Wahlburgers Waterford Lakes with Chef Paul Wahlberg

We were invited to an exclusive tasting event at Wahlburgers Waterford Lakes to enjoy a selection of summertime favorites at the popular casual dining burger destination, while experiencing the family-driven hospitality of Wahlburgers.

We tried their summer menu offerings including the guest favorite, Super Summer Bacon Burger, an assortment of signature sides and cocktails and mingle with Chef Paul Wahlberg of the A&E Network’s Emmy-nominated reality show “Wahlburgers”.

For more information please visit: wahlburgersrestaurant.com

Wahlburgers Waterford Lakes
749 North Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32828

Pictures below:

Executive Chef Paul Wahlburg poses with baby

Executive Chef Paul Wahlburg poses with baby

Super Summer Bacon Burger - 8 oz. beef patty, smoked cheddar, bacon, bacon aioli, crispy onions, housemade roasted corn salsa, lettuce

Super Summer Bacon Burger - 8 oz. beef patty, smoked cheddar, bacon, bacon aioli, crispy onions, housemade roasted corn salsa, lettuce

Sweet potato tots

Sweet potato tots

Onion rings

Onion rings

Tots, fries, & Alma’s mac salad

Tots, fries, & Alma’s mac salad

Grilled Fluffanutta - fresh sliced banana, peanut butter, fluff & Nutella

Grilled Fluffanutta - fresh sliced banana, peanut butter, fluff & Nutella



Toasted Coconut Margarita

Toasted Coconut Margarita

Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 2.41.04 PM.png

New Acoustic Brunch at Hard Rock Hotel Orlando

We were invited to experience Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando's all-new brunch!

Every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. The Kitchen at Hard Rock Hotel Orlando offers a live acoustic performance and a full brunch buffet including a salad bar, carving station, salmon platter and other chef-inspired creations. Unlimited mimosas and Bloody Mary’s are also included.

Adults: $39
Children 10-14: $17
Children 3-9: $13
Children under 3: FREE

The Kitchen
Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
5800 Universal Blvd. Orlando, Florida 32819

Carving station

Carving station

Smoked salmon station

Smoked salmon station

Fried chicken & waffles

Fried chicken & waffles

“Elvis“ French Toast - baguette slices, bananas, peanut butter and caramel sauce

“Elvis“ French Toast - baguette slices, bananas, peanut butter and caramel sauce

Mascarpone French toast

Mascarpone French toast

Banana walnut pancake

Banana walnut pancake

Chocolate chip pancake

Chocolate chip pancake

Apple cinnamon waffles

Apple cinnamon waffles

Live acoustic performance by Nicole Equerme

Live acoustic performance by Nicole Equerme


Epcot International Food & Wine Festival - Italy Pavilion

By: Tiffany Nguyen


We were invited to Epcot International Food & Wine Festival for a special media event at the Italy Pavilion to taste the new dining options from Tutto Italia and Via Napoli.  


We were excited to be the first to experience the brand new kiosk that made its debut: the Italian donkey cart with new speciality cocktails. 


Limoncello Cocktail - limoncello, orange juice, pineapple juice, peach purée


Menu at the Italian donkey cart


The Via Napoli Pizza Window is located on the left side of this picture.  It is the beige building behind the patio umbrellas.  The walk up window is a convenient pick up option for pizza lovers on the go.


Pizza Pepperoni fresh out of the wood brick oven.


Crispy Calamari with Spicy Pomodoro Sauce


Spezzatino con Polenta - Beef Stew with Parmesan Creamy Polenta

Absolut Penne - Vodka Sauce with Shrimp


Cannoli al Cioccolato - Chocolate-covered Cannoli filled with Sweet Ricoota, Chocolate, and Candied Fruit

Live comedy show entertainment


Be sure to check out the Italy Pavilion and all the delicious food and drinks it has to offer during Epcot International Food & Wine Festival now through November 13!  Gratzie!


Via Napoli Pizzeria e Ristorante  
1510 Avenue of the Stars, Orlando, FL 32830
(407) 560-8050

Tutto Italia Ristorante  
North, 1770 Avenue of the Stars, Orlando, FL 32830
(407) 560-8040

Four Seasons Resort Orlando’s New “Daycation Experience” Is The Ultimate Weekday Spa Getaway

Contributing Writer:  Tiffany M. Nguyen

I am so excited to announce that the first and only AAA Five Diamond rated resort in Central Florida has a new spa package called the “Daycation Experience” and it’s what magical spa day dreams are made of.  Are you looking for the best place to feel luxurious, pampered, relaxed, and rejuvenated on your day off?  Well look no further, I am going to introduce to you ‘The Spa’ at Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort and I will guide you on what you can expect on the day of your appointment.

