Wednesday, April 24, 2013

FunSized Frolicking: Phoenix, Arizona Edition

I spent four years of my life living in Tempe, Arizona while attending Arizona State University. I tried my hardest to take advantage of everything the Valley had to offer while I was living there, in between getting an education, of course!

So here are my top 5 frolicking spots to check out when visiting the Phoenix area!

1. The Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
     Located in Northern Scottsdale, the Willow Stream Spa is the perfect escape for some R&R. I just went back there in February (after being away for almost a year) and they've gone under some major changes, which I can't say I've completed adjusted to yet, but it is still the best place to be. With a gym, a rooftop pool, amazing services and a bunch of other hidden gems, you'll just have to find out for yourself, why this is one of the best spas in the country! Make sure to check out their website before going to look into deals and Spa Week Specials!

 (The rooftop pool at the Willow Stream)

2. Fort McDowell Adventures Horseback RidingFort McDowell Casino All You Can Eat Buffet
    After a day of R&R, you'll be in need for some activity and I have just the place for you to go, Fort McDowell Adventures for their Horseback Riding trail. I have to say that this was one of the best trails I have been on. I originally found out about them through a friend who saw a deal on Groupon, and when I called them to confirm the price, they told me I didn't even need to use Groupon, they would honor the price. The next best thing is that it ended up being a private tour, just me, my guest and the guide! We rode through the desert, gorgeous landscapes, right under an eagle's nest, and then alongside a river and then IN THE RIVER (so cool!), and the ride was completed with seeing actual wild horses! It was so interesting seeing the horses stare at each other. It was such a magical ride! Nothing but positive things to say about this tour, two thumbs way, way up!
    Once the ride is over, you'll probably be hungry. Well, less than five minutes down the road from Fort McDowell Adventures is the Fort McDowell Casino and they have a variety of fantastic all you can eat buffets, but my favorite is the snow crab leg buffet! If you join their player's club you get a discount on the meal, and during the week  it's only $10 with your Fortune Club Card! Such a great deal especially if you love crab legs the way I do!

(The river on the trail ride; taken while on horseback) 

3. Hiking
    Despite the heat that Phoenix is known for, they also have a great reputation for hiking! Regardless of what your level of hiking expertise may be, there is a mountain for you. The first place most people hear about is Camelback Mountain, and that is because at a distance the peaks of the mountains give the illusion of a camel's back! However, if you are not an avid hiker nor do you enjoy rock climbing, this is not the mountain for you. Stunning views and a work out is what you will get from Camelback. Some other options you can choose from are South Mountain, Squaw Peak, 'A' Mountain and many others, these are just the few I've tried out. I recently hiked Squaw Peak and really enjoyed it, not too difficult, plenty of rest stops and great views. There are different parts you can hike on South Mountain and there's even horseback riding there as well. 'A' Mountain is right by Arizona State's Tempe Campus and the famous Mill Ave District. A very easy hike and a great place to go to watch the sunset.

(View from a point on Squaw Peak)

4. Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright Home
     Back in 1937, Frank Lloyd Wright began building his home in Arizona and today you can go there and tour his masterpiece. If you are a fan of architecture, history, or art this is a must-see place for you! This house is absolutely incredible and a definite tour to take! They even have tours that go beyond the house as well, so check out the website prior to going and you can choose which one suits you the best. This was one of the first places I visited when I moved to Arizona, definitely a tourist thing to do but sometimes it's mandatory to mix the native with the tourist!

(Taliesin West)
5. Lake Powell
    Lake Powell is a wonderful and scenic place to spend the day or a few days while visiting the Valley. It is a bit of a drive north from the main attractions in Phoenix but totally worth it. There's hiking, boating (if you don't have your own boat, you can rent one), fishing, the activities are endless. A great place to camp out if that's your thing! There's wildlife all around you to see... including some creatures to see in their gift shop. Depending on which area of the lake you go to will help determine which activities are at your disposal. It is just a wonderful place to spend the day frolicking outdoors and enjoying Mother Nature.

(Lake Powell)

Depending on what the goal of your vacation to Phoenix, Arizona is, whether that'd be just getting some R&R, very active, or a mixture of the two, I hope my frolicking tips help you in planning your trip! Let me know how you ended up frolicking around one of the many places I call home, the Valley of the Sun.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

FunSized Frolicking: NYC Edition

Tourist or not, these are my five 5 favorite spots to frolic in New York City.

            Since the park opened in 2009, it has continued to gain major recognition for its individuality and the uniqueness that comes with it. The High Line isn't like any other park in Manhattan and that is because it hovers above the crowded streets on what used to be freight train tracks. 
          It now extends from the Meatpacking District on Gansevoort Street all the way up to West 30th. Not only is each section of the High Line different, but with each step, you get an even more captivating view of New York and its surrounding area. 
         If you're looking for somewhere to relax, people-watch or just enjoy the sights of Manhattan the High Line is the perfect frolicking escape. 

