Category Archives: Tampa Bay Love

4 Easy Home DIY Projects

Easy Home DIY Projects Faux Brickwork Header

This post is sponsored by Faux Brickwork. Now that we've gotten that FCC compliance out of the way, let's jam on the easy home DIY projects I promised you. Shall we?

Y’all know that I love a good DIY project, especially home projects! The reason for this is because home projects can get so timely and costly, especially when you hire them out.

A DIY project can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, and they can be quick and easy, as well! Here are 4 easy home DIY projects for when you get in the mood to change up the look of your home:

Easy Home DIY Projects – Painting

Easy Home DIY Projects Painting

One recommendation that I always give my friends and family members is to paint the rooms in their home. Paint completely changes the look of a room and the good thing about it is that it is relatively easy and inexpensive. Everyone knows how to paint a wall!

Another great thing to think about is getting stick on wallpaper or decals – this can dramatically change a room, as well and it’s very easy to do yourself! One of my favorite websites for wall decals is Rocky Mountain Decals.

They say, “Wall decals are names, shapes and designs that are printed onto either removable vinyl or removable wall fabric. They are an easy, fun and affordable way to add a little flair to a room or change the look of it completely. All our decals and wallpapers are handmade to order, and we offer a large variety of designs from super subtle to highly dramatic.

We pride ourselves in having the perfect decal design for every room. Boys room, check. Girls room, check. Laundry room, check. Bathroom, check. Master bedroom, check, you get the picture! With every order printed onto high quality and removable materials, you can add a splash of excitement to any space with the greatest of ease and have piece of mind that the decals can be removed at any time without leaving any damage or residue on your walls.”

So, next time you want to change up a room by yourself, use some decals and paint to completely change the look with ease!



Easy Home DIY Projects Gardening

Ever catch yourself driving through a neighborhood and commenting on which houses have good landscaping, and which could use a pick-me-up? Save the money on an expensive landscaper and make your yard HGTV-worthy yourself.

Use pictures you find online (hello HGTV and Pinterest) to give you the inspiration you need, then after a quick trip to your local home improvement store, it’s time to get to work! Google is a great resource to discover how to complete the tricky tasks you might not know how to do. You know what look you want better than anyone, so make your dream come true!


Easy Home DIY Projects – Decor

Easy Home DIY Projects Decor

There are so many great (and easy!) DIY projects to decorate your house. Whether you want a rustic headboard to spruce up the bedroom, some new throw pillows or blankets to decorate your living room, or some homemade candles to keep your home smelling nice, there is something for everyone!

If you need inspiration, check out my Pinterest Crafts and DIY board Pinterest Crafts and DIY board for some of my favorite projects that are easy and fun to complete. While you’re there, give my Pinterest page a follow please!

Easy Home DIY Projects – Backsplash

Easy Home DIY Projects Faux Brickwork

When you think of tackling backsplash on your own, you might get very concerned with how much time it will take, how hard it will be, and if your skills are good enough. Don’t worry – there are easier ways to work on your backsplash that will allow you to reduce your stress levels!

For example, instead of using tile or traditional brick, which could cost quite a bit of money and take a lot of time to do, you could use Faux Brickwork instead!

Faux Brickwork is a fantastic company based out of Clearwater, Florida. They provide exceptionally authentic looking brickwork to suit any setting, using high-quality materials. Faux Brickwork is dedicated to providing the US market with exceptionally sturdy and realistic faux brick panels, making it extremely quick and easy to transform a dull wall, or a whole room into a feature point.

The great thing about Faux Brickwork is that it looks like real brick, but it is simple and quick to install, it is lightweight, cost effective, and anyone can do it themselves. The reason the panels are so easy to install is because they are made from lightweight plaster.

The panels are perfect for busy individuals that want to renovate their home, or add personality to their home, without spending a ton of time and money on it. They have quite a few options when it comes to style and color, but you are also able to paint the panels on your own, order samples, or take advantage of their custom design service, as well!

Check out some more of my projects Below:

Busch Gardens® Is Celebrating 60 Years of Adventure

One of my FAVORITE things about being a blogger, is being on media lists to learn about new and exciting things happening in the world around me. One of the lists I’m so ecstatic to be on in the media list for news and events for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

I’ve been visiting Busch Gardens Tampa Bay since I was like 5 years old, and it’s always been a fun place to hang out with family and friends. Imagine my excitement when I learned that this year Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is celebrating SIXTY years in the Tampa Bay area!!!! How amazing is that?!?

They sent me this awesome press release below, and I thought I’d share it with all of you so you can see some of the neat stuff they are doing to celebrate their anniversary all year long!


Florida’s Tallest Launch Coaster, fan-favorite events and first details on new hybrid coaster headline the excitement

Celebrating six decades of unforgettable experiences, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay shares even more exciting news with park guests during the 60th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff this evening.

In addition to debuting a new menu for the 2019 Food & Wine Festival and the launch of the all-new Pin Trading program, the park reveals more details for upcoming attractions including Tigris, Florida’s tallest launch coaster, and a new attraction coming in 2020.


Food & Wine Festival Coming to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 3/16/19

Opening on March 16, the Food & Wine Festival returns with an exciting new menu, featuring more than 35 dishes inspired by regional cuisine around the country.

Guests can sample over 100 wines, craft brews and specialty cocktails while enjoying world-class concerts of all tastes, including Daughtry, Justin Moore, El Gran Combo, Boyz II Men, Foreigner and more!

The park recently announced a NEW performance for Stone Temple Pilots on Saturday, April 6. The full menu and line-up, including VIP packages, can be found online at





Pin Trading Program Launches at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Also as part of the park’s 60th Anniversary, Busch Gardens launches a NEW Pin Trading program today. With more than 150 pins now available in the park, guests can begin collecting and trading the pocket-sized souvenirs.

From fan-favorite animals, attractions, and events to exclusive collections not sold in stores, guests can trade pins with employees as they explore the park.


