Bruster’s Real Ice-Cream

You can never fail with a trip to the ice cream shop! Well, if they’re lactose intolerant, you can but Bruster’s Fresh even has non-dairy treats like Freezes.⁣

Even when it’s raining, like it is in Phoenix today, eat ice-cream and talk about how cold you are. Who does that? I do.

Bruster’s Real Ice-Cream in the Arrowhead area is a quick and easy ice cream stand with walk-up ordering and benches for outdoor seating. You know what I say, everything tastes better when you eat it outside. You can even grab your ice cream to-go thru the drive-thru, if you’re on the go.

Bruster’s Real Ice-Cream

Rich, creamy and lots of flavors to choose from! They even let you sample if you can’t decide what you should go with.⁣

Grab your kiddos and even your fur babies. Free ice cream to children under 40” and doggie sundaes for your non-human friends.

What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor. Here I have Rocky Road on the bottom and Cookies ‘N Cream on the top. (Sugar-free options are also available.)⁣

FUN FACT: I DO NOT eat chocolate ice-cream, but I eat Rocky Road.

Location visited:
17115 N 51st Avenue
Glendale, AZ 85308


VIP Airsoft Arena

Loading the magazine.

One of my sons hates pain, he plays defense in tackle football so he can hit and not get hit so he wasn’t that excited about trying out the @VIPAirSoft arena when he realized he’d be getting hit by airsoft pellets.  I instructed him and my other son on how to dress so the possibility of feeling the airsoft pellets hit them would be minimal.

They were dressed in two layers on the top and bottom.  Hoodies to protect their neck and head, in addition to their rental helmets and chest vests.  Gloves are also an added barrier (you must bring your own) that most didn’t have on, but my boys said they were clutch. 

I registered them online and signed a waiver, so the process was short and simple once we arrived.  The referees take time to explain the rules of the arena to ensure safety while the front of the house staff explained how to use the airsoft rifles properly.  They were all set.

My boys had a 4-hour session that included gear, 1000 pellets, and a rental rifle.  The boys spent an hour in the arena, which equated to two arena games and they were ready to go.  As my husband and I watched we thought it be a great date-night activity even for the adults. Give @VIPAirSoft a visit for kid and adult outings.  The boys said their experience was cool, but they’d prefer if one thing was added.

Airsoft rifles, magazines, and airsoft pellets.

My kids love their cousins.  They said next time they’d want all their cousins to join in on the fun to make the arena teams more competitive.  They both agreed the team vs. team would have been better if you know the people who you are fighting with and against because there would be more talking i.e. trash talking, strategy and the overall experience would be more personal.

Consider going with a squad for a more personable experience!

VIP Airsoft Arena have two locations:

3841 E. Baseline Rd., #K-133
Gilbert, AZ 85234

10870 N. 32nd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85028

Website: vipairsoft.net


Children’s Museum of Phoenix

My daughter is always game without question, so I ran the idea of checking out the Children’s Museum of Phoenix by my 11-year-old son and when he heard the word “museum” he said, Muuuseeeummmmmm!? Where there are statues and pictures hanging on the wall every where and we walk around and just look at them, he asks? I assured him it wasn’t that type of museum.

I knew he may me on the cusp of being too old to really enjoy the museum, but I thought what better way to gauge the proper age group for this outing than to get his opinion.

I gathered my two youngest kids, my sister, nieces, nephew, my best friend, her daughter and our Groupon and arrived at the museum in the early afternoon.

Admission to the museum was $14.95, but the Groupon allowed 2-person admission for the cost of $14.95 (1-year and under are free).

When we first walked in, to the left was an enormous jungle gym and the kids took off running.  The climbed all over the jungle gym and played at the nearby air-shoot. 

In the same area they had soft toys and blocks for the toddler-aged kids to explore.  My nephew was immediately drawn to this area.

They would have stayed in this area the entire time, but I set the timer and told them we had about 15 minutes remaining after being the area for about 20-minutes.

Next, we headed upstairs to the tricycle car wash area and the kids rode the bikes around the area for about 15-minutes.  There were several other exploratory activities along the way.

Headed up to the third and final level of the museum and the kids played on the rockers and nearly got kicked out of the foam maze for running.

