27 Apr 2016

Sprinkles Cupcakes Opens in Tampa, Florida!

No Comments Florida, Tampa, Tampa Bay

 

 
When we walked into the pink cupcake store, my daughter went straight to the cupcake counter and started pointing at every beautiful cupcake she wanted to try! Lucky for us, we were able to indulge in many of the flavors that will be available to the citizens of Tampa (and Florida as this is the FIRST Sprinkles Cupcakes in the state!)

Toddler life decisions.

Of course, we also had the chance to decorate our very own and sprinkles and rainbows were in order!

Don’t forget your #SprinklesSelfie before you leave! You’ll actually want to do an entire photo shoot here as you just can’t help but LOVE the decor!

This Sprinkles Cupcake store will be located in Hyde Park Village and will open on April 30th. Part of the newly renovated Hyde Park Village expansion, this is one of many new stores set to revive this happening area of South Tampa. Stores you won’t find elsewhere in the city or state, will call Hyde Park Village home!

Cookies, custom orders and a few other sweet treats will be available and each one lives up to being as delicious as they sound! You’ll definitely make someone’s day when you show up with these gourmet cupcakes in their pretty little box!

Make sure you take a box home to the family. Use their signature Cupcake ATM (what?!?!) for those late night runs when nothing else will satisfy your craving other than their red velvet cupcakes!

Life is better with sprinkles on top and we can’t help but smile when we walk in this store!

15 Apr 2016

Easy Cooking With Kids

No Comments Ad, Cooking, Everyday, Kids, Sponsored

This post is sponsored by Bush’s Beans. Thank you for supporting Tampa Mama. 

 

Abby and I love to cook together!  It’s been fun watching her WANT to cook with me! She sees her “big kids” cook with me and it’s been fun to explore food with her. When she cooks something, she’s definitely much more willing to try it too!

 

Kids learn so much about themselves when cooking in the kitchen!

I recently learned of a new product called Bush’s Hummus Made Easy. And it’s now my new favorite product!  There are only two ingredients needed to make it!  A can of Bush’s Beans and the Hummus Made Easy packet!  We love hummus and when we want a quick easy and healthy snack, this will do the trick!

And you know it’s a hit when your sisters (who don’t really like hummus) are diving right in. We made the hummus in advance of a party we were having and ended up needing to make more! My kids ate the entire bowl with carrots, celery and pretzels!

Seriously. This is all you need! And of course, you can doctor it up as you like! We found these at Walmart and picked them up in the bean isle.

 

Bush’s Hummus Made Easy is available in 3 flavors: Classic, Roasted Red Pepper and Southwest Black Bean. 

The combinations are endless!  It’s so much fun to experiment with their three flavors and add our own twists! Abby is so proud of what she makes in the kitchen with me. I love cooking with kids and it doesn’t have to be hard!  It should be a fun activity that both of you will want to do again! Keep those kids in the kitchen!

Abby’s Olive Hummus

One can Bush’s Garbanzo Beans

One package Bush’s Hummus Made Easy- Classic

1 Cup Olives- Of your choice

Blend as directed with 1/2 cup olives

Use 1/2 cup of olives to garnish

For more fun ideas and recipes you can use Bush’s Hummus Made Easy, visit our Pinterest page!

 

 

08 Apr 2016

Growing Healthy Together:A Gerber Lil Beanies Rainbow Garden Party for Picky Eaters

No Comments Ad, Healthy Living, Kids, Lifestyle, Mama Loves, Sponsored

Get ready to win one over on your picky lil’ eaters with these Gerber Lil’ Beanies snacks! This post is sponsored by Nestle, Walmart and written on behalf of The Women Bloggers in association with The Kendall King Group and #SoapBoxInfluence. As always, the content created is my own and as always, all thoughts and opinion about the product are my own too! 

  
We love to throw a good party! Especially when our friends can come over, play in the dirt and eat healthy snacks! 

