Applebee's New Wood-Fire Menu and a GIVEAWAY!!!

Hi Dolls,

Applebee's recently announced its new American-made, wood-fired grills as a centerpiece in several of their locations around the country.  I was recently invited to one of the local Applebee's to try some of the new items off of their new hand-cut, wood fired grill menu and couldn't have been more excited as these items, including Top Sirloin and Bone-In Pork Chops, highlight the new elevated quality, flavor, and freshness of their dishes.
Before I get into the wood fired items we had, I would be remiss if I didn't show you my absolute favorite appetizer from Applebee's.  These are the grilled chicken wonton tacos!  They are made with spicy grilled chicken stuffed in wonton shells and topped with slaw and cilantro.  Delicious!
 We also tried the sriracha shrimp which are similar to the bang bang shrimp we all love!  The shrimp are slightly fried and tossed in a BBQ spice and sriracha chili lime sauce.  They were equally delicious.
 We also decided to get the Strawberry and Blueberry Quencher  Lemonades as our drink!  All I can say is that this is the perfect summer drink.  Not too tart, not too sweet, and there are real slices of fruit in them.  
  Ok, now on to the new wood-fire items we indulged in! 
First off, you have to know that every cut of meat is done in house by professionals to ensure the optimal thickness of meat before hitting the grill!  
This was the 8oz USDA Select Top Sirloin.  It was cooked medium, was very tender, and had the right amount of seasoning!  The co-star of this dish was definitely the four cheese mac and cheese.  It was oozing with cheese!  The crumbles of bacon on top was a plus too!
 This dish was the cedar-grilled salmon with maple mustard glaze!  It comes with sauteed spinach and we ordered a side of the new fire-grilled veggies.  The glaze on top of the salmon was phenomenal and so were the grilled veggie!
We were thoroughly impressed with our dishes from the wood-fire grill menu!  You could really taste the flavor from the wood.  Everything was fantastic.  
Some of the other new wood-fired menu items include:  Hand-cut Bone-In Pork Chop with Honey Apple chutney which I hear is amazeballs, and the Grilled Chicken Breast which you could never go wrong with!

Applebee's graciously agreed to sponsor a giveaway for a Dinner For Two, gift certificate to one of my fabulous readers!  There are a couple of stipulations and rules for the giveaway.
1.)  The gift certificate will only be valid at Applebee's locations owned and operated by Doherty Enterprises in Florida and Georgia. 
2.)  Comment below telling me which new grill item and sides you would be the most interested in trying!  Leave your email address as well.
3.) Of course, you should be a follower of mine here and on any of my social media pages to be qualified for the giveaway.
That's it!  The giveaway will run until next Thursday and I will notify the winner next Friday, June 3, 2016.
 To end on a sweet note, this was just a little something extra because you can't have a meal with out dessert, right?!?!?  It was the Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sundae and it was seriously EVERYTHING!!!  I am definitely going to hit the gym up hard this weekend!
Applebee's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
As always, thanks so much for stopping by!
Have a fabulous weekend!

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Hang In There Teachers!

Hi Dolls!