The younger kids of the group found the play supermarket and kitchen entertaining and stayed in there while the older kids made friends and played walk tag in the foam maze.

Lastly, we spent time time in the gift shop checking out all the fun toys that were available.

We spent about two hours in the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.  As the parents, we felt that was an adequate of amount of time.

Click below to hear the kids give their review of the museum and if they’d go back again.

The kids sharing their favorite part of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix

Groupon frequently has the Children’s Museum of Phoenix deal going on, but if not, the $14.95 per person cost is still worth a kid-outing for the day.

Check your local area to see if there is a children’s museum in your area.  Don’t forget to check for discounts.  Parents, you’ll love the discounts and the kids will love the museum outing.

Location visited:

Children’s Museum of Phoenix
215 N. 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034


Keto Sandwich

I have made a few things, and thought to myself, this is Keto.  Wow!

That’s how I feel about this sandwich.  It’s SO delicious.

Outer Aisle Gourmet

Have you heard of Outer Aisle Gourmet Cauliflower Thins?  I hadn’t either until I was on the hunt to find a bread substitute that was “Keto Approved.”

I didn’t think I’d find something pre-packaged, that would make my Keto journey easier, so I first looked for bread recipes, but lo and behold, plant-based bread to the rescue.

The Outer Aisle thins have 1g net carbs per thin, 1 serving of vegetables.

We have made all kinds of sandwiches.  Pastrami and turkey.  Just pastrami.  We’ve even sandwiched a hamburger in between them.

Hamburger with Cauliflower Thins

This sandwich has mayo, provolone cheese pastrami, and a fried egg.  The trick to taking Outer Aisle’s Sandwich Thins to the next level, is toasting the bread prior to assembling your sandwich.  Just for a few minutes.

Fried Egg and Pastrami Sandwich with Cauliflower Thins

Outer Aisle has a product tracker on their website, https://www.outeraislegourmet.com/pages/store-locator to make them easier to find.

I’ve picked them up at Natural Grocers.  You can also find them at Whole Foods and AJ’s Fine Foods.  They are about $6.99 for 6 thins.

The thins are available in original, Italian, and jalapeno flavors.  Outer Aisle also makes pizza style crust, which I must try.

Website: www.outeraislegourmet.com

Dining Out


You know when you see a new spot and you’re like hmmm… I wonder what’s going on over there.  That’s how I felt when I seen Slapfish pop-up on the scene.  I don’t live on the side of town where Slapfish is.  I was just in the area that day, so I noted it in my phone notes under Restaurants to Try.

Do you have a list in your phone of restaurants to try?

The opportunity presented itself for me to go and give Slapfish a whirl.  I ordered the Fried Fish Street Taco and the Fried Shrimp Roll.

As we waited, my husband and I noticed the steady flow of traffic coming in and out.  The restaurant was filled, and people were waiting for to-go orders and I said to my husband this place must be GOOD!  That’s always my first clue.  My second clue is, has the staff tried the things that I’m asking about.  The counter person had everything I asked her about.

Fried Fish Taco

The food was hot, one thing I require of all my food.  The shrimp nor the fish had that weird texture thing going on.  The like Texas toast bread roll the shrimp was nestled in was SO buttery and delightful.  Everything was just incredible. Think of a “souped-up” Long John Silver. Sorry LJS.

Fried Shrimp Roll with Seasoned Fries

They have several locations in various states.  I will certainly visit Slapfish again and have the courage to try their most popular item, the Lobster Roll.  Let me know if you’ve been or if you swing through.

Location visited:
7280 W. Bell Rd.
Glendale, AZ 85308

Website: www.slapfishrestaurant.com/

Slapfish Outdoor Seating
Slapfish Inside Seating
Things-to-Do, Travel

Dolly Steamboat Cruise

Who loves a great day-trip?  If it has the word trip in it, I’m in and if it’s near or on the water I’m all the way in.

The Dolly Steamboat has been in operation for 32 years, in Canyon Lake, just outside of Phoenix, Arizona.  It was my sister’s birthday, so my mom, sister and I headed out to experience the timeless Dolly Steamboat Cruise.

