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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

48 hr in Orlando

 


The City Beautiful
    Otown, The City Beautiful, The city where Mickey Mouse lives, whatever name you want to identify Orlando as is a place packed with exciting things to do and explore. There is way more to Orlando than just your typical theme parks. When speaking to tourists, they often think that as locals, all we do is go to the parks, and they may be true for some, but there is so much more to Orlando. This post offers more than your Disney World, Seaworld, and Universal Studios activities. In this post, I compiled the top things I would do in Orlando in a 48-hour span (Saturday-Sunday). 

    This list is perfect for locals looking to try new things and tourists looking to explore the real Orlando. You know I'm all about aesthetics and taking bomb Instagram photos, so be sure to bring cute outfits along and to charge up your camera because, most of all, these places have great photo locations. This list is made up of a schedule format on how I would schedule out my day in Otown, but these can be interchanged based on your interests!
        9am   The first place you should go on a Saturday is the Winter Park, Farmers Market.  Before Covid, it was set up at a vintage train depot off of S New York Ave. Now it's set up in a field only up the block. The market offers everything from food trucks, to plants/flowers, to farmers' produce. This is a great start to the morning, you can get some cute photos in, bum around outside, and you'll surely see lots and LOTS of dogs.

    

        10am After strolling around the Winter Park Farmers Market and grabbing a bite to eat, it's time to walk across the way to Park Ave. Here you will find many great places to take cute Instagram photos, cute cafes, and amazing restaurants. If you walk down to the South end of Park Ave, you have Rollins College, there's a Starbucks, and a rose garden on that end. If you walk down the North end of Park Ave, you have Casa Feliz Historic House Museum (A pretty wedding venue), beautiful places for photos, and a golf course.

*Kilwins is along Park Ave as a reference point, but also... they have the best ice cream, just saying!


        11am-1pm Once all the Instagram photos have been taken, it's time to go to one of my favorite places, East End Market. This market is in Orlando's cute area, where you'll find cute coffee shops, cafes, and a trendier vibe. East End Market, however, has so many cool vendors in such close proximity. They have Lineage Coffee which is amazing, Skybryd has the best wraps and juices, and YOU HAVE TO TRY Gideons Cookies... for $5, you get half a pound of cookie awesomeness! DOMU is so delicious if you're into Japanese ramen. This is a great lunch choice if you haven't eaten up until this point! Make sure to put your name first when you get there because the wait can be long at times, but totally worth the wait! 

    *Also, across the street is Kelly's Homemade Ice Cream, and I'm telling you right now it is the best place for dessert! My friends and I only ever go there because it is so delicious.



      
        1pm-3pm After you had an amazing time at East End Market and Kelly's Ice Cream, it is time to explore one of Orlando's prettiest parks, Leu Gardens. This is down the street from East End Market, and the park itself is huge. It's about 50 acres, to be exact, and it's a botanic garden with a butterfly garden and a herb garden. Lots of weddings take place here, and you'll catch on quickly as to why after stepping on the grounds. You can spend hours roaming the trails, and there is even a big rose garden and fountain in the middle. For the love of God, you must BRING A CAMERA and pose in the rose garden; it is so stunning. Costs about $5-$10 a person but, it's totally worth it!



        3pm-6pm After you're relaxed touring Leu Gardens, it's time to have some fun! This next place is a little touristy, but there is so much to do there. ICON Park off of International Drive has The Orlando Eye (400 ft tall observation wheel), Sealife Aquarium (I've been, and it's so cool), Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and over 40 amazing restaurants, bars, and shops. There is no admission to go to ICON Park; however, all the activities are a la carte but sometimes on Groupon, they offer group deals on the attractions. 

    After exploring the main attractions, I would say go grab a drink at The Sugar Factory for a cool cocktail. It's definitely worth the experience and the Instagram photos here. Restaurants I recommend here are Yard House, Shake Shake (Oh my god), and Uncle Julio's Mexican from Scratch.


    
        7pm-9pm Kings Dining & Entertainment, aka bowling, is a lot of fun. They play top club hits, there are TVs above each lane, and even bottle service if that is your vibe. They also have pool tables, a full bar, and a restaurant. Really great for all ages. I always have such a fun time here!


        10pm This is when the night really starts! You have to check out one of my favorite bars, Howl at the Moon! This is a lively dueling piano bar, and it's so much fun. You get to request the songs they play. They always have great drink specials, and it's always poppin'.



        11pm-Whenever If you wanna party all night long, you should definitely go to Roccos Tacos! For starters, this place has, in my opinion, some of the best Mexican food in Orlando, and don't get me started on the Guac. The restaurant basically turns into a club after the dinner rush with lively music and amazing drinks. Super fun to come here, get dressed up, and get some drinks!

