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  • Quaint, Quirky and Colorful … The Madonna Inn

    Quaint, Quirky and Colorful … The Madonna Inn

    Quaint, Quirky and Colorful … The Madonna Inn shatters the illusion that all hotels look alike. The Madonna Inn’s humble beginnings started in 1958.with only 12 rooms but quickly expanded. Sitting on 2200 acres, the architecture and construction encompassed all the natural resources found on the property including the rocks, some of which weigh in excess of 200 tons each.
    Now boasting 110 rooms, individually designed and decorated so that each is unique, you can opt for a different experience each time you stay. Throughout the inn you’’ll find etched, leaded windows & glass work all custom made as well as custom crafted wood carvings. The hand carved balustrade in the dining room was originally from Hearst castle and the 28-foot gold tree fixture that sits in the main dining room is made of excess electrical conduit from building projects and left over copper remnants.

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  • La Dolce Vita … The Sweet Life

    La Dolce Vita … The Sweet Life

    On Santa Monica Boulevard, a little Italian restaurant, La Dolce Vita “The Sweet Life” sits unassumingly since 1966. While outwardly it’s unremarkable, inside it is the keeper of stories of some of Hollywood’s most notorious characters. Restored to it’s original glory during a 7 month hiatus, owner Alessandro Uzielli, clearly passionate about this rare treasure, resurrected the decor and menu that contributed to its previous success.

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  • Classic Tomato Sauce

    Classic Tomato Sauce

    The sign of a good  Italian restaurant is a classic tomato sauce. La Dolce Vita, on Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills, CA is  a little Italian restaurant  that has been there unassumingly since 1966. While outwardly it’s unremarkable, inside it is the keeper of stories of some of Hollywood’s most notorious characters and the food is an event in itself to be enjoyed, encompassing all of your senses. Family sized Recipe Ingredients 5 pounds of fresh tomato Bring to a boil let [...]

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  • National Pecan Day! Celebrate with Pie #Recipe

    National Pecan Day! Celebrate with Pie #Recipe

    It’s National Pecan Day! Celebrate with Pie #Recipe … This time of year has us all dreaming of the South. Sunny skies, gentle warm breezes are enjoyed from a chair on the front porch while sipping sweet tea as we share stories with friends & family. We’re all feeling a little “Steel Magnolia” stirring in us as we anticipate the coming spring. In celebration of all things southern, we’re exploring all your favorite non-yankee places, people & tradition on today’s #Nuts “therapy session”. So in preparation, we offer up one of our favorite gifts from south of the Mason-Dixon line. It’s from a cookbook by Fannie Flagg, “The Whistle Stop Cafe”. We guarantee, you’ll love it.

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  • Aloft Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama is Swanky and Soho Chic

    Aloft Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama is Swanky and Soho Chic

    The Aloft Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama is swanky and Soho Chic. When you arrive at you feel like you’ve just come home to your stylishly luxurious loft apartment in the hip part of town. Nestled within a trendy little area called Soho Square in the suburban city of Homewood, we found our home away from home.

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  • Homemade Apple Pie #recipe

    Homemade Apple Pie #recipe

    What better way to celebrate National Pie Day than with a BIG slice of Homemade Apple Pie! This recipe is the love child of Vicky Akins, who for years has taken these sweet offerings to the employees of her local pharmacy, bank and other offices enough times that THEY now remind her when it’s time to start baking.  A true testament to a good flaky pie crust!  The Best Evah pie crust recipe 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1 tsp. salt [...]

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  • Fast and Easy Appetizers #Recipes

    Fast and Easy Appetizers #Recipes

    Fast and easy appetizers: One of my favorite things about holiday parties is the variety of foods you usually have to choose from. A table is laid out before you, with so many choices, you literally take a spoonful of everything, just so you can taste it all.  Our brains know it may be a long time, before we get to taste some of these items again, so we make sure we get a bite of everything.  So one of [...]

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  • Orange ya glad it’s fall! Hungarian Apricot/Walnut pastries #SundaySupper #Recipe

    Orange ya glad it’s fall! Hungarian Apricot/Walnut pastries #SundaySupper #Recipe

    Sunday Supper! It’s a tradition in so many families, including our good friend Vicky Akins. When we found out this weeks #SundaySupper  theme was All Things Orange we knew this we just had to share  Vicky’s family recipe for Hungarian Apricot Walnut Pastries. This recipe has been passed down from generation to generation and is as rich in memories as it is ingredients….

