20 Oct 2016

The Triumphant Return of Winn-Dixie to Hyde Park Village in South Tampa, Florida || Tampa Mama

No Comments Florida, Grand Opening, Sneak Peak, Tampa, Tampa Bay

It’s always nice to see new neighbors reemerge even better and stronger than before. The newly remodeled Winn-Dixie Hyde Park store located at 2100 W. Swann Avenue, right in the heart of South Tampa’s epic center, Hyde Park Village, looks amazingly polished, bigger, with more bells and whistles than ever before for its patrons.
Winn Dixie Tampa Mama

If you live or frequent one of the 5 Deep South states, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana, chances are you currently shop or have visited a Winn-Dixie. A local grocer in America since the 1950’s and headquartered in Jacksonville, the store has reemerged with a new and modern look and feel that customers will love.

Come on out to see their fresh new look while they host you at their free event on THIS Friday evening, October 21st! Friday night’s Picnic in the Park is starting at 4:30 p.m.

I stumbled into the store a few days ago where I was presently greeted by every staff member. The look inside was open and spacious. Isles seemed larger and I kept saying to myself, “Oh look! a They have …!” I was very impressed with the layout and all that they are offering! I know I’m going to love shopping here!

Winn Dixie Tampa Mama


The newest amenity that I noticed was immediately to the right when you walk in appropriately called The Kitchen.

The Kitchen offers so much for those who are on the go.

o Sandwich Station offering delicious hot and cold sandwich assortments including a pressed Cuban, Rotisserie Turkey Melt, Caprese and Italian sandwich as well as ready-to-go meal options for entrees, sides and salads.

o In-store pizza shop with New York-style hand stretched crust and a full menu of assorted pizzas, including cheese and pepperoni and specialty pizzas such as Hickory Sweet BBQ Pizza, Prosciutto and Mushroom Pizza, Mediterranean Chicken Pizza and S’mores Pizza.

o Trained Sushi Chef will offer fresh, hand-rolled sushi.

o A wide assortment of easy lunch and dinner options, including smoked ribs, pulled pork and brisket.

o Salad bar with fresh salad ingredients as well as a variety of delicious offerings from the local Tampa restaurant, The Hungry Greek, and pre-mixed Eat Fresco meal solutions locally made in Tampa Bay such as Asian shrimp noodle bowl, glazed grilled salmon and more.

Winn Dixie Tampa Hyde Park Tampa Mama


I also noticed so many local collaborations. Kahwa Coffee at the bakery. They will offer more than 2,500 new items and partner with local favorites throughout Tampa such as The Hungry Greek, Intensity Academy Gourmet & Hot Sauce Company, Mike’s Pies, Sunset Salsa and more. This will go over very well with the neighbors who have a penacht for local items and brands.

And we can’t talk local without talking beer!The beer department will feature 115 brands of beer and 48 craft brands with 16 varieties of craft brews from Tampa, including Cigar City Brewing, The Brew Bus, Coppertail, Florida Avenue and more. Score! All the favorites! Along with a larger fine wine department (an assortment of more than 1,100 wines from around the world) and a renovated Beer, Wine & Spirits shop, this grocery store will be a one stop shop for everyone!

Winn Dixie Tampa Hyde Park Tampa Mama


Not only can you shop here, but you can also have a seat and relax too! (Might be someplace to have a treat after school with the kids while you shop for dinner!)

Winn Dixie Tampa Hyde Park Tampa Mama

Their Café will have seating areas and free WiFi for customers while they enjoy hot, mini-donuts made in-store and locally made Kahwa coffee, or gelato, smoothies, frappes and milkshakes. Perfection! I might never leave this place!

Winn Dixie Tampa Hyde Park Tampa Mama

I’m so excited to partner with Winn-Dixie on their new grand opening! Come on out to see their fresh new look while they host you at their free event on THIS Friday evening, October 21st! Friday night’s Picnic in the Park is starting at 4:30 p.m. Come one, come all! You are invited to a “Picnic at the Park” where you can listen to a live jazz band, Gloria West & The Gents, in their park-like parking lot, while enjoying samples of Winn-Dixie at Hyde Park’s new offerings, including specialty pizza, slow smoked brisket, red quinoa salad, delicious Anco cheese, fresh hot mini-donuts and locally made Kahwa coffee with an award-winning French Vanilla ice cream for desert.  The first 100 customers will receive a prize of delicious Winn-Dixie products.

