A HUGE thank you to all who attended our May Girls Night Out event at Bartaco! The weather held out and it was a fantastic patio party event! As always, it was great meeting so many of you that were joining us for the first time and seeing those of you that have joined us at past events. A big thank you to the staff at Bartaco for being so accommodating, both before the event and during – the place was gorgeous, and we loved all the “extras” that made our group feel welcome (custom menus, the little signs for photos, taco tokens, etc..), plus everything was delicious. It was also tons of fun seeing the staff get really into the event by getting their hair braided at our braid bar! Lastly, a special thank you to those that brought donations to support our local charity for this event, Mamas of the NICU. If you are looking to learn more about Mamas of the NICU, be sure to check out our blog post here.
Below you will find an index of the amazing businesses that helped make our May Girls Night Out event even more fun; including their information to connect. This is a great opportunity to connect with those vendors that you might have missed networking with at the event. I also encourage you all to like each other's pages to keep the love going; as we all grow together! Oh, and don't forget to keep them in mind for your future shopping and event needs.
Michele DiMura Photography
Michele DiMura of Michele DiMura Photography joined us at our May GNO as our amazing professional photographer! I think it’s apparent from the quality of the photos from this event, that Michele really has an eye for details and is fantastic at capturing the moment. Michele does a wide range of photography, to include individual and family portraits, sporting events, prom, and other special events. We loved that she was also able to offer headshots at this event to those of you looking for a new professional photo.
Contact her today to book your next photo session or to be your next event photographer!
Paparazzi – Christie Tincher
Facebook: BLING with Confidence
Christie introduced our guests to Paparazzi Jewelry, which offers beautiful $5 jewelry. All jewelry is lead and nickel free, and great quality- I’m truly obsessed! Be sure to check out her Facebook group to join her in her live shopping parties and join her monthly birthday drawings!
Norwex – Krista Sickles
Facebook: Krista Sickles – Norwex Independent Sales Consultant
Norwex has four main goals: They want to save you time, save you money, save your health, and save the environment during your home cleaning process. They try to use cloths and water as much as possible. They have a very generous hosting program and as Krista is new to the area, she is spoiling her FL hosts with even more goodies – so be sure to check out her Facebook page and website! If you are looking for some amazing before and after photos, Krista can also share those with you!
Rodan + Fields – Maria Mesaros and Lauren Berton
Websites: mmesaros.myrandf.com & LaurenP0317.myrandf.com
Facebook: Rodan + Fields by Maria
Maria and Lauren shared with us the amazing skincare products offered by Rodan + Fields. These products were developed by the dermatologists, Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields. The regimens offered by R+F help you address your skin concerns and overcome environmental aggressors to achieve visible, life-changing results. To learn more about the products R+F offer, be sure to visit the websites and Facebook page listed above!
Shallamar’s Hair Solutions
Shallamar’s Hair Solutions joined us and showed off all they have to offer! Located on Turkey Lake Road in the Dr. Phillips area, they are a New York City multi-cultural salon with over 22 years of experience. They provide hair solutions for people with bald spots, thinning hair, problems with length or volume, as well as retarded hair growth. Shallamar's also offer extensions and weaves - they carry a full inventory of 100% human hair for extensions as well as customized lace wigs. Length 12 to 30 inches in all colors and hair textures!
To learn more about Shallamar’s Hair Solutions, be sure to check out the website, Instagram, and also their YouTube page!
Cherry Blow Dry Bar Dr. Phillips
We were very excited to have The Cherry Blow Dry Bar of Dr. Phillips join us again for our GNO! They provided us with a super fun braid bar for our attendees – which was a big hit (even with the Bartaco staff!). If you are in need of a blowout, updo, extensions, makeup, or eyelashes, be sure to check out this new gem in the Dr. Phillips area! They also offer memberships so that you can get that gorgeous hairdo at a discounted rate! When you visit, be sure to tell them Orlando Housewives sent you!
