Monday, October 5, 2015

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Run in Pink with ASICS and win shoes!

We've all had someone in our lives affected by breast cancer. My godmother has been diagnosed with stage 4 not once, not twice but three times and keeps fighting the battle. My best friends mother in law was diagnosed last year and is currently undergoing treatment. Women affected by breast cancer have one thing in common – they never stop running towards hope.
ASICS wants you to Run In Pink (Tweet to Pledge Pink!). For the month of October, ASICS America is partnering with Right Action for Women to support the fight against breast cancer.  Show how you will Run In Pink by snapping a photo or video of you in your pink apparel, running through the park with a friend, or crossing the finish line of a race in your pink ASICS - just make sure to use the hashtag #RunInPink

1. Post your Run in Pink photo on your Instagram or Twitter, using the hashtag #RunInPink
2. Tell ASICS why you chose to run in pink this month.
3. Follow ASICS America on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram - you just may see your pink photo on one of their accounts throughout the month of October!
4. Every Friday during the month of October, ASICS will give a lucky winner who posts with the #RunInPink hashtag a pair of shoes* from the Accelerate Hope collection, benefiting Right Action for Women.

When you have run for breast cancer awareness, share the photo below to show that you are supporting the women around you who have fought hard for their health.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

ASICS Train, Run, Selfie Photo Contest

I am guilty, you probably are too - selfie runners are everywhere. My 2014 ASICS New York City Marathon Blogger Challenge teammate Chris ended up on the front page of various media outlets after a selfie he took during last years NYC Marathon. This "selfie" was named one of CNN's Selfies of the Year, The Wall Street JournalDaily Mail, and many other places. Funny thing about this "running selfie" is that it really wasn't a selfie, he was taking a photo of runners on the bridge.
Love them or hate them, selfies are here to stay as long as we have social media. One of my favorite Selfies was also from the NYC Marathon, on top of the Brooklyn Bridge with the skyline behind me. It's a must take photo if you are a picture taker during Marathons.

ASICS wants you to snap a #selfie on your run & post on Instagram & Twitter using the hashtag #TrainRunSelfie for the chance to WIN $170 in ASICS gear! They choosing one winner a week from now through November 2nd a coupon code worth $170 at So start taking those selfies, be sure to use the hashtag #TrainRunSelfie and maybe your selfie will become as famous as Chris's.

Click here for terms and conditions 

Ninja Coffee Bar Review

I have an exciting new product to share with you! Ninja, the company known for their variety of blenders has changed home brewed coffee as you know it. Introducing The Ninja Coffee Bar. Both my husband and I are avid coffee drinkers and have no shortage of coffee and espresso machines in our house. When Ninja asked me to review their latest device, I gladly accepted and the end result was: I retired 2 of my coffee machines to make a permanent home for this bad boy.
The Ninja Coffee Bar allows you to make barista approved coffee at the convenience of your home with a technology called Thermal Flavor Extraction which delivers a better, richer tasting coffee with variable richness levels. Each selection precisely calibrates the right flavor, richness, and strength for the beverage you want to make.
Classic Brew: Hot, rich and smooth balanced flavor
Rich Brew: Bolder, robust, more intense flavor which stands up to milk, cream and flavorings
Over Ice Brew: Brews fresh, hot coffee over ice that is 2x concentrated, so it will not get watered down
Specialty Brew: The strongest option at 3x concentrated that is perfect for cappuccino, latte and flat white. Also ideal for blended drinks.
As seen on the newer Ninja Blenders, the Ninja Coffee Bar has the Auto-iQ technology. At the touch of one button, you select the size (a cup, travel mug, half carafe, full carafe) and the machine draws the right amount of water needed from it's reservoir. I can set the machine overnight to make a full carafe of coffee or select a single cup for a cappuccino when I wake up. This is an all in one machine that has a variety of options for every kind of coffee drinker.

