I was so happy to be invited to this magical conference over Mother’s Day weekend. Being a food blogger, I hadn’t heard much about it other than it’s a massive honor to be invited and there are magical surprises around every corner. Needless to say I couldn’t even wait for the trip to come!
The boys and I left Phoenix bright and early Thursday May 8th and arrived in Orlando about 4pm. We met some of our best friends from CA at the Magical Express. We were so anxious to arrive at our hotel.
We pulled up to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. It was like a breath of fresh air with the Disney magic already starting. We had to drop off our bags and head to our opening dinner.
We were a little late arriving to the dinner party since because of our late flight, but we walked through Epcot’s World Showcase doors and couldn’t even believe it. There were neon lights, buffet tables around the entire building, Disney Characters to take photos with, a DJ playing fun music, lemonade slushy machines and so much more. It was like overload to all of our senses. Took a few minutes to take it all in, seriously. We started with the food. There was mac and cheese, chicken fingers and mashed potatoes served in cones, cheeseburger egg rolls…those were just a few fun options.
Before the sun went down we ran over to Epcot’s France to grab a Strawberry Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich. Mmmm 🙂
After dinner there was a dessert party and private viewing area of the Illuminations Show. We had 3-D glasses that made every light look like Mickey Mouse ears. The boys thought it was the coolest thing ever. We had a long day of travel, so we headed back to our room and crashed.
Photo via Preston Mack
Bright and early Friday morning we had a nice breakfast then headed to the conference room for a day of learning!
We quickly grabbed our seats and all of the sudden hip hop Mickey comes out with a group of dancers. It was adorable and so fun.
Photos via Preston Mack
We had the best day of speakers and activities. Our hosts were Leanne O’Regan and Mark Daniel who kept popping out with the best giveaways. Gorgeous Dooney and Bourke Disney hand bags, DisneyWorld VIP tours, Alex and Ani bracelets and even 2 nights in the Cinderella Castle. It was so exciting seeing bloggers win.
We heard from so many great speakers Friday.
George A. Kalogridis, President, Walt Disney World Resort, Eva Smith, Pinterest, Jonas Rivera, Disney Pixar Animator, Vivienne Harr, STAND, Chris Brogan, Author, Donald Driver, Author and Former NFL player.
After the Friday sessions, we headed to Magic Kingdom for a few hours. Love this place!
We might have had one of these bad boys 🙂
….and one of these, lol!
Friday night we had a dinner party “Mickey’s Beach Bash.” Great food beautifully displayed overlooking the water. So much fun. So grateful my good friend from CA could join us with her son.
Saturday morning….I’m talking 6:30am we headed to Hollywood Studios to make a video riding The Tower of Terror! It was such a blast.
Right after we got done with this taping, we got to see a sneak peek of Pixar’s Inside Out. Seriously adorable. Wait until you see the “short” right before the movie. It’s called Lava. I literally loved it. Even teared up like a total baby, lol! So So cute!
We spent the rest of the afternoon at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. What a treat!
Sunday morning we celebrated Mother’s Day over a beautiful brunch. Sure love these boys. Was missing Pax and my husband, but so grateful to have this time with my big boys.
Gorgeous 3 course breakfast and the cutest Mother’s Day Video with children of the attendees.
Before heading to the airport, we had one more afternoon at Magic Kingdom! So special to be there on Mother’s Day. The cast members even handed out flowers to all of the women.
I was so excited to get reservations to Be Our Guest. Such a lovely dining experience. The food was delicious and the atmosphere, perfection.
This pretty much sums up our trip. Pure joy!
…and there was this 🙂
So grateful to be a part of the celebration this year. Memories to last a lifetime! Huge thanks to Leanne O’Reagan, Jamie Langdon, Maria Bailey and all of the wonderful people who worked so hard to make it happen for us 🙂
Happy Friday! A little chit chat today about my trip to Rocky Point Mexico with the family for Spring Break 🙂
A month or so ago, some of our neighbors and friends invited us to Rocky Point for Spring Break. I have to say, I have grown up in AZ most of my life and have never been to Mexico. It’s only a 4 hour drive too! After some discussing back and forth, we decided, why not, lets try it out this year.
I’m pretty sure, you’ll see by the photos, we had the best time. I was definitely skeptical and a little nervous being out of the country with the kids, but are so glad we went. We’ll be making this a tradition every year.
We stayed at Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort. If you check out VRBO, you can search through and find condos to choose from. The view from the rooms is amazing!