With the school year coming to a close, it is getting harder and harder to put any effort into dressing nice for work, let's just be real!  Hitting the snooze button 5 times every morning is becoming the norm and the mad rush to get dressed and out of the house in time has been a real struggle.  However, if you follow my Instagram (here), you may have seen that I was recently featured in this school year's yearbook as the "Best Dressed" female teacher!  What an honor right!  Especially knowing how us teachers traditionally get a bad rap for having no dress code!  With that being said, I decided to make sure I dress nicely for the rest of the school year!  I would hate for anyone to be like "That's who got best dressed?" haha! 
Soooo... to be completely honest with you, this morning I was rushing, yet again,  and grabbed the first thing I put my hands on! I didn't even put on a watch, which is a must for me! My arm felt naked all day!  However, my eyes landed on these shoes!  
I have had these fabulous oxfords for almost two years and have never worn them.  I know right!  I normally wear a regular pair of black flats with this top but I decided to spice things up a bit a threw on these!  The next time I wear this I'm going to throw on a colorful necklace to brighten up the look!
This outfit is a little "matchy-matchy" with the shoes matching the top and the shoulders matching the pants but hey, this look for school was perfect!  To my surprise, the oxfords were really comfy and I received tons of compliments! I really can't tell you why I've never worn them before but now that I have, I can think of plenty more outfits to throw together to get more wear out of these baddies! 
Teacher's SideNote:  As I reflect on this school year, it has been one of the best year's to date!  It helps that the school I'm at is pretty awesome from the faculty down to the students!  
Ok, back to this look!  I added my new favorite sunnies here because as you can see, the good ole' Florida sun is out and shining brighter than ever.  I really, really LOVE these shades!  I talked about my obsession with them here.  You should totally go back and read about it!
As summer break nears, I'm thinking about all of the fun, light and bright clothes I want to wear.  I don't know about you but when it's scorching outside, all I want to put on are dresses and rompers because they're no-fuss and are always cute and in a large variety of styles and colors!  What are your favorite things to throw on during the hot summer months?
Top: Ms. Mulligan's Consignment Boutique (here
Sunglasses:  ZeroUV (here)
Pants:  Marshalls (similar)
Oxfords:  ShoeDazzle (sold out)
Like, most ALL teachers, I am yearning for summer!  Especially because of the amazing trip I'm going on in a few short weeks.  Stay tuned for that!  It is definitely something I'll be adding to my "Bucket List" page! 
Speaking of Bucket Lists, have you had a chance to check out mine and do you have one yourself!  Mine is ever-growing!  Check it out here!  What's on your bucket list?  Do you have any big plans for the summer?   
As always, thanks so much for stopping by!

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Timoti's Seafood Shak (Riverside)

Hi Dolls!
I'm just going to give you a moment to take this in....
Do you see this basket of seafood goodness above?!?!? Yeah, it is as good as it looks!  Timoti's (pronounced Tim "O" Teez) Seafood Shak is one of the latest additions to the Five Points area, serving up all of your seafood favs!  The first time I visited Timoti's I had this shrimp basket!  It was full of shrimp, seasoned fries, and two hush puppies.  It's safe to say I was pretty full after my lunch.  I really love the fact that their fries are seasoned.  That's a major plus in my book! 
Now, I have read mixed reviews about this place but I've been a couple of times and enjoyed both visits.  I will say that there are other seafood restaurants I would recommend before Timoti's, but if you're in the area, it would be my recommendation for a quick seafood meal.  I love the open seating in the front of the restaurant.  It's great for people watching while dining.  Walking in, one of the restaurant features that can not be denied is the really cool ceiling!  One up for the contemporary look!
They have a nice selection of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic so we asked our cashier for her opinion on a good drink for us and she recommended this Passionfruit Hard Cider by Rekorderlig.  It was a nice compliment to our meal.  It reminded me of a wine cooler but in a can.  Nice and fruity, just how I like my mid-afternoon drinks! 
This time around I got tacos.  You can get your tacos fried, blackened, or grilled, with your option of corn or flour tortillas.  I got a blackened Mahi taco and a blackened Shrimp taco on flour tortillas.  I have to be honest, the tacos let me down a little bit.  They were filled with black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, jalepeno aioli, and a decent amount of fish and shrimp, but with all of that, the flavor was lacking.  It was beautiful to look at but I was left disappointed in the taste department.  
My friend got the Lobster Roll.  She said it was tasty and full of lobster meat on a buttery roll.  I tasted it and thought it was O.K. but I'm also not a huge fan of lobster so my opinion may be a little bias.
 The fried shrimp basket was on point, the tacos not so much but even though Timoti's was hit or miss, I'd go back in a heartbeat if I were in the mood for seafood and in the area.   All you'll really need is a little seasoning in your bag, shade.
Timoti's Seafood Shak - 5 Points Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
As always, thank you so  much for stopping by!  Have an awesome week!!!

