North Highlands Day of Giving Back - Feeding America Tampa Bay

Every year North Highland does a really cool thing for their local communities called North Highland's Day of Giving Back. One of my best friends Megan works for a management consultant company called the North Highland Company. She works for their Central Florida offices which consist of Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville. 

For the second year in a row, she is the Central Florida coordinator for a community day of involvement for their company to give back to their local city. Last year, “The Day of Giving Back” took place on April 28th and the theme was “Investing in Human Potential”. This took place in multiple locations throughout the US and their worldwide locations, everywhere from London to Shanghai.  You can read about last year and its success here.

This year they have picked the charity Feeding America Tampa Bay, which is  a resource to 600 charities that run some type of program to combat hunger. These include soup kitchens, food pantries, emergency shelters, and Kids Cafes. Of the 509,000 people in West Central Florida who are unsure where their next meal will come from, Feeding America Tampa Bay last year provided food to more than 400,000 people. 

I really love that North Highland takes the initiative and gives back to causes like this! On May 4, 2013 they will host a large scale event called North Highlands Day of Giving Back to help several non-profit organizations. The one that their Tampa office chose to support is Feeding America Tampa Bay. 

Prior to the event on May 4, there will be a food drive for Feeding America Tampa Bay through May 2.   

How You Can Help: Participate in this food drive!  
A collection bin will be set up in the management office at: Towers at Westshore, 1408 N. Westshore Blvd. #150, Tampa FL. 

(No Glass Please! Pop-top items preferred!)

  • Canned Meat (tuna, chicken, ham, sausage)
  • Canned Fruits & Vegetables
  • Canned Meal (pasta, chili, beef stew)
  • Boxed Macaroni & Cheese
  • Canned Beans
  • Cereal (low sugar, high fiber)
  • Cereal & Fruit Bars
  • Peanut Butter
  • Grape Jelly (plastic containers only) 

Across the country, one in six people struggles with hunger. That totals 50 million Americans. This organization is a wonderful resource for those who are struggling with hunger right here in Tampa. I encourage you to get involved! Please consider participating in this food drive!
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The Funky Pelican-Flagler Pier

My girlfriend Diane and I need to meet at least once every other week. We are both business owners and the chance to run ideas off each other and brainstorm about different things are really good for the entrepreneurial soul. We have our tried and true but since we have been both so crazy busy...we wanted to try something new and decided on The Funky Pelican. I was excited to try it because we go to the Rivergrille a lot, and they are owned by the same person. 

The view is always to die for at the Flagler Pier, even though we chose a day with real inclement weather.  We sat inside but they do have a great deck that has been recently renovated. This would be a great place to come for breakfast and I want to make sure that we check it out for a weekend brunch! 

We started with the Funkatizers-The Pelican’s Stash -Creamy Smoked Fish Dip, Flat Bread Crackers

The atmosphere was busy, but organized. The waitress and waiters were really nice and on top of things. Our lunches came up pretty quick- 

Diane got the Funky Caesar Bowl - Crispy Flour Tortilla Bowl, Creamy Caesar Salad
Choice of Chilled Shrimp or Chicken, Parmesan Cheese, Seasoned Croutons

I opted for the Fish-Mac-2 Fried Haddock Fillets, Secret Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onions on a Split Soft Brioche Bun – All Wrapped Up! It was AWESOME!! I also had a side of homemade brocoli  slaw. Delicious! 

The long road to see this restaurant open as described by an article here from Flagler Live was worth the wait. Check out The Funky Pelican on Facebook and Twitter

Funky Pelican on Urbanspoon Pin It

WESH 2 Orlando MeetUp

Although my background for the last two decades (my entire adult life, I am not THAT old) has been spent in radio, I have always been an Uber fan of NBC. I don't know about your family but ours have stuck to one network, and it has always been NBC. We are very lucky that the local affiliate WESH 2 (Orlando) that is as great, and I have been watching it as long as I can remember.

I was really pleased when I received an email from Kevin, WESH Digital Media Manager inviting me to a Tweetup that WESH-TV was hosting at their studios in Winter Park.

The invite promised a behind-the-scenes look at the WESH 2 studios during Sunrise and the chance to meet the people you see on TV.

Bob and I 
It made for an early drive in, but I was excited. We had a great time, an opportunity to ask a ton of questions and meet some of the people I have shared my coffee with virally for years.

