Be Prepared for Hurricanes with Clorox


How to be prepared for hurricane season | The Champagne Supernova

This post is sponsored by Clorox. All opinions are my own. 

Confession: I still have major post-traumatic stress disorder from when Hurricane Irma struck Florida’s coast last year. Television footage from the recent aftermath of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas only exacerbated the PTSD.

Regarding Irma, the days before the hurricane were awful. Being glued to the T.V. trying to figure out the storm’s projected path. Gathering hurricane supplies like fresh water, sand bags, flashlights, perishable food, gasoline containers, and making sure the generator was in good working order. Figuring out whether to stay or go.

We decided to stay in Tampa and “rough it out” until the day before the storm was supposed to hit. At that point, the path changed with the storm’s eye heading literally for my neighborhood. My husband and I packed the car with our kids and the few worldly possessions we cared about (baby photos, birth certificates, credit cards, cash, and passports), and headed to a friend’s house in south Florida.

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    Cheers to the Do Nothing Weekend


    Here's to wonderful weekends of not doing anything | The Champagne Supernova

    Long live the “Do Nothing Weekend.”

    This was the first weekend in a long time where there was nowhere we HAD to be and nothing we HAD to do. No scheduled birthday parties, volunteer events, kids’ sports games, or social obligations.

    The entire weekend was my oyster.

    While this type of weekend is some peoples’ Nirvanas, as someone with “ants in the pants” who thrives from being busy, the idea of it initially freaked me out.

    I don’t know how to sit still and hate not planning things.

    However, it ended up being one of the best weekends of all.

    On Friday, we got popsicles with my daughters’ buddies after school and went to the local pool with friends for an impromptu swim and dinner night. On Saturday, I slept in (until 7 am- cut me some slack), went to a circuit class, my mom came over and made lunch, and then we hit up Home Depot for plants to spruce up the front porch. That evening, we made a pretend campground in the living room and watched a cartoon from Red Box. On Sunday, we went to breakfast, ran errands, took the kids bowling, and I put together a jigsaw puzzle with my dad. (I also went to the tire store to get a screw removed from my brand new tire, but we will omit that part from my weekend utopia.) Tonight before bed, my kids and I laughed and laughed making iPhone videos of ourselves doing Pee-Wee Herman impressions. (If you know me, text me and I’ll send them to you.)

    Yes, that sounds like a lot, but everything I did was on my OWN terms. I was only at places I wanted to be, when I wanted to be there. I got to enjoy the weekend with the people I love and be in the moment. It was pretty great.

    Being parents automatically means we are going to be busy. But we also live in a world that perpetuates business where everything is go-go-go.

    “Go here.”
    “Buy these tickets.”
    “Do That.”

    It’s nearly at the point where you feel guilty for sitting around and being still.

    But here’s a secret. It’s better when you do less and slow the heck down.

    Cheers to the “Do Nothing Weekend.”

      To My Low Maintenance Friends


      Why it's best to have easy friendships without drama | The Champagne Supernova

      This week I’m having dinner with one of my best friends from college.

      She lives in Westchase and I live in South Tampa and when you’re married with a husband and a stressful career and young children and one of you is still breastfeeding, the distance between Westchase and South Tampa, while only fifteen miles or so, may as well be different continents.

      It’s okay. We understand each other is busy and going literally months without speaking isn’t personal and, to be honest, isn’t noticed. We are so excited to catch up. 

      Time goes so fast at this stage. Our free time is consumed with dance class and soccer practice and school activities and birthday parties and when we have true time to ourselves, sometimes we just want to sit in our beds and read a book without having to talk to anyone or go anywhere.  (more…)

        Back to School with FAGE Yogurt


        This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of FAGE; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed my own. 

        If you’re a busy parent like me who is knee-deep in back-to-school chaos (note: we are all busy parents), then you’re probably looking for new and fun ways to get your kids to eat healthy. While protein shakes, hardboiled eggs, and avocado toast all fit the healthy checkbox, they aren’t necessarily fun to make.

