo from their collage

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Supplies I used:
- watercolors
- paintbrush
- vintage stamp with numbers 1 – 12 (alternative option pictured: number decals)
- watercolor mixing dish
- blue painters tape
- 12 watercolor postcards

 

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Step 1: Align your postcards into a 3 x 4 grid, making sure they line up perfectly

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Step 2: Using your blue painters tape, tape the postcards together at each connecting point

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Step 3: Flip Over

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Step 4: Find some inspiration! I pulled up my We Heart It app and searched through the florals to get my creative juices going.

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This is where the fun begins. Now it’s time to paint your picture!
Step 5: I made my florals out of a combination of  4 colors, I started with my darkest color.

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Tips: When it comes to florals, you can’t really do it wrong. Nevertheless, here are my tips for making your floral a success
- Make a design that will also look good on the individual postcards, not just as a whole. To do this, make sure to get at least a little bit of a flower onto each postcard back.
- Keep your flowers in a mostly round shape, but they don’t have to be exact.
- If you don’t like the shape of your flower, you can always add little petals onto the edges to even it out
- Remember to have the petals go small to large from the middle out, being sure to emphasize the center of your flower

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Step 6: Go back in with your 2nd darkest color. For this one I added a little orange to mix it up

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Repeat with each color until done


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Step 7: We need more color! Add in some leaves

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Step 8: Lastly, fill in your background. I choose two light colors and painted them in a mix-match of triangular shapes.

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Done with painting!

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Step 9: Make sure you mark each postcard 1 – 12 so you remember the order to give them!

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And you’re done!

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Hope you enjoyed this birthday DIY, I would love to see what you create! Comment here or email me photos of your version to thisismrkt@gmail.com

xoxo//amy

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5 Tips on How To Keep A Clean Home

One thing I have learned about creative-types is they usually are not also the types to consistently have clean, organized homes. It’s not necessarily their fault. I’m sure you have heard about right-side of the brain vs left-side of brain, and how most people dominantly use one side or the other. In my mind, there is also a clean-organized-everything-has-a-place side of the brain and a free-spirit-artsy-fartsy-I’d-rather-craft-than-clean side, and that people tend to lean towards one or the other.

I am the latter.

Which is why it’s probably strange to anyone who has dropped in un-announced to my home that I am writing this post. I have, on more than one occasion, threatened my husband’s life if he offered to give a “home tour” to new guests because usually if the downstairs level of my house is picked up, it means the upstairs level most certainly is not.

I’ve always wished to be able to be “that house” where friends just pop over, no problem, and there’s like fresh cookies always on the counter, and sweet tea in the fridge or something. I might be exaggerating. It would be nice to not have to yell, “JUST A MINUTE” and start cramming things in boxes and closets whenever the doorbell rings unexpectedly. You know what I’m saying?

So I have been working on it. Really analyzing how to keep my house clean, or if nothing else picked up, on a daily basis without committing all of nap time to cleaning.
That time, after all, is reserved for crafting :)

I’ve boiled my findings down to 5 steps, or tips if you prefer, that I’m working on implementing:

 

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1. There is a difference between picking up, organizing, and cleaning. Pick one.

I used to lump all of these things together and make it into one insurmountable task that I could never find time for. Then I learned something very important. Usually simply picking up is enough to lower my stress and make me feel accomplished. Picking up is also usually the fastest out of those three, and therefore can be done on a daily, or even multiple times a day, basis. When picking up becomes a time consuming task is when it turns into cleaning or organizing: two tasks that, at least in this house, could feasibly take days if I let them. There is always something to clean, and always something to organize.

 

2. Focus.

Though I do not struggle with ADD (or ADHD) myself, I was raised by someone who does and have picked up quite a few ADD-type behaviors, including my cleaning strategies. If you find yourself jumping from one cleaning (or organizing) task to another in mere minutes, never finishing the previous task, you might have the same problem. Things never get done this way. In fact, usually my home ends up looking worse than when I started because I end up half-finishing a dozen projects. Focus. Make a mental list, or even write it down, and focus on completing one task at a time.

 

3. Block off time… but not much of it.

In mom life, to do lists are rarely ever “done.” There is always something to catch up on or more you could be doing. This is often times how cleaning gets put on the back burner. I think to myself that I will work on cleaning when I finish the things I need to get done TODAY… but then that list keeps going. And going. All of this while feeling stressed out about living in mess. Taking even 20 minutes at the start of your day to crank out the cleaning projects that most need your attention will help jump start your day and give you a more relaxing environment to continue your day in. I’m personally not a night-cleaner, but if you are, try 20 minutes at the end of your day to straighten up before heading to bed.