The package I received for review included:
Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer
Glass Carafe
Intelligent Warming Plate
Removable Water Reservoir with Auto-Metering
Easy Fill Brew Basket
Programmable Brew Timer
Ninja Easy Frother
Double Sided Scoop
40 Recipe Inspiration Guide
5 Year Warranty

Here are a few of the specialty drinks you can make with the Ninja Coffee Maker:
Creme de Caramel Coffee
Creamy Blueberry Coffee (my husbands favorite)
Flat White (whoop!!!)
Pumpkin Spice Late (#PSL)
Thai Iced Coffee
Coffee Martini

The only negative thing about this machine is I will likely end up losing my gold status at Starbucks.

Sofia Vergara partnered up with Ninja and she talks about her journey to recapture the smooth, rich flavor of the coffee she grew up enjoying in Colombia. Check out the video below to how the Ninja Coffee Bar™ has helped her do just that.

Girls Night in with ANEW Wine

I moved to Tampa from Daytona Beach in 2011. I was born and raised in Dyatona and have had the same group of friends, some going all the way back to Elementary school. Whenever I visit home, one of my favorite ways to spend time with friends is catching up over wine.
I recently hosted an at home wine and cheese party with a few of my best friends. We enjoyed ANEW wine out of Washington paired with a variety of cheese and Charcuterie. ANEW is buy one get one free this week at Publix (as seen on 10/4/2015) - right now a perfect time to stock up in this wine, meant for those who live an active lifestyle.
I purchased all of the meats and cheeses for this party at Trader Joe's. If you are lucky enough to live by one, absolutely utilize them for parties as they have the best prices and unique, hard to find cheese. It's always a good idea to have a wide assortment for your guests to choose from.
To make the night a little more special, we had a masseuse who gave each of us 20 minute chair massages and each guest took home a tote bag full of ANEW wines goodies. This night in was an amazing way to catch up with friends while relaxing over wine and cheese.
How to build the perfect Cheese and Charcuterie Board:
Truffle Pate (or another pate if your store doesn't carry this)

Goat Cheese
Truffle Italian Cheese (or another Italian Cheese)
Freshly shaved Parmesan

Figs (seasonal)
Roasted Garlic
Baguette toast points
Washington's ANEW wines added a refreshing Pinot Grigio and a flavorful Rose to its varietal line-up earlier this year. ANEW wines are produced by my friends at Chateau Ste. Michelle and are available nationwide at the suggested retail price of $12. ANEW wines are made to compliment your active lifestyle.

“We introduced the Pinot Grigio and Rosé to create a select range of wines meant to be enjoyed on their own or easily paired with many dishes,” says winemaker David Rosenthal. “The ANEW wines have a vibrancy of fruit and a brightness and freshness on the palate that is characteristic of our growing region. Washington’s combination of climate, soil and location produce wines for ANEW that are fruit forward, refreshing and have a unique style of their own.”

The 2014 ANEW Pinot Grigio is sourced from the coolest sites of Washington’s Yakima Valley and offers bright characteristics of Asian pear, melon, and a touch of tropical fruit. This Pinot Grigio is light and flavorful on the palate with beautifully balanced natural acidity, and is delightful on its own or with food. It pairs well with light seafood, cream-based dishes, or a simple cheese and fruit plate.

The 2014 ANEW Rosé is a crisp, vibrant and dry style Rosé, made with a blend of Syrah and Sangiovese that gives the wine a lovely rose color and creates beautiful aromas of strawberry, fresh watermelon and peach. This is a versatile and flavorful wine that would be a great match for light pasta or rice dishes, grilled fish, and a wide array of cheeses.

The ANEW wines are presented in a sleek, custom-molded bottle with a modern stylized floral label and the ease and convenience of a screw cap closure.

For more information on ANEW wines, visit

Click here for the ANEW Rose Video Tasting Notes

Click here for the ANEW Pinot Grigio Video Tasting Notes

About ANEW Wines
Launched in 2013, ANEW features a Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Rosé from Washington state. The wines offer bright fruit forward character balanced with crisp natural acidity. ANEW wines are crafted by Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington’s founding winery. ANEW wines are distributed nationally with a suggested retail price of $12.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Bonnet Creek Boo-Tacular Fun Run benefiting Give Kids the World Village

Hey Central Florida.....there is a brand new family friendly race taking place on Halloween! The inaugural Bonnet Creek BOO-tacular Fun Run is a 2.75 mile run around the Bonnet Creek Property, including trick or treating throughout the race, activities, ghoulish characters, a haunted house, costume contest, raffles, prizes, food and more!

