Busch Gardens’ Renowned Food & Wine Festival is BACK, Starting Feb. 20

Though I moved from Tampa, FL to Richmond, KY recently, I still have big love for my Tampa Bay! That is why although this post is NOT sponsored, I’m happy to share this news with my readers. If you happen to be visiting the Tampa Bay area around this time, I’ve been to the Food & Wine Festival and highly recommend it. Check out the press release and B-roll footage they share with me below:

Tampa, Fla. (February 4, 2021) – This spring, flavors are in bloom at Busch Gardens with the return of the park’s fan-favorite Food & Wine Festival starting Saturday, February 20! Guests are invited to take their taste buds on an adventure as they sample more than 110 tasty treats, including 22 NEW dishes. Serving guests every weekend from February 20 to April 25 with limited capacity, this year’s menu features festival favorites and fresh twists on classic cuisines from around the country that pair perfectly with more than 80 wines, brews, and cocktails.

In addition to the park’s already strict health and safety measures, which include increased cleaning and sanitation, temperature checks, and face covering requirements, capacity will also be significantly limited to create more open space for guests to maintain physical distancing in a safe environment and enjoy their experience. 

Here are a few of the more than 110 tasty reasons to come back week after week:

  • Fresh finds with seasonal flavors: From the NEW five-spice duck lettuce wrapswith Asian pear coleslaw and plum sauce drizzle to meatless options like the Impossible® slider topped with caramelized balsamic onions and crispy jalapeños, there’s something for everyone.
  • Savory bites of BBQ, Tex-Mex and more: Try sharable dishes like slowly smoked beef brisket pub chips and tasty handhelds. All American Eats by Kraft-Heinz offers a new take on American favorites featuring bison sliders with bacon onion jam, vintage cheddar, and Heinz® MAYOCHUP™, and lobster white cheddar KRAFT® Mac N Cheese.
  • Sinfully sweet eats: From NEW Woodford Reserve® bourbon bread pudding, señorita sangria cupcakes, maple bacon cinnamon rolls and more, there’s something to satisfy any sweet tooth.
  • More than 50 wines, beers and seltzers for all tastes: Take a tasting tour of vineyards and breweries from around the state, country and globe without leaving Tampa Bay. Enjoy a curated selection from Benziger Family Vineyards® and Proud Pour Vineyards®; signature brews on tap from Tampa Bay Brewing Company®, Yuengling®, Florida Avenue Brewing Co. ® and Coppertail Brewing Co. ®; hard seltzers from Funky Buddah® and Maine & Vine®.
  • More than 20 refreshing cocktails: It’s easy to find the perfect pairing to complement this year’s festival menu with new hand-crafted mixologist recipes like the Tito’s® Handmade Vodka Smoked Bloody Mary and Falcons Fury Lemon Drop with Milagro® tequila, and Flor De Caña® Rum Hurricanes. Chill out with NEW Cutwater® frozen margarita popsicles or frozen watermelon margaritas.

Return to Live Music with Physically-Distant Concerts—Coming Soon to the Festival Field

From nationally recognized bands to local favorites, safely eat to the beat with plenty of open space across the expansive Festival Field. All concerts are included with theme park admission and will take place on select dates in March and April. Concert acts will be announced soon, including upgrade opportunities for premium seating.

For the first course of the Food & Wine Festival, guests can enjoy a taste of local acts at the Coke Canopy stage starting February 20 and running throughout the duration of the festival. Physically distant seating will be available in the open-air pavilion.

Best Way to Play – Busch Gardens Fun Card and Annual Passes

With a Busch Gardens Fun Card, you pay for a day and play all year!* For a limited time, guests who purchase the Busch Gardens Fun Card for $113.99 will receive an Adventure Island Fun Card, plus a bonus single-day ticket to Adventure Island so you can bring a guest for FREE! For the price of a single-day ticket to Busch Gardens, the Fun Card allows access throughout the year, so you can visit again and again, and access great events like the Food & Wine Festival, Summer Nights, Christmas Town and more! Offer ends February 14, 2021.

For more park benefits, guests can upgrade to a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Annual Pass to enjoy the perks they want most throughout 2021. Annual Pass Members* receive 12 months of visits with the best benefits ever, including FREE parking, up to 6 free guest tickets, and up to 50-percent savings on merchandise, Quick Queue, and more!

Enjoy the Best of the Food & Wine Festival with a Sampler Lanyard

The best way for guests to savor and save on their favorite dishes and drinks at this year’s Food & Wine Festival is with a sampler lanyard. Guests can purchase a 5, 10 or 12-item sampler lanyard to use at each festival cabin to explore sample-sized dishes and drink offerings with ease, starting at just $34.99 for a 5-punch lanyard. Pass Members can purchase an exclusive 15-item sampler for the same price as a 12-item sampler to enjoy three FREE samples! Visit buschgardens.com/tampa/events/food-and-wine-festival/ to view the full festival menu.

Guests can visit www.BuschGardensTampa.com for more information and reservations—and to purchase tickets, Fun Cards, or Annual Passes. Fans can stay up to date with park events, attractions and more by following Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Expanded Health and Safety Measures:

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is committed to the health and safety of our guests, employees, and the animals in our care. The park has worked diligently with state and local health experts, outside consultants and attraction industry leaders to enhance our already strict health, safety, and cleanliness standards. These protocols and guidelines will be modified based on evolving industry standards and methodologies, public health, and governmental directives, and advancing scientific knowledge on the transmissibility of COVID-19.

