Orlando Guide; 72 Hours in Orlando

I wanted to bring this post out for all of you who are like me! Not exactly into Disney and just wanting to hangout, drink, eat and experience some pretty cool spots! (all while taking Instagram photos of course!) 72 Hours in Orlando? I’m bringing you the ultimate guide on what to do! Orlando has always been a top tourist destination , with Disney here why wouldn’t it be but that’s not exactly my idea of fun and if you’re anything like me (and that’s most of you reading this) it’s not your idea of fun either!  Let’s get right into this!

WHERE TO STAY

I’ve always been a hotel kinda girl ( I mean I work for the largest hotel management company in the world) but lately I’ve found myself getting more and more into the Airbnb thing! Although the amenities you get with a hotel and the no fuss service are great it’s always a little nicer having your own kitchen and your own space – I’m all about finding a house on Airbnb and would highly suggest it! In terms of travel and getting around Uber is everywhere and if you’re staying in and only planning on exploring one area a car isn’t necessary but I would suggest waying your options between using Uber and renting a car – with all the different neighborhoods Orlando has to offer, you’ll find yourself all over the city for some fun!

Below are some Airbnb’s I would suggest in the city! Take a look

UPSCALE LOFT SPACE CLOSE TO DOWNTOWN

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Eco-Friendly Backyard Bungalow + Pool + Downtown

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Atmospheric Studio in the Garden

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The Shed in Downtown Orlando

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FRIDAY

LUNCH

Head to Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbarkoa in the Mills 50 District for some local BBQ with an edge.  I can confidently say there isn’t one thing on the menu that you’d regret, especially if you love that essence of BBQ as much as me!  My mouth is watering as I think bout the Mongolian Beef BBQ Bento Box!

Locals Tip; be sure to get a seat on the patio! people watching as locals walk by is always fun!

MIDDAY ACTIVITES

This one is for those who are as into the Instagrammable spots as I am.  Since you’re already in the Mills 50 District take the self guided walking art tour.  By self guided I mean take some time to explore the different neighborhoods that Mills has to offer and they many murals along the way! The district has a listing of all murals and locations to make planning a little easier.

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Locals Tip; Stop at ROYALTEA and be sure to get the Royal Fruits Tea – it’s unlike anything you’ve had and so refreshing for a hot day

Next up head to Leu Gardens, since you’re already in the area this course be a nice little walk.  Leu Gardens is Orlando’s tropical and semi-tropical gardens on nearly 50 acres of land at Leu Garden you’ll see and be able to take photos with hundreds of species of flowers and plants and the many exhibitions they typically have on the grounds. Walking your way through the gardens should take at least 2 hours.

Local’s Tip; The trails are easy to walk so sneakers aren’t a necessity

DINNER

For Dinner, go to The Stubborn Mule on the residential side of Downtown Orlando.  I know you’ve been dying to get to Downtown Orlando and this spot is situated just between some of the most beautiful condo buildings Orlando has to offer!  Not just does The Stubborn Mule have the best patio on the east side of Rosalind but the menu is killer as well! I absolute recommend the Pastrami Press, You won’t regret it and if you’re planning on spending the night drinking you’re definitely going to appreciate this large sandwich!

Local’s Tip; Either get there after happy hour ends or call in the morning to put in your reservation

NIGHTLIFE

I’m going to give you a peek into what Downtown Orlando has to offer!  Everything you could possibly want to do regardless of your vibe and music choice can be done in Downtown Orlando! Friday night I highly recommend Wall St. Plaza for the Friday Night Block Party.  The crowd is mixed and you can definitely put together a cute outfit.  The fun thing about Wall St. is you get a wristband and the entire street is blocked off- that wristbands gets you into every bar on the street! The live entertainment these bars have to offer are perfect for the group who likes to dance. Wall St Plaza consists of Cantini, Waitiki, The Monkey Bar, The Hen House, Hooch and Shine!

Local’s Tip; If you plan on partaking in the $4 Fireball shots you’re going to want to head to Tin & Taco on Washington St. after or stop at 1 of the many food trucks around Downtown.

SATURDAY

BRUNCH

You’re probably still a little drunk from the many $4 Fireball shots you had last night so 10/10 you’re wanting breakfast! Head to Church St. and check out Artisan’s Table for a Croughnut or if you’re like Jeff the Fried Chicken Biscuit (it’s literally the size of my head).

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MIDDAY ACTIVITES

Since you’re already on Church St. I’d take some time to walk around the area and explore what Downtown Orlando has to offer during the day.  You can find all the stories about which Downtown buildings are haunted and why/how!  The architecture of some of those older Downtown Orlando buildings is amazing and the photos you can take will be envy worthy for sure!

Local’s Tip; Check out the Roger’s Building, the old time green building is a great backdrop for photos!

