Our charity spotlight for this month is a relatively new non-profit based here in Tampa, Moms on a Mission. I have had the pleasure of knowing their founder, Natashia, for the past year and I have learned about her passion and calling for this cause. Moms on a Mission focuses on solving a major problem by equipping low income, working single mothers with the tools that they need to improve their lives, increase their earning power and learn essential financial and life skills that will benefit the communities in which they live in the Tampa Bay area.
Natashia and her Moms on a Mission team strive to focus on a few key areas that they have seen to make the largest impact on the lives of these women and their children. By focusing on education, financial literacy and life skills, a single mother living in poverty or pay check to paycheck can improve her life and teach her children so that generational wealth and success is a likely possibility.
According to the US Census Bureau, the second most common household is a single mother household with approximately 17 million single mom households in the United States.
Per the Census Bureau, “During the 1960-2016 period, the percentage of children living with only their mother nearly tripled from 8 to 23 percent and the percentage of children living with only their father increased from 1 to 4 percent. The percentage of children not living with any parent increased slightly from 3 to 4 percent.”
Single-parent families are among the poorest in the nation and as such, are extremely vulnerable to homelessness. Among all homeless families nationwide, over three quarters were headed by single women with children; two fifths were African Americans (43%). (Source: Singleparentguide.com)
How You Can Help
Low-income, working mothers need to provide for their children all on their own. Moms on a Mission strives to ease this burden. You can donate directly on their website, and we are also asking for some items at our next event at Cantina Laredo on August 16. It is Back to School time, and moms have reported needing help with not only school supplies, but uniforms. To that end, a gift card in any amount to a store such as Target or Walmart that sells uniforms would be a huge help. Please consider donating if you can!
In this busy life, my husband and I have to make a plan to enjoy quality time together. We've found it particularly difficult over the summer when the kids are out of school, and we are so busy finding fun things to do as a family. Even if we have the time, sometimes our budget doesn't allow for arranging a babysitter and planning a meal and fun outside the house.
I am thrilled to have come across Night In Boxes! I saw the Date Night In Box and knew immediately that it would be exactly what my husband and I needed to organize a fun night at home at a reasonable cost. When the box arrived, I saw it was even more fun that I expected! We had a blast working our way through the box's contents. Planning your own date night? Read on for five reasons why it should be at home!
1. a Cute Theme
Each month, the Date Night In Box follows a theme for everything inside. This month, it was a Hawaiian Aloha theme! There was a very helpful flyer inside the box that explained everything included, along with suggestions for dinner and other accompaniments to make the night a success.
2. Suggested Recipes for Dinner and Snacks
I went all in with the suggested recipes. Funny story - my husband has been on the lookout for a jackfruit over the past couple of months. He read about how it can be a meat substitute due to its texture, so I knew when I saw it listed as a possible substitute for pork in the Date Night In flyer, I knew I needed to find some! Just as luck would have it, Publix had BBQ jackfruit on BOGO! (The verdict... we didn't actually like it much. But, we didn't like it together, so it was a bonding moment!)
I made the accompanying slaw for the sandwiches, and of course my favorite part was the macadamia nut cookies. My sons pitched in to help with the cookies, which was a fun way to spend the afternoon together before my husband and I had our "date."
3. Planned Activities
This is where Date Night In Boxes really shine. Many times, if my husband and I do get a date night, we make a plan for a nice dinner out and maybe a movie. We don't usually seek out an activity. Our Night In Box contained three different games and activities for us to enjoy! We learned a Hawaiian game, completed questions about each other, and even played Bingo! While of course the games were fun, I really enjoyed spending the time with my husband to read the directions and figure them out.
4. You can dress however you'd like
Despite not leaving the house, I was eager to make it feel like a special night, so I chose to wear a casual dress. My husband complimented my outfit, and then asked if he needed to change from his shorts and t-shirt. I was happy to tell him to be comfortable and that it didn't matter what we wore!
