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When Tara Met Blog

Celebrating 13 Years Blogging!

Last Build Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:22:05 +0000


Happy Holidays from BRIO Tuscan Grille

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:05:00 +0000

At BRIO Tuscan Grille it’s the season to gather, give, and taste!This month, BRIO is offering a special festive menu with unique holiday drinks, giveaways, and other extras for the holidays, so dine in now for these great deals and meals.We celebrated the start of December at the Waterside Shops restaurant in Naples with a lovely date night.December Instagram/Facebook ContestBRIO’s “12 Days to Win!” Facebook and Instagram contest gives fans a chance to win various prizes from Monday, Dec. 4–Friday, Dec. 15. They will post a different question regarding the holidays each day on their social channels. Those with winning answers will receive incredible prizes such as gift cards, brunch for six, a chef’s dinner, a Happy Hour party for 12, and BRIO for a year (a $1,200 value)! So, be sure and enter. I will be. Good luck!Making Spirits BrightHow beautiful are these winter-inspired cocktails? They are essentially a liquid dessert with a kick!Salted Caramel Martini: RumChata, Kahlua, Absolut Vanilla, caramel swirl, salted rim ($9)Bulleit Nog-Chata: Bulleit Rye whiskey, RumChata, simple syrup, crème anglaise, cinnamon, nutmeg, cinnamon sugar rim ($9)Gift Card Offer, Give $100 Get $25Or buy a gift card for yourself and give the bonus one as a gift. From Monday, November 13 – Saturday, December 30, BRIO guests will receive a $25 bonus card with every $100 in gift cards purchased. Make your list, and check it twice!Holiday MenuThe special seasonal two-course menu includes a soup or salad and a selection of entrees. We tried the Grilled Branzino with roasted red & gold beets, farro, Marcona almonds, marinated kale, lemon vinaigrette, feta and Surf & Turf: 14-oz. strip steak, black pepper shrimp, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus. Both were exceptional. The skin on the Branzino fish peeled off easily and was light and fluffy. The beets were also cooked to perfection. The portions are large too, we couldn't finish them.Grilled Branzino with feta, almonds and beetsAlso, they now have a new menu addition the Shrimp Scampi Appetizer with five butterflied jumbo shrimp stuffed with scampi butter, diced tomatoes, lemon butter sauce and basil. It's soooo good. Even after we ate all the shrimp, we sopped up the delicious garlic juice with the accompanying ciabatta bread.There are 14 BRIO locations in Florida and can be found in 21 states. Find a location nearest you.Disclaimer: I received a complimentary preview of the new holiday menu in exchange for my honest review. I was already a fan of the restaurant though. [...]

