Hey, Mom and Dad- It’s not your fault.

By: Taylor Arellano

I was a brand new Mom with a sweet little newborn boy. He was the center of my whole world, my iPhone was filled with nothing but pictures of him throughout every part of our day no matter how insignificant. I lived and breathed for every involuntary smile, coo, and wiggle.

Like any new Mom, I spammed my Facebook news feed with pictures of my new baby all day, every day. I was so proud of this little life Zach and I had brought into the world, and I wanted to share his never ending cuteness (no matter how insignificant the photo really was) with the whole world.

So, the day I received a Facebook message in regards to a picture I posted of a photo of my then 2 month old son still makes me question myself to this day…

I had just started my transition out of the Military and was home often by myself with Isaac. Being a brand new, young Mom I was learning how to balance home chores with trying to feed and please a newborn, as well as apply for new jobs, buy a new home, and more. These days were absolutely crazy to say the least.

One day, Isaac was especially fussy, and I distinctly remember it was a day where I needed to be on the phone to talk to the lenders for the home we were purchasing. Wondering if it would work, I turned on a quiet T.V. Channel and placed Isaac in his bouncer in front of the T.V. Stand to occupy him while I was on the phone. To my surprise, it worked, and I actually thought it was cute that my 2 month old was so entertained by a completely random T.V. show, so of course I snapped a pic and uploaded it to Facebook thinking how cute it was that my newborn was just lounging around watching a morning talk show.

It wasn’t but a couple hours later that I signed into Facebook to find a private message from an old High School classmate that I had not even remembered speaking to in at least 8 years. But what was even more shocking, was the context of her message.

In short, the message basically read that she was attending College to be an early childhood educator, and she wanted to advise me that letting young children watch television was extremely damaging to their development and that my “adorable son”  (Yeah, she tried to bring me a up a little before she kicked me down) could actually end up with a speech delay or other cognitive disabilities. There was a lot more detail and degrading comments in her message, but I will spare you those.

Immediately, I felt awful. I was a brand new Mom, I had no idea what I was doing. Was that hour of T.V. going to damage his ability to speak in a couple of years? When is he allowed to start watching T.V.? Why do they even make those baby shows? The questions in my head were endless, but I knew that I did not want to ask this “friend” the answers to these questions because I felt degraded and dumb.

Fast forward 18 months later. Isaac is diagnosed as Speech Delayed.

If you don’t think that message from my former classmate popped into my head, think again.

Zach and I were sad, we were worried, we felt so bad. Did we do something wrong? Were we failing Isaac in his development? We by no means used the T.V. as a babysitter, we played outside with him, we played games with him, we read books. Was this still somehow our fault?

The short answer to those questions- NO.

We were assured by our pediatrician, speech therapists, hearing evaluation specialists and more that THESE THINGS HAPPEN. We were good parents.

I am a believer in science and medicine, I am a Nursing Student myself, and I know there is a clinical basis for almost everything. I know that there are predisposing factors for illnesses, developmental delays, etc.

…But I also know that I am a good Mom. Zach is an amazing Dad. Our Son is a healthy and curious little boy, and his speech development is a work in progress that we see improvements in DAILY. We are doing our best as parents, and Isaac is doing his best too.

It took a long time for me to stop blaming myself. I would think back on the message from my old classmate and wonder if this was my fault. If the occasional Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode made my little boy incapable of speaking at an age appropriate level. If I should have taken our T.V. and completely left it in the garage for 3 years since according to an early education STUDENT ” a child should see no T.V. until age 3″.

I need to add that I am in no way trying to discredit the knowledge of this person. I am sure she knew a lot about the subject. I also understand that television and other factors do have significant effects on a child’s development. That is not the point here though.

I wondered if that classmate (who had no children) knew what it was like to be so burnt out from being home with an 11 month old for 7 days straight and had 1 shower in that time frame- knew what it was like to just need 30 minutes of quiet so she could be a better Mom.

In addition to understanding that we cannot blame ourselves, we also need to think about how our words may affect another parent. Whenever I feel like I have a piece of advice for another parent, I stop first. I think about how I felt when I got that Facebook message.

Is saying this going to make them feel inferior in their parenting skills and decisions? Is saying this going to be helpful? Am I going to make him/her feel like they have done something wrong? Am I stealing this Mom’s joy right now?

OF COURSE- if a child’s safety or well-being is in danger, there are appropriate ways to intervene. But unless you have A LOT and I mean A LOT of probable cause to think someone is really affecting their child’s well-being, we have to think twice before we hand out unsolicited advice to parents.

The words of someone completely insignificant to my family’s life had a lasting impact on me.

Be a good friend. Be a good fellow parent. But be considerate.

And to my fellow Mom’s and Dad’s with a child who may be needing some extra help in one or more areas of development, hang in there. Progress comes with time, and I know very well how the wait for signs of progress can seem like ages. Be gentle on yourself, and on your child. The first time they call you “Mama” or “Dada” with true recognition and affiliation with the word, you will cry. That first “I love you” will make your heart burst, and it is so worth the wait.

 

 

 

My Breastfeeding Journey…

 By Jennifer Stroble

At some point in raising their child, every parent has wished they came with a manual. Don’t try to deny it. The next best thing to a manual is a tribe or support system. The kind of people that won’t judge you for wanting wine at 10:00 am, because your child cried for two hours after you gave him the wrong colored cup at lunch time. These type of people are there to lift your spirits during troubling times, and generally make your life more enjoyable.

I found my tribe, also known as my mom’s group; when my oldest son, Keagan, was just shy of a year old. They have since kept me sane in times I thought I needed to go to a loony bin. I needed them most when Oliver, my last baby was born in September. That’s when all hell broke loose in my life.

Seven months ago, I had no idea what  was in store for my son and I. We endured a whirlwind of ups and downs. We’ve overcome jaundice, torticollis, and hospitalization for bronchiolitis. Although, nothing will compare to my current struggle: breastfeeding.

Throughout my entire pregnancy I told myself, and anyone who’d listen, that I’d breastfeed exclusively for a minimum of one year. My breastfeeding journey with his older brother came to a halt after three weeks due to illness and a less than ideal support system. I was determined to have better success this time around at providing my son’s nutrition, and having those special bonding moments with him.

My inner circle of friends tried to prepare me for my journey ahead. They tried to teach me that there would be many struggles, and that breastfeeding wasn’t going to be easy. It’s something you have to constantly work towards, but in the end would be worth every frustration. Some mothers have struggles latching or dealing with reflux, forceful letdowns, clogged milk ducts, and more. Not to mention, the sleepless nights and insatiable hunger.

However, none of them could prepare me for what I was about to withstand.

Oliver was born September 17th, 2015. Those first few moments were a blur. I remember crying from overwhelming amount of joy that he was here, and being in pure bliss with my baby boy. By the time I was discharged from the hospital 36 hours later, those tears had turned dark. I was beyond sleep deprived because my sleep cycle only occurred once every 30 minutes, if I was lucky. Trying to feed my child was becoming a nightmare the more I tried.

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Oliver was miserable. He’d cry nonstop, nothing would calm him.  I was told by the doctor that he may have a tongue tie and to get it evaluated. I found myself at Dr. Sierra’s office, in Tampa,  the following day for a free consultation. As it would turn out, he had the “most obvious” lip AND tongue tie that Dr. Sierra had ever seen. He encouraged me to feed him right after the lip and tongue tie revision, to help comfort him. I noticed a difference almost immediately. It no longer hurt as badly to feed him, and a weight had been lifted.

I battled with everything my friends warned me about: the sleepless nights, the hunger, the never ending nursing sessions and more. One thing nobody had warned me about though, was food intolerance and other food sensitivities while breastfeeding. If I ate something that the baby didn’t digest well, how would I know? Would he grow horns? Cry like he’s dying? Would he bleed? Get rashes? I had no clue. I had limited knowledge with food intolerance.

At six weeks old, I was proud to have made it that long, still being his source of nutrition. After all, it was an important milestone. Most mothers give up within the first six weeks. In that time though, Oliver had always had diarrhea, and it was almost always green. It would range from neon, to ninja turtle green. He was severely moody, spitting up, gassy, and just over all unpleasant. The doctors suggested I go dairy free.

Goodbye, ice cream. Farewell, cheese. See you later, yogurt. Smell you later, baked goods.

I found myself crying during most feeding sessions. After all, it was my milk that made his tummy so upset. I was doing my best, but it just didn’t feel good enough at that moment. His pediatrician and the lactation consultants at Baby Café, said it could take upwards of another six weeks before I saw a drastic improvement in his stools and overall attitude.

As time went by, I was second guessing myself more, and more. I’d think to myself, am I eating the wrong stuff? Am I over-thinking his poop? Could there be another cause? I was feeling so out of my element. At his three month check-up, they still found microscopic traces of blood in his diarrhea. I was told to eliminate soy as well as dairy. The world of processed foods had instantly vanished. No more late night munchies of Oreos and milk, or quick take out from our favorite fast food joint. Convenience was a luxury, and I no longer had it.

I went another six weeks of trial and error. At this point, Ollie is now 4½ months old. I had become what I would consider a master at examining infant poop. This is not a title I’d want on my resume. My silver lining was that he was noticeably happier on a day to day basis. Other than his runny number twos, he was a perfectly happy and healthy baby. He was gaining a slow but steady amount of weight, which was the only thing keeping the doctors (and myself) happy.

I hit a rock wall, as I knew there was still something wrong with my baby.  I was begging and pleading for answers. No one could tell me why he had diarrhea. I was fed up with his pediatrician. They told me to start solids and/or formula, even though I told them I want to exclusively feed him myself, and those were not currently an option for me. I begged for a GI specialist referral. I was referred to Dr. Izizarry in Brandon. She gave me three options: start solids, start a total elimination diet, or give formula.

Friends and family thought I was nuts. Who in their right mind would give up everything just to breastfeed their child? They tried to comfort me, and continue to support my decisions regardless of what I chose. After crying for what felt like forever, I went home and did my research on what foods I could do during a total elimination diet. I was determined to reach my goal, and to never give up. In the end, I felt that if I couldn’t make things right within my diet, how was a container of formula supposed to help? My milk was made especially for him.

I went approximately another six weeks slowly introducing one thing after another back into his diet. I hit numerous stand still periods, but continued forward. I brought back eggs, nuts, and wheat into my diet aside from my “safe” proteins and produce.

I saw only one improvement. He went from 10+ poops a day, to 3-5 a day.

I cried. I felt lost. I had given up everything, living off of lamb and veggies. Everyone around me could tell I was unraveling and continued to push formula on me. I knew they all had very good intentions, but I still resisted.

Last month, it came back that his older brother Keagan had mild allergies to cow’s milk, peanuts, eggs, and wheat. I decided that since we were still struggling to find the culprit for his digestion issues, that we’d resume a normal diet and only avoid his brother’s allergies, with the exception of soy.

I’m happy to announce, that even though I’m still clueless as to what has been causing mayhem on my baby’s belly, he’s doing much better. He’s gone roughly a month free of wheat, peanuts, eggs, dairy and soy. He has had normal bowel movements in this time frame, as well.

Due to my determination, and overly supportive group of friends, I’ve managed to stay on track. There’s now a light at the end of my tunnel, and I hope to make my goal of one year.
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If I had struggled in silence, I likely wouldn’t have made it to my first six week milestone, let alone my six month milestone. Take it from me, find your support system to carry you through your struggles and keep you sane. I’ve had a large network of like-minded mothers to guide me through my journey thus far, and family to comfort me in moments I wanted to give up. Every hard decision I’ve made in the last six months, has been entirely worth it.

 

Jennifer Stroble.jpg I’m Jennifer, a 25 year old mother of two amazing boys. Keagan is four years old, and Oliver will be one in September. I’ve been married five years now, and have grown up in the Brandon area. I am a sarcastic, laid back stay-at-home parent with a hectic lifestyle catering to my children and two rambunctious dogs. Each day I’m simply trying to survive the never-ending ride that is parenthood. 

 

 

Weekend Events June 23 – 25, 2017

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Here is your weekend roundup of the fun family friendly events happening around the area. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

#Everydaymoms

Friday, June 23, 2017 Events

 

Preschool Open Gym At Jubilee Gymnastics

Open Gym for Preschoolers is recommended for children under 5 years. Building self confidence, coordination, body awareness, & Achieving one’s personal best in a safe environment through fun and fitness!

