What a month in Tampa Bay! When taking a look at the calendar before October started, I had no idea all of the amazing things that were going to unfold in our area! Tampa and St. Pete have so much to offer, and this fall has been so packed full of fun, a blog recap is necessary! I'm using links to my recent Instagram posts. If you don't already follow me over there, make sure to connect: www.instagram.com/tampahousewives. You'll also see a couple posts below from friends of mine: Caitlyn at @livesweatsleep and Tracy at @forkingaroundtown. Follow these fabulous ladies for another local voice!
Getting in the Halloween spirit early, my family loved ZooTampa's Creatures of the Night! Haven't visited yet? Read all about our experience and make a plan to visit before it's gone!
Located in St. Pete's Innovation District, Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi opened in October. Check it out for delicious quick-casual pan-Asian food!
My blogger friends and I were spoiled with an incredible selection of food at Paul's Chicago Pizza in St. Pete. I can't wait to have some of their dry-rubbed wings again. Many people asked - yes, they are still in Clearwater too!
Hard Rock Tampa invited us to come check out their newly remodeled Center Bar with creative new cocktails.
I never miss a reason to visit Armature Works, and I loved the Metropolitan Ministries Tampa Bay Food Fight event. I may have made a few extra trips around the room to get the goat cheese baklava from the people's choice winner, Sacred Pepper!
Popular South Tampa restaurant Boca has also experienced some updates recently! Their farm fresh dishes are always impressive, and I especially enjoyed their Empire State of Mind flatbread. Let me know if you try it!
Clearwater is welcoming the Fenway Hotel back! This gorgeous hotel has been under construction and is ready to welcome guests soon!
The much-anticipated new restaurant from Datz Restaurant Group, Dr. BBQ, has opened in St. Pete this month! I can't wait to check it out!
Tampa Housewives in the City's next Girls Night Out event is our first in Hyde Park! We will be at the fabulous bartaco and hope you will join us for a fun night!
Next weekend, Clearwater Beach Uncorked returns to Pier 60, and my husband and I cannot wait! This food and wine event is unlike any other and brings delicious food and drinks to our beautiful beach!
We are pleased to highlight the work of the Junior League of Tampa in our community. Founded in 1926, The Junior League of Tampa, Inc. is an organization of over 2,000 women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.
The Junior League of Tampa maintains approximately 1,000 active force members to support many incredible efforts in our community, specifically child welfare and education. Launched in 1996, the Love Bundles project provides backpacks with essential items to children within 24 hours of removal from their home due to neglect or abuse. League volunteers purchase, organize, and pack the Love Bundles backpacks. Backpacks are then distributed by their partners Eckerd Family Alternative and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
In 2009, The Junior League of Tampa partnered with Feeding Tampa Bay to create and sustain a “backpack” program. The goal is to provide food to disadvantaged children over the weekends, when they are not receiving meals at school. Over 10,000 bags of food have been distributed last year to families in need. Each week more than 300 bags are distributed at five locations around the Tampa Bay Area. In addition to providing the weekly bags, the League hosted Farmer’s Markets at three sites where children had the opportunity to “shop” for their favorite produce.
The Junior League of Tampa Diaper Bank serves to combat diaper need within Hillsborough County by supplying diapers to programs in our community. “When Hurricane Irma threatened the Tampa area, it highlighted an issue that we came to realize was a deep and constant need for families in our community. With no government safety net, diaper need is paralyzing for families. Our membership is committed to developing the potential of women and children here in Hillsborough County. We’re in a unique position to help close the gap on diaper need and are driven to do so. Diaper Need is a deep and perpetual need for many of our fellow citizens, one that is keeping them from professional and educational opportunities necessary to break the cycle of poverty and endangering their children. We have the training and numbers to make a profound impact and we are driven to do so.” - Caroline Foss
Tampa Housewives in the City is supporting the Diaper Bank at our November 5th event at bartaco in Hyde Park Village. Bring a donation of diapers to the event to support the local population in need.
