Friday, January 31, 2014

5 on Friday


I'm excited to participate in this link up for the first time! Only five things huh? Here we go!

ONE
I am SO sick of being sick! I haven't been sick in so long! I credit not really having much interaction with anyone working from home, but this has taken me down...two weeks on Monday! Last night, I woke up in a sitting position with my husband patting my back, uncontrollably hacking. Going through all this IUI awesomeness...Tylenol is really all that is suggested, and my body is like...yeah, what is this Pez candy you are trying So I went to the doctor and they assured me that a Z-pack would not affect this 2WW.

TWO
Oh EM GEE, our offer was accepted on a new house. I am so nervous on the financial credit part but I am thinking positively. It is THREE times the size of this house! THREE times!! So back to pre-wedding time from a year ago where no penny shall be spent inappropriately. That is SO hard!! But, we can do it! Cross your fingers for us?



THREE
This week I fired a client who got a little wordy with me. I have, and think no one should have any, ZERO tolerance for this type of behavior. It is ok to say no thank you when you peace of mind is sacrificed!

FOUR
I am looking forward to having a nice relaxing weekend with no agenda. It has rained non stop here for  couple of days, been bitter cold..and it is supposed to be 80 degrees this weekend. I mean, is the world ending and no one is telling me?

FIVE
Saved you the best for last. I AM GOING TO THE TODAY SHOW. Yes, my lifelong bucket list dream is that much shorter as I will be accompanying my girlfriend Tara and her twin sister JJ were featured briefly on the Today Show as part of a Shark Tank feature. After screeching endlessly at this awesome news, she texted me this week and said they were invited for another feature and WOULD I WANT TO COME? WOULD I?? Can you hear me screaming? I pray I won't faint. vomit or pee when I go...or all of the above!! Check out their feature here!


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Grant Preparation Full Day Workshop comes to UCF Daytona Incubator

Over $2 billion in SBIR grants will be awarded to innovative small and start up companies that propose developing innovative new products and services. The purpose of this full day event is to offer an overview of both the SBIR and STTR programs, and to lead attendees through a four-step process for developing a competitive Phase 1 proposal to any of the participating agencies. 

This workshop is presented by Jim Greenwood of Greenwood Consulting Group, Jim Greenwood and his wife Gail have been active in SBIR/STTR since the programs’ inception, making firms aware of the opportunity, and teaching them how to write competitive technical and cost proposals for funding. 

They have now taught thousands of entrepreneurs in 48 states and Puerto Rico . Sponsors of these workshops include Federal Laboratories, Universities and Colleges, and Small Business Development Centers . They also are regular instructors of Phase I and Phase II proposal preparation workshops at national and regional conferences.  

An evaluation of the effectiveness of their training showed that over 90 percent of the workshop attendees indicated that the Greenwoods had improved their ability to compete for SBIR and STTR awards. One region surveyed its SBIR/STTR competitors after the Greenwoods had offered multiple workshops there, and learned that the SBIR/STTR proposal success rate was almost 50% (compared to about 17% nationally for Phase 1 proposers). Additionally, the Greenwoods have critiqued hundreds of SBIR and STTR proposals for firms throughout the United States. 

Date: February 7, 2014 8:30-4:40p
Location: UCF Business Incubator Daytona International Airport 601 Innovation Way, Daytona Beach 
RSVP Janice Stewart-janice.stewart@ucf.edu
Cost-$25 Incubator Clients, $50 All Others Breakfast and Lunch included.  

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Taste of 24 Recap

I don't want to make you jealous but you missed a great night if you were in Daytona for the Rolex 24 and didn't attend the Taste of the 24! The Taste of the 24 was once again a great night out, with good food, great company and all the while supporting a wonderful cause.

This event supported the NASCAR Foundation's new scholarship program benefitting Volusia County (Fla.) high school seniors who plan to enroll full time in a two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school in Florida during the 2014-2015 academic school year.

Students who are interested can access application materials at www.NASCAR.com/Foundation. Only the first 200 submissions will be accepted, and they must be postmarked no later than Feb. 20, 2014. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on factors including academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors and awards, work experience and financial need. The NASCAR Foundation will announce a minimum of 10 winners, who will each receive a one-time $2,500 scholarship, in May 2014.

