Best Ugly Sweater Party of the Season - Seminole Hard Rock Remy Martin Dinner at Council Oak

Monday, November 30, 2015
I have a confession - I LOVE Ugly Sweater Parties. Instead of whipping out one of my Mom's beloved sweaters circa 1990, I find matching obnoxious Christmas sweaters and make my husband dress like me. I am that girl.
On December 10th, My friends at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa are hosting an Ugly Sweater Party at Council Oak for their upcoming Remy Martin curated Holiday Dinner. The event, which will air LIVE via Periscope, begins at 6:30 p.m. with a Rémy Martin-themed cocktail reception, followed by an innovative four-course meal at 7 p.m.  

Here are the details:
Ugly Sweater Party
December 10th, Council Oak - Seminole Hard Rock Tampa
6:30pm Rémy Martin-themed cocktail reception
7:00pm Innovative four-course curated dinner
Each of the four courses will feature a specialty drink:
Rémy Martin VSOP – Jingle Ball Rocks
Rémy Martin VSOP – Holiday Side Car
Rémy Martin XO – Neat
Rémy Martin 1738 – Spicy Toddy

Entertainment provided by local Tampa musician Justin Rhodes.

The Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition winner will receive an exclusive bottle of Rémy Martin.

Tickets (at $190 per person) are available for sale by calling (813-627-6630). Space is limited.

My Favorite Things - Holiday Giveaway

I cannot believe today is the last day of November!!! I really hope you and your family had a blessed Thanksgiving! We rented a house in Orlando with my Husbands family, cooked up an amazing feast on Thursday and spent 5 days in Disney. While I didn't get any running in (boo), I did make up for the slack by "running" around Disney with a 5 year old, 4 year old and a  2 year old. To say we are exhausted is an understatement.

Since we spent the entire time at Disney, I never stepped foot inside of a store on Black Friday. This is a first for me and I am 100% ok with it. Speaking of Christmas shopping, I want to save you some money and time by giving away 6 of my favorite things over the next two weeks.
If you have followed this blog over the years, you will recall I did the 12 Days of Christmas giveaways. This year I am changing things up a bit. Instead of 12 giveaways, I reduced it to 6 and made those 6 items bigger and better; things I know you would love to find under the Christmas tree. Every giveaway I am doing over the next two weeks are brands I am passionate about and things I would buy friends and loved ones. If you aren't a runner, that is OK! I am doing 2 running giveaways, 2 lifestyle/travel giveaways and 2 small kitchen appliances.

The giveaways will last for two weeks, starting tomorrow, 12/1. Here is a sneak peek of what will be happening. This is not in date order, so be sure to check back daily and follow me on Instagram & Twitter for more details!

Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact System
ASICS America Giveaway
1 Night Stay at Loews Don CeSar & a $100 Rowe Bar Certificate
Rock Spa Rythm & Motion Massage at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa
Ninja Coffee Bar
Rock n Roll Marathon Entry

Rock n Roll New Orleans Discount Code!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
My 2016 race calendar is filling up FAST. One event I am most looking forward to is Rock n Roll New Orleans. Why you ask? It's all about the bling............

2016 Rock n Roll New Olreans Medal

Our Wedding Photo
The second I saw the 2016 Rock n Roll New Orleans medal, I knew there was no way we were missing this one. Not only is it our favorite city in the USA but who can say they have a medal that is a replica of where they got married at? Not many :)

My friends at Rock n Roll Marathon Series have extended my discount code for a few races in 2016.
2016 Rock n Roll New Orleans Discount Code: IRUN4WINE Save $15
2016 Rock n Roll DC Discount Code: IRUN4WINE Save $15
2016 Rock n Roll Arizona Discount CodeIRUN4WINE Save $15
Why you should run this years Rock n Roll New Orleans Marathon Series:?
Amazing Food (see my wedding website for suggestions)
Incredible Drinks
Beautiful Architecture
Mind Blowing Stories to bring home

Chef Marc Murphy opens Grey Salt Tampa, Seminole Hard Rock

Things that excite me: new restaurants opening in Tampa. Want to know something that excites me even more? When a Celebrity Chef opens a new restaurant in Tampa - enter Chef Marc Murphy.
I attended the VIP opening of Grey Salt at Seminole Hard Rock last week. You may recognize restaurateur and cookbook author, Chef Marc Murphy as a judge on Food Networks Chopped. We have anxiously awaited this night ever since learning about Grey Salt earlier in the year. I am here to say, we were not let down.