Tigris Will Be Florida’s TALLEST Launch Coaster

Excitement is building with the eagerly anticipated spring opening of TigrisFlorida’s tallest launch coaster. With the recent arrival of the ride vehicles, testing for the new attraction will begin soon to prepare for opening day this spring.

“We’re moving quickly to open our ninth roller coaster, Tigris, with a tenth coaster already underway for next year,” said Stewart Clark, President of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island.

“This cadence of back-to-back new attractions is unprecedented for our park, and continues our legacy as Florida’s thrill ride leader.”



The buzz continues with more history in the making at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, as construction begins on a NEW hybrid coaster arriving in 2020. 

When it opens next year, the ride willbecome North America’s tallest hybrid, and the fastest, steepest hybrid coaster in the world.


Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, the newest addition at Busch Gardens will be a wood and steel hybrid coaster design, featuring a maximum height of more than 200 feet tall.

The ride will feature all-new thrill elements, as well as restored elements of Gwazi. Coaster enthusiasts can follow the progress of Tigris and the new 2020 attraction through the park’s social media channels and using #TakeOnTigris and #2020Rising.


Be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s blog and social media channels on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Best Way to Play At Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

MORE VALUE, MORE OPTIONS WITH ANNUAL PASS – Pick your way to play in 2019 with a Busch Gardens Annual Pass, starting at $10.99 a month for Florida Residents.

Guests can select from four pass levels for the benefits they want most – including FREE parking, discounts on merchandise and food, as well as animal encounters – to gear up for a calendar full of special events plus EXCLUSIVE pass member ride time for the opening of Tigriscoming in 2019.

Add more parks – Get a 4-park pass to Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, SeaWorld and Aquatica, starting at just $15.99 a month.

FREE Preschool Card- Kids 5 and younger can enjoy FREE admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island throughout all of 2019 with the Preschool Card. There’s never been a cooler time to be a kid! Florida residents only, other conditions apply, visit to register.


About Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay is the ultimate family adventure, offering 300 acres of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world. Busch Gardens is a unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos with thousands of animals representing more than 200 species, and live shows and events, providing unrivaled experiences for guests of every age.

For more information, visit Busch Gardens is owned by SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter, and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world.


A Quick Look at the New Coastal Living Home Collection

The Coastal Living Collection of Furniture is now available at Matter Brothers Furniture in Florida. #Ad

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Coastal Living Home Collection furniture launch party at Matter Brothers Furniture in Sarasota, FL. While this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Coastal Living Home Collection – Magazine Inspired Home Decor

I have long been a fan of Coastal Living Magazine. Thumbing through the pages of their magazine and books transports you instantly to chic coastal destinations, and the decor they feature is always so well, beachy!

It’s enough to make you want many of the furniture pieces and accessories they feature in your own home. That’s why it just makes sense that the company has added their own line of furniture to their brand.

Related: Tips for Garage Organization and Storage

As they put it on their website: “The Coastal Living Collection is inspired by Coastal Living magazine and the joy of life by the sea. The furniture and rug collection celebrates the allure and beauty of the beach, the natural coastal landscapes, the marine life, and the casual and relaxed mood that can only be found at the shore.

From sea-inspired color choices to carefully selected materials, the Coastal Living Collection brings the magazine’s pages to life by balancing nature’s elements in unique and beautiful ways. “

Coastal Living Home Collection – The Matter Brothers Furniture Launch Party

I was so excited to attend the Coastal Living Home Collection launch party at Matter Brothers Furniture in Sarasota, FL. I got to see many of the stunning pieces up close and personal.

What I love the most about them is that they are beach inspired, but not in your face beach furniture. They are seaside chic rather than tacky palm prints and seashell lamps that look outdated and gaudy. In other words, these are the pieces you want in your home. Subtle beach themed with comfort and flair.

Okay fine! They are the pieces I really want in MY home. LOL! And, can you blame me?!? I mean just look at some of these pieces from the Coastal Living Home Collection, and tell me you don’t want them. I’m betting you can’t.

Related: 3 Simple Ways to Decorate Your Home on a Budget

Check out some of the pics I snapped at the launch party below. Note: They aren’t as nice as the pro photos that the company has taken, but it doesn’t change the fact I’d be so ecstatic to have any of these pieces in my own home!

Related: 5 Ways To Add Storage To Your Home

How awesome are these pieces?!? Don’t they just feel relaxing? I am betting that having pieces like this in my home would transform it into a peaceful setting that I’d never want to leave.

Here’s hoping that when I move into my dream home in the future, I can have furniture as beautiful and comfortable as this.

The Coast Living Home Collection is now available at Matter Brothers Furniture. AD

A Visual Feast of Joy in Hello Dolly

Thanks to my membership in the Tampa Bay Bloggers and their partnership with the Straz Center, I received two complimentary tickets for the purposes of review to "Hello Dolly". This has not impacted my review and all opinions below are my own.
Betty Buckley (“Dolly Levi”)

I’m always down for a night out at the Straz Center. I love the theater, and it has sooooo many memories for me. I performed there many times during my childhood, and have such respect for the people who make their living performing on stage.

Straz is by far one of my favorite places in Tampa Bay. Perhaps that is the real reason I jump at any opportunity to review a musical or performance there. So, it’s probably no surprise that when I was offered tickets in exchange for a review of Hello Dolly, I could not help myself. I had to say yes!

Want to know how I felt about the show overall? Keep reading…

Hello Dolly – What Straz Said About It

Winner of four Tony Awards® including Best Musical Revival, Broadway’s most beloved musical is back where it belongs! Directed by Tony winner Jerry Zaks and featuring choreography by Tony winner Warren Carlyle, HELLO, DOLLY! is “the best show of the year” (NPR).

Breaking box office records week after week and receiving thunderous critical raves on Broadway, this “gorgeous” new production (Vogue) pays tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion – hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history. Rolling Stone calls it “a must-see event. A musical comedy dream. If you’re lucky enough to score a ticket, you’ll be seeing something historic. Wow, wow, wow indeed!”

