Chatting Over Chocolate

Friday, July 3, 2015

Five Loves on Friday

Happy Friday, lovelies!  Is everyone excited for the holiday weekend?!  My hubby will be home for a 4 day weekend!!  That alone is reason to celebrate in my book!  Before we get to all the holiday hoopla though, I'd love to share five loves from this week with you all!

1.  Featured Blogger on H54F!

Bright on Budget // Cup of Tea // Coffee with Caitlin // Della Devoted

I am tickled pink to be the featured blogger for this week's High Five for Friday link party!  A big THANKS to H54F's fabulous hostesses Tif, Katie, Caitlin, and Della!  I look forward to linking up each week, checking out my favorite bloggers' weekly highlights, and discovering new blogs along the way too.  If you're visiting from H54F, WELCOME!  I hope you'll take a moment to peek around a bit and say "hello" so I can return the visit to your blog!  If you have a blog and haven't linked up to this party, you should!  There is such sweet community of bloggers that join in on the fun each week and we'd love to have you there too!

2.  Lunch Date with my Parents

My parents are on vacation from their jobs this week.  We were thrilled to hear that they wanted to spend one of those free days with us!  They treated the girls and I to a nice lit'l road trip in their new SUV and took us out for some tasty Mexican food!  Side note:  I had totally forgotten just how yummy Taco John's chicken soft tacos are!  (Plus, they're only 190 calories! Win/delicious win!)  I highly recommend those sweet Mexican Donut Bites too! Delish!

3.  Instagoodness!

I finally starting using Instagram this week, and I'm loving it!  I've been hesitant to get in on it as I didn't really need another reason to be looking at my phone. ;)  It seems like the best of social media though - plenty of fun and loveliness, zero drama!  If you'd like to follow my adventures snap by snap you can find my insta HERE.  Is there anyone else I should be following?  Whose posts do you most enjoy?

4.  Disney Mail + Upcoming Trip Reveal!

My super thoughtful blogging bestie, Chrissy from Adventures in DIY, sent me a fun envelope of Disney goodies this week!  If you take a look at her note you'll see what we are planning for our 2016 vacation!  I'm so excited I could nearly burst!  We're just a few months out from our next Disney World trip, and are now planning our first ever trip to the original, Disneyland!  I can hardly wait to soak up the all of the magic and bring it back here for you!  Many new Disney trip reports to come!!  YAY!!

Psst...if you're new here and (like me) love all things Disney be sure to check out my Disney tab for recipes, crafts, tutorials and trip tips.  Need a "virtual vacation"?  Scroll and stroll through my Disney World Trip Reports  for 17 days of Disney goodness from our last trip to the World!

5.  Independence Day Planning

I love celebrating the 4th of July!  As I've been prepping for this year's festivities I thought I'd share some of my favorites from past holidays in case any of you are looking for a few simple last minute ideas.  I know I am!  Do you have any you'd like to share?  Be sure to leave me a comment below!

Simple & Inexpensive 4th of July Flag Table Decor

This patriotic "flag" decor cost me only $4 and was a cinch to throw together!  See my full post with details HERE.

Patriotic Pancakes

These simple pancakes will add a colorful pop to your breakfast table in a few easy steps!  Separate your pancake batter into three bowls.  In one of the bowls add red food coloring, in another add blue, then stir each.  Leave the third bowl of batter as is.   For another fun touch toss a bit of the colored batter into squeeze bottles and squirt over pancake batter.  Now you're all set to cook up a festive start to your holiday!  

If you have kiddos in the house be sure to have them join you for some of the color mixing.  They'll enjoy it even more if they've had a hand in creating these edible masterpieces! 

I use Bisquick's Ultimate Pancakes recipe.  When your cakes are done cooking, top with your choice of yumminess.  Syrup and fresh fruit are always delicious additions!

Flag Finger Food

Using a deep rectangular dish, form a flag by tossing some blue corn chips in the upper left corner, then add alternating rows of white cheddar and pepperoni slices.

I made this for my family of four.  If I were to serve this at a party I'd stack those cheese layers a few squares high.

This weekend I'm thinking of putting together a fruit and cheese flag that caught my eye in an Anneorshine video.  She also shared a few other festive yummies...

*Start at 1:25 into the video for the first "recipe". ;)

*If you are reading this blog post via an email subscription, you can view the video here.

Last year I made the red, white, and blue beverage that she shared.  The girls enjoyed it, so that's going on the repeat list for this 4th!  

Do you plan to celebrate this weekend with anything fun or delicious?  If you've shared any Independence Day inspired recipes, outfit inspiration, or craft posts please feel free to share a link in the comment section!  I'd love to check them out!

Thanks SO much for stopping by today!
Wishing you a spectacular Independence Day weekend!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Favorites

Happy July, friends!  This morning I've rounded up my June favorites in beauty, accessories, frozen goodies, & more!  Let's get right to the good stuff...

