Lots has happened in the last month! For starters we decided it was time to move our family back home….to Arizona. We have lived in the Newport Beach, CA area for 5 great years. Definitely a bittersweet move, but we are so excited to be back home with all of our extended family.
A couple days after we moved, it was Thanksgiving, woohoo! Best time of year for sure. Had a great time with our family. Snuck a selfie with my sweetie pie Pax.
Before I left CA, my sweetest girlfriends gave me these cutest foodie ornaments for my Christmas Tree. I am in love with them!
I might not be fully unpacked, but I got my tree up! Priorities right?
Ok, I was not expecting to fall in love with these, but whoa!! They are crazy good. I believe they are only sold in Target. Find them. ASAP!
My favorite cookie this time of year is by far my Brown Butter Soft Batch Style Gingernaps! Make them for your family and friends!
Because I live with all boys, I found some funny Christmas Gift Ideas for you
1. Crib Dribbler This is a gag gift that I saw in person at a family party. Note that it is just an empty box. What a hoot. A little hamster drinker for the crib, lol!
2. Ceramic nose pencil sharpener. My boys would think this is so cool.
3. Bacon Lip Balm. It’s all about the bacon in my house. I’m sure this would be a huge hit
4. Muffin Top Baking Cups. This might be my personal favorite!
5. Chocolate Cupcake Key Topper. Ok, I wanted this one, so it made my list, lol!
6. Pick Your Nose Paper Cups. We’ve actually had these and they are soo funny. They come with a number of different “noses.” Fun for parties and the kids.
7. Inflatable Unicorn Hat. If we had a cat, I would totally buy this!! Crack up.
8. Talk to the Hand Notes. Love these!!
9. Easiest Diet Kit. Love this spoon with the hole in the middle and half of a fork
On that note….Have a great weekend!!
A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of going to the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off in Las Vegas….not as a competitor but as a blogger covering the even. I was over the moon! Some of you may know that in 2004 and 2006 I competed as a finalist and that is where my love of creating recipes began. Talk about a treat to be on “the other side” of the competition rooting and cheering the competitors on. Had the best time with a great group of my blogging friends.
We got a front row view when the finalists came onto the bake-off floor and walked their Grand March. They were lead by a group of drummers. The excitement was contagious.
You know I had to snuggle the Pillsbury Dough Boy.
It was so excited watching the winner announced. Confetti poured all over the stage and the crowd went wild, lol! It’s true though. Glori Spriggs won 1 million dollars for her Loaded Potato Pinwheels. I got to sample them and I can say there were amazing!
Angie treated us to cupcakes from an amazing bakery in Las Vegas called Retro Bakery. I cannot say enough about them. A must visit if you are in the area. The Hopscotch was a butterscotch dipped vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting. No words on how amazing it was. Not related to Retro Bakery, but unforgettable on the right was a little Nutella Croissant Muffin that about knocked my tastebuds off it was so good. It came as a little side to breakfast.
My sweet mom and sister joined me a day before my festivities began and played around Vegas with me. We basically shopped and ate until we dropped. Best time ever.
We went to Max Brenner for Lunch and split the Banana Split Sugar Waffles, Mac and Cheese and that crazy 80’s Milkshake. Best milkshake I have ever had. Hands down.
I flew home on my birthday and got to snuggle my best gift ever. As great as it is to travel, there’s nothing like coming home to my sweet boys
Have a great rest of your week!
Photo via Amanda
Early last month I had the opportunity to travel to Park City, UT for the Better Blog Retreat hosted by Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod and Heidi of Foodie Crush. The pictures do not even do justice to the amazing time we had. We laughed, learned, ate, exercised, got pampered and ate some more. I feel so lucky to have spent the weekend with these amazingly talented women. I truly love my job. See bottom of post for a link to all of these gals.
I met these two adorable girls at the airport to start our fun in Park City. Left: Rachel, Me and Amanda.
Photo via Amanda
Ok, seriously this house?! This is where we got to stay in Park City courtesy of Anthology.
Photo via Amanda
Amanda and I shared this gorgeous room together with all kinds of goodies waiting for us on the bed.