The Daycation package includes:

  • Choice of 80-minute Classic Massage ($245 value), 80-minute La Floridian body treatment ($250 value), or 80-minute Signature Radiance Facial ($260 value) at The Spa at Four Seasons
  • $35 credit toward lunch at PB&G, the Resort’s lakeside Southern-inspired restaurant, featuring many healthy salads, rotisserie chicken, fresh Florida seafood and more
  • Access to the expansive Spa amenities, complete with his-and-hers separate facilities each including a steam room, outdoor whirlpool, experience shower, ice fountain, spacious locker rooms and vanity area
  • Access to the Spa relaxation areas, including indoor and outdoor co-ed tranquility lounges, plus co-ed solarium with zero gravity wave lounger chairs, perfect for post-treatment relaxation
  • Access to the state-of-the-art Fitness Center and admission to any fitness classes offered on day of visit
  • Four Seasons guest service at the pools, with ample seating including loungers and daybeds, plus complimentary umbrellas for shade, complimentary poolside amenities, and poolside cocktail service available
  • Valet parking ($20 value)
  • A 20% savings at The Spa or Salon on additional treatments experienced the same day

This package is available at $285/per person and is available exclusively Monday through Friday.* For reservations, call The Spa at 407-313-6970.

*This package does not include taxes or gratuities for the lunch credit.  Package does not include Kids For All Seasons childcare and does not include access for additional guests.  Reservations are required; blackout dates apply.

More info: http://bit.ly/FSDaycation
(Source: Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort)

As soon as you arrive at the front gate, the magic begins.  This breathtaking property has 26.5 acres of landscape that includes 114 different plant species, including 49 live oaks, 927 palm trees and approximately 72,000 shrubs and groundcovers.  The aesthetics is Lakeside Spanish Revival architecture reflecting Florida’s golden age.

When you pull up to the front entrance, the valet service is friendly and approachable.  They are wanting to help, awaiting for your arrival to your spa appointment.

The beautiful interior design as soon as you step into the resort.  The mosaic titles, swirl rails, and majestic fireworks chandeliers that overlooks the landscape sets the tone for this five-star resort and they work together beautifully to make a great first impression.  This area is so photogenic and great for guests to take pictures with.

Create your own Arnold Palmer station at the front entrance to help you stay hydrated throughout the day.

The waiting room in The Spa is fully stocked with merchandise from beauty products to women’s and men’s clothing.  

The spa receptionists are very professional and friendly.  After you check in at the front desk, you are given a tour of the spa facility. 

The locker rooms are separated to his-and-hers facilities.  Each locker comes with a electronic keypad to store your personal belongings in and to retrieve your robe, towel, and slippers.  At your own convenience, you set your own personal code every time you open/close your locker.

The women’s restroom is decorated with a lovely floral mosaic wall and ring light mirrors mounted to the ceiling.  These ring light mirrors are the perfect mirrors to look into and make you feel beautiful every time. 

The locker room is fully stocked with personal care items such as: mouthwash, soap, hand towels, Q-tips, hair gel, lotion, hair spray, hair brushes, cotton pads, makeup remover wipes, shave cream, razors, and blow dryers to set you up for success.

Zero gravity chairs that are great for sitting and reading.  The luxury experience shower has built in LED lights that alternate with calming colors (color therapy), speakers that play rainforest sounds to make you comfortable (music therapy), and multiple misters and body sprays including a 24” shower head with various flow settings (touch therapy) to excite all your senses.  These custom showers are perfect for rinsing the body after a spa treatment.



The Daycation Experience package comes with access to the fitness center and fitness classes offered the day of your appointment.  The girls and I took Barefoot Body Sculpt class taught by our wonderful and patient instructor Vicki who also doubled as our photographer.  Vicki played calming music and lit an aromatic incense before our class started and it really set the mood of our class to a judge-free zone to reconnect, de-stress, and focus on becoming a healthier person.  I highly recommend everyone to take Vicki’s amazing classes! 

Our fitness class was taught in a shaded region of the resort so we felt the wind breeze while we were exercising and it felt amazing!  Our class was an hour long, but we were having so much fun it did not feel like we were working out at all!  Those types of workouts are the best - the ones when you can have fun while toning up at the same time!

Doin’ my thing on the resort lawn!

The Daycation Experience package includes $35 credit to PB&G - the resort’s lakeside Southern-inspired restaurant.  At this relaxing, outdoor, poolside restaurant you get a scenic view of the gorgeous resort property while you are dining at PB&G.  The food was delicious with plenty of fish options for my pescatarians out there.  Check out their menu here: http://www.fourseasons.com/orlando/dining/restaurants/pbg/  















Oasis Pool adult-only (21+) with underwater audio, loungers, day beds, and cabanas.

Complimentary umbrellas to keep you cool under the sun.

Cabanas available for use.  The guest service at the entire resort is top notch.

Sunscreen, after sun gel, eyeglasses spray, & cloth wipes.

Hanging pods at the family pool.

Scenic walkway that is very photogenic to take pictures at.


