Friday, September 27, 2013

Seaworld Hilton and Shark Underwater Grill

Benjamin Moore Satchel

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Seaworld Orlando Weekday Admission Now Fifty Dollars

Seaworld Orlando is running a special $50.00 price for weekday admission thru December 20th this year. This is a considerable discount over the regular admission price. My family loves Seaworld, I highly recommend it!!!,0,

Epcot Food and Wine Menu 2013

If you haven't been to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, you absolutely need to check it out. Especially the Floridians who live in driving distance, there is really no excuse not to go. This is my absolutely favorite event at Walt Disney World. This years dates are September 27 thru November 11. The menu has just been released, you can view some highlights here,0,3286819.story

Friday, July 12, 2013

Best Dorm at FSU

My daughter was a freshman at FSU last year and was lucky enough to get into Broward Hall. This is a beautiful dorm and if you a high enough priority number I highly recommend it. It is meticulously maintained and my daughter not only developed a wonderful friendship with her roommate but also made many friends in Gilchrist and Landis. Those connecting hallways were being put into use constantly. I had been concerned about my daughter attending such a large university, but I have to say the way these dorms are set up seems to give it an intimate feel of a much smaller school. She absolutely loved her freshman year at FSU, and managed to maintain a 4.0 as well.

This school year she is moving into the brand new Traditions Hall which are apartments with full kitchens. Most of the friends she made from last year are moving into either Ragans or Traditions. She is very excited to have her own bedroom and to only be sharing the bathroom with one other person. I will post some pics of Traditions Hall when we move her in, here are some pics we took last year at Broward.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Golden Corral Video Port Orange Florida

I don't do buffets anymore. Maybe a Disney buffet or at a very very upscale restaurant but NEVER would I do a bargain buffet unless it was the only food source available. My mom got very sick recently from bad clams at a chinese buffet. I looked the place up online and saw numerous offenses. Stories like this sadly don't surprise me at all. Sure am glad I never ate there!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Port Orange, Deltona, Edgewater, New Smyrna Beach 4th of July 2013

We have added more events to our 4th of July 2013 page on Daytona Beach Biker, it now includes the cities of Port Orange, Deltona, Edgewater and New Smyrna Beach in addition to Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach. Check out these 4th of July events in Volusia County

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Daytona- Ormond Beach 4th of July 2013

Time to swim, crank up the grill and check out some fireworks later in the day. I always love the Fourth of July because it is a fun holiday with no real agenda. Here are some firework shows to check out if you live in Volusia County, Florida.

Daytona - Ormond Beach 4th of July 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

James Gandolfini on a Harley

I was thinking about why we are all so tremendously saddened by the sudden death of James Gandolfini. I think it was those many Sunday nights when America, collectively, had the same thing to look forward to. We could not wait for Tony Soprano to come into our living rooms and captivate us for an hour. I read where someone said, even if James Gandolfini was eating a plate of spaghetti, you couldn't take your eyes off him. I can't think of another actor who has made me want to watch him more.

Several years ago my husband and I were fortunate enough to meet him at a motorcycle charity event. He was the Grand Marshall of the Boggy Creek Ride For Children which left out of Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach. Here is a great pic we took of him trying out different Harley's as he decided which one he would ride that day. He seemed so gracious and down to earth. Time to get out our Soprano's dvd's and revisit this man's genius. He will be greatly missed.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Walt Disney World Summer 2013 Tips

Are you brave enough to do Disney during the hot summer months. I have to confess that's a practice we gave up a long time ago, just to darned hot for us!!! If you are amongst the brave, here are some great tips for doing Walt Disney World this summer

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day in Orlando

I don't care if I get any presents for Mother's day, but what I do enjoy is quality time spent with my family. The Orlando Sentinel has some great Mother's Day suggestions for people in the Orlando area.,0,3979408.story

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos ala Publix

I'm pretty sure many Publix shoppers throughout Florida had tacos for dinner last night. It was almost impossible to pass up all the buy one get ones they had there yesterday: taco kits including shells, picante sauce, boneless chicken breasts, taco lettuce in a bag, sour cream, and I think I left something out but, you get the idea.

