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


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