I had a business meeting at the Hotel del Coronado last week. It was my first time at this historic resort. At first glance, I kind of felt like I was on a Disney cruise – with all of the kids running around, but then I got the reason why: The Del is a safe and beautiful place, steps from the beach. The amount of activities for kids (and adults) is unreal.
They have somewhere between six different restaurants, a comedy club (Laugh Factory), spa and a ton of little shops. Plus, it’s a true Southern California staple. The resort was beautiful, charming and exuded so much character. I will definitely be back to the resort … only next time, I’ll ditch the laptop back for a diaper bag and bring my family along for the ride.
We had dinner at Eno Pizza & Wine bar at the Del and I had some of the best gluten-free pizza to-date. It was topped with fennel sausage and charred broccoli and was the perfect compliment to a cool glass of wine, great conversation and a beachside sunset. I introduced Kelly to the art of taking a picture of everything you see. It’s true. I’m guilty.
I wish I had more time because their Sheerwater restaurant looked pretty cute too. Prior to dinner we had cocktails at Sunset Bar. The group and I sipped on lavender lemonade, blackberry margaritas and white wine before calling it a night at the Laugh Factory (where we saw Biff from Back to the Future perform). I vote for all business meetings to end this way.
Last weekend you could have found me searching for succulents. I know, I know … I lead a pretty hip and cool life. Actually, I have this bay window in my kitchen that looks best with flowers in it. But I’m getting a little tired of replacing flowers every month. So, I decided summer succulents were the best choice.
Plus, I live in the desert so it’s the right thing to do. Nothing else will stay alive in this heat. It was kind of fun picking these out. Now I just need to find the perfect pots to compliment the trio of succulents that I selected. No clue where to get cool flower pots, but these terra-cotta ones will do for now. Here are all the beautiful succulents that spent the day with me.
The smallest succulent is a bit floppy, but I think that’s why I liked it so much. Colton seems to like them too. Who am I kidding, he’s obsessed with the faucet. So much so that I can’t even pour a glass of water without him going, “Mine, mine, mine!” Now to find pots …
I’m always struggling to find good food for my kids to eat, and fun stuff to make too. There is one only rule in my kitchen: it has to be easy and effortless because I work, I’m busy and 90% of the time, I’m exhausted. Imagine my excitement when I was at Trader Joe’s and I found pizza dough for $1.29! Kelsey and I had so much making this pizza for lunch this weekend.
We bought some mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce and pepperoni. Kelsey rolled it out (hence the floppy, odd shape) and in a matter of minutes, it was done. Well, I take that back. You have to let the dough sit outside for about 20 minutes, but after that part … the rest took minutes. Just a fun, fast and affordable dinner idea for fellow busy parents.
I still haven’t had time to go through all of our summer vacation photos. (Sometimes I wish kids would take naps or let you play around on the computer while they cleaned their room or something, but that’s not how it works around here.)
In the free time that I have had, I came across these vacation photos. My aunt and I sat on the cabin porch, in near perfect weather, and watched the kids play in the yard. We made flower necklaces for the kids, which Kelsey loved. Colton? Not so much. He ripped his necklace to shreds about 2.5 seconds after we put it on. Then he tried to eat it.
Both kids were in good spirits so I figured I would try to get a photo of them together. It’s impossible to do at home, but this time I thought it would be different.
I convinced myself that this is the day they would magically listen to me and smile at the same time. Just once. Just once! I would like a photo of both of them together. But on this day, a photo with his sister was the farthest thing from his mind. Oh well, the outtakes are kind of the best takes anyway.
Side note: How proud are you of Kelsey for holding her pose while trying to wrangle in her brother? That’s talent.
If you find yourself in Pinetop, you have to go into Eddie’s Country Store. Owned by Eddie Basha (who owns a chain of grocery stores in Phoenix), this shop has everything you would expect in a country store – friendly service, locally sourced produce, good prices and really good food. We go for the apple smoked bacon. We stock up on the stuff, it’s that good. They also roast hatch green chili in front of their store. The smell alone is enough to get you into their store. Plus, there’s a little deli inside where you can grab a quick lunch.
When we were in Pinetop for the week, Kelsey and I visited Eddie’s while the boys were napping. We blasted our favorite music in the car, shopped the small town shops and stopped in Eddie’s. She’s my favorite partner in crime and makes ordinary moments, like this one, feel so special.
I found a way to eliminate the guilt of eating an entire bowl of guacamole. You just switch out the chips for carrots (they crunch like chips so you get the same feeling) and then sprinkle something healthy inside, like dried fruit or pomegranate seeds (like I did below) and voilà … guilt be gone. You’re welcome.
Two years ago, today, Kelsey showed her patriotism by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. She was 2 years old. I dug this video out of the archives for my mother-in-law who wanted to see it again. Looking back, she looks like a little doll. Her round face, those curls! Proof that they grow up so fast. Happy Fourth of July to you and yours. Let freedom ring!