Starting is Believing

Florida Prepaid

Open enrollment in the Florida Prepaid College plans begins October 15th, 2015 and offers some new options for families who want to get started saving money for their children's futures. This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger.  As parents we have big dreams and expectations for our children when they get older. We want them to be happy, confident, accomplished, and have more opportunities than what we had ourselves. My parents provided for us everything we could have asked for. The one thing that they didn't provide for us was any type of college savings. They were very clear as we were growing up that if we wanted something bad enough, we would work hard for it and achieve our goals on our own. They didn't want to force higher education on us like their parents did to them.  I can respect that and I know that they helped mold me into the adult that I am today. I don't remember ever asking them for help paying for ... [ Read More ]

Take a Staycation in Downtown Tampa

Tampa Streetcar

If you live in the Tampa Bay area, have you ever truly explored the downtown area?  We live in Palm Harbor and only come downtown for sporting events and shows.  When Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa invited us to spend a few nights with them I was really excited to check out parts of town that we usually just drive past on the way to an event.  It was really nice not having to worry about transportation and travel expenses to go on vacastaycation.  We spent 3 days and 2 nights downtown and we could have easily spent an entire week to see everything. The Embassy Suites is located adjacent to Amalie Arena and the Tampa Convention Center, overlooking the Bay.  It would be a great place to stay the night if you didn't want to drive home after a concert or hockey game.  On our first night we were lucky enough to be downtown during the final game of the Stanley Cup Finals and walked across the street to the Bolts watch party inside Amalie Arena.  We would never have driven 45 minutes to ... [ Read More ]

8 Fun Things to Do at MommyCon Orlando

8 Fun Things to Do at MommyCon Orlando

MommyCon is coming to Orlando on Saturday, May 23rd and I've been looking forward to this day for the entire year.  You can view the entire agenda and schedule of events on the MommyCon Orlando website.  If you've never been to a MommyCon before, be sure you wear comfy shoes because there is a lot to do and even more to see. Use coupon code ECOCHIC15 and save $5 off your General Admission Ticket! (Affiliate link) 1. Attend a few seminars.  I'm planning on listening to the Cloth Diapering 101 seminar with Cotton Babies, Comedy Hour with the Honest Toddler's Bunmi Laditan, and Dear 25 Year Old Me with Jill Krause from Baby Rabies.  Be sure to check the schedule and mark the seminars you want to attend, the day moves very quickly and you might not get to see everything if you're not organized. 2. Shop the marketplace! There are lots and lots and lots of vendors at MommyCon.  If you're looking for cloth diapers you'll be happy to know that AppleCheeks, Thirsties, Smart Bottoms, ... [ Read More ]

Valspar Championship Fun Facts and Tips 2015

Valspar Championship Tips

It's a gorgeous day in Palm Harbor and the first day of the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook.  Even if you're not a golf enthusiast, I would recommend picking up a few tickets and spending a few hours on the course this week.  Tickets are $40 and kids get in free! It's a great way to spend a sunny afternoon in Florida.  Before you go, here are just a few things you need to know: Get your tickets here! Valspar Championship Tickets Kids 15 and under get in free with an adult! Park at St. Pete College, Tarpon Campus on Belcher and Klosterman. Parking is $10. Leave your backpacks, large bags, cameras, and coolers at home. Read up on the security guidelines before you go! Wear comfy shoes! You'll be walking, a lot!! Dress colorfully! You may be spotted by a Valspar Color Scout and win some fun prizes! Find a "Shot Spot", take a picture or selfie and share it with #valsparchampionship to win even more prizes! Don't forget to visit the Snake Pit! Take the kids to the ... [ Read More ]

Sunsets in Winter

Sunset in Florida

The weather is warm this week in Florida and I decided that tonight we were going to watch the sunset on the beach.  We don't typically go out on school nights, but we were passing by the beach and I had to stop.  The ocean was calling my name. I needed to fill my soul with sunshine, sand, and salt air. Children were barefoot, rocks were tossed, sand was thrown in the air. I'll find the remnants of the trip for weeks to come in the bottom of my purse and on the floorboards of my Jeep.  Children giggled and dug holes in the sand.  They got dirty. The rays of the sun peeked through the clouds and glistened the ocean below. Strands of hair glimmered. Memories were made. Bedtimes were delayed. Dinner was quick and not very healthy. The ocean shimmered and waited anxiously for one final kiss from the sun. As the sun and the ocean became one, the clouds were tinted with every color of the rainbow. The day was done. Location: Honeymoon Island, Dunedin, FL About the photos above: ... [ Read More ]

