I had the immense pleasure of attending the Tampa opening night of Cirque du Soleil’s VOLTA, and I loved it! It was my first Cirque du Soleil show and I had really no idea what to expect. The name implies a high energy show, and it delivers on that promise throughout the entire show!
The story of WAZ, a successful game show host who has found sadness in his fame, was one exciting performance after another. I found myself asking, “what will they do next?” and being blown away by the talent and artistry of the performers.
I don’t want to give away the show, so I’ll share some photos of my favorite parts:
My husband and I attended the show with two friends of ours. We were unsure if the show would be appropriate for our 5 and 7 year old boys. While they would have LOVED the acrobatics and definitely the bmx bike stunts, they would have likely been scared by a few moments of darkness and my oldest may have not liked the loud crowd at certain times. Cirque du Soleil is meant to entertain the whole family, so use your own discretion when deciding about your children.
Don't Miss the Show!
VOLTA is here in Tampa through March 18, 2018 with multiple showings each week. The show takes place under the big top in the lot adjacent to the Tampa Greyhound track. You can even see the massive, beautiful tent from 275.
General public tickets are also on sale now by visiting cirquedusoleil.com/volta or calling 1-877-9CIRQUE (1-877-924-7783). Tickets are available starting from $37.
I received complimentary tickets in exchange for my review.
As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Exciting news, Supercross fans! Monster Energy Supercross is coming to Tampa at Raymond James Stadium on February 24! Supercross is the most competitive and highest-profile off-road motorcycle racing championship in the world. Featuring innovative track designs and attracting impressive crowds set inside recognizable and prestigious stadiums. The world’s most elite athletes, Marvin Musquin, Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac, Cooper Webb, Jason Anderson and more battle it out for the esteemed 450SX Class crown.
Event Times: Doors Open/ Practice & Qualifying – 12:00 p.m. Pit Party – 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. Main Event – 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: Tickets starting at $20
Purchase Info: Tickets available for purchase at the Stadium Box Office, online at www.SupercrossLIVE.com or www.ticketmaster.com or by phone – (800) 745-3000
Discount code: Save $5 off select seats for Monster Energy Supercross in Tampa with discount code SXFEB. Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires February 23, 2018.
For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, please log on to SupercrossLIVE.com, the official website of Monster Energy Supercross, or follow via social channels:
• Facebook: facebook.com/supercrosslive
• Twitter: twitter.com/supercrosslive
• Instagram: instagram.com/supercrosslive
• YouTube: youtube.com/supercrosslive
I received complimentary tickets in exchange for promoting this event. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Our charity spotlight for our February event is The Spring of Tampa Bay. Since their founding in 1977, The Spring has provided sanctuary and services to more than 60,000 abused adults and their children.
The Spring is the Department of Children and Families (DCF) certified Domestic Violence Center for Hillsborough County. They are one of the largest of Florida’s 42 certified domestic violence centers and the first domestic violence agency in the United States to have an accredited on-site school for resident children.
The Spring’s programs and services help victims of domestic violence rebuild their lives and raise awareness to prevent domestic violence from occurring.
Handbags & Happy Hour
This massive "Girls Night Out" event illustrates the magic of giving...and receiving great deals! Cocktails and conversation are flowing as hundreds of ladies gather together to support the women and children served by The Spring of Tampa Bay. New and gently-used handbags collected from the community are featured in an exciting silent auction. This unique and uplifting event brings people together who are passionate about ending domestic violence to create a safer Hillsborough County.
They're collecting new and gently-used purses to repurpose to raise money for The Spring’s life-saving programs & services, and we are supporting this event by collecting handbags at our Ladies Night Out at Cantina Laredo on February 22. Please bring your new and gently used handbags!
Find out more about Handbags & Happy Hour on their website: www.peaceinpurple.org
Thank you to all who attended our January 17th One Year Anniversary event at American Social on Harbour Island! Despite the cold temperatures, we all had a blast, and it has been truly amazing watching our community grow! Thank you to the staff at American Social, and we can’t wait to come back in April!
Below you will find an index of the amazing businesses with a spotlight at our January 17th Girls Night Out; including their information to connect. This is a great opportunity to connect with those vendors that you might have missed networking with at the event. I also encourage you all to like each other's pages to keep the love going; as we all grow together! Oh, and don't forget to keep them in mind for your shopping and event needs
Edward Jones Financial Advisor Matt Johnson
Whether you're planning for retirement, saving for college for children or grandchildren, or just trying to protect the financial future of the ones you care for the most, we can work together to develop specific strategies to help you achieve your goals. We can also monitor your progress to help make sure you stay on track or determine if any adjustments need to be made. Throughout it all, we're dedicated to providing you top-notch client service.