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017,  9:45 am – 11:15 am
  • Location: 89 7th Ave NE, Ruskin, FL 33570
  • Cost: $7 a child, $3 siblings
  • Website: jubileegym.com

Bounce N’ Skate At United Skates

Bounce N’ Skate Admission $5 per person (Includes Reg. Skate Rental & Bounce House)

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: 5121 North Armenia Avenue, Tampa, FL 33603
  • Cost: $5 per person
  • Website: unitedskates.com

Furry Friday with 93.3 FLZ

Our friend Katie Sommers from 93.3 FLZ will be hosting live from our shelter to promote pet adoption! Be sure to join us for the fun:
-Adoption fee for all pets over 4 months old, just $9.33
-Go-home bandana for all adopted dogs, donated by Image Depot Palm Harbor
-Lunch served from the grill with our Grillin N Chillin Team
-Cornhole, Foosball, and Giant Jenga for kids

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Location: Humane Society of Tampa Bay3607 N Armenia Ave, Tampa, Florida 33607
  • Cost: $9.33 adoption fee
  • Website: facebook.com

Comedy Magic Show at Firehouse Cultural Center

Magician Cesar Domico’s combination of magic and humor will grab your attention in this creative and dynamic live show.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017, 10:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • Location: 101 1st Ave NE, Ruskin, FL 33570
  • Cost: Free For grades K-5
  • Website: hcplc.org

Friendly Friday at Gator Fred’s

Friday are for friends and second child pay half off, can be your neighbor, sibling, cousin or someone you just met at the parking lot. Pay one regular admission and second kid pay only half price!

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017, 10:00 am –  8:00 pm
  • Location: 5360 Ehrlich Rd Tampa, Florida, FL 33624
  • Cost: 2nd child 1/2 off admission
  • Website: gatorfredsfacebook.com

Open Play Time at Bounce Boy

Enjoy open play at Bounce Boy’s indoor party space.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017, 10:00 am –  5:00 pm
  • Location: 5008 E. 10th Avenue Tampa, Fl 33619
  • Cost: $9 per child
  • Website: bounceboy.net

Morning Movies at Riverview 14 GDX – Lego Batman Movie

Those belonging to our Frequent Moviegoer Rewards (FMG) will be able to see any movie in the series free-of-charge when they present their FMG card at the box office. Each member will get up to 6 free admissions with their FMG card per show. Non-members will be charged $1.00 per ticket. It’s easy to become an FMG member for FREE today or at the theater!

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017, 10:00 am
  • Location: Riverview 14 GDX 10550 East Bay Rd. Gibsonton, FL 33534
  • Cost: Free for FMG Members, all others $1.00
  • Website: goodrichtheaters.com

Michael’s Camp Creativity

Michaels invites you on a summer crafting journey. Featuring Disney Family Crafts Kits. MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS. New theme each week. Space is limited, so be sure to register.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: see website for your location
  • Cost: $5 PER SESSION OR $12 FOR 3 SESSIONS
  • Website: michaels.com

Ken Spanola’s FunTastic Magic Show at Charles J. Fendig Public Library

This fun magic show will dazzle and amaze!
For grades K-5.
Funded by the friends of the Charles J. Fendig Library.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Location: 3909 W. Neptune St. Tampa, FL 33629-5815
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Lucky Cat Yoga: ABCs and 123s of Yoga at Bloomingdale Regional Library

Kids benefit from yoga too! Lucky Cat Yoga introduces yoga to toddlers using basic yoga postures. Bring a towel or yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing. For ages 2-5.
Funded by the Friends of the Bloomingdale Regional Library.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Location: Bloomingdale Regional Public Library – 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. Valrico, FL 33596-6204
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

The Prince and the Pea at Jan Kaminis Platt Library

What is a fairy tale king to do when it’s time for his daughter to marry? He places a pea under 100 mattresses to find a prince sensitive enough to deserve such a beautiful princess! But what happens when each potential suitor fails to discover the pea? This new adaptation is full of comedic hijinks as two actors frantically portray over a dozen roles! For ages 5 and up.
Presented by Creative Arts Theatre Company, the City of Tampa’s professional theater for young audiences.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017, 10:30 am – 11:15 am and 3:30 pm
  • Location: 3910 S. Manhattan Ave. Tampa, FL 33611
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Pre-Teen Build a Better World at Land O Lakes Branch Library

Join us every Friday this summer at 2pm for a summer reading club program for grades 4-7.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017,  2:00 pm –  3:00 pm
  • Location: Land O’Lakes Library – 2818 Collier Parkway Land O’Lakes, FL 34639
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: pasco.org

Books We Love to Sing at Town ‘N Country Regional Public Library

Listen and participate as Christine VanHorn and her guitar lead this interactive musical experience, bringing classic children’s books and songs to life. For grades K-5. Groups must register in advance by emailing Rodrigo Díaz at diazr@hillsboroughcounty.org .

Funded by the Friends of the Town ‘N Country Regional Library.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017,  2:30 pm –  3:30 pm
  • Location: 7606 Paula Dr., Suite 120 Tampa, FL 33615
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Fritzy Brothers “One Man” Circus at Jimmie B. Keel Library

Get ready to laugh hysterically and be entertained through juggling, unicycling and other fantastic circus activities.
For grades K-5.
Funded by the Friends of the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017,  2:30 pm
  • Location: Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library – 2902 W. Bearss Ave. Tampa, FL 33618
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Disney Store Summer Play Days

Summer Play Days is back! Join us at your local Disney Store every day at 3pm this summer for interactive events and activities. Plus, participate in each Wednesday’s event and you’ll receive a FREE embroidered patch.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017,  3:00 pm
  • Location: Visit website to find the location closest to you.
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: disneystore.com

Family Fun Nights at Sky Zone

Tuesday thru Friday come to Sky Zone for our Family Fun Nights…. 4 Sixty Minute Jump Passes / 4 pairs of Sky Socks / 4 Fountain Drinks / 1 Large Pizza. Offer not valid during Special Events, Glow or Spring Break.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017,  3:00 pm –  7:00 pm
  • Location: Sky Zone Tampa 10137 E Adamo Dr, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: $59.99 – family 4 pack
  • Website: skyzone.com

Fourth Friday in Downtown Tampa

A monthly celebration of Downtown Tampa’s rich arts and culture scene! An evening of special offerings and programs by cultural venues, restaurants & more! Free admission or special offers at participating cultural venues. Live local music at multiple locations. Special food and drink deals from participating downtown restaurants and bars. Please visit the website for this months special offers & participating venues & restaurants.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017,  4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: Multiple Locations in and around Downtown Tampa’s River Walk.
  • Cost: See website for details
  • Website: 4thfriday.com

Sunset Celebration at Lowry Park Zoo

Experience the sunset like never before – during Sunset Celebration at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. Join us every Friday and Saturday night this summer. See wildlife in a whole new light, enjoy entertaining activities for the whole family and indulge in tasty, one of a kind dishes created by the Zoo’s rockstar chef. Choose from a variety of refreshments, including craft beer, wines, frozen drinks and Coca-Cola products. Cap off the evening with an amazing “Wild Lights” finale!

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017,  4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, Florida 33604
  • Cost: General Admission. Free for members.
  • Website: lowryparkzoo.org

Free Community Hours at the Campo YMCA Splash Pad

Come out to the campo Y and cool off in the splash pad.  There are also 2 giant waterslides.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Location: Campo Y, 3414 Culbreath Rd. Valrico, FL 33596
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: tampaymca.org

Tampa Yankees vs. Dunedin Blue Jays

Olympic Day. Wing Deal Friday: Enjoy $10 all you can eat chicken wings from 6:30pm-8:30pm.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017,  7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: George M. Steinbrenner Field 1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa, Florida 33614
  • Cost: Tickets start at $7.30 each
  • Website: milb.com

Movie on the Green: Hidden Figures at the Glazer Museum

Play in the museum until 8pm then celebrate girls & women with a free screening of Hidden Figures under the stars.

  • When: Friday, June 23, 2017,  8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: 110 W Gasparilla Plz, Tampa, Florida 33602
  • Cost: Free Movie
  • Website: glazer.org

 

Saturday, June 24, 2017 Events

 

National Day of Play at Gymboree Play & Music

You’re invited to attend our 2nd Annual National Day of Play on Saturday, June 24th. Here’s a day for you and your friends to enjoy complimentary play, art, music activities all day long including refreshments and more!
Join the party as we celebrate PLAY! Plus, enter to win our raffle give-away filled with $150 of Gymboree fun.

  • When: Saturday, June 24, 2017,  9:00 am –  4:00 pm
  • Location: 3309 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, Florida 33629
  • Cost: This event is FREE!
  • Website: facebook.com

Annual Youth Baking Contest at Jimmie B. Keel Library

Your favorite dessert could make you a winner in the Annual Youth Baking Contest!
Two age groups- 5-10 and 11-17. Prizes given for First, Second and Third place winners, plus special awards for Most Unusual, Best Tasting and Best Library Theme.

Contest rules and permission slips available at the Library.

  • When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 10:00 am –  4:00 pm
  • Location: Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library – 2902 W. Bearss Ave. Tampa, FL 33618
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

USF Botanical Gardens Summer Plant Festival

The USF Botanical Gardens is having the Summer Plant Festival on June 24, from 10:00 to 4:00 and June 25; from 10:00 to 3:00.
Vendors will be selling rare and popular fruit trees, and advice on how to grow them. There will be vendors with hundreds of blooming butterfly plants, tropical and exotic plants, such as Orchids, Gingers, Plumeria and Bromeliads. Native plants, butterfly plants and herbs will be available from growers who can share growing secrets and hints, all in a festive atmosphere. Too hot to plant? Come for the talks: Saturday; 11:00 is Native Plant Talk, Noon is the Butterfly talk and tour.. Sunday at noon is a Beekeeping Basics and Apiary tour. Check our website for list of all speakers.
Children under 12 get in free with free Children’s Activity Area.
June 25 offers a Pepper Beauty Contest, the tasteful beauty contest. Any one who brings a decorated pepper to enter into the Pepper Beauty Contest gets in free on Sunday. Prizes and glory for participants.

  • When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 10:00 am –  4:00 pm
  • Location: 12210 USF Pine Dr. Tampa, 33620
  • Cost: Admission is $5. Garden members and children under twelve years old are admitted free. Parking is free
  • Website: usf.edu

Family Summer Camp at Bass Pro Shops

The FREE FUN of Family Summer Camp Returns! Saturday, June 24th to Sunday, July 23rd. Thursday, Saturday & Sunday Only…..12 Noon – 5 PM

Workshops at 12 PM, 1 PM, 2 PM & 3 PM
Food Sampling!
Fun Games, Activities and Crafts (while supplies last)!
Archery and BB Gun Range!
Kids’ Fishing in our Outside Pond……Saturday & Sunday, July 1-2

  • When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 12:00 pm –  5:00 pm
  • Location: 10501 Palm River Rd, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: basspro.com

Park Rangers Present Nature 101: Ant Lions & Insects

In this hour long Nature 101 class, the Park Rangers will teach all about the life cycle of the fascinating Ant Lion and other insects. Then we’ll go on an “Ant Lion Hunt” and see what we can find!
-THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO-
*Offered two times on Saturday and Sunday
Choose the time and day that best fits into your schedule
*All ages welcome
*$5 per child, but parents are free
*$2 per car park entrance fee-BRING-
*Water
*Snack
*Bug repellant
*Closed-toe shoes
*Sunscreen
  • When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm
  • Location: Lettuce Lake Regional Park6920 E Fletcher Ave, Tampa, Florida 33637
  • Cost: $5 per child, but parents are free and $2 per car park entrance fee
  • Website: hcflgov.net    facebook.com

Family Field Day at Pioneer Fl Museum & Village

When was the last time you had fun as a family? Get your competitive spirit on and join us for our first annual family field day. We will have classic events such as sack races, relay races, and much more. This event is FREE and fun for the whole family! ​
-Bounce House
-Face Painting
-Music
-Food
-Games
-Prizes
-Free museum entry
-Giveaways and more… ​
We will be collecting non-perishable foods, clothing, shoes, and toiletries to support our selected charities: Bright Hopes and Sunrise of Pasco County.

  • When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 12:00 pm –  3:00 pm
  • Location: Florida Pioneer Museum, 15602 Pioneer Museum Rd, Dade City, Fl 33523
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: cmafamilyfieldday.com

Moana Meet and Greet at Learning Express Citrus Park

Moana will be visiting Learning Express Toys! Children will have the opportunity to meet Moana and have their picture taken with her!

