Monday, October 19, 2020

All Aboard... Let's Travel By Train

You know that family member
you try to block on social media?

I have quickly become her!

Because lately...

I have been unable to resist

staking out
sticking to 

my family members' pages/stories
(convincing them to share) 

whenever I see them 


unique adventures 
I'd also like to share with you...

My mother and sisters-in-law recently
traveled upstate to celebrate w/ family


Sunshine graciously agreed
to take us along for the ride

All Aboard... 
Let's Travel by Train!!

(this will probably be the only
time you hear me say this) 


"Put down your book, look up, 
and enjoy the view"

She says...

Try one of their rooms. The ability to close a door,
and stretch out while traveling is priceless

Union Station to San Jose
(approx 9 hour train ride)

and views from the Observation Car
will remind you to take it all in with

Gratitude and Grace

Sunshine's Travel Tip:

Reserve a room, dress comfortably,
and bring everything you need to relax

She says...

Food and drinks are included,
but train food is not for everyone

Bring your own food, if possible!

Sunshine's Travel Tip:

When the train stops, take advantage
of opportunities to get out and stretch

Day 2- Destination

Fog Harbor Fish House
Fisherman's Wharf- Pier 39

After lunch...

Do some light shopping
and sample some chocolates!

or bring home some caramel
for your hot apple cider

as you warm your heart with memories
of your favorite family adventures!

(find more Family Adventures here)

Monday, October 12, 2020

Our Top Three Favorite Latin-Inspired Pastries

Craving something sweet?

There is sure to be something delicious
waiting for you right here in Southern, CA


in culmination of Latino Heritage month 
we're sharing our "Top Three Latin inspired"



Up first...

My life literally changed with 
the introduction of one item

Pastel de Guayaba
(Guava and Cheese Strudel)

from Porto's Bakery and Cafe

read Rosa Porto's


call ahead
to order a dozen
(or two)

in-car pickup


to bake at home

Guava jam w/ sweetened cream cheese

They are so good that hardest part will be
trying not to eat them all in one setting!


If you've been to any county fair,
you've tried one of these


lightly in cinnamon and sugar

What more is there to say?

Pan Dulce

You can find these just about anywhere,
but please note that NOT all sweet bread

is created equally

So if you're looking for ...


understated tones
of sweetness

choose wisely

mini choncas
(3 for $1)


La Favorita Bakery

are a good introduction
for even your youngest 

not too rich
not too sweet

and baked fresh
every day of the week!

(find more Family Adventures here)

Saturday, October 10, 2020

"Teenager Approved Mexican Drinks"... to Make at Home!

Living in Southern California 
awards us rich cultural diversity


(who've become family)
we are blessed

to learn and grow 
from one another



the music, food, traditions
(of those closest to us)

so in culmination of Latino Heritage month 
we're sharing our "Top Three Latin inspired"



 Starting with... 
"Teenager Approved Mexican Drinks"

(that you can make at home today!)


"The Family w/ Teens"


I was initially introduced by a coworker
who made a huge vat for one of my events


and my group

But if you don't have...

a close, personal friend who can
prepare this iconic "rice drink"

check out

Ben Mims'

assorted list of recipes
you can try at home

(click the title links)

for the...

canela, almonds, vanilla extract

 white rice, piloncillo, and sea salt

w/ cantaloupe, pecans, 
and prickly pear syrup

(and once you start sampling)

you'll want to try other flavors

flowery options
fruity options

you have now entered
the world of

Agua Fresca

It sounds simple



but the versatility of flavors
will have you coming back


and again...
and again...

Want to make at home?

Simply gather your ingredients...
add water, blend, and enjoy!

(Strawberry, Lime, Cucumber, Chia)


I had never heard of this warm, 
chocolaty drink until last year


a uniquely thick, rich, textured beverage designed
to "stick to you" just in time for the cooler season

To make at home...

What is your favorite Mexican inspired beverage?

