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Chit Chat

Ahhhh, it’s Friday! A little Picky Palate chat chat coming your way :)

Chit Chat Thirty First Edition

My newest obsession……the Madsen Bike aka my new favorite toy ever!  I have been coveting this bike for so long and finally bit the bullet and ordered it!  The boys and I have had so much fun riding around the neighborhood even in the AZ heat, lol!  Looking forward to lots of rides with my new blue bike :)

Lots of colors to choose from too.  Blue, black, pink, orange, yellow and green.  They are all so dreamy!!

I am soooo doing this to my bike….and this with the boys :)

They are so much fun to follow on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.  Be sure to check them out and add them to your wish list :)

Chit Chat Thirty First Edition

I was dying taking my first ride in the bucket with Pax!  My husband is a crazy driver, I was laughing so hard.  Pax probably thought his mom was nuts!  Love these AZ summer nights.

Chit Chat Thirty First Edition

 Have you tried these new Oreos?!  Deliciousness!

Chit Chat Thirty First Edition

Have you guys heard of Fitbit?  I don’t know where I’ve been, but I hadn’t heard about it until last week!  The Pioneer Woman and Little Kitchen told me about it and I knew I had to have one!  It basically tracks your activity/steps each day and allows you to set personal goals.  You can document your diet, water and even track your sleep habits.  You definitely have to check it out!  You can even switch out the band colors :)

Chit Chat Thirty First Edition

It’s so much fun having Sweet Tooth Fairy in Gilbert, AZ.  Just a hop skip and a jump away from my house.  I took the boys last weekend and we shared this Cookies and Cream Waffle Bowl.  Do yourself a favor and treat yourself asap!

Chit Chat Thirty First Edition

Celebrated my sweet Brady’s birthday last week with all of our family.  What a difference being back in AZ for birthdays.  ……this Costco chocolate cake makes an awesome birthday cake if you aren’t making your own!

Chit Chat Thirty First Edition

Loooooved celebrating Father’s Day last weekend.  So lucky to have Mr. Picky Palate.  Love to see how much the boys look up to him.

Chit Chat Thirty First Edition

I got to visit Minnesota last week with some of my blogging friends and Land O’Lakes Butter.  I seriously milked a cow, lol!  This city girl didn’t do half bad :)  So much fun.

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

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I can’t believe that we are already 2 weeks into summer break.  I forgot how early AZ schools let the kids out.  It’s been great other than my 9 year old told me he was bored the first day of summer break, lol!  We are busy busy with swim team, diving and other summer camps for the boys.  It’s always a nice break from the usual school routine.


This is also our first summer in AZ in 5 years!!  It’s been pushing 110 degrees all week.  Crazy hot.  I am so grateful we have a swimming pool.  We use it morning, noon and night.


We took the kids up to the White Mountains for Memorial Day a couple weekends ago.  It was chilly, had a hail storm, thunder and lightening.  It was fabulous!  We tried some really great restaurants, watched some baseball and had some fun family time.  Can’t wait to go back.  On the way home Pax tossed his cookies.  What an adventure that was cleaning him up at the carwash.  Eeeek and yuck!

Sweetheart Cafe, Showlow AZ

We were dying over the size of these pancakes from Sweetheart Cafe up in the mountains.  Showlow, AZ to be exact.  The kids faces were priceless when they brought out their giant plates.  Let’s just say most of this came home in a box, lol!

Dairy Queen Dipped Cones

Ok, how fun is this?!  The Dairy Queen in Showlow, AZ made my husband and boys very happy indeed.  I’m not much of an ice cream girl, but definitely had a few bites of theirs.  Talk about childhood memories!  I grew up having these cones.

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale

One of my favorite days of the week is sneaking out for a fun lunch and a little shopping with my sister.  We brought her sweet little girl with us last week.  It just happened to be the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale when we were there.  Scored these fun Sam Edelman sandals!

Paper Source


Went to Paper Source last week and they seriously have the cutest stuff right now!  Got this adorable popsicle garland kit the boys and I made together.  So fun.  If you’ve got a store near you, check it out.


My girlfriend and I went shopping last weekend and found the cutest comfy pants at J.Crew.  You have to try these on.  Super casual and comfortable….and so cute with a pair of flip flops or sandals.  Didn’t get this necklace, but it looks just like little crystal ice cream cones!  Want!!

