Fun stuff this weekend and Takara giveaway winners

April 5, 2013 at 9:13 am

We are in moving hell over here.

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I’m not complaining because I’m really excited about moving to our new house. But packing up a house that you have lived in for 17 years is no small task. I have definitely discovered how DIRTY everything in our house is. I’m such a bad housekeeper. Everything has to be cleaned before I can pack it which slows things down considerably.

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So blogging just isn’t happening. I wish I could create some extra hours in the day. In addition to spending every spare moment packing our normal daily activities continue to take place somehow.

We walked to school a few times this week. We’re trying to get as many walks to school in as possible since after we move that won’t be an option.

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That was Mack’s wacky outfit for “April Foolish Day” on Monday. Sweet Chewie has no clue about the big change that’s about to happen in his life. He is curious about all of the boxes, though.

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Tuesday I went to school for my usual volunteer day.

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Mack’s teacher was out that day however, so I just ended up hanging with Mack in the courtyard during his lunch period.

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Last night was the last PTSA (like PTA with an S) meeting of the year at Cal’s school. The principal altruistically canceled the May mandatory meeting because there are other end-of-year activities that he wants the parents to attend.

Since finding a new house I’ve become obsessed with DIY/Home Improvement blogs and magazines, as evidenced by my entertainment for the meeting last night.

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I’m sure once we move in I’ll lose interest in all of that stuff, but it’s fun to look for decorating ideas for the new place.

That’s all I have for pictures from our fascinating life this week, but I did finally have Mack pick the winners for the two $20 gift certificates I have to give away from Takara Sushi & Sake Lounge. The spring menu preview that I attended was amazing, and it was so nice of them to give me some gift cards to give away! Mack did his duty…

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and picked two winners. Congratulations to Meghan and Ann!

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We have so much fun stuff planned for this weekend. I really need to keep plugging away at the packing, but all of these fun activities were planned weeks ago before we found our new house and knew we’d be moving soon. Here’s what’s on deck for the weekend…I’d love for you to check out some of these fabulous activities as well!


Tomorrow morning is the Shore Acres Eagle Dash 5K and Kids’ Dash.

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This event is a family-friendly 5K and there are kids’ runs for all ages…every kid dasher gets a ribbon. There is still time to register either today at Fit2Run St. Pete from 3-7 p.m. or tomorrow morning before the race. Check out the Facebook event link above for more details. I’d love to see you out there! Proceeds go to support the community garden at Mack’s school.

Tomorrow evening I’m going to a blogger meet-up at Keel & Curley Winery in Plant City. Keel & Curley makes amazing blueberry wine. Strawberry season is almost over, but blueberry season is still going strong!

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Be sure to check out the Blueberry Festival April 27-28th!


So I mentioned that strawberry season is almost over, but not quite! Parkesdale Market is hosting a food truck meet-up on Sunday and it’s one of the last chances to grab one of their world-famous strawberry shortcakes!

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The boys and I will be stopping by Sunday morning for a food truck lunch and some strawberry shortcake. Can’t wait! Get more details on the Facebook event page for the Parkesdale Farm Market food truck event.

After the food truck event we’re going to hurry back to Tampa to meet Chad at the Tampa Theater. The Tampa Theater is kicking of a new Family Favorites movie series on Sunday afternoons by showing The Princess Bride this week!


I’m so excited for the boys to see The Princess Bride for the first time on the BIG SCREEN! It’s definitely one of my all-time favorite movies and I know they are going to love it. Other movies in this series will include Babe, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Annie, The Muppet Movie, The Neverending Story, and E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. All awesome movies! How great to see them again on the big screen in this historic theater. Check out the Tampa Theater website for more information.

Whew. What a fun weekend we have in store. I am forecasting utter exhaustion by Sunday night. If I can get through this month of home inspections, title companies, insurance companies, real estate agents, cardboard boxes, dust rags, 5Ks, triathlons, and lots of family fun as well, I will be worthy of the title #SHERO!

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Here’s one last fun thing this weekend (actually starting today) that we aren’t able to attend, but I wanted to share it in case you are…


I have heard that PhilFest is a huge and fantastic festival with some great food. I wish we could do EVERYTHING!

Have a great weekend!


{Disclosure: Keel & Curley Winery is hosting our blogger meet-up tomorrow evening and is providing us with a free tour and tasting. The Tampa Theater invited a group of bloggers to tour the theater before the movie on Sunday and also is providing free tickets to the showing of The Princess Bride for my family. No other compensation was provided for anything in this post.}

Moving stuff, Cuban Sandwich Festival, and Easter

March 31, 2013 at 8:29 pm

From that random title, I guess you can tell this is a catch-up post. I just haven’t had time for blogging and I think that’s how it’s going to be for the next month or so. I do want to try to blog and keep a record of this exciting time in our life, though. The whole point of this blog is to record my memories for posterity and I don’t want to forget the details of our days during this time. So I’m just going to do the best I can and try to get some photos and words posted here and there. This post is going to be long and random and have tons of photos because I am so far behind. You have been warned.

This week was filled with packing, house painting, booking movers, and inspecting the new house. Lots of fun stuff. We are closing on the new house on April 30th and have the movers booked for May 3rd (a Friday, so Chad can take the day off and then have the weekend). It may seem like a month is plenty of time to pack, but I feel stressed about it. We have lived in this house for 17 years and have so much stuff! Getting ready to move is my #1 priority for the next month. I do still need to be training for the swim at the St. Anthony’s Triathlon on April 28th because I don’t want to let my team down, but other than that I am going to be focused on house stuff (getting ready to move to the new house and getting the old house ready to put on the market).

One of the highlights of the week for the boys was hitting the box bonanza at Fit2Run thanks to my friend Dawn who used to work there and suggested it. They loved getting up on the loading dock and throwing boxes down at me.

