Saturday: Arts Alive Free Museum Day

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If you love art, spending time with your family and free stuff, then you’ll have a great time this weekend! This Saturday, September 25th (always the last Sat. in Sept.) is Arts Alive Free Museum Day; no passes required and no residency restrictions.  Last year my husband and I got a very late start with our little boy, so we were only able to make it to the Museum of Fine Arts (St. Pete). This year, we are determined to see more than one. Here’s a list (taken from stpete.org) of local museums you can visit for absolutely FREE this Saturday:

So grab your family and take advantage of this great deal! I think we’ll try to make it to Great Explorations and The Morean Arts Center this time to see the Chihuly Collection. Which museums will you visit for free? To learn more about our local museums and other activities going on this weekend, click here.

Last year at the Museum of Fine Arts all the kids were invited to make their own art to display.

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New Photo Contest on Our Facebook Page!

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How sweet is this!

We all know of a little place in town that has the best food and service. They make you feel at home. We’ve already told you about Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe. Now we want to hear about your favorite “hole in the wall” place. It could be an old-fashioned hot dog joint downtown, a family owned Greek restaurant or a cafe with amazing desserts. Just email us a photo of yourself at your favorite place and we’ll post it to our Hole in the Wall photo contest album on our agency’s Facebook page. The winner will receive a $25 VISA gift card that can use to buy their next meal at their favorite little place to eat or whatever they want. So share the love and tell us where you like to eat! Who knows, it could be our next favorite place. I bet the owners would be excited for a little publicity.

To learn more about how to enter this contest, please visit our Facebook page and read the description on the Hole in the Wall photo contest album. Thanks for participating and good luck!

If you own or run a restaurant in Tampa Bay, give us a call (727-394-1890) about commercial insurance and we’ll give you a free quote. You can also get a free insurance quote online at our virtual insurance office, www.patronsinsurance.com.

Three Fun Food Blogs

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I am a HUGE fan of food. I love to cook and eat. I am not a foodie or a food blogger, though. However, there are a couple of food blogs that I subscribe to and try to keep up with. I think you may enjoy them as well.

The first is Noble Pig. I StumbledUpon it and was hooked when I laid eyes on these gorgeous eggy rolls.  This one is more than a food blog. It’s also the story of the birth of a family’s vineyard in Oregon. The author, Cathy, is a food and wine fanatic. She posts recipes for magically delicious drinks like Butterbeer and comfort food with a twist like Gnocchi Mac n’ Cheese and teaches Wine Tasting 101. You’ll love her photos too. They make me want to lick my computer screen. Don’t worry I know better. I hope you’ll find some good recipes here and try them out at home. Someday I will too.

The other blog that I’ve discovered is Baked Bree. This lovely blog is written by a woman named Bree who lives in Sacramento, CA. She’s a mother of three who loves to cook and take photos. She describes her blog as “a love letter to everyone that [she] have ever cooked for.” She also takes amazing photos of her food, showing her readers every step in her recipes. I like the way she shows a photo of all the ingredients first, so you can get a quick idea of what’s in the dish. Some of the recipes on her blog that got me really excited are her homemade Bread and Butter Pickles, Milk Chocolate Pudding and a lovely Black Bean Soup (a major upgrade from mine). Plus she has several delicious looking recipes for homemade ice cream that make me want to go out and buy an ice cream maker.

Share a link in the comments section below. Here’s a new food blog that my friend Lizz just started. Her recipes and writing are equally and unbelievably flavorful. Please check it out and tell her Jenn (at Patrons) sent you! Do you have a favorite food blog? Or one of your own? I’d love to hear about it!

Banyan Tree Catering: New Partner of Patrons

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Debbie Murray

We’re happy to announce our newest Partner of Patrons, Banyan Tree Catering. If you’re looking to cater an event of any size, on any budget, you need to call Debbie and Nevar Murray of Banyan Tree Catering. You may have seen Debbie on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) with world-renowned chef, Wolfgang Puck. In fact, they’re on the air all weekend, for Wolfgang’s 12th Anniversary, selling all kinds of wonderful WP products like a rice cooker, 3-in-1 blender, convection oven, knife set, grill/griddle and a cook set.

In addition to being an on-air demonstrator, Debbie is also a cookbook author (she has 8 published so far!) and has been catering for the elite in Tampa Bay. Her beautiful daughter, Nevar, recently worked the star-studded  Governor’s Ball and other red carpet events with Wolfgang Puck.

This mother-daughter duo is known for making delicious food that looks amazing. They cater weddings, dinner parties, graduations, benefits. Patrons Insurance Agency customers can get a special discount of 10% off. Just print out your coupon here. You can also find Baynan Tree Catering on Facebook.

Contact Debbie at 727-403-4978 or debbie@banyantreecatering.com. Don’t forget to tell her that we sent you.

