Archive for Lifestyle

08 Jul 2015

Tampa Mama Named Top Florida-Based Mom Blogger

No Comments Family Travel, Lifestyle, Professional, Travel, Travel Tuesday

Flip Key Award Winner

Very excited to announce that I was selected as a “Top Florida-Based Mom Blog” by Trip Advisor’s Flip Key! Expert advice, great travel ideas always com from FlipKey blog where everyone can search for travel inspiration, destinations we love, insights for owners, and so much more! The FlipKey is a vacation rental marketplace with more than 300,000 rentals around the world. Find the perfect place to stay for your trip, and get great value along with the space, privacy and amenities of home. Recommended by Travel + Leisure in the annual Villa Guide, you’ll definitely want to check them out the next time you are ready to book a vacation!

I’m excited to be a travel expert {soon} contributing about Florida travel for the Flip Key Blog so be on the look out for some great Florida travel content!
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01 Jul 2015

Travel Hacks: 4 Things I Never Travel Without

No Comments Adventures, Family Travel, Kids, Lifestyle, Parenting, Raising Children

I travel with 4 kids all the time. I have been on the road on vacation for about 3 years now. My little one is still little and there are a few things I have learned to never leave the house without. I know there are more but these are a few of the items that my travel list every trip.

1. A bottle and a bottle brush

 If you are traveling with babies, it will be easy to clean a bottle only if you have the right tools!
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19 Jun 2015

Turn Date Night into a Staycation at Home With the Draftmark Home Tap System

No Comments Ad, Lifestyle, Review, Sponsored, Tampa, Tampa Bay

  
We love to go out. My husband and I that is. But honestly, when we add up the babysitter, the dinner, the drinks, the Über cab, the time it’s going to take me to get ready and get dinner ready for four kids… Ummmm… I’m exhausted already and all I really want to do is relax… at home… after I get the kids to bed with my favorite person.

But what do we really miss when we can’t go out? I think it is a toss up between the draught beer and the ambiance. It’s so nice to just relax on the patio of some of our favorite place, chill and just be. A cold beverage is always nice and a location is everything! 

Click here to know where we go when we do go out on date night in Tampa!
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14 Jun 2015

All For One And One For All

No Comments Everyday, Kids, Lifestyle, Parenting

The girls had another successful year in gymnastics. At this point, I’m so glad they are trying things and having fun. 

We aren’t planning college scholarships and drafts yet. Enjoying the shows, making memories and always learning!       
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29 May 2015

First Day of School vs. Last Day of School: A Collection of Photos of How Far We Have Come

2 Comments Adventures, Kids, Lifestyle, Parenting, Raising Children

It’s the end. We are crossing the finish line of the school year and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty. It is definitely not pretty when you finish any kind of marathon you have worked so hard for. You are tired. You are a wreck and you honestly, look like a train wreck. But you finished and that’s all that matters. We are almost there (maybe some crossed the line this week) but I wanted to recap how far we have come (or actually how far we have fallen) from that first day of school.

First day of school be like:
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11 Apr 2015

Mama Loves: To Look Good- Blo Blow Dry Bar Tampa

No Comments Lifestyle, Personal, Review, Tampa, Tampa Bay

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Am I right?! I know. It’s hard. Trust me taking a shower, wrangling kids while attempting to curl your hair, cook dinner and apply make-up is always fun ( I know) but come on… WHEN, was the last time you looked REALLY good? I mean the last time you took an uninterrupted shower, dried your hair and spruced up to do something fabulous?! I know my navy blue yoga pants are my tried and true, but I’m beginning to think people might think that’s all I own. Going to the grocery store, running errands, chasing a toddler might not be the most glamorous job (and she doesn’t mind my yoga pants) but I will say, I do feel better about my whole day if I’m put together, ready to conquer the day.

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06 Apr 2015

Easter With My People

No Comments Adventures, Lifestyle, Monday Motto, Raising Children, Uncategorized

Monday Motto: Keep it real.

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A simple day. Just us. No fuss. Just family time. We cooked together. We laughed. One of the best holidays.

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12 Jul 2014

Just One Person

2 Comments Lifestyle, Parenting, Personal

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Do you know the power of one? One voice. One friend. One person helping you out when you most need it. Almost ten years ago, I wrote my first blog post. I started using social media (before that was really even a word) to start a stream of pictures that my parents could easily access anytime they wanted to see their first grandchild. I didn’t know that that other people would read my posts, see what we were up to or connect with me because they found someone who might be able to help.

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14 May 2014

Yesterday Is But A Dream

3 Comments Everyday, Kids, Lifestyle, Personal, Raising Children

Yesterday seems like a dream. But that’s how phases go with kids. When your in it, you think you’ll never get out of that phase. And once your out, you begin to realize that it really wasn’t that long.

And for us, just like that, Abby is off and walking.

Everyone said it would come.

And it has.

She walks. She talks. She is on her way.