For detailed information about the measures that guests can expect when visiting the park, including key operational changes, visit buschgardens.com/tampa/safety


About Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay is the ultimate family adventure, offering 300 acres of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world. Busch Gardens is a unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos with thousands of animals representing more than 200 species and exciting seasonal events all year providing unrivaled experiences for guests of every age. For more information, visit www.BuschGardensTampa.com. Busch Gardens is owned by SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world.

*Some restrictions apply

Aladdin The Musical Makes Wishes Come True

Aladdin The Musical At Straz Cast Ensemble 2

Thanks to the Straz Center, I received complimentary tickets for the purposes of review to “Aladdin The Musical”. This has not impacted my review and all opinions below are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

I love the Disney classic movie Aladdin. I have for as long as I can remember. Who can forget the iconic Robin Williams playing the role of Genie, and stealing the show? It came out when I was 8 years old, and I remember wearing that VHS tape out watching it so many times while growing up. Remember those?!? VHS tapes. Ha, now, I feel old!

I learned all the lines, and know every song by heart. And I would annoy my mom singing the tunes at the top of my lungs. I can almost hear her saying, “Ashley, are you going to say every line out loud, or are you going to let me hear the characters say them?” I was obsessed.

Then, when they brought the cartoon to life with the hit feature starring Will Smith earlier this year, I fell in love with the story all over again as an adult. I guess you could say I’m a sucker for a rags to riches story! And, the Genie? HELLO! Will Smith did a phenomenal job in the role.

From the moment I learned about Aladdin The Musical reviews started to pop up in my social media feeds about that sang its praises. As soon as I heard it was coming to Straz Center in Tampa, I put it on my Tampa Broadway Bucket List! I just HAD to see it! So you can imagine my excitement when I was granted my wish of seeing the show right here in my own back yard. Read on to learn what I thought about the live musical version of one of my favorite stories…

Aladdin The Musical At Straz Cast Ensemble 1
image source

Aladdin The Musical – What Straz Said About It

Discover a whole new world at Disney’s ALADDIN, the hit Broadway musical.

From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of ALADDIN, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite.

See why audiences and critics agree, ALADDIN is “Exactly What You Wish For!” (NBC-TV).

Aladdin The Musical At Straz Cast Ensemble 3
image source

Aladdin The Musical – My Review – (Warning! Spoilers ahead!)

Now, in my defense, if this review really has spoilers, clearly you’ve been living under a rock because how can you NOT know the story of Aladdin?!? Then again, I guess there are some differences between the films and the play. But, I digress… Alright, now – guess what I thought of the show tonight? Yep, you’re right! I LOVED IT!

I loved it so much I rushed home to write this review to share with all of you that I think everyone should see it. It was such a wonderful date night for me! Don’t tell anyone, but I even shed a tear or two from how much I adored watching the play.

From the opening number to the very last beat, I was tapping my toes, and singing along to every song that I knew. #sorrynotsorry (I at least tried to sing them as low as possible as to not annoy the other theatergoers. I think my mom would be proud that I didn’t sing too loud this time ha!) I was excited to hear new songs, but I was incredibly grateful that all of my favorites were in the score.

The show opens with the song Arabian Nights. And, the costumes were just as exciting and colorful as I hoped they would be. We meet the Genie for the first time in the first number, and then Aladdin, and later Princess Jasmine. All of my favorite characters (less a monkey) were in the show. Though I missed Abu, I appreciated that for the most part the musical stayed true to the story I first fell in love with.

There were some obvious tweaks here in there because, well, you can’t exactly include everything from the cartoon or even the full feature film in a live stage show. But, they came darn close while still capturing the magic and amazement of both films in my opinion.

Read the full synopsis of the Aladdin here.

Can we just talk about those sets for a moment?!? They absolutely took my breath away. This was especially true for the Cave of Wonders set. WOW! WOW! WOW! The gold, the shimmer, the pyrotechnics! It was just incredible. All of the sets were wonderful, but that Cave of Wonders was the highlight I wasn’t expecting. But I was there for it!

One thing that really tickled my fancy was all the magic and humor they added to the play. It was so much fun. Aladdin disappears and then reappears in one illusion, there are wardrobe changes that happen in the blink of an eye, and flowers appear out of what felt like thin air. It was just non-stop entertainment that dazzled and delighted me in a way I can’t even explain.

And, of course, the Genie steals the show in this production too! They could not have picked a better actor to portray him! He was soooooo good. And I laughed my face off.

Seriously, this show is great for the whole family and I highly recommend it! It’s perfect that it’s here during the holidays because it truly felt like Christmas as I watched this fun play tonight. I would definitely watch it again, and I sincerely hope I get to someday once more very soon!

Aladdin The Musical At Straz Lamp
image source

Aladdin is playing at The Straz Center now through January 5, 2020. To see all the shows playing at the Straz, click HERE!

