The Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona

I talked a little about our time in Sedona last week, so today it’s down to business: architectural delights. I always picture Sedona as a wacky retreat for New Agers searching for vortexes, so I was surprised to find this incredible modern chapel just south of town. It is utterly amazing and so appropriate for the landscape, neither competing with or being one-upped by those red rocks. God’s creation and God’s creation’s creation, a monument built for Him. Whether you are the believing type or not, this place will inspire awe and bring you to your knees. Turns out, the concept was actually dreamed up by a sculptor, Marguerite Brunswig Staude, in the 30’s and then brought to fruition in 1956 by architect Richard Hein. (After learning that, it seems glaringly obvious that this building came from a sculptor’s mind, doesn’t it?!) This article has some great info on history and process. I would have loved to photograph so many interior details (it’s a modernist dream!), but the day I visited was filled visitors in various states of prayer/reflection/worship so I disrespectfully snuck this one in to give you an idea. Forgive the crappy quality. I was entranced with the floating, winding, aggregate walkways and bench seats.
The chapel is a tourist destination (a bus full arrived while we were visiting), so I recommend getting there early or late if you want some alone time. After seeing all the exterior lights, I wish I would have done a drive-by at night too. We loved everything about Sedona so I’m sure we’ll be back one day! xoxo Jenny

Favorite Prime Day Finds

I was just perusing the Prime Day offerings at Amazon today and saw a few cute things that I wanted to quickly share! There are like a million things on sale so it’s overwhelming and I often stay away because sometime sales are not worth the digging. But this year there is an option to search within the sale so I came across a few modern house related things that I might buy and a few things I already have and love. (Note, Prime Day is only for Prime members – sign up here – and some of these items are discounted only once you add it to your cart at checkout.)

This coat rack is in my cart right now. Debating. I purchased one last year, this exact brand, and love it for hanging towels in the kid’s bathroom. I know, such an Eames Hang It All ripoff, but such a functional piece for 20% off an already cheap price (=$25 out the door today!). We have the white/”walnut” one but the wood balls are far from walnut. More like orange. Works for us, but pay attention to that. Now…is two (or three!) too many for one house? The entry, our bathroom, and the kid’s bedrooms could use the upgrade… (Update: totally bought another one)

I can’t speak to the quality of this, but if you are in bench market, a 5′ walnut George Nelson style slat bench for $100 seems like a steal. You know I’m working on only having what we need and use, and I don’t have a (indoor…) space for this, but I’d be all over it if I did! 

If cheap mid-century knockoffs are your thing, and sometimes they are mine, you might want to check out all of Modway’s Prime Day offerings on Amazon. I’ve purchased from them before and been happy with their items for what they are. I was hoping these orange chairs (one of which I purchased for our den) would be on sale to stock the dining room, but looks like only these arm chairs are 20% off in limited colors (and in pairs here). FYI, the orange color is great in person.

 

 

Our mattress is on sale in queen size for seriously cheap. Here are my thoughts on it. Basically, I am obsessed with our mattress and love it more each night. It has only gotten better and it’s one of the best, most impactful purchases we’ve made. Vacationing only confirms that appreciation!

And random, but if you are looking for a kitchen faucet, we’ve had the older version of this Grohe Concetto faucet in our kitchen for 3 years and LOVE it. I can’t say enough about it. The Starlight Chrome finish is insanely easy to clean, even with insanely hard water that makes every other metal in our house a mess. We paid more than twice this amount and even at that price, I would buy again in a heartbeat. One of the best upgrades that we’ve made to our house, mostly because I touch it every day, and one of the easiest too! 

 

 

I had planned to share some Arizona goodness today before this derailing, so maybe I’ll be back later with that too! Any deals I’m missing that I must see? Please share :)

Arizona Road Trippin’

We’re trying to get back into the swing of house related things after a few exhausting weeks off. We took a road trip through Arizona, had family in town, and are now gripped by a vicious summer stomach flu. Additionally, and on a very sad note, my husband and I both lost a grandma in the past weeks, just days apart and have done/will do some traveling for memorial services. It wasn’t the happiest way to start or end our trip, but we value family vacations and do what we can to make them happen – and it’s one of our favorite things about our globetrotting grandmas.

