Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Anthony Bourdain

J and I are big fans of Anthony Bourdain. When I heard he was going on tour, I figured there was no chance that he'd come to Jacksonville. I was pleasantly surprised to find out we were one of the stops! I was even more surprised to discover there was a VIP reception. I lucked out and was able to purchase VIP tickets.

Anthony Bourdain is as entertaining in person as he is on television. He shared stories of how "No Reservations" was created; how his life has changed since becoming a dad; and of course, Paula Deen. There was no censor, which was definitely entertaining as well!

The reception was terrific! We got a chance to talk one on one with Tony. I shared with him that one of my "tweeps" suggested that I show up naked. He laughed :) J talked with him about "Treme" and "The Wire".

I highly recommend seeing Anthony Bourdain live if you are a fan!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Orlando/Winter Park Anniversary Weekend!

We are around a two hour drive from Orlando. It has become a favorite destination for J and me over the past few years. Do we go to Disney? Nope. There is a whole other part of Orlando outside of the theme park world!

Our favorite areas of Orlando include Winter Park, Audubon Park, and Thornton Park. All of these areas are a stone's throw from Downtown. This post is focused on Winter Park. I'm hoping my tips will entice you to give the other side of Orlando a chance for your next weekend trip.

Picture courtesy of Unlocked Orlando

I attended my first two years of college at Rollins College, a small liberal arts college in Winter Park. I love revisiting the campus. However, my favorite activities in Winter Park are shopping and dining. 

Shopping skews on the preppy/resort side as far as clothing is concerned. There is a Lilly Pulitzer (of course). However, there are some other boutiques that carry lots of preppy/resort wear. Here are two of my favorites.

Siegel's Clothing Company - Siegel's has been around for over 30 years. They carry both men and women's clothing. As far as brands, they carry Jude Connolly, Gretchen Scott, Fornash, Southern Tide, Lesley Evers, and many more. I love the selection of fun graphic dresses!

Cerise Boutique - I actually sought out Cerise Boutique, as I learned that they carry Escapada, a resort brand based out of Charleston, SC. They have a great selection and they also carry Jude Connolly. The sales clerk was so helpful. She helped me find every thing in the store in my size!


When it comes to food, I will completely admit that I'm a snob, especially when we are dining out of town. I will specifically look for restaurants that have James Beard nominated or winning chefs at the helm.  If I had more time, I'd branch out to discover the next great hole in the wall. But when my time is limited, I tend to go with proven winners. 

Photo Courtesy of Ourlando.com

Photo Courtesy of Cask & Larder

Luckily, Winter Park has dining that is right up our alley. Our absolute favorite is The Ravenous Pig. The Pig is a all about local food done in accessibly, but flawlessly. No foam or essence here! It is run by a husband and wife team. They have a new restaurant, Cask & Larder, which is a Southern Public House. We dined there this past weekend for our anniversary. I usually don't order chicken in restaurants (eat it so much at home), but J and I shared a plate of their fried chicken. It was INCREDIBLE!!

Photo Courtesy of Luma on Park

We also tried a "new to us" restaurant called Luma on Park. Style wise, it is the complete opposite of The Pig. Where The Pig and Cask & Larder embrace rustic elegance, Luma is very modern and sleek. Their food is much more "composed". We ordered several small plates to share and each one was flat out phenomenal. At the end of our meal, I was reading the Chef's bio. When I saw he used to work for The French Laundry (and Chef Thomas Keller), the meal totally made sense. Perfection on a plate is what Thomas Keller is all about!

Other favorites include The Briarpatch for breakfast/brunch and great people watching. For sweet treats, I love Croissant Gourmet and le macaron.

Hopefully you'll get a chance to see the other side of Orlando soon!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

On Personal Style

I am 35 years old. It is only in the last few years that I've really liked what clothes I wear. I still make mistakes, but for the most part, I like what I wear. Here are some of my lessons learned. Note that style is seriously personal! When something doesn't work for me, I guarantee it is effortlessly beautiful on someone else.

(1) Full skirts are my friend. Pencil skirts are not.

(2) Oxfords with crewneck sweater are not flattering on me. I need an open neckline because my neck is short (no, not insulting myself. Just how my neck is!)

(3) I am more Doris Day than Audrey Hepburn.

(4) Even if they aren't the height of style anymore, I actually like my Revas. This is why I was so sad when they broke. They actually helped me survive pregnancy feet! I know people love the Cece J Crew flat, but they didn't work for me.

(5) I like beachy/coastal style in the summer time. Perhaps it isn't the most sophisticated, but give me a coral print tunic anyway.

If you have any of your favorite style lessons, I'd love to hear/read them!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Over the weekend- to catch a rooster

This past weekend was filled with lots of family time with both sets of grandparents.

And brainstorming on how to get this guy to leave my in-laws front yard!

Ideas included using an old cat carrier and enticing the rooster with food. My mother in law thought we should leave a trail of food to the nearby woods. My brother in law had a blanket at the ready to try to catch the rooster.

I called my parents to ask for advice. First thing my dad says is " Don't feed him. He'll never leave" Yeah. Too late on that!

The rooster is still there as of today. The dogs are going nuts. We think he came from a neighbors' farm, but no one can get a hold of them.

The funniest part of this is that my mother in law loves roosters! Her house has rooster decor throughout. The little guy must have figured he was welcomed!

Monday, April 1, 2013

March Fashion Budget

March 2013 Budget

March 2013 Budget by natylite78 featuring a red jacket

I continued my trend of adding to my work wardrobe this month. Honestly, I won't know how much I spent till I finish writing this post. Not very fiscally responsible, right? Yikes.

1. Tahari skirt suit - $25.00 via eBay - I adore this suit. It has a fun pleat at the bottom of the skirt. Tahari fits like a dream too!

2. Charter Club Shirt Dress - $58.00 via Macy's. This is the first time I have tried a dress from Charter Club. I loved J. McLaughlin shirt dresses, but they are not very budget friendly (average $200). This one has a similar feel and the print is classic.

3. Green shirt dress with white chain link - $40.00 via Stein Mart. Stein Mart is very hit or miss for me. I've seen some pretty awful clothes there. However, this green dress was a diamond among them all.

4. Merona Linen Cropped Jacket - $30 via Target. I had a $5 off coupon on any Merona purchase. I found this darling little jacket and have already worn it to work. It pairs well with navy and luckily, I own a lot of navy! I'm hoping this will get a lot of wear during Spring and Summer.

Grand Total: $153.

Yikes, that's a bit much! Going back to work is costing me money! Good thing I'm planning to sell some of my clothes to make up for this spendy month :)