Category Archives: Reviews

Thirsty Thursdays – Summer Spiked PJ with Touch Vodka

Touch Vodka did send me a few bottles of their vodka for the purposes of review. While the vodka was free, this did not affect my review. All opinions are my own.

Summer is here, and with it, refreshing drinks are all the rage. Today I thought I’d share a yummy one that just tastes like summer in a glass. Perfect for those hot days by the pool! Or, ya know, on the patio after a rough day’s work. This is the Summer Spiked PJ and it’s damn tasty! Enjoy!!

Summer Spiked PJ

Ingredients:

Prep:

Super simple, super refreshing – I’ll have another please! Stay tuned for additional drink recipes with Touch Vodka 🙂

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Recapping My Experience at The Grand Beauty Spa AND a Giveaway!

Thanks to my partnership with The Grand Beauty Spa and Seven Marketing PR,  I received a complimentary massage in exchange for a review, and some social media love. Although the massage was free, this has not affected my review in any way. All opinions below are my own.

When I first walked in to The Grand Beauty Spa, the staff greeted me and offered me a beverage. I was pleasantly surprised that one of the beverage options was wine. Although I’ve been living a semi-dry lifestyle lately, something about slipping into a state of comfort that day made me want a glass of wine. After all as Nanci from This Crazy Life Designs says “wine is a hug in a glass”. So I gave myself permission to have one glass, and I gotta say, it felt so nice to be drinking in the middle of a work day, just getting pampered.

I was also given a tour of the facility, and the serenity areas inside and outside easily helped me to forget that I was on a busy street on Kennedy!

Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I was feeling all zen like.  At last minute I was told that I would be having a male masseuse, and I must say I was a little taken aback by that because I went in expecting that I was going to be massaged by a female. I’ve never had a man massage me before. So, to be honest I really didn’t know what to expect.

One of the things that calmed my nerves right off the bat though, was that my masseuse whose name was Bruce told me he had a couple of rules in his room – I don’t remember exactly what all of them were, but I do remember him saying that one of the most important rules was for me to give myself permission to leave the outside world outside of his room and just relax. I know it might sound silly but this actually really helped me to do exactly that – Bruce says RELAX!

Another thing he said was that if he was too rough with his pressure to let him know because he wanted this to be an enjoyable experience, not a painful one. And somehow that reassured me too … The 80 minutes went by really quickly, and I must confess I kept repeating Bruce’s words in my head “just give yourself permission to relax.”

One of the problems that I often have with getting massages, is that by the end of it I haven’t actually fully relaxed. This one however, completely did the job. I can honestly say that I completely forgot that I was sitting on the middle of a very busy street in downtown Tampa. Who knew that a spa on Kennedy Boulevard could give you this level of peace, comfort, and total zen? I would highly recommend getting a massage at The Grand Beauty Spa.

Because I’m all about full disclosure, I do have to say I did have one complaint about my experience at the spa – but only one. When I went to rinse off the lotion from the massage in the ladies locker room, I lost all hot water in the shower after only about 5 minutes. For the life of me I could not get that hot water back 🙁 I twisted that knob every which way I could think of, but basically had to end my rinse with cold water.

Luckily, there’s nothing else I can think of that was negative about my experience at The Grand Beauty Spa. It certainly makes me look forward to the day that my blog is making me enough money so that I can regularly get massages like that one. Because let’s be honest ladies, self-care and self-pampering just makes us nicer people!

Learn more about #howtograndspa with their offerings here:

Use promotion code: TAMPABLOGGER and mention Famous Ashley Grant to score 10% off the services available at The Grand Spa

MEMBERSHIP AT THE GRAND SPA- Join our Community

The Grand awaits to “Teach You How to Spa” in a Grand way!

The Grand understands the importance of a consistent beauty regime and offers special pricing for Grand Spa Members’ monthly visits and treatments with exclusive pricing and exceptional members only events.

