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Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa

We had the opportunity to partner with Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa for a hosted stay this past weekend and had the best time. It was our first time in downtown Tampa and we loved it! There is so much to do and see in Tampa and we are sharing all of the details about our stay and places to visit while in Tampa.

We had the opportunity to partner with Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa for a hosted stay this past weekend and had the best time. It was our first time in downtown Tampa and we loved it! There is so much to do and see in Tampa and we are sharing all of the details about our stay and best places to visit while in Tampa.

Stay

Embassy Suites is a beautiful hotel made up of all suites. We got to stay in the King Suite and it was so gorgeous. All of their rooms have a full living room area with a couch, chairs, desk area, and a tv. They also have a full length mirror and a small kitchen area with a fridge, microwave, sink and storage for food. Their bathrooms are super spacious with a walk in shower. Each suite is complete with a comfy bed, window with a view of the bay, and another tv.

Amenities

Some of our favorite amenities include their beautiful heated pool with a view, Starbucks shop, complimentary breakfast, and Taste their full restaurant. The complimentary breakfast was amazing and complete with an omelet station. The best complimentary breakfast we’ve ever had. We also loved having a Starbucks to grab our coffee both mornings before heading out on our adventures.

Restaurant

Taste is their full restaurant that has some delicious food. We got to try items from their upcoming summer lunch menu and it was amazing! So many great flavors and they also made all of the dishes gluten and dairy free for me. My favorite was the plantain cups that had fish, avocado, and spices in it. Corbin’s favorite was definitely the ahi nachos and bread pudding. Sharing some photos below of all of the delicious food.

Location

The Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa is connected to the convention center and conveniently located near the Amalie Arena, River Walk, Sparkman Wharf, and the Aquarium. The street car stops right in front of the hotel as well for easy access to different places in downtown Tampa.

Things to do

There are so many different activities in the downtown Tampa area from restaurants, to events, to shops, to fun activities. We got to enjoy Zoo Tampa and the Florida Aquarium while visiting and both are such fun activities! We also got to sail with Yacht Starships and experience their dinner cruise. The riverwalk is also close by and is always hosting different events.

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The Karol Hotel

Looking for a great quiet place to stay In Clearwater, FL as a couple? We have your back and are sharing all of the details on this gorgeous hotel below. We had the opportunity this past weekend to be hosted by The Karol Hotel located in Clearwater, FL and we had a great time. This has been one of my favorite stays so far.

The hotel is located in Clearwater about 30 minutes from Clearwater beach and 30 minutes from St. Pete. It’s about 15 minutes from the Tampa International Airport as well. This stunning hotel is a AAA Four Diamond hotel has an elegant and modern look to it with beautiful rooms and lots of amenities. Those amenities include a lobby bar and restaurant, rooftop bar, resort-style pool, a fitness center and a beautiful event space for conferences and weddings. One of our favorite things about the hotel is even though it was busy, it didn’t feel too busy and was nice and quiet.

The restaurant is amazing and has the most delicious and decadent food. They were also excellent with my food allergies as well. I got the Salmon Cedar Plank dish and Corbin got the Filet Mignon. Both were very delicious entrees with lots of flavor. We also got to try a Charcuterie Board for the first time and it was amazing. The dessert was Corbin’s favorite part! He got a cookie dessert with ice cream and whipped cream and they even brought me some sorbet. I highly recommend dining at their restaurant while you visit.

The staff was all very friendly and they had great customer service.

We loved that the hotel was only 30 minutes from Sand Key Beach which is one of our favorite beaches to visit while there. We would love to go back and visit again soon and would highly recommend that you check out The Karol Hotel for a nice quiet couples getaway!

Follow us along as we share more destinations and things to do in Florida for couples!

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Disney World Parks Complete Guide

As many of you know, we are huge Disney fans as are many people we know. We continuously get questions about our favorite restaurants, rides and things to do in Disney. We have season passes so we go about once to twice a month. I figured it was time to share a complete guide to Disney. We will share our favorite highlights from each park in this post. Stay tuned for a specific blog post on each park that will go into more details. If you travel like we do, we love to have the best recommendations from people, especially from people who go all of the time. I realize that some people like to use vacation and travel guides for their trips and that is totally okay to do, but just wanted to provide another way to share the must see and things to do there from going often.

