A HUGE thank you to all who attended our August Girls Night Out event at Taverna Opa! It was great seeing so many of you again and meeting some newbies too! A big thank you to the staff at Taverna Opa for accommodating our large party and making us some delicious drinks and food! I think it’s safe to say that this event was very different than most and was a great way to let off steam after a work day and party! Thank you to Denise, our representative of this month’s charity, A Gift for Teaching. If you are looking to learn more about A Gift for Teaching, be sure to check out our blog post here.
Below you will find an index of the amazing businesses that helped make our August 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.
C. Atkins Photography – Cedric Atkins
Website and Social Media coming soon!
Cedric Atkins was our wonderful photographer for our August GNO. To learn more about C. Atkins Photography and to book your own photo session with him, please send him an email! He is currently working on posting his portfolio to social media and a website.
Paparazzi – Elis Forman (and friends!)
Facebook: Elis' Boutique!
Elis and her friends introduced our guests to Paparazzi Jewelry, which offers beautiful $5 jewelry. Too good to be true? Nope! They are also lead & Nickel FREE and come in a variety of designs from simple to statement pieces. Erica also be shared the Paparazzi opportunity & how $5 jewelry can empower woman. Be sure to check out her social media pages and website to learn more!
Plexus – Ami Molloy
Ami Molloy joined us to introduce us to Plexus®! We learned that Plexus® is for you—yes, you. It’s for who you are today and who you’ll be tomorrow. It’s for your biggest dreams and your craziest goals. It’s for your drive to better yourself and change the world. We know you’ve got it in you. Let’s bring it out—together. Their products, values, opportunity and support, combined with your dreams, drive, and commitment are totally unstoppable.
Sure, their products help you feel better. But they also help you look better, eat better, focus better, and live better. Everything they make supports a happy, healthy lifestyle, and it has since day one.*
They’re on the cutting edge of health science, with a range of products focused on every aspect of your health and happiness. They help your body get rid of the bad stuff, pave the way to better digestive health, and feed your system to benefit the body and mind. Their goal is to make products that are the highest quality non-GMO, 100% vegetarian, and gluten free, wherever possible. Most importantly, Plexus products work. They’re all for health, so there’s health for all.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease."
Be sure to visit Ami’s Facebook page and website to learn more!
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! Unfortunately, due to last-minute circumstances, they were unable to provide their usual braid bar. However, Fauzia was still there to offer great information about all that they offer, including: blowouts, updos, extensions, makeup, and eyelash extensions. 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!
Cruise Planners – Jennifer Martin
Facebook: Cruise Planners - Jennifer Martin
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Jennifer was unable to join us at our GNO. However, Jennifer would love to help you book your next vacation! Cruise Planners is an award winning, nationally recognized travel agency! Not only does Cruise Planners specialize in cruising, they also plan land vacations at amazing resorts and beautiful countries both near and far. As a home-based franchise owner, Jennifer has access to all the latest travel technology, support and best pricing! Let Jennifer help you plan your next getaway - let her do all the research, planning and booking for you!
*DEAL ALERT* Jennifer has organized a Valentine's Day cruise for next year and she is offering extra amenities, so be sure to contact her!
Rodan + Fields – Concetta DeTolla and Stella Tessler
Please contact them directly via Facebook: Stella and Connie
Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Connie + Stella were unable to join us at this event. However, they would love to share with you the amazing skincare products offered by R+F. 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, first visit their websitewww.rodanandfields.com, then reach out to Connie and Stella to see what promotions they are running and place your order with them directly for a more personalized experience!
As many of you know, I became a full-time teacher this year. I previously worked in the legal field as a Paralegal and then I was a substitute teacher for almost all of the last school year. A little backstory (there always is, right?), I had planned to become a teacher when I graduated high school. I went to college in Virginia, became a psychology major, all with the intention of going for my Masters in Education and becoming a teacher. Life changed things and I ended up “falling” into the legal field instead.
So now I am a full-time middle school teacher, and I’ve been working for about a month now, between planning weeks and having actual students. Things have been great and also super busy! Being a first-year teacher, I have a lot to learn and lots of ideas that I am learning how to execute. I also have classes I have to take along with my outside school life where I run this blog and plan fun networking events every month for all of you ladies! I’m trying to hard not to drop the ball, but I know this first month I’ve left a few things go. I hope now that I am getting into more of a swing of things, that I will be able to continue juggling it all and succeed in both of my careers, because I love them both. I absolutely love seeing my students understand and repeat concepts that I have taught them, especially when they get so excited they can’t wait to answer a question. I also love hearing how much you ladies enjoy our Girls Night Out Networking Socials and seeing so many familiar faces each month. So no worries -they will continue!
Thank you all for being patient with me during this transition time and I cannot wait to share more with you and host more events! Next month – Sugar Factory Orlando – see you there! Click here for info and FREE tickets!
