Guest Blog submission by Hillside Sedona

Children celebrate Mother's Day

Children Celebrate Mother’s Day at Hillside Sedona

“The buzz is definitely beginning as the bees gathering pollen” states Peppermint Zebra’s owner, Karen Dilks, in reference to upcoming CHALK ART EXPO in tribute to Moms for Mother’s Day., Saturday, May 3 at Hillside Sedona, in Sedona, AZ.

Continues Dilks, “I’m delighted with the community’s involvement.  I am so proud of our teachers, family joining in.  This is what living in Sedona is all about…. gathering together with fun.”

The event begins Saturday, May 3 with artist demonstration by Pamela Becker at 10:00 a.m.  Children will then be turned loose to create a Mother’s Day Card, each given an endless canvas within Hillside’s tranquil courtyard.  Chalk will be provided and children should dress casually to get dirty, bring a small bucket to hold water and sponge for eraser.  With chaperones provided, moms will enjoy tea sponsored by Tea Light Café and Global Wellness Center, and Bliss Extraordinary Floral, combined with informal fashion show hosted by Indulge Gallery, Diva Hillside and Allie Ollie in THE BRIDGE AT HILLSIDE’S ballroom.

Chalk ExpoLive music will be presented by Sophia Angeles, a 16 year old singer songwriter from Sedona , AZ who has a fresh original sound and a unique and powerful vocal style. Her songwriting is sophisticated beyond her years and her style ranges from indie/folk to pop. She’s been singing, performing on stage and writing songs since she was nine years old. At the age of thirteen she won first place in the Sedona Sunrise Rising Star singing competition.

The participating artist that wins overall choice will be given a prize to MOM, including a massage, candy basket and floral arrangement.

Finishing Dilks states, “As a veteran party planner, advance registration is helpful.  Call Peppermint Zebra at 928-282-0220. Or stop by for further detail.”  Laughing she concludes,  “Detail one thing…. pampering another…aim to do the latter.”

Peppermint Zebra is located at 671 SR 179, D-CT 2, Hillside Sedona, 86336

(March 2014) The Smithsonian Magazine has just named Sedona, Arizona as one of the most remarkable towns in America on its “20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014″ list.

Airport Mesa looking down on Sedona Arizona

The view atop Airport Mesa

Here is what the Smithsonian Magazine has to say about the splendor of Sedona: “Approaching Sedona, you will feel your jaw drop as pinnacles, hoodoos and buttes rise—crimson, carmine, burnt sienna, depending on the slant of the sun. The effect makes you want to paint a Sistine Chapel even if you can’t draw a straight line.”

View of Three Sisters behind cacti in bloom

View Cacti blooming and the Three Sisters in the background

Sedona is a four season red rock playground where families can escape, where romantic adventures materialize and where photographer’s dreams come true. Sedona offers healing and restorative therapies, the adrenaline rush of off-road tours, and it’s also a shopper’s paradise. Enjoy the cool mountain waters of Oak Creek while you’re mesmerized by the glowing red rock formations. Surrounded by stunning red rock formations and an abundance of activities for people of all ages and interests, it’s no wonder Sedona has been ranked as the most beautiful place on Earth by Good Morning America.

Chairs face Oak Creek and Red Rocks

Relax by the creek at L’Auberge

“On behalf of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, it is great honor to be placed on the Smithsonian Magazine list of “20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014″. We are very proud to be recognized for our outdoor adventure, arts & culture, and rejuvenating activities that Sedona offers visitors and locals alike,” says Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce. “It’s recognition like this that helps position Sedona as a premier destination in the United States. Kudos to the businesses recognized for top-notch service and world-class products and services.”