The space is stunning. I felt like we were sitting inside of a Restoration Hardware magazine. Chef Marc Murphy and team wine and dined us with some of the featured items on Grey Salt's Menu. I fell in love with the Burrata. Here are the current Menu's for Grey Salt Tampa:
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu
Bar Menu
Drink Menu
Dessert Menu

Being we were at a private event, I wanted to share photos from Grey Salt's Social Media pages. I am looking forward to bringing a full dining review in the coming weeks!
photo - Seminole Hard Rock Tampa

photo - Grey Salt Facebook
Burrata with roasted tomatoes and olives, photo - Grey Salt Facebook
Italian Cubano, photo - Grey Salt Facebook
Roasted Duck Breast with dried fruit mostarda, photo - Grey Salt Facebook

spiked lemonade, photo -
Wild mushroom grilled flat bread, photo
To see more beutiful photos, visit Grey Salt on Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Online

Thanksgiving Leftovers Eggs Benedict #EBeggsfit

Monday, November 23, 2015
I have a confession......I LOATHE leftovers. This becomes problematic during Thanksgiving when the family wants to live off of them. This is why I am always creating dishes out of Thanksgiving Leftovers. Last year, I came across a recipe for Thanksgiving Leftovers Eggs Benedict and had to try it out. It was a hit.
This recipe using Thanksgiving Leftovers is simple to make and is the perfect breakfast for Black Friday. Plus if you prepare the stuffing cakes the night before after your big meal, you will have hardly any prep in the kitchen Friday morning, leaving more time to shop til you drop. The best part about this dish is you can use pretty much any side dish as a topping.
I decided to go with leftover turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy - topped with a poached Eggland's Best Egg.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Eggs Benedict

Ingredients (for 4)
3 cups leftover stuffing
2 Eggs for stuffing
4 Poached eggs
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 pound leftover turkey, warmed
1 cup leftover cranberry sauce
1 cup leftover gravy, warmed

Mix together stuffing and 2 eggs until well combined. Make 4 cakes, about 1" thick and 3" wide. Carefully coat each cake with breadcrumbs.
Heat oil and cook stuffing cakes one at a time until deep golden brown, 2 minutes each side.
Poach Eggs (click here for the easiest method)
While eggs are poaching, place cakes on a plate and layer with your preferred thanksgiving leftovers. Place the poached egg on top and drizzle gravy over it (or hollaindaise)

Eggland's Best has superior nutrition compared to ordinary eggs. Each Eggland’s Best large egg contains:
25% less saturated fat
10 times more vitamin E
3 times more vitamin B12
4 times more vitamin D
Double the Omega 3s
Good source of vitamins B2 and B5
38% more lutein

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland's Best.


30 Holiday Tips and Tricks from Loews

Loews Hotels and Resorts is bringing you 30 days of Elf help for the holidays! If you follow this blog, you are very aware that Loews Don CeSar is my happy place. I am fortunate enough to live less than 45 minutes from this gorgeous building, aka the Pink Palace. Their spa, restaurants and beach are some of the best you will find. Whenever visiting, we get a sense of luxury that I have not seen duplicated elsewhere. Sure they have a great piece of property but that luxury feeling wouldn't be there without the experts who work hard to make a perfect guest experience.
Launching December 1st, instructional visuals to feature “30 Days of Hints & Hacks” from experts across the brand including Loews Don CeSar Hotel. These tips come just in time for the holidays and will impress your guests and provide the Loews standard of hospitality at the comfort of your home.
All you need to do is follow along with the “30 Days of Hints & Hacks” throughout December on the Loews Hotels & Resorts’ FacebookLoews Twitter Page and Loews YouTube channel.

A few examples:
How to create a last minute centerpiece using items found around your house
How to easily remove crayon stains from a wall
How to perfectly uncork a bottle and pour the perfect glass of wine
How to make an easy gingerbread house
How to clean glass perfectly
How to make a bakery-quality cake
How to make deliciously infused water
How to pair wine and food
How to wrap a present like a pro
How to keep sheets bright white

I for one will be following along daily, attempting many of these. What I am looking most forward to? December 23, How to rescue a broken cork from a wine bottle. I have stories on how I've attempted this. Let's just say I have a giant measuring cup and I've learned which paper towels are stronger than others :)