I don’t know why I even open my Kate Spade emails, I want one of everything.  They have some really cute new “Eat Cake for Breakfast” goodies.  I am sooooo ordering this phone case :)

I would never spend this much on these, but how cute are they?!  Watermelon flats?!  Love!

Got these bad boys in the mail a few days ago and canNOT stop eating the salted caramel ones.  To die for!

Summer TV:  Loving Bachelorette and SYTYCD.  Two of my very favorites.  A bit eerie watching Eric on Bachelorette knowing he has recently passed away.

You know my obsession with Tieks.  There’s a giveaway going on until tomorrow.  Enter to win your own pair HERE!

Have a great weekend!

See you Monday with a new recipe!



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Happy Friday to you! A little re-cap today of my time in Miami Florida last weekend for BlogHer Food Conference :)

Miami, Florida

It’s always a treat going to the annual BlogHerFood Conference.  It’s in a different city every year and this year…..Miami Florida!  I went with CliqueMe and hosted a couple parties with Amanda.  Here’s my morning view.  Heavenly!!

Miami, Florida

I arrived Thursday night and we had our first party at 8:30pm.  It was pouring in Miami, but that didn’t stop us, lol!  We had our friends shuttled over to our penthouse for a sushi and ice cream party.  Good times and good ice cream :)

Miami, Florida

Friday morning we decided to go to brunch at Morgan’s Restaurant.  Probably one of my favorites during my stay in  Miami.  The french toast was unbelievable!  Photo left:  Me, Lauren, Barbara, Summer, Amanda and Sandy.

Miami, Florida

Friday night was the night of party hopping!  Amanda and I started with a Pillsbury meet up then went to visit McCormick and ended up with Stitch Fix.  Great night and gorgeous South Beach Sunset :)

Miami, Florida

Saturday was our 2nd party “Lunch and Pampering”  by CliqueMe and Tastespotting. Amanda and I had so much fun hosting!  We served Cuban sandwiches, salad, cupcakes and 2 ladies giving massages to the guests.  It was a beautiful sunny day.

Miami, Florida

 Party girls posing with our cupcakes :)

Miami, Florida

After our party it was time to do a little bakery hopping around Miami!  We stopped at Sweetness Bakery Shop for some sweet treats.  Lauren caught this photo of us doing what we do best :)

Miami, Florida

Up next was Janette and Co Macaron and French Pastries.  Their macarons were so vibrant and beyond delicious.  We enjoyed every little bite sampled!

Miami, Florida

 Saturday night, closing party time!  Here are my roomies and I all dressed up for one more night in Miami.

Left:  Barbara, Amanda, me and Lauren.


Lauren and I with the lovely Jaden of Steamy Kitchen at the closing party :)

Miami, Florida

After the closing party we ordered some hot fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies from Morgans!  We had some of our girlfriends over and ate cookies.  Perfect Saturday night, haha!!


We had a lovely brunch Sunday morning at Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink.  These Homemade Peaches and Cream Pop Tarts were fabulous!

Miami Florida

One quick stop to South Beach.  Talk about gorgeous turquoise waters!  Had so much fun with all of my friends.  Until next time!!  Left: Amanda, me, Barbara, Deborah, Amanda, me, Lauren :)

Have a great holiday weekend friends!  See you Tuesday with a new recipe!

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Seaside Florida Girls Weekend Trip.  Make sure you scroll to the bottom to enter to win your own Seaside beach trip!


I had the opportunity of visiting the most charming little beach town a couple weekends ago, Seaside, FL with my girlfriends you see pictured above.  Beautiful beaches, incredible restaurants, sight seeing and shopping.  Loved every minute!

Seaside Pics

Here are some pictures of the gorgeous beach house we stayed in.  Here’s our See Ya Cottage from Cottage Rental Agency, 3 stories, fabulous kitchen and adorable beachy bedrooms.  So much fun!

Seaside Pic 2

Absolutely loved walking around Seaside, bike riding, making pottery with friends and playing at the beach.

Seaside Florida Trip

Talk about relaxation!

Seaside Florida Trip

We met the most adorable couple Mr. Bill and Heavenly who took us to a number of their delicious Seaside restaurants.  Here we are at “Pickles” enjoying a fabulous breakfast.

