Gorgeous Family of Six in Winter Garden

Gorgeous Family of Six in Winter Garden

I absolutely love big families because the joy and love just multiplies exponentially. With four young children, I’m sure it can feel busy, or even a little wild. However, as you can see in these photos, the comfort in knowing you have the love and support of each other makes it all worth it.

I know that this mom was hoping for genuine smiles during this session… These kids delivered!

are you interested in booking a session?
Email me at theartofadventures@gmail.com for more information.

Family Session in Windermere: Dinos Included!

Family Session in Windermere: Dinos Included!

Family Session in Windermere Florida

When you meet two young men in a family sessions, it’s pretty likely that there will be playing, dinosaurs and sticks included and these guys didn’t disappoint!

Family Session in Windermere Florida

Family Session in Windermere Florida

\

What I didn’t expect was for these two guys to start planning their own shots by the end of the session and having a blast doing it!

Family Session in Windermere Florida \Family Session in Windermere Florida

Family Session in Windermere Florida

This session was a family session done in the morning in Windermere, Florida. Mom said they were going for breakfast after. This seemed like a really ideal morning for this family – we had fun playing and exploring at this park and then they enjoyed a family meal after. Perfect!

Family Session in Windermere Florida
Family Session in Windermere Florida

Family Session in Windermere Florida

Are you interested in booking a session with me? Please email me at theartofadventures@gmail.com! Thank you!

Family Session on Their Farm

Family Session on Their Farm

When this family contacted me about a family session, they asked if I would be open to coming to their farm. My immediate answer was yes and from now on whenever anyone asks me if I can come to their farm, it will always be yes!

Farms are just the perfect place for photos. And this family’s farm with their sweet animals and beautiful evening light was the PERFECT spot to capture this family just as they are.

Family on their central florida farm

Here are a few with their beloved animals.  They have pigs, goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks and more! I loved seeing how responsible these two guys were with the animals and how loving the animals were.  I’d imagine getting goat kisses is absolutely as sweet as it looks. And some of these animals were actually posing! They must love the camera!

boy with goat on central florida farm

boys with goat on central florida farm

boy with chicken on farm

boy with chicken on farm

parents with goat on central florida farm

One of the best parts about this session being on this family’s large farm was the variety of places we could take photos.  We also got the opportunity to just let everyone play while I captured their normal family life.

I even caught a few snuggles on one of their quilts.

A few photos by the pond on their property rounded out this perfect session!

Family on their central florida farm

Who else is ready to buy a farm in Central Florida after seeing these gorgeous photos of this beautiful family on their farm?! I know I’m tempted!

If you’re interested in booking a photography session with me in Central Florida, please email me at theartofadventures@gmail.com.  Thank you!

30 Minutes in October: My Location Scouting Buddy

30 Minutes in October: My Location Scouting Buddy

It doesn’t get any more real than this. This is an accurate portrayal of our truest every day life. A good amount of our time is spent at Magic Kingdom meeting princesses and eating Mickey snacks, that’s true too.

But this is what working mom life of a toddler looks like.

This cutie patootie will only wear a few dresses right now. And they’re all princess dresses. Her most said words are twirl, shoes and bow. So she’s dressed her part in these photos.

Today, my work led me to checking out a new location. October and November are to a photographer what March and April are to an accountant. It’s busy season! And we are feeling it. I made a commitment to document 30 minutes of our ordinary life each month along side some other wonderful photographers. This month I didn’t get to it until the last minute and that’s another part that just makes this even more real for us.

When people book with me, they can expect me to go above and beyond to make sure they have a good session where they have both a good experience and love their photos. I help with ideas for everything – location, outfits, announcements and more – to help make the session perfect.

So here we are. My cutie patootie running around in her mismatched Disney Princess outfit, helping me location scout. And my husband in the background making sure she didn’t run into water and trying to grab her attention, even if for a few seconds.

toddler girl on bridge

My Cutie

Toddler girl running on bridge

Running and Playing

Running

Like a Princess

Windermere FL Photography Location

Beautiful Skies and Reflection of Trees

Windermere FL Photography Location

Sunsets Make for Perfect Light

Windermere FL Photography Location

And I’m Always Chasing the Light!