I put three large boneless chicken breasts and 2 jars of picante sauce in the crock pot on high for 5 hours. The chicken came out amazingly tender. We served on tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and shredded Mexican cheese blend. Superb!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Florida's Best Beaches 2013

The Orlando Sentinel has put together an amazing slideshow of Florida's top 11 beaches, as decided by 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman's annual survey. Check out the link to see some of the most fabulous beaches Florida has to offer. How lucky we are to live here!!! My personal favorites? Bahia Honda State Park and Lighthouse Point park.,0,2534407.photogallery?obref=obnetwork

Siesta Beach
( Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau )
Siesta Beach on Siesta Key southwest of Sarasota, Fla., has been recognized for years as one of the best beaches in the country. It has the finest and whitest sand in the world, and I cannot argue with this claim. The powdery sand is nearly pure quartz crystal. The beatiful blue-colored water is clean and clear, making it so inviting to bathers and swimmers. - Dr. Beach It was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman's 2011 survey of United States beaches.

Fort De Soto Park
( Florida State Parks )
Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County near St. Pete Beach is an 870-acre patch of paradise. It's a mecca for migratory birds and migrating travelers who love to camp, swim, fish, picnic and otherwise duck civilization. Its wide expanse of beaches is ideal for privacy, and its waters have a blue-green Caribbean color. -- Boston Globe It was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman's 2005 survey of United States beaches.

St. Andrews State Park
( Florida State Parks )
St. Andrews State Recreation Area, near Panama City Beach, is one of the coast's best snorkeling and diving destinations. Well known for its sugar white sands and emerald green waters, this former military reservation has over one-and-a-half miles of beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and Grand Lagoon. Offshore you'll find hundreds of varieties of shells, sea urchins and starfish. In Tampa Bay, try Egmont Key State Park. Not only does it have a beautiful beach more than a mile long, but you'll find submerged armament bunkers offshore that have created a refuge for tropical fish. It was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman's 1995 survey of United States beaches.

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
( Florida State Parks )
The strip of coast between Tallahassee and Panama City may look like the middle of nowhere on a map. But that remoteness is what has kept the brilliant white beaches and dunes of St. George Island and St. Joseph Peninsula so unspoiled. Both beaches abound with rental cottages. St. George Island and St. Joseph Peninsula, 30 miles west, offer abundant outdoor activities, as does the surrounding Panhandle area. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park offers 20 miles of pristine shoreline, with picnicking, swimming, camping, fishing and hiking allowed. It was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman's 2002 survey of United States beaches.

Cape Florida State Park
( Florida State Parks )
Cape Florida State Park, located at the south tip of Key Biscayne, provides clear, emerald-colored waters and gentle surf. This fine, white coral sand beach is great for swimming, as waves are knocked down by a large sand shoal offshore. In addition, the Cape Florida Lighthouse allows for a breath-taking view of this beautiful beach. It was the No. 8 beach in the nation on Stephen 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman's 2012 survey of United States beaches.

Barefoot Beach Park
( Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau )
Barefoot Beach Preserve Park in Bonita Springs is 342 acres of natural land, one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida's southwest coast. 8,200 feet of beach and sand dunes support the growth of sea oats, providing nesting sites for sea turtles during the summer months. The park also maintains a tropical coastal hammock of sabal palm, gumbo-limbo and sea grape trees among many others. The site is also home to the protected gopher tortoise. The park includes nature trails, estuary waters for canoe tours and a long stretch of natural beach. -- It has been named as one of the best beaches in the nation on Stephen 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman's survey of United States beaches.

