Our spotlight non-profit this month is Florida Hospital Carrollwood. They are committed to improving the quality of life of their patients, family, friends, and neighbors. We would like to feature them this month during their efforts to build a Breast Wellness Centre that would allow them to further that commitment by offering preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for breast cancer to their patients and the local community. I'd love to share the words below from Tony Laforgia, their Executive Director of the Florida Hospital Carrollwood Foundation:
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I know it’s hard to do, but can you imagine what it would be like if someone in your family was diagnosed with breast cancer? Think of how your world would change if you suddenly lost your mother, sister, or sibling. Sadly, breast cancer impacts thousands in our community each year, and access to comprehensive treatment centers as well as the latest medical equipment that can help with early diagnosis isn’t available in many areas.
Sadly, many families in our community are facing the devastating challenges that these problems can pose.
Together we can change this.
The Florida Hospital Carrollwood Foundation is working on raising funds to develop a new Breast Wellness Center in our community that will provide holistic care and the latest in diagnostic medical technology.
Our goal this holiday season is to raise $82,000 for the first major purchase of a breast ultrasound machine for the center, and your donation can help!
Please consider a donation toward this goal as you plan your end of year giving. You can positively impact the lives of those in your local community, and perhaps even the lives of friends and family.
Visit www.floridahospital.com/carrollwood/foundation to make a charitable contribution.
Please also the video link below for more information about our project and its chairman, Paul Dombroski.
You can chat with some of the amazing people supporting this effort at our next Girls Night Out event on Dec. 4th at Bahama Breeze in Lutz/Wesley Chapel.
Additionally, for general questions or to inquire about a sponsorship please contact the Foundation office at Florida Hospital Carrollwood
Executive Director - Tony LaForgia
Phone- (813) 957-7224
Florida Hospital Carrollwood is a 501 (c)(3) charitable, non-profit organization.
My family is always looking for great day trips from the Tampa area. I recently had the opportunity to explore Sarasota, and I am so excited to share some of their amazing attractions with you. My drive from the north part of Tampa was only about 90 minutes, which I consider the perfect distance for a day trip. If you’d rather make a weekend of it and explore further, I have a great recommendation for accommodations!
St. Armands Circle
Fun fact – my family and I lived in Longboat Key when I was six years old. My school bus drove through St. Armands Circle every day, but at only six years old, I did not appreciate the draw of this great area. St. Armand’s is boasts luxury shopping and delicious restaurants, and hosts unique events throughout the year. When I visited in November, the 30th Annual St. Armands Art Festival was underway with large crowds, but an impressive 175 artists and craftsman displaying their work.
Do not miss St. Armands’ restaurants when you visit! We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Tommy Bahama Restaurant (yes, that Tommy Bahama!), where we ate their World Famous Coconut Shrimp, Filet Mignon Flatbread, incredible Pina Colada Cake, and so much more! Want to enjoy a taste of Tommy Bahamas at home? Check out this recipe for their Happy “Huladays” Cocktail!
I loved our visit to The Ringling! Initially, I thought the museum was simply going to display the history of the Ringling Circus. It turns out that circus life is only the focus of the Circus Museum portion of The Ringling. While we did begin our tour by viewing scaled models depicting every detail of circus life in the fictional Howard Bros. Circus, then walking through artifacts from the circus life, The Ringling itself has so much more to offer. When I return with my family, we could very well spend all of our time viewing and experiencing the circus displays, but there is so much more to see!
The grounds are also home to Mable’s rose garden, John and Mable Ringling’s 56-room home Ca’ d’Zan on Sarasota Bay, and the impressive Museum of Art. Ca' d'Zan was the winter home of the Ringlings, one of America's richest couples. The opulence has to be seen to be believed, and there are various tours available to view different areas of the home.
I truly had no idea the Museum of Art had such an extensive collection. I was reminded of my visits to European art galleries with pieces ranging throughout history.
The location of The Ringling is itself a beautiful setting. I am eager to bring my family back to the grounds to leisurely walk along the paths among the banyan trees. For more information about The Ringling and ticket information, visit their website: https://www.ringling.org/.
