Make Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a Day ON

Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a big deal where I’m from. The older I get, the more I realize that for a lot of people, this day is really just another day off from work. And you know what? Okay. Whatever. While I am in the business of educating people should they be open-minded enough, what I don’t like doing is forcing others to think the way I think. The truth is, to some…Martin Luther King, Jr. was just a man. Ask any 4th grader who attended public school is in the U.S. and they’ll likely be able to drop 2-3 facts about MLK. That’s good and all, but celebrating this man, his legacy and this day is so much more to me than knowing a few sentences.

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Visiting Walt Disney World While 37 Weeks Pregnant

I’ve done a lot of crazy things in my life. From spontaneously moving across the country to marrying a dude I met off of the internet and eating my placenta, I rarely shock myself anymore. My friends are used to this and often laugh at my antics. When I came up with the idea to take Elle on a “Almost Big Sister” trip to Walt Disney World while pregnant, no one tried to stop me.And they should have. 

Walt Disney World at Fall

Because that was by far the craziest thing that I’ve ever done. No overly pregnant woman should be waddling around Walt Disney World. But this post isn’t about why you shouldn’t do it. I’m going to highlight our up’s and great experiences while casually noting how much BETTER they could have done if I weren’t so you know…pregnant.

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Crayola Experience Orlando – Big Kids Rejoice!

The Crayola Experience Orlando

What does a parent who is feeling a bit guilty about her daughter losing her only child status do? She spoils her, of course! With baby boy making his arrival any week now, I’ve been making a list of activities and things to do with Elle as we celebrate her now more than ever. I’m the oldest daughter raising the oldest daughter and I know how important it is to create memories for her now and especially when Lil’ Dude gets here. We’re heading to Disney World next weekend but I wanted to do something fun, local and pretty interactive with her. 

Soooo…we went to the Crayola Experience here in Orlando!

The Crayola Experience

Okay, first of all…I may have been more excited going to this place more than my kid. What’s not to be excited about? You can be Mr. Stuck Up and Professional and still geek out over a pack of fresh crayons. That’s just life, man. Ideal for children of all ages, this is one attraction that both locals and tourists will really enjoy. Elle is 2 and almost 3-years old and while at her age there was plenty for her to do, I saw many older kids (think upper elementary) that were just as engaged and having a good time.

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The 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage – Mini Compact Car Love

2015 Mitsubishi Mirage

When I purchased my first car, I was a single gal. I had gotten my first real job, was living in an apartment with my best friend and was living that young, free and single life as a fresh transplant to Orlando, Florida. When my car from college died, I wasn’t trying to get something brand new with car payments that would kill my monthly budget. So I got what I could afford and I’ve been lovin’ that baby ever since. She’s on her last leg now and THIS YEAR I haaaave to get a new car. 

Enter the Mitsubishi Mirage. 

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That Day I Twirled Around In Wedding Dresses

Alfred Angelo wedding dresses

Girls. Can you believe this? Can you believe that I am married women who (up until last month) had never tried on a wedding dress? It’s pretty unheard of here in the United States. As many of y’all know, Esposo and I eloped and while we don’t have any regrets about it, it wasn’t until I went to a blogger event at Alfred Angelo when I realized, “Dang it, man…I LOOK good in wedding dresses!”

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Join Me At The Niche Parent Conference!

Niche ParentI love when conferences come to Orlando. It happens quite a bit because helllloooo the big Mouse lives around these parts. Yours truly is an Ambassador for the Niche Parent Conference. And wait just one second. Don’t get all huffy and puffy on me and say “But I’m not a pareeeent.” Cool. You don’t have be. In fact, many of the attendees are NOT parents. The Niche Parent Conference prides themselves on bringing together the best digital influencers for a weekend of networking, learning and good ‘ol time.

This conference will be a fantastic fit for bloggers of all genres because the content provided will be geared toward us social media junkies of all backgrounds!

“The Niche Parent Conference features a workshop-style agenda that will give digital influencers, journalists, and business owners hands-on training by top industry leaders in a peer-to-peer environment. Educational and informative continuing education workshops and sessions for attendees will cover the latest trends in blogging, social media, and entrepreneurship. The agenda will be designed to help attendees of all levels enhance their social media and marketing skills, in addition to offering entrepreneurial and business training.” (source)

Yes y’all. Good times will be had and I hope that you can make it! For more information about this very awesome conference, visit the site and to purchase your ticket, do so here!

Heading to Niche Parent and want to meet up? Let me know!

 

 

Disclosure: As Ambassador, I will receive a pass to attend the Niche Parent Conference but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. There’s an affiliate link up there so if you purchase your ticket, yours truly gets a few pennies to spend on saving up for the hotel stay during the conference. Weeee!!!

A Visit to the Salt Room Millenia

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“Seriously Brit? You’re going to a room of salt? That’s crazy. Even for you.”

My girlfriend is going to kill me for quoting her but I had to because she’s hilarious. When I told her that I was visiting a Salt Room, she couldn’t fathom what I meant. And I get it but the Salt Room Millenia is exactly what it sounds like. A room of salt. I’ve been visiting salt rooms with with Elle for months now and I was so excited when the Beauty Bloggers of Central Florida crew were invited to get a firsthand experience of the only Himalayan Salt Room in the Central Florida area.

