2015 Mayor's Health and Fitness Challenge Kick Off!

The 2015 Mayor's Health & Fitness Challenge will be held from January 3, 2015 - March 28, 2015. 

Join Mayor Kelley and your neighbors on a productive, purposeful 12-week wellness journey! 

The Kick-Off Event will be held on January 3, 2015 from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Nova Community Center. An Activities Calendar will be available at the Kick Off.

Every Challenger's Toolbox Includes:

*Biometrics: height & weight (BMI), body fat (beginning & ending)

*"Challenge STARTS Here" - 'how to' & 'what to' & 'when to' & 'why to' coaching! 

*12 weeks filled with free classes at participating local fitness centers

*"Challenger Chums" = interest groups: lose weight, walk, bike, cook, etc. 

* Remarkable Courage book AND Success Strategies coaching (internet)

*Special menu items at participating local restaurants + 

*'Challenger-only' discounts

*Cooking/meal preparation sessions (followed by 'Eating Meeting')

*Fun email updates & announcements for special events

*Exclusive membership rates to participating fitness centers

*Access to "Chow Time", an online recipe depot for & by Challengers

*1-week free at YMCA (Ormond Beach)

*BBQ Feast, Mayor's Good Egg Hunt, & raffles at the Wrap-Up

*Cash & prizes for individual Challengers & Teams

*Health coaching and, of course, a great T-shirt & goodie bag!

*Challengers may choose to pay an additional fee for:
3-month YMCA Membership (Ormond Beach), $45: all equipment, classes & pool

Personal training: Individual & Small Group (4-5 people) w/preferred trainers at special rates! (List of trainers & rates will be available at the Kick-off)

View Mayor's Health and Fitness Challenge Registration Information, including information on registration policies, dates and fees. Participants can register in person, online or by mail. 

*******Important Notes*********
To be eligible for some Achievement Awards, a Challenger must complete Beginning & Ending Biometric Screenings
Event updates/reminders will be posted here at www.ormondbeach.org/MayorsFitness, at the event facebook page, and emailed to participants. 

For more information contact Christina Maguire, Risk Manager, at 386-676-3323.

Proudly sponsored by Little Blog Dress Media!

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Rosie's Cafe Is A Delight To The Ormond Mainstreet Landscape

Although I have been into Dunn's Attic and Auction House quite a few times, I have yet to have the opportunity to check out their darling little restaurant-Rosie's Cafe. What a treat! They have coffee and breakfast in the morning (featuring Biggby's Coffee!) and they have a great lunch on the weekdays. They serve beer and wine (and mimosas!) and has an old fashioned soda selection that would blow your mind right back to 1952. Oh, and in passing my husband mentions all you can eat pancakes for $5 on Saturdays...I think I will be quite the regular! 

The lunch was great, nothing too fancy but who needs fancy when you have homemade soups and sandwiches.  The grilled cheese, the tuna and the chicken salad were all delicious! It was a delight and I can't wait to go back! 

Dunn's Attic and Auction House which includes Rosie's Cafe is on the web and Facebook !

Really fun soda display 
Just a small selection of old fashioned sodas 

Tuna salad with bean salad

Chicken Salad with Pasta Salad

Rosie's Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents Circus Xtreme LIVE at the Amway Center #Giveaway

 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents CIRCUS XTREME!

It’s time for your family to be amazed by all the X-TROADINARY things you know and love about America’s favorite live family entertainment experience and be astonished by UN-XPECTED circus spectacles you've never seen before and that can’t be seen anywhere else but at The Greatest Show On Earth® 

Get ready for an X-HILLERATING adventure with XTRA-ORDINARY circus artists and magnificent X-OTIC animals! 

It’s time to awaken the spirit of Children of all Ages and stir the imagination of your family! Ringling Bros.® Presents CIRCUS XTREME!

It’s time to have XTREME fun with your family! Get your tickets today

Tickets are on sale NOW! $16, $23, $30, $40 & $75 | All tickets are subject to applicable taxes, service, handling and facility fee charges.

I have a giveaway for a family four-pack of tickets to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents LEGENDS live at the Amway Center on January 8, 2015!

Enter here and Good Luck!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Ten Things I Couldn't Live Without in 2014!!

My beautiful friend Valerie asked me and a couple of her friends to put together a list of must haves for 2014. Products that we couldn't live without throughout this year. Hard to pick just ten, isn't it?!

1. Pacifica Island Vanilla Super Hydrating Hand Cream-This smells so good and it is so nourishing! Inspired by the unique magic of Tahitian vanilla, this sensual blend sets sweet and sultry vanilla absolute, with honey-jasmine notes and a touch of fruitiness, against a deep and beautiful base of tea. A Portion of proceeds from all Island Vanilla sales goes to the Ocean Futures Society, a non profit marine conservation organization. 100% vegan.