Sarasota has an amazing selection of hotels and resorts to enjoy your stay. My top pick for an easy trip to explore the area is Lido Beach Resort. Their rooms are comfortable and clean efficiencies with kitchenettes, and the gulf-front location can simply not be beat. They have a beautiful quiet beach, lovely lush grounds, and one of the best brunches in the south according to Southern Living! We enjoyed their shuttle service to St. Armands just a few minutes away, and we weren’t far from The Ringling in Sarasota.
More Ideas for the Day
Celebrate the holidays with the Tommy Bahama Happy “Huladays” cocktail. Refreshing and original, the Happy “Huladays” cocktail is a nice alternative from eggnog and more traditional holiday drinks. A combination of Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, cranberry ginger syrup and lemon juice is topped off with some prosecco for a sparkling touch will tingle your taste buds and have you feeling the holiday spirit in no time. The handcrafted Happy “Huladays” cocktail can be enjoyed at any Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar or Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar. You can also prepare at home using the recipe provided below.
Happy "Huladays" Cocktail
1.5 parts Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
1 part Cranberry Ginger Syrup (see below)
0.5 parts lemon juice
1 part Prosecco
Cranberry Ginger Syrup:
Combine 10 oz cranberries with 8 oz water, 8 oz sugar, and 5 thumb-sized pieces of peeled ginger, and cook for about 10 minutes in a saucepan on low-medium heat. Leave one piece of ginger in the mix and blend thoroughly. Do not strain. Store in a squeeze bottle.
In a mixing glass, add rum, cranberry ginger syrup, and lemon juice. Shake, with ice, in a mixing tin. Add prosecco and gently strain into glass. Garnish with cranberry and mind sprig, and enjoy!
Get excited, Monster truck fans! Monster Jam® is returning to Tampa for two shows: Saturday, January 12, 2019 and February 2, 2019 at Raymond James Stadium. The 2019 season will bring a new level of high-flying, four-wheel excitement to the entire family with racing, two-wheel skills and freestyle competitions. Monster Jam events are affordably priced for the whole family with seats starting at $15 each. Monster Jam drivers are trained, world-class male and female athletes who have mastered not only the physical strength and mental stamina needed to compete, but the vital dexterity to control 12,000-pound machines capable of doing backflips, vertical two-wheel skills and racing at speeds up to 70 miles per hour to produce jaw-dropping, live motor sports action seen around the world.
Now across all Monster Jam events, fans in every city will have the chance to vote for the winner in the two-wheel and freestyle competitions by real-time, in-stadium fan voting on their smartphones. Fans also have the opportunity to get up close and personal to the Monster Jam trucks and drivers by purchasing a Pit Party pass that allows them early access to the event for photo opportunities and autographs. The Tampa shows will feature Monster Jam’s most popular monster trucks including: Grave Digger, Brodozer, Max-D and El Toro Loco. Each show each will feature a different monster truck line up. For more details on Monster Jam’s full truck lineup, please visit www.monsterjam.com.
SHOW DETAILS: Saturday, January 12, 2019
Pit Party Early Access starting at 1:30pm
Pit Party from 2:30pm–5:30pm
Show begins at 7:00pm
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Pit Party Early Access starting at 1:30pm
Pit Party from 2:30pm–5:30pm
Show begins at 7:00pm
LOCATION: Raymond James Stadium 4201 N. Dale Mabry Highway Tampa, FL 33607
TICKETS: Tickets start at $15
Pit Party Early Access starts at $35 per person, General Pit Party Passes start at $20 each Tickets & Pit Passes will be available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or in-person at the Raymond James Stadium Box Office in advance. **ticket prices subject to change –venue/ticketing fees may apply. Same day event ticket and pit pass required for entry to pit party.
Thank you to all who attended our November 5th Girls Night Out event at bartaco in Hyde Park Village. I loved seeing so many familiar faces who also welcomed our new guests! I want to send a huge thank you to the staff at bartaco for being so accommodating and providing amazing service!
Below you will find an index of the amazing businesses with a spotlight at our November 5th 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.
Author Sydney Knox
Sydney Knox, the author of the exciting Blood Empire series of historical intrigue novels, joined us at bartaco! An expert on Ancient Roman history and politics, Sydney crafts novels that thrill, enlighten and entertain her readers. Check out her series to read all about Sydney's naughty adventures in Rome, Paris, Monte Carlo, Venice and the time she ran away in the Canary Islands!