5. The Perfect Ambiance
Every night, my husband and I have some time to spend together after our kids go to bed. The difference on our Date Night was obvious. We had activities and conversation starters. We weren't talking about the kids, we didn't feel like we should be cleaning or doing work around the house, and we didn't resort to turning on the TV for entertainment. It was a great change of pace, and we even had special drink mixes to add to the fun!
Want your Own Date Night In Box?
Would you like to try your own Date Night In Box? A different theme is available every month, and you can order your own by visiting this website (affiliate link). They have different subscription packages including a single month ($34.99) up to 12 months.
This post contains affiliate links. I received a complimentary box for my review, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Monster Jam® Triple Threat Series is coming to Tampa's Amalie Arena on August 25, 2018! The new season will bring motorsport fans to the edge of their seats with adrenaline-charged, highflying, four-wheel excitement that is fun for the entire family and is unlike anything ever seen at the stadium style events. Read about our experience at their Raymond James show earlier this year on our blog! My boys CANNOT WAIT for this Monster Jam show at Amalie! You can enter to win a 4 pack of tickets to Monster Jam in Tampa on our Facebook page (link at the bottom of this post).
Monster Jam® Triple Threat Series will be back in Tampa this year and feature the eight most intense athletes. Tampa fans will witness a fierce battle for the championship with each competitor using customized high-powered vehicles: Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and the famous Monster Jam trucks closer to the action than ever before. This upcoming tour will feature eight of the most talented athletes all competing in individual racing & skill competitions and overall event championship:
1. Grave Digger – Tyler Menninga
2. Max D – Colton Eichelberger
3. El Toro Loco – Kayla Blood
4. Scooby Doo – Myranda Cozad
5. Zombie – Bari Musawwir
6. Soldier Fortune Black Ops – Tony Ochs
7. Megalodon – TBA
8. Monster Mutt Rottweiler – TBA
Note: Trucks and drivers are subject to change.
Unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable, Monster Jam takes center stage in the world’s most iconic venues like AMALIE Arena, sporting meticulously manicured dirt tracks created with the sole purpose of pushing these perfectly engineered, larger-than-life trucks to the limit. Monster Jam is one of the only sports where male and female world-class drivers, some generational rivals, are equals competing for the same championship on the same track. Following racing, just like the stadium show at Raymond James Stadium, Monster Jam fans in every city will have the chance to vote for the truck winner in the donut, wheelie and freestyle competitions by real-time, in-arena fan voting on their smartphones. This tour features two female athletes among the eight total competitors.
All tickets are reserved. Pit Party passes are available for purchase in advance as well via the Venue Box Office, monsterjam.com or for Group Sales information, please call Feld Direct 866-248-8740.
To be one of the first to know about any other promotions and gain access to the best seating in the arena, sign up to become a Feld Entertainment preferred member at FeldEntertainment.com. For more information on Monster Jam, please log onto MonsterJam.com or follow them via their social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Thank you so much to everyone who attended our July Girls Night Out at Besito Mexican in WestShore Plaza. We enjoyed great food, drinks, and I could see some amazing, lasting friendships being made! It warms my heart, and I am continuously grateful for the opportunity to build the Tampa Housewives in the City community. A HUGE thank you goes to the fabulous staff at Besito for accommodating our group!
Be sure to like our Facebook page to find our upcoming Tampa Girls Night Out events!
Every month, we feature numerous Tampa businesses who want to get to know you. Please take a moment to learn more about them below, and reach out if you find yourself in need of their goods or services! Thank you!
Jennie Martin with CruisePlanners
Jennie is a fully insured travel agent with Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. She can help you plan your next adventure - an exciting cruise or land vacation! She is an expert in group travel, reunions, destination weddings and all-inclusive resorts. Preview her pages and reach out when planning your next vacation from Tampa.
