We are honored to feature Post 9/11 Veterans as our spotlight non-profit this month. Founded by two Post 9/11 Veterans, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Post 9/11 organization was created by the same demographic they are focused on helping. Operating as a Federal 501 (c) (3) Nonprofit, their ability to connect with their peers and local communities on both a social and personal level is what sets them apart from other established organizations.
They focus on providing a platform, a starting point, and a place of belonging, where veterans are encouraged to integrate into their local communities. By building a strong community through social outreach and events, they strive to change many of the negative stigmas surrounding returning veterans, while positively impacting entire communities.
While active duty service is one of the highest honors one can have, often times, the transitional phase out into the civilian world can be challenging. Post 9/11 Veterans truly believe that our returning service members of today can, and will, be the future business and professional leaders of tomorrow.
Post 9/11 Veterans programs and initiatives in Tampa revolve around connecting and immersing returning service members in hands-on and constructive environments where they are able to connect with other like-minded veterans, feel the sense of purpose and brotherhood, and reintegrate properly back into the Tampa Bay community with the same pride, passion, and feeling of belonging they had while serving on active duty.
Since their start in 2015, the organization has grown exponentially with the addition of 20 staff employees and hundreds of volunteers. Being a 100% volunteer organization, Post 9/11 Veterans relies heavily on you, the community, to support their mission and vision. Through contributions they have been able to supply thousands of underprivileged children with much needed school supplies, ensure local veterans were able to provide a Happy Holiday season for their families, and educational scholarships for veterans pursuing their dreams of becoming college graduates.
Cirque du Soleil CRYSTAL is in Tampa for just a few short days right now. My husband and I enjoyed a date night to check out this show, and it was great! It is Cirque du Soleil's first performance on ice, which makes it unique, but of course the show stays true to the artistry and skill of all other Cirque du Soleil performances.
The story follows a girl named Crystal as she goes on a journey of self-discovery. The performers are on a stage of ice with incredible light projections to enhance the set. Our eyes were immediately drawn to the multiple ramps on the set, and we were amazed by the skill of the performers who skated and sped around the arena.
I don't want to give away the entire show, but I will share some of my favorite moments in photos.
If you are able to go (and you should go!), the show will be at Amalie Arena through December 23, and tickets are available here.
Thursday, December 20 at 7:30 pm
Friday, December 21 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 22 at 4:00 pm and 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 23 at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm
I received two tickets in exchange for promoting this show. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
We are so lucky here in Florida. Finding a resort for a beach vacation is as easy as picking a beach and checking for the good reviews. We have the beauty of the Panhandle's beaches, the excitement of the Atlantic beaches, and the tranquil setting of the Gulf beaches. However, while it is easy to FIND resorts to visit, it is not easy to CHOOSE which resort would meet all of your needs and create lasting memories for your entire group. Luckily, I'm here with an amazing resort to put at the top of your list to please everyone you are traveling with. The Resort at Longboat Key Club has it all, and the staff puts your comfort and pleasure first in all areas of the resort.
Fun in the Sun
The Resort at Longboat Key has done an amazing job of making sure their pool and beach area is perfect for couples, individuals, and families. When I visited, I was amazed at the attentiveness of the pool attendants. I watched one employee speed from one person to the next while moving umbrellas, bringing towels, and even supplying a pool float for a baby to use. It was amazing!
Like many gulf beach resorts, The Resort at Longboat Key Club recently faced the issue of a shrinking beach space due to erosion. I spoke with the general manager, Jeff Mayers, and learned that the resort chose to bring in sand from a Citrus County mine, rather than dredging in the Gulf, making it more environmentally friendly. The powdery white sand is the perfect setting for their queen cabanas and lounge chairs, along with any beach activities your heart desires!
Golf and Tennis
The Resort at Longboat Key Club is set amidst their highly-rated golf courses and is a golfer's dream! Not an avid golfer but want to try it while on vacation? Build on your skills with their instructional golf programs!
Golf has never been one of my interests, but I was so excited to experience a tennis lesson while staying at the Resort! The Resort at Longboat Key Club has been named the #7 top tennis resort in the world by Tennis Resorts Online in its highly competitive annual listing. The lessons on the Har-Tru court were individualized for my skill-level (I haven't held a racket in about 15 years!) and a perfect way to get some exercise during the trip. I highly recommend spending time on the courts!
You will not have trouble finding delicious food - this AAA Four-Diamond resort boasts eight exceptional Sarasota restaurants featuring fresh ingredients for all tastes. I had the pleasure of dining at Portofino at the marina for amazing Italian food, Sands Pointe for a perfect filet, Tavern & Whiskey at the pro shop for a fresh lunch (order fries, you won't regret it!!), and room service for a relaxing breakfast in my room. I'll let the photos speak for themselves!