Cherry Family Chiropractic
Cherry Family Chiropractic has a unique and highly advanced system of both analyzing and adjusting the spine. They take pride in offering specific and scientific chiropractic care. They use the Pierce Results System as a way of evaluating your spine and noticing how it moves through what should be normal ranges of motion. They are conveniently located on South MacDill Ave in South Tampa.
Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski with Shannah
In every Touchstone crystal accessory shines Swarovski crystal, giving each chic jewelry piece its signature sparkle.Shannah brought her SPARKLE from Touchstone Crystal by SWAROVSKI to this fabulous event.💎🎉💎 Half of her line is under $50.00!! Contact Shannah for booking a party to help you and your friends get all the items on your wish list!
Lunchbox Wax - Soho
Walk into any LunchboxWax, and you'll instantly feel you're in capable, caring hands. They pay attention to every detail, be it the steps they take to provide the perfect wax service to the products they've formulated to pamper the skin of every guest before during and after a session.
Isagenix Team – Lili Arroyo
No matter what your health goals are, Lili can help you with their Isagenix product lines.
Isagenix is protein based, mineral rich, nutrient dense, super food that combines nutritional cleansing with targeted essential nutrition that feeds the body on a cellular level. Contact Lili to find out more on this highly convenient nutrition and wellness line of products!
Orange Theory Fitness – Carrollwood and Channelside locations
Come join Orangetheory Fitness studios in Tampa in the Channelside District and in the heart of Carrollwood for a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session that will deliver increased speed, power and strength. Orangetheory's sixty-minute sessions are energetic and a mixture of cardiovascular and strength training exercises. Utilizing treadmill training, indoor rowing machines, hand weights and TRX suspension training, their exceptional personal trainers, will bring you through a challenging group workout that will leave you feeling accomplished and energized.
Hello Gorgeous Photobooth
Hello Gorgeous Photobooth is Southwest Florida's Luxury, Modern Photobooth Experience, they provide custom themed props, unlimited prints and social media for your event! Their staff is extremely attentive and have the highest standards in customer service to ensure guests have a fun, fabulous time.
Lola and Howie are a husband and wife team dedicately solely to their fine art photography business. We specialize in Weddings, Engagements and Portraits. Check out their gorgeous photos on their site!
We have been waiting to visit Legoland until my oldest son’s birthday in April, but when we saw that they are hosting special LEGO Ninjago Days in January and February, we knew we needed to go now! Legoland has already built a special Ninjago land within the park, but these special event days include everything your Ninjago fans could possibly want! This special event will take place on January 27 and 28, and February 3 and 4.
Special Character Appearances
At special scheduled times, my boys were able to meet and take pictures with Kai, Nya, Lloyd, and for the first time in Legoland, Master Wu! The line was efficient and the characters posed for such fun pictures!
We kicked off our day with the premier showing of the new 10 minute show LEGO Ninjago – Master of the 4th Dimension. This amazing 4D theatrical experience was great for the whole family!
The most exciting entertainment of the day was the Martial Artistry outside of Ninjago world. The real-life ninja were kicking, jumping, and showing off all kinds of exciting skills! The first couple of rows surrounding the show were left for the kids to sit near the action.
I also have to tell you that I had no idea that Legoland is built on the old Cypress Gardens. The botanical gardens remain, as does the ski show! We loved watching the Brickbeard’s Bounty water ski show with skis, boats, and jet skis!! We decided to sit on the adjacent lawn because of my squirmy little guy, and we still had a good view of the show.
There was also a great build competition that was very engaging! The kids were able to choose between building a ninja or a baddie, and they could submit their final creations for a daily prize. My guys didn’t participate but loved checking out everyone else’s creations!
In one of my personal favorite areas of the park, MINILAND USA, you could participate in a Master Wu scavenger hunt. Ballots can be found at LEGO Studio Store, and you keep a tally of the number of Master Wus you find among the models in MINILAND.