  • When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
  • Location: Learning Express Toys of Citrus Park7814 Citrus Park Town Center Mall, Tampa, Florida 33625
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: facebook.com

Tampa Yankees vs. Dunedin Blue Jays with Fireworks and a FREE movie

The Tampa Yankees will honor the 25th anniversary of the film “A League of Their Own” on Saturday, June 24th at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Fans are invited to witness a Women’s Baseball game featuring two of the nation’s top amateur teams, the East Coast Yankees and the New England Women Red Sox, as they face off at 3:00 p.m.

Players and coaches will be wearing custom “A League of Their Own” jerseys when the T-Yanks take on the Dunedin Blue Jays at 6:30 p.m. Fans are able to bid on the jerseys in a silent auction at the game, while others will be auctioned online at tampayankees.milbauctions.com, with the proceeds benefiting the Women’s Sports Museum.

A fireworks show will follow the conclusion of the game. Afterwards, fans will be invited onto the outfield grass to watch the movie, “A League of Their Own,” on the video board.

Salute to Service Members Saturday: All Military receive a FREE upper reserved ticket with valid I.D. Player autographs on the concourse from 5:40pm-6:00pm

  • When: Saturday, June 24, 2017,  2:30 pm –  9:30 pm
  • Location: George M. Steinbrenner Field 1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa, Florida 33614
  • Cost: Tickets start at $7.30 each
  • Website: milb.com

Super Science at Lutz Community Center

Always revolving, never stopping! Rocket into space for a wild ride around the sun with hands-on discovery stations along the way.
For grades K – 5. Limit of 50 children plus their caregivers. Check in at the reference desk after 2 p.m.
Funded by the Friends of the Lutz Branch Library.

  • When: Saturday, June 24, 2017,  3:00 pm –  4:00 pm
  • Location: 98 1st Ave NW, Lutz, FL 33548
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Sunset Celebration at Lowry Park Zoo

Experience the sunset like never before – during Sunset Celebration at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. Join us every Friday and Saturday night this summer. See wildlife in a whole new light, enjoy entertaining activities for the whole family and indulge in tasty, one of a kind dishes created by the Zoo’s rockstar chef. Choose from a variety of refreshments, including craft beer, wines, frozen drinks and Coca-Cola products. Cap off the evening with an amazing “Wild Lights” finale

  • When: Saturday, June 24, 2017,  4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, Florida 33604
  • Cost: General Admission. Free for members
  • Website: lowryparkzoo.org

Summertime in the City at Sims Park with movie

The City of New Port Richey Parks and Recreation Department Youth Advisory Board presents “Summertime in the City”, a family festival that promises fun for everyone! Your $5 wrist band gets you a dunk tank, water slide and much much more! The Lego Batman Movie follows immediately after right there in Sims Park so plan on taking in both events!

  • When: Saturday, June 24, 2017,  5:00 pm –  8:00 pm
  • Location: 5547 Main Street, New Port Richey, Florida 34652
  • Cost: $5 wrist band
  • Website: facebook.com

 

Sunday, June 25, 2017 Events

 

Toddler Time at Sky Zone

Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to discover the joy of being active, bouncing under the supervision of their parents, and without interference from the big kids.

  • When: Sunday, June 25, 2017,  9:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Location: Sky Zone Tampa 10137 E Adamo Dr, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: Toddler $12.99 and one adult jumps Free
  • Website: skyzone.com

Family Summer Camp at Bass Pro Shops

The FREE FUN of Family Summer Camp Returns! Saturday, June 24th to Sunday, July 23rd. Thursday, Saturday & Sunday Only…..12 Noon – 5 PM
Workshops at 12 PM, 1 PM, 2 PM & 3 PM
Food Sampling!
Fun Games, Activities and Crafts (while supplies last)!
Archery and BB Gun Range!
Kids’ Fishing in our Outside Pond……Saturday & Sunday, July 1-2

  • When: Sunday, June 25, 2017, 12:00 pm –  5:00 pm
  • Location: 10501 Palm River Rd, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: basspro.com

Harbour Island Art Walk

Along “Tampa’s Waterfront”, you will find Florida’s tropical traditions taking place year after year. It’s where people shop, eat and socialize. Our beautiful waterways serve as the hub of everything important to the community. Disguised as street festivals & art walks, you’ll want to find our “gem of a show”! Take a stroll down Tampa’s Riverwalk Waterfront where you’ll find live music, unique one-of-a-kind art, handcrafted gifts, jewelry, home & garden collectibles, specialty foods and treasures for someone special!

  • When: Sunday, June 25, 2017, 12:00 pm –  5:00 pm
  • Location: Outdoors on the Waterfront 800 Post Harbour Drive Tampa, FL 33602
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: harbourislandartwalk.com

Glow In The Dark Public Skate At United Skates

Glow In The Dark Public Skate, Cosmic Skating! Hottest Hits like 93.3 FLZ

  • When: Sunday, June 25, 2017,  1:00 pm –  4:00 pm
  • Location: 5121 North Armenia Avenue, Tampa, FL 33603
  • Cost: $9 includes regular skate rental/ $10 includes inline or speed skate rental/$6 with your own skates
  • Website: unitedskates.com

Slime Sunday at Michaels

Join us for our free Slime Sunday, June 25 from 1 – 3 pm local time. Make a slime stress ball or customize slime. We’ll provide all the supplies, including pre-made slime. Age 3 and up welcome. All Michaels stores.
Please check with your local store regarding rescheduling if they are closed on Sunday.

  • When: Sunday, June 25, 2017,  1:00pm – 3:00 pm
  • Location: see website for your local store
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: facebook.com

 Block Party at Bloomingdale Regional Library

Kids use Lego building blocks to have a fun, interactive and creative afternoon. The library provides the Legos; kids provide the imagination!

  • When: Sunday, June 25, 2017,  2:00 pm –  4:00 pm
  • Location: Bloomingdale Regional Public Library – 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. Valrico, FL 33596-6204
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Community Lecture: Jaws! The Feeding Biology of Sharks

Come join us as USF Professor of Biology, Philip J. Motta, provides an illustated talk that discusses the feeding mechanics of sharks and bony fishes, bite foce, and strike speed! Dr. Motta’s research has been featured on Discovery television, Animal Planet, the BBC, and the Daily Planet TV series.

  • When: Sunday, June 25, 2017,  2:00 pm –  3:15 pm
  • Location: 1101 E River Cove St, Tampa, FL 33604
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: sulphursprings.org

Written By: Shineta A.

If you or your business has a family friendly event that you would like posted, please email me at shinetaarmour@yahoo.com.  In subject line please put Everyday moms events. Thanks.

 

 

4th of July Crafts and Activities

 

Happy-4th-Of-July-Pictures-1

What are your plans this 4th of July? Throwing a party? Staying home? Heading out to huddle with the masses and watch the sky light up? Whatever it may be start it off with a craft or fun activity! I have saved you from heading down the Pinterest rabbit hole and added some links to activities here! There are links here for everyone and all ages. You may even have the supplies at home for most of these.

DIY Patriotic Flower Pot This one is cute! Use the flower pot to hold crayons, markers or pencils. Or Plant pretty flowers and watch them Grow…. and then die:-)

Straw Fireworks So simple!

Patriotic Handprint Keepsake Adorable. I love the t-shirt idea. Great idea to do every year and see how much bigger their hands are. The little foot prints for a Baby’s first 4th is cute as well.

Confetti Poppers Such a fun way to make a mess! Better then handing them a sparkler and ending up in the ER with burns.

Paint Stick Flag Free paint sticks from home depot… WIN WIN! You can also do smaller ones with popsicle sticks.

Paper towel Roll Fireworks painting This one because I know some of us have been saving these rolls for years and need to use them!

Bean Bag Toss This will keep them occupied for at least 10 minutes.

Chalk Art Photos So cute and for the moms not afraid of a pinterest fail hehehe

4th-of-july-Subway-Art-8x10

Have a Happy and Safe 4th!!!

Suzette Foister

SHAM, Homeschooler, Wife, Owner/Artist of BringYourOwnCanvas

 

Weekend Events June 2 – 4

Everyday Moms

Friday, June 2, 2017 Events

Open Play For Kids at K Peas

Open play is a wonderful experience for parents and toddlers. It is a time for spontaneous fun and play. Moms meet other moms. Kids make friends and play together. Open play is relaxed and fun. Your sweet pea will love it! You are welcome to bring in food during open play. Open play is a great way to get introduced to K Peas Place. Walk-ins are welcome. (ages 0-5yrs)
Relaxed fun
Spontaneous fun
Make friends
Set up play dates
Have fun, fun, fun!

  • When: Friday, June 2, 2017,  9:30 am –  3:30 pm
  • Location: 13966 Lynmar Blvd, Tampa Fl, 33626
  • Cost: $15 per family drop in
  • Website: kpeasplace.com

National Donut Day Craft at Learning Express Toys – South Tampa

Come celebrate National Donut Day by joining us in a free Donut craft! The first craft will be at 10AM. Don’t worry if you can’t make it in the morning! We’ll get right back into crafting at 3pm. We’ll have donuts for all and a coffee pick-me-up for the parents.

  • When: Friday, June 2, 2017, 10:00 am and 3:00 pm
  • Location: 1910 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, Florida 33629
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: facebook.com

Creating Digital Art With Fresh Paint Microsoft Store – International Plaza

In this free hands-on 1 hour camp, students 8–12 will learn to create and share their own digital art with the Fresh Paint app for Windows 10. They’ll explore the basics of Fresh Paint, using lifelike oil and watercolors, pastels, and more to craft their own creations. They’ll also get a sneak peek of advanced digital art skills like mixing paint and layering media. Activities will focus on learning through experience and peer-to-peer learning, and themes may be based on upcoming seasons and special events.
At the end of the camp, participants will:
•Be familiar with the creative possibilities of digital drawing and painting
•Have experience with the Fresh Paint layout and tools
•Create original artwork and share it with peers
•Learn how to share their art with the swipe of a finger

Register today to reserve your seat at microsoft.com/youthsparkcamp

  • When: Friday, June 2, 2017, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: 2223 N. West Shore Blvd Tampa, FL 33607
  • Cost:FREE but you must register online
  • Website: microsoft.com

Coral Reef Shark Attack

Come learn about the wonders of the ocean and its greatest predator and where it lives. Special hours Wednesday thru Saturday 10:00 – 4:00 and Sunday 12P – 4:00 pm. Fun activities, open to the public! Coral reef and hammer head shark exhibit and hands-on activities.

  • When: Friday, June 2, 2017, 12:00 pm –  4:00 pm
  • Location: 1101 E River Cove St, Tampa, FL 33604
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: sulphurspringsmuseum.org

Friday Skate Sessions at Skateland

Summer skate session are going on now. Bring the kids out and let them have some fun!

  • When: Friday, June 2, 2017, 12:00 pm –  3:30 pm
  • Location: 750 W Robertson ST, Brandon FL
  • Cost: $6.50 pp
  • Website: skateland.com

Family Fun Nights at Sky Zone

Tuesday thru Friday come to Sky Zone for our Family Fun Nights…. 4 Sixty Minute Jump Passes / 4 pairs of Sky Socks / 4 Fountain Drinks / 1 Large Pizza. Offer not valid during Special Events, Glow or Spring Break.

  • When: Friday, June 2, 2017,  3:00 pm –  7:00 pm
  • Location: Sky Zone Tampa 10137 E Adamo Dr, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: $59.99 – family 4 pack
  • Website: skyzone.com

$5 Fridays At United Skates

$5 Fridays Are Back This Summer! Starting Friday June 2nd. Non-skating parents admitted free. No stay-overs between sessions.

Admission: $5.00 per person
Skate Rental: Regular skate rental included
Rollerblade Rental: $4.00

  • When: Friday, June 2, 2017,  5:00 pm –  7:30 pm
  • Location: 5121 North Armenia Avenue, Tampa, FL 33603
  • Cost: $5.00 per person
  • Website: unitedskates.com

Summer Luau – Parent’s Night Out at My Gym Brandon

Parent’s enjoy the night out and your Kids will too! Kids attend this drop- off event with over 3 hours of FUN themed activities: Themed ARTS-n-Craft, Gymnastics, tumbling, Luau zip line rides PLUS Pizza!

  • When: Friday, June 2, 2017,  6:30 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: 2060 Badlands Drive, Brandon, FL 33511
  • Cost: Members – $30; Nonmembers $33. Sibling discounts available
  • Website: mygym.com

Free Community Hours at Campo Y Splash Pad

Enjoy free play at the splash pad and waterslides.

  • When: Friday, June 2, 2017, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Location: Campo Family Y, 3414 Culbreath Rd. Valrico, FL 33596
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: campoy.org

Glow Zone at Sky Zone

We’re different after dark. Lasers, music and blacklight transform the whole park and even your party into a crazy jumping dance club. Flips are limited to Foam Zone during Glow. Waivers are required for all persons entering the park during Glow.

