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5 Fun Things to Do in Phoenix AZ

My parents moved to Phoenix, AZ a few years ago in their perfect retirement community. And every time I’m there I find so many fun and cool things to do, which I’d love to share with you!

Sharing is caring, y’all.

  • Take A Hike! Get your butt outdoors and breathe in the fresh air. Plus some exercise always does a body good. There are many great hiking trails but Camelback Mountain is the closest to my parent’s house so that’s the one I hike. Two main trails lead to the summit of Camelback, a camel-shaped mountain just 20 minutes from downtown Phoenix. Both are rated extremely difficult. The Echo Canyon hike is the more rugged of the two and requires steep climbs and scrambling over large rocks. The Cholla Trail, while a little bit less strenuous, is also a little bit longer. The beginning of the hike is easy, with switchbacks and even terrain. The last third of the trail requires scrambling up steep grades with drop-offs on each side. Both hikes are a little under 2.5 miles long. Plan on taking two to three hours, depending on your condition, to make either of the round-trip hikes. Please don’t forget to bring lots of water to stay hydrated!
  • Go See A Show! It doesn’t matter if it’s theatre or ballet or opera or a concert. Whichever is your jam go do it. There are just so many opportunities in Phoenix to find something that you would love. I recently saw Wicked at the ASU Gammage theatre. Great show! Great theatre. In August, The Book Of Mormon (SO GOOD) will be performing there.
  • Visit A Museum! I love the Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix. It’s one of the best places to experience the myriad cultures and art of American Indians of the Southwest. Since its founding in 1929, the Heard Museum has grown in size and stature to become recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, world-class exhibitions, educational programming and its unmatched festivals. Dedicated to the advancement of American Indian art, the Heard successfully presents the stories of American Indian people from a first-person perspective, as well as exhibitions that showcase the beauty and vitality of traditional and contemporary art.
  • Eat At A New Restaurant! Before seeing Wicked at the ASU Gammage we went to have an early dinner at Durant’s Steakhouse. We got there five minutes before actual opening hours, walked through the back entrance (through the kitchen – do it, be a regular), ordered martinis (extra dirty for me) and a brandy old fashioned for mom before we were seated. And speaking of seating, we slid into our red leather booth surrounded by red velvety wallpaper before having an excellent meal. Don’t get me wrong, Durant’s is not somewhere to get a quick, cheap eat. But if you want a culinary and cool experience go check it out. Quick fun fact – John Wayne, Clark Gable and Joe DiMaggio all frequented Durant’s.
  • Check out something just outside of Phoenix! Last time my mom and I went to see Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright‘s winter home and school. Ever since I was young I loved architecture and touring mansions – the Marland mansion in Ponca City, OK and don’t think I went completely insane in Newport, RI – The Breakers!!! Marble House. WOW, just wow. So definitely check out Taliesin West. But THIS TIME we went on a boat ride on Saguro Lake with my aunt and uncle who were visiting. Saguro Lake is about 45 minutes Northeast of Phoenix. The 1,200-acre lake is 10 miles long and reaches depths of more than 110 feet at its deepest point. Its 22 miles of shoreline include rocky crags, canyon walls, marshland, and desert shrubland. The area also offers a variety of recreational activities (kayaking, hiking, fishing, sailing) including a scenic and educational riverboat cruise. We took a ride on the Desert Belle riverboat, a 90-minute narrated cruise on the lake. Let me clarify, the Captain didn’t speak the entire boat ride, there were lots of groovy tunes and time to breath in the nature. Besides hundreds, if not thousands of Saguro cacti we saw a bald eagle and a bighorn sheep!!! I was super stoked about the sheep. I highly suggest to bring your binoculars.

Have a ton of fun on all your adventures. And I’d love to hear what you love to do in and around Phoenix. 🙂

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animals · beach · catalonia · fiestas · let's learn spanish · Majorca · Mallorca · menorca · spain

Sant Joan Festival

It’s that time of year again! Sant Joan festival in Spain. Many different versions around Spain – tonight in my sleepy Mallorcan town we will be heading to the beach for some BBQ, lighting LOTS of candles around us and possibly dip our toes in the ocean. This is all to celebrate the summer solstice.

BUT the best one to experience is in Menorca. The Sant Joan festival in Ciutadella. Which is CRAZY! Looks super cool but I would rather have the tamer version of it. And it allowed me to come into full contact with the horses! Something I doubt would be possible for me at the Sant Joan festival.

Check out these pics from the Sant Joan festival in Ciutadella. Insane in the membrane.

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and this …..

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Wowzers. That is A LOT of people. But that is the Sant Joan fiesta. Es normal.