Magic Kingdom

Let’s start with the top favorite park! First of all would say that if you can plan a trip in the off seasons it’s the best time and also if you are able to go during the week, that is best too. Off seasons are January-February, September-October. I would also avoid going when they have special events if you can and aren’t going for that. You’re going to want to download the Disney app and make sure to link your tickets etc. Also, Genie+ will come in handy for any of the really big attractions, but I think if you do Magic Kingdom two days you can cover all the rides without Genie+. Also, another way around the really long lines on rides like Mine Train, Rise of Resistance, Slinky Dog, and Passage of Flight would be to get there for rope drop which is 30-40 minutes before the park opens. We also have often waited in those lines right before park closes and the lines have seemed less then. Now onto the fun part our favorite rides, restaurants, and things to do.

Rides

Big Thunder Mountain (this one is fun and a coaster, so I think you have to be a certain height for this)

Pirates of the Caribbean (great ride for anyone, just be careful about lifting your feet under the seats, I lost a toenail one time doing that)

Seven Dwarf Mine Train (would be smart to get a Genie+ for this one or go first thing in the morning once rope drops)

Space Mountain (this is a fav for most adults, honestly not my fav cause it’s jerky, but has a cool vibe)

Buzz Lightyear (we love this one and usually the line is a shorter wait)

Peter Pan’s Flight (this is a great kids one and is nostalgic to me)

Jungle Cruise (this one is often glossed over, but is such a fun ride and they’ve updated it)

Splash Mountain (you have to do it once, but honestly not my fav, I always get soaked)

Under the Sea (this one is Ariel’s journey and is fun)

These would be the one’s I would recommend the most at the park. They have several others for young kids like Winnie the Pooh, which unashamedly I like. My absolute favorite ride at Magic Kingdom would have to be Big Thunder Mountain and Corbin’s favorite is Mine Train.

Food Places

There are so many great places for food at Disney but I wanted to share our favorites and also the most affordable and GF friendly ones.

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (has great mexican type food, they are always great with my allergies and have great prices)

Be our Guest (this is obviously more on the expensive side, but has amazing food and a great atmosphere)

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (one of my favorite quick places in Magic Kingdom, they do a great job with GF/DF options and have a great menu)

Aloha Isle (I love the dole whip here, definitely need to try it out)

Animal Kingdom

This is my absolute favorite park at Disney World. I love all of the animals, rides, and trees. It’s a really beautiful park. Most of the time animal kingdom is the first park that closes at Disney so you want to get there earlier in the day. The only ride you might want a Genie + pass for is Flight of passage, but besides that it’s not necessary for the rest of the park. Flight of passage usually has a long wait, but if you get in when the rope drops or wait till the end of the day you can just wait in regular stand by line. It’s so worth the wait!

Rides

Flight of Passage (this is my favorite ride at any of the parks and is so much fun)

Everest (probably my second favorite ride at Disney, this is a fast coaster that goes forwards/backwards)

Kilimanjaro Safari (this is a great one for kids and so much fun seeing all of the animals)

The Lion King Show (you need to make sure to see this show! It’s so good!)

Dinosaur (this one isn’t too bad of a ride, it’s just really jerky, but if you have a kid who likes dinos then definitely check it out)

I also love their Gorilla trail and all of the other animals you can see on their trails near the Safari ride. Make sure to grab photos at sunset in the tree. There is a trail to go up in the tree at Animal Kingdom that is right next to the stroller spot for It’s tough to be a bug and it’s such a pretty trail and a good quiet photo spot. Corbin and I’s both favorite ride at Animal Kingdom is Flight of Passage.

Food

Animal Kingdom has some good places to eat. They are more limited but Avatar World is definitely the place to hit up for good food in Animal Kingdom.

Satu’li Canteen (by far my favorite in Animal Kingdom, they make these delicious buddha type bowls and they are so good for GF/DF allergies.

Flame Tree Barbecue (has great barbecue and very good with allergies)

Besides those two I would recommend hoping on over to Disney Springs. I’m sharing my favorite restaurants and things to do in Disney Springs in another post coming soon!

Hollywood Studios

This park is a lot of fun and filled with a lot of rides, especially for your older kids with Star War’s Galaxy Edge. This is Corbin’s favorite park because he is the biggest Star Wars fan! You’ll definitely want to make sure you have Genie + for the bigger attractions, unless you’re a passholder. Rise of Resistance is always pretty long and slinky dog dash as well.

Rides

Rise of Resistance (this is a must and so much fun! It’s very realistic too)

Toy Story Mania (this is a really unique and fun ride, great for any age)

Millennium Falcon (this is also a great one with a lot of action and fun)

Slinky Dog Dash (this is a coaster, but definitely fun for kids too)

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad (I haven’t rode this one yet, but keep hearing good things about it)

Rock n Roller Coaster (this is a fun fast paced roller coaster in the dark)

Tower of Terror (Corbin and I don’t like this one and never ride it, but a lot of people really enjoy it.)