The Bonnet Creek BOO-tacular Fun Run is a great way to kick off your Halloween and show off your costume, all while supporting the happiness that inspires hope at Give Kids The World Village. All money raised benefits GKTW Village, a 79-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Bonnet Creek BOO-tacular Fun Run:
Saturday, October 31, 2015

Registration and start of the race will be at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort. The race will wind through the Bonnet Creek property, finishing at Wyndham Bonnet Creek for the awards and Halloween party.

Registration: 7:00 am - 7:45 am
Race Start Time: 8:00 am
Kids Fun Run -100 yards: 9:30 am
Awards Presentation: 9:45 am
Costume Contest: 10:00 am

$30 for adult participants before October 31.
$35 for adult participants on race day (cash or check only).
$15 for Junior participants (12 years or under).

Top 3 Female and Male finishers
Best Costume

Packet Pickup:
Friday, October 30 from 1:00pm - 6:45pm at Wyndham Bonnet Creek Tower One Bus Stop
9560 Via Encinas
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

For questions please contact Leah Bundy at or 407-396-1114 ext. 4252
Registration link:
Facebook event page:

Seminole Hard Rock Council Oak Barrel Aged Cocktail Dinner

My friends at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, Council Oak wowed me again.  My husband Gabe and I attended Council Oak's Barrel Aged Cocktail dinner last week and I am here to say, it was their best curated dinner to date and I have no idea how they will top this one.
The theme of September's dinner was Barrel aged cocktails. They had an assortment of cocktails that have been barrel aged over the past few months and paired them perfectly with 4 courses.
The Hors Dourves included: Prosecco Compressed Watermelon with Goat Cheese, Pickled Red Oinion and 50 Years Aged Balsamic; Royal Ossetra Caviar, over a Quail Egg, Citrus Creme Fraiche and Sea Salt Tuile; Fig Confit, Duck Prosciutto, Seal Salt Pistachio Crusted Fontina.

I truly loved all three of these Hors Dourves. My favorite was the Fig confit with duck proscuitto. Gabe's favorite was the prosecco compressed watermelon.
The drinks were flowing all night. It was such a neat experience to see these barrel aged cocktails paired with delicious courses.
The 1st Course of the night was delicious and incredible - Hudson Valley Foie Gras Au Torchon
Pickled Carrot, Watermelon Radish, Salsify, Sea Salt Pistachios, Kumquat Marmalade and Blackberry Ketchup. This course was served with an Old Fashioned "Root Beer". The Old Fashion was strong and smelled exactly like Root Beer. I kept having to remind myself that this was a "sipping cocktail".
The 2nd Course was Sea Bass, always a crowd favorite. This beautiful piece of fish was topped with a Lobster Ravioli and served over Eggplant Caponata and Smoked Tomato Brodo. The barrel aged cocktail was a Negroni made with Nolet's Silver.
The 3rd Course was the star of the night, Jackman Farm's Wagyu Filet. I cannot even explain how delicious this cut of beef was. But wait, the wagyu was served with Parsnips Puree, Tomato Jam, Shaved Black Truffle and Warm Port-Tarragon Vinaigrette. The shaved black truffle brought me back to Italy. SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO GOOD. This course was served with a Manhattan made with Crown Royal Rye.
The Crown Rye Manhattan happened to be the barrel each guest got to take home with them. We have two beautiful barrel's of this cocktail waiting a few weeks to age to perfection.
The 4th Course was a delicious dessert of Chocolate Mousse, Coconut Micro Sponge Cake, Morello Cherry Foam. This was served with my favorite cocktail of the night, a Smores Martini made with Ketel One Vodka. They roasted a whole marshmallow and rimmed the glass with graham cracker crust. WOWOWOW. I may have drank 3.
Council Oak's Barrel Aged dinner was a perfect night with great friends. We enjoyed our night with Amanda ( and Rick (, drinking delicious cocktails and mind blowing food.

