The 25th Annual American Century Championship

This post was created in partnership with American Century Investments. I have received compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The 25th Annual American Century Championship ran from July 15th through July 20th with a $600,000 total purse up for grabs with the first prize being $125,000, second prize $50,000 and third prize awarding $35,000. Through this championship, American Century Investments Profits for Purpose and NBC Sports have raised awareness as well as over $4 million for local and national charities.

The Stowers Institute for Medical Research, part of BioMed Valley Discoveries, was selected as the 2014 national charity. The gorgeous city of Lake Tahoe, Nevada hosted the championship event this year. The tournament was a 54-hole modified Stableford format and more than 80 sports and entertainment celebrity guests were slated to appear. The course is a par 72 over 6,865 yards. Celebrity golfers, sponsors, press, and spectators experienced a brief delay on Saturday as well as a second delay on Sunday due to lightning.

A highlight of the week long event was the Tahoe South-Celebrity Am, where four amateurs are paired with a celebrity and make their way over the tough course. Each amateur is treated to an exclusive breakfast, a $250 gift bag, and admittance to the awards luncheon. They also receive a framed souvenir photo and passes to the rest of the tournament. John Elway, Brian Urlacher, and Charles Barkley were among the honored guests as well as Larry “The Cable Guy” and Bill Engvall.

Chad Pfiefer, Iraq veteran and amputee, started the last day in second place but ended in fifth. In honor of Pfiefer’s efforts, American Century donated $25,000 in his name to the Troops First Foundation.

Mark Rypien, retired NFL quarterback, took home the win with 76 points. Rypien edged out Jeremy Roenick and Annika Sorestam who each tied for second with 65 points. This win is Rypien’s first since the 1990 inaugural championship event. Rypien states “It was a little bit of an advantage just from that standpoint that I’m accustomed to playing in inclement weather with golf and football and then that was kind of the way it was today. It was kind of uncomfortable for everybody, but I felt fine.”

American Century Investments Supports the American Century Championship #ACCgolf #GiveLikeJim

This post was created in partnership with American Century Investments. I have received compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s awe-inspiring as well as humbling when individuals use their personal financial success toward the good of mankind. The late Jim Stowers founded American Century Investments Profits for a Purpose in 1958 for such a purpose.

Most people have a family member or friend that has been touched by cancer or other diseases. Jim and Virginia both survived cancer and dealt with the fear and loneliness that accompanies the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness. Jim and his wife Virginia aspired to give back more than money and in doing so created the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. The Institute is dedicated to improving the quality of life through research, treatment, and prevention of gene-based diseases.


The Stowers Institute opened its doors in 2000 and employs over 550 people, including pre and post doctoral scholars and fellows from as many as 30 countries across the world. The Institute includes 22 research programs and Jim’s hope was that it would blossom into a “bio-med” valley in Kansas City, including BioMed Valley Discoveries. With this, the Stowers want to bring growth and new discoveries in the scientific community that would improve humanity.

Biomedicine peer-review journals are often noting the discoveries and achievements of the Stowers’ scientists. This is no surprise as the Stowers Institute for Medical Research has quickly established its reputation for the highest quality basic research and is a top innovative biomedical organization. Over a billion dollars in dividends has been contributed to the Institute since it’s inception in 2000.

Jim and Virginia Stowers were determined to donate something far more valuable than money. They created Hope for Life with their investments and their dream continues to live through the Institute’s advancements. They are a prime example of how financial success can be used for the greater good and hope to inspire others to do the same through.

Below is a video of a top moment at the 2014 American Century Championship, the premier event in celebrity golf. The event raises awareness and funds for national and local charities.

This is the 25th anniversary of the American Century Championship and the line up includes stars like Charles Barkley, Oscar de la Hoya, Aaron Rogers, Kevin Nealon, Ray Romano and Jack Wagner!


Are You a Candidate for Surrogacy?

As fertility issues become increasingly common, women are becoming more and more open to the idea of using a surrogate. On the flip side of that, more women are offering to help couples begin a family by offering themselves as a surrogate. I have know two friends in the past few years who acted a surrogates for wonderful people who struggled with starting a family. I watched as they went through pregnancies with the sole purpose of helping others and I have to tell you, it was incredibly inspiring.

