"Built Ford Tough Toughest Tailgate"

Hi Dolls,

This week Chef Kenny Gilbert (From Top Chef, Season 7) is celebrating and rewarding Jaguars fans and local community heroes with the help of former NFL player, Fred Taylor.  In partnership with Ford, there are a series of events, which include Jaguars fans having the chance to order lunch made by Chef Gilbert, complete with two tickets to Sunday's game through the Uber app, for free!
A few co-workers and myself were able to get a sneak peek of the lunches today and it was amazing!  Chef Gilbert prepared a healthy and flavorful lunch that satisfied us hungry teachers!  It included a pimento and fried green tomato slider,  an amazing ham salad and spinach wrap, a delicious pasta salad, chocolate banana pudding with a ginger snap (I've never had it this way and it was delish), chips, and a banana!
 It was a perfect lunch!  Everything was delicious!  Tomorrow, December 1st, Ford is continuing their commitment to local community heroes by providing a private tailgate lunch by Chef Gilbert for the policemen of Jacksonville Police Department.  Below is a list of events everyone can partake in this weekend!
Friday, December 2, 2016:  Ford Toughest Tailgate On Demand Uber Promotion 
From 11am-4pm, fans have the chance to order Ford Toughest Tailgate On Demand through the Uber app.  Jax fans can order chef-made tailgate inspired dishes from Chef Gilbert through the app and have it delivered to their home or office in a 2017 Ford Super Duty, complete with tickets to Sunday's game, and an NFL Shop Gift Card.  To activate the promotion, all you have to do is  open the Uber app and enter the promo code 'FORDTOUGHJAX' and request the 'TAILGATE' option.  Lucky fans that connect with the driver will receive the delivery!

Sunday, December 4, 2016:  Built Ford Tough toughest Tailgate Game Day Stadium Experience
From 10am-1pm Experience a once-in-a-lifetime tailgate experience before the big game complete with a playground of entertainment. food made by Chef Kenny Gilbert and beverages before heading into the game!

This weekend is definitely going to be exciting!  If you have the Uber app, you have nothing to lose trying your luck at a chance for free game day tickets and a lunch from Chef Gilbert!  
As always, thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope to see you at Everbank Stadium Sunday!

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Perfect Thanksgiving Dress & Zaful Review/Giveaway (Closed)

Hi Dolls,

I was recently contacted by an online clothing store called Zaful to do a collaboration and though there was a slight language barrier, I decided to collaborate anyways, despite my skepticism.  I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of products I received!  It was a couple of weeks away from Thanksgiving when I was contacted by them to choose a few items of my liking for review.  When I saw this dress I knew it would be perfect for hiding all of my Thanksgiving day imperfections    
(AKA Food Baby) and still be stylish!
They have a lot of trendy clothing and after perusing their site I was reminded of Shein, one of my new favorite online stores!  In fact I saw several items on Zaful that I have seen before on Shein.  
With this in mind, I figured the quality would be similar.  Now one thing I will say about ordering from these sites, is that you absolutely have to be careful with sizing.  The clothing usually runs very small so my best advice would be to read the reviews and pay close attention to the sizing descriptions. 
As I expected, their location was in China so I was anticipating the shipping to take forever.  To my surprise, I received my package in no time!   I'm not sure if it's because of the fact we're collaborating but the quick turn around is definitely something I could get use to!  I can't promise that this would be the same on a regular basis but one can hope.
I say it was the perfect dress for Thanksgiving because it was loosely fitting to hide my food baby and I was still able to be cute and stylish while doing so!  No body would ever know I ate enough to feed three grown men! LOL!
The print was also perfect for fall and it gave me the opportunity to finally get some wear out of my gladiators which was a perfect match!  The weather was pretty warm so I was very comfortable in this outfit throughout the day!
Zaful has been gracious enough to offer a gift card for a couple of lucky winners!  So here are the rules for the giveaway:
1.)  Of course be a follower of mine (blog, IG, FB, Twitter, etc.)
2.)  Click on this link to see what you would love from Zaful.
3.)  Comment below with what you'd like along with your email address.
That's it!  Pretty easy right?!?  I will choose the winners on Saturday, December 3, 2016.
Dress:  Zaful
Gladiators:  ShoeDazzle
Necklace:  H&M
As always, thanks so much for stopping by!  Good luck and talk to you all soon!

