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.
My family and I recently had the opportunity to stay at the new Marriott dual-branded Residence Inn and SpringHill Suites on Clearwater Beach and LOVED our experience! We spent one night in the Residence Inn side of the property and my boys are already asking to return.
The brand-new property opened in the summer of 2017 and boasts oversized guest rooms with a coastal vibe, flexible living, working and sleeping space, stunning views of Clearwater Bay and a wide array of shared amenities. Both brands stay true to themselves: SpringHill Suites offer stunning décor from West Elm and comfortable features, while Residence Inn offers a kitchenette and ample space for extended stays and families. They share the lobby, pool, business features, and exercise room.
Our family of five was very comfortable in the Residence Inn room. My husband and I were able to share the king sized bed, and our boys enjoyed the sofa bed. We still had room for the Pack n Play for our baby too. We had a beautiful view of Clearwater Harbor and the Intracoastal, and were just across the street from the beach.
We started our evening with an appetizer and drinks in the lobby. The wings were delicious – we ordered 10 and asked for a box when they arrived… then we didn’t need the box because we ate them all!
I was worried that the kids would be unwelcome in the beautiful lobby, but there were numerous families and the staff was particularly accommodating. Cecil at the front desk even taught us a new trick to keep my son’s shoelaces tied (a double bow instead of double knot!). We decided to pick up a pizza for dinner and were referred to King’s Pizza just a block away from the hotel. We walked there and brought it back to our room for a delicious pizza picnic! With it being the holiday season, we used the in-room Smart TV to access our Netflix account and watch Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was the perfect ending to our evening!
The next morning we enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast in the lobby. The staff did a phenomenal job of keeping up with the Sunday morning high-demand, and we all enjoyed our own breakfast choices. They offer scrambled eggs, both pork and turkey sausage, make-your-own waffles, toast, yogurt, fruit, juices, and more! I was especially impressed by the coffee bar with a selection of flavored syrups to add to your coffee.
After breakfast, we took a walk on Florida’s award-winning Clearwater Beach, just across the street. Our stay was during the coldest weekend in December, so we bundled up and went exploring. Living in Tampa, it sometimes is easy to forget how lucky we are to live so close we to these beaches. We will be planning many more return trips!
SpringHill Suites Clearwater Beach
Residence Inn Clearwater Beach
The properties share their address:
309 Coronado Dr.
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
Residence Inn/SpringHill Suites provided me with a complimentary stay in their hotel in exchange for this blog post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Monster Jam will be performing at Raymond James Stadium for two action-packed shows on January 13, 2018 and February 3, 2018!
The January 13th event will feature trucks and drivers vying to be the Tampa champion, including: Grave Digger, Max D, Monster Mutt Dalmation, Monster Energy Mutant and many more!
The February 3rd event will feature Grave Digger, El Toro Loco, Soldier Fortune, Cleatus, Hot Wheels, and other favorites!
Monster Jam ® is adrenaline-charged family entertainment providing jaw-dropping displays and gravity-defying feats that promises to always leave fans entertained. Monster Jam events feature some of the most recognizable trucks in the world including Grave Digger®, Max-D, El Toro Loco® and many more. Our world-class drivers push these perfectly engineered Monster Jam trucks to their limits in Freestyle, “2-Wheel Skills” and Racing competitions that will put families on the edge of their seats and leave them craving more of this unexpected, unscripted, and unforgettable event!
Monster Jam Pit Parties are prior to each Saturday show. Check www.MonsterJam.com for dates/times and how to get unprecedented access to the Monster Jam trucks and drivers. This unique experience in the world of motorsports gives you access to see the trucks up close, take pictures, meet the drivers, and get their autographs.
New in 2018, the Pit Party Early Access Pass is available to every fan who purchases a ticket to the event. The pass provides early entry into the Pit Party from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM and serves as the regular Pit Party pass from 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM. Monster Jam drivers will depart from the Pit Party at 5 PM. The Pit Party Access Pass must be accompanied by an event ticket, and quantities are limited.
Tickets and Pit Party Passes are available online at ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Same day event ticket and pit pass required for entry to pit party. All seats reserved. Subject to facility fee, plus convenience and handling charges. Raymond James Stadium is located at 4201 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33607
For more information on a Monster Jam, please log onto www.MonsterJam.com (click on “Tickets” and search for Tampa) or follow us via our social channels below:
During the first weekend of December, my husband and I attended Clearwater Beach Uncorked and it was so much fun! We were not sure what to really expect, but I can tell you that you will never go wrong with unlimited food and drink tastings on the white, sandy Clearwater Beach!