Do you live near a lake or ocean or is a body of water accessible where you can hop on the highway for a quick day-trip?  If so, I encourage you to find out what types of activities are available to enjoy the serenity that water brings to one’s soul.

Years ago my mom went on the Dolly Steamboat Cruise (Dolly) with a women’s group and told me about it.  Not too much later, my husband and I went on the Dolly for our anniversary.  I’ve also kept the Dolly Steamboat cruise at the top of the list of things to do when anyone asks for non-typical things-to-do.

The ticket pricing is $25, with a $1.50 on-line convenience charge per ticket.  You can show up to the dock without pre-purchasing a ticket, same cost, but with no convenience charges.  The downside to this is you’re not guaranteed a seat on the boat.  All online pre-purchased tickets are checked-in first, then any remaining seating is sold.  If you’re anything like me, I suggest purchasing your ticket on-line to ensure a seat.

Dolly leaves from Canyon Lake, which is about 1 hour and 15 minutes away from my home, so we set out at around 11 a.m. for a 2 p.m. cruise departure (there are two daily cruise times noon and 2 p.m.)  It is recommended that you arrive 20-45 minutes ahead of your scheduled cruise time to get your pass for boarding.  We arrived 30 minutes before the window opened and were assigned the boarding positions, 51-53.

We already had our seats picked out, based on the view from the dock.  We scoped out the top deck, in the sun, on the back of the boat.  Whoever got there first had the task of ensuring we had three seats and table.  Mission accomplished.

The Scenic Nature Cruise is 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Five other cruises are available, including a Twilight Cruise that includes dinner.  On the Scenic Nature Cruise, we spotted several big horn sheep and two bald eagles.

The boat has a cash-only concessions bar (beer, wine, popcorn, candy, etc.).  We bought a couple of candy bars, $1.50 and a large bucket of popcorn, $5.50.  They have free water on-board, but you can bring your own.

The cruise is kid-friendly, and we plan to take our crew out for a little fun in the sun.  Tickets are $15 for children ages 5-12, $6 for children 1-4 and children under 1 are free.

There is ample graveled parking and a restroom on board, but if you’re smart, use the bathroom prior to boarding.

I would take the Dolly Steamboat Cruise time and time again.  Let me know if you go out, or if you search out a boating daytrip in your area.

Location visited:
Dolly Steamboat Cruise
16802 AZ-88, Tortilla Flat, AZ 85117


Dining Out, Things-to-Do

Lux Central Coffee Shop

I had a meeting to attend and it was up to me to choose the location, so I chose Lux Central.  The meeting started at 9:30am, and the place was packed.  Line out the door.  I was taken aback by that.  It is just a coffee shop after all, is what I thought.  Naturally, I immediately said this place must be GOOD!

We waited in line about 12 minutes, with a Lux Central staff member walking down the line taking orders.  Since I hadn’t been there before, I needed visuals and some direction.  She allowed us to work our way up to the glass case where the pastries were on display.  I made my order.  Blueberry muffin and the pretty coffee drink in a glass mug.  She asked, a latte?  I said, yes, and what does it take to make it sweet?  She said, caramel.  I said yes, a caramel latte and a blueberry muffin, please.

As we waited in line, we noticed that the seating was limited because everyone in Phoenix was at Lux Central that morning.  There were four of us, so we strategically scoped out where we could squeeze in.  Don’t be opposed to sitting with another person or two, everyone seemed friendly enough and knew this may happen at Lux.  There were many pockets of casually clustered seating all over the building and an outdoor seating area as well.  We luckily discovered a space for four and grabbed it.

I’m all about process and order.  I notice this everywhere I go.  When we ordered in the line, we waited in that same line until you get to the register to pay.  Once you pay, you hang out and wait for your name to be called.  As the drinks came out, they were placed on the counter next to the register where there is constant traffic of payees.  If drinks are not picked up timely, it’s a sea of orders all over the counter while you cautiously and others not so cautiously try to determine which drink is theirs.  This process could be a lot better.  The potential landing area for completed drinks should be relocated to allow for a more seamless process between the payees and the pick-up station, but I’m just a patron.

