Latest Blog Entries

Customizing your dream closet

Mr. Big: We're getting married. Should we get you a diamond?
Carrie: No. No. Just get me a really big closet. ~Sex and the City

Seriously, who doesn't wish they had a custom walk-in closet with all their shoes, bags and clothes perfectly on display? No more rifling through to find what you need. No plastic wall hooks, faux shelves, tangled hangers crammed together and stacked piles of shirts? 🙋‍♀️

PLC Closets Naples Showroom 
I wish that was my organized closet! My DIY attempts so far to bring order to my closet look well, DIY and amateur. *sigh* Fortunately, actual experts at PLC Closets in Naples tailor make 100% Custom Closet Storage systems for their clients for a perfectly personalized closet.

Fact: Regular closets are usually a mess (like mine!). Most people keep their clothes and shoes in piles and due to their limited storage options, they almost always reach the conclusion that around half of them are never worn. Fortunately, this problem can be easily solved with a more personalized approach that will make the most out of the space you have for your wardrobe and display it in a more efficient manner.

Tip: Closets that have two rows of hanging space for shirts with a smaller area for dresses can allow a great deal more clothing to fit into the same square footage. When looked at from another angle, this helps shrink the footprint needed to store the same amount of stuff. While I've done this for my boys' closets, I haven't been able to manage this in mind yet.

Closet organization isn't just for clothes, but jewelry, shoes, or a vanity too
For more information, you can visit PLC Closets Naples showroom at 1408 Rail Head Blvd, Naples, FL 34110; (239) 260-1890.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but like usual all of my opinions are 'freely' given, lol.
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Six things to do in Exuma

The Bahamas are a dream destination for many, you picture big yachts, big parties and more fun than you have time for and Exuma, which is part of the Bahamas has all this and much more. Every year people look for exuma villa rentals, so they can share in on some of the fun. I’ve made this article to show you just some of the fun activities that you can get up to while you take your vacation here.
Exuma is a district of the Bahamas, consisting of over 365 islands, also called cays, beginning just 35 miles southeast of Nassau.

Here are my six things to do in Exuma

Visit a wreck:

How could a trip to the Bahamas be complete with a shipwreck visit of which there is an abundance in the area, from mercenary aircraft to 18th-century cargo vessels you will surely find one that is both entertaining and interesting. One of the most popular is the train wreck site in North Eleuthera, what was supposed to be a new locomotive was sank in the 1850’s when the ship which was carrying it was caught in a large storm. For this, you will need your diving license as it lies 15 feet below the surface.

For those who do not have a license then perhaps The Sapona would be a better option. A former concrete vessel, it now lies in the ocean as an artificial reef, one which is popular with both divers and fishing. Hire a charter boat for the day and you can enjoy this site along with others.

Swim with Pigs:

Yes, pigs! Every island offers swimming with dolphins, but pigs?

Swimming "domesticated" pigs live on Major's Spot Cay, and it's uncertain how they got there. Whenever a boat arrives, they swim out to it and expect to be fed, a practice that's been going on for years. The only way to reach Pig Beach is by boat, so you'll either have to charter one or take a guided tour.

Some of the hotels offer their own tours or boats. But a popular tour company in the area is 4C's Adventures, which offers a full-day tour that includes visiting the pigs, swimming with nurse sharks, meeting iguanas, a sandbar picnic, and snorkeling in the famous Thunderball Grotto (a scenic spot that has been in two James Bond films), for $160 per person.

Swim with Pigs in Exuma, Bahamas. Getty Images | Barcroft

Meanwhile ... Compass Cay is home to nurse sharks just waiting to swim with daring humans, and Bitter Guana Cay is home to the endangered Exuma Island iguanas, though you'll feel like there are plenty of them when they coming running towards you across the sand!

Take a boat trip:

Being in the Bahamas there is never a shortage of opportunities to take a boat trip around the area to check out some of the lesser known cays and islands out of the over 300 to choose from. You can go on fishing, scuba diving or sightseeing ventures on your own private boat trip. Depending on your budget and timescale you can have food prepared, tours of secluded areas and all the equipment you need to be included in your day or overnight trip. Venture out to some of the more secluded areas and experience what life must have been like during more quitter periods in the area history.

