1.29.2015

Romantic Places to Eat in the Tampa Bay Area

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, it's time to start getting creative and planning an evening for your sweetie that they'll cherish forever. Today I'm sharing a list of some of my favorite romantic places to eat in the Tampa Bay area, just in case there are any love birds looking for somewhere to celebrate their day together in my neck of the woods.


I have several favorite places, so I can't really say these are in any specific order. I do suggest calling most, if not all of these establishments, regarding reservations as well.


1. Salt Rock Grill - This amazing place is high-end yet laid back. With a tiki dock on the bay and a menu full of delicious dishes, it's sure to wow your sweetie. The two-top tables make for an intimate setting and the views during sunset are indescribable.




2. Bobby's Bistro - Low light in a romantic, yet comfortable atmosphere. This little gem in Clearwater is the perfect place to spoil your sweetheart.



3.  Ciro's Speakeasy and Supper Club - This unique restaurant is an amazing experience, offering a truly authentic 1920's vibe and an evening you'll never forget.



4. Island Way Grill - With a super romantic view and a good variety of dishes on the menu, can you imagine eating anywhere more tropical?



5. Columbia Restaurant - This Tampa Bay staple is unlike any other Cuban/Spanish food you've ever tried. The environment is upscale but the food is truly top-notch. Your date will love the authentic vibe and beautiful surroundings, no doubt about it.




If you don't live in my area, stay tuned - I'll be sharing some other amazing Social Fabric blogger's Romantic Restaurants lists on my blog soon!

1.28.2015

My Weight Loss Snack Time Secret: Special K Brownies + Before & During Weight Loss Photo Update

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K.



I know I've been talking a lot about indulgent foods and special treats the last few days and while I've allowed myself a little bit of the calorie-rich goodness I've shared recently, I'm still working on losing weight and trying to stay on track to meet my goals in 2015.

https://tracking.tapinfluence.com/trk/yw7So/xwYoH/c?p=izJQB&i=Jkwfp&r=pyrJp2vPyJztQGanuC8ref822g5JYOsU

So many of us are working hard toward our goals this year and don't want the Superbowl or Valentine's Day or whatever other indulgent-rich occasion we may have coming up to ruin our diets with super fatty foods and indulgent recipes - well, I assume I'm not the only one, at least! So today I'm sharing my favorite treat to snack on while watching my figure and also giving a little picture update on my weight loss (so far) because what's better than sharing a before & during photo and the better-for-you brownies I've been eating WHILE I've been losing!

https://tracking.tapinfluence.com/trk/yw7So/xwYoH/c?p=izJQB&i=Jkwfp&r=pyrJp2vPyJztQGanuC8ref822g5JYOsU

That's right, I've been snacking on these awesome 80 calorie pieces of happiness over the last few weeks and I'm still losing weight. I'm actually only down 1-2lbs since last time I updated but you can see a difference even if my weight is going down dramatically now. Losing weight feels really tough at times, especially when saying "no" to some of my favorite foods. That's why I'm OVERJOYED to have found Special K Brownies. Now I can have a brownie after dinner and not feel guilty. You may not believe that you can eat a brownie on a diet but thanks to Special K, you totally can. These delectable little delights come in two different flavors - Divine Fudge & Heavenly Caramel and honestly, I love them both... like I want a few boxes of these for Valentine's Day instead of a box of chocolate because YUM!

https://tracking.tapinfluence.com/trk/yw7So/xwYoH/c?p=izJQB&i=Jkwfp&r=pyrJp2vPyJztQGanuC8ref822g5JYOsU

Made with real cocoa, chocolate or caramel chips, and topped with a drizzle of chocolate fudge - the perfect treat to munch on while on-the-go, since they come in little pouches. Special K Brownies are a girl-on-a-diet's dream come true. I keep a few in my purse at all times... because who knows when you're going to need/want a brownie? Am I right?

https://tracking.tapinfluence.com/trk/yw7So/xwYoH/c?p=izJQB&i=Jkwfp&r=pyrJp2vPyJztQGanuC8ref822g5JYOsU

I've been caught snacking on Special K Brownies while hiking with the hubs, after a run on the beach, and even while hanging out bayside after a work out. The perfect way to reward yourself (but not load up on calories)!

https://tracking.tapinfluence.com/trk/yw7So/xwYoH/c?p=izJQB&i=Jkwfp&r=pyrJp2vPyJztQGanuC8ref822g5JYOsU

Do you have any healthy snack time secrets to share? I'd love to hear what low-calorie snacks you like to "indulge" in...