 

4. Set a timer: Cleaning Sprints

When you are having one of those days where you literally don’t have time to clean, try some ‘Cleaning Sprints,’ as I like to call them. My favorite time to do these is while cooking. In the time it takes your water to boil, you could probably load the dishwasher and wipe down the counters. While your oven is preheating you can probably fold the laundry. Even in the time it takes to reheat some leftovers you could pick up the toys, sort the mail littering the counters, or run those piles of things on the stairs to their destinations. Try it!

 

5. Make a Plan

You don’t have to clean the whole house everyday. It’s not practical. Instead, make a plan. There are certain things that need to be done daily, every other day, and weekly (I only vacuum weekly, you might vacuum every day… make a plan that works for you) and schedule them out so that you don’t have more than a couple things to do each day. This will help from realizing on Saturday that your home is no longer livable and making you sacrifice your entire free day to tackling the chaos. Again, you probably need to set aside less less time than you think!

 

 

What are your tips for conquering the mess on a daily basis? I would love to hear them!

 

xoxo//amy

 

Linked up @ Huckleberry Love

Recipe: Raw Almond Butter Cups

Good morning, friends!  I’m here to talk to you about desserts.

I LOVE dessert.  I love confections.  Especially cookies.  They’re a weakness, really.  But with my somewhat restricted diet (working on healing my body with diet), cookies are not often an option for me.

Recently, I’ve been turning to these yummy raw almond butter cups to satisfy my dessert craving, while still staying within the boundaries of my diet.  These are crazy yummy, have no artificial sugars (no actual sugar at all, really), and pack a protein punch.

And there’s NO baking involved.  They’re crazy easy.

I most recently made a large batch of these for a little artist housewarming party for the wonderfully talented Ale of Imaginale.  (side note:  Are you familiar with her work?  It takes you to another land. It’s incredible.  I digress).  They were quite a hit among this group of fellow Phoenix artists, and I can say we enjoyed them relatively guilt free!

Ready?

Raw Almond Butter Cups.

adapted from Oh She Glows

ingredients:

1 c. almond meal

1/2 c oatmeal

4 T almond butter (or a nut butter of your choosing)

3 T coconut oil (in it’s liquid state)

3 T maple syrup

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of fine sea salt.

 

topping:

6 T coconut oil (in it’s liquid state)

6 T maple syrup

4 T cocoa powder

pinch of fine sea salt.

 

Combine the almond meal and the oatmeal into a a large bowl and stir together.  I use my hands to blend the meals — it should look like this when you’re ready to add in the remainder of the ingredients:  dough

Once your meals are combined, add your nut butter, coconut oil (you may need to melt this down to a liquid state if it’s not already like that), maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt.  Again.  I use my hands to blend.  It’s a bit messy, but all in all, I find it way easier to combine it to the right consistency.

dough consistency

Once your dough is formed (it should have a similar consistency of oatmeal cookie dough), roll it into small balls. (pending on the size of your pan)

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recipe_almondbuttercups009

You’ll need to prep your tart pan.

If you’re using a pan that isn’t silicone, I recommend giving it a quick spray down with non-stick cooking spray — I use Pampered Chef’s cooking spray bottle.  It simply uses whatever oil you choose.  Thus eliminating any harmful toxins and aerosols.

Press the balls into the pan.  The dough should fill to about 2/3 to the top.

tart pan

Once you’ve pressed the dough balls into the pan, prepare the topping.  If your coconut oil needs to be melted down to liquid state, use a small sauce pan to mix.

cocoa powder

Combine your coconut oil, maple syrup, cocoa powder and pinch of salt.  Whisk together until blended REALLY well.

topping

If you’re having trouble getting it to a smooth consistency, put it on a very low heat and whisk.

topping consistency

Pour your topping on the pressed in dough balls.  Just a bit on each to almost cover them.

I love an added crunch, so I add a few slivered almonds to each.

slivered almonds

almond butter cups

Freeze these babies for at least an hour.

Done and done.  All that’s left is to enjoy & maybe share.  Maybe.

finishedcups

Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month.

 

What’s your favorite dessert?  Do you have a go-to treat that you prep for get-togethers?

 

xoxo//ashley.

 

 

 

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