Holiday Gift Market
The Holiday Gift Market is The Junior League of Tampa’s largest fundraising event. The event provides a unique shopping experience with over 180 merchants selling everything from clothing, jewelry, and handbags to food, art and children’s items. Net proceeds of the event fund the League’s community projects and programs around Tampa Bay.
Find all of the details, including the schedule and ticket information, on their website: https://www.jltampa.org/featured-events/holiday-gift-market/
If you've attended one of our Tampa Housewives in the City Girls Night Out events, there is a great chance you have already met our Leading Lady, Wendy Carlston of Tampa Cruiseplanners - Travel Bum Vacations. You can always find her with the amazing, tropical table display while she's wearing her gorgeous smile! I am excited to share more of Wendy's story with you here today, and the next time you see her at one of our monthly networking socials, be sure to say hi!
If you'd like to contact Wendy directly to book your next land or sea vacation, you can reach her at:
Tell us about your business and how you became the successful business woman you are today.
As a full-time single parent I was looking for a business to start up that combined my passion with the ability to manage my own schedule around my child's needs. I love that I can work from virtually anywhere. There are a lot of hours involved but time flies when you are having fun and I absolutely love helping others plan their vacations.
Describe yourself in three words:
Energetic, outgoing, reliable
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Being ranked #1 in my franchise of new startups in my first year of business
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
Expand my business by hiring new agents who possess the same love of travel as I do. I could use the help :)
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I've always wanted to be a professional race car driver..lol
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
As a single parent it's my biggest challenge. Each and every day I have to be aware of how much time I'm devoting to my work/life balance. It's a work in progress.
What websites do you visit every day?
Facebook, Google, my booking platform
What are your top three favorite people/places/things to do in Tampa Bay?
I love the Brunchy flatbread and frose at American Social, The Riverwalk and I'm crazy about the South Pinellas beach area (I'm a beach girl at heart).
What is your goal for retirement?
We never know what the future holds once we reach retirement. Let's just say that life is short, I live with no regrets and my bucket list will be checked off by then.
Do you have any advice for women who'd like to start their own company?
Find your passion and just go for it!!!
Thank you to everyone who joined us for an amazing Girls Night Out at Seasons 52 on October 10! Hurricane Michael gave us a scare here in Tampa, but we were fortunate to be able to get together for a fun night with some amazing ladies and businesses. From cupcakes to botox, our guests were well taken care of at the event! Read below for a full list of all of the businesses who were at Seasons 52.
I'd like to give a huge thank you to the staff at Seasons 52 for accommodating us and welcoming into their Sonoma and Napa private rooms. We all enjoyed the passed appetizers - my favorite was the flatbread!
As always, thank you to all of you for being part of our Tampa Housewives in the City community. I look forward to our Girls Night Out events every month as a chance to see all of you in person. I love watching you make connections with each other and support each other's businesses. We are quickly approaching our two year anniversary, and I cannot wait to see what 2019 brings!
I hope to see you all at our next two events: November 5th at bartaco in Hyde Park Village, and Dec. 4th for our Tropical Holiday event at the new Lutz Bahama Breeze.
Mary Kay with Rachel and Amanda
Phone: (941) 224-5329
Mary Kay Cosmetics provides complimentary 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!
Rodan + Fields with Terese
Have you been wondering what sets R + F apart from the rest? Stanford-trained Dermatolgist Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy fields have touched the lives of millions with their targeted skincare solutions, and have become the #1 Skincare brand in North America! They can address most skin concerns including sensitive skin, acne, skin dullness and brightness, and of course anti-aging. R+F also has amazing enhancement products including Lash Boost to give you longer, fuller lashes, and just launched - Radiant Defense! A tinted multi-tasker that provides protection against environmental aggressors, repairs your natural moisture barrier and provides protection from UVA/UVB rays. It instantly provides a healthy glow and even skintone while blurring imperfections without settling into fine lines!