We had so much fun beach time with the kids and friends. The beach is much different that the CA beaches I’m used to. There are no waves that roll in, however they have banana boat rides and jet ski’s for rent. I could not get enough of the vendors that walk the beach and sell their goods. My favorite was the jewelry vendors selling gorgeous silver and turquoise pieces. Too much fun!
One of our favorite daily treats was the mango on a stick. The boys got theirs plain, but they come with fresh lime and chile seasoning. Literally to die for! I’m so making these at home. We had some of the best homemade tamales on the beach too. The best part is you don’t have to go anywhere. The vendors walk the beach most of the day.
I’ve got to practice my knife skills, lol! This baby is so good.
My neighbors and friends 🙂 We tried some amazing Mexican restaurants every night. Pollo Lucas was our favorite….with Thrify Ice Cream every night. So much fun cruising the town with these ladies and their families.
Hands down my favorite treat of the trip were these homemade churros from Choya or Cholla Mall (I saw it spelled both ways). It was less than 5 minutes from where we were staying. Crispy yet custardy in the centers with cinnamon and sugar. Wish I could get these everyday….well it’s probably best I’ll only have access to them once a year, lol!
Such a fun adventure with my little family. My boys will always remember this vacation. We can’t wait to go back next year.
Our tips for visiting Rocky Point Mexico with your family:
It’s helpful to go with a group of people who have been before. I can’t say we’d ever go with just our family alone.
Don’t forget to plan for passports. If you are driving, the kids 16 and under will need original copies of birth certificates.
Bring your own bottled water, we didn’t drink their water just to be safe.
Bring lots of cash in small bills. It was a bit of a pain to get money from the bank there.
Bring plenty of snacks from home for your room and beach.
Dental floss in your bag for all of the mangoes you’ll eat 🙂
Obvious things like keep your car doors locked while you’re out and don’t leave valuables inside.
I’m sure I’ll add to this list as I think of more tips!
…not a sponsored post, just wanted to share our first experience in Rocky Point 🙂
Have a great weekend!
See you Monday with a new recipe!
So excited to share my trip to Walt Disney World with you! I always love going to Food Blog Forum!
Felt like a little girl so excited crossing the Magic Kingdom welcome on the Magic Express!
The Grand Floridian is so beautiful. Love the Mickey Shaped towels waiting for us 🙂 My flight got in late in the afternoon, so I had 5 minutes to change and get myself to our first dinner reception. It was at the Four Seasons. They did a beautiful job for us.
After dinner we made our way over to Magic Kingdom! Can’t get over how massive Cinderella’s castle is in Orlando. Our Disneyland one is beautiful, but doesn’t come close to this baby!
The next morning we listened to the talented and inspiring Food Blog Forum speakers. Loved all of the colorful Tieks we had on!
We had the most amazing lunch at California Grill prepared by what seemed like dozens of Disney Chefs throughout the parks. Each station had gorgeous plates ready for us. It was wonderful!! Photo, Left: Kristan, Shelly, Amanda, me 🙂
This dessert!! No words. Decadent chocolate mousse was out of this world.
A few of us went back to Magic Kingdom after our last session with Food Blog Forum. It was rainy, but beautiful!
Passed by the colorful Electrical Parade. Love it!
On our way out stopped for ice cream. Not sure mine was big enough, lol!
Last Sunday we had all day to just play at the parks. We started with Mickey Waffles for breakfast of course, lol!
First stop was Hollywood Studios and…..Tower of Terror. Oh my goodness this ride is beyond terrifying. Looks like I’m laughing but I’m screaming beyond bloody murder, ha!
We rode some more rides and stopped for this cutest Mickey Macaron! Had to wear my Mustard Yellow Tieks to match Minnie. Ha!
It was off to Epcot Center! We were ready for some good eats around the countries and Soarin’ over California….my favorite ride ever!
Couldn’t get over the amazing plant displays they had through the park. Love!!
One of my favorite stops is always Werther’s Caramel Bakery in Germany!! I mean look at these cookies!
Huge thanks to Julie, Lindsay, Jaden, Scott, Diane, Todd and the wonderful folks at Disney for all of their hard work to make this event happen. It is one of my favorite events to attend by far. So many great memories made. Can’t wait to go back!
So grateful for my sister retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale AZ last weekend. Sunshine, good food and total relaxation.
Last weekend my sister and I had a stay cation at the beautiful Four Seasons Scottsdale AZ. When I want to get away, there is no other place I’d rather be. So many fun memories made with my sister over the weekend. Grateful for every minute!