For the first time, Monster Jam came to the Amway Center here in Orlando! This was my very first Monster Jam and I honestly wasn’t really sure what to expect, other than it was going to be a fun new experience. I brought along my good friend Shannon, her boyfriend, and their exchange student from Italy (we’ll call her G). G had no idea what a “monster truck” was, so she was in for an even bigger surprise!
We first attended the Pit Party, which is a pre-show event that allowed us the opportunity to be on the main floor with the trucks and drivers! It was surreal to see and walk on the dirt they had poured onto the arena floor for this event. The trucks were really cool – HUGE tires and really fun themes. I loved the Scooby-Doo truck most, although the other trucks were really cool too. After walking around and snapping some photos, Shannon and I picked up some sweet souvenirs – tire muffs! These definitely came in handy during the show.
The show was definitely something someone should see at least once. Never in my life have I seen any sort of truck get into its front two wheels, nor perform many of the in-air tricks that the Monster Jam trucks did. Trucks soared in the air, came down on two wheels, did fast donuts, and some even fell over! There was also ATV racing, which was fun to watch. I think one thing I really loved about the event was the use of audience participation. The trucks would be scored by the audience, which in the end, determined the winner. It gave it that something extra and made me feel like I was part of the competition!
I’m so glad I had the opportunity to attend my first-ever Monster Jam and to have experienced it during their first run at the Amway Center. I look forward to attending my next show and seeing which trucks will be competing! Until then, here’s a video showing some of the fun from the day:
Did you attend the event? I would LOVE to hear from you! Let us know about your favorite moments of Monster Jam Triple Threat at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL!
Disclaimer: I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities. As always, all opinions are my own.
This month’s Date Night In Box from Night In Boxes took us on a trip to Hawaii. John and I visited Hawaii for the first-time last year, so I was super excited to open this box! As always, August’s box included recipes for dinner and drinks, should you want to add that to your evening. What I liked was this month they even included pretty themed cups and individual mixers packets (Minute Mixology brand) to be able to make a mojito and margarita. We unfortunately had to skip on this part of the date night, but we did take advantage of the great smelling candle and the fun games!
The candle was from Northern Lights Candles and was a custom-selected scent of Plum Orchid and Dalhia. It definitely set the mood and smelled beautiful. I really loved this touch and couldn’t wait to light it and let it burn while we played our games!
Lei It On Me
When you think of Hawaii, do you usually think about the gorgeous leis? I know when we went to Hawaii, it was one of the things I couldn’t wait for! Well in this month’s box, a lei (Maile Lei- most popular in Hawaii) was provided. It wasn’t made of real flowers of course, but it was still fun. Lei It On Meis a game that I have to admit, is super hard! We were given cards with sentences and blank areas. We both had to fill in the blank areas and then fill out a section on what the other would need to do if they guess the blank wrong. I don’t think either of us got a single answer correct – LOL – so we now owe each other multiple tasks.
Next, we played the game Konane, which is basically a Hawaiian version of checkers. It uses what I refer to as “Mancala” beads and the rules are a bit different than what we were used to with checkers. We LOVED this game and plan to play it again in the future. John won, but I’ll get him back next time =P
Until next month…
John and I didn’t have a chance to play the Aloha BINGO, but I definitely plan to play it another night. In the box was also Sweet Maui Onion Hawaiian Kettle chips for the both of us – we are saving this to enjoy at a later date. This was our 2nd Date Night In subscription box from Night In Boxes, and we really enjoyed it – can’t wait to see what next month’s date will be!
DISCLAIMER: I am a Night In Boxes Affiliate, and in exchange for my time and efforts in reviewing their boxes and reporting my opinion on this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest offers, Night In Boxes has provided me with free subscription boxes. As always, all opinions are my own
Our August local charity spotlight is A Gift For Teaching. Founded in 1998 by Gary Landwirth, A Gift for Teaching is Central Florida’s primary provider of free school supplies. They serve 287 public schools in Orange and Osceola counties. There are more than 240,000 kids whose families live at or below the poverty line in Central Florida, but the most shocking number is that 17,000 of those students are homeless.
Their mission is to improve public school education by providing resources and surplus materials free to teachers for their students in need.
Picture a child at school trying to write without a pencil, read without books or dream without the tools to put their ideas onto paper. This is the reality for far too many students in our community. For thousands, these basic learning tools are a luxury. In fact, more than 70% of the students in Central Florida come from families that can’t afford lunch, let alone school supplies. On top of this, teachers, on average, spend $500 – $1,000 out of their own pockets each year to provide basic supplies for their students! Because of these facts, A Gift For Teaching was founded.
At A Gift For Teaching, they believe that every child deserves a chance at an equal education, and though school supplies fulfill a basic need, they also know that learning is much more than just notebooks and multiplication tables. Therefore, they offer other programs as well!
A Gift For Music
A Gift For Music (AGFM) was founded in 1999 with the purpose of using music as a vehicle for the underserved urban youth in Orlando to envision a better future for themselves. AGFM has assembled some of the finest string music educators in Central Florida to mentor students on a musical journey from third grade through high school. Using a combination of after-school, in-school, weekend and summer programming, AGFM has one of the most comprehensive string music education programs in the state of Florida, and has been able to reach nearly 8,000 urban youth since inception.
