LuLaRoe – Dawn McClure
Join Dawn’s VIP Facebook Group here!
Dawn brought lots of her beautiful inventory to our GNO, from LLR’s famous “butter” soft leggings to dresses and cardigans. Something that makes LuLaRoe special is the fact that they only make a small quantity of each pattern. Plus all of their clothes are super comfortable and fashionable!
Be sure to join her page to see what patterns and styles she has in stock as it always changes, especially when they have holiday capsules!
Color Street – Carol Thomas
Check out Carol’s website here!
Color street is a fun and easy way to have gorgeous nail art/polish, whether you are at work or getting drinks with the girls! Carol let me try Color Street for the first time at our GNO and I am hooked – quick and easy application with no heat needed. The polish strips last 12-14 days and look great.
Colors, glitters & nail art designs are buy 3 get 1 free! French Manicure strips are Buy 1 Get 1 Free! Ordering is easy on Carol’s website and shipping is only $3!
Chloe + Isabel – Christine Santos
Check out Christine’s website here!
Chloe & Isabel has been featured in many popular magazines with hair accessories designed by Jen Atkin, hairdresser to celebrities like Kardashians and Jennifer Lopez. One of their bracelets was even featured as one of Oprah's favorite things! Christine brought a large selection of her jewelry to our GNO and raffled off a beautiful bracelet and a gift certificate. Congrats to the lucky winners!
SeneGence – Linda Bookbinder
Join Linda’s group here: Lips 2 Luv
Linda and Wendy brought a variety of inventory, including a large array of LipSense colors to our event. LipSense is the super popular long-lasting (4-18 hours!) liquid lip color that is formulated to molecularly bond to your lips. LipSense is Waterproof, Kiss-proof, Vegan and Cruelty-free. It’s also the official lipstick of Broadway!
In addition to LipSense, SeneGence offers many other long-lasting products, such as eye shadow, foundation, blush, mascara, etc. as well as an amazing skin care line! At our GNO Linda & Wendy raffled off a HUGE gift basket – congrats to the winner!
Pure Romance – Betsy Sanchez
Join Betsy’s Facebook group here!
Pure Romance carries a sophisticated line of educational books, bath and body products, exciting relationship enhancement products, lingerie and so much more.
The Pure Romance experience begins with sexy pampering, continues with exciting ways to reconnect and ends with sheer satisfaction. Shop with Betsy for the best in bath, body, and bedroom accessories to discover what a little Pure Romance can do for you.
Betsy can also provide you with a fun girls-only shopping party at your home - if you met Betsy at our GNO, you know it will be full of fun and laughs!
Missed out on all the fun? Be sure to join us for our next Girls Night Out on Feb. 19th at Tapa Toro! Look forward to seeing you there!
A few years ago the show Cupcake Wars came out on The Food Network. I became obsessed with this show, watching every episode, wishing I could be one of the judges tasting those amazing looking cupcakes. When I moved to Florida, I found out that a 3x winner of the show had her shop in Orlando - I was so excited and had to try some her famous mini cupcakes! Once I did, I became addicted.
The shop is called Sweet by Holly and is located in the Waterford Lakes shopping center in East Orlando. It’s a quaint little shop that not only offers cupcakes but frozen yogurt as well! When you walk in, you can pick up a menu describing and showing the 30 flavors that they offer. They have the cupcakes by the register too, so if you rather, you can pick them out based on which one catches your eye. I always end up with at least a 4 pack of minis and have the hardest time deciding on which 4 to choose. Why? Because they are SO good and I get legitimate FOMO (fear of missing out).
Well guess what? This Valentine’s Day they are offering an amazing promotion (find it here) and no one has to worry about FOMO! For $20 you get a dozen assorted minis from their Valentine’s Day collection! The flavors included are: Oreo Cheesecake, Banana Puddin’, Lava, Coconut Joy, Dipped Strawberry, Cotton Candy, Red Velvet, Cookie Butter, White Raspberry, Caramel Macchiato, Crème Brulee and Piñata. Some of these flavors are off menu flavors, which means this is a great way to try flavors you can’t normally get without special ordering!
They also offer custom cakes, which I am ordering for my 30th birthday. I will be sure to share photos with you, because I just know it will be amazing!
For a full list of flavors, be sure to visit their website and follow their Facebook page to see all of their future promotions and beautiful creations – you won’t be disappointed! Like easy? They offer online ordering for easy pickup or delivery so you can order and go on with your day :)
Oh… and be sure to let them know Orlando Housewives sent you!
January is just flying by and it’s time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day! Being in Orlando, reservations many weeks ahead are always a must in my book, so I figured I would share my TOP 5 Valentine’s Day restaurants to help you plan. So whether you are celebrating with a significant other or having a “Galentine’s Day”, here are some of my favorite places to celebrate!