  • When: Friday, June 2, 2017,  7:00 pm – 11:59 pm
  • Location: Sky Zone Tampa 10137 E Adamo Dr, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: $19.99 for two hours
  • Website: skyzone.com

Movie in the Park “Tooth Fairy” at Land O’ Lakes Community Center

Come out to a of showing “Tooth Fairy” at  “Movie in the Park” event on Friday, June 2, 2017 starting at 7:00 pm. This is a perfect chance to relax and enjoy a safe and special night under the stars with your family for free! Call us at (813) 929-1229 if you need more information.

  • When: Friday, June 2, 2017,  7:00 pm –  8:30 pm
  • Location: 5401 Land O Lakes Blvd, Land o’ Lakes, Florida 34639
  • Cost: Free

Finding Neverland at the Straz Center

FINDING NEVERLAND is Broadway’s biggest new hit and the winner of Broadway.com’s Audience Choice Award for BEST MUSICAL! This breathtaking smash “captures the kid-at-heart” (Time). Vogue cheers, “it’s a must-see you’ll remember for years to come!”

  • When: Friday, June 2, 2017,  8:00 pm
  • Location: Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa, FL 33602
  • Cost: Tickets start at $31.00
  • Website: strazcenter.org

Saturday, June 3, 2017 Events

Family Fun Farmers Market at A Land of Delight

Join us this Saturday for a Day of fun for the whole family in the great outdoors. There are lots of animals to see, including Emily’s new adorable pink-toenailed pig Penny, Elliott’s emu’s Thunder and Lightning, miniature Zebu cows, dwarf goats, adorable bunnies, Merlin the Magnificent Pony and more. Ice cold Lemonade and Ice cold coconut water to quench your thirst!

With the Farm-to-Table selection, we keep it REAL at A Land of Delight Natural Farm – no GMOs! There are fresh greens to pick from the garden (a Juicing Paradise), delicious free samples to try and much more, so come on out, bring a friend, and have a great time at A Land of Delight.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017,  8:00 am –  5:00 pm
  • Location: 2514 Leaning Pine Ln, Plant City, Florida 33565
  • Cost: Free Admission

School’s Out Jam All Ages Contest presented by Huf

SCHOOL’S OUT JAM ALL AGES CONTEST PRESENTED BY HUF. COME SKATE WITH AUSTYN GILLETTE, BRAD CROMER AND JAKE ANDERSON!

DIVISIONS
• 8 & Under / 9-12 / 13-15 / 16 & Up / Sponsored
• Prizes awarded 1st – 5th in each division.

CONTEST DETAILS
• 8:00am – Open practice & registration
• 10:30am – Contest starts (8 & Under first)
• Free BBQ for contestants
• Don’t forget: SPoT Free Fridays is the day before. SPoT Members skate free all day!

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017,  8:00 am –  9:00 pm
  • Location: Skatepark of Tampa 4215 E Columbus Dr, Tampa, Florida 33605
  • Cost: • Entry fee is $25 in advance / $30 day of
  • Website: facebook.com

Home Depot Kids Workshop – Tic Tac Toe Game 

Join our hands-on workshop and you and your child can get to work on a wood craft project. Once the project is built, your child can paint it in their favorite color. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Children must be present at the store to participate in the workshop and receive the kit, apron and pin.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017,  9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: View site to locate your local Home Depot
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: homedepot.com

TOUCH-A-TRUCK at Zephyrhills Public Library

Kick-off the summer with some cool vehicles! Vehicles of all types will fill the parking lot around City Hall and the Library as kids get to touch and climb on vehicles typically seen from far away. Youngsters become the judges and their votes determine the top three trophy winners! Sign up for the Summer Reading Club, Start a horn war, participate in a basic mechanics class and more! Speed into summer @ your Zephyrhills Library!

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017,  9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: 5347 8th Street Zephyrhills, FL 33542
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: pasco.org

Largo Central Railroad Public Runs

The first full weekend of each month, The Largo Central Railroad provides free public runs of their mini train.
The train tracks cover 1.2 miles through the beautiful Largo Central Park. Train hours are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the first Saturday and Sunday of the month. Children must be at least one years old to ride. Pregnant women can not ride the trains due to insurance regulations.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 10:00 am –  4:00 pm
  • Location: Largo Central Park 101 Central Park Dr Largo, FL 33771
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: lcrailroad.com

Build a Better World: Summer Festival

Start summer off with a bang at the Seminole Heights Branch Library’s Summer Fest! Join us for a free, fun, family event featuring face painting, robotics, games, music, food and much more! Sponsored by the Friends of the Seminole Heights Library and Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 10:00 am –  2:00 pm
  • Location: 4711 Central Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33603
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: hcplc.org

MILO: Mobile Interactive Literacy Opportunity! at Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library

Join us for a fun-filled day of interactive activities to encourage and celebrate a love of reading and school success! Activities include: Reading circles, arts & crafts, a technology station and FREE BOOKS (while supplies last)! Plus a meet-and-greet with a special PBS Kids character guest! For ages 3-8 and their caregivers.

MILO is brought to you in partnership with WEDU, the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, and the Junior League of Tampa.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 10:00 am –  1:00 pm
  • Location: 1505 Nebraska Ave. Tampa, Florida 33602-2849
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Michaels Kids Club Saturday Crafts – Kids Club® Sprout® Flip Book

Kids 3 and up can enjoy a quick project. New craft project each week. Sign up in store, online or just drop in. Parent or guardian must remain on premises. Supplies are included. Please see website to find a location near you.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: At participating Micheal’s locations.
  • Cost: $2 per child
  • Website: michaels.com

Summer Festival at Seminole Heights Branch Library

Kick off the summer with a day of FREE family fun! Build a robot, create a take home craft, get your face painted, listen to storytellers, or enjoy some music.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 10:00 am –  2:00 pm
  • Location: 4711 Central Ave. Tampa, FL 33603-3905
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Lakeshore Learning Crafts For Kids – Hoppin’ Froggy Friend 

Our Free Crafts for Kids event will be held at all Lakeshore Learning locations. Kids have a blast creating a new craft project every Saturday!

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 11:00 am –  3:00 pm
  • Location: 4501 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33609
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: lakeshorelearning.com

Wonder Woman Day at the Library

Celebrate 75 years of Wonder Woman just in time for her solo feature film! Have fun with trivia and games, and explore a great selection of comics in honor of the Princess of Themyscira. No registration required. #WonderWomanDay

  •  When: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: John F Germany Library, 900 North Ashley Drive, Tampa, Florida
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: hcplc.org

Storytime at Barnes & Noble

Join us for this fun-filled Storytime with activities to follow.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 11:00 am
  • Location: Multiple Locations – Visit website to find store near you.
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: barnesandnoble.com

Coral Reef Shark Attack

Come learn about the wonders of the ocean and its greatest predator and where it lives. Special hours Wednesday thru Saturday 10:00 – 4:00 and Sunday 12P – 4:00 pm. Fun activities, open to the public! Coral reef and hammer head shark exhibit and hands-on activities.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 12:00 pm –  4:00 pm
  • Location: 1101 E River Cove St, Tampa, FL 33604
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: sulphurspringsmuseum.org

FREE 2nd Annual SummerPalooza at the Y

School’s out for summer! Come celebrate with us at our 2nd Annual SummerPalooza!! Join us Saturday, June 3rd from 1pm -4pm! This EPIC pool party is FREE and open to the community, so make sure to invite your friends and family!
We will have music, entertainment, food, games, prizes and SO MUCH MORE! This is just the start of the SummerPalooza FUN! Click the link below for more information and to see all of the family fun going on all summer long!

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Location: Local YMCA, visit website for your local y
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: ymca.org

Make Your Own Slime at Learning Express Toys of Brandon

Have fun making your own slime. Free event. Reservation required. Call the store to reserve a spot.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017,  2:00 pm –  3:00 pm
  • Location: Westfield-Brandon Mall 670 Brandon Town Center Mall Brandon, FL 33551
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: facebook.com

Cyber Bowling Kid’s Matinee at Pin Chasers Midtown

Cyber Bowling is the fusion of high energy entertainment and bowling where anything is possible and everyone has fun. Great music and club lighting create a glowing, nightclub-like atmosphere. Whether it’s our special engagement DJ’s, music theme nights or our weekly request driven program, cyber bowling will be an exciting night for all.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017,  2:30 pm –  4:30 pm
  • Location: Pin Chasers Midtown, 4847 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa, Florida 33603
  • Cost: See Website
  • Website: pinchasers.net

Summer Reading Kickoff featuring Jiggleman at Bruton Memorial Library

It’s summer time! Come celebrate with us at our summer reading kickoff party! At 3 PM Get ready to laugh out loud and be amazed by the jumping, joking and juggling JiggleMan! Stay after the show for fun activities, refreshments and to get registered for our children’s Summer Reading Club and start your journey to AWESOME prizes! Bonnie, our reading therapy dog, will be joining the party and available for sharing snuggles and books with. There will also be make and take puppet crafts courtesy of Bits ‘N Pieces Puppet Theatre and much more! For children of all ages.

Funded by the Friends of the Bruton Memorial Library.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017,  3:00 pm –  5:00 pm
  • Location: Bruton Memorial Library 302 McLendon Street Plant City, FL 33563
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: plantcity.gov

Summer Classics: Sing-Along Beauty and the Beast

It’s a tale not quite as old as time, but pretty close — based on a French fairy tale first published in the 1700s, the love story Beauty and the Beast followed The Little Mermaid in Disney’s effort to revitalize their lagging animation studio. The magic worked once again; the bookish Belle, the brooding Beast, their growing love despite the circumstances that stand in the way, and all the hilarious villagers (and furniture, and tableware) that populate the film’s world are fixed in our hearts forever. But the coup de grâce was, of course, the score. Good thing you remember all the songs by heart, because these are special sing-along presentations! Follow along with the lyrics on screen and belt out the songs right alongside the Belle and the rest.

1h 24m / Rated G / Animated Sing-Along

The Summer Classics Movie Series is presented by Bank of America. Media support is provided by WEDU-PBS.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017,  3:00 pm –  4:30 pm
  • Location: Tampa Theatre 711 N Franklin St, Tampa, Florida 33602
  • Cost: $10.00
  • Website: tampatheatre.org

Summer Movie at the Library- Sing!

Beat the heat and enjoy a movie on the library’s big screen.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017,  3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Location: 78 st Library, 7625 Palm River Road, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: hcplc.org

Summer Concert Series “Surf’s Up Tour, Beach Boy’s Tribute at Sims Park

The City of New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center presents their Summer Concert Series in Sims Park. First in the series is “Surf’s Up Tour, Beach Boys Tribute” so bring your beach blankets, your favorite friends and celebrate summer with the great summer songs we all know and love!
Limited seating is provided so please feel free to bring your own chairs.

  • When: Saturday, June 3, 2017,  7:00 pm –  8:30 pm
  • Location: 5547 Main Street, New Port Richey, Florida 34652
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: facebook.com

Sunday, June 4, 2017 Events

Sunday in the Park – Largo

Join us for “Sunday in the Park” a family fun day offering picnic seating, live entertainment, Largo Railroad and train rides, pop up shopping event, large kids fun area and food fair.

  • When: Sunday, June 4, 2017,  8:00 am –  5:00 pm
  • Location: City of Largo Largo Central Park 101 Central Park Dr, Largo, Florida 33771
  • Cost: Free Admission
  • Website: facebook.com

Sensory Sensitive Sundays at Chuck E. Cheese’s Brandon and Wesley Chapel

Chuck E. Cheese’s is proud to support families who have children with autism and special needs. We now offer a sensory-friendly experience on the first Sunday of every month. Our trained and caring staff is there to make sure each guest has a fun filled visit.

The Sensory Sensitive Sundays experience includes:
1. Less crowding and noise
2. Dimmed lighting
3. Show and music turned off or down
4. Limited appearances by Chuck E.
5. Food and games are offered

  • When: Sunday, June 4, 2017,  9:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Location: 1540 W BRANDON BLVD, BRANDON, FL 33511 and 6170 WESLEY GROVE BLVD., WESLEY CHAPEL, FL 33544
  • Cost: Menu Prices
  • Website: chuckecheese.com

Build A Better World: Cardboard Challenge at Jimmie B. Keel Library

Celebrate the first day of summer reading, and build anything out of cardboard that your mind can imagine! Cardboard and craft supplies will be provided, or bring your own.

