Best Places Throughout Arizona to Visit

Arizona is one of the sunniest states in the United States. Plus, it provides a wide variety of diverse landscapes and travel spots. In fact, exploring Arizona is one of the greatest ways to learn about the state. With so many various attractions, there is a little something for everybody. Here are some great spots in Arizona that are worth the travel:

Sedona

Sedona offers a breathtaking and unique landscape. The red rocks and green vegetation make an incredibly scenic spot. Plus, Sedona has many trails and waterfront areas to explore. There are several great tourist attractions to do in-town like the Pink Jeep Tours, Scenic Lookouts, and visiting the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix is a very clean and vibrant cityscape. It is trending with many great restaurants, shopping, and nightclubs. Downtown Phoenix is also a very simple town to navigate, with most of the city being grid road systems.

The Grand Canyon

Another great spot to visit is the Grand Canyon. This natural phenomenon should be on everybody’s bucket list at some point. The Grand Canyon is breathtaking, spanning over 277 miles in length and 18 miles in width. You can find numerous activities such as mule rides or helicopter tours.

Jerome

Jerome is an old copper mining camp that has been referred to as the wickedest town in the west. This settlement has become a significant tourist attraction; however, today, it is loved for its legends of ghost and haunted mine stories. If you are into a spooky quest, Jerome should be at the top of your list.

Flagstaff

While Arizona is known for its scorching hot deserts, Flagstaff has a different appeal. Flagstaff is at the top of a high mountain, which allows for snow. If you want to see a dramatic weather change in just under an hour’s drive, visit Flagstaff. Try visiting Flagstaff during the winter to enjoy the snowboarding and ski resorts as well.

Tucson

Tucson is known as the City of Sunshine, with nearly 350 days of the year offering blue skies. Tucson has many great beautiful parks and outside trails to see some scenic views. Enjoy your visit to Tucson as well by stopping at the Reid Park Zoo and seeing a collection of exotic animals.

What are some of your favorite areas to visit throughout the state? We would love to hear from you! Let us know below in the comment section, and for more great spots to visit and the benefits of Arizona, make sure to subscribe.

Creating a Designated Sick Room for Cold & Flu Season

Being sick can be a total drag on your daily routines. It not only affects us physically, but it can be emotionally disheartening as well. Fortunately, we can take some precautions to avoid illness; however, sometimes the inevitable catches up with us and bed-bounds us for weeks. Besides exercise, nutrition, and health habits, we can take other defenses to prepare us for these miserable times. If you have a spare room in your home, consider creating your very own sick room. You can stock this room with some medicines and other elements to help make your sick experience a little better. Here are some essentials to consider adding to your sick room to help speed up recovery and comfort during this time of need.

Bedroom Essentials

This bedroom should be more focused on functionality than design. All white sheets would be ideal so you can bleach them after each use of the room. You should have tissues readily available and a nearby trashcan with a lid. You may even want to include a bin in case someone gets sick and needs to vomit. Other additions to consider adding to the room would be a humidifier. Moist air can keep bacteria in it longer and keep the airborne virus alive longer. You may also want to have facemasks and hand sanitizer readily available. These can be worn by the “caregiver” who enters the room to help whoever is sick in the room. Do not forget to add standard bedroom essentials like a clock and nightstands as well. This room should provide superior comfort to help aid whoever is in the room ill.

Bathroom Essentials

Ideally, it would be best if you could have a sick room bathroom attached to the room. This bathroom can be used by the sick person in your household during this time. Stock this bathroom with a thermometer, trashcan with lid and garbage bag, and some common over-the-counter medicines. Make sure these medicines are out of reach of children and pets. Also, include cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, latex gloves, and measuring units to dose medicine. Generic medicine you may want to include would be Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or some Electrolyte solutions like Pedialyte or other brands. Remember to stay hydrated while sick. You may also want to have a unisex robe and slippers on hand.

It can be hard to want to drink or eat when under the weather, but it can help pass the illness. Being sick is no fun, so get plenty of rest to help you recover. By preparing a sick room, you can be better prepared for the tough times before they happen.

St. Patrick’s Day Cookies: Matcha Green Tea Shortbreads

With St. Patrick’s Day being a month away, you have got to try our Matcha Green Tea Shortbread cookies. Yep, we are talking about fresh-baked, chewy, and soft cookies that are everso delicately flavored. It is a tea cookie inception!