Spend some quality time at the beach:

Not one that necessarily needs to be on the list but something you will get up to anyway. Beach time in the Bahamas is the reason many people have taken the trip this far. The beach, especially in the Exuma region, is some of the best in the Bahamas mainly because they are virtually untouched.

The larger of the Exuma island will, of course, have more tourist options regarding accommodation and restaurants but for a true castaway experience then you want to venture to the further Cays where you can spend the day exploring islands that have had hardly any human contact. Bring a picnic and enjoy the tranquillity and quietness that some of these nameless beaches have.

It is truly a special experience to enjoy and be in a place that perhaps nobody has been before, save the pirates that once dominated the area.

Enjoy some local cuisine:

This can be either something you happened to catch on one of your boating trips or more likely in one of the many Caribbean restaurants on the larger Exuma islands. Known for its luxury destination label expect to find some of the best-cooked food in the region.

For a more authentic feel though try and find some locations in which the locals are dining out, this is for a more authentic experience and to have the food how the locals really do. Sometimes this can be better than any upscale restaurant you find in the area. Fresh fish with that real Bahamas style of cooking is not something that you will forget lightly after your visit to the island is over.

Take the water taxi to Stocking Island for amazing fresh conch at Big D's Conch Spot, or eat a whole fish at Eddie's Edgewater Grill or Shirley's at the Fish Fry. End your night by going to a dance party at Chat 'n Chill.

Learn about the history of the area:

With the main period of the islands, history beginning in the 1650’s you can find a trove of information on tours about the history of the island. This stretches from slavery, colonials, British and Spanish conflicts and even Piracy which was very common in the area at one time. Some tours will take you to the old haunts of pirates, tell you about the history of plantation farming in the region and in more modern times the use of the areas as a hub for drug telling which marred the reputation of the area for quite some time.

Not content with being just an island paradise there is much more to Exuma than simply the beaches and waters off the coast of its many islands. Just six of the many, many more things to do in Exuma. Hopefully, this has given you a little inspiration to visit.

Six things to do in Exuma, Bahamas
Six things to do in Exuma, Bahamas

This is a partnered post 
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VIP Tips for Visiting Amsterdam

This is just one of its 1000+ bridges and 165 canals in Amsterdam

VIP Tips for What to Eat, Drink and See in Amsterdam 

Amsterdam - “the Venice of the North” - both the capital and cultural heart of the Netherlands is charming, cozy, architecturally unique, and rich in history. I had always wanted to visit and had the chance to spend three kid-free days there in April for my husband's birthday celebration. In such a short time, we were able to eat and do so much on the cheap. Here are our tips with insights from locals too.

Heading on a bachelor trip to Amsterdam? Check out these Amsterdam Stag Party packages.

Street Food Guide to Eating in Amsterdam

Albert Cuyp Market 

Our first foodie stop was to this local street market open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. It is located in de Pijp and there are nearly 300 vendors selling all sorts of items and eats, along with pubs and restaurants on the side streets.


While at the market we took the opportunity to try warm stroopwafels. They are thin crisp waffles/ baked dough with a caramel syrup filling in the middle holding them together. Just look for the blue and white checkered flag at the market or follow the scent of sweetness! You can also buy already prepared ones to go here or at the supermarket for souvenirs to take back home with you, but definitely try a hot one first.

Amsterdam Stroopwafels at Albert Cuyp Market
If you want an Instagram worthy waffle though, you can head to van Wonderen Stroopwafels Kalverstraat 190, 1012 XH Amsterdam, Netherlands. These are dipped in chocolate and have colorful toppings like candy or sprinkles.


In the market and near the canals you'll see vendors selling fresh Herring as a snack like you would hot dogs. Raw herring is a Dutch specialty. You can make it like a sandwich and have it served on bread with pickles and onions, but locals order theirs straight up and start at the tail. I wasn't brave enough, but my husband had it twice, he loved it!