All Grand Spa Memberships Include:

  • Unlimited use of Infra-Red Sauna, team Room and Relaxation areas
  • Monthly applications of customized Keratase
  • Shu Uemura Hair Masque with Complimentary Detoxifying Peloid Mud in our Steam Room
  • Membership pricing on select services
  • 10% discount for Med Spa, Salon and Retail
  • Monthly Yoga Classes and Grand Goddess Ceremony

MASSAGES

  • Couples Massage
  • Hot Stone Massage Grand Spa Wrap, Scrubs and Bath
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Pre-and post Natal Massage
  • A shiatsu Oriental bar Therapy
  • Grand Thai Table Massage
  • Grand Classic Marine Algae Wrap Detox Treatments

MED SPA

  • Botox
  • Fillers
  • Vitamin B Injections
  • PRP

BEAUTY SALON

  • Custom Couture Blow dry & Style
  • Custom Hair Cut and Style
  • Special Occasion Hairstyling
  • Custom Highlights
  • Hair Color Retouch
  • Gloss Toner

BRIDAL BEAUTY

  • Bridal Trial UpDo & Bridal UpDo
  • Bridal Makeup
  • Bridal on Location
  • Grand Manicure & Pedicures
  • Eyelash Extensions
  • Grand Make-up Application

SERVICES

Facials

  • Featuring THALGO the anti-aging specialists offering facials for different ages and anti-aging concerns, all renowned for their incredible results.
  • For a radiant firmer complexion, our selection of customized facials are perfect for every age. Grand Beauty Spa specialty facials enhance the look of your skin, encourage rejuvenation and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
  • Innovative masques and serums are used to exfoliate, tighten and revitalize your skin. The Grand offers a comprehensive range of advanced therapies specifically geared to reverse the signs of aging caused by environment, pollution and sun exposure.

MASSAGES

The Grand Massage

Few experiences in life can compare to the benefits of receiving an outstanding massage under the trained hands of a professional massage therapist. While all of our massages help relieve tension, allowing your body to relax and rejuvenate. We offer a therapeutic synergy of Swedish, Thai and Shiatsu massage technologies are tailored to renew and revitalize mind and body-A Grand Exclusive.

Enjoy our elegant and beautifully appointed spa facility including our infrared sauna, steam room and Zen Gardens as part of your Spa experience.

Don't forget! Use promotion code: TAMPABLOGGER and mention Famous Ashley Grant to score 10% off the services available at The Grand Spa

ABOUT GRAND BEAUTY SPA

In the tradition of the finest five-star European spas and salons, the Grand offers spa and salon services from head to toe under one roof. Now celebrating its ten-year anniversary, the Grand has redefined the beauty salon/spa experience taking it to a new level.

At the Grand the latest techniques, treatments, European-trained stylists and skin care specialists provide clients with an unparalleled salon/spa experience. The Grand’s team of elite professionals join to provide clients with the ultimate experience. Carmen Sargeant owner of the Grand, has designed The Grand to be an oasis of peace and tranquility, offering cutting-edge beauty and wellness services in a personalized, relaxed and beautiful setting.

ABOUT THE OWNER

Carmen Lee Sargeant

With over 20 years of experience, Carmen not only leads and inspires her salon team, she trains stylists around the country. Carmen teaches and tours with America’s top stylists during New York’s Spring and Fall Fashion Week. Carmen enjoys sharing her knowledge as an artist with top international teams including Kerastase and the Shu Uemura Artistic teams in New York and LA. (@kerastase_official , @shuartofhair)

Carmen received her training form top celebrity stylists including Martin Parsons, Beth Miniardi, Trevor Sorbie and Kattria Solano. She has also studied with SoHO Academy, Redken 5th Avenue and Shu Uemura Atelier.

Carmen is deeply committed to giving back to her community and volunteers with her husband and three children for numerous charity causes. Carmen’s family also enjoys doing pet therapy with their dog visiting local hospitals.

The Grand Promise- Customization

The Grand Beauty Spa recognizes that every guest’s face and body are unique. We customize and continually update treatments to meet client’s needs and deliver the benefits they seek. No luxury is spared in our quest to create unparalleled results.

Update: The Giveaway has ended

And now, A GIVEAWAY!!!!