Our cookie is not too sweet with the unique matcha flavor that is so delicate and special. These green tea cookies are soft, pillowy, and pair perfectly with tea. Please do not overlook the beautiful color that is just perfect for St. Patty’s Day cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Matcha green tea powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt or sea salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (add more or less depending on personal preference)

Directions: 

  1. Sift the flour, matcha green tea powder, and salt into a bowl. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. 
  3. Add flour mixture to a mixing bowl and mix slowly until dough just comes together. 
  4. Pull and roll dough together carefully into a log, about two inches in diameter. 
  5. Wrap dough logs in cloth or wax paper and place it in the freezer for thirty minutes or until the dough is firm to the touch. 
  6. Slice dough into ¼ inch round pieces and place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. 
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 16 to 18 minutes until cookies are a light golden brown around the edges – turning the pan halfway through the baking time. 
  8. Remove cookies immediately and place them on a wire rack to cool. 
  9. Store in an airtight container or wrap and freeze. 

We hope you enjoy your Matcha Green Tea Shortbread Cookies, and Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Ideas to Declutter Your Home

How often do you walk past items that are stacked in a corner or piled up on a table? If you are like most people with busy lifestyles, it is almost a given. We get so busy with work, school, children, and home life that we start to ignore those messy spots and even program ourselves to walk past them.

Fortunately, winter is the perfect time to declutter and purge unneeded household items. Just by decluttering one room per week or month, you will be surprised at how much better you feel and how nice and tidy the house looks! Our easy tips and tricks are listed below for creating a better work/home balancing act just by decluttering. Let’s take a look!

The Bathroom

Start in the bathroom using a 40-gallon heavy-duty yard bag and begin cleaning underneath your cabinets and inside of your drawers. You will want to remove all old and unused bottles as well as expired beauty and bath products. Of course, with expired medicines, remove or mark out the identifying information. For the eco-friendly person, simply drain the remaining contents of plastic bottles and containers, rinse with water, and place it in your recycle bin. Just be sure to safety dispose of all old medicines.

The Kitchen

Next, head to the kitchen. We know the kitchen will take some extra time, especially if you declutter well. Begin in the fridge and check all the bottled and packaged items’ expiration dates on the labels. Next, move on to the freezer and do the same thing. Again, use a large yard bag or take the time for the environment and recycle the bottles and plastic containers, etc.

The Home Office

The unwanted paper around the house like junk mail, advertising flyers, old homework, and expired newspapers should be removed next. Again, place in a large yard bag or recycling bin, but make sure you use a shredder for anything that has personal confidential information.

The Playroom

Old, broken toys and sports equipment are always a given and should be discarded for safety purposes. Many of these items are large and take up a lot of room. Also, many of these are covered in dirt, and other things we do not want to think about that will most definitely contain bacteria. If there are items that are still in good shape, donate them, sell at a consignment store, or sell them online.

As always, please let us know how your task turned out, and please share your thoughts and ideas below in the comment section. Happy decluttering!

How to Clean Suede, Leather, and Microfiber Furniture

It is a great habit to regularly clean your home to help kill germs and keep a cleaner living space. When it comes to many hard surfaces, a multipurpose cleaner can typically help get the job done. However, it can become a little more challenging to do soft surface furniture. Adding too much water or chemicals can quickly ruin many materials. To help, here are several common soft furniture finishes and the best ways to clean them:

Suede

It is important that you know your furniture is authentic suede. Suede is made from the underside of animal skin. Use a suede leather brush to brush away any debris on your furniture. If you have any spilled liquids on the suede, use a paper towel to absorb the liquid. Do not scrub the liquid because this can make it penetrate deep into the material and stain it. If you do have stain, apply a small amount of suede stain cleaner, suede eraser, or a diluted mix of white vinegar and water directly to the stained area. Blot away with a white paper towel or napkin and allow it to dry.

Leather

For leather furniture, you can start with the famous duo of soap and water. Use a washcloth to spread the soapy water to the furniture. Use another cloth to help wipe away the water after applying. Allow the coach to dry and then apply leather cream. Remember, leather is animal skin. Just like our skin, it can dry out and crack. A leather cream will help keep moisture in your leather.

Microfiber

Microfiber is a synthetic material made from polyester. Locate on your couch a manufacturer tag. The tag should have one of three letters: W (Water-based cleaner), S (Solvent-based cleaner), or X (Vacuum only). Start by vacuuming any debris off your sofa or furniture. When you know what cleaner your couch can use, test in an unnoticeable area of the furniture. Look for any bleaching or discoloration. Next, apply your cleaning product to any stains. Alcohol cleaners are known to dry out microfiber after they are dry. Use a microfiber brush to help the material go back to normal after it dries.

