Fall Festival Fun & Pumpkin Picking

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After living in New England for the past 11 years, we had created a lot of Fall traditions like apple picking and more. Now, living here in Florida again, it doesn’t feel much like Fall. Especially when we are halfway through October and it is still in the 90’s.

So we decided we would just have to create some new Fall traditions here in Florida. We recently visited the Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch at Southern Hill Farms in Clermont.

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Southern Hill Farms is a family owned farm where you can pick your own blueberries and they have been in business for three generations. The farm is 120 acres and 40 of them are planted with blueberry bushes for picking.

The Fall Festival is held every weekend in October and has many different activities for everyone, including children.

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The Festival includes some amazing Food Trucks, including my favorite the Southern Hill  Sweets truck which is housed in an old Airstream. This was by far my favorite as they had so many amazing sweets and treats. I enjoyed the Gooey Pumpkin Cake the most, which I devoured while listening to the live music provided.

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We had fun browsing the pumpkin patch and found the perfect pumpkin to take home and even a few small gourds for our Fall decorating. Not to mention that the pumpkin patch was the perfect backdrop for those Fall Vibe Instagram photos.

They even had special backdrops set up around the pumpkin patch so you had many choices of where to take that perfect Insta pic.

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There are so many great activities for the little ones, including Touch a Tractor, a petting zoo, bungee jumping, a rock climbing wall and tons of other rides and games.

Although they do have hayrides, we opted to skip those as the line was super long. However, we had fun wandering around this beautiful farm. Admission is $10 per car, no matter how many people are in the car, but the rides, pumpkins and food are extra so bring cash/cards.

What are some of your favorite Fall traditions? Let me know in the comments below.

Touring Leu Gardens in Orlando

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We recently decided to tour the beautiful Leu Gardens here in Orlando, Florida. The Harry P. Leu Gardens are a semi-tropical and tropical garden here in Orlando. Well, isn’t any garden in Florida tropical? Hahaha

The gardens are divided into different themes across the 50 acres and Leu Gardens is bordered on one side by a lake. The grounds are shaded by 200 year old oaks dripping in Spanish Moss giving off that Old Southern charm we all know and love when living here in the South.

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The gardens are an extensive mix of azaleas, bamboo, bananas, bromeliads, camellias, citrus, crepe myrtles, various flowering shrubs and trees, magnolia, palms, perennials and my favorite area the rose garden.

Some of the various gardens include the Bamboo Garden, the Butterfly Garden (which was one of my favorites), the Herb Garden, the Vegetable Garden and the Rose Garden (another favorite of mine).

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The Leu Gardens were started by Mr. and Mrs. Harry P. Leu, who in 1936 purchased Leu House and 40 acres of land. The Leus traveled all over the world and brought back many exotic plants and flowers for their gardens. In 1961, the Leus deeded the house and the gardens to the city of Orlando.

The original plantation style house, built in 1888, still sits on the grounds and is used as museum space. Sadly, it suffered some major damage due to Hurricane Irma and is closed for renovations. I’ve always loved those old plantation style homes and this one is absolutely beautiful, at least what we could see from the outside.  I hope to one day be able to check out the inside.

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My favorite area was over by the Rose Garden, it was so open and green with small pink and red roses in bloom all around a center fountain. Also, in this area is the horseshoe fountain. You can hold your special event at Leu Gardens and the ex-Event Planner in me was thinking about how the grounds could be laid out for special events like weddings. In fact, we attended a wedding there about 14 years ago.

Sadly, being that it is the end of Summer here (although it still feels like we are in the middle of it) there were not a lot of flowers in bloom. We really want to go back to when there are more colors in bloom, probably in the Spring.

Leu Gardens holds special events and classes throughout the year so check out their site to see what is going on. If you are ever in the area, make sure to go tour these beautiful gardens. Admission is only $10 and free on Mondays this month.

To see more of the gardens, check out my video below.

Eating Around the World – Tiffins at Animal Kingdom

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Now that we live in Orlando, we have made it a goal to dine at every restaurant on Walt Disney World property, including restaurants, counter service and more. This includes all the dining options at the parks, resorts and even Disney Springs.

We have started a YouTube video series called “Eating Around the World” where we share our experiences, thoughts and opinions on these restaurants. Recently, we found ourselves having an impromptu lunch at Tiffins at Animal Kingdom.

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I was very delighted to see the many vegetarian options that Tiffins had on the menu, because it can often be challenging to eat vegetarian at the Walt Disney World Parks. Tiffins is named after the Indian word for “lunch” as well as the three tiered metal lunchbox that Indian workers carry. It has a very globally inspired menu featuring Asian, African and Latin cuisine.

The decor is absolutely beautiful and inspired by the sketches that Disney Imagineers created while dreaming up and building Animal Kingdom. The walls are adorned with photos, collages and sculptures.

I ordered off of the Chef’s Prixe Fix menu and we started with the artisanal cheese board, chickpea falafels and a spicy cauliflower dish. Matt had a delicious corn cake dish that was similar to a polenta type of meal, topped with veggies and drizzled with a sweet and spicy sauce. I had the vegetarian noodle bowl, which was a spicy broth and filled with ramen like noodles and tons of fresh vegetables. Both were absolutely delicious.

To find out more about Tiffins and hear our thoughts on the restaurant, check out the video below.

Eating Around the World – Paddlefish at Disney Springs

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Paddlefish, formerly Fulton’s Crab House, is one of the new dining options at Disney Springs. The restaurant is housed in an anchored paddle boat named Empress Lily and has been at this location since the late 70s. We have eaten at Fulton’s Crab House many times, but this was our first time dining at Paddlefish.

The restaurant has been remodeled with a trendier look than Fulton’s, but the upper scale dining elements are still there. Even the menu has been overhauled. You can still expect some great seafood dishes, but now there are some new eclectic additions. We started with the lobster corn dogs, which were amazing!

Check out the video below to see our full review of Paddlefish at Disney Springs. Let me know in the comments if you have dined here and what your thoughts are. Also, if you haven’t dined at Paddlefish, sound off in the comments with your favorite dining option at Disney Springs!

My Experience at the Guerlain Boutique

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If you have been a long time follower of my blog or YouTube channel, you will know that I love Guerlain fragrances. They are the only fragrances that I purchase and wear.  I include them in my favorites frequently. However, I’ve always been curious about the skincare that Guerlain carries. I have tried it once or twice many years ago, when I worked in the Beauty Industry, but nothing recently.

During a recent Epcot trip, I stopped in at the Guerlain boutique in the France Pavilion at Epcot. I was there only to purchase a new fragrance, the new limited edition Meteorites. The Guerlain ambassador was kind  enough to sit me down and give me a mini facial demo. She shared a few of the products with me and my skin looked so good that we purchased a few.

Check out my Guerlain Boutique experience and what I purchased in the video below. What are some of your favorites from Guerlain?

Disney Dining Review – Monsieur Paul At Epcot

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As a Francophile, I love to celebrate my birthday with a bottle of Verve Clicqot and a great meal at a wonderful French Restaurant. This year we decided to try Monsieur Paul at Walt Disney World’s Epcot. We have not been here since it has changed over from Bistro du Paris many years ago.

In this video we share our experience and what we ordered as well as give you a detailed review of our meal and the service. Bon appetit!