Chatting Over Chocolate

Friday, January 20, 2017

Five Loves on Friday

Happy Friday, friends!  This week totally flew by here!  Did yours?  Well, whether it's raced by or has felt like a crawl, the finish line is in sight and the fabulous prize of the weekend awaits!  But first, it's Five Loves time!...

One // Ice Storm Day

Monday we had an ice storm in the area (which didn't turn out to be nearly as big of a deal as they predicted, but...) my husband's work closed for the day, so we ended up with a long weekend as a family!  Cue the confetti and happy dancing!  Seriously, when my man gets an unexpected day at home I'm every bit as excited as those elementary aged kids who see their school's name scroll across the cancellations on the bottom of the tv screen.  It's a big, fantastic deal!

On a typical weekday I wake up with Jason and prep his breakfast while he showers.  This ice storm day as I came out of the shower I was greeted with this ...

Ham, eggs, and extra cheese, toasted and tasty with a ice cold glass of O.J. ... MmmMmmMmm!

And he put a brisket in our smoker that morning which cooked up to perfection all day long for our dinner!  The four of us spent the day all cozy as could be and thankful to be home together indoors, safe and sound.  I thoroughly enjoyed every sweet and scrumptious bit and bite of the day together! 

Two // Sweets with my Sweets

I received this Sisters Gourmet goodness in my December Popsugar Must Have Box and if you follow along on Instagram, you likely saw this marvelous mix baked up to cookie perfection!  

Every snow or ice day is worthy of a sweet treat, right?  Well, honestly we enjoyed two!  We polished off the bakers dozen the mix yielded that afternoon.  Then, Princess decided to bake up brownies for dessert (for after dinner, not a post cookie dessert ...although that could totally be a thing, right? ;))  So, it was basically Christmas in January here!

... Calorie counting begins, tomorrow. ;)

Three // Blog Planning Like a Boss (or at least that's what my Ashley Brooke pencil tells me)

I have been making excellent use of my new blogging planner!  I took an evening this week to map out my blogging game plan for the entire year.  I started a new blogging series this week which will feature posts you may have missed from the past four years of blogging.  I've got one penciled in for every Thursday through 2017!  Trip Report Tuesdays are back once again which I'm super excited about!  (Thank you to those who stopped by and left such fun comments!  You guys make my day!)  I also have another new blogging series in the works as well!  Stay tuned for more on that!  I'm so excited about all that's to come in this new year!  There's so much I'm looking forward to sharing with you and I can't wait to hear back from you within the comment section of those posts as well!  This blogging community makes my heart sing! 

Four //  It's the Little Things

The other day after turning all my to do's into "ta da!"s  I gave in to my sleepiness.  I grabbed my soft electric blanket, a fluffy pillow, hit the couch, and took a nap.  Naps are seriously underrated, friends.  I felt like a new woman after that sweet snooze.  Also, it was National Winnie the Pooh Day so this quote was way too cute not to insert here.  It's the lit'l things in life, friends! ;)

Five  // Date Night was a Great Night!

(Sorry for the iPhone blurriness.  The pizza was too good to walk away from to get an actual camera! ;))

Last night my parents invited my girls over for dinner and to spend some time at their house, giving Jason and I some one on one time!  We strolled down misty brick streets downtown and grabbed some delicious New York style pizza.  We came home, changed from our presentable "date night clothes" into comfy pajamas and settled in for a couple episodes of The Eighties on Netflix.  There was a whole lot of "I loved that show!" comments of nostalgia from us eighties kids.  It wasn't as fun as those old VH1 "I love the 80s" shows, but it took us back.  Cheesy pizza (Jason's slices were actually shrimp covered, but I was celebrating National Cheese Lover's Day an evening early ;)), memories, and cozy couch time with my handsome man.  Winter date night perfection in my book!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Wishing you a fab weekend ahead!  Hope to see you back here again on Tuesday for some more Cali fun in the sun!

In case you missed it...
Earlier This Week at Chatting Over Chocolate:
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Join me in the adventures to come!
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Linking up with:
My sweet blogging friends, Tif, Katie, & Della for High Five for Friday & 
Friday Favorites with Momfessionals

...If you're visiting from one of these link ups, be sure to say, "Hello!"  
I'd love to come check out your Friday favorites too! ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

*NEW SERIES* Throwback Thursday // Mickey Mouse Munch

Hello, friends!  After celebrating Chatting Over Chocolate's 4th Blogiversary earlier this month, I thought about how fun it'd be to share posts I've published years ago that some of my newer readers might have missed!  So, throughout 2017 I'm going to be sharing Throwback Thursday posts with you!  

Since today is National Popcorn Day how could I resist kicking off this series with my Mickey Mouse Munch?  
This recipe was originally published here on February 18, 2013.  This was long before I bought my own domain so you'll notice all my photos are marked with "".  Ahh, memories from my this blog's beginning!  Ready to take a tasty trip down memory lane with me?  I'll provide the treats!