Rachel and Amanda with Mary Kay
As Mary Kay Sales Directors, Rachel and Amanda offer skincare and glamour beauty experiences. They teach you the hottest trends and techniques of how to keep care of your skin and how to apply your makeup so that you can duplicate it at home! Reach out to learn more about their products and set up a pampering session.
LunchboxWax South Tampa
We had the fabulous staff from LunchboxWax join us to share all the details about why you should be visiting their dedicated waxing studio for all of your waxing needs! Check out our recent Tampa Housewives - housewivesinthecity.com blog feature, and visit LunchboxWax on South Howard, 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.
Address: 701 S. Howard Ave. Suite 101
Tampa, FL 33606
Farkas Chiropractic - Kennedy Boulevard Chiropractic
Kennedy Boulevard Chiropractic Clinic is a full-service wellness center with the ability to diagnose and care for spinal related conditions. They strive to help your body heal without drugs, surgery or other invasive procedures. Along with the chiropractic services of Dr. Jordan Matthew, they offer rehabilitation, wellness classes and corporate wellness. They look forward to meeting you!
Lee Pedrozo with Rozo Photos
Lee is passionate about his photography business and wants to help you capture your lasting memories! Visit his site for examples of his work, and check out our event photos below!
Our charity spotlight for the month of July is Tampa Bay Birth Network. Tampa Bay Birth Network strives to be a source of information on all things birth, parenting-related, and they often host local events geared towards their mission. If you're looking for a Tampa Bay area birth professional, you're in the right place. You can find natural-minded caregivers who will support, educate and empower you on your journey!
Tampa Bay Birth Network promotes awareness of their mission through multiple social media, print and television outlets. Campaigns have included #MyTampaMidwife and #MyTampaDoula; nomination programs designed to recognize members for excellent client service.
In alignment with our mission and principles, they support activities that raise awareness, educate and bring about action to improve the standards of birth in our community. They host educational, community-based events including the Tampa Birth and Baby Expo, Childbirth Options seminars, Networking meetings, Film viewings and panel discussions.
Tampa Bay Birth Network supports activities to support improving the standards of birth in our community. They participated in or supported a variety of events and activities such as the Improving Birth National Rally For Change, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, The Big Latch On, family fitness, cloth diapering and other healthy family events.
How Can You Be Involved?
Tampa Bay Birth Network is possible with the help of volunteers and donations. If you wish to donate, please visit their website. If you would like to learn more about their efforts in the community, you can meet members of their board of directors at our Besito Mexican Girls Night Out on July 11. They would love to meet you and share more about what they do!
What an exciting month! Thank you to everyone who spent their Saturday with us for our first ever Tampa Housewives Brunch & Mimosas! I loved watching so many of you make new friends and enjoy each other's company for the duration of the event. Also - what a wonderful coincidence that we were able to take advantage of American Social's new bottomless mimosas deal. A huge thank you goes to their staff for accommodating our group!
Please take a moment to support our featured Tampa businesses from this event. We had a great variety, and these women would love for you to keep them in mind if you are in need of their services.
As always, thank you for supporting and being a part of our Tampa Housewives in the City community! I hope to see you at an upcoming event. Check out the list on our Facebook page!
Danyell Jones with Raymond James Financial
Whether planning to build a home by the lake or help your daughter launch a business, you need a well-conceived plan in order to succeed. Achieving financial independence is no different. Whether you’re looking to grow your money over time, generate income in retirement or preserve wealth for future generations, confidence in your financial plan comes with knowing your assets are invested well. As your knowledgeable partner, Danyell provides wide-ranging, comprehensive financial planning that is as dynamic, vibrant, and enduring as the lifetime of achievement it represents.
Lunchbox Wax South Tampa
At LunchboxWax, they believe that beauty is much more than just your external appearance – it’s how you feel about yourself. They wax women and men, bottoms and brows, cheeks and chests – a little (like ear fuzz) or a lot (from tip to toes). Their expertly trained waxologists are devoted to making every guest's skin smooth in a chic, modern environment that was specially designed for your comfort and care. Visit our blog post to learn more about this fabulous studio!
