The Best Blogging Resource Tools To Make You Money

I have been blogging for a long time now, but am a perpetual student. I literally learn new things every day, and that is what I find so fun and fascinating about blogging and social media. I have been lucky enough to make money from my blog over the years, but have recently stepped up my game to make my blog even more profitable. I feel like there is plenty of space for everyone in the blogging world, and didn’t want to keep my methods to myself.

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So, I decided to create a Resources page for my blog, giving you the best blogging resource tools, and pin it up in my menu bar for easy access. When you click that link, you will be taken to a page that lists out (and links to) many of the tools, programs, and websites I use to keep my blog running smoothly. I will constantly be updating it I’m sure, but it’s a great start for someone not sure what they could do to take their blog or social media accounts to the next level.

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RELATED: Get my FREE Social Media Manager Checklist

While I won’t go through every single one here as the descriptions on my resources page are pretty straightforward, I did want to gush a little about my new favorite. If you subscribe to my email list then you already heard about this (and are hopefully using it!)

I have recently been loving using Link in Profile for my Instagram account. (<—Affiliate link) For years, whenever I had a blog post I wanted my Instagram followers to know about, I would post a relevant photo, tell everyone to go to my profile and click the link to be taken to my blog post. That’s definitely a great thing to do and a way to boost traffic, but I got frustrated with having to go in and change that link every single time I wanted to redirect it to a new post. With Link in Profile, you don’t ever have to do that again (Halleluiah!)

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You have ONE link that is forever in your Insta profile, and when people click it, they are taken to a page with all of your photos that have links associated with them. From there they can choose what blog post to go to. (Below you will see my most recent Instagram photo that has a blog link attached to it. On this page you can scroll down and see more photos and click more links!)

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It’s awesome, super easy to use, and a great value for the price. During the free trial, I saw a huge uptick in traffic being referred from Instagram to my blog. (YES I said free trial! What are you waiting for?) It’s definitely been a game changer and time saver for me.

You will find links such as this on my resources page that can be a game changer for you, too. As always, feel free to email me at [email protected] if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!

 

PS- Can you take 10 seconds and fill out a poll for me? THANK YOU!

QOTD: What tools would you add to my resources page?

February 2017 Goals

I was determined to be on time with this month’s goals, so I think publishing on February 2nd is a win! It’s hard to believe the first month of 2017 is already in the books. How are you doing with your monthly/yearly goals? Still dreaming big? Keeping track? Let’s take a look at my January goals first and see how I did:

1.) Organize my closet: A+ I’m super happy about this one. My goal was to figure out a system that worked well for us while we budget for me to turn an extra room into a big closet. Bobby generously offered to give me the whole master closet! His hanging clothes now live in the extra room closet. he doesn’t have many so they all fit, and now I have the master all to myself! I still need to buy a few more hangers, but I pretty much have everything how I want it, and now I can actually see all of my clothes and  not wear the same thing over and over.

2.) Fix my workout routine: B- This is still a work in progress, but getting better! The past two Saturdays I have been able to go on long runs. Also, in addition to my two Orangetheory workouts every week, I did a day of cross training. I still need to figure out how to fit one more workout in, but I am happy with my progress so far.

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3.) Eat better: C- If you will remember, I kind of wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted this to look like. Because of that, my goal wasn’t measurable, and I set myself up for failure. I had little “spurts” where I would pay more attention to what I ate, but I don’t feel like I got a handle on it. I need to be more specific with my plan. Learn from my mistake!

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February goals:

1.) Track my food intake 1-2 days a week: As a measurable goal, I feel like this will work better for me. I use the My Fitness Pal app to track food, and it is a good reality check for me. However, I hate being a slave to calorie counting, so I will not do it every day. I think if I check in on myself and my habits one or two times a week it will help me out.

2.) Take Emma Kate to Disney: She has been asking to go see the big castle again, and she hasn’t been since before Christmas. It’s time to take her back since we live so close.

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3.) Time Block My days: I have been having a hard time staying focused the past couple of weeks. I end up on rabbit trails on social media, or wandering from thing to thing in the house not really getting anywhere. I am going to start using my journal to (loosely) time block and see if that helps me stay on track this month.