Hello Dolly – My Review

At the opening of the show I was giddy with excitement. I loved the backdrop of the large train, and the hustle and bustle of the station. Then, there was Dolly. When Betty Buckley stepped onto the stage as Dolly, the crown erupted into applause.

As Buckley, er I mean Dolly began talking, I immediately felt connected to her. Why? Because like her, I’ve had many jobs. I’ve always enjoyed doing odd jobs to help people. And, I felt connected because her character’s meddling in other people’s affairs reminded me of a family member of mine I won’t mention lol!

Another thing that struck me was the costumes. They were all so intricate, and fun. Some of them popping with bright colors, and others just as vintage as could be. I instantly understood why Buckley refers to the show as a “visual feast of joy” in the Herald Tribune’s story about the show.

The show progressed through a series of wild scenes – ones that made me bowl over with laughter as I enjoyed the absurdity of so much of what was occurring. Then, there were some scenes that made me feel almost nervous as I anxiously awaited the conclusion of them.

All in all, I felt a bunch of emotions throughout the performance, but not one of them was one of sadness. That’s something you can’t always say about a show, but you can certainly say that about Hello Dolly! It’s a feel good show – something I wish we could say about more of the entertainment available these days.

At intermission I looked at my friend Karen who accompanied me to the show and I literally said, “Have you ever felt like you stepped into a Disney movie?” Because that is EXACTLY how I felt about the show.

I also secretly giggled to myself during many portions of the show as I was thinking about the law of attraction, and the displays of attracting your dreams that played out on the stage. I won’t give away anymore of the show because I know I’ve probably said enough spoilers as it is. However, I really loved the fact that the show is proof positive that your wildest dreams can come true. That along with many other aspects of the show have left me with good feels about Hello Dolly over all.


Bottom line – If you’re into colorful costumes, and feeling like you have stepped into a Disney movie, I say go watch this show!

I would recommend this musical to anyone who loves older costumes, fun musical numbers, a lot of dancing, and is a fan of Betty Buckley. But, most importantly, I’d recommend this show to anyone who enjoys a happy ending, and likes watching things work out for the good of everyone involved in the story. 

Hello Dolly is playing at The Straz Center now through December 9, 2018. To see all the shows playing at the Straz, click HERE!


The TAMP-O-LANTERN cocktail

Tampa-O-Lantern Tampa Vodka Cocktail

The awesome folks over at Florida Cane had me and my friend Tracy from Having Fun Saving & Cooking out to their distillery recently. While there we enjoyed a free tasting, and I was given a free bottle of vodka for the purposes of creating a drink, and giving them some social media love. Though the vodka was free, this has not impacted this post. All opinions, and the recipe creation are my own. (Affiliate links may be in the post as well)

Don’t you just love Halloween themed drinks?!? I know I sure do! Below is the TAMP-O-LANTERN cocktail I created for the spooky holiday.

Get it? Like Jack-o’-lantern, but with Tampa in the name. Why Tampa? Because it’s made with a vodka that is home grown, er I mean made in Tampa!

So what’s in this bad boy? I’m so glad you asked, and I’ll gladly tell you because holy smokes this concoction is DEEEEEEElicious!

Tamp-O-Lantern Cocktail


– 6 oz Florida Cane Vanilla Bean Vodka (add more if you like it stronger)

– 1 scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream

– 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree (this is where the Jack-o’-lantern comes in – ahem!)

– 1/2 cup of crushed ice

Red and yellow food coloring

– 1/4 cup of sugar

– 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

To make:

1. Take the 1/4 cup of sugar and pour into a small cup. (You could do this directly on a plate, but I found it easier to do it in a cup)

2. For the orange sugar rim mix 1 drop red food coloring w/ 3 drops of yellow, and stir into 1/4 cup of white table sugar.

3. Pour the lemon juice onto one plate, and the colored sugar onto another.

4. Rim a glass with lemon and sugar. (I adorned my glass with black stickers to look more like a Jack-o’-lantern)

5. Pour the other ingredients (vodka, ice cream, pumpkin and ice) into a blender, and blend until smooth.

6. Finally, pour the smooth drink into the sugar rimmed glass.

7. If you’re feelin frisky stir in more red and yellow food coloring to the drink to get more of an orange color. I added about 2 more red, and 6 more yellow to get this muted orange color for my drink. I wish I had added more for a brighter look, but it didn’t change how yummy it was!

Makes two drinks

Did you make this drink? What did you think?

Huge thanks again to Florida Cane for having me and Tracy from @havingfunsaving out to your location in Ybor City for a fun day of tasting and learning.

The Florida Cane distillery is located at 1820 N 15th Street, Tampa, FL 33605. You can learn about tastings at

Follow me on social for more fun drinks and updates:

I’m on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google Plus. Let’s be bloggy friends!

Have You Heard About The Busch Gardens Bier Fest? 8/25/18-9/16/18

Calling all beer enthusiasts! Have you heard about Bier Fest at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay? This exciting beer fueled event starts THIS weekend, August 25,  and you’re invited!!

Bier Fest is included with admission to Busch Gardens. Just pay a little extra for the food a beverages you want to sample. Keep reading below the image to learn more about Bier Fest.

busch gardens tampa bay bier fest-min
photo credit: 

About the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Bier Fest

Raise a glass this weekend, as the all-new Bier Fest kicks off this Saturday at Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay.

Park guests can enjoy the Tampa Bay craft beer scene and Florida’s best thrill rides each weekend from August 25 through September 16, including Labor Day.

This unique festival will offer more than 100 different beers and a contemporary menu with traditional roots.

busch gardens tampa bay bier fest beer
photo credit:

More than 100 beers from 60 different breweries around the world will rotate throughout the four-weekend festival, including some of Florida’s best-known craft beers and favorites from around the world.

Bier Fest is included in park admission and also features live entertainment and flavorful fare.