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A Good Maxi for Saturday Shopping!

Hi Dolls,

I love maxi dresses as much as the next fashionista!  They are easy to throw on and still be cute and they are so versatile.  You can dress them up and down.  This is an oldie but I am still so in love with it. It's the length that I adore the most!  It goes all the way to the ground and I LOVE that!  This was actually an impromptu style picture moment.  I had no intentions on doing a post for this but my friend insisted so here you go! Enjoy!
Speaking of maxis, they are my go to for a Saturday of shopping and running around town!  How could you not like that?!?  What is your go to attire for shopping and running errands?
Maxi Dress:  Ross (old) (really cute one here)
As always, thanks so much for stopping by! 
 Have a fabulous weekend!!!

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Motion Sweets aka The Best Macarons In Town!!!

Hi Dolls,

Last weekend my friend, Krystle, and I decided to take a ride down to Five Points, a quirky area in Jacksonville with eclectic shops and eateries.  On our way to find some lunch we stumbled upon Motion Sweets!  I've heard of Motion Sweets before and I've been invited to a few NomNom events there but for whatever reason, I never had the chance to make it in.  It must've been devine intervention that Krystle and I walked into Motion Sweets because from now on I will be stopping in for a treat every time I go to Five Points!
The inside is a quaint patisserie perfect for the French confections and there is a Coffee Bar in the corner for you to help yourself to a cup o' Joe to go along with your treat. I was probably overly excited to grab a cup of coffee.  So much so that one of the owners, Adrian, told me "It's just coffee."  Hey, what can I say, I love the stuff!
  Ok, soooo I have a really quick lesson...I've read several reviews about Motion Sweets, all raving might I add, but one thing that seriously annoyed me was how people referred to these as "macaroons".  A macaroon is the bumpy, coconutty cookie.  It's delicious but completely different from a macaron.  A macaron is a little more elegant and requires more finesse to perfect.  They are more of a sandwich-like cookie with a delicate meringue filling that can come in a plethora of flavors.  End rant.
Now listen when I tell you that Motion Sweets has got it right over there in Five Points! They had some of the most unique flavors with Chicken & Waffles being the flavor that caught our eye.  If you're anything like me, you're probably thinking "but how???"  Let me tell you!  It was like I had a plate of Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles in front of me!  You could taste every element of chicken and waffles in that macaron and it was amazing!  
They had a nice selection of flavors from cotton candy to fruity pebbles!  Yes, fruity pebbles like the cereal!  You know me, I like trying new things so I definitely got the fruity pebbles macaron and it was wonderful.  It tasted like the yummy bowl of cereal I remembered from childhood.
If you're looking for more delicate flavors they have some that would pair nicely with a cup of tea, like Jasmine, Lavender, Rose, and Earl Grey.  
Now, if you aren't into macarons, we can't be friends.  Just kidding but seriously, if you're not, they also have a wonderful assortment of desserts from cupcakes to cookies.  I hear the red velvet cookie is to die for!  
We ended up purchasing several macarons!  They are relatively inexpensive and there were so many unique flavors we wanted to try them all.  Per the owners recommendations we got the cinnamon roll macaron as well.  AMAZEBALLS!  We thoroughly enjoyed them all!  They have a crispy outside and chewy center with lots of flavor!  They are the perfect little treat!
Motion Sweets Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Like I mentioned before, I'll be stopping in every time I'm in the area from now on!  They'd be perfect to have at a brunch or bridal shower as well.
As always, thanks for stopping by!
Have a great day!