Seaside Florida Trip

This French Toast was to die for.  Heavenly said she soaks the bread in ice cream!  No wonder it was so amazing!

Seaside Florida Trip

Pottery day!  We had a great time creating our own little piece of pottery to take home from Fired-Up Pottery.

Seaside Florida Trip

 We had the best lunch at Crush.  Look at these appetizers!!

Seaside Florida Trip

 How adorable are these bikes?!  We rode through their beautiful neighborhoods.  Love!!

Seaside Florida Trip

The Farmer’s Market at Seaside…..heaven :)

Seaside Florida Trip

Loved my office view from our beach house.

Seaside Florida Trip

 The gorgeous dinner view from the Shrimp Shack.

Seaside Florida Trip

The best shaved ice from Frost Bites!  We had to get a picture from inside their cute airstream!

Seaside Florida Trip

Another fun stop was “Heavenly” Gelato.  My gelato cone was fabulous!!  So fun to have Molly come visit on our last day!



Today we are partnering with Seaside and Cottage Rental Agency to send YOU and your friends on your own 3 day, 2 night getaway to Seaside!!

The Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a 3-day, 2-night stay in a 3-bedroom Cottage (sleeps up to 5) from Cottage Rental Agency in Seaside, Florida.


How to Enter

Use the PromoSimple Widget below to enter.

Contest ends June 1, 2014 at 11:59 pm CST. Winner will be contacted via email.

*Lodging certificate valid 8/17/14 – 12/20/14. Subject to availability; not available during major holiday or major event weekends; additional restrictions may apply.

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Happy Friday!  Coming to you live from Seaside Florida today.  Cutest little beach city ever!  I’m sharing the most charming beach house with 6 other of my blogging friends.  Talk about a dream weekend!

beach trip

After we unloaded our bags, we got to chow down on the most delicious grilled cheese sandwiches from “The Melt Down” food truck that just happens to be walking distance from our beach house.  I was dying over the Strawberry, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto one.  Mind blowing.  I’ll be making one in my own kitchen asap!  Ha!

Last night, we were treated to dinner by the fabulous team of Raw and Juicy.  They made us the most beautiful raw vegan meal that I’ve ever had.  Fresh gorgeous produce and a lovely Raspberry Chocolate Parfait that was to die for.  They have a food  truck parked right in the heart of Seaside.  Be sure to check them out if you are in the area.  Jennifer is the sweetest!  Amanda and I tried her Green Goddess cold pressed juice.  Sooo healthy and delicious.

Back at the beach house, we got in our PJ’s and shared some chocolate cake from Modica Market.  To die for!!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see the fun!  You can follow our hashtag #seasidegirlsgetaway to see all of our photos.

Headed to breakfast in a few minutes then painting some pottery to take home :)

If you’ve been to the area, I’d love to hear your favorite recommendations.  Looking forward to seeing everything that Seaside has to offer!

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




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It’s Friday!  Time for some chit chat :)

I’d say I’m a pretty positive person, but I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.  My 8 year old came into my room this morning at 2am coughing and I could not for the life of me go back to sleep after I got him back  to bed.  Is this a “getting older” thing?  Why on earth can’t I shut my brain off when I am woken up from a deep sleep.  I gotta figure it out, because it’s now 4:20am and I’m wide awake, lol!


On a happier note, going to see “the Other Woman” tonight.  I love a good chick flick comedy.  It seems like these movies are few and far between lately.  I swear the last good chick flick I saw was Safe Haven and that was forever ago.  Bring back the chick flicks!

Flake Family 2 April 2014

Did everyone have a lovely Easter?  I begged and pleaded my boys for one family photo.  Can’t believe it really worked!  Pax was pointing at a “big truck” that was across the street :)  I am a lucky lady with this crew.

It is so nice being back together with all of our family in AZ, especially for holidays like Easter.  We got to spend time with both sides of our family that day and had a great time.  


I did a scavenger hunt with the boys to find their Easter baskets.  I love that my mom did that for my sister and I growing up.  We had clues all over the house until we would finally find our baskets in some unusual spot in the house.  The boys found their baskets in the washer and dryer this year, lol!  Hopefully they’ll have good memories of our crazy scavenger hunts :)


The last couple weeks, I have been so intrigued with the Whole30 program.  You can hashtag it on Instagram (#whole30) and hundreds of thousands of people are involved.  I am terrified of even trying it……because you have to give up ALL of the processed sugary treats that I LOVE from time to time, ok maybe a little more than time to time.  I’ve never ever given up sugar…or bread…eek!