Food

Backlot Express (this is great for a quick meal and will be affordable too, they have lots of GF/DF options)

Sci-Fi Dine in Theatre (this is definitely more pricey but is such a neat experience)

Ronto Roasters (this was recommended by family)

50’s Prime Time Cafe (also a really cool experience, but higher priced food)

Olga’s Cantina (you need to get the blue milk here, it’s not a food place but has amazing drinks in Galaxy’s Edge)

Epcot

If you want really great food and a unique around the world experience then Epcot is your place to go. They are always adding new restaurants here too. We haven’t tried a couple of them, but will share all our favorites and others as well. You might want to consider Genie + for Test Track and a couple of those bigger rides on a busy day, but should be fine with the waits for most of the rides.

Rides

Frozen (I have yet to ride it, but hear great things)

Test Track (this is a really fun one and unique)

Soarin (you need to ride this one at Epcot, it’s such an amazing ride)

Remy’s Ratatouille (this one is super cute and different, definitely wait to get in line at the end of the day)

Mission Space (there are two versions of this ride, one that spins and one that doesn’t. I always ride the one that doesn’t)

Living with the land (this one is surprisingly cool to see especially around Christmas time)

Food

Food is the highlight at Epcot and you have so much to choose from! Some of my favorites and allergy friendly places below. Don’t forget to check out Food and Wine festival and the flower festival as well.

La Cantina De Sangel (has great mexican food, they don’t have as many options for allergies though, but have some)

San Angel Inn Restaurant (is a fancier sit down but has great mexican food and great with allergies)

Space 220 (is a new restaurant and I have not visited yet, but have heard amazing reviews about it)

Tangierine Cafe (has moroccan food, not sure about allergy options here as I haven’t eaten here since)

There are so many other restaurants I haven’t tried yet in Epcot. I do know they have a couple of Italian restaurants that offer allergy friendly options too.

Hope you all enjoyed this guide and let me know in the comments if I missed any restaurants. Let me know which rides are your favorites too. I am going to share my Disney Springs Guide in the next couple of weeks. I hope that you all enjoy your visits at Disney and let me know if you have questions and be sure to follow me and check back for more travel guides on my blog, instagram, and Tik Tok (@autumnmturner).

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Wyndham I Drive Stay & Icon Park

Orlando is one of our top favorite cities we love visiting in FL and we visit about twice a month. It’s such a beautiful area and filled with so many different fun activities. We are here to help you know where to stay and what things you need to do and see when visiting Orlando as a couple. This last weekend we had the privilege of being hosted by the Wyndham I-drive and Icon Park. We got to explore more of the Orlando area and had a blast getting to enjoy our weekend getaway. We wanted to share a recap of our trip and why we think you should start planning your next couples getaway there soon!

Wyndham I-Drive

The Wyndham I-drive is right in the heart of Orlando on I-Drive one of the highlights in Orlando. I-Drive is filled with so many restaurants, attractions, and things to do. The Wyndham I-Drive is also a five minute walk to Icon Park which is home of The Wheel (used to be the Orlando eye). The Wydham I-Drive is a beautiful and quaint resort that has two pools, lagoons, gardens, a cafe serving Starbucks, a full restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a hot tub. We got to stay in the Executive suite and the room was absolutely beautiful! It had a full king sized bed, a living space, dining room, three balconies, a mini kitchen with coffee maker, sink and refrigerator, a full sized bathroom with a walk in shower and an extra half bathroom in the front of the suite. It has plenty of space for three people to stay and to relax when visiting Orlando. The resort is an 8 minute drive to Universal, a 20-25 minute drive to Disney, and a 3 minute drive to Icon Park.

There are two pools and a hot tub to enjoy with their restaurant Gatorville that is perfect to grab lunch or dinner.

What we loved most about our stay is that it was close by to Icon Park and also easy access to so many different places on I-drive and the Orlando area. Their customer service is top of the line and everyone on staff was super friendly to us. We can’t wait to go back and visit again soon!

You can save 20% off by using the link below to book your trip at their best rate, no minimum nights required!

