Friday, October 28, 2016

#FlockToFlorida - Visit Orlando

I have to admit, my impressions of Orlando have always been Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, Premium Outlet mall shopping, a Walmart and vacation homes. I never looked beyond that and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Orlando has a lot going to for itself! I was lucky enough to attend the #FlockToFlorida press event in Toronto last week to learn all about what's new in Florida this year and why we should flock with our families down to Florida!

First thing to hit my heart is the discovery of Orlando's dining trends.
1. Acclaimed and Famed: 2015 has been a landmark year for Orlando dining. Wine Enthusiast named the city one of the year’s 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations, and The New York Times named Orlando one of the 52 places to go in the world in 2015, citing a dynamic food scene and exciting restaurants. In addition to these accolades, Orlando is a hotbed for celebrity chef restaurants in recent years, with Masaharu Morimoto joining Norman Van Aken, Emeril Lagasse, Todd English, Wolfgang Puck, Roy Yamaguchi and Melissa Kelly. Even homegrown chefs are making a splash. For the third consecutive year, Orlando captured the most nominations of any Florida city for the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s 2015 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists. CVB6102

2. Farm-Fresh: Orlando chefs are literally looking in their own backyards for fresh ingredients and locally sourced goods. With four growing seasons, local farms provide an abundance of fresh, seasonal products. Grande Lakes Orlando, home to the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott, sources ingredients straight from its very own 7,000-square-foot Whisper Creek Farm and raised-bed PRIMO Organic Garden. The new Whisper Creek Kitchen showcases these elements in its comfort food and craft beers. Closer to downtown, Chef Kevin Fonzo not only sources ingredients from an organic garden in the backyard of K Restaurant in his recipes, but also uses the garden to teach local students about healthy eating. Fonzo has been recognized by Michelle Obama and invited to tour The White House garden as part of her “Chefs Move to School” initiative. East End Market, boasts an outdoor community garden in addition to its urban public market concept, featuring Central Florida’s top food entrepreneurs, tradespeople, artists and chefs. Sharing the East End garden is James Beard-nominated Henry Salgado, the creator and chef at Txokos Basque Kitchen.

3. Southern Hospitality Soars: From award-winning BBQ joints to farm-to-table eateries, Southern cooking is having its finest moment in Orlando. With chefs melding tastes from traditional regions like Memphis and Kansas City with local flavors, an Orlando BBQ culture is evolving. Soco, which stands for Southern Contemporary, is a new stand-out in Orlando’s trendy Thornton Park neighborhood from Chef Greg Ritchie, who honed his skills at top establishments, including Magnolia’s in Charleston and The Abbey in Atlanta. The new Highball & Harvest at the RitzCarlton Orlando, Grande Lakes features a Southern-inspired and locally-sourced menu and craft cocktails.

4. Surprising Diversity: Cuisines from around the world are well represented in Orlando. The downtown Orlando area of Mills 50 is a hub for diverse flavors with classic Vietnamese pho at Little Saigon, authentic Korean at Shin Jung and wild cards like the Asian-Latin-American fusion of Tako Cheena. The variety stretches throughout Orlando, as diners can circumnavigate the globe without ever leaving Central Florida, tasting Malaysian at Mamak, Polish from Polonia and Scandanavian from the SwedeDish Food Truck. From Africa, guests can experience Nile Ethiopian Cuisine on International Drive or Flavors Nigerian near downtown Orlando. Plenty of Latin American options add spice to the selection, including 14 different types of churrasco grilled meat at Black Fire Brazilian Steakhouse, and the perfect Cuban sandwich at Black Bean Deli. Txokos provides a taste of history and culture with its Spanish Basque dishes, while Naru Sushi will offer Orlando’s first Japanese-Brazilian fusion cuisine.

After food, I'm into arts and culture and it seems there's there are new venues and attractions in this category too!
The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts: Located in Downtown Orlando, 20 minutes from the Orange County Convention Center. Housed on a nine-acre site, the completed project includes: two performance theaters, a community theater, outdoor plaza and performance space, rehearsal rooms, administrative offices, educational programming space and a community facility.

I-Drive 360: A new retail, dining and entertainment complex located on International Drive includes the 400-foot-tall (123-meter-tall) The Orlando Eye observation wheel, plus Madame Tussauds wax attraction and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium. The project is surrounded by a variety of shopping and dining such as Sugar Factory Orlando, Yard House, Cowgirls Rockbar Orlando and Tin Roof.

Mango's Tropical Cafe, opened in Fall 2015: Bringing the heat from Miami’s South Beach, the 55,000-square-foot Mango’s restaurant and nightlife entertainment destination is located in the heart of International Drive and one mile from the Orange County Convention Center. It will offer nonstop entertainment to groups of all sizes.

I'm excited by the prospect of seeing and doing other things than visiting the theme parks when I head to Orlando in May for Mom 2.0 Summit.

Happy travels!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Super Sweaty Saturday!

I've had quite the summer of overindulgences... And now I'm paying for it. Check out how red my face got after running on the tread mill!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Signs you've watched too much Walking Dead

Signs you've watched too much Walking Dead:
- you see a dark figure limping walking down a driveway and you think it's a walker 
- you start stockpiling canned goods for the Zombie Apocalypse
- you try to build your endurance on the thread mill so you're ready to run
- you start to think maybe your ex wasn't a freak for wanting to own swords

Monday, June 20, 2016

I needed to Breathe.