I don’t think that I would personally be a very good candidate for surrogacy. With my history of smoking and the fact that I am getting up there in age (40 isn’t too far off, as much as I hate to admit it), I don’t think it would be a wise idea for me be a surrogate even if I felt that I could handle it emotionally. There is so much that goes into being a surrogate; carrying a baby, feeling them grow inside you…and then to give them to their real parents? I think that I would have a hard time with that, as happy as I would be to have helped the parents.

If you are considering becoming a surrogate, this infographic might help you!

Presented By Growing Generations

Best Summer Ever Sweepstakes

I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Banana Boat® Sun Care. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

With the hustle and bustle of summer, it’s easy to get caught up in a busy summer day and forget to protect yourself from the sun. Believe me, I have had my fair share of sunburns as as a kid, and am trying my hardest to prevent them now that I’m an adult and I know better!

Banana Boat® sunscreen is teaming up with actress and mother of two, Busy Philipps, to bring moms and their families the tips, tools and fun prizes they need to have the Best Summer Ever! Visit to enter the Best Summer Ever Sweepstakes, which ends on July 31.

I thought I would share some of my tips for staying protected while you’re out enjoying all that summer has to offer!

Apply sunscreen before leaving the house so that it has time to absorb into your skin. Once you arrive at your sunny destination, reapply liberally!


Designate a sunscreen buddy! While it’s easy to apply sunscreen to the front of your body, it can be difficult to apply even coverage to your back. Ask a friend or family member to spray your back and then return the favor!

Use SPF 50 when you know that you’ll be outdoors in the sunshine for a long period of time and reapply liberally and often!


Make sure that everyone uses sunscreen – even your husband! If your husband doesn’t care for the tropical scent of your sunscreen, introduce him to Banana Boat® Triple Defense Sunscreen for Men. Banana Boat® Triple Defense Sunscreen for Men is the first Banana Boat® sunscreen created especially for guys and uses ActiveProtect Technology, and provides heavy-duty broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. The light-weight formula combats odor, even while sweating, and hydrates the skin. Banana Boat® Triple Defense Sunscreen for Men Lotion and Clear UltraMist® is available in SPF 30 and 50+.

You don’t have to rely on my opinion, though – the experts agree that it’s a great sunscreen! Banana Boat Triple Defense Sunscreen for Men was awarded the Shape Magazine 2014 “Sun Award” for best sunscreen for men!


Chris used our new Banana Boat Triple Defense Sunscreen for Men on his face and neck while out fishing in Key Largo, and his fishing buddy used it too!

Start your summer off right by entering the Best Summer Ever sweepstakes, which gives families a chance to win summer fun prizes, including the grand prize – a family trip to a Treehouse Resort. Can you imagine?!


You can sign up at the Banana Boat® Facebook page here!

Capture Your Vacation Memories with the Nokia Lumia Icon! #ExploreMore

This post has been sponsored either with product or payment by

Y’all know what a Nokia Lumia fan girl I am, right? Well, a sweet little Nokia Lumia Icon recently hit the market and the travel world is all abuzz with this fantastic new smartphone! I’ve been sharing my Caribbean cruise with my camera phone and I have to tell you, having a great camera phone makes all the difference when sharing your adventures in real time!


3 Tips for Great Vacation Photos

1. Skip the filters when taking your photos. It’s always best to take the photo and capture it in perfect clarity before trying to jazz it up. There are times when my photos are so gorgeous that a filter actually diminishes their value!

2. Experiment with camera angles! Sometimes you get an entirely different picture just by tilting your camera phone at a different angle. It affects the lighting and can make the colors just pop!

3. Take photos of your family but take general scenery photos too! Sure, we want to see our kids having a blast when we look back on our photos. But make sure to take plenty of scenery shoots too so that you’re able to remember what it was that made your kids so happy!


The Nokia Lumia Icon is a fantastic device, especially for those who love capturing their travel experiences through video! You can capture sound and video with full 1080p HD image quality, 4 high performance microphones and of course it has an awesome 20 megapixel camera – so whether you’re taking video or still photos, the results are going to be phenomenal.

What else would you expect from a Nokia Lumia?