The “Sparrow” room.  All 18 spa treatment rooms are named after Florida birds.  There are plenty of rooms at The Spa so booking for a large party is no problem.  My esthetician Jessica did an amazing job with my 80 minute facial.  I got compliments on how rejuvenated and smooth my face looked after my treatment.

Post-treatment goodies.  Yana Daily Collagen Shot & Norman Love’s Hot Dark Chocolate - intense dark chocolate infused with jalapeño pepper for a delightfully spicy sweet combination. 

Co-ed tranquility lounge has it all - light snacks, drinks, chimneys, and sofas.

Prior to leaving, be sure to validate your valet parking ticket at The Spa's front desk.  You will leave feeling relaxed and renewed.

I hope you enjoyed my post about the Daycation Experience at Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort!  Let us know below what you think about it!

  • Follow Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort on Facebook and on Instagram at @FSOrlando.  
  • Hashtag your Daycation Experience posts on social media with #FSOrlandoOasis. 

2016 Orlando Holiday Gift Guide

'Tis the season! It's been a crazy/busy year, so please reward yourself + your loved ones with special gifts from these Central Florida based businesses.

Picture Credit: @LocalLoveOrlando

Picture Credit: @LocalLoveOrlando

Local Love Orlando

Orlando-inspired products that celebrate The City Beautiful. My heart is so in love with the Orlando Map Print that features The City Beautiful and its downtown neighborhoods. Local Love Orlando also collaborates with local vendors such as Mama's Sauce and Real Threads to create these beautiful pieces. Tip: FREE SHIPPING until Sunday, 12/18.

Shop Local Love Orlando: Website/Facebook/Instagram

Picture Credit: @anandaluxcandles

Picture Credit: @anandaluxcandles

Ananda Natural Soy Candle Company

Hand-poured, small batch soy candles made with natural ingredients that offer a long-lasting fragrance. These candles can be found at Disney Springs, various local farmers market (Oviedo + Maitland + Windermere), and pop-up events at select retail stores (West Elm + Pottery Barn + Inbloom Florist). I fell in love with the "Spirit of Christmas" (Holiday Collection) and Lavender & Chamomile (Herbal Aromatherapy Collection) soy candles. Tip: Refills are only $10!

Shop Ananda Natural Soy Candle: Website/Facebook/Instagram

Picture Credit: @orlandoshirts

Picture Credit: @orlandoshirts

Orlando Shirts

Want to show your city pride? Orlando Shirts has an awesome line of locally designed and printed apparel. Orlando Shirts started as a collaboration between Go Big Tees & Bungalower. For the enthusiastic resident, it can be hard to choose from the variety of neighborhood t-shirts! Tip: FREE SHIPPING on orders with code "HAPPYHOLIDAYS".

Shop Orlando Shirts: Website/Facebook/Instagram

Picture Credit: @secretsocietygoods

Picture Credit: @secretsocietygoods

Secret Society Goods

Secret Society Goods creates utilitarian goods featuring original "occult-y" artwork. I read about the new Orlando Maker via The Daily City in the beginning of the year and had to get my hands on the limited edition Orlando Campfire Patch. During the launch of Secret Society Goods, I got a chance to meet with Sean Walsh (Founder) and was inspired by how his passion for designing + creating turned into a reality with the start-up of his company. You can find these goods at special local events and occasional pop-up shops (Etoile Boutique + The Guesthouse).

Shop Secret Society Goods: Website/Instagram

Picture Credit: @toyousnacks

Picture Credit: @toyousnacks

To You Snacks

I recently discovered a new healthy and simple snack option in town. The snack bars are gluten free and made fresh with no preservatives and premium ingredients. These bars really came in handy when I was running short on time..trying to make it to the next business meeting or meeting deadlines for school. The bars were soft + easy to chew, and also full of flavor. Banana foster, mango yogurt, peanut butter cranberry, pina colada, raspberry lemon..the creative mix of options are endless. There's also vegan-friendly options too! Tip: 15% OFF on orders with code "TYIG". 

Shop To You Snacks: Website/Facebook/Instagram

Picture Credit: @deuxmainsdesign

Picture Credit: @deuxmainsdesign

Deux Mains Design/REBUILD Globally

Ethical fashion and footwear that turns poverty into prosperity. REBUILD globally, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is part of a social business ecosystem that exists to create a sustainable business and training for jobs that allow women and men to earn a living wage. As a response to the disaster of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Deux Mains was established to rebuild lives through the art of shoe-making. The products are handcrafted by Haitian craftsmen and women using up-cycled tires and locally sourced leather. The best part about Deux Mains is that the company is employee-owned to ensure local ownership and continued support of the Haitian economy. Tip: Sign up for the newsletter and receive a coupon for 10% OFF your order.

Shop Deux Mains Design: Website/Facebook/Instagram


The Dinner Party Project // 2 Year Anniversary Party

Orlando's best kept secret: The Dinner Party Project.