Hiya, Pals! Welcome to another Magical Monday! Today I'll be sharing some irresistible Mickey Mouse inspired snackable goodness. It's an incredibly simple way to turn popcorn into a scrumptious and sweet tooth satisfying treat! This is the perfect snack for your next Disney movie night, family game night, or Mickey Mouse themed party ... it's truly a crowd pleaser!


Popcorn, popped 
White Chocolate Almond Bark, melted (I use 1/4 of a 24 oz. package per 10 cups of popcorn) 
Red and Yellow Mini M&Ms 
Red and Yellow Sprinkles

Simple Steps to Yumminess:
Spread popcorn out on a wax paper or foil covered baking sheet.

 Let the chocolate drizzled, candy covered popcorn (how great does that sound?!) dry completely. Then break into pieces and ENJOY!

Thanks for stopping by!  Don't be shy.  Please say, "HI!"

Join me in the adventures to come!
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Trip Report Tuesday: California Day 1 // Arrival and Huntington Beach

While I was away (from this blog and from home ;)) I was off enjoying the trip of a lifetime!  My family and I wrapped up summer and kicked off fall exploring the gorgeous state of California!  The first week we traveled throughout Cali and the second week we spent at Disneyland!  Wanna take virtual vacations with me on Tuesdays again?  Glad to hear it, because new installments of Trip Report Tuesday will be coming your way weekly once again, starting NOW!

Day 1 - Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Come fly with me, 

Let's fly, let's fly away!"...

Our trip to California could not have gone any more smoothly!  When we arrived at airport security there was absolutely no one in line!  This is the first time Princess had actual physical identification (as she has a Driver's Permit now), so she pulled it out to show along with her airline ticket.  The kind TSA gentlemen asked how old she was, said she didn't need to show him her ID, and gave her a pass allowing her to keep her shoes on through security screening!  Little One was told at her age she could keep her shoes on as well and we breezed through the screening while the nicest TSA employees I'd ever met showed us on through.  We always allow for crazy long lines and possible delays getting through security, so we had some major free time on our hands!  I'd much prefer to relax and wait to board than be frantically rushing to get there.  This was ideal in my eyes!  We grabbed some yummy eats, watched the sunrise, and chatted in eager anticipation about all that we were looking forward to in the next two weeks!

We arrived at John Wayne Airport in Orange County gaining two hours from the time zone we departed from which was oh so nice!  We picked up our rental car, and cue the first road trip song, "We're going to Surf City, gonna have some fun ... Surf City, here we come!"

Huntington Beach {AKA:  Surf City} was such a fun and gorgeous spot to kick off our California vacation!  

We had lunch reservations at Ruby's Diner which sits at the end a pier with windows looking out at the ocean!  Greasy diner food with a view, this is vacation!

After lunch we stopped at some of the shops along the pier.  I needed a magnet just like that surf board above (of course)!  Let me tell you, since I'm used to buying souvenirs at Disney Parks, when we shop elsewhere on vacations everything seems like a bargain! ;)

As we strolled along the pier we spotted a familiar face, Ray Comfort!  Years ago his sermons Hell's Best Kept Secret and True & False Conversion had a tremendous impact on Jason and I!  Having the opportunity to meet him, shake his hand, thank him for serving the Lord faithfully, and share what an impact his ministry has had in our lives was one of the highlights of that beautiful day!  

When we said our goodbyes Mr. Comfort reached into his wallet and pulled out a Subway gift card.  He gave it to us saying he knew we'd be spending a fortune at Disneyland and that he'd like to treat our family to dinner!  My eyes tear up just remembering it.  It's so sweet meeting someone and seeing how genuine they are. The meeting and moment was a true delight!

Once we made our way off the pier and onto the sandy shore we had to wade in the ocean!

Once we washed away the sand from our toes, we hopped back into our rental and enjoyed a beautiful drive to Visalia.

Upon arrival we immediately checked in to a Hampton Inn for the night.  

I loved the sticky notes on the headboards assuring my germaphobic mind that everything was clean. Although I must admit my (seen-too-many-dateline-episodes-on-hotels) mind still has trust issues.  It all appeared very clean though! ;)

It was late and we hadn't grabbed dinner so we each chose an item from the hotel's small convenience store.  Things like bags of chips and cup o' noodles were on the menu for us that night.  We laughed about it, filled our tummies, and went to bed with happy hearts eager for the adventures that the next day would bring!

Hope you'll be back to hear about day 2 next Tuesday!  

Looking forward to sharing our adventures in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks!  There we saw the world's tallest tree and a canyon deeper than the Grand Canyon!  Pop by next week for all the delightful details!

Psst... My husband, Jason, just published the perfect accompaniment for this post on our family's YouTube channel,  Eat, Sleep, Dis, Repeat!  

You'll find 2016 Disneyland and CA Road Trip - Day 1 HERE!  While visiting our YouTube channel, we'd love it if you'd subscribe to catch a new video each week!

Join me in the adventures to come!
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