Are you guilty of doing so much on vacation that you feel like you need a vacation when you get home? Make sure to build in relaxation at the Resort at Longboat Key's on-site spa. This tranquil paradise offers services including massages, salon treatments, and facials during your stay. I enjoyed the oxygen facial, which left me with a healthy glow.
General Manager Jeff Mayers shared that The Resort at Longboat Key will soon be undergoing extensive renovations on their aging rooms, and our traveling group was shocked. The current rooms have held up incredibly well, and provide clean, luxurious, modern decor with flat screen TVs and Bose radios. Whether you visit soon or wait until after renovations, you are in for a treat in these rooms and suites!
Book now or find information on their website.
While you could very easily spend all of your time on resort property, there is so much to see and do in nearby Sarasota. Just a short drive away, you will find St. Armands Circle, Mote Marine Laboratory, and more. Check out my recent post about my favorite activities in Sarasota, and I know you will have a vacation to remember in Longboat Key!
We had such a wonderful time kicking off the busy December holidays at Bahama Breeze in Lutz! Thank you to everyone who attended! It is so rewarding to watch so many women come together to support each other and create new friendships. Our Wesley Chapel events always impress me because we have such an amazing community outside of the Tampa area. I'm always looking for great venues for new events - what other communities should we visit?
Below, you will find a listing of the small businesses we welcomed at this event. Please continue to support them by visiting their sites, learning about them, and use them for your future needs. Thank you so much, and I look forward to seeing you next month as we celebrate our TWO YEAR anniversary at American Social with our Little Black Dress event! Find details on our Facebook event page. The photos below highlight our businesses, and you can find the entire album on our Facebook page!
United Vein Centers
Looking for the best treatment for spider veins and varicose veins in Tampa? United Vein Center has numerous locations in the Tampa area to meet your needs! Their staff has treated hundreds of patients, providing extremely successful results through their commitment to patient care.
They use the latest vein treatment technologies and specialize in noninvasive treatments that allow for little to no pain.
Clean Juice Wesley Chapel
Clean Juice is a family owned company founded with the purpose of giving your family access to clean, organic products while you are on the go. You may recognize them from other locations around the area, and we are so lucky to welcome Clean Juice to the Shops at Wiregrass! From acai bowls to juice cleanses, Clean Juice Wesley Chapel has you covered for healthy products. They had their soft opening this weekend and are ready to serve you today!
Esthetics813 and Balance Right
Websites: http://www.esthetics813.com and Balanceright.trainerize.com
The amazing duo of Kyymara and Megan joined forces to provide you with all of the services you need to feel and look your best! Esthetics813 is a full-service facial and body skincare spa. Esthetics813 is the place to go for a relaxing spa day and sets the mood for total self-renewal. Esthetics813 has been nominated for Best in Spa by Creative Loafing and Best New Business by the North Tampa Bay Chamber in 2017 and 2018. Whether you need some Me time, Girls time or Couple time - Esthetics813 is the spa for you!
Balance Right is an online fitness and nutrition program. Programs are suitable for moms, busy women, travelers, or anyone looking to better their health and fitness. Workouts and meal plans are designed based on your needs. With your online program, workout anywhere with a personal trainer 24/7. Learn how to balance your life, with health and fitness!
Cruiseplanners - Travel Bum Vacations
Want to take the stress out of planning a vacation? You need Wendy with Cruiseplanners! Whether you are traveling by land or sea, looking for budget travel or luxury, Wendy has a variety of resources available to plan your perfect vacation! Learn more about Wendy from our recent blog post, and contact her for your travel from Tampa needs!
Pure Romance with Denise
With the best in bath, beauty, and bedroom accessories, it's easy to find something you'll love with Pure Romance. Wish list longer than expected? No problem! When you host a party with Denise, you receive a free gift plus a percentage of your party's sales to use toward the product you love-all for having a night of laughs your friends will never forget. Hosting is always free and always fun, so contact Denise to book your party today!
Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski with Shannah
Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski jewels are exclusively made with Swarovski crystals and zirconia, designed using unique Swarovski innovations, cuts and trend colors. Shannah can help you select the perfect piece for yourself or as a gift to someone special! With so much of their line under $50, you and your wallet will love shopping with Shannah!
Mir Salgado Photography
Thank you to the amazing Miriam for capturing this event for us! An award-winning Tampa photographer, Miriam photographs weddings, portraits, families, newborns, and maternity. Connect with her for your next photo session!
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!