With that said, I feel like I need to kick some bad habits and loose my love handles.  Has anyone done this program before?!  I need a buddy to do it with me!!  The first step is reading this book, “It Starts with Food.”  I ordered it on Amazon this morning when I couldn’t sleep, lol!  You can read a number of pages on Amazon before you order and it is really interesting.  It’s a paleo diet lifestyle.  Lots of plant based vegetables, meat, chicken, seafood and fruit which I would LOVE, but can I give up sugar for 30 days?!  I’ll keep you posted :)


See what happens, I talk about eating clean then I see pictures like this on Pinterest.  I just died.  Thank you Kelly of Just a Taste, lol!


I’ve been on the hunt for a swimsuit cover and found one yesterday!  I got the green and white striped.

Super cute stuff at J.Crew right now.  Found this cute tee yesterday while shopping with my sister.  Lots on sale too.

To die for new perfume by Dolce&Gabbana.  Can’t get enough of it!  Great Mother’s Day gift for yourself :)

Did anyone else get the Tory Burch Mother’s Day Giftcard in the mail last week?!  She sent a mailer out with a $50 Giftcard!  You know I wasn’t going to let that go to waste, lol!  Picked up these cute Ricki Flip Flops in Poppy Red for only $40 with that Giftcard!  Score!!

My next manicure color.  LOVE!  So summery.

Scandal is over until September!!  What will I do with my Thursday nights!  Can’t wait to see what happens next :)

Headed to Seaside, Florida next week with some of my favorite blogging friends!!  Be sure to follow along on Instagram to see what we’re up to.  Can’t wait to hang on the beach for the weekend!!


What am I going to do come July?!  It’s only April and the boys have been swimming for 3 weeks! I love seeing them out in the pool, but I’m afraid it’s going to turn into bath water soon with this AZ sunshine :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Happy Friday! Time for a little chit chat….things I am loving this week!!


Went and saw Divergent last week with some friends!  I haven’t been to the movies much since moving back home to AZ and I have to say we all loved it.  Love me some teenage drama, lol!  I wonder if my thoughts would have changed had I read the book first?

After a couple years of putting off updated headshots/photos for my blog I finally did it.  I went to one of my friends from high school who owns Pied Piper Photography.  Her work is amazing, hope she worked some magic one me :)  Stay tuned for my new pics in a couple weeks.  Eeek.  I’m so nervous, lol!

I got to meet one of the cutest girls from The Beauty Mark Girls blog, Courtney, during my photo shoot last week.  She did my make-up that day.  Hard to tell, but here’s a pic of Pax and I with her make-up.  She is so adorable and has the cutest fashion/beauty blog.  Do check it out.

Lemon Ricotta Strawberry Pie with Poppy Seed Shortbread Crust 800 8519

Can’t stop staring at Kevin of Closet Cooking’s Lemon Ricotta Strawberry Pie.  How stunning is this?  ….and I want to dive in!  Wow.

James Michelle

I am obsessed with James Michelle’s cutest bar name necklaces and her “lucky” necklace.  So cute paired together.  I do believe these will be my summer necklaces.  Not only does James Michelle have the cutest jewelry, but her story is amazing.  Read it HERE.

Antigua Floral

With it being almost 100 degrees in AZ this week I am already planning ahead for summer!  My boys have already been swimming.

I cannot get over how cute the new line of suits from Albion Fit are!  These two suits {inks HERE and HERE} are going to be mine for sure!  Loving the cute rash guard!!  I definitely need this one, and this one too :)  LOVE Albion Fit.  Stay tuned next Friday for a giveaway to go shopping on Albion Fit’s website.  Yippee!!


How totally cute are all of these goodies from PJ Salvage?!  I am dying over the doughnut printed products.  I’ve got to get my hands on them!  I have these Doughnut PJ Pants and LOVE them!

Sam and Libby Sandals from Target

Every summer Target has the cutest sandals!!  I had these last summer in a neon yellow and am dying over THESE metallic ones.  Had to have them and have been wearing them all week.  So comfortable and adorable.  Best part…..$24.99.  Thank you Target :)

These are the days JCrew

My favorite tee right now from Jcrew.  Cutest fit and fun print.  I got the black one too…apparently Reese Witherspoon has the same taste, lol!  Love her :)

Also can’t live without these basic v-neck tee’s from Nordstrom’s Brass Plum section.  Softest tees ever and lots of colors.  2 for $28.  I’ve totally stocked up for summer!