  • When: Sunday, June 4, 2017,  2:00 pm –  4:00 pm
  • Location: 2902 W. Bearss Ave. Tampa, FL 33618
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Family Game Day at Learning Express Toys – South Tampa

Round up the family and come join us for a Sunday Funday! It’s Family Game Day here at Learning Express! We will have games for all ages, so no one will be left out. Let’s have some fun!

  • When: Sunday, June 4, 2017,  2:00 pm –  5:00 pm
  • Location: 1910 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, Florida 33629
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: facebook.com

Let’s Play Board Games at North Tampa Branch Library

Board games are fun for all ages, providing an opportunity for positive interactions, improving concentration, building thinking skills and reducing stress.

Funded by the Friends of the North Tampa Branch Library

  • When: Sunday, June 4, 2017,  2:00 pm –  5:00 pm
  • Location: 8916 North Blvd. Tampa, FL 33604-1209
  • Cost: Free.
  • Website: hcplc.org

Summer Classics: Sing-Along Beauty and the Beast

It’s a tale not quite as old as time, but pretty close — based on a French fairy tale first published in the 1700s, the love story Beauty and the Beast followed The Little Mermaid in Disney’s effort to revitalize their lagging animation studio. The magic worked once again; the bookish Belle, the brooding Beast, their growing love despite the circumstances that stand in the way, and all the hilarious villagers (and furniture, and tableware) that populate the film’s world are fixed in our hearts forever. But the coup de grâce was, of course, the score. Good thing you remember all the songs by heart, because these are special sing-along presentations! Follow along with the lyrics on screen and belt out the songs right alongside the Belle and the rest.

Before the Sunday screening, Summer Classics presenting sponsor Bank of America is giving away FREE 4×6″ commemorative photos with Belle in the lobby, starting at 2:00pm. Just pose against the green screen with the princess, appearing courtesy of Parties With Character, and watch as you’re magically inserted into a scene from the movie!

Doors and bar open at 2:00pm

The Summer Classics Movie Series is presented by Bank of America. Media support is provided by WEDU-PBS.

  • When: Sunday, June 4, 2017,  3:00 pm –  4:30 pm
  • Location: Tampa Theatre 711 N Franklin St, Tampa, Florida 33602
  • Cost: $10.00
  • Website: tampatheatre.org

Life’s a Beach – Unless You’re a Mom Headed to the Beach with Your Littles Alone

So you’re headed to the beach with your tiny village of miniature you’s and you’re thinking “I think I can, I think I can” while also thinking “don’t forget the damn sunscreen!”.  Those trips to the beach without your significant other are tough. Only the strong survive – but you CAN do it!

Yep – we have all done it! Made it all the way to the beach with only one arm floaty. It might be one of the most self defeating feelings on the planet. How could I do that? This is going to be a tough day! 

The good news is you can get through it, with very little issues – but preparation is a MUST! Here are a few tips to get yourself through all those trips to the beach so your day is (mostly) smooth sailing!


Check lists are a must

It can even be a permanent checklist that you perfect and then laminat but do it BEFORE the day of the trip. Get the kids involved as well. Unless you have triplets that are under 12 months, chances are you can get a few good suggestions from them for the check list – things you may not have thought of until one of your sweet little ones beg for it while you’re basking in the sunlight of the beautiful vitamin D provided by the suns rays!

Cover all your bases 

Necessities, entertainment, snacks, etc? Identify and locate them all! Heck – pack the car the night before if possible! It’s different for every family due to the different stages of life for each child but you know what you need. Think about the previous trips to the beach.. what made it easier? What made it harder? Plan for each! 


Recruit your army

Your kids can help! Anything from making sandwhiches to finding sand toys, you should not do all the work alone. Designate a child, based on their abilities, to a task of some kind. Obviously you wouldn’t ask a two year old to make sandwhiches but they could help gather their floaties or sand toys.  Expect them to contribute and future beach trips will be easier.

Bottom line

Prepare for the unexpected and expected. Change of clothes, sunscreen, towels, food, buckets, chairs, hats bandaids, etc. Oh, and of course the camera for all those amazing memories you’re creating with your little ones –  trust me, they won’t remember the one arm floaty that was forgotten but they will remember the giant sandcastle that was built while the sun was setting on that beautiful summer evening. 

Yummy Summer Grilling Recipes

When the summer months roll around, my family and I live for great grilling meals.  Whether it is easy weeknight dinners or awesome weekend meals with friends and family, our grill gets used at least 3 or 4 times a week.  Plus, it is nice for me to get a break from the kitchen and let my husband do all the work!  So, here are a few of our favorite grilling recipes.  Enjoy and full your belly with yummy goodness! 🙂 Side Note: We only use a gas grill, not a fan of charcoal grilling, so these are recipes for gas grilling.

Perfectly Delicious Hamburgers

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  a pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat a grill for high heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, lightly mix together the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Form into patties. Brush both sides of each patty with some oil, and season with seasoned salt.
  3. Place the patties on the grill and cook about 5-7 mins each side, or longer if you like them well done.
  4. Enjoy with your favorite toppings!

Montreal Peppered Steak

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil for marinade
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce for marinade
  • 2 garlic cloves minced for marinade
  • 4 teaspoons of McCormick grill mates Montreal steak seasoning for marinade
  • 2-3 New York strip steaks or steaks of your choice

Directions:

  1. Mix oil, soy sauce and Steak Seasoning in small bowl. Place steak in large Ziploc plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade from small bowl into bag and  turn to coat well.
  2. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Remove steak from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade.
  3. Grill steak over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until desired doneness.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

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Ingredients:

  • Nonstick nonflammable cooking spray
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ears corn, shucked and cut in half

Directions:

  1. Spray grill with cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium-high heat, 350 to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine the butter, cilantro, salt and pepper in a small bowl with a fork until smooth. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture over each half ear of corn.
  3. Wrap the corn in aluminum foil.
  4. Grill, turning frequently, until the corn is tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

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Ingredients:

  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 teaspoon cumin
  • 12 teaspoon onion powder
  • 12 teaspoon citrus lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 9 slices bacon
  • 18 jumbo shrimp (cleaned and peeled, no tails)

Directions:

  1. Combine butter and spices, add shrimp, stirring to coat the shrimp. Let shrimp marinate for 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Slice bacon in half and cook over medium high heat to render out some fat, keeping bacon flexible. Drain the bacon and pat grease out with a paper towel.
  3. Wrap each piece of shrimp with a piece of bacon. Slide on to skewers.
  4. Grill on a hot grill until shrimp are opaque. Use remainder of marinade to coat  when turning the shrimp.

 Grilled Hawaiian Chicken

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(recipe found on myrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade; place remaining marinade in a zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Chill 4 hours.
  2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade in bag. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; baste with 2 tablespoons reserved marinade. Cook 6 minutes. Turn chicken over; baste with 2 tablespoons reserved marinade. Cook 6 minutes.
  3. Combine rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cilantro.
  4. Serve chicken over rice.

Ginger, Garlic, and Honey Grilled Baby Back Ribs

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(recipe found on rd.com)

Ingredients:

  • 4 racks true baby back ribs (each ¾ to 1 lb.) or 2 racks American baby back ribs (each 2 to 2½ lbs.)
  • 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 piece (2 in.) fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 1 tbs. coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 1 tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. Asian fish sauce or additional soy sauce
 For the dipping sauce
4 tsp. coarse salt (kosher or sea)
4 tsp. white pepper
4 juicy limes, cut in half
Directions:
  1. Prepare ribs and spice paste: If necessary, remove thin, papery membrane from back of each rack of ribs (some stores sell baby backs with membrane removed). If using larger racks of ribs, cut each rack in half. Place ribs in nonreactive baking dish just large enough to hold them in single layer.
  2. Place garlic, ginger, sugar, 1 tbs. salt, and black pepper in mortar and pound to paste with pestle. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, purée ingredients in food processor. Work in honey, soy sauce, and fish sauce or additional soy sauce. Spread spice paste over ribs on both sides. Let ribs marinate in refrigerator, covered, 1 to 4 hours.
  3. Prepare ingredients for dipping sauce: Place 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. white pepper in neat mounds side by side in each of 4 tiny bowls. Place 2 lime halves next to each bowl.
  4. Preheat grill to medium. When ready to cook, brush grill grate clean and apply thin coat of oil to grate. Place ribs, bone side down, on hot grate and grill until golden brown and cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes per side, a little longer for full-size ribs. If flare-ups occur, move ribs to another section of grill. When ribs are done, meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by about 1/4 inch
  5. Transfer racks of ribs to cutting board and cut into individual ribs, then arrange on platter or plates for serving. Just before eating, instruct guests to squeeze 1 to 2 tbs. lime juice into bowl of salt and white pepper and stir until mixed. Dip ribs in sauce before eating. Serves 4.

Campfire Potatoes

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(recipe found on rd.com)

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Place the potatoes and onion on a large piece of heavy-duty foil (about 20 inches x 20 inches); dot with butter.
  2. Combine the cheese, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper; sprinkle over potatoes. Fold foil up around potatoes and add broth. Seal the edges of foil well.

    3. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

    I hope you and your family enjoys these delicious grilling recipes as much as mine does!  Have a great summer!

    Written By: Shineta A.

Kids in the Kitchen with Sarah

***GIVEAWAY***

Kids in the Kitchen with Sarah
Summer Cooking Camps

Winner will get their choice of camp for their child, ages 4 – 12.  The choice includes the following weeks:

6/6 – 6/9 Pizza, Pasta & Pomodoro

6/13 – 6/16 Around the World

6/20 – 6/23 Spa Week

6/27 – 6/30 All American Barbeque

The classes run from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM each day and include kitchen tools, t shirt, recipes and all food.  

The value is $130 and you can register on Sarah’s Facebook page: Kids in the Kitchen with Sarah. 

She would also like to offer a $10 discount to any Everyday Mom member who would like to sign up for a camp.

***How to enter***

Comment your child’s Favorite dish and you’ll be entered to win. Live drawing on Friday, May 26th at 2:00pm. 

Weekend Events –May 19 – May 20, 2017

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The weekend is here!!! If you are looking for something fun to do this weekend, well then you came to the right place.  We have all your weekend plans listed right here for you. 🙂 Enjoy!

Friday May 19, 2017 Events

Community Dental Health Program at Bruton Memorial Library

Free dental care for children and teens (6 months old – 20 years of age), pregnant and post-partum moms up to 6 months in Hillsborough County. Services are provided by Suncoast Community Health Centers and Tampa Family Health Centers, and paid for by Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County. Come visit the dental bus at different locations in Hillsborough County. Please call 813-373-8665 for more details or to make an appointment.

  • When: Friday, May 19, 2017,  9:00 am –  4:00 pm
  • Location: Bruton Memorial Library 302 McLendon Street Plant City, FL 33563
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: plantcitygov.com

Preschool Open Gym At Jubilee Gymnastics

Open Gym for Preschoolers is recommended for children under 5 years. Building self confidence, coordination, body awareness, & Achieving one’s personal best in a safe environment through fun and fitness!

  • When: Friday, May 19, 2017,  9:45 am – 11:15 am
  • Location: 89 7th Ave NE, Ruskin, FL 33570
  • Cost: $7 a child, $3 siblings
  • Website: jubileegym.com

Open Jump at Pump It Up – Brandon

Bring the family out for fun things to do. Our Open Jumps are open play time where your child can have the time of their life. Our massive inflatables spark their imaginations to run wild. It’s not only fun for the kids, but provides a healthy workout that burns off excess energy and helps keep them fit.
Open for ages 2 – 12
Spend time with your family, meet other families and make new friends in a safe, clean, climate controlled environment.

  • When: Friday, May 19, 2017, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
  • Location: 729 W Lumsden Rd Ste A Brandon, FL 33511-6287
  • Cost: $9 per child
  • Website: pumpitup.com

Toddler Storytime at Land O Lakes Library

Children and their caregivers gather to sing, dance, and share stories. This storytime is geared towards children ages 1-2 years. Starting every 30 mins. Each sessions lasts 30 mins.

  • When: Friday, May 19, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: Land O’Lakes Library – 2818 Collier Parkway Land O’Lakes, FL 34639
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: pascolibraries.org

Puppet Show: Peter Rabbit at Town ‘N Country Regional Public Library

Follow the adventures of Peter Rabbit as he sneaks into Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden. Will the mischievous Peter ever learn? For ages 4 and up. Presented by Bits ‘N Piece Puppet Theatre. Funded by the Friends of the Town ‘N Country Regional Library.

