1. Tell us about yourself!
Hi there! I’m Tamie! My most important job on this earth is being a mom to my four incredible kids and I absolutely love it. Documenting their lives and creating memories for all of us as a family is what feeds my soul. I have a passion for photography and design, I love home DIY projects and having organized (& pretty) spaces in my home makes me absurdly happy. I love holidays, sushi, fruity IPAs, thunderstorms, and my two cats.
2. How long have you lived in Phoenix?
I am a Phoenix native. I grew up in Glendale and we currently reside in Northwest Peoria in a beautiful mountainside community with hiking trails, amazing schools, and my favorite shops and restaurants nearby. Arizona will always be home to me.
3. Tell us about your family?
I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 16 years and we have four amazing kids together. My husband is an architect and runs his own company. This allows us a lot of flexibility in our schedules for traveling and family time, which is integral to who were are. Our oldest and only boy, Nicholas, is 13, followed by our three girls: Aubrey – 11, Avery – 8, and Charlotte – 3.
4. What do you enjoy doing as a family?
We are a family of travelers! We love to explore and see new places and try new things! We are known for packing up our RV each summer and taking off as soon as the kids are out of school. We plan some destinations around national parks and cities that we have always wanted to see and then we just go – living on the road and having as many adventures as we can along the way. When we are home, we enjoy movies and game nights, trying new restaurants or just ordering in and making a weekend out of staying in our PJs and binge-watching a good show!
5. What is one place your kids love to go?
With kids spanning 10 years in age, finding an activity that appeases both the teenager AND the toddler can be tricky. We live near Lake Pleasant and I think they would all agree that heading out on the lake to go tubing in the summer or go off-roading on the trails around the lake in the winter is an activity that makes everybody happy! They all enjoy being outdoors and having a good adventure!
6. Tell us why you like living in Phoenix.
Phoenix is home to us. We love that we are surrounded by such a beautiful desert, but can be up in the mountains breathing in pine air in less than 2 hours! Our state has so much diversity! We love the smaller town feeling we have within our community, but we have easy access to all of the big stores and a variety of amazing cultural cuisine (and by far some of the best Mexican food of anywhere we’ve traveled!). The summers aren’t our favorite but we usually leave for the summers anyway and the winters are gorgeous!
7. What is one inside tip you would give to a family moving to Phoenix?
This is a hard question. I would say find your community where you have easy access to everything you enjoy and is close to where you work. This is a huge city and traffic can be terrible. I would not enjoy if I had to commute a bunch and we love that we found a little alcove in the northwest side of the valley, so everything we need is right within our community.
8. How do you survive a Phoenix summer?
See previous answers – we don’t, haha! We tend to use the summers as our time to travel (usually to cooler climates) but it’s still pretty awful in August and September when we get back so we just spend a lot of time by the pool or at the lake. And sometimes we just enjoy being homebodies indoors all day with the AC blasting!
9. What are three of your “must see” places in the city?
Three “must-see” places in the city: Well, in every city that we visit for the first time, we always make a point to go downtown and experience the large buildings and see where all the “action” is first. Downtown Phoenix has really made an effort to revitalize itself in the past decade. There are wonderful dining options, historic entertainment venues like the Orpheum, as well as Symphony Hall and the Herberger Theater, and the Talking Stick Arena for larger-scale concerts and sports events. If you have children, both the Phoenix Children’s Museum and the Arizona Science center are fun places to spend the day. To take in the history of the city, there is the beautifully preserved Heritage Square.
My second recommendation would be High Street/Desert Ridge. You can easily spend a full day in this area. Desert Ridge is a beautiful outdoor mall with great restaurants, kid’s areas, fun wall murals, and endless shopping. For the evening or date nights, we love High Street with its urban-living style of streetside restaurants and boutiques with contemporary lofts above. There is a comedy club and many upscale bars, so you can park and walk from one location to the next and make a full evening out it.
My third must-see would be Papago Park. The rocks are really unique and beautiful here and it makes it stand out from other hiking areas in the valley. The famed “hole in the rock” formation is here (with a wonderful view of downtown!) and both the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens are in this area as well. It’s a lovely spot in the city to really appreciate everything the desert has to offer.
10. What is one place you recommend visiting in Arizona?
Antelope canyon! We did a tour of this natural wonder in Page and it is such a hidden treasure. The light streaming through the narrow canyon and the rich, warm tones of the rocks makes this place just magical!