September in Music

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Taken at my grandpa’s house in New Hampshire last month.

I haven’t shared a playlist since August and since it’s a pretty big part of my life, I felt like I needed to do a little catching up! But I’ll be honest. I’m an inconsistent music listener. Some people ONLY listen to Pop or Rock or whatever genre suits their fancy. I listen to it all. Except country. Never, ever country. Some days I can only listen to music that matches my mood and other days I want something totally new. It’s a never-ending cycle.

Please tell me I’m not alone! You know, I really think Spotify has a lot to do with it. The app is suuuuuper overwhelming at times. There’s so much music on there. Don’t get me wrong – I’m completely obsessed and I don’t know how I ever lived before I had Spotify – but it can be a little much at times. What are your thoughts on it?

This brings me to my September playlist. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my October playlist.

The first song, “Don’t Take The Money” by Bleachers is my indie/pop-ish song for the month. It’s so catchy. And I love Jack Antonoff.

The next two, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Lifestyle” by Cake and “Anna” by Will Butler were both songs I came across while watching the Instagram stories of one of my favorite bloggers. The Cake song is like, kind of bad, but also I really like it…so I don’t really have much else to say about that. And I actually had heard “Anna” before but never listened to it all the way through. I love it and the music video is so good and could pass for a Wes Anderson film. Plus Emma Stone is in it!

“Knock It Off” by Aimee Mann is catchy and reminded me of fall so I listened to it a lot in September. There are a few others on that new (by new I mean March of this year) album of hers that I really like.

“I’m Looking Through You” by The Beatles is a lovely song, and Rubber Soul is my #1 favorite Beatles album. (And that has NOTHING to do with the brilliant font on the album cover. I swear. #designnerd.) But seriously, that album is amazing.

“Bad Blood” by Ryan Adams also reminded me of fall. I know a lot of people seemed to hate that 1989 cover album but I really really like some of the songs on it and I think he did such a wonderful job putting his own spin on Taylor’s songs. Also: it’s his birthday today! Happy Birthday Ryan! I LOVE YOU. <333

“Cemetry Gates” by The Smiths is probably my #1 favorite Smiths song… at the moment. My favorites are always changing since all their songs are amazing. I just love the lyrics in this song: “They were born and then they lived and then they died… seems so unfair, I want to cry.” Ughhhhh!

“Up All Night” by Beck. His new album, Colors, came out in October. I gotta say, I’m not overly impressed. I love Beck but the album is a bit too poppy for my taste. I don’t think there will ever be an album quite as phenomenal as Morning Phase, but I was expecting more because he’s BECK and he’s the BEST! Aaaaand I’m a total hypocrite because “Up All Night” is tooootally poppy. I secretly love it, though. Anyways, I don’t hate his new album, but I don’t love it.

“When Doves Cry” by Prince. I don’t think I have to explain why it’s on my playlist. I loooove this song.

“A Step You Can’t Take Back” by Keira Knightley. OK, has anyone seen the 2013 film Begin Again? (Dumb question. Obviously someone out there has seen it.) It’s on Netflix and had been on my Watch List for a while. Last month I finally got around to watching it and I fell in love. It’s suuuuch a beautiful film and the music is awesome. It stars Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, James Cordon, Adam Levine, and Hailee Steinfeld, so there’s just a hint as to why I loved it so much. “A Step You Can’t Take Back” is the first song in the movie and my personal fave. The entire time I was watching it I secretly wished Keira Knightley was actually a musician. I would totally listen to her music. If Feist and Laura Marling’s voices (somehow?) had a child, it’d be Keira Knightly’s voice.

“Spent The Day In Bed” by Morrissey. Honestly, I don’t LOVE the song, but I LIKE it. It’s catchy and it’s Morrissey so of course I had to give it a try. His new album comes out this month, too. Speaking of Morrissey, “This Night Has Opened My Eyes” is on there. I never liked this song when I first started listening to The Smiths but it got stuck in my head one day and I couldn’t stop listening to it after that. Oh, and “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side” is on there as well. It’s on my Top Ten Smiths playlist and I just think it’s such a pretty song.