K Restaurant is a charming local eatery located in College Park, right down the road from Downtown Orlando. The restaurant is actually located in one of the first houses built on Edgewater, which gives it a very unique look and feel from the moment you drive up. The menu changes daily, as they obtain many fresh ingredients from locally sourced Central Florida farms and artisans. Due to these menu changes, I can’t give you a recommendation on entrée, but they once had a mac & cheese, which is made with sausage, and John has raved about it for years! You will also find an extensive drink menu and delicious desserts made by their pastry chef. Definitely a local must-try!
Ocean Prime has a couple locations nationally and we are lucky enough to have one here in Orlando! Located in the “Restaurant Row” of Doctor Phillips, you will find this upscale dining establishment. We celebrated our last Valentine’s Day here and it did not disappoint. I had the “Berries & Bubbles” cocktail which was delicious and fun (they use dry ice!). Their steak was delicious and tender and the crab meat I had on top made it even better. As with many upscale steak restaurants, the sides are a la carte, but they do not disappoint. Their black truffle mac & cheese was out of this world. For dessert we shared the baked Alaska, which was unlike any baked Alaska I had ever had and so good; I’m not sure this is still offered based on their current menu. There are many more options available, including more foods with dry ice for flair, but you’ll have to check it out for yourself!
A LAND REMEMBERED
Another wonderful steakhouse located within the gorgeous Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. John and I love this restaurant and visit for many occasions. From the moment they set down little butters shaped as alligators, you know you are in for a treat! Being from near the Chesapeake Bay, I’ll admit I am a snob about my crab cakes. I want lots of sweet crab meat with almost no filler, and that is exactly what they offer with their crab cake appetizer. Their lobster bisque and French onion soups are some of my friends’ favorites – they even offer a gator stew! I always get the filet and it never disappoints. For our a la carte sides, their organic wild mushrooms and lobster mac & cheese (sense a pattern?) are very good. I believe we have had the creamed spinach and other sides as well, but these stick out the most in my mind. For dessert, I always go with the warm pioneer bread budding. It’s a pretty big portion and just so yummy! You will also find that they serve homemade cordial ice creams and have a bar that has been able to make any drink we’ve thrown at them. Lastly, Valet is free when you dine here, so be sure to validate your ticket with the restaurant.
I have been a huge fan of Melting Pot since my first visit to the one in Reston, VA in college. I used to go monthly with a bunch of girlfriends for their Ladies Night Out and it was just such a fun experience. Since then, I have been to many locations, including our two Central Florida locations: Longwood & Dr. Phillips. If you have never been, Melting Pot has a very intimate feel with dimmed lights and cozy booths. I usually go with the 4-course experience, but I’ve been known to do dessert only with John or the girls. The 4-course is definitely the way to go in my opinion. You’ll choose a cheese (bacon & brie is my new fav - even without bacon!), salad, entrée (which you’ll cook yourself), and finally a dessert (the white chocolate crème brulee is so good!). The cheese, cooking style broth (get mojo!), and dessert will all be shared with your date, so keep that in mind when ordering. If you are with someone with a food allergy, including gluten, they are very accommodating. I am obsessed with the pretzel bread for my cheese, the mushrooms with my meal, and the graham cracker covered marshmallows and strawberries for my chocolate. They have wonderful drinks too, including the yin & yang martini, which is my go-to. This is a fun experience, no matter who you are with and I love that having to cook my own food gives me time to enjoy the dining out experience and ability to connect with my dining mates.
BETTER THAN SEX
Ok, so this isn’t a place you go for dinner, but definitely a must for those of you with a sweet tooth! Better Than Sex has one other location in Key West and I’m so glad they opened the Orlando location; located not far from Downtown. Reservations here are a MUST as they get busy and are a bit small, but intimate. From boudoir photos on the walls to the mood lighting, this is definitely a romantic and unique spot. You are given an iPad when you sit down to determine your drinks and desserts. They offer beers and wines with chocolate rims, or “rim jobs”. The desserts are “adult” themed too, like the “Get Up & Go.” My favorite dessert was a special they offered one evening, which was a grilled cheese with brie, white chocolate, and blueberries – WOW. Just WOW. For a Valentine’s Day or a fun intimate night out, this is a dessert spot you don’t want to miss!
I hope this list makes your decision a bit easier this year. I would love to hear your favorites in the comments as well! Have a Happy Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or February 14th – either way, enjoy it!
Our January charity spotlight is Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando was founded in 1937 as the Orlando Humane Society and as such is one of the state’s oldest and largest animal welfare agencies. Operating from a tiny house with a big heart, the organization’s mission was to instill “the spirit of kindness and mercy” while providing refuge for both “unfortunate” animals and children. Today the Pet Alliance has a dedicated focus on the welfare and wellbeing of animals in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties in Central Florida. As the “go to” experts in Greater Orlando, they do good things for dogs and cats and the people who love them. Their goal is to provide compassionate and knowledgeable services for pets and to be leaders in innovative animal care and veterinary medicine.
