Camping at Lake Pleasant, Arizona

Hello there friends! Now that it’s summertime, I’m sure most of you are ready to get out and explore our lovely state. Typically families plan their trips and vacations in the summer due to kids being out of school. So I thought I would share some of our favorite things to do as a family around our home state. We love being outdoors and near water, so Camping at Lake Pleasant, Arizona, is a must on our summer bucketlist.

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There are a few options to pick from when planning your camping trips at your local and state lakes. Though many families go for the corporate owned facilities, we LOVE camping at our state and regional parks. And there are plenty of reasons why, which I will get to shortly.

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Lake Pleasant, Arizona, is located only 35 miles from Phoenix and is the biggest lake in the area with over 10,000 acres of water surface. It’s the perfect place for boating, water skiing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and more. It’s the perfect place for family fun and of course it’s pet friendly as well. Just keep those pets on a leash and be sure to clean up after them. 

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Lake Pleasant has 2 marinas, a restaurant, and a few options for camping. Our personal favorite is Desert Tortoise Campground. This campground is right on the water and has options for RV hook ups as well. The above photo is our view from our favorite spot.

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If you’re lucky enough, you may see a Bald Eagle or two fly overhead or even a pack of wild burros while staying at the lake. The beautiful sunsets are a backdrop to the wildlife and saguaro cacti that surround the lake. It’s really a great place to hang.

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Two of our favorite things to do when camping are to go on nature walks and cook over the campfire, both of which can be done at Lake Pleasant. Sometimes when the sun goes down, it’s even chilly enough for a light jacket.

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The next time you consider camping, check out Lake Pleasant and the state/regional campsites. The campsites and bathrooms are very clean, you are right near the water, and the view is unbeatable. Plus, the price of the site is extremely affordable and the money you spend goes back into keeping our state and regional parks clean and well kept.

 

 

Hiking Fossil Creek, Arizona

Over the last few years, I have really come to appreciate and love where I live. Born and raised in Arizona, I grew up thinking the desert was ugly and dirty and that no beauty could be found here. So happy to say that I was dead wrong. The more I get out in nature and explore the state I live in, the more I come to love it. One of my favorite things to do is explore new places… especially out in nature or near water. So when I heard about Fossil Creek, I knew that I had to check it out and after about three years, I finally made the time to get there. I also did a little bit of research on it, so I figured I’d share the knowledge with all of you, as I highly recommend this place jumping to the top of your bucketlist. Here are some great things to know about hiking Fossil Creek, Arizona, and I even included a few helpful tips.

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Fossil Creek is located near Strawberry and Camp Verde, Arizona. The 14 mile creek’s water is calcium rich, laying down large deposits of travertine and encasing whatever falls into the stream. Hence forming fossil like creations, which is where the name Fossil Creek comes from. Kind of cool, right? Tons of plants and animals depend on this creek, including past Western Apache who still consider Fossil Creek part of their homeland. 

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Fossil Creek does require a day permit which you can get HERE and you should definitely get it ahead of time (print it out and bring it with you!). There’s also a very bumpy 14ish mile dirt road all the way back to the permitted parking. I highly recommend a truck, SUV, jeep, or something similar for this part. It can be done in a car or van, but know that it will take you a lot longer to get back to the parking. 

Because we were hiking with kids, we decided to try out Waterfall Trail which is a non strenuous hike to the falls. It’s about one mile in and one mile out and absolutely gorgeous the entire way.

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We hiked through greenery and along the creek, listening to the water and the wildlife sounds. It was absolutely peaceful and beautiful. The kids loved collecting leaves and rocks and walking sticks along the way. There were even a few cool bridges to cross over, which is always a hit with kids.

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I recommend packing lots of snacks or a lunch in as well as water (we took our Camelbacks). There are plenty of places to have a picnic. You do need to pack all of your trash out, so keep that in mind as there are no trash cans. Let’s be conscience of keeping this beautiful place clean so we can visit it for years to come.

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After you hike in for about a mile… that’s when you see it. And it is breathtaking, y’all!

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The falls are surrounded by trees and a swimming hole and caverns to explore. We watched a few people jump from the falls into the swimming hole, which the kids thought was super exciting. The kids also spotted fish in the stream and even some tadpoles… it made for a super fun nature journal entry.

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Be sure to bring a towel and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. The kids wore their bathing suits under their clothes and that worked out well. You should also bring a camera or your phone for picture taking… trust me when I say that you will want to take pictures.

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I would consider a trip to Fossil Creek a day trip, as it takes some time getting there, finding parking, hiking in, eating lunch, playing in the water, exploring, hiking back out, and driving home. I also highly recommend going during the week, as the weekend are CRAZY busy and often times people are turned away due to the parking being too full. I’m hoping that with the permits, less of that will happen.

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We had the BEST day at Fossil Creek hiking Waterfall Trail. Out of all the places I’ve hiked and explored in Arizona, I would say this is one of my top favorites to date and one that I would recommend to everyone. So, put it on your summer bucketlist and get out there and explore, my friends!

