Friday, August 30, 2013

Brancott Estate Chillhour, Sauvignon Berry Blancscicles & Berry Sangria - Labor Day Cocktails

In a few days, Labor Day will be here. Labor Day weekend is one of my favorite three day holiday weekends of the year. It's technically still "summertime" and what I feel is the kickoff to the Holiday season. We will find ourselves on the boat, at the pool and cooking all weekend long. One thing I always bring to a Labor Day cookout is fun cocktails.

Brancott Estate has a an amazing Chillhour website full of fun ideas for Labor Day weekend. From appetizers to cocktails, they have you covered. I chose to make Savignon Blanscicles and Berry Sangria, both of which are perfect to keep you cool on a hot summer day.

Sauvignon Berry Blancscicles:
1 cup frozen berries (I prefer raspberries, strawberries and blueberries)
1 bottle Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc
1 tsp of cranberry raspberry concentrate (I use the SodaStream brand)
Blend all ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

Brancott Berry Sangria
3 parts Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Handful of frozen berries
1 part gin
agave nectar
juice of 1/4 lemon
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail mixer over ice and shake. Strain into a large wine glass.

Are you making anything special for Labor Day?

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc to create a recipe. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New York, Here we come!! Thank you Bethenny Frankel!

I have been sitting on fantastic news for a little over a week now. First I have to take you back to 3 weeks ago. I received an email from Bethenny Frankels PR group, inviting me and a guest to a VIP meet and greet with Bethenny called "Calling all my girls". The purpose of this tour was for the launch of her show "Bethenny" which premiers on September 9th.

I quickly called my friend Darlynn who is a HUGE fan of Bethenny's.  She made a trip from Daytona Beach to Tampa on a Monday afternoon and we headed over to Grill One Sixteen, the location of the party.
We walked down the pink carpet, sipped on a few Skinny Girl cocktails, ate yummy appetizers and attempted to keep calm among hundreds of other women waiting to get their moment with Bethenny.
photo from thelittleblogdress.com
After meeting Bethenny and hearing a bit about what we can expect from this season of her show, we headed to the VIP lounge to finish our cocktail and headed out. 
We left with a really nice swag bag including Bethenny's Skinnygirl Workout - 3 workouts for your busy life. A copy of Bethenny's brand new book, Skinnygirl Solutions. Skinnygirl Sweetner and On the Go Bars. Also in this bag was EOS chapstick (my fav) and a Bethenny shirt.
Overall, I was very excited and honored to be part of this event, meet Bethenny and happy to come home with all these goodies.

BUT THAT ISN'T IT!!!!!!!!!!..............

Last Tuesday, I received an email from Bethenny's PR department. The same one who contacted me to attend the Calling All My Girls Tour. In this email, they thanked me for coming and attached a video clip of Bethenny. Upon opening this video, Bethenny herself thanked me, then invited me to come to NYC for the premier of Bethenny on September 9th!

At first, I sat confused. I called Darlynn first thing - who also received the same email. Within minutes we were screaming, jumping and scaring our cats. We learned that not only would we be attending the premier of Bethenny, but all travel and expenses were taken care of. We are being flown up on Thursday September 5th to be part of the audience on Friday September 6th. This show will debut on Monday September 9th. We are staying at the W Times Square for two nights and will receive $200 for spending money.

Darlynn and I both started blogging in 2008. We shared a blog that found fast success and were featured on an ESPN affiliate quite a few times. With our current blogs, we both have received amazing opportunities. BUT neither of us have ever gotten an invitation like this. I know I can speak for Dar by saying how absolutely excited and honored we are to be part of this.

So make sure you tune into Bethenny on September 9th because you may see a familiar face in the audience! Follow Bethenny on Facebook and Twitter and #bethennytv and #callingallmygirls
Meg & Dar NYC August, 2012

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Reception Location Picked! Hotel Mazarin's La Louisiane Bar & Catering Venue

We had a very productive weekend in New Orleans. Prior to driving up, we had multiple discussions that we had to go into this trip knowing it was a "business trip" and not a pleasure trip. This helped us after returning home, realizing that we did not step a foot on Bourbon or Frenchman Street during our three days in NOLA. I do have to state, it was nice waking up without the first thought being "I must have a bloody mary & an Advil ASAP".