I am sure I drove Bob Longo, WESH's News Director crazy with all my nerdy questions, primarily on the logistics of some of the national reporters and how they personalize each news report every morning. Nerdy things that only fascinate me for sure!

We talked about really cool ways that WESH lets their viewers help with the news via the U-Local platform. U-Local is a  place to share videos, audio, photos, and stories with the community.

After the studio tour, we had a chance to talk to Stuart Moore, who was out on assignment! He is a Seminole which made me like him even more! 

This was a great opportunity and I hope I get to participate in it again! See the feed of the Meetup here!

WESH Studios
Kimberly Williams, Traffic
Meredith McDonough, Anchor
Jason Guy, Anchor
Amy Sweezey, Weather

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Monday Musing

Happy Monday! This is the week that my wedding and its plans become a reality! EE! My bachelorette party is this weekend! On Friday, me and my maids are packing up the car and heading North to the South, Darling!   I chose Savannah as our location for our soiree (someone please help me come up with another term for a bachelorette party? I am not 20!) Pictures soon! 
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#GivingVine Goes Green for Earth Day!

I am really loving the Vine application! Finding great ways to have fun with my friends on it, get a bird-eyes view of NASCAR week to week and finding ways to market events and clients. I am furiously waving my flag on this application and I really hope that it continues to take off!  

Turns out, I am in good company, the company HooplaHa’s shares my passion with a really cool way to use Vine to celebrate Earth Day! HooplaHa's mission, while a simple one, could not be more important: to make people smile as much as possible. Whether it be a bit of good news, an inspirational story, a fun video, a cute picture or a touching piece of music – they want to put a smile on your face!

Earth Day initiative called the #GivingVine Goes Green: 2013. is a good news website dedicated to spreading positivity and inspiration, and they developed the #GivingVine as a way to document acts of kindness using the Vine app for Twitter. 

For Earth Day, they teamed up with the Earth Day Network and their A Billion Acts of Green Campaign to do Earth-friendly acts of kindness. 

They have captured acts of green in Vine videos to add to HooplaHa’s  #GivingVine  and tally in the Earth Day Network’s A Billion Acts of Green Campaign.

You can check out these green acts of kindness by visiting, and find out exactly how to celebrate Earth Day with HooplaHa here.

We have had a lot of sadness this week. I think everything happens for a reason, and I am glad I have this release to share with you. Hope you spread the kindness around!

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Using Social Media To Internalize Your Own Narcissism In Time Of Tragedy

Human nature never ceases to amaze me. I promise not to to do what I saw all day long on many blogs I follow, and on all social media today.

Keyword keyword keyword. Everyone is going to be googling and hashtaging this terrible tragedy that happened yesterday. Let's jump on the boat so they will notice me and my blog! Think of the hits and impressions!

I will not accept  how some people on my social media yesterday and today are making this about themselves. Its hard to believe what is in peoples chemical makeup to somehow make it about them for the purpose of self promotion. I would imagine that this behavior is not new to any psychologist but unfortunately thanks to social media, now I have to read it and be amazed at the way people behave and don't try to hide it .

I also spent a good time unfollowing people yesterday who didn't have the common sense to take down all their automated tweets and Facebook posts during this time of dismay. In between all the news, updates and sincere outpour of sorrow, Hey Look! Check out the Spring trends that I found at TJ Maxx on my blog! Shame on you.

The whole running thing is new to me, but the feeling that you get from crossing any finish line is  the best feeling you will ever have. Even after my piddly first official cross the finish line and have people that I didn't know cheering me made me smile and cry because of the deep sense of accomplishment I felt. To replace that feeling with a sense of fear, of insecurity and panic after what happened yesterday is what I feel is the real tragedy here.

So, I am upset and my heart is broken...and this may seem a little ranty but I am putting it where my heart is best spent.

Pray for Boston. Pin It

The Rusty Spoon Orlando-Delicious and Local Farm to Table Movement

There is few things that I love more than the Farm to Table Movement. It is very satisfying to be able to do it in your own kitchen, but I love being spoiled and having a restaurant that will do it for you and d othis right.

We have found that at The Rusty Spoon in Orlando, I was a guest of Megan's from I Run For Wine after our evening out at the Amway Center seeing Taylor Swift. 