Do you have a picky eater? Do your kids like to go to parties? If the answer is yes, then you need to host THIS party. Invite all your friends who have picky lil eaters and throw a party. You can tell them they are headed to a “rainbow garden party! But the truth be told, this could be your big chance to turn over a new leaf!  

 

I love the theme of Rainbow Garden Party for so many reasons! You can really do so much with decorations too! 

We all would love our kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables everyday butsometimes it’s hard to get them to try. There are many things you can do you at your party that our secret little ways that will get your kids trying new things.

  
 I have some really fun ways that you can get these lil’ kids excited about healthy foods!

  
1. Coloring a Garden

A simple fun activity that lets kids create while settling into the party! I printed a cute coloring sheet and always a bonus when you can take your drawing home!

  
2. Planting their own seeds

Get these kids dirty! Let their little hands play with bean seeds that they can take home, water and watch grow to be replanted once sprouted! Super easy and such a great way to show them where healthy foods come from!

  
3. Tasting a Rainbow

Picky eaters will eat…eventually! But making colorful presentations, of simple healthy foods is always worth a shot! Give them the idea that they are eating a rainbow! Especially if it is bite sized! My kids love anything mini!

  
4. Super Healthy Snacks- Kid & Mom Approved!

The Gerber Lil’ Beanies were a perfect addition to our rainbow party as a healthy snack to add into our rainbow of snacks! Made from navy beans and rice flour, it was good to point out to the kids these were made with beans (essentially from the garden!) Being that these snacks are non- GMO as well as have no artificial coloring or flavors, they were a big hit with the Moms too!  It’s the perfect snack to bring that I feel really good about giving to my kids! And as a busy Mom of four, I love knowing that my littlest one is getting 2g of protein and 1g of fiber per serving! Every lil’ bit counts!

  
5. Hand Print Promise 

Kids do love to paint and this take away let’s your friends take a little bit of the party home! A ‘Hand Print Promise’ is easy to make and s great way to have the kids be reminded about eating healthy foods the next time they ask for a snack! You get to hang that print on the fridge and say, “Remember you promised to eat healthy foods, so let’s choose a good snack together!” 

Hope these tips help with your picky lil’ eaters!  Look for Lil’ Beanies in two flavors: White Cheddar & Broccoli or Original (Sea Salt) in Walmart stores now as they are new to the Gerber line of foods, perfect for kids 18 months to 48 months! (And truth be told, my 10 year old LOVES them too! SHHHHHH… she’s snacking healthy!)

Try and try again!  Do you have any tips you could share?! We always love new tips! Good luck out there Mom and Dad!

Tama Mama Signature

04 Apr 2016

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Topiary Pictures 

No Comments Disney, Family Travel, Kids, Lifestyle, Orlando, Photography, Travel

I’ve been around the world a time or two in Epcot and my most favorite time of year is Spring!  It’s an amazing time to see all the characters recreated as life-like topiaries!  Here’s a quick trip around the World! If you haven’t been, there still time to visit!  

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

 

03 Apr 2016

My Very, Very Smelly Breath: Raising Awareness For Pet Dental Health

No Comments Book Review, Disney, Disney Citizenship, Giving Back, Kids, Raising Children, Tampa, Tampa Bay

Meet Shelby. My animal whisperer. She loves animals like I have never seen before. Unfortunately, we don’t have a puppy in our own home yet, but any chance she get (for example this was taken at the Hyde Park Village Farmers Market) she will find a dog to love on it.

Her latest favorite bedtime story is My Very, Very Smelly Breath. She received this book as a gift when our family was chosen to host a Disney Kids Play Date. We have read this book a thousand times already.

It is a scratch and sniff book that helps kids understand the importance of pet dental care.   Cute idea and cute concept.

The book is available at your local Banfield hospital for a suggested donation of $10 per book. One hundred percent of the donations will go to the Banfield Foundation™. In Tampa, Banfield hospitals are in PetSmarts all over town.

