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Chit Chat

Enchantment Resort Sedona

I was so excited to explore Arizona over Memorial Day weekend with my family!  We took off nice and early and headed to Sedona to the Enchantment Resort.  It had been years since I’d been.  Just to be clear this is not a sponsored post, just a family weekend getaway I wanted to share with you!

Enchantment Resort Sedona

Not even kidding this was the view from our room.  I ordered cookies and milk of course and had to snap a picture to remember this gorgeous view.

Enchantment Resort Sedona

The boys enjoyed peeking out over the patio wall.

Enchantment Resort Sedona

Saturday we walked around downtown Sedona and had to have some ice cream.  It was hot as you can see by my poor melting ice cream.  Black Cow Ice Cream Shop was great.

Enchantment Resort Sedona

Probably my favorite afternoon was just playing at the pool with the family.  Gorgeous red rock views and fun times in the pool.  My oldest enjoyed the bar where he could order smoothies and charge them to the room :)

Enchantment Resort Sedona

This was an amazing breakfast…Strawberry and caramelized banana waffles.  Chi-Ah-Chi is located right at the resort with this view while you dine.

Enchantment Resort Sedona

Cullen snapped this photo of the boys and I before dinner one night.  Rare to have a picture where everyone is looking and smiling!!

Enchantment Resort Sedona

Dinner at Ti Gavo was such a treat.  Fresh guacamole and short rib tacos!  Cullen got some smoky chicken enchiladas that were some of the best enchiladas I’ve ever had.

Enchantment Resort Sedona

One more shot of breakfast right before we left.  My gorgeous fruit plate.  We took a lovely hike just outside of the resort too.  There were deer just hanging out in the grassy areas.  A real treat all weekend.  I am tempted to go back for my Anniversary later this year.  So fun!

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


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You might remember a couple months ago when I wrote about making time for family meal time.  I have been trying to make it a goal to sit down together more often during the busy week with my family.

Making Time For Family Meal Time

I’d say overall we’ve been doing pretty good.  Not perfect by any means, but doing it more often.

One of the things Dr. William Doherty who has studied the importance of family mealtime recommended was to have the kids help clean up after the meal.

Before partnering with Barilla and Share The Table, I have to say that I wasn’t much of a stickler when it came to having the kids help clean up dinner.  I think I was so used to my mom doing all of the work when I was a kid that I started doing the same thing to my kids!  They left the table to sit on the couch while my husband and I cleaned up. It hit me when Dr. Doherty said there were benefits in having the kids help clean up dinner.  First of all it teaches them to be responsible and second of all they get a sense of “togetherness” helping be apart of clean up.

I remember the first time I said “Ok boys, help put all of these dishes away and clear the table.” There were moans and grumbles under their breath but they did it!  That day started a trend of the boys helping put their dishes away and clear the table for every meal.

I’m not sure I’ll see the “benefits” of this one right away, but I will say that I sure love it!

Mason and Pax June 2014-2

I’ve really enjoyed seeing the reaction of my boys faces when I put a little more time and effort in setting the table for dinner.  Let me be clear, most nights it’s nothing fancy, however some nights I’ll get out my nicer dishes and make the table look extra special.  Their faces light up and they say “Wow Mom this looks great!”  I have to hope they’ll remember little things like this.

We were on a good roll for a while then school let out for summer!  Talk about putting a wrench in the works.  Summer camps start, swimming all day in the afternoon and little desire to be in the kitchen happens quick.  I figured if dinner is trickier to get us all together then why not try for breakfast.  Before swim practice, we try to sit down, chit chat and enjoy our meal as the sun peaks through the windows before the busy day ahead.

Looks like for the rest of summer break we’ll be sitting down more often for breakfast, but once school starts back up in August it’ll be back to our fun family dinner meal time traditions.

I’d love to hear what works for you in the summer for your family to spend meal time together!  I need some more ideas for my crew :)

Have a great day!

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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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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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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