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Monthly Archives: March 2014

  • Bay Area Renaissance Festival

    Did you know the Bay Area Renaissance Festival has been going on for 36 years? We've been wanting to go for years, and finally we were able to go yesterday.  The weather was so nice I knew I wanted to spend the day outside with the family.  After a quick search on google, I found out about the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Tampa.  So, off to Tampa we headed.  The Bay Area Renaissance Festival is located adjacent to MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry).


    This was the girls' first time attending a Renaissance Festival.  Between all the games and the shopping the girls were definitively not ready to go home.


    I was amazed by the amount of vendors and games at this festival.  We got there around 2 pm and did not see everything there was to see.  I suggest you get there early and bring your walking shoes.


    As usual, face painting is still a must at any park or festival activity.  Further down, there was a Henna Tattoo tent.  I think next year, they might be asking for those instead.  Oh no.  They really do grow up quick.


    I was most exited about attending our First ever Royal Tea with the Queen.  For an additional $15 per person, you could attend the Queen's Royal Tea Party.  The Tea Party was in a special tent with the Queen's Court.  We had tea of course, hot or iced.  The Tea party began with a delicious sconce.  We then had the choice of chicken salad or crab salad on a croissant.  And we finished with some delicious bite size cake pieces.  Between the entertainment and the food, I thought it was totally worth it!  We purchased our discounted festival tickets at Walgreens to save $3 before heading to the Festival.  You can also purchase discount tickets online and at Subway.

    Do you like attending Renaissance Festivals?

  • Quick Beef Chili Recipe

    Thanks to my new meal planning approach, dinnertime has been so much easier and tastier.  I've got the chance to try out a lot of new recipes like this quick beef chili recipe.  It's from the January 2014 Southern Living magazine and it packs a lot of flavor.

    I've finally figured out how to make a "tough" cut of meat taste flavorful and tender.  The secret is to cut the meat into small bite size pieces.  First cut the meat into strips, then cubes.  If the cubes are still too thick, like half an inch or so, turn them on their side and cut them once again.

    quick chili dinnertime

    I made a couple of changes to the recipe.  I'm not a big chipotle fan.  Sorry.  I keep trying it thinking some day I might change my mind, but it just taste smoky to me.  So, I did not add the chipotle chile powder.  It was not missed at all.  I also added 4 cans of chopped green chiles instead of the 5.  My last change was to use the double concentrated tomato paste that comes in the tube instead of the one in the can.  Score.  If you've never used it before, I encourage you to try it.  It really adds great flavor to any meal.


    quick dinner


    This quick beef chili recipe turned out great.  It did take about an hour, but only about 30 minutes is hands-on.  It was the perfect dish for a cool evening thanks to our crazy Florida weather it was in the forties last night.  So excited to have lunch leftovers to take to work today.

     What's your favorite chili recipe?

    Do you like chipotle?

  • Weekend Recap - Lake Eva Park Haines City

    It's Sunday night.  Dinner is over.  Clean clothes are folded and the last load of laundry is in the drier.  The girls are in their beds and I thought I would share with you how our weekend went.  On Friday night, Jim brought us pizza from Esposito's.  I grabbed a sliced and headed over to the Florida State Fairgrounds for the Electrodash 5k. Luckily, I was able to spot CaitlynNanci and Kat fairly easily in the crowd.


    I left home super early not wanting to get stuck in traffic because I had forgotten to pick up the race packet.  Packet pick up at the race was super easy. There was a big tent setup with a lot of volunteers and the line moved rather quickly.

    electrodash 5k

    Once it got dark, it was pretty fun to see everyone in their neon colors.  The light installations throughout the race course were really beautiful.  There were at least 3 different dj booths with great music playing the whole time.  Overall, it was a great fun race.  I had a great time meeting my friends on a cool, Florida night.  The weather was perfect!

    Cruise for Kids 2014

    On Saturday, I headed over to the market to meet up with our contact for the 10th Annual Credit Union Cruise For Kids 2014 Motorcycle Poker Run event coming up on April 13th.  We are so happy to be the second stop on this Motorcycle Poker Run.  Registration begins at 10 am at the Brandon Harley Davidson on Adamo Drive.  From there, the bikes will stop at our market, Doc's Pub and Grille in Dade City, Neon Cowboy Bar in Dade City and the final stop at Quail Hollow Country Club in Wesley Chapel.  All proceeds will benefit local children's charities.

    Lake Eva Park

    On Sunday afternoon we headed over to Lake Eva Park in Haines City.  We had planned to go to their Aquatic Center which has a splash pad and playground area but when we got there it was closed.  Thankfully, there were two big playground areas which the girls were excited to try.  The playground areas are separated by age groups: 2-5 years old and 5-12 year olds.


    We spent about 2 hours just running around exploring the playgrounds.  They also had tennis courts, basketball courts, a special events facility and a lake where you can launch your boat or jet skis.  The playgrounds were well maintained and we'd love to come back to check out the aquatic center next time.

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