When did childhood become so controversial? Check out my latest post, "Hello, Connectivity; Goodbye, Childhood" on the Tampa Bay Moms Blog!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Scotties Soft Summer Moments Giveaway

(The nice folks over at Scotties recently set me up with a care package so I could write this post for you - and offer a giveaway. All opinions are my own.)

When you grow up in a state as hot as Florida, you learn pretty quickly that water activities are essential if you plan to survive the summer months. So even though my family and I didn't take any exciting trips this year or visit the world's biggest doughnut (although I would love to eat see that), we did spend a lot of time around our own little watering hole: the swimming pool.

With two working parents and two preschoolers, it can often be easy to lose sight of the magic surrounding summer vacation; after all, none of us got three months of freedom. Fortunately, when Scotties asked me to participate in their Soft Summer Moments campaign, it gave me a chance to reflect on some of the pretty amazing times we've had right here at home this season.

Most weekends have been spent splashing in the pool with our 4 year old daughter and 2 year old son. I love watching their imaginations come alive as they fight water snakes and mean dinosaurswait, no, he's nice now. Whoopshe's mean again... Helping them learn to swim and watching their eyes light up when they accomplish something new is incredible. It makes the hassle of corralling them out of the water, into the shower, and back in the house worth it. Usually.

From impromptu squirt gun fights in the backyard to squeals of delight at the splash parks downtown, I may not have realized it at the time, but this has been a pretty fantastic summer.

Thanks, Scotties, for helping me see that. And thanks for the care package of tissuesthey really came in handy both when I fought through a cold and when I ran out of paper towels the day after my husband went grocery shopping. (They're surprisingly durable yet soft as a baby's... tissue.)

Now it's your turn. Scotties wants to give one of YOU a $25 Amazon gift card and a care package of your own! Comment below with a fun memory you shared with your family this summer and check out the other simple ways to enter my giveaway for your chance to win.

Photo Courtesy of Scotties

Monday, October 5, 2015

Chuck E. Cheese's New Menu Items - Parents, Prepare to be Wowed

(I recently had the opportunity to visit Chuck E. Cheese's as their guest. The nice folks who operate on behalf of this friendly mouse were kind enough to provide me with some free tokens and food.The opinions contained in this post are my own and are simply a reflection of my experience.)

We all know Chuck E. Cheese. Tall mouse, purple shirt, red sneakers? Growing up, I remember many a birthday party spent here. In the '90s, it was usually either here or at a roller skating rink. One advantage this rascally rodent had back then was the absence of songs like "Macarena" played on repeat. I appreciated it then and I appreciate it now.

Now that I'm a parent of toddlers, I've had the opportunity to take my own tots to this childhood staple. I was prepared for excited kids and wall-to-wall games; I wasn't prepared for the food.

Let me tell you a little secret; Chuck E. Cheese's has reinvented its menu - and it's good. While the games, atmosphere, and characters are naturally catered to little ones, their new selection of food now also speaks to parents. What does that mean for you? When Junior begs for Friday night dinner at Chuck E. Cheese's, you won't be so quick to say, "No". And when Susie gets a birthday party invitation, you might just rock it up with your husband to see who gets to take her.

Forget being limited to cheese or pepperoni, they now offer Cali Alfredo and BBQ Chicken pizzas. And the new thin & crispy crust? Let's just say I've always been partial to thicker bread, but this was a game changer. It was light and tasty and I genuinely enjoyed it. The BBQ Chicken pizza was in line with some of the specialty pies I've had from sit-down restaurants and the cheese was extra, well, cheesy. It was delicious.

Their new menu also includes sandwiches (like an oven roasted BBQ chicken on ciabatta) and wraps (think Caesar and club). Looking for breadsticks? How does soft Parmesan sound? You can also try the buffalo chicken cheesy bread. If chicken wings are more your style, they have BBQ and sweet chili (boneless or bone-in). Plus, their wings are baked, not fried.

When you're done chasing the kids and retrieving lost tickets, you can now catch your breath with desserts like churros (served with salted caramel and white chocolate icing) or their revamped cinnamon sticks.

Naturally, my kids had a blast. We had to sneak in to a party zone for a closer look (shh - don't tell anyone) because Bailey wanted to see what color shoes the 6' mouse was wearing.

From bumper cars to a small slide to the arcade games and whack-a-moles you would expect, Chuck E. Cheese's had everything you could need for a fun day out with the kids - including a delicious meal.

For more information on their new menu, visit You can also check them out on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Have your own experiences you'd like to share? Don't forget to use #CECTampa!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Free Pregnancy Resource Center Expands into Guiding Star Tampa

Exciting changes are coming for new and expecting moms in the Tampa Bay area. LifeChoices Women's Care, a free pregnancy resource center located in Lutz (just north of Tampa), has teamed up with The Guiding Star Project in order to reach more women in need of their services.

Photo Courtesy of Guiding Star Tampa
On July 17th they celebrated the grand opening of Guiding Star Tampa and the new office of LifeChoices Women's Care located at 18560 Dale Mabry Highway, Lutz, Florida 33548. LifeChoices Women's Care and other women's resource providers are partnering together under the Guiding Star Tampa umbrella to expand their reach in the community.

Guiding Star Tampa believes in providing natural and holistic care by "empowering women, embracing children, and enriching families".

Serving as a pro-life alternative to facilities like Planned Parenthood, Guiding Star Tampa offers free resources to women in the community to assist with planned and unplanned pregnancies.

Their free services include:
From pregnancy testing and ultrasounds to support groups and lactation counseling, the professionals at Guiding Star Tampa offer a wide range of services. They even provide information on an Abortion Pill Reversal.

Women are encouraged to attend a Vision Tour or to schedule an appointment to meet with the staff about ways Guiding Star Tampa can help.

For more information visit or call (813) 948-7734. You can also follow the Guiding Star Tampa/LifeChoices Women's Care Facebook page for updates and information.