Five on Friday – Disney Eats Edition

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This post is coming to you all the way from sunny Las Vegas, Nevada! I suppose what I really should say is that I wrote this post before I left and now I’m (most likely) chilling on my little sister’s balcony, staring at the desert mountain range as I hit “publish” on this post – it’s all the same, right?

I’ll soon be California bound for the next five days and three of those five days will be spent at the happiest place on Earth – Disneyland! I think I may have mentioned it (once…if not more than once) but Pixar Fest is in full swing at Disneyland and so along with all the awesome things that Disneyland normally has to eat, there are also tons of Pixar-themed goodies to partake in!

I thought – why not make this Friday’s Five all about the delicious things I plan to eat while I’m at Disneyland? Sound good to you? Prepare for a virtual sugar coma…

One. Millennial Pink Macaron – I absolutely love a good macaron…and the description of this one has my mouth watering: strawberry buttercream dipped in white chocolate, filled with coconut lime jelly. Yes please! I’ll take two!

Millennial Pink Macaron at Disneyland Resort

Two. Adorable Snowman It’s Lemon! Snow-Capped Lemon Soft Serve – This ice cream and frozen treat spot just opened and serves lemon style Dole Whip! I know exactly what I want too! The Lemon soft serve topped with a white chocolate “snow cap” – it’s adorable and I bet it tastes divine too!

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Three. Toy Story Alien Macaron – Remember that I love macarons in all forms and one that is green and shaped like the little aliens from Toy Story? You better believe I’ll take one! The filling in this macaron is blackberry and lime, something tells me I’ll love it!

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Four. Pixar Luxo Ball Cake Pop & Up! Grape Soda Cake Pop – Another thing I am all about is cake pops and these are just two of the many that Disneyland has to pick from that are Pixar-themed. The Luxo Ball cake pop is a traditional vanilla cake pop styled to look like the Pixar logo and the Up! Grape Soda cake pop has a grape center! I can’t wait to try these two…and more!

 

Five. All the Churros – Another thing I will be getting in loads? Churros! There are specially themed Cocoa churros (inspired by Coco), Lemon themed churros (inspired by Up), Strawberry themed churros (inspired by Toy Story) and Carrot Cake churros (inspired by the Pixar short Presto!) The cocoa churro comes with chocolate dipping sauce and the carrot cake churro comes with cream cheese dipping sauce! I’ll take one of each!

 

Lest you think I’ll only be eating sugar…well…honestly; I do plan to eat at least one meal a day that isn’t made of all things sweet but that’s the only promise I can make as far as food is concerned!

That’s all for today – I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

All Things in Bloom

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I know – I talked about flowers in my last weekend recap – but I guess there are just lots of blooms around me at present! This weekend was absolutely lovely – weather wise and in so many other ways! I got off work early on Friday and I came home and immediately headed outside to relax on the deck under the umbrella.

We had dinner at Longhorn – my Mom’s choice. I made sure she got to make all the decisions this weekend because honestly; I don’t know about your Mom, but my Mom deserves so much more than just one day dedicated to her. I decided to live on the edge and got the baked spaghetti squash as my side, which was a delightful choice! The rest of my Friday night was really low key – relaxing on the deck (some more), watching a little baseball and really just doing a lot of nothing. It was really nice.

Saturday morning I woke up much earlier than I wanted to – I woke up around 6:45 and never really could get back to sleep. I finally got up around 7:15, had coffee and enjoyed the quiet of the morning. I purchased a ticket to the Garden Fair at the VA State Arboretum and so we headed to the show around 10:00. It was gorgeous outside all day on Saturday and the perfect day for all things outdoors!

We perused numerous vendors – there were 100 – and my parents discussed with the different nursery workers (of the plant variety, obviously) about what they wanted to do and how best to achieve the look they were going for. The high on Saturday was only supposed to be in the mid-80’s but it became apparent pretty quickly that it was much warmer than that. I waited in line at the wagon corral and was very aware of how hot my neck and arms were getting…

My parents chose knockout roses and a Japanese maple before we got some lunch from one of the food vendors – I had a corn dog and I forgot how delicious a hot corn dog straight from the fryer was! Healthy – not even close, but man it was divine! It was also divine to be sitting in the shade with a gentle breeze, the sun was brutal! Once we arrived home shortly after noon, I spent the rest of the afternoon going from the indoors to the outdoors, watching things being planted and taking my Dad water and also reporting to him about the state of the Nationals game.

