Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Florida is 500!!

I'm sure I've told you this, but I'm gonna tell ya' again: I love Florida.

Seriously, I do.

I'm a Native. Born and bred here and I love everything about Florida. The heat, the beaches, the theme parks, everything.

It's in my blood and I could never imagine living anywhere else (remember that one time I tried and failed? Yeah, that.)

This year Florida turns the big 500.


That's almost as old as dirt.

Visit Florida is marking this huge milestone with fantastic events all year long. 

Beginning this month, Visit Florida is giving travelers the shot to win 50 different vacations (one per week!) to my beloved home state. The "Florida's 500 Years of Adventure" sweepstakes runs until December 29, 2013 and you can enter every day on the Visit Florida website to increase your odds in winning. There's chances to win a package where you can swim with the manatees (How cool!) to some tee time on a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. 

Also, throughout next month (March), the 3rd-largest ship in the world (yes, I said WORLD), the  Juan Sebastian Elcano  will be making its way to three of the state's ports: Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Cape Canaveral. After those stops, it will be docking in St. Augustine (in April) where it will be a part of a two-acre living history museum called The Colonial Quarter. 

I will be putting on my tourist hat for that event.

The Colonial Quarter will "provide historically accurate portrayals of the initial arrival of European culture on Florida’s shores with exhibits, shows, hands-on interactive activities, taverns, restaurants and more."

Sounds amazing huh?

I'm such a nerd, I can't wait.

Check out the Visit Florida website for more details on the sweepstakes and all the fantastic events coming up this year.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Disney: Oz The Great and Powerful - Sneak Peek

I don't know about y'all... but I'm super excited about this movie coming out.

I've been a fan of the Wizard of Oz since I was a little girl freaking out about the flying monkeys.

This looks amazing.

Don't you agree?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hallmark's Interactive Story Buddies

Reading is a big thing in our house.

I am forever walking around with my nose in a book (or my Kindle) and my girls tote books around everywhere they go.

We were big fans of Jingle the Husky Pup when Hallmark brought him out last year. My girls were crazy about the way he interacted with them so when Bell came out, they were over the moon.


They were crazy about that little stuffed pup.

And Hallmark has done wonders, now they give you a cd with the book so if your kids insist on hearing the story over and over and over again on a long car trip to Grandma's, you can just hit repeat and they are happy.

Again, seriously.

She responds to certain commands and my girls love how she barks back at them.

It really is genius if you ask me.

Hallmark has a whole line of Interactive Story Buddies (it all started with Jingle!) to choose from. Your kids will love them and you.

And with Valentine's Day coming up, it'll be the perfect gift!

I received a Bell Interactive Story Buddy for this review. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more info. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bahama Breeze Brings the Yummy

Last night I was lucky enough to attend an event at Bahama Breeze to hang out with some fellow bloggers and munch on some amazing appetizers.

I'll be honest, I haven't been to Bahama Breeze in a long time... long time, so I was really excited to go last night.

I'm a food nerd and have resorted to trying anything placed in front of me.

A yummy goat cheese dip? Sure!

Sliders? Duh!

The world's biggest onion rings (not really, but dang they were huge!) Absoutely!

Shrimp dip? Well, I don't really like shrimp but I'll try it!

Add in some great ladies to chat with and it was the perfect evening.

Check and see if there's a Bahama Breeze near you and get there and check out their menu! 

This was a blogger event. I was not compensated but I ate good. All opinions are mine! 

Places I've Never Been

Sometimes when one hits the ripe age of 32, you can think briefly your life is over.

I'm not one of those gals.

I'm at the point in my life where it feels like it's just beginning.

So I've taken to writing down everything I want to do in the years to come and the biggest thing that keeps popping up is: traveling.

I want to see places that I've only read about.

I've been here or there in my 32 years but there's so much that I've never seen.

My poor list keeps growing but my new mantra is: Anything possible!

1- Paris, France.
A dream of mine since I was a little girl reading travel books in the back of the public library and I saw a postcard of the Eiffel Tower...

2- Ireland.
Anywhere in Ireland. I want to lay my eyes upon that thick rolling green grass and drink a beer in a pub where the accent is so thick, I'm clueless.

3- Hawaii.
My parents went there for their 30 year wedding anniversary (years ago) and ever since then I've been pea green with envy to see the black sands and the pineapples.

4- Disneyland.
Silly, I know but I'm a kid at heart and a Disney nerd to the core.

5- The Red Wood Forrest
To be surrounded by trees that are that massive would be inspiring... and I honestly would like to travel there by RV for the total experience. 

My list is tacked up to my wall, taunting me to follow my dream everyday.

My heart is already at these spots, if only my bank account would follow.


