Category Archives: Food

Take Back Dinner

Family sit-down dinners (especially during the school year) can be few and far between. There are so many evening activities like sports, drama, meetings, social events and more. And when you do sit down to a family dinner, what happens? Does everyone try to eat quickly to get back to homework, electronics or activities? And when you ask your kids “what did you do today?”, do you get the ever-popular answer “nothing”?

Since my family is often in this predicament, I was so fortunate to meet and talk with the founder of Togather™the Game. This is a book featuring 7 creative categories with 15 stickers each. No matter the topic, each sticker asks family members to compliment, share and discuss with those sitting at the table. This is unlike any conversational game played before because it enables your family to communicate through relevant subjects and creates fun memories during dinner.

For the last few weeks, my family has been using Togather™ during our dinners. Needless to say, we talking and laughing more which makes mealtime so special. I look forward to learning the thoughts, feelings and totally silliness of my family’s answers to each topic/sticker will bring. In fact, I am making our schedules able to include more sit-down dinners because this is time we need and it’s so much fun!

Plus, Togather™ has stickers for your child’s school lunchtime too. I have been packing my daughter’s lunch with one sticker a day with relatable school topics for children. Instead of eating quickly and not really talking with her friends, they have been talking about their favorite field trips or sharing about vacations, pets, etc. She and her friends are listening to each other and truly learning the art of conversation. I love these girls and they all have great ideas and plans.

And just in time for Advent, Togather™ will be introducing a special sticker book to prepare your family for Christmas. This is truly a time for families to renew before the year begins. For more information on Togather™ the Game or to purchase, please visit

Disney Spring Break 2018 – Land & Sea

As you can tell by now, my family is crazy for “The Mouse”! And before we venture to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida or onto a Disney Cruise Liner, I take my time to read up on new adventures to explore that will create even more magical memories.

Here are the new experiences my family shared on our 8-day Disney Land & Sea Spring Break:


Disney’s Boardwalk Inn/Villas

Because we were only staying for one night in Disney World, we decided not to explore all the parks and only play at Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Plus, we did not want to deal with crowded public transportation. So the perfect resort for our family’s trip was Disney’s Boardwalk Inn/Villas. This charming turn-of-the-century Atlantic City hotel has spacious and comfortable rooms; and is located within walking distance to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. And the unique eateries and nightlife really topped off a magical experience at the Boardwalk.


Note: The Boardwalk Bakery has the best sweet rolls in the morning!!

Ale & Compass Restaurant – Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

There are so many restaurants at Disney World, we always make sure to try something new during each visit. My husband found Ale & Compass (short walk from the Boardwalk Resort); and after reading all the amazing reviews, it did not disappoint. Famous for it’s burgers and seafood, the Ale & Compass is now a family favorite. Make sure to book 180 days out from your visit.


Epcot Morocco Pavilion – The Art of Henna

Henna is a plant; and the dye is made from dried crushed henna leaves, lemon juice, water, sugar and eucalyptus.  Depending on the design chosen, the application will take 5-10 minutes and cost varies. Henna is a tradition in Morocco; and most commonly done on women for weddings in Morocco…. the day before the ceremony the bride’s hands and feet are decorated.


Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

This was our first time to experience the amazing works of flower art at Epcot for the 25th Annual International Flower & Garden Festival. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous; and make sure to enjoy the festival’s food and drink pavilions too!



Senses Spa Facial & RainForest Room

We love Senses Spa! And this cruise, I enjoyed a relaxing facial. Also, my husband and I both enjoyed the RainForest Room…this fabulous spa secret includes aromatherapy showers, saunas, steam room and heated stone loungers. We booked a couples RainForest 3-day pass.


Tequila & Margarita Tasting

My husband and I enjoyed an hour of adult time learning about the culture, region and tradition surrounding Mexico’s most popular spirit. Such a great time enjoying tequila and meeting new people. Book when reserving excursions or at guest services.


Star Wars Day at Sea

  • Darth Vadar Takes Over The Ship (Star Wars Day at Sea Eve) – This event is NOT in your daily Navigator. In the Lobby Atrium (Level 3) at 10:15pm the night before Star Wars Day at Sea, Darth Vadar takes over the ship. Don’t miss this super fun/secret event.
  • Star Wars Bibbity Bobbity Boutique – They can turn your little into a prince or princess, a pirate or wench and now a Jedi or Imperial Forces. This was the first time I have ever seen grown men getting into character at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. Make sure to reserve your spot when booking excursions…this is the BBB’s most popular day on the cruise. (prices vary)


Sweet On You

And I saved the best for last…..the new old-fashioned ice cream parlor offers sea-goers gelato, ice cream, candy and baked goods. Sweet On You also is the home of the Minnie Signature Sundae; and it’s amazingly yummy. (Serves 3-4 people)


Have a magical vacation!

