Friday, August 15, 2014

Saturday Dishes - Brunch

Baby #3 is due today!!!
We're anxiously awaiting her arrival!
For the next few weeks of Saturday Dishes,
you may want to stop by Pebbles and Piggytails to link up...
I may or may not get my posts scheduled (;


This week's theme is:
Brunch

You know...
It's that meal that you eat when you wake up too late for breakfast
but too close to lunch time
so you end up combining the two meals
& usually end up eating breakfast foods anyway.
It can also be a breakfast that takes so long to make that you end up eating it close to lunch time.
Whatever your definition of brunch is,
we'd love for you to share some recipes with us!

If you're new to the party
welcome to Saturday Dishes
where every week is a new theme...
Your job is to post your recipes that coincide with that theme!
Easy peasy, right?

Don't have a recipe that goes with the theme?
No worries!
Just sit back, relax, enjoy the other posts,
& be sure to check out the index & upcoming themes
to see what you can post in future weeks!

Saturday Dishes is hosted by:
- Marissa @ Life is Fantasmic -
FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ SoundCloud

- Lisa @ Pebbles and Piggytails -
Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Google+ ♥ Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ Instagram

Check out our blogs & show us some love!
We love seeing new faces & new followers on our social media,
& comments make us smile (:

Last week's theme was Cakes!
Here were a few of my faves...

Tres Leches Cake is super tasty & reminds me of Gram.
She asked for it on her birthday one year & we searched EVERYWHERE for one!
Now I can try this one sometime (:

Triple Lemon Poundcake from Diary of a Recipe Collector
Mmmm... I can already taste all the LEMONY goodness!

Lemon Blackberry Pound Cake from Pure Grace Farms
Lemon AND blackberries?! This sounds wonderful!

Lisa's faves might be different than mine,
so don't forget to swing by her blog too! (;
Oh yeah...
& if you were featured
feel free to grab a button!

Life Is Fantasmic

Next week's theme is:
Crockpot / Slow Cooker
so come back next week to share your best brunch recipes!

Now on to the linky...
Link up your bodacious Brunch recipes,
visit other posts,
& make new friends!

Keep spreading the word so we can see new faces at the party!
If you'd like to be a guest host send us an email so that we can get you on the calendar,
& let us know what themes you would like to see in the future.
We'd love to use your ideas!

By linking up at Saturday Dishes, you are giving permission for Life is Fantasmic & Pebbles and Piggytails to feature your posts with one image on social media with links back to you.


xoxo
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Friday, August 8, 2014

Saturday Dishes - Cakes

For the next few weeks of Saturday Dishes,
you may want to stop by Pebbles and Piggytails to link up...
Baby #3 is due August 16th & could be here any day!
I may or may not get my posts scheduled (;


This week's theme is:
Cakes

It's my birthday week...
One year older & wiser too!
Huzzah!
Now if you would each send me a small smackerel of your cakes to try (;
Okay, okay.
A recipe will do just fine!

If you're new to the party
welcome to Saturday Dishes
where every week is a new theme...
Your job is to post your recipes that coincide with that theme!
Easy peasy, right?

Don't have a recipe that goes with the theme?
No worries!
Just sit back, relax, enjoy the other posts,
& be sure to check out the index & upcoming themes
to see what you can post in future weeks!

Saturday Dishes is hosted by:
- Marissa @ Life is Fantasmic -
FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ SoundCloud

- Lisa @ Pebbles and Piggytails -
Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Google+ ♥ Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ Instagram

Check out our blogs & show us some love!
We love seeing new faces & new followers on our social media,
& comments make us smile (:

Last week's theme was Freezer Meals
Here were a couple of my faves...

This was the last post up, but so worth checking out!

Smokey Butternut Squash & Carrot Soup from Strength and Sunshine
Sounds yummy for the cold months ahead!

Lisa's faves might be different than mine,
so don't forget to swing by her blog too! (;
Oh yeah...
& if you were featured
feel free to grab a button!

Life Is Fantasmic

Next week's theme is:
Brunch
so come back next week to share your best brunch recipes...

Now on to the linky...
Link up your Cakes,
send me a slice,
visit other posts,
& make new friends!

Keep spreading the word so we can see new faces at the party!
If you'd like to be a guest host send us an email so that we can get you on the calendar,
& let us know what themes you would like to see in the future.
We'd love to use your ideas!

