Orlando, Florida: What to Eat, Where to Stay, What to Do

So my husband and I got to attend DEMA (Diver’s Equipment & Marketing Association) 2017, Go Dive Now. This is a yearly show that bounces between Las Vegas and Orlando, although I’ve heard a rumor that they are adding New Orleans into the mix in a couple years. But this was the year that DEMA was in Orlando. That means we hopped a plane with Deb and Grady and flew to Orlando, Florida.

Where to Eat

The first question is…. Where to eat in Orlando. Oh gosh. We were there at the Orange County Convention Center on International Drive. Let me just tell you there were gobs of GREAT places to eat, but here’s what we chose… And let’s just say, YUM!

Dunkin Donuts

7440-A International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

We actually had a Dunkin Donuts almost right outside our hotel room. Not quite but pretty darn close. In fact, we had a lot of breakfast places right in that area. The first day we were there, hubby and I chose to walk here and get breakfast. Good choice!

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Army Quilt – Finished

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that it was my husband’s birthday. Guys, his birthday present was friggin awesome, in my opinion anyway. Although, he was pretty keen on it too!

It seems like a million years ago I did that 101 in 1001 project. In fact, I did this sometime in the first years we were married. One of the goals I had was to make him a quilt out of his old army uniforms. And I slowly worked on it. Read that as I worked on it 1-2 days and then piled it away for another day.

Jump forward 5 years to about the beginning of October…. okay, back up to earlier this year first. When we were working on Abug’s quilt, I took hubby’s army uniforms to my grandma’s and told her we needed to make hubby’s quilt also. We used a couple pieces in Abug’s quilt and then it sat all spring/summer in grandma’s sewing room. So now we’re at the beginning of October and I went to grandma’s to can my fall green beans. I looked at her and said, OH CRAP, we were going to make hubby’s quilt and his birthday is in 4 weeks (or whatever the actual time frame was).

I knew that I was going to be busy the week of October 16th due to the Newton County Christmas for Kids Chili Cookoff and that I would be out of town the week of hubby’s birthday. So I told Grandma, if you can help, we’ll get this done for his birthday. She was ecstatic to help. Grandma’s are cool like that.

Choosing the Quilt Pattern

The first day we went to work, we had to decide what pattern to make. Grandma has a HUGE stack of pattern magazines and books. When I say huge, I’m not exaggerating and imagine HUGE! We debated this one and that one and tossed around ideas. Then I ran across this in the back of one of the magazines. The thing is… it wasn’t a pattern but more of an advertisement.

Celebrating Abe advertisement for quilt

The more I got to looking at it, the more I realized we had done this type of star in Abug’s quilt, so I pulled that pattern out. I sat there and did calculations (yes, everyone trusted my mathematical skills…. scary I know) and away we went to making this quilt.

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Quick Update on Last Week

Prepared for learning with donuts, muffins, coffee, and notebooks.

Hey guys! I just got back from an incredible week in Orlando Florida. Why was I there? Well, for a big SCUBA diving convention called DEMA. Wow, this place was extremely overwhelming. We flew out Monday morning from Kansas City Monday. It was a direct flight from Kansas City to Orlando. Getting a rental car in Orlando is extremely easy! Almost as easy as when we got it in Las Vegas a few years ago.

That night we were just there for fun. Deb and Grady had a SCUBAPRO Platinum meeting to go to on Tuesday, so hubby and I just bummed around Orlando. Wednesday through Friday we attended DEMA, classes, and ate excellent food. Wow, the food!

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Burnt Marshmallow Icing

Were you worried I didn’t complete the challenge this month? Don’t worry, I remembered. I was quite worried I wasn’t going to so one day last week, Tuesday in fact I decided to make them. Normally I have my little one under my feet, but she wasn’t…. why? Because she was sick.

Tuesday morning when I woke up the house was chilly so I actually turned off the air (which wasn’t on) and turned on the heater. My girl woke up and she was complaining about being cold, but like I said the house had a chill so I wasn’t worried just yet. As the house started warming up, so did I. But she still kept complaining about being chilly. That’s. NOT. NORMAL. for her. I’m telling you, when the rest of us are cold, she’s just fine or even complaining about being warm. That bothered me.

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Thoughts….

Over the weekend we had our 5th Annual Chili Cookoff and silent auction to raise money for less fortunate kids for Christmas. I always hate to say it that way… I’m just not sure the best way to say it (politically correct), so for now, we’ll leave it that way.

Going into Saturday I was nervous. I was nervous about a lot of things. Worried people wouldn’t show up. Maybe that we wouldn’t raise much money at all. Who knows. All these different thoughts flew through my head.

Part of the reason I was worried people wouldn’t come was that bad weather was predicted to hit Saturday evening. Of course. A week before there was nothing but clear skies in the forecast, then it changed to severe weather predictions. Luckily it held off until the event was over and cleaned up. We sat and chatted and relaxed for maybe 30 minutes, then the wind blew. Jared asked if we felt that cold chill, and he said that meant hail was coming. I quickly said I’m outta here trying to outrun the storm and get home only to get to set under an overpass for 10 minutes waiting out the hail.

