Our Family Night Out at the NEW Studio Movie Grill at University Mall

Disclaimer: My family received complimentary tickets to see Big Hero 6 in 3D at the New Studio Movie Grill in University Mall on Monday. We were required, however, to pay for our own food and drinks. Given the timing, we opted to eat a full dinner, which for our family of three cost $45, including tax and tip. Although as a rule I do not pay to write reviews for businesses, I decided to share our experience with you anyway.

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SMG With a Family Twist!
Toons! LogoSMG offers TOONS! on the big screen. Families can check out popular children’s television and direct-to-DVD titles on the movie screen during this compact, hour-long movie experience for little ones. Toons play at select SMG locations every Friday-Sunday at 11 a.m. Tickets are only $2.

SMG Retro Family Series: Rewind LogoAlso, every third Wednesday of the month SMG offers their Retro Family Series: Rewind featuring a favorite movie from childhood. Tickets are only $2, and they offer a $10 endless 1-topping pizza for this event.

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SMG Neon Sign
Browsing the menu at SMGWe have been wanting to see Big Hero 6 since we saw previews for it at the last movie we watched in a theater. We also knew University Mall had a new dinner-and-a-movie theater that opened recently. When I received the offer from SMG to visit their facility and see Big Hero 6 in 3D, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to check out both. On Monday night, the three of us sallied forth … unsure of what to expect from this new theater, but excited to see this movie.

Welcome to the New Studio Movie Grill Tampa
Studio Movie Grill (SMG) is located on the second level of University Mall above Dillard’s. You can drive up to the second floor of the car park to enter the theater lobby directly, where we were greeted with a smile by one of three friendly and welcoming ticket sellers and invited to wait in the lounge until they were ready for us. The lounge is spacious, offering a bar as well as several loveseat and coffee table spaces, where we chose to wait with our daughter while others mingled.

A few minutes later, the woman who greeted us walked over to let us know we could head to the theater, and pointed us in the right direction. Along the way, several staff people– and by several I mean every staff person we passed – welcomed us, which definitely kicked-off our evening on a positive note.

Classic Cheeseburger at SMG

Classic Cheeseburger with Tortilla Chips

It was also nice that our first step was not heading into a line at the concession stand! Once seated in the theater, we were offered menus that we looked over from the comfort of our seats, which offered ample leg room (because the aisles need to be wide enough for servers to negotiate as well) and tabletops. Because of the timing of the movie, we opted for dinner rather than just our usual popcorn.

My husband ordered the pulled pork sliders, I had the classic cheeseburger with a side of tortilla chips (fries or sweet potato fries were also an option), and our daughter had the kids cheese pizza and a chocolate milkshake. We were all happily surprised that the food was very tasty! Really, the food was … GOOD!

Milkshake at SMGOur daughter ate her entire cheese pizza, and finished the milkshake, which is unusual for her! And my husband and I ate all of our meals as well. Having dinner, however, did make our family movie outing more expensive than we are accustomed to. The next time we go, we will choose an earlier movie ($7/adult matinee, $6/child 10 and under) and and have our usual theater popcorn ($5/regular, $7/large) and drinks ($2-$3.50), which would make the cost comparable to seeing a movie at a standard theater. (Note: The theater does have a service charge, so you will want to purchase at least a drink.)

Kids Menu at SMGThumbs Up
The best part about SMG for me is that I don’t have to walk miles down a hallway and squeeze into a narrow seat past several people with an armload of popcorn and drinks! Everything is brought to you in your seat. And if you should need anything, just push the red button to call for assistance. In fact, we had the opportunity (to my daughter’s delight) to push that button once to check on our missing iced teas. Although our evening was not without a couple problems, they were minor and fixed promptly and courteously, and we have no complaints.

The best part about our experience for our daughter was that even without theater-style seating, she would see the movie just fine – no head in her way. The reason? The screen is placed higher than in other theaters, so no matter how short you are, you get a perfect, unobstructed view of the screen. You can’t get better than that for a 4-foot-tall kid!

And the best part for my husband was that the theater itself was small and more comfortable than usual theaters. There were fewer rows of seats, and every seat looked like a good seat.

So, Will We Go to SMG Again?
Yes. We had a great time out as a family, all of the staff were extremely nice and strove to be helpful, the food was surprisingly good, and the environment was clean, comfortable and relaxing! In my book, that’s a win!

