I began working with Orlando, The City’s Magazine as their social media manager in 2015, and recently my role has expanded to writing for the magazine on a freelance basis. Though I started as a contributor on some of the lengthier feature items, I’ve recently landed solo bylines as seen below. All titles listed link to the online version of the articles in the print magazine.
January 2017 Issue
Tradition and today’s trends tie the knot with watercolor designs to match any wedding style.
For your guests, the invitation is their first glimpse of the character of your wedding. Invite them to meet the personality you and your fiancé have chosen for the big day with watercolor, a timeless and versatile medium. Though it’s a traditional technique, recent watercolor designs have opened the envelope to a world of possibilities to accommodate any wedding color palette or theme.
December 2016 Issue
At Frosty’s, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—every day of the year.
Orlando isn’t known for its frosty Christmases, but with the opening of Frosty’s Christmastime Lounge a few months ago, that may have changed. Providing downtown with a year-round yuletide celebration, the bar is owned by Todd Ulmer and Mark Angelo, who also co-own Mucho Tequila and Tacos, Aku Aku Tiki Bar, and Stardust Lounge. When asked why a Christmas theme, Ulmer answers, “In Orlando, a town where you’re competing with Disney, you need to be creative to stand out. And I wanted to create a place that takes people to the time of year when they’re celebrating with family and friends.”
November 2016 Issue
A guide to live music venues in Orlando
120 S. Park Ave., Sanford
It’s an authentic blues hall in old town Sanford, featuring regular themed blues nights on select evenings, and special performances in between.
37 W. Pine St., Orlando
This venue welcomes any sound whether it’s rap, metal, hardcore, singer-songwriter, or tropical electronic dance music, and delivers them in a casual setting with an urban underground club ambiance.
1200 S. French Ave., Sanford
It’s a little bit rock ‘n’ roll and a lot of country in a huge entertainment space built to look like an old red barn, regularly featuring country and rock bands.
46 N. Orange Ave., Orlando
This renovated theater dating to the 1920s blends a live music venue with a nightclub dance floor, hosting a range of nationally touring rock, hip-hop, EDM, and pop acts.
Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts
1905 Kentucky Ave., Winter Park
This independent performance venue is inside a warehouse space that can seat over 200 guests and promotes the music of local performers, be it jazz, chamber music, rock bands, or solo acts.
5405 Edgewater Drive, Orlando
This tavern holds its shows on a stage hidden behind a garage door opened only on select nights when acts ranging from acoustic sets to hip-hop to punk rock perform.
June 2016 Issue
A brunch reception can be festive or formal, and it’s guaranteed to be a favorite.
An up-and-coming trend, brunch wedding receptions are a good option for the couple who wants to balance a casual atmosphere with a selection of delectable menu items. For this reason, many local caterers have created innovative dishes for this mid-morning meal that will delight your friends and family members.
OFFER GUESTS A CREATION STATION
If you’re planning a buffet, consider a station where your guests can tailor their meal to their own tastes. Arthur’s Creative Events & Catering offers a new spin on a conventional breakfast dish: the Lolli Waffle Station. Guests can choose from traditional, chocolate, or cinnamon-bun waffles that are folded over a stick, lollipop-style. Toppings such as sprinkles, salted caramel and chocolate sauce, cream cheese frosting, and syrup are available to sweeten them.
The other half of brunch is, of course, lunch. Uncommon Catering presents a grilled cheese bar with bread choices that include Chicago hard bread, Italian, sourdough, rye, wheat, and white, plus an assortment of cheeses—fontina, Muenster, provolone, Parmesan, fresh mozzarella, cheddar, and Brie. A selection of unique jams in flavors such as blueberry/balsamic/thyme and strawberry/basil will please those who like to mix sweet with savory.
Two wedding day styles, plus beauty tips from a pro.
ROMANTIC DAYTIME WEDDING
“Daytime weddings call for a natural, light look,” says Jillian Caro, professional hair and makeup artist. She likes to use a palette of neutral tones to accentuate a bride’s natural features. “Start with the eyes because eyeshadow falls, and you’ll need to clean up underneath as you go along.”