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Cinnamon Browned Butter Icing (for Spiced Sugar Cookies)

Rolling out fall spiced sugar cookie dough

The other day I ran across a recipe for spiced cookies. I thought… mmmmm those sound good. Problem was, they called for 3/4 of a cup of butter. I hate when recipes make me cut a stick of butter up like that and don’t finish it off. Silly I know, but true no less.

So I continued on my day and ran across another recipe for spiced cookies, this time it used 3 sticks of butter (1 1/2 cups). Okay, so that’s better. But truth be told, I prefer to use my butter in even numbers. I’m totally weird.

All day for 2 days I’d randomly look back at these recipes thinking, boy they sound good but the butter amounts are bugging me. Finally, I decided to make the batch that used 1-1/2 cups butter, but possibly use the seasonings in the smaller batch. They were different after all. So I pulled 3 sticks of butter out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Then I went back to staring at the recipes at hand. Both of them. That’s when it hit me… It’s just a sugar cookie recipe that they are doctoring up with spices… why not use the sugar cookie recipe that is my own unique one?

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Raising Money for Christmas {Last Three Months of the Year}

It’s no surprise that I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I do. I can’t hide that fact. Some people ask why I like it so much. This is kind of hard to put into words but I’ll try. There is something so magical around the time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is something in the air. The air is crisp, which it is also known I hate cold weather, but that time of year you know you need snow so that Santa can deliver his presents. Duh!

But there is a spirit among people. Yes, a lot of people are stressed out by Christmas and they say that the suicide rate is up around this time of year, but there are a lot of happy people around this time of year. They are out and about shopping for just the perfect present for their loved ones and friends. There is Christmas lights and Christmas music and little kids getting so excited that Santa will visit.

That is the thing though… Little kids get extremely excited about the thought of Santa visiting. Some little kids though are sad at this time of the year. Their family is going through some struggle and the thought of Christmas is far from their mind. That’s where Santa’s helpers come in to play.

There are organizations that are working year round to make sure that every little kid knows what Christmas is and knows that they aren’t forgotten. Santa’s helpers run fundraisers and ring bells, and everything else to raise money for presents for those deserving little kids.

I’m sure we all know this, right? So why am I discussing this? Well, because the last few years I have been working with one of those organizations. I have been volunteering my time to help raise money. To help raise awareness. All little kids are deserving all year round, but I want them to know my favorite time of year and have fond memories of it just like I have.

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Stream of Consciousness

I was actually questioning my self on spelling consciousness correctly. Oddly enough, I did. So a new piece of information about myself I don’t think I’ve ever shared… back in grade school when we had to do those spelling tests, I always complained. My dad told me I needed to learn to spell and I remember clear as day smarting off at him, “Why does it matter if I can spell, it’s not like I’ll ever write a letter to the president of the United States.” That has always cracked me up. And prior to the last few years, I was a really good speller, now I’m just a decent speller.

For the last few days I have been writing blog posts in my head, but they haven’t been put anywhere but in my head. That makes me sad. I really like blogging, but in the last few years, my readership has gone down. Maybe that’s because I’m not a good blogger? Maybe not as many people read blogs? Maybe it’s a combination of both… I’m not really sure. It makes me really sad though.

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In light of recent events

Looking on to the Vegas Strip toward Bally's and The Perisian

Yesterday morning I woke up like usual, Before I needed to, and decided to lay in bed and scan through Facebook quickly before telling myself, “Get out of bed and be productive.” I was reading through all the new meme’s that appear daily, hourly, minutely (word?), even secondly (not as in 1st, 2nd, but seconds on a clock). That’s when I saw, “Prayers for Las Vegas.”

Oh crap, I thought to myself. What’s happened now? Don’t you think that is a sad thing to think to yourself? What’s happened now? Are we so conditioned to that? Unfortunately, I think we are. Another shooting. Yet another massacre. Even worse, another round of innocent lives lost. Of course when you see the “Prayers for Las Vegas” you immediately have to go and see what is going on. I do anyway. I want to be in the “know” I guess?!

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Fall Y’all

Guys, it’s fall. The weather has even cooled down, at least in the morning. Our days, well they are hit and miss. Some days it’s warm and some days it’s cooler. Never cool, just cooler.

By the way, I may type y’all sometimes for effect, but I don’t really say that word. It tends to be hey guys or you guys or you all or something. Just a random bit of information about yours truly to bring us closer together. If you hear me say the word y’all, I’m usually just being silly.

We’re headed into the last quarter of the year. How is that even possible? It feels like we just had Christmas or New Years or Winter or something. I guess technically not because winter implies cold weather and it’s been hot around these parts this summer… but at the same time, we had such a mild winter last winter that was it even winter…? Things to ponder.

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