SeneGence – Christi Fey
Facebook: Glitter and Glam with Christi💋
Christi joined us as our Senegence vendor and showed off a variety of inventory, including the ever popular SeneGence product, LipSense. LipSense is long-lasting (4-18 hours!) liquid lip color that is formulated to molecularly bond to your lips. LipSense is Waterproof, 💋Kiss-proof, 👶🏻Kid-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.! To see all that Christi and SeneGence have to offer, be sure to check out her website and Facebook page.
Couture Med Spa – Ocoee location
Couture Med Spa of Ocoee joined us at our GNO. They offer services such as: Botox, Latisse, Cosmetic Dermal Fillers, Kybella, Laser Hair Removal, microblading, and more! For more information on what they offer and pricing, be sure to check out their website and Facebook page!
Click here for more photos from our May Girls Night Out at Bartaco! See you at our next GNO on June 26th at The Big Easy in Winter Garden!
Yesterday John and I made the short trip from Orlando to Tampa to explore another theme park this area has to offer – Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Most of you know already that John and I are originally from Virginia, so Busch Gardens Williamsburg was always our “go-to” place for fun growing up; I was an annual passholder for most of my life. I had visited the Tampa location a few times when I was vacationing in Florida as a child, but that was a long time ago. John had never been to the Tampa location, so I was very excited to bring him with me and experience the fun together!
For those of you that don’t know the difference between the two parks, the Williamsburg, VA location is themed as European countries (imagine a European Epcot, if you will). The Tampa, FL location is themed as Africa, and has tons animals!
After making our way into the park and purchasing our meal plan (I will talk about this more later), we began our adventure. If you are lucky enough to be in the park in the earlier part of the day, I highly recommend catching the cheetah run. This is when they have one of their cheetahs come out and it runs after one of their toys to show you their speed. It’s an amazing way to see just how fast these animals can run, but also get to see them pretty close up. Now, I have seen cheetahs in a park or zoo before, but they are usually far away and sleeping, so this was an amazing sight to behold.
We continued our adventure by riding the Cobra’s Curse roller coaster. I was scared to death to ride this coaster, but it ended up being a lot of fun! It has some twists and turns (literally the cart will move around), but my favorite part was when we got to the very top and could look out onto the Savannah and see the Giraffes. We then rode Montu, which is similar to one of my childhood favorites in Williamsburg, Alpengeist.
After a bite, while hiding out from the torrential downpour of rain, we began exploring the animals part of the park. We got up close and personal with hyenas, tigers, lions, elephants, gorillas, and more! Busch Gardens really had an amazing way of setting up these areas so that you can get very close. In the hyena area, there is a little car that kids (and adults) can sit in, and the hyenas will sometimes come over to the car and stand on top, giving you a great and seriously awesome view. In the tiger area, they have a little glass box you can look out of and the tiger might come and sit on top of the box! We saw both of these things happen while we were there, and it was truly awesome.
As luck would have it, it was Jack Hanna weekend during our visit, and due to the crazy rain, we decided to take a break and catch his last show of the day. This was seriously a great show. Jack Hanna is very knowledgeable, funny, and very honest. I loved the message he gave at the beginning of his show on why places like Busch Gardens, Sea World, and other zoos are so important to have. He asked the question of how can someone learn to love something and want to fight for it, if they have never had a chance to see it or learn about it? This really spoke to me. Aside from his great words, the animals that he brought out were just amazing. From South African Penguins, to Kangaroos, to Cheetahs, a sloth, and more, I was in love and in amazement.
After the show, we caught one of the trains and did a full tour of the park. The best part of the train is that it takes you to areas you cannot get to any other way. You actually get to ride out on the huge savannah and see animals up close. We were lucky enough to have zebras, giraffes, and rhinos walk right next to our train! We even got to catch a glimpse of baby Winifred (a rhino) – adorable! For those of you concerned, they do slowdown and/or stop the train if an animal walks on the tracks.