This giveaway is being hosted directly by The Grand Beauty Spa. Check out the details they sent me below to learn how you could win a spa day for you and your mom by following their instructions 🙂

GRAND BEAUTY SPA’S #MYHEROMOM

PRESENTED BY

TAMPA BAY PARENTING

Some people don’t believe in Heroes but they haven’t met my Mom”

Nominate your #MYHEROMOM and WIN a Grand Spa Day for Two!

Moms come in many shapes and sizes. There are step-moms, foster moms, adopted moms, grand-moms, teacher-moms and of course Moms. This Mother’s Day, we want to celebrate our Hero Moms. 

Tell us about your hero mom and why she inspires you: Is it her kind-heartedness? Her bravery? Her selflessness? Her sacrifices? It could be your mom or someone else’s mother. Tell us why your #myheromom is so special and you could win a Spa Day for Two from Grand Beauty Spa and Tampa Bay Parenting.

We’re certainly not looking for the perfect mom (because none of us are) but we’d love to hear about it! We’ll share some of our favorite entries around Mother’s Day.  

Details:

Answer the questions below and enter an optional story in 300 words or less.

Our panel of judges will pick three winners. The winning Moms and guest will be treated to a Spa day on Saturday, May 13th.  The 2 runners-up will each receive a $100 gift card to Grand Beauty Spa. So make it an extra-happy Mother’s Day in your house this year, and send in your entry! All five winners will be published on www.grandbeautyspa.com

Please include a photo of yourself and/or your hero mom.

The contest begins April 17th and will run until Monday, May 1st at 10 p.m. (EST). YOU CAN ENTER THE CONTEST DIRECTLY HERE!!!

We will contact the winner(s) by noon on May 5th.

AGAIN – YOU CAN ENTER THE CONTEST DIRECTLY HERE!!!

 

 

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CLR Products – PERFECT for Spring Cleaning

 Thanks to my relationship with the CLR Family of Jelmar, I did receive complimentary bottles of cleaner for the purposes of review. This has not affected my review
All opinions below are my own.

I was so excited when my CLR Products arrived in the mail because they are PERFECT for Spring Cleaning. I had several projects that needed to be taken care of, and thanks to this mail fairy delivery I was able to make quick work of them.

First, I used the mold and mildew remover. What I LOVED about this product is its foaming action feature. I shot it on the area that needed it, I let it sit for 10 minutes, and the gunk came off with ease. Check out the before and after shots:

Before:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After:

 

This gunk would have taken a lot longer to clean with other brands of cleaners. The foaming action did all the heavy lifting for me.

Have a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

Here's more about the CLR Brands Mold & Mildew Stain Remover directly from the company's website: CLR Brands Mold & Mildew Stain Remover is a powerful, bleach-free formula designed to remove tough mold and mildew stains from a variety of surfaces.  The foam sprayer allows for a more direct application, preventing splash back and spores from spreading in the air.  You can use CLR Brands Mold & Mildew Stain Remover in bathrooms, kitchens and basements on painted walls, ceramic tile, hardwood floors and baseboards as well as fabrics.  CLR Brands Mold & Mildew Stain Remover will eliminate stains from glass, metal, brick, concrete, marble, laminated countertops, fully cured and oil-based painted surfaces, hard plastics, automobile tires, wood, grout and fiberglass.  CLR Brands Mold & Mildew Stain Remover is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice Program recognizing the product as a safer alternative to chemicals.

Next, I used the CLR Bath & Kitchen Cleaner, and although there were some burns marks on the inside of the stove I was cleaning that couldn’t be changed, I think this cleaner did a darn good job. Again, this one was a foaming action cleaner, so all I needed to do was spray it, let it sit and then wipe it off. I did need a “little” elbow grease because the gunk was so stubborn, but for the most part, this cleaner again did most of the work for me!

