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Chit Chat

I thought it would be fun to chit chat about my picks for a Valentine Gift Guide For Her 2015.  These things are some of my current favorite things, hope you enjoy!
Valentine Day Gift Guide for Her 2015

Valentine Day Gift Guide for Her 2015

If you follow me on Instagram, it’s no secret I am obsessed with Tieks.  I’ve worn them for a little over a year now and still can’t say enough about them.  I kind of live in them daily, lol!  Nothing says love more than a pair of Cardinal Red Tieks.  My newest pair….LOVE them.  They would make the perfect gift!

Valentine Day Gift Guide For Her 2015

Petal Vines Serveware

Anthropology has some AMAZING kitchen ware right now.  I couldn’t ever decide what to post, it’s all amazing!  I’m thinking I’ll be purchasing some of my own Valentine Gifts this year :)

Valentine Gift Guide for Her 2015

Filomena Baking Collection

How cute is this set….also from Anthropologie?!  There’s also THIS, THIS, THIS, and THIS.  Now….if guys are reading this, please don’t only get your girl kitchen gifts….add some roses or chocolates with these items.  Trust me on this one :)

Valentine Gift Guide for Her 2015

This cuff!!  Perfection.

Valentine Day Gift Guide For Her 2015

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette

This eyeshadow palette is my favorite ever.  The best colors for any occasion.  I highly recommend this one!

Valentine Day Gifts Guide For Her 2015

Open Your Heart Necklace

James Michelle is one of my favorites to get jewelry from.  This adorable heart necklace would make a great gift.

Valentine Day Gift Guide For Her 2015

Lululemon High Times Pant

These leggings!!  Oh my goodness I bought them with some of my Christmas Gift Cards and they are my current favorite leggings.  So comfy and so cute.  THESE and THESE are on my wishlist too.  Trying to justify THIS Hobo bag to put my yoga mat in.  Ha!  Won’t happen, but it’s so cute!

Kate Spade is killing me.  Really cute Valentine things that cost an arm and a leg, but cute none the less.  THIS Love clutch has my heart :)  THIS heart necklace….adorable.  THIS clutch :)

Valentine Day Gift Guide For Her 2015

Still loving my Fitbit Flex!  Tracks how many steps/activity you take per day.  I did take a little break, but I’m back and I am loving it again.  This pink one is adorable!!!  Tory Burch made a bracelet for Fitbit!  How cool is that?

Perfume is ALWAYS a safe gift.  I am loving Florabotanica by Balenciaga right now.  I found it at Sephora when the adorable bottle caught my eye.  It smells as lovely as the bottle is perfection.  It’s a very light floral that layers so nice with my favorite Anthropologie Vanille.  On my wishlist is Flower Market by Replica.

If you still can’t decide what to get HER for Valentine’s Day, go with a great gift card and let her go shopping herself.  Nordstrom would be my first pick.   Sephora and TJ Maxx Gift Cards are great too.  A gift card to a spa day is always well received too!  Good luck!

Hope you’ve enjoyed my picks for Valentine’s Day!  Have a great weekend :)

Valentine Day Gift Guide For Her 2015

Disclosure: I partner with Tieks, however thoughts and opinions are my own.


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It’s Friday! Ahhh, so glad the weekend is here. Welcome to another Chit Chat Day!

Chit Chat Forty First Edition

So, I have to say I am so proud of myself so far this year!  I have eaten really healthy this week limiting my sugary snacks that I love so much.  I’ve also given up my Coke Zero….I’m still missing it, ha!  2015 is off to a great start.  I have to admit I did take one bite of THIS yesterday.  But I swear just one bite, lol!

I just got this new Spiralizer in the mail this week.  I have been wanting one for months now.  My friend Shelly posted about hers and I finally ordered one.  Not only does it make awesome vegetable noodles, but the boys and I had so much fun playing with it.  These are zucchini noodles in the photo.  We also make apple noodles.  Kind of loving it.

Chit Chat Forty First Edition

Once I had all of those zucchini noodles spiralized, I tossed them into a hot skillet with a little olive oil and sautéed them for 2 minutes with a pinch of salt and pepper.  I added about 1 teaspoon of teriyaki sauce and topped with some roasted chicken.  These were amazing!!  Seriously took about 10 minutes from start to finish.  Looking forward to playing around more with it.  I had no idea there was a blog that does all spiralizing recipes.  So fun.  Check it out HERE.

 

Chit Chat Forty First Edition

One of my other favorite healthy snacks right now is the giant bag of Near Naked Popcorn that we get from Costco.   Minimal calories for giant handfuls, lol!  It has so much flavor.  Check it out for sure.  My 9 year old and I even sprinkle cinnamon on top to shake around.  So good.