I had to.

Deadlines are tight. Colleagues are anxious. Footage is overwhelming.

I couldn't have any more of that constant go go go.

Slow the fuck down.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Block, The Writing Kind

For a little while, it was coming easy, the writing that is...
Lately not so much.
Deadlines. Edit this video, focus on this creative, help with homework, stretched thin.
It's good to be busy, no?
It's good to have abundance.
It's good to have your bucket full.
I'm in demand and that's great.
I must learn to prioritize.
I must learn the word no.
Maybe once I have 5 minutes back to myself, words will flow.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Toronto Road Closures for May 1

Hey guys! It's the Toronto Goodlife marathon this Sunday and that means road closures and TTC diversions. In other words, don't try to drive across the city midday.

  Below is what we are looking at: 

The marathon at 7:30 a.m., relay at 7:40 a.m. and half-marathon at 8:30 a.m. all start at Mel Lastman Square.
The 10K run starts at 7:30 a.m. at Aylmer Avenue and Park Road, while the 5K run at 8:00 a.m. and 5K walk at 12:00 p.m. will start — and finish — at Ontario Place.
Highway commuters should note the southbound Highway 401 ramp at Yonge Street will be closed; ramps on the Don Valley Parkway from Bayview/Bloor westbound to Bayview southbound will be closed; the Jarvis off ramp on the eastbound Gardiner Express Way will be closed; and so will the Spadina on and off-ramp on the westbound Gardiner. The 401 Yonge ramp re-opens at 10:00 a.m., while all others are set to re-open at 3:00 p.m., unless noted otherwise by the Toronto Police Service.

Road closures

For city commuters, here are some of the major road closures:​
  • Yonge Street southbound from Horsham Avenue to Highway 401, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
  • Yonge Street southbound from Highwa 401 to York Mills Road, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
  • Yonge Street southbound from York Mills Road to Eglinton Avenue, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Yonge Street southbound from Eglinton Avenue to Chaplin Crescent, 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Yonge Street southbound from Chaplin Crescent to Aylmer Avenue, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Chaplin Crescent westbound from Yonge Street to Oriole Parkway, 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Forest Hill Road northbound from Lonsdale Road to Kilbarry Road, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.​
  • Spadina Road southbound from Lonsdale Road to St. Clair Avenue West, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Spadina Road in all directions from St. Clair Avenue West to Austin Terrace, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Davenport Road in all directions from MacPherson Avenue to Belmont Street, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Aylmer Avenue in all directions from Yonge Street to Rosedale Valley Road, 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Rosedale Valley Road in all directions from Aylmer Road to Bayview Avenue, 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Bayview Avenue in all directions from Rosedale Valley Road to Lower River Street, 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • King Street East eastbound from River Street to Sumach Street, 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m
  • Eastern Avenue in all directions from Sumach Street to Front Street East, 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Front Street East in all directions from Eastern Avenue to Wellington Street East, 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Wellington Street and West in all directions from Front Street East to John Street, 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • John Street in all directions from Wellington Street West to Front Street West, 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Front Street West in all directions from John Street to Bathurst Street, 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Bathurst Street in all directions from Front Street West to Fort York Boulevard, 7:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Fort York Boulevard in all directions from Bathurst Street to Lake Shore Boulevard West, 7:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Marine Parade Drive in all directions from Humber Bay Park East to Waterfront Drive, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Waterfront Drive in all directions from Marine Parade Drive to Palace Pier Court, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Lake Shore Boulevard eastbound curb lane to Humber River Remembrance Drive, 8:30 a.m. 4:00 p.m.
See the full list of closures here.

TTC routes affected

The TTC is closing portions Line 2 from St. George to Pape station starting at 11:00 p.m. on April 30 to ensure runners and observers are not inconvenienced. Frequent shuttle buses will be run in its place.
Affected bus and streetcar routes include:
  • 6 Bay
  • 26 Dupont
  • 127 Davenport
  • 65 Parliament
  • 75 Sherbourne
  • 172 Cherry Street
  • 97 Yonge
  • 66B Prince Edward
  • 504 King
  • 511 Bathurst​
See the full list of diversions and closures here.

Drive safe!

Race maps

Goodlife Toronto Marathon
(Goodlife Toronto Marathon)
Goodlife Toronto Marathon half
(Goodlife Toronto Marathon)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Outing Myself... Not what you think!

Video Editor extraordinaire!
So here it is... I've always been a fan of social media and an active participant. I've never really blogged before now. I've always followed on Twitter and I love my Facebook and Instagram feeds. Many of you know that I work in television and on some really high profile shows, what a lot of people don't know is that I've been working on elevating the status of some of my clients in the video world.
Yes, I have social media clients.
Yes, they (we) make videos.
Yes, I make those video blogs snappy and engaging.
Yes, I work with branded content as well.

And so without further adieu, as I out myself, I give to you some of my favourite social media influencer clients:

Julie Nowell, 3 Chickens and A Boat
(there's a Diva Cup giveaway here too!)

Holly LaRochelle, The Inspired Home

Dr. Dina Kulik, Parenting and Kids Health Tips
(these I also shoot as well as edit)

So if you are reading this and you are ready to put yourself out there in the video world as well, let me know, I'd be glad to help you out.
And maybe one day I'll work on my own channel and content, haha...