Eataly Chicago

We have been wanting to stop in at Eataly for lunch but the timing never seemed to work well on our visits to Chicago.  So this trip we made the decision to see if they had any breakfast items and to stop in during the morning.  The coffee bar opens at 8am so I knew we could get something early in the day.


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Turns out we had several choices!


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Daughter and I each selected a pastry to take to go and she also got a delicious hot chocolate.


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We also took a little time to shop the market area.  There were house-ware items, foods and drinks.  Cookbooks and sweets galore!


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Now that we have had a taste of Eataly we want to visit for lunch.  The Nutella crepes sound really good and it would be fun to try!

More information here:

43 East Ohio Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Tel: 312.521.8700

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Radisson Blu Birthday Visit

I took the opportunity this winter to visit my favorite Chicago hotel for my birthday.  The Radisson Blu did not disappoint!

We were given a great two queen room that faced Lake Michigan this time.  Usually we face the river or the park so this was nice change. It was fun to watch the pier light up at night.

View of Navy Pier from Radisson Blu

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We have a mansion room with the blue carpet and black bathroom.

Radisson Blu 2 Queen Mansion Room

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Radisson Blu Mansion Bathroom

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I love the lobby with the long fireplace!

Radisson Blu Lobby

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And one afternoon we grabbed lunch to go just to run into housekeeping in our room.  So we found a nice quiet area on the third floor to eat our lunch with some couches, tables and chairs.  Its near some conference rooms but the area was empty on a Saturday.

Radisson Blu 3rd floor common area

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More information here:

We stayed two nights on points so the total cost was 50,000 points for our stay.

Radisson Blu Chicago

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Best Western Saugatuck Hotel

There are a few tourist towns we like to visit in the winter.  The prices of the area hotels are over half off summer rates.  There are still many things to do and see even if there is snow on the ground.  Saugatuck is one of those towns we visit in winter!

The Best Western Saugatuck is over $150 in the midst of summer.  But winter rates are as low as $70 with a AAA discount.

The hotel has just been freshened up over the winter.  There is new carpet and paint through out.  We liked the new look!

Best Western Saugatuck

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We had a two queen room facing the back woods on this stay.  On the third floor so we can sleep quieter without hearing people above us.  I appreciate the large bathroom and the table with two chairs.  When we take food back for a snack its nice to have a table.

Best Westetn Saugatuck

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The large pool are has several tables and chairs for families.  And a large hot tub off to the left side.

Best Western Saugatuck

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We stay here a couple of times during the winter for an easy weekend getaway!

More information can be found here:

3457 Blue Star Highway
Saugatuck, Michigan, 49453-9400

Phone: 269/857-7178


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Club Carlson Promo Reminder Until March 29

Planning a three night stay between now and March 29th?

Earn 30,000 bonus Gold Points® for each Eligible Stay of 3+ nights. Earn 15,000 bonus Gold Points for each 2-night Eligible Stay.

Kick off 2015 with up to 30,000 bonus Gold Points per Eligible Stay! Now through March 29, 2015, register for the “Extend Your Stay, Earn 30K” promotion and you can earn 30,000 bonus Gold Points for each Eligible Stay of 3+ nights or 15,000 bonus Gold Points for each 2-night Eligible Stay at more than 1,000 Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide. Register today to take advantage of this rich offer exclusive to Club CarlsonSM members.

Terms and Conditions

You must be a Club Carlson member to participate in the “Extend Your Stay, Earn 30K” promotion (“Promotion”). Promotion is valid for Eligible Stays between January 12, 2015 and March 29, 2015 (“Promotion Period”). To be eligible to earn 30,000 bonus Gold Points for each stay of three or more nights, or 15,000 bonus Gold Points for each two-night stay, members must register online for the Promotion at, provide their Club Carlson number at the time of reservation or at check-in, and complete an Eligible Stay at participating Quorvus CollectionSM, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM hotels worldwide during the Promotion Period. Stays or nights paid for by redeeming Gold Points or by using Points + Cash are not eligible for this Promotion. Members only need to register once, but registration must be received before checkout of the first Eligible Stay to qualify.

More information can be found here:


This is a GREAT promo!!!!!  We are taking advantage of it for a local swim weekend for the girls.  You don’t have to leave the state to take advantage of these promos.