Holiday Gift Guide for Bros

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 14:03:00 +0000

Are you having trouble finding the perfect gift for the dapper bro in your life?The following list has your guy covered from head to toe.Gift Guide Ideas for Dapper Bros Under $50Boondocks American Whiskey  - $49.952 Bottle Gift Box – 95 Proof American Whiskey and 90 Proof Port Finish Bourbon Crafted in close cooperation with Dave Scheurich, one of the world’s most respected master’s distillers and winner of the Whisky Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award. The Boondocks American Whiskey Cask Strength 127 has an ultra-smooth finish, with distinctive aromas of rich caramel and vanilla. A robust and pleasantly aggressive palate is highlighted by fall spices and oak. This is such a great price for two such good-looking bottles of Whiskey and it comes in an easy to carry case that's perfect for any holiday party. No need to wrap it either, just add a ribbon or bow. They also offer a messenger bag gift pack too. Boondocks Whiskey is available from retailers throughout the country and online as well - Boardshort Bottle Opener  - $48The days of chipping your tooth, reaching for your dirty slipper or looking for a lighter to open your beverage are over. Simply lift the pocket flap of these fashionable shorts and enjoy! The bottle opener attachment is extremely lightweight and does not affect your surfing, SUP or any other type of beach activities. Taking you from the boat to the beach to the BBQ. It's a fresh and innovative product that is sure to be a conversation starter. Even without the awesome opener, the prints and designs themselves are pretty cool too. Brush Hero - $34.99An awesome gift for the car, motorcycle, or bike enthusiast in your life, Brush Hero connects to a regular garden hose and uses water pressure alone to power its turbine and bust the grime in only seconds. It also comes with an array of custom cleaning accessories to tackle cleaning the BBQ, golf clubs, and even lawn mowers to look as good as new again. DeadSoxy No-Show Socks - 3 for $35Every Christmas I get my husband a pair of fashionable dress socks, but now that we live in Florida he's since switched over to wearing only no-show socks.Why? Because they look better with driving shoes and when wearing shorts. Some men even wear them with their suits too. Thus, the perfect sock for the boardroom or gym. We've tried a few, but Dallas based, DeadSoxy produces high-quality, stylish no-show socks for men, in a variety of colors and patterns for the perfect mixture of dapper/gentleman's style and street style. Naturally antimicrobial, these cushioned socks won’t leave his feet feeling wet or foul. Even better, these American made socks are backed with a money back guarantee. Plus, gotta love the name, DeadSoxy, lol. Personalized Plaid Deer Sherpa Blanket - $49Give your guy a warm personalized blanket for the holidays. It's available in a variety of colors and sports teams too, but I'm partial to the manly lumberjack pattern. On the other side is a super soft sherpa fabric great for snuggling during Netflix and Chill time together.Groove Life Silicone Ring - $29.95Groove Ring is the perfect gift for every adventurer on your list. The Groove Ring is the only breathable silicone ring on the market. Designed with the active user in mind, proving flexible safety, unlike traditional metal bands.Worn by firefighters (doesn't conduct heat like metal) and travelers, the inner arch and infinity loop design keeps air moving in while keeping moisture out, allowing fingers to “breathe.” Backed by a lifetime warranty, these rings are offered in a huge variety of colors, sizes and thickness.The Half Pint Glass - $12.00 - $19.68This quirky gift is a great way for guys to grab a small one without anyone challenging their manhood. Just top it up, hold the round side out and sup your brew in comfort. Oh sure, it won’t hold up too much scrutiny, but we can't help marveling at this remarkable piece of design. From the front, the half pint glass looks just like a full pi[...]

Upgrading to a Big Boy Room with City Furniture

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 14:38:00 +0000

My boys are turning five next week! *my mind is blown*We figured a great way to celebrate the milestone would be to upgrade their bedroom with bigger boy furnishings.They have been in toddler beds for a while now, but with them sneaking into each other's beds some evenings, it was getting pretty tight in there. We discovered them like this just the other night...Growing out of their toddler bedsSince my twins share a room, we were really looking for furnishings that did double-duty by providing storage space and grew with them as they continue to get older (NOooo!). However, they are still kids, so we wanted something fun that would get them excited, but wouldn't be an eyesore or cheap and plastic either.The answer? City Furniture!Big Boy Beds from City Furniture being deliveredBoys Bedroom Before:Boys Bedroom After:City Furniture Loft BedWe ordered two City Furniture Highlands Dark Tone Loft Beds ($995), which included a loft headboard, footboard, ladder, rails, chest of drawers, bookcase and desk in a very dark brown espresso color.These loft beds add both more space and storage capacity to their room. Although, my boys already started filling the drawers with toys, so I had to explain that their clothes needed to go there, lol.Extra storage dressers and desk included.Since they will be entering Kindergarten next year, we loved that the bottom portion also functioned as a desk for doing homework after school, allowing them their own creative workspaces, while not taking up any additional space either. For now, they are using the area to play and as a reading nook at night.His and his spaceThe best part? City Furniture delivered the bedroom sets AND installed them. Phew, because ain't nobody got time for that, lol. Such a relief. It took the professional moving team almost two hours, but they handled everything even taking the boxes and wrappings with them. Overall, I think the end result looks sophisticated, yet still magical for my boys. It met all my requirements - quality, functionality, and creativity.Bonus, my boys are eager to go to bed each night now! What do you think???Southwest Florida City Furniture ShowroomsThere is a City Furniture Showroom in Fort Myers (near Gulf Coast Town Center) and in Naples, as well as throughout Florida. You can also view their collections Online. DIY LEGO Wall Peel-and-Stick LEGO BaseplatesLike most boys, mine are obsessed with LEGO bricks. So, I ordered Peel-and-Stick Baseplates for my boys' upgraded bedroom. They are so easy to apply too. Instead of lying them on a flat surface, I put them on the sides of their bookshelves for some vertical building, thus allowing their furniture to have more than one purpose. Totally made me look like an expert DIYer to my kids too!For a more customized and moldable look, we are now adding Mayka Tape for Lego lovers to the sides of their desk, underneath it for upside-down creations and pretty much anywhere they can stick it, lol. Fortunately, it comes off easily too and is non-marking. It's also more flexible than the hard base plates and comes in nine different colors. frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//®ion=US&placement=B071W4T5X3&asins=B071W4T5X3&linkId=5aeb7618d9ca670617c99416822b5c1b&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//®ion=US&placement=B01CO2NPKS&asins=B01CO2NPKS&linkId=f5feac54a0b0fccdd512430b6ef4434d&show_border=[...]