“Atomic Number” on the trio album case/lang/veirs (Neko Case, k.d. lang, and Laura Veirs) is suuuuuch a beautiful song. I’m obsessed and am still listening to it in November.

“Bloodstream” by Ed Sheeran. I don’t think I ever wrote about this but in October I saw him in concert for the second time with my best friend and we had SUCH a fun time. His concerts have been so awesome and he’s a super talented guy. “Bloodstream” is on this playlist because he does that song SO WELL in concert and I totally forgot how much I love it.

And finally, the last song on my September playlist is “Losing All Sense” by Grizzly Bear. I just started listening to them, but their new album is fantastic. And Busy Phillips makes an appearance in the music video! #KimKellyForLife. If you guys aren’t watching her Insta stories, you MUST. They are the absolute best and she’s the funniest.

Alright, well 1016 words later and here we are! I hope this post wasn’t too disorienting for you. I told you I’m inconsistent when it comes to music! These past two months have just been crazy and I haven’t had time to make a super thoughtful playlist specifically for blogging purposes, but these are songs I genuinely love. I hope you love them too!

Happy Sunday.

 

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Friday 11/03/17

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Screengrab via Edward Scissorhands, my favorite Tim Burton movie. The set design is magical and the cinematography is gorgeous.

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week. It’s been about a month since I’ve written a post, but the holidays are upon us and I am really excited to write and post more.

I’ve been crazy busy and overwhelmed with school. The rumors are true – high school is stressful! But the weekend is here and I am so excited to RELAX.

Here are some fun links from around the internet:

Oh Joy! phone cases are out! So cute.

This Stranger Things rap was awesome. The cast is so much fun! Did anyone watch season 2? I binged it all weekend and loved it. What are your thoughts?

Chocolate-Pecan Tart. Mmmmm.

This also looks delicious. How can a pie be so pretty?!

The new live-action Lion King movie cast was announced this week. Beyonce AND Seth Rogen?! I have a feeling this is gonna be awesome.

Rose-Quartz Facial Roller. Super pretty and something I’d like to try!

Really cute measuring spoons.

And finally, Mari Andrew’s illustrations are wonderful. You have to follow her on Instagram.

Have a relaxing weekend!

ps: do you like the new-ish blog design? it works/looks so much better than the previous design AND it’s more cooperative on mobile devices!

Arizona: part three 

At last, the final post of my Arizona trip! As I’m writing this, it’s the first day of fall. All day I’ve been thinking about what an incredible summer I’ve had and I feel so lucky I got to spend it with my family and some of my closest friends. Nevertheless, I am SO excited for fall. I can never pick a favorite season, but I think fall would be in my top two.

Anyways… here’s the final post of my Arizona trip! It’s a biiiit longer than my previous ones, FYI!

We went to the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) and spent a few hours there. I had actually been there one of the last times I visited Arizona. It’s SO big, I don’t even think we got to everything! It’s a really beautiful museum and the way they have it set up is really neat. Each room is a different continent and there are sections with countries throughout that room. Each section is filled with the instruments from a specific country. They give you headphones that automatically let you listen to the song or piece that’s being played on the TV and it changes through each section as you walk around. That probably makes zero sense, but trust me – it is VERY cool!

Beatles guitar!

I love this photo… that’s Camelback Mountain! You get the perfect view from upstairs in the museum.

After that, we relaxed for a while. Then we went to an Asian market that was a super cool experience. I had never been to an Asian market before and there were so many interesting fruits and all sorts of crazy food there. We left with a bunch of stuff, including GIANT POCKY! It’s SO good. I love pocky, but giant pocky is ten times better. After that, we went to a Chinese restaurant right next door to the market. I learned that I’m not a huge fan of shrimp and I STILL can’t use chopsticks! 😦 Someday!!! LOL. Other than that, the food was VERY good. We tried this soup that’s apparently a popular dessert in China. I was not expecting to love it, but it was delicious. It didn’t taste much like soup because it was super sweet, but I had never tried anything like it!