Toons! and Retro Family Series: Rewind Logo images courtesy of Studio Movie Grill.
Photos © 2014 Nicole Doyle / What’s Doing? Tampa Bay.

Orkin “Mouse in a House” Game & Giveaway

Disclaimer: In return for sharing the Orkin “Mouse in a House” Game and giveaway with you, I will receive one official Orkin blanket.

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Fall has arrived, and cooler weather has come with it. Whether or not you know it, your warm house is an open invitation to unwanted guests looking for a cozy winter vacation: rodents. Each fall, rodents migrate from their outdoor “summer home” to the warmth, food and shelter of their “winter timeshare” – your house!

Being human has its perks, like having a cozy house to enjoy during the winter, but imagine having to survive as a mouse? Try your luck by playing “Mouse in a House” – a choose-your-own-adventure game that puts you in the shoes of a rodent looking to survive the upcoming harsh winter season – try your best to stay alive and see how long you last!

Orkin uses the latest technology to develop an effective treatment that’s right for your home. To learn more about pest control grounded in science or to schedule an inspection, you can visit orkin.com or call 1 (800) 800-ORKIN®.

Official Orkin #MouseInAHouse Cozy Fleece Winter Blankets (4'x6').

*** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY ***

One WDTB reader will win official Orkin #MouseInAHouse Cozy Fleece Winter Blanket (4’x 6′).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

IMPORTANT! Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Orkin #MouseInAHouse Cozy Fleece Winter Blanket via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Fine Print: Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Orkin #MouseInAHouse Cozy Fleece Winter Blanket via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No purchase is necessary to enter. This giveaway is open to anyone age 18 and older residing in the United States only. The contest period ends on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST. One winner will be selected at random. The prize will be sent by Orkin LLC via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please.

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The Left Sit Mouse Mascot. The East Twelve Zodiac Character Desi image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Official Orkin #MouseInAHouse Cozy Fleece Winter Blanket (4’x6′) image and #MouseInAHouse App courtesy of Orkin LLC

Enjoy FREE Coffee (Hot or Iced) at Bay Area Chick-fil-A’s Through Oct. 31 + GIVEAWAY

Disclaimer: I received a FREE Coffee Card in return for sharing this giveaway with you.

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THRIVE Farmers Coffee Time: FREE Hot Coffee: 6:30-10:30 a.m.; FREE Iced Coffee: 2-5 p.m.
Date: Daily through Friday, October 31, 2014 (Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays.)
Location: Participating Tampa Bay area Chick-fil-A restaurants
Cost: FREE
Register/Info: Call your favorite Chick-fil-A restaurant for more details and to confirm their participation.

What’s Doing?
To introduce guests to their new THRIVE Farmers Coffee, Tampa Bay Chick-fil-A restaurants have been giving away FREE coffee everyday since Sept. 29, and you can still enjoy FREE coffee twice a day through Halloween! Customers who visit a Chick-fil-A restaurant between 6:30-10:30 a.m. receive a FREE small hot coffee, and those visiting between 2-5 p.m. receive a FREE medium iced coffee.

NOTE: This offer is valid in the restaurant and drive-thru at participating Tampa Bay restaurants only, with a limit of one offer per customer per day.

This special offer promotes the chain’s new THRIVE Farmers’ blend coffee. Learn more about Chick-fil-A’s partnership with THRIVE Farmers Coffee, its new coffee menu additions, and the farmers who are impacted by this partnership.

Address:
Find a Tampa Bay area Chick-fil-A near you.

*** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY ***

Chick-fil-A FREE Iced or Hot Coffee CardI have to say, I have enjoyed a free iced coffee at my local Chick-fil-A almost every afternoon this month, and I’m going to miss it when it’s over. BUT, for WDTB readers the FREE coffee doesn’t have to end on October 31! Chick-fil-A generously sent me cards good for 1 FREE Iced or Hot Coffee (expires 12/31/14) to give to WDTB readers.

To receive one of the 10 cards I have to give, please leave a comment below answering the question:

“How do YOU like your Chick-fil-A coffee? Hot or iced?”

The first 10 WDTB readers to comment below will be mailed one (1) Chick-fil-A card valid for one (1) FREE Iced or Hot Coffee (valid through 12/31/14). Only one card per address, please.