This all-new scholarship program is driven by The NASCAR Foundation’s commitment to serving communities in which children live, learn and play. Through its fundraising efforts and events like Taste of the 24, The NASCAR Foundation has contributed more than $17 million in charitable support to initiatives that further this mission.

Some highlights:


Bahama Breeze

Could you die? Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding


Sinatra playing on the Piano (you had to drag me away)


The Flank Steak at SoNapa rocked!

Fireworks were awesome!
What's up next for the Nascar Foundation?? Only a Hold Em Tournament! The 3rd Annual High Speed Hold ‘Em Charity Poker Tournament is just around the corner! Its a new location for the event this year - - the Henderson Center at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.


Team Owners Rick Hendrick and Richard Childress will be serving as Honorary Co-Chairs. The Foundation has raised more than  $300,000 for the Speediatrics unit here in Daytona through the High Speed Hold ‘Em Charity Poker Tournament. This year their goal is to raise an additional $150,000 for the unit.

Since 2006 The NASCAR Foundation has helped achieve the goal of improving the delivery of medical care to more than 27,000 children annually at Speediatrics units at Halifax Health in Daytona and Homestead Hospital in Homestead. And the need for quality healthcare continues to grow, especially in our area.

2013 Event
Should you have any questions regarding the event, please feel free to contact  mweiss@nascar.com or by phone at 386-310-5744.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Jolly VoxBox Review

This was my first VoxBox and it was like Christmas all over again! Check out all my goodies! 

1| Skinny Cow Chocolates 
How can you not love everything about Skinny Cow? Sweet Non Guilt Awesomeness! 

On Twitter at @TheSkinnyCow

2| Puffs tissues 
I have been ill, ill and ill...I love these Puffs, it gives me a sigh of relief every time I use them! 

On Twitter at @Puffs

3| Rimmel USA lip lacquer 
I have never tried Rimmel before, but the texture and the color made me an instant fan! 

On Twitter at @RimmelLondonUS

4| This NYC HD color trio 
I was so excited to open this and find the colors were perfect for me! I love browns of all kind and these are beautiful! 

On Twitter at @NYCNewYorkColor

5) Mini Ducklings  
This is perfect for my visual journalling. I used to date someone that said duck tape makes the world go round...although that relationship is dead and buried...the mindset stays the same.



On Twitter at @TheDuckBrand 



I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.







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Friday, January 24, 2014

All Fur Love- Molto Bella | Pawsibilities Fundraiser



When: Friday, February 7, 2014
Time: 11:00am until 2:00pm

You are invited to our "All Fur Love" Valentine Pawty at Molto Bella Boutique!! We will have pets looking to be your furrever Valentine,photos by Lauri Andrews Photography, raffles, give-aways, best Valentine costume contest. Stop by to say hello and shop for a one of a kind gift for your valentine while you are here!!

This benefits Pawsibilties Rescue Group, one of my favorite animal charities.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fondue and Red Wine Cure Cold Weather Blues

It is no lie at one time, I had three fondue makers...clearly a hoarder in my own right, I make good use of it when the weather turns cold. Its very easy and really delicious!

Ale-Infused Cheese Fondue

Serves 4

Cheese Sauce
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, halved
1 ½ cups light beer
1 dash hot pepper sauce

For Dipping
Bread and cooked meat, cut into pieces

Directions
Combine cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, flour, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Rub cut side of garlic clove around bottom and sides of fondue pot. Pour beer into fondue pot and slowly bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, about 5 minutes. Gradually add cheese while stirring, until cheese is melted and blended (for about 10 to 15 minutes).   Add hot pepper sauce and stir. Serve with bread or meat pieces.

So that is the first part of this warm your heart meal...it is a must that you pair your fondue with a delicious bottle (or two) of wine.
I especially like my new favorite Deadbolt Red from California-

This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah, among others. Deep ruby with a glint of purple. Bold red fruit. Hint of oak. Black cherry, brown spice, mocha. All you'd want in a glass of red. Smooth, full, and satisfying. (thanks to Total Wine for this dead on description, pun intended!) Dead Bolt has a real cool presence on social media too!

Find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!



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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ten Things To Not Say To Someone Undergoing Infertility Treatments

Seriously, I swear the fertility Gods have to be boys. No women in their right mind would allow any medicine for fertility to give you a bloated belly, hot flashes and mood swings like this. Oh, and a new thing I get to do today-stick a needle in my belly. But, I'm trying not to focus on it 24/7...Because that is what I have been told. Repeatedly.