Bahia Honda State Park
( Florida State Parks )
Clear turquoise water surrounds Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys, which boasts the Keys' only natural beach. The park encompasses over 500 acres and an offshore island offers some of the best snorkeling and and beachcombing in Florida. It was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman's 1992 survey of United States beaches.

Lighthouse Point Park
( Dennis Wall, Orlando Sentinel )
The 52-acre Lighthouse Point Park, located at the southern tip of Ponce Inlet, features fishing, nature trails, an observation deck and tower, swimming and picnicking. It is one of the few parks that allow dogs on the beach. It has been named as one of the best beaches in the nation on Stephen 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman's survey of United States beaches.

St. George Island State Park
( Florida State Parks )
St. George is a long, skinny barrier island, drifting between Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, just south of Apalachicola. Skip the developed middle of the island and stick to the northeast end, where St. George Island State Park protects nine miles of broad beach. The dunes are high and sculptural, and the surf is calm enough for swimming. After beachcombing, explore the nature trails through pine forest. St. George is a long, skinny barrier island, drifting between Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, just south of Apalachicola. Skip the developed middle of the island and stick to the northeast end, where St. George Island State Park protects nine miles of broad beach. The dunes are high and sculptural, and the surf is calm enough for swimming. After beachcombing, explore the nature trails through pine forest. It was the No. 4 beach in the nation on Stephen 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman's 2012 survey of United States beaches.

Grayton Beach State Park
( Florida State Parks )
Grayton Beach State Park, which spans the Gulf of Mexico and most of Western Lake, is where you'll find Florida as it should be, as it once was. Along this stretch, the sand is as soft, white and fine as you'll find anywhere. That's because the sand was once part of the southern Appalachian Mountains. The wide beach pushes into clear turquoise water every bit as beautiful as the Caribbean. Situated in the Panhandle halfway between Destin and Panama City, this idyllic spot is consistently ranked among the nation's most pristine beaches.

Caladesi Island State Park
( Florida State Parks / April 30, 2013 )
Caladesi's fine, white quartz sand beach owes its creation to a 1921 hurricane, which separated it from nearby Honeymoon Island. Caladesi became a state park in 1968. The waves are generally low on Caladesi, which Dr. Beach said adds to its family-friendly atmosphere. Most beachgoers reach the island by a 15-minute, $9 ferry ride. Visitors -- unless they bring their own boat -- are limited to four-hour stays at the beach. -- Associated Press Caladesi Island near Dunedin was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman's 2008 survey of United States beaches.

Historic Vanderbilt mansion gets new life on Miami's Fisher Island - Travel Wires -

Historic Vanderbilt mansion gets new life on Miami's Fisher Island - Travel Wires -

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Glazed Scallops with Pineapple Salsa ala Bobby Deen with Publix Scallops

My husbands birthday was a couple weeks ago and I got him two great cookbooks. Last night he made a great recipe from this one We have been really trying to eat lighter, and the Grilled Scallop recipe was fabulous, so tasty, delicious and satisfying you don't even realize you are eating light. According to the book it has only 178 calories per serving. I have also been watching my sodium too and a serving has only 173 mg.

Of course hubby got the ingredients from our nearby Publix. It was early in the morning and they did not have the scallops out yet in the seafood section but they accommodated hubby upon request and got him some from the back. We seem to know almost every employee at our local Publix on a first name basis, and we always get spectacular service.

It seems like it takes my husband quite a while to chop and prep anything he makes, but I know he enjoys the process. Here are a couple pics of prep and the finished product.

This was a wonderful dinner and I really felt like I was at a fabulous Florida keys restaurant overlooking the water as I ate. It all tasted so yummy fresh and tropical. I couldn't find a link to Bobby's scallop recipe online, I guess you will just have to buy the book. Here is a link to a similar scallop recipe by his mom, Paula Deen, but it may not be as light. Enjoy!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

2013 Bike Weeks across the USA

Blessed with wonderful weather most of the year, it's no surprise that Florida is home to some of the nation's biggest bike week events. This weekend many of my biker friends are headed over to Leesburg, Florida for the Leesburg Bikefest 2013.

