plant shopping at the heavy winter park

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Guys, I found the cutest new spot in Winter Park! For those who don't know, Winter Park is a beautiful little town in the vicinity of Orlando, Florida and it's one that I love to visit as often as possible now that I only live a short drive away. As you may have seen in my post from Monday, Winter Park has so many cute little restaurants and shops (i.e. the Rifle Paper Co. headquarters!) and I've found the newest one.

The Heavy is located inside an old seafood facility. I'm not going to lie, when you walk in you can even smell it a little! Haha. But, once you see what they've done to the place you'll totally forget about it. The entire warehouse is decorated with bohemian furniture and plants galore. It is primarily a plant store, but it doubles as a hangout and event space where they'll be hosting classes and restaurant pop-ups. 

When you pass through a non-descript curtain, you enter the 'patio therapy' section which is seriously gorgeous. It's just floor to ceiling plants, mainly succulents in beautiful little pottery. I loved exploring this space so much and can't wait to go back for an event!

cute places to eat in orlando // coffee talk

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Hello, hello! I'm loving these coffee talk posts I've started doing. They're a great way to share some of things on my mind that don't necessarily warrant a full post. Quick note, I saw quite a few new movies this month, so a lot of this post will be little movie reviews. 

But first! I wanted to share a few of the cutest places to eat in the Orlando/Winter Park area. Orlando is one of the most visited cities in the world, yet so many people only know the Disney side of it. You guys, there is so much more to Orlando than just the theme parks. I'll be sharing more recommendations in the future, but for now here are some spots to grab a meal: Prato, Briarpatch (my personal fave), Canvas, Plant Street Kitchen, Chroma, Ethos Vegan Kitchen, Craft + Common, and Deeply Coffee.

working with a life coach // I had the chance to work with a life and career coach earlier this month and it was so interesting. This is something I've wanted to do for awhile and finally had the chance. I took a behavioral assessment called the DiSC, then sat down to discuss my results with her. What's cool about this assessment is that it isn't for the purpose of changing your personality, but rather teaching you how to use your personality to its greatest potential. I highly recommend working with a coach like this if you ever have the chance.

college classes that matter // Emma recently posted about the college classes that helped her in real life, which was timely because I had been thinking about the topic just beforehand. I've always loved school, so it's hard for me to relate when people feel that any class is pointless, but I still thought it'd be helpful to share which classes really have helped me in "real life". For context, I'm an event planner but have also worked in PR for film and marketing for the beauty industry. I'd say that my top 5 most useful classes were Management Information Systems (basically Excel), Art History (having those creative references has been vital), New Venture Creation and Development, Business Law, and just basic English Composition classes. 

eating more vegetables // I've been seeing a lot of articles lately about how Americans don't early nearly enough vegetables. I'm pretty good at eating vegetables considering my family has been primarily plant-based for years now, but even I think I can still do better. So then, I stumbled upon this list of Mark Bitman's 101 Simple Salad ideas. This list is such a good resource that's helpful for really appreciating and learning about different vegetables and how you can pair them together to make easy, delicious, healthy meals. I actually have my own go-to, simple salad that I eat nearly everyday. It's butter lettuce, thinly sliced Granny Smith Apples, Organic Girl White Cheddar Dressing (it's way healthier than you'd think), a sliced hardboiled egg, and candied walnuts. To make the walnuts, you just heat up some maple syrup in a pan and toss walnuts in it then let it cool in a dish for a few minutes.

mission impossible: fallout // My dad and I went to see this earlier in the month and it was so, so, good. I love all things having to do with spies and thought the trailer for this film was absolutely incredible, so my expectations were high and they were definitely met. It's nonstop action and twists with beautiful fight choreography. I've read a lot recently about how Tom Cruise does all of his own stunts which made the movie even better. Also, I noticed that while it was violent, it wasn't at all gory and could actually be a good movie for younger audiences too.

