I’m back and it is time for a routine!

Wow that was a very busy summer and time quickly got away from us all. From chasing my kiddos around, to trips with family and our sports schedules… our summer was FULL! I plan to post about some of things we did and loved, but first… lets talk ROUTINES!  

A routine, at least for me, is something that I crave! It is like you get to start fresh and hit a reboot button when the kids go back to school! I love it and honestly I need it come mid August! Don’t get me wrong I love summer and the fact that we can wake up and stay in our PJ’s until noon… then go to sleep when ever we feel like it.  However, come August… we start to get so far away from our normal schedules, that all I want to do is get back on it! I have been doing some research on schedules and routines and I plan to use what I know and add in a couple new ideas this school year! 

Here are my top 5 things for rebooting your schedule and organizing your life!

  1. Get your planner back up to speed! I love old school paper calendars. They make me so happy and they are a nice way to regroup your life when you feel like you have a million things happening. Some of my very favorites are the Erin Condren and The Happy Planner. These two are great!This is the one I am currently using and I got it at Hobby Lobby! They also have them at Staples and Michael’s to name a few.

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  2. Get Organized! It is amazing what an organized house, office, car, etc. does for your life! Spend a day or a weekend if you can, and declutter, take inventory, purge and organize your life! I plan to do a full series on this in the fall but here are a couple of tips to get you going:
    1. Make a LIST of all the areas that you need to organize. Think closets, cabinets, shelves, pantry, garage, basements, car, purse… you name it, it needs to be on your list. Try break it into two lists: 1 hour jobs and multi hour jobs. For example, if you need to go through your purse and your lap top bag– 1 hour and your favorite beverage can do the trick! If you need to do your pantry or your closet and you haven’t done it for a while, that is going to take you more than an hour. Next– start working your way through the list. You will feel accomplished and you will start to de-stress your life!
    2. Try to THIN out what you have. Do you really need 10 bottles of glue? Probably not, however, your child’s teacher or a local school would probably love the donation. Same with your pantry, if you have a ton of one item and you know you will not use it in time, donate it!
    3. INVENTORY is KEY! Know what you have first! This is true with all things but it will also help save you money!
    4. Start to USE what you have. This is so broad, however, I try to read books I forgot about, cook the food from our freezer, wear the clothes that still have tags on it, etc.
  3. Make your “go to” list for favorite recipes. Who always asks themselves what to make for dinner? This will help! Rack your brain and write them all down and then gather a couple new ones. Put them on recipe cards and then plan your shopping list from there!
  4. Figure out what each person in your life needs for the day/week… including yourself! For example- I know that my kids are in schools from 7:30-2:30 and they need time for homework, time for a snack, time for a bath, time for their sports and dinner. Start to block their day out for that they need. Same with you and your spouse/significant other. Work hours, “me time”, development, food, etc. Then start to add them all together! Once you know what you each need it is easier to create a weekly routine.
  5. PREP your week! This is very simple, take a day that you have open time (for me it is the weekends) and prep your week. Complete your laundry and lay clothes out for the week, grocery shop and write out all of your menu’s, if your recipe allows for you to pre cut/chop up ingredients… do it! Whatever will create a smoother week.

 

Hopefully these 5 easy tips help you! I know that when I take the time to do this, it makes for a smoother and happier week 🙂

xo

Danielle

 

 

Heart warming Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies

The smell of cookies in the oven is so comforting… it immediately reminds you of your childhood. I remember my auntie making cookies all of my life. As soon as you arrive at my Granny’s house, the oven is on! The cookies start pumping out like a factory and everyone ends up eating at least a dozen. My mother also made us treats when we were home… cookies and brownies were her specialty… we loved it all! Now that I am a mama, and a sister to two grown up treat loving brothers, I instantly feel like I did something right that day when I serve my family a hot cookie from the oven. No matter the occasion, cookies are the answer! Having a bad day? A cookie will make it better. Having a celebration? Don’t worry, there is a cookie for that too! Your favorite show is on tonight? Give me 30 minutes and I will whip up some cookies. You see, what ever you are celebrating (or trying to forget) a cookie is the answer… and especially these cookies!