QOTD: Did you meet your January goals? Have any February ones?

Tampa Tuesdays: SeaWorld with a Toddler

*As I mentioned before, my Tampa Tuesday blog posts won’t include just Tampa, but others places nearby/in Florida, so please don’t be confused and think SeaWorld is now in Tampa, it’s definitely still in Orlando.

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1.) Bring your own stroller: While SeaWorld Orlando does have stroller rentals, they are of the plastic variety. While this works just find for a little bit older kids, if you have a toddler that will nap in a stroller, plan to bring your own for more comfort. We tied a bright ribbon around the handle of our stroller so it was easy to find when exiting shows.

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2.) Save the Shamu Happy Harbor playground for the afternoon: There is a huge, fun play area just for kids at the back of the park called Shamu Happy Harbour. I knew I wanted Emma Kate to experience this, but I also knew if we did it first thing, I would NEVER get her out of there! This is a large area that was never very crowded when we were there, so I suggest doing some things first that may have long lines early in the day, then head over to the kids area right before or right after nap (we went after). Keep in mind they DO have a splash pad area which is great for hot summer days, but bring extra clothes if you want your child to be able to play in the water.

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3.) There are “sleeping baby” areas at the shows, use them!: I LOVED this idea and we ended up using it ourselves! When you walk to the top of the stadium up the path at most of the shows, you then get to a walkway that goes across the whole top row that overlooks all the seating. If you have a sleeping baby/toddler you don’t want to take out of your stroller, you can wheel them right up to the stadium and park them behind the back row and stand to watch the show while your child sleeps. Emma Kate fell asleep in her stroller at one point and we didn’t want to miss the last sea lion show of the day, so we used the sleeping baby area and it worked beautifully. It also made it easy for us to be the first ones out after the show was over and avoid the crowds of people exiting the theater.

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4.) Make a plan around show times, but space them out: Each show only happens a certain number of times a day, so pick the ones you want to see, and rank them in order of most important to least important. Keeping in mind as the day goes on your toddler will get more cranky and restless, you may end of having to skip one of two shows, and you don’t want it to be your favorite one! Also, try not to go straight from one show to another without giving your toddler a chance to run around and get out the wiggles. We tried to avoid the stroller when we knew she needed to get some energy out and it worked well for us.

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5.) Split up if necessary: Remember that sometimes it’s ok for the whole family to not stick together. Some space can even be good on a hot day. Bobby wanted to ride one of the roller coasters, so Emma Kate and I went for a walk to find some food while Bobby went on the ride. He later went on it again when Emma Kate was napping and I took the opportunity to sit down, check my phone, and do some people watching. Be sure to pick a spot to meet up afterwards though so no one gets lost!

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Disclosure: I was given two free one day tickets to visit SeaWorld, however all opinions are mine.

Affordable Home Gym

This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I was paid for this post and received the included fitness equipment as compensation.

It’s January, the month of the year when people decide to get fit (which I love!) The thing I do not love however, its how packed a gym can get at the beginning of the year. I like my space, and sometimes that can be hard to find!

As a work from home mom who has a child only in daycare part time, I also struggle to find time to get to the gym, and always wanted to have my very own “home gym.” I knew it could come in handy for those times when my toddler is napping, or I need to stretch my legs from sitting at my laptop all day. After doing some searching, I realized that having a home gym was more affordable than I thought, and is incredibly convenient for someone with my schedule.

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When I began research, I knew I wanted a mix of cardio and strength equipment, and needed room to move around. Thankfully, our new house has a huge bonus room upstairs that fits the bill. I have plenty of room to move, and work up a sweat! Here is a list of what I have, followed by some explanations:

-Pro Form Easy Strider

-Resistance bands

-Free weights

-Workout DVD’s

-Pro Form Bike Desk

-Yoga Mat

-Foam Roller

The Pro Form Easy Strider was something I wanted because I had a similar one a few years ago but we got rid of it when we moved awhile back. It’s great for cross training days, and is situated in front of my TV so I can catch up on my favorite shows while I burn some calories. This model has EKG grip pulse that monitors your heart rate, an easy to read LED display, a built in fan (yes!) and it even has wheels to be easily moved around. It supports up to 250 pounds, and has big, oversized pedals that fit even my husbands big feet. Never did I think I would be able to have my own cardio equipment again, but I do!