We ended our long day with a ride on the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster, more yummy food, and checking out the Summer Nights area of the park. They are still doing the free beer promotion (2 per person) for all attendees, so be sure to check that out this month!
Before I end this post, I want to circle back to the meal plan I mentioned in the beginning. You do NOT need to buy a meal plan to eat at the park, however, I HIGHLY recommend it! It’s such a great deal. The “All-Day Dining Deal” is $34.99 (pass members save 10%) and you literally can eat and drink ALL DAY. Here’s how it works: When you buy the meal plan, you get a wristband. When you go to one of the participating restaurants (there’s many), you get to choose 1 entrée, 1 side or dessert, and a drink (soda, tea, or Dasani bottled water). You go to the register, they ring it up, scan your band, and you are good to go. Literally ONE HOUR after they scanned your band for your food, you can do this again. YES, I am saying EVERY hour, if you really wanted to, you could have another entrée, side or dessert, and drink. This also means you can go back just for a side, or just for a dessert! And get this, the drinks – those are unlimited! So, if you are walking around the park and you think “man, I am super thirsty,” you can go into a participating location and grab a bottle of water (or tea/soda). Amazing right? One meal and a bottle or two of water and you have literally paid for the band. John and I were at the park for at least 8 hours and we had at probably 3 full meals, and LOTS of water (yay Florida heat!). Some other perks you get with the meal plan is the ability to get BOGO on wine, beer, and other snacks that are not part of the meal plan. So, we were able to get a beer and some fresh pretzels BOGO. Also Dippin’ Dots and a Shamu bar BOGO. Honestly all, this deal is a must and I always purchase it at Seaworld too!
Although the weather was pretty gross thanks to Subtropical Storm Alberto, we had a wonderful time at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about the kangaroo feeding until it was too late, so I guess we will have to make another trip! An easy drive from Orlando and a whole lot of fun, why wouldn’t we go back?
A special thanks to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for allowing us to visit the park for the day – it was definitely one for the books!
I received complimentary entry to experience Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in exchange for my review. As always, all comments, thoughts, and opinions are my own.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE’S MAN OF THE WOODS TOUR SETS RECORD FOR HIGHEST-GROSSING CONCERT AT orlando's AMWAY CENTER
This past Monday night (May 14, 2018), Justin Timberlake brought the great outdoors to Orlando’s Amway Center with his Man of the Woods Tour. While performing to a sold out crowd of 17,839 and grossing $2,387,112, the tour became the highest-grossing, single-day concert in the arena’s history.
"Amway Center has had a string of sold out concert successes but to be the top-grossing concert in the arena's seven-year history is a remarkable achievement," said Orlando Venues Chief Venues Officer Allen Johnson. "We are thrilled to make history with Justin Timberlake. He delivered a milestone night that our capacity crowd won't soon forget."
Timberlake may not have been wearing his trademark suit and tie, but he comfortably held court on a massive stage in the round, bringing an energetic, outdoorsy vibe filled with woodland landscapes and campfire settings surrounded by 35 projection silks illuminating Timberlake’s every move during his two-hour set. After working it, Timberlake closed with “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” leaving his fans dancing the night away and wanting s’mores.
This information was released via Press Release from the Amway Center. To learn more about the Amway Center, please visit www.amwaycenter.com.
Did you attend this amazing concert? Comment below to let us know what you thought!
Rebecca L. Palmer, Esq. is a Family & Marital Law attorney and Supreme Court Certified Mediator practicing in Orlando, FL. Rebecca has a broad background in providing intimate legal advice to those in need at a major time of change in their life. When she began her practice 23 years ago she did so to be in the courtroom for general litigation. Then she learned while litigation is sometimes necessary, often the best route is to use skilled negotiation techniques. Rebecca is passionate about alternative dispute resolution and collaborative law for domestic disputes. That said, she also knows when it is time to go to court.