Here are some other fun words of wisdoms told to the TTC community-

1. Wait, how old are you? I can't tell you how many people have correlated my age in a wise and thoughtful manner as the only factor of infertility. A reminder that although it would be great to be 20, age (and personally, my AMH test was through the roof, thank you very much) are not always the factor.

2. When you get pregnant, you will be bloated anyway-So, when you take this poison it makes your belly extra swollen...thankfully not much else, but belly fat indeed. It makes you feel self conscious, ugly and bloated. So, yes I realize I will gain weight when I am pregnant...but I. Am. Not. Pregnant. Yet.  

3. Just relax, don't worry about it and it will happen. I would like to drink the koolaid of this la la land way of thinking and I just can't believe that people actually believe this statement. Oh my god! Just relax!! Who would have thought, this would have saved me hundreds of dollars!! This thought process will break many a medical barrier! 

4. I know a girl who....I know that this is supposed to pacify me, but I really don't care about your next door neighbor's aunt's daughter who tried for years, adopted and WHAMMY got pregnant right after. I think you are lying anyway.

5. Just have a ton of sex and it will happen. This is about as delusional as one can get...maybe a good story to tell your sixteen year old, but if it was that easy, it would be that easy right! Bonus for the junior high secret "brown chicken, brown cow" looks while saying this. Hope you don't mind that I am not high fiving you anytime soon.

6. Maybe you are just trying too hard  These actually are words coming out of people's mouth. How can one try too hard?

7. There is always next month. Right, and time will just stop and stand still and wait, (see #1). This makes any girl who has a body full of medicine, emotions and false hopes feel amazing. 

8. Oh my god, you aren't drinking...are you pregnant? This really works best if you scream it and everyone looks and runs over and asks you whyever aren't you drinking!! Its awesome for your morale when you have to explain what you have been going through, and then when the IUI fails you look like a moron. 

9. If  (insert symptom here) that's when I knew I was pregnant . In other news that God is a boy...all PMS symptoms mirror exactly to the tee pregnancy symptoms. Plus if you poke your boobs hard enough, they will hurt...and they will be really really sore from the poking not the false hope that this is the right month.

10. Any news? This works especially well if you run over and grab my belly. I know that waiting the 12 weeks before you say anything goes a little irie when you are pursuing fertility treatment, but I am certain there is a better way to inquire. 
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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Social


It’s Sunday time to link up with Ashley and Neely for Sunday Social! This week, talking about our blogs and getting to know each other.

Happy Sunday Social!

This Weeks Questions:

1. What is the name of your blog? How long have you been blogging? The Little Blog Dress and I have been blogging on this blog for over three years, my old blog Racing Fashionistas started 7 years ago (but is sadly defunct).

2. Why do you blog? I love my blog, it gives me an opportunity to connect to like minded individuals and a platform to write and a place to talk about things inside my head that you should see.

3. What is the first blog you ever followed? Probably Kimberly Wilson, I have been following her as long as I can remember. She is quite the inspiration!

4. What is your favorite post you wrote in 2013? Anything to do with our wedding!

5. What are your blogging goals for 2014? Really be dedicated to be consistent and be conscious of the flow of my content (who wants to read one campaign after another?) I also need to get back to writing about social media and common practices. Also, I really need to work on networking more, going to more conferences and contributing to bigger sources! Lots of goals, huh!

6. Top 3 favorite blogs to follow? Good Gravy, just three? Of course, my best girl Megan-irunforwine.net, Lyz Lenz who makes me giggle to my core, and Jen Lancaster's blog Jennsylvania which is a good fix between her books.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014 Taste of 24 Event Races Into Daytona

Do you hear me cheering? Its a faint YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY! Only because that January is the start of the New Year, but more importantly the NASCAR season will soon be underway. Testing just completed at the Daytona International Speedway and the DIS folks are hard at work making improvements and expansions for the January Rolex 24 Hour Race and February Speed Weeks. 

Pretty sure I have mentioned this before, but when I was growing up the 24 Hour Race has a totally different meaning as a high school senior...it was one of our first taste of no parent freedom! For some reason, every parent had no problem letting their high school senior spend the night with boys in the infield of our glorious track. Lets just say in today's day the 24 Hour Race means a different Taste altogether! (See what I did there!!)  

