Happy Friday to you! A little chit chat today
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.
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!
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.
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
Have you voted for a 1 million dollar recipe yet?!
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!!
Tags: chit chat
So excited to share my trip to The Pillsbury Bake-Off in Nashville!
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.
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.
You know I had to squeeze the Doughboy! Love him
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 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
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!
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.
Happy Friday to you! A little chit chat today!
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!
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.
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
Mountain Mama Cooks
Gimme Some Oven
Kevin and Amanda
The Little Kitchen
Love and Olive Oil
Cookies and Cups
A Spicy Perspective
Have a great weekend! See you Monday with a new recipe!
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!
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
Boston Cream Donut by the ocean…..take me back!!
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.
The waves must have been soothing to Pax, because this was his favorite napping spot all week
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
Happy Friday to you! Let’s chit chat, so much has been going on the last couple weeks!
First off it’s Fall Break here in AZ. The boys get a whole week off of school and that can only mean one thing…..we’re headed back to the beach. I’ve been looking forward to this vacation for months. Can’t wait for the salty air and sandy toes this week. We’re hitting up Disneyland too. We’ve had withdrawals since moving to AZ late last year, lol!
Can we just talk Tieks for a few minutes? I’m a little obsessed, lol!
I thought it would be totally appropriate to kick off Pumpkin season with matching Tieks in Tangerine. I mean, they match my pumpkin desserts right?
I’ve got lots of travels coming up and these will be perfect this Fall! I love AZ winters because I basically wear them all winter long. They are my winter boots Yippee!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Tieks is teaming up with The American Cancer Society to raise awareness this month. I will be supporting with pink all month long….and then some. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor of over 40 years. My heart goes out to all those have been affected.
I am so excited for my friends and their new cookbooks!! Run don’t walk and pick up each and every one of these!
Cake Pops Halloween by the sweetest Bakerella! Angie’s talent never ceases to amaze me. She makes the most adorable cake pops and her Halloween pops make you want to stop what you’re doing and get baking
You guys, I am still so obsessed with Fabletics. Not even kidding, this athletic line of clothes are some of the best fitting pieces I’ve ever owned. You’ve got to check it out. I signed up to be a VIP, which means you have the option to get new outfits each month. I just opt to “skip” those months and choose my own pieces. It’s so easy and the best prices.
If you’re looking for a perfect little summer black dress, I found one at Madewell. Looking forward to wearing lots! Can be dressed up or down. Love it!
If you need me, I’ll be dreaming of eating my favorite Disneyland goodies next week
Have a wonderful weekend!!
Disclosure: I partner with Tieks, however thoughts and opinions are my own.
So grateful for my sister retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale AZ last weekend. Sunshine, good food and total relaxation.
Last weekend my sister and I had a stay cation at the beautiful Four Seasons Scottsdale AZ. When I want to get away, there is no other place I’d rather be. So many fun memories made with my sister over the weekend. Grateful for every minute!
We had breakfast at one of my favorite restaurants, Proof. It has the most lovely breakfast spread. Pretty much anything you’d want for breakfast, they’ve got it.
This was the view from our Casita. It over looked the gorgeous pool and mountains.
Shortly after we arrived, room service brought us this gorgeous cutting board of cheeses, meats, olives, toast, honey and nuts. We kinda were in love with this!
We enjoyed dinner Friday night at Proof Restaurant and their Pretzel Knots might be one of the best things I’ve eaten. Oh my goodness I want another order We also had dinner at Talavera Saturday night which is also amazing! Take a look at these gorgeous buttery brioche rolls.
After dinner Friday night, we put our PJ’s on, ordered oodles of desserts and watched a chick flick. The Other Women. What a crack up! Laughed so hard.
Saturday morning we had the most amazing hot stone massage at the Four Seasons Spa. It was a first for both of us. Best massage we’ve ever had!
Saturday afternoon was spent in our own private cabana. We got our favorite magazines and ordered our favorite appetizers.
The Carne Asada Nachos behind our Coke Zeros are literally the best nachos I’ve ever had. The cilantro jalapeño hummus is to die for too What a treat hanging by the pool Saturday with all of this fun food!
Our last afternoon by the pool we had to snack on this cute little bucket of perfect French fries…..and maybe the nachos
Four Seasons Scottsdale is my happy get away in Arizona. Feels like I’m on vacation without hopping on an airplane. Nothing better! So grateful for this sister weekend!
Thrilled to share the fun we had at Universal Studios Orlando Florida for the Family Forward event!
Last week we took off for the long Labor Day weekend with 2 of our 3 boys (Pax stayed home with grandma) to Orlando! The boys got to sit in the pilot chairs. We were off to a great start!
The boys were over the moon to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios. I could not get over how realistic everything looked! Literally was like walking through the movie. Love this dragon sitting on top of Gringotts Bank
We got to try Butterbeer and Butterbeer ice cream for the first time. Let’s just say we had our fair share during our time in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, lol!
Another highlight of our trip was getting to prepare a delicious pasta salad with our family and Barilla as part of their Share The Table program! It has been a pleasure partnering with Barilla this year to spread the word that meaningful mealtimes help families feel closer, be healthier and even appreciate each other more.
There was a “Share The Table” photo booth….we took full advantage of being goofy together
Later that night we saw The Blue Man Show Group! Oh my gosh, we loved it. The boys were cracking up the entire show….so was my husband and I. Great for the whole family.
Saturday morning we were greeted by all of the Universal characters and got to walk the red carpet to meet them all. I am obsessed with photos, so this was a dream for me. Hello, it’s Optimus Prime!!
Couldn’t pass up a selfie with a minion, the gang from Simpson’s and of course Sponge Bob. Fun times.
Honeydukes Candy Shop in Hogsmeade was literally a dream. The colors, the candy….everything! Loved shopping through this place.
We heard so much about the giant Simpsons donut that we had to try it for ourselves. It did NOT disappoint!
Cookie Dough Fudge in the middle of Hogsmeade. Love!!
We had a very special night at Give Kids The World. This magical ice cream parlor serves ice cream to it’s guests morning noon and night. What a dream
This was truly a dream weekend with our big boys. We sure missed Pax, but he had fun with grandma while we were gone We hope to make it back to Orlando in the near future. So many fun memories with the family.
This information taken from Share the Table: Benefits of Family Dinner for Parents and Children, a study by Dr. William Doherty.
I am thrilled to share our tips for creating meaningful moments on family vacation today! There’s nothing I love more than heading out of town with my crew of boys on a new adventure. We are counting down the days to our next family vacation to Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in a couple weeks with Mom It Forward. Stay tuned for our newest adventures!
Family vacations should be fun so enjoy the little mements. It can be stressful getting everyone ready for the trip, so once you are packed take a deep breath and enjoy the adventure. Your positivity and attitude will rub off on the entire family.
Take pictures! I always regret not having more pictures from our trips, so I warn the family in advance to just let mom take pictures. It is important and the quicker you smile, the quicker it’s over, lol!
Take advantage of your hotel’s free activities. We LOVE hanging at the pool, game room and exploring the hotel grounds!
Try something new as a family, whether it be a new activity or new restaurant. These are the things that create lasting memories.
Most importantly don’t expect a perfect family vacation. I’m not sure there’s such a thing. The kids will probably fight and even drive you nuts at times. It’s ok! Make the best of your time together, limit technology, and don’t sweat the small stuff. I remind myself how lucky we are to be able to travel together as a family and laugh…a lot!