Exploring the Baldwin Park Neighborhood of Orlando

The Baldwin Park neighborhood in Orlando has a bit of a historical past. This mixed-use community was once home to a former Naval Training Center. The military used this base from 1942- 1990's. The decision to close the base in July of 93 was made by the Federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission. That's when the ball got rolling to turn the former base into an urban redevelopment.

The neighborhood is house along the shores of Lake Baldwin. There are many parks scattered about the neighborhood. There is a trail that runs around the lake and connects to other bike paths in the city.

The homes here range from apartments to million dollar abodes. There is a Town Center in the heart of the community. It's had its ups and downs and now the trend seems to be back on the way up with many new restaurants, shops and services moving in.

This is a great neighborhood to live in a nice place to do lots of exploring.
Trees at the entrance of baldwin park neighborhood in orlando florida

Here are some of my finds in the Baldwin Park neighborhood.

Blue Jacket Park
My Blog Post
Harbor Park
My Blog Post
Lake Baldwin Park
My Blog Post
Orlando Veterans Memorial Park
My Blog Post
Tactical Brewing Company *Coming this winter
The Nest Bar Orlando
Winestyles Baldwin Park
My Blog Post
Cafe 906
Colibri Mexican Cuisine
Gators Dockside
My Blog Post

The Osprey Tavern
My Blog Post
Seito Sushi

~ Kelli

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Summer Drinks and Late Night Bites at Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs

I always enjoy exploring Disney Springs. As a local, I find it a fun place as a local to drink, eat, play and shop.

Disney can get pricey when you're a local. I'm always looking for places I can get a good bang for my buck. I was happy to hear that Morimoto Asia was rolling out a sweet deal with their new summer cocktail menu and late night bite menu for their Forbidden Lounge.

morimoto asia restaurant in disney springs
Morimoto Asia

I was invited to sample the seasonal cocktails and bites.

Theses cocktails were concocted by the bartenders. There was a lot of passion put into these drinks🍹

There are five Summer Cocktails on the menu. These drinks are $14, but if you swing by the Forbidden Lounge after 10 pm you can score then for just $8.
five different summer cocktails at morimoto asia in disney springs
Watermelon Soyokaze ~ Kunsei Smoked Coconut
Melon Boba (non-alcoholic)
Kyuuri Gin Blossom Martini ~ Yuzu Sidecar ~ Tequila and Tonic

I sampled all the drinks, I didn't go crazy! The Melon Boba is a delicious non-alcoholic drink with the Boba. My favorite cocktail was the Kunsei. I liked it because it was a bit different with the smoked coconut. There's tequila, rum, almond syrup, lemon and honey syrup with the coconut flakes on top.

The Watermelon Soyokaze is a refreshing summer drink with rum, watermelon juice, fresh lime, Midori and a splash of cranberry.🍉

There is a nice variety in all of the drinks. There is sure to be one that stands out for you. My friends and I all picked different drinks that were our favorite.

Let me tell you, this late night bite menu is delicious! It is offered in the Forbidden Lounge upstairs after 10 pm. The late night bites are all priced at $8
forbidden lounge at morimoto asia
Forbidden Lounge

There are eight items on the late night menu. I sampled most of them and I enjoyed them all very much.

I thought the peppers might be hot, but they weren't for me. the wasabi creme fraiche and yuzu salt balanced it out.
Blistered Shishito Peppers at morimoto asia
 Blistered Shishito Peppers

I was most excited to try the Shrimp Chips and Dip. They are light and airy and the dipping sauces make for a fun twist on the "usual" chips and dip. My favorite combo was with the spicy mayo.
Shrimp Chips and Dip at Morimoto Asia
 Shrimp Chips and Dip

The grilled meats were amazing! I could've eaten the Miso Marinated Black Cod (1) all night! The Chicken Yakitori (2)  and Pork Skirt Steak (1) were equally as delicious.
Shichimi Spiced Edamame ~ Kushiyaki "Gilled on a Stick" at morimoto asia
 Shichimi Spiced Edamame ~ Kushiyaki "Gilled on a Stick"

While the food and drinks were great I appreciated how warm and engaging the staff was. I would be happy to sit at the bar in the Forbidden Lounge and enjoy a drink and take in the view of the restaurant. It's quite a visual delight✨
view of morimoto asia from the second level forbidden lounge
Drinks with a view

You'll be happy with the drinks and bites and having extra money to spend shopping at Disney Springs too is always nice!😊
Kyuuri Gin Blossom Martini at morimoto asia
Kyuuri Gin Blossom Martini 

Heading down to Disney Springs for some shopping and capping an evening of shopping with some drinks and bites at Morimoto Asia and I'm sold.

~ Kelli
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Editor's Note: I was invited as a guest to try the menu. All opinions are mine. Please do not use photos without credit.

Orlando Story Club Continues Its 2017 Season On Wednesday, July 12 At The Abbey In Downtown Orlando With “Is It Love?”

Join Central Florida’s Fun and Unique Story Telling Series Where Everyone Can Share Their Stories

July Event Proceeds Benefit Timucua Arts Foundation

WHAT:  Orlando Story Club is back this year giving anyone who wishes to tell a personal story a chance to put their name in a hat, and selected individuals chosen at random get to showcase their story telling for the enrichment of the local community.  The July event theme is “Is It Love?” and the benefiting charity is Timucua Arts Foundation. 