Before:

 

 

 

 

After

 

 

 

 

Here's more about CLR Brands Bath & Kitchen Cleaner directly from their site:  CLR Brands Bath & Kitchen Cleanercontains no phosphates, ammonia or bleach and is the perfect cleaner for most surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom.  CLR Brands Bath & Kitchen Cleaner is a multipurpose, multi-surface cleaner that quickly cuts through calcium, lime, soap buildup and dirt on your sink, chrome fixtures, stainless steel as well as the sliding door to your shower.  You can use CLR Brands Bath & Kitchen Cleaner on ceramic tile, bathtubs, white grout & caulk, toilet bowls, fiberglass and kitchen countertops.  CLR Brands Bath & Kitchen Cleaner will not remove rust and make sure you do not use our cleaner on vinyl, marble, mirrors, plastic laminates, wood, fabrics, painted surfaces, colored grout or wall coverings. Always spot test in an inconspicuous area first before cleaning the entire item.

Then, I used the original CLR Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover for my shower head and my toilet.  I have to confess I already knew how amazing this stuff was before I “reviewed” it as I’ve used it several times in the past. Nonetheless, I will show you the horrendous before and after photos of what I cleaned (even though my husband is having a fit over me sharing the before picture). I have VERY hard water in my apartment, and hard water stains seem to be a constant in my toilet and on my shower head. If you don’t believe this stuff is amazing, just check this out:

Before

After

How frikkin amazing is that? As for the shower head, I removed it from the shower and placed it into a cup filled with just enough CLR to cover the face like so:

Unfortunately, you can’t see it too well, and you can’t really tell the difference in my before and after images because they came out so dark. What I will tell you is this – my shower head before CLR didn’t work so well. There were several spots so crudded up with the hard water stuff that when you turned on the shower, the water was blocked from shooting out of all the holes of the head.

Now, after the treatment, it’s like a whole new shower head with every hole clear and free to dispense water. My husband actually wondered if I bought a new one because it’s coming out so much stronger than it was before!

Here's more about the original CLR Brands Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover directly from their site: CLR Brands Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover is a powerful formula for dissolving tough calcium and lime deposits as well as surface rust stains on outdoor faucets, rusty siding and the hard water stains left from the sprinkler system on your outdoor windows.  CLR Brands Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover is effective on porcelain, chrome, glassware, fiberglass, and stainless steel.  When cleaning, use a mixture of equal parts of CLR Brands Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover and warm water.  Let the solution sit on the spot test area for no longer than two to five minutes, then rinse promptly and thoroughly with cold water.  If there are no adverse reactions, then it’s safe to use on the other affected areas of the item.  Using a soft scouring pad is recommended to assist in removal of the deposits.  If the stain does not completely disappear, repeat the process.  CLR Brands Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover has been scientifically proven to dissolve mineral deposits within the first two to five minutes, one layer at a time.

The only product that I received that I haven’t had a chance to use yet is the Tarn-X Tarnish Remover seen below. This stuff is great for sterling silver, silver plate, platinum, copper, gold and diamonds. I’m planning on cleaning my jewelry with it very soon, and I’ll share my thoughts on it afterwards!

I would definitely recommend all of the CLR products I tried for this write up. They are just awesome cleaners! They aren’t overly “chemically” in smell, and I don’t want to run out of the room when I’m using them. They get the job done, and they do their job well. I’m a fan, and I’ll bet if you use CLR products for your Spring Cleaning, you will be too!
 

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

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Get Stuffed Like a Turkey at Piquant and Love Every Minute!

piquant_1003 So, recently I had the AHHHHHMAZING opportunity to have dinner at Piquant. For those of you who don’t know, this is a restaurant located in Hyde Park Village. They are an American spin on French cuisine, and although I was treated to a meal here for their preview of a new menu thanks to my affiliation with the Tampa Bay Bloggers, all opinions below are my own.

When we first arrived, we were treated to the cocktail you see above. It’s a blend of equal parts Deep Eddy Peach Vodka and Rumchata, a squeeze of lime and a pinch of cinnamon. They said it tastes like Peach Cobbler. For me, it was a little too sweet, but the other bloggers seemed to enjoy it. For some reason, the older I get the less I like sweet drinks. Anywho…moving on…

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Our first course was Octopus Provencal featuring chorizo-rubbed seared Octopus, Spanish evoo, potatoes, Provencal sauce. I keep it real on this blog, so I’m not going to lie to you and tell you I loved this dish. It was my first time having octopus and I’m NOT a fan. Bleh! The potatoes though- those were delicious!!! Love me some potatoes ya’ll!!!