The other towns listed on Smithsonian Magazine on the “20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014” list include:

1. Chautauqua, NY
2. Healdsburg, CA
3. Williamsburg, VA
4. Steamboat Springs, CO
5. Woods Hole, MA
6. Marietta, OH
7. Beaufort, SC
8. Sedona, AZ
9. Nebraska City, NE
10. Lanesboro, MN
11. Spring Green, WI
12. Havre de Grace, MD
13. Columbia, PA
14. Mount Dora, FL
15. Ketchum, ID
16. Montpelier, VT
17. Harrodsburg, KY
18. Silver City, NM
19. Decorah, IA
20. The Dalles, OR


Guest Blog Submission from Arizona Travel Writer Roger Naylor

Hear that sound? It’s the soft knuckles of spring rapping on the window. It’s the signal that the coast is clear. Winter’s gone and you are wanted outside.

The fin

Don’t try to resist. Sedona never has much winter to recover from, just a sweater-worthy chill, but it’s enough to make the balmy days of March utterly seductive. Wildflowers splash across meadows and the woods echo with birdsong. Buttery sunshine swabs the landscape and even the red rocks seem to blush redder. If spring has an address, it is Sedona, Arizona. Wish you were here.

Green Wisteria grow free on this pathway to Page Springs Vineyards & Cellars

If you do nothing else on your springtime visit to Sedona, take time for a picnic—an old-fashioned sit-outside-and-eat picnic. Remember those? They used to exist when life moved at a slower pace. While there’s no way to be certain it’s a pretty safe bet that Sedona has more prime picnic real estate than just about anywhere.

Bear mountain

Spread your blanket among the historic orchards of Slide Rock State Park with the fruit trees wrapped in spring blossoms. Or at Red Rock Crossing along the banks of Oak Creek as majestic Cathedral Rock rises overhead. Or sit atop Airport Mesa while waiting for the bruised-peach sunset to settle on the horizon.


Or perhaps you prefer to pick a quiet spot, a private spot, known only to you and your loved ones. Somewhere amid the cluster of rising stone formations where you can relax for an afternoon amid scenic splendor and eat, drink and breathe. Take deep breaths. Smell that perfume? That’s the fragrance of a perfect spring day.

Guest blog submission by The McLean Meditation Institute

McLean Meditation InstituteThe McLean Meditation Institute announces a new series:  Living with Compassion, a 6-week series which focuses on the history and modern applications of the science of compassion and empathy, and practices to increase compassion taught by Lisa Doskocil, the founder of PEACE of Northern Arizona (Project for Empathy and Compassion Education).

“On college campuses around the country, we have the ability to take classes in a wide range of topics, yet receiving an education in compassion has been relegated to parents and religious clergy, if taught at all. That’s why I am so excited to bring this type of education to anyone who desires it!” says Doskocil, who lives and teaches in in Flagstaff.

This program was originally designed for psychology college students to provide education in a history and the science of compassion and empathy today, while sharing with them proven techniques to increase the students’ rate of compassion. The program is now recommended for anyone experiencing compassion fatigue or just hoping to increase their empathic connection with the world.

MeditationBeginning February 15, the series is offered every Saturday from 10:00 am-12:30 pm at the McLean Meditation Institute’s center. The cost is $15 a class, or $75 for the entire series. To register call (928) 204-0067. Space is limited.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion,” says the Dalai Lama. “He could be right!” insists the director of the McLean Meditation Institute, Sarah McLean. “This is why we are thrilled to be hosting this program.” McLean says the center’s weekly meditation gatherings and discussions have become a destination for residents of the Sedona area as well as visitors from around the world. Most are offered for a nominal fee or by donation. Here are some details of additional weekly programs offered.

Tuesdays 3:00–4:30 pm: Personal Spirituality – Exploring the Wonder & Sharing the Search is led by Barbara Mayer, an InterFaith/InterSpiritual minister, former Catholic nun, and author of Beyond Religion. Her program offers meaningful discussion on a variety of spiritual topics as well as a meditative experience.

Lisa Doskocil Tuesdays 6:00—7:30 pm: Self-Inquiry & Meditation to Connect to the Field of Love is led by Martin Birrittella, the author of the Field of Love and founder of the Free Process. Marty conducts a meditation and Q & A session.