        The problem? You’re so busy with your kids’ soccer and dance schedules that you don’t have time to search the internet for new recipes, and you dang sure don’t have an hour to devote at the grocery store wandering around the aisles to find obscure ingredients you don’t already have in your fridge or pantry.

        Well, here’s the solution, everybody! 

        healthy breakfast options for kids with FAGE yogurt | The Champagne Supernova

        With the help of FAGE Total Plain Greek yogurt, I created my own yogurt bar.

        It’s healthy. It’s easy. There were no tears from me or the kids.

        My girls enjoyed eating their masterpieces nearly as much as they enjoyed making them.

        How do you create a yogurt bar? Simple. Use whatever nutritious toppings you want.

        FAGE yogurt | The Champagne Supernova

        Ingredients:

        FAGE Total  Plain Greek Yogurt (we prefer ours made with 5% milk fat, but it does offer options in 2% and 0%)
        Strawberries
        Blueberries
        Bananas
        Blackberries
        Raspberries
        Dried Cranberries
        Granola
        Peanuts
        Cinnamon Toasted Cashews
        Honey

        The process is simple: place the toppings in their own containers next to a cup of yogurt like you would do for an ice cream sundae bar and let your family choose which toppings they want.

        My husband’s favorite topping combination? He’s a peanut- granola- honey type of guy.

        My six year-old? She loves strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

        Me? My favorites are cinnamon toasted cashews, blueberries, and dried cranberries.

        My four year-old? Nothing because she’s four and picky.

        Me enjoying FAGE yogurt | The Champagne Supernova

        I realize that when shopping for groceries, the dairy aisle can seem daunting and there are tons of great yogurt options to choose from.

        What makes FAGE Total Greek yogurt stand out from the rest?

        It is all natural Greek strained yogurt made with only milk and live active yogurt cultures. It is Non-GMO Project Verified and free of glutens, additives, and preservatives. As it contains only naturally occurring milk sugar, FAGE Total yogurt contains no added sugars. Aside from tasting rich and creamy, FAGE is packed with protein and is a great source of calcium.

        FAGE Total Greek yogurt can be found at a grocery store near you.  (Click!)

        Create your own yogurt bar with FAGE | The Champagne Supernova

        Enjoy and cheers!

          Stop Believing Lies about Yourself and Start Believing What God Says About You


          You are who god says you are | The Champagne Supernova

          I meet all sorts of people at work.

          A couple years ago, I deposed a woman who was a plaintiff in a wrongful death case. She was suing my client, the manufacturer of a doggie door. One day when she wasn’t paying attention, her two year old child crawled through a doggie door of the family home, went into the back yard, fell into the swimming pool, and drowned.

          The woman was overcome with grief and anger that was directed at both at herself and my client. She blamed herself for not paying attention during those few critical minutes when she left her son alone because she was distracted by something else. She blamed my client for not being able to foresee that a human being, and not just a dog, could crawl through the door and face danger.

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            Get a Better Night’s Sleep with Indigo Mattress


            Get a better night sleep with the indigo mattress | The Champagne Supernova

            This blog post is sponsored by Indigo Sleep. All opinions are my own and I legit love this mattress and sleep on it every night. 

            Bid adieu to sleepless nights!

            I’ve had insomnia for years. Years. Not to mention I also use the bed in the guest room as a “work station”- no wonder it’s hard for me to get a good night’s rest.

            We’ve needed to get rid of the guest room bed for years. I bought it when I graduated law school in 2007 from a college student on Craigslist (eew!) and over the years, the bed started sagging in the middle. My poor house guests who had to sleep on it!

            My husband and I looked everywhere to find a suitable mattress for the guest room, which included in-store shopping and conducting online research. I found a lot of information about beds that came in a box, but the idea seemed foreign and illogical to me. I thought “how could a bed that comes rolled out in a box actually provide support for my back?”

            Then I found out about Indigo Sleep, tested the mattress for several weeks, and loved it. Best of all, it comes with TWO interchangeable support layers you can switch out, depending on your needed level of support.

            get a good night sleep on the Indigo Sleep mattress | The Champagne Supernova

            Let me provide some background.

