Welcome to the Tampa Blog

Welcome and Bienvenidos!

Although I am not a Tampa area lifer, I enjoy taking the time to search out my surroundings and find the best that Tampa Bay has to offer! Please enjoy this site! I hope you make many returns as you search for ways to be involved in your community!

I plan on giving you ideas for rest and relaxation as well as volunteer suggestions!

Have a sun-filled day!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Something smart to do

It is the season for giving -is it not?
Please join me , my husband, and his co-workers this coming weekend!







13012 Bullfrog Creek Rd
Gibsonton, FL 33534

Be a light for a family in their darkest time

Please come out and help us support a local family whose daughter was the victim of rape at a local library. A brutal crime that has left a young woman with brain damage, blindness and a family with only memories of a wonderful girl with a bright future. Please help them, in this benefit, to ease their minds of a financial burden created by medical expenses.

Not much different than most teenagers, she was active in student government at East Bay High School, she loved shoes and purses, a Christian girl who was adored by all that knew her. A close friend said, “I called her Sunshine, that’s what she brought with her everywhere she went.”

Come out and watch a game of flag football with a little contact. It will be held at East Bay Little League complex right off of I-75 (exit 246) on November 22, 2008 at 11 am till evening time. There will be food provided by Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Panera Bread, Buffalo Wild Wings and many more, with all proceeds going to the family. Any donations go to the family to ease their burden of medical expenses.

Due to the victim’s age and nature of the case, her name will not be released.

(information copied from email attachment sent to area deputies)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Aldi's Fit and Active

Aldi has a Fit and Active product line which caters to low- cal low fat foods.

My husband and I are once again counting calories as a way of life.

With the $30 purchase shown above : here is a list of healthy meals we hope to enjoy.

Meal 1: Chicken Breast with Peppers -- recipe here We plan to use fresh peppers and limit the cheese. Dessert: thawed berries with Agave nectar or splenda packet for sweetening.

total : 300 calories.

Meal 2: Chicken Deli Slices on lo-cal wheat bread(40 cal per slice), 6 green olives, 9 cheese crisps and 60 calories of toppings for sandwich ( mayo, mustard, cheese, etc)

total: 300 calories

Snack or Breakfast: 110 calorie yogurt in Cherries Jubilee flavor.

Meal 3: Squash and Zucchini frittata -Use Egg whites or egg substitue-!! : idea recipe here
Side of canned Ruby red grapefruit slices (60 cal.) and chocolate cookie for dessert (60 cal).--

total: 300 or less.

I love to enjoy a bag of popcorn while watching Tv or reading at night.
We also enjoy 50 cal. string cheese to fight afternoon hungers.

can you share you favorite low calorie foods or snack items?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

OUT - About - and Around

I want to spend some time talking about Orlando here. It is so nice to have such a vacation friendly area within an hour drive!

Hotel prices are very reasonable in Orlando. Have you noticed?

This past week , my sweet deputy husband had some time off and we went to take in a small dinner show.

We visited the Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner show at Wonderworks.
For a total of $38 (by using coupons found in the hotel lobby) we enjoyed a whole buncha pizza, salad, and popcorn. Neither of us are beer drinkers but there was also lotsa free beer.

The show itself was entertaining. For about 1 hour we were amused by the card tricks, simple magic, and illusions.

I think the show is perfect for youth group gatherings and the children there seemed to be fascinated.

There was plenty of audience participation and there was chocolate cake.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Squash Soup

Today I made the most delicious soup!

Rae's Sweet and Savory Squash Soup.


Why don't you give it a try. Feel free to modify to your taste buds!

Bring 1 c. chicken broth to a boil in medium saucepan.
Add 1 Tb. Onion Powder and 2Tb butter.
Place 1 package frozen sweet and smooth squash into boiling mix.
Add 1/2 cup milk. ( I used Almond Breeze because that is what I had on hand.-YUM)
As squash thaws into soup base keep whisking and add 1/3 package cream cheese and 2 more Tb butter.
A dash of cinnamon finishes out the flavor.

Serve warm topped with a dollop of sour cream and fresh ground pepper.

Calorie count will be based on your usage of items such as milk, butter, cream cheese, etc.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the big Bogo

Don't forget to make it to Publix today! The big BOGO event ends!

There's over 40 items at Buy ONe Get One Free.

Even flowers make it into this weeks sale!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I made a few Halloween additions to my Etsy Shoppe!!

Buy Handmade

Check it out!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Show Stoppers

Yesterday the Performing Arts Center had an Open house!
Did I go? NO. Oh I wish I had! Then I would have pictures and excitement to share with you! Regardless of the fact that I did not go I still have a bit of excitement about this years season!