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As someone who has IT band problems, resistance bands and a foam roller were a must. I have a lot of body weighted exercises I do with the bands to strengthen my glutes and hips which keeps that nagging pain away. I try to foam roll several times a week as well to help with tight muscles. I was able to get a set of bands and a foam roller all for under $20, and they are invaluable to me!

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I admit, I need to do more yoga. I have a mat, as well as some yoga and Cardio DVD’s, I just need to put them to good use. Maybe now that I have my own gym space at home I will follow through.

The Pro Form bike desk is something I have ALWAYS wanted. I sit at my laptop working all. day. long. I frequently have to get up to stretch my legs because I get so stiff. How awesome to multi task like this?!? I can get all of my work done while burning calories and keeping my blood circulating. I can pedal for hours! No more excuses for not having time to workout.

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As someone who loves boot camp classes, free weights were also a must. I don’t have many, but plan to build up a supply as my budget allows. My boot camp classes taught me so much, and I can do dozens of workouts and moves with just a few weights and get in an awesome burn.

With just a few pieces of equipment, I have been able to cover cardio, strength training, injury prevention, and stretching/maintenance in my home gym. It was definitely more affordable than I thought it would be, and is something I can enjoy for many years to come. After all, you can’t put a price tag on your health.

Be sure to check out all of the other fitness equipment Kohl’s has to offer at great prices. They also have a great Fitness page with workout gear, health products, as well as tips from top health and fitness experts.

QOTD: What is your favorite “must have” home gym equipment?

My blog may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those websites, so I encourage you to read their privacy policies. These affiliate links are not associated with Kohl’s.

Tampa Tuesdays: Orangetheory Fitness

Before we moved to Tampa, I went to an amazing gym. I took boot camp classes four days a week, and a HEAT class, which is very very similar to Orangetheory. Soon our town opened an Orangetheory studio, but because of my love for my current gym, I never tried it out.

Fast forward to the end of 2016, and a move to Tampa. After doing some online research and not really finding anything nearby that was similar to my gym “back home”, I decided to give Orangetheory a shot with Megan. You get to attend your first class for free, so why not? They asked me to show up thirty minutes before class was to begin in order to get me set up and explain the class flow with me.

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First a little background. Orangetheory is an interval based, sixty minute workout led by a “coach” who trains you and gives you tips throughout the class. On average people burn over 500 calories per class/hour.

“The physiology behind the Orangetheory Fitness workout involves heart-rate-monitored training designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. The result is the Orange Effect – more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours postworkout. “ –(source)

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Upon arrival, they had me fill out some paperwork, and gave me a heart rate wrist band to borrow for the free class. I was shown around the studio, and as soon as the class before ours let out, I was brought into the fitness room and shown exactly how the treadmills and rowers worked. Then we went over to the weight area and he explained to me how they would put exercises up on the TV as well as have the instructors show us how to do each one to make sure we kept proper form.

I was told you either start in the weight room or on the treadmill (“treads” as they call them there). In most classes you stay on the treadmill for 25 or so minutes then switch to rowing and weights, but some days we switch back and forth doing ten minutes on each to mix it up. He asked if I had any questions, and told me since it was my first time I could choose if I wanted to start on a treadmill or in the weight room and they would reserve a spot for me. Everything was very low pressure and laid back which I appreciated because I was already nervous!

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Everyone stays out in the hallway/waiting area until time for class. At that time, the instructor comes out and explains what we are going to be doing that day. Then they go over any promotions or orders of business that need to be addressed, and then they head back into the studio room, get their headset on, and high five everyone into the room.

I like to start on the treadmill first, so I hopped over there and started warming up. Orangetheory has big TV’s up on the wall with everyone’s heart rate, calories burned, and splat points. Splat points are what you earn when you stay in the orange and red (two highest zones). You get one point for every minute. that you stay in said zones. The zone below orange is green, which is a fat burning zone. They encourage you to stay in orange and green the most, with just a few minutes in red.

Presentation is everything! Domino Arts does it for you.