Albert Cuyp Market Raw Herring Stand
Ordering Raw Herring stand in Albert Cuyp Market

Vlaamse Frites 

Belgian style fries stacked in a cone and smothered in sauce. You can pick from mayo, curry, Hawaiian, even pickle sauce! I went with just melted cheese. You'll see windows selling Frites like this near the center by Dam Square along the trolley lines. The most famous hole-in-the-wall shop though is Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx Voetboogstraat 33, 1012 XK Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Vlaamse Frites with Sauce


Free cheese? Yes, please! Also near Dam Square is a cheese museum and plenty of cheese shops with free samples to nibble on. We couldn't stop ourselves from going into three different places and purchased a pesto and sun-dried tomato cheese to take back with us. Yum!

Amsterdam Cheese Shops!

Where to Eat Dinner in Amsterdam

De Koe 

This is real Dutch restaurant, that's tiny and quaint. De Koe means the Cow, but they serve seafood. A short walk from the Liedesplein area, it's a low-end dive restaurant that both Rick Steve’s and I like ;) The staff is friendly, but the food takes awhile to come out, so be patient and take in the views of the kitchen and other locals. The coffee shop next door and bar upstairs are worth checking out too. Marnixstraat 381, 1016 XR Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Eating with locals at Dutch Restaurant De Koe in Amsterdam
Eating with locals at Dutch Restaurant De Koe


Close enough to downtown is a high-end Italian restaurant inan old building called Incanto. Closer to the flower market


This “go to” easy Indian restaurant for lunch or dinner. Geldersekade 5 HS, 1011 EH Amsterdam, Netherlands


High-End MOMO has great sushi, but warning that it’s expensive. Hobbemastraat 1, 1071 XZ Amsterdam, Netherlands Phone: +31 20 671 7474

Drinking and Smoking in Amsterdam 

Heineken Experience

Very touristy, but still enjoyable is the Heineken Experience tour of their original brewery (sine 1864) in the city centre. TIP: Make a reservation or go to one of their later tours so you can enjoy some time in their downstairs bar sipping free pints before heading out to dinner and more drinking. They close early, so make sure you arrive well before closing so you get in.

Amsterdam Heineken Experience Tour Bar
Amsterdam Heineken Experience Tour Bar

Rooftop Bar

The DoubleTree hotel has a rooftop bar and restaurant with great views at sunset and at night. Find a way to go outside even if it looks like it’s closed off. Oosterdoksstraat 4, 1011 DK Amsterdam, Netherlands

Coffee Shops

We all know a big draw for the city is its illegal activities from marijuana to sex professionals. In Amsterdam "coffeeshops," are local dispensaries for marijuana, and they do NOT sell coffee. You'll want to visit a cafe for that. The Red Light District is where most of the 250 coffee shops are located including the first one - The Bulldog No. 90. However, the ones near here are crowded and a bit overwhelming.

We visited one off the beaten path where the staff even made recommendations more like they would in Denver. HOWEVER, if you're a 5'2 lightweight like me, maybe don't eat a whole "space brownie," even if they say, "no, this won't do anything." It did, and it wasn't fun.

15 Most Famous and Best Amsterdam Coffee Shops

Inside Tips for Seeing Amsterdam on the Cheap

Iamsterdam Sign

Be sure and visit the famous IAmsterdam sign near the museum district. You can even sit on the letters. It's great for photos, people watching, relaxing and for seeing tulips!

Iamsterdam sign selfies are a must!

Go to the Top of the Library 

You can go into Amsterdam’s very modern public library for free. Then take the elevator or escalator to the top where there is a cafe and panoramic views of the entire city. However, this was quite a walk from the canals and city center. 

Amsterdam Inside Tip: Free views of Amsterdam at the top of Amsterdam Public Library
Free views of Amsterdam at the top of Amsterdam Public Library

Free Walking Tour 

We took a FREE Sandeman walking tour (just tip your guide and make an online reservation ahead of time) of the city and saw some of its famous attractions like the Anne Frank house, the world's most narrow home, and more. This 2½-hour walking tour covers the main sights of the inner city.

They also have a nighttime Red Light tour as well, which we did too, but it's not free. You can make your reservation for that one though while on the free tour if you'd like. It was nice to have a guide to the Red Light district, less intimidating and I now know more than I ever wanted to know about that! lol. 