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Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup butter (room temp)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips (or more if you like it extra chocolatey)

  1. Start by mixing your softened butter, both sugars and vanilla. Once this is smooth add the eggs. Mix until combined.
  2. Slowly add in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. After fully combined, add oats and mix on low.
  4. Last, add in chocolate chips. Do a quick mix and your ready for the oven!
  5. Scoop mixture with a small/medium size scooper and place on a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven. **Cookies will still look light, this is good! Let them cool and then enjoy! I have found that oatmeal cookies taste best when they are not over baked and still soft. Enjoy!! 

Busy Toddler Summer Activities

Busy is the word we use to describe my son. When I looked up the definition for “busy” I found it means… “having a great deal to do!” If that isn’t the truth I don’t know what is! My son is that and so much more…. he wakes up busy and falls asleep busy! I am sure there are other words that I could use to describe him… but I try to keep the words crazy and wild out of my description. In the past when I have used those words to adults that have never parented a 2 year old little boy, they look at me worried and concerned… clearly a parent that has actually parented, or experienced a 2 year little boy truly understands what the work “busy” truly means! It is kind of a boy mom code word “That is Deacon, he is VERY BUSY!” lol. I will say that Deacon may be busy, kind of rough at times and always into some type of trouble… he really does love his mama very much and gives the best kisses and cuddles to anyone that he truly loves!

Activities that keep this busy boys attention are worth sharing! I am sure there are more mama’s out there that have a “busy” one at home that would love to try some of our fun summer tricks!

Water

Wow does my son (and daughter for that matter) LOVE water! He love to splash it, pour it, spill it and even bath in it when given the opportunity. I have found that any activity that includes water is GREAT for him! Good news with water is that although it can be destructive inside the house it is AMAZING outside and doesn’t stain anything, is non toxic and cleans easy 🙂 Here are some of the water activities we love:

Water Tables with Pool Toys— We get a new water table every year and always rotate our pool toys in that water table. This is the water table we got this year.

**Our favorite pool toys are from Disneyland/Disney World and are the plastic, squishy characters. We have the Cars, the Pixar set, the Nemo set and the Mickey and Friends. If you go to the parks, these are a MUST!

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Create your own pouring station! This is great for their eye hand coordination and will keep them busy for hours. We bought these measuring kits on Amazon and add them to a plastic bin from Target in the backyard.  Since my son also loves rocks, he tends to add our back yard rocks to this station!

Animal and Water– this is always a big hit! We have gotten some sharks and dinosaurs for my son and did those in water. Then did some under sea animal for my daughter with these amazing water beads (very fun and great for all ages IF your child doesn’t put stuff in their mouth- definitely needs supervision for under 3). **See below for Young, Wild and Friedman… she has given me tons of ideas for my son and daughter. 

Arts and Crafts

My daughter LOVES to be creative, this is her biggest passion and I love how interested she is in it! My son loves to follow suite! Here are some fun ideas to try at home with your family that my little ones love!

Easel– We just got this new Melissa and Doug Easel and it is AWESOME! I love that you can add a paper roll, it has great trays on both sides and the blackboard side is magnetic which is a huge bonus!!

This category has SO many items you can introduce. One of my favorite places to search for new things is Lakeshore Learning store and Amazon! Finger paints are so great for toddlers, I have used these from Lakeshore. Stamps and stamp pads are also great!! Lakeshore has a wide variety of these!

Play dough— this is a love hate item. I actually love play dough, we have made homemade play dough and I love using different tolls for the kids to create! However, my son does like to be a bit destructive with play dough if left even slightly unattended. These is more of a parent/toddler activity! These dough stamps are so fun and I love using these tools also!

Toys to take with you

Ok, having stuff on the go is a MUST, especially when we are always on the go! These are a couple of our current favorites.

Elmo and Cookie Monster Learning Cases— These are ADORABLE and are a great learning toy on the go. These are a big hit with ours cousins as well! Plus your little one looks so cute carrying around their little briefcases!

Getting the wiggles out

Little Tikes Jumpy Castle– this is a must!! This jumpy castle is a perfect size for inside or outside and has an amazing slide as well as great mesh walls. When it is not inflated, you can easily fit it in a closet or on a shelf in the garage. We use this in our basement during the winter or rainy days and we blow it up in the backyard when we want a fun day outside!

