Archive for February, 2015

25 Feb 2015

Valspar Golf Championship Comes to Tampa Bay

1 Comment Adventures, Florida, Kids, Review, Sponsored, Tampa, Tampa Bay

Jake learning golf from the First Tee of Tampa Bay.

This is a sponsored post by Valspar Championship.

Golf is a life long sport. It is an amazing sport to introduce to children. We have

I have always wanted my kids to familiarize themselves with golf for a number of reasons. Golf is a wonderful sport for anyone to learn at any age at anytime. And most that are introduced at a later age would agree that they wish they would have learned it at a younger age. Here are 5 reasons golf is a great sport for kids:

1. Learn etiquette. Golf is a game of etiquette. You learn the rules. You follow the rules. You behave in a certain way when playing the sport. It’s a perfect way to learn characteristics that are often missing in the youth sports arena.

2. It’s a lifetime sport. One can play golf for a lifetime. It’s a sport that is a timeless classic and can be played by many at various skill levels.

3. Teaches personal responsibly. There are no teammates to blame if a shot doesn’t go your way. You learn to own the outcome of what transpires during each round.

4. Learn to focus. Concentration. Focus. Patience. Strength of character. Golf takes all if these skills and teaches kids to control their emotions during the highs and lows of the game. Just like in life, we must learn to deals with the good and the ugly, and by using lessons from golf, why not practice these skills.

5. Push away the screen. Playing golf is a fun activity to get kids outside (or inside) and away from the screen. With childhood obesity at an all time high, activities that help kids have fun and become active are needed!

For more ways to Push Away The Screen, visit Fit Kids Playground.

The Valspar Championship is the perfect place to take children (kids under 15 are free) so that they can experience golf at its best. The course is beautiful and it’s an professional experience that will get them excited to learn the sport.

For a listing of scheduled events for the upcoming championship, Sunday, March 8th through Sunday, March 16th, click here. There is a Jabil Family Fun Zone presented by Publix (8th and 9th holes) during the Championship rounds starting Thrusday, March 8- Sunday, March 12.

About the Championship:

The Valspar Championship is considered the most colorful PGA TOUR tournament in world, featuring some of the biggest names in golf, an interactive Family Fun Zone, a complimentary Saturday night concert featuring The Band Perry and opportunities to meet the players and receive autographs. The tournament takes place at the Innisbrook Resort and is scheduled this year for March 9-15, 2015. For ticket packages and information, visit ValsparChampionship.com or call 727-942-5566.

If you have an interest in starting your child in golf after the tournament, I personally recommend The First Tee of Tampa Bay. They have partnered courses all over the Tampa Bay area as well as classes and teams that are forming year round. Their mission: To impact the lives of young people in the Greater Tampa area by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

I have donated my 4, one-day tickets to the tournament, to The First Tee of Tampa Bay for families who will be taking their children to the Valspar Championship in hopes to inspire them to golf and learn the sport.

I loved golf from the moment I began playing when I was 9. I hope that other kids will learn to love it too.

If you’d like to win tickets, hop on over to my friend, The Eco Chic, where she is giving away 4 tickets!

18 Feb 2015

A Lesson from Annie in Optimism

No Comments Review, Sponsored, Tampa, Tampa Bay

I took my 9 year old daughter to her first musical, Annie. She absolutely loved every minute of this show. From the cast, the songs she had memorized from the movie and the entire experience that the Straz Center offers for bringing children into their theater for a first experience.

The Straz

But what stuck me most was the overall life lesson I really didn’t realize she got until the next day after school. It was raining and she didn’t too too well on a test. She was a little bummed but we don’t dwell on things. We address. Fix. And move on. She said, “Well, I bet there will be sun tomorrow!” all with a smile. Optimism is not something that is not inherent. Kids will learn how to handle situations based on how they see adults handle situations. I think that when kids (or adults) mess up or have a bad day, you do really have to remember that the “sun will come out tomorrow.” And it’s not easy all the time. Our actions speak louder than words and attitude is everything.

The show Annie is a delightful show full of the classic songs we remember from the movie and some new songs and plot twists that will have you watching until the very end. The young cast that is now on tour (through July 2015) is an extremely talented cast that will make you think you are on Broadway!