2. Smoothie King Dark Chocolate
I love Smoothie King, because it is great for the go...and for anyone who loves chocolate like I do-this Fall they released dark chocolate smoothies in three flavors! Made with 100% Ghirardelli® Cocoa, it really gives me a healthier option for weight watching. They taste rich, but are low in calories!
The three new smoothies in this product line include: Dark Chocolate Strawberry, Dark Chocolate Orange and Dark Chocolate Mint.

3. CoverAge by Jerome Alexander Concealer and Roller Ball  Sometimes I look in the mirror and realize that indeed the holidays are catching up with me. I love this new concealer and its rollerball friend, that makes for a quick two step process. The center core of the concealer contains a blend of skin care ingredients surrounded by a rich moisturizing formula that easily glides on. Plus, you get the Bonus Coverage RollerBall that contains the same unique blend of clinical level, anti-aging active ingredients as the under eye concealer but with no tint. Its a double whammy of coverage and I love it!

4. Spark by Advocare I decided earlier this month to sign up as an Advocare distributor...I have NO time to pursue this properly, but I wanted the opportunity to get some of my favorite products at a discount. One of the things that I love is their line of Spark products. There are many flavors to choose from and Steve and I love the fruit punch the best. In January, I will be taking the 24 challenge which includes a much needed gentle Herbal Cleanse. Let me know if you want to join me!

5. Shanti Aromatherapy Oils and Gift Sets. Do you know how lucky I am to have a friend who has her own line of essential oils? I don't know what I would do without her blends in my life. As I suffer from massive headaches and sometimes nerves galore, my two favorite are her Peppermint and Lavender. Nothing makes me feel better than these! Her blends also cure all, and I love her bath salts! These make great gifts, and ladies she is local!

6. Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain Introduced to me by the fabulous Nada, for less than $10, these are good to have in every color....and I do...I love how they stay on and are never sticky or crumbly.

7. David's Tea Everything Just really love David's Tea...its my favorite! For my birthday, I got the glass tumbler which makes a great cup of tea...you know how some tea infusers aren't fine enough, and the loose tea goes everywhere...not this one!

8. Rhonda Allison Pumpkin Cleanser  Disclosure, I am a terrible washer of the face..I know, I just never make time for anything elaborate, just quick in the shower...this stuff (and its oil companion) smells so delicious...I think I turned over a new leaf.

9. Josie Moran Argan Oil and Makeup Last year I sat across my friend Julie and was like WHAT are you doing to your skin? She turned me on to Josie's color match foundation, which is awesome and the argan oil...which makes your skin GLOW.

10. Bliss Lemon and Sage Line-this just smells so so so so so good. Its a body wash and bubble bath! I can see a theme here, all good smelling stuff!

Happy Holidays!

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Kid Rock to Perform at the Daytona 500

I am sorry because I am a professional, I can not get up on my chair and scream KID CUSSWORD CUSSWORD ROCKKKKKKKKKK IS CUSSWORD COMING TO THE DAYTONA 500. 

Ok...the thing is, you guys is that I have known Kid Rock since he was a little baby band that played for me in Daytona in 1998. He has a memory like an elephant, when I saw him a couple of years later and was bigger than all that is BIG...he remembered me with detail. That's impressive, being that I was around and a pertinent part for the rise of many a band in the 90's and once they hit the big time they forgot their meager roots quite quickly...I am looking at you...Rob Thomas

Anyways, my bestie Ally-CRRR loves Kid Rock and as much as she is a goddess of all of rock and roll....she used to turn to cement upon his presence. Very very funny to watch. 

What is also kind of funny, after seeing him thirty five times in the 2000's, the last time I saw him play was at the Homestead Race in 2012. Time flies when you are having fun, darlings. Now if you must excuse me, I have a date with Spotify for some Devil without a Cause singing...how do I know every single word after this time, when I couldn't tell you what I wore yesterday? 

Homestead 2012
  Kid Rock to Headline the DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show

Multi-platinum award-winning, American rock star Kid Rock will perform the DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show, the prelude to the 57th annual “Great American Race” on Sunday, Feb. 22 (1 p.m. – FOX, FOX Deportes, MRN Radio and SiriusXM Radio.)

Kid Rock will perform several of his hits, including his brand new single “First Kiss,” on pit road of the “World Center of Racing” prior to the start of the DAYTONA 500, the prestigious season-opening event of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the DAYTONA 500 can enjoy Kid Rock’s DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show up close, along with driver introductions.

“We’re thrilled to have Kid Rock entertain the thousands of race fans in attendance and the millions more watching on FOX,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Kid Rock is an avid NASCAR fan and will provide race fans with a spectacular performance leading up to the start of the much anticipated DAYTONA 500.

