Living a #RelentlessLife at the #NewCPK

The Tampa Bay Bloggers were recently invited to come out to the California Pizza Kitchen to sample some of their new menu items and to get a look at their new and improved design!

Photo Credit RunDMT

They were all ready for us!


They had a table of drinks ready, including California Roots, Blueberry Ginger Smash, and a kid friendly, Strawberry Mango Cooler.

My favorite, hands down, was the California Roots.

Made with Svedka Vodka, fresh avocado and mint, fresh Agave Sour with a fennel salt rim this drink was OUTSTANDING!!

They brought out appetizers including two different types of pizza, but it's not on my relentess life plan, so I passed.

But doesn't it look outstanding??

Egg on a pizza? According to my blogger friends, it was FANTASTIC!!

And Brussels spouts?? So creative! Thanks to Denise from RunDMT for the great pics!

We sat down at our tables and they brought out a yummy salad!!

The Harvest Kale salad was good. But I didn't taste much of the vinaigrette. It seemed more like the salad was just wet, so I think next time I'd opt to skip the dressing all-together.

And then the "real food" started coming out, and OH MY!


WOW!! Right??

Each of these portions was HUGE!! Normally I eat anywhere between 3-6 ounces of protein per meal, and some of these portions were in excess of 10 ounces, so I made sure to only try a sampling of each one.

My favorite was the Cedar Plank Salmon.

Had I eaten the entire portion it would have been 8 ounces, 650 calories, 34g fat, 52g protein. You can see all the nutrition info HERE.

But everything was so so good!! It's certainly a special place for an "every now and again" type of meal, especially for those of us that are watching our waistline.

And then they brought out the desserts.

Pumpkin Cheesecake, S'mores, Salted Caramel Pudding, and Butter Cake.

I had the smallest of bites, like the size of a #2 pencil eraser, of the Pumpkin Cheesecake. It wasn't for me. I also had about a teaspoon of the Salted Caramel Pudding. It was way too salty for my taste buds.

I did not try the S'mores or the Butter Cake, but again, my blogger buds said it was very good.

We also had the opportunity to try to spin our own pizzas.

I did good.

It's like riding a bike. Growing up in the pizza business, spinning a pie is like second nature to me.

My friend Tara from Everyday Ramblings of my Life, took a video of us and I'm at the very very end of the row. You can't really see me, but you can see my dough flying high.


We all had a great time at California Pizza Kitchen, and I just wanted to show that it is possible to live a healthy life, and still go out to eat. Sure you HAVE to be MINDFUL, and make good choices, but if you know in advance, you can get the nutritional information and (I did not know what would be on the menu) you can plan and enjoy your time out!


The #TampaTrio go to College #StartingisBelieving

The following post is sponsored by Florida Prepaid. I received no monetary compensation and all thoughts are my own.

It sounds like a great title for a fiction book, doesn't it?

The Tampa Trio go to college.

But I'm hopeful that it won't be a fiction novel.

Having 3 children only 30 months apart in age (all singletons) means that I will have 3 children in college AT THE SAME TIME.


My husband and I also chose to have our children a bit later in life, so our kids will be hitting college when we're in our mid-50's, at a time when saving for retirement needs to be a top priority.

But we also don't want to saddle our children with ridiculous amounts of debt. And honestly we REFUSE to saddle ourselves with college debt. Been there, done that. Still paying on it.

So what's a college loving family to do?


When each of our children were in Kindergarten we enrolled each of them in the 2-Year Florida College Plan: The 2-Year Florida College Plan covers Tuition, as well as the mandatory Local Fees, for 60 lower division credit hours at one of 28 Florida Colleges (formerly Community Colleges). This plan offers a child the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree or trade certification in any number of fields, and is an excellent springboard to a fulfilling career or further education.