The Hidden Gems Inside Ulele – Tampa’s Native-Inspired Restaurant and Brewery


u-le-le (pronounced You-lay-lee) - Native-Inspired Foods & Spirits Tampa Bay I'm not a native Floridian but I am quickly becoming aware of the cities rich history.  Ulele is one of the Top 100 Restaurants in the U.S. by Open Table and quickly becoming "the" place to eat out in Tampa. Ulele is located in Tampa Heights on the Tampa Riverwalk in the old Water Works building.  The building was the original pump house in 1903 and served the city of Tampa water from the Ulele Spring on the property. The building has served many purposes in Tampa's history and the owners of Ulele have done an amazing job restoring the building. Ulele gets its name from a Native American Princess of the Tocobaga Tribe from the 1500's.  The stories say that the Tocobagan's captured three Spaniards and Princess Ulele saved one of them.  Their tale is very similar to that of John Smith and Pocahontas.  The owners commissioned an artist to create a statue of Princess Ulele that will be outside in the ... [ Read More ]

The Perfect South Tampa Date Night

The Perfect South Tampa Date Night

If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you may remember seeing me stuffing my face in South Tampa last week.  I was invited to experience a progressive dinner with other Tampa Bay Bloggers at Roux, Datz and Dough.  Before we start talking about the food I have a confession to make, I've never been to South Tampa before!  I've been in the Bay for almost 10 years and rarely make it downtown and have never ventured to the MacDill/South Tampa area.  I'm already planning my next trip and this time I'm taking my husband out for a date!! Even though I didn't get to take him with me, I would love to take him on a progressive dinning experience so he can sample food from all three of these great South Tampa restaurants. What is a progressive dinner?  Think of it like a 3 course meal, but at different restaurants.  Appetizers and drinks at Roux, dinner at Datz, and dessert at Dough.  You could mix it up anyway you like, but this worked out perfectly since Datz and Dough are next to ... [ Read More ]

Ringling Bros. Circus XTREME Tampa


  The Circus... Acrobatics... Clowns... Human Cannonball... BMX... Contortionists... Tightrope Walkers... Elephants... Tigers... Popcorn... Cotton Candy... Smiles... Laughs... That pretty much sums up our day at the Circus! The performers were XTREME and put on a fabulous show for us today in Tampa.  This was the first time in at least 25 years that I've seen a Ringling Bros. Circus and it was pretty close to what I remembered as a child.  The acrobatics were stunning.  The clowns were silly.  The ariel performances were amazing.  The energy from the performers was over the top! As I watched the circus through the eyes of my own children I'm reminded that sometimes we just need to laugh and be silly.  I'm hoping that 2015 is full of laughter and fun with my family.  Today was a good start to laughing more.   We'd like to thank Ringling Bros. and the Amalie Arena for inviting us to be part of the circus today. ... [ Read More ]

Enter to Win 4 Tickets to Ringling Bros. Circus XTREME at Amalie Arena Tampa #RinglingBros #Ad

#ringlingbros Tampa

I have many fond memories as a child taking the trip into the city to see the Circus with my family. It was a big deal for us as a kid to see the show, eat popcorn and cotton candy, and to talk my parents into some over-priced souvenir.  We only went 2-3 times as a kid but I remember how big everything was under the big tent! Fast-forward to my life as a parent and neither of my kids have ever seen a circus.  My oldest is 11 and we've talked about it several times but just never made it to a show.  My youngest will be turning six in January and the circus just happens to fall over her birthday weekend!  What better time to take the kids to their first circus. Thank you Feld Entertainment & Amalie Arena for providing complimentary passes for the show so we can make these memories with our children. Interesting facts about the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Did you know that the first Ringling Bros. Circus was back in 1907?  James Bailey and P.T. Barnum ... [ Read More ]

Sea World’s Christmas Celebration 2015

Sea World Christmas Celebration

This past weekend we were invited to Sea World's Christmas Celebration to get a glimpse behind the scenes and to learn more about the special Christmas performances going on around the park.  Unlike some of the other area theme parks, Sea World includes their Christmas performances with your regular park admission.  Plus, kids get in FREE through the end of December with a paying adult. Sea World will always hold a special place in my heart and the Christmas spirit just enhances that love of the park and the work they do to help preserve our natural world. I found myself a little teary eyed during some of the performances.  Even if you only go for a few hours, here is my list of 5 things you don't want to miss at Sea World in December. 1. Polar Express - Sea World has once again transformed the polar exhibit into a train ride on the Polar Express that takes you to the North Pole to meet Santa Clause.  The experience is based off the popular Christmas movie, the Polar Express. ... [ Read More ]