By linking up at Saturday Dishes, you are giving permission for Life is Fantasmic & Pebbles and Piggytails to feature your posts with one image on social media with links back to you.


xoxo
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Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Blue Bayou's Magical Monte Cristo

Last year I wrote this Disney guest post for Cathy at A Peek Into My Paradise.
I wanted to share it with you on my blog this year since it's my birthday
& for the second year in a row I will not be enjoying a Monte Cristo at the Blue Bayou...
You can find the original post here.

You see, I'm having major Disneyland withdrawals...
We recently moved from the SoCal desert to Northern Indiana.
This is the first year in what seems like a looong time that I won't be going to Disneyland for my birthday
& eating at the Blue Bayou.
It is going to be a very hard day.


We were a little spoiled living so close to Disneyland.
and by close I mean an hour-and-a-half away...
We would go every other week before we had kids,
and we tried to go at least once a month after they were born.
We had Premium Annual Passes up until a couple months before our move.
But with ticket prices going up so much,
we weren't sure if we would be able to renew the passes even if we stayed in SoCal.
So we moved away...
Taking away the temptation of spending more money to renew,
but also taking away the ease of visiting the parks.

We bought a house in Indiana,
but had to wait to close on it for almost a month due to delays in closing our CA house.
We were fortunate enough to stay at a friend's cozy little lake house while waiting to close on our new home.

While we were staying at said lake house,
we enjoyed many beautiful sunsets
and were able to enjoy not only the glisten of the calm moonlit lake,
but also the twinkling of fireflies at twilight.
It was magical.

Now I don't know about you,
but when I see fireflies near water,
and get this magical feeling,
I can't help but think of my favorite restaurant at Disneyland...


Yes, the same Blue Bayou that I will not get to eat at on my birthday this year.
Yep, you know the one...
It's that nice restaurant with the nighttime outdoorsy feel that you pass while you're on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
If you've never eaten at the Blue Bayou
I encourage you to call ahead to make a reservation the next time you're at Disneyland.
Ask for waterside seating while you get checked in...
You may have to wait a little longer if you want to sit waterside,
but to me - it's definitely worth it.


Fireflies are flickering above the water.
Frogs & crickets are singing their nighttime serenade.
You can even hear someone playing the banjo from the little house across the water while you eat.
It's kind of enchanting in a way.
Sitting waterside is definitely the way to go.
Especially if you have kids...
Waving to everyone riding the boats can be a great distraction while waiting for the food to arrive.

We always go during the lunch hours for two reasons...
1) It's slightly cheaper than the dinner hours
2) The menu is different for lunch than it is for dinner

We order Le Special de Monte Cristo Sandwich
every. single. time.
and it is only served during the lunch hours.
It's my favorite.
It never disappoints.


Imagine this...
A battered & deep fried sandwich
filled with Turkey, Ham, & Swiss Cheese
sprinkled with powdered sugar
and served with a side of blackberry preserves to dip it in.
It's amazing.

The Blue Bayou has such generous portions of everything that we always split the order.
They do have a split plate charge,
but you can avoid the extra cost by splitting the salad as well.
They just bring out an extra plate & let you divide it yourself.
It ends up being the perfect amount of food for each of us!
Besides, walking around Disneyland when you're stuffed is no fun.


The ambiance is relaxing,
the food is delicious,
the service is impeccable,
& it doesn't feel busy like so many other restaurants at Disneyland.
It is a truly wonderful place.

I would also recommend trying their Mint Julep at least once.
It's non-alcoholic & is one of those love-it-or-hate-it kind of drinks.
You'll never know if you like it or not until you try it.
I happen to find it refreshing.

Because I knew I would be missing out on my birthday Monte Cristo this year,
we decided to make our own,
but with a twist...
Monte Cristo French Toast


It's not deep-fried like the one at the Blue Bayou,
but more like a mix between French Toast,
a grilled cheese sandwich,
and of course,
the Disneyland Monte Cristo.
Not the same, but not too shabby!

I love comments & would love to know if you've ever been to the Blue Bayou or had a Monte Cristo!

Hopefully you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!
If you're new around here...
check out my About Me section,
see what we have in common,
& enjoy surfing my blog!

xoxo
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Friday, August 1, 2014

Saturday Dishes - Freezer Meals


Welcome to Saturday Dishes
Where every week is a new theme...
Your job is to post your recipes that coincide with that theme!
Easy peasy, right?