            Indigo Sleep is a start-up company located in Tampa, Florida. While there are tons of mattress-in-a-box providers, Indigo is different because the company is focused on providing healthy, comfortable, and premium sleep.

            Indigo Sleep‘s mattresses are made in the USA at a family-owned factory in North Carolina. Indigo offers free shipping and returns, as well as a 100-night trial and money back guarantee. If you don’t LOVE your mattress, Indigo Sleep will take it back for a full refund. Not partial refund. FULL REFUND.

            get a good night's rest with Indigo Sleep bed in a box | The Champagne Supernova

            Patented technology makes Indigo the only mattress that never needs to be replaced.

            The Indigo comfort layers are designed with two distinct comfort options in one
            mattress, suited to help back pain. The choice is yours. Simply pop the cover and flip
            your comfort layer from the soft and supportive gel memory foam (blue side) to a firmer
            specially engineered foam (white side). In the Queen size and up, you get two comfort
            layers so that you and your partner can each choose the bed feel you prefer. No more
            compromise when it comes to comfort!

            I have the Luxury mattress, which contains a 2″ premium Oeko Tek Class 1 Certified Latex which is the highest rating available, suitable for babies and 2″ of denser memory foam. The foam components in ALL of Indigo Sleep’s beds are made to the CertiPUR-US specifications. All layers are supported by a 6″ base layer of dense memory foam.

            Indigo Sleep‘s clean chemistry keeps you safe even when you’re asleep! The company leaves out harmful chemicals like modacrylic and fiberglass (gross- Google their dangers!) You can rest easy on the safest and cleanest materials possible on this mattress. The Luxury bed uses a Para-aramid fire barrier that firefighters use.

            Bed in a box with Indigo Sleep | The Champagne Supernova

            This mattress is designed to literally last a lifetime. Instead of replacing an entire mattress, you only have to replace the comfort layers which have a 5-7 year life expectancy. You can replace them at a fraction of the cost of the original purchase, saving you money and keeping parts of your mattress out of landfills.

            Indigo‘s plush cover is so soft you won’t even want a sheet! Easily remove the cover to get to the inside of your mattress. You can even clean the inside of your mattress. Getting rid of built up allergens, dust-mites, and dead skin. CLEAN FREAKS REJOICE!

            Indigo provides the highest-rated materials on the market, with no toxic chemicals. It's
            latex and cool gel memory foam layers have been noted for providing motion isolation
            and eliminating chronic back, hip, and shoulder pain.

            Indigo mattresses have the ability to literally open up your mattress so you can clean out the buildup of dust mites, skin particles, and allergens. (GROSS!) This provides better health and betters sleep!

            Use coupon code SWEETDREAMS for $50 off any Classic mattress and LUXURYSLEEP for $150 off any Luxury mattress.

            Cheers to a good night’s rest!

              Humm Kombucha: Not Your Grandma’s Refreshment


              This post is sponsored by Humm Kombucha. For real, yall, all opinions are my own and I wouldn’t promote a product I didn’t love. 

              Who here routinely hits the 3 o’clock “I need caffeine” slump but would rather avoid coffee?

              Who is looking for an alternative to sugary fruit juices without compromising taste?

              Look no further than kombucha!

              Have you head of kombucha- or seen it on the shelves of your local grocery store- before but don’t really know what it is?

              I’ve got the scoop on not only kombucha itself, but my favorite brand in the business.

              What is kombucha? Kombucha is a fermented tea with probiotics and antioxidants that help positively contribute to the overall digestive condition. These probiotics balance the good and bad bacteria in our bodies, while antioxidants positively impact multiple systems.

              Kombucha is a lightly effervescent beverage paired with fun ingredients to find the perfect flavor combination for any palate. It’s an organic natural go-to beverage that makes your body happy.

              I forego coffee each morning and grab a bottle of Humm’s strawberry lemonade flavored kombucha to sip on the drive to the office. Unlike most caffeinated beverages, kombucha keeps me energized all day without hitting a rocky “low” later… plus, with kombucha, there’s no bitter aftertaste like there is with a regular cup of Joe.