In hindsight, we probably could have used a calm, relaxing type vacation, but that isn’t what was planned. We had a massive, hot road trip planned instead through the Arizona desert that just happened to coincide with a massive heat wave (I’ve now breathed and sweated in 124 degrees). I generally love road trips, even though they take a little more out of you, but this one was particularly tiring. I don’t know if it was our pace, our destinations, the heat, or just missing great-grandmas sadness, but it wasn’t the smoothest one. We were very grumpy. I’m glad we went anyways, and I hope that our kids look back fondly on these crazy adventures we drag them through. Though this one went waaaay Vacation (and I have never appreciated that movie more).

The first leg of our trip was the Grand Canyon. We hit up a little of Route 66 on the way. We honeymooned on the western half of the Mother Road long ago, and have traveled almost all of it during a few cross-country moves. But our kids have never been old enough to get it, and though they weren’t wildly interested, I forced them to have a look. We made a few stops, including Delgadillo’s Snow Cap in Seligman.The Grand Canyon was gorgeous, but scary. The cliffs were made less enjoyable by an especially obstinate and grumpy child. I made sure to put the grumpy one to bed and then take the other to catch the sunset over the canyon, definitely the highlight of our visit. I would have liked to do more walking/hiking, but it was just too hot. We did take the Desert View Scenic Drive on the way out and it was beautiful. It’s just kind of weird to visit a national park and do so little outdoor activities…Next up was Sedona and Phoenix, that I packed with architectural stops! In the Sedona area we saw The Chapel of the Holy Cross and Arcosanti, both of which I’ll do a dedicated post on in coming weeks. Because:Sedona was breathtaking. It was a perfect combo of gorgeous desert and gorgeous forest. I wish we could have done so much hiking, but that heat! We did a lot of AC-ed car touring and made an early morning venture on the West Fork trail: so good! It was like Zion’s Narrows, but without the crowds or long walk in. It ended up being the perfect “hike” for 110 and our sometimes reluctant hikers hiked longer than they ever have before. We spent long stretches just walking/swimming in the stream surrounded by towering red rock walls. Insanely pretty, right? Phoenix was…hot. So hot. Unbearably hot. In the 120’s the entire time. I was hesitant, but we visited Taliesin West and Cosanti despite the weather and both were AMAZING and highly worth the dripping sweat! Again, I’ll do a future posts on each.We also drove through a few modern neighborhoods, did a drive by of Beadle’s White Gates house, visited friends, and went inside a bank for the first time in years. We were so enamored with the exterior of this former Valley National Bank that we had to “get change” just to check out the inside…worth it! Do not miss the interior!But mostly we swam at our hotel, the Valley Ho. The architecture, for sure, is worth a stay, but beware the obnoxious party scene on the weekends. It was more a local college student party hang out than a family resort. But if you plugged your ears, it was so cute. The exterior is fantastic. The lobby has an amazing fireplace (pictured at the top of this post). The rooms are nicely done (bathroom terrazzo was NICE). Our room opened up to a big fountained-lawn area that was perfect for the kids to run around and was quieter than other wings of the hotel. As a testament to our trip exhaustion, we had planned a last night in Palm Springs, but we were so looking forward to home that we just arrived in our favorite city at night, did a quick swim, and then woke up at 6am the next morning to book it home. No neighborhood creeping, no house snooping, no Parker visits, no watching the sunset/rise against those mountains. Nothing. It was like we weren’t even there. Trip and life exhaustion.

In summary, I will be back with architectural delights from Arizona soon as well as the usual house updates. I hope you enjoyed my lengthy and boring travel diary…

xoxo Jenny