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Travel

Thrilled to share my experience at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017 with you today!
Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration has been one of my favorite events since I attended my first in 2015.  It’s no secret I’m a huge Disney fan, so being able to experience the fun with my family and friends is such a treat.  If you haven’t heard much about this celebration, take a look at #DisneySMMC on social media.  You’ll see pictures from our time at Walt Disney World and The Disney Wonder Cruise Ship.

Made a little video of our trip, hope you enjoy!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

This year my husband and I went together.  We celebrated our early anniversary.  We had family helping with the boys and we were ready for a great trip!

How adorable is the R2D2 American Tourister Spinner?  My 11 year old has claimed it his 🙂

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

After we landed in Orlando, we made our way to the Magical Express.  Disney has got this down to a science.  So nice to pop on over after your flight.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

We spend the first portion of the trip at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside.  The grounds were absolutely beautiful.  Stay tuned for a full review of the hotel on my Disney page coming soon.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Photo via DisneySMMC Photographer

We got our welcome bag and it was time to experience the fun!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

We decided to arrive one day early so we could explore a couple Disney Parks before the events started.  First up was Epcot.  One of my favorites!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

We made our way to Via Napoli for lunch, in Epcot’s Italy of the World Showcase.  I always try to get reservations here, some of my favorite pizza and appetizers anywhere!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

It wouldn’t be a trip to Epcot without some of our favorite treats from Germany and France!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

After lunch, we made our way over to Magic Kingdom Park.  There’s nothing like walking down Main Street U.S.A and seeing the Cinderella Castle ahead.  I love it here!!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

More goodies throughout the day.  Just too fun!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Picture in front of the Castle, check!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

We caught the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade while we were heading to Splash Mountain.  It was adorable!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Later that evening we had our first event dinner at Disney’s Animal Kingdom sponsored by GoGo Squeeze.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Lots of food, lots of fun seeing everyone with their families.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Photo via DisneySMMC Photographer

What a treat to be able to preview the Rivers of Light Nighttime Show after dinner.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

I’m telling you, it was stunning.  A must see when visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

The next morning we had a lovely breakfast at Epcot.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Photo Via DisneySMMC Photographer

We heard from our amazing sponsors and even got to hear from 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Dominique Dawes!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

We got to meet and mingle with our sponsors after breakfast and got a peek at this gorgeous Beauty and the Beast display.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

After breakfast we had a Disney Springs Social Media Challenge.  I found all kinds of fun things to bring home.  Disney Springs is such a great place for shopping and amazing restaurants.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Later that evening Cullen and I made our way over to Hollywood Studios before our event dinner to explore the park and ride some of our favorite rides.  These Storm Troopers are the coolest marching down the street!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

We miss The Hollywood Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure so it was such a treat to ride it.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Yah, epic.  Lol!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

My favorite Butterfinger Cupcake, couldn’t pass this one up!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

For dinner, we met up with our event at the new Pizzerizzo Restaurant.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Outside patio area.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

We had pizza, pasta and salad.  Fun night!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Photo via Disney Parks Blog

After dinner we had reserved seating for  Star Wars: A Glactic Spectacular.  This is one of my favorite nighttime shows.  We loved it!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

After the fireworks show we had a dessert party with the cutest Star Wars themed cupcakes and cookies.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Always a treat with the Star Wars characters 🙂

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

The next morning we got all packed up then made our way to Disney Springs for an advanced screening of Disneynature’s Born In China plus a Q&A with the producer Roy Conli.  Oh my goodness it was the cutest.  Can’t wait to see it again with the boys.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

After the movie we were on our way to Port Canaveral to board the Disney Wonder!!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Time to check in!  I’ll never forget the excitement I felt in that line anticipating the fun ahead.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Off we go.  We were so excited for our first ever cruise let alone a Disney Cruise.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

I’ll never forget walking into the Disney Wonder, the cast members welcome each family over a microphone for everyone to hear.  “Welcome the FLAKE FAMILY!” It was awesome.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Our adorable Stateroom.  See the full review of our room on my Disney page.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Having a little patio to sit outside with this view was the BEST.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Right after we checked in, we had our first lunch on the ship.  Animator’s Palate was the cutest restaurant I’ve ever seen.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Photo via DisneySMMC Photographer

We were asked to draw a picture of ourselves and by the end of our lunch, our pictures came to life on the picture frames around the restaurant.  Adorable!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

I met up with Cullen and we went to the deck party to celebrate setting sail! It was so much fun.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Later that evening we saw our first live show called The Golden Mickeys.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

I loved it.  So much fun.  Depending on your dinner schedule, you either go to the early or later showtime.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Our first dinner rotation was at Tiana’s Place.  An absolute blast!!  Live music, amazing food and great staff.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

The next day was our Conference sessions.  We heard from amazing Disney speakers.  Loved each and every one of them.  I’m certain each one them had the whole room in tears with their heartfelt stories and videos.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Photo via DisneySMMC Photographer