With the magnitude of emotions that each client goes through, Rebecca is able to effectively assist them with not only legal counsel, but also a sounding ear and shoulder to lean on that ultimately fulfills her passion for helping others. Over the years, this kind of dedication to her clients, she believes, is what has created her successful path. It’s not uncommon for Rebecca to reach out after her services have been completed to check in with past clients to see how they’ve adjusted, which is why so many past clients are quick to refer her and consistently stay in touch.
Describe yourself in three words:
Compassionate. Energetic. Loyal.
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
My greatest professional achievements range from practicing as a family law lawyer where I am able to help people during their most difficult times to assisting a family in a successful international relocation case, to handling a high-profile celebrity divorce while maintaining confidence and confidentiality.
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
While I have been practicing for almost 24 years now, my focus remains on providing excellent representation for each and every one of our clients.
How does your company stay connected through social media?
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Before pursuing law, it was my dream to move to New York City and become an actress.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Relying on the support of family, friends and my incredible team at the office, staying fully focused and engaged with my family when I am with them and being equally focused on my clients while I am at work help me maintain a positive work/life balance.
What websites do you visit every day?
NY Times; Orlando Sentinel; Etsy; Time; Facebook; and Twitter.
What are your top three favorite people/places/things to do in your city?
People: My husband, Dave Cannella
Places: Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts and the great restaurants on Park Avenue
Things To Do: Attend Orlando City Soccer games
What is your goal for retirement?
I don’t see myself retiring. Instead, I see myself, at some point years from now, taking a step back from litigation and being solely focused on being a mediator and collaborative work.
Do you have any advice for women who'd like to start their own company?
Don’t doubt yourself. If it is something you have ever wanted to do, I encourage you to venture out and pursue it without regret.
Any final comments?
Look around you and inside of you and reflect on what you know makes you succeed and concentrate on those people and those attributes.
CONNECT WITH REBECCA L. PALMER, ESQ.:
Rebecca L Palmer Law Group
800 N. Magnolia Ave., Suite 1500
Orlando, FL 32803
On May 5th, John and I got to attend the media day at LEGOLAND Florida for the unveiling of LEGO® Star Wars™: The Force Awakens MINILAND Model Display and LEGO® Star Wars™ Days. This display and event will be taking place on May 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 ONLY – so be sure to visit while you can!
It should be known that this was both John and my first time visiting any LEGOLAND theme park, and we are both in agreeance that it was an amazing experience! We had always assumed that this park could only be enjoyed if you attended with children; this was not the case. From the moment we entered the park, we felt like we were transformed back to kids. Immediately as we walked into the park we were greeted by the sights of LEGO models. As we kept walking, we passed stores and restaurants, also displaying amazing LEGO models, from pizza chefs, to tourists buying gifts, to a man bird watching; we were in complete amazement! As this was the start of Star Wars™ Days, throughout the park there are extra models and lots of meet and greets as we continued to explore. Although this was our first time at the park, we decided to go map-free, to let ourselves take in our surroundings and really immerse ourselves in the experience. Within the first 10 minutes of entering the park, we had our photos taken with Star Wars™ characters, both made of LEGOs and real! The lines weren’t crazy long like at most theme parks, which made the experience even more enjoyable and made us actually stop to take photos (something we usually would skip due to very long wait times).
As we made our way to the Star Wars™: The Force Awakens MINILAND Model Display, we took in the sights (and sounds!) of the other amazing MINILANDs. Honestly, this was breathtaking. From models of the Daytona 500 and NASA, to the Vegas strip, Manhattan, Washington DC, San Francisco, Orlando, Miami, and more, we easily spent 40 minutes just taking it all in (and takings LOTS of photos).
