January 2017 Goals

I know I’m a little late with the goals this month, I just have had so much to talk about here on the blog! I hope you all are having a great start to 2017. I bought my new planner, and have been busying myself with filling in important dates, birthdays, and events. (Yes I know I am a total nerd, I’m ok with it!)

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Several of you asked about my planner when I posted it on my Instagram story, and I love it. I got it from Amazon.

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You can find the exact one I got here: me & my BIG ideas Create 365 The Happy Planner, Hello Life, 18 Month Planner, July 2016 – December 2017 (I got it on sale because it starts with July 2016 and goes through 2017), or you can get just the 2017 version here: Create 365 The Big Happy Planner, Make Things Happen.

Goals. Goals goals. Ok, so you may have seen my post last week talking about creating goals in general. I hope it gave you something to think about, and maybe now you have created some goals for 2017 for yourself with some action steps. (If you missed the post you can check it out here.) Let’s take a look back at my December goals then move into my January ones, shall we?

December goals:

1.) Get unpacked: B+ While 99% of the boxes are unpacked, everything is not “put away” in it’s proper place. I need to get to organizing now that we have unboxed all the things.

2.) Be intentional and present this Christmas season: B- Eh. I really tried, but moving in to a new house, in a new state, right smack in the middle of the Christmas season makes it tough. We watched lots of Christmas movies, went to EK’s preschool program, Christmas eve church service, and had family come into town. However, it all just felt a little…rushed. I want to so badly do better next year.

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3.) Get into a workout routine: B- Again with the yes/no. I DID join Orange Theory fitness in December (blog post coming next week!) but that is only for two days a week. I also recently got pieces for a home gym (that post coming soon as well!) but now it’s more of finding time since Emma Kate is only in school three days a week. I need to workout more than those three days, so I have to figure something out to make it better. Right now I am thinking OTF twice a week, home gym twice a week, and a long run to make five workouts. Now to just get the timing right so I can actually do this…

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January goals:

1.) Organize my closet: We have an extra bedroom off of our master that I have dreams of making a “dressing room” for me. Since it’s not currently in the budget, Bobby and I are sharing the smaller master closet. We are trying to come up with a temporary solution, and I need to figure it out sooner rather than later, because I am just wearing the same 4 outfits over and over because it’s easiest. Ha.

2.) Fix my workout routine: I am determined to get this figured out and have a solid couple of weeks with it “working” for me. Once I do it I will be able to stick with it, so I just need to figure out what times and days work best for what workouts.

3.) Eat better: I know I’m being vague, but it’s because I’m not sure what I want this to look like just yet. Maybe only eating one treat a day? Only drinking water? Less snacking at night? Still trying to figure out the specifics. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my clothes are fitting a little tighter. Better eating coupled with a better workout routine should get me back on track, I just need to get the rest of the Christmas candy OUT of my house, and meal plan better. Sometimes convenience wins in our house and it’s not the healthiest choice. Better planning is key.

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That’s it for this month! I will check back in at the beginning of February to let you know how I did.

QOTD: What goals do you have for January? Did you meet your December goals?

Tampa Tuesdays: The Rock Spa at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa

Last week, I had the opportunity to have a little girls day with Megan at the Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa. Having just moved here, I had obviously never been before, and had no idea such a big, nice place was even in Tampa! The main attraction was massages at the Rock Spa. DiN3WsYHrqEDJ1V2qj_iFHw8N27oMi5peRqZaecl2h0pX92IB

Don’t you just love it when you walk into a spa and are instantly hit with the most wonderful smells? Well the Rock Spa definitely did not disappoint in that aspect or any other.

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We check in and were brought to the back where we were shown all of the wonderful amenities. There was a beautiful locker room with a hot tub, steam room, showers, and super comfy robes. 9F_G7KsZJbkcuS0m0OZI7U4rwN7rKOxjGRIN25Vnw9gpX92IB

We got changed and went to the relaxing waiting area to wait for our appointments. I enjoyed some lemon water while I waited, and before long I was greeted and brought to my room.

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I was getting a special treatment called Rhythm & Motion. This massage was very unique in that there was music playing above my head during the massage, and the sound also vibrated in the table. At first I wasn’t so sure about this, but the music wasn’t loud or annoying, and it all flowed together. I was also able to use an essential oil to use during the massage (lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, or orange) that deepened the relaxing experience even more. This was a 50 minute massage, and I wanted to note that it focuses mainly on the upper body.

