25 Jun 2017

No, I Don’t Want More.

No Comments Everyday, Personal, Published, Raising Children, Raising Girls

This post has also been published on the Today Show Parenting Blog

More and more often these, I’m realizing that I don’t want more. I don’t want my kid to spend more time at the baseball field. I don’t want my kid to spend more time at gymnastics.

And no, I do not think that MORE is always better. Let me explain why I don’t want more.

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09 Jun 2017

A Room With A View

No Comments Personal

It’s not the view I would have asked for. But maybe that is why we don’t always get what we ask for.

It wasn’t the day that I had so perfectly planned out. But maybe there is a reason that nothing ever goes as planned.

It wasn’t the start to an epic summer that I had so desired. But maybe that was ok too. Maybe this would really be the summer we truly remembered.

The room with the view that we have today, might be what we think could be the worst view ever. But maybe one day we will look back into this room with this view, and wish we could have it again.

Abby, Shelby and our new puppy, Buddy, headed to the puppy park this morning. It was a first full day of summer for us. But in one quick second, it turned my perfect sunshiny day into a day of heartbreak . And here I sit. In the dark.  Now 15 hours later, with my sweet little fearless 4-year-old girl, in a hot pink cast, and a handed down sentence for 4 weeks of rest and no swimming, thanks to the her poor ninja warrior skills. Still in the clothes I threw on this morning to take the dog for a walk, my hair uncombed, and my eyes sore and tired from all the tears today, the morning still playing out in my head.

We should have gone to another playground. I should have just taken the puppy on a walk around the block. I should have been there to catch her when she fell. But we didn’t. And I wasn’t. When the Mom guilt sets in, it goes deep and straight to the heart. My friend reminded me, it happens to the best of us. I know this. But it is a hard pill to swallow.

The room we have has a different view of what maybe I thought I should be seeing, as my dreams of a “room with a view” are always lively and bright. My room with a view in my dreams has me seeing white sandy beaches, the sounds of waves crashing in the distance, my kids playing in the sand and the sun setting in the distance while my family enjoys our time together.

But instead, my view is of my sleeping baby, her little body tired from a day of surgery, not play, the monitor beeping constantly with her vitals and the illuminating florescent light from the sterile hallway peeking into our room through the small window while every tick of the clock is heard and time and life seem to stand still while we are held captive in this room.

What you want isn’t what you always get, but there’s a reason for everything. You can always look at things from a new perspective. And that new perspective might be just what you need to see that your room with a view is exactly everything you ever wanted.

My sweet baby is healthy. A little bruised, but healthy. She’ll make a full recovery and will be back in action in no time.

My friends and family are among the best people in the world. From balloons, flowers, calls, texts, dinners and well wished, I couldn’t ask for a better village to raise my family with.

My sweet husband has dropped everything to be with us. We are one lucky family to have him be the cornerstone of us.

And the time!  Don’t we want it to stand still? Isn’t that what we are always saying. Did I need to be held captive for someone to remind me that the best room with a view is the one we wake up to each morning, no matter where we are? And maybe if we finally stop to hear the clicking of each second that goes by, we will realize that there is still time. Time to do whatever we want with those we love.

We don’t have to stay in the hospital for 3 months. We don’t have a 10 month recovery time. We know that we will have tomorrow to do the things we wanted to do today. This will be but only a blip on our time line of life. And our little room with a view will change again, and again, and again. And we might one day look back one day and wish…wish with all our might…that we could have that view again.

24 May 2017

Despicable Me 3 In Theaters June 30th- Trailer #DespicableMe3|| Tampa Mama

No Comments Adventures, Family Travel, Florida, Kids On Vacation, Universal Orlando Resort

Who’s excited for summer movies!  We can’t wait for the Despicable Me 3 movie that hits theaters June 30th!  We love the minions!!!  Hmmm… might be time to plan a trip somewhere…Universal Orlando Resort perhaps!?!  (We also hear there is a new water park opening up soon too… Volcano Bay!!)   Sounds like an adventure for Tampa Mama!

