Friday, July 29, 2011

Adventures in overtipping

So, I just got a super fab haircut at a local salon off Park Avenue in Winter Park. When I told a gal pal how much I tipped the stylist, she was in shock. Before I tell you how much I tipped, let me share my reasoning:

1) The haircut and blowdry were a raffle prize I won at a charity event, so the haircut was free.

2) The woman cutting my hair has been a master sylist for more than 30 years and books her own appointments. She fit me at the very last minute because I told her I have a date tonight (cute guy taking me out for sushi...I'll save that story for another post).

3) I got a shampoo, a-m-a-z-i-n-g scalp/neck massage, a glass of wine, a totally new haircut (not just your average trim), blowdry and style in less than 45 minutes.

The sylist usually charges $50 for a cut and blowdry. I usually tip 20%, but because of #1-3 above, and also because she did such a wonderful job, I tipped her $15.

So, what do you think? Did I go overboard or did I do the right thing?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cutie Pie - Chris Pratt

7/28/11 - Chris Pratt
This cute-as-a-button guy plays Andy Dwyer on NBC's Parks and RecreationI'm looking forward to seeing him in this year's What's Your Number, co-starring his wife Anna Faris, and Ten Year, a a high school reunion movie co-starring the equally delicious Channing Tatum.

Photo courtesy maybesheisbroken


See all my cutie pies here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yummy goodness at Orlando Food Truck Bazaar - Avalon Park

I headed out to Avalon Park this evening for yet another fantastic visit to TheDailyCity.com's Orlando Food Truck Bazaar. I had intended on bringing my awesome, spankin' new business cards, but as all disasters in my life go, I couldn't bring them because my mailbox was broken. Don't ask me how or why. All I know is that I went to check my mail and the door to the community mailbox was off its hinge and there was a pink sticky that said "Door broken. Mail removed." A quick call to the USPS revealed that my mail was sitting in some postal worker's truck and would be returned this week once the door was fixed. Super-diddly-do. Anyway, I digress...

It was blazing hot today, so my main goal once I got to Avalon Park was to locate water. While in line at Big Wheel Provisions Truck, my goal turned from thirst-quenching to flirting with Cute Guy in Line. He was just standing there, sipping on his Snapple and looking all relaxed and adorable. Before I had a chance to get my flirt on, it was my turn to order. Oh, yay! Back to the task at hand. T.A. was there, ready with water, and I also ordered some DIVINE cheese grit cakes. It was so great to be able to swipe my credit card and go. Next time I will take advantage of their Square option and just "put it on my tab". All this newfangled technology. So fancy and fun.

T.A. from Big Wheel Provisions Truck 
swiping my credit card using Square.


Cute Guy in Line - aka Dave. And his Snapple. Both yummy.

After gulping down my water and sharing some cheese grit cake love with LBD&Beyond's Sarah B. and friends, I headed over to The Dandelion Communitea Cafe and shared a nibble of some  über delicious (and organic!) caramel apple cake. 

Organic and delightful - Dandelion Communitea Cafe


Still craving some cold refreshment, I made a beeline for the Sunset Ice truck and enjoyed a heavenly mix of Lemon and Pina Colada. Sarah B. and her husband Richie went for the Mango, which was a smooth and fruity concoction.


Beating the heat with Sunset Italian Ice

Before I left, I ran into a sweet couple - Jon and Danielle, along with Danielle's furry babies, Buster and Paxton. The couple has been together for two years, and they say living in a bigger city gives them more opportunities to visit events like this one, which helps their relationship grow stronger after long work weeks apart from each other. So what you're saying is I should bring a date next time? Hmmmm....


Danielle and Jon with Buster and Paxton

Make sure you attend the next Food Truck Bazaar on Sunday, August 14, 6pm - 10pm at the Oviedo Mall. Maybe you'll spot me there with a date. <cross fingers>


Richie B. with THE LAST ice cream 
from The Batter Bowl. Lucky duck.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mulch much? A gardening disaster.

Not only am I a disaster master when it comes to my love life, but I also happen to have two black thumbs when it comes to gardening. This week's disaster is all thanks to my condo association and their unwillingness to provide fresh mulch. They are what my students would refer to as "silly heads". Yeah, let's go with that one.


Step 1: Beg and plead for my dad to come over and do it for me.


Step 2: When dad says no, beg and plead to borrow his rolling cart so I can do it myself.


Step 3: Purchase mulch. Who knew there were so many choices? I literally walked around the mulch section at Home Depot three times with my jaw open. I think I may have scared a little old man who thought I was chasing him around in circles.


