Tag Archives: photography

Show Your Local Love at Canvs on June 5th

Since we were founded in 2009, Central Florida Top 5 has been all about celebrating the amazing things happening here in our region.

We’ve cheered on SunRail and the Dr. Phillips Center. We’ve covered the opening of the Orlando Eye and the arrival of cool new businesses like Gods and Monsters. We’ve walked a mile in her shoes and learned how sharing bikes can get us all farther.

Now, coming up on June 5th, from 3pm to 9pm, all citizens of Orlando are invited to a community celebration of everything we love about The City Beautiful. Macbeth Photography is holding a very special edition of their monthly “First Friday” photography event series at Canvs in the Church Street Exchange building.

Working with artist Nathan Selikoff of Local Notebooks, the Macbeth team researched all of the official neighborhoods of downtown Orlando and created a hand-painted map that showcases each neighborhood and the community as a whole. Here’s how it looks:

Central Florida events First Friday Fotos Local Love

For $20, you get a 5-10 minute photoshoot in front of this beautiful map. One of the images will be lightly retouched and made available via Facebook; all the others will be available for download later. Food and drink vendors will be present, but have yet to be announced.

The proceeds from the Local Love event will go to benefit the work of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness (CFCH). Wondering who they are? You might recognize this video as their work:

Possibly better known as the organization behind the Rethink Homelessness campaign on Facebook, the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness is ultimately responsible for conducting the research and coordinating the implementation of community-wide solutions to the homelessness crisis. Their leadership has helped to put Orlando on the path to making homelessness brief, one-time, and rare.

In addition to donating the event’s proceeds to the Commission, attendees of the Local Love event will be encouraged to write on signs inspired by the Cardboard Stories video embedded above. You can either share something you love about Orlando, or hold up a pre-made sign in support of Orlando’s journey to ending homelessness.

Central Florida Local Love Mayor Dyer Kay Rawlins Phil Rawlins Bess Auer

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando City Soccer leaders Phil and Kay Rawlins, FLBlogCon founder Bess Auer, and other community members are already standing up to show their support. (We did too!)

What makes you want to show your local love for Orlando and Central Florida? RSVP on Facebook today!

Top 5 Reasons It’s Great To Be A Mom

Here are some wonderful reflections from one of our own favorite Central Florida moms, Kelly Green! Have some of your own? Share them with us in the comments below!

Dolphin Calf and Mom, Photo from Discovery Cove

Dolphin Calf and Mom. Photo Credit: Discovery Cove

Having been told I had a less than 30 percent chance of ever even having a child, I have to say that I feel wonderfully blessed to have my son who is 8. I get to make and share memories with a little miracle, and BOY (pun intended) is it fun!

Here are my Top 5 Reasons why I think it’s great to be a mom:

1)   The “little” things add up.
There’s a saying that you should “enjoy the little things in life, for some day you will look back and see that they were the BIG things.” Taking a walk, doing chores together, giggling at some passage we just read in a book… Those are the moments that, at the end of the day, are the ones we look back on with joy.

My favorite one from this week: Taking a “working lunch” with my son. We homeschool, so when we can, we take our lessons on the road. Sack lunch, and a Boxcar Children book in hand, we set out for our own lunch-and-learn.  Small thing. Big payoff.

2) The “hard” things can be survived.
In our daily affirmations we say “Obstacles are just opportunities in hiding.” I wish I could say I’m always a great example of what moms “should” do in hard times, but I’m not. Sometimes (most times?) I face the struggle head-on. Once in a while, though, I cry and pout and do all those things I encourage my child NOT to do. Guess what, though?! Even in my failures, I can express what I did do right, and what went oh so wrong. A few women who are experiencing a dying sex life managed to keep it alive and considered vaginoplasty. So, what is vaginoplasty? That is a topic of its own and needs its own discussion. Misery may not love company, but she does like to know that others aren’t perfect either. Being able to march through the fires together are treasured moments where that heat and pressure hopefully make diamonds.

