Rock of Ages - Straz Center Tampa

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
The Sunset Strip has arrived in Tampa Bay. Broadway's best party Rock of Ages is celebrating it's 10th anniversary on tour and we got to see it last night at Straz Center. From the beginning, I knew we were in for a great time.
This was the perfect Broadway show to see for the last week of my 30's. I grew up with this music and sang along to songs such as “Every Rose Has It's Thorn,” “I Wanna Know What Love Is,” “Here I Go Again,” “Don't Stop Believin’,” and more! I promise this - the tenth anniversary production will have you ready to rock!
Rock of Ages has been nominated for five Tony Awards® and was quick to jump into my top 5 Broadway shows we've seen.. There were times where I forgot I was watching Broadway and thought I was at a concert.
The musical follows the story of a small-town girl who left home to be an actress and a city boy who has dreams of becoming a famous singer. The love story with some drama along the way features a group of rockers who work together to save a local bar - and save the music. There was a ton of laughter and singing from the audience along the way.

You can see Rock of Ages at the Straz through Saturday and tickets start at only $25! Click here to purchase tickets.
June 13 7:30
June 14 8:00
June 15 2:00 and 8:00

I received tickets to Rock of Ages through my partnership with Tampa Bay Bloggers. All opinions are my own.

Just Let Go at Tradewinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach

I had the opportunity to check out TradeWinds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach. There are two properties that make up this grand 31-acre beachfront playground, Tradewinds Island Grand and RumFish Beach Resort by TradeWinds. Both were created with fun in mind and there are so many things for kids and adults of ages to do, there is no way anyone would ever get bored while visiting here. Upon walking into the resort, I noticed right away that their slogan is Just Let Go and for a few hours, I was able to do just that.
My friend Becca joined me at TradeWinds for a much needed girls day. Fun story with us, we met 10 years ago while we were both living in Daytona through a group of friends. We became "facebook friends" but didn't stay in touch, until I posted 2 years later that I was moving to Tampa. She had just moved over here with her boyfriend (now husband) and we became fast friends. A few months later, my Mom went to her High School Reunion and reconnected with one of her best friends, whose daughter had also just moved to Tampa. They tried to set us up on a friend date - well guess who her daughter is... Becca. Small world!!
We enjoyed our day relaxing in a covered Cabana and catching up. It was just what we both needed. The covered cabana is a perfect place to stay safe in the sun while enjoying the beautiful beach.
There are 14 eateries at TradeWinds Islands Resorts including casual and fine dining. We enjoyed a few adult beverages while hanging in our cabana. This is a 22oz margarita that I ordered from Salty's Tiki Bar and Beach Lounge. You are allowed to drink on the beach at TradeWinds and they have a beach buggy that goes around refreshing your beverages.
If the weather had cooperated with us, we would have experienced the 20,000-square-foot water park that is floating in the Gulf of Mexico! The water park offers more than 11 fun-filled features – from jumping and climbing, to relaxing and sunning - they have floating cabanas which is a dream come true.
Becca did take a ride on Bucky the Shark, a mechanical shark (like a mechanical bull). I was very impressed with her skills.
Right by Bucky, there is also a three-story High Tide Slide on the beach which was very popular throughout the day - I sat that one out but everyone looked like they were having a blast!
Becca has two kids and instantly stated she was going to bring them over for a staycation being there are some amazing deals this summer at TradeWinds Island Resorts (especially during the week), rates start as low as $243. The property has seven heated pools, stand up paddleboarding, hammocks, paddleboats, mini golf, trampoline park and a surf simulator. You can also purchase a day pass at TradeWinds to enjoy all the amenities.
My few hours at Tradewinds was just what I needed. A few months ago, laying out and going to the beach/pool was my happy place. However, when I got diagnosed with multiple location melanoma, I have not spent time outdoors and I am extremely self conscious about the melanoma scars all over my legs. I spoke with my Doctor about sun exposure and was told to live my life normally, just smarter. Although my cancer is genetic, I am fair skinned which puts me at higher risk for cell growth. I lathered up in dual spectrum SPF 50 and stayed under the covered cabana - I enjoyed myself and for a few hours, and was able to forget about everything going on... It’s time for me to take back my life and Just Let Go.
Special thanks to TradeWinds for inviting me out for a beach day. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.

