Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival 2017

The Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival opens THIS WEEKEND!! We're heading over tonight for a special VIP preview. We won't get to see any of the cool bands that are coming, but we will get to sample all the yummy food!!

Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival 2017 - Concert Line Up and More on Having Fun Saving & Cooking

The festival returns with signature dishes and exciting new cuisine – including duck tacos, lobster ravioli, bacon mac & cheese, brown sugar rubbed pork belly, banana foster panna cotta, gator bites, and cabernet-filled chocolates – as well as an expanded selection of wines, craft brews and cocktails.

Food and beverage is not included with park admission and is available for an extra fee. You must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages.

How much does it cost? The festival is FREE with park admission. How much is park admission?

For a limited time, buy a Busch Gardens Fun Card and get an Adventure Island Fun Card FREE.  And don’t forget about the Busch Gardens Preschool Card – kids 5 and under get in FREE. I prefer the Annual Pass which offers unlimited admission all year, free parking, no blockout dates and special benefits totaling more than $300. With EZpay, Annual Passes start at just $14 per month for one park, and $16 per month for both Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island.

Will you be heading to the Food and Wine Festival this year?

Where I Started-Food

I get asked this question a lot. How did I start? What do I eat? How did I cut things out?

I started by first cutting out all fast food. Once I had that down, I cut out buying all foods that came in a box like hamburger helper, then I cut out foods that contained HFCS and MSG, and wheat, then I began ADDING a lot of veggies and fruits and only shopping around the outside of the store b/c that's where all the fresh food is.

My husband and kids pretty much eat what I eat, except for nights like tonight when I always make breakfast for dinner and the kids get gluten free pancakes while I had grilled chicken breast and spaghetti squash and I'm making a Greek salad for my husband.

As far as meal planning...once I get my produce co-op I know what other fruits/veggies I need to fill in the gaps and I meal plan on Sunday using those items and meats/fish/chicken that I have in the freezer, and then I pull out my cookbooks and I involve the kids in meal planning. Especially my oldest. She's been involved in our cooking since she was 5. At that age she looked through cookbooks for items she'd like to eat, and would write them down (helped her with her handwriting too.) I food prep on Sunday for the week. I grill chicken breasts, etc., things that make it super easy for me to grab and re-heat, or grab and go!

It was (and still is) a work in progress. I'm not perfect and I don't claim to be. But I do the best that I can and I always remember where I came from and what it felt like to be there.

Hope that helps.

What a great day

I just found out that November is Blogging Month! How lucky for you all that I decided to start my blog this month Cool 

Today has been an amazing first day as a stay-at-home-mama. I got up at my normal time. 6am. My son (who has special needs and doesn't sleep that well past 5am, he's having a sleep study soon, that's a post for another time) was already up bee-bopping around the house. At least he woke up in a good mood. I made my first cup of coffee as a SAHM. It was the best cup of coffee I had ever had Tongue Out

 Then, as promised I made my husband breakfast and lunch.

Breakfast: Mango, Pineapple, Strawberries, with Fage Fat Free Greek Yogurt and topped with ground flax.

 Lunch: Steamed Broccoli, brown rice with baby carrots, celery and fresh tomatoes, and salmon.  I swear, I didn't take a bite out of the salmon Wink

 So he left for work by 7:15am. That left me with the children for OVER an hour! Oh my...I was so used to dropping them off at "before care" and heading into my library. They rode their bikes up and down our street, played with their DS's and fought with each other. It was lovely. There will be no more "before care" but they will continue with "after care." My amazing husband wants me to stay sane so I'll pick them up around 4:30pm and we'll start our evening activites; gymnastics, homework, driving mama crazy. You know the drill. Thankfully though, I was able to get my workout in so I won't have to stress about fitting that in! Whew.   

Speaking of my workout. Today I cycled outside. It was glorious. Simply glorious. This is my favorite trail in the area. I only wish it was longer. It's about 14 miles round trip when I add in the extra side loops. I love this trail because it is EMPTY! I rarely see anyone else out here, and the wildlife is usually fantastic. I am also a fan of the Suncoast Trail, but it tends to be busy and I hate the noise of the traffic from the interstate. I also like the Starkey Trail, but Cypress Creek is nearly in my backyard, so why waste gas?

I had intended to do 2 laps, but my right ankle started bothering me, so instead I did a power climb in the saddle. 

 I am looking pasty. I need to spend more time outside to get my Florida color back. Good thing I'll be able to do that now. 

 Look, there is NO ONE out here!

There were a bunch of beautiful herons and egrets in this wetland and of course as soon as I stopped for a picture, they flew away. Dang skittish birds.

 Overall, I did about 14ish miles in about 50 minutes. That includes stopping for water at the end, stopping to take pictures, and once I had to stop to adjust my Ipod. I need to remove some of those Brittany Spears songs.

I know my Polar HRM says 57 minutes, but that is after I've loaded my bike in my truck, lolly-gagged around with my camera, etc.. 

It was a good ride. I worked on keeping my HRM in "the zone" never going above 80% and I did it. I didn't burn as many calories as I would have doing indoor cycling, but I am really working on endurance since I have my BIG RACE in just 10 days!! Big. Huge. 100 miles. With an amazing organization: Project Athena.

And then I came home and rearranged the kids TV room, swept the house AND...wait for it. MOPPED THE FLOOR. It's so nice to have clean floors that will remain clean for at least 5 hours. Then the kids will come home, and it will all go downhill from there.

There will likely be another blog post by me later today. I have a few things in the works that I can't wait to share.