Step 4: Fit all the lovely bags into the back seat of my Ford Focus. Luckily I have a doggie car seat cover, so I didn't get any mulch bits stuck in the leather.

Trying to think of some funny line involving
bark in my backseat...wait for it...wait...yeah, got nothing.

Step 5: Elicit the assistance of my neighbor Trish, whose front porch makes mine look like the Clampetts' before they made it to Beverly Hills.

Step 6: Realize that I've sadly underestimated the amount of mulch needed. 

Should have paid more attention when I taught
that math lesson about "area" last year.  ;)~

Step 7: Kick a rock and swear a little.

Step 8: Head back to Home Depot for more mulch.

Step 9: Learn a fascinating trick! Trish uses an old broom to spread the mulch out evenly. I was just planning on shuffling it around with my feet until I got the desired effect. Gifted, but no common sense.

My neighbor Trish showing me her broom trick.

Step 10: Admire my work and that fresh pine scent whenever I step outside. Well, at least until the next rainstorm washes it all away and I have to start all over again. <sigh>


My cat Cairo enjoying my work. Or stalking lizards. One can never tell.









Sunday, July 17, 2011

TheDailyCity.com's Orlando Food Truck Bazaar

I had a fabulously fulfilling time at the Food Truck Bazaar this evening at the Fashion Square Mall. One of my best gal pals and fellow blogger, Little Black Dress and Beyond's Sarah B., joined me on a food journey that involved some unique local food trucks.


Our first stop was The Traveling Gourmet. Definite props for their organic pork lettuce wrap.


Our next stop was the Big Wheel Provisions Truck for a can't-be-beat soft shell crab sandwich and a Moxie. Great treat as the sun was setting.


For my sugar fix, I hit up The Batter Bowl Truck for a scrumptious PB&Chocolate Push Pop. It was the perfect blend of whipped peanut butter and moist chocolate cake. Delish.


I didn't meet any new guys, but I did see some other fellow bloggers (Mark Baratelli from The Daily City and Alex from Alex in Orlando) who I met at the CFL Blogger Conference yesterday. I will definitely be hitting up the next Orlando Food Truck Bazaar when they come back to the Fashion Square Mall August 21, from 6-10pm. Maybe this time, I'll actually flirt with someone. 
Yay for free press. My blog was mentioned on TheDailyCity.com!


LBD&B owner, Sarah B., waits in line. 

Organic pork lettuce wrap. I'm in heaven!


Big Wheel Provision Truck's Soft Shell Crab & Moxie 


PB&Chocolate Push Pop from The Batter Bowl


Athena, a new furry friend I met at the event.

Flirting miSTEAKS

Don't forget to add your flirting disasters in the comments below!


Ah, the lovely world of being single. Days and nights filled with your married friends inviting you to this or that event, hoping to help you find THE ONE. Little did I know my own parents are now apparently in on this fun little "find a boyfriend for Beth!" scheme. We head out to Outback Steakhouse last night for some family time, and our server happens to be completely adorable.


So Outback Guy comes to our table, immediately apologizing for taking so long to get over to us, to which I reply in my favorite coy/flirty voice, "Oh, we'll just take it out of your tip." We lock eyes, and BAM!, the silent flirt fest begins.


I don't know if any of you have ever tried to flirt with a guy while in your parents' presence, but let me just say it's not an easy task. Add to it that Outback Guy was also at his j-o-b, and you get a very interesting 45 minutes of secret glances mixed in with extra butter runs for my mom's bread obsession.


Halfway through the meal, Mom notices this covert flirting taking place and decides that I'm apparently not making it obvious enough that I'm interested. Mom has been married for 25 years; the only flirting she's done lately has been at the Macy's counter in order to score extra freebies. But, like any good mother, she decides I need some help. Fantastic. 


Now, I love my Mom with all my heart, so I'm not going to embarrass her by sharing what she said, but let's just say that by the end of her little spiel, Outback Guy seemed a bit confused. Now it seemed like he had two ladies flirting with him, and one has her husband sitting right beside her! Gotta love moms.


Apparently this debacle doesn't put him off though, because he's still giving me secret glances throughout the meal. When he drops the check, he gives me the Care Bear Stare, which, in my mind, can only mean one of two things. Either 1) he's trying to send me a ray of good love and cheer, or 2) he's interested, but if I want to pursue this, I'm going to have to make the move so he doesn't get fired for flirting with guests.