  • When: Friday, May 19, 2017, 10:15 am – 11:10 am
  • Location: 7606 Paula Dr., Suite 120 Tampa, FL 33615
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Weekday Playtime at Pump It Up – Tampa

Our Imagination Blocks, Digital Floor with 30 interactive games and 7 inflatables are perfect for mom’s groups with toddlers, home schooled groups and visitors looking for an indoor activity. Do not forget to wear your socks!

  • When: Friday, May 19, 2017, 11:00 am –  4:00 pm
  • Location: Commodity Pl Tampa, FL 33626-3101
  • Cost: $8 per child
  • Website: pumpitup.com

Campo Y Free Community Hours

Come out and enjoy the splash pad for FREE.  Every Wed and Friday the Valrico Campo Y offers free community hours to use the splash pad for the FREE to the local residents.

  • When: Friday, May 19, 2017, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Location: 3414 Culbreath Rd Valrico, FL 33596
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: facebook.com

Kidz Night Out at Bricks 4 Kidz – Tampa

No need to hire a babysitter! Bring your children to KIDZ NIGHT OUT, so you can have a nice evening out with your loved one, or a quiet evening at home. Kids will have a chance to build one of our exciting models, free-play from our LEGO® tables, and of course exercise their imaginations while building with our fun LEGO® collection.
Pizza and drinks served for dinner. We will wrap up the evening with a movie (PG, of course), while snacking on popcorn.

  • When: Friday, May 19, 2017,  6:00 pm –  9:00 pm
  • Location: 3713 W. Dale Mabry Ave. Tampa, FL 33609
  • Cost: $35.00
  • Website: bricks4kidz.com

Friday Concerts in the Park – The Hummingbirds

The return of spring means the return of Tampa’s longest running and most beloved concert series – Friday Concerts in the Park (formerly Friday Extra Concert Series). With a full schedule of live music planned, concert-goers can enjoy weekly a variety of music to satisfy all tastes – from classical to jazz to swing to bluegrass to classic rock. Patrons should bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating. Concessions available. Picnics and leashed dogs allowed.

  • When: Friday, May 19, 2017,  7:00 pm –  9:00 pm
  • Location: Lowry Park 1101 w Sligh Ave, Tampa, Florida 33604
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: tampagov.net

Saturday, May 20, 2017 Events

Kids To Parks Day 2017 with Outdoorsy Diva

Join Outdoorsy Diva and the Adventure is a Lifestyle Facebook group for a fun day in the park as we participate in the National Park Trust 7th Annual Kids To Parks Day. All are welcome to join us for a nature walk and photo scavenger hunt. There will be prizes! This is the site of the only class II Rapids in Florida! You can also utilize the playgrounds, swimming pool, or rent a canoe while you’re there.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017,  9:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • Location: 15402 US 301 N. Thonotosassa, FL 33592
  • Cost: Admission to the park is $6 per car or $4 individual rider
  • Website: outdoorsydiva.com

Kids to Parks Day

We are encouraging children across the country to explore their neighborhood parks and discover science, history, nature and adventure right around the corner or just across town.
Join us at:

  • Copeland Park Community Center
    11001 N 15th St. Tampa, FL 33612
  • Kate Jackson Community Center
    821 S. Rome Ave. Tampa, FL 33606
  • Alfred “Al” Barnes Park
    2902 N 32nd St. Tampa, FL 33605From 9:00 am to 12:00 pm for make and take crafts, scavenger hunts, games and outdoor fun!
    After the activities, bring your lunch and relax with a picnic in the park.
  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017,  9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: facebook.com

Dinos Alive! at Lowry Park Zoo

They’re baaack! For the first time in 65 million years, dinosaurs will take over Tampa Bay and roam the Zoo every day! Grab the whole family and get ready to be surrounded by life size dinosaurs as you experience Dinos Alive! Get up-close and personal with varying species of dinosaurs that move, roar and interact with you! Learn about dinosaurs through the eyes of a paleontologist and connect with present-day species of wildlife on the brink of extinction. Feast with Dino-sized food and drinks and enjoy this larger than life adventure with the entire family.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017,  9:30 am –  5:00 pm
  • Location: Lowry Park Zoo 1101 West Sligh Ave. Tampa, Florida 33604
  • Cost: Included with zoo admission and FREE for zoo pass holders
  • Website: lowryparkzoo.org

Kids ROCK

Story time, songs, crafts, games and more. Ages 3 years through 5th grade

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017,  9:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Location: 3758 Maryweather Lane, Wesley Chapel, FL 33544
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: registration

Dance Team Auditions

Calling all dancers ages 5-18. Come be a part of our Competitive Dance Auditions. Flairs is the competitive and performing show company at CMS Dance Company. Flairs will have the opportunity to perform in community productions, parades and events as well as compete in regional and national competitions. Flairs offer their time volunteering and are taught to be involved and give back to their community. CMSDC seeks to raise up dancers that will set a positive example in the dance and performing arts world. Dancers should come with proper dance shoes, leotards and tights or dance tanks and yoga pants. Hair should be pulled back, no jewelry and no gum. Space is limited. To reserve your spot please email us at info@cmsdance.com .

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 10:00 am –  1:00 pm
  • Location: 28245 County Line Rd. Wesley Chapel, Fl 33543
  • Website: cmsdance.com

2017 Spring Sunflower Maze and Activities

Get lost in a sunflower maze, after you find your way out enjoy many other fun activities!

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Location: 7250 Benes Roush Rd Masaryktown, FL 34604
  • Cost: $9.50
  • Website:sweetfieldsfarm.com

Go Outdoors Family Event at Bass Pro Shops

BBQ samples from Kansas City BBQ Society teams……10 am – 5 pm

FREE Seminars on Family Outdoor Fun. **First 25 adults to attend each seminar will receive an LED tent light

1:30 pm: Fun Backyard BBQ—Grills to Games, What You Need
4:30 pm: Family Camping—Conquering Campfires, Cooking & Comfort

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 10:00 am –  5:00 pm
  • Location: 10501 Palm River Rd, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: basspro.com

Mother Daughter Picnic

Polk County Parks & Recreation’s Mother Daughter Picnic is a free community event for moms and daughters. This luau themed picnic will feature lunch (first come, first served), arts & crafts, games and a manicure bar.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Location: 1230 Southern Ave, Lakeland, FL 33815
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: facebook.com

Michaels Kids Club Saturday Crafts

Kids 3 and up can enjoy a quick project. New craft project each week. Sign up in store, online or just drop in. Parent or guardian must remain on premises. Supplies are included. Please see website to find a location near you.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: At participating Micheal’s locations.
  • Cost: $2 per child
  • Website: michaels.com

Family Game Day at Jan Kaminis Platt Library

Join us for a fun family event. Make a craft together as a family! Play games including old fashioned board games and the Wii. Compete and have fun with your children and other families.

Funded by the Friends of the Jan Platt Library.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 10:30 am – 11:15 am
  • Location: 3910 S. Manhattan Ave. Tampa, FL 33611
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Awakening Church Fiesta

Come on out enjoy a bilingual outreach to the whole community. We want to bless you, your friends, and family with food clothing free toys for the kids. Free Food * Games * Bouncy House

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 11:00 am –  3:00 pm
  • Location: 702 W Columbus Dr, Tampa, Florida 33602
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: facebook.com

Children’s Cartooning at SouthShore Regional Library

Children 5-12 years ( 5 and 6 years, adult must be present) will join art teacher Leah Lopez for “step by step” instructions for drawing cartoons. Have fun creating cartoon characters that you will recognize. Limit 40. Registration required at either the SouthShore Regional Library Information Desk or by calling (813)273-3652.

Funding for this program provided by the Friends of SouthShore Regional Library.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: 15816 Beth Shields Way Ruskin, FL 33573-4903
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Free Father/Son Karate Class at Village Square

Who: Dads (older brothers, family friends) and kids ages 5+
This is a great opportunity for some fun family time. Come out to get a taste of karate, learn some self-defense and even get a chance to break a board! It will be an exciting hands-on class and great time together. All materials will be provided.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: Located at Westshore Plaza, 101 Westshore Plaza Tampa, Florida 33609
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: facebook.com

Lakeshore Learning Crafts For Kids

Our Free Crafts for Kids event will be held at all Lakeshore Learning locations. Kids have a blast creating a new craft project every Saturday!

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 11:00 am –  3:00 pm
  • Location: 4501 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33609
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: lakeshorelearning.com

IFly Food Truck & Vendor Rally

The Cowboys will be hosting a food truck rally in conjunction with IFly Tampa. There will be many trucks and vendors at this event raising money for the Brandon Cowboys. Be sure to go inside IFly and check out how you can fly on a cushion of air! We will have 150 swag bags to hand out to the first 150 people one per family.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 11:00 am –  3:00 pm
  • Location: 10654 Palm River Rd, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: Menu Prices

Tampa Bay Family Fair

Free, fun and family. It’s going to be an outstanding event! The Family Fair will feature many activities for everyone in the family:
* Swag Bags for the first 100 Families * Giveaways * Food Trucks * Vendors * Crafters and Artisans * Local and National Companies Exhibiting * Pregnancy, New Parent and Family Products and Resources
* Camps, Schools,& Activities and Vacation Deals * Healthy Living, Medical and Special Needs Resources and Support * Pet Adoptions * Face Painters & Balloon Artists * Outdoor Games * Entertainment
* Bands * Roaming Princesses, Super Heroes and other Characters * Playgrounds * Spraypad * Dog Park * and More!

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 11:00 am –  5:00 pm
  • Location: Water Works Park Tampa 1710 N Highland Ave, Tampa, Florida 33602
  • Cost: Free Admission
  • Website: facebook.com

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles First Hatch Party at Toys”R”Us

Hatch and keep a free Hatchimals CollEGGtible. Get a free Hatchtopia map & collector sheet. Take part in a Hatchimal coloring activity. *Excludes Toys”R”Us Express and Outlet stores. Event intended for ages 6-up. Parental supervision required at all times for minors. All giveaways and event materials available while supplies last and distributed to participants only. Limit one per customer. Quantities limited; no rain checks.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 12:00 pm –  2:00 pm
  • Location: Multiple Locations See Website.
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: toysrus.com

KingBay Pirate Fest

Pirates, sea wenches, mermaids, scurvy dogs, landlubbers and the lot…all hands on deck! For ye mystic City of Crystal River invites you to join us on Mary 20, 2017 for a day of music, bountiful booty and treasures galore! Meander through Heritage “Pirate” Village, enjoying arts, crafts and ample entertainment, including the opportunity to meet Captain Jack Sparrow, his crew of marauding buccaneers and beautiful live mermaids. Wander down to King’s Bay Park to watch the raft races and to explore some of the community’s handcrafted vessels. And don’t forget your favorite pirate, mermaid or maritime-themed garb because you bet your lucky gold doubloon there will be a Pirate Costume Contest for all ye’ scalawags, young and old.

For one day and one day only, all of downtown Crystal River will be transformed into a thriving pirate port and encampment. 8 Performers The fun never stops! We have a host of pirate acts and musicians coming to entertain you late into the night. Tons Of FUN! Raft races, pirate performers, crafts, games, children’s rides, costume contests, a treasure hunt, food, dozens of vendors and more…

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm
  • Location: 123 NW HWY 19, Crystal River, FL 34428
  • Cost: $5 entry for adults – Children 12 and under are free
  • Website: kingsbaypiratefest.com

Lightning Made Ball Hockey Clinic Series

Looking to enhance your ball hockey skills? Interested in trying out the game of hockey for the first time? If so, then join us for 1 of the 7 ball hockey clinics scattered around the Tampa Area. You’re welcome to sign up for just 1 of them, or all 7!! These clinics are designed as a more advanced training clinic for those looking to enhance their skills. The clinics are for children ages 6-14 years old.

12-1pm kids age 6-9 years old.
1-2pm kids age 10-14 years old.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 12:00 pm –  2:00 pm
  • Location: The Prep of South Tampa, 4002 S Coolidge Ave, Tampa, FL 33611
  • Cost: Free but you must register online
  • Website: eventbrite.com

Musical Wellness Class For Children With Special Needs

Bayside Pediatric Therapy is excited to present a fun, new music class. This free class is brought to you by The Inspire Foundation and takes place the third Saturday of each month for children with special needs. Siblings are welcome to join the fun! Autism Sings (ages 3-8) – This program includes music and movement, marching, instruments family interaction, phonemic awareness with music and beats, and an introduction to the musical A, B, C’s. Call our office or e-mail us at baysidespeech@gmail.com to reserve your child’s spot. Seating is limited.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Location: 8026 Old Co Rd 54, New Port Richey, Florida 34653
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: baysidespeech.net

Summer Craft Festival

Grab your sunhats, flip-flops, and sunglasses for this summer-themed crafting extravaganza.