With this said, we got A LOT done in the 3 days we were there. Our engagement session was perfect at Oak Alley Plantation. When we arrived, the weather was awful, windy, rainy and gloomy. The sky opened up for a perfect setting. Big shout out to Photo225, our photographer Austin did an amazing job and we are very excited to see the photos post production. Here's a sneak peak of one of our many photos (photo taken from one of the staff members at Oak Alley from my phone, not our photographer)
After visiting a few reception venues, we signed a contract at Hotel Mazarin. This will include a cocktail hour in their courtyard and a reception at the adjacent La Louisiane Bar & Catering Venue. Hotel Mazarin is centrally located in the French Quarter, a half a block from Royal Street and a half a block from Bourbon Street. Both of us fell in love with the venue and the hotel. Ironically, Hotel Mazarin is the first place I contacted when we decided to get married in NOLA. It was also one of the first wedding images I pinned on pinterest prior to getting engaged!
Hotel Mazaerin
What sold us on this venue was that it was historical, romantic AND upgraded, recently getting a multimillion dollar renovation. Mazarin kept the old New Orleans charm we were looking for but had every modern amenity we wanted. It is the best of both worlds and perfect for us. Chandeliers everywhere, gas lanterns, open brick walls, plenty of space and a huge bar that is adjacent to the main room.
open brick walls, gas lanterns and flushed chandeliers
"huge bar" area, photo from hotelmazarin.com
Reception room - photo from hotelmazarin.com
cocktail reception location from hotelmazarin.com
While we visited Hotel Mazarin, we were fortunate enough to get a tasting on a few of the items from our wedding menu. We will have mini muffuletta sandwiches, fig and goat cheese flat bread (not pictured) and smoked salmon canapes (not pictured) during the cocktail reception. For the dinner, gumbo (not pictured) baked oysters, shrimp and grits, chicken cordon bleu, slow roasted top round of beef (not pictured) and a bananas foster station. Gabe and I will also have signature drinks during the cocktail hour! Any guesses on what I am choosing for mine??
Another big decision made and less than 13 months to go! At first, I was very skeptical about planning every aspect of our wedding via the internet. As of this moment, everything from our venue to my dresses has all been coordinated online and we couldn't be happier. The amount of money I have saved to date is astonishing, even to me - the girl who gets a deal on everything.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Run For Your Lives Zombie 5K #Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned Gabe and I were going to participate in Run For Your Lives 5K, a first-of-its-kind obstacle course adventure run series where runners are chased by zombies! The zombies will try to end your life by grabbing flags from the runners’ flag belts. Similar to flag football, runners must reach the finish line with at least one flag to claim survival. At the end of the race, runners and spectators (who get in for free) celebrate survival or their zombie infection at the Apocalypse Party with music spun by the RFYL traveling DJ, entertainment, dance-offs, beer, food, and festivities!
GIVEAWAY!
First Place:
I have two free runner tickets to giveaway to any of the Run For Your Lives races throughout the US in 2013.  To enter, tell me why you want two free tickets to Run For Your Lives 5K in a comment below This part is mandatory and you can verify through the rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post. 
Second Place:
I have two Run For Your Lives shirts to giveaway!

This run also works with charitable partner KennedyKrieger. A portion of ticket sales goes to raising awareness and funds supporting research and care for kids battling brain injuries, so if you don’t want to run for your life, you can Run For THEIR Lives. Check out their upcoming race locations, and if you want to register, you can use my special discount code ZPTD2 for 15% off any of the RFYL in the US.


2013 LOCATIONS:
NEW HAMPSHIRE, September 7, 2013
GEORGIA, September 14, 2013
ILLINOIS, September 21, 2013
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, September 28, 2013
TORONTO, September 28, 2013
MARYLAND, October 5, 2013
MISSOURI, October 12, 2013
BROOKLYN, October 26, 2013
ARIZONA, November 2, 2013

CENTRAL FLORIDA, November 16, 2013
AUSTIN, December 7, 2013

RULES:
For the second place winner, I will provide two Run For Your Lives 5K shirts to the winner.
Run For Your Lives is providing two free runner registration tickets to one of their 2013 remaining races. Run For Your Lives and I Run For Wine are not responsible for winner’s transportation, lodging and travel. The giveaway will run from August 27th, 2013 through September 3rd, 2013 and is open to all U.S. residents 18 years and older. The winner will be selected through Rafflecopter and will be notified by email. The winner must respond within 72 hours after being notified. The winner will be put in contact with Run For Your Lives to obtain their two free runner tickets.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I also have a FRS Healthy Energy giveaway going on right now. Click here to enter that one!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Driving to New Orleans and staying energized with FRS and a #FRShealthyenergy #giveaway

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of FRS. 

