Sweet Shoppe Mom

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Let Go Camping! Pre-trip Checklist

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions Are mine alone.

#FuelTheLove #CollectiveBias

Summer's here, kids are on vacation which means its time to hit the road to explore the outdoors! Arizona offers so many amazing camping destinations. Many of them are in the mountains which also means cooler air - we love any opportunity to escape Phoenix when temperatures hit over 100 degrees. As soon as school was this year we headed for a weekend camping trip to Lynx Lake, near Prescott, AZ.

Any trip, especially a road trip requires preparation. I've included a checklist that covers important things to do to get ready for your trip (its more than just packing). I LOVE lists. I'm a big list maker because I hate being unprepared, especially when you're out in the wilderness.

camping check list

Any time we go on a road trip one of the first things I do, if needed, is get an oil change. I drive a LOT. I bought my Toyota Highlander in 2013 and it already has 67,000 miles on it so its really important that I take care of my car. My car was due for an oil change so we headed off to Walmart's Automotive Care Center - location was convenient, price was awesome and I was even able to get some shopping done while my car was being serviced - I'm a busy mom so I LOVE it when I can multitask.

Walmart Automotive Care Center offers Pennzoil motor oil. My car requires synthetic motor oil, which is the silver bottle, Pennzoil Platinum with PurePlus Technology.

Walmart Automotive Care Center is currently offering Rollback pricing. The Platinum Full Synthetic required by my car is $45.88 (regularly $49.88). The industry standard is $66 (and I paid more than that at an oil change business on a previous oil change).

Why choose Pennzoil? 
  • Best protection for your car from friction
  • Helps to clean out sludge that less quality products leave behind
  • Extends the mileage you can drive each year
  • Pennzoil Platinum is the best product in their line - PurePlus TM Technology has been proven to keep your engine pistons up to 40% cleaner than the toughest industry standard. Pure Plus technology is a process that converts natural gas into a 99.5% pure base oil.
  • Warranty covering 15 engine parts that may fail due to engine wear (more details on the Pennzoil Warranty Site)
So before your road trip make a stop at the Walmart Automotive Care Center. And don't forget to choose the Pennzoil.

What are your favorite camping destinations in Arizona? Our next trip is to Dairy Springs near Flagstaff. Leave a comment with your favorites or a link if you've blogged about camping in Arizona.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dads, grandpas, uncles and family friends who help raise our children.

My son is obsessed with collecting rocks (happy mom that he has a love for science) so when I saw Mine for the Making's My Dad Rocks craft project I knew this would be a perfect project for my son. We used an old frame I had in the house, E-600 glue and quartz rocks that my son has collected over the years.


My son was very proud of his completed craft and couldn't wait to give it to Dad.

And any holiday is an excuse to share more photos of sweets:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Queen Creek Olive Mill tasting and tour

I'm a foodie at heart and one of my passions is gourmet and high quality ingredients especially oils and vinegars. I have an entire cabinet in my kitchen dedicated to just oils and vinegars. And I'm passionate about supporting locally grown and produced food.

I recently visited Queen Creek Olive Mill and loved experience both learning about and tasting the locally produced oils.  But the experience is more than just tasting oils - its a agritourism destination with a local sourced cafe, coffee shop and marketplace.

{ photo credit - Photography Hill }

Queen Creek Olive Mill was started in 1998 when Perry and Brenda Rea moved their family from Detroit to Arizona. They currently grow 16 varieties of olives in their groves.

Queen Creek Olive Mill is located in Queen Creek, AZ grows olives on their land and processes the oil on site. They also have an amazing shop filled with locally produced food. And if you're hungry they have a cafe and coffee shop.

Our experience started with a tasting. We sampled 6 creations - Balanced extra virgin olive oil, Fresh Crush Basil Olive Oil, Chocolate extra virgin olive oil, Roasted Garlic extra virgin olive oil, Meyer Lemon extra virgin olive oil, and Strawberry Balsamic Glaze.

Perry, owner and olive oil sommelier, explained to us how olive oil has 3 attributes - fruitiness, bitterness and pungency. He explained the proper tasting technique and the differences in their olive oils based on type and time of harvest.

{ photo credit - Photography Hill }

After sampling the oils and some delicious bruschetta from their cafe, we toured the pressing room to learn about the pressing process.

{ photo credit - Photography Hill }

After the tour was complete, it was time to shop! All their oils and condiments were available for tasting. The shop also has an amazing selection of local wines. The bakery cases were filled with amazing looking olive oil cupcakes. There was a huge case filled with gelato. And the coffee shop was busy creating some wonderful drinks.

Shop Highlights

Limited edition Peach White Balsamic Glaze. This is one of their best sellers. I have some recipe ideas in mind for this one - stay tuned...

So many options - even bacon!!! What to do with this one? How about drizzled over popcorn?? #ilovebacon @queencreekolivemill #arizona #AzEats #azfood #AzFoodie

In the shop I found this - Bacon extra virgin olive oil. Was really tempted because it smelled and tasted good but wasn't sure what to do with it - someone suggested using it for popcorn, yum!

What did I go home with? Peach Balsamic Glaze, Strawberry Balsamic Glaze, Chocolate Olive Oil, Balanced Olive Oil and Chipotle Balsamic Barbecue Sauce.

They offer 4 tours a day, 7 days a week. In addition they offer special classes and some great special events - check their website for details.

Queen Creek Olive Mill

25062 S Meridian Rd Queen Creek, AZ 85142
store: 480-888-9290
Shipping Department: 480-429-4117 
Email: info@queencreekolivemill.com 

Queen Creek Olive Mill also have 3 marketplaces in the valley:

Biltmore Fashion Park
2502 East Camelback Road, #148H 
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Phone: 602-955-2085

Kierland Commons

7122 East Greenway Parkway, Suite #120
Scottsdale, AZ. 85254
Phone: 480-361-9860 

La Encantada

2905 E. Skyline Drive, Suite # 167
Tucson, AZ 85718
Phone: 520-395-0563

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this article. I was invited by Queen Creek Olive Mill for a tour and tasting.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Junk N Love

I love searching for unique home decor items and there has been such an explosion of these types of merchants in Arizona. Have you heard about Junk N Love? They provide a central resource for home decor shops and indie artisan markets. The site was launched in April 2015 and provides a great calendar resource for upcoming events.

Fun day shopping @junkinthetrunkvintageapparel with @thisbrunetteblogs @junknlove #scottsdaleaz #arizona

I recently had the opportunity to tour the popular Junk in the Trunk vintage market in Scottsdale and visited some of the Junk N Love merchants. I was joined my friend and fellow blogger, Melissa of This Brunette Blogs and we had a blast. I say some because while I planned a few hours for my visit, it wasn't enough time to see them all (there were 23 represented at the market) - sooo many fun things to look at that I ran out of time. Will definitely allow more time in the future. Also went home with some fun goodies for my home.

  Treasure hunting @junkinthetrunkvintagemarket @junknlove #scottsdaleaz #arizona

Junk N Love

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was given a pass for admission to Junk in the Trunk vintage market. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.