Funded by the Friends of the North Tampa Branch Library.
  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Location: 8916 N Blvd, Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida 33604, United States
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: hcplc.org

Mini Triathlon & Celebration at Campo Family YMCA

Participate as an individual or team! There will be a 20-minute treadmill walk/run, a 20-minute bike ride in the spin studio and 20 minutes of lap swim in the pool! There are multiple times to choose from, you can start at 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm and 6:30pm! There is a $45 minimum donation suggested to participate in the triathlon and registration is now open!
Also, bring the kids to compete! We have races for kids of all ages…from crawlers to age 9. There is a $15 suggested donation for kids.

We’ll have some poolside fun, splash pad games, music, and a Hot Dog Party for a Cause!

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017,  2:00 pm –  6:00 pm
  • Location: Campo Family YMCA 3414 Culbreath Rd, Valrico, Florida 33596
  • Cost: $15-$45
  • Website: facebook.com

Cyber Bowling Kid’s Matinee at Pin Chasers Midtown

Cyber Bowling is the fusion of high energy entertainment and bowling where anything is possible and everyone has fun. Great music and club lighting create a glowing, nightclub-like atmosphere. Whether it’s our special engagement DJ’s, music theme nights or our weekly request driven program, cyber bowling will be an exciting night for all.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017,  2:30 pm –  4:30 pm
  • Location: Pin Chasers Midtown, 4847 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa, Florida 33603
  • Cost: See Website
  • Website: pinchasers.net

Kindness Rocks at Jimmie B. Keel Library

Have you seen those colorful rocks hidden throughout Tampa? As a way to brighten the day of a stranger, rocks have been hidden throughout all of Tampa. Join us at the library to make some rock creations of your own to hide in plain sight throughout our communities. Feel free to bring your own (bigger) rocks, or we’ll provide some small ones to get you started. When you’re done, you’ll take your rocks with until you find the perfect place to set them free.
Rocks, paint and brushes will be provided.
For all ages.

Funded by the Friends of the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017,  3:00 pm –  5:00 pm
  • Location: 2902 W. Bearss Ave. Tampa, FL 33618
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Strawberry Classic Car Show

Enjoy a car show in the streets of historic downtown Plant City! Third Saturday Night of Every Month. Free bounce house, entertainment, and more!

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017  3:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  • Location: Historic downtown Plant City, 100 N. Collins St. Plant City, Florida 33564
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: facebook.com

6th Annual Burger Showdown

Join local restaurants in this annual bragging rights competition & fundraiser for naming the “Best Burger in Tampa Bay”, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting The VooDoo Chef Foundation and their community efforts through culinary! Burger Sampling Tickets ($14 – $22) allow for the event attendee to sample (1) burger from each of the restaurants competing in Burger Showdown and vote on their favorite, resulting in the ‘People’s Choice Award’.  A panel of culinary and local celebrity judges will award the ‘Best Burger in the Bay’, ‘Best Beef Burger’, ‘Where’s The Beef?’ (chicken, veggie, etc.), ‘Best Use of Bacon’ and ‘Bring the Heat’. We are also excited to announce NEW categories the panel will award this year including ‘Best Side Dish’ and ‘Best Use of VooDoo’.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017,  4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park 600 N. Ashely Dr., Tampa, Florida 33602
  • Cost: Burger Showdown is FREE to attend!! Burger sampling tickets and beverages are available for purchase
  • Website: burgershowdown.org

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Kids Night Out at Color Me Mine

Watch the original Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie! How it works: Kids from 6 years of age and up come in for a fun “kids night” from 6:00 – 9:00.
Cost is $30.00 per child and includes pizza & drinks, 1 or 2 pieces of pottery, popcorn & a movie along with LOTS of FUN!!
CHEAPER & MORE FUN than a babysitter!!
We reserve the right to cancel the event if there are not enough participants.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017,  6:00 pm –  9:00 pm
  • Location: Color Me Mine in Hyde Park Village – 1609 W Snow Cir, Tampa, FL 33606
  • Cost: $32.10 Cost Per Child
  • Website: colormemine.com

NPR Rocks Rock Painting Party at Sims Park

It’s a ROCK PAINTING PARTY! Free paints and rocks while supplies last. So come, paint some rocks and hide them in Sims park and then stay for the Free Family Movie Night “Sing” which starts at 8:30pm.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017,  6:00 pm –  8:00 pm
  • Location: 5547 Main Street, New Port Richey, Florida 34652
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: facebook.com

Tampa Yankees Gold Together Night

The Tampa Yankees ARRR Going Gold in support of Pediatric Cancer Research through the American Cancer Society. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the T-Yanks take on the Daytona Tortugas at 6:30 p.m. After the game, fans are invited to stay for a fireworks show, presented by Spectrum. Players and coaches will wear custom “Gold Together Night” uniforms. Select jerseys will be auctioned online at http://tampayankees.milbauctions.com/ , while others will be entered in a silent auction and available for bid at the game. All proceeds from the jersey auction will go to the American Cancer Society.

Salute to Service Members Saturday: All Military receive a FREE upper reserved ticket with valid I.D. Player autographs on the concourse from 5:40pm-6:00pm.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017,  6:30 pm –  9:30 pm
  • Location: George M. Steinbrenner Field 1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa, Florida 33614
  • Cost: Tickets $7.30 – $10.30 each
  • Website: facebook.com

Family Movie Night “Sing” at Sims Park

FREE Family Movie Night presented by The City of New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center. Sing is an animated comedy, with tons of music and songs from the producers of the Despicable Me films. It centers around a theater-owning koala who decides to run a talent contest to boost ticket sales for his financially flagging theater. The familiar pop songs and cute animal characters make this an appealing pick for families with young kids. Please feel free to bring your own chairs or blankets.

  • When: Saturday, May 20, 2017,  8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
  • Location: 5547 Main Street, New Port Richey, Florida 34652
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: facebook.com

Sunday, May 21, 2017 Events

Family Day at the JCC

We are excited to announce the launch of our family-friendly summertime activities including, but not limited to:
• Youth Developmental Swim Team
• Swim Lessons
• Camp JCC will be offering weekly specialty camps including: basketball, volleyball, hockey, dance, art, theatre, multi-sport and iMovie

Join us for a fun-filled Day at the J to learn more about what the Bryan Glazer Family JCC has for your family this summer! Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Food available for purchase at the J Café. Membership specials will be available all day.

  • When: Sunday, May 21, 2017,  9:00 am –  3:00 pm
  • Location: Bryan Glazer JCC, 522 N Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
  • Cost: Free but you must RSVP
  • Website: bryanglazerfamilyjcc.com

Big & Small Royal Ball at Great Explorations Children’s Museum

Dress as a prince or princess or in your Sunday best, for an enchanting morning for the whole family as our royal guest!
Join us for:
Royal meet and greets by LaDee-Da Kids Spa characters
Royal-themed crafts by Tea By The Sea Mobile Tea Service Florida
Brunch bites and Princess Punch (both adult and kids punch)
DJ by Creative Energy Entertainment
Chance drawings
And more!

  • When: Sunday, May 21, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: 1925 4th St N, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33704
  • Cost: Tickets are $25/person (including members)
  • Website: greatex.org

Pre-Memorial Day Event at Toys”R”Us

Get a free Radio Flyer collectible mini wagon. Try a Nerf Zombie Strike Outbreak Bow & enter for a chance to win a NERF Blaster. Join a Schwinn Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win a free collectible bike blinker. 2 for $3 Oreo Bars or Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars. Giveaways while supplies last.

  • When: Sunday, May 21, 2017,  1:00 pm –  3:00 pm
  • Location: Multipule Locations See Website.
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: toysrus.com

Free Farm Tour at Sweetwater Organic Farm

Join Farmers Travis and Jenise, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM for an informative (and free) tour of Sweetwater Farm. This walking tour will include information on what’s in season, how our small scale farm operates, and organic agriculture. Please bring something to drink
and wear close-toed shoes. If you need to apply sunscreen and bug spray please do so before you reach the farm. Supervised children are welcome. Well-behaved, leashed dogs also welcome.

  • When: Sunday, May 21, 2017,  2:00 pm –  3:00 pm
  • Location: 6942 West Comanche Ave. Tampa, Florida 33634
  • Cost: Free Admission
  • Website: sweetwater.org

Have a beautiful weekend!

#EverydayMoms

Clean Eating Crockpot Meals

Written By: Lisa Valentine

Being a mom can be hectic and being a working mother makes it even crazier, especially when I’m at work in middle of dinner time. That makes it even harder to make sure my family is fed a hot meal. When I first became a mom my husband and I both worked different shifts and neither were the typical 9-5. With my husband working 12 hour shifts and my first baby starting to eat real food, I was at a loss for how to have a hot meal for my family when I could not be there. That’s when I started my crockpot experimenting.
Pinterest became my friend. I just started trying different recipes that I found and started making a list of which recipes were at hit. Not all got put on that list, some got altered and tried again, some got the boot. There were a lot of failed attempts and wasted food but I got better at picking meals to cook in the crockpot and it became my saving grace.

   I’m not just talking to working mothers here. I know how crazy kids’ schedules can be and it’s hard to cook dinner every night, especially when your kids have sports and different activities after school. We end up hitting the drive through because we are at a loss for what to cook or you just don’t have the time.  No matter what kind of mother you are; working, stay at home, work from home or homeschooling, the crockpot is THE go-to mom hack. Even when I’m not working I use it because there are some nights I know I won’t have the time or energy to cook. You know, those days you are out all day running errands or doing something fun like going to a theme park, the last thing you want to do when you get home is cook.

   Before I had my second baby I knew I needed to plan ahead this time. That’s when I made a list of our favorite recipes and made some freeze ahead crockpot meals to have on hand post baby. Nutrition is so important when you are postpartum and getting little to zero sleep usually leaves us in survival mode, eating whatever comes our way. This was a life saver when we got home from the hospital! All we had to do was decide the night before what we wanted for dinner, let it thaw out a little bit in the refrigerator and throw it in the crock pot the next morning.

When I became a health and fitness coach and started getting into clean eating, I started altering the recipes to fit our clean eating lifestyle. I knew this was something that I could not keep to myself and could use to help other moms who struggle with putting nutritious meals on the table because time is limited.
   Sometimes time plays a factor, even with the crockpot. Sometimes I forget to put it on in the morning or just didn’t find the time. My shortcut for that is adjusting the cook time. Below is a conversion chart for crockpot cooking.
LOW setting   HIGH setting
7 hours            3 hours
8 hours            4 hours
9 hours            5 hours
10 hours          6 hours
11 hours          7 hours
12 hours          8 hours
My go-to versatile crockpot hack is chicken. Throw in some chicken breasts with a little bit of water or chicken broth (low for 8 hours) and shred it when done. You can use this throughout the week for several recipes and alter to your liking. Some ideas are,
Chicken Salad
Buffalo chicken
BBQ chicken
Quesadillas
Enchiladas
Burritos (or burrito bowl)
Stir fry
To put my clean eating twist on it, I use organic chicken. I will serve atop of a salad, quinoa or brown rice or wrapped in romaine hearts or Ezekiel tortillas. I also recently discovered NUCO coconut wraps, they are a natural alternative to tortillas. I thought they were more flexible and held together better than the Ezekiel tortillas. They tasted good to me, but if you don’t like the taste of coconut, you may not like them. I ordered mine off of Amazon.
I hope these tips bring you some relief so you can still eat healthy while surviving parenthood. Bellow I added some of my favorite freeze ahead crockpot meals with grocery list to help on those days you are in a pinch.

freeze

Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground turkey
1/2 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Reggiano Parmigiano cheese, grated
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons cornstarch or 2 eggs
2 large clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp salt + fresh pepper
For the sauce:
2 tsp olive oil
8 cloves garlic, smashed
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Salt and fresh pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil  

1. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, garlic and cheese. Using clean hands, mix all the ingredients and form small meatballs, about 1/8th cup each.
2. Flash freeze on parchment lined cookie sheet in the freezer then place into ziplock bags.
3. Make sauce ahead or when ready to put in crock pot – In a small sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden, being careful not to burn. 

5. Pour crushed tomatoes into the crock pot with bay leaf. Add garlic and oil.
Drop meatballs into the sauce, cover and set crock pot to low, 4 to 6 hours. When meatballs are ready, adjust salt and pepper to taste and add fresh chopped basil or parsley.
Serve over favorite pasta.
Write on bag:
1. When ready, pour sauce and place in Crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.
2. Serve over favorite pasta.

