This month's Girl's Night Out in Southwest Florida was the first event of 2019 and the perfect way to kickoff a year filled with networking, socializing and growing as a community of women! Over 80 women came out to socialize, shop and enjoy the cooler weather in the 'Treehouse" of Society at Bell Tower Shops! The first 50 ladies got a reusable Swag Bag full of goodies sponsored by Culbertson Agency! And everyone had the opportunity to support some wonderful local women businesses. Our featured Photographer, Ranae of RG Photography captured the night perfectly.
SAVE THE DATE FOR THE NEXT GIRL'S NIGHT OUT SWFL EVENT, February 7th at Vergina on 5th!
Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not head to Miami...It is a short drive with tons of unique options. One thing I suggest is for you spend a few hours at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum. It makes for a great family fun day. Frost Science helps connect people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy the unique world of science and technology. Their vision is to create compelling STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) that inspires learning and innovation and enables people to explore real, rigorous science. We spent several hours here and could have easily spent more (especially if the kids were a little older). If you are in Miami and looking for something besides the beach and food scene, then museums are the place to go!
Get tickets to a show in the Planetarium
If you enjoy planetariums then this one will be one not to miss. The Frost Science Museum Planetarium is an upgrade compared to other planetariums I have enjoyed. It is one of only 13 like it in the world! The shows range from space trips to deep dives and feel so real.
Things to know before you go to the Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum:
1. Tickets are $29 adults, $20 kids ages 3-11 and free for kids 2 and under
***Get your tickets online to save money & avoid really long lines
the ticket line was easily an hour wait the day we went
2.Parking is additional & expensive-remember, it’s Miami!
3. Museum hours are 9:30am- 5:30pm every day of the year
KIDS NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: FEB 2ND!
Enjoy a child-free evening on the town while your child explores the museum after dark!
It’s that time of year again. A time where we all reflect on what we did and didn’t do last year and what we want to do this year. While planning your resolutions for the year, make sure to include a list for just the parent-side of things. Here are my “mom goals” for 2019. I hope to create a year full of meaningful moments, relaxing nights and authentic family time. I hope you will join me in creating a road map of balance and happiness for our families!
Save on the little things so you can do the big things. Removing some small frequent purchases like coffee and slushies will add up; then use that money to make a big family purchase that everyone will enjoy for a long time.
Go on a tech diet. Smartphone and tablet use has gotten out of control and not just for the kids.Gradually reducing the time everyone spends on a device will not only help everyone’s eyes, it allows more time for creative play and is sure to bring us closer!
Be in the picture...literally. Most parents have tons of photos of their kids having fun, but mom and dad are often missing from those frozen memories. Make a point to get in those pictures (even if it means you become a selfie taking mom) so that when your kids look back at them in the future, they will remember that you were there!
Reinstate the family dinner. Get in the habit of eating together as a family with nothing allowed at the table but food and conversation.
Be positive. Positivity is contagious, so be sure to be a shining example. Remove all negative words, like I feel fat. Show your kids how to find positive solutions to even the most negative situation. And always remember them of the things we always have to be happy for.
Boost your kids self esteem. Between a critical, media focused society, absent parents and bullies at school, many kids seem to have such low self-esteem. While it is impossible to control what happens at school or what they see and read in the media, we have control over the most important place of influence: their home! Create an atmosphere of safety, praise, support, affection and happiness.
In 2019, my overall goal of these Parenting Resolutions is to make my children feel important and loved - this will create the Happiest of New Years!
**as seen in print version in. my monthly Lee County Family News Column
All this 'Red Hot Party' planning gets me in the Valentine's Day mood. If you’re looking for a casual, comfortable look that can be worn with a cardigan for cooler days then with a splash of love take a look at my outfit combo.
TOP: RED CLAUDIA TANK $32 | PANTS: Heart Leggings$12 | BRACELET: Grey Rock Stud Wrap Bracelet $24.95
HAPPY NEW YEAR! As we welcome all the great things that will come to us in 2019, I want to take the time to look back at 2018. I launched Girl's Night Out in Fort Myers in October of 2018 not knowing what to expect. The Launch Party was a huge success and the two months following were equally impressive by the support of the community!
I have watched this community embrace this unique networking event wholeheartedly. Now I am proud to say that each month the event gets better. With an average attendance of 75-100 local ladies, no event is the same yet all events provide the same feeling...a feeling of support and connection among women from all ages, backgrounds and professions! Enjoy this photo review of the 2018 events and mark your calendar for the 2019 dates!!!