Following his performance, Kid Rock will release his latest studio album First Kiss on Tuesday, Feb. 24.  Fans can pre-order the album now at participating retailers and at KidRock.com.  Kid Rock, whose musical style ranges from hip hop and rock to heavy metal and country, has sold more than 26 million albums worldwide.

Kid Rock joins a long list of past performers of the DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show including Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band, Lenny Kravitz, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Bon Jovi.

In addition to his concert, a special ticket package designed around Kid Rock has been created that includes a DAYTONA 500 grandstand ticket, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access and VIP area access to Kid Rock’s performance.  Packages start at $169. Fans who have already purchased DAYTONA 500 tickets can add Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access along with VIP area access for just $104.

For more information on tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, race fans can visit http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. 

Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

For more information on Kid Rock, visit www.kidrock.com.

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Shop Local for Holiday Cocktails with Bungalow 23 Mixers

As much as I love my wine, when I have to start looking to setting down and stop carbing like a crazy person, I turn to my other sister from another mista-vodka! Yeah! But what to mix with vodka? So many options, but I recently was introduced by Megan and the Hyatt Regency Orlando something that is going on my shelf, ASAP. Bonus, its locally owned! 

Rick Ferrone and Chris Henderson, two entrepreneurs out of Orlando, recently launched a line of craft cocktail mixers called Bungalow 23, "The cocktail mixer hand crafted for premium spirits". These mixers make it simple to enjoy a hand crafted cocktail at home. What sets these mixers apart from all the others is the word fresh. No concentrates and nothing artificial found here. Bungalow 23 is made from fresh fruit purees, real fruit juices, and homemade extracts using fresh cut herbs.

Bungalow 23 currently has three flavors on the market; Prickly Pear Margarita, Blueberry Lemon Drop and the holy grail- Pear Ginger Martini.

Hyatt Regency Orlando now featured Bungalow 23 mixers and has a great craft cocktail menu to pear with them...get it? 

We tried two delicious concoctions with Ginger Pear Martini and Lemon Sapphire (we cheated and swapped out vodka...no one wants to see us on gin, trust us!)

You can find Bungalow 23: Online | Facebook | Instagram | In stores

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A Piece of Heaven at The Spa at Hyatt Regency Orlando

I had a nice little birthday treat with Megan yesterday! Massages at The Spa at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Hotel. Located on the Pool level of the Regency Tower, a visit to The Spa was just what this girl needed for some relaxing. 

I chose the 80 minute Relaxation Massage, because usually my massages are sadly medicinal...to fix this or that. I truly wanted a chance to relax! Well, relax to the best of my ability. The Spa is open seven days a week, 365 days a year....when I lamented how it must not be that great to work on the holidays, my massage therapist Kym thoughtfully explained that massage therapy is a gift and therapists think of it as such. Good Point! 

My Relaxation Massage, described as the classic of massage therapy – a variety of pressure, speed and stimulation encourages muscle relaxation and renews a sense of wellbeing....was heavenly. The rooms were spacious, the massage table was high tech (it reminded me of my zero gravity bed) and the experience was just divine. All of the massages that The Spa offers are listed on their website here.

Some massage tips I think are helpful:

1. Be on time, do whatever you can to not come rushing in at the last minute. You don't need the extra stress and this cuts into your time! 

2. Eat light before you come. It will make for a better experience. 

3. Drink water. Lots and lots of water. I mean, a TON of water...wanna feel like you have the flu? Disregard this tip. No, really...drink drink drink!

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"Weddings of Honor"-Florida community honors military couple with wedding they never had

Little Blog Dress Media is very proud to partner with this project to help promote its wonderful story.

In 1998, Sergeant First Class Garry White met the girl he was going to marry, Linda and they began navigating the complexities of Army life while the dream wedding they had planned turned into the "barely had time for a civil wedding ceremony" in 2000 before he had to report for duty overseas. Fifteen years and 5 tours of duty later, their "dream wedding" is coming true. They will enjoy the wedding of their dreams on Sunday, December 14.  In fact, they will enjoy an entire wedding day with all the memories and none of the costs – thanks to Port Orange businesses.

"We revere our veterans and public safety professionals and wanted to do something to recognize the fact that they dedicate their careers and risk their lives for us," said Craig Gittner, Owner of The Estate on the Halifax, an historic local wedding and event site, just a stone's throw from Daytona Beach. "We decided to provide our venue for a real wedding free of charge." Other local businesses were eager to join us in this Wedding of Honor so everything is being donated.

"We extended an invitation for couples and we reviewed their stories as the basis for selecting our honorees," said Gittner. "We found a wonderful military couple right here in our community. Garry is a Military Science Instructor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, whose military resume includes the 3 Bronze Stars and The Purple Heart," said Linda Cheatham of The Estate on the Halifax, which will be the site of the entire event. "His wife, Linda is a dedicated Army wife and mother of two who has supported her husband and shares her husband's love of the military.