*Source for feature image

Fiddler on the Roof – A Review

Fiddler On The Roof Header Image

Thanks to my membership in the Tampa Bay Bloggers and their partnership with the Straz Center, I received complimentary tickets for the purposes of review to “Fiddler on the Roof”. This has not impacted my review and all opinions below are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Fiddler On The Roof Cast
Image courtesy of Straz

I’ve had a bucket list of shows I’ve wanted to see on Broadway, or even on tour, for years. Fiddler on the Roof was certainly one of them. So, when I learned that I had the chance to watch it, I couldn’t wait. I had a yummy burger at the cafe on the water at Straz, and then settled into my seat honestly not knowing what to expect. All I really knew is that everyone I knew that had seen it said it was amazing.

In fact, one of the women in line with me, as I ordered my burger, said it would be her fifth time watching the show that night. WOW! Before we dive into my thoughts, here’s what Straz posted about Fiddler:

Fiddler on the Roof – What Straz Said About It

Audiences across North America are toasting a new production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF!

Rich with musical hits you know and love, including “Tradition,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “To Life (L’Chaim!),” FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and life, love and laughter.

Tony®-winning director Bartlett Sher and the team behind South Pacific, The King and I and 2017 Tony-winning Best Play Oslo, bring a fresh and authentic vision to this beloved theatrical masterpiece from Tony winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. Featuring a talented cast, lavish orchestra and stunning movement and dance from Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF will introduce a new generation to the uplifting celebration that raises its cup to joy!

To love! To life!

Fiddler on the Roof – My Review – (Warning! Spoilers ahead!)

The thing that struck me the most in watching the play, was how many of the songs were familiar and yet I never knew why. For example, Matchmaker –

Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
catch me a catch
Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match (Lyrics source)

Growing up, I’d heard this song a few times. I didn’t know where it was from. Or this one –

Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days (Lyrics source)

And finally, one that I knew the tune, but didn’t know the original words…

If I were a rich man,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Idle-diddle-daidle-daidle man. (Lyrics source)

Admittedly, the reason I knew the tune for this song is because of Gwen Stefani’s “If I Was A Rich Girl

Fiddler on the Roof - Gwen Stefani Rich Girl
Image source, and where to buy the song

Sure, the song is not the same, but the tune is very similar, and hearing the origin of this bop was certainly entertaining to me. Have you ever wondered where songs come from? I certainly have, and it often fascinates me to learn the inspiration for some of my generation’s biggest hits.

I can honestly say, my favorite thing about the entire play was the music. I loved the songs more than anything. I am obsessed with music, and truly feel that it can make or break a play, or movie. Just me?

I also could genuinely feel the feelings the people playing these characters were exuding. You could feel the nerves of the father, Tevye, when he decided to let his two oldest daughters marry for love instead of money. You could feel the pain as he cast aside his third oldest for marrying outside of his faith. You could even feel his anger when things seemed to be going awry and the God he was praying to was not granting him a reprieve.

Read the full synopsis of the Fiddler on the Roof here.

If nothing else, this play will make you grateful for everything you have. It will also make you appreciate your family, and the freedoms that you have. Dare I say it might even give you some insight to win family members don’t understand children making untraditional choices.

Fiddler On The Roof Daughters
Image courtesy of Straz

Overall, I felt the play was acted out very well, and the music was phenomenal. Though the storyline itself absolutely broke my heart into a million pieces, I think that was the point. You were supposed to feel upset at these people living poor lives, and ultimately being removed from their homes at the end. After all, change can’t happen unless people feel something is wrong. And you sometimes have to put it right in their face to let them see the truth.

I’m grateful for the fact I can say I’ve finally seen Fiddler on the Roof, and can cross that one off my musical bucket list. Luckily, the list is growing so I still have plenty more shows I can’t wait to see. I’ll have to share a post soon of all the shows I still want to see. The one on the top of my mind right now is coming to Straz next month – Aladdin. Dying to see that one y’all!

Until next time, I just want to say thanks for reading. I’m the luckiest girl in the world that I get to do what I love for a living. And, may we all continue to enjoy our lives, and the freedom to make things better if we want to.

Fiddler on the Roof is playing at The Straz Center now through November 10, 2019. To see all the shows playing at the Straz, click HERE!

Area Rugs Give Your Space a Pop of Color

Area Rugs Ottomanson Living Room
FTC Disclaimer: Huge thanks to  Ottomanson for sponsoring this post. And, this post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! 

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE me some nice area rugs. They are great for adding a pop of color to your space, and they can completely transform a room. If you are thinking about getting area rugs for your home, below are three important things you should consider before making your purchase.

Consider the Best Size for Your Space

How big should your area rugs be? As Wayfair explains, when it comes to a piece like this, bigger is usually better.

Area Rugs Ottomanson Blue
This is a Navy Ottomanson Area Rug found on Amazon. Get yours here: https://amzn.to/2Bm4ytP

They said, “A few inches can make all the difference between the rug pulling the room together or making it feel disjointed. Opting for the larger option, especially if you’re choosing between sizes, will prove that it is worth the extra expense every time.”

Ottomanson said your area rugs “should be large enough to fit under your major furniture in the room. If that would be way too expensive for you, it should at least be able to fit your key upholstered pieces.

When choosing which size is best for you, I highly recommend reading Wayfair’s complete guide to rug sizes.