The next day, we checked out OdySea Aquarium. We were going to go here a few days before, but instead went to the Heard Museum because it was SO CROWDED! We went on the right day AND got there super early, so it was pretty perfect. The aquarium is pretty new and it’s one of the nicest ones I’ve ever been to…it’s also HUGE. I don’t go to aquariums often, but when I do I am always blown away.

If you ever go here, there was one cool “exhibit” I really loved that you should check out. I don’t remember what it was called, but it’s in this little theater that moves around and takes you through different tanks so it kind of feels like you’re actually in the tank. I LOVED it!

Nemo!

OK, so this was probably another one of my favorite parts of that day. There’s a sloth in one of the first hallways when you’re walking through, and the first time we walked by it it was sleeping. Then we walked past it again and it woke up! Apparently it’s super rare for this sloth to ever move around, but this guy went up the ropes and back down for a few minutes and it was the cutest thing ever. I got a video and it’s seriously one of the best videos on my phone. I hadn’t ever seen a sloth in person and now I love them so much!

Oh – the penguins were also super awesome. They are such cool creatures. I love the way they swim!

The otters were the funniest!! We got there just as they were coming out for the day and it was so cute.

After we got back we went swimming (again 🙂 ) and made lasagna for dinner.

The next day, we decided to check out Butterfly Wonderland. It’s the largest butterfly conservatory in the U.S. and it’s right next door to OdySea. I always think butterfly gardens are super fun and they’re a great place to bring your camera!

OMG. This photo. I am so proud of myself. These particular butterflies are absolutely gorgeous, but the minute they close their wings they’re neutral and blend in with the others. The second I took this it closed its wing! Ahhh! It made me really happy that I got this shot. Isn’t it just the prettiest?!

After that, we walked through Old Town Scottsdale for a while to look for gifts and souvenirs. We stopped at The Sugar Bowl for some ice cream after and I am so happy we did! When I was younger, The Sugar Bowl was one of my favorite places to visit in Arizona. I still love it!

I got the Dusty Road Sundae! (I think that’s what it’s called.) Chocolate ice cream, chocolate fudge, malt, whipped cream, and a cherry. Yuuuum!

And, alas, here we have the final day… *sigh!* This day was actually one of my favorites. We went to Desert Botanical Garden first. It’s absolutely amazing there, but we only walked around for a little while because it was way too hot! Definitely go in the earlier hours of the morning or the evening if you decide to go! I love this photo of the prickly pear cactus.

And this is one of my favorite photos I took the whole trip! Just LOOK how beautiful it is there!! I can’t get over it. I love New England, but going to new places always makes me so happy because the environment is so much different.

Ouch, I would NOT want to fall into that! Lol.

I don’t have any photos, but after that we went go-karting! I had never been and it was actually really, really fun. I was sooo scared at first because I had never done anything besides bumper cars in my life, but it turned out to be a blast.

After that, we went to lunch and then to SMOCA (Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art). I had seen photos of this place online because currently this light exhibit is the big thing there. It’s a pretty small museum, but they’ve got a LOT of interesting art there and an AMAAAAZING gift shop!!

It was around mid-afternoon by then, so we headed back and got all of our things together to get ready for our flight that would leave at around 10:30pm.

It suddenly started pouring and it went on for quite a while. The power flickered on and off for a bit too. Before the storm, we ordered pizza, and apparently the power had gone out at the pizza place, too! Luckily, they had made ours just in time.

When the rain stopped, we saw the owl in the backyard saying one last goodbye to my brother and I. 😉 On the way to the airport, a rainbow appeared and we saw another beautiful AZ sunset. The perfect way to end the most incredible trip!

So, there you have it: my trip to Arizona. It was the first time I had ever traveled alone, but it was also one of the most exciting and wonderful experiences I’ve ever had. I am so, so, so grateful that I got to visit my family and learn and see so many awesome sights there. I hope to visit again soon!!

I hope you enjoyed this little travel series and that you all have a wonderful weekend!

