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Chit Chat

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

Walt Disney World

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

Walt Disney World

The Grand Floridian is so beautiful. ¬†Love the Mickey Shaped towels waiting for us ūüôā ¬†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.

Walt Disney World

After dinner we made our way over to Magic Kingdom! ¬†Can’t get over how massive Cinderella’s castle is in Orlando. ¬†Our Disneyland one is beautiful, but doesn’t come close to this baby!

Walt Disney World

We rode some fun rides and of course stopped to get some churros!! ¬†Left: Angie, Amanda, Leslie and me ūüôā

Walt Disney World

The next morning we listened to the talented and inspiring Food Blog Forum speakers.  Loved all of the colorful Tieks we had on!

Walt Disney World

We had the most amazing lunch at California Grill prepared by what seemed like dozens of Disney Chefs throughout the parks. ¬†Each station had gorgeous plates ready for us. ¬†It was wonderful!! ¬†Photo, Left: Kristan, Shelly, Amanda, me ūüôā

Walt Disney World

This dessert!!  No words.  Decadent chocolate mousse was out of this world.

Walt Disney World

A few of us went back to Magic Kingdom after our last session with Food Blog Forum.  It was rainy, but beautiful!

Walt Disney World

Passed by the colorful Electrical Parade.  Love it!

Walt Disney World

On our way out stopped for ice cream.  Not sure mine was big enough, lol!

Walt Disney World

Last Sunday we had all day to just play at the parks.  We started with Mickey Waffles for breakfast of course, lol!

Walt Disney World

First stop was Hollywood Studios and…..Tower of Terror. ¬†Oh my goodness this ride is beyond terrifying. ¬†Looks like I’m laughing but I’m screaming beyond bloody murder, ha!

Walt Disney World

We rode some more rides and stopped for this cutest Mickey Macaron!  Had to wear my Mustard Yellow Tieks to match Minnie.  Ha!

Walt Disney World

It was off to Epcot Center! ¬†We were ready for some good eats around the countries and Soarin’ over California….my favorite ride ever!

Walt Disney World

Couldn’t get over the amazing plant displays they had through the park. ¬†Love!!

Walt Disney World

¬†One of my favorite stops is always Werther’s Caramel Bakery in Germany!! ¬†I mean look at these cookies!

Walt Disney World

We had soon much fun at Epcot.  Lots of snacking, lots of laughs and so many fun memories.  Photo, Left: Christie, Angie, Kristan, Shelly, Me and Amanda.

Walt Disney World

We celebrated Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil birthday late that night at Les Chefs De France.  We ran back to the monorail with literally no one else in Epcot.  It was pretty awesome.

Huge thanks to Julie, Lindsay, Jaden, Scott, Diane, Todd and the wonderful folks at Disney for all of their hard work to make this event happen. ¬†It is one of my favorite events to attend by far. ¬†So many great memories made. ¬†Can’t wait to go back!


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Chit Chat

So grateful for my sister retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale AZ last weekend. Sunshine, good food and total relaxation.

Sister Retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

Last weekend my sister and I had a stay cation at the beautiful Four Seasons Scottsdale AZ. ¬† When I want to get away, there is no other place I’d rather be. ¬†So many fun memories made with my sister over the weekend. ¬†Grateful for every minute!

We had breakfast at one of my favorite restaurants, Proof. ¬†It has the most lovely breakfast spread. ¬†Pretty ¬†much anything you’d want for breakfast, they’ve got it.

Sister Retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

This was the view from our Casita.  It over looked the gorgeous pool and mountains.

Sister Retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

Shortly after we arrived, room service brought us this gorgeous cutting board of cheeses, meats, olives, toast, honey and nuts.  We kinda were in love with this!

Sister Retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

We enjoyed dinner Friday night at Proof Restaurant and their Pretzel Knots might be one of the best things I’ve eaten. ¬†Oh my goodness I want another order ūüôā ¬†We also had dinner at Talavera Saturday night which is also amazing! ¬†Take a look at these gorgeous buttery brioche rolls.

Sister Retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

After dinner Friday night, we put our PJ’s on, ordered oodles of desserts and watched a chick flick. ¬†The Other Women. ¬†What a crack up! ¬†Laughed so hard.

Sister Retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

Saturday morning we had the most amazing hot stone massage at the Four Seasons Spa. ¬†It was a first for both of us. ¬†Best massage we’ve ever had!

Sister Retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

Saturday afternoon was spent in our own private cabana.  We got our favorite magazines and ordered our favorite appetizers.

Sister Retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

The Carne Asada Nachos behind our Coke Zeros are literally the best nachos I’ve ever had. ¬†The cilantro jalape√Īo hummus is to die for too ūüôā ¬†What a treat hanging by the pool Saturday with all of this fun food!

Sister Retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

¬†Our last afternoon by the pool we had to snack on this cute little bucket of perfect French fries…..and maybe the nachos ūüôā

Sister Retreat Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

Four Seasons Scottsdale is my happy get away in Arizona. ¬†Feels like I’m on vacation without hopping on an airplane. ¬†Nothing better! ¬†So grateful for this sister weekend!


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Chit Chat

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā ¬†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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Chit Chat

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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Chit Chat

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

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 I needed!

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

When we arrived, we dropped our bags off at our Casita and scurried over to Proof Restaurant. ¬†We had BBQ, hot buttery pretzel buns and so much more. ¬†I am going to miss having this restaurant a few steps away ūüôā

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

 I mean, come on!  This was where we spent most of the hours of the day.  Heaven.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

 The bright orange striped lounge stairs made me so happy!

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

It was  so much fun to watch my boys have the time of their lives at the pool.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

Seriously some of the best Carne Asada Nachos I’ve ever had were poolside last weekend. ¬†We ordered them both days, lol!