Photo via Sandy
Sandy made us the most delicious Baked Brie using Harry and David products. We were in hog heaven. Look at the foodie paparazzi, lo!
Our first evening in Park City, it started snowing! Dara and I walked arm in arm in the snow to dinner. I used my scarf as a hat, lol!
Photo via Amanda
We woke up to a winter wonderland outside! Amanda caught the snow perfectly here.
One morning we had a Chobani yogurt bar and one morning we had Dine and Dish’s fabulous waffles. Mmm!
Most of the time we spent gathered around the living room talking and learning from each other.
Sweet Tooth Fairy spoiled us rotten with cookies, cupcakes and cake bites. Oh baby!
One afternoon we got pampered by Zante Spa with mini massages, manicures and foot massages.
Photo via Amanda
Before our last dinner together we got some group pictures! Love these women!
More silliness snapping pictures
Right photo via Maria
Our dinner table was so beautiful. We had the most lovely dinner prepared by the Deer Valley Resort Chef. I’m still dreaming about it!
Photo via Amanda
Thank you so much to all of our sponsors: Anthology, Chobani, DeLallo, KitchenAid, Deer Valley, OXO, Whole Foods, Wisconsin Cheese, Harry and David and many more. Thank you for providing us the best weekend!
It’s always so much fun to have Amanda visit us in Southern California! We had a great couple of days together and we always make the most of our time as you will see below, lol! We took a fun bike cruiser ride down PCH to kick things off. Amanda’s cute sequin sweatshirt is from Olive and Tweed in Park City and my comfy sweater is from Catch Bliss Boutique.
Amanda had never been to Mastro’s Ocean Club so obviously we went and ordered all of the best! Burrata and Tomato Salad, Gorgonzola Mac, Lobster Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Creamed Corn, Salmon and of course the Warm Butter Cake. Mmmm!
We also went to Rose’s Bakery after a nice morning run for breakfast. We shared this gorgeous chocolate chip cooke. Rose’s Bakery is the best!
Before Amanda left for the airport we made a stop at Sidecar Doughnuts. Gorgeous and delicious. This is a must visit in Southern California, stay tuned for a full review on my Where to Eat in Orange County Page!
Pax has been so funny lately. He’s already 14 months old!! Can’t believe how fast the months fly by. His hair is growing like mad and he found the boys Halloween Candy bag and stole a Dum Dum Sucker. Look at that little face, basically saying “Don’t even try to take my sucker away!” Lol
I can’t tell you enough how much I love my dresses from Catch Bliss Boutique. Shannon has really affordable, stylish merchandise for sale. Be sure to check it out today through November 12th for a big sale. Use the code FALLSALE for 30% off new arrivals and up to 80% on sale items, plus free shipping on orders of $50 or more. Yay! Happy Shopping!
Has anyone used NeriumAD before?! I am just about to have my 37th birthday and so many people I know have already gone the Botox route. I have nothing against people who do Botox, but that’s just not for me….at least right now, lol! My friend sent me a bottle of Nerium AD to try and I am totally intrigued. The before and after pictures of these people are amazing. Totally smooths fine lines and wrinkles. I’m excited to put it to the test over the next couple months. I will admit I am pretty excited, I’ll keep you posted!
Great deal find of the week. I’ve been wanting to find a cute pair of faux leather leggings to wear with longer sweaters or tunics this winter but did not want to spend a fortune. I found these on Forever21.com for under $20. I took a chance and ordered them and have to say they fit great and look so cute with either pumps, ankle boots or even flats and flip flops. If you are in the market for some, you’ll love these!
So, I’ve tried a number of dry shampoos that just don’t cut it. When Amanda was visiting last week, she told me about this brand called “Batiste.” If you use dry shampoo you’ve got to try this brand. They have a half dozen or so scents to choose from. This one is my favorite. It’s only $7.99 at your local drugstores or Ulta also carries it. Yay for a good dry shampoo!
