Delectable Dessert Stations: Big On Taste…Sweet On The Budget

Photo Courtesy of Weddingbycolor.com Dessert Parties are a dynamic, budget savvy idea for corporate holiday gatherings, bar/bat mitzvah celebrations, adult birthday parties and non-profit fundraising events.Combining sassy, self-serve areas with a few playful interactive stations, promotes a  multi-dimensional soiree everyone will love!

 

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Eileen



Enjoy Four Star Hotels On A Budget

Photo Courtesy of [url=http://exquisite-design.com/hotels/tag/top-hotel/]Exquisite Hotels Design[/url]
 
 

Comfy beds, designer toiletries, first-class service, soaking tubs, chenille bathrobes…the list goes on. I can’t remember the first time I stayed at a luxurious hotel, but I know once I did, I was hooked! Perhaps you’re thinking I was one of those spoiled rich kids who grew up with a silver spoon in my mouth? Well, I can assure you that wasn’t the case. So, where did my lust for the finer things in life begin? I’m fairly certain I can blame Dynasty, Dallas, Falcon Crest and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous…the TV shows I religiously watched throughout my  childhood, for my lavish taste.

Photo Courtesy of [url=www.pacificachamber.com/]Pacifica Chamber of Commerce[/url]
 

 

With the birth of the Internet, my prayers to be able to afford opulent getaways were answered! Excursion websites are everywhere touting posh travel for less. In order to indulge my jet-setting urges without upsetting the C.P.A. chefy hubby and our family budget, I’ve spent months surfing the Internet for sites that “walk the walk and talk the talk.” If you’ve been stifling your inner travel diva…squelch it no more! I’m divulging the websites I utilize to book champagne adventures on a beer budget!

Photo Courtesy of [url=http://www.ski.com]Ski.com[/url]

 

www.priceline.com – I highly recommend the “Name Your Own Price” section of this site. 90% of the time, I utilize it to reserve four star accommodations. Why? It allows the bidder the chance to select the area of town they want to stay, the star level of the hotel and the price they are willing to pay. The bidder’s credit card is charged only if their offer is accepted. For the years I have been using priceline.com, I’ve never bid higher than $110.00 a night for a resort level hotel. Most of the time, my submissions between $78 -$90 are accepted for a four star or resort hotel. The same hotel is usually listed on other websites at a nightly rate between $179.00 – $250.00. 
 

Photo Courtesy of [url=http://www.kayak.com]Kayak.com[/url]

www.Expedia.com - Take a look at the vacation packages on this site. When purchasing airfare and hotel together…major savings can be found! Be sure to read the reviews left by former guests before purchasing travel. They are extremely helpful and I always make it a point to read them.  when looking for new places to stay, with or without children.

Photo Courtesy of [url=http://www.mauibeachguide.com/]Maui Beach Guide[/url]

 

www.Bookit.com - Check out the “Mystery” hotels this site offers. “Mystery” hotels are ones Bookit.com provides the star rating, reviews from former guests, the area the hotel is located and a room rate at least 50% off the published rate. They call it a “Mystery” hotel, because the buyer only finds out the name of the hotel after they’ve booked it. I’ve purchased several times the “4.5 Star Mystery Hotel” in the Orlando area and have never been disappointed. The accommodations have always been superior.

www.Mousesavers.com - This is a phenomenal website for Disney enthusiasts and for anyone planning a trip to the parks in Florida and/or California. Sign up on Mousesavers.com to receive their monthly newsletter, which includes exclusive offers for lodgings around Walt Disney World and Disneyland. 

Photo Courtesy of [url=http://www.orlandogolf.com/departments/features/waldorf-astoria-orlando-resort-at-bonnet-creek-11424.htm]Orlandogolf.com[/url]

 

www.hyatt.com, www.starwoodhotels.com, www.marriott.com, www.hilton.comSometimes the best deals can be found on a hotel’s own website. Especially if you are a member of their frequent guest program . There’s no charge to sign up and most of the time you’re immediately eligible for discounts that can include “free night stays.” 

The next time you’re aching for an adventure, try booking through one of my favorite sites. After all,  Robin Leach shouldn’t be the only one enjoying “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”

Photo Courtesy of [url=http://top-things-to-do.com/]top-things-to-do.com/[/url]

 

*Disclaimer – Diva With A Fork was not compensated by any of the companies included in this article. They are businesses Diva With A Fork has and continues to purchase travel. Rates noted above are from previous travel. For current room and vacation package rates, visit the websites suggested above or one you frequent.

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Eileen



Upscale Adults Only Ice Cream Soiree

 Whether the temperature outside is a sizzling 100 degrees or a chilling 27, ice cream is always a staple in my freezer. I could eat ice cream anytime, day or night. In fact, there have been times I’ve treated my children to ice cream for dinner. Oh boy, did I did rock those nights!  I have my parent’s to thank for my ice cream addiction. I can recall numerous visits to Carvel and Baskin Robbins for a chilly treat. In fact, one year my brother won a contest at a Carvel store’s grand opening. First prize was a year’s worth of ice cream for the winner and their family. Once a week, my Dad would pile us into the family car and drive off to Carvel for our weekly frozen fix . Those were fun times!

Here’s a little bit of trivia for you…did you know in 1984, Ronald Reagan decreed July as  “National Ice Cream Month?” Since July is upon us, I Photo Courtesy of Dallas Newsthought I’d post a fun party idea to celebrate the occasion. Why not invite your friends over for an “Adults Only” Ice Cream Soiree? Yes, you read it right. No, I’m not suffering from brain freeze. Hire your babysitters, send the kids to grandma’s…this is a night for embracing your ice cream passion!

What transforms a “Kids” ice cream bash into an alluring “Adult” get together?  Imagine this…a table chicly decorated with slender glass bottles, filled with Grand Marnier, warm Grade B maple syrup, Chambord, aged balsamic vinegar and Kahlua. A hand-made, scripted tag is attached to each bottle with satin ribbon,  acquainting  guests with each liquid libation. Elegant glass bowls and jars in various shapes and sizes, overflowing with crystallized ginger, toasted coconut, sinful chocolate sauce, espresso powder, crushed pistachios, almonds, sliced strawberries, bite-sized pineapple chunks, graham cracker crumbs, cubed pound cake and brownies. In the center of the table, luscious vanilla bean, heavenly chocolate and bold coffee flavored ice cream are showcased in small glass or silver ice buckets. Embellished miniature picture frames are used as signage for the flavorful ice cream and tantalizing toppings. Guests concoct their decadent creations in10 oz martini glasses.

 

Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Lots Of Ice Cream! 
Happy National Ice Cream Month

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Eileen




 

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Diva's Blog


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