Arizona: part two

In part one, we left off at the Grand Canyon. After that amazing sunset, it took us about five hours to drive back to Phoenix, meaning we arrived at around one a.m. I was SO tired but it was SO worth it!

The next day we slept in and went swimming for a little while in the morning. We were planning on going to the Odysea Aquarium, but since it was Saturday it was crazy busy and there was zero parking. We decided instead to go to the Heard Museum, which was something I was so looking forward to.

The exhibit going on at the time was Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. (Unfortunately, TODAY is the last day of the exhibit there, but I think it’s a traveling exhibit so it will be at other locations.)

In sixth or seventh grade I was told to do a book report on someone I knew nothing about. (AKA – not a first lady. I had done Jackie O., Eleanor Roosevelt, AND Michelle Obama in past years!) I found a book in my school’s library about Frida Kahlo and I recognized the name and face. I knew my mom was a big fan of her but I really didn’t know too much about her.

The book was a cheap, middle school-age biography with a little information about her personal life, but it didn’t go into great detail. Nevertheless I learned so much about her and I wanted to learn even more. I thought her story was just fascinating and I was in love with her work. I was so glad I branched out and chose someone new to write about!

Before we left for Arizona I was researching some museums and events I wanted to check out while there and I came across the Heard Museum. It’s primarily an American Indian Art Museum, but the Frida and Diego exhibit had been apparently been a huge hit so I had to put it on my Arizona to-do/to-go-to list!

Tons of Kahlo’s pieces were on display and it was so surreal to see all of them. I had only seen one of her real pieces at MoMA in New York, so this exhibit was so awesome. It had Rivera’s work as well and many photographs taken by Kahlo’s father, too.

This was of the coolest things in this exhibit. Designers researched Kahlo’s style in great detail and made replicas of her clothes. I thought they were actually her real clothes before they mentioned they were replicas! So much detail is put into those outfits and they’re all so beautiful. I LOVE the flower crowns, too!


My aunt and I stumbled upon a tour group and decided to join it. The tour guide was super helpful. She explained the interpreted meanings of many of the pieces and I went home with so much more knowledge about Kahlo’s life!

 They really need to make a year-round Frida Kahlo museum. This exhibit was absolutely amazing. It’s definitely in my top three favorite museums I’ve ever been to. (I think it just beats the First Ladies exhibit in D.C. 🙂 ) The gift shop was crazy awesome, too. (That’s always a plus!) I now appreciate Frida Kahlo’s work so much more knowing how much pain she went through throughout her life.

After the Heard, we went out for lunch at the Cafe at Phoenix Public Market. Other than it being super loud in there, the menu was great and the desserts looked gorgeous. I got the AB&J (Almond butter and jelly) and WOW was that good! It was just the right portion and the flavors were perfect together. I would totally eat that again.


After lunch, we went to SNOH Ice Shavery. It’s kind of like ice cream, but it’s kind of like shaved ice. It’s super weird but super yummy. They have boba and other drinks there too, but I was curious to try the “ice cream,” or whatever you want to call it! I chose one of the ones on the menu that was already created, but you can create your own too. The base was taro (that’s the purple in the photo) and it was so good. I had never tried taro before but it was really interesting and it doesn’t taste anything like it looks. (LOL, I don’t even know what purple is supposed to taste like. Grape?!) It was topped with condensed milk, almond cookies, and almond pudding. I would totally recommend this place if you want to try something new!

After that, we went to Changing Hands which is a local bookstore. I love bookstores and I so wish we had a Changing Hands on the East Coast. I got myself a copy of The Catcher in the Rye and had a lot of fun looking at all the books and little knick knacks and accessories they had there. It’s the perfect place for gifts!

When we left the bookstore, it was POURING. As we drove into Phoenix it began to settle down and really wasn’t raining too much when we got back. We went swimming again (it really was a daily activity for us!) and enjoyed the rest of the night.

The next day, we checked out the Arizona Science Center. It had a lot of cool activities and hands-on exhibits and I really enjoyed it there! Science is not my favorite – or best – subject, so the phrase “science center” never excites me. Whenever I go to one, though, I end up having a great time and learning a lot. Science IS cool, but it only interests me when I’m able to see it in action rather than sitting in a desk at school!

