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I am starting something NEW.

I want to share more about what goes on behind the scenes of Modern Honey, more about my life, and connect with all of you! So, it may not be EVERY Friday but I am going to do more check-ins because if you know me in real life…I love connection!

So, let’s chat. How are you all doing?!

I am currently (last week) sitting in a maxillofacial oral surgeon office as my son is getting his wisdom teeth removed. There is nothing funnier than seeing your kids come out of wisdom teeth removal surgery and they say the most hilarious things.

But it is another reminder that my kids are growing up. We are only down to two kids at home and our 3rd child, Carson, is graduating from high school next month and then heading off on a two-year church mission. More about that later because that’s a big deal!

We are trying to fit in as much family time as possible and making memories. We recently headed to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, also known as the HOTTEST place in the nation for Spring Break. My husband grew up there and his dream day is on the water.

We were imagining blue skies, full sun, and a perfect 82 degrees on the water. Let me insert some photos of the reality. We were bundled up in hoodies, blankets, and sweats most of the time. Hahaha! But it was so much fun being together!!

My son-in-law, Conner, graduated from BYU in Finance in December 2023 but he is officially walking and receiving his diploma this week so we are flying up to celebrate and attend his graduation ceremony. My nephew is getting married the next day so it is perfect time and we will pack in a ton of family time.

My daughter, Sierra, who is married to Conner, graduated from college two years ago and works for me at Modern Honey. She does a ton of behind the scenes work and I couldn’t do it without her. She’s a gem!

Things I am loving:

One thing about me is that I will always be honest about the things I love and use. I take on very few partnerships because they have to be items that I am so passionate about. Being real, genuine, and authentic is one of the most important things to me.

So I am going to share some of my favorite things…

CLEAN and SIMPLE EATS PROTEIN POWDER — I finally decided to try this protein powder everyone has been talking about and loving for so long. My daughter is a health nut and it is hands down her favorite protein powder on the market.

I am a self-proclaimed protein powder snob. I don’t like a lot of them.

But this one…this one tastes like a milkshake to me. I make it with Fairlife filtered milk, which has 13 grams of protein, is lactose free, and only 80 calories. Have you tried it? It is more pricey but I watch for it to go on sale and then stock up.

I mix the Clean and Simple Eats Brownie Batter Protein Powder with the Fairlife Milk and top with a little spray whipped cream and sprinkled with Callebaut tiny chocolate curls…because I am extra like that.

This Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie is the richest, creamiest healthy chocolate protein shake made with almond butter. This tastes like a chocolate milkshake and you will forget you are drinking a chocolate protein shake!

It tastes like a rich, decadent milkshake to me and it has over 33 grams of protein.

I do have a DISCOUNT code that I can pass on to you. It is for 10% off your purchase, which is nice. The Clean Simple Eats CODE to use is SIERRA.

One thing that I look forward to is when the Spring flowers start to show up at Trader Joe’s. This is just one bunch of white tulips and I think they are just simply beautiful. They didn’t last as long as I would have hoped. Any tips? Some people swear by Sprite, bleach, baking soda, and other things. Has anything worked for you?

What are your favorite flowers? Mine are definitely peonies, ranunculus, dahlias, hydrangeas and tulips. Pink peonies will always be my all-time favorite.

I love the flavor of Mexican Vanilla and this Casa Bella Vida Vanilla is wonderful in baked goods. The blue glass bottle is so beautiful too. A fun and delicious Mother’s Day gift!

I reached out to them and they offered a 10% discount if you use the code — HONEY10.

One more thing that I am loving…is my “small” lap dog, Bentley. Hahaha! When I am working, he always has to be right next to me…or on my lap! He thinks he is smaller than he really is. He is my shadow and follows me everywhere.

He brings so much happiness into our home. He smiles when he sees us with the most awkward smile imaginable. Maybe I just need to share his smile photo because he is just hilarious and full of personality.

Ok here goes…

Every single time we arrive home, he gets so excited and happy and greets us with his large smile. He is just the best!

Well, I am signing off for now. Since we are in Utah, I am running to grab some specialty baking chocolates at Orson Gygi kitchen store and then grabbing cookies at Ruby Snap, of course. All of the essentials!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and thank you so much for following along! I am grateful every single day for my amazing readers and friends.

— Melissa

Hi, I'm Melissa Stadler!

I am an Award-Winning Recipe Creator. Cover of Food Network Magazine. Two-Time Pillsbury Bake-Off Finalist. I am passionate about sharing the best recipes so you have success in the kitchen!

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  1. Hi Melissa,
    I am a huge fan of your recipes and have been using them for many years now. I appreciate this new ChitChat column. Even if we subscribers are quiet most of the time, always know that you and your content is much cherished.

    1. Hi Lori! I appreciate you so much for following along all of these years. It means a lot!

  2. Love your Chitchat column! Feels like we’re friends already, both living in glorious AZ. You have a beautiful family (just checked out Sierra’s wedding pic’s with Connor) – thank you for sharing them. So happy to have your review of the protein powder and look forward to giving it a try. Just knew I could trust your opinion. Keep them coming, along with family updates and sweet photo’s of Bentley. His smile made me laugh out loud! Have made many of your recipes.

    1. Hi Judy! You are so sweet, thank you! I love that we are both AZ people. So so fun! I appreciate you reading my Friday chitchat. 🙂

  3. If you are still in Utah, you must got to Thanksgiving Point’s Tulip Festival. The flowers are in full bloom and shining for you. We were just there on Monday and I was blown away by the beauty!

    1. Hi Rachel! I am so bummed that I missed it. I heard it is so beautiful! Between graduation and a wedding, we were booked solid. But I need to go next year! Hope you are doing great, my friend.

  4. I enjoyed your chit chat and enjoyed it thoroughly.
    I’m looking forward to hearing more and and your recipes

  5. Dear Melissa, I just love your recipes, and Especially Bentley!!… He’s adorable!! Thanks for the insight on your family happenings…. Kinda feels like you’re not so far away…

    1. Hi Geri! Thank you so so much! Isn’t Bentley just hilarious? He brings so much joy into our home. I appreciate you reading my Friday chitchat!

  6. Tulips will last longer if you add some pennies to the vase & take off any green leaves that touch the water..they will last for two weeks..

    1. Hi Bonita! That is such a great tip…I haven’t heard of the penny trick before. I will definitely give it a try. Thank you so much!

  7. I have made so many of Modern Honeys recipes, with my favourite being Chinese Orange Chicken. I am so glad I came across Melissa and will most definite be following her Friday Chitchat. Thank you so much for all your great recipes.

    1. Hi Shirley! I appreciate that so much. Thank you for making my orange chicken — it is my husband’s favorite too.

  8. What a fun surprise to see the London Bridge in that picture. I currently live in Lake Havasu with my family. Glad you got to visit. Love this new Friday post.

    1. Hi Katie! No way, that’s so cool! My husband lived there his entire childhood until he graduated from high school. His Dad was the first barber and then insurance agent in Havasu. They lived there until 2005 but we go back and visit often. That’s so awesome that you live there!

  9. Yay Melissa! I am so looking forward to reading these, it feels like I’m talking to you. You’re the best!

    1. Awww thanks so much, Kels! So happy that I got to see you this weekend and am super excited for your next adventures. Love you!

  10. Love you, love your family, love your recipes, and now I love Bentley’s smile more than anything in the world!🤣