written by

July 16, 2019

Last week I enjoyed a staycation with one of my great friends, Candice, at the gorgeous Royal Palms Resort & Spa in Phoenix, AZ

When we arrived, we were greeted with champagne as we checked in. Such a nice touch and allowed us to begin relaxing from the get go.

This was not my first visit to Royal Palms and I was thrilled to return. Please take a look here to learn about the history of this amazing property. Royal Palms features a classic Mediterranean motif, reflecting Spanish Colonial architecture at its finest. Simply put, it’s beautiful!

After a quick check in (champagne in hand) we were taken off to our suites, all while admiring the gorgeous architecture and landscaping. Settling into our elegant rooms, we unpacked and took a few photos before heading to the Mix-Up Bar for a drink then dinner at T. Cook’s. The late afternoon wasn’t hot and the sun was beginning to set while reflecting soft light upon the stunning Camelback Mountain. Such amazing location!

T.Cook’s is the onsite restaurant and it features bold Mediterranean flavors, with notes of regional influences from Northern Italy, Greece, and Spain. T.Cook’s has two outdoor patios boasting those famous views of Camelback Mountain with cozy fireplaces and blooming bougainvillea scattered throughout the property.

After splitting some delicious specially prepared plates, we finally just relaxed and enjoyed the terrific ambiance of Royal Palms and T.Cook’s. Just an FYI, T.Cook’s is a favorite among many in the Phoenix/ Scottsdale social scene. You never know who you might see at the next table! Always fun!

The next morning we ordered a light breakfast through room service and sipped our coffee while we ate on the peaceful patio (which looked out at Camelback Mountain) before heading to the pool.

It may be pretty hot in AZ right now, but between the shady cabana (which had ceiling fans), cool drinks and the fabulous pool, it was really an enjoyable day.

That night Candice, her adorable daughter and myself went to dinner before calling it a night. The next morning we enjoyed coffee and breakfast again before heading home.

Such a nice getaway for the girls! For all of Royal Palms summer specials, click here.

*Thank you Royal Palms for sponsoring this post





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March 12, 2019

Introducing my first (unforgettable) trip to Napa, California!

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

*All photography is by Janine Licare Photography

In the midst of the beautiful Napa Valley winegrowing region, just north of San Francisco is Carneros Resort and Spa, a luxurious Napa Valley retreat. Carneros Resort and Spa was created to provide an intimate atmosphere embracing Napa Valley’s hospitality and its unique surroundings.

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

Nestled among 28 gorgeous, lush acres of endless rows of grape vines and expansive Napa farmland, Carneros Resort and Spa’s design has received its styling cues from the local countryside – combining stylish resort accommodations and modern interiors. This beautiful resort captures the region’s distinct charm perfectly, as well as accommodating the needs of their sophisticated guests.

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

The suites range from 900 to 1,200 square feet and offer an expansive outdoor patio and garden. Candice and I stayed in a Garden Suite, which is actually two separate cottages complete with king size beds and a shared backyard.

There are only 86 suites, cottages, and private homes onsite, so it’s highly likely you’ll feel romantic, pampered and secluded. Carneros Resort and Spa offers serene tranquility with high-end amenities. The front decks are furnished with comfy rocking chairs which take in the amazing view. The bathrooms have heated floors, and unique outdoor showers which complement the private patio and garden areas.

Carneros offers three full-service restaurants – FARMThe Boon Fly Café and Hilltop Dining Room .

The Boon Fly Café is fun, lively, and vibrant, serving modern rustic cuisine in a contemporary roadhouse atmosphere.

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

Guests dining in Napa Valley can start their day with the signature Boon Fly donuts and end it with a gourmet hamburger other delicious dinner specials.

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

The cafe was named after Boon Fly, a pioneer who planted orchards and vineyards in the area in the mid-1800s. Resort guests and locals alike are drawn to the energetic vibe and satisfying cuisine that’s based on the agricultural heritage of the region.

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

FARM restaurant offers gourmet wine country dining in an elevated setting that features a living room-style alfresco lounge, plush seating, dramatic lighting, a cathedral ceiling, and two fireplaces, as well as a bar and private dining space. Casually refined, FARM features fresh produce from the resort’s on-site culinary garden and eggs from the resort’s chicken coop. Authentically Napa Valley, the unique menu showcases simple and elegant food, imaginative hand-crafted cocktails, a selection of craft beer, and an extensive list of regional wines.

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

Hilltop Dining Room is reserved exclusively for guests of Carneros Resort and Spa, providing a picturesque setting for breakfast or lunch.

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

Hilltop Dining Room takes full advantage of its beautiful setting with floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor patios – perfect for enjoying panoramic views of nearby vineyards and the Napa Valley countryside.