Begin by applying a medium-tone shadow along the inner crease of your primed eyelid and blending it with a darker tone along the outer crease to add definition to the eyes. Then, line the eyes lightly with either a black or brown pencil or liquid liner. To add volume and enhance the shape of your eyes, cut a set of false lashes in half and apply each half-lash just along the outer lash line.
Next is the foundation. Caro is a fan of the MAC cosmetics line because of its wide variety of cool and warm tones. For brides getting married in Florida’s warmer months, Caro suggests airbrushing foundation onto the face because it will hold up better against humidity, sweat and tears. For the finishing touch, define the lips with a dark rosy pencil and fill them with a softer shade of lipstick.
January 2016 Issue
Splash pads, splash zones, or spray grounds can range from a few jets of water shooting from the ground, like the one found at Lake Concord Park in Casselberry, to massive water playgrounds like the ones at the Central Florida Zoo, SeaWorld Orlando, and Universal Orlando Resort. Small or large, free or with paid entry, splash pads are perfect for whiling away a hot afternoon. Grab the bathing suits and rubber-soled pool shoes, lather on some sunscreen, and let the kids cool off in the heat.
Do you love watching your kids be creative but don’t love the mess? No problem. At Crayola Experience in The Florida Mall, kids can melt and mold their own crayons, customize a label, learn how crayons are made, create their own puzzle, paint, and watch their drawings come alive on a big screen. There are also two play areas, a playground for big kids and a spot just for toddlers. Buy a ticket for a day or an annual pass for $34.99 and take them back all year long. crayolaexperience.com/orlando
Orange County, Seminole County, and local city libraries offer free and educational entertainment for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in the way of storytime. Among the many Central Florida libraries from which to choose, there’s a storytime almost every day of the week, including Saturdays at the Orlando Public Library. Depending on the age group and location, most are 30-45 minutes long and include multiple stories, songs, and dancing, while some go all-out with puppet shows and craft activities.
Fun Spot America has go-karts, arcade games, thrill rides, and kiddie rides for the youngest thrillseekers. It even claims to have the scariest ride in Orlando, the Skycoaster, which will have you literally flying through the air. There are two locations, on International Drive and in Old Town in Kissimmee. There’s a Gator Spot alligator attraction at the I-Drive park. fun-spot.com.
*this was a collaboration with three other writers. I’ve included only the content authored by me.
December 2015 Issue
Cloak & Dapper
1219 N. Orange Ave., Orlando
For the man with a debonair sense of style and the woman who wants to give the man in her life something special, Cloak & Dapper is for you. Inside, you’ll be offered something to drink while you peruse the brands of clothing and accessories not found at any other Orlando retailer. The shop stocks exclusively American-made items—everything from beard washes and aftershaves to wallets, sunglasses, shoes and shoeshine essentials. In the mix, you’ll find unique gift items like cocktail kits for flying, glasses etched with a map of Orlando, and a brew-your-own beer kit.
2525 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando
Additional locations in College Park and Artegon Marketplace
This eclectic boutique carries both designer and vintage apparel and accessories, but without the high price tag. Labels such as Manolo Blahnik, Kate Spade and Marc Jacobs can be found on the store shelves at half the retail price. These items are “like new”—some of them even still have the tags on. Of course, some of the vintage choices may show the wear and tear of time, but that only adds to the vintage appeal. Dechoes buys and sells new and used clothing and home décor items outright—offering cash or store credit.
The Lovely Boutique Market
2906 Corrine Drive, Orlando
The Lovely Boutique Market of Audubon Park is just that—lovely. Spacious and bright, this shop of sorts actually is an exhibit space that supports the work of local artisans. The goods are a diverse mix of old and new. Vintage items such as antique clothing, collectible knickknacks and repurposed furniture can be found among one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts such as bath salts, jewelry, framed air plants—even award-winning hot sauce. If you’ve been looking for a pair of tall, stone Chinese Foo dogs for your front entry, this is the place.