This past Thursday, we drove to New Orleans from Tampa which is a 9 1/2 hour drive without stopping. I drove the first half and by the time Gabe took over, it was dusk and we were both Zombies. Luckily, I packed a bag full of FRS, which I received from my partnership with FitFluential. FRS is an energy and endurance product which delivers sustained energy, endurance and immune system support.

Upon checking out FRS, I learned it was originally developed by health scientists and is used by athletes, nutritionists, and anyone wanting to love a healthy, active lifestyle. In fact, one of their athletes is Tim Tebow! I already loved the product before trying it. I am a huge fan of Timmy's and my proudest photo ever is below. I forgot my name, couldn't move and sat in shock for 30 minutes after meeting him but he was a very very very nice guy.
Megan & Tim Tebow, 2010
Back to FRS. A few years back, I had a slight love affair with another energy drink (one that people often mix with vodka). I loved the instant energy but hated the crash. What intrigued me most about FRS (other than it's affiliation with Tim Tebow) is: natural sustained energy without the crash and was developed by health scientists as I mentioned above. The scientist found that FRS was an effective way to deliver sustained energy for chemotherapy patients.
My FRS NOLA travel pack
Of the 6 FRS healthy energy drinks I tried, Low Cal Wild Berry was my favorite flavor. The other flavors I received were Low Cal Citrus Pomegranate, Low Cal Peach Mango, Orange, Low Cal Orange, Apricot Nectarine,  My favorite product of the entire lot was the pomegranate blueberry FRS energy chews. You take two chews in the morning and two at lunch. I did not take these while in NOLA, instead saving them for today as I knew I'd be exhausted. We drove home last night and with the hour loss, arrived home 11 hours later. I could not wake up this morning. I took two energy chews and felt great! At first, I was weary of what the chews would taste like but they reminded me of what Flintstones vitamins tasted like as a kid!! I also enjoyed the FRS energy on the go, which you mix into a bottle of water. Great for the office!
If you're wondering what makes FRS work, it is made with the antioxident quercetin (along with other antioxidants), vitamins and green tea extracts. Quercetin is found in the skins of blueberries, apples and grapes.
A variety of FRS products
FRS Healthy Energy can be purchased at: GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Kroeger, Whole Foods, Rite Aid, Meijer, Walgreens, Harris Teeter and FRS.com, among others and you can download a coupon for FRS by clicking here http://www.frs.com/coupon

An FRS #Giveaway!
FRS wants to give one of my readers a trial pack valued at $30. This contest is open to residents of the US only. Visit http://frs.com to see their products and leave me a comment below telling me which one you would like to try. You can get an extra 5 entries by making a second comment: visit the FRS athlete page and letting me know which of their athletes is your favorite! After commenting, make sure you use the Raffle Copter widget below since that is how I randomly select a winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Speaking of contests! FRS is hosting their own contest on Facebook. All you have to do is head to their facebook page and enter the Where Does FRS Take You application. Post a photo of your favorite FRS fueled moment. 3 winners will win Amex gift cards and FRS Prize packs. Entries are being accepted through September 4th. Click here for more details.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chicken Chorizo Street Tacos - #SundaySupper Global Street Food

Confession: I never tried Chorizo until we moved to Tampa. Now it is one of my favorite sausages and love it in omelets and tacos. When I heard the theme of this weeks #SundaySupper theme - Global Street Food, I knew instantly what I was going to make. Chicken and Chorizo tacos.
Here's how my love affair with Chorizo started: There used to be a restaurant called Taqueria Monterrey near USF, which is where we had our first experience with Chorizo. Taqueria is owned by the same family who owns the popular Taco Bus and they decided to replace Taqueria with Taco Bus. I do agree Taco Bus is probably a better fit for that area but I really wish they would put Chorizo tacos on their menu. 
Chicken and Chorizo Tacos
1lb ground chicken breast
1lb fresh chorizo, removed from casing and crumbled
1 onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic
Paprika to taste
Cayenne to taste
Corn tortilla shells
Fresco (white crumbling cheese)
Guacamole dip (see below)
Cilantro

Sautee chorizo with 1/2 of the chopped onion, along with garlic until opaque (5 minutes). You may need to add a tablespoon or so of Olive Oil if the chorizo doesn't produce enough oil naturally. Add the ground chicken and sautee until cooked through. Season with Paprika, Cayenne and Salt / Pepper.