The Best Way to Fest

The best way to get a taste of all the flavors of the event is with the purchase of a Bier Fest Sampler, starting at $29.99.

Available in quantities of five or ten, Samplers allow a choice of any food or beverage sample throughout the festival.

Pass Members get an exclusive offer: 12-items for the same price as a 10-item Sampler.

The purchase of an Annual Pass at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay starts at only $14 per month for unlimited visits for a full year, and includes fan-favorite events such as Christmas Town® and the Food and Wine Festival.

Food and beverage is not included with park admission and is available for an additional fee. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages.

Be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following the park’s blog or join the conversation using #ThrillsOnTap on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

About Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay is the ultimate family adventure, offering 300 acres of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world.

Busch Gardens is a unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos with more than 12,000 animals, and live shows and events, providing unrivaled experiences for guests of every age.

For more information, visit

Busch Gardens is owned by SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter, and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world.

Seventh Annual Clearwater Beach Uncorked November 2018 – Sip. Savor. Repeat.

Last year I had the amazing pleasure of being hosted at Clearwater Beach UnCorked. I’m tickled pink to report that this year they are hosting the event again, and this time it’s in November! This event is a fabulous way to try a bunch of different wines in one location, for one price. There are also lots of yummy bites. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, if I do say so myself. And, like any event in the Tampa Bay area, VIP is the way to go!  Below you’ll find all the details about this exciting wine fest. I hope to attend this year, and I think after reading about it, you will too!

Clearwater Beach Uncorked today announced the new dates for its highly anticipated seventh anniversary celebration, November 3-4. Located directly on Clearwater Beach (adjacent to the official host hotel, Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach), just south of Pier 60, Clearwater Beach Uncorked is returning to celebrate the Bay area’s most renowned chefs, restaurants, and breweries in a culinary showcase served with 180-degree Gulf of Mexico views. Dubbed one of the best food, wine and beer festivals on Florida’s East coast, the event is the west coast sister of Cocoa Beach Uncorked, which took place in April. Tickets are now on sale and details are available online at

“The sugar sand of Clearwater Beach is an exquisite setting to host thousands of eager foodies, wine lovers and beer aficionados searching for the very best in culinary trends.  The Bay-area is quickly becoming a cutting-edge market for culinarians looking for a new dining and drinking adventure,” said Tammy Gail, event producer. “We love bringing together our new and old friends to indulge in an unforgettable beach weekend highlighting the best of Florida’s west coast gastronomic treasures. This is lucky number seven for the festival and we’re working to make it the best yet for attendees, partners and exhibitors alike. We advise all of our guests to be prepared to be WOWED!”

The two-day event will feature interactive experiences, tastings, cooking demonstrations and competitions between some of the area’s most notable and award-winning chefs and restaurants. Adding to the full weekend culinary experience, the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach, the official hotel sponsor of the event, is offering a very limited special room rate of just $189 for an Uncorked Getaway during the weekend of November 3-4.

Event tickets are $75 per person, per day for general admission and $100 per person, per day for VIP access. All guests will receive a limited-edition wine glass, custom tote bag and enjoy the Grand Tasting Village with unlimited tastings from 1 to 4 p.m. Guests who purchase a VIP ticket will also enjoy one-hour early admission to the Grand Tasting Village and exclusive access to the Spirits Pool Lounge at the Wyndham Grand pool deck from 1 to 5 p.m. to sample exciting and intriguing crafted libations.

Each year, a portion of proceeds from Clearwater Beach Uncorked has assisted the community through various hospitality programs and has supported the University of South Florida’s Sarasota Manatee School of Hospitality and Tourism for the past four years. Funds are used to develop academic programs, scholarships, research grants and campus infrastructure.

For more information on Clearwater Beach Uncorked and to purchase tickets, visit Follow Clearwater Beach Uncorked on FacebookTwitter or Instagram #Uncorkedweekend and #CLBU2018.

# # #

About Clearwater Beach Uncorked:

Clearwater Beach Uncorked has been dubbed the hippest, most exciting two-day food, wine, and craft beer festival on Florida’s West Coast. The event welcomes thousands of attendees to Florida’s award-winning Clearwater Beach.  In celebration of its seventh anniversary, Clearwater Beach Uncorked will play host to foodies, wine lovers and craft beer aficionados who long to wiggle their toes in the sugar white sand as they enjoy some of the area’s most delectable offerings. The 30,000 sq. ft. Grand Tasting Tent will feature a vast array of mouthwatering taste experiences for discerning palettes.


Sun Safety Sunblock

Epic Guide to Sun Safety

Living in Tampa, FL where going outdoors is possible all year, sun safety is often on my mind. I’ve had sun poisoning twice, and more than my fair share of sunburns. Even when I thought I was being careful! The reality is that it takes less than 20 minutes to get a sunburn. And, on particularly sunny days, reports have shown you can get one in as little as SEVEN MINUTES! Can you believe that?

Well, with that in mind, I wanted to bring my readers an epic guide to sun safety. Regardless of whether you’re in Florida or traveling to another place this summer, you must protect yourself from the sun. Below you’ll find all kinds of tips and important information to keep in mind while playing outside this summer, and all year round!

This post contains links to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

The Importance of Sun Safety

The truth about those UV Rays

Most people love to go out and have fun in the sun, but before you can do that safely, there are a few things that need to be considered. The sun, which is our source of light can be dangerous at times if the proper precautions haven’t been taken.

Since this is a known issue, a number of products that have been created to protect you from the light coming through the atmosphere are widely available at almost any store, but why do you need it? Here are some things to know about the importance of sun protection.

Ultraviolet A

The sun’s rays are great for a lot of different things like growing crops, but they also have a very destructive side. Ultraviolet A light has the ability to damage skin and cause premature aging. This damage can cause oxidative stress on skin cells, and can manifest in a variety of cellular anomalies like carcinomas.