I personally don’t take a lot of video, but I love the Lumia cameras. The Lumia Icon has a 20 megapixel image sensor as well as a PureView ZEISS 6-lens camera, and a wide f/2.4 aperture and OIS so that you can be guaranteed to get sharp images in sunlight or lowlight! This is the new wave of smartphone, guys – a real camera that allows you to leave your clunky DSLR at home and share high quality photos from your vacation in real time!

With the Lumia Icon, every adventure becomes even more unforgettable.

Join the #ExploreMore Twitter Party!

Want to learn more about taking great video and photos during your adventures? Come to the #ExploreMore Twitter party and you could win one of two Nokia Lumia Icon phones!

Date: June 30, 2014
Time: 9-10 PM EST
Party Hashtag: #ExploreMore
Party Host: @travelingmom
Party Panelists: @travelingmoms @kimorlando @cindyrichards @debmomof3 @meaganshamy @maryheston @momfluential @desireemiller @dodomesticdad @7onashoestring @therebelchick @mommosttraveled
Brand Guest: @NokiaUS

RSVP on the Traveling Mom Party Page here!

I’ll see ya there!

Dash for Ireland

If you were to find yourself with the holiday season fast approaching, nowhere in mind to go and you were looking to snap something up at a decent price, you could do a lot worse than choosing to visit Ireland.

With so much to see, do and experience, all wrapped up in that very Irish method of presentation, it’s easy to find inspiration for your eleventh hour getaway. Here are just a few ideas that anyone thinking of last minute deals could take advantage of:

Guinness Brewery
It’s an obvious one but taking a tour of the factory where Ireland’s most famous export is made provides some appreciative insight into the mindset of the Irish: their patience, commitment to craftsmanship and, of course, their love of a cheeky drop!
The Guinness brewery offers tours that can be booked online, which is worth doing to avoid the long queues to get in. In addition, the visit ends with a chance to sample some of the black stuff as you’ll no doubt have worked up a thirst by the time you’ve been shown around.

Blarney Castle
The ancestral seat of the McCarthy clan, the castle is over 600 years old and is one of the most popular sites on the Emerald Isle. Doubtless you’ve heard of the tradition of kissing the Blarney Stone, which is a rock otherwise known as the Stone of Eloquence. Legend has it that all who do so will never again be lost for words for the rest of their lives. It’s a handy skill to have!

Waterford Crystal
More cultural pursuits can be found at the home of Waterford Crystal, the world famous glass makers who will give you a tour of the factory where you can watch the beautiful glass been made in front of you; from the making of the mould, the glass blowing all the way through to the finished piece being cut, sculpted and engraved.

Sporting pursuits
Ireland has its own unique sporting events. They’re an experience in themselves. Hurling and Gaelic football are ferocious games and not for the faint hearted but take some beating as a spectacle.

The Irish nightlife is legendary and attempts to copy ‘the craic’ can be seen worldwide as energetic cities take their cue from Ireland. The best places to visit for evening entertainment are Dublin and Limerick, but every town will have its pubs offering friendly, welcoming fun and plenty of tall tales being told.

Ireland is packed full of things to do, see and places to go. Plan carefully but be prepared to detour to investigate the glorious landscape as you travel through. Yet, the best part of the country is the people, who are warm, funny, welcoming and kind. Their view on the world makes any trip worthwhile.

Cut Costs on a Road Trip by Driving a Motorcycle

Are you looking for a road trip with a greater sense of adventure? Why not try taking a cross-country motorcycle trip? This is a way to really become one with the open road and experience a heightened sense of freedom. Yet in addition to opening yourself up to new experiences, exploring the motorway via motorcycle is a way to potentially save some cash. Motorcycles are both lower in cost and more fuel-efficient than cars or SUVs, which might just leave you with more money in your pocket to splurge on souvenirs or a fancy hotel room along the way! The following are a few reasons to consider living the “Easy Rider” lifestyle.

motorcycle road trip

Image Source: Daniel Peppes Gauer/Flickr

Motorcycles have lower sticker prices.

This doesn’t really apply to you if you plan to rent a car for your road trip, but if you’re looking to buy something you can enjoy significant savings by choosing a motorcycle. You can find new motorcycles for as little as $5,000; or you could choose a higher-end model in this price range by going for a used one. Naturally, price will vary depending on the make and model but overall motorcycles tend to be far cheaper than cars.

