Archive for Sponsored

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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23 Dec 2014

Experience Phantom of the Opera

No Comments Adventures, Review, Sponsored, Tampa, Tampa Bay

If you can’t get to New York City this lifetime and you want to experience what most tourists will do on their trip, treat yourself to an experience like no other when the Phantom of the Opera comes to you.

IMG_5195.JPGA packed house awaits the 2nd act of Phantom of the Opera at the Straz Center on December 19th, 2014 in Tampa, Florida.

Clearly, Phantom of the Opera could be considered one of the classics among attractions in New York City as it stands as the longest-running show in Broadway history with 26 years and counting, at the Majestic Theatre. In 2012, the show celebrated its 10,000th show. It is currently playing in 6 countries as well as on tour in the US North American.

Most Broadway show tours only come to cities city for a few short weeks. You should definitely take in a show, even if Broadway isn’t your thing, there is so much more to experience. When people say “On Broadway” it tends to have meaning much deeper than just a street location in New York City. It tends to have a prestige attached to it unmatched to any other. Known as the “Great White Way” for being one of America’s very first streets with lights, the marquee lights on all the theatre houses that light up Time’s Square have become iconic to people everywhere. The Theater District in New York City is now home to more than 40 professional theaters. Theaters can seat up to 500 people and host a variety of productions year round.

The Phantom of the Opera US Tour, which is happening now until January 2016, is everything a Broadway musical production should be, minus New York City of course, but pretty close to it. The stage is majestic. The voices are beautiful. The music is breathtaking. The overall experience is classic Broadway. Everything you might imagine on Broadway will come to you.

The story has never been changed from its original Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score. However, each new actor that plays the lead characters has the ability to interpret the role slightly different than the last. The special effects, including the show’s legendary chandelier, will still have the same impact on your experience, wherever you see it, just as if you were sitting inside the Majestic Theatre itself. Listening to perfect voices sing some of the most recognizable songs from the musical such as “Music of the Night” and “All I Ask of You” and “Wishing You Were Somehow Here” will have you wanting to give a standing ovation for each number.

Experiencing the theatre is an activity that the whole family will enjoy. For centuries, societies have used theatre as a form of entertainment that continues to live on into our generation and beyond. Many Broadway shows are now preformed and are geared towards the younger audiences too (Lion King, Matilda, Wicked, Cinderella just to name a few.) Phantom of the Opera might be a tad bit over the top for some kids (there are deaths that are slightly graphic by nature), but guaranteed that they will not forget the show. The meaning of mask and what it depicts might come later, but a love for theatre and the art form is what the experience is all about, no matter what the show.

The Straz Center currently is hosting its Best of Broadway series presented by Bank of America. Their shows are among some of the best that Broadway has to offer. For season tickets to these and other shows, visit them online to learn more.

Phantom of the Opera is on a US Tour until 2016. For tickets to a show in a city near you visit here. For tickets to the Tampa performances at the Straz Center from December 17th through January 4th, visit here.

Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Straz Center for the Phantom of the Opera performance. All opinions in this essay are my own.

 

11 Nov 2014

Family Friendly Dinner and a Movie at Studio Movie Grill Opens in Tampa

No Comments Ad, Dining Out, Florida, Sponsored, Studio 10 TV Segment, Tampa, Tampa Bay, Tampa Restaurants

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Studio Movie Grill has recently opened in north Tampa at the University Square Mall. Their state of the art theatre and newly renovated high tech theatre is a perfect place to brain the whole family for dinner and a movie (or even date night if you are that lucky.)

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17 Aug 2014

Winter has Hope: A Dolphin Tale 2 Movie Review

1 Comment Adventures, Family Travel, Florida, Opinion, Review, Sponsored, Tampa

Inspired by true events.

You could stay the storyline was written in the stars…

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After the amazing heart-warming and true story made the movie “Dolphin Tale,” we were inspired to say the least. We were so excited to hear “Dolphin Tale 2” would be out in 2014. Being that we aren’t in L.A., New York or Chicago and don’t have too many movies filmed in the Tampa Bay area, visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) where both movies have been filmed has been a highlight for people near and far for so many reasons. People all over the world visit to see and meet Winter because they have been truly inspired by her overcoming the loss of her tale and how she hasn’t given up.
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21 May 2014

Review: The Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil

1 Comment Adventures, Opinion, Review, Sponsored

As the lights came up and the stage filled, the music started to take me back. Back to listening to Michael Jackson in my basement on a cassette tape. Back to buying CD’s and watching MTV videos. Good times. Great music. Now music that must live on by parents playing it for their kids, pulling up the videos and break out the record players. These new generations didn’t grow up listening to Michael. But listen to his music and you will open Pandora’s box of pop culture and a true legend. Now an immortal, but brought back through this show, so perfectly scripted, Michael might have just wrote it himself.


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30 Apr 2014

4 Reasons ALL Moms Should See ‘Moms Night Out’

No Comments Ad, Adventures, Lifestyle, Opinion, Parenting, Review, Sponsored

“I am a Mom and that is enough.”

“Being a Mom is… Important.”

What profound statements. Yes, we hear it all the time, but do you really understand the gravity of this job title? Last month, something happened that made me step back and think. I was invited to see the movie premier of Moms Night Out. Looked cute. Didn’t know too much about the film. But for some reason, I rushed around to after school activities, made dinner, had got ready (at 10am that morning) for the 7pm show (which I was late to), dropped the kids (literally-off) with Dad, so I could rush to see this movie. Why? I wasn’t sure. And actually, THAT almost didn’t happen because I this was my first “sneak peak” so I missed the introduction and almost got kicked out of the theater because I wasn’t following the rules (oops…my bad) that I didn’t know existed in screenings like this (but that’s another story) so moving on…
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