Wendy Carlston with CruisePlanners
For your next vacation, instead of spending time researching and trying to find all the best spots, contact Wendy to help you plan it all! She has a wealth of resources and knowledge to make sure you have the vacation you deserve, and specializes in luxury travel. She is a full-service travel agent in Tampa and wants to make sure you have the opportunity to make wonderful memories traveling the world!
Chase Cristia Photography
Chase Cristia is launching her photography business and can do it all - weddings, events, portraits, maternity, engagement, fur babies, cars, real estate!!
Springtime in my house brought many changes, and even more stress. We bought our first house, did major renovations, moved, and my oldest son switched schools. My husband works in the education field so spring is his busy season, so we were constantly scheduling and rescheduling our commitments, and we were both exhausted.
I was given the opportunity to attend a trip to explore Santa Rosa County for Housewives in the City, and I honestly had no idea what to really expect. I grew up in Florida and my family took yearly vacations around the state. We visited Daytona, Cocoa Beach, Ormond Beach, Palm Beach, the Keys, Sanibel Island, Cayo Costa (see a pattern here… we love the beach!), and many other destinations in Florida. However, I had never heard of Navarre Beach or Santa Rosa County. I’d heard of the amazing beaches along our Emerald Coast in the Panhandle, but the closest I ever came was a quick stop in Destin during college.
After the stress of the spring, I was secretly dreading the trip. I didn’t know anyone else who would be there, and I’d be leaving my family but bringing plenty of mom-guilt along with me. What I didn’t know was that Navarre Beach claims a status as the “Florida’s Most Relaxing Place,” and I’m here to tell you, it’s true. I spent two days reconnecting with nature and found myself completely relaxed and at peace.
Things to Do
Visitor Center and Butterfly House
Navarre’s Panhandle Butterfly House is exactly the type of quaint attraction that forces you to slow down and look around. I’ve visited a number of butterfly gardens at museums or other attractions, but I’ve never seen as many butterflies as I did in Navarre’s Butterfly House. Admission is by donation, and in addition to the butterfly garden, the building has an amazing collection of gorgeous butterflies that are preserved and labeled.
Adjacent to the Butterfly House is the visitor’s center, complete with a playground and splash pad for the little ones. This would be a great place to take the kiddos in Navarre!
Address: 8581 Navarre Pkwy; Navarre, FL
Sage Paddle Company
Upon arriving at this adorable, picture-perfect rental outpost along the main drag in Navarre, I was immediately welcomed by the most amazing family. Sage and her parents want nothing more than to help you have a fantastic time with as little stress as possible. Our group chose to start with renting scooters, and Sage kindly and patiently trained us all to drive the scooters (none of us had ever driven before)! We took a gorgeous ride down to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, and I’m confident that this was the most beautiful, pristine beach I have ever seen. White sands, green water, sea grass – it was just perfect!
Sage will go to any length to ensure you and your group have a fabulous experience no matter what you rent – paddleboards, bikes, scooters, kayaks, etc, so be sure to meet her and plan a fun time on the island!
P.S. If you are as energized and empowered by young entrepreneurs as I am, take the time to chat with her. She’s an impressive young woman, and so much fun too!
Address (Free pickup and delivery available): 8228 Gulf Blvd, Navarre, FL 32566
When was the last time you spent hours in nature, just enjoying your surroundings? Heard the sound of a bubbling creek and a gentle breeze passing through the tree tops? In our hustle and bustle, it’s all too easy to look at screens and overlook the beauty around us every day. Jack Sanborn, of Adventures Unlimited, set out over 40 years ago to give families a place to enjoy North Florida’s natural setting and have fun. His passion shines through as he explains that children are growing up without the essential time outdoors, and he hopes to give them a place to visit where they won’t even think about checking their phones.