"We have been married fifteen years, have two children and have had a wonderful life together," said SFC White. "We hoped someday we would renew our vows in a wedding celebration, but wondered if it would really happen." Linda agreed. "We are blessed to do so and we will be mindful of others who may have had to forego a ceremony wedding, and hope they someday will experience one."

About: Estate on the Halifax, a private ten-acre estate bordering the Halifax River in Port Orange. www.estateonthehalifax.com.  

For information: Linda Cheatham

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HOme for the HOlidays Christmas Parade Ormond Beach

The HOme for the HOlidays Nighttime Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at Division Avenue and U.S. 1. It will head north to Granada Boulevard, turn east on Granada Boulevard to Beach Street and turn south on Beach Street in front of City Hall.

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Kebabji Daytona Beach, An Asset to the Downtown

I am so passionate about our downtown in Daytona Beach. For years, we have had great restaurants and entertainment opportunities, like Cinematique and the News Journal Center and it is always exciting to see when new faire comes on Beach Street.

I had the pleasure to be invited to the new restaurant Kebabji on 200 South Beach, it was really nice of the management to invite me to come out and try a lunch on them. I took my girl Kaylee and we met on a sadly very rainy, nasty day. But really, what better to eat on a day then the great comfort of Mediterranean cuisine?

Borrowing, well stealing this from their website,  Kebabji's menu mixes authentic Middle Eastern dishes with modern Mediterranean influences to create a culinary journey for the palate and senses. As Kaylee exclaimed, it like the Greek Festival on crack...but really so much more. It's one of those places where you could go a bunch of times and never have the same thing.

The space that Kebabji resides in, is massive. It would be great for any occasion and they have plans to do some official private dining events. This is a great addition to the downtown and to Volusia County in general, and I can't wait to go back.

I am gonna be honest with you, I cant tell you what I liked more and I am already planning my next meal for the next time I go. Everything was top notch and you should go straight-away!! Check out their menu here.

Find them on Facebook and Google Plus

FALAFEL-A blend of chickpeas and fava beans, onions, 
parsley, garlic and spices, served on a bed of lettuce.

TABBOULEH:Parsley, tomato,onion, bulgur wheat. lemon and olive oil. 

Delicious Amazing Fish, beyond.....

 HUMMUS Chickpea and tahini dip. served with fresh pita bread. 

Gyro-A mix of lamb and beef marinated with spices, served with tomatoes, 
lettuce and tzatziki sauce on pita bread.

K'NAAFEH. I seriously could eat this every day of my life.

Kebabji on Urbanspoon

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Junior League of Daytona Beach Collecting Toys for Holiday Sidewalk Sale

The Junior League of Daytona Beach, Inc., is currently collecting donations of new and gently used toys, which will be used during a sidewalk sale at the Junior League Thrift Shop on Saturday, December 6 from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. Benefiting the Junior League community initiatives, toy donations are being collected at the Thrift Shop until Friday, December 5 anytime between 9 A.M. and 5 P.M.

Along with the toy sale, the sidewalk sale will feature a bake sale and Santa Claus will be present to take photos with children. The Junior League Thrift Shop will also be open for holiday shopping that day. All proceeds from the toy drive and sidewalk sale will go back into the Daytona Beach area community.

WHO:  The Junior League of Daytona Beach

WHAT: Toy Drive and Thrift Shop Sidewalk Sale

Toy Drive: Toy donations may be dropped anytime between 9 A.M. and 5 P.M. up until December 5 at the Thrift Shop
Sidewalk Sale: December 6 from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.

WHERE: Junior League of Daytona Beach Thrift Shop,
          122 South Palmetto Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Junior League of Daytona Beach, 386-253-1756, jldboffice@gmail.com

The Junior League of Daytona Beach, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, to developing the potential of women, and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The Junior League of Daytona Beach reaches out to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to volunteerism.

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Quit Together. Win Together. Great American Smokeout is this Week!

It may surprise you that I was quite the cigarette smoker in my day. I was a weird social, but worse really smoker. I didnt smoke all day every day, but basically if I was driving in my car, the first instinct was light up and get my smoke on. There was a 7/11 in both directions, one that was on the way to work, one that was closer in the opposite direction, if I started the morning without a cigarette stash, I would go in the opposite direction to get them. This wasn't my shining moment.

One day, I caught a cold, then bronchitis and then pneumonia...boom...boom...boom. Based on my fabulous history with cigarettes, I had NO breath capacity. So, the very next day I quit and never looked back. I will say that it wasn't the easiest to do, but I would think about how I felt with such a shortness of breath it made my journey a LOT easier! I think of sometimes what a terrible runner I would be if I continued that nasty habit! 

That is my short story, but now I see cigarette smoking in a totally new light. Let's be honest. It is insanely trashy. Not to be unkind, but no sophisticated business women stops her meeting to go smoke. And you smell. bad. It's gross. 

