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Sharing my Girl’s Weekend in Chicago with you today!
Girl's Weekend in Chicago

For the last 5 years or so I’ve been to all of the BlogHer Food cities.  Over the years, I don’t necessarily attend the conference sessions, but meet my girlfriends to sightsee around the city.  This weekend did NOT disappoint in Chicago.  Hands down one of my favorite cities to visit.  Photo, Left: Kristan, Shelly, Amanda and me.

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

Boarded my plane before the sun rose early Thursday morning headed to meet my friends.  Chicago was chilly that weekend, so lots of jackets, boots and pants!

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

Photo via Omni Hotel

Took a cab to the Omni Hotel right in the city.  I don’t know how they do it, but the man who helped me into the hotel with my luggage said “Welcome Mrs. Flake.”  I didn’t even tell them I was on my way, ha!  Still a mystery.  They are great!

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

The Omni hotel is always amazing to us.  We stayed in a beautiful suite on the 17th floor that overlooked the busy Chicago streets.  I always look forward to sleeping in their dreamy comfortable beds.

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

After all of the girls arrived we walked over to XOCO quick service restaurant for some Torta’s and most importantly churros with chocolate dipping sauce.  Everything was amazing.

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

Photo via the Doughnut Vault

The next morning we made our way to the Doughnut Vault that we’ve heard so much about.  A small little shop inside a business building, but how adorable?

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

Let’s just get a few things straight, if there are a number of good doughnut shops around in a new city…..the food bloggers will find them.  There wasn’t an overwhelming amount of doughnuts to choose from, but we did get one of every variety they had.  They were all delicious.  Sampled edges of each, ha!

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

Up next was Do-Rite Donuts.  We got at least a dozen of their donuts and these were hands down my favorite donuts of the weekend.  The old fashioned cake donuts.  Amazing!!

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

I’m almost embarrassed to admit that after the doughnuts we went to Wildberry for breakfast, lol!  Shared some eggs and enjoyed the brisk Chicago air.  After breakfast, we walked over the the Giant Bean and took some tourist-y pictures as everyone at the bean does :)

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

We headed over the the BlogHer Food Conference center to see some of our blogging friends.

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

Got to chit chat with lots of our food blogging friends that afternoon.  It was great.  Here’s Shelly and I with Liz.

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

One of the highlights of the weekend was spontaneously getting tickets to see Janet Jackson in concert!!  No words can describe how much fun it was.  We sang and danced all night to mostly her older 80’s/90’s hits.  Her back up dancers still have my mind blown.  Some of the best dancers I’ve seen.  Even two adorable 12 year old girls that kept up with the adults!  Amazing!  Such a fun night.

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

Saturday morning we made our way to The Bongo Room for breakfast.  Take a look at the giant Chocolate French Toast Tower?  How beautiful!

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

Later that morning we HAD to stop in to Jeni’s Ice Cream.  Amanda and I shared this beauty!

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

Saturday evening we ventured over to Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. for their famous Pizza Pot Pie!  Can you even handle this?  It truly was as good as it looks.  This little restaurant is so fun and quirky.  You walk in to put your name in  and they don’t write your name down, they just memorize your face and come get you when your table is ready.  Note that it’s cash only too.  This is a MUST if you are headed to the city.  Click the link below to see how they serve the pizza pot pie.

Pizza Pot Pie Video!

Girl's Weekend in Chicago

Saturday night Amanda and I made one last doughnut run to Firecakes.  They were delicious, but I have to say Do-Rite was the winner in my book.

So much fun in Chicago.  Can’t wait to go back in the near future!

Disclosure:  Omni hosted our stay at the hotel, however thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Travel

Thrilled to share my Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl’s Trip with you today. The hotel, the food, the shows, the shopping….when can I go back?

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Top Row left: Lauren, Shawn, Shelly and Amanda.  Bottom Row left: Kristan, Angie, Stephanie and Jenny.

Last weekend was pretty epic.  The Four Seasons, Las Vegas, these amazing girls, THE FOOD, the shopping, shows…so many great memories it’s hard to know where to even begin!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Photo via Four Seasons

Since Las Vegas isn’t horribly far from Arizona I decided to drive since I had all of our gift bags, seemed like an easier option.  It was like a breath of fresh air pulling up to this gorgeous driveway.  Sure didn’t feel like the crazy Vegas strip :)

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Photo via Four Seasons

Our rooms were beautiful!  Here’s a great photo from the Four Seasons, Las Vegas website.

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

We had these beautiful chocolate drizzled cake pops waiting for us with a personalized card.  Love!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

So many amazing brands sent us goodies to enjoy for our weekend.  In the photo here are Tieks, Petunia Pickle Bottom and P.J. Salvage.

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Obsessed with our matching jewelry from Lulu Frost, Loren Hope and Miranda Frye!  Matchers!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

For the love of Tieks!  By far my favorite travel shoe.  Look at all of our fun colors!  Yay for Tieks.

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

So in love with my Petunia Pickle Bottom Tote.  I use them for daily errands not to mention it’s my favorite pool bag!  How adorable are these Woven Pear socks?  Obsessed with my new MZ Wallace bag too.  Felt so spoiled!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Amanda and I ready for our first day in Vegas!  It’s always so fun when we get together :)

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

We headed for breakfast at Hash House a Go Go at the LINQ Hotel….is this real life?!  Their portions aren’t ginormous or anything.  Lol!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

After breakfast we had a major shopping day at Fashion Show Mall.  Huge thanks to Sabra Hummus and Fashion Show Mall for the gift cards!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Quick snacks from The Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay Hotel.  AMAZING french fries and shakes!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

So….this happened!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Friday night was so much fun.  Sang and danced the whole night to all of our favorites from Britney.  The show was awesome!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

 

Photo via Four Seasons

The next morning we had brunch at Four Season’s Veranda.  How amazing is their outside patio area.