Fine Print: No purchase is necessary to enter. Only responses that conform to the above requirements and are posted on THIS PAGE will count as official entries in this giveaway. This giveaway is open to anyone age 18 and older residing in the US. The contest period ends on Friday, October 31, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST or when 10 people have commented, whichever comes first. The first 10 WDTB readers to comment below will be mailed one (1) Chick-fil-A card valid for one (1) FREE Iced or Hot Coffee (valid through 12/31/14). One card per address. To be fair, comments that don’t meet these requirements, false entries, or duplicate comments will be deleted and not count as entries in this giveaway. The prize will be mailed by What’s Doing? Tampa Bay via USPS. Please allow 3 weeks for delivery.

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I Love Coffee image courtesy of mack2happy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
THRIVE Farmers Coffee image courtesy of CFA Properties, Inc.

REVIEW: California Pizza Kitchen – Taste the Next Chapter …

Disclaimer: Tampa Bay Bloggers were invited to taste the new, seasonally inspired menu at the recently renovated California Pizza Kitchen in International Plaza. In return for sharing my experience with you, I received a gift card to California Pizza Kitchen.

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AsterikBehind-the-Scenes Tour at California Pizza KitchenDID YOU KNOW? California Pizza Kitchen offers Kids Tours in the mornings! Bring your scout troop or have your child’s next birthday party at California Pizza Kitchen. Kids will go behind-the-scenes to tour the restaurant and meet the staff, then make their own pizzas. Scouts will receive patches. CPKids Birthday Parties can include CPKids chef coats or aprons for your party guests. Call California Pizza Kitchen in International Plaza at (813) 353-8155 for more details and to set up your event, or find a California Pizza Kitchen near you.

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Taste the Next Chapter …

On July 30, 2014 California Pizza Kitchen in International Plaza debuted its new look, featuring reclaimed hardwood floors, a wall of windows that opens the restaurant up to the mall for an al fresco dining atmosphere, and a fresh herb garden. The Tampa restaurant is one of only 10 California Pizza Kitchens across the country to offer guests this remodel, and each remodeled restaurant is slightly different. For instance, the Tampa restaurant has a beautiful wall featuring branded wooden wine boxes; it is the only restaurant in the entire company to offer this special feature.

Sunny Side Up Bacon + Potato Pizza at California Pizza Kitchen

Sunny Side Up Bacon + Potato Pizza

In addition, the menu has a new look, too, featuring a variety of beef, chicken and fish entrées paired with seasonal vegetables that add a fresh dimension to the pizzas for which they are so well known. There is also a fresh line-up of appetizers and desserts to choose from.

How about a hearty Harvest Kale Salad featuring toasted farro, roasted butternut squash, shaved pear, marinated cranberries, spiced pecans and goat cheese all tossed in a citrus vinaigrette? YUM! I love a hearty salad that has a lot going on and can be as satisfying as a pizza or sandwich.

The desserts we tasted ranged from S’mores (a crock filled with kettle-cooked Belgian chocolate pudding, dark chocolate chunks, graham cracker and topped with toasted marshmallow) to Butter Cake served warm with homemade whipped cream.

Salted Caramel Pudding at California Pizza Kitchen

Salted Caramel Pudding

Everything was delicious, but what items made it to the top of the list?

My Personal Favorites:
My Favorite Appetizer: This was a toss-up between the Sunny Side Up Bacon + Potato Pizza (who knew an egg would taste so incredibly delicious on pizza!) and the Harvest Kale Salad.
My Favorite Entrée: The Fire-grilled Ribeye with blue cheese butter, without a doubt!
My Favorite Dessert: Salted Caramel Pudding (it’s served warm with homemade whipped cream.)
Notable: Brussels + Bacon Flatbread (I love that CPK is offering brussel sprouts in some of their dishes this fall. I love them, and so rarely see them on a restaurant menu. Keep in mind, though, that the vegetables the restaurant uses will vary throughout the year based on what is in season at that time.)

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California Pizza Kitchen Kids MenuFor the Kids!

California Pizza Kitchen also offers an extensive and varied menu for kids. There is, of course, the usual kids menu fare – traditional or pepperoni pizza, macaroni and cheese, and Fusilli with tomato sauce. There is also the rarely seen Buttered Fusilli for children who don’t enjoy tomato sauce. And for more adventurous eaters, you can find a Hawaiian Pizza or BBQ Chicken Pizza, Crispy Chicken served with baby broccoli and herb ranch, and Curly Mac ‘N Cheese to which you can add Edamame for just $0.59.