After the massage was over (all too quickly!) I met back up with Megan in the locker room. My masseuse had given me a little treat to have post massage that I enjoyed before we dipped into the hot room and steam room. (Pictured below with the water is sorbet and a shot of tea).

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We would have loved to stay all day, but we had to head to up lunch at Fresh Harvest.

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I had never been here before but was super impressed! There was SO much variety and so much food. This restaurant features several live action stations where you can get made to order food like pasta and burger sliders, or grab your favorite pizza or sushi from other stations. There were so many things I wanted to try but there was no way I could fit it all!

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Especially since I was saving room for dessert. Candy, cakes and pies, crepes, and my favorite, milkshakes.

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I kept saying over and over that I have to take Bobby here, he would absolutely love it (that boy can eat!) It was such a fun treat to be able to have a girls day at the spa and then enjoy a quiet lunch together and catch up on life. everything was in the same building, easy to get to, and wonderful. I will definitely be back!

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**Seminole Hard Rock has just announced the opening of their all new Poker room! We got to take a sneak peek of it last week and it is beautiful. The room opens Thursday January 12th at 11:30. It features 46 tables, Wi-Fi throughout, and lots of very large TV’s for the sports fan. There is even a special room with two VIP tables, a bar, as well as a snack bar with seating for over 20. Also to note, Brad Garrett, (Robert Barone from one of my all time favorite shows, Everybody loves Raymond,) will be doing a ceremonial guitar smash before the venue opens to the public. How cool is that?!? If you are a poker fan, you will want to check out this beautiful new room.

QOTD: What is your favorite spa treatment?

Disclosure: I was provided with free services from Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, however all opinions are my own.

10 Years

Today marks a day that always seemed “so far away” when I first got married. Yup, Bobby and I have been married for ten years today.

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Back then when I thought about being married for ten years, I tried to think about what my life would look like at that point. It’s quite comical, because nothing looks as if I thought it would! Never did I think we would both be in the careers we are in, or that I would be living in Tampa. I also always thought I would have a ten year anniversary vow renewal. Maybe for 15? (Bobby is going to kill me).

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While many things look different and have changed, one thing remains the same. There is no one else I would rather share my years with than the guy I said “I do” too in New Orleans ten years ago tonight. Cheers to ten more years!

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For a full wedding recap with lots of pictures, check out this post.

QOTD: Are you where you thought you would be ten years ago? Favorite wedding cake flavor?

Get Paid to Be Healthy

I often hear people say things like “well if I got paid to workout I would do it more often!” What if I told you that there IS a way you can? For doing simple things like walking and writing healthy tweets and getting sleep. Um, yes please! Count me in! This is perfect with the New Year, because hopefully you are already moving more than you were in 2016. I recently stumbled upon an article about a new app called Achievemint that allows you to connect different fitness trackers and social media such as FitBit and Twitter, and it gives you points for certain healthy things you do. The points add up and turn into CASH. Yes, like money deposited into your PayPal account cash. Here is a screen shot to show you what I am talking about:

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So yesterday I did normal things like tweeted a healthy tweet, weighed myself, went to sleep, and walked around (NOTE: I wish I slept 9 hours ha! My FitBit read “laying in bed watching the Bachelor” as actually sleeping. Oops!) and checked my points at the end of the day on Achievemint. I am literally making passive income for just doing my normal thang.

There are so many apps you can connect, like your Garmin, Foursquare, Map my run, My fitness pal, FitBit, and Runkeeper (and lots more!) Connect your Twitter account to get points for tweeting health related things. It really is that easy.

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A few more details:

-You can earn up to 80 points a day for for tracked activity like running, biking, and walking.

-You can earn up to 6 points a day for posting healthy things on Twitter, or Foursquare.

-Points expire one year from the date in which they are earned

-Once you reach 10,000 points ($10) you can get paid! Holla!

**If you sign up for an account using my link, you will get 250 points to jump start you! (This is an affiliate link, but hey, you get rewarded, too!) Good luck and make that money!

QOTD: What apps would you connect? Ok, now go sign up, it’s free!

Dreaming Big in 2017

I have stated this before, but I have a love/hate relationship with the whole New Year’s resolution thing, and tend to veer more towards goals. As with everyone, the Christmas season was very busy, and I have not had a lot of time to sit down, reflect, and think about how I want to move forward in 2017. 2016 was a big year of change for us.

