Foodie Files Orlando Edition: Todd English’s Blue Zoo

Hi Guys!

The month of June was literally here and then gone and here we are in July! Crazy right?!?! I am a June baby so a lot of my birth month was spent celebrating. I missed you guys sooo much so I decided to share my most recent foodie experience from my birthday which was Todd English’s Blue Zoo. I loved the ambience, the service, the selection of choices from the menu and overall the experience. It’s great for everyday dining when you really want some quality seafood or a special occasion/night on the town. It is tucked nicely inside the Walt Disney World Resort in the Dolphin Hotel. Here are some highlights from my experience:

Blue Zoo Menu

Pictured above is my smoking watermelon sangria. It was absolutely yummy!

Dancing fish with marble potatoes and seasonal veggies
Birthday girl in her birthday dress
Beautiful ambience inside the dining area

It’s definitely worth a try if you’re in the Orlando area.

What are some of your favorite seafood spots in your city or state? Leave me a comment below! I love hearing from you guys!

Foodie Files Jax Edition: River and Post

Hi Guys,

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re excited for the start of an amazing week! I got the awesome opportunity to visit one of Jacksonville’s newest jewels in the area, River and Post. Can I just say I definitely am adding it to my list of fave restaurants! It’s an amazing Riverside/ 5 Points area spot to pop into, enjoy some great food, surrounded by very chic and modern accommodations, excellent service, a beautiful salt water aquarium with a diverse ecosystem and live coral and sea anemone, and a stunning rooftop view. ( I didn’t go upstairs this visit, but plan to on my next visit as it was raining) I was pleasantly pleased and if you’ve been following my blog or just new here (welcome and thank you so much for your support!) you know I am a HUGE FOODIE and ambience and experience are EVERYTHING TO ME. But let’s just jump right into my dining experience today!

River and Post
Isn’t this gorgeous? I love the open layout of their floor plan! These lights are everything!
River and Post
Wine List! I am also a wine girl! They have a great selection of wines to choose from by the way.
River and Post
Probably my favorite part of dinner! Blue crab beignets!

These delicious blue crab beignets with kernels of corn inside (yum) and just the right amount of spice and seasoning to really give your tastebuds some bite! The sriracha citrus crema dip is amazing and brings all the flavors together!

I also had a glass of Gazela Vino Verde that paired well with the entire meal, especially the blue crab beignets! (pictured above)

River and Post
Entree: Broiled Ocean Platter
River and Post
Entree: Broiled Ocean Platter

Let me reiterate that the service was amazing! My entree and appetizer came out mere minutes a part and even though it wasn’t an inconvenience my amazing server Jessica, kept my entree warm for me while I finished the beignets!

The platter included mahi mahi ( I believe the fish is based off the day’s catch), sea scallops, shrimp, market veggies (very flavorful and fresh) and some of the best mashed potatoes (very well seasoned and creamy) that I’ve had in a very long time!

River and Post
Aquarium view 1
River and Post
Side view of Aquarium
River and Post
The sea coral and anemone are amazing in person!! These pictures do them no justice!
River and Post
I found NEMO!
River and Post
Aquarium view 3

 

The aquarium was simply beautiful and I had the amazing opportunity to speak with the curator Barry who I was really thankful took time  with me  and shared some amazing information regarding the marine life in the tank, the ecosystem and some other really cool facts (ask for him if you go, he’s amazing!)

Overall it was an amazing experience and I am sure i will be making several return trips! If you’re in the Jacksonville area, definitely do yourself a favor and check them out!

What are some of your favorite seafood places? Any cool or wonderful restaurants that really stand out in your area? Leave me a comment in the comments section below, I always love to hear from you guys!

 

Yummy Dessert Recipe: Baked apple crisp

Apple Crisp Recipe
Yummy! The ice cream really set it off!
Apple Crisp Recipe
Finished crust! So good and so worth it!
Apple Crisp Recipe
Side view of Apple Crisp and Ice Cream
Apple Crisp Recipe
Some of my ingredients!

In total it took about about 2 hours to make and that included prep and cook time so it’s definitely something you can whip up really quick during the week for a dessert or as a sweet treat on the weekend when you want something tasty, homemade and comforting.

So let’s jump right into the recipe!

Fruit Filling:

About 2 1/2 tablespoons of flour

1 cup of sugar ( I used pure cane but feel free to use a mix of brown sugar or any other that you would like.)