October's pairing dinner will feature Samual Adams for Octoberfest! We will miss out on this incredible dinner as we will be enroute to Ireland. Details below!

Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Blog | Web

Thursday, October 1, 2015

ASICS Ambassador #teamasics

I have some fun and exciting news to share!

If you've followed this blog or my Instagram account, you have probably noticed my love for ASICS. Now that love has become an official partnership for myself and 14 other bloggers; I AM AN ASICS AMBASSADOR! This is such a great opportunity, where the 15 of us will take part of many exciting opportunities, spreading the word about the ASICS brand. We will be your go to source for shoe releases, races, contests and other fun stuff over the next year. You can also shop for your favorite ASICS shoes and apparel from my website by clicking the "shop" button!
My Journey with ASICS:
My very first pair of running shoes were ASICS Nimbus 12. My best friend Keri started running a few years before I laced up and she wore ASICS Gel Kayano's. When I got fitted for shoes, Nimbus was one of the three that were suggested and I happily joined the ASICS family. This was pre-blog, pre-marathon, pre-social media. I literally bought the Nimbus because Keri wore ASICS and swore by them. I would have never believed anyone that this opportunity would come knocking on my door 4 years later.
In 2014, I received a message on twitter from ASICS asking if I wanted to try out a pair of shoes to review. That was a no-brainer and happily accepted the Gel Nimbus 16.
A month after my review, I received an email from ASICS asking if I would like to be considered to run the 2014 NYC Marathon as part of the ASICS blogger challenge. It was one of those "they like me, they really like me" moments. When I became one of the 5 selected bloggers to take part of this challenge, I literally ran laps around my house in excitement. It was such an amazing journey, I took home great memories and friends for life.
2014 ASICS NYC Marathon Blogger team and Editors
Since that magical weekend in November, I became ASICS loyal, only wearing their shoes and apparel. I have written countless posts about ASICS without being prompted by their PR department because I love the brand that much. I will be the first to tell you, I am not a fast runner. It fascinated me that a company like ASICS would want to work with me. That is when I realized that ASICS cares more about loyal fans than about how fast a social influencer can run. Because of that, I truly love them.
ASICS is truly a brand I am 100% committed to promoting. When we went to Europe last year, the only athletic apparel I brought w me was ASICS and I have tons of photos like the one below where I am head to toe in their gear. Speaking of Europe.....a few months ago, the magic of the leprechaun knocked on my door (or my email account). "Would you have any interest in running the Dublin Marathon with ASICS?" I nearly fell out of my seat. We leave in 3 weeks for Ireland and I CANNOT WAIT!

Meet the 2015-2016 ASICS Ambassador team!
I have so many real life friends on this team and looking forward to meeting the rest! I can't wait to experience this journey with these fellow bloggers. Go give them a visit and say hi!

Eric Dirty Old Sneakers
Heather Thorough Heather’s Looking Glass
Rachel Running Rachel
Megan Run Like A Grl
Toni Running Loving Living
Katie McFarland Moms Little Running Buddy
Gelcys Runner Unleashed
Linzie Sharp Endurance
Julie Marathon Goddess
Ryan Triathlon Training Daddy
Lisa Workout Mommy
Grace Lean Girls Club
Angela Eat Spin Run Repeat
Sadie Simply Sadie Jane

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tailgate Chili Bar #ShareYourSpirit

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareYourSpirit #CollectiveBias

This is my favorite time of year. We are huge football fans, both college and NFL. My husband and I are a split college household and spend Sunday's secretly wishing each other fails in our competing fantasy football league. Competitive spirit always makes for a good time.