Comment below and let me know what you are most excited about! We will be giving away a $25 Winn-Dixie gift card, at random, from those who comment below! (Winner will be drawn at random and contacted via e-mail. Winner will be selected on October 22, 2016.)

Disclaimer: I am a paid ambassador for Winn-Dixie. All opinions are my own. I was provided this opportunity through the Tampa Bay Bloggers Network.

14 Oct 2016


No Comments DVD, Girl Toys, Movies, Raising Girls

Barbie Dreamhouse DVD


Barbie™ and her sisters discover everything’s better when you do it together in this splashy, sun-kissed adventure! After the girls and their pets arrive at an island paradise for Chelsea’s™ big dance competition, they decide to make a quick side trip to see the nearby Dancing Horse Festival. But when their furry friends go missing at the event, it’s up to the sisters to find them before Chelsea’s™ show. While the puppies are out having an adventure of their own, the girls must use their imaginations and work together to find their furry friends in this tail-wagging good time!


This is a perfect movie for young kids who love Barbie, adventure, and animals. An action-adventure animated feature with a great message! My girls loved it!! We are actually hosting a Babrie Puppy party at the Humane Society and this will be a great party gift for our friends!

Buy it here on Amazon today or order these other Barbie toys to go along with the movie!


Comment below to win one of two gift packs with the DVD and a Barbie doll too! {Winners are chosen at random and must leave a comment on this post.}

Disclaimer: I have been provided with free copies of the DVD and have included affiliate links in this post.  All opinions are my own!

14 Oct 2016

Energy for New York City: The City That Never Sleeps || Tampa Mama

No Comments Family Travel, Kids On Vacation, Lifestyle, Mama Loves, New York City, Sponsored, Travel

New York City

META InfluencerMy oldest children are in their pre-teen years. Last Christmas, we tried something new. My daughter had been constantly on us for a trip to NYC. I travel for work often to the City and she’s always wanting to tag along. Last Christmas, she opened a ticket to NYC. I didn’t give her the date (although you could do that too) but more the promise that we will plan a trip together and the visit.  The gift of travel and more experiential gifts area becoming more popular with our kids. They have come to the understanding that these trips do cost money and they have started to choose the experience over the toy. I’m loving that they are making that choice themselves too!

Read more

12 Oct 2016

Preheat Your Oven! The Sprinkles Baking Book arrives October 25th || Tampa Mama 

No Comments Cooking, Lifestyle

Everybody loves a cupcake. Especially a really good one. Now you can bake your own.
Read more

11 Oct 2016


No Comments Family Travel, Lifestyle, Tampa, Tampa Bay, Things To Do

Read more

11 Oct 2016

Tampa Bay Bucs Squad Pumpkin Patch || Tampa Mama

No Comments Family Time, Tampa, Tampa Bay, Things To Do

Tampa Bay Buc Squad Buccaneers Tampa Mama

Get ready to have  some fun at the first annual Bucs Squad Pumpkin Patch!  This fun filled fall afternoon will take place at Onc Buc Place Saturday, October 22nd from 1pm-4pm and benefit the Buccaneers Academies serving over 14,000 underserved youth in our area. For a small fee have fun all afternoon with the hay rides, kids combine, a costume contest and even more fun around every corner. The even is a first come, first serve, but you can pre-order tickets here. Sounds like a super fun time!


Disclaimer: I’m a 2016-2017 member of the Bucs Squad Leadership Council Member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

10 Oct 2016

Best Vegetable Ramen || Tampa Mama

No Comments Lifestyle

My one foodie daughter has become quite the conigseaur of delicious food. I’m excited that she’s always into trying new foods and even accompanied me to judge the Tampa Bay Tailgate Fest last weekend in Tampa! 

On our recent trip to New York City, her love of ramen was obvious as that was what she hunted out at every restaurant we visited. 

So today, with a little time, we made a super easy best homemade ramen recipe! So easy and delicious! 

Serves 2 (Makes a generous portion of broth to save for later)

4 quarts of water

3 tablespoons of vegetable base 

8 oz mushrooms

1 cup bean sprouts

2 scallions

1 package of soba noodles (5 oz)

1 medium onion (thinly sliced)

2 large cloves of garlic (minced)

1/4 cup soy

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinigar

1 cup real spinich 

In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the vegetable base. Stir. Add the mushrooms and let simmir for 15 minutes.

In a frying pan, take 1 tablespoon of butter and sauté the onions and minced garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add this to the broth. Stir.