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Flowers From Fatima

Hi Lovelies,

Spring is officially in the air!  The weather is HOT and the skies are beautiful here in sunny Florida!  So you know what that means, less clothing!  Less as in less layers.  Time for shorts, strapless tops, and cute sun dresses like the one I'm wearing here!
   I say this all of the time but having a blog has really changed the way I view certain things.  Take floral prints for example. I use to hate them but I think they're so feminine and cute now.  As a matter of fact, I've been incorporating floral prints into my wardrobe a lot lately.  These beautiful pink flowers are what drew me to this dress.
They really do make you feel girly and you know me, I'm always up for a quick twirl or two!  Remember this
For styling purposes, I didn't want to take away from the print in the dress so I added earrings and opted out of a necklace. Considering the large collection of shoes I have, I was shocked to find I don't have strappy pink or mint sandals which I would've preferred for this look.  These cute heels did the job though!  Note to self, find pink sandals asap.
For alternative styling, you can always add a cute blazer or cardigan to make it more appropriate for church or a nice dinner.  
On a side note, I like to wear more colorful lippies during the spring and summer as well!  I'm wearing Heroine by MAC toned down with a random nude from my makeup bag.  It made my lips the perfect pink I was hoping for.
To jazz your look up even more, try adding a pop of color to your hair like I did here!  It's spring, so why not go all out?!?!  I received these beautiful flowers from Flowers From Fatima and they were perfect for my outfit!  
Flowers From Fatima specializes in luxury hair flowers and accessories which are perfect to wear to this season's music festivals, beach weddings, spring celebrations, or just as another excuse to be super cute and girly!  
Her flowers compliment natural hair beautifully!  See for your self here.  I love seeing my natural sisters with these gorgeous hair accessories.  It accentuates their natural beauty in such a glorious way!
I'm really in love with my Flowers From Fatima.  They are beautiful and in my favorite color!  All of her products are made to order  and are inspired by hope, love, and positive energy.  
Hair Flowers: Flowers From Fatima (here)
Dress:  Windsor (similar)
Heels:  MJM Designer Shoes 
Lipstick:  Heroine by MAC (here)
So what fashion trends are you dolls looking forward to rocking this spring?  How do you feel about floral prints?
As always, thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a fabulous week!

