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Chit Chat

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!
Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

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 our trip, lol!

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

Can you tell we were excited?

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

We started our stay with dinner at Talavera.  Can you even handle these buttery hot rolls?  They are literally even better than they look if that is possible.  Still dreaming about them.

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

The sea bass was out of this world as was everything we ordered.  The lobster mac was ridiculous in the best way possible.  Chef Mel at Talavera spoiled us rotten with the amazing food we enjoyed.  Loved every minute of it.

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

This pool!!!  Took a sunset walk around the resort.  So colorful.

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

One of the highlights of our trip is always hanging at the pool in our favorite cabana.  Most relaxing place ever.

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

Such fun things to order poolside.  These carne asada nachos have my heart.  Amazing!

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

Love.  The “No-jito” drink.  All the mojito, no alcohol 🙂  Minty and fantastic.

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

Mint ice cream sandwiches YES and YES!

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

We had a fun night shopping and got matching Kendra Scott rings.  Love!!

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

Dinner at Proof Restaurant is always a highlight for me!  We had so many delicious dishes…mmm!

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

On our last morning we did a great morning yoga class on Global Wellness Day.

Four Seasons Scottsdale Arizona

One last breakfast at Proof before heading home.  Nothing but the best memories this weekend.  So happy to spend so much fun time with my sister.  Can’t wait until we can go back!

Disclosure: Four Season hosted part of our weekend, however thoughts are my own.


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Travel

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

Sandestin Florida Vacation

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.

Sandestin Florida Vacation

Our beautiful condo! Photo via Amanda

Sandestin Florida Vacation

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

When we arrived, we got a bite to eat then headed straight to the beach for a Gourmet S’mores Party.  Best night ever.

Sandestin Florida Vacation

The next morning we enjoyed one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had at Sunset Bay Cafe.  The Banana Brûlée French Toast, the crazy potato fries and THAT CINNAMON ROLL.  Oh my goodness, the best!

Sandestin Florida Vacation

After breakfast, it was time for Paddle Boarding with YOLO!

Sandestin Florida Vacation

We did it!  It was so windy, but so glad I finally got to try it with these girls!

Sandestin Florida Vacation

Next up was lunch at Marina Bar and Grill.  Can you believe the size of this fabulous burger?!

Sandestin Florida Vacation

After lunch we came back to our condo, had some downtime and got ready for a 5 course dinner from Sandestin’s new Executive Chef, Javier Rosa.  Literally one of the best meals I’ve had.

Sandestin Florida Vacation

Breakfast the next morning from Another Broken Egg Cafe 🙂  Nom Nom Nom.

Sandestin Florida Vacation

Such a fun lunch at The Beach House Restaurant.  Right on the water with the most beautiful views of the beach.

Sandestin Florida Vacation

Here we are right before our last dinner.  Sure love these ladies!

Sandestin Florida Vacation

We enjoyed our last dinner at Marlin Grill.  Beautiful restaurant, fabulous food!

Sandestin Florida Vacation

PJ Party was a must.  I have the best memories of this girls trip.  Can’t wait to plan another trip to Sandestin with my family in the near future!

Huge thanks to Amanda and the fabulous Sandestin reps who made this possible.

Be sure to enter to win a trip to Sandestin below!  Good luck!

Sandestin Florida Vacation
Giveaway Details
  • 3 day / 2 night stay for 2 (See official contest rules for details.)
  • 1 Round of Golf for 2 (Baytowne, Raven, or The Links)
  • 2 Breakfasts for 2 at Sunset Bay Café (1 entrée + 1 Bloody Mary or Mimosa per person)
  • Beach chair + umbrella set up for 1 day
  • $100 Gift Certificate to Marlin Grill

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Chit Chat

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

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

The boys and I left Phoenix bright and early Thursday May 8th and arrived in Orlando about 4pm.  We met some of our best friends from CA at the Magical Express.  We were so anxious to arrive at our hotel.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

We pulled up to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.  It was like a breath of fresh air with the Disney magic already starting.  We had to drop off our bags and head to our opening dinner.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

We were a little late arriving to the dinner party since because of our late flight, but we walked through Epcot’s World Showcase doors and couldn’t even believe it.  There were neon lights, buffet tables around the entire building, Disney Characters to take photos with, a DJ playing fun music, lemonade slushy machines and so much more.  It was like overload to all of our senses.  Took a few minutes to take it all in, seriously.  We started with the food.  There was mac and cheese, chicken fingers and mashed potatoes served in cones, cheeseburger egg rolls…those were just a few fun options.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

Before the sun went down we ran over to Epcot’s France to grab a Strawberry Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich.  Mmmm 🙂

After dinner there was a dessert party and private viewing area of the Illuminations Show.  We had 3-D glasses that made every light look like Mickey Mouse ears.  The boys thought it was the coolest thing ever.  We had a long day of travel, so we headed back to our room and crashed.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

Photo via Preston Mack

Bright and early Friday morning we had a nice breakfast then headed to the conference room for a day of learning!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

We quickly grabbed our seats and all of the sudden hip hop Mickey comes out with a group of dancers.  It was adorable and so fun.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

Photos via Preston Mack

We had the best day of speakers and activities.  Our hosts were  Leanne O’Regan and Mark Daniel who kept popping out with the best giveaways.  Gorgeous Dooney and Bourke Disney hand bags, DisneyWorld VIP tours, Alex and Ani bracelets and even 2 nights in the Cinderella Castle.  It was so exciting seeing bloggers win.