We had breakfast at one of my favorite restaurants, Proof. It has the most lovely breakfast spread. Pretty much anything you’d want for breakfast, they’ve got it.
This was the view from our Casita. It over looked the gorgeous pool and mountains.
Shortly after we arrived, room service brought us this gorgeous cutting board of cheeses, meats, olives, toast, honey and nuts. We kinda were in love with this!
We enjoyed dinner Friday night at Proof Restaurant and their Pretzel Knots might be one of the best things I’ve eaten. Oh my goodness I want another order 🙂 We also had dinner at Talavera Saturday night which is also amazing! Take a look at these gorgeous buttery brioche rolls.
After dinner Friday night, we put our PJ’s on, ordered oodles of desserts and watched a chick flick. The Other Women. What a crack up! Laughed so hard.
Saturday morning we had the most amazing hot stone massage at the Four Seasons Spa. It was a first for both of us. Best massage we’ve ever had!
Saturday afternoon was spent in our own private cabana. We got our favorite magazines and ordered our favorite appetizers.
The Carne Asada Nachos behind our Coke Zeros are literally the best nachos I’ve ever had. The cilantro jalapeño hummus is to die for too 🙂 What a treat hanging by the pool Saturday with all of this fun food!
Our last afternoon by the pool we had to snack on this cute little bucket of perfect French fries…..and maybe the nachos 🙂
Four Seasons Scottsdale is my happy get away in Arizona. Feels like I’m on vacation without hopping on an airplane. Nothing better! So grateful for this sister weekend!
Thrilled to share the fun we had at Universal Studios Orlando Florida for the Family Forward event!
Last week we took off for the long Labor Day weekend with 2 of our 3 boys (Pax stayed home with grandma) to Orlando! The boys got to sit in the pilot chairs. We were off to a great start!
The boys were over the moon to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios. I could not get over how realistic everything looked! Literally was like walking through the movie. Love this dragon sitting on top of Gringotts Bank 🙂
We got to try Butterbeer and Butterbeer ice cream for the first time. Let’s just say we had our fair share during our time in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, lol!
Another highlight of our trip was getting to prepare a delicious pasta salad with our family and Barilla as part of their Share The Table program! It has been a pleasure partnering with Barilla this year to spread the word that meaningful mealtimes help families feel closer, be healthier and even appreciate each other more.
There was a “Share The Table” photo booth….we took full advantage of being goofy together 🙂
Later that night we saw The Blue Man Show Group! Oh my gosh, we loved it. The boys were cracking up the entire show….so was my husband and I. Great for the whole family.
Saturday morning we were greeted by all of the Universal characters and got to walk the red carpet to meet them all. I am obsessed with photos, so this was a dream for me. Hello, it’s Optimus Prime!!
Couldn’t pass up a selfie with a minion, the gang from Simpson’s and of course Sponge Bob. Fun times.
Honeydukes Candy Shop in Hogsmeade was literally a dream. The colors, the candy….everything! Loved shopping through this place.
We heard so much about the giant Simpsons donut that we had to try it for ourselves. It did NOT disappoint!
Cookie Dough Fudge in the middle of Hogsmeade. Love!!
We had a very special night at Give Kids The World. This magical ice cream parlor serves ice cream to it’s guests morning noon and night. What a dream 🙂
This was truly a dream weekend with our big boys. We sure missed Pax, but he had fun with grandma while we were gone 🙂 We hope to make it back to Orlando in the near future. So many fun memories with the family.
This information taken from Share the Table: Benefits of Family Dinner for Parents and Children, a study by Dr. William Doherty.
I am thrilled to share our tips for creating meaningful moments on family vacation today! There’s nothing I love more than heading out of town with my crew of boys on a new adventure. We are counting down the days to our next family vacation to Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in a couple weeks with Mom It Forward. Stay tuned for our newest adventures!
Family vacations should be fun so enjoy the little mements. It can be stressful getting everyone ready for the trip, so once you are packed take a deep breath and enjoy the adventure. Your positivity and attitude will rub off on the entire family.
Take pictures! I always regret not having more pictures from our trips, so I warn the family in advance to just let mom take pictures. It is important and the quicker you smile, the quicker it’s over, lol!
Take advantage of your hotel’s free activities. We LOVE hanging at the pool, game room and exploring the hotel grounds!
Try something new as a family, whether it be a new activity or new restaurant. These are the things that create lasting memories.