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  • Flights: the good, the bad & the funny! #NUTS Recap

    Flights: the good, the bad & the funny! #NUTS Recap

    Q1. What is your favorite/least favorite things about airports?#NUTS SweetSoaps I like a pre-pat down free meal or promise of marriage. @FlyingPhotog Watching people & planes. @avgjomag We know they’re necessary; but the security check point is least favorite. They’re called pedicures for a reason! @ilivetotravel Least: rude ppl, crowds, lines Best: seeing int’l destinations on the boards & needing my passport!

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  • Dare to Dream with Andrea Metcalf author of Naked Fitness

    Dare to Dream with Andrea Metcalf author of Naked Fitness

    Dare to Dream! with Andrea Metcalf author of Naked Fitness. hen Andrea Metcalf, Chicago’s premiere celebrity fitness expert, journalist and author of “Naked Fitness” invites you to speak at her conference along with some of the most influential & successful women in social media, you don’t ask questions; you just go. Midlife Road Trip’s own Sandi McKenna joined a virtual ‘Who’s who” of panelists that featured advice on everything from “Owning it” to “Blogging notes.” Organized with the goal of serving as an inspiration for business professionals, bloggers, aspiring career seekers and those who needed a rejuvenating change to help create their dream life, the messages began with similar themes.

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  • Royal Therapy #nuts The Sequel

    Royal Therapy #nuts The Sequel

    Q1. You are hereby proclaimed Royal Monarch of Earth. What shall be your 1st official act? #NUTS @avgjomag  first act would be NO TAXES @TheSuss  When I am King, Fridays will become part of the weekend! @ZipSetRachel Peace on Earth, of course @RockTique  #Nutella takes back that recently issued, ridiculous claim that it’s not as healthy as advertised. And peace, always peace @akaSwedishChef  I’d make tequila a world wide national drink

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  • Fireman’s Chicken, Cornbread and Mom’s Potato Salad #Recipe #Superbowl

    Fireman’s Chicken, Cornbread and Mom’s Potato Salad #Recipe #Superbowl

    Carol Remsburg is a long time friend of ours who describes herself as “Surrounded by water and lulled by the tidal pull”. A passionate wife, mother and friend, her blog title declares she is “Tidewater Bound- where amid the murky depths of an ordinary life are found joy.”  Although she feels her life is ‘ordinary’, her passion for food and cooking certainly are anything but. She told us she cooks in large quantities so she doesn’t have to prepare new meals every [...]

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  • Meet Annette Starbuck, Goodie Girl and Winner of Food Network’s ‘Cupcake Wars’ #Recipes

    Meet Annette Starbuck, Goodie Girl and Winner of Food Network’s ‘Cupcake Wars’ #Recipes

    Annette Starbuck, the multi-Award Winning Founder of Goodie Girls and Winner of Food Network’s ‘Cupcake Wars’, has a joyous passion for creating a variety of baked delights.  Even though Annette never actually enrolled into any institutional Culinary Programs or attended Culinary School, she’s achieved acclaimed success through her seasoned personal experience and pure creative determination. She was gracious enough to share her story AND two of her mouthwatering cupcake recipes with us. 

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  • Water Cooler Talk #Nuts Recap

    Water Cooler Talk #Nuts Recap

    Q1. The best/worst job you ever had.. #NUTS @jamiemorgancda  Taco Bell dishwasher @Shrimp13   Worst was a tie between sandblasting heavy equipment and bartender at a scary dive bar Best is working@maddenmedia @mwyche2  . Worked as a volunteer at a mental facility @allaboutmexico  Best: working as a dive guide in Cebu, Philippines. @JeffCutler – worst job, worked six hours at Burger King. Got promoted twice during one shift. Quit next day. Best job – current one

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  • Guilt free peanut butter cookies #Recipe

    Guilt free peanut butter cookies #Recipe

    We have a confession. We are cookie junkies.  But as our age increases, our metabolism may decrease, resulting in some necessary sacrifices. Sugar may be one of those sacrifices. Bye, bye cookies, right? Wrong.  Recently we went on a quest for a  cookie.that wasn’t loaded with sugar but WAS loaded with taste. While it was thankless work, we scoured the Internet combing through recipes in search of one that omitted the most horrible ingredient of all: GUILT! 

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