The Dinner Party Project brings 7 strangers around a dinner table that share a love for eating local food and meeting new people. The pop-up dinner series is founded by Dana Marie Roquemore, an Orlando native with a passion to connect people. On this special evening, friends and family celebrate the 2 year anniversary of The Dinner Party Project. The dinner party was a huge collaboration with local businesses from Central Florida.

Host: The Dinner Party Project // Venue: The Cross Orlando // Floral: Inbloom Florist // Dish, Glassware & Flatware: Dishie Rentals // Decor: Paper Goat Post // Food: Nova Orlando, Sobremesa Orlando, The Wandering Wonton, Em's Neighborhood Kitchen, Hyatt Regency Orlando // Beverage: Black Cauldron Brewery, Broken Strings Brewery, Coopers' Craft, Credo Coffee

Thank you to all of the vendors and volunteers for hosting an enchanting evening.

HOSTESS AKA #GIRLBOSS: Dana Marie Roquemore

HOSTESS AKA #GIRLBOSS: Dana Marie Roquemore

Want a seat at the table with The Dinner Party Project? Click HERE to sign up.

Follow The Dinner Party Project: Website // Facebook // Instagram

Awe-Inspiring Art Forms // Aerial Silks at Vixen Fitness Studio

Gorgeous silky material wrapping around the body.

Gorgeous silky material wrapping around the body.

Aerial silks is a beautiful and awe-inspiring activity that I've always wanted to learn. Last week, I had the opportunity to try aerial silks for the first time at Vixen Fitness and it was one of the most challenging, yet most incredible workout experiences.

Aerial silks is an athletic/performance art form that involves paired lengths of fabric curtain sheets hanging from the ceiling. The fabric is strong, supple, and pliable enough to be wrapped around various parts of the body to create dramatic movements and poses from the ground. Aerial silks is gaining popularity with fitness studios and workout programs can help build strength, flexibility, and coordination.

Coming into this class with absolutely no experience? No problem. The instructors at Vixen Fitness Studio were encouraging and helpful. Lauriel spent one-on-one time with all of the beginners to make sure everyone understood the methods/concepts. Even though the class was 60 minutes - time flew by so quickly that it felt like I was only there for 15 minutes!

Aerial silks requires a lot of upper body and core strength to be done correctly. Climbing is the hardest part of this activity, and it will take more than one class to get the "hang" of things. It took a lot of courage for me to defy gravity and suspend myself from above the ground - but the results, felt amazing!


  • Read the class requirements
  • Wear tights and no loose clothing
  • Do not wear jewelry
  • Use Dry Hands (non-sticky gripping solution)
  • Have fun!

"Don't get discouraged - everyone felt the same frustration! If it were easy, everyone would do it. Also, don't try aerial and think you're not strong enough or flexible enough yet. You make gains on the journey and your journey will be different from your peers'. Consistency is key! Getting better will take time and diligence." - Kathryn Diego

Vixen Fitness Studio offers a variety of fun and different fitness activities. There's full studio rental space with a champagne/wine lounge area and it's an ideal place to host a party with the girls! The studio's team can create personalized packages to fit the needs of your party. The studio also collaborates with local businesses to host Member Appreciation Day and you can receive special treats!

Vixen Fitness Studio (Website / Facebook / Instagram)
6881 Kingspointe Pkwy, Suite 17
Orlando, FL 32819

Food + Drink // 11 Local Things to Do in Orlando

Summer is upon us and it's time to have some fun! Orlando has a variety of recurring food and drink events that happen almost every day of the week. The neighborhoods and local businesses within them is what makes Orlando a fun place to live in. From community farmers markets to main street walks and crawls, these events have become embedded in the heart of the Central Florida community and in my routine.

Orlando Farmers Market (Website/Facebook)
Lake Eola Park, Downtown Orlando
Every Sunday, 10:00am - 4:00pm
Seasonal fresh produce, vast array of vendors, food, crafts, and entertainment. Outdoor dining area and Beer/Wine Garden from 12:00pm - 4:00pm with $12 bottomless mimosas.

Orlando Farmers Market

Orlando Farmers Market

Audubon Market (Website/Facebook)
Stardust Video + Coffee / 1842 East Winter Park Rd., Orlando, FL 32803
Every Monday, 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Weekly gathering of growers, ranchers, fishermen, chefs, artists, handcrafters, musicians and neighbors. The market is set up in the Stardust parking lot with a wide selection of local food, art, and live music.

Tasty Tuesdays in the Milk District (Facebook)
2424-2432 E. Robinson Street between Bumby & Primrose (Trucks are parked in the back lots)
Every Tuesday, 6:30pm - 10:00pm
Weekly local food truck meet-up with a solid rotation of 12 trucks, rain or shine. Regular features are vegetarian options and American gastropub plates. The Milk Bar, Spacebar, Sandwich Bar, and Etoile Boutique all open their doors to guests at the event.

