Monday, December 4, 2023

Our Favorite Fall Getaway - The Strawberry Inn

Our little family absolutely loves out visits to The Strawberry Inn. We have been going there for a few years now and it's the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation time for us. Last year we went a couple of days before Thanksgiving (our school always gives us a full week off for the holiday) and getting to spend a couple of days in the cooler pine trees really is the perfect transition from calm into the holidays for us. We love it so much!

On our recent visit in November, it started drizzling when we arrived and if you've never experienced a rainy night in Strawberry- it's the coziest thing ever! We picked up our favorite pizza and salad from The Old Country Inn on our way to The Strawberry Inn, and once we got to our Studio Cottage, we were able to have the coziest night eating, playing games, and watching sports on TV before snuggling into the comfiest beds for the night.

We have stayed in just about every room type the Inn has to offer but this was our first time staying in a Studio Cottage and it was perfect. It had a modern kitchenette which was perfect for us, a dining table and chairs to eat at, and a big comfy bed for me. There were also built-in bunkbeds with a pocket door for the kids. This cottage was pet-friendly, so we were able to bring our new puppy too!

After a cozy night in, we were ready for a full day of adventuring our next day. After sleeping in, we stopped by our favorite Pie Bar for some empanadas before hitting two of our favorite hiking spots near The Strawberry Inn - Pine Trailhead and Tonto Natural Bridge. Pine Trailhead is super peaceful and less than a ten-minute drive from the Inn. Its' part of the Arizona Trail System and has lots of soaring tall pine trees. We even saw several deer off the trail this time. We took our cute puppy along with us and he was so relaxed that he fell asleep in my arms while hiking.

After hiking Pine Trailhead, we grabbed lunch at the best little gas station around! They seriously have the best snacks, and we love their sandwiches too. Plus, the employees are really friendly- everyone is really friendly in this cute little town!

We drove a scenic 15 minutes to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park and ate our lunch. It was an incredible view. Because we had our puppy with us, we couldn't go down on any of the actual trails, but we were able to walk around the entire park and see all the scenic viewpoints which were still super breathtaking. If you haven't seen the Natural Bridge in person, it's a must see for sure! We took tuns going down to our favorite waterfall trail too.

After hiking we couldn't resist shopping amongst the cute shops in Pine and Strawberry. A favorite of ours is Fancy Finds- they have so many cute things to look at and we ended up buying some cute holiday decor and hostess gifts.

Afterwards we went back to our cozy cabin to reax for a bit, play some yard games, and play on the new swings and climbing structure in the Lower Park Yard. Right before dinner, we almost always see many elks passing through the creek bed right behind The Strawberry Inn cottages and this visit was no exception. I am never not in awe of how incredible these magnificent beasts are!

We walked to pick up dinner after watching the elk play. There are two great dinner spots right next door to the Strawberry Inn- we've had them both and recommend them always. We ate and had another cozy night in playing games and watching sports all snuggled up in our cottage. 

We had to get back to Phoenix early the next morning, so we stopped by Windmill Coffee for our drive back and picked up a new book form the cutest little free library ever - both located on the main Strawberry Inn property!

No matter what the season - there's also so many fun things to do at The Strawberry Inn! See some of our past adventures here, here and here. What is your favorite time of year to visit Strawberry?

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Celebrating National Nutritional Month

 This Post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx. 

Nutrition and healthy living are really important to me, but if I'm being honest, sometimes it is the first thing to slide when things get really busy in my life. That's why I was thankful that this National Nutrition Month BabbleBoxx came over my Spring Break - when I had more free time was able to recommit to a stronger focus on nutrition. 

The first thing I pulled out of my BabbleBoxx were The Secret Nature of Fruit-Powered Vitamin Chews. I was instantly drawn to their bright fruity packaging and love how they harness the power of real fruits and plants. The two varieties I tried are their Energy blend and Beauty blend. They tasted really good, and I love that they also provide natural antioxidants too!

I'm a HUGE fan of CORE Foods bars so I was stoked to try a few new to me varieties of these bars. CORE bars are not only insanely delicious, but they also support my gut health too - which I love! Their CORE Bars powered by adaptogens are formulated for stress relief - how great is that? Even though we are on Spring Break this week - I was still experiencing some stress- anyone else guilty of packing their days off with even more commitments than workdays? It was delicious and I can't wait to enjoy all three flavors. 

I also really enjoyed the CORE Plant-Based Keto + Probotics Bar- in a super yummy birthday cake flavor. It tasted vanilla cake and even had crunchy rainbow sprinkles inside - so fun! But these bars are so functional too- 0g added sugar and vegan. You can purchase them in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. 

Another thing I was really excited to pull out of my BabbleBoxx were these Soulless Ginger Ales. I LOVE a good non-alcoholic alternative drink to wind-down at the end of a day and these Soulless Ginger Ales fit the bill perfectly. I tried the lime and original varieties, and both were bursting with bold flavor and had a nice spicey finish. I think I preferred the lime variety a bit more, but I am a sucker for anything lime flavored! They are made with cold-pressed juices which really made them taste super fresh and refreshing!