Blue Boat Canal Tour

With 1000+ bridges and 165 canals, there are a LOT of canal cruises. Many offer drinks for purchase or a free drink with your ride, but before and negotiate that first before you hop on board. I actually didn't want to take a canal tour, but my husband did and it ended up being pretty enjoyable. I'd recommend the Blue Boat Canal Boat Ride, which starts near the Hard Rock Café.

VIP Tips for What to Eat, Drink and See in Amsterdam

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Fashionable One-Piece Bathing Suits Under $30

Even before kids, I've never been one for a bikini, preferring one-piece suits that can both lift and suck me in, lol.

Finding flattering and stylish one-piece bathing suits though hasn't been easy, especially reasonably priced ones. Fortunately, I've finally found ones that both flatter and won't kill your bank account! ....And let me state right off that this is NOT a sponsored post nor did I receive these bathing suits for free.

Just want to share that I'm obsessed with Cupshe brand, which has uber cute and trendy one-pieces that are sexy and all under $30! I love that they have peek-a-boo cut-outs and designs, fun patterns, allowing me to feel sexy and stylish, yet still covered too. It's a great balance.

Even better, you can order via Amazon, so super easy and returnable. Not able to resist, I went nuts and ordered six to try on and then sent two back that didn't fit. I tried them out Mother's Day weekend at Disney's Vero Beach Resort and didn't feel just like a mom by the pool for a change, but a cool mom in a kick-ass suit, haha!

Cupshe Fashion One-Shoulder Swimsuit 

I love this color blocking, one-shoulder bathing suit. The cut-out sections are quite high so reveal the rib area and not your stomach. The material is ribbed and the white isn't see through either. It also has padding in the cups. I feel so fierce in it and yet not in a bikini or a boring one-piece either. 

Cupshe one-shoulder color-blocking one piece swimsuit

Cupshe Fashion Women's Double-Layered Padding One-Piece Swimsuit, Green

How fun is this twist knot in the middle? Again, the cut-out sections are quite high so reveal the rib area, not your stomach. Yet, still draws the eye. I also liked that I could tie it tighter in the back and the openness of the back for sunbathing too.

Cupshe Fashion Flowery Halter One-Piece Swimsuit Beach Swimwear Bathing Suit

First of all, halter suits that you can tie yourself are key for those with bigger boobs. This way, you can adjust and secure as needed. This suit also has padding in the cups for comfort and coverage. Despite the sweet flowery pattern though, this has a daring cleavage that plunges low! More daring than I've gone before and the open back just feels risky and sexy too. I did NOT take this one to the Disney resort, lol. No, I'm saving this suit for a beach day with adults.

Cupshe Flower Halter Bathing suit One Piececupshe flower halter one piece bathing suit

Cupshe Fashion Women's Pineapple High-Waisted Halter Bikini Set

Wait, but this one is a bikini! Yes, but because it's so high-waisted it didn't feel like a bikini. It sits way over your belly button even and the top provides a lot of coverage as well. It was more like a tankini and it allowed me to be brave and bare a bit of my stomach without feeling self-conscious either. It was kind of liberating for me actually. I also liked the old pin-up 50s look of it and I love all things pineapple 🍍

Behind the Scenes Moment, LOL

More Cupshe fashionable one-piece bathing suit designs:


Fashionable One-Piece Bathing Suits Under $30

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Spring Offerings at BRAVO Cucina Italiana

BRAVO Cucina Italiana is a “polished casual” restaurant offering classic Italian food 

The Perfect Girl's Night Out or Date Night

Spring is the ideal time to try something new, and BRAVO Cucina Italiana at the Mercato in Naples, Florida is offering a “you pick two” promotion now thru Sunday, June 17, 2018.

Pick Two Meal: Pasta Bravo & Mama’s Lasagna Bolognese

Can’t Decide What to Order? Have Both!