When we walked in, it was right when they opened. It gave us a good chance to take pictures of the restaurant. Located on Church Street, The Rusty Spoon is a gastropub with a local organic feel. When were admiring the beautiful pictures and atmosphere, we were greeted by Kathleen Blake, Executive Chef/Owner, and 2013 James Beard Best Chef, South Semi-Finalist.

She took time out of her busy morning to give us some information on her restaurant:

The Rusty Spoon takes deliveries in six days a week from local farms. She specifically mentioned Dale, the owner of Lake Meadow Naturals. Before he started Lake Meadow, Dale was well known in the area for his cage and hormone free eggs. He and Kathleen connected on Local Harvest, a web site dedicated to help bring small farms and consumers together and that is where she gets her amazing eggs to feature in her dishes.

Dale's eggs are the main star in The Rusty Spoon's Lake Meadow Eggs - they are deviled eggs stuffed with loads of fresh herbs, house pickles & ovendried tomatoes. I can't stop thinking about them!  

Megan and I decided to split a couple of dishes so we could try as many items as we could. First up, per usual was the Bloody Mary. As luck would have we were served by not only Brian our waiter, he is also the restaurant's resident mixologist.... solely in charge of the greatest Bloody Mary I have ever tasted. Upon some begging, he gave us some hints of what makes its so great (charred tomatoes, charred celery, jalepeno, cucumber, lemon, garlic, pepper, worcestershire, etc etc.) Heaven. 

After the eggs, We chose to split the soup...Shiittinonion Soup. Best. Name. Ever. The ingredients were simple: 5 Onions, Roasted Double Chicken Stock, Topped with croutons & Melted Gruyere. I think the  Gruyere made the soup, because it blended nicely with the rest of the flavors. 

We were slowly getting the eyes are bigger than the stomach disease but it was time for the main course! After much deliberation, we decided on a burger and some handcut noodles. I say burger but I think that is not being really honest! It was a GINORMOUS side of beef! Its called the "55: 1/2 lb burger made with Grass-Fed Beef, Stuffed with Bacon & Gruyere, Smothered with Onions, Rusty Aioli & Housemade Spicy Pickles (which were my favorite) on a Soft Roll. It cames with homemade ketchup that made the Haystack fries taste that much better!

Our other choice was  Handcut Noodles - Southern Carbonara with smoked Tasso ham, peas, cracked black pepper, greens and pecorino.There is nothing I loved more than fresh pasta and it is so rare to have it cooked perfectly, and oh it was!!

Could it get any better?? I am about to rock your socks off with my favorite part of the whole meal. Grown Up S'Mores. made with Brandy, Kahlua, Creme de Cocoa, a creative salty Graham Cracker crust, a milk chocolate center, topped with homemade marshmallow fluff with Frangelico and candied salted caramel. At this point, I was physically tapping out (I think Brian thought we were crazy) but after a couple of bites, I took it home. Last night I sat and ate this desert like it was the last thing on Earth. 

Trust me, if it was-I would have died happy.

This Chalkboard Showed Today's Local Offering:

The Rusty Spoon on Urbanspoon Pin It

Monday Musing

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Chicken in New Orleans Wine Sauce with Pompeian OlivExtra® Premium Mediterranean blend.

There is a running joke that any time that my beau eats a dish that I have made, he begs me to remember that he likes it or he may never see it again. As many cooks do, we love to try many new dishes. I am always scouring new recipes to make although I do have a selection of a couple of tried and trues. One solid go to on any gloomy or comfort needed day (and one of his favorites) is Chicken in New Orleans Wine Sauce. 

As we have been looking to eat better before our wedding, I decided to healthy it up using Pompeian OlivExtra® Premium Mediterranean blend. I love this blend that uses extra virgin olive oil and grapeseed oil as well as canola oil. It has great benefits, too as it provides essential Omega-3 and Omega-6, monounsaturated fat, and Vitamin E Antioxidant. Find out more facts from the Pompeian website here.

Chicken in New Orleans Wine Sauce starts with a mirepoix which is  a combination of celery, onions, and carrots. You can use any kind of wine and just a small amount of flour makes it a low carb, healthy meal. Using the Pompeian OlivExtra® Premium Mediterranean blend added more flavor and made it that much more healthier.