Beauty Mark Girls

The cutest Beauty Mark Girls teamed up with Olive Lane for these cute Tees!  Totally ordered one.  Under $20 and adorable for sumer!

LOVING my friend Shelly’s pencil skirts for summer too.  I practically live in them.  Check out her fun Etsy store.

Finally started using the beauty blender thanks to my sister.  It’s fabulous for blending your foundation.  Got mine at Sephora.  I highly recommend one!

After months of wanting the Tory Burch perfume, I finally picked up a small bottle at Sephora last week.  It’s so fabulous!!

That’s it for me this week!

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

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What is your meal time like at your house?  Calm and cool or pure chaos?

I am positive that it looks different for every family.  For some, it happens on a regular basis and for some, they are lucky if they sit together for meals at all.

We definitely fall somewhere in the middle.  I’ve always known that family meal time is important.  My family wasn’t perfect at sitting down together growing up, but I have good memories of the times we did.  I have a wonderful French grandmother who made meal time so much fun growing up.  She was exuberant and had such a love for food that it rubbed off on everyone enjoying a meal with her.  No one ever went hungry at her house.  In fact, you were so full you could hardly move :)

What is it that keeps us from sitting down together? ……busy with the kids, school, homework, sports, other activities and everyday life.  We are all guilty of it!

The struggles we face are trying to get everyone to sit down together at the same time.  Between sports and homework I have yet to find a time that sticks.  I think being flexible from day to day will help.  I also want to work on having my boys help set up the table and help with the clean up.  Some extra bonding time is always good right?

I am making a goal this year to be better at making meal time a priority.  I know how important it is and that’s a good enough reason for me!  I want my kids to remember the times we sit and talk together during the week and not being so busy that it never happened.

Family Dinner Time

Currently, our family meal time is very simple and I mean simple.  The picture above was actually  me “trying” lol!  I put some rosemary sprigs from our bush outside in a vase and set the table a little nicer than usual.  The boys said, “Wow Mom, what’s the occasion?”  If I’m being honest, I’ve got no problem using paper products.  We actually use plastic cups from Costco on a regular basis.  This is what works for us.  I think we all need to be ok if things are not always perfect.  I want to focus more on the connections and conversations we have at the table than what type of placemats I have.

Some of the things that we do well are definitely having home cooked meals on a fairly regular basis.  Since I write a food blog, that one is pretty easy, there’s always food around :)  I also love the conversations we have at the table.  Aside from our daily conversations and discussions about school, as often as we remember, we like to ask the boys “What’s one thing you did today that helped someone or what’s one thing you can do tomorrow to help someone?”  This way, if the boys didn’t help anyone, they can think about what they can do the next day.

Dr. William Doherty, who I had the pleasure of meeting at Barilla, has studied the importance of family dinner time for years and brought up a good discussion that having the kids help clean up was very important.  I was happy to hear this!  He also brought up really good points that having regular family dinner helps your kids do better in school, improves behavior and provides a safe home feeling.  I am thrilled to be partnering with Barilla and Share The Table Family Project.  I love that Barilla promotes and supports families to share more meaningful meals together.  This is so important to my family as well.

I love that Barilla is helping support those in need with this program as well.  For every post using #ShareTheTable, Barilla will help provide the monetary equivalent of tem meals to Feeding America, up to one million meals!

Family Dinner Time

This is exactly how our table looks.  Messy and happy, lol!  Our 18 month old loves to throw is food and make a giant mess.  We all sit together and get a good laugh watching Pax eat.

I am excited to make family meal time an even bigger priority this year.  I think letting go of having to do things perfect will be a good step for me.  As long as we are all together and enjoying our meal is good enough :)  We will also have “family clean up” time as Dr. William Doherty has recommended.  Yay!

What are your struggles with family meal time?  Do you have any successes to share with the rest of us?  Would love to hear it!

Be sure to help raise money for Feeding America by posting #ShareTheTable on your social media pages!

Share The Table

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post on behalf of Barilla, however, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments towards Barilla or their products.

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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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