We heard from so many great speakers Friday.

George A. Kalogridis, President, Walt Disney World Resort, Eva Smith, Pinterest, Jonas Rivera, Disney Pixar Animator, Vivienne Harr, STAND, Chris Brogan, Author, Donald Driver, Author and Former NFL player.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

After the Friday sessions, we headed to Magic Kingdom for a few hours.  Love this place!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

We might have had one of these bad boys 🙂

Disney Moms Social Media Celebration 2015

….and one of these, lol!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

Friday night we had a dinner party “Mickey’s Beach Bash.”  Great food beautifully displayed overlooking the water.  So much fun.  So grateful my good friend from CA could join us with her son.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

Saturday morning….I’m talking 6:30am we headed to Hollywood Studios to make a video riding The Tower of Terror!  It was such a blast.

Right after we got done with this taping, we got to see a sneak peek of Pixar’s Inside Out.  Seriously adorable.  Wait until you see the “short” right before the movie.  It’s called Lava.  I literally loved it.  Even teared up like a total baby, lol!  So So cute!

We spent the rest of the afternoon at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.  What a treat!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

Sunday morning we celebrated Mother’s Day over a beautiful brunch.  Sure love these boys.  Was missing Pax and my husband, but so grateful to have this time with my big boys.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

Gorgeous 3 course breakfast and the cutest Mother’s Day Video with children of the attendees.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

Before heading to the airport, we had one more afternoon at Magic Kingdom!  So special to be there on Mother’s Day.  The cast members even handed out flowers to all of the women.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

I was so excited to get reservations to Be Our Guest.  Such a lovely dining experience.  The food was delicious and the atmosphere, perfection.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

This pretty much sums up our trip.  Pure joy!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

…and there was this 🙂

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015

So grateful to be a part of the celebration this year.  Memories to last a lifetime!  Huge thanks to Leanne O’Reagan, Jamie Langdon, Maria Bailey and all of the wonderful people who worked so hard to make it happen for us 🙂


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Chit Chat

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

Rocky Point Mexico

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 with the kids, but are so glad we went. We’ll be making this a tradition every year.

Rocky Point Mexico

We stayed at Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort.  If you check out VRBO, you can search through and find condos to choose from.  The view from the rooms is amazing!
Rocky Point Mexico

We had so much fun beach time with the kids and friends.  The beach is much different that the CA beaches I’m used to.  There are no waves that roll in, however they have banana boat rides and jet ski’s for rent.  I could not get enough of the vendors that walk the beach and sell their goods.  My favorite was the jewelry vendors selling gorgeous silver and turquoise pieces.  Too much fun!

Rocky Point Mexico

One of our favorite daily treats was the mango on a stick.  The boys got theirs plain, but they come with fresh lime and chile seasoning.  Literally to die for!  I’m so making these at home.  We had some of the best homemade tamales on the beach too.  The best part is you don’t have to go anywhere.  The vendors walk the beach most of the day.

Rocky Point Mexico

I’ve got to practice my knife skills, lol!  This baby is so good.

Rocky Point Mexico

My neighbors and friends 🙂  We tried some amazing Mexican restaurants every night.  Pollo Lucas was our favorite….with Thrify Ice Cream every night.  So much fun cruising the town with these ladies and their families.

Rocky Point Mexico

Hands down my favorite treat of the trip were these homemade churros from Choya or Cholla Mall (I saw it spelled both ways).  It was less than 5 minutes from where we were staying.  Crispy yet custardy in the centers with cinnamon and sugar.  Wish I could get these everyday….well it’s probably best I’ll only have access to them once a year, lol!

Rocky Point Mexico

Such a fun adventure with my little family.  My boys will always remember this vacation.  We can’t wait to go back next year.

Our tips for visiting Rocky Point Mexico with your family:

It’s helpful to go with a group of people who have been before.  I can’t say we’d ever go with just our family alone.

Don’t forget to plan for passports.  If you are driving, the kids 16 and under will need original copies of birth certificates.

Bring your own bottled water, we didn’t drink their water just to be safe.

Bring lots of cash in small bills.  It was a bit of a pain to get money from the bank there.

Bring plenty of snacks from home for your room and beach.

Dental floss in your bag for all of the mangoes you’ll eat 🙂

Obvious things like keep your car doors locked while you’re out and don’t leave valuables inside.

I’m sure I’ll add to this list as I think of more tips!

…not a sponsored post, just wanted to share our first experience in Rocky Point 🙂

Have a great weekend!

See you Monday with a new recipe!


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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 🙂  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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂  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 jalapeño hummus is to die for too 🙂  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 🙂

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 🙂

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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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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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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