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

An upscale on-site general store, Market, is where you can stock up on picnic supplies, buy a bottle of wine or enjoy gourmet deli items. Perfect for a picnic and they also offer personalized picnic baskets. Perfect and so fun!

There is so much to take in and enjoy at this amazing property!

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

Enjoy an elevated relaxation experience at the newly reimagined Spa at Carneros – now open following a complete renovation.

An onsite boutique, COOP, where you can shop for luxury resort wear and accessories located in Town Square.

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

There are two pools with hot tubs, including the adult-only Hilltop Pool with a beautiful view of the countryside. There is also a family friendly pool – again as I said before, Carneros Resort and Spa has gone through every detail to delight their guests! There’s a 3,000-square-foot fitness center which includes cardio and strength training equipment and fitness classes. Complimentary bicycles are available to tour the property and surrounding area, which are provided on a first come, first serve basis.

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

The Town Square is complete with bocce ball courts, a market and an expansive outdoor lounge. Traveling with your dog? Your room will be complete with a dog bed and bowl. Cottages and suites are equipped with private enclosed patios for dogs to safely explore and relax. There are electric vehicle charging stations and guest car service within a 5-mile radius of the Resort based on availability in a complimentary luxury Cadillac.

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

My overall review about Carneros Resort and Spa? Simply AMAZING! It is so beautiful, relaxing, pampering and I can’t wait to visit again! Such a wonderful sensory experience. See you soon Carneros Resort and Spa and beautiful Napa Valley. xo

McKenna Carneros Resort and Spa

*Thank you, Carneros Resort and Spa, for sponsoring this post


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March 3, 2019

In honor of International Women’s Month.

Candice and I became friends 2.5 years ago during an AZ bloggers photo shoot for Williams Sonoma. There was a lot of fun and laughter surrounding this early morning gathering and photo shoot.

Williams Sonoma Photoshoot. Left to right: Jenn, Me, Melissa, Candice, Neyda

Unfortunately, I was going through an unexpected divorce (although I don’t speak publicly about this painful time, it actually turned out to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. Perhaps I’ll share more details at a later date…). Immediately following the shoot, I was going to meet with my now ex-husband to sign off on our house, close out all of our joint bank accounts and get our divorce papers notarized. I was an emotional mess to say the least. Because I am always professional, I composed myself through the shoot, but broke down when everything was over, and I was placing my items in my car’s trunk. I did not know Candice and had never met her before that morning. However, I’ll never forget her walking over to me with great concern on her pretty face and asking, “What’s wrong?” I briefly told her what was happening and that I had to leave right away.  She said, “Girl, you will be OK. Let’s get wine tonight!” As I got in my car, she suggested meeting at Postino (a wine restaurant in Phoenix). Because of her compassion, I was able to get through the next painful hour and a half because I had plans in place and something to look forward to! That night, we became fast friends and I realized she has a very kind soul. Throughout our fun friendship we have traveled and gone to many blogging events together, such as attending New York Fashion Week, Sedona, Happy Hours, fabulous dinners and I even helped host a baby shower for her darling daughter Nixon, who is now 7 months old….as you are reading this, Candice and I are boarding a plane for a few fun filled days in Napa!

At a St. Jude event

As we all know, social media is a great platform and is truly the heart of my business. Unfortunately, because people can be anonymous, this can help breed online bullying. While I have been the recipient of such ugly behavior (and it feels terrible) it has only made me more determined to show true kindness and support to other women. The Blogger/ Influencer world is full of competition, however if we choose kindness over jealousy, great friendships can form.

Fun times while in NYC for New York Fashion Week where we stayed at The Surrey (where Meghan Markle just stayed!)

Some of my best friends have actually come out of my years working at The Bubbly Blonde. You never know what private battles a person is going through. Candice held out a kind hand when my world was falling apart, and I learned a great deal from her empathy. I want to thank her for being a true friend.

At a country concert for KNIX Radio

Why should we try to tear each other down, when we can actually enjoy and learn from one other? Candice and I often share contacts and advice to help each other grow our blogs. Be happy for other people because someday, it will be your turn to succeed and you will want people building you up, not tearing you down.

At a Phoenix Suns Game

If there are women who refuse to show kindness to you, reconsider their place in your life. When I see negativity, I get out of the way! Enjoy National Women’s Month and use these 30 days to learn more about the beautiful women around you. Your heart will thank you.

If you have not met Candice, be sure to follow her! If you want to follow along on our incredible Napa trip, be sure to check out my Instagram and her Instagram.

At a Bruno Mars concert

I’ll leave you with these wise words by Anthony T. Hicks: “There will always be someone better looking, better off, smarter, richer, thinner, taller, shorter, have more friends than you, a better car or a better house. You might not have what they have, but when you look in the mirror, that’s you! And that’s something that they don’t have and will never have!”

McKenna xo

At an event for The Palmeraie at Hanger One in Scottsdale