I’d say hop in your Uber and head over to Hannibal Square/Park Avenue, one of the smaller and of course super beautiful neighborhoods in Winter Park. You absolutely have to do some shopping while you’re in the area in local shops like TUNI, SOULTRE BOUTIQUE and DEAR JANE.

Winter Park has some pretty amazing bars and restaurants but while walking through Hannibal Square and Park Avenue be sure to stop in The Wine Room – You can load a card with as much money as you want and stop at the many wine machines for tasting! You have to try the pre Brie Flatbread while you’re here!

DINNER

Orlando seriously has so many amazing options for dining it’s pretty ridiculous but for a Saturday Night Dinner I’d say check out ICON Park and Tapa Toro to be exact!  The Tapas Bar and Paella Pit will draw you in on smell alone. Whether you want chicken or steak or maybe just some small plates – this spot has something for everyone!

NIGHTLIFE

You’re already on International Drive, so while you’re at ICON Park just walk on over to Cafe 34 Istanbul and wind down with some hookah and some drinks. Open 24 hours you can stay along as you’d like!

Local’s Tip ; The Orlando EYE is at ICON Park on is constantly changing colors – makes for the perfect Orlando Instagram shot

SUNDAY

BRUNCH/MIDDAY ACTIVITES

On Sunday you absolutely must head over to the Lake Eola Farmer’s Market, Not only are all the local artisans out and about selling their products but there’s a range of food trucks too! You can find yourself getting lost in the Farmer’s Market but I typically find myself gathering around the Tamale Co. Food Truck and the OverRice Food Truck after a late morning of checking out what the artisans have created!

Local’s Tip ; Head across the street to Eola Wine Co for a Mimosa Flight.  Who doesn’t want 4 half champagne flutes (orange, pineapple, cranberry and peach) and a whole Champagne flute of your favorite flavor!

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HAPPY HOUR

Before you head back home let’s end the weekend at one of my personal fav spots! The Guesthouse.  Not only s the bathroom lined with the most perfect Instagram worthy wall paper, the back patio bar is an airstream!  While you’re enjoying the great weather on the patio with locals and their pups under market lights you’re drink is being mixed by a mixologist in the airstream.  If you’d rather sit inside you’ll see a magnificent bar in the middle of a large space with seating all around!

Local’s Tip;  The drinks on this menu are the perfect mixology dream so order the Old Fashion at least once!

There you have it! Your 72 Hour Orlando Guide from an actual Orlando Resident. I would love to hear if you’re coming to Orlando for the first time or if you’ve been here before and what you have planned! I hope my guide was a big help!

XOXO

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5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Holiday Charcuterie Board

I’m going to be completely open and honest with you all, I am beyond addicted to cheese and meat.  Truthfully, I don’t know if addicted really encompasses how much I love a good cheese and salami moment which is why I thought to put together a post on putting together the perfect cheeseboard for your holiday get together! Because what party is complete without a good charcuterie board? If you’re into not only the contents but the look of a good cheese board then let’s get into my 5 tips!

1 – Tip one is pretty basic but something that many people don’t often think of.  You need to mix your flavors.  You need to ensure your board is diverse by including salts, sweets, tanginess and different textures.  You can create these different flavor profiles and textures by adding things like honeys, jams, fruits and nuts and peppers of course.

2 – Get yourself some good cheeses! Your mind might automatically go to an American Cheese, a Pepper Jack Cheese, etc but you want more than just the typically cut up cubed cheese.  You want to go for different, flavors, textures and looks.  My personal favorite cheese is Espresso Cheese (which I’ve only ever found at Publix), I love a good Brie Cheese and of course there’s always got to be Gouda and Gruyere.  Remember this little tip; if there’s going to be fruit on this board definitely add in some crumbling Bleu Cheese.

3 – Don’t forget your meats! I love a good Salami but there’s so many different meats you can place on your cheeseboard that I promise your friends and family will love.  I suggest having some prosciutto and different sausages ranging in spice.  You will always have some guests that prefer something with a little more of a kick.

4 – I think every good charcuterie board should have an element of sweet to balance out any salt from the cheese and spice from the meet.  There are so many ways you can add sweetness to your charcuterie board.  My go to add ons are the following: Fig, Dates, Grapes, Honey (feel free to try different types), Jam, Dried Apricot, Blueberries and Raspberries.  I like the addition of fruit as well as the honey and jams because it gives the eater an option.  I’m personally all about a piece of Espresso cheese with a raspberry but I also love smeared Brie cheese on a cracker with some spicy sausage and a drizzle of honey.

5 – Don’t forget your element of crunch!  I can not go without any crunch on my charcuterie board.  I like to add crunch in both breads/crackers and nuts.  Some of my favorite bread/crackers are:  sliced sourdough bread, Matzos, Triscuits, and of course Water Crackers.  As for nuts I like to add almonds, pistachios, and cashews.  The element of the extra crunch that can had with just a piece of fruit is always a nice option to have.