3) The teachable moments help us grow together.
There’s a reason they use a light bulb to convey an idea lighting up a mind. Watching a child light up inside because of a lesson learned has got to be one of the biggest thrills ever. Whether it’s an educational milestone, or when they understand some social cue they had previously not grasped, it’s beautiful to watch unfold.

My little guy is still a work in progress (as are we all), but because we take advantage of those teachable moments he’s growing daily. No, he does not have a handle on sarcasm (and wields in inappropriately at times). Yes, he apologizes when he makes mistakes. Maybe—it’s the best thing ever to guide them as they grow, so moments become habits, and habits become life-long patterns.

4) Memories stay.
Last week was my friend Shannon’s son’s birthday. And when she began to explain to me how you used to look for fun things to do with your friends, the same way your son will soon to start developing those habits, it completely freaked me out. As much as I don’t like to think of how quickly my little guy will become an adult and go out in the world, he will before I can even imagine. Our early morning snuggles, moments prepping dinner together, and birthday party candle blow-outs will be distant memories soon…too soon. Before I know it he’ll be driving a car not only in the mall parking lot to practice parking, but off to his own house, to his own family.

No matter how closely I feel I hold on to the moments we share, they slip by like water through our hands. I have our memories, though, and I guard them (and if you know me at all, I PHOTOGRAPH them). Lord willing I’ll always have those times filed away in my heart, to recall when he’s not by my side.

5) The funny things keep us humble.
I have a recording on my phone of my son laughing. The situation that birthed those laughs involved my husband, my son, and loud body sounds if memory serves. I play that laugh track sometimes when I need a quick “pick-me-up.” What’s really funny have been the time those blush-inducing things happen when we are out in public. How many shades of red does my face get? Not sure. But… learning to laugh with others and at yourself keeps you healthy, kid and mom.

One of my mottos is “Laugh first, and laugh loudest.” Good plan, don’t you think? And with kids… how can you not?!

Happy Mother’s Day to moms…

… by birth

…by choice

…and by association. You’re all very special!

Upcoming in Mount Dora: 2nd Friday Art Stroll

We’re looking forward to attending the 2nd Friday Art Stroll in downtown Mount Dora this Friday night, May 8, 2015. The Mount Dora Center for the Arts produces the monthly event, and this Friday it will premiere a new juried still life exhibit entitled Shape and Shadow. Thirty-one artists from around the country were chosen to be showcased, which features works done in oil, acrylic, pastel, and photography.

The 2nd Friday Art Stroll is a monthly event held on the second Friday of each month (hence the name!) from 6 to 8 p.m., and features many participating art galleries and working studios throughout downtown Mount Dora.  Be sure and drop by the Mount Dora Center for the Arts Gallery, 138 East Fifth Avenue, Mount Dora, Florida 32757, for the opening of the Shape and Shadow exhibit, featuring an artists’ reception.  From what we’ve seen so far, the exhibit promises to be stunning.

Pardo_Between Heaven and Earth_24x18x1

While you’re strolling through downtown Friday night enjoying the art, be sure and stop by the courtyard of the Sunset Building, at 301 E. Baker Street, where local artists will be featuring unique gifts for Mother’s Day, including art, jewelry, and clothing.

Mount Dora Art Stroll Map


2nd Friday Schedule for 2015

  • June 12th: Art Stroll 6pm – 8pm
  • July 10th: Art Stroll 6pm – 8pm
  •  August 14th: Art Stroll 6pm – 8pm
  • September 11th: Art Stroll 6pm – 8pm
  • October 9th: Art Stroll 6pm – 8pm
  • November 13th:Art Stroll 6pm – 8pm
    (November is a Holiday Arts and Crafts event!)
  • December 11th: Art Stroll 6pm – 8pm
    (December Holiday Arts and Crafts happens again!)

More information on this and other upcoming events can be found at mountdoracenterforthearts.org and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MountDoraCenter4theArts.

Hope to see you there!