World Autism Awareness Day

Quite a few someones actually….

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day, but what we need more than anything is acceptance. When telling people what I do and the population I work with, I am often greeted with sympathetic expressions, generally paired with an ignorant statement, such as “Oh those poor children. They can barely do anything.” I’m not calling out friends, family and acquaintances as being ignorant, just not informed about these amazing children and all they are capable of doing. And I see it all the time. Ultimately, it is not their fault.

Unfortunately, what is being presented to people via the media is to blame. Our culture is inundated by propaganda stating that children have been kidnapped by autism or robbed of their lives. It makes it seem like these children are lost, never to be found. This cannot be farther from the truth. Every single day I am blown away by all the children I work with, and their abilities to grow and learn. It may not be in the traditional way their peers do, but they are more than capable of achieving goals just as their peers.

This is not a death sentence, and I think that is what I would like people to understand more than anything on a day like today. These are very special children that deserve love, acceptance and opportunity. We are the ones robbing them of that, not autism.

If you are not familiar with autism, educate yourself here.

One Day in Orlando

Some may call us crazy, but we fell in love with a vintage desk at 1618 Something Different last weekend while at MegaCon in Orlando. This is something that we are severely lacking in Miami, so I definitely wanted to experience it since I’d much rather have something special and unique in our home than what everyone picks up at Crate & Barrel, IKEA or West Elm. We hear that we have similar (?) antique shopping here in South Florida, but I have yet to see or believe it. If you know of such places, please leave me some suggestions in the comments!

Either way, we decided to make it a one-day adventure. We’d wake up early, drive up, pick up our desk and then spend the rest of the day exploring as much as possible before starting our trek back home. A really amazing bartender we met at The Imperial in Washburn Imports during our last visit gave us a list of must-do’s, so we pulled it out and started choosing. We ultimately selected East End Market, and I am SO glad we did.

East End Market reminded me of something you would find on the west coast – think the Ferry Building in San Francisco – only bite-sized. A bunch of quality, locally sourced products all in one adorable little space. Fresh herbs could be found out front with picnic benches sprawled for customers to enjoy the beautiful Florida sunshine. A number one highlight for me was my completely gluten-free & vegan lunch from Skyebird. I had this great taco salad (with mushrooms as a meat substitute) and delicious tropical kale juice in an adorable mason jar.

For people with food allergies like myself, knowing that you can eat safely (and deliciously) means so, so much. The fact that Miami is so far behind the game makes me very upset, and has literally left me feeling like I cannot go out to enjoy a meal with my husband or friends. Take note, Miami. You have a very long way to go. Again, if you have any suggestions for great places that I may have missed here in the Magic City, please let me know!

Even though I only featured one of the shops, check out all the rest of East End Market’s merchants here.
I can’t wait to visit again the next time I am in Otown!

Creative 5K’s Coming to Town

Although I’m not one of those girls that gets excited about going to the gym or working out (can’t I just stay in bed sipping on a mimosa?), I love the slew of creative 5K’s that are popping up all over the place lately! I think it’s not only a great way to get active, but also a unique way to spend time with friends and do something a little different. Although “different” may be easy to find elsewhere, it is definitely lacking in Miami so I am very glad to see some of these quirky races coming to our neck of the woods.

Here are just a few that are coming our way;

1. 5K Foam Fest || 2. Color Me Rad 5K || 3. Pretty Muddy || 4. Dirty Girl Mud Race

Would you participate in a fun 5K?
I think I’m going to attempt the Color Me Rad race in February! Any takers?