For sweets, children can choose from fresh fruit featuring sliced pineapple and red seedless grapes (such a refreshing change from cantelope and honeydew melon!), a Kids Sundae (featuring Håaden-Daz vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, fresh whipped cream, rainbow chocolate chips, and topped with a cherry), or a Brownie served with whipped topping, chocolate syrup and a cherry.

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Fork image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photos © 2014 Nicole Doyle

Enjoy FREE THRIVE Farmers Coffee (Hot or Iced) at Bay Area Chick-fil-A’s for a Month

Disclaimer: I am not receiving any compensation in return for sharing this giveaway with you. I am, however, looking forward to enjoying some free THRIVE Farmers Coffee at Chick-fil-A restaurants this month! Find out when free coffee will be served by reading the post below.

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THRIVE Farmers Coffee Time: FREE Hot Coffee: 6:30-10:30 a.m.; FREE Iced Coffee: 2-5 p.m.
Date: Daily from Monday, September 29, 2014 through Friday, October 31, 2014 (Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays.)
Location: Participating Tampa Bay area Chick-fil-A restaurants
Cost: FREE
Register/Info: Call your favorite Chick-fil-A restaurant for more details and to confirm their participation.

What’s Doing?
In celebration of International Coffee Day on Sept. 29, Tampa Bay Chick-fil-A restaurants will hold a month-long giveaway of its new specialty-grade THRIVE Farmers Coffee. Beginning Monday, September 29 (International Coffee Day) through October 31, customers who visit a Tampa Bay area Chick-fil-A restaurant between 6:30-10:30 a.m. will receive a FREE small hot coffee, and those visiting between 2-5 p.m. will receive a FREE medium iced coffee.

NOTE: This offer is valid in the restaurant and drive-thru at participating Tampa Bay restaurants only, with a limit of one offer per customer per day.

Chick-fil-A® is partnering with THRIVE Farmers™ Coffee to introduce the QSR industry’s first-ever specialty-grade coffee. The coffee was created specifically for the chain and is now available in restaurants nationwide. The sale of each cup of coffee provides direct revenue to THRIVE Farmers network of family farmers in Central America, allowing them to earn up to 10 times more than farmers earn in traditional revenue models.

Thrive Farmers Coffee Hot
This special offer promotes the chain’s new THRIVE Farmers’ blend coffee, unique to Chick-fil-A as it has been crafted with characteristics and flavors that complement the chain’s breakfast menu as well as allows it to stand alone as a premium cup of coffee throughout the day. The hand-picked, medium roast coffee offers a rich balance of flavors not typically seen in the quick service industry, including notes of caramel and cocoa with a light citrus finish. The proprietary coffee blend starts at $1.59.

Thrive Farmers Coffee Iced
Chick-fil-A’s new iced coffee is handcrafted daily and prepared with an exclusive blend of THRIVE Farmers’ cold-brewed, specialty coffee beans and 2% percent milk, sweetened with pure cane syrup and served over ice.

About THRIVE Farmers Coffee
THRIVE Farmers farmer-direct platform includes a unique revenue sharing model that stabilizes the price paid to farmers year over year. THRIVE Farmers signs contracts with actual farmers and farmer groups to supply Chick-fil-A coffee, and the farmers’ payment for the sale of their coffee is not tied to the volatile commodity markets. Instead farmers maintain an economic interest in their coffee from the time it leaves the farm until Chick-fil-A purchases it from THRIVE Farmers. By eliminating all non-essential layers in the supply chain, this model creates economic sustainability for farmers because they can earn more money, up to 10 times more than through traditional models, which allows them to reinvest in their communities and crops.

Learn more about Chick-fil-A’s partnership with THRIVE Farmers Coffee, its new coffee menu additions, and the farmers who are impacted by this partnership.

Address:
Find a Tampa Bay area Chick-fil-A near you.

Coffee beans heart image courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
THRIVE Farmers Coffee image courtesy of CFA Properties, Inc.

Enter to Win 2 Runner Spots in the 3rd Annual Chick-fil-A® Tampa Bay Fall Stampede!

