Lifestyle

Lunching & Brunching in Orlando: where to eat, where to drink.

If you’ve stumbled upon this post you’re either A: a tourist, B: hungry, or C: both. Here is my very opinionated list of my favorite restaurants in Orlando with suggestions on what to eat; oh and if you’re a vegan, don’t worry I got you covered too.

Sunday Brunch:

Not too far from The Milk District is a place called Pizza Bruno, yes they have great pizza but their Sunday brunch is… AMAZING. I’ve never had anything bad here.

If you’re feeling bourgeois, head over to Winter Park, a historic neighborhood north of downtown. If you want a really good brunch and price isn’t an issue, Boca Kitchen, Bar & Market is a great place to brunch and they have $15 bottomless mimosas. What to order: Chicken and Waffles

The BriarPatch is arguably the best breakfast or lunch on Park Ave. Home to my favorite Eggs Benedict, the “BriarPatch Benedict”. Take your time to get there because no matter what you’ll be waiting in line. Unlike most brunch places, they’re open until 5pm.

If you’re downtown, Artisan’s Table or The Stubborn Mule are my favorite brunch spots.

Weekday lunch spots downtown:

Dexter’s of Thornton Park, what to order: The Dexter’s Special. Dexter’s is always a good time. Their Sunday brunch is really good too! There are 3 other locations throughout Orlando.

If you want a really good burger, Downtown PourHouse, is my favorite place to get one. They have several options, and don’t forget to order the loaded fries!

Tin & Taco, best quick service taco joint in Orlando. Get the “Tacosoarus” you’re welcome.
Pho Hoa, in Little Veitnam off Colonial Drive. My favorite place to get Pho. The building is also surrounded by street art so if you’re into street art, its an added bonus!

White Wolf Cafe, this place has really good breakfast and really good lunch. It’s in the Ivanhoe District which is super cute, complete with local bars and antique shops. There is also a public park that is nice to stroll through if the weather is pleasant.

My favorite vegan spot, Dandelion Communitea Cafe. This place is so cute and so good! My favorite thing to order is the Mediterranean bowl with hummus.

Another great vegan spot is the Market on South. P.S. the bakery inside the market has the best donuts ever!

Drinking like a local:

Near the Ivanhoe District is Mills 50. This artsy side of town has several bars that are fun to “Sunday Funday” at. A few of my favorites are Santiagos Bodega, The Matador, and The Guesthouse. All three of these bars are within walking distance of each other.

If you’re into beer, Ten10 Brewery is right there on Virginia and The Brass Tap is in the Plaza down the street from Santiagos and The Matador.

If you’re into wine, Quantum Leap winery is also within walking distance.

It would be impossible to name all the great local spots in Orlando, but these are the first ones to come to my mind when I’m in the mood for good food. Till next time blondies!

xoxo,

The Nifty Blonde

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Artistic Streets of Orlando

As you all know I am an Orlando native. I have lived in Orlando the majority of my not so long life. When most people think Orlando, they think Disney. Yes, we are the home of Walt Disney World, and if you think I go to Disney every moment I get, then yes, you are absolutely correct. 

No, I am not here to talk about Disney. I’m here to talk about art. If you know me, you know I love art, and you would also know I love a good “basic white girl” photo in front of street art. If you are into art and are visiting Orlando and have a chance to get away from the horrific tourist side of town, be sure to scout out these awesome murals that you can find all over my colorful city.