When all was said and done, I left my business card with "call me" scrawled on the back in his check presenter book. We'll see if I get a call or text. If not, Mom owes me big time. 


So, ladies and gents, it's your turn! I want to hear about your flirting disasters. Please write them in the comments section below. :)



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Central Florida Blogger Conference 2011








For a social media newbie, starting a new blog is tough. Luckily, I attended the Central Florida Blogger Conference this past weekend and got myself up to speed. While I wasn't busy being distracted by all the Clark Kents walking around with their laptops and sexy glasses, I learned all kinds of interesting things to help me with my blog. 


Branding and Connections- I have a degree in Advertising and Public Relations, so I already have a good sense of what it means to brand my image. However, since I've been out of the loop for the past seven years (busy being a teacher!), it was great to get a crash course in current branding trends via social media. I also owe a HUGE thank you to Central Florida Top 5 curator Bess Auer, for introducing me to so many fabulous bloggers and PR reps. I have so many leads and connections, I almost don't know where to begin!


#Hastags - I seriously had no idea what these were or how to use them. Let's just say I've been hastagging my tooshie off on Twitter for the past 48 hours and it's been both fun and rewarding.


"Taking Your Blog Offline" - This was my favorite presentation of the day. TheDailyCity.com's editor Mark Baratelli shared useful knowledge about taking your blog offline and sharing it with others at public events. His presentation was a refreshing mix of endearing charm and wit. I immediately started putting his words of wisdom to use, and I've already reaped a lot of benefits.


I will definitely be coming back next year and hopefully, I'll be bringing some of my fellow newbie bloggers with me! BlogLve!





Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Jerk Bomb

You know it the moment it happens. You've met this "really great guy" at a bar or online, and so far your texting lingo consists of flirty banter, xoxo sign-offs and awkwardly self-captured pics of your hidden tattoos. Then he hits you with The Jerk Bomb. Sometimes it's subtle and sometimes not-so-much, but your response is always the same. 


Everything seemed to be going fine up until this moment, and then he texts something that sends the red flag platoon marching down your arm, making you set your phone down in shock and/or disbelief. What's funny (or sad) about this particular situation is that you don't even really know this guy, yet you immediately start making excuses for him. Oh, he was just joking or he didn't mean it that way


Let me stop you all right here, ladies. When you get that icky feeling in your gut because of something a guy does or says, do not start making excuses for him! He's a big boy, and he is saying exactly what he means. When you make excuses for his behavior, you are setting yourself up for major disappointment and a potentially dramatic parking lot scene later on. 


If something a guy says doesn't jive with your morals or romance etiquette, you need to let him know it. And, if he can't handle your honesty, then did he really deserve to be with you in the first place? I think not. It's time to "delete contact" and move on. Trust me, you and your heart will thank me later.



Friday, July 8, 2011

Coconut M&M's, new bangs, and other things

Life has been somewhat of a soap opera for me during the past five years in regards to my relationships. I'm a highly optimistic, romantic person, but at the same time I am very blunt and a "selective perfectionist" (i.e. - all the fridge magnets are perfectly aligned, but my hall closet could be declared a natural disaster). These personality quirks haven't seemed to bode well with men lately. 


In my most recent break-up, the guy listed out all the things that were wrong with me (things, mind you, that up until that moment he had said he loved about me during the six months we were together). Then he proceeded to tell me that it was all going to be okay because we hadn't "invested that much time in each other". Awesome.


I didn't even cry. I told him exactly how I felt. How I thought he was just getting cold feet and that he was making a huge mistake. Then I knocked back the Stella Artois I had just ordered, got up and left. I haven't heard from him since.


After a couple weeks, a few bags of coconut M&M's, one unsent rambling e-mail (thanks for stopping me, Sarah), and a few private shower crying sessions later, and I'm starting to feel better. I even cut my own bangs as a proud testament to my newly minted "single" status on Facebook.


I'm not going to sit here and say that I'm not sad anymore. A simple line in a romantic comedy is all it takes to make me break into ugly-cry-face mode (you know, the type of cry when you're trying desperately not to cry, but you can't hold it in and your dog is giving you the head-tilted sideways look). 


However, I'm not going to wallow in self-pity forever, either. The bag of coconut M&M's is almost empty, the sun is shining, and my optimism still reigns supreme. I'm taking a break from the relationship thing for awhile, and working on the other "disasters" in my life, such as my writing career which I've been putting off since forever. If he's out there, he can wait. Maybe by taking a time out from my quest for true love, when I do find it, it actually will be fantastic. 


Pretty handy with scissors. Next mission: hall closet!