4 large chicken breast fillets
6 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons Pompeian OlivExtra® Premium Mediterranean blend
3/4 cup white wine (may use water)
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 bay leaf
1 3/4 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
3/4 cup carrot, diced
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/8 cup parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)


  1. Rinse chicken and dry.
  2. Mix flour, salt, pepper and paprika together, use a paper plate to save some dishwashing.
  3. Dredge chicken in this mixture.
  4. Reserve leftover mixture (Do not forget this part!!)
  5. Add 2 tbsp Pompeian OlivExtra® Premium Mediterranean blend in pan and brown chicken breasts both sides.
  6. Set aside your chicken.
  7. Add remaining Pompeian OlivExtra® Premium Mediterranean blend., stir in remaining flour mixture, add wine and stir until smooth.
  8. Add to wine mixture chicken bouillon  water, poultry seasoning, bayleaf, mushrooms, onions, carrots and celery.
  9. Add chicken and simmer covered for 25- 30 minutes.
  10. Once chicken is cooked, remove and add sour cream.
  11. Cook until heated through.

When ready to serve pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

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Daytona Beach Half Marathon To Return in 2014, Introduces Shorter Component, Kids Race

It was announced this week from the Daytona International Speedway that The Daytona Beach Half Marathon returns to the Budweiser Speedweeks lineup in 2014. 

Scheduled for Sunday, February 16, the sixth annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon, hosted by Volusia County, Daytona International Speedway and the Central Florida Sports Commission will take place one week before the 56th annual “The Great American Race” – the Daytona 500.

Registration will open next Wednesday, April 17, with the advanced entry fee for the Daytona Beach Half Marathon set at $85 per person. The half marathon will start at 6:30 am, right after The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona finishes up Saturday night, and will make for an early day for the race fans and drivers that will participate in the DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger Sunday afternoon.

“We’re looking forward to the return of the Daytona Beach Half Marathon during Budweiser Speedweeks 2014,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “From the Speedway to the Beach, the community provided a memorable backdrop for all the runners who participated.”

This is exciting news for runner enthusiasts that are NASCAR fans. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon’s route has been named one of the seven most scenic half marathons in America by and features one of the most unique courses in the running world. With the legendary pavement and historic grandstands of Daytona International Speedway serving as the backdrop, runners will start on pit road and run the first two miles on the track. The course then winds through the streets of Daytona Beach, finally reaching “The World’s Most Famous Beach” at approximately the 7.1 mile mark. Runners will then run on the beach for approximately two-tenths of a mile, getting an unobstructed view of the ocean as the sun rises on the beautiful horizon. Returning to the roads of Daytona Beach, runners then head back to the Speedway for the finish and a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane.

This continues the tradition of mixing NASCAR with the running community. Hendrick Motorsports did an excellent job capturing the excitement of their racers including the event on their Vine account. Included in the nearly 1,400 runners that registered for the 2013 event were four NASCAR drivers (Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip and Aric Almirola) and more than a dozen other team members.

New for 2014, the race organizers will also incorporate a shorter distance race (that has my name all over it), as well as a Kids Race into the half marathon race weekend. Details associated with the additional race and Kids Race, including distance, dates, times and registration information, will be released in the coming months.

According to John Bisignano, Central Florida Sports Commission President/CEO this will also be a great opportunity for a boost in the local Daytona economy. “The Daytona Beach Half Marathon provides a participant experience that is unparalleled anywhere in the running world, The complete NASCAR experience, merged with the beauty of Daytona Beach, makes this a destination event that you will not want to miss. We expect the 2014 race weekend to draw more than 4,500 participants and spectators, driving nearly 1,000 room nights and over $900,000 of economic impact for Volusia County.”

According to the release, each half marathon participant will receive a race-themed tech shirt, finisher’s medal, post-race party, personalized race bib, and a ticket to DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger. Included in the DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger ticket is access to Sprint FANZONE which provides an up-close look at the NASCAR garages and inspection areas as teams prepare for the race.  Photo opportunities with race cars and other NASCAR-related items will be available before, during and after the race. The half marathon is open to runners and walkers, at least 12 years of age or older, who can complete the course in less than 3 hours and 30 minutes.