I am overwhelmed with emotions when I watch her walk across the room each time.

I want to cheer, “Go Abby GO!” as her biggest cheerleader. The big kids cheer her on and we clap and smile and make her feel like she just won an Olympic medal, and each time she walks further and further.

I want to cry because I’m so happy that after 9 months of the smallest steps, she’s finally figured it out on her own.

I want to freeze time as I know she’s my last and I know my raising babies days are numbered. Yes, they will always be my babies but we all know time is of the essence.

So today here we are. Walking. At one point I thought we were so far behind. Too far to catch up. We didn’t give up though. We’ve been to therapy, Mom and Me, parks upon parks plus have spent countless hours playing. And playing means working in baby years. And yes, there always was a purpose.

So to my children, I will always use the example of remember when Abby couldn’t walk? And we tried and tried everyday. And we we didn’t give up? You shouldn’t either. You can’t give up. You just try harder. Be patient. And when your ready, it will happen. And yesterday, when you couldn’t do it, will only be a dream.

11 May 2014

The REAL Mother’s Day Story

No Comments Everyday, Kids, Lifestyle, Personal

The REAL Mother’s Day Story

I wish I could tell you that I got to sleep in, was made breakfast in bed and then was treated to a brunch where all my kids looked gorgeous and then we went for a walk on the beach and my husband cooked dinner and everyone went to bed early so me and hubby could relax and reminisce of our wonderful day together on this 9th Mother’s Day we have shared.

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Ummmm…. WRONG! DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200. GO DURECTLT TO JAIL IF YOU THINK THATS HOW THIS STORY GOES.

I’m writing to you from the bathroom. Yup. The bathroom. Where I’m contemplating a.) taking a shower b.) just sitting and typing c.) hiding from the outside world or d.) reminiscing of my crazy (per usual Sunday morning or e.) all of the above.

Correct Answer: e- All of the above.

So let me shoot it to you straight, people. The REAL Mothers’s Day happens, well anytime I get a “get out if jail free” card and can escape the house to have alone time. And that includes work. Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOOOOVVE my crew, but 4 is/can be/ will always be a house of crazy with love on top. Just the way things are. Mother’s Day is a fun day to attempt to call it a holiday, but who are we kidding?! Unless, I’m 10,000 miles away, on a work trip or deathly ill in the hospital, I have had more relaxing days spent at the dentist than on Mother’s Day. Sorry…that’s the truth.

So today, on this glorious day that we honor Mothers, my husband gets sick. Sick like stay-away-and-don’t-come-near-me-because-if-you-get-me-or-a-kid-sick-I-will-kill-you-because-ain’t-nobody-got-time-for-that- sick.

So, I put on my big girl panties and did what any good Mother would do. Got shit done. Told Hubby to go back to bed and stay away from us, first. Then the real party got started. We were all … up at 7, breakfast by 7:30, work by 8, errands by 9, car wash by 10, lunch by 11, and naps at noon.

And here I am now. Now enjoying peace and quiet, albeit in the bathroom where I’d rather do my therapy (that’s really what this blogging thing is also known as) instead of out in the living room for just a few minutes….And hopefully I’ll get a shower, brush my teeth, and get to dry my hair to be human by this afternoon. But today will go on. It will end as quick as it started and just be another day in the books.

So it wasn’t the story book day everyone paints. It never is. But the day was great. Because it really was. I got to hang with my 4 little people. They had fun at the car wash and Target. They loved lunch at Sweet Tomatoes (not because I wanted to go there but because I knew everyone could agree on there.) We had a typical day, filled with the typical stuff and that’s a okay with me. Because somewhere out there, I’m sure my day sounds pretty perfect to someone else, just as theirs sounds pretty perfect to me.

One more thing…let’s face it- do you KNOW how much effort goes into those picture perfect kids at church or at the store? Do you understand how much timing is involved in getting everyone out the door looking all fancy? I’m exhausted just thinking about it. (The next time you are at church, congratulate the patents who have themselves put together and the kids.) Smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors.

We are Mothers, everyday, to anyone and everyone who needs our help in anytime and any place. We jump at the chance to help others out, near and far, offer support, love, friendship, trust and faith to those that need to be picked up. We just do. Make it work. It’s what we all do best. P.S. We aren’t always perfect either (note the breakfast below I almost served my kid because I was exhausted and didn’t read the label!)

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So on today, this 100th Mother’s Day, I hope everyone realizes that it’s really no different that any other day. Yes, there’s some more freebies, and if you get pampered, consider yourself one of the lucky, but just remember to thank your Mother more than just one time a year. A small token (kiss, hug, call, night out, etc.) of appreciation goes VERY far and we always love it, just as we do on Mother’s Day.

So now, I’m going to take a nap. A nap sounds like a wonderful present to me. Nap wins over shower. Maybe tomorrow… Decisions, decisions…

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Smile and make the best of the day! It’s all you really have control of anyways!