Icon Park

Icon Park needs to be at the top of your list for attractions to visit in Orlando. Icon Park is home to The Wheel. The Wheel (previously known as the Orlando eye) takes you up in an air conditioned ride 400 feet above Orlando with the most amazing views. Icon Park is also home to the Museum of Illusions which is filled with several fun illusions and photo opportunities. There were so many fun attractions there to check out! It makes the perfect day trip activity for a date or a long weekend away. You definitely want to grab the play pass which includes 7 different attractions and discounts at restaurants and stores. It’s good for 30 days too so you can always go back and see more! The play pass includes: The Wheel, Museum of Illusions, Sealife, Madame Tusades Wax Museum, 7D Motion Game, Orlando Starflyer, and Pearl Express. We loved The Wheel, Museum of Illusions, and Sealife. The Wheel takes you up 450 feet about Orlando and you can see everything and the views are stunning! The Museum of Illusions was one of our favorites as there was so much to do and see at this museum. They had a ton of photo opportunities and fun activities that make you laugh. Sea Life was also so cool to see as well. It was a full aquarium and had a ton of fish, turtles, sharks, jellyfish, salamanders, and other marine life to see. Our favorite was the Salamanders. They also have gift shops in both Sea Life and Museum of Illusions as well as a full market place to grab food at during your adventure.

We definitely had a blast and this would be such a fun day date for couples who live in the area or are visiting Orlando. Check out more on my instagram and Tik Tok. You can save over 50% off right now on the play pass too. I linked it here for you all and make sure to check out their page for more info! Also make sure to follow us here on our blog and social accounts for more FL couples travel and adventures.

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Weekend Travel Guide-St. Pete, Florida

We got to do a quick over night trip to St. Petersburg, FL recently and I wanted to share a recap of our visit. I am highlighting the two beaches we visited as well as restaurants we tried along with some recommended restaurants.

Where we Stayed

Since this trip was last minute, we decided to go with a small studio Airbnb. I would recommend when booking a stay in St. Pete to book in advance especially if you’re going the Airbnb route. There are also several resorts and hotels in the area including the famous Don Cesar which is beautiful. We are going to be sharing a hotel in Tampa next month so we should have a better idea on places to stay.

Beaches in the area

There are several beaches in the area. The two that were recommended from locals was Madeira Beach and North Beach Fort De Soto. Out of the two North Beach was our favorite. We went on a Saturday so it was busy, but it’s more secluded than the other beaches and it’s great for swimming too.

Restaurants

There are so many great restaurants there but listing the ones we tried which were all amazing and some other recommendations that are accommodating for allergies.

Oak and Stone Pizzeria (best pizza I’ve ever had)

2nd and Second Brunch (really great brunch, lots of allergy friendly options)

Bandit Coffee Co (great coffee and breakfast, not too much allergy friendly foods)

Fresh Kitchen (great lunch option)

Bellabrava (supposed to have great Italian and lots of allergy friendly options)

Red Mesa Cantina (supposed to be great mexican)

Paciugo Gelato (the most amazing gelato, dairy free options too!)

The Library (cool spot for brunch or lunch)

Things to do:

There are so many things to do in the local area. They have a huge downtown that we didn’t even get to explore half of it. There are tons of shops, restaurants, art galleries, museums downtown to explore and of course the beach.

We absolutely loved our short trip there and plan to go back and checkout more in the area. We hope this helps you get started when visiting the area there. We will be sharing more guides for different places throughout FL this year so make sure to follow us along on here and on our instagram & Tik Tok @autumnmturner.

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Kayaking at Rainbow Springs

One of the most underrated activities in FL is going kayaking at the many springs. We had the opportunity to go kayaking in January and it was a blast. It was such a calm and peaceful experience to soak in nature. I figured this activity deserved it’s own blog post. We partnered with Get up and go kayak to do a clear bottom kayak tour and I’m going to share the details below as well as pictures.

There are many springs throughout FL and I listed some below that I’ve visited personally. Also be on the lookout for a full post on Silver Springs in a few weeks.

Silver Springs

Rainbow Springs

Blue Springs

Rainbow Springs is absolutely beautiful. It is a state park located in Dunedin, FL and can be visited any time between sunrise and sunset. The admission is $2 for the state park. There are lots of walk ways and tons of things to see including birds and other wildlife. If you want to go swimming or kayaking you have to go further up the road to key hole and park there. This is where we met our tour guide Josh from Get up and Go Kayak.

When you sign up with get up and go kayak they have a full experience waiting for you that is worth the $64 price to go kayaking. All of their boats have a clear bottom and all of their tours include a guide as well. At Rainbow springs you get a truly unique experience where you get to get out of the kayak and go walking in part of the spring. The water is so clear and beautiful and you are surrounded by so many pretty trees.

Keep in mind you will get wet and to wear your swimsuit for this tour. It might be good to pack a waterproof case for your iphone too. You also see lots of wildlife including birds, turtles, and other wildlife, but thankfully no gators.

You kayak up and down part of the river and swim in part of it. We highly suggest taking the afternoon tour at 3 as you get to enjoy a beautiful sunset as you’re wrapping up your tour.

