Archive for Florida

20 Dec 2015

Teaching Kids About Health and Fitness with Ringling Bros. Circus in Tampa

3 Comments Ad, Adventures, Family Travel, Florida, Giveaway, Sponsored, Tampa, Tampa Bay

Each year, we go to see the Circus! I am always in awe of the performers and what they are able to do! This year, they come to America with a 90-city tour, that begins here in Tampa Bay with their new show: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus presents Legends! This show is set to let you eyes feast on fanciful and mysterious acts that will have you in amazement! This is still “the greatest show on Earth!”


My kids have visited the circus each year and it is always a new show when it comes to town. Never the same. Yet the acts in each show are just amazing to watch! They are all so talented and so athletic that I often wonder if my 6 and 10 year old gymnast will one day run away with the circus because they have a talent that they have learned from a young age!

I learned of a program that is supported by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Circus Fit! They have partnered with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition to help children remember how FUN it is to be FIT! They have a curriculum that it is FREE and available for download so that teachers and community leaders can implement bringing fitness, nutrition and healthy living to classrooms and after-school programs anywhere!

Did you know that Circus Fit can help educators with lesson plans, interactive video clips, handouts and a host of additional support materials and information that will help you set your students or youth group on the path to a physically fit and healthy lifestyle!

My passion project, Fit Kids Playground, has taught me that fitness should be made fun for kids and coming from a clown, childhood obesity is no laughing matter! This is a wonderful way for kids to want to have fun, be silly and get fit all at the same time! I hope that more teachers, preschool coordinators or community leaders learn about this opportunity and curriculum that is available to everyone for free. It is a great way to head to the circus and talk about how all the acts use healthy habits to keep them doing the amazing things that they can do.

If you haven’t got your tickets yet, an insiders tip is that opening night is typically less in cost, but there is only one show.
There is also an additional add on this year! Ticketholders can purchase an upgrade and go backstage with a VIP Behind the Scenes Tour of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. The backstage experience includes an insider look at props and wardrobe, an up close and personal encounter with the animals and a chance to meet stars from the show. Fans will also have an opportunity to take pictures and learn educational fun facts. To take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, just log on to ringlingbros.expapp.com from your iPhone or Android smartphone, and provide your name, e-mail and phone number to become a VIP circus insider.

This is a limited ticket and allows you access to a personal and once-in-a-lifetime experience that will have your family walking with clowns, petting elephants, shaking hands with the Ringmaster and standing in the infamous motorcycle Globe of Steel! How fun!

And of course, for any show, arrive an hour early for an All Access Pre-show that starts an hour before the show. Come down to the arena floor and meet the performers of The Greatest Show On Earth, get autographs, take photos and enter to win a one-of-a-kind pachyderm painting.  Take lots of pictures and be sure to show them off to your friends! It is really like you were a part of the circus!

We have been provided with a 1 family-4-pack for tickets to the Tampa Bay show happening January 6 at the Amalie Arena. 8 shows in all. We are so excited to help kids push away the screen with “the greatest show on Earth!”

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16 Dec 2015

Ways to Raise Caring Kids: Giving Back During the Holiday Season

No Comments Adventures, Florida, Holidays, Kids, Parenting, Raising Children, Studio 10 TV Segment, Tampa, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized

You might not think your children understand the “true meaning” of the holidays, but it is never to early to start teaching your kids gratitiude and compassion towards others, especially during this time of year. 

  
With Santa on their mind and toys swimming through their head, often times it is good to take a step back and think about how you can give to others. Take some time to give back as a family or brighten someone’s day and take advantage of all the teachable moments along the way too.

 Shelby and I had the opportunity to be on Studio 10 TV in Tampa to talk about how we give back and ways kids can help make spirits bright during the holidays for others! Trust me, the kids will love it!

If you missed the segment here’s a link and what you might have missed!

Giving Back With Kids on Studio 10 TV 

  
Together as a Family

Activity: Shop Together & Donate Toys or Food

Tampa Connection: Metropolitan Ministries

  

 
As always, modeling the behavior you want your children to demonstrate is a wonderful way to teach your kids about kindness and compassion. We donate our gently used toys and clothes throughout the year and have the kids actively participate. The holidays are also a perfect time to go on a family outing to a store and shop together with others in mind. Adopt a family or donate a meal you’ll be enjoying. You’d be surprised how involved the kids will become in choosing toys or food for others. Talking about what you are doing will always lead to more questions and many teachable moments.