(photo credit: Orangetheory fitness, used with permission)

I also learned that on the treadmill they would use three terms I needed to learn: base pace, push pace, and all out. The instructor calls out intervals such as “push pace for 90 seconds” and then “drop to base pace for 30 seconds” so it’s important to know what these mean for you.

Base pace is your steady pace whether it be power walking or jogging that you could just keep going at for a long time. I think of it as a warm up and recovery pace. Push pace would be closer to a race pace for a longer distance race in my mind. Something difficult but not absolutely killing you. All out is well….all out. Hard as you can sprint or power walk (power walkers typically use a high incline here.) The changing up of the speeds and inclines keeps me from getting bored, as does knowing I will only be there for 25-28 minutes each class.

Presentation is everything! Domino Arts does it for you.

(photo credit: Orangetheory, used with permission)

In the weight room, everyone got a station that has a bench, bosu ball, ab roller device, TRX straps, and free weights. The instructor showed us each exercise we would be doing (they were also on the TV), as well as how many reps we would be doing them for, or how many rounds. A lot of times in between rounds we would row 300 meters, etc. to change things up. I also like that they tells us how heavy or light we should go on weights depending on what we are doing that day. Everyone goes at their own pace with their own weights, so people of all fitness levels can be doing the same workout which is awesome. My instructors have always been good to correct my form or tell me I should be using a heavier weight. They truly seem to care about us working out properly and not just saying cues they are told to say.

At the end of the class, our trainer led us through a quick stretching session, and then the TV’s showed us our calorie burn, splat points, and how many minutes we were in each zone. We were also immediately emailed a copy of that information which I love having!

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After my first class was over, the guy that showed me around beforehand came in and asked me how I did, and if I had any questions. He then went on to explain the pricing structure to me, packages, and purchasing a heart rate monitor. There were three levels of class packages at my studio:

-4 classes for month

-8 classes per month

-unlimited classes per month

You can also purchase a “pack” of classes to use within a certain amount of time, and there were drop in rates as well. Another cost that you need to factor in is the heart rate monitor. I bought the wrist strap kind and it was $99. A lot of times they run specials, and I was able to take advantage of a mid month special where I purchased my package of classes and heart rate monitor in a bundle with a free hoodie as well as some extra classes to use that first month.

A couple of things to note:

-There is no childcare at OTF, which would be an awesome addition!

-I would not recommend doing OTF 5 days a week, but that is solely my opinion. I go twice a week, and push myself REALLY hard. There is no way I could go for that many days without completely tearing my body down. I would say 2-3 days max if you are giving it your all out effort. (also going on consecutive days is super hard!)

-Be sure to bring a water bottle and towel. You will sweat a ton! My studio had a place to refill your water bottle which was helpful as well.

-My studio had lockers where you could put your keys, jacket, phone, etc. while you workout. There  also was a shower and bathrooms.

-If you want to start on the treadmill, get there early. At my studio everyone crowded around the door to get to the treadmills first (very annoying, I wish they would just hand out numbers as you walk in)

-Classes can fill up fast depending on location. There is an app you can download to sign up for classes, and if one is full you will be put on a waitlist. At my studio, if you don’t cancel at least 8 hours before your class time, you will lose the use of one of your sessions that month, unless it’s an emergency. Good motivation if you ask me!

-You can go to an OTF anywhere in the country once you sign up! This is great for those that travel a lot, or if you have a studio near your office and also one by your house. I love this idea!

I also love that there is no time commitment when you sign up, it just goes month to month. If you ever want to quit for awhile then pick it back up later, you can. I have been going to OTF for a month now and I am really enjoying it! I still miss my boot camp class like crazy, but this has been a pretty good substitute for me. I still feel like I need to do one heavy lifting strength training session a week and one run, but this class is great for intervals, endurance, and to work up a great sweat!

QOTD: Have you ever tried Orangetheory? What are your thoughts?

Add Color with SUBWAY

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of SUBWAY. All opinions are my own.

I’m a pretty busy person. I juggle my job and my blog as well as my house and my family. Cooking isn’t my absolute favorite, nor do I have a ton of time to do it. I know I need to get my fruit and vegetables in, especially to set a good example for my daughter. We have long relied on green smoothies, quick meals, and places like SUBWAY® to feed our family in a healthy way, and the new +color initiative makes us love it even more!