The set design was was purely magical as it transformed you from the streets of New York to with the skyline as real as it could be.

The optimistic Annie was played by Issie Swickle who is a Florida native of Davie and is making her National Tour debut. She voice is captivating as she sings the one of the most memorable songs of many childhoods, “Tomorrow.” While she is on stage alone (with the dog Sandy) you are in awe of her talents and captivated by the song. Of course, Miss Hannigna, played by Lynn Andrews, is a show stopper for she is still as mean as the day is long, just like we remember.

Take you kids to see Annie. It’s a life lesson that every child (and some adults) need to hear. And a musical that every child will remember forever as well.

*This post was sponsored by the Straz Center and through the Tampa Bay Bloggers Network. Search hashtags ‪#‎BroadwayInTampa‬ ‪#‎AnnieOnTour‬ to see first-hand how others enjoyed the show.

12 Feb 2015

5 Reasons Why Ulele is the Ultimate Date Night Restaurant in Tampa

2 Comments Family Travel, Florida, Opinion, Review, Sponsored, Tampa, Tampa Bay

Kids screaming. Baby crying. Homework is coming out of your ears. Laundry is to the ceiling. Girl Scout badges need to be sewn on. Grocery shopping needs to be done. The house needs a super deep clean. Better start filing taxes… And on and on the list goes. I get it. You need a break. We all do. A night. Take three hours. To relax. Enjoy your significant other or even a friendship. Just an escape. Even a three-hour break each week can immensely improve your mood for the other 165 hours I need to be on the clock.

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11 Feb 2015

The Story of Go Abby Go

No Comments Adventures, CAH, Everyday, Tampa, Tampa Bay

On Your Mark…Get Set…Go!

Abby is off to her very first race this Saturday. It’s a big race…30 yards. But that 30 yards has taken us 30 months to prepare for.

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02 Feb 2015

A Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name

No Comments Uncategorized

When I was 19 I started working at a bar. It was a popular bar that I had snuck into with friends. Started chatting with a gentleman at the bar (soon to find out he was the owner) who graciously asked, “How the f”ck did you get into my bar?” at the end of a very nice conversation. It was also followed up by, “You start tomorrow.” The next day was St.Patricks Day and I would work the longest shift I’ve ever worked. 9am to 6am. Best night of my waitressing career.

From there, lots of memories unfolded behind the bar of this quaint Irish Pub set back in the suburbs of Tampa. I meet lots of people who I still call friends to this day. Many friends I have lost touch with, but I could pick up a conversation with them if I saw them…In a heartbeat.

“It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There’s an old man sitting next to me
Making love to his tonic and gin.”

I continued on to finish college while working there and was able to finish college debit free because of this job. I enjoyed my job and loved the people there. The owners and co-workers were family. Many of us spent holidays and many occasions together, at the bar, with customers whom also were like family. This definitely was the place where everybody knows your name. Each night was finished off with Piano Man on the jukebox and a great (loud) rendition of Sweet Caroline. I meet many of my closest friends for the first time at the bar so long ago.

To me, this was more than just a bar, just a job, just people who were crossing in my path in life. I spent the better part of my 20’s there, growing up into the person I am today. Meeting people, learning their stories, before social media, when you weren’t glued to your phone when you went out, taking pictures of your beer and posting it. Lots of fun and memories that live on inside my mind and in my heart.

In that tiny bar, I met a boy, who I fell madly in love with. We had never met before and because all the stars were aligned, we crossed paths at that very place.

I truly believe that everyone has meaning in your life. For me, had I never had that conversation with that gentleman at the bar, my life might not be what it is today. People are put in your path for a reason and then taken out, too soon before you can even say thank you. Not sure where I’d be if I wouldn’t have taken that job.

I won’t have the chance to say thank you to Bernie for giving me a job. He was loved by everyone and I was proud to say I knew and worked for him. Thank you for the fond memories and for placing me in the right place at the right time.

“And the piano sounds like a carnival.
And the microphone smells like a beer.
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar.
And say “Man what are you doing here?”

Sing us a song you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feeling alright.”

Thanks for the memories Bernie!

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