Taking Back My Twenties


Marriott Rewards Program Review

Posted on May 14, 2014 | 6 comments

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Millennial Central for Marriott Rewards. I received Marriott Rewards Points to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

As you guys know, I’m blogging as part of the Marriott Rewards® Ambassador program, and this is the second of a serious of three posts. You might remember my trip to the JW Marriott Hill Country back in April. The property was great, and I definitely gave it a positive review, but the purpose of this post is to review the actual Marriott Rewards program and my experience redeeming points for a free night’s stay!

As a refresher, the Marriott Rewards program is free to join, and every time you stay in a Marriott property, you earn points that can be redeemed for free nights (you can enroll here: Marriott.com/rewards). Based on your stays and points, you also gain status and each tier comes with even greater benefits. Though I’ve redeemed points for free nights in the past (our New Orleans trip was free!), I’ve never had status before. As a Platinum Elite member, you gain privileges such as 48-hour guaranteed availability, exclusive offers, dedicated Platinum reservation line, 50% bonus on points for stays, free wifi, and and late checkout. Pretty cool!

I put together a video to share my experience with you guys. I apologize for the umms and awkward transitions – def. not used to being on camera!

Now you can see why Marriott Rewards has been voted “Program of the Year” 6 years in a row!

Also, don’t forget that Marriott Rewards is celebrating it’s 30th birthday with a Year of Surprises. You can nominate friends or family for a surprise party at  yearofsurprises.com by sharing your ideas for a celebration. The second round of nominations takes place May 1 to May 31, so enter soon (full rules at yearofsurprises.com/rules!

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Tastes of Chocolate

Posted on Sep 5, 2012 | 2 comments

I’m having a bit of trouble sleeping this week, so I’m gonna make this quick so I can hit the sack:(

This evening, I met the fabulous girls from the Triangle blogging group at Videri for a chocolate tasting!


Videri is a small chocolate factory that opened last year. We learned about the entire chocolate making process – who knew it has to age for a month? Also, our tour guide wraps every single bar by herself! Impressive.


The best part was obviously eating the chocolate. I liked the sea salt and the peppercorn the best.


I brought home a sea salt box for Matt and we finished most of it in one sitting. It’s funny how I used to like the cheap milk chocolates and now I loove the dark, unique bars.


Thanks to Linnie for putting together this neat event – its always fun to meet new people:)

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Monday + Meetup

Posted on Jul 30, 2012 | 6 comments

It’s been quite a nice Monday here! I babysat today and went to a spinning class this evening. It seems the weather has cooled off just a bit, so taking the little guy on a walk this morning wasn’t so bad.

Matt got home from work very late, so I made one of my quick go-to dinners, which has actually become my favorite packed lunch: TJ’s black bean taquitos toasted in the oven over TJ’s lemongrass rice with avocado and salsa. It’s full of flavor for a frozen meal:)


But the highlight was this unknown bar that Matt brought back from Illinois – he was traveling there for work and heard about a special bakery! From the wrapper, I thought it was some kind of sweet bread, come to find out it was a dense blondie-type bar packed with white and milk chocolate as well as butterscotch. SOO good!!! Really made my Monday.


Now, I’m off to watch the Wonder Years (I can’t believe Matt is agreeing to watch it!). So sad that we can’t watch the Olympics:(

Atlanta readers: a couple people have asked me about a meet-up, so I’m hoping to organize a frozen yogurt outing on Sunday. Email me or leave a comment if you are interested!

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Potluck: Triangle Bloggers

Posted on Apr 19, 2012 | 6 comments

Christina was nice enough to organize a Triangle Blogging Group and I volunteered to host tonight’s potluck! As can be expected, the spread was wonderful:




French and British cheeses,


dill and curry tuna salad,


Mexican quinoa,


chicken salad with golden raisins,




I made Angela’s banana split bites! Sadly, I made these yesterday, thinking they would be ok in the freezer, but when they thawed, they got gooey and brown. It’s a great recipe though, because they tasted fantastic at last night’s potluck!


I looved meeting all these girls! Everyone was so different, yet we all have blogging in common.


Hope to see them again in the future:) Night.

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Out of Juice

Posted on Jan 2, 2012 | 6 comments

Hi friends,

The good news is that I’m home safe and sound on the couch eating dinner from the WF hot bar and chocolate leftover from Chistmas (vacation withdrawal), but the bad news is that I left my computer cord in Florida and my laptop is dead.  Soo, I’ll have to wait a day or two to write a full recap of our time in Savannah because it’s too difficult to edit photos and blog without the appropriate software.  We had an amazing time with the exception of a tummy ache that semi-ruined new year’s:(  Our last day made up for it though, and I’m still dreaming of the sunset river views, fried pickles, and pork tacos we had yesterday.  For now, I’ll wish you all a happy new year!

PS: loved reading through the comments from the Next Step post!  I feel good about the changes to come and appreciate all the encouraging words:)

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Food Buzz, aka Food Coma

Posted on Nov 5, 2011 | 10 comments

After a looong day of travel, I’m here! Kath and I checked into the Galleria Park Hotel in Union Square, where there was a roaring fire for this coldish November day and a swanky lobby.



We rested for a quick minute, and then headed out to soak up the streets of San Francisco, since today was really our only moment of free time in the city.


We witnessed an interesting protest, complete with a naked wo[man]?




I decided that today would be a good day to drink some real caffeine. Though this chai latte tasted amazing, especially with the cool breezes of the bay in the background, I probably need to ease back into caffeinated beverages. This left me feeling flushed and practically drunk and I only had half!!


We showered and changed and headed over to Terra for tonight’s cocktail party and dinner.


The appetizers were provided by Sabra hummus, a treat that I love, but can get at home anytime. Having been warned of all the food to come, I stuck to crab and a glass of beer.


I had a winter spiced ale by 21st Amendment. This was a darker and nuttier brown ale with a bit of chocolate – very nice in contrast to all the fall/pumpkin beers I’ve been drinking.

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Dinner was served buffet style with lots of camera action.


I tried every single thing except a chicken wing that had run out and a shooter of ceviche that didn’t appeal to my palate.


My favorites were the beet and goat cheese ravioli, the beef stew with cornbread, and the pork belly.




In between dinner and dessert, the Foodbuzz awards were announced. Kath won Best Healthy Living Blog and received recognition for her sustainable/green seafood-eating habits from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute!!!!!!


Very exciting!!


The assembly of the dessert buffet was also very exciting.


Chocolate-coffee cream star cookie, mascarpone cheesecake with gingersnap crust, gingersnap macaroon, creamy Italian nougat with chocolate ganache bite, and an heirloom pumpkin tart with pumpkin seeds. I honestly enjoyed them all, but only went back fro seconds of the pumpkin tart and thirds of the Italian nougat.

I’m obviously very full, but surprisingly, not uncomfortable. It’s 1:30 EST, and I cannot wait to go to sleeeepp. I’m feeling oh so satisfied and very excited about all the new people I met this evening. Night!

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