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Last September, the American Heart Association (AHA) along with SUBWAY launched an initiative called +color, focusing on the positive health impact of fruits and vegetables. Did you know that approximately 39,000 deaths could be prevented from stroke, diabetes and the like, AND $7.6 BILLION dollars in medical costs would be saved if Americans ate the appropriate amount of daily fruits and vegetables? Wow! Not to mention, certain cancers can be prevented by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

If you don’t eat the amount you are supposed to eat, it’s ok! There is no time like the present, so why not start now? I always talk about taking baby steps and making small changes to live a healthier lifestyle, and this would be a great one to start with. The AHA and Subway also want you to make this change, and add an extra cup of color to your diet.

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For someone busy like me, a fresh sandwich from SUBWAY makes it easy. There are so many different combinations of  yummy sandwiches to create, you can bet everyone in your family can find something they will like. SUBWAY offers 10 varieties of vegetables to its guests, and creating your own flavorful custom meal can add at least two extra servings of vegetables to your diet. Also, I don’t want to hear any excuses. With over 44,000 franchised locations, there is bound to be a SUBWAY near you!

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QOTD: What is your favorite sandwich to order from SUBWAY? What other ways do you sneak in vegetables during the day?

January 2017 Goals

I know I’m a little late with the goals this month, I just have had so much to talk about here on the blog! I hope you all are having a great start to 2017. I bought my new planner, and have been busying myself with filling in important dates, birthdays, and events. (Yes I know I am a total nerd, I’m ok with it!)

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Several of you asked about my planner when I posted it on my Instagram story, and I love it. I got it from Amazon.

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You can find the exact one I got here: me & my BIG ideas Create 365 The Happy Planner, Hello Life, 18 Month Planner, July 2016 – December 2017 (I got it on sale because it starts with July 2016 and goes through 2017), or you can get just the 2017 version here: Create 365 The Big Happy Planner, Make Things Happen.

Goals. Goals goals. Ok, so you may have seen my post last week talking about creating goals in general. I hope it gave you something to think about, and maybe now you have created some goals for 2017 for yourself with some action steps. (If you missed the post you can check it out here.) Let’s take a look back at my December goals then move into my January ones, shall we?

December goals:

1.) Get unpacked: B+ While 99% of the boxes are unpacked, everything is not “put away” in it’s proper place. I need to get to organizing now that we have unboxed all the things.

2.) Be intentional and present this Christmas season: B- Eh. I really tried, but moving in to a new house, in a new state, right smack in the middle of the Christmas season makes it tough. We watched lots of Christmas movies, went to EK’s preschool program, Christmas eve church service, and had family come into town. However, it all just felt a little…rushed. I want to so badly do better next year.

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3.) Get into a workout routine: B- Again with the yes/no. I DID join Orange Theory fitness in December (blog post coming next week!) but that is only for two days a week. I also recently got pieces for a home gym (that post coming soon as well!) but now it’s more of finding time since Emma Kate is only in school three days a week. I need to workout more than those three days, so I have to figure something out to make it better. Right now I am thinking OTF twice a week, home gym twice a week, and a long run to make five workouts. Now to just get the timing right so I can actually do this…

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January goals:

1.) Organize my closet: We have an extra bedroom off of our master that I have dreams of making a “dressing room” for me. Since it’s not currently in the budget, Bobby and I are sharing the smaller master closet. We are trying to come up with a temporary solution, and I need to figure it out sooner rather than later, because I am just wearing the same 4 outfits over and over because it’s easiest. Ha.

2.) Fix my workout routine: I am determined to get this figured out and have a solid couple of weeks with it “working” for me. Once I do it I will be able to stick with it, so I just need to figure out what times and days work best for what workouts.

3.) Eat better: I know I’m being vague, but it’s because I’m not sure what I want this to look like just yet. Maybe only eating one treat a day? Only drinking water? Less snacking at night? Still trying to figure out the specifics. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my clothes are fitting a little tighter. Better eating coupled with a better workout routine should get me back on track, I just need to get the rest of the Christmas candy OUT of my house, and meal plan better. Sometimes convenience wins in our house and it’s not the healthiest choice. Better planning is key.