While you’re out and about taking pictures in front of random walls, you’ll probably get hungry. So be sure to check out my favorite local restaurant guide here

Ric Sosa. Location: The Center, 946 N. Mills.
Pho Hoa, 649 E. Primrose Drive
Andrew Spear, #Wingstowalls mural for Red Bull, N. Mills Avenue and Lake Highland Drive
Dolla $hort, Will’s Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave.
Horsebites, at Se7en Bites, 207 N. Primrose Drive
Andrew Spear, Hideaway Bar, 516 Virginia Drive
Andrew Spear, Sam Flax, 1800 E. Colonial Drive
“Milk Wings” by DelaCruz, Milk District Orlando, 2424 E. Robinson St.
The Milk Bar Mural, Harmonious Universe project, 2424 E. Robinson St.
“The Princess of Orlando” Orlando City Soccer Club mural by Dr. Ze at Dexter’s, 808 E. Washington St.
The West Art District, 1011 W. Central Blvd 
Thornton Park Parking Garage 120 N. Eola Drive

These are just a few great areas to go see! Enjoy your self-guided art tour of Orlando! Till next time blondies! 

xoxo, 

The Nifty Blonde

Creating a Natural Beauty Routine

Hello Everyone!

It’s been awhile since my last post, but today I’m really excited to share with you my current beauty routine using only natural vegan products. Don’t let the “natural” or “vegan” part turn you away, these products are affordable and 100% worth the switch.

You may be wondering, why switch? I’ve been using the same products for years. I thought this way at first as well. However, once I started using these products I saw a dramatic improvement in my hair and my skin! It’s no secret that natural products are becoming more and more popular as we are becoming more aware of how our habits are affecting the planet we call home. I initially made the switch because I did not want to support global companies who test products on animals, however as I became more aware of the other benefits to switching to natural products the more I started telling my friends and family about it. Now I feel the need to share it with the world.

Your skin is the largest organ on your body. What you put on your skin is immediately absorbed into your bloodstream. Big name products, whom I will not mention in this post, use toxic chemicals, such as aluminum, parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates and sulfates, as well as, artificial perfumes and dyes to create their products. These products can be underlying causes of diseases and cancers.

Here are the natural, cruelty-free brands I currently use, and I love them so much!

 

Pravana: I highlight my hair a few times a year and Pravana is my go to hair care brand that keeps my hair soft and not as “stretchy” as bleached hair can get. My current routine is mixing the ‘Perfect Blonde Shampoo’ (which is a dark purple shampoo to cut out brassiness) and their ‘Repairative Shampoo’, followed by the ‘Repairative Conditioner’.

Briogeo: This company is a tad more expensive than the other brands on the list, however I swear by their ‘Don’t Despair! Repair!’ deep conditioner. I deep condition my hair about once every 2 weeks, or once a week if I’ve been blow drying it a lot. This product has saved my poor bleached ends and I have seen such an improvement since I started using this product. My hair is actually growing instead of breaking off!

 

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Smchitd’s Naturals: this is a natural deodorant that actually works! I’ve tried so many brands and find myself having to reapply constantly. My main job is working outside at a pool bar and I can not risk wearing a deodorant that does not work. This deodorant will last ALL DAY! You actually have to scrub it off in the shower because it stays on so long. My favorite scent is ‘Rose + Vanilla’.

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Alaffia: This is a natural body wash made out of basically just coconuts. It smells like your on vacation and doesn’t leave a sticky residue on your skin like normal soap. Its free of harmful radicals and won’t clog your pores, allowing your skin to absorb all the oil from the coconuts and leaving it baby smooth.

Thrive Cosmetics: This cute Pacific Northwest makeup company is one that I discovered about 8 months ago. Not only is the packaging super cute! Their makeup really makes my face look flawless. Their mascara is by far the best mascara I’ve ever used in my entire life, and their CC Cream has what they call “Blur Effect Technology” and it works like magic to conceal uneven skin tones and dark spots. An added bonus, it has SPF 35 so that is one less thing to stress about when being outside!

There are so many natural products out there, these are just some that I’ve tested myself and absolutely love and wanted to share with you all. I hope you enjoyed this little read!

xoxo,

The Nifty Blonde

Decorating your workspace.

If you stumbled across this post its probably because you have a boring grey, lifeless, cubicle, like I did! Having a comfortable place to work is very important. It will keep your stress levels at their minimum and make you work more efficiently.

Here are some tips to spruce up your workplace and your workflow:

Keep it clean. The less clutter the better.