Bike weeks are cropping up all over the nation, and I thought it would be fun to compile a list of some of the events, some are well known, like Sturgis, but some may surprise you!!! Contact me if you have an event you would like to add to this list, and I will be happy to update it. For year round biker events in the Daytona Beach area, visit our sister site Daytona Beach Biker. Happy Riding, stay safe.

Leesburg Bikefest
April 26 - 28th 2013

Myrtle Beach Bike Week Dates
Spring Rally May 10 – 19, 2013
Fall Rally
October 2 – 6, 2013

Delmarva Bike Week dates
September 11-15 2013

Panama City
Motorcycle Rallies
 15th Annual spring Rally
 May 1st - 5th, 2013
13th Annual autumn rally
October 2nd - 6th, 2013

Ohio Bike Week
May 31st -  June 9th, 2013

Myrtle Beach Black Bike Week 2013
 May 24 to May 27, 2013

73rd Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
August 5-11 3013

Gettysburg Bike Week
July 11-14,2013

Milwaukee Rally 2013
August 28th - September 2nd, 2013

Four Corners Motorcycle Rally 2013
August 29-Sept 2

Bikes, Blues & BBQ Rally Dates
2013: September 18 – September 21
Fayetteville, Arkansas

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Florida State University's Bjoern Werner Going to the Giants?

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of FSU's Bjoern Werner, what a tremendous talent!!! Here's hoping he gets his wish to be drafted by the New York Giants. Can't wait to see how the draft unfolds!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Florida Homeowners and Citizens Property Insurance Bill

A scheduled vote on a major insurance overhaul bill that seeks to shrink the level of risk carried by Citizens Property Insurance Corp. was again postponed Wednesday. Bill sponsor Sen. David Simmons, a republican from Altamonte Springs, said that he has enough support for the bill but wanted more time to make amendments and build more consensus.

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Florida State University Gets an Extra 15 Million a Year

My daughter attends Florida State University and loves it there, so you can imagine that I was very happy to see this article yesterday. The Florida Legislature has passed a measure  that will designate Florida State and the University of Florida as “pre-eminent” universities and provide each school with an additional $15 million a year for the next five years to hire faculty members and escalate research. You can read more about it here. Go Noles!!!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Seaworld Guest Assistance Card

We recently went to Seaworld and had a fabulous time. If you have a family member that has a disability (our son has autism) you can get a guest assistance card, similar to what you would get at Walt Disney World. When you enter the park, head to the left and go to the Guest Relations area. You will enter thru a door and go in a small room where they will ask the special accommodations you may need, and , in our case, they also measured our son. This pass was really helpful for us throughout the day, becuase we requested to use our son's stroller as a wheelchair. Here is what the pass looks like:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Biketoberfest 2013 Dates

Yeah, I know bike week just ended...but it's never too early to start planning for Daytona Beach Biketoberfest this year. The 21st Annual Daytona Beach Biketoberfest 2013 Dates are October 17-20. Mark your calendar!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Paul McCartney Amway Tickets

Woohooo!!! Paul McCartney Amway Arena (Orlando, Florida) tickets for the May 18th show will go on sale this Friday, April 12th at 10am.

How do I love Sir Paul, let me count the ways....... , me and everyone else in the world, am I right? I have seen him perform twice many years ago, in Tampa, and am very excited to see this concert!!! I had a hunch he would be playing in Orlando for his upcoming world tour, because I had read that his stepson Arlen Blakeman attends Rollins College, and it just made sense to me that he would choose the nearby Amway Arena as a Florida stop for his tour. Those who follow Sir Paul closely know that his family is of utmost importance to him. He seems so happy with his wife, the former Nancy Shevell, and I could not be happier for them. She is by all accounts a wonderful woman and an extremely bright business person as well as being quite stunning to look at.