Since photography is a passion of mine, I take photos of everything.

Seriously, everything.

And I love to share these photos with my family and friends. I honestly believe that adding photos to a holiday gift magnifies the thoughtfulness of them. What grandmother doesn't love getting mug plastered with her granddaughter's faces on them?

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. Who doesn't love a holiday focused completely on love and showing the ones you adore with oversized balloons or candy hearts that say  U R the 1?

A nice touch in the whole sha-bang is V Day customized cards. And you know that Shutterfly has got your back with that. They have over 50 new styles, a new Classroom collection (a favorite of my fellow teachers) and a wide range of sizes to choose from (from 6x8 to 4x5),  as well as their classic designs.

This is the one I'm getting for my 5 year old's class.

Cute huh?

A few of my favorites photo gifts this year that I'm eye-balling are the Memories of Us iPhone case, the Desktop plaque  and the Photo Cubes (perfect for Daddy's desk!)

There truly are countless options for you to choose from. You can find something for everyone. Seriously, it's not a joke.

You can check out Shutterfly here, as well as check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

Shutterfly is hosting a Twitter party today (January 17th) with great tips for thoughtful gifts and prizes! Check them out with the hashtag #SFlyValentinesTwitter at 2pm EST time. You can also register by clicking here

And one last thing, I've got a giveaway for you!

You can receive 50 4x5 stationery cards and a 5x5 desktop plaque just by entering the giveaway. You need to leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite gift to receive for Valentine's Day from Shutterfly is. 

Easy, huh?

Giveaway ends on February 1, 2012. Please make sure you leave me a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. 

Good Luck!

I received compensation from Shutterfly for this post. All opinions are 100% mine. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


When I'm feeling emotional, I tend to hide.

I'm not one to express my emotions well and I feel like if there's a chance I'm going to crack, I get nervous and push people away so they don't see my explode, melt down and recover.

It's not a pretty sight, trust me.

In my new work situation and my new Faith situation, I'm surrounded by people that love you just because they love you and want the best for you.

It's an odd feeling to have people care, just for no reason other than they want you to be happy.

This makes me further emotional which does not help my situation sometimes.

It comes off as rude when I dart out of the way when someone asks how I am or if I'm okay. I know they only mean well and are genuinely concerned for me, but it's a hard habit to break when you are unable to face anyone with tears streaming down your face.

But that's me... I'm not proud of it and it's something that I'm trying to change. I'm trying to be accepting of help and hugs and unconditional love.

It's on my list of goals for the year, among many many other.

The really funny thing about it all is that I'm that way, meaning that I want to give love unconditionally, I want to help without reward. I am that person that asks if you are okay and wants to give you a hug to make you feel better.

How can one person be two different ways in a situation where love is needed?

Quite a conundrum, huh?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Running, where are you?

I won't lie to you, I haven't gone running in four weeks.

And that's an incredibly long time for me not to run.

Especially when running is everything to me.

Sometimes life tends to get in the way and when you crawl home from work, all you can think about is snuggling with your babes and watching Spongebob while they giggle.

And the stupid thing is I feel ten times better after the snuggling but I still have this jiggle to work with and while my kids are amazing, what good is it if Mama can't play because she's dead?

Okay, that's kinda dramatic but I'm in a dramatic mood lately.

Yesterday's post about the New Years got me thinking (as it does most), that it's a new year and (how cheesy is this) it's time for a new me!

Or maybe just a me that gets her lazy ass to the gym once in a while, huh?

Any excuse, people... any excuse.

Do you have any exercise related goals this year?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy 2013!

Yes, I know I'm 7 days late wishing you a happy new year. But you know how crazy life can get and then you blink and it's Valentine's Day!

This is happening a lot for me lately. I want to do something, like blog or call my mother back, and then I get distracted by life (my kids, the new puppy, a bug... something!) and I forget.

I have always been a big hand writer, meaning that I write important things on my hand to remember to do it and not even that is helping lately.

I really want to blame it all on my the post-glow of a graduate degree. I could argue it, honestly, I could because when you spend a year churning out work for a graduate degree and once it all comes to a stop and your done, your brain is mush.

And I swear, mine is.

I also have a ton of issues going on in my personal life (nothing I can mention here, yet) that make me riding the carousel of semi-depression and add in that new puppy we got and two adorable girls that I want to spend every waking minute with, and you have me.

Exhausted me that can't remember if she blogged last week or last month!

Me, the one that forgets her grocery list at home and ends up with all the wrong things and forgets the milk.

So forgive me for wishing you a happy new year late, you understand right?

This year is going to be better for me.

I'm getting off that carousel and I'm growing and I'm working.

Can't ask for more, huh?

Did you make any resolutions?