Archive for Tampa

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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16 Jan 2015

Best Family Events in Tampa Bay for Weekend of January 17-18

No Comments Adventures, Tampa, Tampa Bay

There are some really great events happening this weekend all over Tampa Bay! We think all these will be a huge hit with your kids (of all ages)!

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What: Monster Jam
When: Saturday, January 17
Where: Raymond James Stadium
Tickets: Buy now
Why: Big & loud trucks, loud music and lots if really cool tricks by professional drivers will have your kids standing on their feet and just having an awesome time at the annual Monster Jam that comes to Tampa each year. Bring ear plugs or sound blocking gear for the little ones. Might be cold, so bundle up, but getting their early means you’ll be able to see how big these trucks are up close at the “pit party! ” And they are HUGE! Go have fun and enjoy the show!
Details: Pit Party 1:30pm-5pm
Show starts at 7pm

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What: Bolts Family Carnival
When: Sunday, January 18
Where: Amalie Arena
Tickets: Tampa Bay Lightning
Why: The Lightning Foundation has created it’s first ever Bolts Family Carnival to help support the foundation as it supports more than 250 local non-profits to distribute funds and services. The carnival will be held under the “big top” (AKA Amalie Arena) and will have all Lightning players in attendance, the Stanley Cup for pictures and lots of awesome carnival-style games and food! Tickets can be purchased based on how long you’d like to stay. I know a day of fun with the Lightening us going to be awesome so we can’t wait to attend! Take the whole family and support the Tampa Bay community while having fun!

What: 18th Annual Treasure Island Sport Kite Festival
When: Saturday, January 17- Sunday, January 18
Where: Thunderbird On Treasure Island
Why: January at the beach has a chance to be chilly but when the sun is out the blue skies are the prettiest and the day itself is gorgeous! Enjoy a day at the beach while watching professional kite fliers fly kites with great precision! The whole family will have a great time just enjoying the beautiful weather and the activity in the sky!

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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05 Oct 2014

Best Family Sunday Funday Ideas in Tampa Bay

No Comments Adventures, Family Travel, Florida, Opinion, Tampa, Tampa Bay

Launching a new series of ‘Tampa Mama Says’! This week is best family Sunday Funday ideas in Tampa Bay. These are not ads but curated lists based on what we like to do as a family in Tampa Bay on a glorious Sunday.

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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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06 Jun 2014

75 Things To Do in Tampa Bay Over Summer With Kids on Vacation

4 Comments Adventures, Family Travel, Florida, Tampa, Travel Tuesday

Tampa Bay Kids on Vacation

Today is day 1 of 75 glorious days of summer. Oh to be a kids again!
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15 May 2014

Disney on Ice: Through Abby’s Eyes

1 Comment Adventures, Kids, Tampa

We are headed to see the new Disney on Ice Let’s Celebrate, which is coming to Tampa Bay on May 15- 18, and we are the first stop on the 17 markets that they will be heading too!

Honestly, we are HUGE Disney fans anyways, but each year for the past 6 years, we have been fortunate to see the Disney on Ice show that comes to Tampa in May! But this year is a special year…It will be Abby’s first show and I cannot wait to see her face light up when the show starts!

All my kids love attending the show. From my 9-year old son to my 4-year old daughter everyone loves the Disney on Ice show. And with Abby being versed in Disney characters from reading Disney books and the occasional show, I’m thrilled to see her see them in real life!

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Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate

The Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate show looks to have a wide range of characters for all my kids to get excited about! Everyone from the Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto will be there as well as a few friends too: Toy Story’s Buzz and Woody, Alice, the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum from Alice in Wonderland, Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen will celebrate a jazzy Mardi Gras jubilee, and Mickey will help celebrate Chinese New Year with Mulan and Shang! I am sure that this show will be spectacular! (Check back soon for my pics of Abby at her first show!)