The smaller festival that I attended the other year in Menorca was in Es Mercadal and called Sant Marti. The horse is the common hero of all the local saint’s day festivals celebrated in all the Menorcan villages during the summer and clearly shows how authentic the island customs are. The drivers and horsemen, dressed up in the outfit called “de just” (of the just man) in a combination of black and white and they ride Menorcan-race stallions in a long procession or parade (qualcada) which goes through all the main streets and squares of the town.

During the two days of the holiday, strict protocol is observed, mixing religious acts which are closely observed, with moments of collective fun especially during the “jaleos” which take place in the main square and where the horses, horsemen and public take part to an equal extent in the show.

And this Jaleo is what we went to on Sunday morning at 11 am in the Plaça Constitució. It was, in a word, fantastic. First, the riders rode in a procession through the street showing off themselves and their gorgeous horses. And then the fun begins! They ride into the public circle in twos while the spectators (me!) try to touch the horse while it rears up. This went on for about an hour. I am allergic to horses. Seriously, all I have to do is look at a horse and I start to get welts on my face and arms. But after 15 minutes I was ready to get into the game. Screw allergies! It was so much fun.

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and

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If you get a chance to go to the Sant Marti or the Sant Joan festival I highly recommend it. And make sure you wear clothes that can get dirt, sand, horse slobber and more on it. NO HIGH HEELS! No. Muy ridiculo – and don’t think I didn’t see it.

Happy Summer Solstice! xo

domestic goddess · just do it already · love love love · making money · Things and Stuff · tue Gutes und sprich darüber

Decluttr and Make Cash

Hey, do you like to make a little more money on the side AND get rid of some things that are just taking up space and growing dustballs?

Yeah, I thought so.

Every time I go back to the USA I try to put up things on eBay to make some extra cash to spend on my travels. Sometimes things sell and sometimes they don’t. But don’t worry this isn’t an eBay post.

This is a Decluttr post! Have you heard of Decluttr? I just recently found out about it and made $25 by getting rid of things I didn’t want or need. It is seriously amazeballs. Amazeballs, dustballs …… I am seeing a ballsy theme here.

It’s so simple too. Decluttr buys CDs, DVDs, books, cell phones, Kindles, tablets, MacBooks, computer games, Smartwatches and even LEGOs! I know you have some of these gathering dust in your closets. Why not make some money on them?

I sent in CDs, DVDs and a few books. You download the App and it’s so simple, all you have to do is use the barcode scanner to see what Decluttr will pay you for it. Most books I actually only got .01 but I added them to just get rid of them. Some CDs and DVDs were only 5 or 10 cents but some I got $3.00. My Elton John – Remixed CD I got $2.24. Sweet! I believe you have to have a minimum of $5.00 of items before you can send them to Decluttr.

And, shipping is free! All you do is print out your shipping label, attach it to the box and take it to your nearest UPS location.

And I have one more exciting thing for you (and me) with this. If you click on the link, you and me will both receive $5 after you complete your first order. I am never one to say no to free money. Here is the link:

https://decluttr.mention-me.com/m/ol/op0se-kim-ransom

And of course, I thank you too.

So, here are the easy steps.

  1. Click on the link above on register on Decluttr.
  2. If you have a Smartphone you can download the App to easily scan the barcodes on your items.
  3. Don’t forget books, Legos, CDs and so much more! Time to clean out those closets.
  4. Print out shipping label and attach to box.
  5. Take box to nearest UPS location
  6. Get paid!

Let’s get going! Time to Marie Kondo your life and make some pocket money. Woot!

art · books · just do it already · just how it is sometimes · love love love · writing

Writer’s Block Inspiration

Writer’s Block. Ugh. You know how it goes. You have all these ideas to write and have started on a novel or a magazine article or a blog post …….. and now. STUCK. STOPPED.

It’s frustrating. Of course, we know we’ll get back to it. Soon. And then that soon turns out to be three weeks, then three months. And you’re wondering if maybe it’s all just crap. Everything you wrote is so dumb. Well, it’s not. Get back in the game. Keep writing. Just keep writing. It’s our mantra. Like Dory’s Just Keep Swimming. You – Just Keep Writing.

Some inspiration for you – me – US.

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fiestas · just do it already · lists · Things and Stuff

New Year’s Non Resolutions

I used to make New Year’s resolutions. When I was a teen it was one of the first things I did on in the new year. Of course it was usually – get good grades, lay out my school clothes the night before (it was always so stressful to do in the morning because I was always running late, shocker), be nicer to my brother and practice new ways to do my hair and make-up. You can thank that last one to my crimped hair in high school.

Later my resolutions changed to some of the usual – exercise more, don’t go out and party during the week, detox plan and save money. I think “be nicer to my brother” was always on the list somewhere. 🙂 Past couple of years it’s been put e-book up on Amazon!!, only drink 3 nights a week, no buying more shoes and ALWAYS exercise more. And you know what always happens. You don’t keep these promises. And then you feel like shit. One more thing you didn’t do well enough, fast enough or just not at all.