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March Walmart Beauty Box

I forgot about the Walmart Beauty Box subscription I have, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it in my mail box the other day.

March Walmart beauty box

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Will it be as good as the last box in October?  I really liked that box!!!!

Walmart March beauty box

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The Walmart beauty box seems to come seasonally, so 4 times a year.  For a spring box I was not too excited.  It was shampoo, conditioner, and lotion in the 1.7oz.  Lady Gaga Perfume and many single use small sample sizes for Olay, Burts Bees and a hair oil.  Nothing too exciting…

More information:

How does it work?

Each new season brings different product needs and a reason to refresh your beauty cabinet. In your Walmart Beauty Box, you’ll find sample beauty products and tips on how to use those and other items sold at Walmart and on Receiving your Walmart Beauty Box will be another reason to welcome each new season.

Here is a link to the October box review:

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Bonus Southwest Airline Miles with Best Western

Earn 1,800 points with Best Western® branded hotels

Best Western

With three types of hotels that offer amenities and services to meet your individual travel needs, finding the right hotel is now easier than ever. From a traditional BEST WESTERN® to BEST WESTERN PLUS®, and BEST WESTERN PREMIER®, all hotels offer a welcoming experience among clean and comfortable surroundings, with the amenities to ensure a restful and productive stay. At each property you can expect free high-speed Internet, free local and long-distance calls, breakfast available, and much more.

Stay now through May 1, 2015 and earn triple Rapid Rewards® points for each qualified stay. That’s 1,800 points, instead of the standard 600. You must be a member of Rapid Rewards® and Best Western Rewards® to take advantage of this offer.

How to earn:

  • If you’re not yet a Rapid Rewards® member, enroll now.
  • If you’re not yet a member of Best Western Rewards®, enroll now.
  • Make sure your earning preference at Best Western Rewards® is for Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards®.
  • Register for the Spring Promotion at and stay by May 1, 2015.
  • Book your hotel on or between March 1, 2015 and May 1, 2015.
  • Stay at any Best Western branded hotel in the United States, Canada, or the Caribbean between March 1, 2015 and May 1, 2015.

Terms and Conditions
Individuals who (a) have enrolled in the Best Western Rewards program; (b) have chosen Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Points as their earning preference; (c) register for the Spring Promotion on between March 1, 2015, and May 1, 2015 (“Promotion Period”); (d)  have a qualified* stay at any Best Western branded hotel in the United States, Canada, or Caribbean Islands during the Promotion Period; and (e) complete that qualified stay during the Promotion Period, will earn Rapid Rewards bonus points for the qualified stay (the 1,200 bonus points are in addition to the 600 base points for a total of 1,800 Rapid Rewards Points for each qualified stay).  There is no limit on the number of bonus points a qualified individual can earn under this Promotion.  BEST WESTERN REWARDS ENROLLMENT, PROMOTION REGISTRATION, AND SELECTION OF RAPID REWARDS POINTS AS EARNING PREFERENCE REQUIRED PRIOR TO THE FIRST QUALIFIED STAY.  Enrollment into the Best Western Rewards program and registration for the Promotion can be completed at

*A “qualified stay” for the purpose of this Promotion is defined as one or more consecutive nights at the same Best Western branded hotel at a rate eligible for earning Rapid Rewards points through Best Western Rewards. Only one check-in/checkout permitted per qualified stay. Qualified stays, which take place during the Promotion Period, but have a checkout date that overlaps the ending of the Promotion Period, will be counted towards the Promotion.

Promotion may not be valid with other offers, promotions, or discounts. Promotion is subject to cancellation or change without notice. Please allow six to eight weeks for bonus points to post after completed stay. Bonus points do not count toward A-List, A-List Preferred, or Companion Pass qualification. All Rapid Rewards rules and regulations apply.

All Best Western Rewards Program rules apply.  Visit for complete Program terms and conditions.

Each Best Western® branded hotel is independently owned and operated. Best Western and the Best Western marks are service marks or registered service marks of Best Western International, Inc. ©2015 Best Western International, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Birchbox March 2015

I order Birchbox to try new items and to have a bunch of travel sized items on hand.  Plus I like getting happy mail, not just magazines and bills.