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We are burning through boxes and I’ve been looking for them at liquor stores, grocery stores, and from friends (thanks Kate!). Fit2Run was the mother load of nice sized boxes! We filled the car up and I’m sure we’ll be back there for more.

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The house is in total chaos. It’s bad.

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My bikes are living in the house temporarily so that they are safe from the painters’ pressure washing and spraying paint.

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We did take a break from packing to dye some eggs on Friday.

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The painters have been great.

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Our shed is a good representation of the true color, which is basically the same color that it was before.

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It looks so cute!

On Friday I took the boys out to Fort DeSoto to hang out with our friends the Z’s who were camping out there.

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They had a blast canoeing and running around and getting filthy all day.

While they were at Fort DeSoto I also had a blast spending three hours at the new house while our home inspector was doing his thing. My friend, the other Caroline, met me there and helped me take measurements of all the rooms because we need to buy some new furniture and I needed to know what I should be looking for in terms of size. It was awesome to get a longer and closer look at the house. I will be sharing more pictures once it is really and truly OURS and other people aren’t living there, but here’s a picture of the pool and lanai. It’s fabulous.

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It’s pretty much impossible for me to think about anything other than moving right now. We are not people who move a lot, obviously. This is a really big deal to us. We plan to be in this new house for the next 20 years or until we are ready to move to a retirement community (and that IS what we plan to do one day).

Yesterday morning we all headed to Ybor City in Tampa for the Cuban Sandwich Festival.

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We were invited to attend as VIP’s this year after I blogged about the festival last year. We arrived around 11 a.m. and it wasn’t too crowded at that point. It was a perfect, gorgeous Florida spring day.

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We walked around the festival for a bit, getting the lay of the land. The boys got some samples of mini donuts…

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and beef jerky.

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We found the Yelp table and said, “Hey” to my friend Brett, the Yelp Tampa Bay community manager.

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We found the VIP area, which was a nice shady secluded area with tables and chairs. They were going to have food there after the sandwich judging, but we were already really hungry so we decided to just go buy some food. Since we had already perused the vendors we knew what we wanted.

From Datz

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we grabbed two Havana Hotties and an order of chips with drizzle.

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From Pipo’s…

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we got a plate of pork, rice, and black beans and a Cuban sandwich.

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That was a lot of food that we all shared!

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From Datz:

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From Pipo’s:

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Everything was delicious. It was great to have a nice comfortable shady table at which to sit and eat.

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Thanks Victor and Jolie for inviting us! This is Victor addressing the judges and other VIPs:

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The pork and rice and beans were the best thing from Pipo’s. Their Cuban was good, but did not come close to the awesomeness of Datz’ Havana Hottie. Datz got our vote!

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While we enjoyed the shade the judges were hard at work (locals will recognize the local news celebrities).

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One of my blogger friends, Megan from I Run for Wine, was one of the judges!

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I also ran into my friend Amber in the VIP area.

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Amber and I went on a crazy bachelorette party weekend cruise together a few years ago and have been Facebook friends ever since. We are always at the same events and never run into each other, so it was great to reconnect with her.

I found this pic from our cruise, Amber…from before I was blogging so regularly (Feb. 2010):

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So back to the Cuban Sandwich Festival…I capped off our VIP experience by trying a cappuccino from this fabulous coffee machine:

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I shared it with the boys and it was delicious.

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As we were leaving, around 12:30, the crowds had really thickened. These are basically the same shots…

11:00 am:

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12:30 pm:

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So the moral of the story is arrive early to festivals! Last year we couldn’t get a Cuban to save our lives, and this year there seemed to be plenty to be had. We had a great time. If you went to the Cuban Sandwich Festival this year I’d love to hear about your experience (and so would Victor and Jolie, I’m sure).

Since we were already in that neck of the woods, after the festival we went to Ikea to scope out some furniture for the new house.

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We are moving from a 1440 square foot house to a 2950 square foot house. There are lots of things we are going to need and we’ll be acquiring things slowly as we see what becomes a priority. We know that pretty quickly we need some sort of media console as our current entertainment center won’t fit where we need it. Also, the boys are both getting new beds and we are going to sell their current bunk beds. We also need a sofa bed or some sort of bed for the guest room. There was lots of bed testing going on in Ikea.

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We spent at least two hours in Ikea and the only thing we bought was a $2 milk frother. But now we have some ideas of things that may work from there (boys’ beds) and things that we need to look elsewhere for (media console). The boys were thoroughly exhausted and bored by the end, but they hung in there and were pretty well behaved. A reward was in order.

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So that brings us to today. Are you bored enough yet?

Happy Easter!

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I hope the Easter bunny can find us in our new house next year, but he definitely didn’t forget about us today.

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Just like last year, that rascally rabbit brought the boys weapons. Last year it was steampunk nerf guns…


This year it was airsoft pistols.

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After Easter baskets it was time for the annual egg hunt with Joey Z., weapons included.

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We have been doing this egg hunt since they were so little. It’s the end of an era, I guess. We may have to drive over next year for the egg hunt. I hope that whoever owns our house then doesn’t mind if we hunt for eggs in their yard.

After the Easter excitement was over I drove to Home Depot to get some yard beautification supplies.

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Chad thinks that sprucing up the yard is a waste of time, but our realtor assures us that it is worth it. The flower bed at the foot of our stairs went from this…

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to this:

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I hope the flowers fill in nicely over the next month.

The shed went from this…

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to this:

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The evolution of the shed over the past couple of months is awesome.

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Okay, whew. I think that’s all I have for today. Sort of caught up. I really need to try to blog a little every day instead of massively every four days. It’s too much, I know. But at least it’s all recorded for posterity!