My Mom and I made a Target run and I picked up a pair of sandals and a cute red kimono to take on our trip to Vegas and California at the end of the week (!!!) Supper was some delicious burgers on the grill and then; randomly, around 8:30 my Mom said something about going to get ice cream and so we headed right up the road to New Town Creamery where I got a “Crazy Cow” – vanilla ice cream swirled with Reese’s cups! Not a bad way to end a Saturday night!

Sunday morning my alarm woke me up with a start – I guess I was making up for the sleeping in that I didn’t get to do on Saturday? Who honestly knows? I know I was thankful for my cup(s) of coffee as I got ready for church – and I honestly could have sipped a third cup while I was in church, but then the message got me all woke up and feeling it…and then I was fine. My sweet Momma and I snapped some pictures together before we headed to church – I think they turned out pretty good!

After the church service we had reservations at a new grill in the area – Paladin Bar & Grill; my parents have eaten here before, but this was my first visit. I can tell you that I’ll be returning, the food was absolutely delicious! I started with a cup of the Brunswick Stew and honestly…I could have just eaten a giant bowl of that! It was filled with pulled pork, potatoes, lima beans, corn…all the veggies and the best, most flavorful broth. It was DIVINE! And then I got the Macaroni and Cheese with spinach, bell pepper, chicken and bacon – in a word – decadent. It was melt in your mouth delicious and I have leftovers that I cannot wait to eat!

We passed the afternoon with more time spent going in and out of the house – my Dad planted small spruce trees and Lantanna in the front yard and once again I brought him water while also perusing my Mom’s new Magnolia Table cook book and just generally being a bum. Around 6:00 we went to get Sweet Frog’s frozen yogurt for dinner; it was Mother’s Day and that’s what my Mom said she wanted for dinner – so yogurt it was. We also got some pizza as “dessert” for our yogurt and even Watson got a few bites of one of his favorite meals.

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I rounded out my weekend getting clothes ready to be packed, taking a shower and watching some Nationals baseball (they swept the Diamondbacks this weekend) and the newest episode of Westworld – which might have been the best episode of the season, so far. Another weekend in the books and now it’s full speed ahead through the rest of the work week, until Thursday afternoon when I’m leaving on a jet plane!

 

Friday Favorites

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Friday – welcome sweet, sweet Friday! I called this post Friday Favorites because I actually have more than five things swirling around in my mind…so I just figured that I’d share them all! Yahoo!

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One. 2018 Garden Fair – Saturday morning; as a gift to my Mother, we are heading over to one of our favorite places – the Virginia State Arboretum, for their annual garden fair! There are going to be tons of vendors, including outdoor, home and garden and food vendors! It was only $10 per car and the weather is supposed to be lovely on Saturday, so I am looking forward to checking this out!

Two. Packing & Packing Lists – I don’t think it has 100% hit me that in less than a week I’m leaving on a jet plane for a ten day trip to California and Nevada…but guys, it’s happening! In less than a week! Eek! I don’t have much on the agenda for this weekend but that’s alright because I need to get some kind of a jump on packing – flying makes me nervous as it is and I don’t want to be running around like a chicken with my head cut off or worrying about what I forgot to pack!

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Three. Pixar Fest – Pixar Fest is currently happening at Disneyland and will be going through September, which means that we will get to experience some of Pixar Fest while we are there! My favorite Pixar movie is Coco, what’s yours? Disney’s California Adventure is re-branding Paradise Pier to be Pixar Pier and of course; my favorite part of California Adventures is Cars Land – so I can’t wait to check out all the Pixar-themed things! Especially…the Pixar-themed food! You guys – look at those cake pops! I can’t wait!

Pixar Cake Pops

Also – if you’ve never been to the Disney Food Blog (where the picture came from), you should definitely check it out!

Four. The Mother of All Coincidences – I discovered a crazy coincidence yesterday and I couldn’t resist sharing it here! Two years ago my family went to California for about ten days and while we were there, we spent three days at Disneyland. We arrived on the evening of May 20th and spent the 21st, 22nd and 23rd at the parks. Well… this May, we will be arriving at Disneyland on the evening of May 20th and spending the 21st, 22nd and 23rd at the parks! WHAT?!? What are the odds that I’d be in the same place, on the same days…two years apart?

Five. Nationals Baseball – The month of May (so far) has been pretty good for my Nationals; as far as wins and losses go. The Nationals have played ten games and have a record of 8-2, which is nothing to sneeze at – they swept the Pittsburgh Pirates, won a series against the Philadelphia Philles, won a series against the San Diego Padres and started the four day weekend series with the Arizona Diamondbacks with a win!

