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 ]

5 Reasons to See Disney’s Frozen on Ice

FrozenOnIce

This Thursday my daughter and I are headed to Amalie Arena in Tampa to see Disney's Frozen on Ice.  We're excited that we can bring along a friend and her mom to see the show too; because I'm going to need another adult to survive the night.  If you're local, you can get tickets for the May 14-17th performances online - Frozen on Ice Tickets in Tampa. 5 Reasons to See Disney's Frozen on Ice in Tampa 1.  So your child can wear their Halloween costume one more time before they outgrow it.  Elsa was the #1 costume last year and I'm sure you spent good money on it.  Let them dress up for the show, just be sure to take the right Anna or Elsa home that night. I'm sure there we'll be a lot of costumes!! 2.  Because you love hearing thousands of little girls (and boys and moms) sign "Let It Go!" as loud as they can.  You know it's going to happen so start practicing now! 3.  Because you love Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt, the sponsors of Frozen On Ice!  What's your kids favorite ... [ Read More ]

Floridians add what to their coffee??

Seattles Best Orange Coffee

It doesn't matter how hot it gets in Florida, it's never too hot for coffee.  I didn't start drinking coffee until after my second child was born and now I don't usually miss a day.  There is something about the smell of that pot of coffee brewing in the morning to really kickstart my morning.  A few months ago I finally ditched my K-cups and fell in love with my french press.  If you aren't using a french press yet, you may enjoy this quick tutorial on how to get started (French Press 101).  All it takes is some boiling water and coffee.  Here in Florida though, we add a little bit of orange zest in the springtime to add a little sunshine to your coffee. Seattle's Best Orange Coffee Recipe 2 TBS Breakfast Blend Seattle's Best coffee 1/2 TBS Orange Zest 12oz filtered water Milk or half&half to taste Sugar or sweetener to taste If you're using a french press, add coffee grounds and orange zest directly to your press.  Add boiling water, cover, and sit for 4 ... [ Read More ]

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

Ulele_Tampa

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 ]

Music & Your Child

Music Together Tampa

This post is sponsored by Music Together Teacher Training in Tampa, March 20-22nd.  What role does music play in the life of your children?  I'm sure that music has been part of your own life as far back as you can remember.  For our family, music consists mostly of songs we hear on the radio.  We don't censor the radio stations too much, so the kids end up signing and dancing along to whatever is popular.  I don't mind listening to kids stations but you'll never find them on in my husbands car. I remember when my son was little, we would attend a Mommy & Me (or daddy) type music class at a play area near us.  It was mostly a "mommy" outing that we would go to with our local playgroup.  There were fun little songs that they sang to the kids, gestures and dances that went along to each one, and even some musical instruments for the kids to play with.  It's been almost 9 years since we attended one of those classes and you may still catch me singing one of the songs.  I ... [ Read More ]

Ringling Bros. Circus XTREME Tampa

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  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 ]

10 Reasons to Fall in Love with Hockey – Tampa Bay Lightning

BoltsSocial

It's no secret that our family loves sports.  Our primary love is college football (go Dawgs!!), but we have fun watching just about any sporting event.  It's been quite a while since we've been to a hockey game, so I was excited when the Tampa Bay Lightning and Amalie Arena invited me to be their social captain a few weeks ago.  I wanted to share with you just a few of our favorite moments from the night and 10 reasons why we love the Bolts!  #1: Social Media Captain - What's not to love about a sports team who is social and engages with their fans over social media.  On game nights, Twitter and Instagram are filled with several different #hashtags from fans attending the game.  The Bolts & Amalie Arena have a very interactive program and hold lots of contests for their social fans.  As the Social Media Captain, we got to show the fans a little more about the team and the arena - from behind the scenes! #2: Behind the scenes experience - When we arrived we were met ... [ Read More ]

New @ California Pizza Kitchen Tampa #NewCPK #TBBloggers #Ad

#NewCPK #TBBloggers

I have found an amazing group of Tampa area bloggers and was fortunate enough to be invited to an event with California Pizza Kitchen.  If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may have seen me sharing pictures during the day of our event.  California Pizza Kitchen in Tampa (International Mall) treated us like royalty and let us taste some of their favorite appetizers, cocktails, main plates, and desserts.  They also treated us with gift certificates to bring our families back to try out their new menu items.  I want to thank Denise with Tampa Bay Bloggers (and RunDMT blog) for organizing the details of the event with California Pizza Kitchen; I don't think I've laughed this hard in a long time. ...and my stomach still hasn't recovered! I ate so much food that day, I think I left 5 lbs heavier. This group photo of all of us (minus Marisa who had to leave early) is one of my favorite photos from the day.  Take a look at the wall behind us which is made from recovered wine ... [ Read More ]