As you pass these MINILAND models, you will find yourself at the Star Wars™: The Force Awakens MINILAND Model Display and all I have to say is WOW! This giant new display features memorable moments from Episode VII and is made out of thousands of LEGO bricks, enhanced with lights, sound effects and animation! It is truly a sight to behold and again, lots of time can easily be spent in this area to see every little intricate detail of the display. There are also more character meet and greet/photo opportunities in this area with both real and LEGO characters! I have to say, the LEGO characters are so life-like and made to scale, that there are moments when you wonder if there could actually be someone inside. For me, this character was Darth Maul; the likeness was impeccable!
As we continued through this amazing park, we checked out the other lands such as NINJANGO – which had an awesome 3D ride, which makes you get a pretty good arm work out. We made a quick stop near the Boat School to try the special “Light Sword” churros (1 of 4 LEGO® Star Wars™ Days treats!). Of course we got one in each color, red and blue, and had a little duel! I’d say we both won because these churros were delicious – and they left our lips colored the colors of our churros, which made for a fun photo opportunity!
We explored the driving school and flying school before making our way to the Cypress Gardens. The Cypress Gardens, established in 1936, have been preserved by LEGOLAND and were in pristine shape. The gardens gave a little escape from park life, and for a pair of thirty-somethings visiting without children, it was a romantic and tranquil addition to our visit. We LOVED the humongous Cypress tree and the historic gazebo! Although these botanical gardens are within the confines of LEGOLAND, there were only a few new LEGO additions (such as the Southern belle by the gazebo). If you are visiting without children, I highly recommend checking out this gorgeous area of the park!
After returning from the Gardens, we took our photo with LEGO® Captain Phasma! (Meet and greet opportunities are offered for both LEGO® Captain Phasma and LEGO® Darth Vader next to Kid Power Towers – be sure to check time schedule!)
From here we continued to explore the rest of the park, enjoy more LEGO models and then did a little shopping! The stores here are awesome and filled with so many cool LEGO toys – John was in pure heaven. I’ll admit, I was a bit jealous of some of the fun kids’ shirts – but no worries, I still found an awesome one to take home for myself! For you collectors out there, during LEGO® Star Wars™ Days, you can also pick up an EXCLUSIVE LEGO® Star Wars™ Scarif Trooper Minifigure for free with a $50 LEGO® Star Wars™ toy purchase at The Big Shop!
On our way out of the park, we made a stop inside the LEGOLAND Hotel. All I have to say is WOW! After checking out the amazing lobby, both John and I want to check out the rooms and stay there for our next visit! Just like in the parks, there are LEGO models displayed, including a real U.S. Post Office box – so very cool! Unfortunately, the Bricks Family Restaurant wasn’t open for dinner yet, so we just took a peek from the outside.
I think it’s plain to see that our first experience at LEGOLAND Florida was an amazing one!
Plus, LEGO® Star Wars™ Days made it even better! Would I still visit this park without the Star Wars™ fun? Yes, definitely – but if you are able to make it out during this limited-time event, I would highly recommend it! Did I feel like we missed out on anything since we weren’t with children? Definitely not -this park has something for everyone!
I want to thank Rebecca of Teacups and Fairy Tales for allowing me to cover this event on her behalf – we had the best time! Be sure to visit the Teacups and Fairy Tales blog here: teacupsandfairytales.com
I received complimentary entry to experience LEGOLAND FLORIDA in exchange for my review. As always, all comments, thoughts, and opinions are my own.
I’m very excited to announced that our May charity spotlight is Mamas of the NICU. For those that may not know, NICU stands for, “Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.” Mamas of the NICU is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created to help moms cope with their time in the NICU through journaling and documenting their journey, connecting current NICU moms with graduate moms as mentors, and providing an outlet through a blog with information and past experiences.
THE 5 PILLARS OF MAMAS OF THE NICU’s MISSION
Encouraging mamas to be the best advocate for encouraging positive change for their little one(s).
A community of mamas on the same journey making long lasting connections through similar experiences.
Sharing the latest medical research information and past experiences from graduate NICU mamas.