We moved to Florida, Bobby was gone for work for five months, we sold our frozen yogurt shop and our house, I wrote a book, and we now have a very active and talkative two year old. It took all of my energy just to keep my head above water, and I want to get back to some of the strategies I talk about in my eBook for creating more time, organization, and being less stressed out.

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I have a hard time letting go of control, and (I have talked about this before,) get bent out of shape when things don’t go exactly according to my plan (which tends to have a VERY high bar). I really need to learn to just let things go, and go with the flow more. With that being said, I also want to be careful to not sell myself short and just let EVERYTHING go, or I don’t think I would ever get anything done!

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I am a believer in dreaming BIG and believing in yourself, and that’s exactly what I want to do in 2017. I don’t want to be that person that looks at others and says “wow I wish I could (enter cool thing here) like her. She must be really smart/naturally gifted/better than me.” Hhhmmm. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of smart, naturally gifted and talented people out there, but don’t ever tell yourself you can’t do something because you weren’t born with a certain special talent.

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I firmly believe that if you are intentional with your time, dedicated and ready to work hard, you can do more than you ever thought imaginable (as I look in the mirror and say this to myself!) I also believe in baby steps, and not trying to overhaul everything in one day…because that never works.

So let me ask you a question. What do you WANT out of 2017? Like what do you really really want? Like want it so bad it keeps you up at night, and you worry that if you don’t reach this goal you will never forgive yourself. If there were no money restraints, time restraints, etc. If you could do anything, what would it be? Also next, what is ONE THING I can do today to work towards my dreams for 2017? Baby. steps.

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In order to help you with this, I think it’s a good idea to write this stuff down. Goals and dreams work best when they are measurable, so be sure to put timelines, details, and action steps in your plan. Don’t write things like “I want to lose weight”. (how much? by when? How do you plan to do this?) or “I want a new job” (by when? doing what? Where have you started looking? can you make certain contacts to help get you on your way?) Breaking your goals down helps them seem less daunting, and having a plan helps make things more manageable. At least it helps me!

Free fitness and goal tracking printables

Be sure to sign up to receive your free printables to help you with your dreams in 2017. Just click here and my fitness and goal setting printables (for things other than fitness!) will be delivered to your inbox! Friends, I am right there with you with big goals and dreams and figuring out ways to get there. Making a plan is step one. It’s an important step so don’t skip it. Write everything down and let’s get going. We are going to rock 2017!

QOTD: What goals do you have for 2017? Or go ahead and brag, what is something you accomplished in 2016?

Emma Kate Does Disney: Part 3

I left off part 2 with us going to bed Thursday night. Friday morning, my dad and I drove to Tampa to look at homes with the realtor while my mom stayed behind with Emma Kate. They went to Disney Springs for the morning while we were gone, and then the playground after nap.

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Dad and I also looked at a couple daycares and found one I loved. I found a house that we ended up putting in an offer on that evening, and after stopping at the grocery store in Celebration and then picking up pizza, we headed to the pool and met up with my mom and EK.. Eating pizza at the splash pad area while EK played was a nice relaxing time, especially after a crazy day house hunting. (there may have been wine involved, too. Ssshhh)

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On Saturday we got up early and headed to Animal Kingdom. EK loves animals, so I was excited to take her on the safari ride in particular. We had fastpasses and headed there first thing. It was a cool morning so the animals were all out and about and active. We even got to hear the male lion roar which I had never heard before.

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After that we walked through some of the zoo like areas, and then headed to the boneyard playground where we stayed for over an hour. I loved that it was closed in so I didn’t have to worry about Emma Kate running off.

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Girlfriend must have gone down the slides 100 times.

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We waited for lunch at Flame Tree BBQ and ate down by the water. We also rode triceratop spin and I really can’t remember what else.

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Emma Kate was getting super tired and so we decided to head back to the resort after lunch so she could get in a good nap.

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During nap my dad and I walked around the resort and even went to the hot tub for a little while.

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We had chef Mickey’s brunch reservations at 2:30, so we loaded up and headed to the contemporary for a late lunch/early dinner. I was so curious to see how Emma Kate would do with the fab five after doing just so-so with the Winnie the Pooh characters.

Stay tuned for next time to see how brunch went with Mickey and the gang!

QOTD: Favorite thing to do at Animal Kingdom?

