Saturday, December 1, 2018

December's Tales of the Traveling Tote and a Giveaway

Welcome to this quarter's 
Tales of the Traveling Totes,
where MacKenzie-Childs loving bloggers
take their beloved totes with them near and
far, and at the end of our tale, we offer
a MacKenzie Childs giveaway.

I am the host of the giveaway this December,
but more on that later.

Miss Madi K and I have some tales to tell!

We were not invited - can you believe that - 
on the family backpacking trip.  Hubby and I
used to go backpacking when we were first married.

I was young and foolish then and the tale I love
to tell is that we took back our wedding gifts
and exchanged them for backpacking equipment!

Gasp!!! I know that is hard to believe now, but it 
is true.  One nightmare trip after another, starvation,
getting lost, nearly getting killed in lightning storms,
and I was done.  )Truth be told, I found out there were
more luxurious ways to vacation!)  But the first part is
true too!!

Well, anyway, back to the story, I decided I would
got this year as my daughter had a new baby so
she couldn't go, which meant I didn't have to babysit,
but hubby said he didn't think I should.  I have had 
upper back stress since I was 14 and went through
the windshield of a car, and he didn't think I could
handle a backpack for that long.  I told him that I
knew he would carry it for me, but he said he wouldn't!
Hard to believe as nearly perfect as he is. Anyhow,
that is how this Tale of the Traveling Tote began.

My son who didn't go with everyone texted me
and said, "Dinner at Cheesecake Factory?"

I replied, "And overnight at the Grand America!"

So he and I and granddaughter Goldie headed up
to Salt Lake to party while Papa and the others were
out of town.

I have posted about the Grand America Hotel
in Salt Lake before. 

 It is like experiencing an
elegant Old World hotel, and our family loves it.

We love their breakfast buffet

which is elegant and delicious and one of our family
and friend traditions.

Now mind you, last year I was so good to the backpackers,
and I bought them dinners from Cheesecake Factory
and freeze dried them in my Great Harvest Freeze Dryer,
but this year I hadn't done that and instead, we kept texting
pictures like the above, saying things like,
"Did your bed sleep this comfy last night?"
"Is this what your breakfast looked like?"
"Did you have this kind of hot cocoa?"

We had a lot of fun teasing them, as they didn't
know we had decided to party while they were gone.

This was in late September and the flowers were 
still fabulous.

And Goldie decided she wanted to do all of the posing
with Miss Madi K.

These are all taken in their courtyard.  You can see
why it is so enchanting.

Goldie and Miss Madi K, and of course
Marcus and I really enjoyed their indoor pool.

It was a foodie weekend with eating twice
at Cheesecake Factory, the Grand Buffet,
and then we stopped at our favorite macaron
shop, Fillings and Emulsions on the way
out of town.

When Papa returned Goldie said, "Papa can you go backpacking
again really soon?!!"

I agreed!  No sitting home feeling sorry for
myself.  He said he was staying home next
year and going with us!

We have had a little difficulty
here at Purple Chocolat Home.
Miss Minnie M has gotten
very jealous of Miss Madi K, and
decided she wanted to be mentioned in
a post too.

She was wonderful running
all over Disneyland.

Now to the really fun giveaway.

 Patti found this fabulous
MacKenzie-Childs canvas tote bag
that is our giveaway prize this time.

Leave a comment below to enter to
win!  And tell me what you would 
like to tote in your new bag.
Wish I could win too!  The winner
will be chosen by midnight December 7, 2018.
Only US addresses will be eligible (sorry,
but due to postage we have to limit it.)

And visit all of our participants this time
and see where they and their famous totes
have been off to.

This will be Cherry Kay's first tale
with Miss Carrie Ann Hall, so be sure
to welcome her.

And come back March 1st when
we will have a fun and unique twist
on our traveling tales.

 with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women   


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. I had never heard of these bags until I began blogging and read one of these traveling tote posts. I have since grown to love the stories that come with them. I would probably carry some of my Pink Zebra items in this tote and have it with me daily. I also would travel with it as I love to go places. I hope to win this!!!

    1. I was introduced to all of the MacKenzie-Childs fun through blogging too.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful trip. Love Cheesecake Factory. I guess if I won the tote I would carry a book or two and maybe some small picnic items and go to the park for some quiet time.

  3. Jackie, this post melts my heart! Goldie holding your tote is the BEST!! Perhaps Joe and I will be able to check out the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake next August when we are there. Wishing you and your beautiful family a lovely holiday season. xo

    1. Ok, let me know the dates! We HAVE TO GET TOGETHER!

  4. Well, I'm with you and Miss Madi K - the Grand Hotel in SLC looked like the right choice! Oh my, such indulgence, I'm surprised Miss Madi K isn't all blown up with all those delectable choices of foodstuffs!
    One of the most fun things about reading these traveling tote tales is the creative writing that goes with it. Whether the distances are short or long, it doesn't matter, the tales are always so fun! Goldie looks ready to step into your shoes anytime, Nana, watch out!