Windermere FL Photography Location

She Says, “Catch Me if You Can!”

Windermere FL Photography Location

Really Loving Being Mommy’s Model

Windermere FL Photography Location

Mostly Because Daddy’s Being Silly!

Windermere FL Photography Location

These Curls – Wild Like Her

Windermere FL Photography Location

We Found Lots of Greenery

Windermere FL Photography Location

And Some Classic Spanish Moss

Windermere FL Photography Location

And Even the Smallest Amount of Florida Fall Colors Count, Right? Happy Fall, Y’all!

The woman who asked me about this location was looking for authentic Florida with greenery, palm trees and some water. She loves the bridge and the beauty of the location. I agree with her!

What do you think? Do you love this location too? Let me know in the comments.

This is a circle blog, so please feel free to join me in checking out the other wonderful photographer’s in this group starting with Janet from Janet Crouch Photography and her amazing blog this month.

If you’re interested in booking a photography session here at this Windermere location or another Central Florida location, please email me at theartofadventures@gmail.com.

Magical Fairy Sessions

Magical Fairy Sessions

I am so excited to share with you a few photos from each of the Fairy Sessions. These sessions were to raise money for an amazingly magical organization, Give Kids the World. To learn more about Give Kids the World Village, visit my post here. Or to make a donation that goes directly to helping families with critically children have a fun week long magical vacation, go here. Even a small donation helps and goes directly to helping bring magic to families when they need it most.

Thank you to the families who helped me contribute to spreading the magic. Our team is currently at over $800 in donations!  So much magic!

Here is a little girl who was just precious playing in these fairy fields.

Little Child playing with magic fairy

Little Child playing with magic fairy

Little Child playing with magic fairy

This brother and sister also had a lot of fun trying to find fairies.  Can you believe how many they found?

Little Child playing with magic fairy

Little Child playing with magic fairy

Little Child playing with magic fairy

This little girl enjoyed running around exploring the fairy forest and playing hide and seek with the fairies.

Little Child playing with magic fairy

Little Child playing with magic fairy

Little Child playing with magic fairy

This little girl celebrated her first birthday by searching for fairies in the fields and flowers.  Big brother helped her find some of the magical little fairies too!

Little Child playing with magic fairy

Little Child playing with magic fairy

Little Child playing with magic fairy

Little Child playing with magic fairy

Thank you again to everyone who booked a Magical Fairy Session to help me give to Give Kids the World Village.  Also, thank you to my friend Mia who helped me coordinate these sessions!

If you’re interested in booking a photo session with me, please email theartofadventures@gmail.com.

Give Kids the World Village

Give Kids the World Village

Give Kids the World Village offers an immersive week long all-expenses-paid family vacation for families with a child who has a critical illness.  If I had a wish, I would wish away any illness and discomfort these children and their families experience. The next best thing is the memory of a lifetime provided by Give Kids the World.

As a foster parent, I lived the medical mom life. I spent a lot of time in children’s hospitals and doctors’ offices. It can be extremely difficult and exhausting. It can be a little lonely too, even with good support. One thing I found effective for myself was to plan fun things to do as a family and take a lot of photos. I displayed these photos on our TV through a screen saver as a reminder that our entire life wasn’t just medical appointments. And another helpful thing for me was to find other families in similar positions who could relate to us. So I really see the value in an experience like this where they find support and receive amazing memories. For some families, this could possibly their last family vacation together. Can you imagine the value in the memories and photos? Priceless.

Knowing that Give Kids the World Village offers this priceless gift to families, I wanted to know more. So recently I took a tour of their village in Kissimmee so that I could bring you some more information about all of the magic they provide. Thank you to Jessica for showing me around the 84 acre property and telling me all about the amazing things they do for children and their families.

Join me in this short photo tour of their property and learn a little more about the joy and magic provided by Give Kids the World Village.

The behind the scenes work begins months before a child ever arrives in Florida. Any critically child who makes a wish for a trip to Disney or Orlando theme parks through any wish granting organization like Make-a-Wish is directed to Give Kids the World.