1.27.2015

Surprise Your Game Day Party Guests with Something Different: Alexia Pizza Fries!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameTimeGrub #CollectiveBias
http://www.alexiafoods.com

As we all know some days are busier than others and lately every single day has been packed full of activities in our home. With a steady stream of work coming in, planning a party for this weekend, a million Valentine's Day post ideas floating around in my noggin, statistics and macroeconmoics homework needing to be done, a husband who works full time, a kayak that is longing for the water, two dogs that love long walks, paintings to be painted, and about a thousand other items on my to-do list you could say I'm a busy little bee in 2015. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining - I love every second of this crazy (busy) life.

http://gametimegrub.net

But when we actually have the chance to unwind, I like to take it easy! Time spent cuddling on the couch with my sweetheart is probably my favorite activity, in the world (I think that means I'm officially "old" but I'm totally okay with this fact). I also like spending as little time in the kitchen as possible on days when I take it easy, so when we decided to throw a Game Day Party on Sunday I wanted all of my recipes to be easy.


Then I realized I had a couple bags of Alexia Smart Classics Crinkle Cut Fries and Alexia Sweet Potato Fries in the freezer and instead of giving my guests just regular ol' fries, which are already delicious - I decided to add a twist with a football fan's favorite food, pizza!

http://gametimegrub.net

Coming up with a creative way to make pizza was incredibly easy! This delicious recipe is a new favorite - one pan prep, personalized combinations for every picky eater on the planet, in whatever portion size you may please, and beyond heavenly flavors made with barely any effort; this may become a daily meal in our home!

http://gametimegrub.net

I whipped up several different versions of pizza fries. Some with onions, spinach, and less cheese and some stacked to the brim with extra cheese. I decorated a few with pineapple, a couple with mushroom, and even made a handful of batches of Alexia Sweet Potato Pizza Fries for those that aren't fans of normal french fries!

http://www.alexiafoods.com

I can't wait to make all kinds of new combinations for The Big Game on Sunday, because the possibilities for these little fries are endless!

http://gametimegrub.net

Now that I've bragged about my inventive new recipe, let me go ahead and share how simple these Pizza Fries are to prepare:

http://gametimegrub.net

Pizza Toppings - Pepperoni, Sausage, Onions, Peppers, Spinach, Mushroom, etc.
Italian Cheese


1. Bake Alexia Smart Classics Crinkle Cut Fries or Alexia Sweet Potato Fries as instructed on bag, remove with 5 minutes left on the timer.

http://gametimegrub.net

2. Section the fries into separate portions. Add pizza sauce (I use homemade but you can always buy store bought), any toppings your heart desires, and cheese.


http://gametimegrub.net
http://www.alexiafoods.com


3. Bake for 5-7 more minutes or until cheese is melted to your liking.

http://gametimegrub.net

Enjoy!


I hope your game day is full of fun and yummy food... If you aren't sure what you'll be eating this Sunday, grab a couple bags of  Alexia Fries from Walmart and let your guests delight in the perfect crinkle cut and delicious flavors!

http://www.alexiafoods.com

If you decide to whip up a batch or two of Pizza Fries for your guests, I'd love to hear what combinations you enjoyed the most so I can try them as well!

http://www.alexiafoods.com


Happy Football Game watchin', everybody -
may the best team win!



http://gametimegrub.net

Stay Connected with Alexia:
Facebook | Pinterest
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1.26.2015

The Big Game Party Planning - Throw an Epic Party on Game Day with Recipes, Printables, and DIY Projects!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameTimeMVP #CollectiveBias

As I shared in my most recent party planning post, I'm excited to be hosting a party next weekend and as you probably picked up on if you read that post - I'm prepping for The Big Game this year, in a big way!

http://www.walmart.com/nestle

With everything from "championship rings" and gift cards won from participating in silly party games to Double Chocolate Mini Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cup Brownie Touchdown Sundaes (jeeeez, that's a delicious sounding mouthful of a name isn't it?) and DIGIORNO® Cheese Stuffed Crust Pepperoni Pizza, my party is going to be the bomb dot com... and today I'm sharing all the printables, game ideas, recipes, DIY crafts, and decorating tips that are going to make my party so amazing, so you can host an epic game day party as well!

The Big Game Party Planning - Throw an Epic Party on Game Day with Recipes, Printables, and DIY projects!
Whether you typically host a party on a whim or are a professional party planner, be prepared to take notes and turn your printer on because these recipes and printables are sure to win the hearts of all your guests!