This is an ever evolving list and I love to hear from my friends what works well for their kiddos! Please share your ideas!

If you are looking another great resource, check out Young, Wild and Friedman, she is AMAZING! I have gotten so many great ideas from her site and have bought a lot of her kits for the kids! She is so creative and posts so many great ideas!

Enjoy!

D

Dinning Al Fresco- Arugula and Nectarine Caprese

Wow do we love Sunday Dinners… especially in the summer when you can leave the windows open and enjoy a cold bottle of white wine while watching the kiddos play outside. There is something so joyful about these summer nights.

I am very into pairing fruit for a fresh take on a classic dish. For an appetizer I put together an Arugula and Nectarine Caprese and WOW was it delicious. The peppery arugula and the bite of the shallots pair very well with the sweetness of the nectarines, the richness of the balsamic reduction and the creamy mozzarella cheese plus my favorite addition to this dish was the crunch of the crispy pancetta. This paired very well with one of my favorite summer wines, Oyster Bay- Sauvignon Blanc. I love all Marlborough wines!

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Arugula and Nectarine Caprese

4 Small Nectarines
1 small container Pancetta
1 Medium Shallot
4 cups Arugula
6 Basil Leafs
2 pre sliced logs of Mozzarella Cheese (or container of mini Mozzarella balls if tossing it like a salad)
1 Tbsp. of Balsamic Reduction (I like the Bertolli Balsamic Glaze the best)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Step 1:

Start to prep your ingredients. I like to chop up the nectarines very tiny and same with the shallots. This allows for you to get a of the ingredients in each bite. Set this aside. Next rough chop the basil and set aside.

Step 2:

Cook the pancetta. I do this in our cast iron skillet and cook it until crispy. This adds a great crunch to the dish! Once it is cooked, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Let the pancetta cool and let the paper towels absorb the oil/fat from cooking!

Step 3:

To arrange this take the top 5 ingredients to a bowl and toss, then drizzle your oil, vinegar, salt and pepper– toss again lightly. Arrange your cheese around the edges of your plate and then add your arugula salad mixture down the center. Now is the time for the AMAZING balsamic reduction!! Drizzle this across the top of your cheese and salad mixture. This adds a nice sweetness and richness to the dish! I have recently started purchasing my balsamic reduction at the store. This makes it easy to have on hand and tastes just as great!

This is the time to get creative! This can be arranged in two different ways– like a tossed salad or leaving the cheese separate from the arugula mixture. I have done it both ways and it taste great! If you are using the Mozzarella logs- you should arrange it like my picture (cheese layered around the plate and the salad mixture in the center) if you are using the small mozz. balls, I would toss it like a salad and then pour it out onto a platter.

This salad is great as an appetizer or a light dinner/side dish! We made this with with a light Summer Shrimp Pasta dish… recipe coming soon 🙂

ENJOY!!

D

Favorite Spots to Eat-Colorado

This list will be long… use this is a travel guide or even a list of places to eat in your own home town! Check back often as this will continue to be updated!

Dessert Joints

Sweet Cooie’s – DENVER 12th and Madison, adorbale little downtown corner with the cutest little ice cream and truffle shop! They serve Little Man’s Ice cream but has an adorable atmosphere.

Quick Service Food

Poke CityDTC Justin’s favorite Poke place in all the US (and he tries it everywhere we go)

LechugasDenver They make delicious meatball and sausage canolis. Swing by and grab one for lunch or pick up a dozen when your entertaining.

R Taco’sMultiple Locations I love their cheap and yummy tacos! Worth the visit.

Maria’s Empanadas Denver This joint was featured on D.D.D. and it did not disappoint! The meat empanadas were delicious but the show stopper was the Nutella/Hazelnut and Banana empanada

Breakfast Joints

Doug’s Day DinnerMultiple Locations delicious but not healthy!

Prosper Oats- Broomfield and Denver Acai bowls and Oatmeal bowls

First Watch- Multiple Locations I love their Kale Tonic and their pancakes are yummy! Avocado toast is also a yummy choice!

Sit Down and Relax

Hearth and DramDenver The environment is exceptional and the food was very unique. They are known for their meats– think hearty dinner! The appetizers are also delicious- my favorite are the shisito peppers are done very well!