Motorcycles can be more fuel efficient.

Some motorcycle models go into the triple digits of mileage, but the average touring vehicle will give you approximately 50 miles to the gallon, which is none too shabby. You don’t have to spend too much more to enjoy 70 mpg or higher, which is miles ahead of many cars. This all translates to less money spent on the road. If you want to maximize your savings, look for lightweight or hybrid models.

Insurance and maintenance costs may be lower.

You’ll need to factor in the cost of insurance and road repairs, particularly if you’re buying a bike to use in your regular life as well as on a road trip. Like cars, luxury models will be more costly to insure or repair. If you choose brands which are particularly known for their reliability, you will find that insurance and maintenance costs are often lower than the equivalent cars. For the lowest rates use to look at Japanese brands like Suzuki, Kawasaki or Yamaha, which have a good reputation among insurers and mechanics alike. It’s always worth splashing out on a check-up at the mechanic’s before you hit the road to minimize your chances of a breakdown.

motorcycle trip

Image Source: Photoxpress

You’ll enjoy a minimalist experience.

Even the largest touring Harley-Davidson won’t have as much storage space as a typical car, but is that a bad thing? Driving a motorcycle on the open road is all about freedom, and it forces you to streamline your travels. You won’t have the space to get bogged down in extra pairs of clothing or books that you’re unlikely to read. It provides a cleaner, sparer, and more minimalist travel experience which can be quite refreshing for seasoned travellers.

The Bottom Line

Although they’re not great for family vacations when you need to pack the whole brood into a minivan, motorcycles can be ideal for more spontaneous types of road trips or solo journeys. Finally, as with any road trip, a bit of planning and careful thought before you depart can go a long way into helping you stick to your budget.

Exploring Australia’s Taste of the Tropics Trail

With an internationally renowned wine industry and a growing culinary scene, more and more visitors are travelling to Australia not just for the beaches but for the food and wine. To meet this demand, many Australian regions have started marketing food and wine trails, including the Food and Nature Trail in Tasmania and the Hawkesbury Harvest in New South Wales. North Queensland benefits from a warm, tropical climate and a thriving agricultural industry, which means visitors can enjoy luscious tropical fruit and accompanying wine.

austrailia 1

Image Source: Alan Levin/Flickr

The Taste of the Tropics trail was first launched in 2001 by Australian Tropical Foods to promote the food industry in North Queensland. It highlights all of the exotic culinary sensations stemming from the region, with five food trails to follow. Juicy mangoes, exotic jackfruit, and sweet lychees are all a few examples of the produce available along these routes, used in creative ways in local restaurants and roadside cafes.

Taste of the Cassowary Coast

Starting in Babinda just south of Cairns, this trail takes you through the townships of Innisfail and Tully out to picturesque Mission Beach. Stop and enjoy the Ma-Mu Canopy Rainforest Walk to enjoy the lush scenery, and sample an array of tropical fruits at the roadside stands. Highlights include the imported cheese and prosciutto at Oliveri’s Continental Deli, the local produce at Jagad’s Epicurean Emporium, and the freshly caught fish at the Innisfail Fish Depot.

Taste of the Coral Coast

Drive from Cairns to Australia’s spa capital of Palm Cove alongside lush palm-fringed beaches, and stop off at gourmet destinations including Rusty’s Bazaar Markets with their seasonal produce and exotic tropical vegetables. Gain a sense of Queensland’s diversity by visiting Asian Foods Australia in Cairns for locally made curry pastes and chili sauces, and don’t pass up a stop at Dreamtime Wines to enjoy wines featuring flavours from passionfruit to kiwi fruit.

Taste of the Mountain Tablelands

Venture away from the coast and into the high-altitude southern region of the Mountain Tablelands, which include the Waterfall Circuit and Misty Mountains trails to enjoy. These rolling green hills produce excellent culinary products to sample. One of the most famous is the Mungalli Creek Bio-Dynamic Dairy, billed as a “cheesery and teahouse.”