In another pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the 1 cup of spinich. Stir for 2 minutes. Remove the spinich. Set aside. Follow the directions on the noodle packet and use the same water. Drain and rinse.

Set two bowls out and evenly split the noodles. Add the spinich, bean sprouts and any other vegetables you desire to the top of your noodles.

Using a ladle, add the broth to the noodles. Top with scallions. Serve. 



05 Oct 2016

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck Comes To Tampa || Tampa Mama

No Comments Lifestyle

It’s coming to Tampa!  If your kids are huge fans- then you won’t want to miss THIS! 

The hugely popular Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will be making its first appearance in Tampa on Saturday, October 8 at International Plaza (the Cafe Truck will be outside of the mall, at Bay Street). The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is a mobile vehicle of cuteness that offers a delicious array of Hello Kitty sweets and special goodies to fans of all ages; it has been rolling up to festivals & events across the U.S. since its official debut at Hello Kitty Con in October 2014.     

The yummy treats on board the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will include a 3-piece Hello Kitty cookie set, a rainbow macaron box set that includes a surprise Sanrio character design, a 4-pack of mini cakes, and bow-shaped bottles of water. In addition to the goodies, a Hello Kitty Cafe mug, a supercute pink Hello Kitty Cafe t-shirt and the pop icon’s signature bow headband will also be available to purchase.


….and just added….a limited edition Hello Kitty for President frosted cookie! Hello Kitty kicked off her Hello Kitty for President campaign earlier this week, as part of the “Friendship Party” with a message celebrating friendship, fun and happiness. The specially designed Hello Kitty for President cookie will be limited to only 50 cookies per stop & guests who purchase the special treat will also receive a free bumper sticker.


Fans can follow the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter to stay updated about upcoming appearances and where to find these adorable Hello Kitty treats.


Based on the success of the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck, Sanrio opened the Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container in Irvine, CA, in July 2016, to continue to spread their message of happiness, friendship and fun through yummy goodies & beverages featuring Hello Kitty and other character friends. The Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container, located at the Irvine Spectrum Center, will be open for a year-long residency and offers a menu developed exclusively for the Cafe, and different from the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck.


03 Oct 2016

Having 4 Kids Means Having Your Hands Full

No Comments Kids, Lifestyle, Parenting, Sponsored


I’m a sponsored Meta Influencer, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

Scene: A lady walks into a store with 4 kids. You immediately say, “Boy! You sure you have your hands full!”

I hear it 15 times a day or more as I’m walking with my posse.

“You don’t say! Really?” No, that’s not how I answer.

But, yes they really are! They are typically full of laundry, babies, groceries, back packs, toys and so much more these hands do everyday, but what parents’ hands aren’t full?! I find myself repeating to the kids as they go up stairs “full hands up, full hands down” – a saying from my restaurant waitressing days of younger years. Little did I know that my college job of cocktail waitressing would only be preparing me for my life as a mother to four kids. My tips now come is sweet words, pleases and thank yous along with kisses and hugs.

Meta Wellness

Being that we have 4 kids under 11, I am finally used to strangers doing the visual count and double take of how many kids I have and the quick double take back to me to see if they all look like me. I can only imagine what they are thinking. The silent sweet smile comes next. (I have now mastered how to read stranger smiles.)

Or what’s even funnier (as this JUST happened on our date night) is that we get into a nice conversation with a stranger, and they ask us the dreaded question, “how many kids do you guys have?” To which we respond truthfully and get the obvious, “you must have your hands full!” Of course we do!

I’ve also come to accept that my patenting is immediately on display the moment I walk into any public establishment. Think about it. You see a family of 6 walk into a restaurant (or even better, an airplane.) You think to yourself:


A.) Man, they have their hands full.
B.) Let’s see how well-behaved they are
C.) Please don’t sit near us.
D.) All of the above.

What was your answer?

People are voyeurs naturally. They want to see things in action (case in point: You Tube.) I take this on as a challenge. They want to see how we handle things. How we parent. What it takes to keep four kids in line at the store. The other statement I hear is, “I don’t know how you do it.” Everyone wants to know the secret. It takes a lot of energy to wrangle four kids, homework, after-school schedules, daily routines and everything in between. Meta Daily Energy Support helps my body naturally produce energy* so I can tackle what I have to do, and still have the energy left for what I want to do.* I want to enjoy these four during their childhood because I know that my hands won’t be this full for long.

