Updated Belle of the Ball Prom Dress Donation

promdressRedSmallWe recently received updated information about the Belle of the Ball project and wanted to create a separate post to let you know about it.  The original post was from several years ago and we appreciate getting the update and wanted to make everyone aware of the changes.    Hopefully this can help a teen girl you know or maybe you can be of help to the organization.

Belle of the Ball Announces Spring Prom Shopping Dates, New Location in Clearwater
Non-profit organization Belle of the Ball Project will provide prom dresses to in-need, low-income high school girls on four Saturdays this spring at 1210 Holt Avenue, Clearwater. This is a NEW location. The charity is no longer located in the Seminole Mall.
The dates are Saturdays March 28, April 11, April 25 and May 9, and the hours are from 10am to 2 pm. These will be the only dates to receive a dress.

Dresses are available to all greater Tampa Bay area in-need, high school girls only. We respect the honor system. No referral letter is necessary. No appointment needed. A $1 donation is requested but not necessary.

For low-income, in-need, high school girls only.

Donations of dresses can also be made at the distributions, dates/times listed above. For other year-round donation sites and more information about Belle of the Ball Project call 727-386-4502 or visit our web site:http://www.belleoftheballproject.com or Facebook at Belle of the Ball



Half Off Cheesecake Slice at the Cheesecake Factory Today

The Cheesecake FactoryThe Cheesecake Factory is offering any slice of cheesecake at half price. The promotion started yesterday and continues today to celebrate National Cheesecake Day. Wednesday was officially National Cheesecake Day, and the Cheesecake Factory began offering the half off special on that day. Today is the second and final day to take advantage of the half off any slice cheesecake special.

Certain rules apply:

Offer valid July 30th and 31st. For dine-in only. Only one slice per guest. Valid in US & Puerto Rico restaurants only.

Florida’s Tax Free Weekend This Friday Through Saturday

LittleGirlShoppingBagFlorida Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday is from August 1st through August 3rd. During this time you pay no sales tax on qualifying items. Don’t let the name of the holiday confuse you. You do not have to actually purchase the item for use as a back to school supply for it to be tax exempt. However there are some items that cannot be purchases for business purposes, like personal computer and other related accessories.

Some of the general rules of the tax free holiday:

No tax is due on the sale or purchase of any article of clothing, wallet, or bag, including handbags, backpacks, fanny packs, and diaper bags, but excluding briefcases, suitcases, and other garment bags, with a selling price of $100 or less per item.

No tax is due on the sale or purchase of any school supply item with a selling price of $15 or less per item.

Personal computers and certain computer-related accessories may qualify for the exemption. The exemption applies to the first $750 of the sales price of a qualified item, when purchased for noncommercial home or personal use.

Detailed information About 2014 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday.

Schiano’s Sad Season

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended Sunday’s game in a way that represented their 2013 footaball season; on the losing side.  Once again, the Buccaneers end a season with no post-season hope and wondering how things went so very wrong.  This is the 6th  consecutive season that the Buccaneers have not made the playoffs and the second one under Head Coach, Greg Schiano.  The previous seasons were under fired coaches Jon Gruden and Raheem Morris.  Now Schiano has been dealt the same post-season pink slips that his predecessors received.

Drama has surrounded the Buccaneers this season.  Fomer starting quarterback Josh Freeman left mid-season with a lot controversy.  NFL officials traveled down to Tampa to find out who leaked confidential information about Freeman having to take drug tests.  After weeks of internal turmoil that spread over into the papers, Freeman was released by the Buccanners.

There was also the MRSA outbreaked that sidelined several players this season.  Some teams went to the extra effort  of hiring special cleaning crew after the Buccaneers played at their stadium.

Now the Tampa Baby Buccaneer organization hopes that that they can cure the dismal football season that they have been experiencing.  First, they have released General Manager Mark Dominick and Head Coach Greg Schiano.  Now, they are looking for a new coach and it will probably have to be someone with some significant NFL coaching experience.  Maybe they can coax Dungy to comeback and help build the team up to something that will have the power needed to win games.

Tampa Bay has had hard seasons that made many fans desert them, but true fans know and believe that they will win again.

10% OFF at Target This Weekend

For those that are still doing holiday shopping or any other shopping, Target is providing 10% off all purchases this weekend.   It seems super altruistic, but it is because of the credit card woes that they having been experiencing.  If you have not hear, Target servers were hit by hackers that have stolen credit card information of shoppers that made purchases at their stores.

One customer has already said that $1,200 has been fraudulently taken from her debit account.     She said that there were 6 different debit transactions of $200 on her account.

Of course the 10% off will not solve the damage already done, but many shoppers are still taking advantage of the 10% promotion this weekend.    Those that use a Target Red Card will also get the additional 5% off.

Recalled Sweet Lambie Baby Crib Bumpers

Sweet Lambie Recalled Crib Bumper

Sweet Lambie Recalled Crib Bumper

Sweet Lambie baby crib  bumpers have been voluntarily recalled from Pottery Barn.  These bumpers were sold in the Pottery Barn Kids and Outlet stores, catalogs, and online from April 2009 to June 2012.   There have been complaints that thread separated from the bumper and entangled babies, including an occurrence of thread wrapping around one baby’s neck.