I purchased all items within this post, some affiliate links are included.  All opinions are genuinely my own.

I recently watched Jessica Braun's YouTube vid $8 vs. $36 | Hard Candy Natural Eyes vs. Too Faced | Swatches, Demo, Review.  In it she compared this Hard Candy palette to a high end Too Faced palette that runs over 4x its price.  When I saw this inexpensive dupe at Walmart I couldn't resist the purchase.  I am loving it!  The booklet enclosed comes with a how-to for day, drama, and evening looks.  Can't wait to play around with it a bit more this month!

This blush is another beauty item I stumbled upon while on YouTube.  After hearing FancyThatwithCandice rave about it in her Top 10 Drugstore Products Under $10 video I could hardly wait to give it a try!  $6 later (@Walmart) it's my new favorite!

The icing on top of these makeup goodies came from my Target Spring Beauty Box.  I cannot believe how well this setting spray works (or that I waited until June to use it)!  It extends my makeup's wear by several hours!  Good stuff!

Another product that a Target Beauty Box introduced me to was Fekkai Blowout Hair Refresher.  I had never used a dry shampoo, and really wondered what all the hype was about, until I tried this!  I never realized 2nd day hair could feel and look so fresh!  With this being my first shot at a dry shampoo, I have a question for you, friends.  What's your favorite dry shampoo?  Anything else out there I should try?

The one thing that I really wanted from the Lilly at Target line was a starfish bracelet.  However, it was only available in stores and not in-stock at any Target in my area.  When I spotted this CC gem I was over the moon!  I actually prefer it to the Lilly bracelet.  Plus it only set me back $13!  I can hardly wait to wear this during our Florida trip in a few months!

One of my favorite bloggers (who I'm also blessed to call a friend), Whitney of Come Home for Comfort, took Christy Jordan's vlog every day in June challenge ...and completed it! Go, Whitney!!  I enjoyed following along throughout the month, learning more about her, and being encouraged both as a Christian and as a housewife.  You can check out her videos here and her lovely blog here.  She shares organizational and decorating tips, recipes, plenty of cute kitty pics, and ways to make your home a place of comfort.

Is anything better than fresh fruit in the summertime?  Maybe frozen fruit bars!  Our freezer is fully stocked with these yummies - strawberry, lime, and my personal favorites peach and pineapple ...YUMmm!  The flavors we have run between 70-90 calories per bar.  They're made with real fruit, and have no high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors/flavors, and are fat free.  In other words, they are 100% guilt-free deliciousness!

There you have it, my first favorites of summertime!  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Wishing you a lovely start to July!

Linking up:
Make Me Up Mia

...If you're visiting from the link up, be sure to say, "Hello!"  I'd love to come check out your June favorites too! ;)

Join me in the adventures to come!
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Friday, June 26, 2015

Five Loves on Friday

Happy 1st Friday of summer, friends!  I hope this fresh new season has gotten off to a beautiful start for you!  Ours was filled with celebrations and simple joys.  Here are a few of my favorites (listed chronologically ;)).

1.  One on One Time with Little One

Princess went to a swap meet with my parents on Saturday.  While she was off having a great afternoon, Jason and I soaked up the special one on one time with Little One!  We took her out for frozen custard, then headed to the lake for some sunshine, fresh air, and bubble blowing.  It was a simple, beautiful, carefree time together!

   2.  Backyard Fire Pit Fun!

I heart summertime family fun!

We set up a fire pit in our backyard last weekend.  It was so much fun making s'mores, chatting, laughing, and stargazing after a gorgeous sunset!  

3.  Father's Day 2015

It was such a joy to celebrate Jason (even more than usual ;)) on Sunday!  I prepped some of his favorite eats, like my Cheesy Eggilicious Bacon-y Quiche.  He loves all things water related, so we made a trip to the lake and enjoyed a dip in our pool.  We surprised him with gifts - a few handmade, a couple useful, and others just plain fun.  Best of all, we created new memories as a family!  Those are the kind of gifts that last a lifetime. :)

4.  Lightning Bug Catching 

Ahh, the simple joys of childhood. :)

My girlies are really good at catching lightning bugs!  I couldn't believe how many they got in their lit'l bug house!  When I was growing up, the kids in my neighborhood would gather on summer evenings for lightning bug catching contests.  I was never as successful as my daughters, but I remember those fun nights fondly.  I'm sure my sweeties will too.  Did you catch lightning bugs as a kid?  (Do you call them that or "fireflies"?)  

*For anyone feeling bad for these little buggies, they were released ...outside. ;)

5.  Celebrating Father's Day with my Parents

Last night we had my parents over for a cookout in celebration of Father's Day.  My dad is one of my favorite people on the planet and I loved celebrating him (& having another excuse to give him something else to wear during our upcoming trip to Disney World)!  We had such a sweet time around the table together.  I cherish evenings like that so very much!

Thanks for stopping by today, sweet friends!  Have a lovely upcoming weekend!