Although, it is a ton of fun to get dirty and smell like a campfire for hours on end while watching and hearing the Rolex 24 go round and round, I would MUCH rather have you come join me at a wonderful charity event-Taste of the 24 presented by Halifax Health. 

This year the Taste of the 24 is scheduled to be held on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at Daytona International Speedway. It is held during the running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, and it offers Central Florida residents and racing fans a unique dining experience in the corporate suites high atop the backstretch grandstands. More importantly, this year, all money raised from the Taste of the 24 event will fund a brand-new scholarship program specifically for high school seniors in Volusia County who plan to enroll full time in a two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school in Florida during the 2014-2015 academic school year.

Your view of the race from the Taste of 24
Credit:Ken Hayes
Through February 20th, local Volusia County students can apply for this scholarship who will be selected based on factors including academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors and awards, work experience and financial need. The NASCAR Foundation will announce a minimum of 10 winners, who will each receive a one-time $2,500 scholarship, in May 2014.

This all-new scholarship program is driven by The NASCAR Foundation’s commitment to serving communities in which children live, learn and play. Through its fundraising efforts and events like Taste of the 24, The NASCAR Foundation has contributed more than $17 million in charitable support to initiatives that further this mission.

Ok, so now you know why we will be going to this awesome event...here are some of the event details-

This year’s event will feature 23 of Central Florida’s finest restaurants showcasing their best menu items. Restaurants include Amber’s Jewel Catering; Backyard Boys Bar-B-Que; Bahama Breeze; Blue Grotto; Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.; Café Heavenly; Chart House; Cornerstone Café; Daytona Taproom; Dimitri’s Bar Deck & Grill; Heavenly Cheesecakes & Chocolates, Inc.; Hidden Treasure Rum Bar & Grille; Joe’s Crab Shack; Lost Lagoon Wings & Grill; Mai Tai Bar; Malcolm’s at LPGA; Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grille; Panheads Pizzeria; Sinatra’s L’Aldila Ristoranté; Sloppy Joe’s Daytona Beach; SoNapa Grille; Stonewood Grill & Tavern; and Sweet Marlays’ Coffee.

For me, it was an unique opportunities to see the race from the suites and be surrounded by yummy food and restaurants. When you get your ticket, you also get your passport and a listing of which restaurant is in which suite. Each suite is decorated to the restaurant's liking and they have a sampling of their food or drink. I also want to mention that is a great networking opportunity...the area's movers and shakers are always in attendance! 

Why don't you be one of them? I am here to tell you that this event will and always has sold out! So now is your chance to get your tickets, support and great cause, get a great view of Patrick Dempsey...the 24 Hour race (for the whole weekend!) and get a Taste of the area's best faire! 

All-inclusive admission to the Taste of the 24 includes one weekend pass to the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Sprint FANZONE access, Budweiser Party Porch access, free premier parking and a chance to win a Rolex watch. Event tickets are limited and are $95 for adults and $24 for children 12 and younger and can be purchased at www.NASCAR.com/Foundation.

2013 Taste of the 24 with Johanna (l) and Melinda (r) 

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Carrabba's First Tastes Menu


Another wonderful opportunity to taste some new (and this time some oldie but goodies) menu items at one of my favorite restaurants! I will say that this is really becoming one of my favorite things to do! This time we were also lucky enough to have the event right at our Daytona Location. 

The set up was like a huge dinner table which was kind of neat, but I am now officially spoiled by the Sanford lighting and set-up. So my pictures are a tad dark, but I rather show you my awesome experience first hand. 

The Amici Club is pretty great and the people that were at our event were definitely the Cheers of the place. Carrabba's for me, has always been that way...if you go as a regular, people know you by name. The set-up was intimate enough to have some conversations along the way. 

This launches Carrabba's the Festa di Carrabba's menu...starting at just $15 you can get  an app or a desert, a cup of their yummy soup or salad and one of these entrees

$15

Pan-seared shrimp and scallops with mushrooms and roasted red peppers tossed with linguine in our champagne cream sauce. This was probably one of my favorites, the pasta was cooked perfectly and the sauce was delicious! 

