Seasons

Loving the Arizona summers does not come easily, at least for me. While the rest of the country is basking in glorious weather we're experiencing intense heat that can feel oppressive. But last year I decided that I needed to try harder to embrace desert summers. To do that I set out to make summer cozy. And this year, after reading The Little Book of Hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah"), I've tried to think of what people in northern climates do during the winter and then give it a summer spin. I made a lot of progress toward finding hygge during the... Read more →


Every year I enjoy creating our family Christmas card and sending them all across the country, from San Francisco to Brooklyn, and even to Canada! I designed our cards myself again this year and I'm so happy with how they turned out. Here are our cards in previous years: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 (so many!). Originally I thought I would do a collection of photos from the year like I did in our card last year. But then I remembered the awesome family picture we took together during Chris's birthday trip to Prescott. Plus the fact that our... Read more →


Hip, hip, hooray - OCTOBER! Guys, the summer was not that bad, what is happening? It was definitely still crazy, crazy hot and we didn't even get the monsoon summer rains that we usually do, which breaks up the beat a bit. Yet I never felt down about the heat or had thoughts of moving to more a more temperate place. Maybe it's a little bit acclimation, since this was my eighth summer here, but I think it has a lot to do with deciding to embrace the summers and to look for the good. There is so much to... Read more →


A year ago I brought my favorite chocolate ice box pie to my friend Becky's Fourth of July party (it's her favorite holiday, which I love about her). It was a patriotic hometown affair where chocolate pie was right at home and I promised her the recipe and I do believe I've been teasing you, lovely readers, with it as well. Well, I'm here to finally make good on that promise! I have this recipe handwritten on a folded sheet of lined paper in my recipe binder and it is boldly titled Kelsey's Favorite Chocolate Ice Box Pie. I know... Read more →


Installing a toddler carseat for Cedric (finally). Finding we don't need to turn on the heat at night but Keeping a down quilt on my half of the bed. Spending so much time outside. Dreading the heat but Reminding myself that winter does come back every year. Picking up the boys early on Fridays and heading to the nearby nature preserve to play and picnic for dinner. Browsing the archives of another frugal-minded couple and Determined to stick to our aggressive savings plan in the coming years. Reading TransAtlantic and Playing Big (self-help/professional development book with a very interesting concept)... Read more →


This is my third year of designing our own Christmas cards (using what little skills I have in Photoshop Elements!) and I am SO pleased with how they turned out. For the past several years we've had professional pictures taken around the holidays but we skipped the photo shoot this year. Instead I collected photos throughout our year and I love the story that they will tell to friends and family: This is what 2015 looked like for Team Wharton. The card design was inspired by Sara's Christmas card round up. Initially I thought I would order a card from... Read more →