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Next we had the Pork Belly Benedict featuring crispy pork belly, lemon-thyme scone, beefsteak tomato, poached egg, avocado Hollandaise. Ya’ll!!! This dish was pretty darn tasty. I love me some porkt belly, and the scone was surprisingly moist. Most scones I’ve eaten are far too dry. This? This was good! I would eat this again if given the chance for sure.

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For our first salad sampling we tried the Vertical (Uriah’s Farm) Salad featuring a mix of Bibb, Frisee & Arugula, roasted Red & Golden beets, toasted almonds, goat cheese and passion fruit vinaigrette. The cool thing about this salad is that it’s as farm-to-table as you can get at a restaurant. They grow the stuff vertically nearby, and then Piquant gets the goods at the peak of freshness. I didn’t like the beets so much, but the greens, almonds and dressing – YUM!

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We were supposed to have another salad sample after the beets, but to our surprise the chef had other plans. EXCITING ones! He created this delicious croissant loaf. Yep, bread that is just as fluffy and flaky as a croissant, but in loaf form to make a sammich!!! So, naturally chef sliced the bread, toasted it and made the best turkey club sandwich I think I’ve ever had. It was so delicious I wasn’t even mad they cut the turkey sandwich from our scheduled samplings!

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Our other salad sampling was a Salmon Salad featuring seared fresh salmon, golden lentils, heirloom Spring, beefsteak tomatoes, crispy Brussels sprouts and passion fruit vinaigrette. I REALLY didn’t like the Brussels sprouts, but the rest of the salad was pretty tasty. This could totes be a lunch I would eat one day! I’d just ask for mine sprout free. Ha!

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As we waited for our first signature entree sampling, we were treated to a swig of Impatience wine. This was delicious! Paired perfectly with the salmon too.

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Our first signature entree sampling was Duck Confit featuring leg of house-made crispy Duck Confit, golden lentil ragu and duck Demi glace. The duck was good, the rest? Not so much! I’m very finicky I guess. But, I did enjoy the duck leg quite a bit.

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Our other signature entree sampling was Salmon Napoleon with layers of pate brisee, ratatouille, seared salmon, hollandaise and fresh dill. This is TOTALLY a dish my husband would have liked. I ate it and enjoyed it for the most part, but I wish my hubby could have been there because I suspect he would have been begging for more.

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Taking a slight break from ALL. THE. FOOD. we were treated to another cocktail that rocked my world. Equal parts Pumpkin Spice Baileys and Crown Royal Vanilla shaken and poured over ice. What’s not to love? This drink was so frikkin good I considered asking for another. Going to have to nab me some of those bottles before they sell out since the Pumpkin Spice is limited edition!!!!

Finally, it was dessert time. And holy crap did Piquant go all out. I’ll share them in order from my least favorite to my most favorite because after all, you should save the best for last. Am I right?

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This dessert was the JBF Passian Fruit Ganache Gateau which consists of chocolate cake, passion fruit ganache, almond croquantine, passion fruit curd and milk chocolate buttercream. I had one bite and quickly moved on. FAR too sweet for me!

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This is the Chocolate Cherry Croissant Bread Pudding which consists of warm croissant bread pudding with European Chocolate wafers and cherries. Served with vanilla gelato and caramel sauce. The gelato and the caramel sauce – I was all over the deliciousness!!! But, I sadly was not a fan of the bread pudding itself.

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Now, my favorite!!!! Oh my GAWD you guys!!! These are the Croissant Donut Beignets. Yep – I said CROISSANT DONUT!!! Omg! These warm, crunchy Croissant Donut Beignets accompanied with signature dipping sauces makes for an interactive dessert that will tickle your taste buds and have you foodgasming something fierce. I loved these little suckers so much I wished I had saved more room for them, because DAYUM, they were good! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

Well folks, there you have it. Your sneak peek at the new items on the Piquant menu, and how I felt about them. Overall I had a VERY pleasant experience, and would love to munch on a few of the items again and again and again. If nothing else I’ll take more beignets and Pumpkin Baileys with Vanilla Crown please! So good!

Now, I want to hear from you!!! Have you eaten at Piquant? What did you think of the place?