*** This giveaway is now CLOSED! The winner is … Coment #1/Courtney. CONGRATULATIONS! Even if you didn’t win, this is a great family event and entries are still available. I hope you and your family will consider attending this fun Chick-fil-A event in support of Children’s Cancer Center! ***

DISCLAIMER: In return for helping to promote this fun charity event, I have been given two (2) Runner Spots to giveaway on “What’s Doing? Tampa Bay” blog.

Scroll down for your chance to win two (2) Runner Spots!

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Chick-fil-A® Tampa Bay Fall Stampede Event Details
Time: 5K Run at 8 a.m.; 1-Mile Walk at 8:45 a.m.
Date: Saturday, September 27, 2014
Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Cost: $25/adult ($30 day of event), $15/child age 6-12 ($20 day of event), FREE for children age 5 and younger
Register/Info: 3rd Annual Chick-fil-A® Tampa Bay Fall Stampede Website; Register online for the 3rd Annual Chick-fil-A® Tampa Bay Fall Stampede

What’s Doing?
Family fun activities will again be the center of attention in the main park before and during the 5k run and Family Fun Walk, with the addition of great new activities including some from our professional sports teams! Join the herd for this 5k & 1-mile run/walk benefiting the Children’s Cancer Center. There will be many opportunities for hugs and pictures with the Chick-fil-A Cows throughout the morning!

Runners will be happy to know that the 5k portion will once again be chip timed, allowing opportunity for the serious runner as well as the amateur jogger alike.

Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede 2014 Flyer

Address:
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
600 North Ashley Drive
Tampa, FL 33602

*** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY ***

Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede LogoI am excited to be able to provide two (2) Runner Spots to one lucky WDTB reader!

How to Enter*:
Leave a comment below answering the question: How has cancer affected you?

* Please be aware that the winner will need to pick up their race packet in person.

Fine Print: No purchase is necessary to enter. Only responses that conform to the above requirements and are posted on THIS PAGE will count as official entries in this giveaway. This giveaway is open to anyone age 18 and older residing in the Tampa Bay area (winner will need to pick up their prize in person). The contest period ends on Monday, September 15, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST. One winner will be selected at random using random.org and notified by e-mail; the winner will have 24 hours to reply back before a new winner will be selected. The winner, once confirmed, will be announced at the top of this post. To be fair, comments that don’t meet these requirements, false entries, or duplicate comments will be deleted and not count as entries in this giveaway. The prize will be held at the Whole Foods Market Carrollwood Customer Service Desk to be picked up by the winner.

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Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede flyer image courtesy of CFA Properties, Inc.

De-Bugging Bug Myths: Orkin Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake® Quiz + Back-to-School Prize Pack GIVEAWAY

*** This giveaway is now CLOSED. The winner is Comment #3/Paul G. CONGRATULATIONS! Thank you to everyone who participated! ***

DISCLAIMER: In return for sharing the Orkin Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake Blog App, I am receiving one official Orkin Scientific Back-to-School Prize Pack to giveaway to a lucky WDTB reader, as well as one for myself.

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Orkin is back with their “Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake?” series debunking famous bug myths!

“Daddy longlegs are poisonous.”
“Mosquitoes prefer adults over children.”
“Ants can survive underwater.”

You’ve heard the myths about bugs, but do you know what’s fact and what’s fake? Take Orkin’s Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake™ Quiz to test your knowledge, and be sure to watch the clips for the scoop on these infamous bug myths.

Are you looking for a pest control service for your home? Orkin uses the latest technology and training to develop a treatment that’s right for your home and your needs. To learn more about pest control that’s based on science or to schedule an inspection, visit orkin.com or call (844) 503-8251.

*** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY ***

Orkin Fact of Fake Prize PackOne lucky WDTB reader will win an Orkin Scientific Back-to-School PRIZE PACK, including:
– Clip-on Fisheye Lens (compatible with iPhone, Galaxy, Android)
– Orkin On-the-Go Drink Tumbler
– Orkin Drawstring Bag
– Orkin “Field Notes” Notebook with Pen

How to Enter:
ENTRY #1: Take the Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake Quiz, then leave a comment with your result as a giveaway entry.

ENTRY #2: Watch the episodes of Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake and leave another comment below telling us which clip is your favorite and why.

ENTRY #3: Tweet “I took the Orkin Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake® Quiz! #OrkinMan @WhatsDoingTampa” Afterward, come back to this page and leave an additional comment letting me know you tweeted to count as your entry.