That time we stayed in a Castle - Ballyseede Castle Ireland

Friday, November 20, 2015
There was one thing I insisted on during our Ireland trip - that we spend at least one night in a Castle. I did more research on Castles in Ireland than any other part of our trip and found the Ballyseede Castle in Tralee fit our driving agenda perfectly. It is located about 45 minutes outside of the Ring of Kerry and this is where we had the most comfortable night of our trip.
The Ballyseede Castle was built in the 1950's and was set on 30 acres and was jaw dropping elegant. If there was one thing I wish we did different on this trip, it would have been staying an extra night here. We have traveled to Europe twice and I can tell you, they lack in comfortable beds. However, the Ballyseede Castle had the most comfortable bed we have stayed during any trip - it contends with those in luxury US hotels.
Upon walking in, you were greeted with chandeliers, fireplaces and multiple sitting rooms. You couldn't help but to think of the history and secrets the walls of this building holds.
We were graciously upgraded to a Superior Castle Room, one of the largest rooms in the castle. Ours was the Yeats Room which offered a four poster bed, large bay window overlooking the garden (hi ponies and donkey's!)

The Castle offered many amenities so instead of exploring the town of Tralee, we happily stayed put, living like a royal. Ballyseede castle has two restaurants and a bar. Pappy's Bar was opened until midnight the night we were there and two resident dogs were the hit of night. We made reservations at the two AA Rosette Awarded O'Connell Restaurant, which was our only elegant dinner of the whole trip.
The O'Connell Restaurant offered a choice of a two course dinner for 35 euro or a 5 course dinner for 50 euro. You were able to pick any of the courses and when I inquired, they were full sized entrees. No way we could put down 5 courses each so we opted for the two courses, I got a starter and entree while Gabe got an entree and dessert.
My starter was a Pan Fried field mushroom with a warm soft poached egg. It was delicious and I devoured it. There was a nice red wine puree which was an excellent flavor element. Other starter choices were: Tiger Prawns and Crayfish cocktail, Homemade Chicken Liver Parfait or Baked Dingle Bay Crab.
I was very excited to see they had half bottles of wine on the menu. Gabe was still under the weather and didn't want to drink any alcohol. The half bottle was perfect for me, and I had a little left to take upstairs after dinner!
We both opted for the Pan Fried Fillet of Local Kerry Beef with cracked black pepper and chive cream sauce, candied shallot and a truffle dressed salad. The filet was perfect cooked medium rare and was accompanied by steamed local vegetables (we had brocolli, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and baby corn). This was a good dish but I wish one of us would have tried something else, the choices being Pan Fried filet of salmon, Half Roasted honey glazed confit of duck (what I wish we would have tried along with the beef), Pan Fried fillet of Roast Hake.
For Dessert, we had to get the Ireland specialty Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. If you like Toffee, you would love this. Our other options were: Creme Brulee, Strawberry and Meringue or Baked Bitter Dark Chocolate Tartlet.

Overall we were impressed with the meal. It was a bit pricey with wine and soda ($100+ euro) but we knew going into this dinner that we would be spending about that.
The following morning, we were had breakfast in the Stone Room Restaurant. We had a fresh cooked hot breakfast and a breakfast buffet, all included in the cost of our room. That made up for the cost of dinner being most of the hotels were charging at least 10 euro a person for breakfast. Following breakfast, a couple came up to me to let me know they also ran the Dublin Marathon. I was wearing my ASICS Dublin Jacket and they were doing the exact opposite trip from us!

I would strongly suggest staying at Ballyseede Castle if you find yourself in Ireland. Drive the Ring of Kerry and end your day here.

On a side note, I learned that the Ballyseede Castle is haunted! It was named one of the top 10 haunted castle hotels in Europe. Here's the story :)

Ballyseede Castle has been referred to as one of the most “exquisite” castle hotels in the Ireland – and with very good reason. The bedrooms at the castle are decorated in an elegant, period style with views across the castle grounds. Ballyseede was originally occupied by the Earls of Desmond, but because they didn’t swear their allegiance to the crown, wars broke out that were known as the Geraldine Wars. The wars came to an end when the 16th Earl of Desmond was beheaded and his head displayed at London Bridge. Step into the castle and you’ll be surprised at the splendour – especially if you know about its grizzly history.

Ballyseede is said to still be haunted by the ghosts of previous landlords of the hotel – it seems that they are still fighting for ownership of the castle, even in death. One ghost in particular, Hilda, is said to appear every year on March 24th. The first year that Hilda appeared, in 1998, the guests that were staying at the castle fled the hotel in fright, and they were last seen in a local library asking for a book on ghosts as they had “seen a spirit”.