Unfortunately, our favorite left fielder Adam Eaton…who has been out since mid-April with what was originally named a “bone bruise” had laparoscopic surgery on Thursday and will likely be out for…well, a while. And Daniel Murphy still hasn’t returned yet… And Matt Wieters left the game last night with an apparent knee injury… Eek!

Six. It’s Funny Because It’s True – because I just couldn’t resist; the minute I saw this meme it made me laugh, because if that’s not me then I don’t know what is! Therefore, I had to share it!

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Seven. National Eat Whatever You Want Day – Did you know that’s today? I didn’t until a co-worker text this morning to share that – and she brought donuts for breakfast! I couldn’t very well say no to donuts for breakfast on Eat Whatever You Want Day, right?

Eight. Dresses Galore – I ordered two dresses from Amazon yesterday via Prime (yes – I love Prime) ahead of my trip to California and Vegas. Ordering anything online can always be hit or miss… both of these dresses had 4.5 out of 5 star reviews with over 400 reviews, so I felt confident in that. Now I’ll just be crossing my fingers that they both fit and look good… or at least being thankful that Prime has free return shipping. Only time will tell.

 

And those are the eight things – as opposed to five – that are swirling around in my head on this Friday! Hopefully I’ll get to head home early today, enjoy this gorgeous weather and have a lovely weekend getting myself together for California and Vegas!

Cream Cheese Fruit Salad

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Hawaiian-Cheescake-Salad

Also known as Hawaiian Fruit Salad – but it should really just be known as You’ll Eat the Entire Bowl Yourself Fruit Salad because oh my goodness it was SO GOOD! I have the smallest little leftover serving for part of my lunch today but goodness, I wish I had the whole bowl!

I altered the recipe a bit – so I’ll share my version below. I took this to my bi-weekly Bible study and it was a big hit, so I figured I’d share it here. This recipe was taken from Pinterest and while my finished product didn’t turn out exactly like the video I watched, it still turned out delicious…and it looked pretty nice too!

Cream Cheese Fruit Salad

  • Strawberries; cut in pieces
  • Blueberries
  • Mandarin oranges; drained (I used one can)
  • Pineapples pieces; drained (I used one can)
  • Kiwi
  • 1 8 ounce block of cream cheese
  • 1 3 ounce package of cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 cup International Delight French Vanilla creamer

Combine the fruit in a large bowl and set aside

Beat together the cream cheese and the pudding mix. Add in the French Vanilla creamer a tablespoon at a time and beat together ingredients until creamy.

Combine cream cheese mixture with fruit and mix to coat – serve!

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I will note – my cream cheese mixture seemed to have the consistency of…well, if I’m being honest, it seemed almost like play-doh! I was so worried that it wouldn’t mix well with the fruit and perhaps the recipe had been a lost cause – but when I mixed it in with the fruit, it became creamier and coated the fruit wonderfully!

So – if you want a fruit salad for summer get-togethers that is sure to be a hit – give this one a try! It was easy to make and tasted delicious!

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*Recipe modified from the Slow Roasted Italian

Weekending – Flower Power

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Happy Tuesday everyone! As promised, the second part of the weekend re-cap…this time with more florals! Seriously, I took so many pictures of flowers over the weekend and if you can believe it, this post will have more pictures than the previous post!

Saturday morning after having a less than stellar continental breakfast (too many people & not enough space…yikes!) we set out for the US National Arboretum which is kind of like a haven in the middle of the big city. You go through the gates and it is almost like the hustle and bustle of the city outside the walls just completely disappear – it’s pretty amazing!

The azaleas are in bloom at the National Arboretum and there is an entire section dedicated just to the gorgeous flowers that come in more shades than I imagined. There is an entire azalea road/pathway that is dedicated to the beautiful blooms and we started our wandering there.

The pathway wound in and through a fairly dense forested area and the paths went up and down, with the bright blossoms lining the sides of the walkway and stretching up into the trees. To say it was a breathtaking sight would be an understatement – the flowers were amazing. I mean – that’s why I took so many picture, you know?

Of course, with such lovely flowers to pose around…I couldn’t resist snapping a few selfies with all the blooms. The weather on Saturday was cooler but still managed to be humid – thank goodness for all the cloud cover or the wandering around the Arboretum could have been a sweaty mess! Especially in those jeans (although I was thankful for them later in the day!)