Founded in 1986, Give Kids the World aims to quickly and efficiently bring critically children’s wishes and dreams to life. The usual process takes just a few months to coordinate but can be coordinated in as little as one day if needed. Every family receives donated theme park tickets to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World and more, a stay in an accessible villa, all transportation, meals and a lot of magic!

Each family is welcomed directly in their villa so they can learn about all of their amazing offerings. Each villa includes a kitchen, washer and dryer and several bedrooms which can accommodate even larger families.

Give Kids the World Villa

Give Kids the World Villa Where Families Stay

Then families can choose whether to explore the theme parks or explore the property.  There are volunteers who can help coordinate the plans as much or as little as a family desires.

While in Kids in the World Village families feel welcomed immediately.  Flags from each of the countries families are visiting from hang to say, “hello and welcome!”

amberville at give kids the world

Amberville Play Area and Welcome Flags

The movie theater on the property plays movies that are currently in the theaters and includes delicious snacks!

Give Kids the World Village Movie Theater

Movie Theater

Families can play miniature golf in Marc’s Dino Putt which has a unique story. Marc’s wishes were to be a dinosaur, get a million dollars and live forever. When Marc met a Dinosaur at Universal, everyone fell in love with him.  Later when he passed away, Universal spent a million dollars building Marc’s Dino Putt making all of his wishes come true! And bringing magic to all the families who visited Give Kids the World Village after him.

Marc's Dino Putt

Marc’s Dino Putt

Families can also enjoy many other activities such as bowling, video games, skee-ball, arcade games and more throughout Amberville.

Dillons Bowling

Dillon’s Den Bowling Alley

Send a Letter to God

Send a Letter to God in Tyler’s Mailbox

Train Set

Train Set

There are several amusement rides right on the property which families can ride as many times as they wish, with no wait! All are fully accessible so that even people in wheelchairs can ride.

Kellys Sunny Swing

Kelly’s Sunny Swing

Kellys Sunny Swing

A Fully Accessible Swing Ride

ride

Fully Accessible Ride

A train will even take families around the property!

train ride

Train Ride Around the Property

Mayor Clayton is a bunny, the Give Kids the World mascot.  Mayor and Mrs. Clayton live in this little house and magically grow bigger to come out and meet the kids.  They can play in their house and garden too!

Claytons House

Mayor Clayton’s House

Children and their families can get a makeover or a glitter tattoo in the Rocking Spa.  Anything the child gets, any member of the family can get so siblings get the same magical experiences.  If one child gets a toy, all children get toys! If one child gets a makeover, they can all get one!

Rockin Spa

Rockin Spa

All meals at Give Kids the World Village are provided.  They also have ice cream available all the time.  Children who are critically ill hear “no” a lot and their time at Give Kids the World Village is a time to relax, enjoy and hear “yes!” I know the importance of this too.  When we had to say goodbye to the children we were foster parents for, I never regretted saying yes and one yes I often said was, “Yes, you can have ice cream for breakfast.”  So I absolutely love and support Give Kids the World for saying yes to ice cream all day!

Give Kids the World Village

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Here!

Give Kids the World Village Scoops Starlight

Starlite Scoops Provides Ice Cream All Day

Year round, Give Kids the World celebrates holidays in a week rotation.  So no matter when a family arrives, they’ll celebrate the whole year’s holidays.  They will celebrate things like Halloween and Christmas.  On the night we went, they were celebrating Halloween.  They could make masks and trick-or-treat.  On the Christmas celebration day, they have a Winter Wonderland including gifts and toys!

Give Kids the World Village

The Hoppening Place

Each Wish Child receives a star.  This is the only thing that only they receive.  They can decorate it and put their name on it.  Then they give it to a fairy who magically places it on the ceiling.  Seeing all of the stars is truly humbling.  Look at all of the magic spread over all of the years.

Wish Stars

Wish Stars

Wish Stars

Wish Stars

Wish Stars

Wish Stars in the New Tower

Even the new tower is already full of stars! They will be making more room for more stars, based on the support of donations like yours.

What do you think? With only an 8% administrative rate and mostly run by volunteers and ALL OF THE MAGIC provided to families, this is a charity that I can get behind supporting 100%.  I hope you’ll join me in supporting them.

So how can you support Give Kids the World Village?