Most importantly don’t expect a perfect family vacation. I’m not sure there’s such a thing. The kids will probably fight and even drive you nuts at times. It’s ok! Make the best of your time together, limit technology, and don’t sweat the small stuff. I remind myself how lucky we are to be able to travel together as a family and laugh…a lot!
So excited to share our stay at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ!
I can’t say enough about our staycation last weekend at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ at Troon North. The kids start school in a few weeks so it was the perfect timing to squeeze in one last little getaway as a family.
This Four Seasons is tucked away right next to a gorgeous desert mountain. Our entire stay, we saw rabbits, geckos vibrant birds and all kinds of other fun wild life.
We spent most of our time hanging by the pool and enjoying the great food at the resort. It was exactly what I needed!
When we arrived, we dropped our bags off at our Casita and scurried over to Proof Restaurant. We had BBQ, hot buttery pretzel buns and so much more. I am going to miss having this restaurant a few steps away 🙂
I mean, come on! This was where we spent most of the hours of the day. Heaven.
The bright orange striped lounge stairs made me so happy!
It was so much fun to watch my boys have the time of their lives at the pool.
Seriously some of the best Carne Asada Nachos I’ve ever had were poolside last weekend. We ordered them both days, lol!
I had to try the French Fries 🙂 They did NOT disappoint.
How fun is this drink?! Tropical fabulousness. Virgin Mai Tai – strong drink is not for us 🙂 Shared it with the boys.
Sunday before we headed home, we spend the entire afternoon in our own personal cabana with misters, ceiling fans, a TV and even a stocked refrigerator. This was a highlight for the boys….and me 🙂
I found this adorable heart ring at the gift shop. Love it!
I have to talk about the breakfast at Proof Restaurant. We went both Saturday and Sunday morning. One of the most delicious breakfast bars that I’ve had. So many fun things to choose from.
My colorful plate! Those chocolate croissants were a dream!
Pax loved running down the sidewalks 🙂
Cullen here – the mountain you see in the background is Pinnacle Peak Park. I can’t believe I’m a native of AZ and haven’t been on this hike before. It’s easier than Camelback Mountain but it seems like it’s longer in distance. And the beauty….this is the prettiest desert landscape of the Phoenix metro area. On this hike you can see Camelback and Four Peaks. It’s stunning and I’ll be sure to return. Four Seasons was smart enough to connect a trail to Pinnacle Peak Park. The total trip is about 4.25 miles to the end of the trail and back. It’s a great hike to walk or jog depending on your skill level.
Proof restaurant makes their own desserts in house. Homemade ice cream, pies, and these fabulous cookies. We enjoyed a number of treats during our stay!
Saturday night, we enjoyed a dive in movie with the boys. Cars 2 poolside was so much fun.
So grateful for this little family of boys of mine. Grateful for this fun weekend we got to spend together. Lots of memories made that we won’t forget 🙂
Disclosure: Four Seasons Scottsdale hosted our stay and some meals, however thoughts and opinions are our own. On occasion, we will post about great places to stay. Sometimes we pay our own way, and sometimes we contact the hotel for accommodations.
I was so excited to explore Arizona over Memorial Day weekend with my family! We took off nice and early and headed to Sedona to the Enchantment Resort. It had been years since I’d been. Just to be clear this is not a sponsored post, just a family weekend getaway I wanted to share with you!
Not even kidding this was the view from our room. I ordered cookies and milk of course and had to snap a picture to remember this gorgeous view.
The boys enjoyed peeking out over the patio wall.
Saturday we walked around downtown Sedona and had to have some ice cream. It was hot as you can see by my poor melting ice cream. Black Cow Ice Cream Shop was great.
Probably my favorite afternoon was just playing at the pool with the family. Gorgeous red rock views and fun times in the pool. My oldest enjoyed the bar where he could order smoothies and charge them to the room 🙂
This was an amazing breakfast…Strawberry and caramelized banana waffles. Chi-Ah-Chi is located right at the resort with this view while you dine.
Cullen snapped this photo of the boys and I before dinner one night. Rare to have a picture where everyone is looking and smiling!!
Dinner at Ti Gavo was such a treat. Fresh guacamole and short rib tacos! Cullen got some smoky chicken enchiladas that were some of the best enchiladas I’ve ever had.
One more shot of breakfast right before we left. My gorgeous fruit plate. We took a lovely hike just outside of the resort too. There were deer just hanging out in the grassy areas. A real treat all weekend. I am tempted to go back for my Anniversary later this year. So fun!
Have a great weekend! See you Monday with a new recipe!