Chit Chat Forty First EditionI seriously don’t know what I would do without my Quest Bars.  I have one in the morning about 7am before I go to the gym and it lasts me until at least 10:30am before I need something else.  The Peanut Butter and Jelly variety is my favorite!  It doesn’t taste like a PB&J sandwich.  It’s sweet and salty, but in the best way.  You gotta check these out :)

I finally started doing yoga again.  I always seem to find my way back to it.  I took a year off after we moved back to AZ, but started back up this week.  It feels amazing and it’s by far my favorite way to exercise.  There’s something so great about doing hot yoga.  Looking forward to getting stronger this year.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway that was posted this week.  Over $2500 in prizes!

Be sure to follow Picky Palate along on Instagram too!  My favorite social media page by far!

For some healthy recipe inspiration, be sure to check out my Skinny Palate page!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  Looking forward to sharing a new recipe first thing Monday Morning!

 

This post contains affiliate links.


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Hard to believe Christmas will be here so soon! I’ve put together some Christmas gift ideas 2014 for you today! Mostly my favorite things that would make great gifts for the women in your life. A couple of these things are great for the guys too!

Christmas Gift Ideas 2014

Loooove the new Poloroid Cameras.  I keep saying I am going to get one and just haven’t yet.  Urban Outfitters has this one and some others available.

Christmas Gift Ideas 2014

My favorite slow cooker makes a great gift! Love this one from KitchenAid.

Christmas Gift Ideas 2014

PJ Salvage Hot Chocolate Pants

I also am loving these Home Lounge Pants and this Eat More Cake Mug from PJ Salvage.

Christmas Gift Ideas 2014

Obsessed with these Red UGG Slippers

These Butter Slipper Socks are a great gift as well.  LOVE these Polka Dot Tights.  Who doesn’t love fun tights?

One of my favorite scents this year is Georgio Armani Si.  Light and so pretty.  Check it out, makes a great gift.  Some of my other favorite scents are Vanille from Antropologie, La Vie Est Belle from Lancome and Nectarine Honey Blossom from Jo Malone.

Christmas Gift Ideas 2014

These Anthropologie Scalloped Cake Stands!  Beautiful!

Christmas Gift Ideas 2014

The boys and I are so excited to try out this Chocolatebar Maker kit.  Check out their fun website HERE for more information.

Christmas Gift Ideas 2014

I can’t say enough about the Madsen Cycles!  I’ve had my bike since the spring and the boys and I love it.  Can’t wait to go look at neighborhood Christmas lights in the bucket soon!

Christmas Gift Ideas 2014

One of our favorite healthy protein bars is Quest Bars.   I love having one of these in the morning and or snack time.  They are packed with protein and oh my gosh they taste great!  Trust me, this would be a great stocking stuffer!  Some of my favorite flavors at Cookies and Cream, Cookie Dough, and Peanut Butter Jelly.  The new S’mores flavor is awesome too.  Tastes like Cookie Dough to me.  Quest Nutrition also started selling healthier chips.  We’ve tried them and really liked them.

 Christmas Gift Ideas 2014

My Tiek obsession continues with these amazing Leopard Print ones!  Can’t even tell you how much I love these ballet flats.  I wear them every single day.  I love dressing them up or wearing with my lounge clothes and they are my favorite travel shoes.  Comfortable and so cute.  They would make the perfect gift if you ask me!

Christmas Gift Ideas 2104

Love these fun Hello Apparel Hoodies.  I need to add these to my wish list :)

 Christmas Gift Ideas 2014

Love this pretty Albion Fit Pullover.

Christmas Gift Ideas 2014

Kate Spade never lets me down.  I mean, how adorable are these favor bags?!

Christmas Gift Ideas 2104

….and this fun Kate Spade Mug.  This saying never gets old, lol!

Have a wonderful weekend!  See you Monday with a new recipe! 

Disclosure: I partner with Tieks, however thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Happy Friday to you! Another Chit Chat Edition today :)

Chit Chat

Flour was flying in the kitchen earlier this week with all of the cookies I was making!  Had a fun cookie exchange with some of the ladies in my church Tuesday night.

I made dozens of my Perfect M and M Cookies and Brown Butter Soft Batch Style Gingersnaps.  2 of my absolute favorite cookies.  I highly recommend them for your upcoming parties or cookie exchanges.

I used my friend Amanda’s fun decorating ideas from her post HERE.