Follow us along here and on our instagram and Tik Tok @autumnmturner for more FL travel adventures and trips as we are focusing on exploring more of FL in 2022.

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Top Three Favorite Unique Date Nights

If you’ve been around here for a little while you know we love our date nights. It’s so important to us to take time away from life and focus on our relationship together. Date night doesn’t have to be a big extravagant thing, it can be simple or a big surprise. Corbin and I think it’s important that you include a little bit of both the simple date nights and the fun extravagant date nights. Follow our page for more FL Travel Guides and Couple’s date night ideas.

Breakfast/Brunch Dates

We love grabbing breakfast/brunch somewhere together and it can be anytime of day. Our favorite spots in Ocala, FL are The Gathering Cafe, First Watch, and Symmetry Coffee. Finding a local place makes it special and you get to enjoy food together.

The Great Outdoors

We love adventuring together outdoors and in FL that is almost year round. We love biking, hiking, going to the beach and kayaking. You could also do snow shoeing, snowboarding, or skiing if you live in a colder climate during the winter. All of these activities are filled with fun and adventure. One of our most recent favorite outdoor activities was kayaking on Rainbow Springs here in Ocala, FL. There is so much to see when kayaking the springs and it’s also very peaceful.

Visiting a zoo or aquarium

Most big cities have a zoo or aquarium and are within driving distance. Make it a day trip and grab lunch on the road and visit your favorite zoo or aquarium. We haven’t visited the zoo or aquarium here in Ocala, FL but when we lived in PA we often visited the DC Zoo together or the Baltimore Aquarium. Orlando has several aquariums and they also have the Central FL Zoo. Those are on our list next to check out.

These are just a few of our favorite date nights. We will be sharing Valentine’s Date Night Ideas next week and more FL travel tips and guides throughout this year! Make sure to follow us along on this journey.

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Gift Guide for Her

My favorite time of year is finally here! I love the Christmas season with all of the lights, fun, and family time. I wanted to give you all a gift guide for the women in your life, whether mom, sister, wife, or daughters. These are some of my favorite things on my current list. Use this link below to shop at Pink Lily and code Autumn15 at Grace and Lace for 15% off!

Home/Cozy

Cozy Sweaters, Coats, and Casual Outfits

Dressy Outfits

Jewelry

Beauty/Make up

Use code: Autumnturner for 15% off!

Hoping this helps get you started shopping for the Holiday season! Stay tuned for more gift guides coming next week!

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Travel Guide to Cocoa Beach, FL

Cocoa Beach, FL is one of my favorite places to visit. Growing up in high school and college, we would visit there every spring break with my family and it was always a blast. My parents now live 20 minutes from there and I get to visit often. I wanted to share some of my top favorite spots to visit there including my favorite restaurants, places to stay and things to do in the area.

Restaurants

There are so many different restaurants in the Cocoa Beach area, but here are some of my favorites.

Sunset Grille-has great views and good food

Squid Lips-this is my favorite one, has great views, live music, great cocktails and amazing food! My favorite dish is the grilled shrimp with green beans and fries.

Coconuts on the beach-if you’re looking for a fried seafood place and great lunch spot with beach views this is your place. They also have a large selection of cocktails.

Frigate’s-technically this restaurant is not in Cocoa Beach but it’s only about 20 minutes from Cocoa Beach and you don’t want to miss this place. It sits on the river with a beautiful view and amazing seafood! I love the mahi and the hog fish with the sweet potato fries.

Long Doggers-another great place for lunch or more of a casual dinner. They have a lot of delicious sandwiches and fried seafood as well here. My favorite is the grilled mahi on a gluten free bun with fries.

Pineapples-is a new place that just opened up and although I haven’t tried it yet. My parents said it’s got amazing food and they also have live music and dancing.

Tiny Turtle-I haven’t eaten here before, but it’s listed as one of the best restaurants in Cocoa Beach and they have a great breakfast.

Fat Donkey-this is a must have stop for dessert. They have some of the best ice cream and they have a bunch of non dairy ice cream and it is the best I’ve ever had anywhere.

There are so many more places, but these are just a few of my favorites!

Things to Do

There are so many different things to do in Cocoa Beach since it’s a vacation spot. I listed some of my favorites.

Mini Golf at either the Lighthouse Cove Golf or Gator Golf

The Pier/Beach

The Space Center

Ron Jon Surf Shop and Downtown Cocoa

Surfing

Disney is only a short hour drive

Places to stay

I have not stayed in many of the resorts or condos as my family always went to one resort. But I’m going to share the top ones along with our favorite resort growing up.