2 tablespoons lemon juice (this helps keep the apples from browning)

6-8 apples (I used about 7-8 but depending upon how large of a serving you want you can adjust out as necessary)

Crust:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup of rolled oats or oat flour (you can blend or chop up rolled oats in a food processor or blender to create oat flour)

1 cup of sugar (I used pure cane sugar but you will get the same effect with brown sugar)

2 teaspoons of cinnamon (I love the smell and taste of cinnamon and how it livens up my food so I added an extra bit here)

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of table salt

12 tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup of nuts, chopped (feel free to pick your favorite kind, I used almonds for mine)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the apples in half, remove the seeds and cores and peel. Place aside.

Toss together your cut apples, lemon juice, sugar and flower until the apples have a light coating over them.

Mix your rolled oats or oat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and butter until it begins to clump with either a spoon or your fingers. Lightly sprinkle in your nuts into your crust mixture and you may want to leave some out for putting on top of the crust.

Place filing mixture into a baking dish and pour crust ingredients over filling mixture and sprinkle nuts.

Place in oven and cook for about 50 mins to 1 hour and 10 mins until you see filling start to bubble and crust start to brow. Allow to cool and then serve warm or with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream! It will be the best apple dish next to apple pie that you’ve ever taste or made! What are some of your favorite apple treats or dishes? Leave me a comment below! I love hearing from you guys!

 

 

 

Adventures at Magic Kingdom with Quarterwear

Hey guys! It’s May can you believe it? This year is literally flying by! The magic continues literally lol I wanted to share with you some of my recent adventures to Magic Kingdom and this great brand of purpose focused apparel that I discovered and have the amazing opportunity to check out some of their pieces, Quarterwear.

Quarterwear is a casual and comfort clothing brand that raises awareness, support, and capital for the world’s greatest causes and those who address them. Added plus? EVERY SALE impacts 25 lives through a partnering nonprofit. How awesome and life changing is that?!

In my recent trip to Magic Kingdom I wore their Merci shirt which is super comfortable,  cute and can easily be paired with your favorite jeans (which I did in the below photos) or your favorite shorts, or other bottoms. Check them out at www.quarterwear.org  Their current Merci collection benefits Feeding Children Everywhere. Now to jump into the magic at the happiest place on Earth!

Disney and Quarterwear
Pluto , Mommy, and I in front of Main Street USA
Disney and Quarterwear
Let the fun begin!
Disney and Quarterwear
Walt and Mickey Statue
Disney and Quarterwear
Cinderella’s Castle!!!!
Disney and Quarterwear
Me adjacent to Cinderella’s Castle
Disney and Quarterwear
Back of Cinderella’s Castle
Disney and Quarterwear
This took several shots to get right! Lol
Disney and Quarterwear
Finally got the castle in! The photographer was doing a lot zoom shots lol
Disney and Quarterwear
Mommy and I in front of Cinderella’s Castle
Disney and Quarterwear
Quite possibly the most magical and happiest place on Earth!
Disney and Quarterwear
End of the day pics! We were beat!

 

My favorite attraction of the day was Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, absolutely positively worth every minute! I enjoy every Disney park equally and it frees me and lets me get in touch with my inner child! What are your favorite attractions at Disney? Do you have a fashionable and conscious business that you love that has awesome items? What are your favorite places? (Obviously Disney makes my list of top seven) Leave me a comment below! I love hearing from you guys and  every time I come here I am extremely grateful for all my followers on this amazing journey!

Wanderlust Strikes Again: St Augustine Edition

St. Augustine is such a precious Florida gem and holds a great deal of history for Florida as a state. It’s also a very fun, beautiful and walkable place to do a short day trip and staycation and there is a little fun for everyone in St. Augustine. I am a huge wanderlust so I love going to places near and far, discovered and unchartered to awaken my senses, check out new sights, or make new memories at old ones. This particular trip is no different. I visited the St. Augustine African American History tour for the 2nd time (even better than the first, even though the first was pretty awesome) checked out the Lightner Museum, and got a great shot of Casa Monica, one of the first luxury hotels in the St. Augustine area. Check out some of the highlights of my trip below!