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That’s it for this month! I will check back in at the beginning of February to let you know how I did.

QOTD: What goals do you have for January? Did you meet your December goals?

Tampa Tuesdays: The Rock Spa at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa

Last week, I had the opportunity to have a little girls day with Megan at the Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa. Having just moved here, I had obviously never been before, and had no idea such a big, nice place was even in Tampa! The main attraction was massages at the Rock Spa. DiN3WsYHrqEDJ1V2qj_iFHw8N27oMi5peRqZaecl2h0pX92IB

Don’t you just love it when you walk into a spa and are instantly hit with the most wonderful smells? Well the Rock Spa definitely did not disappoint in that aspect or any other.

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We check in and were brought to the back where we were shown all of the wonderful amenities. There was a beautiful locker room with a hot tub, steam room, showers, and super comfy robes. 9F_G7KsZJbkcuS0m0OZI7U4rwN7rKOxjGRIN25Vnw9gpX92IB

We got changed and went to the relaxing waiting area to wait for our appointments. I enjoyed some lemon water while I waited, and before long I was greeted and brought to my room.

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I was getting a special treatment called Rhythm & Motion. This massage was very unique in that there was music playing above my head during the massage, and the sound also vibrated in the table. At first I wasn’t so sure about this, but the music wasn’t loud or annoying, and it all flowed together. I was also able to use an essential oil to use during the massage (lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, or orange) that deepened the relaxing experience even more. This was a 50 minute massage, and I wanted to note that it focuses mainly on the upper body.

After the massage was over (all too quickly!) I met back up with Megan in the locker room. My masseuse had given me a little treat to have post massage that I enjoyed before we dipped into the hot room and steam room. (Pictured below with the water is sorbet and a shot of tea).

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We would have loved to stay all day, but we had to head to up lunch at Fresh Harvest.

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I had never been here before but was super impressed! There was SO much variety and so much food. This restaurant features several live action stations where you can get made to order food like pasta and burger sliders, or grab your favorite pizza or sushi from other stations. There were so many things I wanted to try but there was no way I could fit it all!

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Especially since I was saving room for dessert. Candy, cakes and pies, crepes, and my favorite, milkshakes.

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I kept saying over and over that I have to take Bobby here, he would absolutely love it (that boy can eat!) It was such a fun treat to be able to have a girls day at the spa and then enjoy a quiet lunch together and catch up on life. everything was in the same building, easy to get to, and wonderful. I will definitely be back!

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**Seminole Hard Rock has just announced the opening of their all new Poker room! We got to take a sneak peek of it last week and it is beautiful. The room opens Thursday January 12th at 11:30. It features 46 tables, Wi-Fi throughout, and lots of very large TV’s for the sports fan. There is even a special room with two VIP tables, a bar, as well as a snack bar with seating for over 20. Also to note, Brad Garrett, (Robert Barone from one of my all time favorite shows, Everybody loves Raymond,) will be doing a ceremonial guitar smash before the venue opens to the public. How cool is that?!? If you are a poker fan, you will want to check out this beautiful new room.

QOTD: What is your favorite spa treatment?

Disclosure: I was provided with free services from Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, however all opinions are my own.

Support Your Health in the New Year

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It’s that wonderful time of year again! No, I’m not talking about the holidays…I’m talking about cold and flu season! Every year we get the dreaded time that strikes fear into the hearts of well, everyone. No one wants to get sick, but sometimes it seems unavoidable. Well, there may be some things you can do to support your immunity.

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1.) Drink water: Drinking water allows your kidneys to remove toxins from your body. So if you don’t drink enough water, toxins can build up and weaken your immune system. Drink up!

2.) Exercise regularly: Exercise is a great way to boost your immune system. Good news? You don’t have to do anything crazy to reap the benefits. Moderate activity levels will do just fine. Some research shows that physical activity may help flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways, which could potentially help reduce your risk of catching an illness.