Preventing relinquishment of animals to shelters and caring for homeless dogs and cats is not a job they can accomplish alone; it requires the community as allies and a new level of involvement. They believe that happy, healthy pets and their families create more caring communities. They are asking the community to be part of the solution to solving the problem of dog and cat homelessness.
WHAT THEY DO
More than 10,000 homeless dogs and cats will turn to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando for caring, compassion and hope through their animal shelters this year. Their highly-skilled veterinarians will help and heal an additional 45,000 animals in their veterinary clinics. Providing shelter for animals in crisis, disaster response efforts, and "Meals on Wheels" for dogs and cats in need will help thousands more animals this year. Their programs are supported entirely by donations from the communities that they serve and they receive no funding from national organizations like the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States.
ANIMAL SHELTERING & ADOPTION
The decision to relinquish a pet is a difficult one, but they understand that sometimes this is the best option for the pet and the family. Pets that are surrendered to them receive shelter and healthcare as well as daily enrichment/playtime and training when needed. The average length of stay is 8 days for dogs and 21 days for cats, well below state and national averages. This means pets quickly find a new home.
AFFORDABLE VETERINARY CARE
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando maintains two outpatient veterinary clinics, plus a state-of- the-art animal hospital on wheels to help keep pets healthy and in their homes. Their clinics are open to anyone in the community. The mobile veterinary clinic visits communities and events throughout the year to make low cost spays and neuters more accessible to pets that need this service.
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando serves as the leading community voice for ending pet homelessness in Central Florida. This is done through interagency collaborations with other rescue and animal welfare groups, community outreach, school based education programs and summer camps focused on the humane treatment of animals and responsible pet ownership.
"ANIMEALS" ON WHEELS
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando provides free pet food and veterinary care for low- income seniors. They partner with Seniors First, Meals on Wheels and Osceola Council on Aging to identify seniors in need and Pet Alliance volunteers make deliveries and visits monthly.
VIRTUAL KITTEN NURSERY
Kittens under 8-weeks of age need special care and nurturing that is difficult to provide in a shelter setting. Through the Virtual Kitten Nursery, Pet Alliance provides volunteer foster parents with the supplies needed to care for kittens in their homes until they are eight weeks old, at which point they have been weaned, fully vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed or neutered, making them ready for adoption.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando has opportunities to be a volunteer (see website). They also need everyday items to help in the care of these homeless pets, such as: food, treats, food bowls, laundry detergent, paper towels, litter, and toys. We will be collecting donated items at our Jan. 23rd Girls Night Out Meet Up + Networking Social at Sugar Factory Orlando and you will be able to speak with one of their volunteers to ask any questions that you may have about getting involved! Please check out their wish list for their immediate needs here.
Also, if you make Pet Alliance your Amazon Smile charity of choice, they will receive a percentage of all your Amazon purchases!
Orlando Location Sanford Location
2727 Conroy Road 2800 County Home Road
Orlando, FL 32839 Sanford, FL 32773
(407) 351-7722 (407) 323-8685
Wow! What a cold week it’s been here in Orlando! I actually turned the heat on for an entire week and had to wear a scarf and gloves outside – not loving it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t own too many warm weather clothing items anymore, so it was a bit tough to figure out what to wear each day. One thing was for sure, I wanted warm comfort food and that meant time to make some chili!
Easy Crockpot Chili
Yields: 8+ bowls worth – enough for at least 4 people
2 jalapeños diced
4 large tomatoes diced (or large size can of diced tomatoes –no salt added)
1 large onion diced (I prefer sweet)
3 cloves garlic chopped
15-20 oz of canned tomato puree (make sure it’s just tomatoes! Cento is a great brand for this)
12 oz dark beer (such as Yuengling) *optional – see directions
1 can cannellini beans (no salt/sugar added)
1 can pinto beans (no salt/sugar added)
1 can kidney beans (no salt/sugar added)
1lb ground meat - if vegetarian, add an extra can of beans. Mushrooms can be added too!
Cumin – 2.5 TBSP
Chili power – 2.5 TBSP
Parsley flakes (dry)- 1 TBSP
Oregano (dry) – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Pepper – to taste
Garlic powder – to taste
Hot Sauce – to taste
Worcestershire sauce – to taste
I usually top with some 0% Plain Fage yogurt as my “sour cream” and sometimes a little shredded cheese. I have found when I make this chili with meat it seems slightly spicier, especially when heated up the next day.
If you decide to try out this recipe, I hope that you love it - leave a comment with your thoughts!
I'm Abby, wifey, mama x4, content creator & podcast junkie. Living in Orlando is a dream come true. I'm stoked to connect with you through the blog, social platforms & monthly girls night out events!