Cooking your shells - you can do this two ways, fried or soft. In a clean pan on med-high heat, cook your tortilla shells until warmed with no oil. This will warm your shells up for a nice soft taco shell. You can also deep fry your shells in a 1/4" of olive oil, 30 seconds each side. While I loved the crunch to the fried shell, we both actually preferred the non-fried version.

Top each taco with Fresco, Guacamole dip (recipe below) Cilantro and onions.

Guacamole Dip:
From Rachael Ray Magazine
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
2 avocados, pitted
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
In food processor, chop garlic and cilantro, then blend in avocados, lime juice, lime zest and 1 tbsp. water. Season and serve with tacos.

Check out what the rest of the #SundaySupper group is making this week!

Bread on the Boulevard
Hand-Held Savory Eats
To-Go Containers
Sweets on the Streets
Grab a Thermos 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Greetings from NOLA!

Greetings from New Orleans!

We got into the Big Easy late Thursday night and Our weekend is packed full of venue tours, tastings and engagement photos. Not only was the new season of Bravo's Top Chef filmed in New Orleans this year, we also got very lucky with timing since Coolinary is taking place. Coolinary is a celebration of dining in America's most delicious city, New Orleans. Coolinary is similar to other restaurant weeks around the US, allowing diners to choose from a 2 or 3 course meal at a discounted price.
I always plan our trips around what we are eating. This is what we have scheduled this trip!
Wedding tasting at Hotel Mazarin
Happy Hour at Luke ($0.50 oysters! Plus I cannot go to NOLA without dining at one of John Besh's restaurants!)
Dinner at Arnauds (Coolinary - $35 a person, 3 courses)
Lunch at Cochon Butcher
Dinner at K-Pauls (Coolinary - $34 a person, 3 courses)
Sunday Brunch TBD

Saturday morning, we will head over to New Orleans City Park for our long run. City Park was just featured as a Rave Run by Runners World. It's a beautiful 1,300 acre park with oak trees and was the site of the 1992 Olympic Track Trials
Photo from runnersworld.com
Late Saturday afternoon, we will head over to Oak Alley Plantation for our engagement photos!! We are both very excited about and I cannot wait to see how they turn out.
Although I am very excited about this trip, we decided to drive up from Tampa. I am not too thrilled over this but it saved us quite a bit of money, nearly $500.  I was very happy to learn that we didnt have to cross the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway, the longest bridge in the world at nearly 24 miles. I HATE BRIDGES. While we were crossing the 7 mile bridge, which I thought the entire time was the 24 mile bridge, I was having a panic attack. This was wonderful news! Oh and we got upgraded at the rental car booth. We went from an economy car to a Volvo C70 hardtop convertible!! Although it took us 9 hours to get here, we were in a very comfortable and stylish ride!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Party Artsy - learning to paint while drinking wine

Whenever my best friend comes in town to visit, we always schedule our weekend with a ton of fun things to do. A few months ago, I came across a living social for Party Artsy, a hands-on art class which takes place at various popular local restaurants in Tampa. These classes are taught by an expert artist and come with a complimentary glass of wine.

I will be honest and start this off by stating, when we purchased our Living Social for Party Artsy, we both went in with zero expectations. Keri feared it would be fuddy duddy and I encouraged myself with the fact it came w/ a glass of wine. What we were not expecting was our night at Party Artsy being the highlight of our extended girls weekend.
We walked into the Flying Pan, the pop up location for our class. We were greeted with blank canvases and all of the supplies we would need to paint a hibiscus flower along with a glass of wine. We were able to purchase crepes at a discounted cost and we promptly ordered the Nutella crepe.
We were instructed that this was a fun experience and if anyone got that look of frustration on their faces, a party artsy cheer was to take a place. They say Party, we say Artsy and then take a sip of our wine.
We were guided step by step, shown how to mix primary colors to create the perfect pinks and greens. If we messed something up, we could cover it with black and start over. I loved seeing how all of the others final painting ended up. I chose to remove my second flower as we were going along.
This will be something we will do everytime Keri comes into town for a visit. It was a ton of fun, not at all stressful and you got to take home something you created yourself. Keri and I will both be placing our flower paintings in our offices to remind each other of our fantastic time!

You can check out Party Artsy's calendar of events on their website and on their Facebook page. They also do private events! This is something I would encourage anyone in Tampa to check out.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Registry and Gift Giving

This is a Sponsored post by my partner Target. As always, all opinions are my own.