Universal Studios

24 May 2017

Mobile Ordering at Walt Disney World: #VisitPandora || Tampa Mama

No Comments Disney, Family Travel, Florida, Orlando

Who hate waiting in line? *EVERYONE RAISES HANDS. PARENTS WAVE HANDS WILDLY*

If you are heading to Walt Disney World this summer, you’ll want to really make sure you are up to speed on the My Disney Experience App and ALL that it offers.  Like possibly never having to wait in line again.

This week, the VIPs, Bloggers and other members of the media are in town for the #VisitPandora experience at Animal Kingdom. Released this week is a new feature found INSIDE the My Disney Experience App that allows you to order from a restaurant and then place that order once you are there, find a seat and then pick up your food. I KNOW, RIGHT?!?

It’s is currently only available at certain restaurants, but to me, this might be a game changer for the way we do food when at the Parks. Watch the video and let me know in the comments below what you thought of the feature if you have or will use this!

Hope you have a magical day at the Walt Disney World!

23 May 2017

6 Summers Left Before College || National 529 Day + Florida 529 Savings Plan Giveaway on Tampa Mama 

No Comments Education, Lifestyle, Raising Children


Another season in the books. 6th grade is coming to a close and all I can think about is the fact that he’s only got 6 more summers until college. Weren’t we just starting kindergarten yesterday?


I’m in awe of his spirit. His academic discipline. His athletic talent. His friendly demeanor and the respect he receives from his peers. I know he’s going places, but the one thing I worry about is hoping that I can afford to send him the places he deserves to go.

May 29th is National 529 day and Florida Prepaid is trying to increase awareness about college savings and the Florida 529 Savings Plan. In celebration of 529 Day, Florida Prepaid is giving 10 Florida families $529 in a Florida 529 Savings Plan!

Enter here to win!

We want your help to spread the word and encourage you to enter while also learning about the importance of saving for college! It is our hope to inform Florida families about the ease and flexibility of starting to save with a Florida 529 Savings Plan.

I’ve talked before about the Florida Prepaid College plans and why we’ve chosen to save for college with them.

The average student debt of borrowers in the state of Florida is almost $24,000, and over half of 2015 college graduates had student loan debt, according to the Institute for College Access & Success’ recently released report on student debt.

The Florida 529 Savings Plan lets families avoid debt by saving at their own pace for college expenses, from tuition and fees to housing and books.  A family can contribute as much and as often as desired, and accounts can be opened at any time.

There is no minimum contribution to open a Florida 529 Savings account, and there are no application fees. This makes the Florida 529 Savings Plan one of the most affordable ways for families to save for college. The Florida 529 Savings Plan was a Top 5 performer among direct-sold 529 plans for the 10-year time period in Savingforcollege.com’s 2016 performance rankings.

Here are the details of the Florida 529 Savings Plan Scholarship Giveaway:

What: The Florida 529 Savings Plan Scholarship Program and you could be one of 10 lucky winners of a $529 scholarship deposited into a Florida 529 Savings Plan account.

When: Enter anytime between May 15 and June 11

How: Visit FloridaPrepaidCollege.com to enter today!


Wishing I could stop time, I know the friendships he’s made in elementary school will be ones to remember when he’s in college. And I’m sure that college will be an amazing place for him to make more memories too.

Disclaimer: I’m a Florida Prepaid Blogger Ambassador. I’m also a Mom of 4 kids who knows the value of saving for college. All opinions are my own.  

05 May 2017

How to Host a #DisneyKids Fit Kids PLAY Date

No Comments Disney, Healthy Living, Kids, Party Planning, Sponsored, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Kids

We just got back from Walt Disney World Resort where we experienced our very first runDisney Kids Race!  The entire event was so much fun for all the kids that were there!  You could even participate in all the free fun activities even if you weren’t participating!

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03 May 2017

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is EPIC || #GOTGVOL2

No Comments Disney, Disney Movies, Marvel, Movies, Review, Sneak Peak

I’ve been blogging for a while now and I also am addicted to reading blogs! Especially about movies! And in the past year, I have been fortunate to have seen some very cool movies before they hit theaters.