However, it seems that the ghost of Hilda has changed – before 1998, it was said that Hilda was a friendly ghost, not known to show any malevolence towards guests. Guests at the hotel throughout the years have also reported hearing strange bangs and thuds in the middle of the night with no apparent explanation, whilst one previous worker at the hotel has reported seeing a wardrobe banging and crashing in a room that he was working in – and he refused to ever go back into the room again.

Why I went from a Dyson to a Shark - Shark® Rocket Powerhead Vacuum

Thursday, November 19, 2015
I cannot believe Thanksgiving is a week from today. My mind is blown as to how fast 2015 zipped by us. 2015 marked the 10 year anniversary of my milestone year. In 2005, I bought my first house, paid off my  car, got my first promotion at work - I thought I was an adult who knew everything. Funny, I look back at that 25 year old and smirk at her.

Since Black Friday is only days away, I wanted to share a brand new product with you, the Shark® Rocket Powerhead Vacuum . Let's rewind back to 10 years ago first. After I closed on my first house, the first investment I made was an expensive vacuum cleaner. I'm a bit of a label snob and spent a pretty penny on a Dyson. I figured a $500 vacuum cleaner would be the answer to my cleaning nightmare, also known as this cute ball of fur.
My cat Boo-Kitty may be a cutie but he is a shedding beast. Even a $500 Pet Vacuum cleaner didn't match up to him. Every time we vacuum, we have a fake funeral to his "fur babies" because we literally get enough fur to cover a few kittens.

When Shark reached out to me to review their brand new Shark® Rocket Powerhead Vacuum , I jumped at the chance. The reason being, my Mom bought me a Shark Sonic Duo Carpet and Hardwood Floor Cleaner for my Birthday 5 months ago. She had one and I loved the fact that it works on Carpet and Hardwood, is lightweight and moves with ease. When I learned the Shark® Rocket Powerhead was a full size upright Vacuum cleaner without the bulk or weight, weighing in at only 9 pounds (not including the cord), I knew this would be the machine to replace my Dyson.
Shark Sonic Duo and Shark Rocket Powerhead
How mighty can a 9 pound Vacuum cleaner be? You would be surprised! The Shark® Rocket Powerhead is full of features but my favorite, besides the lightweight is the maneuverability. With Dynamic Power Steering, you can literally guide the Vacuum cleaner with one finger and lift it with one hand.

It lays flat so you can get hard to reach places, such as under your bed (HUGE perk for Pet-owners) and is so light you can easily lift it to Vacuum your couch! This is all possible thanks to Sharks  breakthrough engineering combined the motor and dust cup in the head of the vacuum which reduced airflow path and maximizes efficiency and power.

There are two different brushes, one for hard floors and one for carpet. It's super easy to switch them out and since there isn't a belt, you don't have to do anything but remove, clean and replace when you switch rooms. Our Condo is primarily tile and hardwood. We have carpet in our bedroom - so this convenience factor is a huge plus. I've always Vacuumed my tile and hardwood but it never did the same job as a broom, until now.
I 100% suggest this product and expect the Shark® Rocket Powerhead to be a popular item this holiday season. It's available at all major retailers and MSRP for $169.

Check out the video below for more details!

Shark provided me with product for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Advil Sickest Day Ever Travel Contest and Prize Pack Giveaway #sickestdayever

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
The Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain product, information and gift have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. 

It's that time of year - and I'm not talking about red starbucks cups and Christmas music everywhere you go. It's cold season and today I am sharing Advil's Sickest Day Ever Contest with you.

I was invited to take part in this contest the day my husband and I left for Ireland. In my travel bag, I was sure to pack Advil® Sinus Congestion which is my go-to sinus medicine of choice.
If you pack it, they will come and Murphy's Law visited us on our trip. On day three of our Vacation, right before the Dublin Marathon, both of us started feeling under the weather. Both of my ears hurt and I had awful sinus pressure. We were both congested with headaches and I was SO happy to have that box Advil® Sinus Congestion with me. We were able to continue our vacation and I finished my 5th Marathon in Dublin Ireland. Advil® Sinus Congestion is the only over the counter cold and sinus medicine which combines the speed strength of Advil® with a proven nasal, decongestant for fast, effective relief of severe cold symptoms including sinus pressure and headache.
Hiking Giants Causeway, Ireland
Instead of having our Vacation ruined by a cold, we were able to continue on with an active trip, hiking and having a great adventure all over Ireland. Advil® Sinus Congestion allowed us to have the sickest trip ever!
Hiking Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
I have a Giveaway for a Advil® Sinus Congestion prize pack including a $25 Visa Gift Card but before I get into that, check out Advil's Sickest Day Ever Contest and be sure to enter here for your chance to win an amazing trip!
Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain provides fast, effective relief of your severe cold symptoms, so you can enjoy your sickest day! All you have to do is record a video saying the tongue twister below. You will be entered for a chance to win a trip and other great prizes.