Lux Central

Anyhow, Lux Central not only has pastries and coffee, they also have a complete breakfast, juice bar and liquor menu.  Everything our group had (coffee, latte, blueberry muffin, croissant, hot chocolate, blueberry loaf) agreed their items were good and it was worth a return for full breakfast and coffee.

Lux Central is great meeting, study, and hang out space in central Phoenix, and I can see why the line is constantly out the door.  The vibe is legit.  I encourage you to visit a local coffee shop in your area and let me know what you ordered.

Live music tucked in the corner (visited on a Sunday).

Location visited:

4402 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Hours: 6AM – 12AM

Dining Out, Food Opinion, Movies, Theater, Things-to-Do

The iPic Theater Experience

We were chosen to try-out the iPic Theater in Scottsdale, AZ.  To be honest, I had researched iPic before and thought, whoa!  That activity is NOT in our family of six budget. As the mom who takes the kids to the movies before noon so that we only pay $5 for matinee tickets, I was ecstatic that iPic graciously extended an invitation and we were able to experience the luxuries of iPic.  Click the *link in bio* to check out what makes iPic theaters so luxurious. 

iPic provided us with a 4-admission ticket pack, so we bought pizza for the two “Littles” and dropped them off with grandma and the older boys, my husband and I headed to the theater. Upon arrival we were greeted by management and shown to our seating.  We were given menus and were told; everything is on the house.

My boys looked and asked, really?  Yes, we frequent our theater with the reclining seats, popcorn, snacks and drinks on-hand but this was different.  New plush reclining pod-seating for two.  Blankets, pillows, unlimited popcorn, a full menu + a Keto option, brought right to our seats.  I asked my husband to please check on me to make sure I didn’t fall asleep during the movie, that’s how comfortable the space was.  Let me tell you, we were there for ALL. OF. IT.

Photo Courtesy of iPic Theater

Seating was $27 per person, so $108 for the four of us. 

Here’s what we ordered from the menu:

Fajita Quesadilla $15 (my husband had a steak quesadilla, because he thought you can’t go wrong with steak, cheese and a flour tortilla shell)

Chicken Strips $15 (I had the chicken strips, because I’m simple)

Angus Burger Sliders $17 (both my sons had the sliders, because kids eat burgers)

Truffle Fries $12 (we shared 2 orders)

Drinks $3.50 (3 drinks, I share with my husband because I don’t drink much soda and it was free re-fills)

Toffee Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich $10 x 2 (we shared 2 between the four of us)

We also had popcorn, but remember, the cost is included in the cost of your ticket.

As you can see, the pricing is like real dining. I can say the menu was nicely done.  A little bit for everyone, from lobster rolls, salad bowls, flatbread pizza to Keto steak skewers.  Menu prices are online to view ahead of time, which is a major plus in my book.  All in all, the food was ok.  It lacked overall seasoning of the meats used. My husband ate all his quesadilla, and said he’d get it again.  I hate half of my chicken strips and took the rest home for lunch the following day. The boys didn’t eat all their food and didn’t care to take the rest with them.  We collectively gave the food a 3 ½ out 5 rating.

So, in total, our iPic theater outing was $246.50.  iPic certainly delivered what it set out to do and is worth all of what they provided, which is a luxurious movie going experience.  I’d visit iPic again, for a special occasion but when the whole family is in tow, we’ll stick to the theater up the street.


Location visited:
15257 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254


My Top 8 Podcasts

In last week’s blog post, “Get to Know Me,” I mentioned that I listen to podcasts more than watching television, but what is a podcast?

I thought the same thing when I first saw the term in an online article I was reading.  That article linked to the insanely famous Serial podcast: I began to listen, and I’ve been hooked on podcasts ever since.  They are great for listening on road trips, riding to work, or just washing dishes.

So, a podcast is a digital audio file that you can listen to, like the radio.  Some podcasts are structured as series of the same storyline told over time or can be new episodes with a different story each cycle.  Podcasts are free to listen to or to download via Apple Podcast or Google Podcast.  There are a range of topics: true crime, self-help, business, food, reality show; basically anything you’re interested in, there’s a podcast about it.

Now that’s out the way, let’s move on to the fun stuff. Here are my top 8 podcasts that are in my regular rotation and why.  I also list a few series that are a must listen.

