A Birthday Getaway at Montelucia

Ever since we celebrated Beth’s 39th birthday in Vegas last year, we’ve been planning her 40th birthday outing.

A Birthday Weekend at Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

And, it was a pretty easy decision on where we wanted to go.  Beth chose one of my favorite places on the planet… Montelucia.  For the past 5 years, my friend Donna and I have been traveling to Montelucia a few times a year to unwind and relax.  It’s become a very special place to me… and I was so excited to have an opportunity to share it with Beth.

A Birthday Getaway at Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

Together, we were a group of 10…. all the ladies in Beth’s family, myself and my mom.  Such a fun group of ladies.  It was so nice to see everyone after so much time had passed.

We spent our days at the pool, laughing and catching up, and soaking up the beautiful sun that Phoenix offered us that day.  The weather was in the 90s all weekend long!  How does it get any better than that??  Perhaps with this pretty, pretty cocktail.  Yum!

A Birthday Getaway at Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

Birthday Getaway at Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

Beth is an amazing cook and when she and the ladies in her family go on these types of “girls’ trips”, they take advantage of the fine dining in the area.  So, we ate very well during the trip, enjoying some of Scottsdale’s best restaurants.

And, leaving the property at night gave us an opportunity to get prettied up and head out…

A Birthday Getaway at Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

Saturday was my favorite day of the trip, and Beth’s 40th birthday!  We spent the entire day on property, and most of the day at the beautiful Joya Spa.  This place never get old.

Joya Spa | No Thanks to Cake

We spent the day getting beautiful, being pampered, and relaxing.  BEST.  DAY.  EVER.

Joya Spa Crystal | No Thanks to Cake

Joya Spa | No Thanks to Cake

After a lovely day at Joya, we had to celebrate the birthday girl, and the folks at Prado were amazing and made sure the birthday girl was spoiled properly.  Actually, everywhere we went made sure that Beth got the VIP treatment.  There weren’t many meals that didn’t include a special birthday dessert with “Happy Birthday, Beth” written on the plates… super fancy, Scottsdale.

A Birthday Getaway at Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

A Birthday Getaway at Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

The weekend was just perfect, if you ask me.  Lots of laughs, lots of time with people who adore Beth, and a great getaway.

A Birthday Getaway at Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

And, best of all… I got to celebrate my favorite sister-in-law.  I’ve described her in the past as “my rock,” and she’s one of my favorite people on the planet.

Birthday Getaway to Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

Thanks for including all of us on your fabulous birthday adventure!  Looking forward to celebrating the next landmark birthday in a few years!  xoxo

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About the Venue: The USS Midway

Now, I mentioned that my company calls the competition ROCKSTAR… well, the guitar trophy isn’t the only music-themed part of the event.

Rockstar | No Thanks to Cake
The main event for all attendees is a private concert in a super-cool venue.  Last year, you might remember that I had a chance to attend the Rockstar concert on Alcatraz.  Just when I thought that venue was the ultimate space for a concert… my company reserved the USS Midway.

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake
The USS Midway is a World War II naval aircraft carrier that is now situated just off the coast of San Diego.  It serves today as museum and commemorates its service on the Pacific.  But for the night, it was transformed into a rockin’ venue for our private show.  The bands had been announced a few weeks earlier.  I was thrilled to hear that Train was the headliner, and Nico and Vinz were the opening act.

USS Midway | No Thanks to Cake
Like Rockstars, we traveled to the show via yacht.  Now, they had warned us to dress warm for the evening as it could be cool on the water… Unfortunately, San Diego has been having a super hot spell, so these warm clothes weren’t really needed.  (A warning for the sweaty pics that will follow)

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake
About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake
As we arrived at the Midway, there were a bunch of photo ops that followed.  We took a picture of our entire region together, and this part is crazy… I got a private meet and greet with Train.  (WHAT???)  That was pretty cool, although… I had nothing prepared to say.  So, I simply introduced myself and posed for a quick pic.  Unfortunately, these pics were taken by the professional photog, so I don’t have a copy to share… but if I get a copy, I’ll share them!

The USS Midway museum is full of aircrafts… some of which you can climb in and take pics.  You could also tour the ship, but in the excitement of it all, I was more interested in visiting with my co-workers and rehydrating after the being super hot on the yacht ride!

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake
About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake
When they took us up to the main flight deck… I was SO impressed with the stage.  After dinner and the announcement of the winners, the fun began.

