Fri(yay) Lovin’ #16

Another whirlwind week has come and gone!

Isn’t it funny how every week is simply the “longest week ever,” but then you blink and it is Friday morning and you’re forcing yourself to write a blog? Or is that just me?

Halston and I celebrated our second anniversary with an outing to Hunger Street Tacos. We aren’t huge fans of extravagant mid-week celebrations, so Taco Tuesday with our friends was right up our alley (plus, we’ll be celebrating over the weekend!).

img_1966

The following night we made our way to Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Resort Orlando’s annual Halloween celebration. We hadn’t been since 2013 and walking through the gates brought back so many high school memories – mostly of my stepsister and I screaming and screeching around the park, trying to avoid the Scare Zones.

Because we went on a Wednesday night, the crowd was a lot smaller and the longest line we stood in was an hour long. It is also more affordable to go on week nights. In the six and a half hours we were there, we managed to make it through five Scare Zones, seven houses, munched on fries at Richter’s Burger Company, wandered around Ollivander’s in Diagon Alley (the place was deserted for the first time in years!) and rode on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. To answer your question, yes, our feet were throbbing toward the end of the night, but it was so worth it! I was the most afraid in Horrors of Blumhouse which included scenes from Insidious, The Purge and Sinister. Once I heard Tiny Tim’s “Tip-Toe Thru The Tulips With Me,” I knew I was a goner. I used Halston as a human shield the entire night (thank you) – he wasn’t afraid of anything except the massive scarecrow that popped out of the wall in Scarecrow: The Reaping.


And now, as we gear up for the weekend, I’ll unleash upon you another installment of Fri(yay) Lovin’ where I recap the things I’m loving this week!

The Florida Project: Set over one summer, the film follows Moonee, an adventurous 6-year-old girl and her young mother Halley, living in an extended-stay motel located along Kissimmee’s 192 tourism corridor. The movie stars Willem Dafoe as the owner of the Magic Castle Hotel, an actual property I’ve driven past thousands of times while working in Kissimmee and have never paid much attention to. Other landmarks include Orange World, the Magic Kingdom (which was filmed guerrilla-style inside the park), Magic Castle Gift Shop and Twistee Treat. The movie offers a colorful view of the underrepresented people in Kissimmee, those who haven’t come to the destination to visit a theme park, but instead live in extended-stay motels, struggling to make the rent (this is an actual, current issue we see in the area). In the movie, we see Halley, who in her own way, will do anything in her power to provide for her daughter and Moonee, who’s childlike innocence and curiosity paints a different picture to what the current circumstances actually are. The movie was raw and the ending abrupt but incredibly bittersweet – one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. The Florida Project is playing at the Enzian Theater through October 26.

img_1962
The Glass Castle: The Glass Castle is the 2005 memoir of Jeannette Walls, an American journalist. In it, she shares stories of her poverty-stricken upbringing at the hands of her alcoholic father and schizophrenic mother. From tales of sleeping in cardboard boxes, rummaging through the school’s garbage for food and her father spending their little money on fruitless pursuits, it was extremely difficult for me to root for her parents at any point in the story. It broke my heart to read her anecdotes, as no child should have to go through an upbringing like that. The book was adapted into a movie which is currently playing in select theaters – so select, it is actually playing in The Villages… yes, the active adult retirement community with an alarmingly high STD rate. Unsure if I’ll make it out there any time soon, so I’ll just have to hope the movie ends up on Netflix.

Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father: I’ve been obsessed with Jack Whitehall since I watched him on Fresh Meat, so imagine how excited I was when I found out he had a travel documentary coming to Netflix. On the first episode, Jack explains that because he began his career at an early age, he was never able to go on a gap year, so he decides to backpack across South East Asia… with his stuffy 76-year-old father in tow as an attempt to strengthen their bond. The Odd Couple dynamic, with Jack’s thirst for adventure and Michael’s pessimism, made it a hilariously easy six episode binge-watch addition to my Netflix queue. I really hope that they continue the series and take their adventures all over the world!

Jack-Whitehall-Travels-My-Father-Season-1

TWMF_Vietnam_00112R

Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend? The Winter Park Autumn Art Festival is going on, as well as a Rifle Paper Company Sidewalk Sale, so I think I have my weekend planned out already!

xx

Advertisements

Fri(yay) Lovin’ #13

Hey, it’s Veronica. Veronica Figueroa. That’s right. Don’t adjust your contact lenses, glasses or whatever vision correction device you’re reading this with. It’s me, live and on WordPress.

Unlike Hannah Baker on 13 Reasons Why, I’ve come for my return engagement and

If you’ve been searching through my Instagram account, trying to figure out what became of me during the past month and a half, I have no excuse for you other than I’ve been busy eating all the Mexican food in Central Florida (Please go visit Hunger Street Tacos, Black Rooster Taqueria, The Ocoee Taco Company and Fruta Mix Ocoee – I’m so serious. Just stop reading this awful blog post and go!), settling in to my new job and acting as a human chew toy for my new puppy.