Shelby has already started collecting money to donate to their foundation. She’s planning a lemonade stand when the weather warms up. (More to come on that!) We have given to our local animal shelter before so she’s ready to help again!

I think when we are ready to get a pet, Shelby will be ready and waiting to make sure they don’t have smelly breath.

Thank you to BSM Media & MomSelect for sending us a copy of this book!  It has been a wonderful addition to our library!

03 Apr 2016

How Our Disney Kids Play Date Inspired us to Give Back

No Comments Community Service, Disney, Disney Citizenship, Giving Back, Parenting

 

We had so much fun at our #DisneyKids pool-side play date with our friends last weekend!

Disney Kids Preschool Play Date

After a bedtime story (our current favorite is My Very Very Smelly Breath), we love to talk about our day and anything on our mind. Last night, my six-year old wanted to talk about how much fun we had with all our friends at our Disney party and how lucky we were to have had such a magical day!

I said, “Not everybody get to have a magical day sometimes! And your magical powers helped us bring smiles to all the kids at our party!”

My 6 year old responded, 

“But Mommy, what about everyone that wasn’t invited?! How can I use my magic powers to help other kids have a magic day?”

I think she meant a good day, but nonetheless, it steamed into a conversation about using our powers for good and helping others when we can.

This got me thinking that it might be a teachable moment for me to show her where the power of giving can be her magical power. To help others.

I know it might seem early, but I personally feel that the earlier kids can start to volunteer and give back it will lead into getting kids to thinking about how they can help others. And there are so many ways!

We decided to look into volunteering at a food bank and it just so happened that Feeding America Tampa Bay was having a Girl Scout Hunger 101 event. She is a 2nd year Daisy, so this was a perfect fit! It was an age appropriate introduction and hands on experience for her to learn about how we can help others.

  
Knowing we were going to talk about hunger, we collected and brought with us food that we could donate to others who might be hungry.

We sat in on a session where the instructor talked to the kids about what hunger is and how some kids don’t know if they will have dinner when they go home from school. We talked about what they liked to eat and how it might feel if they went to be hungry.

  

 
{Feeding America Tampa Bay pictured above.}

We got a tour of their warehouse and also helped sort 1400 lbs of food! Everybody helped in some way and together we were able to help feed 171 people with meals from the food we helped with.

  
My girls were amazed that some kids go to bed hungry. They had so many questions. But that was good, because it shows me they are thinking. They loved using their magical super powers knowing they helped bring smiles to kids’ that might be sad because they were hungry.

“Mommy, can we go back and help again?”

“Of course we can.”

###

From the Disney Citizenship website: At Disney, we believe that our concern for kids and families must extend beyond their entertainment to the world in which they live. We aim to inspire people to think creatively, live healthier, conserve nature and strengthen our communities.

On April 15-17, 2016, the worlds largest service event is happening thanks to YSA. We hope you consider being a part of this awesome movement!

About GYSD

Established in 1988, Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) celebrates and mobilizes the millions of young people who improve their communities through service.  GYSD is the largest service event in the world and the only one dedicated to the contributions that children and youth make 365 days of the year.

GYSD is celebrated each year in more than 135 countries, with young people working together–and with schools, youth organizations, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, national service programs, government agencies, and  adult mentors– to address the world’s most critical issues and change their communities.

Thank you to BSM Media & Mom Select and Disney World Resorts for choosing our family to host a #DisneyKids play date and inspiring my kids to be the change in the world by helping others. “You can’t start a fire without a spark.”

03 Apr 2016

Celebrate Earth Day in Tampa Bay with EcoFest!

No Comments Family Time, Florida, Tampa, Tampa Bay

Want a family-fun free event to take your kids to in April to celebrate Earth Day?

Head to EcoFest 2016 – Earth Day Tampa Bay! 

EcoFest Earth Day Tampa Bay

The 7th annual EcoFest will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 23rd at the Lowry Park bandshell.