              Get your probiotics with Humm Kombucha in Tampa | The Champagne Supernova

              What sets Humm Kombucha apart from other brands? Humm is the world’s most delectable kombucha and a fan favorite among families, kids, hardcore wellness folks, and busy parents who are always on the go.

              Founded in 2009 as “Kombucha Mama” by friends and other kombucha enthusiasts, Jamie Danek and Michelle Mitchell, the company has taken off to become one the largest and fastest-growing brands in the industry.

              From Humm Kombucha‘s early days brewing in the founders’ home kitchen through its movement to a full-scale brewery, Humm remains focused on taste, accountability, and happiness. After all, health and happiness go hand-in-hand.

              Humm Kombucha is authentic, certified USDA organic, and made with all-natural ingredients. Each bottle contains 2 billion probiotics at the time of bottling. Humm’s kombucha is live and raw- never from concentrate. It’s also vegan, dairy free, GMO-free, and gluten-free.

              What I like best is it’s a refreshing substitute for soda and sugary fruit juices.

              You can purchase Humm at convenience stores and grocery stores in all 50 states and in Canada. In 2016, Humm expanded to Walmart, Target, and Costco.

              Headquartered in Bend, Oregon, Humm created the world’s first Kombucha tap room in 2013 and welcomes its visitors to enjoy a glass. Make sure you swing by if you’re ever in the area.

              Humm Kombucha comes in seven flavors: hopped grapefruit, pomegranate lemonade, coconut lime, lemon ginger, strawberry lemonade, mango passionfruit, and blueberry mint, and now a 40 oz size bottle- all at Publix!

              Cheers to Humm, and cheers to feeling naturally energized!

              Humm Kombucha in Tampa is a healthy alternative to sugary substitutes | The Champagne Supernova

                Sweeter Skincare with Honeyskin Organics


                Honeyskin organic facial products | The Champagne Supernova

                This post is sponsored by Honeyskin Organics. Of course, all opinions are authentically my own. 

                Looking for some new products to add to your skincare routine?

                Check out Honeyskin Organics– a line of high-quality, moral cosmetic skin and hair care products that contain unique natural and organic ingredients.

                What you need to know: All Honeyskin products are organic and natural. They are specially formulated to be free from the harmful chemicals including sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, and synthetic fragrances contained in most other cosmetic products found on the shelves of your local pharmacies and department stores.

                Every single product in Honeyskin’s line contain a medley of organic ingredients, natural botanical extracts, and refreshing essential oils. Their products contain some of earth’s best ingredients that include coconut oil, aloe vera, cocoa butter, and hempseed oil.

                Ingredients used in products for Honeyskin Organics | The Champagne Supernova

                Are you satisfied with your current skincare products and not ready to switch? No worries- Honeyskin’s line also includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and a delectable face mask, which happens to be my favorite product in the line.

                The face mask is 100% raw Manuka honey from the north island of New Zealand- this is the only place in the world where this rare form of honey can be produced.

                Other than the honey, the mask has no other ingredients, with a high UMF grade (a quality mark identifying natural unadulterated Manuka honey) of 12+. The honey can be applied directly to your face or body and smells so good. The natural materials from the Manuka honey reset your skin’s natural pH balance and allow for it to serve as a thin, breathable layer that helps your skin be impenetrable to bacteria.

                Manuka honey contains naturally-occurring methylglyoxal, which is the active organic compound responsible for Manuka’s large antibacterial properties. Your skin will have a new barrier essentially waterproof to bacteria without clogging your pores or causing breakouts. Best of all, it doesn’t leave a greasy residue and can be used before applying other skincare products.

                Love the mask? Great! You can safely use it every single day if you want to.

                Honeyskin manuka face mask facts | The Champagne Supernova

                Honeyskin’s products are cruelty free and environmentally sustainable. The products are never tested on animals and as they wash down the drain, you are putting nature back into nature instead of toxic ingredients into the earth.

