Making Spirits Bright

Making Spirits Bright

In true December fashion, this month has been packed with all the festive fun and celebrations. Of course, I've been wearing all the velvet and sequined pieces because tis' the season! 


Velvet Top {50% off} | Velvet Leggings {50% off} | Heels | Jacket {similar}



We kicked off you-pick strawberry season at Amber Brooke Farms, and they had the cutest holiday photo opps all around the farm. The following weekend, we took Lil' Miss to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus before walking trails of Christmas tree lights around the lake. 




We also had a date night while Lil' Miss had her Christmas party at gymnastics. We went to dinner, and then to a Christmas pop-up bar called Miracle on Orange where they had the cutest d├ęcor and most delish festive drinks. We enjoyed the Hot Buttered Rum (which was perfect on a chilly evening) and the Christmas Cricket. YUM!









To add to the festive fun, we celebrated Emily's birthday at the Oh What Fun event in Lake Nona which included bites, drinks, a Christmas tree trail, live music, snow flurries (my kind of snow - the look and feel without the cold) and the cutest pop up bar called Fa La La La. 












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Fa La La La La

Fa La La La La

It's the most BUSIEST time of the year! Even without proper grammar, I'm sure you all sang that first sentence in your head. Our halls are officially decked, Lil' Miss was excited for the return of her Elf on the Shelf Sprinkles (and of course her North Pole Breakfast), we baked our 1st batch of Christmas cookies, went to the town's Christmas tree lighting and took in the merriment at Universal Studios. 


We also attempted to build our annual gingerbread house, and failed miserably. They usually are no where near Pinterest worthy, but they are always standing... until this year's effort. I do NOT recommend the pink glitter chateau from Target. Stick to their classic houses if you want the icing to dry, and the house to actually stand. 



On a much happier note - I was SO excited to find these festive nails available. They were of course sold out in stores, but yay for free shipping with my Red debit card. Sometimes it's the little things.



I was nervous about their durability, as the last set of press on nails I tried kept popping off. But these have been staying put, and I've already gotten so many compliments. Run don't walk! 





We indulged in the food trucks before the Christmas tree lighting last Thursday, and I had the BEST Amish pretzel ever. Lil' Miss keeps asking me if I'm still thinking about the pretzel, and my answer is YES!

They had live performances, fireworks, lots of activities, live reindeer and some "snow" flurries. We grabbed ice cream at our favorite local scoop shop, and decided on a flight of their festive flavors. Each one was delish. 




Saturday morning brought the return of Sprinkles!




All hail to the mommas (and dads too!) who managed to pull off the North Pole Breakfast and return of their elves on December 1st which fell on a weekday this year. This non-early riser family waited until Saturday - ha! Sprinkles made her triumphant return complete with homemade waffles (made with the cutest gingerbread mini waffle iron), powdered donuts and fruit shaped like a candy cane. Lil' Miss shrieked when she saw her elf and advent tree were back, and enjoyed a morning sugar rush.




We spent Saturday at a local farm for the launch of their you-pick-strawberries season, which I'll recap next week. (stay tuned!) Then on Sunday, we headed to Universal for their holiday fun which included Grinch meet and greets, a Macy's style Christmas parade and a Mannheim Steamroller concert. 



A stop at Hogwarts Castle is always a must as well as the magical rides and a potty break in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. Each time we go, Lil' Miss insists on wearing her Harry Potter tee which is only $9. 




And of course a performance by the Frog Choir singing Hogwarts Christmas favorites. Too cute!






We also enjoyed festive bites and drinks. This mulled wine was DELISH! H also ordered a turkey panini on cranberry bread with brie cheese and a spiced iced eggnog. All were amazing! 










Two of my favorite things - live music and rollercoasters. We truly are loving our annual passes to Universal. And now that we have had annual passes to Disney, SeaWorld and Universal I can say with the utmost confidence that we all agree that Universal has been our favorite. 

Their Wizarding World of Harry Potter areas in both parks top the charts for me. I also love their water park Volcano Bay above the others, they have the best rollercoasters and events throughout the year with live music. Although, I did get to see Boyz II Men at Epcot which I'll never forget.

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