 Slide View: 2: Étagère murale à grille en fil de métalRetrieved from Pinterest

Remember, when decorating your office, keep Feng Shui in mind. Too much clutter on your desk or large pieces of furniture will make you feel overwhelmed. So remember less is more. Also, your decorations reflect your personality, so having offensive or badly humored decor can send the wrong signal. You wouldn’t tell your boss you’re lazy, so avoid decorations with negative sayings like, “Is it 5 o’clock yet?” or “Worlds Worst Employee”.

Keep it organized, but add some flare. My cubicle is accented with marble and gold finishings. Even my paper clips are gold! You can find incredibly cute office accents here.

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File Folders, 12ct, White and Gold - Threshold™ - image 1 of 1 Marble Stapler - Threshold™ - image 1 of 1 Marble Tape Dispenser - Threshold™ - image 2 of 2

If your job allows, change your desktop background to something that comforts you. It could be a picture of your family or your favorite motivational quote.

Free wallpaper for the computer / free desktop/mobile wallpaperRetrieved from Pinterest

Add some mood lighting. Florescent lights are hard on your eyes. A lamp or twinkle lights add a more natural light that make your work environment seem more pleasant.

15 chic home office ideas and inspiration - kaelahbee.comRetrieved from Pinterest

Last but not least, your office chair! A proper chair is crucial to the job. If you’re in an uncomfortable chair you could be harming your back by slouching to get more comfortable. You can find office chairs here.

Have fun creating a more positive workspace!  Till next time blondies, xoxo.

 

The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. Thank you for supporting The Nifty Blonde. 

A Blonde’s Guide to San Francisco

Ahh, San Francisco. One of my favorite cities in the whole world. If you have never been, add it to your bucket list.

Here is a list of must do and see things while in San Francisco.

Walk across, under, and around the Golden Gate Bridge. Yes, do all three, it’s majestic from all angles.

Hike up Lombard Street!

By hike, I mean climb… that hill will have you out of breath and crawling to the top before you know it, but look at the view at the top!

You can’t leave San Francisco without taking the Ferry to Alcatraz.

Buy your tickets online ahead of time, it’s cheaper and more convenient since ticket lines are long at the pier. Make sure you print them out!

Once you arrive on Alcatraz you will be directed to head to the top of the prison to grab a headset for a self guided tour. The audio tour is amazing and I actually felt like an Alcatraz expert when I left.

Now go act like a tourist, since that’s exactly what you are, and walk around Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf. Touristy areas aren’t really my style but it’s definitely something everyone should see at least once. There are usually a bunch of sea lions that hangout and sun bathe on the empty floating docks on the water and there are endless places to buy souvenirs and catch a bite to eat.

Next, visit the Coit Tower and go up to the top!

This should be done early in the morning, or on a weekday because the line will be at least an hour just to get into the elevator to go to the top.

It’s really windy up there, but it offers panoramic views of San Francisco.

Also, keep in mind, Coit Tower is located on top of steep hill and all cab/uber drivers hate driving up there when it’s busy. So be prepared to walk up or down that hill.

Visit Golden Gate Park.

This park is huge! It sort of reminds me of Central Park in New York except you can drive through most of Golden Gate Park.

Oh, and be prepared to see Buffalo roaming around in the park!

Don’t forget to walk through China Town!

Everyone loves a good China Town full of shopping and authentic Chinese cuisine.

One thing I highly recommend, if you really want to see the city, is rent a GoCar. These bright yellow motorcycle type vehicles are the strangest yet, most fun thing to do in this city. It offers an audio tour via gps so it explains everything you drive past and also gives you turn by turn directions. Everyone will stare at you, but who cares? It’s fun!

Something to note: You can easily find a coupon on your smartphone which can save you about $25 off the rental.

There is so much to do and see in San Francisco. I know I didn’t even cover half of all the possibilities on what you can do. However, if you’re ever there, I hope this guide helped you!

Let me know what you have done in San Francisco!

xoxo, The Nifty Blonde