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

¬†I had to try the French Fries ūüôā ¬†They did NOT disappoint.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

How fun is this drink?! ¬†Tropical fabulousness. ¬† Virgin Mai Tai – strong drink is not for us ūüôā ¬†Shared it with the boys.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

Sunday before we headed home, we spend the entire afternoon in our own personal cabana with misters, ceiling fans, a TV and even a stocked refrigerator. ¬†This was a highlight for the boys….and me ūüôā

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

 I found this adorable heart ring at the gift shop.  Love it!

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

I have to talk about the breakfast at Proof Restaurant. ¬†We went both Saturday and Sunday morning. ¬†One of the most delicious breakfast bars that I’ve had. ¬†So many fun things to choose from.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

 My colorful plate!  Those chocolate croissants were a dream!

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

¬†Pax loved running down the sidewalks ūüôā

Cullen here – the mountain you see in the background is Pinnacle Peak Park. ¬†I can’t believe I’m a native of AZ and haven’t been on this hike before. ¬†It’s easier than Camelback Mountain but it seems like it’s longer in distance. ¬†And the beauty….this is the prettiest desert landscape of the Phoenix metro area. ¬†On this hike you can see Camelback and Four Peaks. ¬†It’s stunning and I’ll be sure to return. ¬†Four Seasons was smart enough to connect a trail to Pinnacle Peak Park. ¬†The total trip is about 4.25 miles to the end of the trail and back. ¬†It’s a great hike to walk or jog depending on your skill level.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

Proof restaurant makes their own desserts in house.  Homemade ice cream, pies, and these fabulous cookies.  We enjoyed a number of treats during our stay!

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

 Saturday night, we enjoyed a dive in movie with the boys.  Cars 2 poolside was so much fun.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale AZ

 

So grateful for this little family of boys of mine. ¬†Grateful for this fun weekend we got to spend together. ¬†Lots of memories made that we won’t forget ūüôā

Disclosure:  Four Seasons Scottsdale hosted our stay and some meals, however thoughts and opinions are our own.  On occasion, we will post about great places to stay.  Sometimes we pay our own way, and sometimes we contact the hotel for accommodations.  


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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 ūüôā

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!

Jenny


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Travel

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!

Austin Texas Taco Tour

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‚Ķ.I will not soon forget them ūüôā

Austin Texas Taco Tour

Photo via Sommer

We stayed at the most charming little hotel, Hotel San Jose.  The rooms were so unique and cozy and had the best fluffiest pillows.  Concrete floors, cowhide rugs and was even stocked with unique organic soaps and shampoo…. loved my room.  Hope to come back to visit again.

Austin Texas Taco Tour

The next morning it was time for our Austin taco tour.  We hopped on a bus and met our taco guide, Mando Royo, cookbook author of Breakfast Tacos in Austin.  Armando was the coolest guide ever.  His love and passion for tacos was contagious and he knew of all the best places to get them in Austin!

Austin Texas Taco Tour

Our first stop was Veracruz All Natural Tacos, all prepared in a food truck.  The ladies who graciously served us were so wonderful and brought out 3 of the most delicious tacos I’ve ever had.

Austin Texas Taco Tour

They served us a migas taco which I had never heard of before this trip.  It was an egg taco with corn tortilla chips throughout.  Hard to explain but it was to die for. They also served us a fish taco that blew my mind and an amazing chicken taco.  Talk about heaven! Their corn tortillas were homemade and some of the best I’ve had.  What a treat.

Austin Texas Taco Tour

Our second stop was Joe’s Bakery and Mexican Food.  We walked in and saw a giant case of Mexican Cookies and pastries in a long case in the front of the restaurant.  We walked back to our table and they had a 3 more tacos each for us to sample!  We sampled their tacos and tried their colorful cookies.  They told us a little secret about how they get their bacon extra crispy…..they dredge each piece in flour then cook it on a griddle.  Not even kidding it was soooo crispy and fabulous.  Gotta try that tip!  Fun restaurant, great food and has been serving guests for many years.

Austin Texas Taco Tour

Our third stop was Tacodeli.  It was tucked inside a great neighborhood and I loved watching all of the people flock in for lunch.  It’s dog friendly too.  Lots of sweet pups joined their owners for lunch at Tacodeli.  They served us so many tacos.  All I know is that everything I tried was delicious.  I would go back next time I visit Austin for sure.

Austin Texas Taco Tour

Their queso was to die for!  Salivating just thinking about it, lol!

Austin Texas Taco Tour

Our last taco stop was Al Pastor Mexican Restaurant.  They had the best Al Pastor taco I’ve ever had.  So full of flavor.  And that completed our taco tour for the day.  We were so full!!

Later that afternoon we met up for a trip to the Austin Farmer’s Market.  We teamed up with a partner to create recipes using Old El Paso products and fresh ingredients from the farmer’s market.

Austin Texas Taco Tour

Maria and I had a great time developing our two recipes.  We were chopping, dicing, sautéing, baking, and prepping our little hearts out, lol! Stay tuned for the recipes coming soon.

Austin Texas Taco Tour

How fun is this cupcake with my face on it?! ¬†Such a fun little surprise for us. These cupcakes were delicious from Polkadot Bakery. ¬†The Chocolate Peanut Butter‚Ķ..nom nom nom ūüôā

Such a great time in Austin with these women.  It was a pleasure meeting some new friends and reconnecting with old ones.  Looking forward to creating recipes with them this year!!

Be sure to check Instagram for more pictures under the hashtag #freshestbloggers ūüôā

This is a sponsored post for Old El Paso but thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Chit Chat

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

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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.

photo-9

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

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!!

photo-8

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 ūüôā

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


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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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