Drink Around the Hood (Website/Facebook)
Ivanhoe Village Main Street District, visit website for check-in location
3rd Wednesday of every month, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Tickets: $15/advance or $20/day of event include complimentary pedicab rides and drink samples from participating locations (while supplies last).
Sample sangria, beer, and cocktails throughout Orlando's most eclectic lakeside ‘hood.

1st Thursdays at Orlando Museum of Art (Website/Facebook)
Orlando Museum of Art / 2416 North Mills Ave., Orlando, FL 32803
1st Thursday of every month, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Admission: $10 or free with an annual membership
Discover local artists, listen to live music and mingle with an eclectic mix of people at “Orlando’s original art party”. Cash bars and café offerings from area restaurants are available.

Thornton 2nd Thursday Wine + Art Walk (Website/Facebook)
Thornton Park, visit website for glass pick-up and check-in location
2nd Thursday of every month, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Tickets: $15 (cash only) include complementary pour of wine from participating locations
An evening of sights, sounds, food, shopping, and some tastings all along the walk.

Orlando Conductor Crawl (Website/Facebook)
Visit website for check-in location and train schedule
2nd Friday of every month, 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Tickets: $5.00-$25.00 (purchase here)
A monthly meet-up to explore Central Florida neighborhoods and districts using SunRail.

Orlando Conductor Crawl / SunRail

Orlando Conductor Crawl / SunRail

East End Market #Dine2Nine (Website/Facebook)
East End Market / 3201 Corrine Dr. Orlando, FL 32803
Eat, drink, and socialize at East End Market until 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays. During extended hours, merchants are providing food and drink specials to spice up the evening.

Winter Park Farmers Market (Website)
200 West New England Ave., Winter Park, FL
Every Saturday, 7:00am - 1:00pm
Produce, plants, and baked goods held at the old train depot that has been restored into an historical landmark.

Winter Garden Farmers Market (Website/Facebook)
104 S Lakeview Ave, Winter Garden, FL 34787
Every Saturday, 9:00am - 2:00pm
Large selection of vendors from locally grown produce, baked goods, homemade soaps, fresh flowers, and live entertainment. If you're in the area, also check out Plant Street Market - Axum Coffee serves a delicious cup of coffee.

Food Truck Bazaar (Website/Facebook)
Visit website for the schedule of meet-ups all over Central Florida
Experience the Orlando food truck scene in one evening with delicious gourmet items, ethnic specialties, mouthwatering BBQ, desserts and more.

Diner en Blanc // Secret Pop-Up Picnic Coming to Orlando in Fall 2016

Orlando to host its first ever Diner en Blanc in Fall 2016 and the waiting list is now open for registration.

The popular Parisian-style pop-up picnic characterized by its famous all-white dress code will take place in Orlando for the first time ever this Fall 2016. The exact date will be announced later on. If you want to be part of this inaugural event, register now on the waiting list at orlando.dinerenblanc.info/register.

Le Dîner en Blanc ("Dinner in White") began in Paris in 1988 when François Pasquier, returning from a long stay abroad, had the idea to gather friends for a picnic. As the number of guests grew, he decided to hold the dinner in a public space and ask everyone to dress in all white to easily recognize one another. Le Diner en Blanc is now held in over 60 cities all over the world with over 100,000 annual guests.

Diner en Blanc - Paris

Diner en Blanc - Paris

To uphold Le Diner en Blanc’s tradition, guests of around the world must dress head-to-toe in white and are requested to bring their own portable tables, white chairs, white table linens, tableware, and a gourmet meal.

A large part of the excitement surrounding Le Dîner en Blanc is the secrecy surrounding the event location which is kept secret until the very last moment. Guests are given rendezvous to a departure point when they purchase their tickets.

“Le Diner en Blanc is about coming together, celebrating life, movement, creativity, friendship, dining, elegance, etiquette, wine, wine, and wine” states Fabie Reid, Managing Partner of J.A.G.A. Productions. “Simply a magical night not to miss."

Date: Fall 2016
Venue: Secret location - Orlando, FL
Price: To be confirmed

[ CLICK to Register FOr Diner En Blanc Orlando ]

About Diner en Blanc International
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Dîner en Blanc International is responsible for developing this secret posh picnic in over 60 cities in more than 25 countries around the world. Each event is headed by passionate local organizers who fell in love with the concept and wanted to bring it to their city, giving this rendezvous a local flair.

About the Hosts
J.A.G.A. Productions, also known as Just Another Grand Affair is an event management and consulting company that focuses on the production of large scale grandeur functions in the Central Florida region. Thanks to local hosts Tashima “Tash” Johnson, Fabie Reid, Lisa Greenwood, and Christopher Abrahams of J.A.G.A. Productions.