Giving mamas the tools they need to feel empowered about the making the tough life-changing decisions that they are faced with daily.
Helping mamas realize that they matter too.
FOUNDER OF MAMAS OF THE NICU – BIANCA DOTTIN
Bianca Dottin is a blogger and Millennial mom of two living in Orlando. She had never imagined that she would be a NICU mom. After 34 weeks of a rough pregnancy, Tristan was born with multiple congenital anomalies and admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for respiratory distress. 6 long months went by with daily visits to the NICU to be with Tristan. Bianca had to learn how to cope with her preemie son’s conditions and the stress of being a NICU mom, all while trying to maintain a sense of normalcy for her 6-year-old daughter Tatiana. Her greatest coping mechanism was through journaling and joining a community of moms for trach babies. Throughout their journey, Bianca decided that she wanted to create an online community where all NICU moms could come for a place to seek comfort, knowledge, and understanding from fellow and graduate NICU moms. On April 19, 2017, Tristan Josiah Ferrell gained his angel wings. For more on Tristian’s story, click here.
MOMMY’S NICU JOURNAL
In November 2017, Bianca officially released My Mommy’s NICU Journal, a 60-day guided journal for reflection, self car, and precious memories.
“I created My Mommy’s NICU Journal for moms like myself. There’s no way that I was able to remember every single detail about my baby’s NICU stay. I needed a way to keep track of our milestones and memories. A journal was the way to do it. It’s more than just a journal. It’s a keepsake.”
There are many ways you can become involved and support their mission:
Join Their Online Community:
Join in on weekly convos with moms just like you. Our Facebook group is a private, safe place where moms can speak open and honestly, ask questions, and be uplifted through their NICU journey.
Sign-up for Updates
Subscribe to their newsletter to receive the latest updates, news, and events. You can sign up here.
Submit a Guest Post
Are you a mama looking to share your story, a medical professional wanting to give tips, or just a mama looking for a platform? Become a contributor by submitting original content including poems, inspirational words, personal stories, craft ideas, photos, etc.
Send an E-Card (COMING SOON!)
Do you know a NICU mom? Send an e-card to brighten their day.
NICU Survival Kits
Mamas of the NICU is accepting donations for their NICU Survival Kits. They rely on the support of individuals and businesses to fulfill their mission of making sure no mama goes through this journey alone. Their survival kit packages (see below) were created with mamas in mind.
DONATE AT OUR UPCOMING GNO
We will be collecting donated items at our May 21st Girls Night Out Meet Up + Networking Social at Bartaco and you will be able to speak with the founder, Bianca, to ask any questions that you may have about getting involved!
Items currently needed:
Mamas of the NICU has an online store where you can purchase items such as:
UPCOMING EVENT: MOTHER’S DAY NICU MOM BRUNCH 2018
NICU moms are special in every way. This year Mamas of the NICU is kicking off an initiative that is near and dear to their hearts. They’re hosting a NICU mom brunch to show mamas a little appreciation. Moms will get the chance to meet fellow NICU moms (both past and present), indulge in a delicious brunch courtesy of Ace Cafe Orlando, and receive survival kits filled with essential baby goods, snacks, and toiletries that will be used on a daily basis throughout their NICU journey. Each mom in attendance will also receive a hard cover copy of Mommy’s NICU Journal to document their journey. RSVPs are required as they only have 15 spaces available for this event. Why the number 15? Tristan’s birthday was on October 15th.
For more information, go here.
CONNECT WITH MAMAS OF THE NICU VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
MAMAS OF THE NICU RECOGNIZES THESE OTHER GREAT RESOURCES FOR NICU MAMAS
The Tiny Footprints Project
High Risk Hope
Hand to Hold
NICU Helping Hands
Can’t make it to our GNO but still want to donate? Donations can be mailed to:
Mamas of The NICU Inc.
321 Montgomery Rd.
Altamonte Springs, FL 32716
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!