Taste of the Savannah Tablelands

Venture into Australia’s coffee country with a tour of the Savannah Tablelands, which pass from Cairns up the Kuranda range. Stop in Mareeba to visit the Australian coffee centre, which boasts a heavenly smell and freshly roasted coffee from the region.

austrailia 2

Image Source: Beatie/Flickr

Taste of the Rainforest

The final trail along the Taste of the Tropics takes you into lush rainforest settings, travelling from Palm Cove across the Daintree River and up to Cape Tribulation. Take a fruit tasting and farm tour at the Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm, and find out what happens when exotic tropical fruits are blended with ice cream at the Floravilla Ice Cream Factory in Daintree. Don’t miss a visit to one of Daintree’s oldest restaurants, the Daintree Tea House Restaurant which uses locally grown products in mouth-watering ways.

Before you Go

The weather is unsurprisingly hot and humid in the tropics of Queensland, so pack plenty of layers and don’t forget the sunscreen. Although all of these trails are easily accessible with a 2WD vehicle, if you plan to go off-roading you’ll want to read reviews on local sites like Motoring to find a car for your holiday with 4WD. Give yourself plenty of time to explore this diverse and delicious region, and don’t forget to take away some fruity souvenirs!


Why You Should Visit Las Vegas Before it’s Too Late!

With an endless supply of bright lights, five star restaurants, exotic hotels and of course, money, it’s hard to imagine the city of sin running out of anything, let alone the elixir of life that is water.

Las Vegas

In fact, recent studies have shown that the city only has enough water to run for a finite number of years. The city, located in the Nevada Desert, takes its main supply of water from Lake Mead, and the newest reports have concluded that the lake could only produce enough to keep the city hydrated for the next two decades. Despite being the seemingly unlimited producer of all things sinful, Las Vegas is running out of its most precious commodity, so if you want to visit, you’d better get there fast – before 2036, if you can.

“219 gallons of water per person”

The report also concluded that, on a typical day in Las Vegas, the average person will consume 219 gallons of water, and this is more than just a quick shower or stopping to gawp at the Bellagio Fountains. According to scientists, around 70% of Las Vegas’ water supply is used to hydrate lawns, public parks and golf courses.


This is not a problem that has gone unnoticed – following Lake Mead’s all time low in 2010, plans were put in place in 2012 to pump 84,000 acre-feet of water into the desert resort. The Southern Nevada Water Authority has also commenced construction of a 23-foot tunnel into Lake Mead to continue its water supply, due for completion in 2015.

Why You Should Go Now

Though 20 years might seem a long time to get visiting, holiday makers would be advised to visit the city now before the crisis becomes too much to support Las Vegas’ 40 million annual visitors. The 2012 water pump project has already faced ongoing protest from cattle ranchers and native Americans, and gamblers should hit the strip now before the tensions from environmental agencies and new laws impose limits on the city.

Steve Erickson, coordinator for the Great Basin Water Network, Utah, suggested that the limitless lifestyle that is so synonymous with Vegas is to blame. “At some point, you have to live within your means, but that doesn’t fit with the image of Las Vegas.” So if you want to live beyond your means, book your tickets now before it’s too late.




Join the #AintMomGrand Mother’s Day Twitter Party 5/8 1PM EST

This is part of a sponsored campaign with ProFlowers and Shari’s Berries. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

This weekend is Mother’s Day! It’s a day to celebrate moms and all that they do for their children and families. How will YOU be honoring moms this Sunday? Flowers and sweets are traditionally one of the most popular gifts for Mother’s Day, which is why we love Shari’s Berries and ProFlowers! According to the National Retail Federation Mother’s Day survey, two-thirds of those celebrating Mother’s Day this year will buy mom flowers. Shari’s Berries will dip more than 6 million strawberries for Mother’s Day alone. Both Shari’s Berries and ProFlowers are making it easy to celebrate mom’s this weekend by offering Sunday delivery!


Join Us for the #AintMomGrand Mother’s Day Twitter Party!

Come join ProFlowers, Shari’s Berries, @StacieInAtlanta, and @JollyMom on Thursday, May 8th from 1-2 pm ET to celebrate Mother’s Day. Along with the perfect gift ideas, we’ll be sharing our favorite mom memories and all of the reasons that moms are grand! Of course, there will be lots of beautiful and delicious surprises for those who attend!