True FoodsCherry Creek I love the vegetable crudite but you can’t go wrong everything is healthy, fresh and delicious

North ItaliaCherry Creek Tuscan Kale Salad and Zucca chips for the win!

Go FishBroomfield and Denver AMAZING Sushi

The MedBoulder TAPAS TAPAS TAPAS!! Need I say more?

Elway’sDenver and Cherry Creek One of the best steaks I have had. You can’t go wrong, the food it delicious.

Afternoon Tea at the Brown Palace Denver This is one of my FAVORITE things to do around the holiday. It is decorated beautiful and is a great place to relax and enjoy a delicious pot of tea and some light snacks.

Pizza

Right CoastWheat Ridge I have only been once but it was delicious!

Parry’s Pizza– Multiple Locations I love their pizza and the atmosphere is laid back. Great pizza night!

Breweries

The Post Brewing CoLafayette The best fried chicken! They also have delicious deviled eggs, biscuits, waffles and home made fresh desserts!

Acreage/Stem BrewingLafayette Amazing Views, Delicious Food and Crips Cider! I am not a cider fan but their cider finishes so clean and is not sweet. Very similar to a dry wine.

Fate BreweryLafayette Yummy food and great beer

Other popular Breweries in Colorado

Breckenridge Brewery
Hogs Head
Debolt Brewing
Odd 13
4 Noses
Grim Brothers

xo

D

Favorite Spots to Eat in So Cal

Like every good Italian girl, I love food! I get excited to go places just because of the food 🙂 So it is only fitting I tell you my favorite places to visit.

The Crab Cooker

Newport Beach, California

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We have been going here all of my life, it is a family favorite and a MUST when we go to California. My two favorite things to eat there are the Manhattan Clam Chowder and the Smoked Albacore Tuna Appetizer.  Both of these are hands down incredible!! **Note** with the exception of the mashed potatoes, rice and slaw, there are not any NON fish items. If you have a member of your group that doesn’t like fish… leave them at home!!

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Bowl of Heaven

If you love a good Acai bowl, this place is great! They have multiple locations in southern California.

In-and-Out

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What is a trip to So Cal without at least one trip to In and Out!!! This is a MUST when ever we are in CA, NV or Texas! For those that do not know what In and Out is– it is an awesome hamburger place that serves only hamburgers! They have 3 posted options (regular burger, double double and a cheeseburger) and a couple additional options if you know their secret menu but all of them consist of hamburgers and to drink get one of their amazing milk shakes!!

Pedro’s Tacos

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YUMMY! Their bean and cheese burritos and fish tacos are my FAV! When in San Clemente… its a must! And when you are there, go to the CVS pharmacy just down the street and get a Thrifties ice cream. If you are from So Cal, you know this is the best ice cream! Mint Chip is my go to! Between Pedro’s and Thrifties you have yourself a very cheap but yummy date night!

Urth Caffe

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This is a place that I LOVE to go to in Laguna Beach. Their breakfast is so incredible and their Honey Vanilla Latte is a Justin favorite. Their portions are bigger and they have some amazing baked goods at the counter.

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Enjoy!

D

 

 

Disney Tips

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Yay! Disneyland is one of my VERY FAVORITE places! I have gone so many times that I couldn’t even count. It is still so magical to me and even more now that I get to see it through my kids eyes!! This part of my blog will be a work in progress forever, as I am sure it will take me a while to write all of my favorite things, tips/tricks and more! But, there is no time like the present to get it all written down 🙂

Lets start with the planning process and my top 3 tips!

TIP #1- Start early, look at the website and download the App (Disneyland OR WDW based on where you are going)

**Make an account, save rides/shows/restaurants to your favorites. This will become helpful when you go to do fast passes (I will explain later) and reservations.

My first suggestion to you would be get yourself familiar with their website and what Disneyland/Disneyworld is. I have gone to Disneyland countless times, however, Disneyworld I have only visited about a half dozen times. Every time I know I am going to the parks I start with their website, even tho I know the parks, things are always changing! They add parades, character meet and greets and have some amazing seasonal entertainment (Christmas time is my favorite!!). Start by doing a quick overview and researching what characters your children (or you) love best!