And of course, we are headed to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, one of Tampa’s BEST places to see a live preformance with kids! They will be hosting us tonight, as they host many families throughout the year for a wide variety of shows as well as the Tampa Bay Lightning games and Tampa Bay Storm games, which are also super fun to attend with kids! We see so many shows here each year and we LOVE their staff and venue!

So for tonight, my family and I are going to celebrate kids being kids and enjoy the Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate show that is sure to bring a smile to everyone who is in the audience..especially my little ones! And I can’t wait to celebrate!

And if you want to keep up with us in real time, we will be on Twitter with #DisneyonIce and #LetsCelebrate

For more reviews of the show, visit a few blogger friends of mine at DadScribe and MommyGuru!

Tickets are still available as of May 15, 2014 for Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay Times Forum Information
Ticket Information
Show Information
Tour Information

*I have been provided with tickets for my family to attend the Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate show as guests of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. All opinions are my own.

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19 Dec 2012

Lucky Number 7

3 Comments Adventures, Holidays, Random, Tampa, Wordless Wednesday

I have never really thought of birthdays being special. They are for the kids, but for me, it’s work. The presents, the party, the friends…It’s another birthday that I have to make special for my kids. I love it (and them) but it’s a birthday and that means work for me.

But today, and from now on, I think birthdays are something so much more. They are magical…special and are so important.

Today we are celebrating my daughter’s birthday…her 7th birthday. Lucky number 7.

It’s a random year, not too big of a milestone, but a birthday none the less. And THAT, to any 6 year old turning 7, it means the world.

This year, the meaning of the age 7 has changed for me as well as many others.

My daughter will get to BE 7.

We will not only get to celebrate her 7th birthday but we will get to she her be 7 for another year. She will loose more teeth, she will ride her bike, play with dolls, get better at reading, spelling and math, she will excel in gymnastics, and run and play as free as any 7 year old would do.

She gets to BE 7 and I get to watch her be 7 every day.

***

I usually wake up in order to get a little silence in before the chaos starts. But the silence has not been broken yet this morning. It’s dark, it’s quiet. My house will soon be a buzz with the sounds of life. It can be overwhelming and I get frustrated. I tell (or yell) at them to BE QUIET! I want everyone to be quiet because the baby is sleeping. I want the peace and quiet. I want the crying baby to stop crying. I want my oldest two to stop arguing. I want my 3 year old to stop whining. They get louder. I get louder. But then the sweet sounds come too. They laugh. They giggle. They help each other out. Four kids make noise loud enough to resemble a 24 hour house party when given the chance.

But it’s the silence I crave and the silence I fear. I could not imagine the silence forever. I want to hear “row row row your boat” 4, 578 times…in a row. I want to hear them. I love their sweet little voices and couldn’t imagine not hearing them ever again.

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So today the silence will break as it usually does. I will welcome it. I will welcome all that goes along with my 6 turning 7 year old, and the rest of the crew to celebrate this new day. Because today is a birthday! And day that she will run out of her room screaming “ITS MY BIRTHDAY!” ITS MY BIRTHDAY!” We will celebrate her 7th birthday like it’s 1999, and hug and kiss and smile like it is the best day in the whole world! Why? Because to any 6 year old turning 7, it is.

But for me, I will try to hold back the tears when my bouncing 7 year old enters the rooms and screams with pure joy. I will hug her and thank God that we are special enough to see this day. This is a celebration about a new year and what is to come. The 7th birthday has come for her and she will go on being 7 like she is supposed to. I will take her fresh age of 7 and cherish it as the greatest gift that anyone has given us. To all the parents of 6 year old little babies in Sandy Hook, that will not get to see theirs turing 7, I will think of them and what they will miss. It is not fair. In so many ways, it is just not fair. The memory of what happened will be with me each year I get to see my daughter turn another age.

I think the reason many of my friends and I have come to take this harder than some is because we see 6 and 7 year olds each day. Another Mom put it best when she wrote, we know what 6 is. Because we do.

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Happy 7th birthday to the most amazing daughter…my first little girl, who’s taught me about all the joys that little girls bring to life. I am so excited to see what the next year brings.