Family Road Trip To Arizona For Mom 2.0 & Molly Ringwald

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At the end of April we set off on a road trip to Arizona for Mom 2.0.

After attending Dad 2.0 in San Francisco earlier this year I had high expectations for this conference and my family had high expectations for a nice few days of vacation time. Last year my brother-in-law and his family relocated to the Phoenix area so we were all excited to see them too!

We set off around 8am from San Diego, hoping to miss as much of the rush hour traffic as possible and we took the route that that takes you through Blythe to get there. Just about 7 hours later and one food/restroom stop, we were there!

The scenery for the most part was this.

Lot’s of desert terrain and a few beautiful cactus sprinkled along the road. We had wifi on my internet card for a good part of the trip so my older two were able to work on school work and the little one was on her iPad or read a book. 

Road trips used to be a hit or miss for us as far as how stressful they could be… but they have gotten a lot better as we worked out a few kinks. Well planned out stops and the right entertainment seems to be the key. I’m starting to like road trips more and more because I feel like Pete and I actually get to talk and hang out… 

We stayed at the Ritz and had a wonderful time.

The pool was just what we needed with the dry, warm Arizona days. We enjoyed the afternoon shopping, sightseeing and visiting with family. Later that evening the conference started and we parted ways. Pete and the girls set off for more fun while I headed over to the conference resort. We were greeted with lot’s of beautiful and delicious food throughout the whole time. You can’t go wrong with strawberry infused water or shortcakes!

I go to conferences for many different reasons. 

These have changed over time. I first started writing online in 2000 on message boards and groups. Then a couple years later when I started blogging on my own platform, there weren’t blogging conferences, actually there weren’t even really ways to communicate with others that did what I did.

Being able to get together with businesses and other bloggers all focused on blogging is a very special thing.

My focus now at conferences is to catch some sessions that interest me, network with some of my fellow bloggers (that are cherished friends) and meet with some of my favorite businesses. And then every once in a while something really awesome happens at a conference like getting to meet Molly Ringwald!

Acclaimed author and actress, Molly Ringwald, was a speaker at Mom 2.0 Summit and she discuss the importance of sharing one’s story and how the craft of storytelling has evolved in the digital age. After she spoke I had the opportunity to interview her and it just solidified in my mind how awesome she is! 

She values family above all (my words) and her commitment to being a positive role model started for her very young.

At one point the moderator asked her how she felt about her daughter being old enough to learn things about her past, and Molly stopped her because there is nothing in her past that she would be concerned about her daughter learning. She encourages her children to be their best and we even had the honor of viewing a video her talented daughter Matilda filmed. 


Her daughter is the perfect example of modern storytelling and Dove just launched the Dove Beauty Stories: Four Generations campaign and film, which encourages women to honor the women in their lives that have taught them how to live beautifully.  In celebration of the iconic Dove Beauty Bar, a product that has been passed down among women for nearly 60 years, the campaign is set to inspire the next generation with the lessons, tips and advice they have learned through the power of storytelling.

It Started with a Letter

Documented in the film is the story of one real family that wrote a letter to Dove thanking the brand for the message they stand for and the products they offer.  The Dove Beauty Bar has become their family beauty secret that has been passed down through four generations of women along with lessons of beauty and confidence.  Dove captured their story to illustrate the powerful impact women have on each other’s beauty habits and perceptions.  The film is meant to inspire other women to pass down their personal beauty stories and celebrate the women who have influenced them.

“When we were approached by this inspiring family of strong, confident women, we knew that we wanted to share their story,” said Jennifer Bremner, Director of Skin Cleansing at Unilever.  “As women, we learn what beauty means from the stories and lessons passed down to us, and in turn, influence the women in our lives as well as future generations. As a brand, we strive to offer products that give real beauty benefits to real women and are proud that the Dove Beauty Bar has been a part of so many women’s beauty stories.”

Share Your #BeautyStory

Beginning on May 4, Dove will call on its community to share their own #BeautyStory and celebrate the real women that have inspired them. Throughout the week, leading up to Mother’s Day, followers and fans of the brand’s social channels will be prompted to celebrate the different women in their life from their aunts to their sisters to their best friends. The socially driven campaign will culminate on Mother’s Day where women will have the opportunity to pay homage to their mothers and the beautiful lessons they taught them.

Watch the Dove Beauty Stories film and be inspired to share your own on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #BeautyStory.

About the Dove Beauty Bar

The Dove Beauty Bar has been providing beauty benefits to women for generations. Developed in 1957 as the first gentle alternative to soap, the Dove Beauty Bar revolutionized the cleansing category.  Using DEFI, a first-of-its-kind technology, higher levels of fatty acids, and its signature ¼ moisturizing cream, the Dove Beauty Bar continues to offer the same differentiated formula with extraordinary success nearly 60 years later. It’s called a Beauty Bar for a reason, as it helps skin feel more firm and elastic compared to ordinary soap and maintains skin texture, clarity, tone and brightness.  The Dove Beauty Bar does not strip skin and is proven to be gentler and milder than ordinary soap, actually replenishing nutrients lost during cleansing. The iconic bar is the best-selling Dove product globally and the most popular bar in the US. In fact, an estimated 60 bars are sold per second in the U.S. alone.