Premiere Center for Cosmetic Surgery
PREMIERE Center for Cosmetic Surgery is a woman-owned business. Their doctors and staff have years of experience and understand the unique cosmetic needs of both men and women who want to look their best and age gracefully. If you are not looking for cosmetic surgery, PREMIERE Center offers a Medical Spa in Tampa. The Medical Spa provides popular non-surgical treatments (like Botox©, Juvederm©, laser hair removal, Microdermabrasion, and spider vein removal) plus medical-grade facials and skin care and a lot more – all in a relaxing environment. They run amazing specials every month so be sure to check their website!
Angela is known for creating cupcakes that are full of flavor in every bite, in over 60 flavors, including boozy cupcakes! If you need cupcakes in Tampa for a special occasion, Angie's Cupcakes can meet any need you have!
Touchstone Crystal with Shannah
Shannah's selection of jewelry shines with Swarovski crystals, giving each chic jewelry piece its signature sparkle. Perfect for gifts or to spoil yourself! Even plan a Girls Night In with your friends so you can all share in the fun and earn rewards!
Cruiseplanners - Travel Bum Vacations with Wendy Carlston
We always love welcoming Wendy to our events! She is incredibly passionate about her travel business and is eager to help you find the best itinerary for your land or sea vacation. Read all about her on our recent Leading Lady post!
United Vein Centers
United Vein Centers provided complimentary vein screenings! Vickie shared about the extensive experience that their centers and doctors have treating venous conditions. With numerous locations around the Tampa Bay area, they are a convenient option for getting your sexy legs back!
Kennedy Chiropractic Clinic
Illuminate Your Awesome with Kelly
Illuminate Your Awesome is all about helping women live our lives in alignment with core values, desires, and feelings...by first helping you hone in on those core values, desires, and feelings. Not what you are "supposed" to do or be, instead authentically realizing your own brand of awesome! Kelly will be with us at Seasons 52 and can share about their personal development workshops and thoughtful gifts.
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.
Cirque du Soleil returns to the Tampa area this December with Cirque du Soleil’s CRYSTAL. This unique arena production showcases synchronized and freestyle ice skating alongside circus disciplines such as swinging trapeze, hand balancing on chairs and hand to hand. CRYSTAL will perform at the Amalie Arena from Wednesday, December 19 through 23 for seven shows.
Watch world-class ice skaters and acrobats explore their new frozen playground with fluidity with never-before-seen acrobatics. Cirque du Soleil’s CRYSTAL fuses circus arts and the world of ice skating in a stunning new production that will take the audience on a journey into a surreal world where figure skating blends with acrobatics and aerial feats.
Show Schedule – Wednesday, December 19 through Sunday, December 23, 2018
Wednesday, December 19 at 7:30 pm
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
Directed by Shana Carroll and Sebastien Soldevila, Crystal, our misfit heroine, takes you on an exhilarating tale of self-discovery as she dives into a world of her own imagination. Feel the adrenaline as she soars through this surreal world to become what she was always destined to be: confident, liberated, and empowered. CRYSTAL invites you to suspend reality and glide into a world that springs to colorful life with astounding visual projections and a soundtrack that seamlessly blends popular music with the signature sound of Cirque du Soleil.
CRYSTAL is suitable for all ages. Ticket information can be found here.
Follow #CRYSTAL and #cirquedusoleil on social media:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
After our amazing experience last year, I am thrilled to announce the return of Clearwater Beach Uncorked for 2018! Clearwater Beach Uncorked's seventh anniversary event will be located directly on Clearwater Beach just south of Pier 60, adjacent to the host hotel, Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach.
Clearwater Beach Uncorked is returning to feature the Bay area’s most renowned chefs, restaurants, and breweries in a culinary showcase served with 180-degree Gulf of Mexico views. Regarded one of the best food, wine and beer festivals on Florida’s East coast, the event is the west coast sister of April's Cocoa Beach Uncorked. The two-day event will feature interactive experiences, tastings, cooking demonstrations and competitions between some of the area’s most notable and award-winning chefs and restaurants.