Cocoa Beach Resort-this is the resort we always stayed at and loved! It has a great pool with a waterfall and volleyball net. They also have basketball courts, tennis courts, and beach access. The rooms are beautiful as you can get an ocean view room. Also, we loved that they had a ton of activities as well including movie nights.

Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront

Discovery Beach Resort

Crowne Plaza in Melbourne

Beachside Hotel and Suites

Holiday Inn Club Vacation

Cocoa Beach, FL is definitely a fun and great family destination with a lot to do there. I hope this helps in planning your next trip to Cocoa Beach. Let me know in the comments if I missed any great places. I will be sharing more travel guides with you all in the next couple of weeks.

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30A FL Travel Guide

My husband’s family and I traveled to Panama City, FL area recently and had a blast. I wanted to share where we stayed, the things we did, and the restaurants we ate at. The Gulf side of FL is a must see spot and is a great vacation spot.

My husband’s family and I traveled to Panama City, FL area recently and had a blast. I wanted to share where we stayed, the things we did, and the restaurants we ate at. The Gulf side of FL is a must see spot and is a great vacation spot.

Where we stayed:

We stayed in a Condo right on the beach in the Laguna Beach area and my in laws found it on VRBO. I will link it here for you all, but Airbnb and VRBO have a bunch of condos and houses that are right on the beach to stay in. I would aim to find one close to Panama City for affordable options but would not recommend staying in Panama City since it is not as nice of an area.

Things to do:

There are so many things to do in that area. The beach is beautiful and really clear. We even saw some sting rays and crabs in the ocean while we were there. It would be fun to get some snorkeling gear so you could use for it. Definitely check out downtown Seaside, FL there are a ton of shops and food trucks there as well as live movies in the amphitheater. I also love all of the cute buildings which are perfect to capture some gorgeous shots. Don’t forget to visit the 30A store and Seaside store for cute gifts and clothes. We also ate ice cream at a cute gelato shop called Heavenly’s Shortcakes.

Rosemary and Alys beach are both close by too. Rosemary Beach is absolutely gorgeous! The streets remind me of a town in Italy and there are also a ton of shops and restaurants here. There is also a great coffee shop called Amavida and I got a non dairy cookie dough latte there. You can also bike in Rosemary, Aly’s Beach, and Seaside. They have several places to rent bikes.

Restaurants:

We ate at a couple really great restaurants while we were there. I am going to include the ones we ate at as well as some other recommended restaurants.

George’s in Alys Beach:

The food was amazing here and the atmosphere was great! They have indoor and outdoor seating. Inside is a little loud, so if you are looking for a quieter setting I recommend sitting outside. Make sure you get there early to put your name on their waitlist too. I got the Jerk Crusted Gulf Snapper and it was amazing and they made it for me gluten and dairy free! My husband and his parents got the Shrimp plate which you can get grilled or fried. They also have a wide selection of drinks to choose from.

Old Florida Fish House:

If you want an amazing atmosphere then this will be a must on your list of restaurants to visit. Most of their seating is outdoors and it’s lined with market lights and beautiful plants. The food is also amazing. I did have a hard time finding something dairy free on the menu, but they were willing to make me a grouper with french fries and green beans. I had a really delicious watermelon cocktail. They also have live music and events on the weekends and can accommodate for special events. There are a ton of places to take pictures there and there is the cutest coffee shop/wine bar next door that is on our list for next time.

Crackings in Grove Garden:

This is a must stop for brunch food. They have live music and the most delicious brunch food. They had a lot of options for my allergies including gluten free pancakes. I went with the scramble though since the pancakes do have dairy in them. They also have outdoor and indoor seating. Make sure you put yourself on the wait list before you arrive since they do have a long wait on the weekends.

Other restaurants to visit

Cuvee 30A (Rosemary Beach

Pescado (Rosemary Beach)

The Citizen (Aly’s Beach)

Great Southern Cafe (Seaside)

Seaside Food Trucks ( lots of different food to choose from here)

Havana (Rosemary Beach)

Bud and Alley’s (Seaside)

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Date night ideas for home

Since we are all spending more time at home now and I’ve had several questions regarding date night ideas at home. I compiled some of our favorites along with some ideas we are planning on trying this year.

Since we are all spending more time at home now and I’ve had several questions regarding date night ideas at home. I compiled some of our favorites along with some ideas we are planning on trying this year.

Spa Night

Back in April we decided to do a spa night. So we got a bubble bath ready, put on some relaxing music and put candles in our bathroom. We also gave each other a back massage. It was a great way to relax during a crazy season and a great way to spend time together since we weren’t able to go to a real spa.