We were hungry after we left so we stopped for froyo on the way back. See the little hint of pink froyo? That’s mixed berry, AKA: me trying to be healthy. TBH, there’s no coming back from sprinkles, heath bar, oreos, AND butterfingers, so that decision was pointless.

That night, I think we swam again. I also witnessed the SECOND prettiest sunset on this trip! (First being the Grand Canyon, and nothing will ever top that!) I love the silhouette palm trees in these photos.

So there is part two of my trip to Arizona! There will most likely be two more parts… I have to decide how I want to split the trip up.

Happy Labor Day and Monday! Have a great week.

A Day at the Fair

a few photos from my day at the fair

Every year I look forward to my town’s fair. This year I went on Friday and it was so much fun. I’ve gone every year of my life and I hope I never miss a year. I love seeing my friends from school, stuffing myself with endless amounts of fair food, riding the creaky carnival rides, and photographing it all along the way. Although I left with a headache, sunburn, AND heartburn, it was totally worth it. 😉 (Oh, and here’s my fair post from two years ago #cringe. LOL.) 

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day: 






Happy September! I hope you’re all having a great long weekend and enjoyed these photos. 

An August Playlist

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I am at work on the upcoming Arizona trip post(s) but while I have a minute I figured I’d share my August playlist with you all. I haven’t shared a playlist in quite a while and I feel it’s time for a new one! (Although if you’re following me on  Spotify, I am quite active and you can see all my playlists there all in one place!)

This month has been craaaaazy. I got back from Arizona on the fourth and went to two weeks of camp after my return. I also had to finish (AKA start) my summer homework for my AP Government class. I had a bunch of school events to attend as well, and long story short the end of August was crazy stressful and busy!

Slowly but surely things started to calm down. I started school on the 29th, and I’m now a sophomore in high school! I am really excited for the year. It feels so good to not be a freshman anymore, haha! I’m taking some really cool classes and am so ready for a (hopefully) great year!

OK, back to the playlist. This month I triiiiiied to add one song a day, but that’s just now how music works for me. Once I discover one artist or song, I discover a million others that same day and it’s too stressful to add them all or to wait until the next day to add them. So, instead of having 31 songs, this playlist only has eighteen.

As you may have noticed, I’ve got a pretty random taste in music. Sometimes I hear a song in a commercial or somehow rediscover it  (An example being: Potential Breakup Song and Under Pressure…) and then become obsessed. SO, don’t mind the randomness. (That’s basically what this blog is though, right?!)

I am SO excited about Beck’s new single, and his upcoming album! AHHH! I’ve also been loving The Smiths, and made another playlist just dedicated to them. Grizzly Bear has a new album which I listened to a few times and enjoyed a lot, too.

And yes, the song Despacito is on this playlist as well. To be perfectly honest I don’t really know why because during the entire month of August, I never listened to this song all the way through. I just like the chorus and thought it was catchy, and it’s on the top charts so I figured I’d add a little bit of pop to this mix! But never mind, I don’t need to explain myself! LOL. 😉

That’s about all for now, but one, if not more of my Arizona posts should be up this weekend. I hope you all have a great rest of the week and a wonderful start to September. Let me know – what song have you been loving lately?!

My trip to Arizona: part one

This summer (and year, for that matter) has really put me out of my comfort zone for a few reasons. Towards the end of July, my brother and I took a trip out to visit our family in Arizona… alone! Yup, no parents.

I have always loved traveling but I had never traveled alone before this trip. The idea of it never really scared me, but once it actually became a reality the nerves took over juuuust a little. I’m happy to say that I made it there and back and my first trip traveling alone was a success and so much fun!

I took about a million photos so I decided to not do a giant post and instead separate them into a few different ones! This post will be our first few days and the Grand Canyon.

We headed to Boston and our flight got delayed because of rain and it left at around 10pm. I just love this colored glass at the Boston airport!