Have you been to Fossil Creek yet? If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will answer as best I can.

Fashion Week Beauty Forecast

Phoenix fashion week is quickly approaching and the preparatory events are in full swing! In case you were unaware (as I was), Toni&Guy is chiefly in charge of the styling of Phoenix Fashion Week’s models and held a press event as a “preview” as to what we should be expecting to see at PFW! I was one of the lucky bloggers to get the inside peek of the Fashion Week Beauty Forecast!

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We were treated to complimentary blowouts, facials, manicures, and cookies. Basically the sampler plate for all things fabulous! All of the ladies at Tony&Guy were so super friendly… we had such a great time!

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I was privileged to meet Miss Dawn Dettloff who has been styling at Phoenix Fashion Week for years now. She has brilliant backstage stories and gets to be all chummy with the models that are in and out of her chair. How cool is that?!

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Besides that, Dawn took my tangled (maybe still wet) mop and made me feel like a Fashion Week model myself. Check out that braid, ladies!

Runway ready? For sure.

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We also go to get a peek at and even converse with some of the models who will be strutting their stuff down the runway during Phoenix Fashion Week. Talk about pretty people!

If the models this year look half as lovely as I felt, they’re sure to rock it on the runway!

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Do you follow Phoenix Fashion Week?

 

Victoria {Victori Speech}

Three Reasons to Attend Pinspiration

During the summer here in Phoenix, it’s hot. Like…triple digits HOT. We try to find things to do indoors or things involving water if we are outdoors. So when I hear of fun new places to try out around the valley, we jump at the opportunity. Over the weekend, we had the chance to visit a place where community meats creativity. A DIY studio space where people of all ages are artists! Here are Three Reasons to Attend Pinspiration… because it is a MUST. 

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1. The monthly rotating Pinspiration projects.

Each month the crafts and projects at the studio change based on top pinned projects on Pinterest. How cool is that? When you first walk in, they are all on display for you to choose from. Enjoy painting, jewelry making, up-cycled decor projects, clay, children’s crafts, and more…

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All materials are provided for the projects and crafts offered at Pinspiration. So there is no fuss, no mess, and no excuses. The Pinspiration team sets you up with an iPad so that you have access to the Pinterest projects… meaning the directions for the projects come from the actual blogs themselves. LOVE that!! Way to promote Crafty DIY bloggers, Pinspiration. 

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2. The atmosphere and staff are top notch.

When I first walked into Pinspiration, I was blown away by the eye candy. I’m talking all the heart eyes. Beautiful inspiration (or “Pinspiration”) everywhere you look. It is absolutely beautiful inside. I’d have to say that my three favorite pieces were the hanging paint brushes, the penny counter tops, and the wine bottle water fountain. Just gorgeous.

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I’ll be honest when I say that I have pretty high expectations for customer service. Probably because I worked in the industry for years, but regardless, the bar is high. The girls at Pinspiration were awesome. They were friendly, helpful, attentive, fun, and it is obvious they love their job. That speaks volumes to me. Not only were they attentive to my needs, but they made sure my daughter was taken care of as well. They spoke to her at eye level, made her giggle, complimented her crafts… really went above and beyond. I can’t tell you how much my 7 year old enjoyed herself.

3. It’s the perfect place for friends and family of all ages.

Pinspiration caters to both children and adults. There are a variety of crafts and workshops offered every month to satisfy anyone’s preferences and skill levels. Pinspiration has an open studio plus a private event room and Arizona’s first splatter room. They offer creative workshops, DIY kits, Splatter Parties, Summer Camp, birthdays, milestone events (baby showers, bachelorette parties, etc.), corporate team building, schools and community (non-profit group event, Girl Scouts, Teachers Night Out, etc.), and more. They also have a beer and wine bar where you can order drinks. 

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Have I convinced you? Isn’t it awesome?! We honestly can’t wait to go back. I can see future Girl’s Nights with crafting and even homeschool group field trips in the spatter room! 

When we attended Pinspiration over the weekend, we were lucky enough to be apart of the Cheers to the Ears (Disney) workshop. I can’t even begin to tell you what an awesome time my daughter and I had. The workshop was held in the private event room and was decorated so cute with all things Mickey. No detail was skipped! The cost of the workshop was for one adult and one child and included a tea party with snacks (adorable Mickey sandwiches, popcorn, and tea), 3 crafts (Mickey/Minnie ears, a wand, and an autograph book), cupcake and cookie decorating, and a special visit from Tinkerbell herself! She even handed out Pixie Dust and gift bags and signed the kids’ autograph books. It was a super magical evening and well worth the cost. Before leaving, my daughter told me she wasn’t ready to go because she was having SO much fun. We can’t wait to go back!

 

Arizona friends, check out Pinspiration and sign up for their newsletter so you can stay up to date with the current workshops and projects. Let me know when you go… I may have to meet you there to get my craft on too!