 

Teachable Moments

Activity: Operation Christmas Child

Locations: Anywhere

Kids love to pick out gifts and give them to others. We’ve used Operation Christmas Child to talk about others far away that might not have what we have here in America. We participate and even track our box to see what country it will be going to and then we learn about their country too. Last year, Operation Christmas Child delivered over 10 million boxes in over 100 countries.

 

Parent Challenge: Set aside money for them to help choose a charity that would make them feel good about giving.

 

 

The Power of One

Activity: Start a Drive

As a Girl Scout Leader, we have realized that the power of one combined with that of the power of others, amazing things can happen. Encourage your child to start a drive that might benefit a group they might be passionate about in your community! With so many non-profits to choose from in the community, I bet they didn’t know there are so many ways to help others!

 

Remember the Intangibles

Activity: Brighten Someone’s Day

Nursing Homes, Neighbors, Family & Friends

  

 
Time is a most precious gift to give. Weather you spend it baking, making a card or just sharing a smile, kids should always remember that it is the thought that counts. Brighten someone’s day by baking some cookies and delivering the package to your neighbors. Go visit relatives that you might not see often. Plan to sign carols at a nursing home. Stay a while and talk to the residents. Make a simple gift to give them. The thoughtfulness of the act will speak volumes to someone else. Smile!

  

 Teaching Thankfulness

Activity: Thank You Cards

Your child might be fortunate enough to receive gifts from many familiy members and friends! Teach gratitude by making thank you notes fun! Go around the table at meal time to share what everyone is thankful for. As the kids grow older, it is the hope that instilling compassion, kindness and gratitude that they will remember and continue to pass it forward in life. Giving doesn’t have to be confined to the holidays, there are plenty of ways to give year round too.

23 Nov 2015

Florida Family Holiday Traditions: Christmas at Gaylord Palms Resort 

3 Comments Family Travel, Florida, Holidays, Review, Travel, Travel Tuesday, Uncategorized


{UPDATE: 11/20/2017. Pictured Above: The 2014 Majestic Tree. Below details are from the 2017 event.} Read more

09 Nov 2015

Movie Sneak Peak: My All American

No Comments Florida, Giveaway, Movies, Tampa, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized

  
If you loved classic feel-good inspirational movies like Rudy and Hoosiers, you’ll love My All American based on a true story about Freddie Steinmark at the University of Texas. 

Thanks to my friends at Clarius Entertainment, I have 20 pairs of tickets to give away to the Tuesday, November 10th 7:30pm screening at AMC Westshore.

Download your tickets here!  Tickets are first come, first serve and the screening is also first come, first serve. We recommend that you arrive early to claim your seat.

We can’t wait to see the movie with you!

My All American is officially out on November 13th and tickets can easily be purchased on Fandango

Enjoy the show!

19 Oct 2015

Fall in Florida

2 Comments Adventures, Family Travel, Florida, Tampa, Tampa Bay, Travel

“It’s the most…wonderful time…of the year!”

We love October in the Fall! To be honest, it is trylu the best time to visit the state. It isn’t too cold. The skies are always bright blue. There is a slight nip in the morning air, but summer weather by the afternoon. No real rain storms to ruin your plans. I would highly recommend planning a vacation to anywhere in Florida in the fall.

We live in Tampa, obviously, so I’m sharing my favorite things to do in fall in my neck of the woods. We often travel to Orlando and Kissimmee too, so I’ll throw a few Central Florida things in there as well.

What to do first! In Tampa, there are so many options that I often get overwhelmed with what to do on the beautiful weekends. With so much to choose from, you’ll have to weigh your options and figure out what is age appropriate first, and go from there!

Family Fun

My top picks for the whole family are places and some events that happen each October in the Tampa area. The weather couldn’t be more beautiful, so it’s definitely a time to get outside and enjoy it!

Halloween Fun

If you have little ones and want to head out and experience this fun time of year with the kids in costumes, I love these events! You are sure to have an amazing time!

Adult Halloween Fun

And now for all you grown-ups that want to have some scary fun too, here’s a few more places you’ll love to visit (and I definitely will not be going with you.) Now, I will disclose, that I have had friends take their adventurous tweens to these, but that is your choice. I haven’t been in a long time, and my kids are not into scary. We will stick with family fun for now!