Fun for all Lego Fans
My 7 and 5 year old boys are huge LEGO fans right now, so this trip came at the perfect time for us. They brought a supply of mini-figures of home to trade with the “model citizens” (people who work at Legoland), and had a blast checking out everyone’s collection on their name tags. However, I can say that even if you have kids who aren’t obsessed with LEGOs like my boys are, there is plenty to enjoy at Legoland for the whole family! We will definitely return, and I’m hoping to check out their waterpark next!
Find more about Legoland online:
The Florida State Fair – always in Tampa, always in February – will be held on February 8-19, 2018. The Florida State Fair attracts more than 500,000 people over the course of its twelve-day event. Covering fifteen acres, the Florida State Fair boasts the largest Midway in North America with 110 different rides. The Florida State Fair was founded 114 years ago in 1904 and was originally housed at the Tampa Hotel, now known as The University of Tampa.
The Florida State Fair employs 65 full-time staff members and nearly 800 seasonal staff to ensure guests have the most fun, educational and entertaining experience possible. In 2018, the Florida State Fair is unveiling thirteen new attractions including meet and greets with Paw Patrol and Rusty Rivets; Teen Stars Live; Florida State Fair Dance Championships featuring stars of Dance Moms; Little Farm Hands presented by Mosaic; BMX/FMX Freestyle Madness, The Ninja Experience, Mini Monster Trucks and so much more. The ever-enticing Fair foods for 2018 include a Surf N Turf Sundae, Southern Catfish Sundae and Barbeque Pulled Pork Ribbon Fries. Musical acts at the Florida State Fair include Country Gold Tour, Kazual, Screaming Orphans, Fuel on Fire, Dennis Lee, Vocal Trash and local Tampa bands including Kenzie Wheeler, Reverend Barry & the Funk, Alex Lopez, Nathan Hager, Taylor Reed and many more.
Tickets can be purchased at any participating Publix Supermarkets in the Tampa Bay area or online at www.floridastatefair.com.
For more information, please visit:
Website | www.floridastatefair.com
Facebook | www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds
Instagram page | www.instagram.com/flstatefair
On January 22, the Florida State Fair launches its Half-Price Hookup featuring one all-you- can-ride armband plus Gold Access, good for any one Fair day for only $25. The all-you- can- ride armband plus Gold Access is valid to ride any ride in the largest Midway in North America with 110 different rides and the largest traveling Ferris wheel – the Midway Sky Eye. Gold Access will enable guests to use special express access at midway rides and 10% off on selected food and beverage – a $15 value (only on Saturdays and Sundays)
We attended our first Monster Jam show on January 13 at Raymond James Stadium, and now we have a family full of monster truck fans! Our boys have always loved vehicles of all kinds, but with our oldest being sensitive to loud noises, we never wanted to bring him to a show. Wow, were we missing out! We all had so much fun!
Pre-show Pit Party
The Pit Party took place in the field adjacent to the stadium (parking area) from 2:30 - 5:30 pm. We had the chance to meet the drivers, and they were so wonderful with their fans! Our boys (ages 7 and 5) were amazed with seeing the trucks up close. They then became ‘experts’ and were familiar with all the drivers. It gave them a real connection to the rest of the show even though we had never seen any of the cars or drivers before this event.
The Pit Party had a ton of ‘extras' such as food, merchandise, build your own monster truck out of wood, ride on a mini Grave Digger (like a Power Wheel), ride in the back of a full sized Grave Digger, a bounce house and a slide. The extras cost extra, but our boys enjoyed just walking around, seeing the drivers, and doing the free things at the different vendors. The free activities included making a pit party sign from Dairy Queen, playing corn hole and winning a free pizza from Papa Johns, free tattoos, and there were many vendors who gave out fun swag.
There were 3 parts to the event. In the first part, the trucks raced each other around the track and one winner was crowned. We loved cheering on our favorites! In the second part, the trucks did tricks on 2 wheels and the crowd did the scoring. I thought this was such a fun, engaging way to get the audience involved! The final part of the show was a freestyle event when the audience was able to provide the scores again.
We were surprised to see how many trucks needed repairs during the show. They show them on the big screen getting fixed and rush them back in from outside like its WWE - so fun!
Tips and Tricks!
As long as you have ear plugs or headphones, it is better to sit closer to the action. The jumps would be amazing to see from the 100 or 200 level. Being higher was better for us because it was not as loud, but it’s a tradeoff. They were also doing some great giveaways in the lower section!