Dinner and a movie in

Since we can’t really go to the movies right now, this one is a favorite of ours. We pick out a movie we want to watch and make a special dinner. Pop some popcorn and maybe bake some cookies and enjoy a movie night. To add some extra fun, try building a blanket fort around your TV. We did this during quarantine and it was great!

Car Picnic/Picnic in your backyard

This one is great for spring/summer nights. Several times in April and May we went to Chick Fil A and even our favorite pizza place in Frederick, MD and ordered to go food. We set up a blanket in the trunk of our car and ate our food together. You can also do this in your backyard during the nice warm days and make your own food for it.

Board Game Night

We love this one even when we aren’t in quarantine. We pick out a couple different board games, grab some snacks and play. It makes for some fun healthy competition. We even did this via zoom with my family too. Check out my other post on board games here.

Blind folded baker/ Bake off

We love baking in our house, but haven’t done this one yet. We plan on trying this one ASAP. You can blind fold your significant other and then bake something together, helping them with the baking.

Bowling in your hallway/mini golf at home

These two ideas are next on our lists to try. There are actual home bowling sets/mini golf sets you can find on amazon or you can make it fun and come up with stuff yourself. For bowling you can use plastic cups as the pins and a rubber ball for the bowling ball.

Star Gaze/ Bonfire with Smore’s

We love being outdoors in the evening during spring and fall. Grab yourself a blanket and some snacks and star gaze together. During the fall, we love using our bonfire outside and enjoying some Smore’s.

Coffee Tasting Night

If you love coffee this one will be fun! Grab some different samples of coffee and blind fold each other and try to guess the flavoring. Enjoy some biscotti or cookies during the process.

I hope that these date night ideas help you all during this time we are at home. Let me know in the comments if you all come up with some other fun ideas.

Living like a princess-Creating my own customized gown with Design Formal

Have you ever wanted to look like a princess? Ever since seeing Princess Diaries and Beauty and the Beast as a little girl, I’ve always wanted to live out my own princess fairytale. Growing up, I did a lot of theatre shows and pageants where I got to dress up in ball gowns and dresses and it was so much fun. I always had a dream of working with a brand one day to create and design my own fairytale dress. I had the opportunity recently to work with Design Formal and design my own princess ball gown. I wanted to share what my experience was like working with them along with some pictures of this gorgeous custom gown.

The Fit

This gorgeous evening dress has the perfect fit. When working with Design Formal’s design team they take everything into account to make sure that the fit is perfect. They got my exact measurements for the dress along with details on how I wanted the dress to fit. When emailing back and forth with their design team they asked me specific questions about how I wanted the bodice to fit and the full dress as well. I was also able to send along photos and explain the look I was going for. This dress definitely fits me perfectly and has the most gorgeous floral details on the bodice.

Working with the Design Team

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to design your own wedding dress and work with a design team, I’m here to share what it’s like. Tansy was my designer and she was absolutely amazing! She did not miss any details and was very fast at communicating with me. She sent me some sample pictures of material she was thinking of using after I sent her photos and explained the kind of dress I was going for. They have several gowns they design on their website and you can get ideas from those as well and send them those photos as well. Tansy also helped me with the direction that I wanted to go with the dress. I wanted a bodice that had a sweetheart neckline, but was still modest. Tansy helped me achieve this goal with the dress and did an amazing job with capturing the design.

The Results

I am so incredibly happy with my dress and love the way it turned out. It was exactly what I wanted. I was going for a similar style dress to the one Anne Hathaway wears in Princess Diaries 2 and I definitely was able to achieve that goal. I am so grateful I got to work with Design Formal and their team and loved the opportunity to be able to design my own dress. If you’re looking for something different for your wedding and have ever wondered what designing a dress would be like, I highly recommend checking out Design Formal to help you design your dress. They have an excellent team and truly accomplished the design I was going for. See all of my photos in this post and feel free to leave a comment with any questions about my dress and designing this dress. I am so excited to wear this dress and cannot wait to design another dress with Design Formal.

Disney Springs Guide

Disney Springs has so much to offer from restaurants to shops to events and great photo spots. We love visiting Disney Springs and hopping in for a quick dinner date or after a day at the park. I wanted to share our favorite spots. You really can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants in Disney Springs.

Restaurants

The Boathouse (this is our absolute favorite restaurant, it has great food, music, and outdoor eating.)

Raglan Road (this is a great atmosphere, they have Irish dancers, amazing fish and chips that they can make gluten and dairy free, and outdoor dining too)

Paddlefish (we haven’t eaten here yet but have heard the food is great and it’s on a boat)

Blaze Pizza (if you’re looking for a more casual option and affordable this one is great! It’s a make your own pizza place that offers gluten and dairy free options)

Frontera Cocina (has great mexican dishes)

Shops

There are so many great shops to check out!

The World of Disney Store (this is a must and you can’t miss it, it’s the biggest store and has so many cute disney items)

Disney’s Days of Christmas (this one is so cute and great to find Christmas ornaments)

Francesca’s (this is one of my favorite stores and they have a lot of clothes in this one)

Star Wars Store (Corbin loves going in this one and always finds some fun stuff there)

Lego Store (this is also a neat store if you enjoy looking at legos)

Dessert

There are so many great places for dessert and I really wanted to share our favorites with you all!

Erin Mckenna’s (this is my favorite and has the best allergy friendly desserts, I love the cookie sandwiches)

Sprinkles Cupcakes (this is my husbands favorite!)

Ghiradelli (this is so good if you love chocolate, they don’t have any allergy friendly options though)

Gideon’s Bakehouse (we haven’t gotten to try it yet but I keep hearing really good things about it)

These are just a few of my favorite places in Disney Springs. One thing I love about Disney Springs is they have a lot of live music that is free throughout Disney Springs and they also just opened back up Cirque du Soleil. Stay tuned for more travel guides and places we visit throughout Florida this year.

Ocala, FL Travel Guide

It has been such a blast getting to know our new home town Ocala, FL and finding all of the fun activities and best places to eat around the area. I wanted to share with you all why you shouldn’t miss Ocala, FL when visiting FL and also share with my local audience some fun things to do in the local area. If you live in Orlando, Tampa or Gainesville visiting Ocala would be a great day trip as we have a lot of things to do and see here.

Things to do:

Kayaking at Silver Springs or Rainbow Springs

We love both of these springs and they each have something different to offer, if you do go kayaking I recommend booking through Get Up and Go Kayaking as they have clear kayaks that you can see through.

W.E.C (World Equestrian Center)

This is such a neat experience and one you don’t want to miss! They have several free shows throughout the year, restaurants, a five star hotel, pool, and don’t miss their Christmas Spectacular at Christmas time.

Ocala Civic Theatre and Appleton Museum

These are right next to each other and are both great experiences. The Civic Theatre has theatre shows year round to see. The Appleton Museum is a neat place to view art.

Downtown Art Walk

This is such a neat experience. There is music in the town square and tons of different artists there each time and the shops downtown are open at night. It happens the last Friday of every month.

Sholom Park

This is our favorite park to visit and there is so much to see here. It’s great for a nice walk outside or a picnic.

Biking on Greenway Baseline Trailhead and Santos Trailhead

You don’t want to miss biking or walking on either of these trails. The Greenway includes part of the FL National Forest and Santos is beautifully covered with tons of trees as well. They are both unique trails and we love biking on them.

Light up Ocala

This event is a must see in our area! Several people travel from places in FL to see this event. Our whole downtown is lit up in Christmas lights and we have several vendors at this event.

Zip the Canyons

This is a really fun experience right in Ocala, FL. There are several zip lines on this course and the views are amazing.

Restaurants

There are so many different restaurants here in Ocala. I wanted to share my top favorites along with places that are great with Gluten and Dairy Free options.

Brunch

The Gathering Cafe (this is my absolute favorite! It’s a local coffee shop that has amazing coffee and breakfast)

First Watch (this is a chain, but has such great food!)

Symmetry Coffee (they have great coffee and some good brunch too! I love their lunch options too)

Lunch

Pie O’ Mine and Greens (they have great build your own salads and wraps)

Latinos Y Mas (they have great salads as well)

Brick and Iron Cafe (great smoothie bowls)

Ivy House (they have a great lunch menu with salads, sandwhiches, burgers and such a cool atmosphere)

Salyulitas (they have great tacos and guac)

Dinner

Braised Onion (this is by far one of my favs here and so good with allergies)

Latinos Y Mas (has great mexican food and you can sit outside)

Mojos (they have a great menu and you can eat here at lunch or dinner)

Mesa de Note (this is a great Italian restaurant and they were great with my allergies)

Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille (this has great seafood and New Orleans style food)

Pie O Mine (great stone fired pizza, they have Gluten and Dairy free pizza options)

Blue Highway Pizza (great casual place and great pizza, they have Gluten and Dairy free pizza options )

Dessert

Sarafey’s Gluten Free Bakery (I love this place and they have great gluten and dairy free baked goods)

Happy Pineapple (amazing dole whip)

La Dolce Vita Gelato and Pastry (don’t think they have non dairy options)

Hope you all enjoy exploring Ocala and all of the many things to do and see in our local area. Check back for more travel guides coming this month!