Hope you and yours have a Happy Halloween!

29 Jul 2015

Tampa Mama is Your Urban Insider for Tampa Bay: Tampa eBoats in Tampa’s Downtown

1 Comment Adventures, Everyday, Family Travel, Florida, Tampa, Tampa Bay, Travel, Travel Tuesday

  

I love showing off MY city! Knowing Tampa inside and out, I often have the opportunity to give an insider perspective for place I love to visit. I live close to Tampa’s Downtown and many know I can be found hanging out with my kids at events, museums or on the water.
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27 Jun 2015

Tampa Mama on Vacation: Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine are Historic Florida

No Comments Adventures, Family Travel, Florida, Sponsored, Travel, Travel Tuesday

A beautiful place to visit on Florida’s Historic Coast. Ponte Vedra is just north of the historic St.Augustine, the oldest city in Florida. An escape to a beach less traveled and a wealth of history to learn about. A few pictures of what to expect when you visit. More to follow about our travels as we explore this luxurious historic coast, as a couple and with kids. Follow along with us as we travel for Trekaroo to this coast and learn more about its beauty!

Featured: Ponte Vedra Inn and Club

Beach: Ponte Vedra Beach at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club   
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22 Jun 2015

Dateline NBC: My Kid Would Never Do That Gun Safety. – Teach. Hope. Pray.

No Comments Adventures, Florida, Parenting, Tampa

How do you really know… What they would do.

Dateline NBC My Kid Would Never Do That Gun Safety

They found a gun.
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04 Apr 2015

Push Away The Screen: NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa Bay Florida

No Comments Adventures, Florida, Kids, Tampa, Tampa Bay

IMG_7547.JPG

Did you head down to Amalie Arena to experience the NCAA Women’s Final Four while it was here? Are you planning on going?

Do it. Make it down there. Push away that screen and get your kids out for a day they won’t forget. Thanks to the Sports Commission of Tampa Bay for all the work they have put into making Tampa the host city for the 2015 NCAA Women’s Final Four.

Read more

04 Mar 2015

Family Fun at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida

No Comments Adventures, Disney, Family Travel, Florida, Kids, Orlando, Review, Travel Tuesday

Updated February 22, 2016

Each year, I have the opportunity to visit the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival that takes place early March through May at Epcot in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Backyard Garden Epcot

It is by far, one of my favorite times of the year to visit Disney. The weather is beautiful and the sites are just gorgeous! The topiaries, flowers, experiences throughout Epcot are amazing and each year they bring out new bands, food and more to bring the festival to life.

Muppet Topiary Epcot

This year, 2016, marks the 23rd annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. It will kick off on March 2nd and runs through May 30, 2016. A few new additions that we can report are the following: (pictures to follow)

  • The Garden Rocks concert series kicks off weekends and with a view overlooking the water, it’s just perfect! Catch The Gin Blossoms (I know, right?!) on May 6-8 and various artists every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Shows will be at 5:30pm, 6:45pm & 8pm at the America Gardens Theatre and are included in admission.
  • Follow along with others on social media using the official hashtag (which hasn’t been updated as of today’s post).
  • Illuminated Gardens will have you wanting to stay into the night to visit the park while the gardens are a glow! You must stay for the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, award-winning fireworks display at 9pm nightly. Have your spot picked out or purchase tickets to the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party and be ready to enjoy desserts from all around the world.
  • Butterflies on the Go Presented by Go Go squeeZ: The butterfly garden is always our favorite as you can marvel at these gentle creatures as they fly around this beautiful garden! Always a favorite with my kids, this year, the garden will have some wonderful surprises from the gang at Go Go squeeZ!
  • Of course, the famous character topiaries are always a must see! For a full line-up of who is where, visit the Disney Parks Blog here.
  • Dining our way through the World Showcase at Epcot is always on our list of things to do. Of course, you can dine with the characters at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway (make reservations here) or watch fireworks from your window side table at Tokyo Dining or on the patio at the Spice Road Table. There are so many place to choose from…what are you in the mood for!
  • Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

    Your entire family will enjoy Epcot during this amazing time of year. Spring is even more beautiful than you could have ever imagined. And of course at Disney, it’s even better.

    What’s your favorite part of the festival?! Talk with me on Twitter throughout the festival and let me know!