HOW:  Admission is $5 at the door with an optional donation for the charity.  Judges award prizes for 1st, 2ndand 3rd place winners.  A guest story teller headlines every show with its own theme, food, drinks and laughter are available in abundance.  All proceeds raised each month support different Orlando philanthropic organizations.

WHEN:  Wednesday, July 12, 2017 from 7pm-9:30pm.  Doors open at 6pm.  Orlando Story Club will continue on the first Wednesday of every other month this year (September 6November 1 and “Best Of” December 13).

WHERE:  The Abbey, 100 South Eola Drive, Orlando, FL 32801.

WHY:  The July charity partner is the Timucua Art Foundation.  The mission of the Timucua Arts Foundation is to present and inspire great music and art in Central Florida through performance and education.  The Timucua Art Foundation began hosting concerts in September 2000 with just a few concerts per year.  In 2007, they moved into a new self-designed and built a house in August 2007. The concert season has now grown to over 70 events per year, with the vast majority with zero admission fees. 

WHO:  Orlando Story Club was founded by storyteller and filmmaker Robin Cowie (“The Blair Witch Project”).  After participating in the national storytelling series The Moth, Central Florida-based Cowie sought out to produce the same event here and so Orlando Story Club was born.  The first event held at Orlando’s East End Market in March 2014 was a standing room only smash hit.  Two years later, Cowie’s popular series caught the attention of Downtown Orlando’s dynamic cultural community Downtown Arts District who teamed up to put on monthly events at The Abbey in Downtown Orlando furthering the growth of Story Club and the arts.

For more information on Orlando Story Club, event themes, and benefiting organizations, visit www.orlandostoryclub.com, www.orlandoslice.com and www.facebook.com/orlandostoryclub.

Create Your Nature Introduces 11 New Menu Items

Local superfood café expands smoothie bowl, oatmeal and salad offerings

The words “eat well, live well” have never rang truer than at Create Your Nature this summer. The health-conscious Winter Park café has introduced nearly a dozen new options to an already award-winning menu that features acai bowls, oatmeal blends and salads. The new menu items rolled out June 21.

 Cacao-a-Bunga bowl from Create Your Nature

When Create Your Nature opened last fall, it was just a dream project of husband-wife team Dan and Kim Dill. Now, just seven months after opening, the duo’s dream has proven reality as the store has already become a favorite destination for Winter Park residents and visitors.

“The response from locals has been nothing short of amazing,” said Kim Dill. “Having only been open a few months, we’ve been experimenting with our menu based on customer feedback to provide a diverse mix of clean eating options and introduce a variety of new flavor profiles. We believe we’ve achieved a great mix of the two with the introduction of these new menu items.”

Along with the great taste and health benefits customers have come to know and love, guests will be pleased to see the tradition of original entrée names remains with new options like C’mon Baby Do the Matcha and Obi-Wan Quinobi to name a few.

“From the very beginning, our menu has always been transparent in the products we use while bringing a creative and engaging edge,” said Julie Wilson, General Manager. “Many of the menu item names were suggested by friends and family. It’s part of our culture here, and we really aim to keep that family friendly environment going through every initiative we take on.”

The following menu items are available starting today, June 21:

Smoothie Bowls:

·         Pink Dragon
o    Blend: Organic Pitaya (Dragon Fruit), Pineapple, Banana
o    Toppings: Granola, Coconut, Pineapple, Banana, Kiwi, Local Raw Honey
·         Cacao-a-Bunga
o    Blend: Blueberries, Banana, Cacao Powder
o    Toppings: Chocolate Granola, Almonds, Coconut, Banana, Cacao Nibs
·         Hawaii 5 Ohhhh
o    Blend: Banana, Pineapple, Mango
o    Toppings: Granola, Coconut, Chia Seeds, Banana, Pineapple, Local Raw Honey
·         C’mon Baby Do the Matcha
o    Blend: Pineapple, Banana, Avocado, Baby Spinach, Matcha Tea
o    Toppings: Granola, Almonds, Hemp Seeds, Blueberries, Raspberries, Local Raw Honey
·         Little Miss Sunshine
o    Blend: Strawberries, Mango, Pineapple
o    Toppings: Granola, Coconut, Strawberries, Pineapple, Local Raw Honey

Signature Oats:

·         Monkey Business
o    Sliced Bananas, Walnuts, Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter, Local Raw Honey
·         Thanksgiving 365
o    Diced Sweet Potatoes, Pecans, Greek Yogurt, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon
·         Blackberry Crumble
o    Sliced Blackberries, Granola, Pecans, Greek Yogurt, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon
·         Rock the Casbah
o    Cashews, Raisins, Coconut, Coconut Milk, Turmeric, Cardamom, Harissa Oil


·         Holy Frijole (1-pint mason jar)
o    Black Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Corn, Tomato, Green Bell Pepper, Cilantro
o    Dressing: Lemon Balsamic, Chipotle Olive Oil
·         Obi Wan Quinobi (1/2-pint mason jar)
o    Chilled Quinoa, Spinach, Dried Cranberries, Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds, Celery, Apples, Parsley
o    Dressing: Grilled Lemon Balsamic

About Create Your Nature
Winter Park, Fla.-based Create Your Nature is the brainchild of husband-wife team Dan and Kim Dill to bring their love for superfoods, particularly acai, to busy local professionals and families. The café features fresh takes and tasty bites, such as smoothie bowls, including its award-winning All American Acai Bowl, oatmeal blends and salads. Open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit http://www.createyournature.com or follow us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and Tumblr. #getyourbowlon