Facebook: Diner en Blanc - Orlando
Twitter: @DinerEnBlancORL
Instagram: @DinerEnBlancORL
Website: dinerenblanc.info

Love Your Hair Color // Pure Aveda Salonspa

Spring is the season of new beginnings.

This month I teamed up with Pure Aveda Salonspa for the Love Your Hair Color Campaign and I'm in love with my effortless balayage hair customized color by Pure Aveda Salonspa Designer Gina. I've been a long-time fan of Aveda and respect the company's commitment towards environmental sustainability and mission to care for the world. While Aveda specializes in hair care, additional plant-based offerings include skin care, make-up, body, aromas and lifestyle products. Aveda's innovative formulas leave hair damage free, full of shine, and feeling healthy.

On an early Saturday morning, the Pure Aveda Salonspa was buzzing with customers. The modern spa adds vibrance to downtown Mount Dora, which comes from the creative energy and talent from the staff at Pure Aveda Salonspa. Gina worked with me to review hair color styles and customized a color to match my request using Aveda's full spectrum deep hair color formula. Aveda's full spectrum deep hair color is up to 96% naturally derived* with conditioning sunflower, castor, and jojoba oils.

The color service included a stress-relieving experience, basic style, and makeup refresh or hand massage ritual from the stress-fix line. Pure Aveda Salonspa designers use a variety of Aveda products during your service. My hair color service included products from the Color Conserve collection and Air Control hair spray (my favorite!) was also used to complete the style. The team at Pure Aveda Salonspa did an incredible job and I'm excited to rock my new look!

Click Here // to download this coupon and receive $25 towards your first hair color experience at Pure Aveda Salonspa.

Pure Aveda Salonspa // (Facebook/Instagram)
206 West Fifth Avenue, Mount Dora, Florida 32757

Pure Aveda Love Your Hair x The Orlando Girl
Balayage is a French word meaning to sweep or to paint and this technique creates a soft and sun-kissed natural looking hair color.
Pure Aveda Love Your Hair x The Orlando Girl
Pure Aveda Love Your Hair x The Orlando Girl

Shop the Aveda essentials: Color Conserve Shampoo // Color Conserve Conditioner // Color Conserve Strengthening Treatment // Color Conserve Daily Color Protect // Stress-Fix Soaking Salts // Stress-Fix Body Lotion // Stress-Fix Body Creme // Air Control Hair Spray

Follow #avedacolor and #pureaveda for inspiration, and find your own custom color at Pure Aveda Salonspa. Mention this offer and enjoy a $25 gift towards your first hair color experience at Pure Aveda Salonspa

Market Monday // Audubon Park Community Market

In one of Orlando's vibrant bungalow neighborhoods, the Audubon Park Garden District is filled with boutiques, restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, bars, and other services. Also home to The Audubon Park Community Market, a weekly gathering of growers, ranchers, fishermen, chefs, artists, handcrafters, musicians and neighbors. Every Monday, the market is set up in the Stardust parking lot with a wide selection of local food, art, and live music.

Audubon Park Community Market // http://audubonmarket.com/
Location: 1842 E Winter Park Road
Date: Every Monday (rain or shine)
Time: 5:00pm to 9:00pm
**Note** Be prepared for neighborhood/after work traffic and search for parking along the street.

The Daily City + Hunger Street Tacos // Some of my favorite things at the Audubon Park Community Market. #ORLANDOISWONDERFUL

The Daily City + Hunger Street Tacos // Some of my favorite things at the Audubon Park Community Market. #ORLANDOISWONDERFUL

Hunger Street Tacos // TACO de Suadero:  braised brisket with chorizo, onion, cilantro, lime, and house avocado salsa verde served on two freshly made soft corn tortillas.

Hunger Street Tacos // TACO de Suadero: braised brisket with chorizo, onion, cilantro, lime, and house avocado salsa verde served on two freshly made soft corn tortillas.

Full Vendor Lineup for 2/29/2016

Authentic Empanadas
Traditional empanadas made from scratch.  Vegan options available! (Facebook)

Buttermilk Bakery
Expertly-made sweet and savory treats, including homemade pop tarts, croissants and more. (Instagram)

Dixie Dharma
Southern-inspired vegan vittles from the Market on South. (Facebook/Instagram.)

Earth Movers Farm
This small Leesburg farm specializes pastured eggs, poultry and pork. (Facebook)

Enamored with Nature
No-nonsense, allergy-friendly foods and personal care items made with whole ingredients. (Facebook/Instagram)

Fleet Farming
A hyper-local, bike-powered urban farming program + A small-scale distributed agriculture system. (Facebook/Instagram)

Flour Life
Beautiful confections, cakes, French Macarons, and other baked goods made from scratch with love. (Facebook/Instagram)

Heart of Christmas Farms
Hydroponic veggies, raw milk and raw milk cheeses, local honey, and more. (Facebook)

JJ Juice
Locally- and Freshly-made aloe vitality drink, aloe plants, and more.  

