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 ]

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 ]

Fun Things To Do at TradeWinds Island Resort With Kids

Fun Things To Do at TradeWinds Island Resort With Kids

If you're looking for a fun place to take your kids for a fun filled day (or week) on the beach, consider visiting St. Pete Beach and the TradeWinds Island Resort.  The weather is still warm in Florida this Fall and the water is still warm enough to swim.  My daughter and I were invited to spend a day at TradeWinds earlier this summer and I'm ready to go back! I hold a special place in my heart for St. Pete Beach. When I was growing up, my Grandmother lived one block from TradeWinds and I spent a lot of time as a child playing in the Gulf of Mexico. I remember vividly walking down to the beach with our arms full of sand toys.  I remember vividly how she used to sit on the beach for hours reading her books.  I remember vividly walking down the street to Larry's Ice Cream.  I used to love picking out a new souvenir at the little shop in front of her complex.  I still get a little teary eyed when I drive past the complex where she used to live (she died when I was in high ... [ Read More ]

Come Trekaroo with Me!


Trekaroo? Superoo?  What does that even mean? Trekaroo is a family travel tips and review website that my friend Marissa introduced me too about a year ago.  The site offers user submitted reviews of hotels and attractions in different cities around the US.  Anyone can join and it's totally free! A Superoo is a parent who joins the Trekaroo team to provide travel advice and help share the love of Trekaroo.  Moms and Dads around the US who like to travel (alone or with their kids) are invited to access new hotels, attractions and special events so they can share these places with you. Guess who is on the Superoo team for 2014-2015??  Me and about 100+ other moms and dads around the US.  I am so excited to join the team and start sharing some of our adventures with you.  If you've follow me for a while you know that we love to travel.  Just this year we've been on a cruise to Cozumel and Grand Caymen.  Last week we were in Palm Beach and next week the hubs and I are sneaking ... [ Read More ]

20 Things Only Beach Lovers Understand


I grew up visiting the beach with my family.  My grandmother lived 2 blocks off St. Pete Beach when I was a kid and I have fond memories of those times.  The beach continues to be a big part of our family and the primary reason we moved to Florida.  While at the beach this week for vacation (yes, we still vacation at the beach even though we live near one) I thought I would share some of my random thoughts about visiting the beach that only a true beach lover would understand. That the ugly shells are the prettiest shells on the beach. Early morning and late afternoon are the best time to visit. Finding sea glass is like winning the lottery! You look 10X tanner in the shower after a day at the beach even if you're not! You'll pay anything for a drink and food while sitting on the beach. Beach towels are completely optional.  You'll probably only use them to sit on for the car ride home. Backpack chairs are a must; especially with kids!  Ours have a big pocket in ... [ Read More ]

Goodbye Winter Olympics, Little Passports Will Carry the Torch

Little Passports Subscription Package

As we bid farewell to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, it's a good time to continue the history lesson with our kids.  My oldest (almost 11 yrs old) is pretty aware of the World and our own country but my 5 year old is just starting to figure out the US.  We do quite a bit of traveling as a family but I'm not sure she really understands how big the US is (not to mention the World) yet. Little Passports (affiliate link) is a subscription box that brings the US and the World into your home each month and is geared for little minds.  You can select the USA or World edition package depending on your child's interests.  We started with the USA Edition which is ideal for kids ages 7-12 years old. Inside your first month's package is a Discovery Kit featuring a letter from Sam and Sofia (your guests on your trip around the US), a field guide, scratch book, US wall map, disposable camera and a photo scavenger hunt.  Each subsequent month you'll receive a State adventure kit with 2 new ... [ Read More ]

10 Things I Did This Summer


Have you missed me?  My last blog post was July 2nd!  I should feel ashamed that I didn't touch my blog for the entire month, but honestly I feel so refreshed.  I worked, took vacations, and had a lot of fun.  Here are the Cliff Notes for my summer: Disney World Orlando Staycation:  Did I mention that we have season passes to the parks?  We spent a few days in Orlando relaxing at our favorite resort, meeting Princesses, riding in race cars, and traveling to the moon!  Of course we never really left Orlando but it was a lot of fun.  To see a video of the new Jr. Ride-along <sponsored blogger event> at the Richard Petty Driving Experience in Orlando check out my YouTube channel.  Bryce got to take a few laps around a real race track in a real race car. Ichetucknee Springs Vacation:  We went on our annual trip to Ichetucknee Springs and tubed down the river over the 4th of July.  We stayed at our favorite Hideaway Cottages, ate smores, sat by the campfire, and this year we ... [ Read More ]

Tips for Visiting the Beach With Kids


Even before we moved to Florida our family has always taken vacations to the beach.  Both of my kids had their toes dipped into the Gulf of Mexico before they turned 6 months.  Regardless of how old your baby or child is there are a few things to keep in mind to make your trip stress-free and fun. Simplify What do you really need to take with you to the beach?  Chances are that you and your spouse are the only ones who are going to be toting towels, sunscreen, toys, chairs, snacks, drinks, and yes...even the kids from the car to the beach.  Think about everything you take and if you are "really" going to use it. Sun Protection Sunscreen isn't the only form of sun protection that you want to remember.  UV shirts and hats can provide safe (chemical-free) protection from the sun and are safer than sunscreen for your wee ones.  Most sunscreens aren't recommended until your baby is about 6 months of age.  Tents and umbrellas can also provide a shady place for your baby to play. ... [ Read More ]

Tips for Making Your Stay-cation an Adventure

Tips for making your stay-cation an adventure @TheEcoChic

Who says you have to go someplace to have a vacation?  Would you like some tips on how to make your next stay-cation an adventure with your family?  Join me today on the I See Me blog to see how you can act like a tourist, have a family scavenger hunt, or even plan your next adventure. While you are there, check out the all new My Very Own World Adventure personalized children's book by I See Me.  Want a chance to win your very own I See Me book?  Check back next weekend as I share a special secret I've been working on with I See Me. Disclosure: My guest post on I See Me is part of a sponsored campaign.  My tips, my opinions, and all information shared is my own.     ... [ Read More ]

Cloth Diapering at Disney World

How to Cloth Diaper at Disney

Planning a trip to Disney World with baby's?  Do you travel with cloth diapers or take disposables along?  We've taken cloth diapers with us on all of our trips to Disney when our littlest was still in diapers.  On the Kelly Wels blog today I'm sharing my tips with you on how you can take your cloth diapers with you.  Want a sneak peek? Hybrids or disposable inserts Flats and covers Diaper services Regular cloth diapers For more information on hand washing and flats check out my post How to Hand Wash Cloth Diapers.  You'll have to modify it slightly depending on the supplies you have on hand while traveling. For more tips on traveling to Disney with kids read my post The Pros and Cons of Strollers at Disney. To read more just head on over the Kelly Wels blog and read the full story on How to Cloth Diaper at Disney World.  Come back here if you have any questions - always happy to help!   ... [ Read More ]