Hello - I am a married lady on my way to Europe!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Can someone tell me where the last week went? Iam so excited to share stories of our wedding weekend with you all but we are heading to Europe for our honeymoon. I know the photos will be fantastic when we get them back - until then, here are some of my favorites others captured of our special day in New Orleans.
My favorite candid shot so far came from a stranger!! One who approached me in the airport on the way home to Tampa. She watched our wedding, snapped the above photo and even got a video of the second line parade. Perfection. Onto some of many favorite shots from the weekend:
My niece Madison and I
Walking down the aisle with two of my favorite people
No caption needed......
The second line parade
The first dance (we were cracking up right here)
Cutting of the cake
Speaking of cakes..............
The beautiful backdrop of Jackson Square
My gorgeous bridesmaids
On my way to become Mrs. Copello with my best friend of nearly 30 years by my side.
You may now kiss the bride........

Thank you to everyone who made this day so special for us. I will see you in a few weeks!

It all started with a Hello, a Lindt Chocolate #itstartedwithhello #giveaway

Monday, September 29, 2014
This article is sponsored by Lindt HELLO
This is a pretty funny blog post. I bought a ton of Lindt HELLO chocolates while in New Orleans for my wedding this weekend. In fact - I purchased every flavor they had at Target and couldn't wait to check them out. Until my best friend got a hold of them the night before my wedding. This is what was left, with the funniest coaster I have seen from New Orleans (thanks Darlynn!). Introducing Lindt Chocolate:

What was your favorite HELLO moment? Mine was to my brand new husband Gabe. We met for the first time as teenagers - as he was one of my high school friends younger brothers. Many years passed and the night my brother got married, we were reconnected. This was one of our first photos together.
I knew he was the one after our second date and there is a witness to this statement. I was sitting on my best friends living room floor and I said "mark my word, I will marry this guy". Funny how life works out - we have a ton in common - including being total goofballs and living life for the moment.
That simple HELLO was the start of our life together and I got a facebook invite from him a few days later. Fast forward nearly 5 years later, we are now husband and wife.  This journey is only a start to our amazing future together.

What's your HELLO moment? Click here for an exciting giveaway with Lindt with the "It Started with HELLO" digital series, co-produced by Ashley Tisdale. The first episode, produced by Tisdale, premiered on September 18, 2014. Three additional new episodes will debut weekly through October 9, 2014. Each “It Started with HELLO” video embodies the fun and unique personality of the collection as characters spark new connections, and your audience can even choose the ending they want to see most for each episode! Following each video, you will have a chance to enter the Lindt HELLO Sweet Connections Sweepstakes, where you’ll have the chance to win some really sweet prizes that will help them to make new connections of their own.

Guavaween 2014 - major changes, what to expect and a #giveaway!

This will be my 4th year living in Ybor City and Guavaween is still my favorite event of the year. 2014 will be different from the years past and we cannot wait. Here is why - I strongly feel that after the city stopped the Mama Guava parade a few years back, Guavaween started going downhill. Starting this year, Big City Events will be taking over the Guavaween reigns and the party will be taking place at the Cuban Club of Ybor City. Big City Events is the same group who brings you Summer of Rum Festival, Margarita Festival and much more.
Guavaween 2013
As I mentioned above, Guavaween 2014 will take place inside and surrounding the Cuban Club of Ybor City. There will be both an outside Street Festival, festivities in the Court Yard along with additional Themed Areas inside the historic complex. This will be a huge change to the years past when Guavaween was a street party with no organization. I am looking very forward to the event this year and see what Big City Events turns Guavaween into.

A little about what you will expect: Freakshow carnival and voodoo magic come together for Guavaween 2014! There will be plenty of entertainment including Live Music on the main stage, Burlesque and Side Show Acts in the Theatre, Street Performers and more.

Voodoo magic brings the Streets of Ybor City to live with creepy carnival games, street performers, food vendors, and thousands of your costumed friends.

Named after what is known to the be the earliest place in New Orleans in which Voodoo rituals occurred, the Dumaine Street Courtyard will be the main hub of Guavaween Enjoy a lineup of live entertainment on the interactive Guavaween Big Top Stage. Be a part of the Costume Contest and vote for the Audience Choice Award. Enjoy Guavaween’s Signature Cocktail, the “Voodoo Juice”:  Be on the lookout for random street performers like a fire breather or a voodoo priestess summoned by the Voodoo Queen herself.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the comforts of the Laveau Lounge IF YOU DARE. Laveau Lounge is where the voodoo queen Mary Laveau conduct her routine rituals. Enjoy Live performances on the Laveau Lounge stage, get your fortune read by Ms. Laveau’s fortune tellers, and of course get your Voodoo Juice from Ms. Laveau’s servant bartenders.

Step right up and grab a seat at the Sideshow Theater to enjoy a variety of live performances throughout the night. From Burlesque troupe shows to freak shows, you’d find the best of theatrical live performances. Any Halloween event is not complete without the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Enjoy a midnight showing of the acclaimed film on the big screen following the live performances.