  1. You can follow The Art of Adventures Photography Facebook Page to see when my next Magical Fairy Sessions will be.
  2. You can join our Challenge for Hope Team as an in person or virtual participant here.
  3. Simply donate to our team! All of the money goes directly to Give Kids the World.
  4. Volunteer! You do not need to live in Central Florida to volunteer either.  You can take some time out of your vacation and even volunteer with older children. Learn more on the Give Kids the World Village website.
Family Session at Lake Louisa State Park

Family Session at Lake Louisa State Park

 

This beautiful family chose to have their session at Lake Louisa State Park after talking about a few different locations. This is one of my personal favorite locations as well!

Lake Louisa is a Florida State Park located in Clermont, Florida. There is a few dollar entrance fee per car per day or you can get a Annual State Park Pass, which I highly recommend. There are plenty of State Parks to explore and it’s a great way to explore the natural and pure Florida life.

Please check out some of these photos of this gorgeous family of five.

 

 

Giveaway for The Venardos Circus Family 4 Pack!

Giveaway for The Venardos Circus Family 4 Pack!

Thank you to The Venardos Circus for hosting me for this event and providing the giveaway featured in this post! The photos and information in this post were provided by The Venardos Circus.

Who would love to attend a Circus performance in the Horizon West area? Our area is still newer and I’m always looking for family friendly events that are close to home. I’m very excited to share that I will going to the opening night of The Venardos Circus and you have the opportunity to go to opening night as well with this giveaway for a Family Ticket Pack.

Simply follow along our adventures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and then use the Rafflecopter to enter to win the prize: A Family 4 Pack of Tickets to attend the November 6, 2019 at 7:00 PM Venardos Circus show.

You will find plenty of information about The Venardos Circus below but some special highlights as this Circus is animal free and there is a sensory friendly show available. Keep reading for all of the important information including how to win or buy tickets for the show.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So what is The Venardos Circus? Dubbed, “The American Circus with the heart of a Broadway Show” Ringmaster Kevin Venardos brings world-class animal-free circus acts into a Broadway musical-style. With remnants of traditional circus brought into modern day feel, they have aerialists, acrobats, juggling, hand-balancing/contortion, comedy, magic, musical production and much more!

Are there options that are sensory friendly? Yes! There is a sensory-friendly version scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 14th at 7:00 p.m. Geared toward families with children who need a bit of a lighter touch when it comes to entertainment, there will be softer lights, lower volume of music  and no loud sounds or pops. Prices are also reduced a bit for this show.

Where is The Venardos Circus? They will return to Winter Garden, FL, with performances at 16045 New Independence Pkwy, Winter Garden, 34787 (corner of New Independence Pkwy and Hamlin Groves Trail) from Nov. 6-24th, 2019.

When is The Venardos Circus? Showtimes are on weeknights, Wednesday through Friday, at 7:00 p.m., Saturdays 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

When should we arrive? And how long is the show? There is an interactive pre-show party one hour before each show time with opportunities to meet the cast, snap selfies and play games. The main event lasts approximately 90 minutes, with a brief intermission.

How much are tickets? General Admission Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for youth under 12 yrs. Babes in arms are free with a paying adult (24 months and younger). Premium Reserved seating is priced from $35 to $45.

Will there be food available to purchase? Classic circus treats like popcorn, nachos, fresh-made cotton candy and natural pink lemonade and more are available.

Full details and tickets at www.Liveyourcircusdream.com.

Leave a comment below telling me what you’re most excited for about The Venardos Circus! (Hint: This is also an entry!)

Review of Plant Based Meal at Toledo in Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Review of Plant Based Meal at Toledo in Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

We are a plant based family and we decided to go check out the new plant based “seafood” options at a new restaurant, Toledo, at Walt Disney World. In this post, you’ll find out what we ate and what we thought of the atmosphere, experience and food offered at Toledo.

Toledo is a restaurant in the new Gran Destino Tower of the Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

View of the Gran Destino Tower

Gran Destino Tower

Recently, Walt Disney World started offering a significant amount of new plant based options and labeling them more clearly, as well as providing a guide for plant based eating across the resort. This means that it is now, more than ever, easier to eat a plant based diet while visiting the most magical place on Earth!