You can check out the entire season here.

I am most excited about Phantom!! I also would love to see Suessical the Musical!! Ive heard it is pleasantly enjoyable!

If you are into Riverdance... the Farewell tour is coming around!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I've just been staying in. I'm staying home. I've been trying to simplify!
Even though I have alot of Tampa to continue to explore, I am enjoying staying in. I am baking cookies, watching Psych Season 1 and doing lots of laundry.

What do you like to do when you stay in?

I have to admit that I love the money I save (or don't spend) by staying in :) ::grin::

Saturday, September 13, 2008

sweet stationary

As a girl and even teenager I loved Sanrio and Morning Glory stationary products!

I have to be honest and tell you that at one point in time I had over 30 penpals! I loved writing notes on pretty paper, adding stickers, and using colored pens!

I don't think that my stationary preferences have really ever "grown up" with me!

I went to Borders a couple weeks ago and bought some Paperchase products. While in the store again today I fell head over heels in love with Paperchase. This UK stationary company has the cutuest and most creative stickers, pens, papers, etc.

Go check out the stock at Borders! Enjoy buying some new pretty pens and write a special letter!

P.S. They have Awesome products for crafting!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

a Skate Show

I have never been to an ice show.Have you? I am however, hoping to go see Disney on Ice!

I always enjoyed watching ice skating as a little girl. I would pretend to twirl around the room and yet, i have never had success on ice. I spent more time on my bottom that on my feet!!
Rollerblading and roller skating pose the same problem for me. It is simple balance skills is it not!? Then why do I struggle with it so?

I even lived in Alaska for two yrs in junior high! I remember going to rink several times! I watched classmates play hockey and fly around the ice.

Today, I am however, content to sit back and watch Mickey, Belle, and Ariel twirl around!

Join ME?

--$15tickets on opening night--

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ALDI is on its way!


Have you heard?!! ALDI is coming our way!! Over 22 Aldi stores are opening in Florida over the next few months! September 25th marks the first of the grand openings!! Ill be at the Brandon location as early as possible!

Now don't forget your quarters and shopping bags!! Carts are a quarter to rent. You get the quarter back when returned!!

I am amazed at the deals I have seen people get at ALDI's. Stay tuned. On the 26th let's all post about our ALDI experience!

Monday, September 8, 2008

a few fun family shows

Hello there!

Tampa girl here!

I wanted to give you a link for some family shows coming up this holiday season! It's never to late to start saving for a show you might like to see!! Put some money aside each paycheck and order your tickets as soon as you can!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

check out Polyvore

I enjoy collages and mixed media artwork - do you ? Well, this site lets you play around and make some cute art work.

This is kind of a cheater graphic design site!

I found it quite fun and it can be used for so many things! Get out there and create!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

a little tip

I have a little tip for you today!


This week at Publix you can get a some crazy party and meal supplies all for under $10.

Old El Paso products are buy 1 get 1 free. Betty Crocker has $1 coupons! Sign up and then print two $1 coupons. Get 4 Old El Paso products and spend around 3.19 OOP for the 4 items! Products include salsas and meal kits. The coupons are good on any El Paso product , however. I added two bags of Publix Chips on sale 2 for $4 and 2 bags of doritos at B1G1. My total was 10.77!!

I brough the salas and chips to my friend Brittany birthday party and saved the meal kits for my husband and I to have this coming week!

mmmmmmmmmmm. fajitas, and enchilladas, and gorditas, and burritos, and tacos. OH MY

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tampa Tour

Here are some photos of my walking tour of downtown Tampa. This was a self guided tour, with lots of pit stops along the way.
Do you have Tampa photos on your blog? Leave a comment with a link!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Top TEN of Today

I don't consider myself to be rich and I don't consider myself to be poor. I am a frugal soul, but I sure do enjoy some "finer things" once in a while! I want to give you list of things to do in Tampa today. Some of these things will take a bit 'o cash and others will simply allow you to enjoy your area simply without cost.

I will start off with a suggestions for you my fellow bloggers!

Read a Book

1.The Hillsborough County Public Library system offers Free Wi-Fi! Take your lap-top, take the kids, and park your self inside the cool air conditioning and enjoy the afternoon! If you have brought your brood along they can enjoy story time, computer usage, and a myriad of books (of course)! My husband and I enjoy regular trips to the library. He devours the Sci-fi section wile I browse the cookbooks and home decor magazines. If you haven't been in a while I highly recommend a visit to your local library!