Luckily the American Cancer Society has a kinder approach to assist you in stop smoking. Why not give it a shot on a day when you have some much communal support! November 20 marks the American Cancer Society’s 38th year of the Great American Smokeout (GASO), an initiative to encourage smokers to commit to quit or make a plan to quit on that day. By quitting, even for one day, smokers will take a critical step to a healthier life that can reduce the risk of cancer. 

This year's GASO theme is “Quit Together. Win Together.” It wants you to share what you can win (e.g., easier breathing, whiter teeth, money in pocket) when you quit smoking. On their website, they have so many great resources to encourage you towards this great goal of being a non smoker!  

Want more info? Visit the Great American Smokeout website, call the GASO 800-number (1-800-227-2345), and like the Quit for Life Facebook page.

This post represents a sponsored editorial partnership with the American Cancer Society. All storytelling and opinions are, of course, my own.

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Journey Begins Now

So, this is kind of exciting because I am gonna take advantage of there are still some of my local friends who don't know what a blog is, so I am not sure exaaaaccccccccctttttttttllly locally will read this, but guess what you all! We have started our adoption journey and baby its rolling along! All puns intended.

It's National Adoption Month and I am wrapping my head around it all and like always it most definitely will come out of my fingers onto this platform. How mad will my sister be that she doesnt get my blog on a regular basis! Cause we have only told three maybe four people of our progress! We meaning me of course!

I will update you on some promising news that we received this week but I am now trying to get in the gear of not sitting in the corner and rocking for eight months due to information overload. Because I bet there is adoption blogs I should be reading and following, huh. And boards maybe. And things to google...I am surprised my computer hasn't exploded for all the things that I have googled during my fertility treatment! I wanted to tell you first. Onwards to the long road, we are ready!

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Bloody Mary's with Powell and Mahoney's Mixers

I LOVE a good Bloody Mary! Which is really funny because I dislike raw tomatoes. My husband always teases me because I usually only drink one and then move on to the next portion of the program. Because of my disdain for tomato juice,  I am always on the search for a great Bloody mary mix. I hate to be picky but tomato juice straight up or V8 makes me shudder. I am shuddering now...ooof.

I found a new love in the Powell & Mahoney Bloody Mary Mixers! They have created a great blend! This tasty mixture of bold tomato flavor, barrel-aged Worcestershire sauce, and all natural spices will tantalize your taste buds and pair perfectly with every brunch!

What was really attractive is the ingredients were all things I could pronounce and a lot of these ingredients make my Bloody Mary's a success like : Organic Gluten-Free Vegan Worcestershire Sauce Organic Ginger Puree, horseradish and celery seed, all important go-to ingredients!

Powell & Mahoney have a TON of different mixers, check them out here. And if you get stuck for inspiration,  each bottle comes with three recipes, allowing you to fill your glass with either your favorite standard or something new. No matter what you choose, Powell & Mahoney's all-natural mixers let you concentrate on raising your glass, not cutting up ingredients! Find them on Facebook and Twitter. Trust me, this will take the guess work out of your drink mixing forever!

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Friday Five-Five Ways to Stay on Track and Healthy During the Holidays

Today I linked up with Eat, Pray, Run DC and You Signed Up for What, and Mar on the Run for this fun Friday Five.

Today, its time to talk about five ways to stay on track / healthy during the holidays. Its so hard! For one thing, isn't so easy to just crawl into your sweats and eat all day every day? Or is it just me!

1. Get a buddy! Makes things so much easier when you are responsible for another person. When you make a commitment to get up and walk in the colder AM, guilt sets in when you want to bail and get back into that cozy warm bed.

2. Pay close attention to websites like Skinnytaste and La La Loosh, two of my favorite skinny recipe blogs. If you cook smartly, you will stay within your zone and maintaining will be easy.

3. Eat before you go to the parties, nothing is worse for your well being than not eating and then drinking a whole bunch and snacking inappropriately. Make a plan and keep yourself on a schedule so this doesn't happen. Because being drunk and hangry? It aint pretty.

4. Keep motivated by your winter wear. Like I said, and am incredibly guilty of-sweats are easy to get lazy in! Keep buying those leggings, and svelte holiday dresses. You will think more about the moment on the lips mentality, I promise you!

LOVE these boots! Credit:Pinterest
5. I know Eggnog SOUNDS good...but dear God the calories, why not drink champagne instead? Always a celebratory cheers!

Holiday Cocktail - Champagne, cranberry juice, raspberries, and mint!

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Billy Joel Spends New Year's Eve In Orlando Florida

This is amazing news. I am really excited that one of my all time favorite performers is coming to Orlando!!

Live Nation announced today that Billy Joel will perform a special New Year’s Eve concert in Orlando at the Amway Center on December 31, 2014. This performance marks Billy Joel’s first solo headlining appearance in Orlando since 2007. Tickets go on sale Friday, November 14 at 10 a.m.