Fastpasses–Start as early as you can, Disneyland and Disneyworld have different timelines based on if you are staying on packages or not. For example, Fastpasses at WDW (a special reserved time when you can ride an attraction with a shorter wait time) can be reserved up to 30 days in advanced* OR up to 60 days in advanced if you are staying at a WDW property. (*You have to have a ticket already purchased and have the ticket number to use this option). You are able to reserve up to 3 advanced Fastpasses in the same park, you do this through the app OR at a kiosk in the park. Fastpasses in Disneyland run different. You have 2 options in Disneyland. You can go to the attraction and obtain a fastpasses OR you can do it via the Disneyland app (which is faster and easier) but you have to pay $10/per person per day. This can add up if you have a large family and/or you are going multiple days. My suggestion if you are budget conscious is to choose 1 day where you do this and you make sure to use it from open to close to get on as many rides as possible.

There is a lot that goes into Fastpasses, if you would like additional information I suggest watching some youtube videos or clicking on the fastpass link above.

Dinning Reservation- You will thank yourself for planning your dinning options AHEAD of time! I will do another section on food in disney, however, days at Disney can be LONG and HOT! Plan a good dinner that you know you will sit down and relax/recharge before you head back out for the evening hours. We always eat dinner at the 4/5pm time slot. For us this is good just in case the kids fall asleep early plus you will be able to ride attractions with shorter than normal wait times during the normal dinner rush. This also allows for you to do a good breakfast and a quick/smaller lunch. When it comes to reservations– MORE is BETTER!! You are able to cancel/change, but reservation fill up quickly. Hold what you want early!

TIP #2- Get your kids involved! 

If your kids have never been or have gone a million time, chances are they will be just as excited as you are to plan the trip! What we like to do in our house is talk about the parks and talk about our favorite things. This is a great time to take a mental note as the planner for what your kids want to do. Better yet– show them the maps and watch the rides ahead of time! This is a GREAT tip especially if you think your child may be nervous or get scared. This is also a fun way to get excited! The cool thing about youtube is that there are TONS of full ride videos that you can show your kids. Let them watch rides they haven’t gone on before to get prepared for it mentally or let them watch their favorite rides to get excited! It works for every kid 🙂

TIP #3- Pack the right things!

Packing for a day in the park can be overwhelming. Depending upon where you stay/what park you are at, transportation in WDW makes it difficult to go back and forth between the park. Couple that with the security lines and the entrance lines– you will loose a TONS of time in the park. Here are my top 10 our must haves:

  1. A good stroller. Even my 5 year old gets tired and like to lay down.
  2. A blanket. I like to pack their favorite character blankets so it is exciting to crawl in and watch the shows or take a quick nap.
  3. Cups with lids/Water Bottles. Waters in the parks are very expensive! One year we did the math and spent over $1,000 on water bottles for a week for a family of 5. Good news is, if you bring a cup you can typically get free ice water at restaurants/quick service location OR pack some water bottles to cut down on buying them. If you are going during the warm months you will thank yourself.
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Snack!!! I can’t tell you how many time we got into a 40+ minute line and someone in the family is hungry. Pack some easy snacks!!
  6. Wipes Wipes and more Wipes!! Between ice cream, sticky drinks, candy, popcorn, dips, etc. you will use these to get kids and adults clean.
  7. A small bag that you can carry with you on the rides and another bag that you can leave with the stroller. I like to split what I need now verses what I will need as the day goes on. Bags that zip are always better. Getting onto the buses, you will have to breakdown your strollers and it is much easier to contain your items in bags that stay closed.
  8. Pjs and Disposable Washcloths. I have yet to go into a park without a child falling asleep before we leave. I alway look for the tired eyes and make a quick stop in the bathroom. We use these amazing Johnson Disposable Washcloths. I am able to clean them up, get them in pj’s brush their teeth and lay them into the stroller with their favorite Cars blanket 🙂 This is HUGE! Sometimes, my favorite time is at the end of the evening with the kids asleep in the stroller, peaking in all the shops with my coffee and my kids are clean and ready to be transferred to bed!
  9. Jackets for all! It never fails, even if it was over 100 degrees during the day, when the sun goes down it always nice to throw on a jacket. I go a step further and switch form flip flops to tennis shoes!
  10. Portable Charger! This is a given for every where we go. My phone is always dead mid day and knowing I have a back up charger is so nice. Especially if we have to use it for the disney app’s or uber at the end of the night!