Our VIP experience started an hour before the General Admission began with a meet and greet with Norman Love. I had personally never heard of this talented chocolatier, and now I’ve already ordered his unique, delicious chocolates as gifts for family members! We were also treated to a presentation from Duncan Hines about some of their new products (have you checked out their Perfect Size cakes yet??).
Although there is no better way to start the day than with dessert, we loved our next opportunity to make our way around the other chef’s tables with the smaller crowd. My husband and I usually have different tastes – he loves seafood but doesn’t care for veggies, I’m the opposite – so a tasting tent is perfect for us! He is still raving about Tampa Bay Brewing Company’s sushi and their shrimp, and I loved Dandy’s corn gazpacho. Many of the vendors were offering samples that we were able to bring home such as chips made from pasta or veggies. So interesting!
I was not sure how the tent on the beach would work with all of the food, but it made for the perfect setting to mingle and sample for the afternoon! We also enjoyed the VIP Spirits Lounge at the official host hotel Wyndham Grand, just across the street from the tasting tent at Pier 60. I am personally not a big fan of liquor, but the vendors offered some delicious cocktails and the Patron Pops were not to be missed!
I will definitely look forward to attending Clearwater Beach Uncorked next year! They also have a sister event on Florida’s other coast – Cocoa Beach Uncorked!
I was given complimentary tickets for this event in exchange for promotion on my blog. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you attended our Holiday Kickoff event at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa, you probably already know how I feel about Bulla's beer sangria. If you have spoken to me about Bulla for any reason, you probably know how I feel about the beer sangria. It is incredible. It is as delicious as it is unique, and now, it's even more dangerous because I am able to share their recipe with you today to celebrate National Sangria Day!
I must caution you that the at-home version may not live up to Bulla's standards. They squeeze their own fruit juices every day and have amazing talent behind their bar. But, if you're looking to give it a try at home, gather your best ingredients and let us know how it turns out!
Bulla Gastrobar Tampa's Beer Sangria
Small handful of fresh basil leaves
Pear purre (about 4 tablespoons)
Spoonful of small orange wedges
½ oz. St. Germain
½ oz. fresh orange juice
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
Thank you to all who attended our November 29th Holiday Kickoff event at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa! What a beautiful evening, and it was so fun to start the holiday season together! Thank you to the wonderful staff at Bulla Gastrobar who were so accommodating to our large group – the food, drinks, and service were fantastic!
Below you will find an index of the amazing businesses with a spotlight at our November 29th 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.
Join Lisa’s Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/DusktoDawnFabulips/
Lisa shared her inventory of colors from LipSense. What is LipSense?
💋a two part lipstick product that involves a gloss and a colored lipstick
💋 it molecularly bonds to your lips to give you a color that lasts 4-18 hours
💋 there is no wax in our lipstick so there is no drying! We actually have Shea butter and vitamin E oil to help nourish your lips throughout the day
💋 it is smudge proof, kiss proof and waterproof. You can eat and drink all day and it won't come off
💋 it is gluten-free, GMO free, not tested on animals and made here in the U.S. Pretty much just the most amazing product in the history of lipstick!!!💄
Join her group to learn about new colors and see up-to-date inventory!
CruisePlanners with Wendy Carlston
Need a vacation?? Call Wendy!! Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, has a tremendous reputation for quality, service, and very competitive pricing for ALL of your travel needs. Cruise Planners travel advisors will help you discover exciting adventures around the world. From cruises to land tours and completely packaged vacations, we specialize in all types of travel and will create an unforgettable vacation just for you.
Phone: (813) 675-2253
Opening Friday, December 22! The best blowout, ever. Our philosophy is simple, and we work to be the best at it. Come in and see for yourself how gorgeous our blowout can make you feel. We're located in the SoHo Collection.
Arbonne transforms lives through pure, botanically based ingredients in scientifically tested products; a pure, healthy lifestyle; and the pure joy of helping others. Reach out to Nyisha to learn more about their 30 day detox program that is perfect to help you reset your body and health!
Sarah Williams Portraits
Thank you to the amazing Sarah from Sarah Williams Portraits for capturing our evening for us. She specializes in Families, Children, Couples, and Lifestyle portraits. Visit her website to view samples of her gorgeous work and find details about booking her for your own sessions.
You can continue to support our group by inviting your friends to LIKE & follow along with our page for local events, outings and giveaways.
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!
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Copyright © 2016, SOCIALLY FUSED LLC
Copyright © 2016, SOCIALLY FUSED LLC