I started my college experience at my local community college, Manatee Community College, now called The State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota and it provided me with an EXCELLENT opportunity to decide if college was the right path for ME. Of course, we all know how that ended up. Yes, college was for me, and I have the multiple advanced degrees to show for it. Wink

Living in Tampa we have excellent community colleges nearby, and of course The University of South Florida, so the Tampa Trio will always have a roof over their head while they are in school (NO, I WILL NOT DO THEIR LAUNDRY!!)

Knowing that the Trio will have something set aside will help us avoid the stress of saving for both college AND retirement.

Back in 2009, 2010, and 2011 when we signed our kids up, we had to pay a $50 enrollment fee.

But if you sign up BEFORE December 31, 2014, the $50 fee will be WAIVED!!

The Open Enrollment period beginning Oct. 15, 2014 and ending Feb. 28, 2015 is a historic one, marked by the lowest prices on Florida Prepaid College Plans since 2007 and a new 1-Year Florida University Plan costing as little as $43 a month for a newborn. The Florida Prepaid College Board was able to reduce prices on some of the most popular plans following a new state law that limits the future cost of tuition.

Curious how much you should be saving for your child? You can check out the College Savings Demo from

Have you started saving for your child's college education?

Lowry Park Zoo: Zoo Boo 2014

When Lowry Park Zoo reached out to ask if the #TampaTrio and I would be interested in attending the 2014 edition of Zoo Boo we all shrieked with delight!

The kids had seen the commercials for London Frightmare (the only new house at Zoo Boo this year) so they were especially excited to see that one!

We arrived at the park, grabbed our map, and plotted out our course.

Last year we waited a VERY LONG TIME for the "rides" so we decided as a family that we didn't need to do them this year. We go to the zoo a few times each year, so we could hit up those rides on another visit when it wasn't so busy.

There were 6 houses in total, ranging from 1 skull (very mild) to 7 skulls (could be intense for some)

This was the order that we went through the houses:

1. French Quarter- 3 skulls

2. Pharaoh's Tomb- 6 skulls (this one is our favorite!!)

3. Wake the Dead- 6 skulls (2nd favorite!!)

4. Tangled Terror- 7 skulls

5. London Frightmare- 7 skulls

In addition to the houses and rides, they also had a Spooky Fun Fair. For an additional charge you could step right up and try your luck at one of these fun and challenging games

  • Spooky Duck Pond
  • Scary Bat Toss
  • Ghostly Hit
  • Zombie Aim
  • Creepy Kangaroo Stomp
  • Booshell Toss

Also in the Spooky Fun Fair (free with admission):

  • Tiki Trek Bounce
  • Bouncey Slide

We did NOT participate in any of the Spooky Fun Fair activities. My gang said it all looked too babyish.


But that doesn't mean we didn't have fun!! Because we did!!

Just having the opportunity to all be together, to be present, and to have fun, was much needed!!

James and I both really enjoyed the $5 ShockTop beers.

When the trio were babies they used to love the "dancing man" that we'd see at the neighborhood car lots, so they loved seeing one all spooky-like!

Ella loved the headless horseman, and Haley loved the opportunity to tell us all about Ichabod Crane. She's such a smart, well read girl. I wonder where she gets that from?

Just because Zoo Boo didn't frighten my gang doesn't mean that it won't frighten yours.

This skull was spitting something so Haley ducked down to prevent being hit.

And there were lots of skulls all over the place. My trio just stood and looked at everything.

I love the girl photo bombing our picture. She and Ronin struck up quite the conversation in line. He's something else that kid.

Zoo Boo is open October 3-4, 10-12, 17-19, 23-26 & 30 - November 1


7-11 p.m. on Fridays & Saturdays
7-10 p.m. on Sundays & Thursdays

General Admission

$18 adults (ages 12 & up)
$14 children (ages 3 - 11)
Children Under 3 are FREE

Annual Zoo Pass Holders

$12.50 adults (ages 12 & up)
$10 children (ages 3 - 11)

Visit their website for more information.