Do not be afraid to treat stains and clean the soft surfaces in your home. These areas can harvest unwanted germs and bacteria. Make sure you are keeping up on your home’s clean routines by adding these steps to the mix.

Iconic Uses for Essential Oils in Your Home

Essential oils are great for making your home smell great; however, there are many other valuable uses for them around your home. In fact, essentials oils can be used in many diverse ways. Finding a variety of methods to use around your home will not only liven up your environment but keep your home smelling fresh. If you are exploring the world of essential oils, here are some neat tricks to consider using around your home:

Cleaning and Natural Disinfectant

If you are looking for an all-natural cleaning agent, you can create your own. Simply mix some water with vinegar. Vinegar is a great natural cleaning product; however, it can leave an unpleasant scent. You can spruce up the fragrance by adding some essential oils. Do 1/3 of your mixture as vinegar and the remaining with water. Drop in some of your favorite essential oil scents to help create a better smell. Some essential oils can also serve as an excellent disinfectant as well. Try lemon and other citrus scents for a refreshing, clean smell.

Prolong Fruit and Vegetable Lifespan

Having fresh fruit and vegetables in your home can be a healthy, quick snack option. Unfortunately, these products can go bad rather quickly. To help prolong the life of your produce, you can use lemon oil. Saturate your fruit in water in a bowl and add some lemon oil. Allow this to sit for several hours. Once you strain your bowl, you can put your fruit away in the refrigerator. Your fruit and vegetable shelf life will be exponentially longer after using this handy trick.

Laundry Freshener

Essential oils just smell all-around amazing. This use can be a great trick to incorporate in your own laundry routine. Just make sure the essential oil of your choice is not too aggressive for your clothes. You can add several drops into your load to help soak in these unique fragrances.

What are some tricks that you use with your essential oils? Have you done any of these tricks? Let us know some of your favorite essential oil uses below in the comment section, and for more great tips and tricks, make sure to subscribe.

Salt vs Chlorine Hot Tubs

There are many attributes that can make a house feel like home. From the interior to the exterior of your property, every spot has a chance to become more tailored to your needs. Your home should have areas that can allow you to escape from the world and relax and rejuvenate. One great way to accomplish this is with a hot tub! If you are searching the market for a hot tub, there are typically two kinds of systems: chlorine and salt. Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let us explore both options to help you decide which is best for you.

Chlorine

When it comes to hot tubs, you have two leading solutions for sanitation consisting of either salt or chlorine. Traditionally, chlorine was used as a chemical to help sterilize and neutralize bacteria in the water. Both systems require standard upkeep to allow the systems to be working properly. Chlorine is a powerful chemical that is great at killing bacteria. However, the downfall to this chemical is a strong odor as well as it can agitate sensitive skin.

Salt

Saltwater seems to be the new buzz on the market. This more natural approach is less aggressive on your skin. While it still takes upkeep to have the right concentration, the simple upkeep can be less time-consuming. You will also not need to drain your hot tub as often for maintenance. Some of these benefits alone have made many homeowners switch to salt. Yet a downside is saltwater pools can traditionally be more expensive as an initial investment.

Which Is Best for You?

Both hot tub systems come with their own pros and cons. While chlorine may be a harsher chemical to soak long in, the initial investment is much less expensive. Chlorine tubs will also use less electricity while being fixture friendly. The choice comes down to personal preference.

Many people have preferences on which they like best. What do you think about each hot tub system? Have you owned either? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and remember to subscribe!

Painting Exterior Stucco

Southwestern-styled homes will traditionally use stucco as a decorative siding and finish to homes. Stucco is a fine plaster coated onto walls wet, which dries with a very grainy texture. This plaster handles great against the desert heat and looks great as well. However, these extreme climates can really wear down and fade the paint on the walls over time. If your paint is beginning to fade, it may be time to repaint the exterior of your home. With stucco being so texture, it can propose several dilemmas. To help, here are some of the best ways to paint stucco:

Prep

Before you are going to start painting, you will need to prep the surface. For the exterior of your home, you will just want to remove all the outdoor dust and dirt that has accumulated on your home. This step can easily be done by spraying your house down with a hose. Let it air dry completely before you begin to paint. Tape off or tarp any areas you do not want the paint to get.