Buy Area Rugs that Will Match Your Decor

Area Rugs Ottomanson Floral Print
This is a Floral Print Ottomanson Area Rug found on Amazon.
Get yours here: https://amzn.to/31omtuk

Color goes beyond just the paint on your walls and colors of your furniture. You’ll want to also factor in your artwork that is on the walls, any pillows or fabrics you’ve used, and any accessories that are in the room as well.

Some design websites recommend choosing solid color rugs if you have a lot of other colors and patterns in the decor of the room you’re purchasing area rugs for. By choosing a solid color or a rug with less colors, it will be easier to tie the room together without it feeling “too busy.”

On the other hand, if most of your colors are neutral, choosing a rug with multiple colors can be a nice focal piece for the room. For example, the floral print rug above is in a living room with white furniture, and neutral colored walls. This rug with all the colors fits well in this space, and becomes a work of art for it as well.

Unfortunately, You’ll Need to Factor in Cost Too

Area Rugs Ottomanson Hundred Dollar Bill
Yep! This is a rug too. How fun would it be to have a Hundred Dollar Bill rug in your office? Get your Ottomanson Hundred Dollar Bill area rug here: https://amzn.to/2qk4yIj

Cost is often the deciding factor for folks trying to decide which area rugs are the best for their home. I understand this, believe me. It’s sometimes hard to justify a big purchase for a piece of home decor.

What I would recommend is to purchase the smaller rugs for the smaller rooms first. It’s no secret that smaller rugs usually come with lower price tags. In fact, your entire decor budget for a smaller room is likely to be much lower than your larger rooms. So why not tackle those first, and save the bigger rooms and bigger expenses for later.

After all, there is no rule that states you have to buy everything to fill your entire house all at once. You’re allowed to let your home’s decor be a work in progress. Take your time so that you can save up the money for the pieces that cost a little more.

I personally feel like decorating your home slowly over time is the better way to go because not only will it ensure that you get the pieces you really want, you’ll have time to change your mind. I change my mind all the time before I’m ready to commit to how I want to decorate! Can you relate?

Speaking of changing your mind – I want to revisit color for just a moment. Solid colored rugs tend to be cheaper. And, another benefit of choosing solid colored area rugs is that they will most likely match more than one room in your home. Let’s say you have changed your mind, and you no longer want a rug in your bedroom. Suppose the one you bought for the bedroom matches the colors in your living room. You can easily move it from your bedroom to your living room. No added costs, and it still can be used!

For me, I personally like trying to keep a lot of the colors in my home in the same palette for this reason. I can move things around without spending any extra money anytime I get bored with the space and want a change.

Caring for Your Area Rugs

It’s important to read about the materials and maintenance of your area rugs prior to purchase. Some area rugs can be vacuumed and others should not be. Some can be deep cleaned with carpet cleaners, and others should only be cleaned by professionals. You want to care for them regularly and properly so you can extend the life of them.

When you’re ready to buy area rugs for your home, check out Ottomanson Rugs. You can find Ottomanson area rugs in the following retailers:

  • Amazon
  • Wayfair
  • The Home Depot
  • Overstock
  • Wal-Mart and
  • Hayneedle

About Ottomanson Area Rugs

Here’s a little bit about Ottomanson Area Rugs directly from their website:

Ottomanson was established in 2007. Today, it has become one of the leading wholesalers of area rugs in the United States, particularly the Tri-State Area due to their experience in the rug business, efficiency in production, and competitive prices. Ottomanson offers a large variety of high-quality heat-set, BCF, and printed area rugs in traditional to fashionable contemporary designs available in a wide array of colors.

Founded with the aspiration to embellish indoor and outdoor spaces applying a distinct taste and touch while adhering to current trends and worthy customer demands, Ottomanson Inc. combines years of knowledge and experience within the home décor industry to best serve this aspiration. Always bearing function and fashion in mind as well as offering premium quality for a broad range of budgets, Ottomanson has reached a large scope of product line in home décor including area rugs, runner rugs, kids’ rugs, indoor/outdoor rugs, printed rugs, grass rugs, doormats, stair treads, chair mats, towels, blankets and tablecloth. We take pride in our manufacturing, retailing, logistics and warehousing competencies which flourished from a modest business expanding to international growth and advanced customer service. Ottomanson’s mission is to further augment these competencies with the help of its professional and passionate administrative and operational staff in order to fully serve its commitment to high-quality standards and contemporary customer demands.

How to Outsource Residential Pressure Washing

FTC Disclaimer: Huge thanks to Zap Cleaning for sponsoring this post. And, this post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

I’ve been becoming pretty obsessed lately with outsourcing all the things. Though I’m still not outsourcing as many things as I would like to, I’ve been enjoying handing tasks off to others so that I can focus on things that can either move my business forward, or that give me more time off to enjoy with my family and friends. One thing you can outsource that kind of surprised me is residential pressure washing. 

I knew you could outsource laundry, cleaning services, lawn care, and even grocery shopping – but pressure washing? Though it honestly didn’t surprise me, the ability to outsource residential pressure washing was news to me.  I thought that only big commercial companies could do something like that. 