Last but not least, I loved this Cauliflower Rice from Nature's Intent! I love using cauliflower rice to add great volume to my meals and this new to me brand was super fresh and had a great fluffy texture. 

Sometimes I think a renewed focus on healthy habits is as easy as taking a break from routine or trying some new nutritious products. I was lucky enough to have both time off and some new healthy goodies to try this week - now here's to hoping I can keep up the healthy habits when life gets back to routine during the weeks ahead!

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Our Outdoor Adventure to the Arizona Rim Country

 This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.

We recently got back from a quick little outdoor adventure in Arizona's Rim Country. We love that it's a quick less than two-hour drive from Phoenix and SO MCUH COOLER especially this time of year. It's so nice to be able to get out and adventure together and spend so much more time OUTSIDE in the summertime. We usually have a good mix of outdoor adventure time and relaxing afterwards too. I literally got this box of goodies form Babbleboxx the day before we left and immediately packed everything, they sent me because they were all so PERFECT for our little getaway! Read on to hear about our adventures, get inspiration to plan your own trip, and reviews on the goodies I brought with - there are even some INCREDIBLE discount codes on some of the products too!

One of our favorite hikes this trip was on the Arizona Trail- it's an 800-mile trail that runs from Utah to Mexico and right through Arizona. The Pine Trailhead we were on was so scenic with soaring tall pine trees. I packed a few of my goodies form my Babbleboxx for the hike - CORE Foods bars and Lily of the Valley EcoDrink Naturals.

I have been wanting to try these CORE Foods Bars for a while and they were soooo good! I loved all the flavors, but I think my favorite was the Dark Chocolate Cherry. CORE Bars are plant-based, organic, refrigerated bars that provide amazing nutrition and immune support due do their prebiotic and probiotic fiber content! I will for sure be repurchasing these and you can try them too and save with 20% with discount code SUMMER20.

I also LOVED this Lily of the Valley EcoDrink Naturals multivitamin hydration drink mix. The strawberry lemonade flavor I sampled tasted really yummy and for sure quenched my thirst. I did taste a little bit of the vitamin taste in it but that's probably because one little stick packs SO MANY nutrients- 28 highly absorbable ones including 100% DV of Vitamin A, C, D, E, B7 and B12, PLUS key electrolytes to keep me hydrated!

Once we got back to where we were staying it was time to relax and unwind. I immediately made lunch and settled into eat it on this incredible front porch swing. Our Babbleboxx included these incredibly cute SOLO Cups and SOLO Paper Plates in this fun flower pattern. At home I prefer to use reusable paper plates and cups but while on vacation I'm (mostly) all about convenience. The plates were great sized and super strong and sturdy too. A fun-fact I didn't know about them until now, they are made with 99% plant-based renewable resources which makes them recyclable and also compostable too!

I made myself a little hydration mocktail using the 18-ounce clear printed SOLO cups. I mixed some of the EcoDrinks Naturals hydration packet with a carbonated water and then added in some fresh sliced strawberries for a super fun and bubly drink! I love that these cups contain 20% post-consumer recycled content.

After lunch I ate my lunch, I noticed that my skin was a little red from our hike, so I pulled out my Lily of the Desert 99% Aloe Vera Gelly. This gelly is made from organically grown aloe vera plants and was so soothing and not sticky at all - I feel like many other aloe vera gels I've used have been super sticky, but this wasn't at all. It worked great as an after-sun care for me and it also makes a wonderful scalp soother, shaving gel or hair styling gel too!

Shortly after lunch a great afternoon storm started to roll in so I cozied up on the porch swing again with my Staheekum Women's Summit & Go Slippers in honey and my new book from The Running Press- THE WORKOUT BUCKET LIST by Greg Presto. First, the Summit & Go Slippers from Staheekum are sooooo cute and cozy! I love the honey color and the corduroy textile top. They have a memory foam insole and a durable indoor/outdoor outsole and get this - the liner is made from recycled water bottles! Staheekum is a PNW brand focused on sustainability and the outdoors - in fact, a tree is planted for every item sold on Even better - they gave me a code to pass along to you, BBOXX22 to save 10% off your purchase. 

Even though I was tired from our hike (and if I'm being honest, from the storm clouds too - overcast weather always makes me feel so sleepy!) I couldn't help being inspired after thumbing through THE WORKOUT BUCKET LIST by Greg Presto. The book includes over 300 life-changing races, epic adventures, and bucket list items and is super motivating and inspiring. It combines history and pop culture, with a hefty dose of travel and adventure inspo too! It's the perfect book to bring along on YOUR next adventure trip or inspire you to book an outdoor adventure of your own!

What outdoor adventures do you have planned this Summer?

Saturday, September 11, 2021

My Top 5 Favorite Peloton Rides

 What are some of your all time favorite Peloton rides? Here’s my Top 5:

1. Greatest Showman with Robin (11/16/18)
2. Coldplay with Emma (11/21/19)
3. Whitney Houston with Ally (7/1/20)
4. Britney Spears with Cody (7/15/20)
5. Lady Gaga with Cody (1/16/20)
These are my go-to’s when I’m not feeling motivated to workout- they all are pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on my face and leave a sweaty mess all over the place. I think I’ve taken each one at least 5 times! Share your favs with me because clearly I need to branch out a bit!