eighth grade // I'd been dying to see this movie for awhile now and was so glad to see it playing in my nearby theater. I'm a big Bo Burnham fan and think it's fascinating he decided his directorial debut would be a film about what it's like to be a girl in 8th grade. I thought it was such a good portrayal of that age group, especially of today's generation. Even though I wasn't nearly as awkward of an 8th grader as Kayla (that's not to say I wasn't awkward, but it wasn't as bad as this specific portrayal), I thought both Burnham and actress Elsie Fisher did a great job with a realistic portrayal of an 8th grader's personality and quirks. There's this great scene when Kayla goes to a pool party hosted by the 'cool girl' and the entire scene just paints this picture of her terror as she enters a pool full of the 'cool kids'. But as an adult, the scene really shows the 'cool kids' for what they are, which is weird, freaky, goofy, non-threatening little thirteen year olds.

crazy rich asians // SO. GOOD. You all know by now how much I love Kevin Kwan's series of books. I had high expectations for the movie and I was impressed. We got to the theater early for the 8:30 showing but it was already sold out! We ended up going to the 10:20 pm showing and were surprised to see that even that late showing was packed to the brim. That makes me so, so, so happy. The movie was funny, beautiful, and just really cute. So happy to see that they're making the sequel China Rich Girlfriend, that the film is killing it at the box office, and that it's having such a huge, cultural impact! Definitely go see it if you haven't already.

skyfall // Finally got the chance to watch this one! I couldn't find anywhere to watch it for years, but it happened to be in stock at my library this week. This was a really good Bond film, for sure. Loved the locations and the story line. My mom even liked it and she's not super into this kind of movie. I have to say my favorite is still Spectre, but this is a close second.

nyc itinerary: solo trip

I've had so much fun writing up these New York City itineraries and sharing all of my favorite spots in the city with you guys. As far as I can tell, I think this itinerary for a solo trip to New York will be the last of this series. If you ever need personal recommendations though, feel free to send me an email because I'm always happy to share ideas!

So, this itinerary is for the solo traveler. That's usually me because I love traveling alone and when I lived in the city, I explored a lot on my own since my work schedule was so different than my friends. Luckily, New York is a really easy place to have a good time on your own and it's hard to find a place where I'd feel "weird" to go in alone.

STAY //
The Jane Hotel
I love this option in the West Village for a solo traveler because you can actually get a small, single room that feels like a ship cabin. The whole hotel is very Wes Anderson, which makes it a quirky, memorable pick. There's also a great little restaurant onsite called Old Rose, which you've probably seen on Instagram.

The Ace Hotel
I have a long history with The Ace, so I'd be remiss not to mention it. It has such a fun vibe with a lively lobby where it's super easy to socialize and make friends. There's a little outpost of Toby's Estate Coffee in the lobby as well as a fun photo booth and some shops. It's in a great location, too, in the middle of everything.

EAT //
Veselka
My all-time favorite restaurant in the city is a great one for dining alone or with friends. They're open twenty four hours, too! If you're alone, I recommend sitting at the counter. It'll be a shorter wait and feel more natural. Order boiled pierogies and an egg cream. Don't forget to request complimentary applesauce!

The Smith
Another option that's great for both groups and solo travelers is The Smith. If you're on your own, sit at one of the communal tables. You'll get in quicker and maybe make some friends! Order the French 75 cocktail and the macaroni and cheese, which is technically an appetizer but big enough to be an entree. 

Any restaurant that typically has a long wait
Like I've mentioned for the two places above, going to a restaurant alone has one major perk and that's a shorter wait. If there's a restaurant you're dying to try that has a long wait (AKA most restaurants during brunch hours), being a solo diner will give you a huge leg up!

DO //
See a movie at a cool theater
What's a better solo activity than seeing a movie? Check out theaters like The Angelika, Metrograph, and The Paris Theatre for a really unique experience. 

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge and surrounding area
Take a scenic walk from the Financial District, across the Brooklyn Bridge, and into DUMBO. Walking the bridge will take about an hour and then you can grab lunch by the water and explore Main Street Park. 

Take a fun walking tour
If you're looking for something a little more social, try out a walking tour. You'll learn something, you'll see cool things, and you'll feel a little less alone. Here's a good list of interesting walking tours you can take.

nyc itinerary: family trip

I'm back with another New York City itinerary and this time it's all about family trips to the city. Even though I don't have kids and wouldn't necessarily describe myself as being super knowledgable about the subject, many people comment that I have good instincts when it comes to suggestions for kids. New York may not seem like the most kid-friendly place, but there really are so many cool things to do.