Criminal podcast is about people who’ve committed crimes or have been the victim of a criminal offense.  This podcast finds the most interesting storylines from around the world and interview the actual people involved in the crime, scheme, etc. This aspect makes the storytelling engaging and the host is a natural storyteller.
Recent episode: Ep. 121 – Off Leash

I have no idea how the Ear Hustle podcast got permission to broadcast INSIDE a prison, but the idea is genius.  Ear Hustle shares life stories about the guys who are incarcerated at the California prison, San Quentin.  Initially the podcast was hosted by a visual artist and inmate who had been in prison for 18 years.  Until… his sentence was commuted and now he is hosting the podcast on the outside, along with a new host on the inside.  A perspective on prison life of guys who still have a chance of getting out, while others will never leave the walls of San Quentin alive.  These are stories I’m sure you’ve never heard before.
Recent episode:  Ep. 31 – Inside Music  

Myleik is the creative entrepreneur who owns the company CurlBox.  Curlbox is a successful subscription box, dedicated to natural hair.  I was a subscriber to this box, so naturally I learned that Myleik hosted a podcast, the My Taught You Podcast.  She has said that if she became successful, she’d tell everyone how she did it.  When I say she does just that, she does just that.  She gives you all the tips, details, and the mindset needed. Basically, it‘s a blueprint on how to start and run a successful business.  Just about everyone refers to her as the big sister or cousin who tells it like it is, that you wish you had in your back pocket.  Well, this podcast is as close as it gets.  Be prepared with a pen and a notebook because even if you’re not an entrepreneur, you’ll want to write down all her gem droppers and execute them word-for-word.
Recent Episode: Summer Refresh Your Finances

It’s Oprah!  Need I say more?  Super Soul Conversations are conversations with “thought-leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts.”  Soul conversations allow you to think of the world in a much bigger way.  Not just the life in the bubble I operate in daily, but how life fits into the bigger scheme of everything that life is meant to be.  It’s exactly as it’s titled: conversations with your soul. Recent episode: Bob Igler: The Ride of a Lifetime

Stuff You Should Know (SYSK) is a podcast about things you should know, and a bunch of random things you didn’t think you should know.  I laugh at least once in every episode of SYSK.  If you like to know a little about a lot of things, SYSK is a lite, fun and quirky podcast that will give you some fascinating topics for conversations in any room you’re stuck in.
Recent episode: We Are Running Out of Sand and That Actually Matters

My sister-in-law hipped me to The Casey Crew podcast three years ago when it released its first episode.  She said they reminded her of me and Edward (my husband), been together forever, married young, and have a whole bunch of kids.  If you’re familiar with the morning show, The Breakfast Club, then you’re familiar with one of its hosts, DJ Envy (Raashaun Casey).  He and his wife Gia Casey co-host the podcast, and they discuss the gamut of their lives, marriage, kids, work.  EVERYTHING.  They hold nothing back.  Envy gives his rough and sometimes smooth-around-the-edge’s perspective, and Gia brings the level headedness, let’s-look-at this-from-all-perspectives view to the podcast.
Recent episode:  Ep. 126 – Can You Afford Me

Therapy for Black Girls (TBG) is hosted by a licensed psychologist.  Every week she tackles real-life topics suggested by listeners or topics and themes that are apart of our world every day.  Mental health, personal development, and discussing how to be the best versions of ourselves are TBG’s focus.
Recent episode: Session 118 – Making Friends As An Adult

The Undisclosed team consists of two practicing attorneys and an attorney who is a law professor.   The team investigates wrongful convictions and the U.S. criminal justice system.  Every aspect of the crime is investigated, when law enforcement began the investigation, the trial, the verdict and even through the appeals process.  They turn up facts, evidence, etc. that never made it to court.  I am intrigued by the Undisclosed team because they are potentially giving the wrongfully convicted a voice that might not otherwise be heard.
Recent case: State v. Greg Lance

Podcast Series that are binge worthy:

Atlanta Monster – Tells the story of 25 Atlanta missing and murdered children.  The accused is currently in prison, but is he the actual Atlanta Monster?