So, I’ve been using the doTerra Essential Oils for a little over a month now and I can’t say enough about them. This oil “On Guard” is amazing. Anytime I start to feel sick, or the boys start to get a cold, I drop 2 drops under our tongue then wash it down with water. I’m not kidding that it gets rid of whatever I was feeling the day before. I’m a huge fan. So great for the winter colds/flu! My boys also get asthma issues anytime they get a cold and I use the Frankincense on the bottom of their feet and the Breath oil on their chest. I can tell it definitely has helped. I signed up to be a consultant for discounted oils. Be sure to check it out if this interests you too! I love feeling like my kids aren’t needing so much medicine when they get sick.
That’s all for me today, hope you have a great rest of your week!
A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the Better Blog Retreat in Park City, UT with some of my best blogging friends. Maria and Heidi were the gracious hostesses and did a fabulous job. Stay tuned for more of the fun times we had coming soon.
A new ice cream shop has come to Southern California called “Creamistry.” It’s located in Irvine and they specialize in making your ice cream after you order using liquid nitrogen. Check out our full review on our “Where to Eat in Orange County” page. Some of the best ice cream we’ve ever had. Pictured above is the Captain Crunch Ice Cream with Brownie Bites and Hot Fudge. Amazing!
Can we talk jeans for a second?! I thought I knew all of the best jeans, fits, brands…..but I have to say White House Black Market completely surprised me this past week. I tried a pair of their Noir Straight Fit Skinny Jean and could not believe how much I liked them. They have all lengths available. It is so hard for me to find jeans short enough, I usually have to get them hemmed. Trust me on this one, you’ve got to go try a pair on next time! I guess their jeans were featured on Oprah too. I see why
I have been dying to get my hands on some of the new Tory Burch Beauty Line. Have you sampled her new perfume/parfum?! It is lovely. Officially on my wishlist. Love the packaging on her new makeup too. Bravo Tory!
Sometimes I torture myself by looking at Tory Burch boots online. I likely will never own any of these due to the hefty price tag, but wow, I LOVE these!!
I will say however, in my hunt for a great ankle boot, I found these super cute nude ankle boots at Forever 21 a couple weeks ago for under $35. Yes and thank you Forever 21. They go with about everything and are pretty darn comfortable.
LOVE these fun facts about lemon water! I’ve been adding drops of my Lemon Essential Oil right in my water bottles during the day. Bring on the lemon water!
Oh my gosh you guys, I started doing heated yoga again! I used to practice it in AZ then again in CA right when we moved here, but took a 3 year break. I forgot how amazing you feel all day long after each class. Can’t say enough about it.
Alright, that’s all for me today, have a fantastic weekend!!!
It’s another chit chat day! Happy Friday to you!
This past weekend, my sister came for a visit from AZ and the 2 of us stayed in Huntington Beach for a fun-filled 2 days. I felt like I was dreaming, we had the best time shopping, eating and lounging! This cookie was part of our dessert party on the beach
There’s a new Bruxie opened in Huntington Beach. My sister and I shared the Bacon, Cheddar and Egg Waffle Sandwich. If you haven’t tried Bruxie, make sure you check it out when visiting Southern California. See my full review of some of their best waffle sandwiches HERE.
I have been in love with a (new to me) online boutique called Catch Bliss Boutique. Shannon is amazing to order from and has gorgeous affordable merchandise for sale. Make sure you check out all of her goodies. I have the black and white dress and could not be happier with it! Loving the Navy Boyfriend Maxi too!
I have been LOVING Philosophy’s Sweet Creamy Frosting body lotion. Talk about smelling sweet like frosting. I highly recommend it. Voluspa’s Santiago Huckleberry candle is my new favorite right now. Smells like fresh blueberry pie throughout the entire house. They sell these and other scents at Anthropologie.
I have recently discovered DoTerra oils! Have I been living under a rock or what? I am so excited about these for my family. Does anyone use these? I’d love to hear your stories and any favorites you have.
I was not a believer until this past weekend. Saturday night I was out with my sister and by the end of the night, my nose was running and I felt a major head cold coming on. My sister pulls out her little purse kit and said, trust me these oils will totally help you. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I let her work her magic. She put a couple drops of “On Guard” under my tongue then I washed it down with water. Not even kidding, within 2 hours it was as if my head cold was about gone. I did a couple more drops before bed and when I woke up, I felt great. I could not believe it. If you haven’t heard about these oils, they are totally worth checking out, see the site HERE. I signed up as a consultant so that I could get discounted oils. I am their newest fan! I am starting with the Physicians Kit which is what is pictured above. Can’t wait to learn about all of these!