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And yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “It’s salt! Why would I want to sit in a room of it?”

Perfect for allergy suffers, those with with eczema, colds, ear infections and asthma, salt thearpy or halotherapy has been known to work wonders. A 45 minute session is so incredibly relaxing and visitors will notice an amazing difference in how they breathe. Regular visits will produce the best results and I enjoy taking Elle because even after her first visit,  her chronically dried skin felt so much better.

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Salt covers the walls, ceiling and floor and microscopic pure salt crystals get pumped into the room. Salt lamps glow and you, you just sit there and relax in comfortable reclining chairs. It really is that simple. You can come as you are and chances are you won’t see any type of residue on your skin or clothes. Some of the girls mentioned that their hair smelled like salt, which I think makes for a nice “I just left the beach.” touch. 

Having visited salt rooms at least 5 times, I am here to tell you…they work! I only wish I could build my own salt room (which is possible!) but something tells me I need to be on the side of wealthy and be a homeowner. Until then, I’ll be visiting the Salt Room Millenia for all of my salt therapy needs.

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If you are in the Orlando area, check out the Salt Room Millenia.

 

 

Disclosure: My visit to the Salt Room Millenia was complimentary. All opinions are my own. 

Food Yum: Avu Avu Restaurant Review + giveaway

[NOTE: This post is written by Esposo. He was invited to a media event at the restaurant Avu Avu. Jealous doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling looking at these pictures. By the way, he took the pictures too. Talented chap, isn’t it? I’ll keep him.  Carry on!-B]
Avu AVU

It’s good to be the king.

And kingly is how I felt upon entering the warm and inviting (if a tad dark) dining room at Avu-Avu. It’s not often I get greeted by a pretty hostess, given a colorful lai, and given a tasty tropical drink all within my first five minutes. It’s not quite the Hawaiian vacation I’ve been dreaming of, but that’ll do, pig. That’ll do.

Now all of this might have been because I was there as part of a group of social media allstars dubbed the #AvuAvuCrew, but I’d like to think it’s all part of the usual package. As I sat down with Droolius, Tasty Chomps, Eating Orlando and more, I couldn’t wait for the rest of my intro to the Buena Vista Palace’s new Polynesian concept.

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To be blunt, this meal was amazing. Instead of doing things in typical restaurant fashion, Avu-Avu serves their dishes family style and gives you unlimited access to the goods. (Waistline’s beware!) We started out nice and easy with edamame dip and tropical chips to snack on alongside our the previously mentioned cocktail. Then we got down to business. And by business I mean PORK.

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The Monsoon Platter may look like your typical Chinese/Hawaiian combo of potstickers and rib bites, but wait until you taste the guava chai barbecue sauce. Out of this world. No, that is not a typo. No, I’m not crazy. Yes, guava CHAI. Stop looking at me like that.

I know it sounds strange, but that sauce (which I need bottled, STAT) is only the tip of the iceberg. Each protein on the menu is paired with an innovative sauce or marinade using flavor profiles I’ve never seen before.

Expertly grilled skewers featuring Coffee Colada chicken breast, Root Beer BBQ pork, and Kalbi Marinated sirloin will have you asking for extras and needing to be wheeled out the door.

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And did I fail to mention that the Monsoon Platter comes with a trio of tasty dipping sauces? Just make sure to only use them on the chicken potstickers or I shall be forced to thrash you.

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To accompany these finely flamed feastables there was a tossed salad featuring toasted coconut and rice crackers with a carrot ginger vinaigrette as well as steaming bowls of stir fried udon noodles with lemon garlic broccoli. I know what you’re thinking, but fear not: the noodles weren’t at all greasy and the broccoli was expertly steamed so that it still had some bite to it. No limp lifeless veggies will be found here.

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That’s not to say there were no negatives at all. The Citrus Ginger shrimp was kind of disappointing after all the greatness surrounding it, and it seems as though the cooks prefer to grill the Kalbi Marinated Sirloin on the rare side. That’s just fine for a predator like myself, but if you’re one of the masses who’s afraid to let his beef “moo” as it comes to the table, make sure to let your server know your preferred doneness.

As we closed out the night, all missteps were forgiven as dessert was served. Caramelized Pineapple Coconut Milk Cake was quite the mouthful to say and to eat, but eating it was an unforeseen pleasure.

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You see, I don’t like coconut. Never have. Never will. But THIS concoction had me wishing I hadn’t been quite so enthusiastic about the guava chai rib bites. A rich, but not too rich yellow cake, laced with pineapple chunks, and bathing in a bowl of coconut milk was just what the doctor ordered and a perfect way to end the meal. Especially when I had the brilliant idea of dumping some of the milk sauce into my coffee. Yum.

At $29.95 a head and unlimited eats, I’d say that Avu Avu definitely goes into the “win” column. The food prep was top notch, the staff gracious and inviting, and the sauces were insanely good.

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The only thing I’d suggest is that they start selling that guava chai rib sauce before I’m forced to raid coroporate headquarters for the secret recipe.

 

Want to win a dinner for 2 at Avu Avu? Shoot an email to Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com with the subject: Feed Me. I’ll be giving a gift certificate away. I’ll be choosing a winner on April 28th at 8 PM EST.