18301403_10211427288310670_7564093326798712731_n
Meet Scout, a 10-week old Golden Doodle. My fur child.
Basically, I’ve had my hands quite full and I’ve settled into a very comfortable but predictable pattern in life where I do not find myself interesting enough to entertain you on a weekly basis. I mean, the fact that my birthday is coming up on Monday and I have no plans other than getting a pedicure with my stepsister (who is officially moving back from Hawaii this weekend and I finally get to meet my niece!) is very indicative of where I am right now. I just want to take it easy, blog once a quarter and count the days until I am officially retired (only forty more years to go, you guys!)

Anyway, crack open a cold one because it’s Friday and in true Friday fashion, I’ll be sharing a Fri(yay) Lovin’ list with all of the things I’ve been loving this week (it’s not just tacos and puppies!).

Las Chicas Del Cable: After riding an emotional rollercoaster with 13 Reasons Why and laughing my ass off with Chewing Gum (and concerned that the show is borderline blasphemous and I may go straight to hell), I decided to give Las Chicas Del Cable (Cable Girls) a chance. The period drama, filmed and set in Spain, follows the lives of four women with very different backgrounds working as switchboard operators at a telephone company in Madrid – Alba, the young woman trying to erase her past and keep her secrets from being found out, Marga, the shy, small-town girl who is finally making it on her own, Carlota, whose upper-class, controlling father won’t allow her to work and Angeles, a working mother with huge aspirations and a selfish husband who’d rather keep her at home. The show dives into women’s rights, feminism, sexuality, coming of age and so much more. If you were a fan of the badass female cast of Call the Midwife and are (im)patiently waiting for Netflix to release its latest season, check out Cable Girls. It’s in Spanish but it has subtitles (for the Spanish-impaired).

PhotoScan by Google Photos: My husband is constantly raving about everything Google does (honestly, he’s their biggest fan) so it didn’t come as a surprise to me that he wouldn’t shut up about PhotoScan, the app they released back in November. At the time, I worked inside an office and conveniently sat next to a scanner. Since then, I’ve left that job and lost access to the fancy scanner. I skeptically downloaded the app this week when I had to scan in some documents to my health insurance provider and was pleasantly surprised. The app, available for both iOS and Android, is extremely easy to use. I just took a picture of my document and the app recognized the four corners of the page. It then asked me to scan my phone over the four corners and it stitched together the five overlapped images. So as I search through old boxes and photo albums, prepare yourself for epic #ThrowbackThursday gems like this one:


And this one: 


Millennial Podcast: When I’m not binge-watching Netflix, I’m binge-listening (is that a thing?) podcasts. I recently stumbled upon the Millennial podcast and at first, I expected the worst. A podcast about “coming of age” and named after an age group that is constantly being ridiculed by older generations. I basically expected a podcast hosted by an entitled millennial with no depth to her words. Instead, I found myself traveling adulthood with Megan, its 20-something-year-old producer. She tackles current events, politics, even her parents’ separation and opens the doors to her personal life in a refreshing and lighthearted way. It almost feels like you’re talking to a friend (Megan, if you’re reading this, let’s be real friends).

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

xx

Fri(yay) Lovin’ #12

Good morning weekend warriors!

After a week of kayaking, tree trekking and an excessive amount of bike riding you’d think I wouldn’t have the energy to crawl out of bed, but today is a special day because it is my final day at Experience Kissimmee. *gasp* I know you’re clutching your pearls, so let’s dive in to Fri(yay) Lovin’.

New job: It has been a whirlwind two years of lessons while traveling to international trade shows, media missions, hosting international press groups, getting pulled over on an airboat in the Boston Harbor (true story) and learning how to say pineapple in Portuguese (abacaxi). I’ve made countless memories and friendships in the tourism industry and hope to continue growing these relationships even after I’ve left my current position.

I will miss the hustle and bustle at the office but I’m sure I’ll be just as busy once I step into the role of Account Executive at a media agency in South Florida. And to answer your question, no, I won’t have to relocate but yes, I’ll still be traveling quite frequently.

I’ll be able to work from home and from a client’s office down the street from my current job. Which means that I could potentially wear outfits like this one during workdays from the comfort of my own home:

Jealous?
Making this career leap made a lot of sense to me, as I was quickly on the road to nowhere, becoming “stuck” in my position at the tourism bureau and saw no opportunities in my future. I’ll finally be working on real public relations initiatives rather than waiting for projects to fall on my lap on any given day. I’m  so pumped and ready to hit the ground running next week.

Giving back: On Saturday, Halston and I will be headed to Yelp Orlando’s Yelp Help! volunteer event. We will be packaging and assembling school supplies for A Gift For Teaching (AGFT).