About Dove

Dove, manufactured by Unilever, is the No. 1 personal wash brand nationwide. One in every three households uses a Dove product, which includes beauty bars, body washes, face care, anti-perspirant/deodorants, body mists, hair care, styling aids and Dove Men+Care™, developed specially for men.  Dove is available nationwide in food, drug and mass outlet stores.


Later that evening I met up with some of my favorite people from KIA Motors for a really exciting dinner!

The waiter above made a bunch of fun drinks and he was some of the best entertainment the whole weekend! Thank you, KIA for a fun dinner!



Before we knew it our getaway was over.

We couldn’t leave Phoenix without taking the girls to Cracker Barrel. Pete and I took our oldest to one in Pennsylvania 14 years ago and it was exactly as I remembered it would be! Delicious!  

Related: Arizona Grand Resort & Spa Review 



We drove back through the hills this time and the views were breathtaking! I would definitely recommend going the long way home at least once.

What is your favorite road trip destination? 

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • Sounds like a fun trip! We did a big read trip recently, too – so fun!

  • What an beautiful trip. Your right about connecting and seeing our favorite bloggers and treasured friends. One day I am going to meet you 🙂 I love following you and won’t be missing another Mom 2.0. I love Molly Ringwald she is just like us from everything I read and I love her spunk. Thank you for sharing. Glad you had another great family adventure 🙂

  • It looks like you had a great time. My favorite road trip was when we went to Gatlinburg, TN. Driving through the mountains was amazing.

  • What a great time! I love road trips but I haven’t been on one since I was a kid! Can’t wait to go on more in the years to come!

  • I think road trips like this can be really refreshing. Especially with a fun destination like Mom 2.0. I’m glad you guys had a good experience!

  • I really need to look into attending more blog conferences and like the idea of connecting with others who understand the world I live and work in. I am always open to any destination with a Cracker Barrel.

  • I have loved Molly Ringwald ever since Pretty in Pink! I am jealous that you got to meet her! Arizona looks amazing to me! It’s definitely on my bucket list of places to visit!

  • I hate that I missed Mom 2.0 this year, especially since Molly Ringwald was there! I went last year, though, and it is definitely a great conference for meeting new people and networking.

  • It looks like a beautiful place to get away and enjoy a great conference all rolled into one. Thanks for the pictures.

  • I love going for road trips to Toronto. It is a five and a half hour drive from where i am. I love the city vibe. I can see myself moving there.

  • Wow what an amazing opportunity to meet Molly! Loved all her movies! I could watch them over and over. Sounds like a great roadtrip with the family too.

  • Driving between Reno and Las Vegas is one of my favorite road trips. How exciting that you got to drive over to AZ and enjoy family time, a great conference, and the opportunity to get lots of pictures.

  • I hit mom 2.0 last year in Atlanta, and I try to hit a different conference each year so I didn’t attend it this year, but I did greatly enjoy Dove’s involvement last year, they were really wonderful! Last year was #BeautyIs and this year is #BeautyStory, always great when brands focus just as much on INNER Beauty as they do outer beauty! I haven’t yet visited Arizona, but from everyone’s feedback the hotel was great so I will definitely consider staying there!

  • I can’t wait for the road trips we’ll have as a family this summer. Arizona looks amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s just all green here in Ireland 🙂

  • I love those Cracker Barrel rockers! Glad you had such a nice time. I agree we do get to just hang out and talk to our spouses when we’re driving. 🙂

  • Sounds like such a fun road trip and conference! I always enjoy road trips so that the hubs and I can spend more time together. The kids are grown, but I remember all the fun times we had during trips when they were growing up.

  • Sounds like a fun trip specially meeting Molly Ringwald. That must of been a great experience.

  • What a really fun road trip for the family. I had never heard of Mom 2.0 before. Thanks for sharing this post.

  • I love road trips but I won’t do it with my kids til they are a little older! (They complain a lot when we drive far). What a great adventure and Molly Ringwald is awesome!!

  • What a great trip! I haven’t been to a blog conference yet but can’t wait to go to one. I am headed to Phoenix this summer for two weeks and I hope to hook up with some food bloggers that I have met online!

  • It looks like you had a great time during this road trip. I have never been to Arizona and would love to visit one day. It looks amazing

  • I love all the pictures!!! Looks like a TON of fun! I would love to go on a family road trip but I think I’ll wait a little bit! Baby girl is on her way and think she needs to be a little older lol

  • What a cool post! I totally agree with you in that I want my kids to have social media so they can learn to use it correctly!

  • Looks like an incredible time was had by all. It’s fantastic that you were able to enjoy some of Arizona’s natural beauty away from Mom 2.0.

  • I’m so sad I missed this one. I think ALL of my friends were there. I’m making the trip next year. It’ll be so close to home!

  • How beautiful! One of my favorite road trip destinations is South Dakota, but I haven’t been there for ages. I also love road tripping in my own state (Indiana), Tennessee, or Kentucky – so many hidden gems!

  • Wow your vacation looked so awesome! I’ve always wanted to stay at a Ritz and you’ve just made me that much more convinced that I would love it. Molly Ringwald is my 80s icon, I just love how she’s matured through out the years and she’s right she has nothing to be ashamed of or to hide from her daughter!

  • I spent a summer in AZ as a teen and loved it. Maybe my favorite non Michigan place. My favorite road trip now is anywhere along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

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