Club Ju-ju is where all the freaks get together to get their “freak” on. Dance the night away as our awesome DJ’s spin the best mix to keep you on the dance floor all night. Feast your eyes a true visual magic combination of projection mapping and laser light show that will surely blow your freaky mind.

General Admission Tickets 
$18 Limited Presale | $20 Advance | $25 Regular| $30 Door (if available)
GA Tickets will get you in the gates to enjoy our entertainment lineup and all the fun Themed Areas and other amenities we have waiting for you. Drinks are purchased separately at the event.

VIP Voodoo Experience 
$80 Limited Presale | $85 Advance | $95 Regular| $125 Door (if available)
VIP Voodoo Experience gives you access to the VIP Area at the Dumaine Street Courtyard and VIP Area in Club Juju. Enjoy Unlimited Drinks/Open Bar ONLY in the VIP Area on Dumaine Street Courtyard AND in Club Juju. VIP area in Dumaine Street Courtyard will feature prime views to main stage, decorated tent/shade area, bars to serve VIP ticket holders only, some seating area, and more. Go inside to Club Juju to get your freak on and dance the night away in a special VIP only area.

VIP Table Service 
Limited VIP Tables are available for parties of up to 6 people. The VIP Tables are located inside the Laveau Lounge and Club Ju-Jū. VIP Service is provided. Please Contact Us for Reservations.

VIP Cabanas 
Want a private area for your party? We have limited Private VIP Cabanas available located outside in the Dumaine Street Courtyard. Please act fast as these will SELL OUT QUICKLY!

I am giving away THREE PAIRS of General Admission tickets to Guavaween!!! Tell me in a comment below what you are dressing up as for Halloween this year and make sure you track your entries in the rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

It's my wedding day!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014
John Lennon once said, “a dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream together, THAT is reality”.

Love, Megan Copello (as of 4pm Central Time)

Win a $3,000 "Carbon Fiber" Champagne bottle and 100 other prizes from Underground Cellars

Friday, September 26, 2014
Hi - I am getting married tomorrow!!! While I am away for the wedding, I wanted to share a contest with you all worth entering - a chance at winning a $3,000 bottle of champagne from Underground Cellar.

One lucky winner will receive a 1.5 liter MAGNUM bottle of 2002 Cuvee Carbon Champagne! Courtesy of Underground Cellar and My French Cellar.

If you don't win first place, don't fret - there are plenty of consolation prizes including 100 Underground Cellar gift cards worth up to $100 each

Here's a little note from Investor Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank!

5 hour ENERGY Yummification Contest Results

Thursday, September 25, 2014
“The 5-hour ENERGY® samples, gift card, and information have been provided by the makers of 5-hour ENERGY®.”

A while back, I posted a contest from my friends at 5 Hour Energy on their yummification campaign to create a recipe using one of their energy shots at the chance of winning thousands of dollars in prizes.

First Place ($50,000 prize): “Pomelimelade” by Tim Merlau, Los Angeles, CA
This winning submission mixes a Pomegranate 5-hour ENERGY® shot with limeade, and then takes us on a musical journey through all that can be accomplished over several hours (spoiler alert: it’s a lot)
Pomelimelade Recipe
1 glass Limeade
1 shot of Pomegranate 5-hour ENERGY®
Second Place ($30,000 prize): “Ramalamadingdong” by Mark Golembeski, Los Angeles, CA
The second place video helps us turn that 2:30 feeling frown upside down by mixing a 5-hour ENERGY® shot with lemonade. This video has it all: a clown, a puppy, a guy in a tutu, and much more.
Ramalamadingdong Recipe
1 glass Lemonade
1 shot of Berry 5-hour ENERGY®

Third Place ($10,000 prize): “Arnold Power” by Zac Sheorn, Lugoff, SC
The third place winner reminds us that you don’t have to be good at sports, but mixing a Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY® shot with decaffeinated iced tea helps keep you refreshed while practicing. And practicing.
Arnold Power
1 glass Decaf Iced Tea
1 shot of Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY®