March 2015 Birchbox Creativity

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I was very happy with this Birchbox.  A great mascara, perfume, shampoo, hair oil and cheek shimmer.

Birchbox March 2015

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Daughter grabbed the cheek shimmer and kept that item.  The perfume is not my favorite but its nice to try something different.

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Double Tree Holland Michigan

We ended up crashing at the Double Tree in Holland when snow forced us off the highway.  No one as going anywhere that night and many people were hitting hotels.  We quickly went online and booked a night at the Double Tree in Holland.  When we drove up a little later we were given our cookie at check-in and off to our room.

Being pretty full we were given a 4th floor room facing the highway.  No big deal, I did not hear highway noise at night and with the snow the road was pretty empty.

We had a standard two queen room.

Being more of a conference hotel they had a desk instead of a table in the room.

They had a great pool area that we wished we had been able to use.  Not planning on a stay we did not have our suits with us.  There is a hot tub and ping pong in the area.

Being Gold I had free breakfast in the am.  This was the highlight of our stay, sad but true.  The waitress was very friendly and efficient.  The french toast bake, bacon, fresh berries and potatoes were very good.

Double Tree Holland breakfast

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Why was breakfast the highlight?  Its the little things…

I severely dislike having the back of the tv remote dangling each time you pick it up.  And if you remove it the batteries fall out when you set if down. (Tried it and didn’t want to shlep out to the front desk for some tape in my pj’s.)  Housekeeping had to have touched the remote at some point right?

And then later when I was chilly I attempted to quickly run a bath to soak my cold feet.  The hot water pressure on the 4th floor was very low.  It took well over 20 minutes to get that tub 1/4 of the way full.  I gave up at that point and soaked my feet/ankles for a bit while reading on the edge of the tub.

Now these things really are not that big of a deal unless you are crabby from a snow storm.  Add in an idling snow plow driver at 4am right under your window and you can see how breakfast was the highlight of my stay.

Would we stay again?  I will say yes to any port in a storm, the Residence Inn was full so I ended up here.  IF we had our suits and planned to swim the night in the pool followed by a tasty breakfast again then yes.  Otherwise I think I will pass in the future.

More information here:

650 East 24th Street, Holland, Michigan, 49423

Regular rate is $119 a night or $113 with a AAA card.



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The Dish

There are a few items my family asks for over and over.  This is one of those easy dishes that my Daughter just calls it “The Dish”.  Its one of her favorites apparently and so easy!

2 pounds chicken breast

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup

Bread crumbs

Favorite Cheese: Swiss, Colby Jack, Cheddar, whichever

Place the chicken in the bottom of the pan.  IF you remember put the cheese on the chicken now. Depending on your time you can either mix the soups before hand or just dump them both on the chicken.  On top of the soup pour the breadcrumbs and the cheese if you forgot it earlier like I did.

The Dish

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See how easy it is!  Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.

The Dish Finished

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We usually serve this with rice to soak up some of the soup.

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Butler Restaurant in Saugatuck

We have never tried the Butler Restaurant before in Saugatuck. Walked past it, looked at a menu but never gave it a try.  We decided to change that on our last trip.

We were seated off to the side of the restaurant with a nice lake view.  Our waitress was prompt and told us about the Rainbow Trout Special.  Husband’s eyes light up, he does enjoy trout!

We started with stuffed mushroom caps before dinner.  They were filled with crab and garlic and then covered in melted cheese.

Of course Husband ordered the trout…

Daughter had the Lobster Mac-n-Cheese for her meal.

And I went with the smaller cut of prime rib.  I do love a good prime rib and this one had great seasoning.

Sorry the pictures were off, the sun was starting to set over the water and it threw the lighting off.  And Husband hates it when I take food pictures so I had to rush.

The prices seemed to be on par with the area.  $14 for Lobster Mac-n-Cheese.  We had great service and everyone was full.  The history on the building is interesting.  Built in 1892 it was a steam mill, then a hotel and now a restaurant.

More information here:

40 Butler Street Saugatuck, MI 49453
Telephone: 269-857-3501

Monday – Thursday 11:00 am – 9:00PM
Friday & Saturday 11:00 AM – 10:00PM
Sunday 11:00 AM – 9:00PM

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