Monday, February 8, 2021

Our Winter Getaway to The Strawberry Inn

We loved our trip last Fall to the Strawberry Inn so much, that we decided to book a stay up there last week. The area got so much snow the week prior, and we couldn't wait to see how Strawberry and the whole Rim Country looked under a gorgeous blanket of white snow! Spoiler alert: it didn't disappoint! 

Adam had some appointment he couldn't miss in town, so it was just me and the kids this time. I was a little nervous leading up to the trip - I have never driven in the snow before! All of my worrying was for nothing because the drive was so pretty and so easy - just 2 hours from our house. They are really good with cleaning all the snow off the roads so traveling up to Strawberry was honestly a breeze!

We were so excited when we got there and saw all the snow on the ground that we all immediately put on our snow boots and started playing! Little Taylor wasn't too sure about the snow at first- it was so deep that if she stepped in the wrong spot, her little legs would sink right down- but she quickly warmed up to it and soon was as obsessed as the rest of us with all the gorgeous snow!

At the Strawberry Inn we stayed in the same Tiny Cottage #14 that we stayed at last Fall. You can see more interior pictures of that cabin from last time we listed, here. It is perfect with a fun little turf backyard area (which was covered in snow!), two sleeping rooms (one for me and one for the kids with bunk beds), a kitchen, dining room with table and chairs, bathroom, and living room! It's honestly so perfect with all the things we want and so nice that's it's its own little unit, so that don't have any shared walls with anyone else. I love how the Tiny Cottages are decorated - clean modern touches and white shiplap. Cozy touches like luxe throw blankets and convenient items like Keurig machines and coffee pods come standard too! And I really love the yards, especially this time, I could send the kids out to play in the backyard snow and sit inside with my coffee and still keep on eye on them!

We brought food to make meals if we wanted, but ended up getting takeout both nights. The first night we went to Bandit's which is right next door to the Inn. It was so yummy!! We ordered and then waited by their fireplace to warm up while our food cooked. We split mini tacos and a big chicken sandwich with the yummiest tater tots! For desert we made snow cones out of real snow from our backyard area and grape juice and then all settled in for a movie night! There is a flat screen TV in the living room and master bedroom in the tiny cottages.

The next morning Brayden did his distance learning schoolwork while I finished some computer work and then we hit the road for some snow play!

 Our plan was to drive to Green Valley Park in Payson, which is about 30 minutes away, and was recommended for it's awesome hills for the kids to sled on. Before we hit the road, we stopped by the Pie Bar for some of their famous empanadas and fresh fruit pies. 

We split a couple of those in the car and saved the apple pie to enjoy after our sledding adventures. We visited a couple of the little shops in Strawberry/Pine along the way in search of a good shovel for digging in the snow with too and found a great one!

Green Valley Park was well worth the drive. While much of the snow in Payson had melted, there was still enough on some hills to do some sledding. The kids had a blast and we had fun playing on their playground equipment too! It's crazy how warm it got that day - I think it was around 65 degrees, so we actually got very warm playing in the snow and there were times that I had stripped down to my tank top even!

Back at our cottage, I was able to put Taylor down for a nap in the bunk room (which has a little pocket door) while Brayden and I relaxed and caught up on some work, It was such a gorgeous afternoon that we had the door on the porch open - you really can't beat the views up here!

Later, we hopped over to the Lower Park part of the Strawberry Inn. The Strawberry Inn right now is three separate areas. They have the main Inn part with boutique hotel rooms, and then the Lower and Upper Parks which have tiny cottages, There are also two bigger homes you can stay at (the Bungalow and the Guest House) if you want even more space or amenities. 

We didn't explore the Lower Park last time we stayed and I was so surprised and thrilled to find out that there is a creek that flows behind these cabins! It was so pretty and peaceful! We walked along that for awhile and then played in the large yard area for quite some time because the snow accumulation was EPIC! There was even a giant pile of snow that my daredevil son decided would be perfect to slide down!

Afterwards, we picked up dinner again, this time from Sportsman's Chalet, which is right next to the Strawberry Inn too.  While we waited for our food to be cooked we looked around inside this place and it was really fun - they let people sign their names on the walls inside and literally every surface upstairs was covered in so many memories of past patrons. Really fun to see that much history! We ordered pizza and burgers to share and they were amazing as well! Strawberry is a small little town but the food and people here really are so incredible!

After we ate our dinner back at our cottage, we made ice cream out of snow (it turned out pretty good!) and then settled in with some hot cocoa and popcorn for another movie night! The cottages are so cozy at night! We saw this gorgeous sunset through the trees.

The next morning, I worked out in the Upper Park yard area while the kids used the tree swing. After the warm temperatures the day before, lots of the snow had melted off the turf. We built a mini snowman village before we left to come back to Phoenix. 

If you get the chance to escape the Valley for a few days this winter, and can time it when there will be snow in Strawberry, jump on the opportunity! The Strawberry Inn is the perfect "home base" for all your snowy adventures and the food and winter wonderland sights will be something that you talk about all year long!