Keely Farms Dairy
Raw Milk, Yogurt, and Cheeses; heritage pork, and farmstead goods from a pristine 100 acre farm in New Smyrna. (Facebook)

Living Vitalitea
A locally owned company specializing in raw, full flavored Kombucha. Each bottle is handcrafted from beginning to end. (Facebook/Instagram)

Handmade, GMO-free, Central American Tortillas and Pupas. (Facebook)

My Yard Farm
Locally grown goodies, featuring microgreen blends, local citrus, and Lake Meadow Naturals Eggs. (Facebook/Instagram)

Orlando Fresh Bread
Savory goods, including baguettes, Italian loaves, pizza crusts, and real NY-style Bagels. (website)

Orlando Meats
Grass-fed beef, pastured poultry and pork, and other humanely-raised meats from Florida. (Facebook/Instagram)

Ozark Dreams
Preservative free, locally grown and sourced ingredients, canned for use on their own or in your favorite recipes. (Facebook)

The Farm at Rockledge Gardens
Fresh-Pocked veggies from a small, sustainable hydroponic farm. (Facebook/Instagram)

Stardust Video & Coffee
Carrot Dogs, Brats, Chili, and craft beer out in the market.    

Tamale Co. *NEW
Handmade, frozen, gluten-free tamales made with fresh ingredients, along with signature salsas & sauces. (Facebook)

Wandering Wonton
Handmade wontons and other goods inspired by the chef's extensive travels and Cambodian, French and Thai heritage. (Facebook/Instagram)

Wild Ocean Seafood
Wild-caught seafood, fresh from Florida's waters. Pre-orders only this week.

{ Click Here to View the Vendor Lineup / Updated Weekly }

12 Valentine's Day Adventures in Orlando

Celebrate the month of February with some Valentine's day adventures. Here are romantic and fun local ideas that won't hurt the bank.

{ 2/5/16 } Leu Gardens Movie Date Night featuring “What If”
Enjoy an outdoor movie in a beautiful garden. Blankets or chairs are recommended. Picnic basket dinner and alcohol are permitted. Curbies and Peak Season Pops will be selling grilled items, desserts and drinks.
Admission: $6 adult / $3 child (K-12th grade) / Free for Leu members
Website: http://www.leugardens.org/date-night-movie-february-5-730-p-m/

{ 2/5/16 - 2/7/16 } Orlando Ballet: The Firebird & To Familiar Spaces In Dream
Enchantment, romance and the mysterious Firebird herself are the inspiration for Igor Stravinsky’s classic and masterful score based on Russian legend of an exotic bird’s magical protective feathers.
Tickets: $44 and up
Website: http://www.drphillipscenter.org/shows-and-events/Shows-Events/Orlando-Ballet/20920-orlando-ballet-the-firebird-and-to-familiar-spaces.stml

{ 2/6/16 - 2/7/16 } Mount Dora Arts Festival
Fine arts festival in Downtown Mount Dora with oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, clay, sculpture and photography. The festival features local and regional musical entertainment at a main stage in Donnelly Park.
Admission: Free
Website: http://mountdoracenterforthearts.org/arts-festival/ 

{ 2/6/16 - 2/13/16 } Truffles & Bubbles: Valentine's Chocolate Tasting
Learn to hand dip and package an 8-piece gift box of specialty limited edition truffles with Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park. Choose from: Dark Chocolate Black Cherry Balsamic Dark Chocolate Popping Sriracha (made with popping crystals) Milk Chocolate Mü Coco Cappuccino Milk Chocolate Classic Truffle.
Ticket: $35
Website: https://squareup.com/store/PeterbrookeWP

{ 2/7/16 } Bach Festival Valentine Concert
Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra play an intimate concert in Winter Park’s Central Park. Bring a picnic basket, spread out a blanket and spend the afternoon on Park Avenue.
Admission: Free
Website: http://bachfestivalflorida.org/event/valentine/

{ 2/7/16 } Vintage Valentine
An afternoon of swapping and shopping with food trucks, vinyl, clothing, jewelry, household items, accessories, pop culture items and more.
Admission: Free
Website: http://audubonparkgardens.com/2016/01/29/vintage-valentine/

{ 2/9/16 } Orlando City Open Practice
Orlando City’s Open Practice provide supporters with an up close look at Head Coach Adrian Heath and the team’s preparation for their second season in the nation’s top-flight, as they begin working toward their mission of advancing into the playoffs in the 2016 MLS campaign.
Admission: Free
Website: http://www.orlandocitysc.com/openpractice

{ 2/11/16 } Thornton 2nd Thursday Wine & Art Walk
An evening of sights, sounds, food, shopping, and tastings with over 25 participating businesses.
Ticket: $15 cash only
Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/146202299090497/ 

