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Join Us For a Day in the Life: The Field Trip Version

I appreciate each and every share. Thank you!

For our Where Bloggers Live group, the idea was to share a day in our life for our work day. Now if you know me at all, then you know I’m retired from my original career as a cosmetic dentist. But that doesn’t mean I don’t work now, haha.
This blogging thing may look like a hobby, but believe you me, I think I log longer hours doing this than I did when I owned my own dental practice. It’s definitely more fun though!

Quote of the day: “One recognizes one’s course by discovering the paths that stray from it.” Albert Camus

So the idea to share a day in the life of a workday had many options for me. Since I’ve shared a post about the day in the life when we are home for the day, I decided to let you join us on our most recent field trip.

A field trip. Does that bring up memories from your childhood?? Maybe that’s why I call our photo shoots when we go exploring “field trips.”
With the input from my mom and Lesley, I decided to add some humor to this example and include all of the unplanned things too. These don’t happen each and every time, but here they are anyways.

If you like this kind of information, then make sure to sign up for my emails. That’s where I share a lot more of our personal fun along with inspirational articles. Besides that, you also receive my free eBook about accessories.

The Pre-Planning

You can’t just go out on a field trip without a little planning. And that’s where my organizational skills come in.
Well, that’s tooting my horn a little too much. I’m somewhat organized, but there’s definitely room for improvement.

What do I plan first? Where we are going or what we are wearing? Sometimes it’s one and sometimes it’s the other. It depends on my editorial calendar.

Insider detail: For those of you normal people (or non-bloggers), an editorial calendar is one where I keep track of all of the ideas we are going to style and any collaborations.

This Field Trip

For instance, this field trip came about because my Ageless Style group decided to post about a fall event which you will get to see in more detail next week.

Now, this is where it gets a little complicated. Remember, my blogging schedule isn’t just about me. I have to take into account both Lesley’s and my mom’s schedules for our group field trips.

So here’s how that happens.
Email to Charlotte and Lesley: “I need a date to go up to the mountains to take photos with fall leaves. Please reply to all and tell me which of the following dates would work…”.
Reply from my mom: “They all are open”
Reply from Lesley: “I have a date on Friday night and Saturday night but I could do it Thursday morning.”

Location of Field Trip

Now that we have the date set, I need to figure out where there will be colorful leaves. For those of you in the Midwest, this might be an easy challenge. Luckily, there are mountains in Arizona, and a quick Google search tells me a couple of different options we could go to.

I don’t usually stop there. One of my goals is to explore our new state and find great places we can visit. (Thus the field trip terminology). So we can’t just “go” up to the mountains and take photos. No, we need to find somewhere that will be fun to visit.

For today’s fun, I picked out 2 different spots. And then I texted Lesley to ask her opinion. Luckily she has already visited Montezuma’s Castle Park and thought it would be a good fit for our field trip.

Insider detail: I have a list of places to visit in the notes on my phone. For instance when I read an article touting you should visit this place in Arizona. Or when I hear another person talk about a location that sounds fun.
The planning that comes into play is weather and time-dependent. In the summer when temperatures are over 100 degrees, is when we concentrate on inside activities.
And Arizona is a large state. We try to keep our field trips to day trips only.

Related post: Hidden gems to visit in Arizona (this is the list of fabulous places we’ve already been to, and there is more to come).

The Outfit

Now outfit planning comes into play. I could easily just say, here’s the theme for our Ageless Style group, and figure out an outfit. But, I’m too Type A for that, haha.
First I will figure out what people are searching for on Google that would work with our theme.

Insider detail: Why does it matter what people are searching for on Google? Because that’s a way for more people to get inspiration from my article. If I can end up in the top couple of searches for a particular topic, then the more people I inspire.
I didn’t use to worry about the idea of SEO (search engine optimization or “googling”) but with all of the time I put into my site, I figured maybe I should work on it.

Now depending on the outfit theme, sometimes I email the girls to make sure we are all styling something a little different. That’s how you get such great variety in many of our blog posts. Other times, I let bygones be bygones and figure it will be a free for all.
Today? Today was a free for all, which made me laugh. Wait until you see the results next week.

And then I send out an email to my mom and Lesley about a week before the agreed-upon date.
But wait. There’s more to the story before the email can go out.

First, I have Rob help me figure out how far away our location is and how long it will take to get there. Ideally for a “true” fashion blogger, you want to take photos when the lighting is best which is 2 hours after sunrise or 2 hours before sunset. That doesn’t happen in our little world. We are lucky to get everyone together on the same day and make sure we are all smiling!

So the next email reads something like this to Charlotte and Lesley: “We will leave our house at 8:30 am, pick up Lesley, and then mom. We are hiking at Montezuma’s castle monument. The theme is fall outfits which is why we are traveling up there so hopefully there are fall colors. Please include the brands and any details of what you are wearing” (Confession, I don’t include the “please” anymore, but I thought it would look better as you read this, haha!)

The Day Before Our Field Trip

We aren’t even on the actual day of our field trip, but I’ve written almost 1000 words. Is anyone else tired before we get started??

But there are still a couple of details to iron out. For today’s field trip, there wasn’t a tour or event we were going to attend, but if there was, I would make sure we have our tickets ready. It’s also good practice to make sure the camera battery is full and ready to go.

Another confession: Okay sometimes we forget this. Like our last field trip where we left 2 of the tickets at home. And while I’m at it, let’s not forget a couple of times, the camera stayed at home while we traveled 2 hours away. Thank golly for the great phone cameras nowadays.