We live in Tampa and happen to have an NFL stadium less than 10 minutes from our house. We are also very close to both of our favorite colleges and frequently head over for some tailgate action. With all my years of tailgate experience, the one thing I have learned is finding flexible ingredients. This is why Chili is my go-to tailgate super food.
Chili can be used in many tailgate entrees and appetizers. Chili chips, chili fries, chili dogs, chili burgers, chili salad (yes, it's a thing). You can add chili to pretty much anything and make a delicious meal. You can make a vegetarian chili or steak chili. One of my all time favorites, especially for football season is Coke Chili. I use original Coca-Cola in place of 12oz of water and it brings out such a wonderful unique flavor. I have recently been told my Coke Chili is "on point, legit".

A great tip for all the tailgaters out there: Sam's Club now has a brand new easy order online and pickup feature. This saves so much time when it comes to prepping for the big game. You select what you want online, and it is ready for you to pick up at a specified time. Sam's now has Coca-Cola's brand new 28 packs which are perfect for any football gathering. I loved using the online order to get this product!

Coke Chili Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium diced sweet onion
1/2 cup Celery
1 Green Pepper, chopped
1 lb Ground Beef (I use a Kobe beef blend)
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 cloves minced fresh garlic
2 cans tomato paste
2 cans Diced Tomatoes, green chili
2 cups water
1 can Red Beans, drained
1 can Chili Beans
1 can Coca-cola

Saute first four ingredients in a large pot until soft. Add beef and cook through. Drain the fat and return to heat. Add garlic, tomatoes, water, coke, spices, and beans. Cover and simmer about 1 hour.

Tailgate Chili Bar Necessities:
Prepare everything the night before and place in individual plastic containers for easy serving.  You can make your Chili the night before and reheat in a pot on your grill on tailgate day. 
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
Diced Onions
Corn Chips
French Fries (if you have a fryer at your tailgate)

Layout everything in individual bowls or plastic containers as mentioned above. It's much easier if you do the prep ahead of time and use what you store it in as a serving dish.

On game day, layout all your toppings and chili layers so your guests can build their own dream chili. Here are some of my favorites:

Chili Cheese Fries
Chili Dogs
Chili Corn Chips

Monday, September 28, 2015

Howl-O-Scream 2015 Unearthed review and why you need to go

We are HUGE fans of Howl-O-Scream. Don't believe me? Who else would get engagement photo's taken in a haunted house....
 Yes, those are zombies in the background......
On Friday night, I had a chance to check out Busch Garden's Howl-O-Scream Unearthed through my partnership with Tampa Bay Bloggers. I was very happy to see that my favorite haunted house, AKA the spot of our engagement photos Death Water Bayou had returned.
The house is full of turns and twists, voodoo and magic. They did a great job of recreating New Orleans and Louisiana. While this house is in it's third year, it is still my favorite.

Oh wait, you aren't here to see my 2 year old engagement photos at Busch Gardens - moving onto Howl-O-Scream 2015, Unearthed!
The new evil found at this years Howl-O-Scream is taking a new direction. In 2015, Busch Gardens joined forced with award-winning horor filmmaker Robin Cowie, who produced the Blair Witch Project. There were far more spooks and scares throughout the park. Expect the unexpected.
My husband and I attended Howl o Scream with our friends Ashley and Ryan. It's always better to go in a group to these events, far more fun! It happened to pour on us and I was unable to get any photos other than the few you see here. I strongly suggest attending Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream, we had  a fantastic time!


Unearthed, Scarlett's Revenge

Don’t miss the all-new house from the producer of The Blair Witch Project, Unearthed™ Scarlett’s Revenge. During maintenance at the park, an excavation crew uncovered a centuries old house buried deep beneath the ground. Upon opening its door, a sinister force is unearthed—Scarlett—a furious demon who wields a deadly deck of magical cards summoning creatures of Howl-O-Scream past. Journey below to experience the splintered labyrinth of horrors and the revengeful wrath of this demon scorned.

Zombie Containment Unite 15
An undead invasion leads to a containment failure in Z.C.U.15, leaving zombies in search of flesh. Armed with only a Z.E.D. (Zombie Eradication Device), you’re the next target, and it’s up to you to hold off an undead mob in this interactive zombie hunting experience.