Sautéed chicken breast coated with freshly grated parmesan cheese and housemade bread crumbs. Served with your choice of side, This was a really good take on the traditional parm. The side of baby carrots were delicious and I really loved the sauce that went with it, it made the dish.

Wood-grilled sirloin, red onion and tomato skewers topped with our Chianti wine sauce. Served with your choice of side. I think everyone strives to make skewers but its work intensive. Its nice to have Carrabba's do the work for you with yummy results.

$18

Boneless beef short rib slow-cooked for hours until you can cut it with a fork. Topped with our rich red wine vegetable sauce and served over risotto Hands down my favorite! Oh! I could have eaten this all day! Also, as someone who sits over her risotto for an hour stirring constantly, how they pull it off with ease is beyond me.

Cavatappi corkscrew pasta with lobster, pancetta and four cheeses, topped with toasted breadcrumbs. I was most looking forward to this and it was good, but I would have liked the sauce to be a little thicker. I liked that it had a little kick! 

Flaky whitefish with a crispy potato coating, cooked to golden brown perfection and topped with our light mustard cream sauce and fresh diced tomatoes. Served with your choice of side. Really loved the mustard sauce, it was a nice compliment to the whitefish.



Carrabba's Italian Grill on Urbanspoon



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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Daytona Beach Half Marathon #Giveaway


Even though I live within steps of the World's Most Famous Beach, and I am most proud of the fact that this area is known to be the Birthplace of Speed and the home of NASCAR. I have been going to the Daytona 500 in some capacity as long as I can remember...as a fan in the Winston/Sprint/Nextel Tower seats, as an beer/cigarette/liquor promotional model, radio station promo etc. The last decade I have been very lucky to have a more intimate view, as I have some great friends who work in the sport. I always love the concept of Daytona Beach Half Marathon, now in its sixth year because it combines two of my loves: racing and running.

This is a cool race for any enthusiast of racing or running. You actually get to run on the Track the Sunday before the Daytona 500. A chance to experience Budweiser Speedweeks just like the drivers, on the track at the Daytona International Speedway. This year, not only do they have the Half, but a Lap the Track fun run, and a chance to bring along the little drivers along for the Kids Race.

The Half route is one of the most unique half marathon courses in the world, runners start on Pit Road at the Daytona International Speedway, and run the first 2 miles around the track. Runners then head out to Daytona Beach, running 2 tenths of a mile on the hard packed sands of the World’s Most Famous Beach before heading back to the Speedway to get the checkered flag at the Speedway’s finish line.

Another bonus, for participating in the race, you also get two tickets to the 500 Qualifying which is one of my favorite days at the track during Speedweeks! Oh, and lets not forget some of your favorite NASCAR drivers like Michael Waltrip, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Aric Almirola have run this race in the past. Who will run this year?

How about if that was you? On me and the Central Florida Sports Commission?! I am giving away two entries to the Daytona Half Marathon and you can enter here:




Daytona Half Marathon Info You Need To Know! 

Date: February 16, 2014 (Sunday before DAYTONA 500)
Website: www.DaytonaBeachHalf.com

Half Registration: Currently $95
Lap the Track Registration: Currently $40

Half Runner Perks:
- Track themed finisher medal
- Race themed tech shirt
- 2 Tickets to the DAYTONA 500 Qualifying presented by Kroger (takes place the same day)





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Friday, January 3, 2014

And we're BAAAACCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

Holy Cow! A two week hiatus! I feel so so so freaking guilty! Hope everyone had an amazing holiday and New Year! It has been an interesting couple of weeks to say the least...full of WAY ups and that dark dirty terrible oh, goody the IUI failed again blues...

Some ups...I had an amazing Christmas! I was very well gifted especially by my husband. I kept yelling this is our First Christmas together!! Which is really dumb because it is actually our ninth. or if you want to be really technical I brought in 1991 with my husband....sure we were dating each others friends but whatever! 

My wonderful friend celebrated her first birthday with her son Crosby! This whole story of how he came to be makes me a believer that everything works out in the end, in any situation. I just have to keep telling myself that over and over. 

I am in the process in my head to really get organized and set some goals for 2014 professionally and personally. I need to blog more, take time with my visual journal (which makes me so calm) and just breathe through all the stress. 

Was reminded of something today:

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 

Hope that helps you like it does me

Happy 2014!!


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