Easy Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
Ingredients
1 1/2 to 2 pounds stew meat
32 oz beef broth
1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 carrot
1 medium onion
1 stalk celery
8 oz green beans
1/4 t thyme
1/4 t marjoram
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
Add 1 T oil to a large pan over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add about 2 pounds of cubed beef and cook until browning some. About 10 minutes.
While the meat is browning, clean and prep veggies. One stalk of celery chopped medium. One carrot cut into 1/4 inch medallions. One medium onion chopped medium. Also 8 oz of fresh or frozen green beans.
Add all to freezer bag. Add 32 oz beef broth (you can do this now or when you dump it all in the crock pot), one 15 oz can diced tomatoes (not drained), 1/4 t thyme, 1/4 t marjoram and one bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix well
Write on bag:
1.When ready, cook on high for 4-5 hours until meat and carrots are tender or 8-10 on low

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas
Ingredients
1 yellow onion, sliced
3 peppers, sliced
1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs
1/4 to ½ cup chicken broth, depending on preference (leave this out if you prefer a drier fajita filling)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cumin
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
Squirt of lime juice

Instructions
Combine sliced onions, peppers & chicken in a ziplock bag
Pour chicken broth over top (you can do this now or when you are ready to cook)
Sprinkle everything with cumin, salt, and chili powder.
Give a nice quirt of lime juice over the top.

Write on bag:
1. When ready, cook on low for 4-8 hours (or on High for 4 hours) or until meat is spreadable.
2. When meat is done, shred with two forks and stir back into juices. Serve meat mixture with slotted spoon with your choice of fixings.

Chicken Vegetable Soup
Ingredients
1 – 2 lbs chicken, skinless, boneless
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup corn, frozen
1 cup edemame (soy beans), frozen
1 14oz can tomatoes, diced
4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. salt (to taste)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. pepper, ground
1 tsp. parsley, dried
Instructions
Add all ingredients to a zip lock bag and freeze.

Write on bag:
1. When ready, cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

* To shred chicken – I keep the chicken in the Crockpot and take two forks to pull apart the chicken. The chicken should be falling completely apart.

Honey Sesame Chicken

Ingredients
1lb chicken tenders
3 T olive oil
1 cup raw honey
2 T sesame seeds
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper

Directions
Place all ingredients in freezer bag, toss to coat and freeze.

Write on bag:
1. When ready, place in crockpot and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
2. Remove chicken & shred, and then return to sauce.
3. Can serve over hot cooked rice or serve in lettuce wraps.

Crock Pot SW Steak
Ingredients:
1-1/2 lbs. stew meat
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz. jar chunky salsa
1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
Directions                                                                                                                                          Place onions and garlic in bottom of freezer bag and top with meat. Mix salsa, oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper in small bowl and pour over meat. Top with drained black beans.

Write on bag:
1. Cook on low for 7-9 hours until meat is tender
2. Serve with favorite rice

Sausage and Peppers

Ingredients
1 – 2 lbs chicken sausage
2 peppers, sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp parsley

Directions
Flash freeze sausage on parchment lined cookie sheet in the freezer.
Place onions and peppers in bottom of freezer bag and top with meat. Add in can of tomatoes and parsley, pour over meat.

Write on bag:
1. Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4 hours
2. Serve with favorite rice or in favorite rolls

Grocery list
Meat & dairy
4 pounds stew meat
1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs
2 lbs chicken, skinless, boneless
3 lb chicken tenders
2 lb Ground turkey
1-2 lbs turkey sausage
4 eggs

Pantry
Whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
Reggiano Parmigiano cheese, grated
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
32 oz beef broth
1 32 oz & 1 can chicken broth
3 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes
Lime juice
Honey
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Extra virgin olive oil
16 oz. jar chunky salsa
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

Spices
Salt
Pepper
Sesame seeds
Parsley
Chili powder
Oregano
Bay leaves
Thyme
Cumin
Marjoram
Basil
Cornstarch (if subbing for eggs)
Frozen
Green beans
Corn
Edemame (soy beans)

Produce
2 bulbs garlic
fresh chopped basil & parsley
Carrots
6 medium onion
Celery
5 peppers
*Don’t forget freezer bags, your favorite fixings for garnish and favorite rice/pastas.

Freezer bags
Cheese?
Salsa?
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Rice
Pasta
Romaine (for lettuce wraps) and/or side salad for soups.
Whatever else you like…

Cake, Cake Pops and Cupcakes… oh my!

Looking for an activity to offset the dreaded summer vacation boredom? Do you love all things Sweet? Always wanted to make those cute desserts you see on Pinterest but don’t know where to start? Looking to improve on your decorating skills?

The Sweet Tooth Cakery is bringing you decorating classes to create fabulous cakes, cupcakes and cake pop designs! Learn tips and tricks from the experts to create fabulous desserts. We will share recipes, best practices and you will leave with new knowledge and your beautiful creations!

We have some great offers for Everyday Moms!

Everyday Moms get 10% off all classes with the code EM10.
If you book 2 classes, you can use the code 20OFF for $20 off your total.
If you book before May 17, you can use the code EARLYBIRD10 for an additional 10% off!

Click here to book now

(For anyone taking a full day of classes, there is a 1 hour lunch break. Everyone is welcome to pack a lunch, no need to leave while waiting for the next class to start.)
We are offering 6 different classes over 4 weeks in June. These classes are for all skill levels, ages 10 and up (except Mommy & Me). Classes are $60 each and you will take home your creations! All tools, ingredients and equipment will be provided. You don’t need to bring anything except your excitement (and your sweet tooth)!

All courses will be held at Brandon’s Event Space, 137 S Parsons Ave., Brandon, Fl 33511. (Corner of Parsons and Robertson)

Cake Pop Basics. Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 10am-12pm

In this 2-hour interactive course, you will learn step-by-step how to prepare delicious cake pops! In addition to learning the complete process, you will also receive recipes, tips for choosing chocolate, the different sticks and packaging available as well as how to customize with sprinkles, sugar and other decorations. Each student will decorate and take home their pops. (6 per Student)

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Basic Cake Pops

Advanced Cake Pop Design Wednesday, June 7, 2017 1pm-3pm
Take your cake pops to the next level! Create designs from popular movies, most used emojis and look alike ice cream cones! Learn tips and tricks from the experts to make mouth-watering creations! Each student will decorate and take home their pops. (6 per Student)

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Cupcake Decorating (buttercream flowers) Tuesday, June 13, 2017 10am-12pm
Each student will learn piping skills including easy ways to fill piping bags, the different piping tips and the designs they create. We will learn rosettes, sunflowers and the beautiful “cupcake swirl”. Each student will take home 6 beautifully decorated cupcakes.

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Cake Pop Basics – Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 1pm-3pm
In this 2-hour interactive course, you will learn step-by-step how to prepare delicious cake pops! In addition to learning the complete process, you will also receive recipes, tips for choosing chocolate, the different sticks and packaging available as well as how to customize with sprinkles, sugar and other decorations. Each student will decorate and take home their pops. (6 per Student)

 

Click here to book your class now!

Mommy & Me Decorating Fun Wednesday, June 21, 2017 10am-12pm

Bring the kids to make some delicious designs. Join us to make mini “Poppy Troll” cupcakes, donut sugar cookies and chocolate lollipops! Take home and enjoy your creations! All children must be accompanied by an adult. 1 ticket is good for 1 adult and 1 child (under age 10).

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Chocolates & Dipped Desserts Wednesday, June 21, 2017 1pm-3pm
Learn the art of making molded chocolates and chocolate dipped treats. Including: marshmallows, Rice Krispy Treats, Pretzels, Oreos and Apples. We will teach you the best chocolate to use, how to prepare, color and add designs and fillings. Take home your delicious creations!

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Advanced Cake Pop Design Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 10am-12pm
Take your cake pops to the next level! Create designs from popular movies, most used emojis and look alike ice cream cones! Learn tips and tricks from the experts to make mouth-watering creations! Each student will decorate and take home their pops. (6 per Student)

Mini Cakes that Wow! Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 1pm3pm
We will create 2 very popular designs using pre-made mini cakes. You will learn various buttercream piping techniques and simple fondant design tricks to create a super popular unicorn cake and a super colorful drippy candy cake. Then, take your delicious designs home with you.

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About the Instructor
Pam has been a professional baker and cake decorator since 2011. Her love for cake decorating began when she would bake cakes for her children’s school bake sales. She currently runs The Sweet Tooth Cakery and is the mom to 4 children.

The REAL Mother’s Day Gift Guide

On my personal blog, I wrote about all the great things/experiences you can purchase for Mom this Mother’s Day in a gift guide. I’ll admit, I’ve had my eye on this Rebecca Minkoff cross body bag for a hot minute, but I would never splurge the $250 for a bag on myself on a regular basis, so that’s what I “asked” for, but it got me thinking. . .

While that bag would be such an appreciated gift, there are SO many things I would love to have for Mother’s Day that are absolutely free (or very close to it).

IMG_5926

  1. Gratitude. Being a stay-at-home mom, I take care of the kids all day. Diapers, Outfits, Sweeping, Meal Prep, trying to get my exercise in, picking up the toys, scrubbing literally everyone (but my husband’s) butts. I just want to feel like I am appreciated. I want to feel like the decision I made not to go back to work is something that’s WORTH it to everyone in my family.
  2. A Handwritten Card. It won’t be long before my boys will be making these cards in school classes I know, but being that they are so small now, it means even more that their Dad took the time to sit down, create an experience with them, and make something just for me. There’s nothing more special than an illegible scribble from an 11 month old holding a crayon for the first time.
  3. THE DAY OFF. I don’t want to cook, I don’t want to clean, I don’t want to change a diaper. I want to be able to put on a full face of make-up in peace, and curl my hair without worrying about someone grabbing the curling iron off the counter and burning their face. I want to take the normal 90 minutes it takes to get everyone dressed and out the door, and spend that preparing MYSELF for a relaxing day where I’ll actually look decent enough to take a few selfies.
  4. A bathroom break without ANY surprise visitors. It’s just a fantasy I’m sure, but it would just be SO nice to have my “morning meeting” without having someone burst in for something.
  5. Brunch. Enough said right? Calories don’t count on Mother’s Day so I want pancakes, doughnuts AND all the bacon. Please and Thank you.
  6. I would like to be able to be the ONLY person who uses my cell phone all day. For a full 24 hrs, it would be nice not to have to surrender my iPhone to the demands of YouTube Kids addicts.
  7. Flowers. They can be paper, drawn, or real, but I don’t get flowers enough, and this is the day that I’m really hoping for them.
  8. All the cuddles. It would be so nice, if instead of running and jumping until he passes out, my toddler somehow managed to snuggle up with me for a post-brunch nap. As Mothers, we all know that sleeping children are the sweetest, most angelic creatures in the entire universe, and I just want to soak that in for a half of an hour on Mother’s Day.
  9. To watch ANYTHING I WANT on TV. I wanna catch up on Criminal Minds y’all, I’ve got 3 episodes just waiting in the DVR queue but somehow Moana has sucked up all the TV time this week. (Although I’ll admit I am kind of in LOVE with “How Far I’ll Go” and it may or may not be on my iTunes playlist.)
  10. Speaking of iTunes, can I please listen to MY music all day? When we’re traveling, while I’m getting ready, I just wanna belt out Taylor Swift all day WITHOUT those rude eye rolls the hubs can give me.
  11. Also- can we please block the “Daddy Finger” song on YouTube for just this ONE day?! It’s awful, my kids love it, and it’s inevitably stuck in my head ALL day after Cash has his iPad time. I just don’t want to hear it, like at all. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about DO NOT GOOGLE, you’ll regret it immediately, just praise sweet baby Jesus you have some ignorant bliss when it comes to this tune.)
  12. A long fancy bath. I wanna use bubble bath AND a bath bomb, light candles, and shave my freaking legs without rushing to get clean! No one coming in trying to splash in my water or throwing mini dinosaurs in with me while I condition my hair. I want to exfoliate and moisturize and use that fancy face mask I got last year for Mother’s Day but haven’t had time to use yet.
  13. Sweet Kisses. Last but certainly not least, I just want all the sugar from my family. Sure, this day is about celebrating me, Mama, but I wouldn’t be able to celebrate this day without these babes, and I just want to soak up all of their sweet little kisses before they become grown and think it’s gross when I playfully bite their chunky little cheeks.

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What do you REALLY want this Mother’s Day?