The Shoppes of College Park
2308 Edgewater Drive, Orlando
Newly opened, The Shoppes of College Park has an urban vibe with polished concrete floors and industrial lighting. It’s an intimate gallery-style space, located in the same block as the Gallery on the Edge and operated by the same owners. Currently, there are 11 vendors offering a wide array of merchandise such as wall art, ceramic dishes in the shape of woodland creatures, pre-made pie filling, clothing and accessories, jewelry, bath and body products, a stylish tool kit for women, fresh flowers and garden succulents. The shop also offers a custom-embroidery service.
Palmer’s Garden & Goods
2611 Corrine Drive, Orlando
Nestled behind its own lush foliage on Corrine Drive, Palmer’s Garden and Goods holds a treasure-trove of garden delights. Stroll the grounds and search for plants to enhance your outdoor oasis, or browse the novelties in the shop for fun finds like small ceramic gnomes, candles, and both indoor and outdoor décor. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable—ready to help you choose what you need, or assist in designing and installing your dream garden. Palmer’s buys plants locally whenever possible to ensure that they will thrive in Central Florida’s humid subtropical climate.
3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando
At Porch Therapy, located in a small stall inside East End Market, you’ll find an array of air plants, succulents, herbs and perennials showcased in unique and unexpected ways. A child-sized toy dinosaur acts as a base for an air plant, and colorful succulents are grouped together in a decorative, repurposed box. Other distinctive items found here include a terrarium kit, greeting cards, artists’ prints and goods from local craftsmen. Bring your own pot—or select one from the shop—and commission a specific arrangement. Landscape designs services also are available.
Rock & Roll Heaven
1814 N. Orange Ave., Orlando
Walking through the door of Rock & Roll Heaven in Ivanhoe Plaza is like entering a music time capsule. This retro-styled shop has been in business almost 40 years and is jam-packed with new and used vinyl LPs, cassettes, CDs—even 45s from the 1950s. The store’s music library covers just about everything you can imagine: jazz, country, disco, indie-rock, British pop, soul, rap, Latin and much more. Beyond the music, there are turntables, band posters, T-shirts, and music memorabilia such as Beatles drinking cups and lunchboxes and, for the serious collector, an Elvis gold hits album collection for $75.
Paper Goat Post
1215 N. Orange Ave., Orlando
They love paper. They love goats, and they love the quaint idea of posting something in the mail. Owned and operated by twin sisters Megan and Cedar Watson, Paper Goat Post is one of the newest additions to the Ivanhoe Village block. The inviting storefront, draped in vines and tucked away in its own courtyard, offers a charming hint of what you’ll find inside. There’s stationery, of course, and desk accessories for the paper lover. Surprising finds include children’s book versions of Shakepearean plays and shoe trees. The owners also offer event-planning services, and a gift-wrap and balloon station.
2204 Edgewater Drive, Orlando
Located in the heart of College Park, you will often see cycling enthusiasts riding to and from this one-stop bicycle shop. Whether it’s a bicycle for the first-timer or an upgrade for the competitive cyclist, this store has everything you could possibly want. Customize your ride with bells and baskets; modify your seat for racing or cruising; get a new pair of gloves or a helmet; and stay in shape with a variety of health supplements. Need something fixed on your bike? Six full-time technicians can help with that, too.
Gator Seminole Knight Fever
3702 Edgewater Drive, Orlando
Do you have college sports fever? The people at Gator Seminole Knight Fever understand this and have everything a UF, FSU, or UCF fan could possibly want to show their pride. Give the college sports fan in your family the gift of showing up to the tailgate party with plates, napkins, cups and more emblazoned with their school’s mascot. The store sells clothing such as T-shirts, jerseys and shoes, too. Even the littlest sports fans can demonstrate school spirit, with logo pacifiers and sippy cups.
*this was a collaboration with one other writer. I’ve included only the content authored by me.