IMPORTANT! Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Orkin Fact or Fake School Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Fine Print: Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Orkin Fact or Fake School Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No purchase is necessary to enter. Only responses that conform to the above requirements and are posted on THIS PAGE will count as official entries in this giveaway. This giveaway is open to anyone age 18 and older residing in the United States only. The contest period ends on Friday, August 29, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST. One winner will be selected at random using random.org and notified by e-mail; the winner will have 24 hours to reply back before a new winner will be selected. The winner, once confirmed, will be announced at the top of this post. To be fair, comments that don’t meet these requirements, false entries, or duplicate comments will be deleted and not count as entries in this giveaway. The prize will be sent by First Things First (FTF) via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please.

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Orkin Fact of Fake Prize Pack image courtesy of Orkin LLC

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Whole Foods Market Carrollwood Kicks Off the New School Year

*** This giveaway is now CLOSED. The winner is Comment #20/Kim wadswortg. CONGRATULATIONS! Thank you to everyone who participated! ***

Whole Foods Market Carrollwood 2014 Back-to-School BashDisclaimer: My family and I participated in a fun, FREE family event at Whole Foods Market Carrollwood, and I am sharing our experience with all of you in return for a $20 Whole Foods Market gift card for my family and one to giveaway on this blog. Honestly, though, we were planning on attending before this opportunity became available. We love the many family-friendly events offered at Whole Foods Market.

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Whole Foods Market Carrollwood 2014 Back-to-School BashBack-to-School Bash + FREE School Lunch Giveaway Whole Foods Market Carrollwood 2014 Back-to-School Bash
Today we headed over to Whole Foods Market Carrollwood so our soon-to-be first grader could pack a healthy lunch for her first day of school, compliments of Whole Foods Market Carrollwood. At 1 p.m. kids and their families were invited to take a bag and collect fresh carrots, turkey cubes, a banana, GoGo SqueeZ, a Kind bar, Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps and a 365 Organic juice box. There was a magician to entertain kids and families in line and throughout the event.

Whole Foods Market Carrollwood 2014 Back-to-School Bash

A taste of hummus on a crispy pita chip makes a girl happy!

The humidity was high today, so it was a relief to go inside for a store-wide sampling of tasty foods and beverages. Our first taste was a delicious crab sushi roll with brown rice. YUM! As we wandered through the store, tastes included That’s It fruit bars, chocolate croissants, coconut water, orange juice, Greek yogurt, and much more. My family’s favorite tasty samples? It was unanimous! Here are our favorite samples, and why:
– Bell & Evans Gluten Free Chicken Tenders (BOGO $6.99): These were a real surprise! The coating was so nice and crispy, and the chicken was flavorful. There was definitely no compromise on taste to make these gluten free.

Whole Foods Market Carrollwood 2014 Back-to-School Bash– Matlaws Breaded Fish Sticks: The fish was flaky, the breading was crispy and tasty. Enjoyed on a bakery-fresh roll, it was delicious and filling!

Our final stop of the day was back outside to join in festivities again. The magician was performing, the YMCA hosted a face painting booth, there were fire truck tours by Station #41, kids could build their own trail mix at the Build Your Own Trail Mix Station and cool off with a chocolate or mint chocolate chip shake make fresh at the Milkshake Station.

Overall, it was a super day to kick off the new 2014-2015 school year!

Whole Foods Market Carrollwood 2014 Back-to-School Bash

Build-Your-Own Trail Mix Bar: Kids could choose 3 items to make their own special mix.

Bring Your Family for Fun at Whole Foods Market Every Month!
Whole Foods Markets offer many events for children and their families every month. Visit the Whole Foods Market Carrollwood website to see what’s coming up, or find our what’s happening at a Whole Foods Market near you.

Whole Foods Market Carrollwood 2014 Back-to-School Bash

*** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY ***

Whole Foods Market Gift CardsI am excited to be able to give a $20 Whole Foods Market Gift Card to one lucky WDTB reader!

How to Enter*:
1. Leave a comment below answering the question: What is your favorite item to purchase at Whole Foods Market?
2. Tweet: “I love my Whole Foods Market! @WFMCarrollwood @WhatsDoingTampa” Then leave a comment below to count as your entry!

* Please be aware that the winner will need to pick up their prize at Whole Foods Market Carrollwood, 3802 Northdale Blvd., Tampa, FL 33624.