Picky and indecisive guests like me will have the opportunity to choose two of BRAVO’s classic Italian dishes and receive a half portion of each. It's a twofer! And although it's only a half portion, I couldn't finish either dish, so still had leftovers to spare. This deal includes a choice of soup or salad too starting at $14.99 during lunch and only $17.99 during dinner. Such an affordable, yummy and classy night out! 
  • Pasta Woozie: Grilled chicken, fettuccine, alfredo, spinach
  • Pasta BRAVO: Grilled chicken, mushrooms, rigatoni, roasted red pepper cream
  • Shrimp Fra Diavolo: Spicy tomato cream sauce, campanelle pasta, shrimp
  • Chicken Parmesan: Pomodoro, mozzarella, herb linguine
  • Mama’s Lasagna Bolognese: BRAVO’s signature meat sauce, alfredo, ricotta, mozzarella

Don't Forget Drinks & Dessert

The new seasonal dessert features, a Warm Berry Cake; as well as seasonal cocktails, including the Strawberry Fizz, Strawberry Mango Cosmo, and Strawberry Basil Smash. Um, we might have tried all of the above. Sorry, not sorry!

Seasonal Cocktails at BRAVO Cucina

Get $25 Offer

There is also BRAVO’s spring gift card promotion offering an ideal and easy gift for moms, dads and grads! For every $100 in gift cards purchased, guests will receive a free $25 bonus card. The spring gift card promotion is available for purchase in BRAVO restaurants and online.  

Girl's Night Out at BRAVO Cucina

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Afternoon Tea in Southwest Florida

High Tea Rooms in SWFL

Wisteria Tea Room, Fort Myers

A charming tea room in downtown Ft. Myers housed in a 1919 bungalow offers afternoon tea from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily except Sundays. Reservations are highly recommended, especially during season (Jan-April). What I really enjoyed is the tea selection and the fact that it's bottomless tea, so that you can try different flavors and not stick with just one tea choice. 2512 Second St, Fort Myers, FL 33901

Enjoying afternoon tea at Wisteria Tea Room in Fort Myers

Brambles Tea Room, Naples

Named after a teddy bear, this English Tea Room and Gift Shop on 5th Avenue South in Downtown Naples was established in 1995 and has become an enduring local tradition. This hidden gem is tucked down a landscaped passageway called “Rue de Fleur” with a Lion water fountain, flowered window boxes and beautiful ornamental garden accents between Fidelity Investments and English Traditions. Their afternoon tea is served daily Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Reservations are not required, but during the months of January through March, it is highly suggested to make one just in case. 340 5th Ave S, Naples, FL 34102

Brambles Tea Room Naples FloridaBrambles Tea Room Naples Florida Entrance

Audrey's Tea Room, Naples

Alongside Audrey's Attic, a high-end thrift store in Naples, there is also a sweet tea shop -- "Tea With Me at Audrey's." Here you can enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea, a light lunch, coffee, cakes, and scones in an unpretentious setting. Audrey's is closed during the summer. 985 5th Ave N, Naples, FL 34102

Afternoon tea break in Naples, FL at Tea With Me At Audrey's

Norman Love Confections, Fort Myers

The famous chocolatier Norman Love recently introduced a traditional afternoon tea at his Norman Love Confections’ McGregor Chocolate and Dessert Salon location (13261 McGregor Blvd., Suite 105, Ft. Myers, FL). Available on Friday and Saturday afternoons by appointment only (call 239-672-8797), guests can choose the Afternoon Tea Special featuring bottomless cups of Tea Forte tea and a three-tiered array of tea sandwiches and tea breads, pastries, tartlets and a fresh scone with fruit preserves and Devonshire cream, available for $32 per person. Or you can splurge and go with the Royal Tea Special, which features all of the above as well as a glass of champagne, offered for $38 per person. Space is limited.

Afternoon Tea in Southwest Florida - Guide to Naples and Fort Myers, FL tea shops
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Hooked on Seafood at BRIO Tuscan Grille this Spring

Love seafood? Me too! Celebrate the greatness of fish at one of my favorite restaurants, BRIO Tuscan Grille this spring for lunch and dinner and experience their new Seafood Celebration menu, from Tuesday, April 3–Sunday, June 17.

I got to sample the new menu (tough life!) and it was even more delightful than I was expecting. Made from scratch, the dishes include the finest and freshest ingredients.

