10 Sep 2017

The Calm Before The Storm: #HurricaneIrma Heads for Home in Tampa Bay

No Comments Tampa, Tampa Bay

My mind won’t stop. I’m mentally and physically exhausted from the past three days of pepping, stressing, watching, thinking, hoping, praying and wondering what the next 48 hours will bring.

The calm before the storm.

UPDATE: Sunday, 9/10/17 3:48pm:

Hurricane Irma Live: ‘Biggest Thing’ to Do Is Pray, Florida Governor Says – The New York Times

Morning walks up the Hillsborough River are daily. Not a cloud in the sky and the water so calm.

But this was today’s work:

We started early and worked all day. And my mind has not stopped going.

Will we have a home to go home to? Will my kids have a school to go back to? Will our friends be spared? Will our friends be ok? Will our city be ok? What will change? What will be spared and what will perish forever?

We packed up only what we needed. A few valuables, paperwork, 4 kids, a dog, a cat, water, food and fled 45 miles north. We boarded up our house. Said, “Be safe” to our neighbors who were weathering the storm and we left. We don’t know what to expect. We are safe for now with loved ones and family. We will wait.

Here’s a glimpse of what we saw today. Tomorrow can only tell what happens next.

And when Walt Disney World closes (5th time in history), Publix shuts down until Tuesday at 8am and Walmart closes until further notice, you know $hit just got real.

Be nice, Irma. I just want to go home.

11 Feb 2017

Florida is my #FlatoutLove Inspiration: Sweet N’ Spicy Shrimp Sandwich || Tampa Mama

4 Comments Ad, Cooking, Lifestyle, Review, Sponsored, Tampa

Welcome to Florida! Everyone knows how much I LOVE my state and all the flavors that go with it! And chances are, if you’ve come to my home state, Florida, you’ve had some of our amazing Gulf Shrimp!

Shrimp- By Melissa Hillier

 

I’m super excited to announce that I’ve partnered up with Flatout Bread to create my own #FlatoutLove recipe creation, inspired by MY city (or state), as well as show you all how easy it is to create your own fun and easy meals with your family using Flatout Bread! Read more

13 Dec 2016

More Than Just a Present: The Gift of Their Future

No Comments Florida, Holidays, Lifestyle, Raising Children, Sponsored

New York Christmas

 

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04 Jan 2016

5 New Year Organizing Tips: How to Get Yourself (& Your Family) Off to an Organized Start

No Comments Lifestyle, Monday Motto, Personal, Professional, Studio 10 TV Segment, Tampa, Tampa Bay

  
(Click above to watch the show!) 

Jump start your January and get 2016 off to the best start ever! It’s a brand new year which means a clean slate for turning over a new leaf and getting organized in order to function at optimum speed! I talked with Studio 10 Live host, Stephanie Webb on the first episode of the year about 5 ways to jumpstart your organized year! 

Let’s first start with a few rules: 

The biggest part of organizing is having things you love and use, getting rid of the rest, and then organizing what’s left. 

Two best words: Clutter free. Don’t let clutter weigh you down! Clutter is a constant reminder of how scattered and unorganized you are being. Decluttering your space will lower your level of stress. A tidy space is zen like and can help you and your family relax.

  
Supplies needed to start!

  • Same color file folders
  • A label maker
  • Sharpies
  • Bins
  • Notepads 
  • Garbage bags
  • Clorox Wipes
  • An “I can do this!” Attitude

5 Ways to Start Getting Organized

  
1. Get it together. Make a plan. 

Write it down. Do you have written goals? Make a vision board! If you are reading this at your desk can you put your finger on them right now? If you answered no to these questions, you are not alone. A total of 90 percent of people do not have written goals. Writing down your goals does a number of things for you:

• It reinforces your commitment to them

• It helps you remember them

• It makes you accountable

• It gives you focus

2. PURGE! 

The time is now. I find that I don’t need more space, I really need less stuff. So how do you purge? Simple. Set aside some time. Tackle one small space at a time (before you organize). Make bins or piles for TDRNR (Trash, Donate, Recycle, Not Sure, Return). Ask yourself questions: Do I need this? When did I last use this? Can I borrow or rent? Do I love this? Once complete, remove bibs immediately!

3. Start somewhere!

Anywhere! Do the thing that is most distasteful to you first. Where are you starting!?

Kitchen-

Get that kitchen under control! Reclaim your refrigerator! Wipe it down. Purge all the crazy storage containers. Go through your pantry! Buy one brand of containers so it all fits together. Do you need 15 coffee mugs? Clean out the plastic kid cups. But one per child and that is THEIR cup. Dishes. One set of 8 or 12. 

Example shown: Tervis tumblers are our new cups in the house. One per person and the rest are history!

Organizational Flow- 

A place for everything and everything in its place. Is your routine ready for action? Have kids? How is your morning flow or after school flow? Routines work! A few routines that I do to keep me organized and zen like:

1. Make me bed everyday. It immediately will declutter your space. In seconds. And can instantly set your mood to get ready to tackle the day. 

2. Wipe down my sinks and bathroom each night. 

3. Keep the clutter away before I go to bed. 

It’s a good reset for the morning and your family will thrive in that balance too.

Clean Your Car-

A really good, deep clean. Stay on top of your car maintenance. My rule for my car is “No garbage left behind.” Every day we clean it out. All of it. I keep my necessary items in the glove box along with a smal box in the back that has jumper cables, my AAA card, my kids medical conditions, insurance, registration. 

Office-

New year means new files! Organize by switching over to newly tabbed folders with a brand new color! It makes sorting through the mail piles and organizing super easy when it comes to tracking paper that can easily pile up! Online? Mint for those personal finances. 

Schedule Organizing- 

Writing it down, adding it in to your main source of organization will have you feeling so organized when new things pop up. Stay one step ahead of the game! Is your afternoon schedule organized? How can you make your morning more efficient? 

Kids’ Stuff-

  

  

It’s everywhere! But clear bins or properly labeled boxes will help keep a place for everything and everything in its place.

4. Taking time for you! 

Have you carved out some time for you? Made any New Years resolutions? Or what about time for you and the spouse to reconnect? Set a date night and remember it. Book a sitter (in advance) or have a plan worked out to kid swap so you and your best friend can get some quality time relaxing! Is there a class you might like to take? 

It’s a new year and that can mean a clean slate. Look forward and get excited about what the future holds.

Example shown: FitBook

5. Realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

If you have the time to tackle everything at once. It gets overwhelming. And overwhelming can lead to discouragement. Try a weekly house cleaning schedule. Make a list with that ties into bigger fix items and then prioritize! What needs to be done first vs. what can wait. 

Printable Shown: Weekly Chore Chart

Thank you to Studio 10 Live for having me on!  

Make sure to follow Tampa Mama on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

17 Aug 2015

What I Wish I Had Known About Back To School Fashion

No Comments Kids, Lifestyle, Parenting, School, Sponsored, Tampa

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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

IMG_7601.JPG

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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