Residential Pressure Washing Fence
Residential Pressure Washing Fence After

When I was growing up, I remember my dad rented a pressure washer at one point. Then, because he felt we needed one, he spent hundreds of dollars to buy a pressure washer of his own

The problem with buying your own pressure washer is that not only do you have to shell out several hundred dollars upfront, you also need to know how to use it, and then have a place to store it. I recall several times where he nearly took the paint off the walls because he didn’t know how to properly use his pressure washer.

He’d spend the entire day reading the instructions, and then working his tail off cleaning the entire house. Especially the pool deck! Man, I can picture him outside putting in so much effort to clean the deck, and then having to go back over his work again because he missed so many spots trying to hold the hose steady.

And, I also remember him having to build a custom storage unit to house the pressure washer when it wasn’t in use. Sure, there was more than just that one item in there, but it seemed so silly to me that he had to house this product and many others that he only used once every six months or so. 

To make matters worse though, some of the components rusted and wore out, and he ended up having to buy a new unit after a couple of years. I’m betting if he were around today, he would opt to outsource his residential pressure washing instead of having to buy and store such an expensive piece of equipment. 

How Do You Outsource Your Residential Pressure Washing?

Residential Pressure Washing Zap Cleaning Rust Removal
Left – Before Pressure Washing; Right – After Pressure Washing

Here are the steps you’ll want to take to outsource your residential pressure washing for your home:

1. First, you need to find a company that does it in your area. If you’re in the Sarasota area, I recommend checking out ZAP Cleaning

2. Find out what services they offer. For example, do they handle things like rust removal, roof cleaning, house washing, window cleaning, etc…?

3. Look up reviews on the company. You want to make sure that whoever you hire has a reputation for doing a good job. If you don’t hire someone that is professional, and that knows what they are doing, you could end up with a big mess on your hands. 

For example, let’s say you hire a pressure washing company that isn’t as skilled as they should be to clean your roof. The company comes over to do the job, but doesn’t use care while cleaning and they damage your roof. Now, not only do you need to repair the damage, you still need the roof cleaned! 

4. Call the company, and ask them about pricing, scheduling, and all the details you need for them to do the job you need done. 

5. Hire them for the job, and then sit back and relax while they do the heavy lifting. 

Your house will look like new, and you will barely have lifted a finger. Doesn’t that sound so much better than spending all that time and money trying to do it yourself? You might want to check out cleaning businesses like a dfw power washing company and see if they can help with residential cleaning as well as business area cleaning, you never know until you try!

Residential Pressure Washing Roof Cleaning Service
Roof Cleaning Service From ZAP Cleaning Residential Pressure Washing

Why Hire ZAP Cleaning for Your Residential Pressure Washing?

At ZAP Cleaning, their goal is for their customers to be extremely satisfied. Because of this, top-notch customer service is their number one priority. The areas they serve in Florida include: Sarasota, Vamo, Venice, Laurel, Nokomis, Southgate, North Sarasota, Bee ridge, Osprey, South Venice, Sarasota Springs, Venice Gardens, and Siesta Key. 

However, they sometimes service other areas. So give them a call for more information if you’re close to, but not quite in the Sarasota area. 

ZAP Cleaning’s services include a variety of exterior house cleaning options. Some of these are pressure washing, window cleaning, roof cleaning, and other home exterior cleaning. If there is an outdoor cleaning service that they don’t offer, however, they encourage you to call them to see if they can complete those tasks for you!
To learn more about ZAP Cleaning, call them at (941) 404-0423. Or visit their website at https://zap-cleaning.com/.

4 Easy Home DIY Projects

Easy Home DIY Projects Faux Brickwork Header

This post is sponsored by Faux Brickwork. Now that we've gotten that FCC compliance out of the way, let's jam on the easy home DIY projects I promised you. Shall we?

Y’all know that I love a good DIY project, especially home projects! The reason for this is because home projects can get so timely and costly, especially when you hire them out.

A DIY project can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, and they can be quick and easy, as well! Here are 4 easy home DIY projects for when you get in the mood to change up the look of your home:

Easy Home DIY Projects – Painting

Easy Home DIY Projects Painting

One recommendation that I always give my friends and family members is to paint the rooms in their home. Paint completely changes the look of a room and the good thing about it is that it is relatively easy and inexpensive. Everyone knows how to paint a wall! Still, if you have a lot of painting to do, it can be worth hiring residential painters in Capalaba (or in your local area) to make things faster. You can still paint parts of the house to save money!

Another great thing to think about is getting stick on wallpaper or decals – this can dramatically change a room, as well and it’s very easy to do yourself! One of my favorite websites for wall decals is Rocky Mountain Decals.

They say, “Wall decals are names, shapes and designs that are printed onto either removable vinyl or removable wall fabric. They are an easy, fun and affordable way to add a little flair to a room or change the look of it completely. All our decals and wallpapers are handmade to order, and we offer a large variety of designs from super subtle to highly dramatic.

We pride ourselves in having the perfect decal design for every room. Boys room, check. Girls room, check. Laundry room, check. Master bedroom, check, you get the picture! And when something isn’t quite right we then aim to get it sorted as soon as possible. Things like getting the perfect bathroom soon becomes your priority. You start to look at things like these glass shower doors just to see if they would work with your design. Once you have the perfect design, you’re happy and you can move on. With every order printed onto high quality and removable materials, you can add a splash of excitement to any space with the greatest of ease and have piece of mind that the decals can be removed at any time without leaving any damage or residue on your walls.”