St Augustine
Inside the Lightner Museum entryway
St Augustine
Gorgeous fountain and bridge inside The Lightner museum and someone was preparing for a wedding this day
St Augustine
Me inside the Lightner Museum. I love the arches and the architecture! SO PRETTY! It was also a rainy day that day!
St Augustine
Back view of the Lightner Museum
St Augustine
These chandeliers really caught my eye!
St Augustine
As you can see the wedding prep had already begun! So exciting!
St Augustine
Side view of The Historic Casa Monica
St Augustine
Casa Monica
St Augustine
This is a sit in counter that many civil rights pioneers participated in sit ins that took place in St. Augustine. One of many stops on the African American Heritage Tour
St Augustine
St Augustine Foot Soldiers plaque dedicated to the important work of The Civil Rights Movement that took place in St. Augustine. The next time you find yourself in St. Augustine check it out!
St Augustine
Dr. Martin Luther King was arrested here in connection with some events associated with the fight for civil rights in St. Augustine
St Augustine
Steps that Dr. Martin Luther King was pushed down. Look up Monson Motel and this will give you a little more insight on the significance of this landmark. Definitely check out the African American Heritage tour and ask for Mrs. B! She’s amazing!
St Augustine
Another stop on the African American Heritage Tour! Andrew Young Crossing! Andrew Young is also another pioneer not only for the fight for equal rights in Atlanta but also in St Augustine. Check out the walking tour for more great info into some vital historic pieces of St. Augustine history.

What are some of your favorite places/sights/foods/ restaurants in St. Augustine? Have you been to St. Augustine? What parts do you appreciate or treasure the most? Leave me questions or comments below? I’d love to hear from you! And thanks so much for joining me on this journey!

Foodie Files Jax Edition: Restaurant Orsay

I pretty much love food and having a sensory foodie experience. I will literally go to any restaurant, food truck, cafe,  establishment that sells food or drink, you name it in the name of trying out something new to titillate my tastebuds. This time around I had the great pleasure of visiting Restaurant Orsay located in the Avondale area which is also one of my favorite culture and eating spots in general in Jacksonville.

Can I just say that it was well worth the trip? From the cozy yet sophisticated ambience to dishes that are flavorful and pleasing to the palate to the knowledgeable and amazing service, this a great treat for a special occasion, date night, or just step outside of the ordinary. It’s fine dining chic with casual cozy appeal and the French style cuisine allows you to get a gourmet twist on some well-known dishes. Overall, I was pleased with my entire dining experience and definitely plan on returning very soon to indulge a little bit more. Here are some quick recaps from my trip. I wanted to surprise my mom and do something extra special for her birthday (who came into town to spend the weekend for her birthday so several dishes will be featured below.) I almost forgot that I didn’t get a chance to snap a picture of the lobster mac n cheese that we had as an appetizer but it was absolutely delicious and was a great start to the meal.

Restaurant Orsay
Prosecco and Birthday Champagne. Added a nice touch and brought out the flavors of the dishes that came afterwards.
Restaurant Orsay
Eden Farms Berkshire Porkchop
Restaurant Orsay
Sea Scallops
Restaurant Orsay
Beef Stroganoff

 

 

Do you have a favorite French restaurants? What are some of your favorite restaurants or areas in your city that offer hidden jewels? Let me know about your fave food and culture spots in the comments! I love to hear from you guys!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2018

It’s been a few weeks but I’ve been a little busy little bee and have been out exploring my world and I have so many wonderful things to share with you so here we go! I visited Epcot for another splendid festival and magical time! This time around it was for the 2018 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Let me just say if you love sensory details and being outside or are an outdoorsy type, this is a dream come true. I enjoyed every minute of it from beautiful flower and garden displays to Disney infusing a little magic into each area as only Disney can! And as with every Epcot festival plenty of yummy treats and drinks to spare! This festival puts you right in the mood for spring with all of the beautiful flowers and especially with all the recent cooler temperatures we’ve been experiencing this spring. Awesome start to the season!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Entrance to the Festival!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Tres Amigos are super cute!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
By far one of my favorite displays. Butterflies are such a symbolic symbol of spring and nature, with the transition of one season to another.
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Daisy Duck is ever the lady!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Butterfly Garden. One of my favorite attractions for this festival. The butterflies were so beautiful and peaceful to watch.
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Cocoons up close and personal. So amazing!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Chia Pet like pups! So adorable!

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Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Honey peach cobbler freeze! You could taste the honey in it! And even better everything was made from a local honey bee farm! Yay!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Everyone’s favorite friendly bear from The Hundred Acre Wood!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Piglet and Eeyore!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
My absolute favorite dwarf Dopey! So cute!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Lady and The Tramp! So cute! Such great artistry!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Not a flower garden but still impressive! Amazing street trapeze artist!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Tigger! My spirit animal!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Timon and Pumba!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Our favorite Arendelle royalty, Elsa and Anna!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Not in Epcot but thought this was a beautiful spring arrangement in front of Hollywood Studios paying tribute to Fantasia!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
And of course concluding with some beautiful flowers!

 

Such a fun way to kick off the spring season and so much amazing artistry showcased! What is your favorite way to enjoy the Flower and Garden Festival? Favorite exhibits or areas? Special memories? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you!