We had the good fortune of connecting with Vicki DeLuzio and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vicki, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I have always been a very authentic person to my readers. I am a mom of three kids who homeschools and I have challenges like every other mom. My kitchen is sometimes a mess, The laundry is always going. We are always running out somewhere. My goal with the blog was for parents to know that they weren’t alone with the struggles that they were going through-whether it was to find a new place to play with their kids, finding a new doctor, a new neighborhood in a new city or just a way to make it through a rough day and they needed a place for a good laugh. In 2018, I suffered from a setback healthwise, and I did Facetimes while I was in the hospital with a central line in my neck. No makeup, fully decked out in hospital gear. I had so many business partners and readers write to me and thank me for having the courage to come out and show my struggles. I have strived to be a resource to people around the valley for the seven years my blog has been in operation. Many people come to Arizona without knowing anyone, find my blog and need a friend. So, my blog is a friendly first step to find resources to find friends, make connections and a place to call home. Especially during COVID, I have tried to be a light in the dark for families who have needed resources for schooling at home, no matter what their school choice preference may be. I really enjoy what I do and I think it is because I haven’t tried to be something I am not. I don’t put on a fake persona-I am my quirky self, but hopefully bringing a smile to others as well. I think that is why my blog has been a success and why I have been able to work with other bloggers in the area, as well as local and national businesses too.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My family really started doing the blog as a way to explore Arizona when we first moved here 7 years ago. And, I realized that no one had good instructions on how to turn on splashpads. As I saw my SEO growing and people liking what I had to offer, I was able to reach out to businesses and ask for partnerships. I had worked as a manager at a Target store and at the Juvenile Courts before having our children, so I had learned early on how to talk and engage with peopleMy issue was that I had not been doing anything with websites for so long that I really had to lean on my husband. I also had to learn a lot about Facebook Marketing and then Instagram and Pinterest. That came with a lot of trial and error. And, there was Search Engine Optimization. All of this was crash course, over and over again. Sometimes, it was a complete crash, and sometimes I had amazing success. The other thing that was truly amazing was all the partnerships I have made with local and national businesses throughout the years. That really was what have helped me with my blog. I have so many wonderful people who believe in what I am doing on my blog and would help promote my blog. And, messages from my readers have been amazing too.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love the “Hole in the Rock” in Phoenix. That is a great hike and it’s easy and fun. Vulture City in Wickenburg is a cool working mine in Wickenburg that you can go gold panning at and it has a great history. It is a little outside of Phoenix, but worth the drive. If you have the need for speed, Bondurant is super fun and I would do that again with a friend. We had such a blast racing around the course in Dodge Chargers and pushing the limits, and learning safe driving habits too. The Wrigley is an amazing restaurant with great views and food. My husband and I went there for our 11th anniversary. A great breakfast place is The Farm at South Mountain!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Scott has made this all possible. I saw what a blog was years ago and I thought that it sounded cool and that I could do it. He said “Yes, I’ll set it up for you!” He does the web design and back end things to make it tick. And, he is always sharing with me what things will make it work better for my readers. I wouldn’t be able to do it with just the HTML skills I have. And, my kids of course. They are the ones I do it for. We do all of our adventures together and they make the adventures fun.

Website: https://surpriseazmom.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/surpriseazmom/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vicki-deluzio-04a805102/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/surpriseazmom
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/surpriseazmom

Image Credits
Memories By Candace

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.