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The plane ride was about four and a half hours so we got to Phoenix at around one AM. I (thankully) was able to sleep and wasn’t cursed with too much jet lag! We flew on JetBlue so there were TVs… unfortunately I did not ask where the headphone jack was on the way there but I later found out they’re right under the armrest, so pro tip for anyone who is looking for it next time you’re on the plane! 😉

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As I mentioned above we were staying with family which was so nice!! The first day we slept and just hung out and swam in the pool. Then at night we headed down to Chase Field to see a Diamondbacks game. They were playing the Atlanta Braves and, sadly, lost. I learned a lot about baseball… like, a lot! I played softball for a whole season years ago and still didn’t know the rules of the game! I also had about a million mini-heart attacks because we were right in the strike zone for the lefties and seeing those balls above my head was so scary. Thankfully, I made it back alive to tell you the story. 

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The next day we went down to Scottsdale Fashion Square for some shopping (mostly window shopping, actually!) That was a lot of fun because I don’t go to malls too often AND it was air conditioned. I mean, that’s kind of a must for any place in Arizona because it is SO HOT there!

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Boba tea! This was some sorta watermelon strawberry blend. I can’t remember, but it was good!

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We swam a LOT. Almost every day! Mostly in the early morning or late afternoon so it was a little cooler. I loved swimming at night because we could watch the sunset! Oh – we also heard AND saw an owl! More on that later…

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The next day we headed up to the Grand Canyon. We drove about two hours up to Prescott and stayed overnight there. The scenery changed so much as we headed up towards the Canyon! It felt like we were in a totally different state.

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Prescott was a super touristy town but it was really nice to walk around and check out all the fun gift shops and art stores. For dinner we ate at the restaurant right next to our hotel called The Barley Hound that was delicious. This salad was just part of our meal and it was spinach, beets, candied pistachios, and goat cheese which is my favorite! I could eat this salad every day.

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This is where we stayed, Hotel Vendome. I had never stayed in a hotel quite like this one. You could totally tell it was pretty historic from the claw foot tubs to the pull chain toilets but it was so nice. I would totally stay there again if I ever go to Prescott again! Plus it’s in the middle of the downtown area of Prescott and right next to The Barley Hound and another nice cafe that we went for breakfast the next morning.

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The next day we drove another two hours up to the Canyon! I have been to Arizona a few times before but had never been to Grand Canyon. I was so excited to visit my first national park, and this one totally did not disappoint. Seriously – we had the best experience ever!

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OMG a photo of me?! On my blog?! This is a historic moment. I rarely post photos of myself but oddly enough this post has two. TWO! Give me some credit for that, ok?!

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How amazing is that? If you haven’t seen the Canyon, you must go. I feel soooo lucky I got to experience it. It’s seriously the coolest thing ever.

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 Soooo by the way, guys, I baaaaasically hiked the Grand Canyon.

Well… maybe half a mile of it. My cousin, brother, and I hiked just a little bit of the first trail. Was I sweating my butt off by the time we got back up??? You know it. But honestly it would be soooo cool to go down there and actually hike and camp there. On my bucket list! Someday…

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OK, so right as we were getting ready to leave, a thunderstorm starting to come in faster from the other side of the canyon. (SO COOL, RIGHT?!) We had seen the clouds and heard some thunder a bit earlier that day, but it didn’t really seem like it was going to pass over us. Well, IT DID! We were planning on taking sunset photos but we weren’t sure if the clouds would clear up. We drove around and stopped at various points but found the absolute PERFECT place to stop. As soon as we got there the rain started to slow down and the sun began to set.

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And, BOOM. Basically the most perfect sunset ever. The weather that day was crazy and I basically experienced it all: hot & sunny, cold & rainy! It was kind of hard to capture the amazing-ness of it, so these photos will have to do.

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Oh, yeah. THERE WAS ALSO A DOUBLE RAINBOW. AHHHH!! 

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When you realize you made it out of the Grand Canyon without falling in… #yaasssss #iDidIt #proud 

LOL. So there’s part one of my Arizona trip! More to come this week. I had the best time ever and am super excited to share more. Happy Friday!