This type of Ultraviolet light passes through glass, so you may be able to protect yourself using a UVA blocking film. When unprotected from the sun, these rays can penetrate deep into the layers of your skin.

Ultraviolet B

UVB is somewhat different than UVA in that it can’t pass through glass, but it can be responsible for some of the more serious cancers like melanoma that appear on the surface of the skin. This means that when you are out in the sun, you can be exposed to these rays during anytime of the day.

If you want to avoid exposure, it is recommended that you stay out of the direct sun light from 9:30am to 5:00pm on most days. When you are unprotected, these rays will produce either a skin color change or a burn.

Refracted Light

Even when the sun isn’t completely out, you are still at risk of exposure to the radiation coming from the sun. This is particularly true when the weather is overcast. Water particles that are free floating in the air can refract the UVA and UVB in every direction making you an even more easy target for skin issues.

Be sure to be mindful of how much time you spend in the type of weather to avoid burns. Remember that depending on the density of the cloud, a large portion of the UVB radiation will still pass through. It is also important to be extra careful if you are near water, as the light reflects and causes a bad sunburn.

SPF and Sun Safety

What You Should Know About SPF

When you’re thinking about buying sunscreen, making an informed choice isn’t as easy as simply buying the most recognizable name brand, or the one that says it’s good for babies. It’s important to know what the numbers mean, and how they can affect your skin health. If Sun Safety Sunscreenyou continue reading this article, you will find that it will share some important information on what you should know about SPF.

What It Means

The Sun Protection Factor, or SPF is a relative measurement of how much light energy it can protect against to prevent a sunburn versus plain untreated skin. A lot of consumers are under the impression that SPF is related to time in which they are exposed to sunlight, but that is a common misconception about sunscreen.

The truth is more nuanced, because there are a variety of factors and variables at work when you are spending time in the sun. These details influence the amount of time each person is able to spend in the sun, and even under a controlled circumstance, the results will vary from one situation to the next.

Variables Affecting SPF

Things like the time of day, the tone of a person’s skin, the amount of time between applications can drastically change the effectiveness of sunscreen. For example, a light skinned person will be more likely to get a sunburn during the afternoon portion of the day than a darker skinned person at the same time of day with the same exposure time.

If it were earlier in the day however, they could spend 2 – 3 times as much time in the sun. In reality, it’s best to always be sure to keep applying sunscreen if you want to stay protected, and it’s a good idea to catch some time in the shade even if you’re wearing it.

More SPF Misconceptions

Companies are well aware that most people don’t understand how SPF works, so they will make products with very high SPF, which gives most consumers the idea that they can put this sunscreen on and hang out in the sun all day. This simply isn’t true, because SPF is only a rating of how much light can hit the sun before a burn occurs. Higher SPF ratings are just saying that less UV light will get through to your skin, but some still does get through.

Sun Safety and Body Parts

Areas of Your Body That Burn the Easiest

Scientists have now discovered that some areas of the body burn very easily. The following explains some of the more vulnerable spots of the body, and what can be done to protect them.


This is probably one of the last places on the body that you think of when you think about getting sunburned, but the armpits are a sensitive area, often not seeing light more than 5% of your day.

When you go shirtless or with very little covering, this sudden exposure can cause more damage than you would expect. It would be a good idea to limit exposure by seeking shade. This is more of a risk when you are laying out in the sun with your arms reached above your head, exposing the underarms.


Generally speaking, women’s breasts spend a lot less time in the light that other areas. These sensitive areas can be burned very quickly depending on skin tone and frequency of exposure to the sun. Sunscreen would be an excellent way to protect the breast and make sure that they are less likely to be burned during your time in the sun.

Sun Safety EarEars

The skin of your ears is very thin and sensitive, so it should be of very little surprise that the ears can sustain such heavy damage very quickly.

In fact, this thin skin is easily penetrated by harmful UV rays that cause the blood vessels to burst. This can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort.

SPF 30 sunscreen and a shaded area will go a long way to helping you to prevent such an uncomfortable burn.

If you are prone to burn, you should not only wear sunscreen on your ears, but try to wear a hat if you will be outdoors for long periods of time. This will help to protect them from being cooked in the midday sun.

Tops of Your Feet

When applying sunscreen to your legs, don’t neglect your feet. The majority of people spend most of their time in shoes and socks, which gives their feet very little time in a day to build up a stronger defense against the rays of UV that beat down onto them.

A sudden exposure to heavy amounts of UV radiation could result in a serious burn in you aren’t paying attention. Using sunscreen, and being sure to apply it at least one every 2 hours should help to keep your days returning from work from becoming a foot burning nightmare.

Backs of Knees

Even if you do remember to put sunscreen all over your legs, it’s important to note that applying it again is key to making sure that you keep yourself well covered and free from burns. The backs of your knees tend to sweat, which can leave them vulnerable to the UV light that penetrates the sensitive skin back there.


Lastly, it’s very important to pay attention to where your hair parts. If you have a prominent part in your hair and you haven’t protected your scalp with a hat or sunscreen, you are likely to get a sunburn. Be sure to always keep you scalp protected, and you can avoid an unpleasant time the following day.

Summer Sun Safety

How to Protect Your Skin Under the Hot, Summer Sun

Wear A Big Sun Hat

Sun Safety Beach Hat

This stylish and popular beach item can help you to keep your face and head protected. When the sun makes your shadow shorter than you, the sun is at its highest point in the sky, and sunburns can result easily if you are exposed to it directly.

A sun hat can protect your skin by shading your face and head, but it won’t be able to give you much coverage other than that. This will leave your shoulders, back, stomach, and legs exposed, so it would be good to use it alongside another method of protection.

Use A Beach Umbrella

This one is simple and effective. Buying a beach umbrella is inexpensive, and can provide shade for more than one person depending on which size you choose. When you need a break from sitting in the sun, you can simply run and get under your beach umbrella.