Ticket prices are supposed to be released Wednesday, I looked up the prices for his concert in Texas and they show a range of $45-$277. I'm expecting something similar here. These tickets will go very very quickly so if you want to attend this concert you need to try to get tickets right away. I usually get my concert tickets online, and that is my plan for purchasing these. See you there!!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Disney World Guest Assistance for Autism

When you are traveling to Walt Disney World, and someone in your party has a special need, you can get something called a Guest Assistance Card. This card can be helpful to adults and children with varying disabilities, including autism. When we travel to Walt Disney World with our autistic son we always stop at guest relations to get a card as soon as we enter the parks. This can be the difference between an enjoyable day with your family, or a complete disaster. Even under the best of circumstances, and with people that are not disabled, negotiating theme parks can be a grueling experience. Please visit my autism blog to learn more about my family's experiences with the Walt Disney World Guest Assistance Card.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pat Benatar at Universal Studios 2013

If your looking for something special to do this weekend, head out to Universal Studios on Saturday, March 30th for a great concert featuring Pat Benatar and her husband Neil Giraldo. Nothing really says 80's like Pat's music does. Hits like "Heartbreaker," and "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" were the backdrop to many great events/times in my younger life, and just hearing them sends me waaaay back!!! Another reason I am partial to Pat's music is, she grew up in my hometown of Lindenhurst, New York and attended Lindenhurst Senior High School. Talk about small town girl makes good!!! Go Lindenhurst!!!!  I have also read her autobiography, and as far as rock starts go (I've read almost every rock autobiography ever written lol) she definitely kept her head screwed on straight. If you are looking for something juicy you really won't find it there. What you will find is an amazingly talented hardworking woman, wife and mother, devoted to her family. Here are more details on Saturdays concert. They haven't listed a time yet, I suggest you keep checking back. Enjoy!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Meet the Easter Bunny at the Magic Kingdom 2013

What a fun way to celebrate the Easter Holiday with your kids. Here are the dates and times for seeing the Easter Bunny at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World this year.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

St. Augustine Weekend Getaway

You have probably all heard the St. Augustine is one of my favorite places ever. If you live in Florida, there is seriously not many better places for a unique weekend getaway. I think I could spend a weekend in historic St. Augustine every month and never ever tire of it. The Orlando Sentinel recently posted some great tips for a weekend vacation to St. Augustine. Trust me, if you don't stick to the exact recommended list, you will still dine at fabulous places and have a fantastic time, the choices are really endless!!! St. Augustine is also a fabulous place to have a Florida destination wedding. So what are you waiting for?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Disney Springs Replacing Downtown Disney

So excited to hear this!! We have been to Downtown Disney many times, and we are pretty much over it and looking forward to something new being done with that space. Here is a sneak peak at what things might look like, courtesy of WDW News Today.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Daytona Beach Bike Week 2013 Kicks off Tomorrow!!!

The motorcycles are already pouring onto town. The year's Bike Week is anticipated to be bigger and better than ever. Even if you don't have a motorcycle, it is a fun event to be a part of. There are plenty of places where you can park your vehicle for a minimal fee, even if it isn't a "hog". Two of the hottest biker spots during Bike Week are Main Street in Daytona Beach, and US 1 in Ormond Beach, but there are plenty of other great spots as well. Visit for a list of 2013 Bike Week band and Concert schedules.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Florida Bridal Shows 2013

Here is a list of upcoming Florida Bridal Shows for 2013, taken from our sister site Florida Wedding Destinations. You can also get some info on great wedding venues and services throughout the state of Florida. If you have a Bridal Show you would like to add, you can contact that website for a free listing.