"It’s a very exciting time to be in Downtown Orlando as its vibrant art scene continues to thrive and our world-class venue for entertainment welcomes a long-revered artist,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "I'm excited to announce another major event and invite our community to celebrate the New Year with Billy Joel at the Amway Center. This is yet another example of the Amway Center continuing to deliver on its promise of bringing the very best in live entertainment to our Central Florida community. It will be a Truly Legendary New Year’s Eve celebration!"

"It's an honor and a thrill to welcome Billy Joel back to Orlando after seven years to perform at the Amway Center and ring in the New Year," said Orlando Venues Executive Director Allen Johnson. "A celebratory evening with this inimitable artist will surely be remembered as one of Amway Center's Truly Legendary concerts.

Billy Joel is one of the highest grossing touring artists in the world. Having sold over 150 million albums globally, his music has remained among the most popular in the world. The singer/songwriter/composer is the sixth best-selling recording artist of all time and the third best-selling solo artist.

Recently, Joel was honored by Steinway & Sons with a painted portrait that hangs in Steinway Hall in Manhattan, the first non-classical pianist to be immortalized in the collection.  He played to more than 110,000 fans when he performed the final concerts at Shea Stadium, featured in the 2010 documentary film "The Last Play At Shea.”  This week, Joel will receive The Kennedy Center Honor, one of the United States' top cultural awards.

Joel has received six Grammy® Awards, including the prestigious Grammy Legend Award. He has been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has received numerous industry awards. His music has also served as the inspiration and score for the hit Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “Movin’ Out.”

American Express® Card Members may  purchase tickets before the general public beginning Monday, November 10 at 10 a.m. through Thursday, November 13 at 10 a.m.

TICKETS: $49.50 - $149.50. Buy tickets at amwaycenter.com, Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000 or at Ticketmaster.com.  All dates, act(s) and ticket prices are subject to change without notice.  All tickets are subject to applicable taxes, service, handling and facility fee charges.  For Amway Center box office and ticket information, visit amwaycenter.com (phone purchases are not available through the Amway Center box office).  The Amway Center is located at 400 West Church Street and the box office is located on the north side of the Amway Center, near the intersection of Church Street and Hughey Avenue.

The Orlando Magic served as the developer of the Amway Center, which hosts major national events, concerts and family shows.  Opened in the fall of 2010, the facility is owned and operated by the City of Orlando on behalf of the Central Florida community. The Amway Center was designed to reflect the character of the community, meet the goals of the users and build on the legacy of sports and entertainment in Orlando. The building’s exterior features a modern blend of glass and metal materials, along with ever-changing graphics via a monumental wall along one facade. A 180-foot tall tower serves as a beacon amid the downtown skyline. The 875,000 square foot, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified building features a sustainable, environmentally-friendly design and unmatched technology, including 1,100 digital monitors, the tallest high-definition video board in an NBA venue and multiple premium amenities available to all patrons in the building. Amway Center was recently honored with TheStadiumBusiness Awards’ 2013 Customer Experience Award and named SportsBusiness Journal's 2012 Sports Facility of the Year. For more information about the Amway Center, visit www.amwaycenter.com.

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Farm to Table Dinner For A Great Cause!

My friends at Mia Dona Market and Hull's Seafood are getting together and hosting a Farm to Table dinner at Tomazin Farms to help a young lady with her battle against Lyme Disease.

Amanda's family and friends are uniting to raise funds to help with her battle against Lyme Disease.

Please support this precious family!

Amanda Tomazin was diagnosed with Lyme Disease over two years ago. It has been a battle from the beginning for her and her family since so little is truly known about this disease. Although Amanda looks so healthy and happy, she is actually literally wasting away from the inside out. Lyme Disease is known as a silent epidemic right now. Those who suffer from it seem "normal" but that is not the case. Lyme disease affects every aspect of your life. It also is very easy to misdiagnose.

That being said, multiple doctors visits, including those across country, have done little to help slow the progress or help to stop it. Her parents have been working hard to try and provide the support and find the resources to provide a cure. At this time, they are looking to seek assistance at a facility in Idaho that specializes in natural therapy treatments. It seemed to work when they took Amanda there over a year and a half ago but it is costly. And this is where you can help.

Please consider supporting the Tomazin family during this time of great need. Travel expenses, including but not limited to plane fare, car rental and hotel stays need to be covered. Due to the nature of the treatment, Amanda has special dietary needs and a hotel with a kitchen is necessary for food preparation. In addition, due to her being so weak from the disease, she needs to travel in a wheel chair, which is another consideration when making arrangements for a place to stay. She is light and sound sensitive, which is also an additional challenge. Please pass along to anyone you think might be able to provide assistance. But above everything, please pray that The Lord would be gracious and release Amanda from this silent, horrible disease.