I know Thanksgiving is coming up sooooo soon.  I’ve got to remind you, my all-time favorite Stuffing recipe is HERE.  I will be make a double batch for my family.  It is AMAZING :)  Definitely going to try to get as much cooking and baking that I can on Wednesday night.  I could use a good workout Thursday morning before all of the eating festivities begin, lol!  We literally have a Thanksgiving lunch with my family then dinner with my husband’s family.  Hope I can pace myself!

Chit Chat

So, I’ve had my tree up for over a week now!  It was a little early, but for some reason I couldn’t wait to have it up this year.  I went with a red and white candy-ish theme.  Glad we get to enjoy it a few extra weeks :)

Don’t know what’s overcome me…I’ve even started my Christmas shopping.   I am usually queen of procrastination.  It’s kind of a nice change.

Speaking of shopping, I’ve added these Leopard Print Tieks to my list.  If Santa had no budget, these would be on my list too.

How fun are these PJ’s?  Obsessed with polka dots.  PJ Salvage has some really cute prints in their Flannel Pajamas.  The milk and cookies and cake party ones are sooooo fun.

Chit Chat

Trying to explain to my 2 year old Pax that the chocolate chip cookie ornament is NOT to eat is obviously not working.  He tries to eat it daily.

Chit Chat

How fun are these foodie gifts from Minted?  Personalized wrapping paper, sweet framed art and customized kitchen tags.  You can literally include one of your favorite recipes on the wrapping paper.  Looooove these!

I’ve been using Minted for my Christmas Cards for years.  Some of my favorite Christmas Card designs this year:  This one, this one, this one, this one, and this one :)  It all kind of depends on what picture you use right?

Chit Chat

Here’s an outtake of our family photos for Christmas cards this year.  I didn’t end up choosing this one…not sure why I left my pointer finger out while holding my husband’s hand.  Charlie’s Angels?  Brady wasn’t smiling that great either.

Pax would not have smiled if his life depended on it….for the entire photo shoot, looked kind of like a little deer in headlights in all of our pictures, stinker!

I’ll share the photo I ended up using in an upcoming chit chat post.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive Picky Palate recipes right to your email.  I’m starting monthly newsletters with some fun little extras too.

Have a great weekend!  See you Monday with a new recipe!


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Happy Friday to you! A little chit chat today :)

Chit Chat

So happy to be back from my crazy travel schedule last week.  I went from Nashville for the Pillsbury Bake-Off to New York City for a Fisher Nuts event with Chef Alex Guarnaschelli back to back.  Both were great, but was I ever glad to get home to my boys!

There really is just something about NYC this is so exciting.  As crazy as Time Square is, I LOVE walking through the streets.  It’s nuts, but amazing.

Chit Chat

How hilariously perfect is this Sprinkles Swatch Watch?!  I found it in Times Square.  Kinda couldn’t pass it up, lol!

LOVE Sephora this time of year because they have all of their gift sets of fun make-up, perfume, brushes.  Can’t resist….Happy early Christmas to me, lol!

The weather is finally cooling off in Arizona….and by cooling off I mean the highs are in the 80’s.  It’s so wonderful, lol!  The mornings and nights are in the 60’s.  What a dream :)  My point was, I finally get to wear my booties and scarves, yay!!  Next on my list are THESE simple perfect Sam Edelman ones.

My favorite track pants are on sale right now!  I wear these every week.  Gotta check them out!

Chit Chat

Love getting my boys in the kitchen with me.  Last Sunday we all made lasagna together.  A messy blast :)  Pax just danced around the kitchen with us.

Chit Chat

Took the boys to see Big Hero 6 this week.  Oh my gosh, you’ve got to take the kids to see it.  We loved it so much.  The boys want to go again with Dad :)

Chit Chat

Have you voted for a 1 million dollar recipe yet?!

Chit Chat

Are you undecided?  Might I suggest these delicious Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters by Beth Royals.  I had the pleasure of sampling these in Nashville last week!  Beth and I were in the 2004 Pillsbury Bake-Off together, she is the sweetest ever and I love her creative recipe.  Best of luck Beth!  Go VOTE!

_____________

Oh and I can’t even believe I am going to admit this….we put up our Christmas Tree last night.  I really wanted to enjoy the tree as long as I could this year :)  I’m crazy, I know.  Pictures to come, lol!

Have a wonderful weekend!!


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So excited to share my trip to The Pillsbury Bake-Off in Nashville!

The Pillsbury Bake-Off

Insert live honkey tonk country music blaring in the background for these adorable contestants….Nashville is awesome!  People were dancing and cheering this group on as they took their “Grand March” before starting the competition.