                Do you like supporting small businesses? So do I. Honeyskin Organics is family owned and operated in Clearwater, Florida.

                Cheers to safer (and sweeter) skincare!

                  A Mother’s Job is Never Done


                  A Mother's Job is Never Done | The Champagne Supernova

                  A mother’s job is never done.

                  It’s waking up early in the morning to make breakfast and school lunches. It’s getting the kids out of bed, fed, teeth brushed, and out of the house looking “presentable.” All while getting yourself ready to go about your day.

                  It’s making appointments. There are so many appointments. Dental screenings. Updated vaccinations. School assessments. Mole checks at the dermatologist. Physicals for sports.

                  It’s signing forms. Permission slips. School volunteer sign-up sheets. Liability waivers. Contracts. Insurance documents.

                  It’s planning birthday parties. Ordering the food, cake, and decorations. Reserving the event space. Setting up the bounce house and keeping your fingers crossed nobody breaks a bone. Cleaning up. Sending thank-you notes. It’s also sending your kids to their friends’ parties on the weekends, which means planning carpools and buying presents (Cha-ching $).

                  It’s being a house manager. Taking out the trash and emptying the dishwasher (or delegating others to do it.) Folding endless piles of laundry. Making beds only to have them undone several hours later. Calling the plumber because your shower’s been clogged for a week. Paying bills.

                  It’s being a therapist. You’re a referee to sibling and friend drama. Helping your kids navigate social situations and learning how to cope with life’s disappointments by being a good example yourself (even when you sometimes fail and that’s okay.) It’s dealing with a child’s tantrums why trying not to lose your mind.

                  It’s being a teacher. Forcing your kids to do their homework when they don’t want to and you’ve had a long day yourself. It’s re-learning things like fractions and long addition and all the other things you forgot in elementary school so you can explain it to your child.

                  It’s being a beautician. Combing knots out of hair. Watching YouTube videos so you can learn how to french braid. Brushing and flossing teeth when your kids are too young to do it themselves.

                  It’s being a zombie. Learning how to function after getting only a couple hours of sleep the night before because you couldn’t go back to sleep after your child woke you up in the middle of the night and told you they wet the bed. Oh, and insomnia, too. REM sleep? You haven’t had that since you were in your twenties.

                  It’s being a planner. Extracurricular activities. Sports. Summer camp. Spring break. What to do with your kids during holidays and teacher workdays when they don’t have school. Remembering to send a card to your grandparents for their birthdays. Remembering to respond to texts and emails.

                  It’s being an accountant because HAVING KIDS IS SO DANG EXPENSIVE and you have to budget. Health insurance. Diapers and formula. Clothes and uniforms. Daycare and school. More mouths to feed. Vacations and staycations.

                  It’s being a role model. Keeping your mouth shut about someone when you don’t have anything kind to say (or, at least, saying that unkind thing when your child isn’t around to hear it.) Turning the other cheek. Looking at the big picture instead of being petty. Keeping secrets. Trying not to obsess about your weight. Showing gratitude to service providers like store clerks and waitstaff.

                  It’s being a life saver. Holding hands in public parking lots so nobody gets run over by a car. Sitting on the steps of the pool to make sure nobody drowns. Knowing when an illness is serious enough to call a doctor.

                  It’s being a chauffeur. Sports. Parties. School. Dance. Gymnastics. Vacations and the beach on weekends. The grocery store and drugstore. Medical and dental appointments.

                  It’s being a soldier. Allowing yourself to get back up and try again after you defeatedly cried in your car after school drop-off because your mental resources are depleted.

                  It’s trying to do all of these things and still keep romance alive in your marriage, maintaining closeness with your friends, working out, eating healthy, and practicing self care.

                  Don’t let anyone make you feel like you aren’t allowed to be exhausted.

                  Being a parent is a job. It is the most important job.

                  You are doing a great job. Soldier on.

                  Cheers!

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                    Sirata Beach Resort: St. Petersburg’s Slice of Paradise


                    Sirata Beach Resort in St. Petersburg Florida | The Champagne Supernova

                    This post is sponsored by the Sirata Beach Resort. All opinions are my own. 