Christmas Recap 2016

Christmas is over, my family has gone home, and it’s now officially the most depressing day of the year. Every year after Christmas I always want to instantly take down the decorations, because they just remind me of how far away next Christmas is. Anyway, I thought writing my recap would make me smile because we had a great Christmas.

We have to go back to Friday for the full recap. My dad, sister and I went to Clearwater beach while my mom stayed home and hung out with Emma Kate. I had never been before, and it was a beautiful public beach.

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We walked out on the pier, saw some huge pelicans, and just enjoyed the view.2016-12-23_10-15-18_911

We then went to lunch at Frenchy’s, and the weather was so gorgeous we were able to sit outside and look at the water while we ate.

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We had pizza for dinner, and sat outside on the back porch and enjoyed some Christmas music and wine.

The next day, Christmas eve, my dad, Bobby, me and Emma Kate went to the playground to get out of the house.

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We came back and the cooking and baking marathon began! I tried a couple new things this year that were a hit, as well as some old favorites.

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That afternoon, we got ready for the Christmas eve service at church.

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I loved how awesome it looked when we lit all the candles and sang silent night. This blurry photo doesn’t do it justice. 2016-12-24_16-40-04_445

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We got home, and ate in front of the TV because the Saints were playing Tampa Bay. We wore our new Saints PJ’s and just relaxed which was awesome.

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The Saints won, which made the night even better. Emma Kate went to bed, and the elves got to work!2016-12-24_19-50-03_588 (2016-12-26T00_48_49.502)

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Bobby read the Christmas story from the Bible, and I read ‘Twas the Night before Christmas.

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The next morning, sweet EK slept until almost 8:00! It was nice having some quiet time with coffee and family before she got up to open gifts. She was SO excited to see her Thomas train roller coaster!

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She has been such a good girl not touching the gifts under the tree for weeks, and couldn’t contain her excitement when I told her it was finally time. 2016-12-25_08-04-38_337 (2016-12-26T00_47_18.301)2016-12-25_08-15-33_6672016-12-25_08-28-41_5142016-12-25_08-38-33_747

Santa was good to Emma Kate, and she got tons of toys (thanks grammy and papa.) After gifts were opened, we had our traditional Christmas mimosas and ate a breakfast casserole that I made. 2016-12-25_08-59-18_6302016-12-25_09-27-06_102

My poor dad had foot surgery a couple weeks ago and we confined to his scooter.2016-12-25_11-30-29_028

We had a late lunch since Emma Kate slept so late, but enjoyed some delicious food. 2016-12-25_13-05-25_816

I will say it was SO NICE not having to hurry off and get dressed and go anywhere on Christmas. I stayed in my PJ’s all day with no makeup on and it was so nice and relaxing. 2016-12-25_16-23-48_423

That evening, we sat on the back porch and ate dinner, and then celebrated mom’s birthday! She is a Christmas baby and her real name is Mary. (Fun fact, her parents wanted to spell it “Merry”, but the nurses wrote it wrong on the birth certificate THANK GOODNESS.)

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After EK went to bed, we played Apples to Apples. It had been a few years so it was a fun time.

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The next day, I got up and went to Orange Theory, and then we all headed to the pool. It was a gorgeous 80 degree day, and Emma Kate was so excited we were all there.

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She went down the slide with daddy and aunt Christy, and made us all go over and over again.2016-12-26_11-01-04_963

We just relaxed that afternoon and sat on the back porch drinking wine. I haven’t put on real clothes or makeup since church on Christmas eve, and it’s been awesome. It was the most laid back Christmas we have ever had. Sadly, yesterday morning my parents went home (my sister went home the night before) and now I am trying to get the house back in order and get back to work. Sad smile I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas with friends and family and have lots of great memories to last forever!

QOTD: What was your favorite part of Christmas?

Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from the Montgomery family!

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Luke 2:9-11

9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

May the love of Christ be in your heart today and all year through. I love yall!

Support Your Health in the New Year

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It’s that wonderful time of year again! No, I’m not talking about the holidays…I’m talking about cold and flu season! Every year we get the dreaded time that strikes fear into the hearts of well, everyone. No one wants to get sick, but sometimes it seems unavoidable. Well, there may be some things you can do to support your immunity.

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1.) Drink water: Drinking water allows your kidneys to remove toxins from your body. So if you don’t drink enough water, toxins can build up and weaken your immune system. Drink up!