My friend Camilla Saulsbury has a new cookbook out called Power Hungry, The Ultimate Energy Bar Cookbook. Camilla is such a talented cook and blogger. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Camilla for years. We have competed in numerous cooking competitions together many years ago. Make sure you check out Camilla’s new book!
We had a rare family photo moment at Disneyland a couple weeks ago. Sherriff Woody joined us. Can’t wait to get back to Disneyland for the Halloween Party. Anyone going this year? Be sure to check out our Where to Eat at Disney page for your upcoming vacations!
B. Candy, one of my favorite candy/ice cream shops created a Pop Tart Ice Cream Bar!! Can I just say it was incredible. If you are ever in the Newport Beach area stop in and get one of these bad boys. They make their own homemade ice cream in the shop. Amazing!!
Oh my goodness, last Saturday night we went to one of my favorite restaurants in Orange County called the Playground. They change their menu daily and the chef is unbelievably talented. Every single thing we ordered was a dream These are just a few. Salivating just thinking about it!
My favorite time of year at Bath and Body Works! Pumpkin Cupcake soap, yippee!!
I’m in Salt Lake City with some of my favorite blogging friends this weekend. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see what we’re up to!
As always, this is NOT a sponsored post, just my favorites for the week! Happy Friday!
It’s Friday! Yay, welcome to another edition of my chit chat page, just a little bit of what’s been going on in the Picky Palate house
Can I just say that there is no way that my Pax is a year old already. How does 365 days go by in the blink of an eye?! One year ago today I was sobbing endlessly praying Pax would get to come home from the NICCU. If you haven’t read what happened when Pax was born, you can do so HERE.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I am grateful to have this little boy in our home!! Love you Pax, now slow down the growing up ok?
School is back in session for my big boys. We had the best summer. I am so grateful to be their mom. They fight like crazy but I know deep down they really love each other.
I get so giddy when I see these bad boys at Target!! Can’t wait to start my Fall baking!
My friend Catherine has a new cookbook, Weelicious Lunches. Catherine is amazing and has the absolute best lunch ideas for the kids. This is a must get. Be sure to pick up your copy ASAP. I have been using it since the boys got back to school. So helpful!
So excited for my friend Kathy of Panini Happy. Her cookbook The Ultimate Panini Press is out and it is fabulous. I am a sucker for any panini. You get more than 200 recipes in Kathy’s book! Pick up your copy today!
A couple of Sundays ago, the boys and I decided we wanted to make some fun cookies. I used my Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and substituted Nutella for the Oreos. I highly recommend you try this. They were sinfully delicious!
Pax got to meet Cinderella last week at Ariel’s Grotto, a fun lunch spot in Disney’s California Adventure. His face was so funny meeting the princesses, he was not amused…at all, lol! Another shot of my boys and I playing at Disney over the summer. Hope they always remember our Disney adventures
This is week two of our fitness challenge. If you haven’t read about what we’re doing, you can click HERE. I am so proud of myself, I never thought I would be able to limit my sweets the way I have been. I am down 4.5 pounds since last week. Check out these healthy chicken veggie bowls my husband and I prepared so we have lunches to grab that are totally ready eat. It’s been so great.
I thought I’d leave you with Pax enjoying his first ever birthday cake. He entertained us all as he enjoyed his first real taste of sugar, lol! Go get em’ Pax!
Welcome to another edition of my chit chat page, just a little about what we’ve been up to and things I’m loving right now
How fast has summer gone by? Some of your kids have already started school. We’ve got a few more weeks. Looking forward to our school year routine….but not the lunch making everyday, lol!
Took the family to San Diego a couple weeks ago and had the best time bike riding down the beaches. So pretty in Mission/Pacific Beach area. Nice to have some good family time. We went to some amazing restaurants, they’ll be featured on Picky Palate soon!
Completely dying over Hash House a go go’s pancakes! They were enormous and this Strawberry Frosted Flake Pancake did not disappoint. It’s a must visit when you are in San Diego.