So, next time you want to change up a room by yourself, use some decals and paint to completely change the look with ease!


Easy Home DIY Projects Gardening

Ever catch yourself driving through a neighborhood and commenting on which houses have good landscaping, and which could use a pick-me-up? Save the money on an expensive landscaper and make your yard HGTV-worthy yourself. You can do this by adding a new flower bed, buying some new outdoor ornaments or if you’re a DIY pro you could build a gazebo (find how to build a gazebo there).

Use pictures you find online (hello HGTV and Pinterest) to give you the inspiration you need, then after a quick trip to your local home improvement store, it’s time to get to work! Google is a great resource to discover how to complete the tricky tasks you might not know how to do. You know what look you want better than anyone, so make your dream come true! However, if your commitments get in the way of designing your dream garden, you could always consider finding a local, reasonable company to do it for you. Homeowners could always check if companies like https://www.lawncare.net/ cover your local area. If not, there should be a selection of other companies who could help you. Creating a dream garden isn’t a quick job, which is why so many people do find themselves contacting professional services to help landscape their yard. However you choose to do it, make sure the garden is exactly how you want it for summer entertaining.

Easy Home DIY Projects – Decor

Easy Home DIY Projects Decor

There are so many great (and easy!) DIY projects to decorate your house. Whether you want a rustic headboard to spruce up the bedroom, some new throw pillows or blankets to decorate your living room, or some homemade candles to keep your home smelling nice, there is something for everyone!

If you need inspiration, check out my Pinterest Crafts and DIY board Pinterest Crafts and DIY board for some of my favorite projects that are easy and fun to complete. While you’re there, give my Pinterest page a follow please!

Easy Home DIY Projects – Backsplash

Easy Home DIY Projects Faux Brickwork

When you think of tackling backsplash on your own, you might get very concerned with how much time it will take, how hard it will be, and if your skills are good enough. Don’t worry – there are easier ways to work on your backsplash that will allow you to reduce your stress levels!

For example, instead of using tile or traditional brick, which could cost quite a bit of money and take a lot of time to do, you could use Faux Brickwork instead!

Faux Brickwork is a fantastic company based out of Clearwater, Florida. They provide exceptionally authentic looking brickwork to suit any setting, using high-quality materials. Faux Brickwork is dedicated to providing the US market with exceptionally sturdy and realistic faux brick panels, making it extremely quick and easy to transform a dull wall or a whole room into a feature point.

The great thing about Faux Brickwork is that it looks like real brick, but it is simple and quick to install, it is lightweight, cost-effective, and anyone can do it themselves. The reason the panels are so easy to install is because they are made from lightweight plaster.

The panels are perfect for busy individuals that want to renovate their home or add personality to their home, without spending a ton of time and money on it. They have quite a few options when it comes to style and color, but you are also able to paint the panels on your own, order samples, or take advantage of their custom design service, as well!

Check out some more of my projects Below:

Busch Gardens® Is Celebrating 60 Years of Adventure

One of my FAVORITE things about being a blogger, is being on media lists to learn about new and exciting things happening in the world around me. One of the lists I’m so ecstatic to be on in the media list for news and events for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

I’ve been visiting Busch Gardens Tampa Bay since I was like 5 years old, and it’s always been a fun place to hang out with family and friends. Imagine my excitement when I learned that this year Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is celebrating SIXTY years in the Tampa Bay area!!!! How amazing is that?!?

They sent me this awesome press release below, and I thought I’d share it with all of you so you can see some of the neat stuff they are doing to celebrate their anniversary all year long!


Florida’s Tallest Launch Coaster, fan-favorite events and first details on new hybrid coaster headline the excitement

Celebrating six decades of unforgettable experiences, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay shares even more exciting news with park guests during the 60th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff this evening.

In addition to debuting a new menu for the 2019 Food & Wine Festival and the launch of the all-new Pin Trading program, the park reveals more details for upcoming attractions including Tigris, Florida’s tallest launch coaster, and a new attraction coming in 2020.


Food & Wine Festival Coming to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 3/16/19

Opening on March 16, the Food & Wine Festival returns with an exciting new menu, featuring more than 35 dishes inspired by regional cuisine around the country.

Guests can sample over 100 wines, craft brews and specialty cocktails while enjoying world-class concerts of all tastes, including Daughtry, Justin Moore, El Gran Combo, Boyz II Men, Foreigner and more!

The park recently announced a NEW performance for Stone Temple Pilots on Saturday, April 6. The full menu and line-up, including VIP packages, can be found online at BuschGardensTampa.com.





Pin Trading Program Launches at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Also as part of the park’s 60th Anniversary, Busch Gardens launches a NEW Pin Trading program today. With more than 150 pins now available in the park, guests can begin collecting and trading the pocket-sized souvenirs.

From fan-favorite animals, attractions, and events to exclusive collections not sold in stores, guests can trade pins with employees as they explore the park.


Tigris Will Be Florida’s TALLEST Launch Coaster

Excitement is building with the eagerly anticipated spring opening of TigrisFlorida’s tallest launch coaster. With the recent arrival of the ride vehicles, testing for the new attraction will begin soon to prepare for opening day this spring.