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Soul Food In An Unexpected Place

Hi Dolls,

I recently attended a NomNomJax soul food event at the most unexpected location!  The Holiday Inn!  Yep, that's right, The Holiday Inn honey!  If you live in the area and enjoy food as much as I do (which I'm sure everyone here does) then you definitely want to get up with my friend Nate and the NomNom Club!  He has events monthly at some of Jacksonville's best eateries!  This particular event featured some of our favorite soul food items!  Chef Kenny at The Holiday Inn on Baymeadows definitely knows what he's doing!  These items are usually on a catering menu but are available upon request otherwise!  These were my favorites from the evening!
These were the fried macaroni and cheese balls.  They were fried to a beautiful golden crisp!
The inside was cheesy perfection and I'm not even a big mac and cheese fan (I know, I know, how could that be!  I just never cared for it much!)  These were very good though!
Que my Bubba Gump voice....  We had Fried Shrimp, BBQ Shrimp, Cajun Shrimp....lol!  All three of these came with a delicious and creamy bed of cheese grits!  This was my favorite dish of the night!
Of course you can't have soul food without fried chicken being somewhere in the mix!  This was the most beautiful plate of fried chicken, greens, and black eyed peas, I have ever seen!  The only thing that was missing was a biscuit!  It was everything!
So, if you're ever in the Baymeadows area, and you're in the mood for some good ole' soul food, stop in to the Holiday Inn and give Chef Kenny a holla!  
As always, thanks for stopping by!

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Keep Smiling!

Hi Dolls,

They say "the prettiest girls are the happiest"...well I'm getting there.  This thing called life has so many ups and downs, twists and turns but through it all, I've been determined to never let anything dull my sparkle!  So with that being said, I continue to smile through everything, the good, the bad, and the homely (LOL) and  you dolls should always do the same!  
This off the shoulder blouse is definitely something to smile about!  I stalked it on Shein for months before I finally decided to purchase it!  It took for what seemed like forever to get to me but now that I have my hands on it, I know it will be a longtime favorite!
Today is November 1st and I am so eager to pull out the boots and coats but oh Florida, Florida, Florida!  It just won't let my fall/winter wardrobe be great with temps still reaching the high 80's.
I can see dressing this top up and down.  This particular day I met up with a friend for lunch so I kept it casual by adding a pair of skinny jeans and bright pumps.  I received tons of compliments on the top!
This post may be all over the place but I'm sure it speaks to someone.  It's speaking to me as I type it.  A quote comes to mind as I'm going through a few things right now and I want to encourage others who may come across this post...
Your past is gone.  Your mistakes are behind you.  Focus on your gorgeous unmarked, love-filled future.  The only thing you are responsible for now is taking each step with intention.  Rebuild your life.  Make it gold."  - Cara Alwill Leyba
Top:  Shein (here)
Jeans:  Marshalls
Purse:  Christian Lacroix (similar)
Pumps:  Aldo
As always, thanks so much for stopping by! Keep smiling! 

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Firstwatch Breakfast with My Besties!

Hi Dolls, 

What is better than breakfast or brunch with your besties after a sleepover?  Nothing!  I know!  That is exactly what happened when my college roomies and myself met up for the weekend recently!  Sidenote:  I am so glad these chicas were my roomies in college!  We became the best of friends then and our friendships are still going strong!  Love these girls!
I had been wanting to try FirstWatch for breakfast since one opened in Jax a few years back and I never got the opportunity.  While visiting my friend Maribel in Ocala,  she suggested we go to the one there for breakfast and I was all in!  I believe there are two kinds of people in this world...those who only eat breakfast in the morning and those who can eat a pancake and a side of bacon and eggs for dinner!  I'm the latter!  I love breakfast and the funny part about it is that I don't have it often.  It's probably because the kind of breakfast I typically want is not the kind of breakfast I have time to make in the mornings before work but trust me, if I had time to make a french toast, eggs benedict, and salmon croquette kind of breakfast daily, I certainly would!  Anywho, I digress.  Here is what we had.
  I had the Belgian waffle with a side of bacon and eggs.  It was exactly what I was hoping for.  Nothing more and nothing less. It was nice and fluffy on the inside and very filling.  I was hoping for fuller strips of bacon because....come on, bacon!  It was satisfying nevertheless.
My friend Renee had the Bacato omelet that is made with bacon, of course, Monterrey cheese, and avocado.  She got potatoes and an English muffin on the side.  She loved it!
Bel got the pecan pancake with eggs and a side of turkey sausage.  The pancake was huge!  It was just about the size of the plate.  Needless to say, she didn't finish it.  I tried to help but was already full from my own meal.  I had to taste the pancake though and it was fluffy and perfectly made with just the right amount of pecans.
First Watch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
It's always good times when I'm around my friends!  It's an even better time when food is involved.  FirstWatch definitely met my expectations!  They are only open through lunch so you have to plan accordingly but the food is certainly worth a visit.  Oh and they sell healthy smoothies too!  As always thanks so much for stopping by!

