Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thumbs up Hyatt Regency Sarasota

When hubby and I decided to take the kids on a mini-vacation, I begin researching the Sarasota area.  There are many nearby beaches (Siesta Key, Lido Key, and Longboat Key) which offer white sand and blue water. However, after researching hotels online for a few hours, I found many of the hotels on the beach were either outdated (think 1970s) or out of my budget ($400 a night). 

So I began looking in the city itself.  I was pleased to find the Hyatt Regency Sarasota.  It had a great pool, shuttle service to the beach and St. Armand's Circle, and the right price!  I also used my AAA card to score 2 free breakfasts!

Well, we stayed there this week and were very pleased!  Here are a few pictures:

Pink lemonade in the lobby each afternoon:

The kids loved the "bay window" in our standard room:

 Rooms are inspired by the bright and airy designs of Lilly Pulitzer:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shopping in St. Armand's Circle

Ahh, a piece of heaven on Earth...upscale shopping on the beach!!  What more could a girl ask for!?

This little area is outside of Sarasota, Fla. the kids and I both loved shopping and eating here.  There's a mix of local boutiques and great restaurants, with plenty of free parking too.

Lilly Pulitzer dressing room:

My new agenda (just came out)!!:

Lunch at Blue Dolphin cafe:

Key West Hammock Shop:


Have you ever been to St. Armand's Circle?  What's your favorite shop?

Lido Key Beach

Many tourist think of the Destin and Panama City areas when they hear "white sand and blue water" but the west coast of Florida is just as beautiful! 

My new addiction: Tervis tumblers

I have had a few Tervis Tumblers in the past but now that we hit the outlet (outside Sarasota) I am addicted.  We got nine new tumblers this week.  Well five for our home and four for Christmas gifts!  My favorite is the blue crab design. Do you have a favorite??

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mexico -- not the US -- now the "fattest nation in the world" ... and some Dieting Myths

We’re No Longer No. 1, But We’re Still Too Fat, Says Physician
 -5 Myths that Misinform Our Efforts to Slim Down-
We’re not No. 1 anymore. Mexico, according to the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, has surpassed the United States as the fattest nation in the world.

An estimated 70 percent of the population is overweight, and about one-third of Mexicans are obese. Just one fat-related disease, diabetes, accounts for nearly 70,000 Mexican deaths per year.

“But this doesn’t mean our health to the north has gotten better – it just means others have gotten worse, and the dubious distinction of who is the world’s most obese nation is debatable,” says Dr. James L. Hardeman, who has seen firsthand the consequences of unhealthy habits during his 30 years as a practicing physician. 

“For one, we’ve been fatter longer than Mexico has and yet we still haven’t sufficiently dealt with our national epidemic of fat-based disease. Our overweight and obese percentages are neck and neck with Mexico’s, and some of this is due to misinformation.”

Dr. Hardeman, author of “Appears Younger than Stated Age,” (, a pragmatic guide to looking younger, debunks some of the myths that aren’t helping dieters:

• Myth: Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week is sufficient. Moderate exercise may work for the 25-year-old with a reasonably healthy diet. When we are young, our basal metabolic rate (BMR) rages like a furnace. Unfortunately, our BMR decreases 2 to 3 percent each decade after age 25. That means we have to make up for that decrease with either better eating habits, more exercise, or both – if we want to maintain a healthy weight. For those who are older, overweight or obese, a stronger commitment is necessary, including an hour’s worth of exercise at least five times a week.

• Myth: Gaining weight with age is healthy because it’s natural. Metabolism slows with age, causing many to put on the pounds. However, maintaining your Ideal Body Weight (IBW), which factors in height, gender and frame size, will keep you feeling and looking younger if you do not slowly gain weight over time. Also, casually accepting some weight gain over time can lead to massive weight gain considering our largely sedentary lifestyles and easy availability of quick, fatty meals. 
• Myth: You should drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Humans posses a sensitive thirst center in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which responds to dehydration and tells us to drink water. The amount of water needed for each person varies; so we don’t need to target a set amount because our thirst will tell us. However, drinking plenty of water may decrease appetite, and water should always be chosen over sugary beverages for satiating thirst.  
• Myth: Diet books keep you slim. “Going on a diet” is one of America’s favorite pastimes. Diets typically entail temporarily altering eating patterns, losing a bit of weight, and then going back to old habits. This has created an entire genre of literature, as well as videos, gear and meal plans that have become a multibillion-dollar industry. Really, it all boils down to the I&O (Intake and Output) principle. People who stick to Atkins, South Beach and the Sugar Busters diets lose weight because they limit the intake of calories 
• Myth: Taking vitamin supplements every day makes you healthy. Dietary supplement sales represent a $20 billion a year business, yet the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act allows for significantly more lenient rules for supplements than medications from pharmaceutical companies, which are carefully scrutinized by the FDA. Manufacturers are not required to substantiate the supposed benefits of their products. A balanced diet generally provides all required vitamins and minerals needed, with the possible exceptions vitamin B12 for those who eat no animal products, folic acid for women of childbearing age, and, if blood tests indicate deficiency, vitamin B12 and vitamin D in the elderly.

Dr. James L. Hardeman has been a practicing physician for 30 years. Triple board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases, and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. Hardeman has maintained the demanding schedule of both hospital-based medicine and a busy office practice. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from University of California at Irvine he attended Baylor College of Medicine where he graduated with honors. Postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine took place at USC and UCI.

Friday, July 19, 2013

School Starts in Four Weeks - School bags found!

It's been a wonderful summer and I am so not ready to think "back to school" but since it's only four weeks away, I started a little shopping today!  The kids picked out their school bags and lunch boxes today.

My kids really wanted to try "messenger bag" styles this year.  Daughter found a great Hello Kitty one at Wal-mart, and Son found a Nautical Brand bag at TJ Maxx (retail $180 and clearance for $15!) 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Disney's "Teen Beach Movie" Premieres this Friday!

Disney Channel's newest movie, Teen Beach Movie, premieres this Friday, July 19th! 

From, here's a movie summary:
Teen Beach Movie" introduces confident surfer McKenzie ("Mack") and her carefree boyfriend Brady, a fan of the retro surf musical movie, "Wet Side Story." On the morning of McKenzie's scheduled departure for boarding school, she and Brady catch one last epic wave which mysteriously carries them right into "Wet Side Story," circa 1962, where they meet Seacat, Giggles, Rascal and Cheechee, among others. Amidst the spontaneous song and dance, there's trouble in paradise -- it's bikers versus surfers for control of the local hangout, but Mack and Brady unwittingly interfere with the movie's star-crossed plot, one that would pair a surfer (the teen matinee idol Tanner) and a biker (Lela, the sister of Butchy, the biker gang's leader). Typical of the teen beach movie genre, a kooky subplot has mad scientists Les Camembert and Dr. Fusion scheming to alter weather patterns, take over the local hangout and then, the world.

My kids are super excited, especially since they ACTUALLY MET three of the stars recently at Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando!


We love Disney Channel and can't wait for Friday night. Will you be watching!?

It's out: KidzBop 24

I am sure you heard, but the new KidzBop 24 hit shelves yesterday.  I have two kiddos who are super  duper excited.  (We already own CDs 16 to 23 so this will be a great one to add to our collection!
You can also order the new CD online here:
Or through iTunes!
KB 24