For more information about the Daytona Beach Half Marathon, visit . For real time updates like the race on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

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Foursquare Freshens Their App And Their Wallet

When I consult new clients, it is not realistic to suggest to sign up for everything and see what sticks. There are thousands of new apps released every day and that makes it really difficult to be effective when trying to market your business socially. I tend to stay to the main players (Facebook and Twitter), the major online review sites (Yelp, Google Plus, Urban Spoon and Trip Advisor) and Foursquare, the best Geo-locator to market for any business. I like it because it does some of the work for you. When you check in and you share it with Facebook and Twitter, you are helping the business market and brand itself. Plus they have badges and mayorships that are really fun at any age...yes, I am speaking to  my late thirty self.

Today, they received not only a nice update to their app but reported today that it has raised a further $41 million from investors.

According to their announcement, four years and over 3.5 billion check-ins later, this brand new version of Foursquare can do a whole lot more. Whether you're traveling in a new city or hanging out in familiar territory, Foursquare helps you experience the world like a local.

Instantly see the best recommendations for you
When you open up the new Foursquare, they will  crunch their data to show you the best of what's nearby, based on the time of day, how familiar you are with the neighborhood, and what's popular at the moment.

Out shopping? They will show you more stores you might like, or nearby dinner recommendations. In a familiar city? They will tell you about a new cafe that just opened up in the neighborhood. In Paris for the first time? See top sights and attractions, approved by local check-ins.

Foursquare to the rescue. Find what you're craving with Explore.
Brunch too crowded? No need to scroll through long reviews to find another place. Use the Explore search bar at the top of the app to quickly get personalized recommendations based on check-ins from you, your friends, and local experts. Search for "eggs benedict" or "brunch," or simply browse "food" to find something great.

Find out more from Foursquare's blog Pin It

Springtime and Brunch with Stellina Di Notte Prosecco®

Springtime makes it feel like brunch season has arrived! The thought of sitting outside in the warm spring air, sipping prosecco and enjoying small bites seems to mesh perfectly with warming weather. 

A lazy afternoon brunch could call for bubbly outside…early afternoon, a sparkling wine is a light but chill way to complement delicious bites. Whether poured alone, or mixed into a refreshing drink, the bubbly is a crowd pleaser!

Prosecco is my go-to bubbly, I love that it is Italian, sweet and delicious. It is a perfect thing to bring on the boat, or use it in substitute of champagne in mimosas. If you are hosting a brunch, a baby shower or any afternoon outdoor event, here are some great recipes to get you started.

Fountain of Cocktails

1 quart blueberry juice
1 quart peach nectar
1 quart apple juice
1 quart cranberry juice
1 quart orange juice
1 quart pineapple juice


In a large pitcher, mix together the blueberry juice and peach nectar. In another large pitcher, mix together the apple and cranberry juices. In another large pitcher, mix together the orange and pineapple juices.
Fill glasses with your choice of juice and top with sparkling wine.

Pear Puffs

Total Time: 60min | Cook Time: 20min |Level: Medium | Servings: 16 puffs


1 egg
1 sheet frouncesen puff pastry, thawed
5 tablespoons & 1 teaspoon semisoft cheese with garlic and fine herbs
2/3 cup canned diced pears, drained and thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 400F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. For egg wash, in a small bowl, lightly whisk together egg and 1 teaspoon water. Set aside.

Unroll puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll puff pastry into a 14 x 10-inch rectangle. cut into sixteen 3 x 2-inch rectangles.

Spread 1 teaspoon of the semisoft cheese in a middle of a pastry rectangle. Top with 2 teaspoons of the pears. Using a pastry brush, brush egg wash around the perimeter of the puff pastry rectangle. Bring corners of the pastry to the center and pinch seams together. Repeat to make 16 puffs. Arrange puffs, seam sides up, on prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and brush tops with remaining egg wash.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Prosecco Cake

Recipe Courtesy: Sandra Lee
Total Time: 60min | Cook Time: 45min | Level: Easy


1 (16-ounce) box pound cake mix
2 eggs
½ stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon orange zest
⅓ cup Stellina di Notte® Prosecco or sparkling wine
⅓ cup orange juice
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup sparkling wine


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9 × 5-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and dust lightly with flour.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for cake. Mix on medium speed until well incorporated.

Pour into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until top is golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack placed on a sheet pan.