Tickets and Accommodations
To make the most of the full weekend experience, the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach is offering a very limited special room rate of just $189 for an Uncorked Getaway during the weekend of November 3-4.
Event tickets are $75 per person, per day for general admission and $100 per person, per day for VIP access. All guests will receive a limited-edition wine glass, custom tote bag and enjoy the Grand Tasting Village with unlimited tastings from 1 to 4 p.m. Guests who purchase a VIP ticket will also enjoy one-hour early admission to the Grand Tasting Village and exclusive access to the Spirits Pool Lounge at the Wyndham Grand pool deck from 1 to 5 p.m. to sample exciting and intriguing crafted libations.
For more information on Clearwater Beach Uncorked and to purchase tickets, visit
ClearwaterBeachUncorked.com. Follow Clearwater Beach Uncorked on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram #Uncorkedweekend and #CLBU2018.
Looking for a family-friendly Halloween event in Tampa? ZooTampa at Lowry Park is serving up fun at its annual Creatures of the Night event throughout October, and we got a sneak preview. I’m excited to share our experience with you!
This was our first visit to Creatures of the Night, so I cannot compare it to past years, but my family of five really enjoyed it! ZooTampa told us that they added the Stone Cold Ocean attraction with Medusa and the Fairy Frightful Forest, so even if you’ve attended previously, there will be new attractions to explore.
The best part of any zoo is always the animals. My boys and I loved the extra animal mingles to see the animals up close, and I especially loved the extra instruction from the zoo employees and from the special show, Pigpimples School of Mystery and Mayhem. We had an owl fly right over the audience! I loved seeing the porcupine waddle around on stage too.
We took our chances to explore the new thrills. The Stone Cold Ocean was very dark (inside the manatee exhibit), and was a bit too spooky for my little guys. They made it through, but they told me they did not want to go back. There was a Medusa that surprised them as they walked by, but it was behind a glass so they knew they were safe. Their favorite part of the cave were the snakes that the animal experts were holding and teaching about.
We also braved the Fairy Frightful Forest, and ZooTampa did a great job of setting this up for all audiences. Beautiful fairies welcomed us to the forest. I can’t think of another place you can go to see fairies, so for anyone with fans of fairies, this can’t be missed! After the portion of the forest with the fairies and brightly colored flowers, a ZooTampa employee told everyone on the path that they could exit the forest or continue through to the “dastardly & diabolical” part of the path. My boys surprised me and insisted we continue on the path! I was pleased to see that they scariest part was actors jumping out, and there was no gore.
One tip at this point – make a plan! At this point, we were running out of time, so we hurried to the Pumpkin Palooza in Wallaroo Station. We were excited to see the fruit bats in action at nightfall, and the Bat Chat did not disappoint.
ZooTampa’s Creatures of the Night has many special shows and animal mingles throughout the night including a Pirate Storytelling, Mummy Boogie, and Painted Dog chats. If you want to plan your night to include something really amazing, on October 13th, there will be a Komodo Dragon feeding scheduled!
Plan Your Visit
Find all the event details from ZooTampa on their website.
Ticket prices vary from $24.95 to $27.95 for After 4 pm tickets on the Creatures of the Night event days.
Pay for a Day, Get the Rest of 2018 Free ticketholders receive free entry on Fridays and before 4:00p.m. on 10/13, 10/20 and 10/27. Pay for a Day, Get the Rest of the 2018 Free ticketholders can enjoy the event after 4pm on 10/13, 10/20 and 10/27 for only $10 - available for purchase at any ticket window!
Creatures of the Night admission is included in all Zoo Memberships with no blockout dates!
Welcome to the Tampa Housewives in the City! I am Nicole and I am excited to be the new host of the Girl’s Night Out events! I have attended the events for years and I just love big group gatherings whether I'm hosting or attending. I am a wife, mother of 2 and a small business owner-Your New Best Friend Concierge. Spa treatments, lazy days by the pool and playing loud music alone in the car -- all make me happy!