Bear Brook – “Two barrels. Four bodies. And the decades-long mystery that led to a serial killer.”  One barrel found and the second barrel found 10 years later. Were they related is the question that keeps you hooked.

In the DarkSeason One, the abduction of Jacob Wetterling.  No answers for 27 years, until.  Season Two, a man named Curtis Flowers has been tried for the SAME crime SIX times.  Say what!?!

Serial – Season One, the Adnan Syed story and Season Three, Inside the Cleveland Juvenile Justice System.  The podcast chose Cleveland because it let them record EVERYWHERE.

Up and Vanished – Season One, the disappearance of Tara Grinstead.


20 Question & Answer-style “Get to Know Me”


It’s been one month since I launched my blog, sharondashariee.com.  I realized I’ve been on social media for quite a few years and I have never spoken on camera, so I’m posting a video for you guys to attach a voice to a face and this fun 20 Question & Answer-style “Get to Know Me.”

1. Where are you from?

I was born in California, but I grew up in Arizona, so I say I’m from Arizona.

2. What is your favorite snack?

Warm chocolate chip cookies with walnuts.  My favorite healthy snack is fruit salad with nectarines, strawberries, grapes, etc. with homemade whipped cream on top. 

3. What is your favorite color?

Black.  My mom says this is not a real favorite color. lol

4. Are you married and do you have kids?

Yes, married for almost 20 years and we have four kids:  3 boys and 1 girl (20, 15, 11, 6).

5. Where are your favorite places to shop for clothing and home décor?

I’m not a fashionista, so I shop for clothing where I can find a deal at that moment.  It must be comfortable first, then cute.  I can usually find something in JCPenney, if not, Rainbow, Burlington, or Ross.

Home shopping is a different story.  My home shopping rotation of stores consists of Hobby Lobby, HomeGoods, Kirkland’s, Ross, and Amazon.  I like to browse Pier1, World Market, and ZGallerie for inspiration.

6. What is one of your favorite smells?  

LOVE the smell of rain and Worcestershire sauce.

7. What is your favorite food?

Depends on my mood, but primarily my 3 Go-tos are Mexican, BBQ, and pizza.  I’m a pizza fanatic.

8. Toilet paper: Over or Under?

Under, of course.

9. What do people think is weird about you?  

I’m sure there are many things, but to name a few, I cannot look at certain things with a certain texture/pattern.  I do not touch whole chickens, turkeys, Cornish game hens, etc.  I also do not eat the flats of party chicken wings, EVER. 

10. What animal do you think would be the most terrifying if it could speak?

I don’t have a dog in the home, but I’m sure if dogs could talk it would be borderline fascinating and terrifying.  They are always around, witnessing everything.

11. What shows do you watch?

I watch mostly any show on HGTV, Travel Channel, or life documentaries pertaining to real crime.  I listen to podcasts far more than I watch television.

I will binge watch shows that my friends and family recommend to me.  Just binge watched all three seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale that was recommended by my mom.

12. What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?  

Pretty much anything where there’s yelling and fighting, especially if it’s categorized as reality TV.  I do not watch horror movies, and even if I do watch a movie I like, I RARELY watch the same movie twice so I can’t recite movie lines with you.

13. Do you have pets?

No.  The proper care of a pet is a lot of work.  My kids have brought several negotiation talks to the table, but none have been accepted.

14. What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to?  

Parasailing is at the very top of my bucketlist.

15. What is the most annoying question that people ask you?  

Is my hair real.  I’m sure my fellow naturalistas can relate, especially when you straighten your natural hair.

16. What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?  

Best non-fiction, The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
Best fiction, the book series, The Syndicate, by Brick & Storm

17. Where do you usually go when you when you have time off?  

Any city that is close to the ocean or any body of water.

18. What amazing thing have you done in your life?  

Given birth to children.  Second most amazing, given birth to children with no pain medicine or epidural.

19. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

Finding something, someone, or my perspective on certain situations.

20. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? 

We love cruising. Go on a cruise.  Some people love them, some people hate them.  You should go at least once to determine which group you’re in.  It’s a cost-effective way to see more than one place in one trip.

Your turn: 

Pick one of the questions from the list,
answer below or over on Instagram, so I can get to know you!