October: Launch Party at Ryans Eatery
November: Friendsgiving at Gather
December: Holiday Sip & Shop at Holiday Inn
2019 SWFL Girls Night Out Event Schedule
Southwest Florida Girl's Night Out will take place each month in 2019 at a different location throughout the region ranging from Naples to Cape Coral. Take a look at the dates we have planned so far and follow on Facebook for all up to date information:
Jan 29 New Year Soiree at Society Fort Myers - Bell Tower
Feb 7 Love Yourself Party on Fifth at Vergina
March 7 Spring Sip & Shop Social at Palm City Brewing
April 9 Girls Night Out Shopping Social at Scotty's Bierwerks
May 7 Summer Social at LYNQ
From my family to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and look forward to celebrating each month of a happy new year in 2019!!
Each month I choose a local nonprofit to support. This month the SWFL Charity Spotlight is The Children's Network of Southwest Florida, which is committed to working with our community to protect children and preserve families.
The Children’s Network of Southwest Florida, LLC, was created in April 2003 as the Lead Agency for child welfare services in Circuit 20. It is the private, nonprofit lead agency that administers the child welfare system in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades Counties. Our mission is to work with the community to protect children and preserve families. Children’s Network is responsible for over 2,400 abused and neglected children, and delivers a comprehensive local system of care through subcontracts with more than 50 social service agencies. The agency also serves approximately 125 at-risk community children each month in our Diversion Program.
The Children’s Network of Southwest Florida reflects important principles:
We collected donations for their OPERATION SANTA program at the Holiday Sip & Shop Social this month! But here is how you can continue to help:
This month's Girl's Night Out Fort SWFL event was such a fun night full of cocktails and holiday shopping! Over 100 women came out to socialize, shop and enjoy the cooler weather! The first 50 ladies got a precious reusable Swag Bag full of goodies sponsored by Forema Boutique! And everyone had the opportunity to support some wonderful local women businesses. Our featured Photographer, Dayna Hurson, of Day Lily Visuals captured the night perfectly.
Save the date for the next Girl's Night Out SWFL event, January 29th at Society!
Did you know I write a column for the Lee Family News magazine? My column is typically on or around page 7 each month, so be sure to pick one up at the first of the month because it is filled with events, ideas and tips for things to do with your kids.
This month I talked about my favorite things to do with my kids in Southwest Florida to get into the holiday spirit:
Visit Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops in FOrt Myers
In addition to the free photos with Santa kids can enjoy free crafts, games and test out some of the neat toys sold in the store. This is a fun way to spend a few hours and get you in the holiday spirit! I recommend going on a weekday to avoid heavy lines. Visit basspro.com more all the details.
Ride the Holiday Express Train at night around Lakes Park
This fifteen minute train ride on a 1/8 scale miniature train is exceptionally fun during this time of year as you ride through the lit tunnel and holiday decor. This year the holiday express is running Dec 14- 30th. Visit rrmsf.org for exact times and cost.
Watch a Holiday Show at Broadway Palm
My kids are a big fan of the Broadway Palm Children’s Theatre and their holiday performances never disappoint. Get dressed up and head to the show! This year it is Elf, The Musical and The Nutcracker. Get tickets at broadwaypalm.com
Visit Lights in the Gardens at Naples Botanical Gardens
Thousands of lights illuminate the Garden in a unique experience with a night of music and food. Tickets are required from naplesgarden.org
Unforgettable fun at home
From cookie decorating, gingerbread house building, to ornament crafts and an indoor ‘snowball” fight there are so many ways you can get kids engaged and entertained with holiday activities at home. Use this month as a memorable way to end the year with fun moments that will be remembered for years ahead!
I hope you can join us on December 11th on the Terrace of the Holiday Inn Ft. Myers Arpt-Town Center (Fort Myers, FL) for the December Girl's Night Out! This will be a Holiday Social unlike any other!
Shop for some people on your holiday gift list from some fabulous local lady bosses! This Happy Hour + Networking event l is FREE to attend, but please register your ticket via Eventbrite.
What to expect:
--->The first 50 ladies get a Swag Bag sponsored by Forema Boutique full of goodies!
--->Giveaways from local businesses
--->Networking, socializing and great cocktail specials
---> Support local biz:
---> Support the Children's Network of SWFL by donating a toy to their Operation Santa Program
Local Vendors that will be selling great gift items:
Rodan and Fields
Oil Ohana Kati Miller
Heather Shines Stella & Dot
Kathy McGinnis/Mary Kay Director
Skin & Tonic Facial Bar
Orangetheory Fitness Fort Myers - Six Mile Cypress
Subtle & Chic Boutique
ZYIA Active by Ashley Winstel
ZTeam Realty of SWFL
Plus you will have a chance to get an Energy Reading using Oracle Cards by Dolores J Gozzi
Hi, I am Mandy!
I am obsessed with traveling, could eat tacos everyday, can sip wine or shoot whiskey, trying new restaurants gets me excited and my children fill the days with joy, laughter and challenges!