“We’re moving quickly to open our ninth roller coaster, Tigris, with a tenth coaster already underway for next year,” said Stewart Clark, President of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island.

“This cadence of back-to-back new attractions is unprecedented for our park, and continues our legacy as Florida’s thrill ride leader.”



The buzz continues with more history in the making at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, as construction begins on a NEW hybrid coaster arriving in 2020. 

When it opens next year, the ride willbecome North America’s tallest hybrid, and the fastest, steepest hybrid coaster in the world.


Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, the newest addition at Busch Gardens will be a wood and steel hybrid coaster design, featuring a maximum height of more than 200 feet tall.

The ride will feature all-new thrill elements, as well as restored elements of Gwazi. Coaster enthusiasts can follow the progress of Tigris and the new 2020 attraction through the park’s social media channels and using #TakeOnTigris and #2020Rising.


Be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s blog and social media channels on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Best Way to Play At Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

MORE VALUE, MORE OPTIONS WITH ANNUAL PASS – Pick your way to play in 2019 with a Busch Gardens Annual Pass, starting at $10.99 a month for Florida Residents.

Guests can select from four pass levels for the benefits they want most – including FREE parking, discounts on merchandise and food, as well as animal encounters – to gear up for a calendar full of special events plus EXCLUSIVE pass member ride time for the opening of Tigriscoming in 2019.

Add more parks – Get a 4-park pass to Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, SeaWorld and Aquatica, starting at just $15.99 a month.

FREE Preschool Card- Kids 5 and younger can enjoy FREE admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island throughout all of 2019 with the Preschool Card. There’s never been a cooler time to be a kid! Florida residents only, other conditions apply, visit BuschGardensTampa.com to register.


About Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay is the ultimate family adventure, offering 300 acres of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world. Busch Gardens is a unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos with thousands of animals representing more than 200 species, and live shows and events, providing unrivaled experiences for guests of every age.

For more information, visit BuschGardensTampaBay.com. Busch Gardens is owned by SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter, and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world.


A Quick Look at the New Coastal Living Home Collection

The Coastal Living Collection of Furniture is now available at Matter Brothers Furniture in Florida. #Ad

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Coastal Living Home Collection furniture launch party at Matter Brothers Furniture in Sarasota, FL. While this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Coastal Living Home Collection – Magazine Inspired Home Decor

I have long been a fan of Coastal Living Magazine. Thumbing through the pages of their magazine and books transports you instantly to chic coastal destinations, and the decor they feature is always so well, beachy!

It’s enough to make you want many of the furniture pieces and accessories they feature in your own home. That’s why it just makes sense that the company has added their own line of furniture to their brand.

Related: Tips for Garage Organization and Storage

As they put it on their website: “The Coastal Living Collection is inspired by Coastal Living magazine and the joy of life by the sea. The furniture and rug collection celebrates the allure and beauty of the beach, the natural coastal landscapes, the marine life, and the casual and relaxed mood that can only be found at the shore.

From sea-inspired color choices to carefully selected materials, the Coastal Living Collection brings the magazine’s pages to life by balancing nature’s elements in unique and beautiful ways. “

Coastal Living Home Collection – The Matter Brothers Furniture Launch Party

I was so excited to attend the Coastal Living Home Collection launch party at Matter Brothers Furniture in Sarasota, FL. I got to see many of the stunning pieces up close and personal.

What I love the most about them is that they are beach inspired, but not in your face beach furniture. They are seaside chic rather than tacky palm prints and seashell lamps that look outdated and gaudy. In other words, these are the pieces you want in your home. Subtle beach themed with comfort and flair.

Okay fine! They are the pieces I really want in MY home. LOL! And, can you blame me?!? I mean just look at some of these pieces from the Coastal Living Home Collection, and tell me you don’t want them. I’m betting you can’t.

Related: 3 Simple Ways to Decorate Your Home on a Budget

Check out some of the pics I snapped at the launch party below. Note: They aren’t as nice as the pro photos that the company has taken, but it doesn’t change the fact I’d be so ecstatic to have any of these pieces in my own home!

Related: 5 Ways To Add Storage To Your Home

How awesome are these pieces?!? Don’t they just feel relaxing? I am betting that having pieces like this in my home would transform it into a peaceful setting that I’d never want to leave.

Here’s hoping that when I move into my dream home in the future, I can have furniture as beautiful and comfortable as this.

The Coast Living Home Collection is now available at Matter Brothers Furniture. AD

A Visual Feast of Joy in Hello Dolly

Thanks to my membership in the Tampa Bay Bloggers and their partnership with the Straz Center, I received two complimentary tickets for the purposes of review to "Hello Dolly". This has not impacted my review and all opinions below are my own.

Betty Buckley (“Dolly Levi”)

I’m always down for a night out at the Straz Center. I love the theater, and it has sooooo many memories for me. I performed there many times during my childhood, and have such respect for the people who make their living performing on stage.

Straz is by far one of my favorite places in Tampa Bay. Perhaps that is the real reason I jump at any opportunity to review a musical or performance there. So, it’s probably no surprise that when I was offered tickets in exchange for a review of Hello Dolly, I could not help myself. I had to say yes!

