A Few Of My Favorite Things

Hello it’s me again! This week instead of another post about Epcot (because I’m sure you are all tired of me talking about Food and Wine Festival) I have decided to share a few of my favorite products with you all. These are items that make being a college student just a little bit easier for me, and hopefully can help you too!

Simplified Planner by Emily Ley

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People always tell you that a planner can save your life if you have a busy schedule, and they aren’t lying. I started using a weekly planner about a year ago and had to scribble in the margins to find enough room to write down everything I needed to. I heard about the Simplified Planner because my third grade teacher’s daughter is the one and only Emily Ley. I thought about getting one for a while, but they sell out so quickly that I wasn’t able to get one until last year for Christmas. When I finally got my hands on my new planner I thought I was going to cry. To start, the packaging on these bad boys is KILLER and makes you feel very fancy and put together. Then you open the planner and see the FULL PAGES FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR!! There is one column for your daily schedule, one column for your to do list, and spaces for you to plan your dinner and make random notes. This planner is a game changer and you should all go out and get one asap.

Chacos

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Okay so everyone who knows me knows i love my Chacos. People like to make fun of me for having “Jesus sandals” or for “wearing hiking shoes in Florida” but honestly they can make fun of me for the rest of forever and I won’t have a care in the world because I’ll have nice, supported feet. As someone who danced for 15 years of her life, I have very high arches that need lots of support for me to not want to chop my feet off. The Luv Seat (their name for their sole) of the Chacos is everything.My arches never hurt, my heels never hurt, and I get a killer zig zag tan line across the top of my feet. They rock.

Basin Bath Bombs

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There’s nothing like a good bubble bath with a glass of wine and an episode of Friends to help relive some stress after a long day of class and work. And there’e nothing like a bubble bath without a nice fizzy bath bomb. While I love LUSH’s bath bombs, those things are hella pricey for someone with my budget. At Basin in Disney Springs I can get three bath bombs for the price of one LUSH bath bomb- and that’s the kind of math I like. The bath bombs at Basin are still made from natural products like LUSH’s are, and smell just as delicious so you aren’t really losing any value. And as an added bonus, some of the bath bombs have Mickey shaped confetti that gets released in the water too!

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Gotta Get It

Well folks, Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is open and crowded as ever. But just for you, I braved the heat, almost passed out, rallied, and tried my fair share of snacks and drinks so I could tell you what not to miss on your next trip!

Here’s what I found:

Twining’s Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte With Vanilla Vodka (Ireland)– Holy moly was this delicious. I already had high hopes for this drink because I love me some chai tea, and I was definitely not disappointed. This tasted like boozy fall in a cup. It was creamy, cold, and not too strong (even my step-dad liked it and he doesn’t like any alcohol). FWF has started serving all kiosk drinks in smaller cups this year, which is great for this particular drink because it was sweet enough that you couldn’t have more than a few sips anyway. Overall, I highly recommend paying the $10 for the five sips you’ll get of this drink because I still can’t stop thinking about it.

Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots and Feta Cheese (The CHEW Collective)– I will eat anything with feta cheese in it, so when I saw this on the menu I knew I had to have it. This was a pretty good value for what you pay for it because you get about three decently large chunks of beef with a nice small salad under it as well. The meat was decently coked and seasoned, but with the feta and apricot it was perfect. This is also a great dish to fill up with and not feel guilty about it later!

Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese (Farm Fresh)– While I didn’t try this dish myself (not a bacon fan, sue me), my boyfriend said it was one of his favorite dishes of the day. The bite that I did try (sans bacon) was delicious and creamy and flavored nicely with peppers and green onions. This was a festival favorite last year, so it was no surprise that it was a hit this year as well.

Two Henrys Elderberry Hard Cider (Florida Fresh)– OK, so I am generally not a cider fan, but after reading positive reviews about this one, I decided to try it. It was surprisingly not too sweet and extremely refreshing and cold, which is all I can ask for on a hot Florida day.

Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 Pale Lager (France)– This was the one drink my mom and I refused to share because we loved it so much. This beer is everything. It’s light and fruity and not too sweet and not too bitter. Honestly I could just stay in France and drink this and passion fruit martini slushes all day and be perfectly happy.

You should also check out the Artisan Cheese and Wine Plate (Wine & Dine Studio), the Orlando Brewing Orlando Weiss (Craft Beers), the Spanakopita (Greece), and of course the Passion Fruit Martini Slush (France) because they are also pretty damn delicious.

So everyone grab your passport and head to the World Showcase soon! The festival will end before you know it and I promise you won’t want to miss it.

 

 

Around the World in 8 Hours

Brady, all those tips you gave us were cool and all, but what should I drink??

Glad you asked! Last year I spent my 21 birthday at Food and Wine and have spent just about every other weekend since in Epcot, so I have had my fair share of expensive drinks. Now, I know the menu changes every year, but here is what my friends and I would suggest (and also warn you to stay away from) from our experiences!

  • Mexico: Passion Fruit Margarita (not available anymore)- This was my first legal alcoholic drink and honestly it was a let down. Nothing to write home about. Tequila Flight– So good. Three different chilled tequilas with salt and a lime. All three were very smooth and easy to take, and I don’t even like shots. But I also love tequila, so take my advice with a grain of salt and maybe a lime wedge. Frozen Lime Margarita– sweet but delicious, especially on a hot Florida day. This is one of my go-to EPCOT drinks.
  • China: Happy Peach– Literally tastes like the juice at the bottom of a peach cup. Kung Fu Punch– Literally tastes like you are biting into a mango. China really has the whole “make drinks taste exactly like fruit” thing down.
  • Germany: Bärenjäger Honey & Bourbon shot– I hate shots, so my opinion on this is probably invalid. But my friend loved it.
  • France: Here’s where things get good, folks. Kronenbourg Blanc 1664– light and refreshing. My favorite beer in World showcase. Orange Slush– Wow wow wow. Tastes like an alcoholic creme sickle. I can’t go to EPCOT and not get one of these. I even tell strangers in the park about it. Passion Fruit Slush– THIS IS MY FAVORITE DRINK. This is very similar to the orange slush, but slightly less sweet. Which means you can drink four and not get sick of them. Don’t ask me how I know that. These are only available during the festival though, so this will be my first stop when I go next weekend.
  • Italy: Limoncello Shots Very sweet, but that makes it easier to take it as a shot so I didn’t hate these??
  • United Kingdom: Welsh Dragon– Okay you guys, this was by far the weirdest drink I have ever had. It almost tasted like mouth wash? But like fruity and minty mouthwash mixed together? But maybe if you’re into that sort of thing you’ll like it?

My first trip to Food and Wine is next weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited. Here’s what is first on my list to try. Be sure to check back next week to see what I thought!

  • Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Pepper, Onion and Snap Peas
  • Canadian cheddar cheese soup served with a pretzel roll
  • Moosehead Lager
  • Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
  • Twinings® Pumpkin Chai Tea Frozen Cocktail with Caramel Vodka
  • Frozen Mojito
  • Bohemia Pilsner with Floater

 

Every Person Comes Out Tipsy

Well it’s everyone’s favorite time of year again, and I’m not talking about football season. It’s time for EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival!! Nothing gets me more pumped than making my way through the World Showcase on a cool fall day with a fruity pink drink in my hand. But it can seem to be a little overwhelming for those Food and Wine newcomers. So I’m here to give you my best tips on how to make the most of your trip around the world!

1. Budget. Budget. Budget. Please budget. 

Theme parks are expensive. Alcohol is expensive. Fancy food is expensive. So fancy drinks in a theme park are super extra hella expensive. Drinks in the World Showcase can range anywhere from $8 for a beer, to $15 for a nice margarita. Now, on their own that might not seem like much. But combine your drink with a $5 snack and things start to add up. Not to mention that EPCOT is home to 11 permanent pavilions, and 30 special festival booth, each with a new and delicious treat that you won’t be able to resist. Your trip around the world is going to be expensive, but as long as you planned to spend those few extra dollars this weekend, it will be so worth it.

