Foodie Friday – Hawkers Asian Street Fair in Orlando, FL

Eathawkers.com

1103 North Mills Avenue

Orlando, FL 32803

Hawker’s chefs select the best authentic street food recipes fro macross Asia to the table for you to experience.

Two Chrysanthemum Tea is great for the immune system.

Crispy Roast Pork “Siu Yoke” Seasoned tender pork belly, roasted to a crisp and served with a hoisin dipping sauce. This is like bacon on crack. It was hot and juicy and sinful. Total food porn moment. I will do 20 crunches when I get home as punishment.
 

Curry Duck Noodles A Southeast Asian favorite. Egg noodles, vegetables and roadt duck stir-fried in Hawker’s own curry recipe. The curry sauce is perfect. So perfect. I don’t know what else to say.

Wanderlust Wednesday – Brevard Birds Eye View 

 I am fortunate enough to have great friends and awesome connections. I got to fly in an airplane above the ocean and most of Brevard county. It was breathtaking. I am itching to go again! 
Cocoa Village and 520 view  

 
The Atlantic Ocean

   
Above the sea

 
Dave, the lovely pilot and tour guide. 

   
Taking off!

 
Cocoa, Florida water tower

  

A New Yorker in Florida: Top 5 Things that are Surprising to the NY transplant

In NY, particularly on Long Island, it is very common to hear neighbors and friend defecting to the Sunshine State.

“Geez, I can’t take this cold anymore! And my taxes are, like, 16k on my friggin’ house. I can’t take it! I’m soooo moving to Florida.”

Being a popular vacation destination for my fellow New Yorkers it would seem natural to want to live in the paradise that we visit a couple times a year.

Well, about a year ago, my family and I moved to Florida from Long Island, NY which was not a decision we took lightly. The winters had become too harsh and with the cost of living was going up exponentially, so we decided to cut the cord from our Motherland and become Floridians. Aside from the obvious changes, such as climate, we knew that our lifestyle would be altered drastically but there were a few changes that were surprising to this hardcore New Yorker.

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The speed is much slower.

Yes, this seems obvious but it’s far more jolting than what you imagine. On Long Island at least, there is an ever present urgency to get things done that I wasn’t aware existed in my day to day life until I moved here. Deadlines, schedules, and specific goals were always present which made everything from driving through traffic to grocery shopping a “gotta go, go, go” mindset.

Was I aware of it? Nooooo. When you’re living in a constant state of urgency you really are not aware that the rest of the world doesn’t roll that way. In Florida, it gets done when it gets done. Though I’m sure there’s exceptions,  for the most part, there’s not a whole lot of rushing around to get things done. It took several months to take things down a notch and even then, I’m still “that intense New Yorker”.

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Cookie Cutter Houses and HOA’s. 

I come from an area where the houses are often unique and personalized. You can have a Tutor home next to a Victorian and down the block a basic Cape. Each of them with their own personality that the family chooses to decorate with. Though there are some areas that have  their unique styles (see Cocoa Village) most areas are developments that have near identical houses with very few adornments to separate one house from another. This is often due to Home Owner Association (HOAs) that keep a certain standard so that property values stay consistent.

At first, this seemed very attractive. When you have lived next to a house that had an obsession with collecting beer and soda cans on the side of the house that left a certain aroma on hot summer days, yeah, an HOA would handle that.

However, as time passed, I can’t help but feel like I have been homogenized and sanitized to the point that I want to throw some funky colored paint on my house, put up a Gothic fence and a coffin mailbox just to stand out a little….or a lot. So get accustomed to accidentally pulling up to your neighbors identical house a few times or find areas that are pre-HOA. image

Photo credit to David Daniels

Photo credit to David Daniels

 

The Beaches are INSANE! 

I grew up on an island so living near the water seems necessary. Granted, I NEVER went to Jones Beach. The endless and expensive  parking lots, the loooong walk to the actual beach (through a smelly dank tunnel), then trying to find a spot that isn’t too close to the overflowing garbage cans….nope. Never appealed to me. Now I live a short trip to Cocoa Beach area. The parking is easy, inexpensive and is within steps of the beach. The walkway onto the beach is like a oasis of exotic plants. Each time I go, I use a different entry and they are all magical. The beach is so CLEAN yet mysteriously, there are no garbage cans in sight….apparently the locals take their beaches seriously. They leave nothing behind or volunteer to clean up regularly. I have gone to the beach about 2 dozen times since moving here a year ago, which is probably more than my entire life on Long Island.

In Florida for a year and I still can't get away from the black.

In Florida for a year and I still can’t get away from the black.

People don’t wear a lot of black.

 I know, it’s cliche but my entire wardrobe was black when I got here. This is partially because I’m a hairstylist and it’s what we wear but it’s also because I’m from Long Island. It’s a staple to our wardrobe and we have no idea how much black you really wear until you are walking around in the blazing sun. It’s a problem that I am working on. I think I have 5 items of clothing that have color now.