Adventures Unlimited is situated in the northern part of Santa Rosa County, a quick 35 minute drive from Navarre Beach. They boast rustic but comfortable accommodations that allow you to enjoy their fleet of 250 canoes, 100 kayaks, 500 tubes and 10 stand-up paddle boards. We were treated to a taste of their Zip Line Tree Top tour. The guides were extremely knowledgeable, safety-conscious, and focused on our fun. Our tour was unfortunately cut short due to local storms (this is Florida, after all!), but we were able to start at their highest platform and make a couple runs to try it out. The views are breathtaking, and I highly recommend this experience! If you are feeling less adventurous, they also have river tubing, which is about as relaxing as it gets!
Address: 8974 Tomahawk Landing Rd., Milton, FL 32570
I am not much of a history buff, but our visit to Arcadia Mill proved that with the right artifacts and setting, history can come alive. This mill is set in a local neighborhood that has grown up around the mill property. The museum is modern and new, and I learned so much about the first and largest 19th century water-powered industrial complex in northwest Florida! This site is definitely worth a visit, and has an engaging area for children as well as a beautifully maintained boardwalk through the trees.
Address: 5709 Mill Pond Lane, Milton, Florida 32583
This 1,545 foot long Navarre pier is reported to be the longest pier in Florida! Plan a few hours to fish with the locals, or take a relaxing walk to watch the excitement as someone reels in a big catch! You can even see fish, turtles, and rays in the water from above. I saw a group of fisherman catch a few gorgeous mahi fish from the end of the pier.
Address: 8579 Gulf Blvd., Navarre Beach, FL 32566
Where to Eat
Windjammers on the Pier
It does not get better than dinner and a view. Our dinner at Windjammers was complete with a view of the Gulf of Mexico and a view of a cotton candy sunset. Having grown up and worked in beach restaurants, I came with low expectations of a restaurant adjacent to the pier, but I was pleasantly surprised by all of their offerings. Chef Johnny takes pride in sourcing local flavors in dishes such as gumbo, Mexican street corn, and fried shrimp. They even have live music to complete the relaxing vibe, not to mention ENORMOUS frozen drinks that are certainly big enough to share!
Address: 8579 Gulf Blvd, Navarre Beach, FL
Are you a sushi lover? Go to Slippery Mermaid! Do you shy away from raw fish, but love exploring new foods? Go to Slippery Mermaid! Do you have a sushi lover in your family but never let them indulge because you don’t care for it? Go to Slippery Mermaid!
I am not a fan of raw fish, and I don’t even really love seafood. I was thrilled to find a few offerings on the Slippery Mermaid’s menu that I could try, and they were simply amazing! I had a sushi roll with beef, and I am now on the hunt for something similar at home!
Address: 8779 Navarre Parkway, Navarre, Florida
Why I am Already Planning my Return to Navarre
I was treated to a fantastic weekend exploring so many attractions in Navarre Beach, Milton, and elsewhere in Santa Rosa County. I cannot wait to bring my own family back to enjoy everything with me! I expect to spend considerable time on the beach, but will bring them to all of the sites above to give us time to connect as a family and relax on vacation!
Did you know that Tampa has one of the highest rates for childhood hunger? I am thankful to share a non-profit organization in Tampa, Florida that works to help this population of children: Where Love Grows Inc. Their programs address the immediate needs of hungry children while implementing a long-term positive impact. They have incredible programs such as their family dinner night program and mobile cooking classes, both helping to break the cycle of childhood hunger.
Their monthly family dinner night program currently provides an average of 350 hot, home-cooked meals each month to children living with food insecurity allowing them to nourish them body, mind and spirit. After serving their first family dinner night at Zonta Boys and Girls Club in 2013, they discovered 28% of children in Hillsborough County live each day with food insecurity. They are feeding a population that would not otherwise be served, filling much needed gaps. We know that every mouth we feed is planting a seed of victory for a bright and prosperous future.