{ 2/12/16 } Retro Game Night
Play treasured games from the past, including Parcheesi, Pictionary, Chinese checkers, Clue, Battleship, Candy Land, Mystery Date, Scrabble, Twister, and classic video games. New additions to Retro Game Night include GIANT games, and karaoke! Pizza, retro snacks, and a bar will be available. 
Admission: $5 advance / $7 non-members / Free for members
Website: http://www.thehistorycenter.org/event/retro-game-night/?event_date=2016-02-12

{ 2/13/16 } Paws in the Park
Orlando's largest dog walk to raise awareness and money to benefit homeless pets.
Registration: Donation varies
Website: http://www.pawsinthepark.org/

{ 2/13/16 } Indie-Folkfest
Love-fest brings together local artists, musicians, and food and drink specialties for a grand picnic in the Sculpture Garden that overlooks Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Cultural Park. Pack your blanket, and spend the afternoon enjoying a nonstop lineup of music. Bring a picnic or indulge in foodie-friendly small plates, and craft cocktails.
Admission: Free and food/drink cost varies
Website: https://orlandofolkfestival.wordpress.com/

{ 2/13/16 } The Dinner Party Project Love Feast
5-course meal with cocktails by Old Forester and beer selection by Redlight Redlight. Also celebrating 5 things to love about Orlando: Downtown Credo, The Human Experience, the Creative City Project, East End Market and Redlight Redlight
Ticket: $75
Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-2nd-annual-tdpp-love-feast-tickets-20817937010

Neighborhood Eateries with Nutritious Food

Market on South // www.marketonsouth.com
2603 E South St, Orlando, FL 32803

Plant-based dining with a restaurant, bakery, and bar in one space. Market on South is a shared space and current home to Dixie Dharma, Valhalla Bakery, and Humble Bumble Kombucha. Dixie Dharma's vegan Southern inspired dishes are savory and full of flavors. The Pulled Carolina BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich replaces the pulled pork with jackfruit and it's melt-in-your-mouth good. Valhalla Bakery's vegan doughnuts are also a huge hit in the town but they sell out fast. (Tip: Get there early or between Tuesday-Thursday.)

Pulled Carolina BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich: Jackfruit, fried onions, pickles, arugula, coca-cola redux, preserved lemon, and served on a bun.

Pulled Carolina BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich: Jackfruit, fried onions, pickles, arugula, coca-cola redux, preserved lemon, and served on a bun.

903 Mills Market // www.903millsmarket.com
903 S Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32806

Tucked in a quiet neighborhood near Downtown Orlando, 903 Mills Market's outdoor seating is a place you'll want to relax at to enjoy the weather. Saturday mornings are so much more fun when you can squeeze a jog/run at the nearby park and walk over to the market for a brunch break. If you're into creative sandwiches, try the Grateful Bread - a Thanksgiving dinner in a sandwich.

Lake Lawsona Spicy Chicken: Mixed lettuce topped with tender spicy strips of chicken, red onion, cheddar and tomatoes.

Lake Lawsona Spicy Chicken: Mixed lettuce topped with tender spicy strips of chicken, red onion, cheddar and tomatoes.

The Sanctum Cafe // www.thesanctumcafe.com
715 N Ferncreek Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

New plant-based restaurant in Orlando with scrumptious salads and more. The ingredients in the salads at The Sanctum Cafe have inspired me to be more creative with my own salads. The house spiced tempeh in the Shiva Salad was one of my favorite ingredients. Tempeh is made from soybeans and offers a healthy dose of protein and fiber.

Shiva Salad: Massaged kale, roasted butternut squash & house spiced tempeh tossed with pink lady apples, celery, carrots and raisins. Tossed in our curried peanut dressing and finished with candied walnuts, toasted chickpeas and coconut shreds.

Shiva Salad: Massaged kale, roasted butternut squash & house spiced tempeh tossed with pink lady apples, celery, carrots and raisins. Tossed in our curried peanut dressing and finished with candied walnuts, toasted chickpeas and coconut shreds.

Off the Beaten Path: Greenwood Urban Wetlands

Just minutes from downtown Orlando, Greenwood Urban Wetlands is a hidden oasis surrounded by beautiful cypress trees. The 19-acre scenic park is centered around a lake with walkways connected by multiple bridges.

Leaves in Florida change colors slower, and towards the end of Fall season is my favorite time to visit the park to get a glimpse of the vibrant orange and yellow landscape.

Greenwood Urban Wetlands
1411 Greenwood St, Orlando, FL 32801

Greenwood Urban Wetlands Park
Greenwood Urban Wetlands Park
Greenwood Urban Wetlands Park
Greenwood Urban Wetlands Park

Greenwood Cemetery is adjacent to the park and is a window into Orlando’s history. Moonlight Walking Tours can be reserved for strolls around the graves to learn about the history of Orlando, its founding families and famous residents. The cost of the tour is free and the events happen once a month.