2. Pregame (with some high quality H2O).

Florida is always going to be hot, even in the middle of fall. Because of this you’ll probably have a nice Florida glow (aka a layer of sweat) on you all day. Between this and some alcohol consumption, you are bound to get a little dehydrated. And once you have put back a few beers in Germany, there’s no telling whether or not you remember to buy a bottle of water at the next pavilion. I have found that if you drink enough water the day before, and drink a bottle of water on the way into the park, you are going to feel so much better throughout your trip. (You should also really try to remember to drink some after every few drinks though, because dehydration is the wOOo0OorStt.) A cast member once told me that EPCOT stood for Every Person Comes Out Tipsy, so make sure you come out tipsy and not sick!

3. Plan your little butt off. 

I am a planner, always have been, always will be. Because of this, I start planning my Food and Wine trip as soon as the official menus come out. You can find this year’s menu here. I would suggest printing it and highlighting everything you definitely want to get to during your trip. Then check out the map when you get the park of where all of this year’s booths are located so you don’t miss anything important!

 

 

Hope you take all of these tips into consideration when planning your next trip to EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival. Come back soon, because I’ll be sharing all of my favorite drinks from EPCOT trips past!

 

Like A Girl

In our society “like a girl” has been used to insult the way someone throws, runs or fights. It means someone is too slow or too weak. Always set out to change that. In their #LikeAGirl campaign, the company shows how young women and men interpret the phrase, and why they think it needs to change.

The best thing about this campaign is the way Always targeted so many different audiences to achieve the largest impact. When coming up with the #LikeAGirl idea, the goal was to help girls that are going through puberty feel more confident in their womanhood. In a time where girls are naturally feeling awkward and different because of the changes in their bodies, the messages they receive from their parents or their coaches or their peers that being a girl is somehow inferior to being a boy only hurt their confidence and lead to the self image issues that we see in adult women every day. This campaign, through the use of girls ages 10 through about 18, shows young women how being a girl can mean whatever you want it to mean. By using girls who are slightly older than the average girl going through puberty, it gives the younger girls someone to look up to. When in the vulnerable state while going through puberty, it is much easier to follow a role model than to try and figure out everything on your own, and Always utilized that fact very well.

Aside from young girls, Always also targeted young women ages 18-24. This is another time in a woman’s life when they may feel put down because of their image or the way they live their life. Mostly this is because, traditionally, this is when a woman “should be finding a husband” (which is an issue in and of itself, but we’ll save that for another day).This pressure from society makes young women feel their inferiority to men yet again. The constant nagging to “be prettier,” or “be nicer,” or even to “not come on as strong” makes women feel like less powerful individuals. This campaign shows the transformation of a few of the girls into thinking that doing things “like a girl” can mean doing things like a badass. By showing this, Always is showing these young women that just because they are women, doesn’t mean they are “less.” They are showing that its okay to embrace yourself for who you are as a woman.

I think one of the best target markets that Always reached though, were men. By airing their first campaign video (above) during the Superbowl, this ad reached 81.3% of all men in the US, and a majority of those men were ages 18-45. This group is also the type that usually has the “men should be men” mind set where they think that masculinity equates to power and strength and that women do not have these qualities. By including the section with the young boy talking about his sister in the video, I think that this helped better get the message across to this demographic. These types of men are very protective about their family members, and by relating “like a girl” to an insult towards their sister or mother, they are able to understand the impact it might have on other women and girls.

Aside from the video above, Always also released the Unstoppable video, Quarterback Karlie Harman’s story, and are now lobbying for more powerful female representation in emoji’s. Hundreds of thousands of hashtags have been used since the commercial first aired, and are still being shared today. Gender equality is an issue that we should never stop fighting for. So ladies, let’s get out there and run #LikeAGirl, throw #LikeAGirl, and tweet #LikeAGirl because you are a girl and you rock.