I remember how much I looked forward to registering for my wedding prior to getting engaged. Once upon a time, there was nothing I wanted more than to register at Williams Sonoma. I had all of these grand visions, and frequently walked through the store looking at items I would register for. Then the big question got asked. We did go to WS and started the registry process, only to walk out fairly quick. Other than a set of $1,000 knives, there wasn't anything at the store Gabe wanted, and this experience was supposed to be about us as a couple, not me dream shopping.

One thing that drew me to Target Wedding was the versatility of items you could register for. Target has most the big items one would register for, such as KitchenAid Mixers, Riedel glassware, Dyson Vacuum cleaners and Calphalon cookware. You can register for the big items, along with mixing in moderately priced pieces.

Target asked me to find two very different Target products that, when gifted together, add up to something more - “Be Yourself, Together,” when two people join forces while celebrating their individuality. When purchasing items for other couples big day, I always try to incorporate both people into the gift. Making the gift more personal adds a special touch.


One item I would urge most brides to register for is a KitchenAid mixer. It is my absolute favorite item in our kitchen and you can use it for so many things. Gabe bought me one a few years ago and it still is my favorite gift, aside from my engagement ring.

If you wanted to pair a KitchenAid with a different product to showcase both couples individuality, the Threshold™ Stoneware Serveware Collection Canisters would be a perfect way. I love the chalkboard labels, which you could use to write a note to the couple. You can fill one of the canisters with the Grooms favorite coffee and another with the brides favorite chocolates. You could also provide the couple with a recipe for classic chocolate chip cookies, placing the primary ingredients into the canisters. Instruct the bride and groom to do different tasks from the recipe, so they would make them as a couple with the help of their new KitchenAid mixer.

You could do this with so many items at various price points from the Target Wedding Catalog. A soda stream machine paired with soda shop glasses to make homemade ice cream floats. Riedel wine glasses, a bottle of wine and a set of steak knives, creating the setting for the perfect date night in. I could go on and on!

What was the favorite gift you've received (either for your wedding or in general?).


#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Target Influencer Network. This could include the Target Influencer Network providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My weekly running and The Flavor Run Recap

All excuses things considered (the heat, stomach issues, mental block, family in town), I was overall impressed with this weeks running. I will be the first person to admit that I've been a slacker this summer with my training. I finally got in 4 runs with a total of 19 miles.

Since my best friend was in town over the weekend, we decided to do our long run on Friday. I took the day off work and we headed out for what was supposed to be an early morning Bayshore 8. We were about an hour behind, starting at 8:30am instead of 7:30am. The first 4 miles were nice, with cloud coverage. The last 4 miles were death which resulted in more walk breaks than I would have preferred. We did see a  family of dolphins in the water and I caught an action shot of a baby dolphin playing in the water along the Tampa skyline.

The following day, we participated in The Flavor Run at the Tampa Fairgrounds. This event was put on by John, the master mind behind the social running club, Running for Brews.  I was very excited to take part of this event and support a local organization. 
I ran this race with Keri and my friend Rachel (runnerstales.com). At first, Keri was not too happy about the fact she was going to get dirty but ended up loving the experience. I was very impressed at the overall coordination of the event. Flavor Run netted around 2,000 runners in the dead heat of the summer. The Flavor Run is similar to the other color runs out there with one exception - the powders thrown at you tasted like fruit. 
The event was organized very well. I've participated in a large number of national races, some of which didn't have the details this race had. Did I mention there was a medal!? At the end, we were handed a large plate of fruit from Whole Foods, perfect for those craving the flavors thrown at them.
My favorite part of the race was running through the Enchanted Flavor Fairy Forrest. The three of us were supposed to be Flavor Fairies for the second part of the race but due to time constraints, we had to skip that. I did find a guy in a tutu which made for a great photo opp.

The only thing I would change about this event is pushing it out a few months. I ran the Color Run in November and since the heat and humidity were vastly different, we did not sweat much during the race. Once liquid hits the color powder, it dyes your skin. When you are sweating and having color powder thrown at you, you have no choice but to get the powder wet. When Keri and I arrived home, we had to assist each other with scrubbing areas one another cannot reach. With the assistance of baking soda and losing a few layers of skin, we came out squeaky clean!

Disclosure: I received my entry to the Flavor Run in exchange for promoting the event. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Running with the Bulls - The Great Bull Run is coming to Florida

There are those who run with zombies. Some who run through fire, mud and barbed-wire.  Then there are those who run with the Bulls in Pamplona Spain.....How about running with the Bulls in the United States?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Yep, you heard me right. The Great Bull Run is coming to ten cities throughout the United States (with more to come) and on February 1st, The Great Bull Run is coming to Central Florida - at the Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City.