What are some items you love seeing on a Charcuterie Board?

10 Fall Inspired Recipes You Need in Your Life

I’ve said it a million times and I’ll keep saying it, growing up in the mountains in New York made for many amazing Fall/Winter experiences that now living in Orlando I just don’t have. It’s beyond depressing however I have carefully curated a list of 10 recipes that will absolutely bring the Fall Season to you wherever you live! I’m not coming to you with 10 super basic Pumpkin Spice recipes (although there are 1 or 2 in here).  Don’t get me wrong circa last year I love a pumpkin spice latte but these recipes are so much better than that! When I think of Fall I think of crisp cold air outside, a warm feeling in my chest, big pots of warm food, apples, pumpkin, and so much more! So put down your PSL and let’s get into some real Fall inspired recipes.

Apple Pie Monkey Bread

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Butternut Squash & Sausage Stuffed Shells 

Chicken and Dumplings

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Apple Cider Mule

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Fall Breakfast Hash

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Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

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Creamy Butternut Squash Alfredo Pasta

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Autumn Sangria

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Pumpkin Risotto with Goat Cheese and Dried Cranberries

Spiced Cider Margaritas

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What recipes are you dying to try this Fall? I’m super excited for the Pumpkin Risotto and of course the Chicken and Dumplings which I make every year!

*i do not own these photos

Orlando Spotlight ; Some of My Fav Spots

 

Happy Thursday! Today I’m sharing a spotlight of a few places here in Orlando that are so great you just have to try them!  Those of you have been following me for quite some time know Jeff and I are complete and total foodies! SO much so that we have given ourselves the goal of eating at a food truck and having brunch in every state!  But that’s not what this is about.  I’m always getting questions on Instagram about the places Jeff and I frequent and I follow a ton of Orlando based Foodie pages so naturally why wouldn’t I share a few of my favorite restaurants.  So let’s get into it!

Let’s Start with Earl’s Kitchen & Bar because Brunch, Lunch and Dinner in a great atmosphere and right next to the best Mall in the city is something you can’t beat! When I want brunch close to home or a small bite with some happy hour drinks this place is my go to! Living in the part of town I live in Earl’s is convenient because it’s a cool and hip place that gives me a Downtown Rooftop feel without having to drive downtown.  Chicken and Waffles for Brunch or Wine and Sushi for Dinner, Earl’s is a place you’ll love.

Artisan’s Table is one of those places that is life changing! It’s a smaller Downtown Orlando Café with indoor and outdoor seating and there is almost always a wait.  My favorite meal of the week is brunch and I definitely look forward to our Sunday Brunch trips. I will say one thing I do not like is that they’re a scratch kitchen (which is great) however the menu is always changing ( my absolute favorite meal ever, the Pastrami Hash is no longer an option) Whenever Jeff asks me where I want to brunch I almost always say Artisan’s Table and for good reason!  With food that is filling but not tiring, this café knows exactly what they’re doing.

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Now I know earlier I mentioned how Jeff and I are completely into Food Trucks ( I mean how can you not be) Now this place isn’t exactly a food truck.. I mean it is but it isn’t. Caro-Bama BBQ is a must for some good home cooked BBQ.  Jeff and I discovered Caro-Bama at a Tuesday night food truck gathering we frequent in the Milk District and then later found out that the owners are good of friends of my good friend Vivian! (such a small world) Well they opened up a store front in Downtown Orlando in some prime real estate and if you’re in Orlando you’ve got to check them out!  I’m all about the Free Bird Sandwich which is slow smoked chicken on a toasted brioche bun topped with jalapeños, onion and bama white sauce and when I tell you it is insane, I mean it!  The menu is to die for and whether you’re stopping by the food truck or walking into the restaurant I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Now that I’ve told you some of my fav places in Orlando be sure to leave a comment and tell me some of your fav places in your city!

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4 Delicious Recipes You Can Make This Week

Okay Guys! Today is the day I’m bringing you 4 recipes that I am definitely obsessing over.  Over the last few weeks I have tried different recipes – whether from Pinterest or The Every Girl, there are some dishes I just need to share with you all! So whether you’re sitting at your desk at work dying of boredom, lying in bed with a glass of Rose or walking through Trader Joes trying to shop for dinner this week I’m giving you some killer recipes and I promise you’ll love them.

1. Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Skillet 

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Image Source A Spicy Perspective

2. Greek Turkey Meatball Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce 

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Image Source Joyful Healthy Eats

 

3. One Pan Italian Sausage and Veggies (Perfect for Meal Prepping!) 

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Image Source Chelsea’s Messy Apron

4. Easy Pad Thai with Chicken

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Image Source Just a Taste

 

Drop a link to some of your fav recipes in the comments!

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