Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Coffee Lovers...

I love Community Coffee (but truth be told, I am from Louisiana and this is the coffee I grew up having in the house).

Well...Just in time for spring entertaining, Community Coffee Company’s NEW Amber Sunrise Blend is perfect for coffee drinkers who prefer a lighter roast with a smooth finish.

Plus, for every dollar redeemed on specially-marked coupons, Community will donate a matching dollar to land preservation efforts along the gulf coast, one of the largest threatened ecosystems in the world.

Community® Amber Sunrise™ Blend coffee is now available at Albertson’s, Brookshire’s, Brookshire Brothers, Randall’s, Rouse’s, Spring Market, Super 1, Tom Thumb and Winn-Dixie across the Southeastern United States.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Spring Break is Coming! Four Tips for Spring Break Travel for Families  

Four Tips for Spring Break Travel for Families

Spring break is right around the corner and families everywhere are escaping their daily routine to have some family-fun. Packing for an entire family can be challenging, but check out these easy tips to make your trip go much smoother!

1.      Pack Smart and Soon! Spring weather can be tricky, so make sure to pack layers for everyone in the family! Light sweaters and cardigans are the perfect items to pack, as they do not take up a lot of space.

Another pro-tip for packing is do not wait until last minute! Make sure everyone is packed ahead of time to avoid rushing and forgetting important items, like sunscreen, hand sanitizers, etc. Don’t forget to order your TravelOn Hand Soap Sheets ($10.00). These pocket-sized biodegradable sheets are a must-have when traveling with children, and help everyone avoid touching germ-filled surfaces. Easier to carry than a bar of soap, these paper-thin soap sheets dissolve almost instantly in water, giving you a handful of cleansing suds anywhere. TSA compliant and biodegradable, the palm-size container holds 50 sheets.

2.      Boredom Busters- No matter how many activities you have planned, kids get bored at some point. To avoid whining bring coloring books, travel games or download new apps!

3.      Plan ahead-Whether enjoying a staycation or traveling to a new destination, create a rough itinerary including things to do in the area, restaurants to try, etc. A great app for parents is GetBeen! Rather than trusting on an unreliable restaurant reviews in unfamiliar cities, GetBeen allows users to see friend’s restaurant, hotel, and amusement kid-friendly suggestions on all of your travels! By planning ahead, you can stick to your budget and avoid unplanned expenses.

4.      Don’t forget to have fun! Remember, this is your vacation too! Sit back and relax, you deserve it!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Menopause? Stress? Brain Tumor? My recent health scare...

For the past three or four months, I have been getting light headed & dizzy.  I originally thought allergies or stress.  I took anxiety medication (Xanax) and motion sickness meds (like Dramamine or Bonine) to help on these “off” days.  In November, my doctor performed the “epley maneuver” thinking it was vertigo.  I felt better for a few days, I think. I wasn’t really sure if it helped or not.

Another weird symptom I have been having is odd tingling.  I remember one night telling my hubby that I felt like a human voodoo doll.  I felt as if someone was pricking me all over with a needle.  It didn’t hurt but was uncomfortable.  The prick would hit my head, then my arm, then my foot then my back…and it lasted all day long.  I also noticed my hips and legs would “go to sleep” often, but chalked it up to the (uncomfortable) chair I use at my desk.

I also noticed “brain fog”.  I have had lots of trouble concentrating on my work as well as making stupid little mistakes.  Also, my husband was getting annoyed with me as he said I was forgetting things often (conversations we had or where I put things).

I also have been making little speech mistakes.  I go to say a word but something different comes out. (For example, I told my son to go “flush” his teeth one night instead of “floss” his teeth.  Another morning, I told my daughter to “go brush your makeup” instead of “go brush your hair”).  

Another off moment was at the kids’ school.  I went into the school office to deliver something.  I then returned to my van, sat down in the driver’s seat, and I then realized I was not in my own van! I had sat down in someone else’s min van -- oops! (My van is dark green and the van I sat in was navy blue.)  I laughed all this off to peri-menopause or stress. 