In our afternoon session, we heard from Alex Ruiz, Disney Parks, Digital Marketing Director and Ginger Zee, Meteorologist of Good Morning America.  She was amazing, down to earth and I loved how relatable she was.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Photo via DisneySMMC Photographer

Our group was even featured on Good Morning America with Ginger Zee!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Met back up with Cullen that afternoon and ice cream seemed to happen numerous times a day, lol!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

It was time for our next show!  Tonight’s show was Disney Dreams.  Adorable.  I was so impressed with how great the Broadway-like shows were.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Our next dinner rotation was at Tritons.  Another great experience with amazing food.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Later that evening we had the Pirates of the Caribbean Party!  The guests are invited to dress up in their best Pirate costumes and join the fun on the deck.  We loved it.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Look who joined the party!  Adorable.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

We even had fireworks!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

One of my favorite experiences was arriving to Disney’s Private Island Castaway Cay.  Stay tuned for a full review of Castaway Cay on my Disney page coming soon.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

The water was crystal blue and sand was soft and white.  This was such a great day.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

How cute are these Disney cuties that lined the walkway?

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

We spent the day at the adult beach, had a great BBQ lunch, rented some bikes and had a perfect relaxing day.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Ice cream cones on the beach also happened 🙂

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

We boarded back onto the ship by 4pm.  Got ready for our last live show “Frozen.”

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

 It was phenomenal.  Felt like I was watching a real Broadway show.  Everyone was fantastic!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Photo via DisneySMMC Photographer

The conference guests and family could also see the costumes and “Frozen” Door up close and personal.  How cool!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

Our last diner rotation was at Animator’s Palate.  My favorite restaurant of the three.  I love the whimsical interactive frames on the wall that change throughout your dining experience.  We had the best servers, Anthony and James.  It’s so great having the same servers at every dinner.  Loved getting to know everyone at our table.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

The last night of the cruise they had a “Goodbye Party” with the Disney Characters. Mickey is too cute in his sailing suit.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017

…and just like that our time had come to an end.  So many incredible memories made.  I’ll never forget this experience.  Can’t wait to take my boys in the near future!

 Huge thanks to the Disney Moms Team who made this all possible.  I know there were countless hours put in to making every detail so special.  I’m sincerely grateful to be a part of the fun.

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Disney Social Media Moms Celebration however thoughts and opinions are my own.

Pin to your favorite Travel Board!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017


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Travel

Sharing The North Pole Experience, Flagstaff Arizona from our trip last week!

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

The North Pole Experience, Flagstaff Arizona has been on my list to do for quite a few years.  So glad I finally prepared early enough to get my family tickets.  It’s one of those events where you need to know what dates you can go in advance because tickets sell out pretty quick.  I got our tickets in September this year for December 23rd tickets.

Your bus departs from the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.  I highly recommend staying overnight if you can.  The Hotel is adorable, they decorate with tens of thousands of lights for Christmas and have Breakfast With Santa that we scheduled on our way out the next morning.  It was really great.  I’ll talk more about the hotel at the end.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

All of the guests meet inside the Little America Hotel to line up for the busses 15 minutes before their designated time.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

It appears that the North Pole busses are new.  I believe it used to be a trolley that took you to the “North Pole.”

They reminded me of the Walt Disney World Magical Express busses.  There are TV Monitors throughout where you watch a little video that takes you through a portal to the North Pole with one of Santa’s Elves chatting with the group.  The kids loved it.  My 4 year old was on my lap, my older two boys were great sports.  I would definitely say this experience is geared for ages 8 and under however my older boys agreed they still had a great time especially watching their younger brother enjoy the magic of the experience.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

The Elves that guide you through each room are completely in character and entertain the kids perfectly.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

Pax enjoying the fun toys in one of the first rooms we were invited in to.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

The kids got to help dress teddy bears in this adorable room.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

The kids got to choose their outfit for the bear and these bears go to children in need.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

This was one of my favorite rooms.  How gorgeous is this tree?  This is where the kids helped make teddy bears with the elves.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

The decorations are really beautiful.  The Christmas details were some of my favorite things throughout the entire experience.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

One of our favorite rooms was the hot cocoa and cookies with Mrs. Clause and her elves.  They sang and danced with the kids while they enjoyed their treats.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

This is where the Elves had our hot chocolate and cookies.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

Cute decorations in Mrs. Clause’s room.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

More pretty details of the rooms.  I’d say we would switch rooms about every 10 minutes with our group.  About 8 room changes with each room just as beautifully decorated as the next.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

The kids got to learn some fun songs with the Elves in Elf school.  Pax loved this.

 

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

This was taken in the room where the kids got to write a letter to Santa then hand it to him when we met him at the end of the visit.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

The kids getting ready to write their letters.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

Beautifully decorated Christmas Trees everywhere you looked.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

Pax was first to run to Santa at the end of the visit.  Santa was awesome.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

Family shot 🙂 Santa hands each child a teddy bear to take home with a North Pole Experience t-shirt on.  Pax still holds that teddy bear throughout the day.