AGFT was founded to provide resources and surplus materials at no cost to teachers for their students in need. On average, most teachers spend $500 to $1,000 in school supplies per school year. I believe it. My mom is a high school teacher and back to school shopping wasn’t a yearly event focused on just my sister and I while growing up. In the past, we’ve volunteered as a family at the Hope Now International Back-To-School Bash and handed out backpacks and school supplies to over 10,000 children so volunteer work that deals with education is near and dear to my heart.

I’ve been wanting to find ways to give back to the community so this is a step in the right direction. I do want to get involved with organizations that seek to improve vision. My vision is pretty bad once I take my contacts and glasses off (I’m nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other!), so I can’t imagine what a pain it must be to lead a life without the appropriate eye care. But that’s just a matter of research. I’m sure I’ll find a great organization soon enough.

Facebook fact check: This week Facebook began to roll out a new feature which will visibly flag fake news stories that have been disputed by fact-checkers.  To me, that only means that family members (you know who you are) and some people I have kept on Facebook purely for entertainment purposes will finally have to think twice before sharing articles from garbage right-wing blogs like The Conservative Post, ILoveMyFreedom.org, TrueTrumpers.com, King 5, BizPacReview.com and more.

The tech giant announced their plan to crack down on fake news sites following claims that the ability to share fake news from questionable sources contributed to the presidential election results. Facebook partnered with Snopes, the Associated Press, Politifact and FactCheck.org to combat fake news.

As you can tell, Fox and Breitbart are not participating, so please help me stop making fun of you each time you share an article from one of these websites. I am begging you. Edit: If you’re a Trump supporter, by all means share news about him, I don’t hate you – just don’t do it from questionable sources.

New season of Frankie & Grace: I never thought I’d be so excited to watch something starring Jane Fonda (not that I have anything against her, she’s just never caught my attention) but here I am, three seasons deep into the Netflix original comedy Frankie & Grace.

In the first two seasons, we watch Fonda and Lily Tomlin’s character evolve from rivals and casual acquaintances to close friends after learning that their respective husbands (played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) have fallen for one another. The two women learn to cope and navigate through life together as the two men plan how to inform the family, plan a wedding and start a new life.

Guys, this show is so good. Please join me in binge-watching the new season this weekend. Plus, now Netflix has that whole “skip recap/intro” feature!

What are your plans? 

xx

Fri(yay) Lovin’ #8

Howdy, y’all! 


This morning I’m coming to you live from Cowboy Christmas and the National Finals Rodeo at the Las Vegas Convention Center and I might be the only person in attendance who does not own a pair of cowboy boots. I hope my Banana Republic fringe boots don’t give me away this weekend.

I can’t wait to share more about this trip with you, but for now, I’m leaving you with Fri(yay) Lovin‘. 

Rifle Paper Co. brought back their beautiful planner collection this year, but instead of having the 17-month spiral planner with two design options, they now have the classic 17-month spiral planner with four designs, the large 17-month planner with two designs and the small 12-month book cloth hardcover agenda.

The planner I bought for the 2016 calendar year.
The planners have dividers for different sections including important dates, notes, a monthly calendar, the actual months divided into weeks with tons of writing space, contacts and a pocket folder.

Ready for 2017.
If you’re unfamiliar with Rifle Paper Co.’s little Hannibal Square – Winter Park shop, read up on it here. I’m obsessed with their greeting cards, notebooks, planners (obvs!) and phone cases!

Finally, Netflix gave in to our demands–to be able to download movies and watch them on the go on iOS and Andoid phones and tablets at no extra cost (for now)! I have a feeling that once they see how popular this new feature is they’ll have a change of heart and increase the monthly fee, but for now, we celebrate!


Everything is not available for download yet, but they do have a good amount of movies and television shows on the list. I downloaded Ocho Apellidos Catalanes (the sequel to Ocho Apellidos Vascos) to watch during my Southwest flight to LV (since they don’t have in-flight entertainment centers like JetBlue) and it only took a couple of minutes.


In order to download more than one movie or show, you’ll need to have space available on your phone. I don’t, so I can only download one at a time.


And last but not least, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child‘s (yes, again) two-part play is making the leap from London to Broadway, expected to open in 2018!

Currently, a few theaters in New York have been vying to lure the show to their venues because it has been so popular across the pond.

I’ve grown up in the Harry Potter universe, reading the books as a child and now the play into adulthood so the play coming stateside means so much to me, not to mention that it would be much more financially attainable than traveling all the way to London (although it is somewhere where I would love to visit–once I can afford thousands of dollars in flights). After ready the play, I’m really excited to see how they portray the spells and traveling with the Time Turner Necklace. I’m sure I’ll be blown away and I can’t wait!

Well, I’m off to don my sweet Wrangler National Finals Rodeo western shirt (don’t worry, I’ll be sharing pictures soon for your viewing and laughing pleasure) and talk to people for three days straight with a sore throat. Yay, me!

Anything fun that I’m missing this weekend? 

xx