Win Giveaways

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One of my favorite coupon bloggers, Mindi over at Moms Need To Know, is teaming up with 10 other female bloggers to give away tons of prizes from their sponsors. All week long they’re announcing new prizes like laptops, $100 AMEX gift cards, backpacks, snapfish.com gift cards, and much more. All the winners will be announced this Friday. If you’d like to join the fun, “like” the Win Giveaways page on Facebook. There you’ll find out who’s giving away what prizes. Entering is easy and you can do so multiple times. They usually ask that you leave a comment…

1. about their post
2. that says you subscribe to their blog
3. that you shared the giveaway on Facebook
4. that you tweeted the giveaway

Sometimes you can enter more than 4 times. It’s very easy! I actually won a $20 Diapers.com gift certificate in one of Mindi’s giveaways last week and my order should arrive tomorrow. Some of the prizes can be won on all the blogs and other prizes can only be won on one or two. However, they’re all giving away a $100 AMEX gift card from Invisalign Teen, a Land’s End backpack and Belkin laptop messenger bag with accessories. Just keep checking the Win Giveaways Facebook page for the latest postings. Good luck! Don’t forget to let us know if you’re a winner.

My Favorite Coupon Blogs

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I’ve recently made a concerted effort to save more money by using coupons. So far so good! On Friday I saved $33 on groceries at Target and yesterday I saved $21 at Publix. There are 4 blogs that have inspired and helped me to do this. I’d like to share them with you.


The first one I discovered was Smart Couponing. One of our Facebook friends, Amanda, shared a link for free bagels and I’ve been a subscriber ever since. This blog tells you about all the good deals happening at several of my favorite stores, like Target, Publix, Amazon.com, CVS and Walmart. You can find coupon/sale match-ups on the blog, on their Facebook page, or just follow them on Twitter @SmartCouponing.

I Heart Publix
The same day I found Smart Couponing, I found a link to I Heart Publix. This blog is all about the sales, specials, promotions, etc. at Publix, my favorite grocery store! My favorite feature though, is the Sneak Peek at the upcoming Publix Weekly Ad. You’ll also find great deals from other stores there. You can also follow all the great savings on the I Heart Publix Facebook page.


Around the same time, I came across Moms Need To Know, a blog by a mom in the Philadelphia area. You can follow her on Twitter @MindiCherry or visit her Facebook Page. She posts printable coupons, free stuff, drug store and grocery store deals all day long. She also has a Moms Need To Cook section full of recipes. You’ll love her!

The fourth and final coupon blog that I love is True Couponing. This is a Faith-based blog run by 3 stay at home moms. They post great deals going on at Publix, Walgreens, CVS, Kmart, Walmart and Whole Foods. They also match up coupons to the sales and have “good deal alerts”. This blog is especially for the moms I know because these women live in Central Florida and offer coupon training classes at local churches. You can find their schedule here.

I hope find these sites helpful and you’re able to save some money. Please let me know if you of any other good coupon blogs or ways to save money. Happy shopping!

My Perfect Pedi!

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I love pedicures! However, I rarely have the funds or opportunity to get them. Yesterday I celebrated my birthday by finally getting a pedicure with my friend Kristin. She told me about a day spa on Treasure Island, Jacqueline’s Salon & Day Spa. When I walked in the door, I could tell that I was in for a real treat. The spa was beautiful and very clean; it also lacked that awful chemical smell that most nail salons have. The staff was very friendly. The receptionist, Tim, already knew our names and he offered us cold drinks right away.

I decided to get a French Pedicure for $5 extra. My Nail Specialist, Christina, took great care of me. She was friendly, patient, gentle and best of all, I could understand every word she spoke! One reason I don’t get a pedicure often is that I hate going alone, especially if I can’t even communicate with the nail technician; it makes me feel lonelier. I wouldn’t mind going to Jacqueline’s by myself though. Christina was sweet and professional. She asked me several times if I was comfortable and was ready to answer every question this nail novice threw at her. The massage chairs were super comfortable–there were only two in the small room. It felt intimate and it was more relaxing without the buzz of other employees and clients. There’s a separate room for hair services like, up-dos, haircuts and color.

The only downside to the whole experience was the cost of the pedicure. Mine was $55 and Kristin’s was $50 (regular pedicure). While it was well worth the cost, plus a $10 tip, it’s definitely not something I can afford to do on a regular basis. For some, that may not be a problem, but other women like myself may want to go special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc. However, they do offer 10% off your next service if you “write a review on Google.com”, which I think means writing one online.

Jacqueline’s Salon & Day Spa is located at 279 Treasure Island Causeway Treasure Island, Florida. You can also find them online at www.islandpampering.com or on their Facebook page. To make an appointment, call 727.363.6395. Don’t forget to tell them that you read this review (by Jennifer Collette) on our blog.

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