Roller

For stucco, there are generally two main ways of painting. A roller is less effective but generally foolproof. When you get your paint, let the supplier know you will be rolling the paint. This paint will be sold much thicker and can be applied with a roller. You will still need to use a brush for harder areas like corners and edges.

Spray

A more effective technique but takes practice and equipment is spraying the paint onto the stucco. With such an aggressive texture, this will allow you not to have to go over the same spot multiple times, as the roller may. Simply add the paint and spray it directly onto your home. You can keep the spray gun very close to the house because bleeding paint is uncommon with this high of texture.

Stucco is excellent but will need to be repainted after many years of sun exposure. Make sure you can complete the task before starting it. If this seems too far out of your expertise, you may want to consider hiring a professional. For more tips and tricks on home improvement, make sure to subscribe.

Tips for Hosting Guests Overnight Like a Luxury Hotel

Having guests over can always be a good time. Whether it is for the holidays, a social gathering, or friends visiting from out of town, you want your home to feel welcoming. The best way to accommodate your guests is to consider what they may need if they were to stay at a hotel. What do hotels provide for their guests? Since hotels have mastered the art of hospitality, using some of their commonly-practiced policies in your own home can make you a guru of hosting guests as well. Here are several tricks you can take from hotels to practice in your own home:

Bedroom Comfort

One of the primary focal points to tackle is the guest bedroom comfort. Many hotels master comfort by using a high-quality mattress, pillows, and even chairs. Make sure your guest room has plenty of pillows, blankets, and seating for your guest. Everyone has their own individual sleeping styles. Adding some extra pillows and blankets can ensure your guests have a comfortable stay.

Restroom Accommodations

When you go to a hotel, many of them will provide you with bathroom essentials. This typically consists of shampoo, soap, and conditioner and sometimes a lotion. These are excellent accommodations to have in your own guest bathroom. Make sure your guests are familiar without how to use your shower system or any questions they may have. It should go without saying but have spare toilet paper and towels readily available as well.

R&R

While you will probably be spending most of the time with your guests, you still want them to be able to get away from everything. Nothing makes people feel more comfortable and at home that some privacy, rest, and relaxation. Provide your guest with the Wi-Fi password as well as any passwords to television streaming services.

Continental Breakfast

You do not need to set up a continental breakfast, but you can borrow the concept. Check with your guest beforehand for food allergies or restrictions. Making breakfast in the morning can eliminate them having to order food. These simple tricks can take your hosting skills to the next level.

Hosting should not be intimidating. Make sure you prioritize your guest’s needs and comfort. You can make your house feel like home to them with some of these simple tricks. For more great tips and tricks, make sure to subscribe.

Cauliflower Rice with a Mediterranean Twist

Are you on the fence about the taste of cauliflower? We were not quite sure about how delicious cauliflower can really taste, so we decided to try this recipe with a Mediterranean twist. Boy, are we glad we did! Spruce this recipe up with a few extra ingredients, and we are sure you will love it as much as we do!

Ingredients for Cauliflower Rice:

  • One medium to large head of cauliflower 
  • Two cloves garlic, minced or pressed 
  • One 1/2 cup sliced almonds 
  • Just a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • One tablespoon lemon juice (fresh if available)
  • One 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 
  • One 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley – chopped well 
  • Top off with fresh ground pepper for taste 

Directions for Cauliflower Rice:

  1. Cut the head of cauliflower into medium chunks and throw away the core. Put a small amount in your food processor until the pieces are broken into small pieces. Now you have the rice. 
  2. Wrap the cauliflower rice in a kitchen towel and twist well to remove as much water as possible from the rice. Actually, during this step, you will see how much water was in the cauliflower. 
  3. Now toast your almonds in a large skillet over medium heat, making sure to stir often, so they do not burn. Once they start to turn gold and you smell them, they are ready. This usually takes about four to five minutes. Place in a bowl to cool. 
  4. Take the skillet and return to heat while adding olive oil and garlic. Make sure to keep stirring until you smell the garlic. This only takes about ten to twenty seconds.  
  5. Add the cauliflower rice, red pepper flakes, salt, and stir well to blend. Now cook for about six to ten minutes until the rice turns golden. 
  6. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in your cooled off toasted almonds, parsley, and lemon juice.  
  7. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Serve warm. 

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 15 minutes | Serving Size: Four Servings as a Side Dish