Make sure to bring food to tailgate before/after the pit party. People were partying at this event like it’s a football game! I saw people with grills, tables of foods, pop up tents, and drinking games. Packing your food and drinks is a great way to save a bit of money, but also can ensure you have your kids' favorite foods. I stopped at the store on our way and bought a delicious Publix Cuban Sandwich and my boys' favorite- popcorn chicken. I also let them each pick out a few special treats for the show. It was the first time we have gone somewhere and they didn’t ask for food.
Remember that this event is outdoors. It was an unusually cold Tampa night for our show, and we showed no shame and wore many layers along with our winter coats from our time up north! I saw people with blankets, wool caps, and gloves!
Our January charity spotlight is Trinity Cafe, here in Tampa. Trinity Cafe is a restaurant, serving more than 380+ hot and hearty meals daily, without charge. They have served more than 1.3 million meals since opening in 2001. Anyone who comes to their door is welcome – without question or qualification.
They serve 3-course, nutritious meals to our hungry, homeless and anyone in need. Prepared by their Executive Chef and his crew, served by a loyal army of volunteers. The guests sit at cloth covered tables, adorned with centerpieces, set with dishes and hand-rolled silverware. They serve each guest with dignity and respect, it is all they ask them in return.
Together with the solidarity and commitment of their team, volunteers and collaborative partnerships, Trinity Cafe strives to be a gateway to positive change in the lives of the guests and seeks to enlarge their capacity for self-help and reconnect them to the broader community.
Trinity Cafe is a place of kindness, compassion, and dignity… a respite to those in need.
Very simply, Trinity Cafe is defined by its daily demonstration of humanity in action.
Many of Trinity Cafe’s guests are homeless and jobless. But the food insecure have quickly become a segment of the population who find themselves at their door – often running out of money before the end of the month to feed themselves and their families. Women, children, the elderly, and physically and mentally challenged individuals comprise many of the multitudes they serve. Their stomachs are empty, and they are eager to receive a nourishing meal – for many it is the only food they will eat all day.
One in six people in our region don’t know where their next meal will come from. Many at risk children won’t eat between Friday lunch and Monday breakfast provided at school.
Each day, Trinity Cafe addresses the nutritional needs of the hungry and homeless of Tampa Bay by serving a well-balanced, restaurant quality meal. It is served with unconditional respect and a sense of dignity. Nutrition is critical to the well-being of those facing “Food Insecurity” in our community. We strive to ensure no one goes away hungry.
As a volunteer, there are a variety of opportunities: serving guests, hosting tables, greeting guests, pouring drinks, preparing silverware, and cleaning tables. The goal is to have one server and one host companion per table. A volunteer coordinator will be responsible for delegating assignments to the volunteers. Servers and table companions should be loving, encouraging, and supportive to each guest, while not being overly inquisitive or questioning them as to how they have arrived at their current stage in life.
Trinity Café would love the support of our Tampa Housewives community in serving those in need. Often, January and February have the lowest volunteer turn outs! It would only take two hours one day during the week, 11am-1:15pm at one of our locations in Tampa. The volunteer experience is fun, easy and very rewarding. Nina Georgette Hickey will be joining us at our Girls Night Out Patio Party at American Social on January 17 to meet us and can answer any questions you may have about Trinity Café. If you are able to volunteer, you can contact her directly: email@example.com C 813-447-4946 O 813-865-4823
This cookie has been a family favorite in my home for as long as I can remember. My mom made these every December because there was always a peanut butter and chocolate lover to please. First it was my brother when I was growing up, now it's my husband's favorite cookie so I carry on the baking tradition!
Who is the peanut butter and chocolate lover in your life?
1/2 c. shortening (such as Crisco)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. (1 cup) chocolate chips, melted
1. Cream together the shortening, brown sugar, sugar, and peanut butter. Mix at medium-low speed for about a minute.
2. Add egg. Mix until combined.
3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined.
4. Turn dough out onto wax paper. Add another layer of wax paper and use a rolling pin to roll dough 1/4 inch thick in the shape of a rectangle.
5. Remove top layer of wax paper and smooth melted chocolate evenly on top of the dough. Allow to cool.
6. Roll dough lengthwise and wrap with the wax paper. Place roll in the refrigerator.
7. Preheat oven to 360 degrees.
8. When the oven is preheated, remove the dough from the refrigerator and slice cookies 1/4" thick.
9. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet before moving to drying rack. Makes approximately 36 cookies.
Hi! I'm Diana. I love the beach, my family, chocolate, coffee, and meeting new people. I host monthly events in the Tampa area and cannot wait to meet all of you!