Support Amanda here and buy your tickets to this great charitable experience here.

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Florida Hospital Becomes Official Healthcare Provider of Daytona International Speedway

Two iconic Central Florida organizations, Daytona International Speedway and Florida Hospital, announced today a multi-year partnership that will make Florida Hospital the second Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway, as part of its historic $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. Providing high-quality medical services and new fan experiences at the “World Center of Racing,” Florida Hospital will inspire the community to race toward better health.

“Florida Hospital’s mission, vision and reach make them an ideal partner,” said International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. “We look forward to connecting them with visitors and race fans year round.”

Beginning in January 2015, Florida Hospital Volusia/Flagler will be the exclusive healthcare provider of Daytona International Speedway, which includes providing medical equipment and personnel for all events, managing the care center operations and providing ambulances to handle emergency situations.

Arriving in a Toyota Camry pace car, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III and Florida Hospital Volusia/Flagler CEO Daryl Tol shared the unprecedented announcement on the West end of Daytona International Speedway’s frontstretch.

The massive DAYTONA Rising project, encompassing the Speedway’s nearly one-mile long frontstretch, will be complete by January 2016. The project will transform the Speedway into the world’s first motorsports stadium with premium amenities and attractions unmatched in the industry.

The Florida Hospital brand will be represented on one of five special entrances called fan injectors, including more than 20,000 square feet of engagement space. Within this injector, Florida Hospital will have a presence in one of the “neighborhoods” which will encompass retail and dining areas, as well as dozens of video screens to provide fans with non-stop views of on-track action.

“This is more than a sign on the building; this is a true partnership. Florida Hospital will be integrated into the fan experience at the Speedway,” Tol said. “Through our partnership with the Daytona International Speedway, we’ll provide another key access point for health care in the Daytona Beach community where guests will experience Florida Hospital’s commitment to whole person health and wellness.” 

In addition to serving as a Founding Partner of DAYTONA Rising, Florida Hospital will be an inaugural partner in ONE DAYTONA – a premier 190-acre mixed-use retail, dining and entertainment development across from Daytona International Speedway.

“Our partnership with Florida Hospital reinforces the immense appeal of the nation’s first true motorsports stadium to attract brands outside of the core sports arena,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III.  “We’re pleased to welcome Florida Hospital to Daytona International Speedway.”

Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com and connecting with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Also, fans can see the construction project up close by taking one of the daily tours available at the Speedway on non-event days throughout the year. Visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/tours or the Speedway Ticket and Tours Building for more information.

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Zephyrhills® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water Donates $50,000 to Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful

Awesome job Zephyrhills! Previous stories here and here

The Zephyrhills brand  hosts family friendly event for Tampa Bay community  to celebrate 50th anniversary milestone with visits to WaterVentures Florida’s Learning Lab and fun activities for all

 On Saturday, October 25, 2014, Zephyrhills® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water, a Nestlé Waters North America brand, donated $50,000 in honor of its 50th anniversary and its commitment to preserving Florida’s natural water resources  to Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful and Tampa Bay Watch at the Zephyrhills  Community Open House.  The funding donated by the Zephyrhills brand will be shared by these organizations to help support clean up and education events at parks along the Hillsborough River, and help to preserve Tampa Bay.

“One of our missions at Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is to provide environmental education and volunteer opportunities for the community,” said Debra Evenson, Executive Director, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful. “With the money contributed by the Zephyrhills brand, and the support of loyal Floridians, we will be able to expand our involvement in clean up events, meeting at area parks and disseminating throughout communities along the Hillsborough River, to help to preserve the delicate ecosystem of the Hillsborough River and Tampa Bay.”

“Thanks to the generous donation from the Zephyrhills brand, we will be able to continue to protect and restore the delicate ecosystem of Tampa Bay,” said Captain Peter Clark, Founder and President, Tampa Bay Watch. “Over the next year, we’ll be continuing habitat restoration and protection activities and are grateful to the brand for their support.”

The donation to Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful and Tampa Bay Watch was supported by Florida consumers, called on by the Zephyrhills brand to share their favorite things about Florida using #FLfavorites. Every post or share of the #FLfavorites hashtag, along with “Florida Favorite Sun Badges” collected at various local events triggered a dollar toward the $50,000 donation. In total, Tampa Bay residents shared 23,748 things they loved above Florida. The brand is making a donation in this amount, plus an incremental donation to reach a grand total of $50,000.

Zephyrhills Community Open House: A Celebration of 50 Years

At the Zephyrhills Community Open House, being held at the Zephyrhills Plant from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tampa Bay local residents and businesses, government officials and Zephyrhills brand employees will experience a free day of family fun including a tour of the state-of-the-art bottling facility, a barbeque lunch, face painting, games and a visit to the kid-friendly, educational WaterVentures Learning Lab. 