Their innovative mobile cooking camp brings the kitchen to the children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to be exposed to culinary skills. Students are given hands-on experience in a classroom setting preparing healthy meals they can easy duplicate at home. Mobile Cooking Camp launched March 2016 and has provided over 1000 classroom hours to 420 students. The impact
is immediate and long-lasting.
How Can You Help?
Find out more about the Do the Local Motion walking tours featuring Downtown Tampa by visiting their website. The 16 lunchtime tours are free and held on the first and third Fridays from October through May.
Additionally, Tampa Housewives is spotlighting Where Love Grows at our upcoming brunch at American Social! If you are able to donate, founder Vicki and her team can ALWAYS use Dollar Tree type kitchen utensils for gifts at the end of their mobile cooking class series. Any of the items would be great and they usually have between 20-25 students each month.
My family and I spent the morning checking out the newest attraction at ZooTampa at Lowry Park (formerly Lowry Park Zoo), and I am excited to share all the details with you! Situated near the carousel next to the Sweet Shoppe, Roaring Springs is a revamped area that pays homage to Florida with amazing food, a fun family ride, and of course, animals!
Joe’s Diner serves classic Florida favorites with a twist, such as fish tacos, strawberry shortcake, and key lime pie parfait. We sampled many of their menu items, but can't wait to return to try the fried oreos! My husband raved about Joe's fish tacos, and I personally enjoyed the churros with strawberry topping!
The main attraction is of course Roaring Springs itself. The boat ride begins calmly with a gentle drift, followed by a three-story drop that soaks everyone in the boat and on the observation deck! My family loved being able to find a way to cool off from our Tampa heat on this ride, and the little guys followed it up with play time in Wallaroo Station, the family area with a splash zone.
The ride has a 36" height requirement to ride with an adult, and children must be 42" to ride alone. My 8 year old LOVED the ride, while my 5 year old chose to only ride once. He enjoyed it, but he felt the drop was a bit too much for his enjoyment.
Making the Most of the Zoo
Roaring Springs is located in the Florida Life area of the zoo. Along with their name change (from Lowry Park Zoo), ZooTampa has put a lot of care and time into new signage and a modern update. Follow the brightly colored signs to view many animals around the zoo, and keep an eye out for the impending opening of the Florida Life area with many local animals!
Plan Your Visit
ZooTampa is one of my favorite things to do in Tampa! Roaring Springs will open to members on June 7 and 8, then will open to the public on Saturday, June 9, 2018.
For locals or those visiting Tampa often, I recommend the zoo pay-for-a-day ticket option so you can come back all year!
Address: 1101 W. SLIGH AVENUE TAMPA, FL 33604
Video Sneak Peek of Roaring Springs
Thank you to everyone who joined us on May 24th for our Primebar Girls Night Out! It was great meeting so many new ladies, and I love seeing so many familiar faces. We had three amazing featured businesses, and I am sharing their information here so you can continue to connect and keep the love going!
Our events are a great way to spend a fun night out with girlfriends in Tampa while also supporting some hard-working Tampa small businesses. We always have a variety of vendors, and I appreciate when you show your support of these women (and sometimes men!).
Kimberly Ann Piper with Total Life Changes
Have a brief conversation with Kimberly and you will immediately hear the passion in her story. Total Life Changes is a system that helped her lose weight and regain her confidence, and she would love to share the details with you! Get your self-confidence back with you succeed with the Total Life Changes system! Ask her how you can lose 5 lbs in 5 day with their TLC Tea!
Wendy Carlston with CruisePlanners
It is difficult to find a travel professional as passionate about your vacation as Wendy. From start to finish, she will provide you with the best 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, Wendy specializes in all types of travel and will create an unforgettable vacation just for you.
Matt Johnson with Edward Jones Financial
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, Matt can work with you to develop specific strategies to help you achieve your goals. He can also monitor your progress to help make sure you stay on track or determine if any adjustments need to be made. He is happy to schedule a time to chat about your financial picture and find ways he can support you.
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!