You can win one of three sickest days ever at: Park City, UT; Grand Canon, AZ; or San Juan, Puerto Rico. Where will your “Sickest Day Ever” journey lead you? Three Grand Prize winners will receive:
  • Two round trip tickets to their selected destination
  • A two-night stay in a hotel for the winner and a friend
  • A one-day itinerary for the “Sickest Day Ever”
  • A video prize pack to capture their “Sickest Day Ever”
Even if you don’t win the Grand Prize, you still have a chance to jump in on the “Sickest Day Ever;” after entering the Grand Prize Sweepstakes, click the link to the Weekly Prizes page, and confirm your email to be entered into the drawing!

Entering the Advil® at Work™ “Sickest Day Ever” Sweepstakes is easy as 1, 2, 3:

Head over to the Advil® at Work™ “Sickest Day Ever” Sweepstakes page

Simply record a video on the sweepstakes page of yourself saying our Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain tongue twister for your chance to experience your “Sickest Day Ever!”

“Sickest Day Ever” Tongue Twister: “Six of my sickest sinus symptoms solved with the speed and strength of Advil® in Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain for a chance to win the Sickest Day”

Fill out this quick “Sickest Day Ever” entry form and enter for your chance to win the Grand Prize trip and other fun prizes.
Now for my contest! I want to give you an Advil® prize pack along with a $25 gift card! Let me know in the comment section below if you've ever been sick on vacation before - and if so, where were you? Be sure to track your response on the Rafflecopter widget below and visit the Advil® contest and Facebook page for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Day 3 South Ireland, Ring of Kerry

Friday, November 13, 2015
On our third day traveling the southern Ireland coast, my husband and I toured the Ring of Kerry. We spent our entire day stopping our rental car to take photo after photo. It was beyond stunning.
Imagine all of the photos you saw of Ireland growing up - that is exactly what we saw, times 1,000. One thing I tell everyone who asks how our trip to Ireland was "it was exactly how we imagined it, but better".
I've never been in a situation where you have to share the road with wildlife. We had a standoff with a certain sheep who thought he deserved the roadway. He won......
We traveled clockwise on the Ring of Kerry, which is suggested if you are driving - so you go against the tour bus traffic. We went in the month of October and never once had to share the roads with a tour bus. It was perfect.
Our first real stop was at the Staigue Stone Fort.
This fort was thought to be built during the late Iron Age, between 300 and 400 AD. The history that walls held were beyond words. It was a hike to see the Fort but we had our sheep stand-off and between that and the history of the fort, it was worth the 30 minute detour.
Speaking of animals. If I am ever reincarnated as a cow, can I PLEASE be a Ring of Kerry cow?
When I did the research on Ireland, I saw a lot about surfing in Ireland. As my husband travels all over for surf trips, Ireland was never on his list - until this trip.

Prior to lunch we stopped at the Skelligs Chocolate Factory to check out all the hype. We left with a few bars of chocolate and today, I am wishing we brought home more.
We spent about 3 hours driving the Ring of Kerry from Kenmare clockwise. We stopped at almost every photo opp.
For lunch, we took the advice of our former night bed and breakfast manager and stopped at the Moorings Restaurant. I finally tried Seafood Chowder in Ireland.....
We also got "prawns" (btw, Prawns in the US vs Prawns in Ireland = not the same)
While the prawns were smaller than the prawns we are accustom to and the seafood chowder was a little thicker than I prefer, we had an overall decent lunch. By this day, we learned if we weren't set on a dish to split it and we got to try a few staple items at this restaurant and left with full bellies.
We were fortunate not to have an overly hazy day. While the fog limited some of the mountain vision, our overall day was incredible.
The Ring of Kerry is a MUST SEE in Ireland. I've had some who told me to take two days exploring it but we were beyond happy with the half day visit.
Ring of Kerry : It's Ireland - exactly how one would imagine it.
After we left the Ring of Kerry, we intended on visiting Dingle. The storms were settling in and I had one thought on the mind - castle. We headed to our next stop, Tralee where we stayed at the Ballyseede Castle. Stay tuned!
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