Double Chocolate Brownie Touchdown Sundaes
made with Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup Minis

Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup Sundae Touchdown Recipe

Ingredients:

3/4 cup baking cocoa     
1/2 teaspoon baking soda    
2/3 cup butter, melted, divided    
1/2 cup boiling water     
2 cups sugar    
2 eggs     
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour     
1 teaspoon vanilla extract  
1/4 teaspoon salt 

Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup Sundae Touchdown Recipe

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine cocoa and baking soda; blend 1/3 cup melted butter. Add boiling water; stir until well blended. Stir in sugar, eggs and remaining butter. Add flour, vanilla salt. Stir in Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup Minis and chocolate chips. Pour into lined cupcake pans.

http://www.walmart.com/nestle

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of "cupcake" clean. Cool and apply a helping of Limited Edition Edy's Grand Touchdown Sundae ice cream to the top!

http://www.walmart.com/nestle


Enjoy!

http://www.walmart.com/nestle


The next item on the menu for my Big Game party is sure to be a crowd pleaser and since it's so easy to make, you'll be left with minimal clean up efforts! More time to play, less time to worry thanks to DIGIORNO® Cheese Stuffed Crust Pepperoni Pizza!


Always be prepared for your game day party with freshly baked pizza straight from your oven - Can I dare to even call this "Pre-Giorno"-ing instead of pre-gaming? I think I might. Pizza and Football heaven for your guests and a quick, easy clean up for you! Life is good!

http://www.walmart.com/nestle

Other items on my menu include homemade and delicious gluten-free breaded and heavily sauced garlic hot wings (I'll be sharing the recipe soon),my healthy spinach dip recipe, and of course, the staples of any adult party - beer and party punch!

http://www.walmart.com/nestle
Now that we've gotten the food situation figured out, it's time to get down to business... Just a heads up, if you attend my game day party this year - you will be joining in on the fun! The good news is, the game is actually entertaining and I'm giving out candy and gift cards as your prizes... any objections? I didn't think so!

http://www.walmart.com/nestle

If you want to host a Big Game party that everyone will enjoy (including women who don't really get the football hype and children who just simply can't sit still long enough for the game), then plan an interactive game that's stimulating yet uncomplicated - like my Big Game Party Game below! Print off a copy of the rules, if you'd like and get your game day started out on the right foot!


The Big Game Party Game:
http://www.walmart.com/nestle


Rule #1:When your guests enter the party they'll receive a warm hello, a sticker, and a team assignment (Team Blue or Team Green). Regardless of whether or not they will be watching the Big Game on TV or actively participating in the Big Game Party Game, they will receive their sticker and team assignment.

http://www.walmart.com/nestle

They will also be notified of the word you can't say during the entire game, such as "touchdown" or "field goal." If someone hears another person say the word, they can and should take their sticker. The team with the most stickers at the end of the game gets an extra 100 points.

Rule #2: Each time a player scores a touchdown, members of the opposing team must sit down wherever they are in the house. So if Team Blue scores a touchdown, then all members of Team Green must sit wherever they are - whether they are out on the patio or getting a drink at the bar, booty must hit the ground! For each person that doesn't sit on Team Green, Team Blue gains 10 points.

http://www.walmart.com/nestle

Rule #3: Each time a team achieves a first down, everyone should try to be the first to set their drink down in the designated area. Points rewarded are based on the age of the person who sets their drink down first. For example, Team Blue achieves a first down in the big game, that means all players from both teams should try to set their drink down within the designated area. Whoever sets their drink down in the area first stipulates the amount of points the team will receive based on their age. So let's say Sally, your 79 year old grandmother who is on the Blue Team, sets her drink down first - Blue team is awarded 79 points! WIN!

Rule #4: This rule is commercial based and the most fun and simple! When commercials start, grab a (soft and foamy) football and start tossing it around the room! This portion of the game is a little like hot potato, you don't want to be caught with the "potato" in hand when the game comes back on or your team loses 20 points!

If this game sounds a little too involved, just play one portion of the game like Don't Say It or Touch Down, Drinks Down - it's your party, after all! Do what makes you happy!

http://www.walmart.com/nestle


Football Bouquet Centerpiece:

Speaking of things that make you happy, I've created the prettiest football themed flower center piece ever and just have to share my simple DIY video to make a bouquet that will make even the toughest football fan wish he was sent this bundle of flowers! All you need is a few decorative straws and a paint swatch from a hardware store to make a pennant, check it out -

video



Once your center piece is finished, find a home for it and get to decorating the rest of your place! I made a few items, bought almost all of my decor and food supplies from Walmart, and then bought the rest at a local store. You can find awesome deals at Walmart right now, especially on the items in my recipe today! DiGiorno is on rollback for $5.95 and you should be able to score a coupon for a $1 off until March 31, 2015!

http://www.walmart.com/nestle



You can find all the free printables I made for the labels, flags, pennants, stickers, and more here. Be sure to pin link back to me if you decide to use any of these at your party and take pictures, I'd love to see them in action at your party!

http://www.walmart.com/nestle

 Punchbox & Party Favors:

Now that you know how you can achieve the look of my party, I'm going to share how I plan to reward the winners of my "Big Game"! Each member of the winning team will get to retrieve their prizes in a super fun way - a punchbox! Check out how you can make a punchbox like this one for your guests here.