I had an AWESOME opportunity to see GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2 a few days before everyone else, but let me tell you…when I told my son we had media passes, he lost it! I have also been reading about all the cast insights and more from a few lucky blogger friends of mine who were picked to be red carpet bloggers at the premier! They got to interview the cast and I just couldn’t stop reading! Check out my friend, Vera’s blog, Lady and The Blog, where she dishes with the whole cast and more! So jealous and so excited to see the movie!

We had just seen Guardians of the Galaxy, for the 100th time, last week on our weekly Friday night family movie night! I got ambitious and made these to get the kids more excited to see the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2 on May 5th:

They were delicious by the way. And totally earned me some cool Mom points too!

And then we saw the movie…

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.

OMG! I just can’t spoil it. It would be so unfair. But let me tell you….I laughed, I cried, and all I wanted to do was hug that Baby Groot! It was far beyond what I was was expecting and I was expecting some great things from this movie! The music is epic and tells so much of the story just as it did in the first movie. Dive deeper into the characters and where they came from and how much they mean to each other. And yes, there are even better scenes than the epic dance off with Peter Quill or the dancing Baby Groot to the Jackson 5 from the first movie. The Star Lord will return!

So… now, I have officially hopped on the bandwagon of super galactic fan and will be going out to buy all the things “Groot” and more! Thankfully, there is a ton of super fun toys for me to by my kids (and I promise I will only play with them while they are at school) and my friend Vera, from Lady and the Blog, has an amazing toy guide already done here, so no need for me to recreate the wheel! Check it out here so you’ll know what to buy! But the first thing I am buying is the soundtrack.

And I hope you go see the movie. Like opening day. May 5th. Get your tickers now. Like right now. And bring some tissues. You’ll need those too.

Make sure to follow along with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2 on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

I was invited as a member of the media to a press screening of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2 for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

01 May 2017

Mama Loves: Exploring Tampa Bay

No Comments Family Travel, Florida, Kids On Vacation, Mama Loves, Tampa, Tampa Bay

Tampa- Pirate Water Taxi

 

My favorite way to explore a new city that I am visiting is taking recommendations from the people who know it best. The insiders. The experts. The locals. It’s no secret that I love Tampa. It’s one of my favorite cities in all of Florida! I know it inside and out. I love learning about what’s new, what’s coming, and what’s happening. My kids and I often play tourists in our own city, taking time to have fun and experience new things in our own backyard.

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01 May 2017

Car 3 Hits Theaters on June 16th #Cars3|| Tampa Mama

No Comments Disney, Disney Movies, Movies

We can’t wait for Cars 3 to be our first movie of the summer! Jake was a toddler when the first movie came out and it was his first in the theater. He was obsessed with this movie. I mean, I can easily recite every word to the first movie. So here is the newest trailer! I’m getting more excited each time that they share something new!!!

Trust me! We even went as far as to take Jake to do a Junior Ride-a-long at the Richard Petty Experience Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando in a race car that looked like the characters! I totally earned some cool Mom points for that one! (Note: This is no longer available at Walt Disney World. It is available in two NACSAR locations. More details here.)

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We’ve even been to Daytona International Speedway to see where these guys really come from. But Abby wasn’t around yet. Looks like we might have to make a trip back soon with her in tow!

Cars 3 in theaters on June 16th! Follow along on Facebook for all the newest details! Get your engines ready!

25 Apr 2017

Tampa Mama Adventures: runDisney + GoGo squeeZ at the Kids Races || ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando Florida 

No Comments Lifestyle

So you might have seen us on my InstaStory the other day on the scene for the runDisney Kids Races!  These races are held 2 days during the runDisney races at either Disney World or Disneyland. We were a guest of GoGoSqueeZ, the new sponsor for the kids races and the official applesauce of Walt Disney World. We’ve been out before but never to participate in the activities!

The Expo is huge!  Lots to see but not too much for kids inside. More shopp me for Disney themed merchandise and official runDisney pins and more. Outside, on the runDisney Kids Race days (Friday & Saturday), there is SO much for kids to do!  The gates open at 10am for kids and families on the New Balance Field.

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