Want to know how I felt about the show overall? Keep reading…

Hello Dolly – What Straz Said About It

Winner of four Tony Awards® including Best Musical Revival, Broadway’s most beloved musical is back where it belongs! Directed by Tony winner Jerry Zaks and featuring choreography by Tony winner Warren Carlyle, HELLO, DOLLY! is “the best show of the year” (NPR).

Breaking box office records week after week and receiving thunderous critical raves on Broadway, this “gorgeous” new production (Vogue) pays tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion – hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history. Rolling Stone calls it “a must-see event. A musical comedy dream. If you’re lucky enough to score a ticket, you’ll be seeing something historic. Wow, wow, wow indeed!”

Hello Dolly – My Review

At the opening of the show I was giddy with excitement. I loved the backdrop of the large train, and the hustle and bustle of the station. Then, there was Dolly. When Betty Buckley stepped onto the stage as Dolly, the crown erupted into applause.

As Buckley, er I mean Dolly began talking, I immediately felt connected to her. Why? Because like her, I’ve had many jobs. I’ve always enjoyed doing odd jobs to help people. And, I felt connected because her character’s meddling in other people’s affairs reminded me of a family member of mine I won’t mention lol!

Another thing that struck me was the costumes. They were all so intricate, and fun. Some of them popping with bright colors, and others just as vintage as could be. I instantly understood why Buckley refers to the show as a “visual feast of joy” in the Herald Tribune’s story about the show.

The show progressed through a series of wild scenes – ones that made me bowl over with laughter as I enjoyed the absurdity of so much of what was occurring. Then, there were some scenes that made me feel almost nervous as I anxiously awaited the conclusion of them.

All in all, I felt a bunch of emotions throughout the performance, but not one of them was one of sadness. That’s something you can’t always say about a show, but you can certainly say that about Hello Dolly! It’s a feel good show – something I wish we could say about more of the entertainment available these days.

At intermission I looked at my friend Karen who accompanied me to the show and I literally said, “Have you ever felt like you stepped into a Disney movie?” Because that is EXACTLY how I felt about the show.

I also secretly giggled to myself during many portions of the show as I was thinking about the law of attraction, and the displays of attracting your dreams that played out on the stage. I won’t give away anymore of the show because I know I’ve probably said enough spoilers as it is. However, I really loved the fact that the show is proof positive that your wildest dreams can come true. That along with many other aspects of the show have left me with good feels about Hello Dolly over all.


Bottom line – If you’re into colorful costumes, and feeling like you have stepped into a Disney movie, I say go watch this show!

I would recommend this musical to anyone who loves older costumes, fun musical numbers, a lot of dancing, and is a fan of Betty Buckley. But, most importantly, I’d recommend this show to anyone who enjoys a happy ending, and likes watching things work out for the good of everyone involved in the story. 

Hello Dolly is playing at The Straz Center now through December 9, 2018. To see all the shows playing at the Straz, click HERE!


The TAMP-O-LANTERN cocktail

Tampa-O-Lantern Tampa Vodka Cocktail

The awesome folks over at Florida Cane had me and my friend Tracy from Having Fun Saving & Cooking out to their distillery recently. While there we enjoyed a free tasting, and I was given a free bottle of vodka for the purposes of creating a drink, and giving them some social media love. Though the vodka was free, this has not impacted this post. All opinions, and the recipe creation are my own. (Affiliate links may be in the post as well)

Don’t you just love Halloween themed drinks?!? I know I sure do! Below is the TAMP-O-LANTERN cocktail I created for the spooky holiday.

Get it? Like Jack-o’-lantern, but with Tampa in the name. Why Tampa? Because it’s made with a vodka that is home grown, er I mean made in Tampa!

So what’s in this bad boy? I’m so glad you asked, and I’ll gladly tell you because holy smokes this concoction is DEEEEEEElicious!

Tamp-O-Lantern Cocktail


– 6 oz Florida Cane Vanilla Bean Vodka (add more if you like it stronger)

– 1 scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream

– 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree (this is where the Jack-o’-lantern comes in – ahem!)

– 1/2 cup of crushed ice

Red and yellow food coloring

– 1/4 cup of sugar

– 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

To make:

1. Take the 1/4 cup of sugar and pour into a small cup. (You could do this directly on a plate, but I found it easier to do it in a cup)

2. For the orange sugar rim mix 1 drop red food coloring w/ 3 drops of yellow, and stir into 1/4 cup of white table sugar.

3. Pour the lemon juice onto one plate, and the colored sugar onto another.

4. Rim a glass with lemon and sugar. (I adorned my glass with black stickers to look more like a Jack-o’-lantern)

5. Pour the other ingredients (vodka, ice cream, pumpkin and ice) into a blender, and blend until smooth.

6. Finally, pour the smooth drink into the sugar rimmed glass.

7. If you’re feelin frisky stir in more red and yellow food coloring to the drink to get more of an orange color. I added about 2 more red, and 6 more yellow to get this muted orange color for my drink. I wish I had added more for a brighter look, but it didn’t change how yummy it was!

Makes two drinks

Did you make this drink? What did you think?

Huge thanks again to Florida Cane for having me and Tracy from @havingfunsaving out to your location in Ybor City for a fun day of tasting and learning.

The Florida Cane distillery is located at 1820 N 15th Street, Tampa, FL 33605. You can learn about tastings at http://cane-vodka.com/.

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