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Rumtoberfest is Back at Bahama Breeze!!!

Hi Dolls!

October is literally around the corner (as in tomorrow) and people will be partying it up for Oktoberfest in celebration of beer, but I think "it's more FUN when you're having RUM" at Rumtoberfest!  In the Caribbean, the party never ends!  The off season just means it's time for islanders to let loose and have some real fun!  So this fall until November 6th, you can party as if you're in the Caribbean while celebrating all things rum at Bahama Breeze! I received this box of goodies from them and it's literally everything you need to get a party started from the rum, all the way down to the body tattoos!  Gotta love it!  I'll be having my own personal Rumtoberfest at home, but in the meantime check out all the cool stuff you can experience for yourself the next time you visit Bahama Breeze Island Grille!
Earlier this week I took my bestie to Bahama Breeze for her birthday, so naturally drinking was high up on the to-do list!  I mean come on it is "RUM"toberfest!  Trying some of the Rumtoberfest featured cocktails was a must, so we both ordered the Pirate's Paradise for starters.  This cocktail gets its name from Port Royal, Jamaica's infamous pirate city.  It's made with lime, passion-fruit, ginger, vanilla and bitters, with an upside-down 50ml bottle of Captain Morgan.  Not only was the drink AMAZEBALLS, but it was served in an exclusive take-home glass!  This drink should be a permanent fixture on the drink menu!  It was sooo good!  
Bahama Breeze is definitely one of my favorite restaurants, and the Coconut Shrimp appetizer is the reason why!  Well...actually all of their food is incredible (menu) but this is definitely one of my favorite appetizers there.  The sweet and citrus mustard sauce is a perfect compliment for the shrimp!  We inhaled them in 2 minutes flat.  Don't judge! 
My friend asked our waiter, Von (who was awesome by the way! Hey Von!) what his recommendation for a great drink was, and he said "Top Shelf Margarita w/ a Floating Shot"!  So that is what she got next!  She loved it!  The floating shot was poured in an ice shot glass which was too cool!  I love margaritas and this one was perfect!
 Another appetizer that I love from Bahama Breeze is the Beef Empanadas!  These handmade pastries are filled with savory beef and potatoes!  I think the sauce inside of the empanada is made with curry which makes me love it more!  They are also served with an aioli and chutney for dipping!  Try these next time you go, you'll love them!
 I wanted to try another drink from the Rumtoberfest featured cocktail menuso I ordered the Rum Thyme.  It's made with Zaya Gran Reserva Rum and Rye Whiskey, orange and lime juice, and Bahama Breeze's homemade thyme infused syrup, served with a fresh sprig of thyme.   Fresh is right when it comes to this cocktail!  It was very earthy!
   If you want to try one of the specialty drinks for Rumtoberfest, and can't decide which rum cocktail to try, you can get the Rum Cocktail Flights and choose between three options that highlight the most popular Bahama Breeze selections, including Mama's Hooch and Holler, Shark Attack Shack, and Float My Boat Bar.  You can also pick your own rum flight served with a side of Coke!   The last time I attended Rumtoberfest a couple years ago, I got the "Pick Your Own Poison" flight and boy was it an experience.  Read about it here.  This time around we decided to get another Pirates Paradise!  For us, it was the show stopper!  Plus we were trying to get a full set of the take home glasses!
Rumtoberfest at Bahama Breeze definitely allows guests to enjoy a true Carribean experience!  This year to make the celebration more memorable they added a few more goodies to the fun!  
Coconut Express:  If you visit Rumtoberfest.com you can ship a coconut, with a personalized message to someone anywhere in the continental U,S.  courtesy of Bahama Breeze!  Cool right!?!
Rumbash Friday:  If you decide to visit Bahama Breeze on a Friday from now until Rumtoberfest ends, November 6, you can look forward to games, prizes, specials, live music, fortune tellers, and plenty of other fun activities!
Nevertheless, head out to Bahama Breeze and enjoy all that Rumtoberfest has to offer!  We definitely had a great time sipping on Pirates' Paradise while listening to live reggae!  You should grab your friends and head to Bahama Breeze tonight!  Take pics, drink rum, and be merry!  Post it on social media while you're at it #Rumtoberfest you never know, you might win something cool!  
As always, thank you so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Disclaimer:  This post was sponsored by Bahama Breeze.  However, my opinions were my own and 100% honest and unbiased.