The only drawback of the beach umbrella, is that it won’t protect you from the ultraviolet radiation being reflected by the sand around you. In order to give your skin better protection, other methods of protection are needed.

Try A Type of Sunscreen

The best way to protect your skin is to wear sunscreen. This is a specially formulated liquid that can block and protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation that penetrates the skin when you are in direct sunlight.

If you are being very active is a good idea to reapply your sunscreen so that you are making sure that it is working at its most optimal level to protect you. If you are swimming, or sweating heavily then it is recommended that you apply it to your skin every 45 minutes to an hour. Keeping up with this practice will protect your skin from cancers could develop without its use.

Water Sun Safety

Protecting Your Skin in the Water

Sun Safety Pool

Everyone loves to get into cool water when the weather begins to heat up. Every year people rush to their favorite water spots to swim, hang out with family and bask in the sun, but there are additional things you should keep in mind if you’ll be in the water while trying to protect yourself from the sun.

Also check out my post that is a fabulous pick me up for all ladies!

Chlorine Kills Sunscreen

Have you ever noticed that your time in the pool has been cut short by the beginnings of a burn even though you were wearing sunscreen? If you haven’t you’ve been very fortunate, because studies have shown that chlorine in pools has the ability to lessen the effectiveness of most sunscreen. This means that using it is practically useless in that sort of environment and other solutions are needed.

Use Waterproof Sunscreen

Waterproof sunscreen can be a good option for people looking to spend time in the water but it’s important to note that even a really high SPF sunscreen will lose its effectiveness in an hour or two of play. It is strongly recommended that you apply fresh sunscreen to any areas of the skin that are exposed directly to light.

SPF is a rating of how much UV light gets through to your skin and has nothing to do with how long it will be effective. That being said, there are no sunscreens that are 100% effective at blocking out radiation, so it’s important to take breaks from sitting in direct sunlight.


Even if you are wearing sunscreen and taking the time to apply sunscreen frequently, there’s no guarantee that you can avoid all of the harmful rays of UV light that can penetrate and damage your skin. If you combine the use of sunscreen with sitting under shade, you are more likely to leave the scene without a sunburn.

You can even wear your own shade in the form of a sun hat to help protect your face, and shoulders. These areas are highly vulnerable to the sun and will likely burn before a lot of other areas of the body. If you think ahead and plan for your fun times in the water and sun, you can save yourself the pain of a bad sunburn.

If you are going to spend a lot of time in the water, just be sure to reapply your sunscreen every 2-3 hours.

Sun Safety – Naturally Protecting Yourself

Did you know that you can protect your skin with natural methods outside of over the counter solutions for sun protection? Fortunately, information has become available to those who want to seek more natural means due to preference or allergy.

These natural methods are easy, inexpensive and can help you to take a healthier approach to your efforts to keep your skin healthy and free of chemicals.

Hang Out in the Shade

This of course is the easier and least expensive to a certain extent. Simply seek cover and shade. You will be able to avoid a lot of the rays that cause damage but beware of reflected light that is more difficult to detect.

Eat Food High in Vitamin D

When you spend time in the sun, your body produces a vitamin that gives your skin a more resilient quality in the form of vitamin D. Studies have shown that consuming more vitamin D rich foods can go a long way in the fight against skin damage by bolstering your skin’s natural defenses from UV radiation.

Foods that are fortified can be a great option for this, but many foods like fatty fish, liver, cheese and eggs. Another positive is that if you do end up with a sunburn, you are more likely to heal in a shorter period of time than if you had less vitamin D.

Cold Pressed Coconut Oil

In ancient time, some cultures would spread coconut oil on the skin before long periods of spending time in the sun or other outside activities. Studies have shown that while the oil itself isn’t as effective as a sunblock, it adds a large portion of the vitamins and minerals that are needed to protect the skin from damage resulting in prolonged exposure to UV radiation.

Eat Heavy Fats

After numerous studies, science has discovered that eating a lot of saturated fats can also have a profound effect on your skin’s ability to protect itself from UV radiation. Many of these fats can be derived from plant means, so that won’t exclude anyone who doesn’t eat meat.

Eat More Tomatoes

The naturally occurring chemical Lycopene, is also associated with a stronger skin defense against UV light. If you were to increase your intake of tomatoes, you would get a heavier dose of lycopene. While all of these methods work, it’s more likely that a combination of them will get you better results.

Sun Safety for Babies

Sun Safety BabiesPlaying in the sun is essential for childhood development, but the dangers of sun burns and other sun-related illnesses can be a cause for worry in a lot of families. Small children are particularly susceptible to sunburn and other skin issues.

Even though people want to protect their children from harm, well-meaning parents still forget that their children have not yet gained a substantial amount of physical defense against the environment around them.

Children Under 7 Months

If you’re out at the beach, the chances are that you will see some people out there with their 2 – 3-month-old babies. It’s fairly common, and yet the truth is that these people don’t know that the sun can be extremely harmful to children of that age group. In fact, it really isn’t a good idea to take any children under 7 months to spend time in the sun at all.

They are far too undeveloped, and even the sunscreen that is marketed as child safe can be harmful to very young and sensitive skin. The best thing to do, is to wait until they are closer to a year old before you decide to spend extended time outside in direct sunlight. It is also important to remember that light refracts, and reflects off multiple surfaces including sand, so there isn’t really any safe way to have your baby out in those environments.

Children Over a Year

Once your child has reached an age where they have built up some natural defense against light exposure, it’s time to start considering how they will be protected. It would be advisable to limit their time spent in direct sunlight by using a combination of methods. You can buy a large beach umbrella and use sunscreen to help your child to take breaks from sun exposure. When they are under the shade, you can apply a fresh coating of sunscreen to exposed areas.


It’s important to remember that SPF is simply a measurement of how much UV radiation is being blocked, which means that your child won’t be protected absolutely. Applying new sunscreen should be done at least once every 2 hours, but you might want to do it once every hour and 30 minutes.

If they are getting in the water, the applications need to be more frequent. A recommended interval would be an hour or less.