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Floridians are crazy friendly. 

Hey, New Yorkers have their own brand of friendly. Typically a little more formal and reserved, and only when absolutely necessary  but, yeah, we’re nice people, damn it! But here, it’s a whole different level of friendliness that, at first, I felt slightly off balanced. For instance, I go for a walk around my neighborhood, anyone who you cross, whether they are mowing their lawn, driving by or even just picking up their mail, they stop what they are doing and either wave or say hello.

No….I mean, EVERYBODY. It’s weird.

My friend came to visit from NY and we went for a walk. Every time we passed someone they said hello. He would stop talking, give them a suspicious look and say “Do you know them? Why are they saying hello?  Do they want something? Maybe we should avert our eyes” .

It’s not that we don’t like friendliness,  it’s just an adjustment. A lovely one but going back to #1, we are an intense breed of people and are typically too busy in our heads to say hello to every person who walks by.

 

I do have some honorable mentions because I can assure you there are more than 5 things that take some getting use to.

The skyline/sky…the sky should have it’s own show. Always changing and just so BIG with nothing impeding it’s view.

Flip Flops. It’s required so get a pedi and get use to your piggy a being free

Publix. One of the greatest grocery stores EVER.

Pop Up Neighborhoods. Just when you think you’ve gotten use to the lay of the land, a new neighborhood was built with a coordinated town square. Weird.

 

Wanderlust Wednesday: The Hunt For Local Organic Farm Fresh Goods

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Cocoa Green Market and 12 Palms Farm
4880 Coconut Avenue,
Cocoa, FL 32926
Hours:
Tuesday 12-3
Friday 10-5
Saturday 10-2

I am enamored with living a simple way of life.
Fresh fruit and veggies from the farm…
Milk from happy cows…
Eggs that are produced by healthy hens that rule the roost…Clean Wholesome Simplicity.

Full Disclosure: I am typing this on my iPhone while scarfing down a brown sugar PopTart and a Diet Coke.

This is my lifelong inner turmoil. An acute, bone-deep longing for a sane way of living and the lure of Pop Tarts. Add in the fact that in an urban setting it’s unusual to find a place that offers these “luxuries”.

Yes! Natural wholesome food and goods are officially a luxury! Crazy, right?

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About 2 months ago, I stumbled across a video of a Cocoa, Florida farmer lovingly feeding homemade sourdough bread to her rooster, Elvis. I watched this beautiful bird peck the morsel from her hand, take a few steps away, and leave his bounty on the ground for his “lady” hen.
Charming and endearingly sweet… especially after viewing the atrocities on the documentary,Food Inc., with my boys a few days before. I was determined to go there even though their business hours typically coincided with mine.

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What I expected was a farm that had a table set up with some vegetables. What I discovered was a bevy of creative people living the dream.
Well…MY dream anyway.

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The property is sectioned off with different pens for goats, pigs, ducks, a horse and a llama. The hens, however, were not confined. Everywhere you went little hens roamed the property, undisturbed by the comings and goings of visitors.

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Uncertain which building to enter, we followed a brood of hens (we are pretty sure they were escorting us) towards a lovely archway. We were delightfully surprised by a garden bordered with upended wine bottles and adorned with polka dotted boots and brightly painted chair frames.

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Repurposed Pop Art ….in the middle of a farm.

The little vegetable stand that I expected, gave way to an outdoor room with refrigerators smartly painted with chalkboard paint filled with quality farm fresh meats, woven baskets filled with brightly colored produce and a hen who made herself comfortable in a basket in the corner.

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When I stepped inside their air conditioned retail space I was warmly greeted by the owner, Judith McKenna. When asked, she spoke of the farm and the participants of the cooperative with both pride and affection. She was keen to point out that they were not a farmers market. This was a group of small farms and businesses that have a shared vision of healthy living, humane practices and of being good stewards of the enviroment. This is evident by their approval from The Animal Welfare Institute.
“Animal Welfare Approved has the most rigorous standards for farm animal welfare currently in use by any United States organization. Its
standards were developed in collaboration with scientists, veterinarians, researchers, and farmers across the globe to maximize practicable, high-welfare farm management. Animal Welfare Approved’s standards incorporate best practices and recent research and have been adopted only after rigorous review.” (see full statement about accreditation on their webpage)

Have I mentioned the happy animals?

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My boys begged for some of their homemade ice cream, which they devoured while I perused their wide variety of crafts and goods. I want to give proper credit and description of all the products but there was so much I will surely forget someone. Freshly baked goods, hand sewn bags cleverly made from recycled materials, beautiful soaps and lotions, loose tea in glass jars…It makes a girl think its REALLY possible to live this way. It’s so accessible!

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Wendy, one of the artisans that make the clever bags, was kind enough to take my boys outside and introduce them to Tony the llama while I made my purchases. Most items were comparable to regular supermarket prices. Some items I was pleasantly surprised by how inexpensive.

 

A carton of eggs, unpasteurized milk, homemade yogurt in a mason jar, local wildflower honey and a promise to return weekly.

