A Divalicious Birthday Celebration At Mise En Place





As my husband and I were escorted to our table for what I thought was a romatic birthday dinner for two at the forkolicious Mise En Place, I was astonished at the site of a room filled with family and friends. It was shocking to realize my husband had planned a chic birthday party without my knowledge, but I’m glad he did. I’ve dined at Mise En Place many times over the years. It’s absolutely divine…the perfect place to celebrate life! If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience this epicurean adventure of the senses, it’s a must for foodies.




Since it’s inception in 1986, Mise En Place has garnered a well earned reputation for gastronomical Modern American cuisine. The menu which changes weekly is masterfully created by culinary genius, Marty Blitz. Under his direction, guests dine on edible works of art that explode with flavor. The night of the party my taste buds danced with glee as I savored Roasted Butternut Squash Salad garnished with Lardons, Chestnuts and Goat Cheese accented with Honey Crisp Apple Maple Vinaigrette. For my main plate, I chose the Tanglewood Farms Free Range Grilled Chicken lightly coated in Coconut Guava Rum BBQ sat atop Sweet Potato Plantain Puree accompanied by Calaloo Greens and a Spicy Lentil Empanada. The plate beautifully bursted with color and the delicious flavor of the dish still lingers in my mind. The Lobster Manchego Mac N Cheese was orgasmic! Worth the workout I had to endure the day after, for indulging in its creamy dreaminess.

 It’s not a birthday celebration without a cake, right?  Believe it or not, for many years I’ve rejoiced each January without a birthday cake. It’s been a long running joke between my hubby and I. He gets so involved with picking out the perfect gift, that he forgets to order a cake. Believe me, I’m aware of many women who would love to have a husband like mine! After all these years, I figured this night would be cakeless as well. Oh how wrong I was…




My divalicious birthday cake pictured above, was created by my friend Kim Yelvington. Kim is the owner and artist extraordinaire at Chocolate Pi. Her custom creations have been delighting clients for years and have graced the pages of many magazines. I absolutely adore Kim’s sugary sensations and am overjoyed my logo is now cakeolicious!

 Cheers to my hubby, Chocolate Pi and Mise En Place for making my birthday fabulous!


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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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Diva's Blog

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