One incident in early February scared me most.  While approaching a traffic light, I felt very dizzy, and was sure I was going to faint.  Fortunately, the light turned red. I was able to put my vehicle into “park” and gain composure before the light turned green.  I immediately pulled into a Walgreens parking lot to recover.  For the next 20 minutes, my feet tingled and itched (and by tingling, I mean painful.  It felt like someone was poking my feet with needles.)   I immediately called my primary care doctor’s office and made an appointment to see him the next day.

At that appointment, my primary care doctor and I discussed my symptoms and debated if I should see an ENT or a Neurologist.  The next day, I met with the Neurologist, and two days later I had a Brain MRI and a blood test to check for B-12 deficiencies.

I talked to a handful of people about this.  A close friend figured it was my allergies; another said it was side effects from medication; and a third was thinking anxiety & stress.  But I confided in my dad that I was afraid I had a brain tumor.

Well, I am happy to say my brain scan was normal.  However, the real shocker is that my B-12 levelsare low! All these weird symptoms are due to a vitamin deficiency! I feel so relieved that there is an easy fix.  I can take B-12 supplements or injections.  I’m sharing this personal story with you all in hopes that it may help someone else down the road.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Poolside at Hyatt Grand Cypress in Orlando

Minutes from Disney World in Orlando
is a fantastic resort, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress!  For years it has been voted "best hotel pool" in Orlando. 

We took advantage of the cheaper Florida resident rates offered in the summer. (And we will be back!!)

Fantastic service at the pool for drinks and food:

Lakeside too! (Great free activities!!) 

And S'mores at dusk!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Wellie Wishers - new American Girl Doll series

American Girl Doll released a new series, Wellie Wishers last week. They are smaller than the regular dolls and are made for girls ages 5+. I had not heard of these until we arrived at the Orlando store today. They retail at $60 (versus $100+ for the original dolls.)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Neon-themed Sleepover for Preteens

My daughter is having a sleepover with three school girls.  Two days before the sleepover, I decided to go to the store to buy a few items. 

I actually did not have a theme in mind… But that changed once I walked into Target. I found these cute plastic neon colored popcorn containers at Target in the dollar bins and thus the "party planner" inside of me kicked in.  (So my four colors are yellow, pink, purple, and lime.)

I then moved into the Girls Dept and found black T-shirts, and black/white/neon colored socks.

Of course glow-in-the-dark/neon accessories are needed. (Also in the dollars bins!)

Neon drinking straws! (I think I found these at Wal-Mart--I actually already had them in the pantry. Amazon has them too.)

And at the very last minute, my daughter begged me to go to Party City to pick up coordinating neon gloves for the girls.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Longboat Key: Dry Dock Waterfront Grill

This past weekend we went over to the Longboat Key area. Since it was Mother's Day, I wanted a nice(r) dinner, but I also wanted it comfortable for the kids. I read great reviews about Dry Dock Waterfront Grill on Trip Advisor, and I'm really glad that we pick this restaurant!

We went on a Saturday night, and many of the reviews said to get there early.  We arrived at 4:30 PM, and by 5 PM there were no tables left. (And by 6 PM the bar area was full of guests waiting for tables.)

We had a choice of seating upstairs/inside or below/outdoors. I'm very happy that we sat outside.  The weather was beautiful. 

Here are my kids relaxing well hubby and I enjoyed a cocktail. 

I chose the scallop pasta in a wine and garlic sauce. It was outstanding! The scallops were fresh and the pasta was cooked perfectly.

My husband chose the grouper sandwich, and decided to try a blackened. He said it was excellent and I'm sad I did not get a picture. He also enjoyed this local craft beer, Circa 1926. 

Favorite New Store: Naples Soap Company

While shipping in Sarasota this weekend, I came across this store and it's my new favorite! 

I love bath bombs! And my daughter bought some shampoo and conditioner bars. 

There are several locations around Florida, including Naples, Key West, Sarasota, Sanabell and more!  You can read more on their website: 

A return visit to Fanta Sea

I was excited to return to Fanta Sea in Sarasota today! It's my favorite store for coastal decor! 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Scoops on 5th, Downtown Mt. Dora

Today, my family took a little road trip to Mount Dora. The quaint town is about a 30 to 45 minute drive north of Orlando. It is known for tea rooms and antique shopping. However, we chose to indulge in desserts!