In the meantime, make sure to Tweet a picture of your mom using the #AintMomGrand hashtag. Your picture could be featured on the website!

And, enter the Shari’s Berries and ProFlowers Ain’t Mom Grand Facebook Sweepstakes! Enter to win Shari’s Berries Dozen Mother’s Day Berries and 3 Cake Pops HERE or a Deluxe All the Frills Bouquet from ProFlowers HERE.

Twitter Party Details
What: #AintMomGrand Mother’s Day Twitter Party
When: Thursday, May 8th from 1-2 p.m. EST (12 CT & 10 a.m. PT)
Where: Twitter
Who To Follow:
Brand: @ProFlowers @SharisBerries
Co-Hosts: @JollyMom @StacieInAtlanta
Blogger Panelists: @therebelchick @crissy @LkWhtMomFound @simplystacienet @brettbmartin
Rules: For the Official Rules for ProFlowers and Shari’s Berries.
For additional Mother’s Day inspiration, visit the Celebrating Our Love For Moms Pinterest Board!

Follow ProFlowers’s board Celebrating our Love for Moms on Pinterest.

Lanzarote, an Island of Unforgettable Experiences

Lanzarote may be small but it offers everything you could wish for from a sun-drenched Spanish island. Year round sunshine, magnificent beaches and an amazing interior landscape make this one of the most popular of the Canary Islands.

This gorgeous little island is the fourth largest of the Canaries and is just 80 miles from the coast of Africa. At only 37 miles long by 12 miles wide it is compact enough to explore in a few days and there’s a lot to experience outside of the beaches. The magical Caves of Los Verdes, the stunning volcanic landscape of the Timanfaya National Park and the opportunity to explore neighbouring islands are all part of the Lanzarote experience.

20140501-170116.jpgCanary Island seascape image by Darren Johnson, shared under a Creative Commons Licence
Island accommodation

If you’re one of the 1.5 million people visiting Lanzarote each year then you have a wealth of accommodation choices. The island relies heavily on tourism and there’s an abundance of value for money hotel resorts located around the coastline.

The affordable prices of last minute holidays in Lanzarote is one of the reasons for the island’s popularity, especially during the peak summer months. This is a year round vacation destination however, and you can easily find great prices on private villas with swimming pools as well as self-catering apartments at any time of the year.

The island’s Best Beaches

Lanzarote was formed by volcanic activity and is known for its black sand beaches but there are plenty of golden and white bays around the coastline. Head to Papagayo in the south for the fine white sands of what is regarded as the island’s most beautiful beach.
The golden sands at Las Conchas, located on La Graciosa just off the north coast are idyllic and this is the perfect spot for sunbathing and even scuba diving. If you’re into the surfing lifestyle then the immense curved bay at Famara on the northwest coast is the place for windsurfing, kiteboarding and surfboarding. All of these beaches are easily accessible and most offer nearby bars and restaurants for snacks and cold drinks.

Island Sightseeing

There are many sights on Lanzarote that are well worth dragging yourself away from the beaches for. Timanfaya National Park offers one of the most amazing ‘Martian’ landscapes as well as active geysers and guided tours of the volcanoes.

Visit the colourful underground cave system known as the Cueva de los Verdes, which stretches for three miles and once sheltered the Hispanic people from pirates. A trip to the 475m high Mirador del Rio viewpoint will provide you with spectacular panoramic views of the island from both the walkway and the roof top observation deck.

For a day out with a difference take a boat trip to the nearby island of Fuerteventura and spend a day exploring the traditional little villages and the buzzing resort beaches. The journey takes just over two hours and a day out in the capital town of Puerto del Rosario offers shopping, restaurants and cultural sightseeing.

Lanzarote Cuisine

As you would expect from an island with a heavy tourist population Lanzarote doesn’t skimp on restaurants, cafes and bars. Fish is typically an ingredient in Canarian cuisine and the dishes have African, Spanish and even Latin American influences.