2.) Exercise regularly: Exercise is a great way to boost your immune system. Good news? You don’t have to do anything crazy to reap the benefits. Moderate activity levels will do just fine. Some research shows that physical activity may help flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways, which could potentially help reduce your risk of catching an illness.

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3.) Eat healthy foods: Some research has shown a link between immune function and certain foods. Bananas for example contain vitamins and minerals that can impact immune response. Cheese and other dairy products contain a natural component that has boosted immune response.

4.) Wash your hands: We all know that not everyone follows this practice, and we also know this can be one of your best lines of defense against getting sick. Especially after being in public or touching door handles, shaking hands, and being at the gym. Scrub scrub scrub!

5.) Cough or sneeze etiquette: I try to keep tissues in my purse and my car for those unexpected sneezes and coughs, but sometimes I forget and try to use etiquette by sneezing or coughing into my elbow, and not just out in the open air. Be mindful, especially when around others!

6.) Take Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotics: The “gut” is  the center of your body’s overall health. This can affect things like immunity and digestion. Did you know that 70% of the immune system is located in the digestive tract? I think that makes it important! Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotics deliver potent formulas with tens of billions of cultures, and multiple probiotic strains to help your immune health.probiotic

Probiotics are important for everyone’s health and Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora Probiotics offer different formulas for all of your family members. Renew Life Probiotics are available at health food stores and major retailers, including Target and Walmart. Visit RenewLife.com for more information.

 

QOTD: What am I forgetting? What do you to to support immune health during cold and flu season?

Tampa Tuesdays

Hello friends! Now that I am living in Tampa, I am slowly learning my way around (with and without Google maps) and trying to immerse myself in all things Florida and Tampa. Because Tampa is a MUCH bigger city than the one I came from in Mississippi, there is so much more to explore and to share with you all, so I decided to start a new series called “Tampa Tuesdays”. I probably won’t do this every Tuesday, but whenever I have something fun and new to share with you about Tampa, I will try to do it on a Tuesday. It’s actually a little deceiving because I will also share things from surrounding cities as well, but mostly focus on Tampa restaurants, stores, and experiences. I hope you will follow along as I explore my new area!

Today I wanted to share with you about an amazing restaurant called Pelagia. This restaurant can be found at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel.

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Bobby and I were invited for a special tasting of their Christmas and New Year’s Prix Fixe menus , which were created by Chef Brett Gardiner.You aren’t going to want to miss this if you are local! How it works is you get to create your own menu by selecting one starter, entrée, and dessert from the prix fixe menu. We didn’t experience all of both menus (that would have been way too much food!) but we got to sample items from each.

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We started with an appetizer plate which had smaller portions of four appetizers you can find on the special holiday menus.

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What I loved about the menu is that it paired ingredients together that I would never have thought to put in the same recipe, but they came out amazing! Bobby’s favorite was the duck confit with sunchokes, frisee, pomegranate, and port vinaigrette. (top of the photo). My favorite (which totally surprised me!) was the grilled pear, watercress, maple bacon, and walnut dressing. (Far right in the photo). The pear wasn’t mushy, and the bacon paired with it had the most amazing flavor. I must try tor recreate!

Next we were given four samples of the main course to try as you can see from the above menu. Bobby and I both agreed that the rack of lamb with the blackberry sage demi was our favorite. So tender and juicy.

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Lastly, we were treated with samples of four of the sweet desserts on the prixe fixe menus. Anyone who knows me knows I have a sweet tooth, so I was most excited about this part, and it did not disappoint.

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My two favorites were the apple crumble dessert at the top left, and the eggnog panna cotta at the bottom right. It’s always fun to have festive holiday desserts, and these hit it out of the park. (The other two were wonderful too with great rich flavoring, but if I had to pick…) As a chocolate lover, I was surprised my two favorites were non chocolate, but that just goes to show how amazing they were.

The restaurant was beautiful and easy to get to from the front of the hotel, and the staff was warm and friendly. Even the private dining room had a unique flair, and a fun and funky chandelier.

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Reservations are available for seatings from noon to 8 p.m. on Christmas day, and throughout the day for New Year’s eve. The cost for Christmas day is $45 for adults and $18 for children 13 and under. For the New Year’s meal, the cost is $70 for adults and includes a glass of Prosecco (which I can attest, is delicious as well!). Prices exclude tax and gratuity. Please call 913-313-3235 for reservations, or you can make them online here.

*Bobby and I were provided a free meal from Pelagia, however all our thoughts and opinions are our own as we explore our new city!