Carnival Craft Beer now available Fleetwide

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Cruising craft beer lovers rejoice! On Sunday, my husband Gabe and I headed down to Miami for a special announcement from Carnival Cruise Line on board the Carnival Magic regarding their craft beer line.
In 2016, the Carnival Vista was named the first cruise ship to have a RedFrog Brewery & Pub on board (her sister ship the Horizon also has one). This is a full working brewery where they brew their beer while at sea. When I sailed the Vista in 2017, I had the opportunity to visit the brewery and try their delicious brews firsthand.
Although I am a wine drinker, there is nothing better than a frosty glass of beer on a hot day and while on a week long Vista sailing, I found myself at RedFrog Pub & Brewery daily and even bought a growler of beer! Carnivals craft beers became famous among cruising craft beer lovers. However, when you went on a ship that didn't have a RedFrog brewery on board, you weren't able to indulge in their delicious brews.
So what does the RedFrog Pub & Brewery have to do with the announcement made on the Magic? On Sunday March 17th, Carnivals three most popular craft beers will be available fleet-wide, on all 26 ships! This includes the Parched Pig Toasted Amber Ale, Parched Pig West Coast IPA and Thirsty Frog Caribbean Wheat Ale.

Not only was Carnival the first cruise line to have a brewery on board, it is also the first cruise line to keg and can their own craft beers. If you are familiar with the Florida craft brew scene, you know who Brew Hub is. The Lakeland facility will be handling the production of canning and kegging the three beers for Carnival!
So next time you are on a Carnival Cruise Line, be sure to order yourself a Parched Pig or Thirsty Frog craft beer (I am a huge fan of both the Toasted Amber and the Caribbean Wheat)! Cheers!

Thank you to Carnival for hosting us in Miami for this press announcement. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.

This weekend - 30th Spring Daytona Turkey Run and Dock Dogs competition

Monday, March 18, 2019
When you think about Spring Break in Daytona Beach, a lot comes to mind (especially if you grew up in the 90's like me - hello mtv!). This weekend, things will go back in time full of classic cars and doo wop music at the 30th running of the Spring Daytona Turkey Run. This is the Spring version of their famous Fall Turkey Run.
I am sending my nieces this year so they can see the Dock Dogs, a fun new feature taking place at the Spring Turkey Run. Dock Dogs, is the world's premier aquatic canine competition. Yes you read that right! More information on these talented pups below!
Aside from talented canines, the headline of this event is classic custom cars, a massive swap meet, arts and crafts, delicious food, a beer festival and live music.

The family friendly Spring Daytona Turkey Run takes place at Daytona International Speedway from March 22nd - March 24th and is presented by White Diamond, sponsored in part by Spectrum. Admission is $10 Friday and Saturday and $5 on Sunday with free parking ((children under 11 are free). Visit for a full schedule.

Dock Dogs®
Kids and adults alike will have a blast at the world’s premiere aquatic canine competition. Set up inside the infield of the Daytona Speedway, dogs of all sizes will jump from a 40’ dock into a 40’ pool and compete in Big Air®, Extreme Vertical, & Speed Retrieve® competitions. Competition dates are March 23rd and March 24th.

Hops and Hoods Beer Festival
Taste test local, craft and domestic beers on Saturday, March 23rd from 12PM-4PM! Beer tasting tickets are $5 for 4 samples and $10 for 10 samples. Tickets can be purchased in advance or onsite. Advanced tickets include special Hops and Hoods parking.

Take a Kid to a Car Show
Spending quality time with a kid is the greatest gift we can give them. And sharing our appreciation for collector cars is a great way to nurture their interest in a hobby that can be enjoyed together for many years to come. The first 500 kids to enter will get a special Turkey Run gift. There will also be a Play Zone at no additional charge, including bouncy houses, an obstacle course, carnival games and more!

Annual classic car parade lap around the track
Registered show cars will enjoy a fun lap around the iconic Daytona International Speedway track on Sunday, March 24th at 2pm.

This was a sponsored post by Turkey Run. All opinions are my own.

Health Updates

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
To say 2018 was a whirlwind when it comes to health is an understatement. I started the year with over $6k in my Health Savings Account. I rarely went to the Doctor and considered myself a healthy person.
2018 in Thailand before everything went crazy
In March 2018, I had my first experience with Acid Reflux which resulted in an incorrect diagnosis of GERD. I was treated for this for months, taking two daily rx that weren't working. Then the testing began. Testing is still going on to identify exactly what is happening but it is esophagus related.