xo,

D

 

Uppababy Minu

To say that I love strollers is and understatement. I actually LOVE all things baby, I would keep having babies if I could get a new stroller and diaper bag! Each stroller has its own purpose right? I love my single and my double BOB Strollers. They are amazing, they push so easy and the kids are comfortable but is it huge or what?! Holy cow, when we travel with those, you have to almost rent a trailer to get that bad boy around. (I will say that the BOB is a Disney MUST!) Then I have the Uppababy Vista– boy is this stroller beautiful. It has a light blue shade (Henry Blue) and a camel leather handle. The basket on it is huge and BONUS if you are a first time mom you can turn this bad boy into a double with the purchase of the additional seat. The all Uppababy products, they travel well with the travel bag, they protect the stroller and warranty them!! Ok, now on to my newest stroller– this one has a purpose of its own…. it is lightweight but still has all of the nice features of a full size stroller (easy to push, decent size basket. Perfect for my page mini HAPP bag, review coming soon!) but what sold me on this stroller is this- it is so compact!!! This bad boy folds up so small that I was able to fit it into the overhead bin of our airplane! That means no waiting for the stroller to come up after a long flight and it stays nice because it isn’t getting tossed around. It also comes will a great small cinch bag that keeps it nice. It also stands when folded and has a shoulder strap to cary. This fits amazing in the back of my SUV and allows for plenty of additional room for groceries or Nordstrom bags! This is a new product for Uppababy (came out this spring) and boy is it a huge hit! The stroller will also have a conversion kit available soon for a carseat and a bassinet style infant conversion. I purchased mine through Nordstrom– like I do for all my baby items (when available). I have the black on black (see pictures below). I also featured a picture from the manufacture of how it folds, this is the selling point for sure!!!

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Palm Springs/La Quinta

 

We just got back from Palm Springs/La Quinta and I would love to give you the low down! We went to celebrate my brothers wedding. We stayed in La Quinta which is a smaller city outside of Palm Springs. Think golfing capital of the world! There are TONS of golf courses all around Palm Springs and La Quinta, which is right up my husbands alley.

Travel- The day of travel taught us a little bit about Palm Springs Area. We flew into John Wayne- Orange County airport (an amazing smaller airport in the heart of the OC) and drove to Palm Springs. FYI– the drive should be only 1 hour and 45 minutes HOWEVER traffic during rush hour times makes it an easy 3 hour drive. So, when planning your flight arrival times get on the road any time between 10 am-1 pm OR after 8 pm at night. It is worth just hanging in the OC or visiting the beach to wait it out.

Weather- Boy did we luck out! Typical weather during May is in the 100’s but we have low to mid 90’s and 70’s in the evening. This made it very enjoyable! We also had a great little breeze happening majority of the time. This made it even better. Keep in mind when visiting that it is the desert– very hot and very dry! Plan to be at the pool during the day and dine alfresco at night… gorgeous!

Shopping- Palm Desert has great shopping! Plan to visit the premium outlets (I saw a Lululemon outlet!!) and my favorite an amazing Louis Vuitton! Going more practical, the only shopping I really did was at Trader Joes (another one of my favorites). We grabbed pool snacks and some adult beverages!

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Hotel- We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells. This resort was BEAUTIFUL! It featured many pool options (both adult only and family pools), it is also located on Indian Wells golf course. The rooms were very big, which is a HUGE plus for a family. We got a 2 queen type room and I have never stayed in a room that split the 2 queen beds up (one was located a couple steps down from the other- see pictures below). This was actually amazing. It allowed for the kids to have their area and my husband and I to have our own area, very smart! This was just their standard set up, which is great!