Incredible Events
Incredible Events Fairy Tale Showcase
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Show Time : 1.00pm - 4.00pm
Location: Shula's Hotel & Golf Club
6842 Main Street
Miami Lakes FL 33014

Perfect Wedding Guide of South Florida
Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Extravaganza
Sunday, April 07, 2013
Show Time : 1.00pm - 4.00pm
Location: Hillcrest Golf & Country Club
4600 Hillcrest Drive
Hollywood FL 33021

Florida Wedding Expo -Tampa
Sun April 7, 2013 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Embassy Suites Tampa USF
3705 Spectrum Boulevard Tampa, FL 33612

Florida Wedding Expo - Orlando
Sun April 28, 2013 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Rosen Plaza Hotel
9700 International Drive Orlando, FL 32819

Perfect Wedding Guide of South Florida
Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Extravaganza
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Show Time : 12.00pm - 3.00pm
Location: Boca Raton Country Club
17751 Boca Club Boulevard
Boca Raton FL 33487

Florida Wedding Expo -Tampa
Sun October 6, 2013 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Embassy Suites Tampa USF
3705 Spectrum Boulevard Tampa, FL 33612

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bath Salt Zombies at Tir Na Nog Daytona

I had the pleasure of seeing the Bath Salt Zombies last night at the Tir Na Nog in Daytona Beach, Florida. After living in the area for many years and hearing the "same old same old" the BSZ were truly like a breath of fresh air. Rather than try and describe them to you, I will borrow their own description from their facebook page, because it sums them up very nicely:

The Bath Salt Zombies play acoustics, but don't let that fool you. Their acoustic image is countered with shredder banjo leads, killer percussion, funky double bass and in-your-face vocals that will make your head spin. BSZ's versatility will leave you wanting more! 

I agree, I was definitely left wanting more. Also, the Tir Na Nog in Daytona Beach is a very cool venue. Think Irish Pub meets 60's coffee house. Pleasantly bohemian atmosphere. If you didn't get to see them last night, you can catch them this weekend at the Band Camp on Cracker Creek in Port Orange Florida. I highly recommend you check this band out!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Is Florida's New Logo Sexist???

Ughhh I'm afraid I think so. With all the amazingly creative people there are out there, why come up with something that seems to almost purposefully exlude women? You almost have to wonder how it got that far without someone saying, "hey, wait a minute..." A tie is certainly not the only expression of a business situation, yikes. Can we go back to the drawing board here? Read more and check out the logo.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Best Pancakes in Central Florida

Happy National Pancake Day!! If you have a hankering to indulge in a yummy stack this morning, check out this list of places where you can find the best pancakes in Central Florida, courtesy of WESH!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Best Hot Wings In Florida

It's Superbowl Sunday, and our menu for the game includes Hot Wings and BLT Dip. We always look for something pretty easy to make so we can relax and enjoy. Also this year I am trying to do lower carb choices. Now that I have turned 50, I have discovered carbs are not so kind to me. My search for a hot wing recipe got me wondering where you can get the best hot wings in the state of Florida. I googled that and came up with this list. Enjoy the game (only in America, lol)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Publix Hot Italian Sausage in Crock Pot

I can't tell you how many times we have made this and even served it for dinner when we have company. Publix is always running sales on their delicious hot sausage, and also "buy one get ones" on their spaghetti sauces. There are so many great brands out there, we just grab whatever is on sale and don't worry about being picky. Today the sausage was on sale, and I had two jars of prego sauce in the pantry from the last sale. So I put one jar in the bottom of the crock pot, put the sausage next, no need to cut it, and then the other jar on top of that. Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 to 5 hrs. Today I am having mine with a salad because I'm low carbing, but hubby is having whole wheat spaghetti which was also "by one get one". I have also served it with, manicotti, stuffed shells, or even lasagna. We always grate fresh Parmesan cheese on top. Enjoy!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Zac Brown Band to Play at the Daytona 500

The Zac Brown Band moves on to Florida to perform at  the Feb. 24 Daytona 500, NASCAR's season-opening race. The  band will play a miniconcert during the Budweiser Pre-Race Show, and two songs will be aired live.