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New Desserts for Forking Amazing Restaurants in Jax!

Hi Dolls,

What's better than being invited to a food event to sample new menu items?  I'll tell you what's better, attending a food event to  sample new DESSERT menu items!!!  I know right!  That is exactly what happened a few weeks ago.  I attended an intimate tasting of the new dessert menus by Michael Bump, Executive Pastry Chef for Forking Amazing Restaurants.  The tasting included items from Chef Bump's menus for Bistro Aix and Il Desco.  These are some of my favorite restaurants in Jacksonville so there was no way I was turning down the invite to taste new dessert items and after reading this post, you'll understand why.  Check out what we had!
 Roasted Seasonal Fruit: (Bistro Aix) This was a nice starter.  The seasonal fruit was roasted peach on top of a crumble of vanilla shortbread cookie, topped with buttermilk ice creme and phyllo crisps.  YUM!  This definitely reminded me of peach cobbler.  
Chocolate Nutella Crepes: (Bistro Aix)  They had me at "Nutella"!  I mean seriously, how can you NOT love nutella, especially in a crepe?  Add dark chocolate mousse, vanilla anglaise, and hazelnut brittle and you'll have a flavor explosion waiting to happen!  The brittle was a nice surprise to the palate.  
Beignet Feuilletee:( Bistro Aix) I'm sure you would imagine that it would be hard to choose a favorite out of all of these magnificent desserts but ladies and gentlemen, this little beignet was the showstopper for me!  Maybe I'm partial to beignets but I absolutely loved it.   The light and fluffy beignet was covered in Vietnamese cinnamon, atop a raspberry sauce, and dressed with Frangelico creme brulee, candied hazelnuts, and raspberries.  This was the one dessert I wish I had more of!
Tiramisu: (Il DescoThis was one of the most delicious tiramisu's I've ever tasted!  It was made with an espresso rum soaked sponge cake, mascarpone mousse, shaved chocolate, and coffee anglaise.  It was so light and fluffy.  I enjoyed it so much I stopped eating it mid-way and saved it after imagining what it would be like to savor it while sipping on coffee the next morning.  I did just that and it was everything I'd hoped for it to be!
Chocolate Praline Torte: ( Il Desco)  This was the last course we had and it was well worth the wait!  It was made with dark chocolate cake, praline layer, chocolate mousse, vanilla anglaise, and candied hazelnuts.  It was incredibly decadent and definitely the perfect ending to a sweet night!  
The tasting was superb and Chef Bump chose the perfect items to showcase from his new dessert menus.  After writing this post, I could go for any of them right about now! 
 Which one looks the most enticing to you? 
 I can guarantee that they all are as good as they look!  These are all available now at Il Desco and Bistro Aix so treat yourself to one of these amazing desserts after an amazing meal you're sure to get at any of these restaurants.  As always thanks so much for stopping by!

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Hi! I'm Trice, a Jacksonville, FL based blogger. I LOVE shopping and all things fashionable and want to show everyone that "Teachers Have Style Too!"! I also LOVE to cook and enjoy dining out. Please enjoy my fashion and food experiences and leave a comment if you'd like.
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