Don't have a recipe that goes with the theme?
No worries!
Just sit back, relax, enjoy the other posts,
& be sure to check out the index & upcoming themes
to see what you can post in future weeks!

This week's theme is:
Freezer Meals

Only two more weeks until Baby #3 is due!!!
I can't wait to give some of your freezer meals a try!
I'm sure Hubby will be extremely thankful too (;

Saturday Dishes is hosted by:
- Marissa @ Life is Fantasmic -
FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ SoundCloud

- Lisa @ Pebbles and Piggytails -
Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Google+ ♥ Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ Instagram

Check out our blogs & show us some love!
We love seeing new faces & new followers on our social media,
& comments make us smile (:

Last week's theme was Dips & Finger Foods
Here were some of my faves...

My Hubby loves sweet potato fries so we'll have to give these a try!

Sharp cheddar cheese crackers with a zing? Yes please!

My kids aren't teenagers yet, but this idea is definitely worth saving!
She has links to some of her favorite cold sandwich recipes in this post as well, so be sure to check it out.

Lisa's faves might be different than mine,
so don't forget to swing by her blog too! (;
Oh yeah...
& if you were featured
feel free to grab a button!

Life Is Fantasmic

Next week's theme is:
Cakes
Stop by next week to link up any cake recipes you have...
My birthday is this week so I figured it would be a great theme (:

Now on to the linky...
Link up your Freezer Meals,
visit other posts,
& make new friends!

Keep spreading the word so we can see new faces at the party!
If you'd like to be a guest host send us an email so that we can get you on the calendar,
& let us know what themes you would like to see in the future.
We'd love to use your ideas!

By linking up at Saturday Dishes, you are giving permission for Life is Fantasmic & Pebbles and Piggytails to feature your posts with one image on social media with links back to you.


xoxo
post signature

Friday, July 25, 2014

Saturday Dishes - Dips & Finger Foods


Welcome to Saturday Dishes
Where every week is a new theme...
Your job is to post your recipes that coincide with that theme!
Easy peasy, right?

Don't have a recipe that goes with the theme?
No worries!
Just sit back, relax, enjoy the other posts,
& be sure to check out the index & upcoming themes
to see what you can post in future weeks!

This week's theme is:
Dips & Finger Foods

I love yummy finger foods & finger lickin' dips...
I think they make eating more exciting for the kids too!

Saturday Dishes is hosted by:
- Marissa @ Life is Fantasmic -
FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ SoundCloud

- Lisa @ Pebbles and Piggytails -
Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Google+ ♥ Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ Instagram

Check out our blogs & show us some love!
We love seeing new faces & new followers on our social media,
& comments make us smile (:

Last week's theme was Fruit Recipes
I decided to feature a few recipes that contain my favorite fruit...
PINEAPPLE!

Pineapple + Coconut = Heaven

Aloha! Quinoa Flakes from Strength and Sunshine
Again with the pineapple & coconut!!!

Pineapple Upside-Down is definitely one of my fave cakes!

Speaking of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake...
Have you checked out these Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Balls
that I made for Little Princess' Lilo & Stitch Luau?


Lisa's faves might be different than mine,
so don't forget to swing by her blog too! (;
Oh yeah...
& if you were featured
feel free to grab a button!

Life Is Fantasmic

Next week's theme is:
Freezer Meals
Come back next week to share your meals that can be frozen ahead of time...
I'll be wanting to try them soon since Baby #3 is due in a few weeks!

Now on to the linky...
Link up your Dips & Finger Foods,
visit other posts,
& make new friends!

If you'd like to be a guest host send us an email so that we can get you on the calendar,
& let us know what themes you would like to see in the future.
We'd love to use your ideas!

By linking up at Saturday Dishes, you are giving permission for Life is Fantasmic & Pebbles and Piggytails to feature your posts with one image on social media with links back to you.


xoxo
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sneaking Suspicions by Jan Hinds - Book Review & Giveaway


I have another great book to share with you today!
"Sneaking Suspicions" by Jan Hinds
is the first book in the Tharon Trace Mysteries.