You can expect plenty of lighter meals, which are easier to digest in the hot climate, and dishes such as Sancocho Canario (salted fish in a spicy mojo sauce) are typical. However, if you’re in the mood for Chinese, British, Indian or Italian meals you won’t have to look hard for restaurants on the island.
Lanzarote definitely offers something to suit every taste whether you’re visiting as a single traveller, a group, a couple or a family. This beautiful island with the sunniest of climates will stay in your memory long after the vacation is over. Easter Deals Hunt Giveaway

This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me by Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic.

With Easter coming up, it seems like all I am doing is working on Easter baskets, preparing our Easter dinner menu, filling Easter eggs with candy for our annual Easter egg hunt, and making Easter treats to share on the blog. All of these Easter goodies add up, even when they are on sale! has a ton of great Easter sales but there are also great coupon codes all over the website, which really help me save money when preparing for the holiday.

I have quite a few trips lined up this month, so I really don’t have a lot of time to bargain shop. makes it easy for me to save a lot in one convenient website with sales and coupon codes! I had to make these Easter PEEPS Cupcakes and while it seems like an easy recipe, the costs can really add up for all of the ingredients, PEEPS, cupcake liners and food photography props. Luckily, I can save a ton of all of those things with Easter deals at!

PEEPS Cupcakes

Easter PEEPS Cupcakes Recipe


1 box of vanilla cake mix
Blue food coloring
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 large eggs
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Follow the directions on your cake mix box and add in 1 cup of chocolate chips and 10 drops of food coloring. Spoon your batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners and bake according to box directions. Set aside to cool.
Icing Directions
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups powder sugar
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
5 or more drops of blue food coloring
Colored Sugar or Sprinkles
Mix shortening, powder sugar, butter, heavy cream, and food coloring all together until smooth. Ice your cupcakes with a butter knife or the back of a spoon, and sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles until completely covered. Add a dash of icing to the very top to act as glue, and set your PEEP on top! $400 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway wants to help you save even more and is hosting a giveaway for four $100 gift cards! Think of all of the goodies you can buy with such a large giveaway! This giveaway is open to US residents and ends on April 21st, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cuba’s Lasting Influence on Miami

When you picture Miami, you probably envision tan, carefree people strolling along the city’s beaches in the sun. But, if you delve a little deeper, you’ll find a city overflowing with culture thanks, in part, to the nearby Caribbean nation of Cuba. With just over 300 miles separating Miami from the ‘Pearl of the Antilles,’ it’s no surprise that it’s had some influence on this prominent Florida city. Let’s look a little closer at the Cuban influence in Miami:


Over 500,000 Cubans moved to Miami between the years of 1960 and 1980, creating both an instant and long-lasting effect on the city. One of the most noticeable effects of the now more than one million Cubans living in the city is that much of Miami is bilingual.

There are newspapers, as well as radio and television programs in Cuba’s native Spanish. You’ll also often see signs and restaurant menus written in both English and Spanish and speaking both languages is definitely an asset, if not a requirement, for many jobs.


Cuba holidays will transport you to a nation overflowing with a variety of traditions due, in part, to Spanish, African, French and Asian influence. However, while it won’t be the exact same as visiting Cuba, a trip to Miami will give you a taste, in some ways quite literally, of this interesting Cuban culture.

Head to ‘Little Havana,’ Miami’s home for Cuban music, dance, food and the arts. Other than traveling to Cuba yourself, it’s the place to be if you want to truly engulf yourself in this vibrant culture.

Take a stroll down the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame to see sidewalk stars honoring many famous Latin American celebrities, including Cuban salsa singer Celia Cruz and journalist and actress Cristina Saralegui. There are also numerous parades and festivals held in Little Havana throughout the year so check event listings before you plan your trip to ensure you don’t miss out.

Business & Politics

With so much of Miami’s population of Cuban descent, it’s no surprise that Cuban Americans are both prevalent in the city’s businesses and quite active in its political system. As early as 1970, over half of the staff members of Miami’s many hotels were Cuban Americans and, just ten years later, half of the city’s construction companies were owned by Cuban Americans as well.

Cuban Americans have long been known for, in general, taking an active position in Miami politics. This is, in part, evidenced by the fact that the current mayor of Miami, Tomás Pedro Regalado, was born in Havana, Cuba, as was his predecessor, Manny Díaz.

So, for a sample of the spirited Cuban culture without having to leave the US, head to Miami for taste of Cuban American hospitality!