One of my good friends, Jenna started a new blog with her 3 sisters called Show up for Life. They are also on Instagram HERE. They are inspiring and uplifting, be sure to check it out! Below is a little about them.
“We are 4 sisters and we have a deep desire to assist and help others in finding hope and living a life full of the love and joy they deserve. We are not experts or Dr.’s, but we have found through our years of learning, experience, and research; tips and exercises that have been successful for us. We will be sharing here what we have learned and have high hopes that it will be beneficial for anyone who has ever experienced those moments in life that may seem hopeless.
This blog will be a place for the hopeless to find hope. For the fearful to find their courage. A place to find spiritual, mental, physical health. A place of love. A place where we will share stories, inspiration, and insight. This is a place of joy and happiness. A place of safety and security. A place that we hope all who come will be enlightened and lifted.”
I might be crazy, but I am starting a very small jewelry store on Instagram that I am calling Picky’s Box. I will be selling very affordable designer inspired pieces that I hand pick from various vendors. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more pictures and information.
We’ve been having so much fun at Disneyland this summer. I take the boys one on one in the evenings and we stay until closing. Get a load of that Ghirardelli caramel filled chocolate. Swoon!!
Have you checked out my “How to Make the Perfect Mac and Cheese” yet?! Cannot get enough of this recipe. Creamy and dreamy
How creepy are these blinking mustard and ketchup bottles?! Lol! Found them at Paper Source and was cracking up
So….Marc Jacobs has a new makeup line. Let’s just say it’s fabulous! This lipstick and gloss I couldn’t resist has been a new favorite. Looking forward to trying more of his line.
Last weekend, we walked the kids up to RiteAid and somehow all came out with giant Thrifty’s ice cream cones. I chose the chocolate malted crunch of course
Earlier this week I posted this picture on Instagram and asked, “What’s your tips for not crying while cutting onions?” There are over 100 great tips if you are curious. Check out the comments HERE.
If I had $400 to blow, I would be blowing it on these new Kate Spade ankle boots. I did the unthinkable and tried them on this week in their store. Bad idea because I can’t stop thinking about them, lol! Aren’t they adorable?
My sweet little Pax has been so “on the go” the last couple months crawling and starting to experiment standing/balancing that he hasn’t been much of a cuddler. A couple days ago, he stopped what he was doing, climbed up and laid his little head on my shoulder. Sweetest thing ever. I had to capture the moment! Love this little boy so much!
Happy Friday, have a wonderful weekend!
Chit chat today Hope everyone has been enjoying summer!
Summer break has been so much fun with the boys. I have been taking them to Disneyland just one on one. Talk about the memories we’ve created. They keep asking when we can do it again. I look forward to these moments with the boys.
We had the privilege of sampling a couple of boxes of Nature Box. I knew we were going to receive healthy snacks but I didn’t know how amazing they would all be! We can not get enough of their snacks. You get a box delivered right to your door once a month. Be sure to check out their website and see if it’s a good fit for your family. Stay tuned for a recipe and giveaway with Nature Box in early August.
The OC Fair is on! We took the boys and sampled all of the crazy food there was to offer, lol! See our full review of the OC Fair HERE.
Had such a great time in Virginia last week for a close look at the Sabra Factory. Saw bunnies in the clouds, ate pounds of Sabra hummus, painted my own hummus and pita bowl, toured the factory, learned about new spices and had amazing ice cream It was a great couple days.
Be still my heart. Stella and Dot’s new Fall line is so stunning. The colors, the sparkles….have got to have it! There are dozens and dozens of new pieces you’ve got to check out. Be sure to look at my site HERE to see all of the new pieces.
Pax has been in my grocery cart for months and I’m always trying to stack my groceries around his giant car seat. I’m happy to say that in the last week Pax has graduated to the front of the grocery cart, yay! Room for groceries He’s happy too.
Oh my sweet boys. They wanted Pax to look like a “dude” so they put a baseball hat on backwards, lol! Pax also got his first haircut this past weekend. Little cutie pie.
Have a wonderful weekend, see you Monday for a new recipe!!