Sun Safety for the Inevitable Sunburn

How to Treat a Sunburn Naturally

Try as you may to protect yourself, you still might end up with a sunburn. If this does happen to you, you’ll need some form of treatment to lessen the symptoms and manage the pain. If you don’t want to use a bunch of chemicals, what are your options?

Get Hydrated

When you get more hydrated, it will help you to fight off the damage that you get from a sunburn. Directly following your exposure to the sun, go drink some water. A more hydrated body will distribute fluids to the areas that need hydration, and your body can more easily begin the process of healing that is going to follow. It also helps if you go ahead and run some of the cool water over your burned area. This will stop the heat from continuing to cook the layers of skin where the heat is trapped.

Baking Soda Paste

A baking soda paste can help you to heal your burn more quickly. All you have to do is mix some warm water into a cup with a hefty portion of baking soda so that is has a consistency much like a paste. Once is soft enough to rub onto your burn, gently spread the baking soda paste over the burned area of skin. This will help you to alleviate some pain, and allow the body to heal a little more quickly.

Organic Aloe Gel

Sun Safety AloeIf you can, pick up some organic aloe gel. This marvelous gel will help to both sooth and heal your skin. It is great for bringing down the inflammation that is caused by burns and will put your skin on the right path to healing.

Oatmeal Bath

With this remedy, all you have to do is put some uncooked oatmeal in the bath. If you don’t want the oatmeal freely floating around in the water then you can place the oatmeal into a sock to make it like a large teabag, but you don’t want the water to be too warm or too cold.

It should be water that is about temperature of a bath that has gone cold. One the oatmeal has soaked for about 30 minutes, get into the water.

When to See a Doctor For a Sunburn

Sun Safety Sunblock

For most people, a sunburn is a minor inconvenience that they will treat with remedies found in the home that are kept in a medicine cabinet, or the refrigerator. A good amount of the time, it’s a simple case of resting indoors and rubbing on some aloe, but how do you know when you should seek actual medical attention? Skin burns can be a serious issue, because the sensitive tissues can become inflamed and infected when they are damaged in this way.

When It’s Not Too Bad

Sunburns are super common, so there are a lot of ways that you can treat these burns. The most notable way that you can treat burns is with aloe vera which helps the healing process. You don’t want to apply ice to a burn, which can irritate a fresh burn and make the healing process a more painful and annoying experience.

Instead simply run cool water over the burn to reduce the temperature and stop the damage from progressing any further. You can also take aspirin or any other acetaminophen product to reduce pain.

When You Should Keep Watch

The normal redness that forms in the sunburned area can be expected, but when any more than that can be an indication that you have received a severe burn that has penetrated into the deeper levels of your skin. One major sign of this is when you develop blisters in the burnt area. As soon as you see this symptom.

It is time to get out of the sun and get to treating the area. It would also be a good idea to begin hydration to counteract the skin damage. It may take a full day to see how much damage has been done, so it will warrant close monitoring.

When You Should See a Doctor

When you have experienced not only the redness, but also blisters it can be cause for concern, but anything past those symptoms should move you to seek medical help immediately with urgency. Some of the other factors that can occur could be vomiting, nausea, or disorientation of any kind.

Ignoring these symptoms can be very dangerous and can ever be signs of other more serious conditions like sunstroke. Being aware and knowing what to look for can help you to save a life.

If you have an infant or young child with a burn of any degree, you should bring them to a doctor for proper treatment.

Additional Posts You May Enjoy:

Destroying Your Skin

J. Joseph Salon – Grand Opening Details and More

I partnered with J. Joseph Salon to write this post and give them love on social media in exchange for a hair makeover. Though the hair makeover was free, it did not impact my write up. All opinions are my own.

Have you heard?!? J. Joseph Salon is opening its third location, this one in Citrus Park. Come to their grand opening on 6/20/18 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Address is 8616 Citrus Park Drive

Enjoy complimentary drinks, giveaways, raffles for Redken and other hair products, instant savings on a future appointment, plus enter to win a hair makeover valued at $300.

Enter to win HERE:
Please type “Ashley Grant” into the field that says “How did you hear about us?”

Can’t make it to the grand opening? The salon is scheduling hair appointments for new guests. Call (813) 235-6848 to schedule your appointment.

I’m getting my hair cut there Saturday 6/16/18! I’ll be back to share before and after images. So stay tuned for the update!

About J. Joseph Salon

J. Joseph Salon – Who they are:

J. Joseph Salon is a group of upscale hair salons located in Pasco and Hillsborough County, Florida. They offer European decor, creative roots, and an ambiance of hospitality and elegance.

When you arrive you’ll be met with complimentary beverages and a chic environment, as they believe in catering to their clientele, and making them feel like the VIPs they are.

J. Joseph Salon offers top tier products such as Redken and Pureology hair care, coloring and styling products. They also feature expertly trained and well-versed stylists that  will assist you in creating and managing your look.

They believe consistency is the key to beauty, and as a result they will make professional recommendations best suited for the integrity of your hair.

Along with Redken and Pureology, J. Joseph also uses Pravana and Joico to maintain longevity between scheduled appointments. Olaplex and Heatcure are available for in-salon and take-home hair treatments.

Their Specialty Treatments Include:

  • GKhair Juvexin Keratin Treatments at both Pasco County locations.
  • DreamCatchers and Great Lengths Hair Extensions are available upon request/consultation by certified stylists.
  • Brow and facial waxing
  • Makeup applications with jane iredale skin care cosmetics.
  • Classic OPI or shellac manicure (Land O’ Lakes only)

The Mission of J. Joseph (directly from their site):

“J. Joseph Salon believes in commitment and creativity. Not only do we strive to give each guest our undivided attention but also encouragement and support as they venture into new looks, styles and color. Your satisfaction is our number one priority and we want our professional skill set to meet the needs and desires of your heart. We understand that beauty is personal; we understand that beauty is intimate and we thank you, for your trust.”