(10th Avenue Square Viewpoint on the High Line)

        If you're looking for a great place to go shopping while in NYC, Soho is the place to go. All the newest and hippest stores are together in one place! My one recommendation is that the earlier you start, the better you are. Soho becomes extremely crowded; weekday or weekend, there's always a crowd. 
        After a long day of shopping, you'll probably need to sit down for a great meal. Good thing Chinatown is only steps away from Soho... just head east and cross over Canal Street and you're there. There's nothing like New York City Chinese food, so go ahead... indulge! Order a bunch of different platters; because you know what's even better than Chinese food... the left overs! 

(NYC Chinese Meal from HK Wonton Garden on Mulberry St)

        This is a great place to go during the warm weather months. Just hop on the FREE ferry ride from Battery Park and in minutes you're on the island. There are tours you can take, grab a bite to eat, go on the swings, or rent a bike! There are endless opportunities for things to do here while taking in the stunning views of Lower Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Last summer, a friend and I rented bikes for the first time and it was a great way to spend an afternoon!

(View from Governor's Island of the Freedom Tower & Lower Manhattan)

       I love art and I enjoy it even more when it is free! Friday afternoons from 4 to 8 pm tickets to the MoMA are absolutely free. It is a little extra crowded at this time, but you can always frolic out to their courtyard, grab a snack and enjoy the statues and outdoor art that is on display. 

(A Must See: Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh)

          I saved the best frolic for last! My absolute favorite place to frolic is Washington Square Park! This is a great place to go to collect your thoughts, relax, catch up with old friends, or people watch. There is always something going on at WSP; street performers putting on a show, musicians trying to make a buck, a television show or movie being filmed, people having a picnic or catching some rays on a summers day... the activities are limitless. This is what makes this park my favorite in New York City!

(Washington Square Park's Famous Arch)

      There are so many things you can do while frolicking around New York City but these were just a few of my favorites! If you end up taking my advice, I hope you enjoy yourself! Let me know how you like to spend your time frolicking around NYC!

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Monday, April 15, 2013

A Tax Day Mani Monday

Celebrate Tax Day with a fresh new mani!

What do your paws look like this week?

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How about some Pork?

This week's recipe comes from; Pork with Balsamic-Cranberry Sauce.

The recipe called for pork tenderloin but I used pork chops. It was easy to make and absolutely delicious.

I served it with squash which was marinated in oil, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and then baked in the oven for about 45 minutes. 

What new recipes are you springing into?

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Museums on Us

This past weekend was "Museums on Us", from Bank of America and I finally decided to take advantage of this great deal!

The first weekend of every month, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch card holders get free admission to a handful of museums across the country. They have the full list of museums on their website.

I used this great offer in the City of Brotherly Love... Philadelphia! The first stop was to the Philadelphia Museum of Art which now has "Outsiders Art" Expo going on; which included this incredible work of art by Simon Sparrow...

Among the permanent collection,  you can find one of my favorites, Sunflowers by Van Gogh.

My reasoning for going to the Philadelphia Art Museum(PAM) first was that regardless of BoA weekend, when you purchase a ticket to the PAM, you also gain entrance to the Perelman Building as well as the Rodin Museum. So, on top of all the free museums, thanks to BoA, you're getting two more for free! What a deal!

After frolicking around the PAM, it was time to head over to the Rodin Museum, which I've never been to before (in Philly at least). We hopped on the museum's free trolley which can be picked up at the West end of the PAM. Make sure to be aware of the times in advance so you can plan your frolicking time accordingly. The trolley dropped us off right in front of the Rodin Museum. The first thing you get to see is Rodin's famous sculpture The Thinker! The garden outside the museum is just as enjoyable as the inside! It may not be in France but it is just as magnifique! While inside the museum, look for Jennifer Parker, the Visitor Services Manager, she'll give you some great insights into the world of Rodin's art. I'm not going to share all the juicy details with you here, you are going to have to find her yourself!

What museums did you go to during Museums on Us weekend?

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Manicure Monday!

This week's manicure involves some major color blocking!

What do you think? How are your paws painted this week?

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring into a New Recipe

It's finally April, but it is still pretty cold here, on the east coast. But let's warm things up with a new recipe for this week!

This week's recipe came from Health Magazine...

The only thing I did differently was instead of using plain yogurt, I used Greek vanilla yogurt which gave the meal a completely different flavor. It's all about personal preference. 

And here's the finish product...

I also did not add all of the radishes and cucumbers into the sauce, which made it more saucy than how it came out in Health Magazine's photo. It was super yummy and healthy! Definitely a recipe I will use again!

How have you built a better chicken breast? Share your recipe with me!

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

FITFOO Virgin Atlantic Photos

I told you that when I participated in Virgin Atlantic's FITFOO Promo, they took some photos of me! Well they're here! Take a look! In the first photo, the stewardess wanted to be FunSized, too!

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Manicure Monday

This week's Mani Monday is inspired by my good friend, Kayla, who found this design on Pinterest.

Let me introduce you to clouds...

and now let me introduce you to my version of clouds...

What's on your paws this week?

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