Fine Print: No purchase is necessary to enter. Only responses that conform to the above requirements and are posted on THIS PAGE will count as official entries in this giveaway. This giveaway is open to anyone age 18 and older residing in the Tampa Bay area (winner will need to pick up their prize at the Whole Foods Market Carrollwood location). The contest period ends on Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST. One winner will be selected at random using random.org and notified by e-mail; the winner will have 24 hours to reply back before a new winner will be selected. The winner, once confirmed, will be announced at the top of this post. To be fair, comments that don’t meet these requirements, false entries, or duplicate comments will be deleted and not count as entries in this giveaway. The prize will be held at the Whole Foods Market Carrollwood Customer Service Desk to be picked up by the winner.

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Images © 2014 Nicole Doyle

10 Daddy-Daughter/Son Day Ideas & MoonPie/First Things First Family Prize Pack GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is now CLOSED. The winner is Comment #8/Julie Murphy. CONGRATULATIONS! Thank you to everyone who participated.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by First Things First (FTF). In return for writing this post and offering this giveaway, I am receiving a $10 Amazon gift card. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest opinions.

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Masterpiece

The masterpiece my daughter created during her day out with Daddy.

Summer is all about family and spending quality time with the ones you love.
For our family, summer is the time when my husband is most available to take our daughter out for a special day, just the two of them. On Friday, they went to Glazer Children’s Museum and made paper airplanes, ate pretend pizza, and explored the Road Trip U.S.A. exhibit. When I asked my daughter what her favorite part of the day was, she said, “Everything!”

First Things First (FTF), an award winning, not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families, created this short comedy video to demonstrate the importance of Dads spending quality time with their daughters:

Make the Most of the Time You Have.
Your kids are growing up fast, and you will never get this time back, so get out and make the most of the time you have with them. What’s Doing? Tampa Bay blog is dedicated to finding events and activities parents and kids can enjoy together. Tampa Bay offers so many amazing opportunities for family fun, and any one of them would make a memorable day for Dads and their daughters … or sons! Check out the WDTB calendar every day for a list of things to do around the Bay area.

The time you give, however, doesn’t have to be a whole day. Even an hour makes an huge difference to a child. Here is a list of 10 fun ways to spend even more quality time alone with your child, for an afternoon or just an hour.

5 Daddy-Daughter (or Daddy-Son) Day Out Ideas
1. Watch a movie and share some popcorn at the theater. Check out the new releases at your theater, or enjoy one of these local movie events. (Planes: Fire & Rescue opened on July 18. Guardians of the Galaxy opens on August 1, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens on August 8.)

2. Build sand castles on the beach.

3. Paint something together at a paint-your-own-pottery shop.

4. Go on a geocache or take a bike ride

5. Visit a children’s museum.

* Find even more ideas for Daddy-Daughter Days on the GOODSIRS: Better Fathers, Better Husbands, Better Men blog.

5 Stay-at-Home Daddy-Daughter (or Daddy-Son) Day Ideas
In the video, a working Dad made a point of scheduling time during his work day to take his daughter out for afternoon tea. But you can create a memorial day your child will never forget at home, too. Here are a few ideas for creating a special day with your child at home:
1. Make ice cream sundaes and talk about your day together while you eat them.

2. Go on a camping trip … in your back yard.

3. Wash the car together.

4. Make a surprise dinner for Mom together.

5. Curl up on the couch and read your best girl a story or two.

*** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY ***

MoonPie/First Things First Family Prize PackOne lucky WDTB reader will win a MoonPie/First Things First Family Prize Pack, including:
– His and Hers MoonPie T-shirts (2 Large T-shirts)
– 2 Boxes of MoonPies

How to Enter:
Leave a comment below tell me: What do you think about the video?

Fine Print: Each household is only eligible to win One (1) MoonPie/First Things First Family Prize Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No purchase is necessary to enter. Only responses that conform to the above requirements and are posted on THIS PAGE will count as official entries in this giveaway. This giveaway is open to anyone age 18 and older residing in the United States only. The contest period ends on Friday, August 8, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST. One winner will be selected at random using random.org and notified by e-mail; the winner will have 24 hours to reply back before a new winner will be selected. The winner, once confirmed, will be announced at the top of this post. To be fair, comments that don’t meet these requirements, false entries, or duplicate comments will be deleted and not count as entries in this giveaway. The prize will be sent by First Things First (FTF) via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please.