Kennedy Blvd Chiropractic Clinic
Kennedy Blvd Chiropractic Clinic offered complimentary health assessments (spinal screenings) that measure muscle tension, stress, and balance! We found that many symptoms that aren’t associated with back or neck pain can be a direct result of cervical subluxation (misalignments in the neck region). Some of these symptoms include headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, dizziness, sinus issues, and ringing in your ears.
Danielle with Mary Kay
Mary Kay offers free Christmas gift customization and delivery (on orders of $25+)! Name your price and tell us a little bit about the giftee, and Danielle will deliver a beautifully wrapped present right to your doorstep! :) They have 3 piece sets starting as low as $8!! Avoid the mall drama and support local business. It's a win win!
Paparazzi with Mia
We welcomed BlingbyMiamor - an Independent Paparazzi Consultant to our Girls Night Out! Paparazzi Accessories are always fabulous, always fashionable and always $5. Look like a million bucks without breaking the bank!
On Slay Accessories
The fabulous women of On Slay displayed their selection of women's accessories, including jewelry, scarves, handbags, wallets, and watches. Keep an eye out at your local markets to catch them again soon!
Jennifer Casares Photography
Jennifer joined us and did a fabulous job capturing our event! She is a Tampa photographer who specializes in family photography and offers seasonal mini-sessions throughout the year. Check out her Facebook page for her current schedule.
Clearwater Beach Uncorked, one of my favorite food and wine events, was another great success in 2018! My husband and I enjoyed a day full of sampling while in the picture-perfect setting of Clearwater Beach, and I already know we won't want to miss this event in 2019. We arranged for my dad to hang out with my little guys for the day so that we could enjoy a day date. I loved that everything is included in admission so we could enjoy ourselves without making decisions about which samples to purchase!! Thinking of checking it out next year? Here are some details of why I always look forward to Clearwater Beach Uncorked:
The VIP tickets are absolutely worth the extra money if you want to make the most of the day. We gained entry to the main tent an hour before the general admission guests, and it allowed us the chance to sample what we knew would be the most popular items before the lines were long. Our favorite stop during this time, and I hope they offer it again next year, was the beer and cheese pairing with Castello Cheese. They allowed 12 guests into their booth area and shared details about three different beers paired with three cheeses. It was a great way to slow down the hustle of going from booth to booth, and we loved learning more about the items we tasted.
VIP tickets also allow you access to the Spirits Lounge at the host hotel, the Wyndham Grand. After a short walk from the main tent near Pier 60, the Spirits Lounge is pool side with a variety of alcoholic beverages in a smaller setting. Heading over there during peak crowds in the main tent allowed us a brief break from the lines and further variety of samples.
Beer and Wine Sampling
One of my favorite things to do when we lived in Virginia was to visit wineries and sample their different wines. I love trying new brands, but it's not easy to choose when just visiting our local Publix. Uncorked provides the opportunity to sample beers and wines from all over, and all of the brand representatives were helpful in sharing where to find their brands locally. I probably never would have taken the plunge to try Fitvine's selection out of fear that their low-calorie wines might not taste good, but I was really impressed with their wine! I plan to grab a bottle the next time I'm at Whole Foods.
This year's Clearwater Beach Uncorked was a cheese-lover's dream! We sampled cheese from so many brands, and they were the perfect items to grab and snack on while wandering the tent. For more hearty options, we found Shephard's lobster empanadas were a good choice, along with many other seafood offerings. My easy favorite was Jeni's ice creams, and somehow I ended up with three different scoops!! Delicious!!
For more details and information, visit Clearwater Beach Uncorked's website: http://clearwaterbeachuncorked.com.
I love to bake. When I moved from Virginia to Florida, I noticed I spent less and less time in the kitchen because of our hot temps here. It makes it that much more enjoyable when the cooler weather sets in and I can get some baking done! My first choice this fall was my favorite banana nut bread recipe. I love being able to use overripe bananas to make such a delicious treat!
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
3 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/2 nuts (I prefer walnuts)
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!