To make glaze, put confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and slowly beat in the Prosecco until consistency is thick but pourable. Pour glaze over top of cakes and allow to drip down sides. Let sit for
5 minutes to set.

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The Trifecta of A Perfect Monday With A Touch of Sadness

Today started as a weird day for sure. As Mondays usually are never anyone's favorites....this one was very strange. When watching the Today show, we sadly learned of Margaret Thatcher's passing. A strong wonderful lady, one of the first females who led the way. What was weird is I picked her quite this week as my Monday Musing. Hmph.

This afternoon, while having lunch at my favorite new French restaurant, (Rendez-Vous in Daytona Beach) my beau texted to tell me that Annette Funicello had also passed away. A sad day for us all who grew up watching (reruns...mind you) the Mickey Mouse Club. 

Amidst all the sadness, a couple of really cool things happened today. Before my lunch date, I got invited to a Tweetup sponsored by our NBC affiliate WESH-TV. If you have ever laid eyes on this blog, you know that I am BIG fan of NBC and of course WESH. I have grown up watching only one network religiously and it is NBC. In fact, someone in this home who shall remain nameless thinks its funny to change the channel when I get up and get more coffee. haha! I watch nothing else, its just all that I know. Are you like that? Am I just the crazy one to be dedicated to one news source for all its coverage?

I received an email from Kevin who is their head of Digital Media-WESH is hosting a #tweetup next week at their studios in Winter Park. They are sending special invites to a very select few @WESH2Sunrise followers who are active on Twitter, and invited me to join them. I will  get a behind-the-scenes look at the WESH 2 studios during Sunrise and the chance to meet the people I see on TV. Pretty cool, huh??! More info soon! 

I am now late to my lunch! But this was a great excuse. As I am driving down the road at a stoplight, I get a text message from a dear friend who works in country music. "Hey, do you want to come meet Taylor on Thursday or Friday night??"

So, Megan and I will be adding another artist to our list of meet and greets. I am a huge fan! And she has an adorable process for her meet and greets...I can't wait to tell you about that! YAY! 

At this point, I am pretty much floating on air, had an amazing lunch...come home and take an unexpected sieste. I woke up realizing that I missed a meeting...whoops...but, as I went to stalk the mailbox for RSVP there was a BIG box waiting for me.

I opened it and took a whiff and swore someone sent me Strawberry Shortcake dolls! A LITTLE better than that!!!! 

This my friends, is the new Smirnoff line of lower calorie vodkas called Sorbet Light! Trust me, you will be hearing about them a LOT from me! They smell so good, I am not sure which one I will try first.

In other news, runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend registration officially opens tomorrow! As a Disney Vacation Club member, I have already made the jump to sign up early for the Inaugural 10K..but if you want some inside scoop head on over to Megan's blog. She had the pleasure of speaking to Faron Kelley, Director, Marketing Disney Sports Attractions, who had lots of great info and new news for the weekend! 

So, how was your Monday??! 

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Monday Musing

Note: April 8, 2013 4:10P EST-I am a little freaked out of the irony of this post. And what I just said using the word irony...oh boy...anyway....I schedule the Monday Musings when I am online and I see something fabulous and quotable. I am a little spooked that I picked my favorite quote from Margaret Thatcher to schedule today as we sadly heard of her passing. Pin It

Consider Myself Bitten- I'm Running the runDisney Inaugural 10K

Somewhere in a little town of Tampa, FL one young lady named Megan of I Run For Wine is laughing... probably rocking back and forth cackling.

Because, you see, in one phone call she broke me of the "I just want to run 5Ks" mantra I have been preaching for the last year.

After I said my prayers to her (and said you are gonna die no less than 50 times) upon her confirmation of her running the Dopey (more on that in a second), she talked me into signing up for the 5K 10K component of this runDisney January weekend in about 5.2 seconds. I think the terms Inaugural and Killer Medal...not to mention that I have been dying to get into a runDisney event sealed the deal.

So, today I am proud to announce that I will be running the Inaugural Walt Disney World 10K!!!

From the runDisney website:

Friday, January 10, 2014
5:30 a.m. (EEEK!)
Start/Finish: Epcot®

Run in the newest Marathon Weekend event, the 10K!

