Long Live Summer!!

Exploring Seaport Village | Boys Ahoy

Labor Day kind of marks the end of summer and beginning of fall for most, but for us it means hotter {really HOT} days to come. It make me miss the cool, crisp fall nights we used to enjoy in Utah so, so much. I’ll try not to complain about how much I miss fall weather since we get to play at the beach and pool year round :) 

Typically we would take advantage of Brett having a day off from work to go to the beach as a family, but for Labor Day last week we decided to explore where we live a little and headed to Seaport Village with friends for the day….
Exploring Seaport Village | Boys Ahoy

Exploring Seaport Village | Boys AhoyExploring Seaport Village | Boys AhoyExploring Seaport Village | Boys AhoyExploring Seaport Village | Boys AhoyExploring Seaport Village | Boys AhoyExploring Seaport Village | Boys AhoyExploring Seaport Village | Boys Ahoy

Does the magic of a courosel ever die?! Even with a slight breeze from the bay, the heat was pretty unbearable. Hence, the sweaty, shiny-faced photos 😐 

We enjoyed an air-conditioned lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, but skipped the cheesecake so we could stop at Frost Me {gourmet cupakes!} before leaving. 
seaport-village-6Exploring Seaport Village | Boys Ahoy

Exploring Seaport Village | Boys AhoyExploring Seaport Village | Boys Ahoy

The S’mores Cupcake my favorite, and Graham’s too. Chocolate cupcake with a graham cracker crust + marshmallow cream filling + chocolate ganache + frosting + a homemade toasted marshmallow. Just, whoah!! seaport-village-11Exploring Seaport Village | Boys AhoyExploring Seaport Village | Boys Ahoy

Long live summer San Diego!! 

SHOP | EAT | PLAY |  at Seaport Village. Don’t forget to eat some cupcakes too!

Balboa Island

Things to do in Balboa | Boys Ahoy

A few weekends ago Brett took the day off of work (for his birthday!) and we headed to Balboa Island for the day. It’s about an hour from us and it’s been on my bucket list since we moved to San Diego a year ago. We didn’t really have an agenda other than to explore and just have fun….and eat a Balboa Bar 😉

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Hershey Chocolate Immersion Day


Back in July, I hopped on a plane and flew across the country (literally) to Hershey, Pennsylvania for a quick blogger trip with The Hershey Company  I got to visit the “Sweetest Place on Earth”, this chocolate lover’s dream :)  I was seven months pregnant, it was a whirlwind of a trip packed into just over 24 hours, but so educational and fun. 


I love meeting new bloggers, making new friends and connecting with old ones, it’s probably the best part of my job! 

The bloggers that attended were Vanessa of De Su Mama, Kath from Kath Eats Real Food, Katrina from In Katrina’s Kitchen, Angie from  Little Inspiration, Richard from Single Dad and Cook Like a Dad, Annalise from Completely Delicious, Cara from Big Girls Small Kitchen, and Jeanette from Jeanette’s Healthy Living.


The first night there we enjoyed a nice dinner followed by chocolate liqueur tasting in the Chocolate Lab.  We learned all about different sources for cocoa beans and the different flavors they produce.  Just look at that giant cocoa bean.  

milton hershey

One of the most interesting parts of the trip was learning about the history of Hershey, its founder Milton Hershey, and the legacy he’s left behind.  

Day two was all about creating chocolate, creating caramel, and even more taste testing.  


hershey collage

We got to have a live Q&A with several of the experts who work at Hershey, discussing the quality of ingredients Hershey products are made with, how they are sourced, cocoa projects, sustainability initiatives, how Hershey is meeting special dietary needs, innovations, and manufacturing.  I’ll be touching more on some of these topics in future posts (but don’t worry, all include delicious chocolate recipes too!)


The last thing we got to do before heading home was visit Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction.  This is where I spent my life fortune on chocolate.  Just kidding.  But I bought lots of chocolate, treats and toys for the fam! Hershey really is the sweetest place on earth and this place was swarming with kids and families.  It was such a great ending to the trip! 


This trip was sponsored by The Hershey Company! All opinions are my own. 


Chocolate Peanut Butter Lust Pie {with a cake mix pie crust!}

 This post is sponsored by Duncan Hines.  All opinions are my own!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lust Piemain

A few weeks ago I got to spend a very quick weekend at the Duncan Hines test kitchen in Parsippany, NJ.  A group of bloggers attended along with some contest winners for Duncan Hines’ Spring Bake-off.  It was a quick, whirlwind of a weekend but we were able to learn from Duncan Hines’ head pastry chef, a professional cake decorator from Wilton, and each other.  

We were spoiled with good food and lots of treats all weekend! 10 pounds gained, easily.  And well worth it:) 

Here’s a peek at the weekend….

This is where we slept. 


 This is the star treatment we received upon arriving at Duncan Hines (inside Pinnacle Food Group headquarters)  Red carpet and all.  


Inside headquarters, a little store showcasing all of the Pinnacle Food Group products including Duncan Hines cake mixes. Cute right? 


 Cool wall art displaying the Pinnacle group brands.  

DH9The fun people I got to hang out with! 

dh8This is how I gained 10 pounds…


Cake decorating demo with Wilton. It gave me hope:) 


And this would be Chef Joe- Duncan Hines’ head pastry chef.  He taught us all kinds of cool tricks and had us laughing all day long. 


Learned how to make these fancy desserts and how to decorate with chocolate!  

DH4And he taught us how to make a pie crust out of cake mix too!  Yep, you heard me.  You can make a pie crust out of cake mix!  All of your pie-crust-making fears have been put to ease with a cake mix. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lust Piemain2

 Simply take a cake mix, one egg, three egg yolks, and a tablespoon of butter to make a basic pie dough.  One cake mix will make two pie shells so divide the dough, roll it out flat, and press each into a pie pan.  

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lust Pie

Bake and voila! You have pie crust.  It’s meant to be used as a pre-made crust!  

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lust Pie-2

You can see I made a chocolate crust, and filled it with chocolate pudding, peanut butter whipped cream, and some hot fudge.  

A little slice of heaven with a chewy, chocolaty crust.  Thank you Chef Joe, you’re a genius.  
Chocolate Peanut Butter Lust Pieone And thank you Duncan Hines for an incredible trip!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lust Pie
Yields 2
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For the Crust
  1. 1 Duncan Hine's chocolate fudge cake mix
  2. 1 egg
  3. 3 egg yolks
  4. 1 tbsp butter
For the filling
  1. 1 (4 oz) package instant chocolate pudding
  2. 1 pint whipping cream
  3. 1/4 cup peanut butter (add more to taste)
  4. 2-3 tbsp powdered sugar
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. hot fudge sauce
Make the pie shell
  1. 1. In a mixing bowl beat cake mix, egg, egg yolks and butter together until a dough is formed.
  2. 2. Divide dough into two equal parts. Roll each out on a piece of parchment paper, then press into two 9" round pie pans. Let chill for 1 hr.
  3. 3. Bake at 350 for 18-25 minutes (don't over cook)
For the filling
  1. 1. Prepare the pudding according to package directions, whisking in 3 cups cold milk. Place pudding in the fridge to set up.
  2. 2. Beat whipping cream until slightly thickened but not quite soft peaks. Whip in peanut butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
Fill the pie
  1. 1. Once the shells have baked and cooled, divide chocolate pudding between two pie shells. Spread peanut butter whipped cream over the top of each.
  2. 2. Drizzle with hot fudge. Chill for another hour before serving. Store in fridge, covered.
  1. Thanks Chef Joe for the pie crust recipe!
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