Lunch (Salad & Seafood Celebration):

Strawberry Balsamic Salmon Salad

  • Strawberry Balsamic Salmon Salad: Mixed greens, salmon, grapes, spicy pecans, Gorgonzola, herb vinaigrette. The portion is more than generous, easily enough for a full meal and not a starter as I pictured. I plan on going back just for this! It's light, refreshing and filling, but not overly so. The salmon melts in your mouth too.
  • Grilled Salmon Fresca: Grilled asparagus, sweet potatoes, spinach, red peppers, pesto vinaigrette, Feta, tomatoes, balsamic glaze.  
  • Shrimp Mediterranean: Spicy grilled shrimp, orzo, farro, broccoli, asparagus, grape tomatoes, spinach, Feta, pesto vinaigrette
  • Lobster & Shrimp Ravioli: Spicy black pepper cream, spinach, grape tomatoes
  • Grilled Salmon Fresca: Grilled asparagus, sweet potatoes, spinach, red peppers, pesto vinaigrette, Feta, tomatoes, balsamic
  • Shrimp Mediterranean: Spicy grilled shrimp, orzo, farro, broccoli, asparagus, grape tomatoes, spinach, Feta, pesto vinaigrette
  • Lobster & Shrimp Ravioli: Spicy black pepper cream, spinach, grape tomatoes 
BRIO Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli
Grilled Salmon Fresca

Dinner (Seafood Celebration):

  • Grilled Salmon Fresca: Grilled asparagus, sweet potatoes, spinach, red peppers, pesto vinaigrette, Feta, tomatoes, balsamic My mother especially liked this dish and she isn't even that big of a salmon fan! 

  • Shrimp Mediterranean: Spicy grilled shrimp, orzo, farro, broccoli, asparagus, grape tomatoes, spinach, Feta, pesto vinaigrette
  • Lobster & Shrimp Ravioli: Spicy black pepper cream, spinach, grape tomatoes. Seriously, how can you go wrong with this? I was at first scared about the 'spicy' descriptor, but I'm a wimp when it comes to that and found that it was just right and flavorful. 

$25 Gift Card Savings

Right now, BRIO is celebrating moms, dads and grads with a gift card savings promotion, from Monday, April 9–Sunday, June 17. For every $100 in gift cards purchased, guests will receive a free $25 bonus card. This spring savings gift card promotion is available for purchase in BRIO restaurants and online. I'm going to buy one for my mother (hopefully she's not reading this post, lol).

New Spring Seafood Celebration Menu at BRIO Tuscan Grille

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary preview of the new holiday menu in exchange for my honest review. But I was already a fan of the restaurant prior to this tasting. 
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Pie Five Brings Personalized Pizza To Estero

Custom-built Pie Five Pizzas
Picky pizza lovers in the Fort Myers-Naples area are in luck! Dallas-based Pie Five Pizza Co., known for its customizable craft pizzas, is now available in Estero, Florida across from Coconut Point Mall. It is the second Pie Five location in the Sunshine State. 

Similar to a Subway sandwich line concept or Chipotle-type setup, you build out your order how you'd like it and see it assembled right in front of you for a handcrafted individual pizza made to order in less than five minutes. 
The fast-casual Pie Five Pizza Co restaurant in Estero, FL
You start by picking your type of crust (crispy artisan thin, classic pan, traditional Italian, gluten-free and cauliflower crust), and then between seven sauces. Next, select from more than 40 fresh, hand-cut veggies and artisan toppings, followed by a fresh finish seasoning like basil, red pepper or Magic Dust, which is parmesan, provolone, romano and Italian seasoning. I had magic dust put on each!

They also have suggested combos available too. I really liked the Chicken Carbonara (alfredo sauce) and the meat-lovers High-Five (marinara sauce) pizzas.

I ordered their Cauliflower Crust option with the Chicken Carbonara style, just try it out and be healthy, but it ended up being my favorite of the three. Best of all, it's lower in carbs, has 1/2 the sodium and is gluten-free
Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust at Pie Five Pizza Co.
Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust at Pie Five Piza Co. 
Allergies: Pie Five also accommodates dietary restrictions by offering gluten-free crust and vegan cheese options.

As for drinks, we were happy to see brewed ice teas and Blue Sky Soda, which is made with real cane sugar instead of corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. The black cherry flavor is awesome.

$avings TIP: Join their Circle of Crust rewards program to earn points for every purchase of pizza or large salad. Members even get a free pizza on their half birthday!

Have you been to a Pie Five Pizza? What's your favorite style of pizza to order?

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