I have an amazing village of family and friends helping me with my kids, offering to drop off and pick up or host play dates to help me out. I am greatly appreciative of it all and have learned that I am DEFINITELY not superwoman and there is no way I could do this alone. And thankfully, I don’t have to. My hands are always full and I like them that way. Weather that be with kids, my career or my life, I thrive here. I’m in my zone.


My hands are full of life, love and so much more.

My house is full of laughter, smiles and the pitter patter of 8 little feet.

My house is full of kids and I’m always up for having more kids over for play dates because the more the merrier and they actually work with me, not against me.

On Saturday mornings, by bed is full of kids and all we can do is laugh as we all squish together and watch cartoons.

My hands are so full from the grocery store, that my son uses a wagon to bring in the groceries.

My heart is so full with love for these little people.


My hands are full of 4 lives that are my responsibility to guide them into being good people and making good decisions.

My hands are so full that I sometimes I do break down because let’s face it, it is a lot of kids and a lot of work. And sometimes, I wave the white flag, and call my Mom for a pep talk.

I love every minute and loathe every other minute of having my hands full. It is the best of times, the worst of times. It’s not for everyone. But it’s also not that bad either. And even on my worst and most trying day, you have to remember that the good days far out weigh the bad and I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.

Soon, my hands won’t be this full. I will have kids in high school or maybe they just won’t want to be around me as much as they have to now.


My days of having my hands full are numbered. My oldest just turned 12 and the baby is now 4. I sometimes can’t wait for the madness to be over, but I know it’s only a short term wish. On the days where I’m upset or frustrated that the work of four kids really is just too much (because some days it just is) I try to remember that it won’t be like this forever. And I’m sure I will long for them to be this full again.

I joke that this is the story of my life with four kids…


So to the next person, who tells you, “You must have your hands full!” Just smile and say this, “You know, they are! Can you help me to my car? That was so nice of you to offer!”



25 Sep 2016

Free College? Where Do I Sign Up? Learn More About The Florida Prepaid College Giveaway |Tampa Mama

No Comments Education, Florida, Giveaway, School, Sponsored

scholarship-program_promoWith our oldest son turning 12 soon, my count down clock has begun to tick louder as college tuition seems to be knocking louder as his high school graduation seems to be approaching fast. 6 more years. Which in my world, it kind of like tomorrow. Having four children, and wanting them all to further their education beyond high school, the cost of college tuition seems to be a hurdle I am going to need to prepare for in order to set my children up properly for their future. Living in Florida, we have some amazing college choices for those looking to take that next step, but understanding the financial obligation and preparing for it is something that will be much easier if tackled years in advance. That’s why I have partnered with the Florida Prepaid College Board to help get the conversation started about college, how we can best save, options we have as parents and how it can effect our kids in the future. We all want our kids to be ready for college, but the question I find myself asking is will WE be ready as parents to send them financially.

Last March, the Federal Reserve reported student debt across the U.S. at about $1.2 trillion. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of new alumni have debt, at an average of $35,000 per graduate. In Florida, the average debt load for those with college loans is $24,017. All I can say is WOW.

Yet according to the How America Saves for College 2016 report, only 2 out of 5 families have a plan to pay for college – even though a postsecondary degree is more necessary than ever for career success. According to state projections, 59 percent of all jobs in Florida will require postsecondary education by 2018. Do you have a plan for your children? It’s time we start really talking about ways to prepare them not only academically but also ways to avoid the student loan debit post college too.

The 2016 Florida Prepaid College Giveaway

Ten Florida families will win two free years of college from the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, which today is launching its Florida Prepaid Scholarship Program. The annual scholarship program runs between September 19, 2016 and October 23, 2016 – coinciding with National College Savings Month and the mid-October launch of Open Enrollment, the annual period when families can purchase Florida Prepaid Plans.

Participants can register to win one of ten 2-Year Florida College Plans at www.floridaprepaidscholarshipprogram.com. Then you get chances to earn extra entries by answering questions, learning more about saving for college and sharing on social media. There will also be chances to win a total of 50 weekly prizes. So enter, share with friends and family so they can enter, and keep coming back to the site every day to learn more and get extra chances to win!

Prepaid Plans are available for purchase during Open Enrollment, which begins October 15, 2016 and ends February 28, 2016. For more information, visit www.myfloridaprepaid.com

I hope you’ll stay with me as I explore the ways we can all save for our kids’ college together. We all want to give our kids the best start for their future. Thank you to the Florida College Board for sponsoring this series of posts on TampaMama.com!

Read more