    1. Yes, Goldie was a natural! Guess she has seen me with Miss Madi K before!!!

  5. I love reading all the wonderful traveling totes stories and see all the fun totes' adventures. I was so inspired that I visited and then I starting getting catalogs. Wow-wee! Amazing stuff!

    1. OOH, their furniture in their catalogs! And it is more amazing in real life - way out of my budget though, but so fun to peruse.

  6. Jacquline, What an adventure your early years of marriage were. Yikes, glad you came through it intact! I think you and little Miss Goldie found a great way to spend your time while everyone was backpacking. The hotel looks very luxurious and the food delicious so that gets my vote. Miss Minnie M is darling and so are those shoes, love! I love to backpack the way you do..........

    1. Haha I started out very willing, but I have learned there are better ways to vacation!!!

  7. Jackie... I think that darling Goldie is your "Mini Me." What a beauty and I can tell bursting with personality. It looked like the perfect getaway! I think you got the better end of the deal by skipping the backpacking! Have a great weekend!

  8. What a wonderful photo essay to enjoy with my coffee! I'd tote just about anything in that cool tote. Happy Holidays!

  9. Holy cow Jackie, I can't believe you traded in wedding gifts for backpacking gear! You are certainly living the opposite lifestyle now!! My husband and I bought a small inflatable boat that we would take to a local lake and go fishing, yikes, it's amazing what one does when young and in love!! What a very special time spent with your granddaughter and son! Much more fun than hiking and camping! You freeze dried meals last year for the backpackers??? You are too much!! Much better idea to enjoy grand surroundings and food this year and text them teasers!! Thanks for hosting the giveaway Jackie, and have a fabulous December!

    1. That's what I always say, "I was young and in love then!"

  10. Such a cute post with such a pretty model - the blondie, but the totes are pretty, too! (: I would fill my tote with wine snacks and head to Burnet to Torr Na Lochs for a bottle of Dolcetto and a view of the Texas Hill Country!

  11. I would love to win and I would love to go to Disney one more time in this lifetime and fill the bag with treasures of my trip to enjoy in my golden years.šŸ’

  12. What fun and wonderful photos of a treasured weekend! We are planning our first trip to the Hawaiian islands in April to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary and I know this tote would come in handy and be so stylish too!

  13. Goldie is adorable and is quite the model!
    The Grand Hotel looks like a fabulous place to stay. Great pictures of Goldie and Miss Madi K. showing the hotel.It would definitely be my choice instead of camping.
    I enjoyed your adventure and love all the TT posts.
    I was the lucky winner of a lovely bag last year so I don't need to be included in your neat giveaway.

  14. Oh quite the tales and quite the adventures the totes go on.
    As for what I would put in mine would be a book a magazine and of course my knitting. And perhaps some little pieces of chocolates. A girl has to have her chocolate.

    1. Yes, there is always a little chocolate in mine. Dove Chocolates travel so well and they don't throw the x-ray machines for a loop like other chocolates do.

  15. Well, I can tell you that Miss Merri Mac is in need of a cute model like Goldie. She is adorable! How fun to have a weekend with your grandmother in a grand hotel. I would definitely take that over a backpacking trip any time. Actually, I'd probably take anything over a backpacking or camping trip. I like my hot shower and my comfy bed! Seriously, I was laughing at your story about early marriage. We didn't take our wedding gifts back, but we did take half our savings to buy our sailboat. Our first overnight on the boat is another story. Suffice it to say, we decided to just be day sailors.
    Interesting side story about being thrown out the windshield when you were a teen. I have a similar story, but instead of the windshield, I was thrown out the back side window. Not a back injury, but a concussion and a little hair loss. šŸ˜³ I was very lucky!
    Your photos have me craving a cup of hot chocolate. Merry Christmas to you and your darling family. I know it will be special!

    1. Yes, I lost a lot of my hair from my kissing the windshield too! It is still weak back there and doesn't grow well.
      I would take a sailboat over backpacking gear, but what did I know!??

  16. Goldie is a perfect model for sure! Such a BEAUTIFUL smile!!!! Now, I would tote some things to Fl., as we are going for the month of Feb!!! First time doing this and am SO excited! It sure looks like you had a GRAND time:) Can I be your granddaughter too???:):)

    1. Yes you can, but you have to take me to Florida with you for the month!!! Sounds fabulous.

  17. Jacqueline, Goldie looks right at home modeling with Miss Madi K. It sounds like you did not miss much by partying while the other went backpacking. The Grand America hotel sounds and looks so fabulous. I can see why you ate two meals there. What a lovely getaway. Looking forward to reading about your upcoming Christmas.