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3.) Eat healthy foods: Some research has shown a link between immune function and certain foods. Bananas for example contain vitamins and minerals that can impact immune response. Cheese and other dairy products contain a natural component that has boosted immune response.

4.) Wash your hands: We all know that not everyone follows this practice, and we also know this can be one of your best lines of defense against getting sick. Especially after being in public or touching door handles, shaking hands, and being at the gym. Scrub scrub scrub!

5.) Cough or sneeze etiquette: I try to keep tissues in my purse and my car for those unexpected sneezes and coughs, but sometimes I forget and try to use etiquette by sneezing or coughing into my elbow, and not just out in the open air. Be mindful, especially when around others!

6.) Take Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotics: The “gut” is  the center of your body’s overall health. This can affect things like immunity and digestion. Did you know that 70% of the immune system is located in the digestive tract? I think that makes it important! Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotics deliver potent formulas with tens of billions of cultures, and multiple probiotic strains to help your immune health.probiotic

Probiotics are important for everyone’s health and Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora Probiotics offer different formulas for all of your family members. Renew Life Probiotics are available at health food stores and major retailers, including Target and Walmart. Visit RenewLife.com for more information.

 

QOTD: What am I forgetting? What do you to to support immune health during cold and flu season?

Tampa Tuesdays

Hello friends! Now that I am living in Tampa, I am slowly learning my way around (with and without Google maps) and trying to immerse myself in all things Florida and Tampa. Because Tampa is a MUCH bigger city than the one I came from in Mississippi, there is so much more to explore and to share with you all, so I decided to start a new series called “Tampa Tuesdays”. I probably won’t do this every Tuesday, but whenever I have something fun and new to share with you about Tampa, I will try to do it on a Tuesday. It’s actually a little deceiving because I will also share things from surrounding cities as well, but mostly focus on Tampa restaurants, stores, and experiences. I hope you will follow along as I explore my new area!

Today I wanted to share with you about an amazing restaurant called Pelagia. This restaurant can be found at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel.

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Bobby and I were invited for a special tasting of their Christmas and New Year’s Prix Fixe menus , which were created by Chef Brett Gardiner.You aren’t going to want to miss this if you are local! How it works is you get to create your own menu by selecting one starter, entrée, and dessert from the prix fixe menu. We didn’t experience all of both menus (that would have been way too much food!) but we got to sample items from each.

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We started with an appetizer plate which had smaller portions of four appetizers you can find on the special holiday menus.

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What I loved about the menu is that it paired ingredients together that I would never have thought to put in the same recipe, but they came out amazing! Bobby’s favorite was the duck confit with sunchokes, frisee, pomegranate, and port vinaigrette. (top of the photo). My favorite (which totally surprised me!) was the grilled pear, watercress, maple bacon, and walnut dressing. (Far right in the photo). The pear wasn’t mushy, and the bacon paired with it had the most amazing flavor. I must try tor recreate!

Next we were given four samples of the main course to try as you can see from the above menu. Bobby and I both agreed that the rack of lamb with the blackberry sage demi was our favorite. So tender and juicy.

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Lastly, we were treated with samples of four of the sweet desserts on the prixe fixe menus. Anyone who knows me knows I have a sweet tooth, so I was most excited about this part, and it did not disappoint.

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My two favorites were the apple crumble dessert at the top left, and the eggnog panna cotta at the bottom right. It’s always fun to have festive holiday desserts, and these hit it out of the park. (The other two were wonderful too with great rich flavoring, but if I had to pick…) As a chocolate lover, I was surprised my two favorites were non chocolate, but that just goes to show how amazing they were.

The restaurant was beautiful and easy to get to from the front of the hotel, and the staff was warm and friendly. Even the private dining room had a unique flair, and a fun and funky chandelier.

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Reservations are available for seatings from noon to 8 p.m. on Christmas day, and throughout the day for New Year’s eve. The cost for Christmas day is $45 for adults and $18 for children 13 and under. For the New Year’s meal, the cost is $70 for adults and includes a glass of Prosecco (which I can attest, is delicious as well!). Prices exclude tax and gratuity. Please call 913-313-3235 for reservations, or you can make them online here.

*Bobby and I were provided a free meal from Pelagia, however all our thoughts and opinions are our own as we explore our new city!