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Here’s a shot of one of my many plates, lol!  The custom doughnuts, pastries, fruit…all of it.  Gimme!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Photo via Four Seasons

After breakfast, we spend the next couple hours at The Four Seasons gorgeous pool.

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

We even had our own private cabana.  Heaven.

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

You know we ordered poolside nachos and french fries, lol!  Yes, these were amazing!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Later that afternoon we did some souvenir shopping for the kids at New York New York Hotel.  Kristan and I with our fun MZ Wallace Bags.  Ours are the large Sutton bags in clay and Magnet.

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Our fun MZ Wallace Bags!  These colors!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Giant cookies from Hershey’s Chocolate World in New York New York Hotel :)

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Later that afternoon, it was back to Four Seasons for small plates and drinks at PRESS.  We had so much fun munching on these fabulous plates together.  It was all just as amazing as it looked!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Later that night, before going to “O” Cirque du Soleil, we did a little shopping at the Bellagio.  Stephanie and I with our Chanel bags :)

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

Ready for the show to start!  We loved it.

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

After the show we had a massive dessert party with Retro Bakery goodies.  Her cupcakes and cookies are like no other!  So fun!

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

PJ/dessert party in our matching P.J. Salvage Jelly Bean flannels :)

Four Seasons Las Vegas Girl's Trip

I almost shed a tear having to leave the beautiful Four Seasons Las, Vegas.  The service is impeccable and you are in your own little oasis that feels nothing like your typical Las Vegas strip hotel.  I can hardly wait to visit again.

Huge thanks to these amazing brands who made our trip so special: Four Seasons Las Vegas, Sabra Hummus, Petunia Pickle Bottom, MZ Wallace, Tieks, Lulu Frost, Loren Hope, Miranda Frye Jewelry, Minted.com, Tokyo Milk, Hello Apparel, Bella Cotton Candy Maker, P.J. Salvage, KitchenAid, Retro Bakery, Tillamook, Nestle, Planters, Bon Apetit Pizza and Martha White.


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The Phoenician

The Phoenician Resort Scottsdale Arizona

Jul 15, 2015 | Tags: ,

Sharing our weekend at the Phoenician Resort Scottsdale Arizona. So happy to beat this Arizona heat in their gorgeous pools and restaurants!

With the kids having such a short summer we decided to do a really fun “staycation” at The Phoenician Resort instead of heading to California like the rest of Arizona does :) We walked outside of the resort after checking in to see this beautiful view.  Took my breath away knowing we get to play here for the weekend.  Many people asked if it’s a good place to take the kids.  My answer, yes it is!  So many beautiful pools to choose from.  A fun waterslide and splashed … Continue Reading »

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona Sister Retreat

Jun 26, 2015 | Tags: ,

So excited to share my time at Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona for my sister retreat!  There’s nothing like the warm AZ desert and sunshine at this resort!

Hands down one of my favorite places to visit is the gorgeous Four Seasons Scottsdale.  The lush colorful desert landscape, beautiful resort grounds, relaxing pools and fabulous restaurants make for the perfect getaway.  I look forward to every time I have a trip planned here.

My sister and I had our first stay last year and were so excited to come back this year.  See our trip last year HERE.

We had a count down going over a month before … Continue Reading »

Sandestin Florida Vacation

Sandestin Florida Vacation

Jun 7, 2015 | Tags:

So excited to share my Sandestin, Florida Vacation with you! Beautiful crystal blue oceans with the softest white sand I’ve ever felt. Amazing!

Can’t say enough about this gorgeous “girls beach trip” I took last month with some of my best blogging friends.  Sandestin is such a great destination for complete relaxation and fun for everyone.

Our beautiful condo! Photo via Amanda

Left: Shawn, Stephanie, Shelly, Amanda, Me, Sommer, Lauren

Continue Reading »

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

Jun 5, 2015 | Tags:

So excited to share my experience at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015!

I was so happy to be invited to this magical conference over Mother’s Day weekend.  Being a food blogger, I hadn’t heard much about it other than it’s a massive honor to be invited and there are magical surprises around every corner.  Needless to say I couldn’t even wait for the trip to come!
Continue Reading »

Rocky Point Mexico

Chit Chat |Rocky Point Mexico

Mar 20, 2015 | Tags: ,

Happy Friday! A little chit chat today about my trip to Rocky Point Mexico with the family for Spring Break :)

A month or so ago, some of our neighbors and friends invited us to Rocky Point for Spring Break.  I have to say, I have grown up in AZ most of my life and have never been to Mexico.  It’s only a 4 hour drive too!  After some discussing back and forth, we decided, why not, lets try it out this year.

I’m pretty sure, you’ll see by the photos, we had the best time.  I was definitely skeptical and  a little nervous being out of the country … Continue Reading »

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World 2015, Food Blog Forum

Mar 6, 2015 | Tags: , ,

So excited to share my trip to Walt Disney World with you! I always love going to Food Blog Forum!

Felt like a little girl so excited crossing the Magic Kingdom welcome on the Magic Express!

The Grand Floridian is so beautiful.  Love the Mickey Shaped towels waiting for us :)  My flight got in late in the afternoon, so I had 5 minutes to change and get myself to our first dinner reception.  It was at the Four Seasons.  They did a beautiful job for us.

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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