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The Poor Porker opens in Lakeland

November 8, 2015

Last night was a memorable evening. Not just because I got to go out with my handsome husband, but also because we were invited to a grand opening in Lakeland. Hard work pays off. It really is as simple as that. Having a vision, setting a goal and working through obstacles to see a final product. That’s how I would describe Robyn and Jarrid from the poor porker: visionary hard workers.

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Everything Else

Summer Camps: Are you ready?

May 20, 2015

summer camps

It’s almost that time again. School is almost out. I don’t know about you, but my kids are ready for summer.  Lately it seems like the girls’ regular bedtime has been slightly extended. First it was because of American Idol. Now, it’s mostly a product of having sunlight pass 7 pm.

If you are looking for summer camps in the Polk or Hillsborough County area, here’s a list I made just for you!

Bricks for Kidz

Last summer the girls attended this camp. I must say they really enjoyed it. They spent the day working with legos and making Minecraft arts and crafts! They even went to Legoland for a week. Totally worth it!

Bartow Bash

If your kids like to swim, this is the camp for them! Not only do the kids have free swim time, they also have instruction swim time. Last year, they had a field trip to Wet n’ Wild for the kids. Time is spent doing arts and crafts, playing board games and playing outside.

YMCA

This is another great option if your kids like swimming. Time is spent trying out new sports, doing arts and crafts, playing board games and being outside. Each week has a new theme with a new adventure!

Polk County Museum of Art

This camp is for your creative child. Camp programs are split in two week intervals with focus on three areas. I’ve heard great things about the program from other friends who have sent their kids here. By signing up your child to their program, you get a free museum membership which gets you free entrance to other museums like the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Bok Tower Gardens and others.

R & R Ranch

Do you have a little cowgirl or cowboy at home? You might want to check R&R Ranch. Days are spent riding horses and taking care of them. Campers enjoy movies and popcorn, arts and craft, and lots of games.

HCC Summer Camps

So, this one is a new one for us. I randomly found it this year. The camp is located at different locations throughout Hillsborough County. Each week is a different theme, whether your child is into photography, fashion design or chess, there’s something here for everyone.

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way, shape or form for this blog post. The information presented here is solely based on my experiences and what my children or friends have told me about these camps. I have physically visited all of the facilities except R&R Ranch.

Everything Else

Storytelling Festival: This Weekend’s Adventure

April 19, 2015

Sometime last month, the girls prepared for the Storytelling event at their elementary school. I was unable to see them tell their stories at school, but my husband had the opportunity to see Piper perform her story: The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Zoe on the other hand, had been sick on and off, so we thought she had missed the opportunity to present her story, Zoe’s Room. Unbeknown to us, she was back to school and able to perform her story.

 

Storytelling Festival

Scholastic Book Fair at the John F. Germany Public Library in Downtown Tampa.

The girls received a “report card” of sorts from the event which indicated they had done a great job. I didn’t pay too much attention to it. Attached to the “report card” was an invitation to attend the Storytelling Festival in Downtown Tampa at the John F. Germany public library. It turns out, this was the first time the event was held at the Library. If you have children, and you’ve never been to the John F. Germany, I suggest you make a day trip this summer. The children library is beautiful. And not only that, but if you park at the William F. Poe garage (next to the library) there’s a skyway to get you from your car directly to the library without crossing through traffic.

 

Storytelling Festival

Is this thing on?

Through their school, we received some additional information later about the Storytelling Festival. The girls had done such a great job, they had been selected as Ambassadors! To our surprise, they had a photoshoot and a video recording section. Apparently their videos will be submitted to other Storytelling Contests.

 

Storytelling Festival

Sprinkles are for winners!

After the Storytelling Festival, we walked around Downtown Tampa and found Ashworth Chocolates. It’s a neat little handmade chocolate store with ice cream. After a much deserved ice cream break, it was time to head home. 🙂 Oh yeah, and if you ever go to Downtown Tampa, don’t forget the Curtis Hixon Park also has a great playground for kids. And the Glazer Children’s Museum and the Tampa Museum of Art are both on the other side of the library. The Tampa Museum of Art has special free activities for children on selected days.

Everything Else

Influenster VoxBox Review

April 9, 2015

A while back I signed up for Influenster. Influenster is a community of people who regularly review products and share their experiences on social media. So far, it has been fun to try out new things.  The best part of Influenster? You get these fun surprise mail packages for free to test and/or review! So here is my review of the first VoxBox of 2015:

Influenster VoxBox

Influenster VoxBox

Beanitos: The Original Bean Snack. Seriously delicious. No joke. These “chips” are amazing. The Nacho cheese ones really tasted like Doritos without the “guilt”. I found some recently at our local Big Lots store, so I made sure to stock up!

Cover Girl Ultra Smooth Foundation: The color I received was not a perfect match for my skin color. However, it felt like a BB cream which I loved. While the foundation felt very light, my face felt like I just put moisturizer on.

Skinnygirl: Let me first say, that this was the second time I tried one of the Skinnygirl nutrition bars. Luckily, this Banana Oatmeal Dark Chocolate was perfect for me. It was crunchy, not overly sweet with lots of chocolate.

L’Occitane Comforting Creme: So, I’ve always been a big fan of L’Occitane products. Just love the feeling of being “transported” into Paris every time I walk into one of their stores. Mind you, I haven’t been to Paris yet, but in my head, it feels like Paris. Now, to the review. I really enjoyed this creme. Not only does it have a heavenly light scent, it did exactly what its supposed to. This has become my favorite night creme and I’m using it sparingly until I can get to the store to buy more!

Listerine: What can I see about these. They are great when you run out of gum. I remember when they had the cinnamon flavor ones. I wonder if they still have them.

Dentek: My husband is a big fan of these and surprisingly so are my kids. They really liked the cool designs and cheerful colors. Great to have in your bag for emergencies! I don’t know about you, but getting food stuck between my teeth drives me crazy!

Orgain: I haven’t been able to find the Orgain shakes so I can try them. From what I’ve read, they seem to have great ingredients, so hopefully they taste good.

Have you heard of Influenster?

Have you tried any of these products?

Everything Else

Guest Post: Florida Bicycle Association

February 4, 2015
Florida Bicycle Association

Florida Bicycle Association: educating bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists about safely sharing our roads. Because the roads belong to all of us.

 

In case you wonder what I do Monday to Friday, below is the first paragraph I wrote for a blog post on the Florida Bicycle Association’s website.

As a transportation planner for Polk TPO, nothing makes me happier than seeing people going about their daily business on their bikes. I commute by car from Plant City to our offices in Bartow. I’ve seen people riding their bikes on the shoulders of State Road 60. I’ve seen a young boy, who I can only assume must have missed his school bus, ride his bike on the shoulder of State Road 60. And none of these people were what some would call the “lycra wearing” cyclists. These were people trying to get from point A to point B by the only accessible method they had: a bike. 

To read more follow this link… And while you are there, why not join? Their mission is to educate and advocate for excellence in cycling. What’s not to like? 🙂 Their website is full of information on how to safely ride with traffic as well as information on other cycling groups in Florida. You can follow them on twitter and Facebook.