Pottery Barn is offering a free replacement or gift card to those that have an affected crib bumper.   You can visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC) website for more detailed information about the recall.   You can also report if you have had any issues with the bumper.     If you do have the a recalled please discontinue using it and do not sell or give it away.

2013 Tampa Bay Summer Camps for Kids

BoysBallsParents can sign their kids for summer camps that are all day or just a portion of the day.   An updated 2013 Summer Camp list is available.

Summer camps allow for supervised activity during the months that children are out of school.

Even if a parent is home during the summer, summer camp is a way for kids to get out the home and have fun.    There are summer camps for about every single activity or like.   There are music camps, soccer camps, science camps, dance camps, and more.

Costs of the camps do vary.  You will find that summer camps from city and county government agencies will cost less than most other places.  Spots for some locations do fill up fast.

Although most camps are for younger children, you can find several different classes and camps for your teens.

The list will be updated periodically, so check back often.  If you know of any camps not listed on the summer camp page, please leave a comment below telling us about it.

5 Florida Cities on Amazon.com’s Most Well-Read List

BoyReadMomIt seems many residents in the state of Florida are voracious readers.  When it comes to ranking on Amazon.com’s most read books list, 5 Florida cities are in the top 20.     There rankings were:  Miami #3, Orlando #5, Gainessville #15,Clearwater #19, and Tallahassee #20.  The list is based on the sales of books that are Kindle or print edition.  The ranking of the cities is based on per capita purchase of books and only includes cities with at least 10,000 residents.

Of course these may not actually be the most well read cities because all things were not taken into consideration.  There are other places where readers could have obtained books and many people do not just use Amazon.com as the source for book purchases.  In addition, some individuals get the books they read from the library.

Using the library to obtain books is great way to save money and still have an array of options.   In fact, having a public library card will not only give access to printed books, but also to electronic books.

But no matter how skewed the data might be, it is great to see that people throughout the state and the country are reading.  By the way, Alexandria, Virginia was #1 on the list.

Get a Free Comic Book from Local Tampa Bay Comic Book Stores

SuperMan, One of the free comics for National Free Comic Book Day

SuperMan, One of the free comics for National Free Comic Book Day

May 4th is Free Comic Book Day (Yes, there is a day for that.) throughout the world.     The website freecomicbookday.com has details about the free comic book giveaway and also a store locator for you to find comic books in your area.   Many comic book stores throughout Tampa Bay are participating in the giveaway.

Dark Horse Comics, DC Entertainment, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, and Marvel Comics are some of the publishers providing the comic books.   There are comic books that both and children will enjoy.   Some of the comics included are Superman, SpongeBob SquarePants, Hulk, and Star Wars.

Tampa International Airport Renovation Include Kids’ Play Area

TIAPlayAreaParents traveling through Tampa International Airport with their children will notice new play areas to keep little ones occupied.   There are now two soft play areas that have an aviation theme.  These are the similar to the soft play areas that are found in malls throughout the country and the Tampa Bay area.

PLAYTIME, the makers of the TIA kid’s play area are also the ones that make the soft play areas found at many malls throughout Tampa Bay.

Hopefully the time playing in the play areas will make the time traveling on the plane a lot easier for parents, their kids, and other passengers.

Free St. Petersburg Bridal Show on Cinco de Mayo

NOVA535 On May 5th there will be a free bridal show at NOVA 535 in St. Petersburg.  The event is from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and is being co-hosted by NOVA 535 and Simple Weddings.   You can reserve you tickets online at http://www.SimpWed.com.

It is promised that there will be several vendors offering door prizes, along with free food from invited caters.

Even if your wedding is way in the future, visiting would not hurt since it is FREE.

The Fresh Beat Band Coming to Clearwater this December

The Fresh Beat Band

The Fresh Beat Band

Fresh Beat Band  little fans will have a chance to see them live at Ruth Eckerd Hall on December 12th.   At the end of the year toddlers and preschoolers will be able to sing along live to some of their favorite songs.

The Fresh Beat Band is a children’s show that airs on Nickelodeon stations, including Nick Jr. throughout the week.   It teaches music appreciation to the young viewers, and maybe a few things to the parents that watch along and have very little knowledge of music.   Even though the show is for preschoolers, they do have some catchy songs (my favorite is “Just Like a Rock Star.)”

You can now purchase tickets for the show from the Ruth Eckerd Hall website.  Current prices are $39.50 to $149.50.

Tampa Electric Requesting 10% Rate Increase

Electric MetersTECO(Tampa Electric Company) is requesting that they be allowed to raise their rates by 10%.  The company last asked for a rate increase in 2008.  The current request will go before Florida’s Public Service Commission later this year.  If approved, the rate increase will not be seen until January 2014.

According to TECO, the increased rate will bring in an extra $135 million.  Hopefully they can use that money to find ways to prevent squirrels from knocking out the power.