Some of you might remember that I competed in the Pillsbury Bake-Off waaaaay back in 2004 and 2006.  This is literally where my love of creating recipes started.  The excitement in this room is like no other.  These women (and a few men) are so excited for a chance at a 1 million dollar winning recipe!  Not only that, but they beat out 65,000 other recipes that were entered.  That is a feat in itself.

There were contestants of all ages and we (the bloggers) got the chance to walk through the Bake-Off floor while they cooked their recipe and…..of course sample their recipes!!  This really is one of the highlights of my year.

The Pillsbury Bake-Off

We got a sneak peek into the Bake-Off room the evening before the festivities started.  Very organized and ready to go for the big day.

The Pillsbury Bake-Off

You know I had to squeeze the Doughboy!  Love him :)

The Pillsbury Bake-Off

I had so many favorites while we were sampling sooooo many recipes.  This gorgeous tart by Pamela Shank was a stunner!  The three recipes linked below were some of my absolute favorites that did not win a prize.  We were dying over how delicious they were.  Check them out, definitely worth making!

Lemon -Poppy Seed Pull-Apart Bread 

Strawberry-Cinnamon Roll Belgian Waffles

Chicken Florentine “Gnocchi”

The Pillsbury Bake-Off

The Award Show was a total blast.  Carla Hall from The Chew and Top Chef was the host.  She was the perfect host and so funny.  These ladies on stage are the 4 top winners in their category in the running for 1 million dollars.  Scroll down to see their recipes.

The Pillsbury Bake-Off

We have Cuban Style Sandwich Pockets, Creamy Corn Filled Sweet Peppers, Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters and Chocolate Doughnut Poppers.  Be sure to go HERE to see the full recipes and place your vote!  The winner will be announced live on The Chew December 3rd.  So exciting!

The Pillsbury Bake-Off

Had some fun baking with the new GE Advantium ranges.  Jocelyn, Meagan and I baked the cookies :)

The Pillsbury Bake-Off

Nashville is one of the coolest cities with some amazing food!  A few of us flew in a day early so we could do some sightseeing eating around Nashville.  Amanda, Lauren and I hit up The Pancake Pantry for brunch….on a weekend.  We waited 1 hour, lol! The line to get in is apparently this long almost daily.  Was it worth it?!  We enjoyed it for sure.  The Sweet Potato Pancakes were our favorite.

The Pillsbury Bake-Off

After we had breakfast we kind of met up with more friends and had, well….another breakfast.   The biscuit Love Truck was some of the best food I’ve ever had and that was on a full stomach.  Dying to go back here when I’m hungry!  In the top photo we have Julie, Lindsay, Angie, Chef Carl Amanda, Lauren and Me.  There’s also the cutest unique gifts shop in the same parking lot as the truck.  If you are in Nashville, you MUST go here.  I believe they are only there Saturday and Sunday.

The Pillsbury Bake-Off

The fun didn’t stop, lol!  Jeni’s Ice Cream was literally some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had.  Best flavors and so creamy perfect.  Please visit next time you are there.  The middle photo is from Las Palatas.  Gourmet Popsicles.  No words can describe how much I loved it.  Wish these places were in AZ :)

The Pillsbury Bake-Off

Right before we left for the airport we tried the coolest restaurant called Pinewood Social.  Our breakfast was amazing not to mention this gorgeous Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet with homemade vanilla soft serve.  They also had a bowling alley and swimming  pool area for their guests.  Loved!!

Such a fun few days we had in Nashville.  Loved every minute being a part of The 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off!  Don’t forget to go VOTE for your favorite recipe!

See more posts about this year’s Bake-Off from my friends below!

Recipe Girl 
I Wash You Dry
Crazy For Crust
Inside Brew Crew
Grandbaby Cakes
Baker Mama
Foodness Gracious

Disclosure: Thanks to Pillsbury for inviting me to the 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest. This was not a compensated opportunity, but Pillsbury did cover the cost of my travel and hotel.


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Happy Friday to you! A little chit chat today!

Halloween is coming, yay!  Lots of chili and dressing up next weekend.  Can NOT wait :)  Need a GOOD chili recipe for your parties?  Try THIS ONETHIS ONE, THIS ONE and THIS ONE.  Some of my favorites :)

Anyone watching new shows on TV this season?!  While I edit my photos and write my posts for Picky Palate I’ve watched quite a few new shows this week! I started A to Z….totally cute love story based in Orange County.  I also started Marry Me and Manhattan Love Story.  Hilarious, I think I’ll continue watching all of these.  I started How to get Away with Murder.  Not sure I’ll continue with that one.  I think Scandal is enough creepy drama for me, lol!