I'm making a point with these recommendations to suggest things that would be fun for all ages. Family trips often involve every age from toddlers and older kids to teenagers, young adults, grown adults, and grandparents so it's important to keep things kid-friendly without being too "kiddie" and boring for the other family members. 

STAY

The Peninsula
This luxury hotel is next door to MoMA on the classic 5th Avenue. It's only a few blocks from Central Park and The Plaza (whose food hall and Eloise shop are worth a visit). There are tons of family packages with themes like Camp Peninsula as well as scavenger hunts, poolside picnics, and cooking classes.

Ganesvoort Meatpacking
Hotels in this area, especially the Gansevoort, are often thought to be go-to hotels for a younger, louder crowd but this one is actually pretty family friendly which makes it great for all ages. It's located right on the High Line, plus it's near Tribeca which is flush with playgrounds and green space for kids.

The James Hotel
This hotel in SoHo has a great restaurant, rooftop bar, lots of art, and is in a good location near lots of things to do. Kids can get milk and cookies at bedtime plus access to books and board games. There's a rooftop pool and a great restaurant onsite, The David Burke Kitchen, to make things easy.

EAT

Alice's Tea Cup
This is a classic spot for kids. It's a whimsical tea house with fun decor and full-on tea ceremonies which are family friendly. Great for little girls or anyone who loves Alice in Wonderland, fairytales, and so on.

Little Italy Pizza at Bryant Park
There are lots of restaurants near Bryant Park, but an easy meal idea is to pick up a pizza from Little Italy Pizza and walk it over to Bryant Park for an outdoor picnic.

Kellogg's Cafe
This spot in Union Square is one of my favorite places in the city. It's a full-on cereal bar where you can customize your bowl of cereal, set it up at an Instagram station, and sit in swings looking out over the park. A must-go for anyone, but especially great for kids.

Pizza Beach
With locations on the Lower East Side and Upper East Side, this is a fun, colorful pizza shop with a beachy theme. 

Bubby's
Go to Bubby's in Tribeca for a decadent brunch or a scoop of Ample Hills Creamery ice-cream. The atmosphere is relaxed and noisy, perfect for families. Try the stuffed pancakes!

Brooklyn Farmacy
This is such a cute spot in Carroll Gardens. It's a classic soda fountain that's been around as an apothecary since the 1920s. Sit at the counter and order a grilled cheese and chocolate egg cream for a fun, retro experience.

DO

Natural History Museum
A great spot for families as there is so much to look at. There's everything from dinosaurs to space ships plus all sorts of educational experiences for every age. If you're there in the summer, check out the secret splash pad on the roof.

Jane's Carousel & Brooklyn Bridge Park
Head over to DUMBO to ride Jane's Carousel on the waterfront. There are also a few playgrounds there with Tarzan swings, splash pads, slides, and epic sandboxes.

Children's Museum of the Arts
This museum in Lower Manhattan has tons of hands-on art related activities. You can learn to animate a video, do a sing-along, learn to paint, sculpt with clay, and look at really visually interesting art. 

The High Line & playground
Walking the High Line is great for all ages. There's so much to see and do along the way, like the rail yards, the Diller-von Furstenberg splash pad, and a really cool playground with beams. The first time I walked by the playground, I didn't even realize that's what it was. I literally thought kids were just climbing all over the framework of the High Line! Haha. 

movie inspiration for travel

You may have noticed I went missing last week after Tuesday. I had a super busy week and didn't get to work on blog posts, but we're back up this week. 

I always find that there are certain movies that really make you want to travel. I like to watch them on rainy days when I wish I were traveling or to inspire me about where to go next. Here are my favorites for when you want to get away without leaving home.

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The Darjeeling Limited 
India

Before Sunrise / Before Sunset / Before Midnight 
Austria, Paris, Greece

Eat, Pray, Love
Italy, India, Bali

Roman Holiday
Italy

Call Me By Your Name
Italy

The Holiday
England, California

Any Bond film
Pretty much everywhere.

Midnight In Paris
Paris.