In November, I worked an event in Minneapolis. I fractured my foot in a freak accident. Although I am out of my boot, I can't run until June. I was really upset and that accident combined with my esophagus issues pushed me over my out of pocket deductible.

Knowing I could see any Doctor for free through the end of December, I made multiple calls, including a long overdue Dermatologist appointment. With my high deductible plan, if you go to the Dermatologist and if any biopsies come back clear, you are charged 100% as it is seen cosmetic. Being I have a billion moles and freckles, there has never been a time when I didn't have 5+ biopsies removed.

I asked for the Nurse Practitioner to take anything and everything he saw as a warning (nothing out of pocket, why not). He took 5 spots. I got a call 2 weeks later letting me know one of them was Basal Cell Carcinoma skin cancer. This is the most common type of skin cancer, caused by sun exposure. I have a lot of family members who have had many Basal Cells removed. Every single person said "At least it isn't Melanoma".

I had the Basal Cell removed the day after Christmas and saw a different Nurse Practitioner for this procedure. She looked at my left leg and instantly asked why two spots weren't removed. "I don't like the looks of these at all". I said, take them! I got a call on January 4th from Pathology.....

Stage One Melanoma Skin Cancer. Caused from genetic mutation, not sun exposure.

While Melanoma is common, it can be deadly. I caught it at stage one so luckily it is early. However when the Doctor went in to take them out, he saw multiple other spots that are within the melanoma line which is dangerous. I go tomorrow to get 10 more spots removed. My biggest regret is not getting every mole & spot taken off me on the 26th of December when I had the chance. Now everything is out of pocket until I hit my max again. Which will be soon.....

Up until mid-January, I didn't talk about this on my social media channels. I decided to post on my personal facebook as a PSA to my friends being I live in FL and we are frequently in the sun. I had multiple comments, some of which were uneducated. One person even said "Melanoma isn't a big deal but I will be praying for you".  I ignored him.....

After posting on facebook, many of my colleagues and friends let me know that they made Dermo appt's right away. I'm trying to stay positive through all this and if anything, become an Advocate, encouraging others to make appointments. While my Basal Cell looked suspicious, my Melanoma spots looked normal! While I was writing this post, one of my closest friends growing up wrote me. I haven't talked to her much over the past few years. She wrote me to let me know she was diagnosed today with Melanoma on her left leg.

I will post my update after the next round of biopsies results come in. I keep saying, if it wasn't for fracturing my foot, I would have never known.

A Bronx Tale on Broadway - Straz Center Tampa

Friday, February 1, 2019
On Tuesday night, my husband Gabe and I went to see A Bronx Tale on Broadway at Straz Center in Tampa. It was a much needed date night out as I've been dealing with some health things that I will write about soon - along both of us being crazy busy at work. Having National Broadway shows less than 30 minutes from us is one of the things we love most about living in Tampa Bay.
A few of my co-workers raved about A Bronx Tale so we were excited to see it. Especially being it's called "Jersey Boys meets West Side Story". The second the show began, Gabe looked over at me and said "this is the intro of Jersey Boys" (we've seen Jersey Boys twice on Broadway).
Something I didn't realize ahead of seeing the show was that there was a movie adapted from the original play. A Bronx Tale was written in 1989 and during the original Off Broadway, Robert De Niro came to see the show, he took it to the big screen in 1993, where he starred in and directed the movie. A Bronx Tale was his film directorial debut and he is now the Director of this Broadway hit.
The musical takes place in the 60's, when everything was in the Bronx was all about Joe DiMaggio and Babe Ruth. A Bronx Tale story is about a young boy named Calogero (also known as C), who gets taken under the wing by Sonny, the neighborhood mob boss.
The story follows C as he grows up to be a teenager, having to choose the life he wanted, between his straight-arrow father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be. The story took a Westside Story twist when he fell for his African-American classmate, Jane. A Bronx Tale is an unforgettable story of loyalty and family.
Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro and Tony® winner Jerry Zaks direct this streetwise musical – based on Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri’s story that The New York Times hails as “A Critics’ Pick! The kind of tale that makes you laugh and cry.”

A Bronx Tale will be in Tampa through this Sunday, February 2nd. Click here for tickets!
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