If you haven’t yet, subscribe to their facebook page to see some great videos and pictures and go visit!

 

 

Beautiful Thursday-Theresa’s Antihumidity Makeup Must Haves

  



1) Benefits Stay Flawless 15 hr Primer : Apply after moisturizer and before foundation. This product is also sweat proof and keeps all of your makeup in place all day! Perfect for a hot summer! 

2) Becca’s Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème: This is great for a hot evening out. It is full coverage (don’t use powder over it, instead use a finishing spray) and is sweat and humidity resistant. It will last all night through dancing or outside parties without showing any flaws or being cakey.

3) Benefit’s Benetint in rose: This product is a little intimidating but it’s awesome! With the appearance of a nail polish, Benetint is actually a liquid blush. Make two X shapes on the apples of your cheeks and pat in with your ring finger. You will be left with natural rosy cheeks that will last you all day and night. It’s a stain and it’s not sticky. You can also apply it to your lips for a natural look. They come in 4 different colors. This one is the original. 

4) NYX Matte Finishing Spray: This is something that I use everyday during the summertime. Mist over your finished makeup look for an all day zero shine finish. For the dry complexion girls, there is also a dewy finishing spray that is great and also made by NYX.

5) Kat Von D liquid lips in Lolita: It goes on like a lipgloss but finishes matte. It stays all day through sweat, heat and eating.  It doesn’t budge! Matte lips have been all the rage but this one doesn’t dry your lips out and lasts. Lolita looks great with a tan over the summer.

6) Mario Badescu facial spray : Keep this in your bag over the season. It’s $5 at Ulta! It is filled with aloe, herbs and rose water and keeps your face hydrated while soothing your skin from the heat. Mist over makeup or natural face and neck.

Theresa Lanno is a licensed cosmetologist at The Big Bang Studio in Cocoa Village. She loves makeup and the beach! She is also a brow specialist.

  Wanderlust Wednesday-Kelly Park Rock Springs

   

There are so many gorgeous springs all over Florida and being conveniently located near the ocean can sometimes make us forget. I hopped in the car last week and headed to Rock Springs. The springs are typically a clear and cool 70 degrees. 
  
I googled Rock Springs and let my smart phone direct me there. When I arrived to the destination I was at a closed gate that had no water access. I parked my car and went to the website and got the correct address on the other side, about 12 miles around. I passed a Rock Springs Bar and Grill where you rent the tubes and paid $5 to get in. They do not rent tubes in the park or allow reentry. 

That being said, I highly recommend you bring your own or stop at the bar and grill to rent tubes because there is a perfect float stream. I also highly suggest to arrive no later than 10am because they close at a certain capacity. When we left at 1pm the park was still closed.   
  

It was a little brisk at first but after sitting in the sun it felt refreshing. It was very much worth the hour and a half drive and great to see my feet in the water. So clean!  

Check out their website for the correct address and any other tips I may have missed! 

Rock Springs Kelly Park

Top 5 Tuesday-Tattoo Care

Top 5 Ways To Preserve Your Tattoos During The Summer 

Tips from Jamie Wong at The Big Bang Studio, written by Misti Blu Day

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  1. Aftercare: Always wash your hands before you wash your tattoo. Use a hypoallergenic antibacterial and fragrance-free soap. Do not use petroleum products for the first few days. Avoid swimming and over saturating your new tattoo in water. Let the skin heal naturally and do not pick at it or touch it.
  2. UV Protection: Don’t wanna wear sunscreen? Put on a rash guard. They let your skin breath while keeping you cool. Rash guards are great but they can get a little pricey. If you know you’re going to be at the beach for an extended period of time, pack a umbrella. They’re great for a nice break from the sun. If you love your tattoos then you need to preserve them and protect them. I recommend using a higher SPF while not forgetting to reapply. Forgetting to reapply can be pretty easy when you’re having fun. It is important, especially in Florida, to make sure you have UVA and UVB protection.
  3. Coffee Scrubs: I recommend Frank Body Brand. After a day in the sun, a good coffee scrub helps exfoliate and renew your skin. I usually do one 2 -3 time a week, after your tattoo has healed, of course.
  4. Cocoa Butter: You can find cocoa butter in most retail stores. It’s really affordable and great for your skin. Preserve the life of your tattoo my keeping your skin nice and moisturized! I moisturize twice daily, all year long. When trying a new lotion, I suggest that you apply a small amount to your wrist and allowing it to sit for a few minutes. This will help determine if you will have a sensitivity to the lotion.
  5. Hydrate: Keep you skin hydrated, not just externally with lotions but internally. Drink water! Especially in the summertime when you perspire more often or if you drink alcohol. Keeping your body hydrated is the best skin regime I can recommend.

*Jamie Wong is the owner of Jamie Wong Tattoos and an avid surfer and father from Cocoa, FL. Jamie also is very involved in the community. Check out his work: Jamie Wong Tattoos