Free Playin’ in the Park Tuesday as Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa

From March through August, every first Tuesday of month there will be a free Playin’ in the Park event at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa.  For those that are attending the fit Playin’ in the Park, there were will be different activities for the children, and some free samples.    It will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.  , so you can even bring younger children, and kids that attend school during the day.

The event also corresponds to the Target Tuesday at the Glazer Children’s Museum.     So while you are downtown you can enjoy both events.

For more information you can visit the Fitkidsplayground.com 

Have a Free Fun Tuesday at Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa

Tuesday, April 2nd, is Target Tuesday at Glazer Children Museum in Tampa.  Children and accompanying adults will get free admission from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Only adults that are with children are admitted, and all children must be accompanied with an adult.     Target Tuesday is usually the first Tuesday of the every month.

This month’s Target Tuesday will feature appearances from the curious little monkey –Curious George.  His appearances are scheduled to be at 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 6 p.m.

For more information you can visit the Glazer Children’s Museum website.

Sunday 2013 Easter Egg Hunts and Activities in Tampa Bay

Easter Egg Hunt at Coachman Park

From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  on March 31st there will be an Easter Egg Hunt at other activities  at Coachman Park in Clearwater.   Admittance if free, but you do have to pay for some of the rides, and refreshments..

For more information about the Coachman Park Easter Egg Hunt visit: http://clearwatercommunityvolunteers.org/easter-egg-hunt-in -coachman-park/

IKEA Easter Egg Hunt

You can get about everything at IKEA , even the opportunity to watch your kids run looking for  Easter Eggs at the IKEA in Tampa.  This event is only for kids 8 and under.   The Easter Egg hunt is from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm.  The fir 100 kids that arrive between 10:30 to 2 pm in the special “Easter Sunday attire” will one free gift from IKEA.   Those that show their IKEA FAMILY care will be entered in a drawing for 1 of 3 baskets.

Additional Information can be found at: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/store/tampa/activities



Saturday 2013 Easter Egg Hunts and Activities in Tampa Bay

Here is a list of Easter activities happening this Saturday ,March 30th

Oldsmar Chick-fil-A  Breakfast with Easter Bunny

This is not a free Easter Egg Hunt.  But with the purchase of a meal ticket children will get breakfast, a picture with the Easter Bunny, and a goody bag.

More information at MyOldsmar.com

Wesley Chapel Wiregrass Mall Community and Special Need Easter Egg Hunt

There will be an Easter Egg hunt this Saturday at Wiregrass Malll in Wesley Chapel  The event is being sponsored by Victorious Life Church.  It is free and open to the public

More Information:  Wiregrass Mall

City of Dunedin Easter Egg Drop

Admission to this event is free, but parking will be $5.   The event will be from 11am to 2 pm.   There will be bounce houses, an Easter egg drop from a helicopter, food vendors, games, and more.

More information:Dunedingov.com

Weeki Wachee Wacky Egg Hunt

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park will have a Easter Egg hunt at Buccaneer bay for children.  You do hay to pay for admission to the park to participate in the Easter Egg hunt.

Weeki Wachee Egg Hunt


Sarasota Teen Honored Again in The Intel Science Talent Search

In 2012 Brittany Wenger won the Google Science Fair for her Cloud4Cancer science project that is a computer program aimed to help detect malignancy of breast cancer.   Once again Brittany placed in an international competition by winning 8th place in the Intel Science Talent Search.    She has not only the intelligence but a lot of drive.  She actually taught herself how to program and spent hundreds of hours working on her project.

Brittany is a senior at The Out-of-Door Academy in Sarasota, High School.  The Out-of-Door Academy has a great article on Brittany and her Grand Prize Win of the Google Science Fair.   In the article it also states that Brittany has won the Sarasota Regional Science, Engineering, and Technology Fair.

For those that are interested, Google’s 2013 is still open for submissions.  You can visit https://www.googlesciencefair.com for more information.  Children 13 to 18 from around the world are eligible to enter the competition.

Information for the next Intel Science Talent Search will be posted this summer at http://www.societyforscience.org/sts/.

Intel also has the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.  You need to enter through a regional science fair in are like the area.   You can find out more about that competition by visiting the International Science and Engineering Fair website.

Larger Saks Fifth Avenue Coming to Sarasota

Currently, there is a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Westfield Southgate Mall in Sarasota.  In 2014 that location will close as the Saks Fifth Avenue will move to The Mall at University Town Center that is currently being built off of 1-75 in Sarasota .  The new Saks location is suppose to open October 16, 2014 and will be double the size of the current store.

Of course Saks may not be in the budget of every shopper, but sometimes it is always fun to do some window shopping.   This location will have the Saks Fifth Avenue Show boutique, and also a restaurant.   So even if you cannot afford anything to wear there, you can still afford something to eat.


You can receive a 10% off coupon from Saks Fifth Avenue when you sign-up for their daily e-mails for the first time.  If you visit saksfifthavenue.com you will see an e-mail sign-up at the bottom of the homepage.

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