Universal Studios Orlando Florida

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Thrilled to share the fun we had at Universal Studios Orlando Florida for the Family Forward event!

Universal Studios Orlando Florida

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!

Universal Studios Orlando Florida

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 :)

Universal Studios Orlando Florida

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!

Universal Studios Orlando Florida

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.

Universal Studios Orlando Florida

There was a “Share The Table” photo booth….we took full advantage of being goofy together :)

Universal Studios Orlando Florida


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.

Universal Studios Orlando Florida


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!!

Universal Studios Orlando Florida


Couldn’t pass up a selfie with a minion, the gang from Simpson’s and of course Sponge Bob.  Fun times.

Universal Studios Orlando Florida


Honeydukes Candy Shop in Hogsmeade was literally a dream.  The colors, the candy….everything!  Loved shopping through this place.

Universal Studios Orlando Florida


We heard so much about the giant Simpsons donut that we had to try it for ourselves.  It did NOT disappoint!

Universal Studios Orlando Florida


Cookie Dough Fudge in the middle of Hogsmeade.  Love!!

Universal Studios Orlando Florida


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 :)

Universal Studios Orlando Florida

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.

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Tips For Capturing Meaningful Moments on Family Vacation

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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!

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!

For starters…

Involve the kids in planning your family vacation.  Show them pictures of where you are going, let them pick some of the activities and start a countdown calendar to get everyone excited!

Family Vacation

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.

Family Vacation

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!

Family Vacation

Take advantage of your hotel’s free activities.  We LOVE hanging at the pool, game room and exploring the hotel grounds!

Family Vacation

Try something new as a family, whether it be a new activity or new restaurant.  These are the things that create lasting memories.

Family Vacation

Family Vacation

Family Vacation

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!

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Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

Chit Chat Thirty Third Edition Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

Jul 25, 2014 | Tags: ,

So excited to share our stay at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ!

I can’t say enough about our staycation last weekend at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ at Troon North.  The kids start school in a few weeks so it was the perfect timing to squeeze in one last little getaway as a family.

This Four Seasons is tucked away right next to a gorgeous desert mountain.  Our entire stay, we saw rabbits, geckos vibrant birds and all kinds of other fun wild life.

We spent most of our time hanging by the pool and enjoying the great food at the resort.  It was exactly what … Continue Reading »

Enchantment Resort Sedona

Chit Chat Thirty Second Edition Enchantment Resort Sedona

Jul 18, 2014 | Tags: ,

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!

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.


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Austin Texas Taco Tour

Austin Texas Taco Tour

Jun 27, 2014 | Tags: , ,

Had so much fun in Austin, Texas last week with Old El Paso.  I am part of their blogger program this year along with 10 more of my blogging friends.  Looking forward to creating fresh new Mexican recipes with them!

Bloggers: Maria, Ali, Summer, Deborah, Melissa, Christy, Me, Vianney and Yvette

Tuesday evening, we had a delicious dinner at La Condessa with some unforgettable food!  From the corn on the cob and bacon brussels sprouts to the carnitas and hot brownie skillet with banana ice cream….I will not soon forget them :)

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Miami, Florida

Chit Chat Twenty Ninth Edition Miami Florida

May 23, 2014 | Tags: , ,

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

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!!

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 … Continue Reading »

Seaside Florida Trip

Seaside Florida Girls Weekend Trip Plus HUGE Giveaway

May 18, 2014 | Tags:

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!

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 … Continue Reading »

The Pioneer Woman's Ranch Trip with Land O Lakes

The Pioneer Woman’s Ranch Trip with Land O Lakes

Mar 21, 2014 | Tags:

What a fun few days at The Pioneer Woman’s Ranch with the Land O Lakes® Kitchen Conversation bloggers!

Photo via Julie

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I was at The Pioneer Woman’s Ranch last week!  Still can’t believe I was there, lol!

Kitchen Conversations brings together a really great group of food bloggers including myself, my pal Ree from The Pioneer Woman, Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod, Bridget from Bake at 350, Sommer from A Spicy Perspective, Brenda from A Farmgirls Dabbles, Julie from The Little Kitchen, Joanne from Fifteen Spatulas, … Continue Reading »

Chit Chat Twenty Fourth Edition

Chit Chat Twenty Fourth Edition

Mar 14, 2014 | Tags: , ,

Happy Friday! It’s been a crazy past couple weeks, lots to chit chat about :)

Last Friday I was on my way to NY to meet Amanda for a fun girls weekend.  We’ve had this planned for a while and I can not tell you how excited I was to go back to the city!  I had my magazines, Tieks and I was ready to go!  Oh and can I just say that I walked ALL day in my Tieks and they didn’t bother my feet even once.  They are the perfect traveling shoes.  So excited to collect more colors :)

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Jenny Flake, Picky Palate

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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