Push Away the Screen: Color Me Rad 2015

Late last month, the kids and I were invited to head out to the Tampa Fairgrounds to participate in our third annual Color Me Rad event.

The first year we did it as a family of 5, last year it was just me and the kids, and this year it was just me and the girls since Ronin was still healing from his broken leg.

We had a BLAST!!

As in years past, I tend to get to these events early.

I hate the stress of lines, and we still needed to go through packet pick-up and we always enjoy the pre-race party.

We got our goodies, and Haley immediately got herself radded out!

And then we spent a little bit of time exploring what was going on around us before we headed back to the car to put our goody bags.

And we made it back just in time for the pre-race activities to begin!

Ella was chosen to come up on stage for a contest. We didn't know what type of contest it was, but she's a good sport so was willing to try anything!

It ended up being a CHUGGING contest, and wouldn't ya know it...SHE WON!!

She has to chug a kool-aide drink to win a prize. Her prize? A pom-pom that she could dip in color along the race course!

And soon we were off!! 

We walked, as we typically do on these events. We talked, laughed, and just enjoyed each other's company.

New this year was the color gel. Honestly, I didn't love the gel. I'm more a fan of the power color. The girls didn't really care for it either, but we still had a blast!

We saw quite a few friends out on the course, and before we knew it we were at the finish line!

It was a short course, not quite a 5K which is 3.1 miles. I was disappointed that the course was short, but I figured by the time you factor in the walking we did to and from the car (Twice!!) that we more than walked the additional distance.

We had a great time at Color Me Rad, and hope to be able to do it again next year! 

 You can more information about Color Me Rad HERE

Have you ever done a color themed race? Did you enjoy it?

Disclaimer: Due to my association with the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was provided with 4 passes to participate in the Color Me Rad event in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Beauty and the Beast #BroadwayinTampa

Disclaimer: Due to my association with the Tampa Bay Bloggers I was provided four tickets to see Beauty and the Beast at the Straz Center. All opinions are my own. 

Growing up, Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite tales. I knew the traditional story of a wealthy merchant who lost his fortune and upon his return from a trip, stopped and picked a rose from a beautiful garden to give to his favorite daughter. This garden was owned by a beast, and to make a long story short, the beautiful, kind daughter ends up at the castle where the Beast becomes her "servant."

But what made this my favorite fairy tale was the description of the library and all the wonderful books.

I have loved libraries and books since I was a small child, so my growing up and becoming a librarian was really no surprise to anyone.

In the early 1990's Disney produced a full length animated film version of my beloved fairy tale, and I was entranced. 

The library of the original fairy tale came to life on the big screen.

And in April 1994, Beauty and the Beast became Disney's first animated film to be adapted into a Broadway musical.

Last night I was invited, along with my daughters, to see the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast at the Straz Center in Tampa. My beautiful friend Hope also joined us. 

I was so excited. How would they bring my beloved library to life? 

The musical opened with a beautiful Belle, (played by Jillian Butterfield) with her nose buried in a book.

And the townsfolk sing:

Look there she goes that girl is so peculiar

I wonder if she's feeling well

With a dreamy far-off look

And her nose stuck in a book

What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle

And it was during this scene that my middle child, my daughter Ella, leans over to me and her older sister Haley, and says in a joking manner, "that Belle is just like the two of you with your noses always stuck in a book."

And we were hooked. This musical was fantastic! Simply fantastic. The girls and I sang along with the songs, and laughed at the characters.

Gaston played by Cameron Bond, and Lefou played by Jake Bridges brought the house down! 

But Lumiere, played by Patrick Pevehouse was my favorite character, though the supporting cast were ALL just fantastic! 

SPOILER: Beauty fell in love with the Beast IN THE LIBRARY. She read to him the Adventures of King Arthur and became smitten with the gentle Beast. The set design for the library was great! Not too ornate, not too shabby, it was just right. 


I also took my little girls for a pre-show treat and we were so thrilled to see a special Beauty and the Beast menu!!

You can see Beauty and the Beast at the Straz Center in Tampa through May 10, 2015. Trust me, you don't want to miss this show!


Take Your Child to Work Day 2015

This is a guest post by my 11 year old daughter, Haley. Last year I was working full time as a lifestyle blogger and Haley was able to come with me to Lowry Park Zoo. You can read her recap about last year's experience HERE. But this year...this year I'm working full-time as a senior level librarian with Tampa-Hillsborough Public Libraries, so in 2015, Haley got to spend the day with me seeing what it's like to work as a librarian.

Guest post by Haley Hodges, age 11.

Take your child to work day is a great day to spend time with your parents. I learned that working full-time and having a family is REALLY HARD and very time challenging. But there are also a lot of benefits.

One way that it's challenging is that my mom has so many things to do during the day. Her morning starts early when she has to not only get herself ready for work, but get me, my sister, and my brother ready for school. She makes our breakfast, makes sure our homework is signed and completed, and that we have everything we need for our day.

And then she drives us to school, and then she has to drive to work.

I never realized that there was SO MUCH traffic in Tampa in the morning. My mom loves to listen to audiobooks, so we listened to one of her stories on the way down to visit with the bookmobile.


I loved meeting all my mama's staff, but once they left for the day we drove down to another library for mama to work.

That is another challenging aspect of my mama's job. She moves around a lot to help out at different libraries.

At the Bloomingdale Library they had a gift bag ready for me! It had bookmarks, coloring pages, crayons, pencils, and the COOLEST USB that you wear on your wrist like a bracelet. That thing is AWESOME!!

My mama has to do a lot at the library. She works the reference desk, helps people with computers, had to unload books, process books, put books in order, it was a lot of work.

My favorite part of the day was working on the reference desk.

I really liked being able to watch my mama in action, answering the phone, helping people find the answers to all sorts of questions, teaching people how to use the computer and printers.

My least favorite part, which started off really fun, was processing the book returns and delivery. Every book has to be checked in, and if the book is on hold, a special sticker is printed up and it goes on the book spine label and then we have to put the books in alphabetical order by patron last name, and then those have to go on a special "holds" shelf out on the public floor. It was a lot of work, and after an hour or so my brain really started to spin. I didn't want to do that anymore.

And then at the end of the day, we still had an hour or so drive home where my mom still had to cook dinner, check homework, and get everything ready for the next day.

She told me that she normally tries to go to the gym on her lunch break so she can get in her run. My mama really seems like she can do it all.

The benefits to working as a librarian are that you get to help people all day long. I like helping people, and I know that my mom does, too.

I thought Bring Your Child to Work Day was very fun. But I'm not sure I want to be a librarian when I grow up.