This is a milestone moment for the band and holds a special sentiment for Zac Brown. Brown grew up in Georgia where the Daytona 500 is as big as the Super Bowl.

"It was always the big sporting event," Brown said. "Anytime there was major championships or major races, they were usually on TV. They were usually a part of what was going on when we were all hanging out together."

Read more in today's Huffington Post

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Eugene Patterson Dies in Florida

Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and columnist Eugene Patterson, who helped draw nationwide attention to the civil rights movement, has died in Florida after complications from prostate cancer,at age 89.
Read more:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Ormond Beach Bridge

I took this photo this morning of the Ormond Beach bridge from the small riverside park in Holly Hill. So pretty how the water almost matches the sky! And how spoiled we are, not even mid January and we have a beautiful summer like day with temperatures of almost 80 degrees. Have you ever walked over the Ormond bridge, it is a VERY popular exercise route. Can't think of a nicer or more healthy way to begin or end the day! Here's another photo I took this morning overlooking the Halifax River...beautiful!!!

Good News for Florida's Everglades

A canal project has begun to restore freshwater flows to Florida Bay and preserve water for the Everglades, helping save wildlife as well as the local fishing industry. Read more in today's Huffington Post.

Friday, January 11, 2013

400-pound American Alligator Gets a New Home in Florida

Rescued seven years ago when the Arizona Department of Public Safety stopped a trailer full of illegally owned animals, a 400-pound American alligator is being transported to his new home in Florida. Read more at USA Today.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Florida Autism Blog

I wanted to share with you another blog I have just started, titled Autism Spectrum Stories and Adventures. The blog will focus mostly on my 8 year old son Dylan, who was identified as falling under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was only 15 months old. Dylan has been born and raised in Florida, so any other parents with autistic children in the Sunshine State may be especially interested in this blog, especially regarding what services he has received and what his school settings have been so far. I will also welcome guest posts, if you would like to share a story or adventure about your autistic child or family member. I would love your imput!!!

Florida Schools Making the Grade

Florida schools seem to get such a bad rap, and people moving to Florida from other states often seem especially concerned that their child's educational needs will not be met as they had been elsewhere.  My oldest two children actually had a fantastic experience in the Volusia County School System, including enrollment in  gifted programs and a high school IB program. ( Because of this program, my daughter is currently a junior after completing only one semester of college) According to this article, Education Week has ranked Florida in the top 10 of schools nationwide. We also have several of Kiplingers top ranked "most value" Public Universities. These are impressive statistics that the sunshine state should be proud of. There is always room for improvement, but that holds true for everywhere. Have you been satisfied with the education your child has received while attending Florida schools?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New School Security Measures in Florida

With the holidays over and children back to school, parent's are looking for signs and reassurance of increased school security measures. According to this article, Seminole County is one county that has been confident in it's existing security protocols and hasn't added any new measures. Where my son attends school in Volusia County, I have noticed the doors to the individual "pod" buildings have been locked throughout the day (they had never been before) What changes in school security have you noticed in your child's Florida school, and how do you feel about them?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Fudge Buckets in St. Augustine Florida

Get used to me saying that St. Augustine, Florida is one of my favorite the world. If we needed another reason to entice us to go there, (which we don't) here it is, check out Fudge Buckets located at 40 Charlotte Street, right in the middle of old town. Here's a great write up in Huffington Post Travel. NEED>>>SOME>>>>FUDGE!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Emeril's Florida Debuts Tomorrow

Who doesn't love Emeril? And I miss him, I hardly ever seem to see him on TV anymore. I remember when Emeril Live was one of my favorite programs and I was so sad when it was taken off the air.  This is why I am so excited that Emeril has a new show coming out, and to make it sooo much better is, he is celebrating our beautiful sunshine state in this new travel show that showcases the best cuisine, fresh fish, and agriculture throughout Florida. This is a must see for all of us Floridians!! A great article in today's Daily News tells more what the new program will feature, and provides a little more insight from the great Emeril himself. Be sure to watch the show tomorrow and let us know what you think!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Crock Pot Yellow Squash with Chipotle Tomatoes

To get to know me is to know that I love my crockpot. When I got married many years ago, at the ripe old age of 22, I had little experience cooking. My husband, however, had a lot of experience cooking in restaurants. That combined with the fact that I initially worked nights, I was happy to defer the family cooking to him.