Can I please just say that I am loving the cooler weather….it means I can actually wear THESE.  Seriously the cutest sweat pants I’ve ever owned.  I got a couple colors and wear them often.  They are cute and not bulky like most sweat pants.  Yipee!

Be sure to check out my friend Deborah’s new Red Velvet Cookbook HERE.  She is amazing!!

Awesome black pen liner to make a fun cat eye that my sister found.  It’s amazing!

After at least 3 winters I finally decided to get some new riding boots.  THESE Sam Edelman ones are on sale.  I really love them.  They look way cuter on.  If you are in the market for new boots, these are worth trying on :)

We are getting updated family pictures, tonight actually.  I found the CUTEST skirt I think will be super cute for pictures….I hope, lol!

Chit Chat

So last weekend I got to spend time with some of my best blogging girlfriends in Park City, UT.  If you followed along on Instagram, you probably saw all of this food!!  Haha!

PS….the Kate Spade bow ring is on sale right now :)

A huge thanks to the sponsors of the Better Blog Retreat, they made our weekend so much fun!  Deer Valley Resort, Land O Lakes Saute Express, Blue Diamond, Delallo, Tillamook, President Cheese, Whole Foods, Minted, QSquared, Katie Waltman, The Spa at Stein Erikson Lodge and Riverhorse Restaurant.

Chit Chat

We talked for hours, had great sessions on blogging, ate some AMAZING food, did some shopping, went on long walks, went to the spa for massages, did each others hair and make up and just enjoyed the weekend together.  Couldn’t have asked for a better time.  Love these girls.

Two Peas and Their Pod
Foodie Crush
Mountain Mama Cooks
Cookin Canuck
Gimme Some Oven
Kevin and Amanda
Skinny Taste
The Little Kitchen
Love and Olive Oil
Southern Fairytale
Reluctant Entertainer
Cookies and Cups
A Spicy Perspective

Be sure you are signed up to receive Picky Palate emails with all of my latest recipes and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

Have a great weekend!  See you Monday with a new recipe!


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Happy Friday to you!  Sharing my Newport Beach Vacation with you today, beach, sunshine, donuts, boardwalk bike rides and Disneyland :)

Lots to catch up on this week!  I’m missing the beach already!

Newport Beach Vacation

Talk about feeling so lucky last week.  I got to spend time in one of my favorite places with my family for Fall Break…Newport Beach, CA and of course Disneyland.  We just moved less than a year ago from this beautiful place.  Hard to believe it’s been almost a year!
We found this cottage like beach house on VRBO.com with the most perfect location.  We were right on the sand with views of the ocean all around us. I would wake up early with Pax and walk out to the sand to watch the early morning surfers.  Doesn’t get better than that.

Newport Beach Vacation

Pax was cracking us up, it took him 2 days before he would even touch the sand, but when he did he LOVED it!  Cutest thing to watch him splash through the water and play :)

Newport Beach Vacation

Boston Cream Donut by the ocean…..take me back!!

Newport Beach Vacation

One of my favorite things all week was bike riding on the boardwalk for miles and miles.  I miss waking up and biking along the beach listening to the waves crashing.

Newport Beach Vacation

The waves must have been soothing to Pax, because this was his favorite napping spot all week :)

Newport Beach Vacation

Cullen and I took a bike ride to the Balboa Candy Shop with Pax one morning.  Another one of his favorite nap spots….his bike seat, lol!

Newport Beach Vacation

We made it back to Disneyland!  Halloween is one of our favorite times to visit the park.  So fun and festive with Mickey shaped pumpkins and Halloween banners throughout.  Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion are so much fun decorated for Halloween.

We decided to do the Minnie and Friends Character Breakfast first thing in the morning.  Pax was beside himself.  He loved Minnie Mouse so much.  It was the cutest thing ever watching him kiss her on the nose.

Newport Beach Vacation

Gotta love the treats from Disney!  On the left is the chocolate dipped soft serve from Cars Land in California Adventure and on the right are my favorite Pomme Frites from Cafe Orleans.

Newport Beach Vacation

One of my favorite treats at Disney!  Peanut Butter Sandwich.  Thick creamy chocolate on the outside with peanut butter and graham cracker on the inside.  Heaven!

Newport Beach Vacation

Oh for the love of churros.  One of our favorite treats to get all….day….long!  Haha!

Have a great weekend!  See you Monday with a new recipe!

I’m in the beautiful Park City, UT area this weekend for a fun blogger event. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see what I’m up to!

 


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Jenny Flake

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!





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