                    Are you in need of a vacation or, if you’re from the Tampa area, a staycation?

                    I’ve got the perfect place.

                    The Sirata Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach offers the perfect venue for family vacations, weddings, work events, and girls’ weekends with friends. With a sundry store and three restaurants on the premises, once you get there, you have no reason to every leave the property. All your needs are at your fingertips.

                    As background, the first time I went to Sirata Beach Resort was six years ago when my mother invited me to join her on a four-day work conference. My oldest daughter was only six weeks old and I was on maternity leave from work, so the opportunity seemed like a no-brainer. We all had fun.

                    So when the kind folks from the Sirata Beach Resort invited me to spend a weekend there to promote the new renovation project, I jumped at the opportunity.

                    Not only did I have a great time with my husband and two daughters, but it was fun walking down “memory lane” and comparing how the property looks now versus how it looked six years ago. (And how much my daughter has grown since then.)

                    Sirata Beach Resort | The Champagne Supernova

                    The girls playing in the sand at the Sirata Beach Resort

                    The check-in experience was seamless and we enjoyed our suite that offered one room with a pull-out couch and kitchenette, as well as one full bathroom, a large closet, and a separate bedroom with two queen size beds. There were two “smart televisions” and internet access.

                    When we arrived on Friday, we spent time at the pool and then headed to the Compass Grille for dinner. The girls ordered pasta and I had the best filet mignon that I’ve had in a really long time.

                    On Saturday, we hit the beach in the morning before grabbing drinks and lunch at Rum Runners Bar and Grill.

                    Sirata Beach Resort | The Champagne Supernova

                    Enjoying at Margarita at Rum Runners Bar & Grille

                    In the afternoon, we were treated to a dolphin tour and taken to a private island to hunt for sand dollars. The kids had so much fun seeing who could find the most shells on the island. When we returned to the Sirata later that afternoon, we went back to the Compass Grille for dinner.

                    Vacation at the Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach | The Champagne Supernova

                    Me and the girls exploring Shell Island

                    Sunday was Mother’s Day. We had a super fancy brunch at the Sirata that contained a smorgasbord of seafood, salads, a carving station, tons of desserts and even a “Mom-Osa Bar.” I was treated like royalty.

                    Mother's day at the Sirata Beach Resort | The Champagne Supernova

                    Me and my daughters celebrating Mother’s Day

                    The hotel also offers tons of amenities to include beach towel service, room service, bicycles available for use, a children’s playground, hammocks, and beach cabana service. In fact, each room receives two beach chairs and an umbrella each day that is included with the cost of the room.

                    After recently undergoing an interior face lift, the Sirata Beach Resort now features the newest rooms in all of St. Pete.

                    Originally built in 1982, the Sirata is going through a $15 million transformation. The hotel is in the middle of an extensive redesign that will completely enhance the guest experience. If you spent time here when you were growing up, this isn’t the same Sirata from the days of yore.

                    The award-winning EOA Group has begun a complete redesign of the property with an estimated completion date in October of 2018. This transformation includes a complete redesign of the 382 guest rooms and suites, new swimming pools that will offer a complete ocean side oasis, including a hanging chair garden, center fire pit, and kids’ splash zone.

                    Sirata’s favorite local hangout, Harry’s Beach Bar, will be remodeled to create more open air bar space and will be perfectly positioned between the new pool and the beach. To make this transformation even more exciting, the Sirata’s existing 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space will have a new casual-yet-elegant look to accommodate conferences, weddings, and other special events.

                    the new guest rooms at the Sirata | The Champagne Supernova

                    The newly remodeled guest rooms at the Sirata

                    Guest rooms at the Sirata Beach Resort | The Champagne Supernova

                    Me and my girls inside one of the newly remodeled guest suite at the Sirata Beach Resort.

                    The newly remodeled pool at the Sirata Beach Resort | The Champagne Supernova

                    The pool and restaurant renovation at the Sirata.

                    Cheers to Getting Siratafied!

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