My favorite new experiences of 2015 including Noosa Yoghurt, visiting the Grand Canyon, paddle boarding and more!

Favorite New Experiences of 2015

Thank you to Noosa Yoghurt for sponsoring this post!

A recap of my favorite new experiences of 2015 including food, fun, outdoors and more! Also, a sneak peek at some of the new experiences on my list for 2016.

My favorite new experiences of 2015 including Noosa Yoghurt, visiting the Grand Canyon, paddle boarding and more!

I love this time of the year for so many reasons. The food, holiday parties and time spent with family and friends are just a few of my favorite things. As we head into the end of the year, it is also a great time to reflect on the past year. I don’t set new year’s resolutions, but I always have a few new things in mind that I would love to experience throughout the year. 2015 was a great year and we still have a whole month to go! There are also many exciting experiences ahead for me and this blog in 2016 and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to share them with you. Before we head into the new year, one of my favorite brand partners in 2015, Noosa Yoghurt, challenged me to reflect on my favorite “noo” experiences in 2015.

My favorite “new” experiences of 2015:

(1) Hot Air Balloon ride

Over the past few years I’ve wanted to experience a hot air balloon ride and 2015 was the year of my first ride. Floating over the desert in a hot air balloon was an experience unlike any other. In fact, I’m really hoping to add the Albuquerque Balloon Festival to my list of travels next year.

The Best Outdoor Adventures in Phoenix and the surrounding area featuring a hot air balloon ride in the desert, hiking and more!
The Best Outdoor Adventures in Phoenix and the surrounding area featuring a hot air balloon ride in the desert, hiking and more!

(2) Grand Canyon National Park

Out of all of the places on my travel itinerary for 2015, the Grand Canyon was at the top of my list. I wasn’t quite sure I was going to be able to visit this year, but I ended up visiting in September and can’t wait to go back. The views are incredible and I want to go back and hike, camp and explore more of the canyon. My plan for 2016 is to explore more of the National Parks in the western part of the United States.
My mini Arizona road trip includes a 5-night itinerary starting and ending in Phoenix, Arizona with a stop at Grand Canyon National Park. This itinerary includes the best places to visit, including where to stay, where to eat and where to drink!

(3) New food & New recipes

The best part about the work that I do is the ability to work with food that I love on a daily basis. I have the opportunity to try new restaurants, new products and new recipes. In 2015, I tried quite a few new foods including octopus, prickly pear cactus and one of my favorite new sweet treats, Noosa Yoghurt. I also went into a professional kitchen and prepared a meal with an Executive Chef and Pastry Chef.

My favorite new experiences of 2015 including Noosa Yoghurt, visiting the Grand Canyon, paddle boarding and more!

My favorite new experiences of 2015 including Noosa Yoghurt, visiting the Grand Canyon, paddle boarding and more!

In fact, I loved Noosa Yoghurt so much that I made Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes and am experimenting with more fun new recipes featuring the yoghurt. In addition to experiencing more new flavors of Noosa yoghurt, I also experiemented in the kitchen with more healthy and gluten free desserts such as these no bake raspberry lemon cookie cups and lemon pie macaroons.
 Vanilla bean cupcakes with fresh cranberries and chocolate chips are topped with vanilla bean yoghurt frosting!

(4) Host a Food and Travel Blogger Retreat

One of my goals for 2015 was to host a food and travel retreat at one of my favorite locations in the country. Half way through the year I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be able to make it happen. My friend, Danae, encouraged me to move forward with planning the retreat so I did. I planned a successful, fun Blogging Beach Retreat and can’t wait to plan another.

The Blogging Beach Retreat at WaterColor Inn & Resort was a 3-day food and travel blogger event in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida!

(5) Paddle boarding

I live in Florida where you can paddle board year round and didn’t actually experience paddle boarding until this year. After I did it once, I was hooked and try to do it every chance I get.

My favorite new experiences of 2015 including Noosa Yoghurt, visiting the Grand Canyon, paddle boarding and more!

It is no surprise that my favorite new experiences from 2015 include food and the outdoors. What were some of your favorite new experiences from 2015?

Looking ahead to 2016…

I can’t wait to see what new experiences 2016 will bring. I already mentioned a few on my list and also hope to visit a new country, go “glamping,” go camping in a National Park, try new food, learn the make latte art and experiment with many more new recipes.

I created this post in partnership with Noosa Yoghurt. As always, all opinions are my own.