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake

And, the sun started to set, which allowed for me to take the prettiest pics of the planes on the deck!

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake

Nico and Vinz kicked off the show, but before we knew it, it was time for Train.

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake
The show was so amazing… I’ll tell you more about it shortly. To Be Continued…

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About the Competition: Rockstar

Wow.  As I sit down to write this post, I don’t really know where to begin.

I’m just getting home and back to reality after a whirlwind of a week in California. I know I posted some quick-hit posts about being in Cali and competing… but I’ll tell you all about it today.

So… I work for an amazing company. They do crazy things for their employees sometimes, and they like HUGE SPLASHY recognition programs, specifically sales competitions. This one is such a big deal… that they call it Rockstar.

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

I work in sales, so most days you’ll find me consulting with customers about how my products can revolutionize their business in some new and exciting way. So… when I had the opportunity to participate in a contest featuring the way I sell, I jumped right in.  You may remember that I participated in this contest last year from this post (and the four other posts I wrote about the trip I, II, III, and IV).

What I was tasked with doing is preparing 4 customer scenarios and developing a full presentation of products and services to “sell”.  Each scenario was 5-7 minutes, performed with no notes, and scored by a panel of judges on all sorts of specific criteria.  It’s intense to say the least, to pull all this together and still get your day job done.  But so worth it!

Each round of competition, the customers changed… so, I got to prepare 13 of these bad boys. During each round of competition, you’d pick a scenario out of a hat, one of the 4 you’d prepared… and then have 5-7 minutes to show your stuff!

Rockstar | No Thanks to Cake

That’s me with my girl Jade after the regional competition… you’ll see lots of pics of Jade as I recap this trip.  She’s amazing and so much fun!  I wish she lived in Denver!

So, after winning amongst my local team, beating out the remaining people in my department regionally, I along with 12 others got invited to participate with all of the competitors in the West.

This is where it gets splashy and fabulous…

On Tuesday, they flew all the regional winners into Southern California into gorgeous San Diego to compete. We took over the beautiful Loews Coronado Island, as there must have been about 200+ there. If you’ve never been to Coronado Island… wow. It is absolutely lovely.

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

My company is very big on making sure we got VIP treatment the entire time, so we stepped off the buses to find the paparazzi ready to take our pics, a step-and-repeat for us to pose in front of, and goody bags to pick up as we register.


After a poolside cocktail party and a welcome dinner, it was time to get a good night’s sleep for the competition the next day.

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

I competed at 9:18am the next day (thanks for all the well wishes, y’all!) and nailed it. It went even better than planned, and I walked out knowing that I’d be moving onto the next round. I love that feeling… when you perform so well, when your preparations pay off. It just feels awesome!

Also awesome, I got this Diet Coke during lunch… coincidence??

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

With a few hours to kill, I got a quick chair massage, visited with co-workers, and waited patiently for the winners to be announced – – and I was so excited when my name was called to take the stage for my region.

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

As a finalist, we had more work to be done. We were given another fresh scenario and had an hour to prepare for the next round. That 60 minutes went by completely fast, and before I knew it, I was back on stage… hopeful that I’d remember all the details of what we’d prepared.

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

While my performance was strong, I didn’t end up winning this round… but GOSH! I had so much fun along the way. And, to be named “The Ultimate Mountain Rockstar” for my region was totally enough!  Playing up the whole “Rockstar” theme, the trophy awarded at the end of the night was a guitar signed by the bands who performed… mine was a pretty mint green bass, and I couldn’t be happier!

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

Overall, it was an amazing few days… and such an awesome opportunity to showcase my sales skills and to meet our executive team.  I am so appreciative to work for such a fantastic company, to have experienced such a cool event, and to attend the concert that followed that evening. I’ll tell you more about that in future posts…

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Currently: June

It’s that time of the month again!  Let’s catch up on what’s going on “Currently”…

Current Book:

I completely devoured this book last month from Emily Giffin.  And, it even showed up in my PopSugar Must Have box this month!  If you haven’t read it, now’s the time!  Perfect for the beach!

PopSugar Must Have Box | No Thanks to Cake
Current Music:

Prepping for the Lionel Ritchie concert (O-M-G… Amazing show!), I bought Lionel’s Tuskegee album, which is a compilation of duets with major country music stars.  Think Endless Love with Shania and Stuck on You with Darius Rucker…  So good!