Several years ago when my youngest (special needs) son was born and I retired, it was only natural that I attempt to cook now that I was a stay home mom. This is when I discovered my crockpot and it was truly love. It was perfect for an inexperienced cook like me to come up with delicious homecooked meals, with a simplicity I can deal with.

I've become better at cooking in the past few years, so I don't use my crockpot exclusively anymore. Still it's fair to say I use it once or twice a week, and I'm always coming up with new things to try.

Here is a recipe I came up with last week, trying to eat more healthily after splurging over the holidays.

1 package (I used publix) fresh yellow squash from the produce section, sliced in quarter inch pieces
Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes with Chipotle Chilies, 14.5 oz
I sliced onion
fresh parmesan cheese, grated

Layer onion and half of the diced tomatoes on the bottom of your crock. Put in the squash and then the rest of the tomatoes.
I cooked mine on high for around 7 hours. I checked it after 4 and stirred it but knew it could go longer. Before serving I grated fresh parmesan cheese on top.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gator Loss in Sugar Bowl, How Did This Happen?

Many Florida Gator fans woke up this morning, still shaking there heads I imagine, wondering how the Florida Gators lost the BCS Sugar Bowl to what was almost universally agreed to be an inferior opponent. Louisville, after all, is from the Big East, and the Gators are from the almighty SEC. Many believed this was a no brainer and felt it was beneath the Gators to even be playing a sub par team such as Louisville. Also interesting to note is that the ACC's Clemson beat the SEC's LSU in the Chik-fil-A Bowl 2 days earlier.

Many of those pointing a finger are wasting no time pointing one at Will Muschamp. I myself am personally dismayed by the poor sportsmanship I observed. A very sadly sour note on which to end an otherwise impressive season. As Austin Green says in today's Bleacher Report ~ Not only did Florida lose big, but they performed in a simply shameful manner. They committed multiple personal fouls, Chris Johnson was ejected for throwing a punch, and they gave up 98 yards on nine penalties.

BCS rankings and SEC dominance and supposed superiority are always hot topics of dispute, and these Gator and LSU losses will surely only fuel that fire.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bjoern Werner Decision and More

The Florida State Seminoles don't seem to get much respect, in my opinion. In spite of a season with only two losses, becoming ACC Champions and winning the Orange Bowl last night by a score of 31-10, Nole fans still get bombarded with headlines such as in this article in espn today.

An announcement is expected soon as to whether or not Bjoern Werner will declaring a year early for the NFL Draft. Woerner says that he and his wife of three years have made their decision, but he has not announced it publicly as of yet. My guess is that FSU will be saying goodbye to an amazing athlete. Looking forward to watching him in the pros!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thoughts For the New Year - The Value of Less Worry and More Good Deeds

Searching for a sense of renewal as the New Year kicks in? Check out what more than 600 people did this morning in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, courtesy of the Florida Times-Union. You don't have to jump into the cold ocean water to feel renewed, however. I have read where just doing one good deed a day for someone can keep people feeling renewed year round. I think being a "better person" is on almost everyone's New Year resolution list, but how do we accomplish this? If we are constantly in a state of self-absorption and worry it certainly is difficult.

                                            My handsome little man in his New Year's outfit!

My suggestion is for us to all start off the New Year, either reading or rereading this book. This is a book you do not have to read all at once, I found some incredibly valuable information before I even finished the first chapter. We very often can be our own worst enemy, let's try not to do that so much this year!!