Thursdays 9:00—10:30 am: Self-Inquiry & Meditation to Connect to the Field of Love is led by Martin Birrittella, the author of the Field of Love and founder of the Free Process. Marty conducts a meditation and Q & A session.

Sundays 2:00—2:45 pm: Community Guided Meditation with a Meditation Mentor is a chance to experience meditation for any level. The gathering offers simple meditation guidance and various meditation practices such as a Loving Kindness Meditation, Mindfulness, Visualization, Breath Awareness, or Gratitude Meditation.

Sundays at 4pm: Silent Meditation for Experienced Meditators. Hosted by the center, experienced meditators can join a silent self-directed 30-minute meditation gathering and must arrive on time to join in.

“There’s a terrific event coming up in February—a multimedia presentation with Philip Goldberg, acclaimed presenter and author of American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West. His book is one of my favorites!” says McLean.

On Friday February 28 at 7:00 pm at the Sedona Creative Life Center the public is invited for The Beatles & the Vedas It’s an evening of spiritual insight and inspiration with music and videos of the Beatles’ spiritual journey, a journey which legitimized meditation and instrumental in spreading yogic teachings throughout the West. The program is $10. Philip also offers an afternoon workshop on March 1 at the McLean Meditation center, American Veda and the Great Yogic Transmissions that Changed the World. Anyone interested in program details is invited to call (928) 204-0067.

McLean Meditation Institute’s center is located at 411 State Route 179, in the Garland Building at the junction of Schnebly Hill Road and Hwy 179. It’s open 1-5 Tuesday through Sunday.

Visiting the center can make any one feel more peaceful as they find displays of greeting cards, hand-crafted jewelry, and vibrant, inspirational hand-crafted art by nationally acclaimed Arizona artists. The bird’s eye view from the second-story windows reveals the red rock landscape and towering cottonwoods that line the Oak Creek. It’s a magical place that 13-year Sedona resident and best-selling Hay House author, Sarah McLean welcomes anyone to experience.

The McLean Meditation Institute offers monthly meditation classes, weekend meditation retreats and is also a professional training institute which certifies meditation teachers internationally.


For images, interviews or more information, please contact:

McLean Meditation Institute

411 Hwy 179, Sedona, Arizona 86336

(928) 204-0067

Guest Blog submission by Karen Reynolds Dilks at Hillside Sedona

In concept, Karen Dilks, Hillside property manager and co owner of Peppermint Zebra, asks, ”What is love? It’s a question that has been asked for ages…and the concept behind this Hillside event.”

Poets, artists and composers have tried to define it creating monuments through history in homage to the most complex human emotion of all.  Great epics have been written about it. Civilizations have risen and fallen in its name. Love is what inspires the spirit, great religions and the very soul of humanity. Why does love make us feel the way we do, from that first queasy feeling we get in our youth when we fall in love for the first time to the universal love felt by those that have transcended?  Even a special day has been named its name. It’s called Valentine’s Day. It’s a day we share our heart with those we love; a day we show them with flowers, action and gifts the depth of our love.

Love abounds at Hillside Sedona, a popular dining, arts and shopping center in Sedona Arizona.  This year Hillside Sedona merchants are sponsoring two contests, one for children and the other for adults, asking participants to define love.

For the children it’s the KIDZ ART CONTEST inspired by the

Peppermint Zebra Toy and candy store in Hillside Sedona. 

under 21 are asked to create a Work that best defines what the word

love means to them.  Any media accepted for Public exhibition

February 12 through 14.   Family fun and prizes awarded.

For grownups (21) or over,  it’s writing a 300 to 500-word essay on what makes the love they share with another special. Essays need to be dropped off to Hillside merchants before February 12th. Each store will pick their winner and then one overall winner will be selected. Prizes include dinner with private serenade from world renowned guitarist, Esteban, another dinner with private tea ceremony, an original oil painting, private couple massage. Photography, wine flutes, heart mugs perfume bottles, fashion, jewelry, gift certificates etc.