Current Guilty Pleasure:

Planning for my trip to Fitbloggin, I did a little too much shopping.  And, I stumbled into Charming Charlie’s.  Seriously, don’t ever go just at that moment when it starts to rain…  you’ll buy way too much.  You’ll have way too much time to look at all their treasures.  You’ll even insist on walking out wearing one of the necklaces you like the most.

Charming Charlies | No Thanks to Cake

Current Nail Color:

This week, I switched my polish.   I’m rocking the Lapis of Luxury… a pretty, pretty periwinkle by Essie.  And, I kinda love it…

Essie Lapis of Luxury | No Thanks to Cake

Current Drink: 

Savignon Blanc… Still obsessed and it goes down like water for some unfortunate reason.  I drank a few glasses at the cute little Truffle Table this week with the ladies.  Loved it.

Sauvignon Blanc | No Thanks to Cake

Current Food:

This chicken.  I could eat it every day for some time and not get sick of it.  And, it’s so pretty plated up.  My next dinner party… yes, this is what we are eating!

Grilled Lime Chicken with Avocado-Corn Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

Also…  Pssssst!  I’m a finalist in the Fitbloggin California Avocado Cutting Edge Culinary recipe contest and will find out later today what I win! Will keep you posted…

Current Favorite Show:

True story:  I don’t really like TV.  I think there are so many other things to do rather than watch it… I don’t watch any of the hip shows.  I just watch my old standbys and if I miss them, I really don’t worry too much.

But… there’s talk that me and a few of my gal-pals are going to go see Sound of Music at the Ellie Caulkins Theater in Denver, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!!!  Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, after all…

Sound of Music Favorite Things | No Thanks to Cake

Current Outfit:

Oh, if I look back at this month and the recent Fitbloggin shopping… there’s a lot of fun dresses that came out of recent trips.  After all, my favorite conference of the year has me traveling to the sweaty surface of the sun… so a girl’s gotta be breezy in some dresses.

Nordstrom Rack | No Thanks to Cake

Dresses  | No Thanks to Cake

Nordstrom Rack:  I didn’t realize you were so dangerous.  Well played.

Bizarre Happening:

I told you earlier that I don’t watch TV… and now, well… I’m confessing that I am SO not a pet person.  But I met this dog, and it’s weird.  I just like her.

French Bulldog | No Thanks to Cake

Her name is Lucy and I spotted her at the Hanuman Festival last weekend… and since then I’ve been running into little French bulldogs everywhere.  Is this a sign??

Current Online Find:

These aren’t new finds for me, but I thought I’d share two of my Fitbloggin faves with you that you need to start reading NOW!  This is just a sneak peek of what’s to come next week when I leave Fitbloggin and begin gushing over the fab people I’ve met.  In the meantime, meet Alyssa and Ashley!

Have you met Alyssa from Double Chin Diary? yet?  Well… she’s agreed to room with me at Fitbloggin this year, and didn’t really expect me to bring the luggage that I did, surely.  Her story (along with her sister April’s) is awesome, inspiring and always teaches me something new, while at the same time making me realize I really should live near the coast.

Double Chin Diaries Alyssa | No Thanks to Cake

Another MUST-READ is Fierce Forward.  If you haven’t met the lovely Ashley yet… watch out, because she is incredibly fierce and fiercely authentic.  Her warm and bright spirit makes her a pleasure to be with… and I love her rocker style.  So hippie chic, and I’m so glad to call her a friend.  I got to see her and new friend Meagan at the Hanuman Festival last weekend, and so excited to be spending time with her again in Savannah!

Fierce Forward | No Thanks to Cake

These are just two of many men and women I’ll be visiting with at Fitbloggin… I’ll share more in my recap!

Current Words of Inspiration:

This simple phrase is one I utter daily.  When I wake up in the morning, I verbalize that I am grateful for things that are yet to happen.  “I’m grateful that I had a great day.”  “I’m grateful that my presentation went well…” etc.

Grateful | No Thanks to Cake

And every day, at the end of the day, I get to smile and appreciate again in reflection how great the day was.  Try it… it works.

Current Mood:

In the words of the man, the artist, the legend, I’m…Easy Like Sunday Morning | No Thanks to Cake


View my previous “Currently” posts here:

Currently: May

Currently:  April

Currently: March 

Currently: February

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