    1. Yes, why stay home and feel sorry! Create your own party!

  18. I think we might have a new member in Goldie!! She makes the perfect little model to show off your tote!! Your getaway sounds like it was a fun time and the food looks delish!! The Grand America looks lovely - A place I would enjoy (much better than backpacking!!) Your Disney tote is adorable!! That is certainly a magical place! Enjoy this holiday season!

    1. Oh my granddaughters would be happy to participate in anything fun I do! They really are so full of adoration at this age!

  19. I've always said that roughing it/backpacking for me was a hotel that closed their room service before 3:00 a.m. I've never even been tempted to engage in what they call "glamping". The Grand America Hotel and multiple trips to Cheesecake Factory fits my idea of a good time. Goldie knows a good thing when she sees it. She is a beautiful doll baby. I love that she smiles with her eyes! I'm so excited to begin my journey with our Tales of the Traveling Tote group. Laissez les bon temps roller! Cherry Kay

    1. We actually tried glamping this year and it was fun. There was a bathroom including shower in our tent and a wood burning stove - but it was pretty luxurious.

  20. I love Miss Madi K and Goldie is the perfect model for this lovely tote. What an adventure and a great destination. I love you girls' stories...they are all fascinating and I hate it when the end is come.
    Prayers for your mother and how sweet to offer brunch for her friends. But that is your nature...sweet and kind. Hugs
    Kari @ Me and My Captain

  21. Goldie is a a cutie. The tote is as big as she is (must be full from all the delcious foods). I came here from LifeandLiinda’s blog. I love reading the tales of the traveling tote. You girls have so much fun.
    Oh, if I won a tote I would use it for everything. I can use it for work, the beach, or even to carry my wine over to friends houses. haha.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

    1. It really would be a fun tote to own. Good luck!

  22. I would prefer hiking all over Disney or camping out at a lovely hotel than the alternative.I especially love how you texted (tortured!) your hubby with pictures of the buffet,etc! That tote looks sturdy so it could come to the grocery store with me to carry home my fruits and veggies.

  23. Goldie is the very cutest! I love how she posed with Miss Madi K!!!! These photos have made me smile this morning!
    Wow, I had NO IDEA that the Grand Hotel in Salt Lake City is so fantastic! I want to go and visit! One of our best friends is moving to Salt Lake City because they have bought the rights to a franchise for the state. I know where I'll stay when I visit them! ;P

    I hope you and your sweet family have a Merry Christmas. I can't wait to see this year's decor theme at your home. The Harry Potter party was the ultimate for Halloween!

    Ricki Jill

    1. Thanks! Harry Potter was fun! Everything looks so different with the new white cabinets.

  24. Leslie:
    This is a truly awesome tote. Thank you for doing the giveaway.

  25. Thank you for such a lovely tote giveaway opportunity! I would love to win the tote and use it to carry all my daughter's diapers and baby bottles. I never have enough room in my bag to carry everything I need!

    1. So true! You need so much to be prepared for anything with little ones.

  26. It would be fun to win this tote and join you ladies in the fun of the traveling tote! This could easily become my daily tote to school (I teach at a community college in SE NC) :) Best to all!

  27. Great bag!!
    I am a big stitcher, and it would be very easy to use as I go to my stitching retreats.

  28. Oh My Gosh how fun, I would put all my dream travel journals in my new tote. I have so many dreams and could put my book of dreams in there also, hang it on my coat rack ready to go LOL

  29. I always have a book with me that needs a roomy place to rest.
    Theresa N
    weceno at yahoo dot com

  30. My tote would end up holding a lot of my daughte’s stuff.

  31. My new tote would be the most loved bag on this earth! Replacing the current one which has gotten too small, it is the bag I take a surprise in when I visit my adorable grandsons, ages 2 & 3.

    This bag started when the oldest was 9 months old. Never dreamed he would latch onto “Mimi’s Bag” as he has. Each visit has something different in it, whether an edible treat, a toy from Daddy’s childhood, or a new book or minor toy. Those big blue eyes light up and twinkle, the smile on his face is pure delight as he goes into the bag rediscovering the contents. Of course, it has been purged as his aged out of a toy only to reintroduce it when baby brother came along. Baby brother has his favorite items, but is not in love with it like big brother. All items go back into the bag and go home with me. Never any fussing .

    So a new bag would be cherished by two grandsons that I waited years for, as I became a Mimi at a much older age than most, and I would be so honored to be chosen. The oldest tells his nursery school each visit I make and what was in the “bag”.

  32. What a darling idea and so wonderful that he has loved it so much!


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