"Sneaking Suspicions" occurs in the year 2056
after a flu pandemic killed off almost half of the world's population 5 years prior.
It takes place in Northeastern Indiana in the Fort Wayne vicinity
which made the story much more real to me
since I knew many of the locations mentioned in the book after having lived there.
It's a somewhat plausible future which gives it an eerie feel.

Eleven (almost twelve) year old Tharon Trace & her friends are kidnapped after witnessing a murder
& overhear a conversation while abducted that unveils a much bigger plot within the plot.
They have to escape & let someone know what they heard
but don't know who they can trust.
Their parents & local police are risking their own lives
while doing everything they can to find the missing children.

The children in the book are at that awkward stage in life that I absolutely loathed.
I remember it all too well & connected to Tharon instantly.
Middle school.
Wanting to fit in with the cool kids & grow up,
but also wanting to keep your childhood life & friends.
I wish I could go back in time & give myself some extra guidance...

Anywho, I really enjoyed the close friendships throughout the story,
as well as the faith, love, & dedication the families have in finding their children.

Here's a little bit of insight from the author as to how the story came about...


I thought I'd share with you a little bit about how the process started.

I used to work in the window coverings department at JCPenney and one day I had a customer whose first name was Tharon. As soon as I saw the name I told her I was going to use that name for a character in a book.

Tharon started as a medieval huntress and evolved to the tween of the not too distant future. Current events played a major role in the evolution of the story as well, to shape a frighteningly plausible future. Some of the current events that influenced the story have to remain a secret to prevent too much of a spoiler.

I actually wrote Book 3 first but when it was finished, I decided to write two books to span the time leading up to it, otherwise, too much of the story would be told as a flashback.

I am hoping to have Book 2 available in September and Book 3 in the early part of 2015. The final book in the series will be in the latter part of 2015. I have two or three short stories or novellas planned as well.



"Sneaking Suspicions" is available on Amazon
in both Kindle & Paperback formats.
If you're interested in purchasing the Kindle version,
there will be a Kindle countdown deal running from Friday, July 25th until August 1st.
During that time you can buy it for .99 cents in the Kindle format!

Remember that you can always download the free Kindle app on your smartphone or tablet
to read the eBook even if you don't own a Kindle!

I am hosting a giveaway
for a signed paperback copy of "Sneaking Suspicions"
& a $10 Amazon gift card
so make sure you enter below!

Don't forget to follow Jan Hinds on:

xoxo
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Saturday Dishes - Fruit


Welcome to Saturday Dishes
Where every week is a new theme...
Your job is to post your recipes that coincide with that theme!
Easy peasy, right?

Don't have a recipe that goes with the theme?
No worries!
Just sit back, relax, enjoy the other posts,
& be sure to check out the index & upcoming themes
to see what you can post in future weeks!

This week's theme is:
Fruit Recipes

Fruit is absolutely amazing
& fresh fruit is one of my favorite summer snacks!

Saturday Dishes is hosted by:
- Marissa @ Life is Fantasmic -
FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ SoundCloud

- Lisa @ Pebbles and Piggytails -
Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Google+ ♥ Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ Instagram

Check out our blogs & show us some love!
We love seeing new faces & new followers on our social media,
& comments make us smile (:

Last week's theme was Cookies
Here were some of my faves...

Soft Spiced Cocoa Pumpkin Cookies from Strength and Sunshine
Guilt-free & scrumptious - I'll definitely give these a try this fall!

Chocolate Almond Joy Cookies from Fabulous Farm Girl
You had me at Almond Joy (:

GF Peanut Butter Cookies from What a Girl Eats
Not only are these pb cookies simple & tasty,
but she shares THREE gluten-free cookie recipes in this post!

Lisa's faves might be different than mine,
so don't forget to swing by her blog too! (;
Oh yeah...
& if you were featured
feel free to grab a button!

Life Is Fantasmic

Next week's theme is:
Dips & Finger Foods
so come back next week to share foods you don't really need utensils for,
& any delicious dips that you have as well!

Now on to the linky...
Link up your Fruit Recipes,
visit other posts,
& make new friends!

If you'd like to be a guest host send us an email so that we can get you on the calendar,
& let us know what themes you would like to see in the future.
We'd love to use your ideas!

By linking up at Saturday Dishes, you are giving permission for Life is Fantasmic & Pebbles and Piggytails to feature your posts with one image on social media with links back to you.


xoxo
post signature

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