I also made adorable "Good Game, Dude" graphics to go on top of baggies full of Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cup Minis - the most delicious goodie bag in the world!

http://www.walmart.com/nestle


So that's how you throw an epic party to celebrate The Big Game in style! What tips do you have to make your party even more amazing? I'd love to hear all about your plans!


http://www.walmart.com/nestle



1.25.2015

#AD The Perfect Homegating Party Food: Delicious & Quick General Tso's Wraps, Hot Wing Wraps, & Homemade Ranch Dressing!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All the love for football, homegating, and any opinions stated below are completely mine alone though. #GameTimeHero #CollectiveBias

http://www.delianytime.com/


This year I'm gearing up for The Big Game in a big way. Party planning and homegating in style are two of my favorite things in life, so as you can imagine I'm super excited to throw the perfect party and watch The Big Game. Eh, well, let me rephrase that... maybe I'm not a football enthusiast and I don't really speak the lingo but I can definitely throw an epic homegating party and I am a bit of an advertising/media nerd so watching the commercials totally makes my day. It's the little things, right?

http://www.delianytime.com/

Speaking of, I like to spend time embracing the little things with my loved ones everyday. We all could stand to spend more time experiencing and appreciating the little things and worrying less about things that don't really matter, couldn't we? So I opted to let Walmart Deli help me get ready for my most recent football party.


Spending time with family and friends laughing and joking and getting to enjoy some delicious food was way more fun than stressing out over my stove with my family in the other room. So today I'm sharing this delicious and quick chicken wrap recipe I whipped up so that you can enjoy more time with your family and less time stressing out over the little details on busy days in your home.

http://www.delianytime.com/


Who's ready for some football??
Now the real question, who's ready for some chicken wraps? How about some homemade ranch dressing? All made in a snap and certain to "score a touchdown" with your family!



Delicious & Quick
General Tso's Wraps, Hot Wing Wraps,
& Homemade Ranch Dressing!




The beauty of these delicious little wraps is that your main ingredient is already prepared and piping hot when you get home. Visit the deli and grab your wings on your way out of the store so they are the freshest and hottest they can possibly be! I grabbed Wal-Mart Deli for Tyson General Tso's Boneless Wings and Bone-in Hot Wings for my wraps but they have several options to choose from, so get whichever your heart desires!



Ingredients for General Tso's Wraps:

Plain Whole Wheat Tortilla
Walmart Deli for Tyson General Tso's Boneless Wings
Chopped Cabbage
Mandarin Oranges



Heat tortilla for approximately10 seconds on each side. Add a handful of General Tso's Boneless Wings on wrap, sprinkle chopped cabbage, and mandarin oranges over the top of the wrap. Fold the wrap inwards on opposite sides and roll together. It's that easy, now repeat with the recipe below!



Ingredients for Buffalo Wing Wraps:

Spinach and Herb Tortilla Wrap
Walmart Deli for Tyson Bone-in Hot Wings (Pulled off the bone)
Spinach
Tomato
Mozzarella Cheese



Heat tortilla wrap for approximately 10 seconds on each side. Add a handful of spinach, a decent helping of tomatoes, and a healthy serving of the homemade ranch (recipe below) to your wrap. Now add the pulled off the bone hot wings to the wrap and sprinkle a bit of mozzarella cheese over the top. Fold the wrap inwards on opposite sides and roll together. Your wraps are done!



Ingredients for Homemade Ranch Dressing:

1/2 cup whole milk
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
  1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp organic garlic powder  



Stir together milk and fresh lemon juice in a cup or small bowl. Set aside for about 5-10 minutes. (This is the cheater’s version of buttermilk and tastes better, but you could always use real butter milk if you like!)

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Combine milk mixture and sour cream in a medium sized bowl, whisking until smooth. Add spices & parsley, whisk until thoroughly combined. Transfer dressing to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate, it should be "good" for a couple of weeks if it even lasts that long!

http://www.delianytime.com/


Enjoy!



So that, my friends, is how this gal puts a quick and delicious meal together in minutes for my homegating parties
... I'd love to know what quick recipes you use while entertaining guests or throwing parties? What's your favorite part about "The Big Game"?


http://www.delianytime.com/


Want to hang out with me at the store and eat some wings? What about sampling some delicious food all on the house? Check this list to see if you can attend the Tyson Deli for Walmart demo and let me know if I'll see any of your shining faces at the Pinellas Park location!