Disney…Not Just For Kids

As you have read in previous blogs, my family loves everything Disney……bring on the magic! And after reviewing our five-year vacation plan, we decided to become Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members in order to save money and enjoy even more of what Disney has to offer.

Our latest Disney vacation had a theme…. “No Kids”. Disney World (Land, Cruises, Destinations) have itineraries just for adults. This is your time to relax and just be a “big kid”.

It’s been almost two months since we returned from our first “no kids” Disney vacation. We went with a fabulous couple ( who are also DVC members. This trip was designed around the Ecpot International Food & Wine Festival and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.

Here is a look at all the fun we had without the kids…. no guilt was had by all participating;) :




  • Enjoyed a giant cinnamon roll (Gaston’s Tavern) and Starbucks in the Magic Kingdom. We found a small and quiet cove off of Main Street USA to eat in each morning. (Must arrive at Kingdom when park opens).
  • Bused to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports to pick up my husband’s race packets for the Wine & Dine 10K and Half Marathon (otherwise know as the 19.3 Lumiere’s Challenge).
  • Returned to Magic Kindgom for a day of rides and of course, Dole Whip.
  • Monorailed to the Polynesian Resort’s  Tambu Lounge for Pork Nachos and Lapu Lapu drinks (you get a whole pineapple!).
  • Returned to the resort to prepare for our late night dinner at California Grill.



  • My husband woke at 3:30am to make the 4am bus to Epcot for the Wine & Dine 10K.
  • He returned after a successful run and slept.
  • Spent the morning in Magic Kingdom (Cinnamon rolls, Starbucks, character photos and Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom).
  • Headed to Epcot for attractions and the International Food & Wine Festival.




  • My husband woke at 3:30am to make the 4am runners’ bus to Epcot.
  • I woke at 4:30am to make the 5am spectators’ bus to Epcot.
  • He completed the Wine & Dine Half Marathon thus completing the Lumiere Challenge of 19.3 miles.
  • Rested all morning and went pooling around noon.
  • Arrived back at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival for more food and fun.
  • Ate dinner at Canada’s Le Cellier Steakhouse.
  • Enjoyed the private Wine & Dine Half Marathon party at Epcot. With your ticket (tickets are given to marathoners and may be bought by those in a marathoners’ party). Epcot is closed to everyone else.




  • Spent our last morning eating a the Polynesian Resort’s Kona Café rated Disney’s best breakfast (Tonga Toast).


As you can tell, Disney is definitely not just for kids. We ate, drank and just touched the surface of all Disney has to offer for adults. And we did so much walking, none of us gained a pound.

We had such a blast; and will be making this trip an annual destination each year. And next November, I will be competing in the Lumiere Challenge.

Have a magical vacation!


Chicken Manicotti

It’s been at least 5 years since I made this awesome meal…Chicken Manicotti. It’s really an easy and simple recipe (do not let stuffing shells scare you!); and the entire family loves it.

Ingredients: (if you don’t make your own marinara sauce) 1 jar pasta sauce, 1 container of ricotta cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, 2 to 3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, uncooked manicotti shells, grated Parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Boil water and add the chicken breasts. After about 30-45 minutes, remove chicken breasts from water and cool. Then shred.


  • In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and shredded chicken. Then mix.


  • Grease a 13×9 glass pan and spread pasta sauce on the bottom.
  • With a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon, stuff the mixture into the manicotti shells and lay in pan.


  • Once all shells are filled and placed, spread more pasta sauce on top of the shells.


  • Cover with foil and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours depending if shells are soft.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Place in oven and broil until brown and bubbly.


  • Remove from oven and serve.


Happy Eating!

Bunco Buns!

This yummy mini-sandwich is the perfect appetizer for card night or a simple sandwich for any bridal or baby shower.

Ingredients: 2 pkgs. of King’s Hawaiian Sweet Buns (12 ct. bags), 1/2 stick of melted butter, 4 tbsp poppy seeds, 4 tbsp mustard, 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 – 1 1/2 lb. thinly-sliced smoked ham and swiss cheese



1) In a bowl, mix together melted butter, poppy seeds, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. (The special dressing)


2) Slice buns in half and spread dressing on both side of the bun. Then add cheese and ham.

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3) Bake at 350º for 15-20 minutes (cover with foil) until cheese is melted.



Orange Dreamiscle cake

There are lots of recipes for Orange Dreamiscle Cake on Pinterest. I wanted something easy that I could use Cool Whip as a topping….and I found one.



1. Follow directions on the cake mix and put batter into a 13×9 in pan.

2. While cake is baking, mix Jell-O and 1 cup of boiling water. Let cool to room temperature.


2. Remove cake from oven, cool for 20 minutes and poke holes with a toothpick.


3. Pour Jell-O mix all over cake and place in the refrigerator.


4. Remove cool cake and ice with Cool Whip.


5. Then it’s ready to eat. Keep refrigerated.


To be honest, the cake was ok. Not my favorite cake recipe but it’s definitely worth a try.

Happy Eating!