The crazy thing about all these flower pictures? We didn’t even cover a third of the pathways marked out on the map as part of the azalea walk – so who knows what we might have missed? There were just so many things to look at and only a set amount of time… *sigh*

We moved on from the Azalea Walk to the Grass Roots exhibit which was on the way to the Visitor’s Center and Gift Shop. We snapped a few pictures of the flowers outside the Visitor’s center – including one called the War Axe, which made me think of Avengers: Infinity War, which I won’t explain for spoiler reasons.

We made our way toward the Capitol Columns and there is a lovely little garden with a fountain and arbors along the way. I didn’t realize that I took so many pictures from that vantage point – but then again, of course I did. It was absolutely beautiful! We weren’t the only ones that thought it was lovely – walking through the arbors, the sound (and sight) of the bumblebees was a constant presence. Eek!

The US Capitol Columns are a monument at the Arboretum that feature twenty-two Corinthian style columns that were originally a part of the US Capitol, put in place in 1828. The columns were removed during a renovation in 1958 and moved to the US National Arboretum in September of 1984 (a month before I was born)! Twenty-two of the original twenty-four are on display at the monument and the other two are along the azalea walk (we missed them!) as they are both cracked in half with no base or capital.

Something in DC is always being renovated and the Capitol Columns aren’t immune. They were wrapped in orange tape around the bottom and sadly the reflecting pool wasn’t filled for this visit. I still love the pictures I snapped and that just means another trip is in order once they are completely renovated! Our final stop at the Arboretum was the Asian Valley exhibits to see the willows, camellias and a few other beautiful blooms.

After our morning and early afternoon spent exploring the flowers, we drove over to the Washington Navy Yard to park for the Nationals game and made a pit stop at Yards Park for an afternoon snack from Ice Cream Jubilee – one of our favorite spots. I got a waffle cone with a scoop of Honey Lemon Lavender (a personal favorite) and a scoop of a new flavor, Strawberry Tres Leches! It has bites of tres leches cake mixed in and it was to die for! Granted – I’ve never had anything less than awesome at Ice Cream Jubilee!

After the game, we made our way along the waterfront river walk and through the Navy Yard to where our car was parked – and of course, I snapped some pictures along the way. We made the drive home stopping at Foster’s for dinner and I was so glad to see my wiggly little dog once we got home!

Sunday morning dawned brisk and bit gloomy – there was rain in the forecast and we had tickets to pick tulips in Haymarket. The tickets were rain or shine…but no one really wants to pick flower in a field in the rain, you know? We checked and rechecked the forecast and decided we’d be better off going sooner rather than later, so we headed for Haymarket and arrived under cloudy skies to a field filled with tulips in all the colors of the rainbow!

Holland in Haymarket is done each year by Burnside Farms and we’ve been to pick tulips before. The weather has been crazy wonky this year (I think I’ve mentioned it a time or three…or four…) and apparently they lost a whole field of tulips. The choices this year seemed a bit more limited than the first time we picked but there were still plenty of lovely blooms to choose from – tulips were $1 and daffodils were $.50.

 

We selected our blooms in about thirty minutes – there were people everywhere with kids, trying to get them to smile and pose just right in between the rows of tulips. Most of the little creatures just weren’t having it…which made it funny to see the parents jumping through hoops to get the perfect shot! We gathered up our blooms as some rain drops started to fall and headed for the check out!

En route for the house, we stopped in Marshall to have a late lunch at the Red Truck Rural Bakery – voted one of the 13 best bakery destinations by Conde Nast Traveler, among many other accolades. The bakery has shops in Marshall and Warrenton and let me tell you, Marshall is such a small town – but often small towns can hold the best little surprises! I had some delicious chicken tortilla soup and a sausage jalapeno muffin and finished off the meal with an insanely moist cupcake that I split with my Mamma. It was such a fun little stop – good food and all the charm of a small town!

We got some cookies to go – I had to get a little red truck! We headed home and I passed the rainy afternoon watching the Nationals walk off the Phillies and doing a little re-watch of Guardians of the Galaxy II, I re-organized my Nationals memorabilia collection… it’s starting to get pretty large! I rounded out my weekend with some delicious taco soup for supper, a live video in my online Perfectly Posh party, a bubble bath and the newest episode of Westworld.

And by the way – the cookie was delicious! Weekends always end too quickly, especially when they’re filled with so much wonderful adventuring!