For reference, my husband used to love seafood before switching to a plant based diet. One of his favorite foods of all time was calamari. I never liked seafood and can’t stand anything “fishy” tasting. So we have a wide palette range for this review.

Atmosphere
Walking into the Gran Destino Tower lobby is an experience of its own. The lobby is absolutely stunning. There details are astounding. The pristine environment with intricate lighting and a mix of sophisticated old world with new technology couldn’t be more perfect. I highly recommend taking a walk through the lobby and around the resort. It’s simply beautiful. On the rooftop, you’ll have an amazing view. You can check out the rooftop lounge, have some drinks or just peek in for the view. You can also ask for a window table at Toledo.

Lights in Gran Destino Lobby

Unique Lighting in the Lobby

Beautiful, Intricate Lights

View from Coronado Springs Destino Tower

View from the Rooftop Lounge of Gran Destino Tower

Experience
Toledo is a Spanish tapas style restaurant focused on small dishes, many of them seafood based. The restaurant itself is very elegant and beautiful with stunning views. From the host to our waitress to our chef, every interaction was exactly the friendly experience I’ve come to know and love from Disney restaurants. The views and experience are similar to the California Grill at the Contemporary, which is another favorite for us.

View at Dinner Toledo

Sunset View at Toledo

Our Table at Toledo by the Window

Food
All of the food we ate was plant based. We chose two small plate starters, two entrees, a kid’s meal and a dessert to split. The olives, one of the entrees and dessert were all also gluten free, or gluten friendly as Disney refers to it.

Pan con Tomate (Tomato Bread). This was a table favorite. My daughter wouldn’t stop eating it. The tomato is flavorfully salty but not too salty. The bread, served separately and toasty warm, was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Crushed Tomato topping and bread

Pan con Tomate

Aceintunas (Marinated Olives). Olives are one of my favorites and this is the only plant based and gluten free appetizer. The olives are served warm and are perfectly seasoned. This is definitely a plate to share as eating this many olives by yourself would be a challenge, but maybe one you would happily accept with how tasty they are!

Olives

Aceintunas

Plant Based “Seafood.” The plant based seafood definitely appears like real seafood and has some of the same texture you’d expect out of seafood, but does not have the “fishy” flavor. It tastes fresh and flavorful like well seasoned and well prepared vegetables presented in a beautiful and unique way. The platter included mushroom “scallops”, fried mushroom “calamari,” jackfruit and heart of palm “crab cake,” mushroom “ceviche,” citrus-infused couscous and a splash of sauce. This was my husband’s dish and he said the crab cake was his favorite part but he really enjoyed the entire dish.

Plant Based Seafood Plate

Plant Based “Seafood,” Gluten Free. This was very similar to above but some of the items were substituted for gluten free options. This dish included a few more traditional-looking vegetables but they were still very fresh and flavorful. The platter included mushroom “scallops”, mushroom “ceviche,” cauliflower, potatoes, carrots and a splash of sauce. Although the vegetables tasted great on their own, I think I would ask for more sauce in the future as sauce makes a dish for me.

Plant Based Seafood Plate Gluten Free

Kid’s Meal. They offer a kid’s hummus option. They added a few vegetables, cauliflower and potatoes, based on her favorites. We asked for rice but the rice contains meat. This simple option was fine for us as our daughter tends to like simple but really the pan con tomato was her favorite part of the meal.

Kid’s Meal

Chocolate Avocado Mousse. I was hesitant to order this, which has a little back story. When I was pregnant, my husband tried to make me avocado brownies from Pinterest that “you’ll never know there’s avocado.” It was one of the worst Pinterest fails and I KNEW there was avocado and it was horrible! So this was my first try at anything avocado dessert since then. And I can tell you with this one, I actually didn’t know! It was very smooth and creamy and chocolatey tasting. There was also some fruit and a few small wafers that taste kind of like meringue cookies. I really enjoyed this dessert although I would have been happy to have a larger portion of chocolate mousse on it.