Have a place or 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.

Also check out my review of my day at Grand Beauty Spa in Tampa

Tweetchat 6/12/18 – Tampa Does Summer

Tampa Does Summer Tweetchat Promo

Have you ever participated in a tweetchat? Anyone that knows me, knows I’m a huge fan of them. I love the the anticipation leading up to it, almost as much as I love the excitement during it. I like to say that tweetchats are the fastest hour on Twitter.  I get all kinds of jazzed when I participate them, but I get even more excited when I get to host them! They are seriously one of my favorite things of EVER!

Anywho – so I’m hosting a Tweetchat on Tuesday June, 12, 2018 for the Tampa Bay Bloggers at noon EST. And, if you would like to join me over on Twitter that day, below are the tweets that will be going live. I’d love to see you as I host the TampaDoesSummer chat!

Tweets for the 6/12/18 Tweetchat:

June 11, all day Join @TBbloggers this #TampaBayTuesday as we share how #TampaDoesSummer on Tuesday 6/12/18 at noon EST
June 11, all day Tomorrow the @TBbloggers are chatting about beating the summer heat, fun things to do in town, places to eat, and more! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
June 11, all day Tampa Bay is one of the hottest destinations to play in this summer. Learn all about how #TampaBayDoesSummer in tomorrow’s #TampaBayTuesday chat with the @TBbloggers at 12 pm EST
June 11, all day Father’s Day, Fourth of July and Summer Fun – OH MY! Let’s talk about how #TampaDoesSummer with the @TBbloggers for #TampaBayTuesday tomorrow at 12 pm EST
June 12, 6-11AM Tampa Bay is one of the hottest destinations to play in this summer. Learn all about how #TampaBayDoesSummer in today’s #TampaBayTuesday chat with the @TBbloggers at 12 pm EST
June 12, 6-11AM Join @TBbloggers TODAY for #TampaBayTuesday as we share how #TampaDoesSummer at noon EST
June 12, 6-11AM TODAY the @TBbloggers are chatting about beating the summer heat, fun things to do in town, places to eat, and more! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
June 12, 11AM Father’s Day, Fourth of July and Summer Fun – OH MY! Let’s talk about how #TampaDoesSummer with the @TBbloggers for #TampaBayTuesday today at 12 pm EST
6/12/18 11:55 a.m. In 5 minutes, join the @TBbloggers as we talk beating the summer heat, fun things to do in town, places to eat, and more! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
6/12/18 12:00 PM Welcome to our #TampaBayTuesday chat! We’re so excited you’re here with us. Share where in Tampa Bay you’re tweeting from! #TampaDoesSummer
12:05 PM RT @TBbloggers Q1) Now that summer has arrived, we’re dying to know – what are you most looking forward to between now and when the kids go back to school in August? #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:10 PM Tampa Bay is a great place to play this summer! From @AdventureIsland’s water park to @BuschGardens wild coasters, animals at @ZooTampa to the fish of @floridaaquarium – there are so many things to see and do here! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:14 PM RT @TBbloggers Q2) Where is your favorite place to learn about events going on in Tampa Bay? @813area, @TB_Times, @BN9, @WFLA, @FOX13News, @abcactionnews or some other source?
12:17 PM RT @TBbloggers Q3) How do you beat the heat? Dips in the pool at @AdventureIsland? Ice cream at @DatzDough? Iced coffee from @BuddyBrewCoffee? Tell us how you’ll stay cool! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:20 PM Tampa Bay has award winning beaches! Did you know that @TripAdvisor named Clearwater Beach the top beach in the country for 2018 earlier this year? We’ll see you soon @MyClearwater! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:25 PM RT @TBbloggers Q4) Father’s Day is THIS WEEKEND! Tag where in Tampa Bay you’re taking dad on Sunday? #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:26 PM Whatever you’re doing outside this summer – don’t forget sun protection! It takes less than 20 minutes to get a Florida sunburn. Not a good souvenir! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:32 PM RT @TBbloggers Q5) Before you know it #IndependenceDay will be here. Where are you watching fireworks this #FourthofJuly? We’re dying to know! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:33 PM Need a day in the AC? Take in a play at the @StrazCenter, a movie at @tampatheatre, or even a concert at @AmalieArena. There’s always something going on. #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:38 PM RT @TBbloggers Q6) Let’s talk Tampa Eats! Where will you be chowing down? And, what will you be eating while you are there? #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:39 PM Whether you like dining at the beach at @RumFishGrill, hanging by the water at @HulaBayClub, visiting downtown Tampa at @Datz4Foodies, or classing it up at @ArmanisGHTB – there are dining options to suit every taste here. #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:44 PM RT @TBbloggers Q7) Going out is a blast, but sometimes you gotta stay home. Share your favorite summer time recipes, and backyard activities with us. #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:45 PM Summertime is better with friends. Tag who you plan to hang out with this summer. #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:48 PM RT @TBbloggers Q8) Give us the inside scoop! Do you know of any hidden gems residents of and visitors to Tampa Bay simply MUST see if they haven’t already? #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:52 PM RT @TBbloggers Q9) Let’s finish by talking about Tampa Bay’s night life? Where will you be playing after the sun goes to bed? #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:58 PM Thank for joining our #TampaDoesSummer chat. We love sharing all the #TampaLove! If there’s something going on the Tampa Bay area we missed – tell us about it! #TampaBayTuesday
12:59 PM Interested in becoming part of the @TBbloggers? Apply here: #TampaBayTuesday #TampaBayBloggers
1:00 PM ATTN BRANDS: Want to co-host a @TBbloggers #TampaBayTuesday Twitter chat, or build a blogger campaign? Contact us:

That’s all folks! I hope to see you in this week’s tweetchat.

Are you interested in me hosting a tweetchat for your business? I’d be honored to. Or do you have a product that you want me to review? Contact me HERE, and let’s get your promo party started!

I’m PR friendly 😉