Karen Heffren, Desert TravelingMom

Karen Heffren, Desert TravelingMom

Karen Heffen is a Tucson native who can't imagine moving but loves traveling outside the desert whenever she can. Naturally with two little boys, Disneyland is a frequent destination for her family. Most often they head to California or explore Arizona but love when they can travel outside their comfort zone! Karen shares her family adventures including DIY costumes, fun cupcakes and social good and at Desert Chica


Hotel Review: Blue Gate Garden Inn in Shipshewana, Indiana

I often gravitate towards booking rooms at corporate hotel chains because it helps set my level of expectation. I like budget friendly  and safe, but also enjoy spacious and luxurious accommodations. Of course that doesn’t mean our stay is always as expected, but I am fairly confident when booking the room. Some places don’t offer many big chain hotels, so you just have to go with the flow and hope for the best. The Blue Gate Garden Inn is a perfect example of booking the unknown and loving the hotel. This summer my mom and I took my boys...

Read More

Mickey’s Halloween Party Costume Ideas and Tips

We may have a couple months until Halloween but now is the time to start planning costumes and buying tickets if you want to attend Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland. Tickets are already on sale and will sell out! Beyond buying your tickets to this after hours event, you need to consider what costume to wear. While costumes are not required, they do make the event extra fun and most guests do participate. Read below for Mickey’s Halloween Party costume ideas and tips. Fall is one of my favorite times to visit Disneyland because of all the Halloween Time...

Read More

6 Fun, Family-Friendly and Free Things To Do in Tucson Arizona

Looking for free things to do in Tucson with your family and friends? The Old Pueblo offers a few fun options from water and art to live music and history. You’re sure to find something fun (and free) to do in town! 1. San Xavier Mission The San Xavier Mission was established by Father Kino in 1732. A great stop for anyone who appreciates Spanish colonial architecture, art, or history. Watch the 20 minute video prior to checking out the small on-site museum. You’ll learn about the history of the mission, the area, and Father Kino. The church itself is...

Read More

Cafe Rix at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort

The best place for a late night or early morning bite to eat at the Coronado Springs Resort is Cafe Rix. The grab and go market offers a variety of food and beverages choices to suit everyone’s needs. Cafe Rix at Coronado Springs Resort Cafe Rix is a quick service food spot located at the Coronado Springs Resort, near the lobby and gift shop. It’s open early and late making it perfect for both early risers and late night owls. My cross country flight made for a late check in, thankfully Rix Cafe was open to save me from starving...

Read More

Kids Will Dig The Boneyard at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Need a break from the traditional theme park action at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Check out the Boneyard, a large play area in DinoLand where kids can blow off steam and parents to rest their feet without the lines and crowds. With lively music and interactive features for kids from toddlers to tweens, it’s a hidden gem you shouldn’t pass by. The Boneyard at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Boneyard is located near the entrance to DinoLand USA, on left side just after you pass under the huge dinosaur bridge. The bridge in fact connects one side of the Boneyard to...

Read More

Hotel Review: Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa in Sedona, Arizona

A visit to beautiful Red Rock Country is must for both Arizona families and tourists alike. The Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa in Sedona, Arizona is a nice, family friendly lodging option in the heart of Sedona. What Works For Families A pool with kid features and water toys made it a hit with our boys. Suites are available with separate bedrooms, making bedtime easier with little ones. Kids (under 10) eat free at the Grille with adult meal purchase Wifi included in Resort Fee What Doesn’t Work For Families Beyond the pool there are no other kid centered amenities...

Read More

Sneak Peek at the North Pole Experience

Visiting Santa Claus at this workshop in the North Pole is much easier than you think, at least if you are close to Northern Arizona! The North Pole Experience offers tours of Santa’s 400 year old North Pole workshop via a special portal located near Flagstaff, Arizona. Caroling elves help navigate the portal magic and within 15 minutes of departure, you arrive at Santa’s wonderland. We’ve visited Santa’s workshop for the past 2 years and both of my boys (now 4 1/2 and 7) love the experience. In fact they have already asked if we are going again this...

Read More

Family Fun at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona

Catching a baseball game at Chase Field is a fun family outing in Phoenix, Arizona. The retractable roof allows guests to enjoy beautiful weather during the cooler months and keeps the air conditioning contained during the hot summer months.  Plus the Arizona Diamondbacks offer a kids club, family friendly amenities and kid-focused promotions. Ball Park Playground The Sandlot, located on the upper concourse, offers a playground with two clubhouses, four slides and a play area for kids of all ages. Bigger kids can swing away at the batting cages and younger kids can hit a Wiffle ball and run the bases...

Read More

Donut Bar San Diego

You don’t have to wait until National Donut Day (June 6) to enjoy the treats at the Donut Bar San Diego. A few months I enjoyed a girls’ weekend in San Diego and one of the new restaurants we tried was the Donut Bar in downtown San Diego. Unique Donut Varieties The Donut Bar offers seriously unique and yummy donut creations. Their menu rotates but recent varieties include root beer float, candy bar, maple bourbon, cake batter and strawberry split. DONUT BAR is a completely different kind of donut company. While focusing on the real ingredients, flavors, textures and design of...

Read More

Healthy, Memorable Food at True Food Kitchen in Scottsdale, Arizona

As a big fan of Fox Restaurant Concepts and their uniquely themed eateries including Zinburger and Blanco Tacos & Tequila, I was anxious to experienced True Food Kitchen in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was in town with my dad and wanted to try one of the restaurants unavailable in Tucson. Healthy Food Options Having just made New Years resolutions to be healthier and try new things, the True Food Kitchen seemed like the perfect choice. Their dining concept was developed in conjunction with Dr. Andrew Weil and his anti-inflammatory diet for optimum health. They use high quality, locally sourced (as much as possible) food to create unique and healthy...

Read More

Twitter Parties

Instagram Photos #TMOM