Chatting Over Chocolate

Friday, May 26, 2017

Five Loves on Friday // Celebration, Disney Haul, Tropical Tastiness, & More!


Happy Friday, friends!  Who's ready for a long holiday weekend?  I know I am!  But first, it's time for those lovely Loves....

One  //  Jason's {Early} Birthday Dinner




Jason's birthday isn't until early next month, but with schedules what they are my parents opted to invite us for an early celebratory dinner party Wednesday evening.  We had a wonderful time celebrating, feasting, laughing, and played a fun card game!  A great time was had by all!


Two  //  Disney Haul!

You may remember me sharing a Mickey Mouse citrus serving bowl and coasters (currently sold out) I scooped up earlier this spring.  I have been swooning over their new summer citrus line since its release! After getting and adoring that bowl, the moment I saw Disney Store was offering 30% off Parks Authentic merchandise I had to add to my collection!  So, that belated Mother's Day gift arrived this week which included...


Two sets of Mickey Mouse Citrus Plates (which are even cuter in person)!








This is by far my favorite Disney summer themed dinnerware collection and I look forward to us enjoying them for years to come!

Last, but certainly not the least (cutest), my new Disney TAG Neck Pillow!  I've been in the market for one and this was too fun to resist! LOVE it!



*Photos via DisneyStore.com


Three  //  Tropical Pineapple Salad


Tropical Pineapple Salad // Chelsea's Messy Apron
Full recipe can be found here.

I'm all about tropical goodness, so when I saw this salad I thought it looked fun!  I really enjoyed the combo of flavors.  I served it as our entree, but think a smaller serving alongside something like a Hawaiian pork sandwich would be fantastic!  I should add, I omitted coconut (my youngest is allergic, so I always steer clear of that) and bell peppers (as my husband dislikes them).  Other than that I prepared the recipe as written and loved it!  If these flavors are right up your alley, check out the recipe link above.


Four  // We joined Costco!


We've heard much praise for Costco!  Recently a location opened within a reasonable driving distance from our home.  Jason's parents are members so he accompanied his mom on a quick trip there to check it out.  He was really impressed with their meat selection, as well as their prices.  We decided to go for the membership, which he picked up yesterday after work along with some brisket and chicken to smoke this holiday weekend.  (I can hardly wait for the tasty feast ahead!)

Question for any fellow members:
What are your favorite Costco finds or staples you find yourself picking up each trip?  I'd love to hear any "must-try"s in the comment section below!  Thanks in advance sweet shopping friends! ;)


Five //  #weekend



(I bought this from Kohls.com.  It looks like it's no longer available there, but may still be in store.)

While I bought this adorable bag earlier this month, it's making this week's list as I'm already looking forward to loading it up with family fun goodies to tote along with us to the park for some fun in the sun this weekend!  Hope you're able to catch some rays with those dearest to you too!



Thanks for visiting my nook of the blogosphere today!  Wishing you a beautiful Memorial Day weekend ahead!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Throwback Thursday // Memorial Day Pinspiration!


Post originally shared here on May 22nd, 2013

Hello, friends! Who's ready for an extended holiday weekend?! If you'll be firing up the grill and sizzling your way to the unofficial start of Summer, or sitting around a campfire gazing at the stars, these pins will make you even more eager for the Memorial weekend fun that awaits you! Patriotism a plenty, grilling goodness, and camping fun coming right up!


Click HERE to view the original post in its entirety.  I hope it provides you with fun pinspiration for the holiday weekend to come!


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Trip Report Tuesday: California Day 12 {Part 1} Disney Park Hopping & Our Favorite Dining Experience at Disneyland


If you're like us, excellent Disney dining days are something you both look forward to and enjoying looking back at!  This was one such day!  Come along with us for a morning of park hopping magic, followed by one of my favorite dining experiences ever!

Day 12 {Part 1} - Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Wednesday California Adventure Park was offering an extra magic hour in the morning so we kicked off this day with some of our favorites there!  First, we made a beeline for a Soarin' fastpass!  (Remember, Disneyland & California Adventure are still on the old school paper fastpass system.)  

Radiator Springs Racers x 2









Radiator Springs Racers is easily one of our favorite rides in this entire park!  I'd heard from my Cars loving Uncle Ken high praise about both this land and attraction, and it lived up to every word!  We rode this as much as possible, squeezing in two rides on this fine morning!