Acocado Mousse Dessert with a view of Disney property

Avocado Mousse Dessert

Food Allergies
I do have several food sensitivities and avoid gluten for medical reasons, so I did request to speak to a chef. The Chef was polite, helpful and did a great job helping me find something safe for me to eat. I wish I could order right off of a menu easily (but I can only do this at fully vegan restaurants who also clearly mark gluten free items), so when a chef is warm and makes me feel good about the experience, I really appreciate it. All of the food also arrived with the “allergy” marker on it. Our waitress was great about ensuring my food was safe and that I was happy with it as well. The chefs and staff at Disney restaurants almost always are like this, but we definitely had a good food allergy experience at Toledo.

What do you think? Would you like to go to Toledo? Would you try the plant based seafood dish? Let me know in the comments here! 

For more reviews of vegan, plant based, gluten free food at Disney, be sure to be following me on Instagram and Facebook!

 

 

30 Minutes in September: Getting a Library Card

30 Minutes in September: Getting a Library Card

I have made the commitment to joining a set of photographers to show you a glimpse of our ordinary, daily life through my lens. This month I’m sharing thirty minutes of our time in the library, where my daughter got her first library card.

This library is located in Windermere, near Orlando, Florida. The Orange County Public Library System is really wonderful. They have programs that range from infant and toddler story time to being able to take classes and rent studio learning spaces for adults and everything in between.

When I was a child, my mom and I spent a lot of time at the library together. I have fond memories of the summer reading programs at our local library. I would get lost for hours reading books and loved the planned activities they held. I hope that my daughter will also develop a great love for reading and that the local library will be a part of that love.

Read all the way to the end for some technical information on my photography and also for a link to the next blog in this photography circle blog.

So off to the Windermere Library we went…

Windermere Library Entrance

Windermere Library

Windermere Library Statue

Windermere Library Statue

Windermere Library

To get your library card…

Windermere Library Getting a Card

Step 1. Go up to the counter and ask for a library card, please! Make sure you (or Mom and Dad) have your ID like driver’s license. If you’re little, you just use Mom or Dad’s.


Windermere Library

2. Sign your new card!


Windermere Library

3. Smile for your picture (or don’t haha)!!


Windermere Library

Now you have your card and you also get your sticker!

Windermere Library

Windermere Library

Now it’s time to explore some books!

Windermere Library

Windermere Library

You can even read quietly with a friend or family member.

Windermere Library

Windermere Library

Windermere Library

You can read quietly by yourself.


Windermere Library

You can even be silly as long as you’re still pretty quiet!


Windermere Library

There are so many books to explore!

Windermere Library

Windermere Library

They even have computers!


Windermere Library

And movies!


Windermere Library

You can even borrow some books and take them home with you as long as you take good care of them and bring them back on time!


Windermere Library

Just pick them out.


Windermere Library

Carry them to the front of the library.

Windermere Library

Windermere Library

Hand them to the librarian and ask to borrow them.


Windermere Library

Don’t forget to give the librarian your library card!

Windermere Library

Windermere Library

Now you have your library card so you can borrow books and have access to many resources through your local library!


Windermere Library

I love my local library, do you?!

For those of you interested in some of the technical information on my shooting process through this, here is some more information. Usually I use my Canon camera for my 30 minutes blogs, but this time I used my Sony A7II with the Sony 50 mm 1.8 lens. What do you think? I think it’s pretty comparable quality-wise! I still prefer my Canon for my professional sessions but I do love the weight and ease of this camera for a situation like this. I have this camera for blogging as it can be a lot easier to take places like theme parks, gardens or libraries. I kept my f-stop at f/2.0 most of the time and adjusted my ISO and shutter speed based on lighting as we were both inside and out so the lighting changed several times. For editing, I used Lightroom and based my editing on a preset with some tweaks to get the lighting and coloring right. I try to keep my tones more warm but I also like true bright whites and creamy skin which can be hard to achieve especially in the lighting and coloring of a library. I am happy with the colors of this session though! My favorites are the ones where the colors of the books really make the phots really vibrant and lively!

This is a circle blog, so please feel free to join me in checking out the other amazing photographer’s in this group starting with Jennifer Blake from Blueberry Hill Images and her blog on fall sunsets this month. 

If you’re interested in booking a unique session with me, please email theartofadventures@gmail.com.