If you are ever planning on visiting Flagstaff during Christmas I highly recommend The North Pole Experience with your family.  Our experience started at 4:10pm and we were back at the hotel right before 5:30pm.  From the Phoenix area, it’s only a 2 1/2 hour drive which is nice if you don’t want to spend the night at the hotel.  You could easily drive back home if needed.

For our family of 5, tickets were just under $300 to give you an idea of what to plan on.  To stay at the hotel, rooms start close to $300 per night.  If you plan in advance, it’s really fun to stay and enjoy the festive hotel.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

Breakfast With Santa is a beautiful buffet breakfast set up in one of the ballrooms at the hotel. For our family of 5, Breakfast With Santa reservations were about $115.  We loved it.  Santa is available for pictures and even walks around to each table to say hello.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

Our favorite is always the made to order omelet bar 🙂

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

Lots of ingredients to choose from to make your omelet.

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

They had a “make your own” waffle bar as well.  They were delicious!

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

Pax visited Santa again telling him he wanted 5 toy quads for Christmas, lol!

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

Still chatting about it, ha!

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona

Love this one.

   Love the memories we make these few days with the boys.

Review:  Plan your trip at least 2-3 months in advance.  I enjoyed budgeting a night at the hotel along with the Santa Breakfast to make a few more special memories.  A really fun event for the whole family.  Although geared for young children, my older boys still had a great time.

 Pin to your favorite Travel and Christmas Board!

The North Pole Experience Flagstaff Arizona


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The Best Girl's Weekend in Chicago

The Best Girl’s Weekend In Chicago

Dec 28, 2016 | Tags: ,

Sharing The Best Girl’s Weekend in Chicago with you today!

Weekend in Chicago?  Yes please!

Had the best time in Chicago a few weeks ago with two of my besties.  Can’t wait to share a little bit of our trip with you! The food, the shopping, scoring Hamilton tickets….what a fantastic few days I’ll never forget.

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Favorite Places To Eat In Chicago

Favorite Places To Eat in Chicago

Dec 26, 2016 | Tags: ,

Sharing my Favorite Places To Eat In Chicago with you today from my last couple trips to Chicago!!  Love this city so much.

Public House literally knocked our socks off.  These cake milkshakes were about the cutest things ever. Had to try one of each.  All amazing.  Don’t miss this place!
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Top 10 Reasons To Visit Disneyland Resort at Christmas

Reasons To Visit Disneyland Resort During Christmas

Nov 21, 2016

Reasons To Visit Disneyland Resort During Christmas!

We LOVE visiting Disneyland Resort during Christmas.  Just spent a few magical days there for my birthday and anniversary weekend…without the kids, lol!  I love taking the kids, but I also love visiting with just my husband, total Disneyland nerd over here!  This is truly one of the BEST times of the year to visit.  If you’ve got a trip planned between now and January 8th, let me show you our favorites!
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Weekend in Carlsbad California

Weekend in Carlsbad California

Oct 21, 2016 | Tags: , , ,

Sharing our Weekend in Carlsbad California with you today!  What a gorgeous place to vacation.

We had the pleasure of staying at Cape Rey Carlsbad Hilton last weekend for the end of our Fall Break vacation.  I have to say we had such a lovely stay.  The location, views, friendly staff, room….you name it, it was all such a treat.

We had just come from 3 days at Disneyland for our Fall Break annual vacation.  It was a breath of fresh air staying right across from the beach at Cape Rey.
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The Best Food at Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Food Blogger Trip

Sep 26, 2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

Thrilled to share my Walt Disney World Food Blogger Trip with you today!

It’s no secret that Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort are two of my very favorite places to vacation to.  I was over the moon excited to have a Food Blogger #DeliciousDisney adventure at the Walt Disney World Resort this month.  Disney is just one of those magical places, no matter how old you are, you can have the time of your life.  I felt so fortunate to spend the weekend with 7 of my food blogging sisters.  We stayed at the lovely Boardwalk Inn, just walking distance away from Epcot.  We had a whirlwind of a weekend that I can’t wait to share with you.  Huge thanks to American Tourister for our new luggage.  Love my Tangerine iLite Max!
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Las Vegas Girl's Weekend

Las Vegas Girl’s Weekend

Sep 5, 2016 | Tags: , ,

Thrilled to share the fun I had on my Las Vegas Girl’s Weekend!

Amanda, Shelly and I got to stay at the lovely Delano Hotel above Mandalay Bay.  There’s no casino or smoky lobby.  It’s amazing for those who aren’t big gamblers and have a hard time dealing with smoky hotels.  So nice!  The rooms were spacious, clean and the bed was soft and cozy.  Will definitely stay at Delano again.  Be sure to check them out!

Our first morning, we ventured off of the strip to breakfast at Skinnyfats.  They have a … Continue Reading »

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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