Soarin' Around the World
If you caught last week's trip report, you know that the new version of this ride was something we were greatly anticipating and that lead to feeling greatly disappointed when we boarded it the night before and were evacuated from the ride due to technical difficulties.  This bright and beautiful morning we were able to not only board the ride, but actually experience it completely!  



Those of you who know me well, know that Disney gets me all sorts of emotional.  (In the best way possible, that is.)  I had been both ecstatic about experiencing the updated ride, and honestly, very nervous too.  Soarin' Over California will forever be one of my favorites and the soundtrack was nothing short of a masterpiece!  I hoped they hadn't screwed it up this go around!  Friends, they didn't!  Happy tears ran down my face nearly the entire ride (okay, probably the entire ride)!  I loved it!  I don't know that I'd say I prefer it to the original, but it definitely holds its own and maintains it's status as one of my favorite attractions!  Phew and hooray!


Morning Snacks
Popcone, & Schmoozies, & Watermelon! Oh my!


 How cute is this cone themed concession area in Cars Land?!


A yummy mango "schmoozie" for me, please & thank you!


This girl hasn't met a fruit she doesn't like and watermelon tops the list of her faves.  A fresh fruit treat was just what she needed to put a bit more bounce in her step!


The feel of this portion of the park reminded me a lot of Hollywood Studios.


Tower of Terror
You may remember that we made a point to get shots of the exterior on our first day at the park, with a tip from my girl Chrissy that the signage was coming down that week in prep for its transition to a Guardians of the Galaxy ride.  This morning it was gone, which was sad, but made us all the more glad we'd made it out to Cali in time to experience their version of the attraction before it was no more!





















Little One's PhotoPass Fun...










Goofy's Sky School


This is one goofy coaster!



Now it was time to walk over to Disneyland for our lunch, which would be eaten inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction! ....

Lunch at Blue Bayou
Dining at Blue Bayou was one of the things we'd had on our Disney bucket list for years before this trip!  As a family of POTC fans we'd imagined how awesome it'd be to dine in a restaurant located right inside this original Disneyland attraction!  It didn't disappoint one lit'l bit!






While we awaited our requested waterside table, Little One and I popped in to the Pieces of Eight shop next door and picked up her souvenir wishlist item of a Disney Babies version of the dog from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride! So soft, snuggly, and absolutely adorable!





The atmosphere was amazing and the food was fantastic!











The ambiance of the restaurant was perfection, but it is a bit challenging shooting food pics in there.  Trust me, they looked even better in person, and tasted even better yet!



My chocolate cake eating partner (& we let the key holding Pirates dog in on the fun too ;))!





You may not be able to make it out too well, but the pirates ride is running just behind my loves there.  That's where the boats go passing by.  We were seated waterside which was fantastic!


Pirates of the Caribbean 
After dining inside the attraction we simply had to board a boat and enjoy the ride immediately after lunch!


Their Pirates ride is very different and quite a bit longer than ours at Disney World!  Theirs has several extra scenes and truly has a classic feel to it.  It was really neat to experience all the differences between the one we know and love and this Disneyland original!  It's pretty amazing!  



Haunted Mansion Holiday
I can't say enough good things about Haunted Mansion Holiday!  At one point I told Jason that it alone was worth our trip to Disneyland!  It's just so neat to see a classic attraction completely transformed, top to bottom, decor, music, and overall theming for the holidays (Halloween/Christmas)!


Little One posing pretty with her Haunted Mansion Top Hat in front of the attraction.












Even the "stretching room" changes over to Nightmare Before Christmas theming!



Sally premiered this year as the newest addition to the holiday attraction!


Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through


Disneyland's castle may be small (smaller than I'd even imagined), but it does house something pretty cool inside!  You can walk through and see the story of Sleeping Beauty unfold!  If you visit Disneyland, it's definitely worth the walk through!  

The final page of the book does change color, as you'd expect - pink, no blue, no pink! ;)



One final photopass pic of the morning, with the man & the mouse, and the original castle in all its pretty pinkness!


Thanks for stopping by today!  Next trip report I'll take you along with Little One & I for an afternoon mommy/daughter Downtown Disney District Date.  Then, something I'm really excited to share, World of Color!  You won't want to miss it!