See a Play
a bit of $

2. Stages Productions are a wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon. I was volunteering for Big Brother's Big Sisters down in Pinellas County. I mentored the most wonderful tween girl! We enjoyed movies and shopping and going out to eat together. My favorite outings were to Stages Productions! These plays add a little bit of fun and a lot a bit of energy to your day! Each play incorporates a fairy tale, music and dancing all original to the theatre group. Their website seems to be a bit behind on showing you the most recent schedules but the Brandon and Largo Cultural Centers have updated information!! All the links and Phone Numbers are available on the Stages Productions Website! The tickets average $5-$7 in price with special family deals as well!

Will I see you at their next show?

Eat Dinner
alot of $$$

3.My husband and I agree that one of the best places to eat in Tampa is Roy's.
This restaurant describes itself as "hawaiian fusion" and it is an absolutely wonderful place to dine! To be honest we are humored by the way the staff continues to ask us if we have "enjoyed", if we are finished "enjoying" , or if we need "enjoy" more! Yet, humor aside, the food is fantastic, the prices insane, and the experience a wonderful evening of class!!
The toasty and salty edamame starter is enjoyable and helps to pass the time as you wait for your appetizers and entrees. Don't leave without sampling the Lava cake!!

Go to the Beach
little to no $

4. Depending on where you live this trip may or may not cost you. We all know the price of gas, but overall lets just say this is a great low cost adventure. I am here to say Let's go to DeSoto.
First you have the sandy beach to enjoy, and then you have the fort to explore! History buffs will enjoy the learning opportunity and you will enjoy having restrooms, playground areas, camping spots and more. I suggest bringing a picnic lunch. I think peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the best, however, I did make fried picnic chicken for a beach lunch once!

What is your favorite beachy meal?

Enjoy a Park or Two
little $

5. North of Tampa lies Zephyrhills. Now, we may not have all been there, but we all have drank their water! Zephyrhills has the most wonderful little WaterPlay park for the little ones. This park is free and is good for about 2 hours of fun. Bring the sunscreen and a change of clothes to enjoy the playground and duck pond afterward!! I have had the opportunity of bringing children ranging from 10 months to age 6 and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all! Believe me, I wear my bathing suit and shorts!!

6. Another great spot for some water fun is the Hillsborough River State Park. North on 301 in Thonotosassa this park has a great many things to offer! There are traditioanl park trails and hiking opportunities, as well as a cafe and gift shop. My favorite stop in this park is the pool, and a huge pool it is too! Shallow on the edges for tots and their families this pool makes for a wonderful cooling down experience!

See it on the BIG BIG Screen
7. There's nothing like watching a a movie on the big screen, but there's also nothing like seeing it on the IMAX. Tampa offers two Imax theaters! Channelside is located in downtown Tampa and MOSI is near USF in Temple Terrace. Click their links for times and pircing. Although the prices are more than a traditional theater ticket it is well worth it! I hear that Madagascar 2 will be on the BIGBIG screen!! OH yeah! and Channelside serves up some real good pizza!
Volunteer with children

8. Children are beautiful! Yes, I know they get sticky and stinky alike, but they are still so dear!
I have two suggestions for you. As mentioned earlier I suggest a mentorship program! Take a few hours out of your week and enjoy yourself! While you are enjoying yourself you can help a little one enjoy themself! Big Brother's Big Sisters and Everyday Blessings are both close to my heart! At Everyday Blessings , over 20 children reside in a therapeutic facility designed to care for children birth- age 12. This facility has allowed many sibling groups in foster care the ability to live together under one roof! These children each need a mentor to take them on outings or simply to assist with homework. Could your family find time to spend with a little one?

little $

9. So , it used to be $3 day and now it is $5 day! However the $5 is a great price for a zoo admission! The Lowry Park Zoo is fabulous with a water play area, themed exhibits and rides galore! They deal on the ticket price gives you more money to spend on treats and rides I say! I took three toddlers and had the most wonderful, yet crowded time. You will never see so many strollers in your life as you do on this day! Keep a look at the calendar to find out when next years discount days show up!

Shop at CVS
a little $$

10. Now this last item might sound humorous to some, but I think CVS is a wonderful place in Tampa!I shop at at CVS weekly enjoying my ExtraCareBuck rewards and free products! Thank goodness that Tampa Bay has a CVS on every corner! If you have never heard of CVSing I suggest you visit the Money Saving Mom blog and find out about this! You'll make the best shopping trip of your life one of these days. You might even be tempted to blog about it!

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