You can cross this adrenaline-filled experience off your bucket list without breaking the bank.This is the real deal, modeled after the famous San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, but without all the time and money required for a trip to Europe!  Not to fear, the bulls that will run in the U.S. won’t be herded to a bullfighting ring like they are in Spain. They’ll be coming from the professional rodeo circuit — and will return there once the fun is over.
My fiance heard about this and told me instantly that he wanted to run this race. At the first suggestion, I considered joining him but lets be honest here - I am a big chicken and this race falls halfway in between runDisney's Dopey Challenge and Glass Slipper Challenge. If I was to do this, I would probably break an ankle. If you are like me, The Great Bull Runs offers more than running with bulls. Along with the Bull Run, there is also the Tomato Royale - a tomato food fight styled after La Tomatina, something that is on my bucket list!
This is my chance to throw tomatoes at my friends, family and fellow participants. If you sign up to run with the bulls, you will receive a ticket which includes entry to Tomato Royale. If you are a giant chicken like me, you can join in the fun, too by registering for the Tomato Royale ticket.

The Great Bull Run is currently $40 a person and you can sign up by selecting the city your closest to on their website

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Making Paella thanks to Marshalls Project Fab #FabFound

A few weeks back, my friend and fellow blogger Katie announced a partnership she part of with Marshall's Project Fab. Marshall's hand picked a few bloggers throughout the US to be part of this project. Along with that select group, Marshall's also selected 50 lucky people who received a $100 gift card to shop with at Marshall's and I was one of those 50!

Being able to spend $100 at Marshall's was a ton of fun. Especially going in with no clue what I would walk out with. I wanted to be sure to make the most fabulous purchase with those funds. I have a sick obsession with designer jeans and that section of Marshall's was the first place I started. While I got starry eyed over designer labels, I also wanted to be sure and utilize the gift card towards something more than clothing.

My first purchase was a pair of Joe's Jeans, Skinny Ankle Indigo for $49.99. Joes sells the exact same jeans on their website and in major department stores for $158.  While in this department, I also found a black Michael Kors top with a gold zipper for $35 (retailed at $80). I purchased the top on my own but wore them together on Girls Night Out with my best friend Keri, who also scored an adorable black dress at Marshall's during this shopping excursion for $19.99!
Since I wanted my $100 to go towards the three things I love most, jeans, running and cooking, I headed over to the sporting goods section. I've been searching for a 4 bottle water belt since I am currently training for a marathon. My two bottle one isn't getting me very far in this summer heat. I got VERY lucky this day as Marshall's had a Nathans 4R running belt for $24.99 (retails for $55). I promptly grabbed it and added it to my #projectfab purchase.
Finally, I headed over to homegoods and after strolling through the aisles, I found myself in the clearance section. Hidden under other items was a Paella pan and upon further inspection, I noticed it was a Antonio Sotos Paella Kit marked down to $13 (retails for $50!). I love Paella but have never made it at home before. Not owning a Paella pan always concerned me as I am known for burning rice. I knew this would be an adventurous experience and take me out of my culinary comfort zone. The Paella kit brought my total to $90, so I used the extra $10 towards my Michael Kors top!

Making Paella was an experience. I had a difficult time not stirring the rice at the end and stopped the process a little early due to fear of burning. Overall, my Paella turned out nearly perfect. I made a similar version of Tyler Florence's Ultimate Paella, not including his dry spices since my kit came with it and leaving out the Lobster and Little Neck Clams. Gabe was very impressed with this and asked me to make it again.
Overall, I couldn't be happier with all of my Marshall's #fabfound purchases. If I purchased the three items individually (not counting the Michael Kors top), I would have spent $250. At Marshall's, the total was $90. My waterbelt was my most needed purchase while my paella pan was the best deal. The Joe's jeans will be a perfect for the fall, winter and spring since I can wear them under boots or rolled up, paired with cute flats.

During my shopping trip, I did fall in love with one item which was not purchased. A Cynthia Rowley hand placed nail head accent chair for $129. SWOON. I would have picked this up in a heart beat if I had somewhere to put it.

What would you purchase at Marshall's if you had a $100 gift card? You can also win a $50 Marshall's gift card from Project Fab by posting photos to their instagram, twitter and facebook, using the hashtag #fabfound. Each week, one lucky shopper will win a $50 gift card!

Disclosure: I received a $100 gift card to to towards the items shown in this post from Marshalls or The TJX Companies, Inc. in connection with my affiliation with Marshalls Project FAB.