Join us for the inaugural Walt Disney World® 10K. This 6.2 mile course is the perfect distance for runners of all skill levels. Winding throughout Epcot® and the scenic World Showcase, it is the newest way to be part of the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend.

The Walt Disney World® 10K features:

  • 10K course through Epcot®
  • Disney Characters and Entertainment on-course
  • Event Weekend Transportation for Walt Disney World® Resort Guests

Race participants in the Walt Disney World® 10K will receive:

  • Champion® Long-Sleeved Tech Shirt in Women's or Men's Cut*
  • 10K Finisher Medal*
  • Official Race Program Guide*
  • iGiftBag
  • Personalized bib (Must register by November 1, 2013 for name to appear on bib)*
  • On-course and post-race refreshments

Be sure to check out Run Disney website (you HAVE to watch the video) for more details. The weekend is attractive for all runners! Registration for all races is April 9.

In addition to the 10K, there is a 5K, a Goofy Half and A Full and if you are insane enough...perhaps you would like to join the eighth dwarf Crazy, I mean Megan as she is going to do the Dopey Challenge.

Credit:RunDisney website

Yes, she and her friends Nicole and Rachel of Runners Tales are going to do ALL of these events...4 races (6 medals in total, which makes me jealous). The four day race event now consists of a 5K, 10K, 13.1 and 26.2. I have to sit down and process all of that! But I will be cheering them on. Wildly!!!

So, I am really excited and will be blogging about the journey to the will be a fun happy and magical one for sure!!

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Win A Trip to BlogHerFood 13 with Hungry Girl and Pompeian!

This is a really exciting promotion! As a Blogger, I can honestly say being involved with BlogHer and attending their conference last year changed everything I know and do about blogging. I have been looking at BlogHer Food in Austin even though its two weeks after my wedding and one week before we travel to go to another wedding....I am a masochist and I am gonna enter this promotion from Pompeian and Hungry Girl. 

Spring is a great time to think about taking your old cooking habits in for a tune-up? Ladies, it’s Time to Change Your Oil!

Pompeian and Hungry Girl are challenging all bloggers to change our oil by re-imagining a recipe that uses butter or vegetable oil, and instead try Pompeian’s Grapeseed Oil or OlivExtra Premium Mediterranean Blend. 

Simply post your recipe with an accompanying image on your blog, head to the Time to Change Your Oil Facebook application to share a link to your recipe blog post, enter your contact info and click SUBMIT! The winner will be selected by Hungry Girl Lisa Lillian and will receive an all-expense paid trip to BlogHer Food ’13 in Austin, TX June 7-8. Plus, their recipe will be featured with Pompeian throughout the event!
This is exciting on fifty two levels for me! First off, I am Italian and I only cook with Pompeian Oils...they are the best! I love that they have these new blends! Secondly, I have been miserably dieting and have been looking a the Mediterranean Diet as my new lifestyle because it really aligns to how I eat normally. Most importantly, who doesn't LOVE Lisa from Hungry Girl??! She is on my top list of women entrepreneurs! It has been so exciting to watch her grow from a blog to an email to a book and a tv show and then more books!! I cherish her emails daily because this girl knows her stuff!!!  

Thanks to recent scientific findings, the Mediterranean diet has boosted the popularity of olive oil. As a leader in olive oil, Pompeian wants to share a much lesser known oil and chef secret for decades – grapeseed oil.

A chef secret for decades, grapeseed oil has similar health benefits to olive oil, but it is even more versatile for cooking due to its light taste and high smoke point. And just for entering, Pompeian will send you a voucher for one free bottle of Pompeian oil!

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April Foodie Pen Pal Reveal!

March was a great month to be in the foodie pen pal program. This month I was pleased to get Melissa from Bare Book Reviews, she has a cute blog and really hooked me up at my favorite-Trader Joe's!

I am officially addicted to the Chai tea!! She spent some time baking me some great goodies too!! Gosh I love this program! Also, she threw in my favorite fig bar and some great granola and berries and a very unique seasoning that I get to add to my growing TJ collection!! So So good!! 

My Foodie Pen pal was Katrice from High Heels Good Meals, click on her blog to check out her very sweet review!

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for April, please CLICK HERE ( to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by April 4th as pairings will be emailed on April 5th!

*If you're from Europe, please CLICK HERE ( to signup.

The Lean Green Bean
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Monday Musings

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