(find more Family Adventures here)

Friday, October 9, 2020

Grab and Go... Latin-American Handheld Snacks

 It's the weekend
and you're hungry


Grab a napkin

and prepare 
to get your grub on!

The only problem will be 
deciding what to eat first...


(fried or baked)

handheld pies traditionally filled
with spiced meat and vegetables 

and the debate is real...


this post warranted a Mexico/
Central America/ South American

"Taste Tour"

 (but we'll have to settle for) 

a search of 

the BEST empanadas
here in Southern CA

to be continued...



My friend Jasmin introduced me to these
at her Christmas Party about 6 years ago

(dough filled with beans, cheese, and pork)

that were so good, I called her two years later to ask 
where I could get some for an event that I was planning

she sent me here...

El Guanaquito
Pupuseria and Restaurant 

located in a neighborhood 
(that gives and needs love)

so, if you're in the L.A area
stop by and show them some!!

(find more Family Adventures here)

Monday, September 28, 2020

Study, Pray, Play... Life as a College Freshman

 This is... 

easier for him
harder for us

(as we've been active participants)

in his 

"first day of school" 


the beginning

but this year 

he began school
387 miles away, 


we are grateful 

he is gracious 
to share 


of it with us!


Micah James

"Our College Athlete"

To recap...

he recently left home
moved out of State 
settled into campus housing

has subsequently...

met new people
made new friends
adjusted to a new city

started school

(all during a pandemic!)

Dixie State University

and when it all gets a little loud...

he's found a quiet place to 
pray, meditate, or take a walk

Red Hills Desert Garden

take a virtual stroll...

and a spot 
to play...

Thunder Junction
All Abilities Park

Student Athlete Meet and Greet
w/ the Dixie State Football Team

And although it's not 
the season he anticipated, 

he's grateful for 
the opportunity to...


(and emerge)

"Bigger, Stronger, Faster"


and my prayer is that 
he continues to...

let the Lord lead him as he finds
more spaces and opportunities to


(find more Family Adventures here)

Monday, September 21, 2020

New Zealand Winter Getaway w/ Jack and Shoni

We have been missing
our international travel...

our take-offs
and landings

our hotel stays
and excursions

(and it is not clear exactly when/if we will
ever return without rules and restriction)

so I asked my family on the other side of the pond
to share some of their recent adventures from home

to show us how to appreciate

the beauty and grace
of wherever you are


when the photos hit my inbox, it 
reminded me of WHY travel is so important

the opportunity to see new places, meet new people,
and experience authentic food, language and culture

provides perspective

because when you're born and raised
in a certain place, you only truly know that place

but when you have the chance
"to get out into the world"


you'll find that your way
of viewing things 


and only then 
can you understand that

even when you're experiencing 

triple digit heat waves
in your hometown...

It's still Winter somewhere!!

Jack and Shoni

my younger cousin and her hubby
popping in from New Zealand to greet us... 

"Kia Kaha" 
(translated- stay strong)

because during these times 

we are all trying to... 

take time to refresh
spend more time outdoors


enjoy moments with
our favorite people! 

Wellington to Queenstown
(approx 570 miles)

When you've been working seven days a week,
you are definitely due for a break!

Queenstown, New Zealand

Shoni enjoying this majestic view of Bowen Peak

She says...

Queenstown is a beautiful destination 
-a tiny town set on a lake surrounded by mountains-
that is enjoyable no matter the time of year.

We'd been twice in spring and summer,
so we thought we'd give winter a try 

Onsen Hot Pools

soaking in the hot pool 

(while enjoying a starry night 
view overlooking the Shotover River)

Yes, yes, and, yes!

"We've been both during day and night,
and it's hard to say which we prefer"

Helicopter Ride to Coronet Peak

Crisp air... Beautiful view
Amazing time right here with you

No matter what the future holds, I will
never forget soaring to new heights...

with you

Thank you Jack and Shoni 
for taking us along for the ride!

(find more Family Adventures here)