EcoFest is a community event organized by Learning Gate Community School, the City of Tampa and the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability to celebrate the many businesses, organizations, and individuals in the Tampa Bay area dedicated to the principles of sustainability – Ecology, Equity and Economy.

This year’s event features:

·         Over 100 local vendors (artists, green living products & services, environmental organizations, alternative health practitioners, renewable energy specialists, organic farms and gardens, etc.)

·         Sustainability workshops

·         a ParKour Agility Course (created by an American Ninja Warrior participant)

·         a Yoga Zone (Three Yoga Studios with live music)

·         “Trash the Bag” Crafts and Kid Zone

·         Costume characters -sure to attract the kids- who will pose for photos with attendees including: super heroes such as Spiderman, princesses, Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center’s mascot – Molly the Manatee, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful’s mascot – Pete the Pelican, and MOR-TV’s mascot – Stewie of Family Guy!

·         Drum circle

·         USF is supplying a Bull Runner Shuttle Bus to transport attendees to and from parking areas


For additional information click here to learn more about the City of Tampa’s EcoFest 2016!

02 Apr 2016

I Have A Dream (The Tired Mom Version)

No Comments Parenting, Raising Children

I have a dream…the tired, exhausted, overworked, Mom version…

I have a dream that one day my husband will rise up out of bed and say gloriously, “I am excited to do the dishes and get my children off to school with healthy homemade lunches and a warm breakfast in their bellies!”

I have a dream that one day in the home of our family, that we can al sit down at a table and eat a hot breakfast before school, smiling at each other and brothers and sisters will all get along, for at least one meal.

I have a dream that one day someone will say to me, “Take a day off! You deserve it! I will take your place and walk in your shoes for a day, and you don’t have to pay me!” I have a dream!!!

I have a dream that one day my four little children will learn to make their own meals, wash their own clothes and can drive themselves to school. They will have smiles on their faces and love every minute of helping with chores around the house.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day my husband will understand what I do and not judge me for saying, “I need a break!” He will understand and read my mind to know when I say, “I’m exhausted” which is code for “Can you PLEASE cook dinner, help with homework and the bedtime routines.” He will say,”Of course, Darling! Anything for you!” I have a dream today!

I have a dream that houses clean themselves magically and homework is absorbed via osmosis. Common Core Math does not exist and everyone has recess. I have a dream!

I have a dream that one day I will not be this tired and my body will magically transform back into it’s 20 year old self.

I have a dream…I have a dream…

01 Apr 2016

Best Healthy Travel Snacks

No Comments Ad, Healthy Living, Sponsored, Travel, Travel Tuesday

This content has been sponsored by Gerber Lil’ Beanies. Thank you for supporting Tampa Mama!

We love to travel and going on the road means we are going to need some snacks! I like to make sure our snacks are healthy and fun, but also portable and easy! Sometimes, it’s hard to make that snack fits into ALL categories!

We loved learning about Gerber Lil’ Beanies!

img_7219.jpg

The Gerber Lil’ Beanies were a perfect addition to our road trip snacks as a healthy snack that was so good! Made from navy beans and rice flour, it was good to point out to the kids these were made with beans!

Being that these snacks are non- GMO as well as have no artificial coloring or flavors, they were a big hit with the kids and that’s always important!

Gerber Lil Beanies

In addition to these, I like packing a few pouch applesauces, carrot sticks, string cheese, hummus and apple slices, we are set and ready to go on the road!

Travel Tip: Use cookie baking tins to give kids an easy tray to take on the road. It’s perfect for keeping all snakes separate while in the car!

And as a busy Mom of four, I love knowing that my littlest one is getting 2g of protein and 1g of fiber per serving! Every lil’ bit counts!

As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Sponsored content is created by Marisa Langford and my opinions are never bought.

30 Mar 2016

Screen on the Green Returns to Water Works Park in Downtown Tampa in April 2016

No Comments Tampa, Tampa Bay

Bring your blankets!