Florida’s WaterVentures Learning Lab, which traveled to more than 250 schools this past year and is supported by the Zephyrhills brand, is a traveling science center that teaches families and youth about environmental stewardship. At the Open House, kids and their families will be invited to visit the WaterVentures lab, which features watershed tables, recycling exhibits, a relief map of Florida’s water features and a display of a Florida aquifer, and will be able to learn hands-on about protecting Florida’s natural resources.

“We are thrilled to open our doors today to the local community and present Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful and Tampa Bay Watch with this donation in celebration of our 50th anniversary initiative,” said Donald Bowen, Nestlé Waters Plant Manager for the Zephyrhills brand. “We are honored to celebrate what’s most natural in Florida and continue to help preserve Florida’s waterways and natural resources in the future.” 

The Zephyrhills Community Open House marks the culmination of the brand’s 50th anniversary. Since 1964, Zephyrhills® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has been sourced from natural, sustainable springs in Florida. These include the nearby Crystal Springs Preserve, which is visited by more than 50,000 students each year.  The Zephyrhills plant employs 250 people local to the area, with 900 more employees working on the brand. Today Zephyrhills® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water is enjoyed throughout the state of Florida.

Learn more about the Zephyrhills brand by visiting www.zephyrhillswater.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Zephyrhillswater or following on Twitter and Instagram at @ZephyrhillsWtr.

About Zephyrhills® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water
Zephyrhills® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water joined Nestlé Waters North America in 1982, but the brand’s heritage goes back to 1964. Zephyrhills® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water is sourced only from carefully selected springs, and the soils and limestone of the Floridan Aquifer uniquely filter the water to create perfectly balanced minerals for great taste. Zephyrhills is more than a brand name; it’s a celebration of what’s most natural about Florida.

To learn more about Zephyrhills® Brand Natural Spring Water, please visit the brand website www.zephyrhillswater.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/zephyrhillswater.

About Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Inc. (KTBB), a Keep America Beautiful Affiliate, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide environmental education and volunteer opportunities that develop individual responsibility and environmental stewardship. Since 1989, KTBB has formed partnerships with local governments, corporations, schools, and neighborhood organizations to engage individuals and provide opportunities to enhance the community through volunteer participation. To get involved with KTBB, call (813) 221-8733 or visit KeepTampaBayBeautiful.org.

About Tampa Bay Watch
Tampa Bay Watch is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) stewardship program dedicated exclusively to the charitable and scientific purpose of protecting and restoring the marine and wetland environments of the Tampa Bay estuary encompassing over 400 square miles of open water and 2,300 square miles of highly- developed watershed. Tampa Bay Watch involves more than 10,000 youth and adult volunteers each year in hands on habitat restoration projects.  

About Nestlé Waters North America
As the third largest non-alcoholic beverage company by volume in the U.S., Nestlé Waters North America provides people with an unrivaled portfolio of water as healthy hydration.   Among them are natural spring water brands such as Poland Spring ®, Deer Park®, Zephyrhills® and Arrowhead®.  Its national purified water brand is Nestlé® Pure Life®.  International brands include Perrier® and S.Pellegrino®.  The company’s line of ready-to-drink teas now includes Nestea®, Sweet Leaf® and Tradewinds®. Based in Stamford, Connecticut with 7,500 employees nationwide, Nestlé Waters strives to reduce its environmental footprint, improve recycling rates in North America, and create shared value in those communities where it has operations.  

The company’s 10 full-time Natural Resource Managers, trained hydrologists, geologists and engineers monitor our spring sources and manage them for long-term sustainability. To reach success, the company follows its credo: Respect for each other, respect for the environment, and respect for the community. For more information, please visit www.nestlewatersfl.com.

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COA Santa For Seniors Gift Drive

Be a special part of the 2014 Santa for Seniors Gift Collection Drive and help create warm memories for our seniors in Volusia County. All collected gifts will then be distributed to COA clients just before Christmas.

It’s easy! Drop off unwrapped gifts your local Walgreens Store anywhere in Volusia County!

Santa for Seniors Gift Drive for the Council on Aging/Meals on Wheels that will take place on Thursday, November 20th to Thursday, December 4th. All Drop off locations will be at all the 26 Volusia County Walgreen’s Stores. Please drop off any unwrapped gifts and they will be distributed to COA Clients just before Christmas.  

Unwrapped Gift Ideas: Slippers, Socks, Sweaters, Gift Cards, Postage Stamps, Toiletries, Bath Bench, Adult Diapers, and ALL cash Donations are matched five times, $1 buck turns into $5 dollars. Imagine what we can do together!

Remember all of your donations are tax deductible.

Council On Aging thanks you in advance for your support. For More information please call 386-253-4700 ext. 215 or pchanfrau@coaiaa.org visit COAVolusia.org.

Remember please drop off your loose change, to change a Senior’s life!

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