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Spa- I was lucky enough to steal away for a girls day in the spa while the guys golfed. Since we were there to celebrate my brother and new sister in law, we split the day before the wedding and did a girls/guys morning. The Agua Serena Spa was amazing! My favorite part of any spa is when you walk in and smell the spa smell and this one did not disappoint! Not only was it very tranquil upon entering, it had a gorgeous out door reflection deck with pool, men and women spa facilities, relaxation room and salon.  I would love to give a shout out to the manager Heather, not only was she so delightful to work with and even came to find us during our services to make sure we were happy with everything. My mother and brother did the 80 minute Swedish massage, they were raving about how incredible it was and that their therapists were amazing. I had just gotten a massage at home, so I opted for the manicure and pedicure. I had Lilian, she was great! The services lasted around 2.5 hours total for both and they served me Champagne, Earl Grey tea and the super yummy spa water. They perform all nail services in the Salon area. It was still tranquil, which was very nice (typically not the case in ever Salon setting) and they still had me switch into a comfy spa robe and slippers. My 2 daughters also joined me and did a gel manicure and a polish change. They were great with the kids and were very welcoming of them even tho they were young. If you are under 16 years of age, you are unable to go into the locker facilities which wasn’t a huge deal, but they did give them smaller robes to wear which they loved! They also have the option to order lunch to delivered in the spa. My mother also got a blow out in the Salon, she was very happy with it that she ended up doing 2 while she was there. Overall a great experience, I would recommend!

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Golf- I will not go to into this a ton, my husband golfed at a nearby Private Course/Country Club which he loved but it isn’t open to the public so its not worth sharing. The course at Indian Wells (where we stayed) looked amazing! Many people commented on the quality of the course, if you visit and are interested in golfing I would try there!

Food- We eat at 2 amazing restaurants that I would LOVE to share! First, we eat at Adobe Grill Mexican Restaurant located in the GORGEOUS La Quinta Resort & Club- A Waldorf Astoria hotel. If you have a chance– try this restaurant. The food was great and the view and live music made it even better! My husband got the Red Snapper and it was amazing, I got the fajitas- which was also good but nothing unique. The guacamole they made at the table and they make home made tortilla’s. The grounds of the resort were also amazing, just walking around made me fall in love with the old spanish style mid 1900’s property.

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The last place we eat at was the Cliff House. This place was very unique and all of the food was delicious! You are practically eating on the side of a cliff, rocks and all! I had this amazing Sugar Salmon, I finished my entire dinner. The kids all got steaks of some sort and they loved theirs as well. The appetizers we had were all amazing but the Ahi Tuna Cones and the Fried Artichoke Hearts were a must! This is were we had the rehearsal dinner, so we were all dressed up but there is not need to be too fancy. A sundress and some wedges would do the trick!

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As you can see, our quick 4 night trip was amazing! Definitely a location to visit if you want some great pool time, outdoor dinning and more!

xo

D

Meet My Family

15267605_10157897258995512_7266687961469289673_nTo me family is everything! I am lucky to not only have come from an amazing family, I married into another amazing family and my husband and I started our own beautiful family! Now… with that being said we both come from big Italian families! Think Big Fat Greek Wedding (Part 1 and 2)… pretty much the same thing!! We have other things in our blood (I am also French and German and my husband is also Norwegian among some other things) however, when you are from a large and loud Italian that is pretty much all that you claim 🙂 Our family get togethers are always VERY LARGE and VERY LOUD! What can I say… we love to get together and eat. One of my very favorite weekly tradition is Sunday Dinner. We do it every Sunday and I love it! This has been such a fun thing for my kids as well, they look forward to it all week. My husband and I love to cook so between the two of us we are always preparing a different meal for our families to enjoy. We spend many nights in watching Food Network getting ideas/inspiration for our weekend recipes. (If you are interested in some of our menu/recipe ideas visit my food tab)

Ok, now on to meet the fam! I could go on for DAYS listing all of our family and friends that have become like family… so we will just keep it simple 🙂 Both my husband and I are from a family of 5. I have 2 brothers and he has 2 sisters! And surprise… we are also a family of 5 with 2 beautiful daughters (Bella, 12 and Novella, 5)and 1 handsome yet crazy son (Deacon, 2)! Pretty much 90% of what you see on my blog is inspired by or for my family… the other 10% is because of my family (I have to shop for myself as a form of therapy!!)

I have MANY more stories and adventures to share! Enjoy 🙂

xo,
D