Dead Fall, Thirst for Blood
Humans and plants entwine with an insatiable thirst for blood, and the object of their hunger is YOU. Their sinister shadows lurk behind every corner of this overgrown Victorian garden and greenhouse, and the inhabitants wait to consume unsuspecting guests. Your arrival means…it’s feeding time!

Death Water Bayou
In the depths of the Bayou, the Voodoo Queen and her sadistic creatures transform wanderers into evil minions with dark magic. Descend into the swamps if you dare as you try to escape the evils that lurk in the shadows. Get out before you fall victim to her spell.

The Basement
From Momma’s secret ingredient to Granny’s bone-ground flour, Momma’s Meats’ award-winning recipe has always been a family affair that’s only created in The BASEMENT. Escape the depths of The BASEMENT before becoming the secret ingredient! She always said it took blood, sweat and tears!

Circus of Superstition: The Last Laugh
I HATE clowns. NOT my favorite
You’ve tried to avoid black cats and sidewalk cracks, but all those years of bad luck have finally caught up with you! New demented fears make it impossible to survive the terrorizing surprises and startling scares that wait inside Circus of Superstition: The Last Laugh.

Zombie Mortuary
Lead by their queen, the zombies that infest this small town funeral home feed on the fresh flesh and brains of mortuary mourners to satisfy their insatiable hunger. Avoid the undead or you may find yourself six feet under.

2015 New Evil Upgrade Packages:

In 2015, Busch Gardens added a ton of new packages for those looking to elevate their fright experience. We had Front of line fear passes for this event and had access to 6 haunted houses. This did not include the Zombie Containment Unit 15 experience. In my opinion, the VIP Package Super Package for $89 a person is well worth the cost. It includes your ticket, discounts for the event, front of line access to houses, complimentary beer, soda and water and a tour with a Howl-O-Scream Insider.

VIP Tour Packages
Conquer every terrifying corner of Howl-O-Scream 2015 with all-inclusive VIP Packages which include event admission, a tour guide and a choice of three levels of special treatment. All tours include commemorative photos, merchandise discounts and complimentary beverages. Packages start at $89, and Busch Gardens Pass Member discounts are available.
The Super experience is a three-hour group tour of haunted houses that includes front-of-the-line access.
The Mega experience is a five-hour experience that adds preferred parking and front-of-the-line access to Busch Gardens’ world-class thrill rides.
The Ultimate experience includes preferred parking and front-of-the-line access to thrill rides and haunted houses, including the Zombie Containment Unit 15: Moving Targets. The tour also includes a personal guide for a private group adventure through Howl-O-Scream.
Front Line Fear
For those who prefer self-guided scares but still want front-of-the-line perks, the Front Line Fear pass grants no-wait access to six haunted houses for $49. The Front Line Fear Extreme pass increases the terror and also gives guests front-of-the-line access to thrill rides for $59. Both passes include merchandise discounts.

Food and Beverage

Fright Feast
There’s nothing scarier than being terrified on an empty stomach! Fright Feast is the most deranged dinner show in town, featuring an exclusive performance of Fiends. Fright Feast guests are also the first to brave the dark with 30 minutes of early access to haunted houses and front-of-line privileges until 8:30 p.m. Fright Feast is $26 per person, with group rates and discounts for Busch Gardens Pass Members. NEW this year, the Dragon Fire Grill™ revamps the Fright Feast menu with a buffet of monstrous main courses and devilish desserts.

Where to find the Spirits, drinks not ghosts:
Full Service Liquor Bars are located at: Be sure to try this year’s signature potions “Scarlett,” “Excavation” and “Unearthed.” You can find full liquor bars at the following locations:
Nairobi Walkway
Crown Colony Pub
Pantopia Pub
Gwazi Walkway
Carnibar in Pantopia
Garden Gate Café Bar (open select nights)
Club Unearthed

Located amidst DarkHeart’s Games of Skill in Pantopia, enjoy a full-service liquor bar on your way to Zombie Mortuary or Fiends.

Drive yourself mad partying at Howl-O-Scream’s dance club at the Marrakesh Theater.