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MoonPie/First Things First Family Prize Pack and video included in this post were provided to WDTB to promote First Things First (FTF).

First Things First (FTF) is an award winning not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families in Chattanooga, Tennessee. FTF is a resource that collaborates with and is supported by a broad cross-section of community organizations, groups and individuals. FTF accomplishes it mission through meaningful media messaging and skill building classes.

REVIEW: Give Bees a Chance Scavenger Hunt & $20 Whole Foods Market Gift Card Giveaway

*** This giveaway is now CLOSED. The winner is Comment #4/Deirdre … CONGRATULATIONS! Thank you to everyone who participated. ***

Whole Foods Market Give Bees a Chance Scavenger HuntDisclaimer: My family and I participated in a fun, free family event at Whole Foods Market Carrollwood, and I am sharing our experience with all of you in return for a $20 Whole Foods Market gift card for my family and one to giveaway on this blog. Honestly, though, we were planning on attending before this opportunity became available. We enjoy taking part in many of the family events offered at Whole Foods Market.

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Give Bees a Chance Scavenger Hunt
Today’s event was a family scavenger hunt throughout the store aimed at educating people about the plight of the bees and the importance of bees in food production. You could tell who was taking part in the hunt, because most of us were wearing funny bee antennae headbands!

Whole Foods Market Give Bees a Chance Scavenger HuntEach family received a clue card written so that kids can read and solve them. Each clue led us to an item that exists because of the help of bees, and each card gave a new and interesting fact about bees. Once solved, the clue would lead us to either another clue or a photo op that we would take back to the host in return for the next clue. In order to keep the game friendly, the scavenger hunt was not timed, and each family could proceed through the clues at their leisure.

Whole Foods Market Give Bees a Chance Scavenger HuntThroughout our adventure, we learned just how many of the foods that we enjoy regularly and products we use daily are dependent on bee pollinators. (I mean, besides honey!) In fact, bees help produce many, many types of crops, from almonds to onions, and they are vital to the clover and alfalfa that feed beef and dairy cows.

DID YOU KNOW? A whopping 1/3 of our food is pollinated by bees!

So, the moral of this story is that bees are important to all of us, and we need them. As consumers, the best thing we can do in the fight against Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is to support companies that care about bees and support efforts to help save them.

Whole Foods Market Makes Learning Fun
Each month throughout the year, families can take part in many fun activities at Whole Foods Markets throughout the country. The activities are designed to be fun as well as educational, teaching us everything from the importance of bees and the impact of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) to how to make a healthy ice cream using frozen bananas and almond milk! Be sure to check your favorite Whole Foods Market calendar monthly for exciting new events!

Find a Whole Foods Market location near you.

*** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY ***

Whole Foods Market Gift CardsI am excited to be able to give a $20 Whole Foods Market Gift Card to one lucky WDTB reader!

How to Enter*:
1. Leave a comment below answering the question: What food or product are you most thankful to bees for?
2. Tweet: “I enjoy ___ thanks to bee pollinators! #savethebees @WFMCarrollwood @WhatsDoingTampa”

* Please be aware that the winner will need to pick up their prize at Whole Foods Market Carrollwood, 3802 Northdale Blvd., Tampa, FL 33624.

Fine Print: No purchase is necessary to enter. Only responses that conform to the above requirements and are posted on THIS PAGE will count as official entries in this giveaway. This giveaway is open to anyone age 18 and older residing in the Tampa Bay area (winner will need to pick up their prize at the Whole Foods Market Carrollwood location). The contest period ends on Friday, June 27, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST. One winner will be selected at random using random.org and notified by e-mail; the winner will have 24 hours to reply back before a new winner will be selected. The winner, once confirmed, will be announced at the top of this post. To be fair, comments that don’t meet these requirements, false entries, or duplicate comments will be deleted and not count as entries in this giveaway. The prize will be held at the Whole Foods Market Carrollwood Customer Service Desk to be picked up by the winner.

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Give Bees a Chance Banner and Whole Foods Market Gift Cards image courtesy of Whole Foods Market IP. L.P.
Give Bees a Chance Family Scavenger Hunt images © 2014 Nicole Doyle

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Disclaimer: The information presented here is accurate to the best of my knowledge when I publish each event. However, event hosts can reschedule, change or cancel any event at any time. Consequently, I highly recommend both calling ahead and having a back-up plan.