Tieks are NOT worth the price

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 15:05:00 +0000

With all the targeted Pinterest ads, blog posts, and fashionable photos on Instagram featuring Tieks colorful ballet flats, I've long had Tieks envy.However, the $175 starting price always kept me from ordering. Plus, they never go on sale. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem spending that amount on shoes and other high-end labels, but Tieks still seemed too unknown for that price tag.I finally bit the bullet though and decided to treat myself with a pair of cobalt blue leather Tieks and was extremely disappointed and underwhelmed.Believe me, I wanted to love them I really did, but unfortunately, I didn't and can not recommend them either.What I do NOT LIKE about Tieks:The cost. It's way too much money for what it is.They are NOT comfortable. For almost $200 I expected these to feel amazing. However, only after a day of light use and wear (just walking around the office) I received a blister! I also didn't like how they felt tight clinging to my foot even when I was just sitting at my desk and this is after I went up a size. I constantly knew they were on my feet and not in a good way.They make a rubber noise even when walking on carpet. Just walking around my home trying them on for the first time, they kept making a farting noise when I stepped on tile or on the carpet. I believe it was how my skin rubbed against the inside leather and it happened in both a size 5 and size 6. All I could think was, um this is going to be embarrassing out in public! Sizing - their site recommends that if you're a half size to go a size down since they will stretch. I am a 5.5 narrow, so I ordered a 5 and they were too tight. I was able to easily exchange it for a 6 and while not as tight they still weren't comfortable.I didn't receive any compliments while wearing them. Sounds shallow, but I went into work with a spring in my step expecting everyone to ohh and ahh over my Tieks and it just didn't happen. My Payless wedges the day before received more fanfare. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="460"> What I LIKE about Tieks:The array of enticing colors. It was so hard to choose a style as I wanted them all. Their customer service is personal and responsive - a handwritten note is included with your purchase and when I needed a different size I received an actual human response via email, not just an automated reply. Each order comes with a reusable nylon tote in their signature teal color along with a Tieks custom pouch to compress folded Tieks for quick and convenient storage during travel.The quality of the leather is indeed fine. Easy returns and exchanges.The Verdict is Mixed:Don't just take my word for it, I received both positive, lukewarm and negative feedback for Tieks over on my Facebook post. Read through the comments: allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="329" scrolling="no" src="" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" width="500"> Alternatives to Tieks:Sanuks are my go-to travel shoe. They are just as compact when traveling and they are like walking on a cloud. The bottom is made from yoga mats.  Tory Burch sandals are fashionable flip-flops and dress up any casual outfit. I have two pairs - a black patent leather and matted silver ones. I have my eye on these gold ones next. TOMS flats at least go to a good cause. frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//®ion=US&placement=B01IAKD5Z8&asins=B01IAKD5Z8&linkId=14b9a4984f292440403d45d54daba4d4&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style[...]