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ThisChick's Kitchen

Hi Dolls,

Earlier this week I had the honor of attending a media dinner for Chef Rosaria Anderson of ThisChick's Kitchen!  Originally Chef Rosaria worked, catering, in the Jacksonville area under the brand ThisChickCanCook and recently opened up her restaurant in this cute little house off of 3rd street in Jax Beach. 
ThisChick's Kitchen marries Chef Rosaria's market and catering experience of "grab and go" with her passion for creating elaborate dishes for sit down meals.  Her brick and mortar restaurant is modeled after the restaurants in Italy, where she's from, that exist within people's homes.  This is exactly what we experienced.  We enjoyed a beautiful meal prepared from the heart and we "broke bread"  Thanksgiving style!  In addition to the daily service at the restaurant, Chef Rosaria offers cooking classes and Farm Fresh Feasts. 
 We enjoyed a Farm Fresh Feast this evening, where everything made was with what was freshest from the farm that week.  This included the tea that she made for us as well.  The meal we enjoyed was harvested less than 24 hours before we partook in it.
Before dinner, we took a quick walk around the restaurant and garden.  This has to be the most beautiful looking Rosemary I've ever seen! 
In the back of the restaurant is a "peace and healing" garden where Chef Rosaria grows some of the most unique crops including Aztec spinach and curry.  It's also an intimate space with a patio and table for guest to enjoy their meal outdoors.
The garden has a circular path that guests can walk around and meditate. ThisChick's Kitchen is located next door to a yoga studio so sometimes you may find people doing yoga poses in the garden.
This is what a curry plant looks like.  It smells amazing!  A couple of us spent the evening trying to figure out where the yellow comes in at from the curry powder we typically use to cook with.
I love that Chef Rosaria uses the freshest ingredients from the garden to cook with on a daily basis.  A notable mention is how she focuses on giving back to the community.  Not only does she purchase directly from local farms like Berry Good Farms, Alvarez Farms, Gyo Greens, Eat Your Yard JAx, and Homestead Farms, she gives 5% of her net income back to local food and educational charities.
Now on to the food!  After our quick tour around the facility we went back in to enjoy our family-style, sit down, mostly vegan dinner.  Chef Rosaria cooks for all dietary needs and lifestyles and primarily prepares meals that are gluten free and plant based and I've never tasted vegan meals so wonderfully prepared.  Here is some of what we enjoyed.
Lebanese Babaganoush:
I've heard of this dish before but I've never tried it before so I was really excited to do so tonight.  It was super fresh and tasty with very versatile flavors.  It was served with Local Florida tomatoes and Chinese chrysanthemum and micro basil salad.  There were also Nigerian olives which were amazing!
This dish was so fresh and delicious!  It was arugula and moringa tabbouleh with quinoa.  Quinoa has become a fast favorite of mine as of late. 
Phad Thai Kelp Noodle Spring Rolls:
This was my favorite dish of the eveneing.  These were almost too pretty to eat!  Chef Rosaria told us that their spring rolls are made with what they have available for the day and this particular day we had the pleasure of indulging in spring rolls made with watermelon radishes, salad turnips, carrots, and cucumbers.  It was dressed with butter crisp lettuce and borage flowers. Served with tamari, tahini, and sweet chili dipping sauce and a side of sticky curried coconut sushi rice.  Delicious!
BBQ Jack Fruit Taquitos:
This was probably the most unique dish of the evening.  The jack fruit was wrapped in root beer leaf and the fruit itself was shredded and cooked with BBQ sauce.  It resembled pulled pork.  If you didn't know any better, you probably would've thought you were eating meat.  The root beer leaf gave it a very distinct flavor.  The dish was beautifully garnished with fresh nasturtium flowers.
Collard Slaw:
This was the side dish for the jack fruit taquitos.  It was made with collards, carrots, and bird pepper mayo.  It was a nice, healthy twist on your average cole slaw.  It also had a nice crunch.  I really enjoyed it.
Broiled Bone Marrow:
So if you remember reading about my first experience with bone marrow here, you already know how I feel about the delicacy. feeling haven't changed.  I'm still not a fan but these were nicely prepared, topped with melted Romano cheese and fresh coriander flowers.  
Potato & Fennel Salad:
I did enjoy the potato salad that was served with the bone marrow.  It was made with quan yin potatoes and fennel bulb.  
Lamb Lollipops:
These babies were rubbed with cacao and coffee and served with mixed mushroom and balsamic onions.  They were slow cooked to perfection!  
Roasted Vegetables:
This beautiful dish was roasted and sesame seared baby beets. carrots, and purple yams.  This was my first time trying purple yams and they were yummy.
Brie and Fig Jam Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
This was one of my favorites of the evening.  It was made with roasted pear and goji berries on Community Loaves sourdough bread. 
Mini Chocolate Cupcakes:
These little delights were made gluten-free and were accompanied by maple syrup sweetened whipped cashew cream and mulberries (not pictured).  To wash it down, we also had a delicious cup of locally sourced coffee which was amazing.  There was also a coconut gluten free waffle filled with elderberry blossoms that I gobbled up before I could get a picture.  It was actually my favorite dessert and I was told it is the waffle used in their chicken and waffle dish which I am looking forward to trying on my next visit.
Thischick's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
This dining experience was different for me since I am typically a "carnivore"!  I have to admit that I truly enjoyed everything though!  I didn't really miss having the meat.  I guess it's true what they say "you are what you eat" because the dishes were all beautiful and you felt super healthy on the inside eating them.  This would definitely be a vegans paradise.  Next time you're near the beach, stop in at ThisChick's Kitchen for lunch!  You'll be glad you did!  To find out more about what's happening at ThisChick's Kitchen or how you can sign up for a cooking class, check out her website here or social media here.
Thanks for stopping by!
Have a great weekend!!!

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Hi! I'm Trice, a Jacksonville, FL based blogger. I LOVE shopping and all things fashionable and want to show everyone that "Teachers Have Style Too!"! I also LOVE to cook and enjoy dining out. Please enjoy my fashion and food experiences and leave a comment if you'd like.
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