Now, I do believe no resolutions are the way to go. I still know what I’d like to do better. And I’ll do them … on my own timeline. Not the NEW YEAR timeline. Because there’s already too much pressure in life. Too much stress. Make time to take a look around, enjoy life, you don’t always need to DO DO DO, GO GO GO. And I need to remember that and breathe.

I found this. It says To Do List. And that’s just it. Things to do – but more of an every day spirituality – be a good person list. I like it. Enjoy the little things.

Thanks for stopping by. I’m off to pet my cat and have a glass of wine. xo ~ k

ny resolutions
art · books · favorite things · lists · love love love · movie monday · movies · music favorites · tv land

Favorites of 2018

The years just keep going by faster and faster. Don’t they?

Thanks to an idea from my favorite president, Mr. Obama, I’m going to do my favorite books, songs and movies/tv shows from 2018. Let me add that not all of these are from the year 2018 (especially tv shows) but it’s what I enjoyed this year. Let’s get right down to it shall we?

Favorite Books

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani

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Favorite Songs

Malamente by Rosalia

Rockstar by Post Malone (feat. 21 Savage)

Losing It by FISHER

Pray For Me by The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar

Nice For What by Drake

Delicate by Taylor Swift

When The Curtain Falls by Greta Van Fleet

Make Me Feel by Janelle Monáe

APESHIT by The Carters

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Favorite Movies/TV

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Love, Simon

BlacKkKlansman (my favorite!)

Eighth Grade

Bohemian Rapsody

Shameless (TV)

The Crown (TV)

Better Call Saul (TV)

Ray Donavan (TV)

** and one WTH movie that I saw which is turning up on Top 2018 movies – Mandy. Seriously?!?! Maybe if you’re tripping, then it would be awesome. **

And that’s it folks. 2018 is a wrap. Mwauh xxoo ~ k

 

love love love

Christmas Butterplätzchen

GOING NINETY MILES

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Time to make Mama N’s famous Weihnachten cookies again! These melt in your mouth cookies are so easy and everyone will love them. Make them for a party, for your family, for friends or just for yourself! Because you know what, you are worth it!

Here is the recipe in German but if you no entiendo Deutsch 🙂 then here’s the recipe in English.

Ingredients:

150 grams Flour                         75 grams sugar

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Sugar      1 egg yolk

100 grams butter (it says or margarine but REALLY?! do the butter already)

Clean off a countertop and starting at the top of the list make a pile of the ingredients. Then, when you add the butter grab a large knife and cut up all the ingredients together in a pile. Next, with clean hands (!) knead/mix the ingredients. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge…

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cafepress · Christmas · cool products · fiestas · food · happy holidays y'all · presents · tees and totes · weekend report · yum

Weekend Report + Xmas Ideas

How was your Turkey Day?! I hope it was lovely – just how you wanted it to be. Whether that meant being with family, having a friendsgiving, or just getting a little extra time without work to download a bit.

We are going to have Thanksgiving tonight, making a duck breast with sauce/gravy (I could take a bath in gravy. Seriously.), German Rotkohl and trying out a new recipe – Ken Oringer’s Corn and Gruyère Mashed Potato Gratin recipe. It looks good, right?

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This week was pretty much my basic work week. On Friday, I went to Carrefour (huge grocery store) at Fan (new huge outdoor shopping center) and I couldn’t even find a parking spot thanks to Black Friday. Did y’all do any Black Friday shopping? I’m such a horrible procrastinator, I put the PRO in crasinating. 🙂 And I can’t get my head around buying Christmas presents yet but I’m really really REALLY gonna try my very best to not have to do it all last minute.

But my online sales are starting to do quite decently. Here are a few goodies in my shops for the Christmas season. And remember I sell my designs on lots of different products just click the link to see more.

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The Tree Isn’t The Only Thing Getting Lit This Christmas! Pajamas. I have a pair of these myself, super comfy! And it makes me feel okay when I’m on my third glass of wine. Cheers!

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Senior Class Of 2019 Christmas Ornament. Do you know someone graduating from high school or university this year? It’s a Christmas ornament so every year they can unpack it to decorate the tree. And think of you!

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Isn’t this the cutest? Fleece Navidad Baby Bodysuit. I just love it.

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This Don’t Forget To Be Awesome coffee/tea mug is perfect for anyone on your shopping list. It’s inspirational and fun.

Alrighty then! I need to scoot to start making that new recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out. And I already know the duck and gravy will be perfecto cuz Felix is making that. Have a fabulouso week my friends!