Greetings from New Orleans! My bridesmaids gifts #ValueCards

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ValueCards #shop

If you are one of my lovely 4 bridesmaids - please stop reading this post now - thank you :)
Greetings from New Orleans!! I am officially in town for our wedding this weekend and am beyond excited. The next few days are going to fly by and my main goal is to enjoy myself, rather than stress out over everything detail....allegedly. I cannot wait to spend a few days in NOLA with my bridesmaids prior to getting married and shower them with gifts for their 15 months of patience.
I bought the girls their shoes for the wedding, along with the wedding jewelry; a bracelet and earrings. I got them an initial necklace (not wedding jewelry) since it was super cute. I also got them something else, which I am not posting yet, since I have a feeling those sneaky girls are on here reading this post mid-flight (stop Darlynn).
If you know me - you already are aware that I'm quite obsessed with pigs. I have a pig statue or trinket in every room of my house. In fact, sitting on this very desk as I am writing this post, there are 5 pig figurines staring at me. So when I saw this thank you card at Walmart for only $0.47 cents, I grabbed every one of them up and literally squealed with delight - just as the card states.
My lovely bridesmaids
I have to say how obsessed I am that there is now a Hallmark Value Card selection available at Walmart,. These cards are $0.97 and $0.47 - with every option possible. They even had wedding cards! Make sure you check out Hallmark Rewards by clicking here, where you will earn a reward for every 5 cards you buy and see great content from other bloggers! Join in the #ValueCards conversation on Twitter. Starting at less than 50 cents a card, there is no excuse not to buy someone a card, just because.


Elephant Trainer for a day at Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
A few weeks ago, my fiance Gabe and I had the opportunity to be Elephant trainers for a day at Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay. This was such an amazing hands on experience that one would never have unless they were actual trainers. Growing up, I wanted to be a veterinarian and work with large animals. Being an animal trainer for a day was truly a dream come true for the little girl who still lives inside of me.
Gabe and I arrived to Busch Gardens at 7:15am for orientation. We happened to be on the Advocare cleanse at the time, which meant - NO CAFFEINE. It was rough y'all. We met our leader for the day, Nancy, and learned all about elephants.
Busch Gardens uses positive reinforcement training, where the animals are rewarded for good activity vs. punished for bad activity. This means the trainers do not have hand on hand contact with the elephants. After orientation, we saw the amazing structure the elephants are housed in.
After meeting a few of the girls, we headed out to have some time with them on the safari. We fed Carina the elephant and saw some of her amazing moves, including spraying water all over us!!!

Prior to breaking for lunch, we built prize snack boxes. Everything from sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, grain, greens, you name it.
We enjoyed a lunch as part of our experience at Dessert Grill. I was pleased to see there were options on there menu for those on a diet - I enjoyed grilled chicken and vegetables, while Gabe slightly cheated on his diet with meatballs. Oops. We then went for a short visit around Busch Gardens. I mean - this sloth....really!!
After we got back to the Elephants, it was time for some fun in the sun - or rain. Everyday, the elephants get an "easter egg hunt" where their keepers give them obstacle courses of activities with food and games as prizes.Right as we started placing various obstacles, it started pouring. Not a big deal and we continued on.
Elephants say bring on the crossfit!
A few things which surprised me - elephants LOVE marshmallows so we built a Peep tree for them on bamboo. Their sweet tooth continues with their love of Skittles, which is veterinarian approved.

We placed large piles and single candies along their scavenger hunt. It was amazing watching them pick up one candy at a time.
One of the funnest items on the Easter egg hunt was watching the girls go for the "popsicle" A melon inside of a fruit flavored ice cube.

We finished our day at 3:00pm and the fist thing I said upon getting in the car was, "when can we do this again".

For more information, follow Busch Gardens on Twitter | Facebook | Online

2014 TCS New York City Marathon official merchandise now available!

Monday, September 22, 2014
I will never forget the feeling I had last year when we picked up my packet for the 2013 NYC Marathon. My nerves were on the highest level possible and I couldn't focus on shopping - my favorite thing to do at marathon expo's. The one thing that I remembered most was Asics huge booth of official merchandise. I ended up with a few race day essentials due to the weather on race day - a beanie, gloves and arm sleeves. I also got a jacket and a coffee mug - yet I wanted it all.
When I saw this years official merchandise has been released, I instantly started a wish list - of items I want vs. going in and getting overwhelmed like 2013's experience.

ASICS Gel Kayano 21 NYC & ASICS Gel Nimbus 16 NYC
The one item I regret not picking up the most last year was the signature shoe of the NYC Marathon. Luckily, ASICS made special editions of both the Gel Kayano and Gel Nimbus for the 2014 Marathon. I love the splatter paint embellishments.
TCS NYC Marathon Asics Women's Emma Singlet
One of my favorite shirts to run in will proudly represent my accomplishments of the NYC Marathon. It will be great to wear a shirt from this race on my daily runs.
2014 TCS NYC Marathon Asics Women's Lite-Show Favorite Half Zip
I'm quite obsessed with this half zip. I generally run at night and this lightweight long sleeve training shirt will be awesome in the winter.

NYC Marathon Short Sleeve Tee
I absolutely must have get a short sleeve shirt for this years race. Aside from the shoes, this was my biggest non-purchase regret from 2013. I have my official long sleeve tech shirt but never get to wear it since I live in FL.

NYC Marathon Thermopolis 2-in-1 beanie
This was my lifesaver in 2013. I was cold and wind kills my ears. This beanie fit snugly over my ears and didn't give me earaches while wearing headphones.

You can check out the entire 2014 ASICS NYC Marathon collection on both the NYRR site and official ASICS website.
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