The day before it’s not unusual to get a text from Lesley: “What time is the pickup tomorrow?” And I’ve been having my mother send me a photo of what she’s going to wear.
Here’s that conversation:
Text from mom: Photo of the outfit
Me: Can you tie up the shirt and change pants
Mom: Edited photo of said outfit
Me: Love it. How about different earrings?
Mom: Another edited photo
Me: Fabulous! See you tomorrow.

Don’t forget I have to figure out what I’m going to wear. That happens the night before so I don’t have to think about it the next day. And trust me, I usually get my husband’s opinion on it too.
Me: Which shoes?
Rob: I like the animal print ones.
Me: Which earrings?
Rob: Either.
Me: Do you like the outfit?
Rob: ZZZZZZ (he is asleep in no time flat).

Let’s Go On an Adventure

So since this is supposed to be about the day in the life, let’s finally get to that day. Geez, that took a long time, haha.

So we get up, feed the kitties, get ready, and have breakfast. When you live with an Italian man, there is a huge emphasis on every meal.

Then we drive over to Lesley who lives 5 minutes away to pick her up. I get to go in and see Dolly (her fur baby who has been part of the blog before a couple of times (here and here). Then we head up to my mom’s place which is 10 minutes away.

Once we are all packed in the car, my husband chauffers us to our location of choice. Today? That’s Montezuma’s Castle which I didn’t know much about before we went.
As seasoned travelers, we also know where all of the good restrooms are when we go North on 1-17. The best spot is the Sunset Point Rest Stop. Unfortunately, it is closed right now, so we went up to another exit to use the gas station. TMI? It’s part of our field trip life, haha!

Now instead of all my yammering, you get the photos.

Montezuma Castle National Park

The best thing about this outing was it was already paid for since my husband just purchased his National Park pass.

Insider tip: Once you turn 62 you are eligible to pay for a lifetime (did you get that? LIFETIME) National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. It’s definitely a good deal.
Want to save the $10 service fee? Buy it at the National park instead of online.

When we get to our location, I usually like to get the blog photos out of the way first, so then we can explore and not be stressed about taking them.

Rob not only takes photos but directs where to stand as well as carrying the water and other goodies on his back.

Since we take our photos in public, many times it’s a great conversation starter. In fact, on this day, one older guy said to his wife as he walked past “Hey honny, let’s get out of here, he’s taking photos of feet”. We laughed, they laughed, and it was a good time.

The first photo above shows how the area was inhabited thousands of years ago by the native people. They used ladders to get from area to area. In recent times, they have stopped allowing people to climb up to preserve the formation.

There were no tours of the area, but the path was well-marked with interesting factoids. Another great detail is there is an indoor museum that showcases the creatures and vegetation of the area.
In fact, we saw what we thought was a flying chipmunk, but it must have been a rock squirrel. He just flew up those rocks like you wouldn’t believe.

Now it wouldn’t be a field trip if there wasn’t a trip to the gift shop. And most times there is purchasing at the gift shop. On today’s adventure, Lesley came away with a bat finger puppet, and my mother found a holographic owl postcard.

The Rest of the Day

We have to fuel our bodies, so we headed out to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. The inside had the coolest chairs, but we ended up eating outside. It’s still great weather for dining al fresco, and we like to take advantage of it if we can.

Then we tumble back in the car, and Rob drives us safely home. This is when I sometimes get some great photos and video of mom and Lesley napping in the back seat (along with audio of snoring) that gets shared in my Instagram stories.
Me? I’m usually “working” by commenting on Instagram or checking my emails on the ride home.

Once we drop off everyone, we head home where I upload the photos and then I’ll reply to comments and read the blogs I love. Many times, there are emails from companies that I also need to respond to.

The rest of the day is anticlimactic with dinner and lounging. Some days we will watch a movie or series on tv, but many times we sit and read.
If we watch tv, that’s when I get to work on a knitting project. I rarely knit otherwise, which is one reason why my projects take much longer to finish nowadays.

Where Bloggers Live

What is Where Bloggers Live? It’s kind of like HGTV’s “Celebrities at Home,” but…Bloggers! Who doesn’t like to peek behind the scenes and hear all about the personal backstories and interesting details? Go take a gander at everyone else’s explanation of a day in their life!!
FYI, we don’t all post at the same time since we all have different schedules and live in different parts of the country

Where bloggers live

Bettye at Fashion Schlub
Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks
Em at Dust and Doghair
Iris at Iris’ Original Ramblings
Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style
Leslie at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After
Sally at Within a World of My Own

The Series

We’ve been doing this fun series for a long time as you can see by all of the prompts below from just the last year. Feel free to visit any that might strike your fancy.

Books
Bathroom
Past Home Memories
Favorite Music
Junk Drawer Essentials
Favorite Holiday
Peep My Ride
Past Pets
Dream House
Favorite Piece of Furniture
Photo Album
Top 5 Favorite Movies
Memories of NYC Trips
Hairstyles from my Childhood
The Truth About How I Blog
A Day in the Life-Field Trip

Welcome to Jodie’s Touch of Style. I’m here to prove that it’s never too late to look great. Clothing and style are meant to showcase your inner personality. So let’s have fun and try new things.

It’s not just about me on this blog, but also about my mother and friend. We get to showcase not only different decades of life but also different body shapes and unique personal styles.

Find out more about all of us here. And make sure to join the email list where I include so much more.

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