Finishes Dilks,  “It’s definitely  a pamper package…winner takes all.   If I were to enter, I would make 20 copies and drop to all stores. It’s pretty special what people have to say…it should be shared.”

For more information visit or stop by and visit with Hillside merchants.  Hillside Sedona located at 671 SR 179, Sedona, AZ 86336.

Guest blog submission by Chamber member Hillside Sedona

Hillside Sedona Merchants are offering exciting essay contest for Valentine’s Day.  Karen Reynolds Dilks, property manager, states  “The tenants here have always been rather a romantic sort.  The idea they came up with is very fun and they have provided an incredible prize to the winner.”

The contest is simple:  Public invited to submit 300-to 500 word essays to “What makes their Valentine special?”  The winner will receive a ‘Spoil Package’ that will make 2014 Valentine’s Day a memorable experience.

Valentines Day Contest

Valentines Day Contest

Prizes include dinner with private serenade from world renowned guitarist Esteban, another dining experience with special tea ceremony, private couple massage, exquisite perfume bottle, jewelry, wine flutes, heart mugs, pottery, fashion, original oil painting, movie night out candy basket, sculpture, hand carved vase, photography, gift certificates.

Toy and Candy store in Hillside Sedona

Toy and Candy store in Hillside Sedona

To enter, submit essay (must be 21 or over).  Entries must be personally dropped off to any of the participating merchants which include Javelina Cantina, Tea Light Café, Global Wellness Clinic, ARC, James Ratliff Gallery, Gallery of Modern Masters, The Bridge at Hillside, Baudine’s Mad About Shoes, ALT Gallery, Divine Oils & Vinegars, Stone Creations, Mooney’s Irish Pub, Rose’s Elegance in Wood, Diva Hillside, Salon Virtu, Great Southwest, Indulge Gallery, Pop Up Gallery, Peppermint Zebra.

Kids Contest

Kids Contest

Continues Dilks, “Many of the merchants will provide old fashioned Valentine boxes in which to drop them in.   If I were entering I would drop the essay to all of them.  Each merchant will pick the essay that captures their heart and then overall merchants will get together and each read their choice and winner will be selected by secret ballot.  And the one winner will get it all.”

Winner will be notified February 13th.   For further information stop by Hillside, 671 SR 179, Sedona, Arizona.   Contact any participating merchants for further detail.

Guest blog from Chamber member Poco Diablo Resort

Poco Diablo Resort is excited to host our 4th annual Sedona Bridal Fair. Come experience the magic of the Red Rocks in Sedona, see Sedona’s Wedding Venues and plan your entire wedding all in one day at the fabulous Sedona Bridal Fair on Saturday, January 18, 2014 from 10am – 3pm at Poco Diablo Resort in Sedona. Sedona is the perfect location for a wedding. Whether you’re intimate, classic, or a sensational Bride, you’ll find all your wedding vendors at the Sedona Bridal Fair. Over 10,500 sq ft of displays, vignettes, and exhibits along with more than 50 separate wedding pros for advice and inspiration.  Over 22 lush Sedona acres host two separate spectacular areas.

Have fun planning your dream wedding with the finest Sedona has to offer, all at one location – Poco Diablo Resort. Enjoy ongoing entertainment, hourly raffles and gifts, along with food and cake samples. The Sedona Bridal Fair represents Arizona’s most outstanding wedding vendors, including many award-winning specialists in their field.

At the Sedona Bridal Fair you’ll find:

  • Ceremony and Reception venues
  • World-class photographers
  • European trained florists
  • Award-winning caterers
  • Knowledgeable wedding planners and event specialists
  • Nationally recognized cake artists
  • DJs and musicians
  • Makeup artists and hair stylists
  • Officiants
  • Formal wear and much more.

Just a short drive and you’re in another world – amazing Sedona! Take the scenic route Exit 298 at SR 179, scenic Red Rock route 179 to Poco Diablo Resort at 1752 SR 179. Come and see what Sedona has to offer!

A Wedding in Sedona awaits


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers