Support Orlando Moms this Small Business Saturday

Orlando is full of amazing small businesses to support this Small Business Saturday.  And quite a few of my favorites are run by amazing mamas.  While you’re out supporting local shops this weekend, make sure you check these out: Eat Buttermilk Bakery Winter Park A mother-daughter-son (Lana, Taissa, and Phillip) trio run the adorable and […]

Been there, done that. But not that, that, or that.

You might have noticed I love Orlando.  I shout it from the rooftops!  I make blog posts.  I have the shirts.  But I have a dirty little secret…I’ve never had some truly iconic Orlando experiences.

  1. I’ve never eaten at the Beefy King.  
  2. I’ve never been to Gatorland.
  3. I never went to fight night or made out with a member of *N’SYNC in the VIP of Roxy Night Club (much to my chagrin).
  4. I’ve never had a drink at Will’s Pub or Wally’s Liquor.
  5. I’ve never done a swan boat ride in Lake Eola (have drunkenly sat in them though.  Does that count?)
  6. I’ve never gotten my car towed downtown.
  7. I’ve never been to the Florida Citrus Parade.
  8. I might be the only person who has never been to an Orlando City Soccer Club game.
  9. I haven’t done several classic Winter Park traditions like ice skating, dinner on the avenue, or Howl-o-ween.
  10. I’ve never made pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill in Deleon Springs.  

Woah.  Feels good to get that off my chest.  Your turn, what’s on your list that you’ve never quite gotten to in the City Beautiful?

 

 

 

Dadlando weighs in: Eavesdropping on date night.

Date night car selfie

Momlando and I were fortunate enough to get a night out last week – not a go to the movies or just dinner out night – but a super official downtown Orlando get dressed up date. Our littlest one is finally getting to an age where he is a bit easier to take care of, making it easier to leave for a long night out (even if he cried his head off as we were walking out the door).

  Walking through downtown made me realize, as many things do, how old we now are.  So much has changed since the time I was familiar with the different watering holes or restaurants.  Nonetheless, it was fun to explore as we strolled around heading to dinner.  It felt great!  Like a whole new world was opening up to us!  We are still hip! We are still fun loving!

  Things were going great, we ordered drinks and appetizers.  And then, from about 10 feet away, we heard it.  A table of seven or so was enjoying the restaurant’s happy hour were loud enough to overhear.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about other people having a good time.  It was what one of the women sitting at the table was going on and on about…  

“I just love not having to take care of anyone but myself!”

“I can go out whenever I want, and when I come home, I can just crash, watch whatever I want on TV, eat whatever and whenever.”

“I don’t want to make anyone dinner.  Sometimes I just want to eat cereal and not care.”

  She was bragging about not having any obligations because she didn’t have kids.  She went on and on about how nice it is to go home and not have to worry about doing anything she doesn’t want to do, or take care of anyone else.  Her life was entirely her own.

  I swear she was saying it just to mock us. Maybe not, but we had a good laugh. Here we are moving mountains to go out once a month, and the first thing we hear is someone bragging about her freedom. True, she was probably so adamant because she was trying to convince herself as much as her friends that she was really living her best life.  But it got me thinking.  Would I ever want to go back to a no-obligation lifestyle?

  Even when they are driving me crazy, our kids are the best thing ever. When we are out on date night, we end up talking about all the little things they do or say that week.  Nothing compares to the joy they bring me.  Sorry, nights out drinking and binge watching seasons of shows and nice dinners out, you’re second place.

  Yes, raising children is a lot of work.  But I don’t think any parent would make a different choice given the option. I know nothing about the woman we overheard.  But for me, this was always the goal. I would feel like I was missing out if I hadn’t moved on to this stage of my life.  So much so that I might even try to drunkenly convince myself otherwise at happy hour on a random Saturday night out.

Moms who Rock: Laura Diaz

What if one night you were bored and tweeted the biggest morning radio host in town to see if he had a job open for you?  And what if he actually replied?  Seven years ago when I heard that local news anchor Laura Diaz had made the switch from TV to radio I assumed there must be more to it than that.  But as she tells the story there really wasn’t. After several years as a morning news anchor, she wanted out.  She didn’t know Johnny personally, and tweeted him out of the blue. Turns out, he knew exactly who she was and the rest, as they say, is history.  Laura got a job as a co-host on Johnny’s House and is now a staple of morning radio.  Laura and her husband Mike are parents to Norah (4) and Nash (2) living a modern family life in Central Florida.  Laura is more focused than ever on using her voice as a feminist, and making a difference for women in the community.  We sat down last week to talk about how she balances all of it, and I can tell you without a doubt that she is a bad ass mom who rocks.

Laura Diaz studied journalism in college. After graduating, she spent two tough years in a small town on the morning news. She made the move back to her hometown, Orlando and quickly made her way to an anchor position.  But it wasn’t quite what she had hoped.

On coming to her breaking point in television:

“The deadlines are very strenuous. It’s a very high stress job because you’re on multiple deadlines in a day.  The subject matter you’re reporting on is extremely depressing.  Occasionally you get your bear in a tree or something and that’s like a mental vacation for a journalist.  I was drinking way too much, taking pills to go to sleep, pills to wake up.  And I’d be drunk every day by noon it was becoming a real problem.  There was a point where my [now] husband was like ‘You need to get this under control or else I can’t marry you.’

And so she made a career switch to radio where there was a bit more lightheartedness and freedom.  Away from a scripted life at the news station she found she could be herself on and off the clock.  

The positives of being on the radio:

“By far the best part is it’s so carefree.  There’s no script.  I’m silly and carefree on the radio.  I’m me.  We talked on the show recently about who are you at work versus who are you at home?  I was like for once in my life I’m the same person at work and at home.”

This past year Laura launched Face of a Feminist, a nonprofit to empower women and girls.  I was eager to learn more on what pushed her to start it. She explained the desire to build her brand and voice outside of Johnny’s House. Laura has launched the nonprofit using all of her media and storytelling skills the best she knows how.

On starting Face of a Feminist:

“Feminism to me is so important.  It’s been an underlying theme of my life since I was a child.  It was almost not even appropriate to try and bring that on-air because it would never have gotten the time it deserves- or even the response it deserves.  I can’t just throw out two lines and expect it to make a difference.”

On raising kids as a feminist:

“It’s such a big thing and it’s a daily struggle.  I was raised in a way that feminism wasn’t supported or nurtured.  My dad was extremely conservative, very religious, and very traditional.  And so it’s hard being a mom to not just do what I saw. I’m having to everyday check myself for micro things I do whether it’s ‘Norah that’s not what a lady does’ if she burps but yet I’m not saying the same thing to my son.”

On being a feminist parenting team:

“My husband is a big feminist too.  He certainly wasn’t when I met him.  But he also has always been very open minded.  Now he’s quite possibly a bigger feminist than I am.  He’s always teaching Norah how to throw a baseball or has her out in the dirt playing and I’m the one going ‘Oh my gosh you’re getting her dirty!’  If my son is playing in the dirt it doesn’t bother me the way it does when my beautiful little girl is covered in dirt head to toe.  My husband and I are good at checking ourselves all the time on what we’re saying or doing.”

As Laura talks about her family it’s extremely clear how important they are to her and how much she values her husband.  She and Mike are an amazing team and she very much respects and praises him as an individual and a positive force in her life.  

On finding balance as co-parents:

“Mike will be like ‘Okay, Laura everything doesn’t have to be a cause.’  He’ll tell me when maybe I’m going overboard.  And maybe it’s not overboard but of course you have to make compromises for a marriage.  I’ll also tell him if maybe he’s saying or doing something that could be construed differently and he’s always receptive to it.  He’s just an amazing husband.  We also have a completely different dynamic.  I’m the breadwinner.  I work full time. I pay the bills.  I make the money.  I’m in charge of the household per se.  He is the child caretaker.  He’s on top of their immunization schedules.  He takes them to the dentist, takes them to and from school.  He takes them to extracurriculars, ice skating and piano.  The man is very much in the traditional female role and that sort of automatically keeps things where I would love them to be.  I’m showing my daughter what a woman can be.”

On chatter regarding their traditional role reversals:

“Mike is probably the only guy at school dropping and picking up.  All the moms want to know what happened.  He’ll hear whisperings ‘Oh is he a single dad?’ We just make all these assumptions in society.  ‘What’s wrong with the mom?’ I’ve even heard ‘Is she a drug addict? Is she part of the opioid crisis and now he’s left with these two kids?’ We immediately sympathize with a man who is alone with their children we never sympathize with a woman. We expect the woman to be doing all the caretaking of the children and when they’re not, something’s wrong.”  

On her favorite part of being a mom:

“I think the greatest thing of being a mom is that kids just check you so hard.  They’re like our mirror.  There’s something where if there’s a character flaw in you, you’re going to see it because they’re going to project it onto you. I love seeing their innocence. I love seeing them learn new things. I love seeing them be so loyal to me and Mike it’s the craziest thing.  I’ve so enjoyed having children even in those very dark times.  It’s all just life and I don’t see what’s the point without them.”

On the most surprising thing of being a mom:

“Probably the most surprising thing is how non-stop it is.  I mean you know a little bit but you truly have no idea just how much work it is until you’re in it.  You see movies and you talk to your friends but you see just these snippets of what it’s like. You cannot talk to me unless you have a kid about kids.  I won’t even listen to you.  You have no idea what you’re talking about.  You’re not allowed to have an opinion about raising kids unless you’ve raised a kid.”

On the hardest thing of raising kids:

“What worked with my first doesn’t work with my second. All of the tricks i learned about potty training, bedtime, mealtime…all down the tubes with my second.They’re such different kids with different likes and dislikes so that’s the hardest part for me. Starting all over again and having to learn a totally different way to parent and having to switch styles between kids. Even something as simple as my son liking characters in costume at a theme park and my daughter being mortified of them. It’s a constant balancing act with these two rugrats.”

On mom guilt:

“There’s a theory called the good enough mom from the book Freakanomics.  The theory is there’s like x amount of minutes that you spend with your child, they found over the years that they turn out just as well as the kid that has the stay at home mom. I want to say it’s like 11 minutes or something, outrageously low.  I think about that and the minutes required and how much more than that I do.  And I’m like they’re fine.  You know when your kid is suffering for your attention and you give it to them.  And anything in between that you have to do the best you can. I’m at a point where I work so much I have so many other things going on in life I physically, mentally, and emotionally I cannot handle mom guilt.  I just don’t have the capacity for it.  And so I just don’t.”

Laura has been open about having postpartum depression with both of her children.

On her mental health after Nash’s birth:

“With my first, I was able to keep a grasp with reality with my second one I completely had a mental break.  So that was totally different.  It’s all under that umbrella they call maternal mental illness now because postpartum depression is limited.  With my second I had postpartum psychosis which is extremely rare version of postpartum depression where you lose touch with reality you have a complete mental breakdown.

That was a much more severe situation where I had to be separated from my child when he was maybe three or four weeks old.  It’s weird, it has almost made me closer to my son than my daughter because I look at him now like oh my gosh there was a time I wanted to harm you.  You look at him and would cut a bitch for him…is this the same kid I didn’t even want?  I was at the point I would have adopted him out.  I was ready to give him to my sister to raise as her own.  Medicine works.  Therapy works.”

On her history of mental illness:

“I’ve been suffering from depression since I was young. It’s very much a genetic factor for me. So I should have known getting pregnant that this is something that would more likely would trigger that but you just don’t think about it and you go on with your life.  And no one wants to worry about that anyway.  But when it came with the second one I was able to recognize it right away.”

On the importance of talking about postpartum depression:

“A lot of women are just so embarrassed by it.  You don’t have to birth the baby and it’s love at first sight.  And that’s how people describe it.  It was never that way with either of my kids for me.  It was almost to be honest, disgust at first. It was like you put me through the worst pain of my life and now you’re screaming at me and now I’m exhausted and I can’t sleep because of you.  There’s a lot of resentment.  And no one talks about that.”

This year Laura has been very open about her struggle with alcohol abuse.  Laura says the responses have run the gamut from incredible support to outrageous judgement and skepticism.  But she says the majority of the responses have been positive and people that have been able to identify their own issues because of her.  

On her struggle with alcohol abuse:

“I’ve been dealing with alcohol and drug abuse since I was 14. So I have had quite the run with alcohol and drugs and I’ve done it all and abused it all.  I will never say I’m an alcoholic because I don’t think that I am. I am a binge drinker and I think I have alcohol abuse problems.  I have a problem with drinking as a way to calm emotions and things I don’t want to deal with.  And I think I just finally recognized this year when for the hundredth time I drove drunk.  And it just clicked that I have these two gorgeous children, I have this amazing husband and I have so much to live for and I need to stop acting like it’s ok if I don’t live.  And that’s how I’ve been acting for a long time.  Life to me until recently was just kind of disposable, something I had to get through every day.”

On challenging herself to stop drinking:

“I said to myself I just need to prove that I can go three months without drinking.  And then when I did that and things just so drastically improved in my life I knew I could never go back to the way it was. I’ve had plenty of drinks since but never more than two or three in one sitting.”

On why she addressed it in public:

“I decided to come out with it.  You know they say if you’re going on a diet you should tell people so they hold you accountable…same with alcohol.  You’re going to have haters that say ‘Oh you’re doing it for attention’ and I get that all the time.  To me it’s just all completely selfish here’s my problem I’m saying it out loud because I want to be called out.  And sure enough someone sees me with a drink, they say something.”  

How do you embrace life to the fullest?  When have you made a change in career or at home that affected you in a big way?

KNOW A ‘MOM WHO ROCKS’ WHO SHOULD BE FEATURED?  LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

Want to read about other moms who rock?  Check out our interview with Stephanie Forshee!

Momlibs – it’s the encouragement for moms that we all need.

Don’t we all just want to know we are seen?  And heard?  We’re here to remind you that you are seen.  And important.  And doing a great job!  Do you know someone else who needs to hear that too?  I bet you know a mom who could use some encouragement.  Momlibs is here for you!  It’s the encouragement for moms that we all need.  So print this out, fill it out, and remind a mama she is amazing.

momlibs - encouragement for new moms

(Right click and save to your desktop.)

Momlibs is our fun way of reminding ourselves and others that saying nice things can go along way.  We’re all working way too hard for everyone in our lives.  If you know a mom that could use some encouragement, don’t just ask her how she juggles it all…print her out a momlibs and give her a smile.  Maybe tape a piece of chocolate to it.  Or a whole bar.

Looking for more encouragement?  Check out our previous #momlibs here and here!

#momlando hack: Birthday Party Presents

If your life is anywhere like mine, you’re going to a lot of birthday parties.  And if you’re anything like me, you’re stressed about juggling them.  Not just the parties and RSVPs but the gifts too!  I love gift giving but I keep running out of time and buying things last minute.  I mean really last minute.  More than once on the way to the party.

I finally decided I needed to step my game up.  I ordered a ton of craft supplies off of amazon to make custom arts & crafts kits.  My supplies split out into four kits.  Here’s a list of my supplies and how they turned out!

Supplies:
I will use my Sillhouette Cameo to personalize them to make them extra special.  I’m all set for our next four birthday parties and I know future Dana will thank me for my planning!
How do you make your life a little easier?  Tell us your mama hacks in the comments.

21 Things to Do in Orlando for Halloween

I love this time of year when the weather cools down and we can spend long days outside. C’mon weather, please cool down.  Pretty please.  I love the opportunity to make special holiday memories with my family. But sometimes I can get a little carried away.  And when that happens I tend to drive myself and everyone around me nuts.  Here are 21 fun things to do this Halloween.  Pick a few and have a blast!

  1. Head to the pumpkin patch for a photo shoot.
  2. Visit Long & Scott Farms in Zellwood and attempt the corn maze.
  3. Visit Foxtail Coffee for a delicious pumpkin cold brew.
  4. Check out Zoo Boo Bash at the Central Florida Zoo (October 28th & 29th).
  5. Visit Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest for hayrides, pumpkins, petting zoo, and tons more.
  6. Pick a family theme for your Halloween costumes and get planning for trick or treating.
  7. Paint pumpkins with lots of fun patterns.
  8. Visit A Petrified Forest for some frightening fun.  
  9. Carve a pumpkin!
  10. Bake pumpkin seeds for a healthy snack.
  11. Get a flight of delicious fall ice cream flavors at Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream.
  12. Collect leaves on a walk for a fall leaf painting.   
  13. Send a Pumpkin Spice #momlibs to a fellow mama.  
  14. Visit the Halloween Howl in Winter Park (October 29th).
  15. Head to the Enzian Theater for a Kids Halloween Party and viewing of Hotel Transylvania 2 (October 22nd).  
  16. Eat perfect pumpkin croissants at Buttermilk Bakery.
  17. Make handprint vampires.
  18. Treat yourself to pumpkin pie gelati at Jeremiah’s Ice.
  19. Go for a run at the Mudwalk Spooky 5k (October 14th).
  20. Grab a blanket and head to Cranes Roost Sunset Cinema for a viewing of Hocus Pocus (October 14th).  
  21. Head to the RDV Sportsplex for a Spooky Skate that everyone will enjoy!

 

What’s on your October to-do list? Let us know in the comments below!

How to make date night happen when you have babies, jobs, and no time.

Before Buzzfeed quizzes were the days of MASH.  My friends and I would spend a bunch of time writing out how many kids you’d have, what kind of car, and usually dates with our future dream guy (also to be determined by MASH).  And what did I always have on there?  Blockbuster.  To me, there was no more romantic date than cruising the aisles of Blockbuster to pick out a video.  Witty banter, slow walking, and every movie you could possibly want to watch.  Swoon.  Unfortunately by the time I met my husband Blockbuster was pretty much obsolete.  Dreams crushed.  

Look, advances in technology aren’t the only thing we’re up against.  I just had to get up from writing this blog post to go wipe a toddler butt.  Forget dream dates, we barely make time for dates at all.  In the summer, I interviewed Orlando Date Night Guide’s Kristen Manieri and it really hit home how important it is to make this a priority.  As a working mom with an infant and a toddler at home, I’m not quite ready to commit one night a week out (even if some may argue that’s what makes it even more important!) But I’m ready to take some baby steps.  Here are the ways we sneak in dates.

I’ve instituted a monthly lunch date on our family calendar.  Dadlando and I can visit some of our favorite places we wouldn’t dare venture to with our kiddos in tow.  And we usually save money by not needing a babysitter, not drinking on the clock, and the overall cheaper price point of lunch time.  It’s a great break in the day and I get excited when I see it coming up on the calendar.  

A couple years ago, a day lined up that both our offices we’re closed, but daycare was open.  Unbelievable I know, but it’s true!  We sent our sweet girl to school and went for breakfast, out to the movies, home for a nap, and she didn’t even know what she had missed!  Now every few months we’ll take a day off together to have a day date.  

Friday nights we get home from work, prepare dinner, and light shabbat candles.  We welcome the weekend as a family and get some quality time in with the kids.  Once the kids are in bed, we use this time for a check-in on how things are going for us in our marriage.  It’s a great time to make sure that we are having real conversation and connection.  As we’ve navigated how to make the time productive, we came up with a few questions that help foster honest conversation.

I’m betting on movie rental stores becoming retro one day so that I can live out my teenage dreams.  Until then, we’ll just have to keep working on ways to make ‘date night’ possible during a very hectic time in our lives.

How do you make date night work for you?  And what places should we add to our list?

Moms who Rock: Stephanie Forshee

What’s one of your favorite instagrams to look at that’s just plain pretty?  For me, it’s Little Wild Bloom.  I first saw the flowers at Buttermilk Bakery and P is For Pie.  Cute little mason jars on the tables that added the perfect pop of color and whimsy to some of my favorite spaces.  And then one day a little red haired toddler started popping up in the instagram feed and I thought, well of course she’s a mom who rocks! I got to meet Owen and his mama and talk all about Little Wild Bloom, Orlando, and the mom life.

Stephanie Forshee, the brains behind Little Wild Bloom came to Orlando for the Disney College program and from there went on to hair school.  She works at Alchemy in College Park and you can hit her up there for a rad haircut.  Little Owen was born two years ago and after maternity leave she drastically cut back her time at the salon so she could be home to raise Owen. With more time on her hands she was looking for a new hobby and creative outlet.  She read about a flower farmer in Washington and everything clicked.  She already had an interest in gardening, a love of flowers, and a firm belief that she could learn anything she needed to on the internet (I agree!)  Things evolved naturally from there, Little Wild Bloom was born.

On the realization that she already knew some of the basics:

“I started playing around with flowers at home.  It seemed like a lot of the same concepts as hair, you know color, line, shape, and form.  So it was fun to see something I already knew transition to another medium.”

Once she was ready to launch her business, she reached out to P is for Pie and Buttermilk Bakery two local places she loved and asked if they’d be interested in bringing flowers into their space. Things grew organically from there.  Customers started noticing her flowers and she  booked her first wedding from someone who had seen her flowers at Buttermilk Bakery.  

On styling arrangements for her first client’s wedding:

“I got really lucky with my very first wedding it was a friend of a friend and she was very laid back. I was terrified.  But she was a gem so sweet and laid back.  We clicked and our styles clicked.  It was beautiful.”

On feeling the nerves:

“I get a littler nervous before every wedding because it’s someone’s biggest day. So I put a lot of pressure on that.”

She humbly notes that things have become much bigger than she expected.  But I’m not surprised!  Stephanie has a perfect lock on her aesthetic and she captures that all on her instagram.  Stephanie says most of her business comes from social media and word of mouth.  She’s excited to be expanding to doing even more weddings and putting her focus there.

On fitting things into the day:

“I’m in a really good stride.  The flowers are great because they can work around the schedule of the day.  So if it needs to be done during nap time or early morning or late night it’s pretty flexible in that regard.”

On farming flowers locally:

“You can actually grow flowers here in a garden to cut and they have a purpose.  I’m networking with other people who are growing to try and incorporate some locally grown something in every arrangement.  There has been a movement nationwide towards American grown flowers so you can see that trickling down here which is really exciting.  I definitely feel like even in the last six months there are more people interested in growing flowers here.”

On her favorite flowers:

“I  like texture and elements things you don’t necessarily see all the time.  I always incorporate greenery.  I like dahlias, they have lots of tones and colors.  Also, anemones – bright white with the black center. They are striking to look at.  I like things that are a little random and unexpected.

On the most surprising thing of starting this business:

“The support of people I don’t know and the community.  Getting recognized… ten years into Orlando and I didn’t feel community at first.  You meet a few people and then you realize everyone is so interconnected.  It’s a much smaller town than what it seems like at first.  There has been a surprising amount of support and excitement for something I’m excited about that you wouldn’t think everyone is excited about.”

As her business grows, so does little Owen.  Stephanie tells me about how they go everywhere together.  She delivers flowers wearing him on her back.  Owen goes to the flower shop and runs around.  She loves the perspective on life it gives him.  When we met, Owen was so sweet and well behaved.  But he did look longingly out the window the entire time.  Who could blame him?  Sit at a table and talk or head outside on a sunny day?  I’m not fooled on what sounds like more fun!

On Owen’s notoriety:

“People know Owen more than they know me.  He’s the little face of the flowers.”

On motherhood:

“It’s the best hardest thing.  He is an incredible little human.  So fun and expressive but big personality.  So it has been learning how to handle that and direct it rather than be overwhelmed by it.”

On their favorite things to do as a family:

“We like to be outside.  Anything outdoors whether that’s hiking or just digging in the dirt.  Being outside is where he is happiest.”

“When we need to recalibrate we take a step outside and get fresh air for both of us.”

On kids getting their hands dirty:

“It’s amazing how they thrive outside and in the dirt.  I love to think about how that will translate to them as they grow.”

On the challenges of making it all work:

“It’s (motherhood) all encompassing.  It’s hard to steal those moments for yourself and it’s been hard especially with running my own business and learning how to grow a business.  There have been moments where I feel like I’m doing well at one thing and not great at the other thing.  It’s hard to try to do both with equal fervor.”

On when other people weigh in:

“It’s surprising how many people have opinions about being a mom and what you should be doing and what the best thing to do is.  And no matter what you do someone else has a different strategy.  I just smile and nod at this point.  I try to warn every new mom ‘everyone’s going to tell you, you’re doing it wrong.’ Nobody can tell you the right answer.  Going with your gut is the biggest thing I’ve learned.  You can take in everyone’s advice but at the end of the day whatever works for your family is what works.”

On what works for their family:

“We’re very attachment parenting, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, all that stuff.  So we’re very attached all the time.  A couple hours here and there with Papa (daddy) is great to give me a break.”

On finding her parenting style:

“I read things and it all kept coming back to this is what feels the best for me.  It has worked out really well.  I’m sure there are moments where a different approach may have been more helpful but all in all we’ve done well with this style of parenting.”

As a wife, mother, and business owner it can be hard to find a moment to herself.  Stephanie says she steals minutes wherever she can to answer emails and let clients know she’s thinking of them and will follow up as soon as possible.  

On finding the drive to do more:

“Instagram is such an amazing place for inspiration.  So many amazing florists doing beautiful things.  To steal a few minutes and scroll through see such beautiful images and feel like okay I can do this.”

Stephanie and I commiserated on how much of a struggle the summer heat is with little ones who crave the outdoors.  She remarked that they try to get outside every morning and evening and make it through the day in between.  They love the Orlando Science Center for an indoor option that has enough space to run around.  Fingers crossed for an early Fall for all of us toddler moms.

On local favorite places:

“P is For Pie, Buttermilk Buttermilk Bakery, those are my spots around town.  And East End Market too. I feel like anywhere where they don’t give me the stink eye if my baby’s running around I’m into it.  We like Foxtail and there grassy area.  We love Owl’s Attic and Market on South too. Really like where Orlando’s heading right now there’s good stuff going on.” 

On why Orlando rocks:

“I feel like the community is strong right now and so into supporting local business and growing its identity aside from the theme parks.  And I am excited about it.  I love to talk about it now.  It’s funny to be a transplant somewhere and feel really passionate about it.  But this is my home and I’ve built a life here and I love that there’s a secret Orlando you can show people when they visit and show there’s really rad things here.” 

On how far she’s come as an Orlandoan:

“10 years ago I never would’ve expected that I would be immersed in the Orlando culture.  And now I’m lucky enough to know some of these small business owners and amazing people who are completely embedded in the community.  I never would’ve guessed that’s where I’d be.”

Have you found yourself branching out on a new path that just clicked?  Where do you go for inspiration on the internet?  Tell us your favorite spots!

Know a ‘Mom Who Rocks’ who should be featured?  Let us know in the comments below!