To learn more about AGFM, please click HERE.
Pencil Boy Programs
In addition to having a physical Free Store where teachers shop, they have sent Pencil Boy on the road! Teachers can now shop online through the Pencil Boy Online platform where orders will be shipped directly to their schools, or they can shop via Pencil Boy Express- The Mobile Free Store, when it visits their school. Pencil Boy Express visits high-need schools across Orange County, alleviating the burden on teachers traveling to the Free Store.
Art supplies and curriculum are often the first things slashed in today’s tight school budgets, so in 2006, School SMARTS was created to integrate art into low-income classrooms to enhance learning. The program has two primary components; “Aunt Winnie’s Art Corner” within AGFT’s Free Store that provides teachers with basic quality art supplies, and art lesson kits. In collaboration with Orange County Public Schools’ Arts Administrator, packaged art lessons, and curriculum that cover skills such as drawing, watercolor, collage, and printmaking, are given to the teachers after a three-hour curriculum workshop.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Join the 9,000+ individuals, foundations, and corporations who have contributed financially, donated supplies or volunteered. AGFT would not exist without community partners, and it’s those partners that help them place supplies into the hands of those who really need it. Help them impact those who will be the future leaders of our community. If you would like to visit their facilities and learn more, sign up to take a tour!
It takes a team of dedicated volunteers to operate their programs and they are always looking for new members. Go HEREto learn more.
Your donation helps them provide supplies to students in need all year long.For every $1, A Gift For Teaching will be able to provide up to $10 worth of supplies! As previously mentioned, nearly 240,000 students in Central Florida are living at or below the poverty line. It's hard to focus in the classroom, let alone think about your future, when you don't have the supplies you need to complete your schoolwork. If you would like to help enable these children to dream up and create a future of their own design by making a financial gift, please go HERE.
AGFT believes in complete transparency; should you want to review their annual fiscal reporting, including their Annual Reports, IRS Form 990s, and audited Financial Statements, please go HERE.
Help keep their shelves stocked so no student goes without supplies!
Donate New & Gently-Used Supplies: They gladly accept new and gently used supplies. Teachers can get creative with what they use for their classrooms. For questions regarding drop-off locations or scheduling a pick-up, contact Dan Murwin. They accept donations Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:30pm at their Orange County Free Store.
Recycle Your Outdated Electronics: They can turn discarded, recycled electronics into educational supplies for students in need – helping both the local environment and our local children. Click to learn more!
Host a Supply Drive: Grab your friends, your colleagues, your business partners, and host a supply drive to gather the essential supplies Central Florida students need. You are encouraged to host supply drives all year long, but for more information on their annual Back-to-School Drive click here.
Looking for a team building project for your group at your office? They have remote opportunities too! It’s easy! See kit options here. Contact Angela Garcia for more information.
We will be collecting donated supplies at our GNO on August 22nd at Taverna Opa! For a list of items currently needed, you can view their Amazon Wishlist.
ARE YOU A LOCAL TEACHER?
Wouldn’t it be nice if everything were free? At A Gift For Teaching, is just that – free!
Orange County Teachers from eligible high-need schools can shop once a month either at our Free Store, Pencil Boy Online, or through Pencil Boy Express– The Mobile Free Store if it visits your school. Their goal is to reach as many teachers as they can, therefore they offer several ways for you to get free school supplies to impact your students in need. They know buying school supplies can be a burden on teachers, and they aim to alleviate that. To learn more, including to check your school’s “shopping” calendar, please go HERE.
When I first heard that Cirque du Soleil CRYSTAL was coming to Orlando, Florida, I knew I had to see it! I had only seen one Cirque show before and that was over 5 years ago in Vegas (The Beatles). I’ve always wanted to see another one, but there was something about the fact that they were combining their amazing acrobatics with ice skating that really intrigued me.
Last night was opening night and it did NOT disappoint! It was probably one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen. The skills of these ice skaters and dancers was just amazing. I was in awe and at the edge of my seat almost the entire show. The music was perfect, and the live musicians just brought everything to a whole new level. I was highly impressed with the projections they used, making the ice look like things other than ice at times, and just enhancing an already jaw-dropping show. Plus, every so often they would throw in a bit of comedy, and it really just made the show that much better.
I had brought two of my close girlfriends and John with me, and the consensus was unanimous – it was a hit! It was both of my friends’ first Cirque shows, and they were just as amazed as John and I were. I honestly left thinking, I wish I could see this again!
If you have the chance to see this show while it’s in Orlando (until 8/5), or maybe in one of the other cities it will be traveling to, I highly recommend it – you won’t be disappointed!
For more information, be sure to visit: www.cirquedusoleil.com/crystal
Disclaimer: I am a Boza Agency Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest live entertainment, Boza Agency has provided me with complimentary tickets to Cirque du Soleil shows and other exclusive opportunities. As always, all opinions are my own.
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!