An eco-friendly, healthy living, Weight Watching, CrossFit mom's adventures!!

14. October 2014 16:45
by jennifer

The #TampaTrio go to College #StartingisBelieving

14. October 2014 16:45 by jennifer | 6 Comments

The following post is sponsored by Florida Prepaid. I received no monetary compensation and all thoughts are my own.

It sounds like a great title for a fiction book, doesn't it?

The Tampa Trio go to college.

But I'm hopeful that it won't be a fiction novel.

Having 3 children only 30 months apart in age (all singletons) means that I will have 3 children in college AT THE SAME TIME.


My husband and I also chose to have our children a bit later in life, so our kids will be hitting college when we're in our mid-50's, at a time when saving for retirement needs to be a top priority.

But we also don't want to saddle our children with ridiculous amounts of debt. And honestly we REFUSE to saddle ourselves with college debt. Been there, done that. Still paying on it.

So what's a college loving family to do?


When each of our children were in Kindergarten we enrolled each of them in the 2-Year Florida College Plan: The 2-Year Florida College Plan covers Tuition, as well as the mandatory Local Fees, for 60 lower division credit hours at one of 28 Florida Colleges (formerly Community Colleges). This plan offers a child the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree or trade certification in any number of fields, and is an excellent springboard to a fulfilling career or further education.

I started my college experience at my local community college, Manatee Community College, now called The State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota and it provided me with an EXCELLENT opportunity to decide if college was the right path for ME. Of course, we all know how that ended up. Yes, college was for me, and I have the multiple advanced degrees to show for it. Wink

Living in Tampa we have excellent community colleges nearby, and of course The University of South Florida, so the Tampa Trio will always have a roof over their head while they are in school (NO, I WILL NOT DO THEIR LAUNDRY!!)

Knowing that the Trio will have something set aside will help us avoid the stress of saving for both college AND retirement.

Back in 2009, 2010, and 2011 when we signed our kids up, we had to pay a $50 enrollment fee.

But if you sign up BEFORE December 31, 2014, the $50 fee will be WAIVED!!

The Open Enrollment period beginning Oct. 15, 2014 and ending Feb. 28, 2015 is a historic one, marked by the lowest prices on Florida Prepaid College Plans since 2007 and a new 1-Year Florida University Plan costing as little as $43 a month for a newborn. The Florida Prepaid College Board was able to reduce prices on some of the most popular plans following a new state law that limits the future cost of tuition.

Curious how much you should be saving for your child? You can check out the College Savings Demo from

Have you started saving for your child's college education?

13. October 2014 12:04
by jennifer

Lowry Park Zoo: Zoo Boo 2014

13. October 2014 12:04 by jennifer | 2 Comments

When Lowry Park Zoo reached out to ask if the #TampaTrio and I would be interested in attending the 2014 edition of Zoo Boo we all shrieked with delight! The kids had seen the commercials for London Frightmare (the only new house at Zoo Boo this year) so they were especially excited to see that one! We arrived at the park, grabbed our map, and plotted out our course. Last year we waited a VERY LONG TIME for the "rides" so we decided as a family that we didn't need to do them this year. We go to... [More]

12. October 2014 06:56
by jennifer

The 8 Stands Alone

12. October 2014 06:56 by jennifer | 0 Comments

Normally on Sunday I talk about my week in workouts. I did have a great week, full of squats, and my longest walk since late February, 2014. My Half-Marathon training is going well, but I desperately need some new shoes. On Saturday, Ronin and I were invited to participate in the 2014 Florida Suncoast Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Just 2 weeks ago I wrote on how Ronin kicked some serious cookies at the Thin Mint Sprint, and he was so pumped for the Race for the Cure. He kept begging me to ... [More]