          9am-11am After you survived a fun Saturday night, get ready because it is SUNDAY FUNDAY which is huge in Orlando, especially downtown. Kickstarting the day, go to the Lake Eola Farmer's Market. This market is much bigger than the Winter Park farmer's market. Here there are food trucks, fresh food stands, local artisans, honey stands, trinket stands, and everything else you could imagine at a market. After exploring the market, rent an electric scooter or bike and explore Lake Eola Park. The park is so stunning, and if you follow me on Instagram (Click the IG Icon above), you know that I'm literally always there. There are swans everywhere, the beautiful skyline, and of course, the iconic fountain.


        11am-1pm SUNDAY FUNDAY truly starts at Brunch. You have to get here at 11am sharp because this is one of the best downtown brunch places, The Stubborn Mule. Everyone dresses cute here on Sundays, there is live music, and there are BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS. Often times they just bring the bottle to the table and leave it there. The food here is "innovative" New American which basically means it's cheat meal day.


        
        1pm-4pm If you're able to function after all the mimosas, you should head over to an Orlando City Game (If in season). These games are so much fun, and the tickets are so cheap! It's not a super far walk from Stubborn Mule but, you could always rent the scooters or bikes or just call an Uber. Being in the fan zone is the best; the energy is unreal. When my friends and I go, we pay like $15 for a ticket which is crazy. Of course, you can drink during the games too!


        4pm-6pm Pop over to Ember on Central Blvd in Downtown afterward for some more Sunday Funday fun. This is like a big gay party! They play the best music, bottomless mimosas, and they have hookas. Check online sometimes, you have to claim your ticket, aka spot online, before entering. The last time my friends and I went, it was $15 for bottomless mimosas! I always look forward to Sundays at Ember.

 

        6pm-8pm Go to Hawkers Asian Street food for dinner... literally, you guys, it is so good. I'm seriously addicted to it! Hawkers is off Mill's 50, a very artsy district, so definitely walkabout before or after exploring the scene. Lots of great murals and photo locations throughout the area.


        8pm The Glass Knife is a STAPLE in Orlando for dessert. You'll thank me after you go! They have the BEST CAKE and pastries. Not only is it Instagram-worthy, but the taste is so decadent and rich. This place is also great for photos, it is adorable on the outside and inside.



        9pm-11pm Featured on Instagram once or twice, Guesthouse. One of my favorite bars in Orlando is also located in the Mills 50 district. They have great drinks, great music, and it's also attached to another bar, the Sunroom. I get L.A. off Melrose vibes from the Guesthouse. It's a charming bar.

  

        11pm-1am Tori Tori is a really cool bar to check out of Mills Ave. It's a great place to end an amazing weekend. The bar is so aesthetically pleasing inside! It has a very trendy vibe, from the music to the interesting menu. You must go take cute photos in the palm print bathroom; it is ICONIC.



    Alright you guys, that does it for today's post, 48hr in Orlando! If you liked this post please comment down below and share it on your social media. Be sure to share with anyone who is planning to come to Orlando too! Don't forget to sign up for your email to get notified every time I upload a new post!! Thank you so much for reading and there will be a new post tomorrow. - CorofCor

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

11 Savvy Ways to Spend Leftover Spring Budget



Living on a budget...

    Living on a budget is REWARDING and has its pros. One of the best results is having LEFTOVER money to spend on things that will bring us the most joy and benefits. In hopes of kicking my own spending addiction to the curb (girl, the struggle is real), I comprised a list of 11 SAVVY ways to spend that leftover cash after staying on your Spring budget. 

    I comprised this list with most things taking only $5+ to start doing. Yes... that's right, one whole five-dollar bill. Y'all, it only takes a little bit and some creativity to change things up! Instead of blowing the hard-earned leftover money that you held on to because, you know, you're a responsible queen, here are some good places to start out in your conquest of rewarding yourself.

    *Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.



    Let me start off by saying, EVERY DOLLAR SPENT TRAVELING is WORTH IT. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk... but on a serious note, traveling is the gateway to memory-making, learning about yourself, and the world around you. The awesome part about traveling is that it isn't as expensive as you may think. I bet you that there are great places within driving distance to you that wouldn't cost a plane ticket or even a hotel. If you are an explorer/let's just get on a plane and go somewhere type of person like me, though, there are great tools that I'll dive into that I use ALL the time to get the best deals.

    Although this isn't a step-by-step walkthrough on how to use Google, it's the holy grail for finding those places and gems near you that you've never heard of. You're going to be shocked by all the results that will pop up by typing, "places to road trip near me." Another free tool that is great for exploring is INSTAGRAM. Hop on the discover page and search "destination (your city here)" and see all the results that pop up. This is a tool I use to find new places to shoot photos and get new content.

"But CorofCor, I want to get on a plane" - I got you! Here are my favorite sites I use to get cheap flights to cool places: Skyscanner, Skiplagged


    Taking that extra money and starting a new avenue of income in your life is a great idea. You have to start somewhere, so why not now? When I started my Louis Vuitton Resale business, the start-up fees were nothing to set up on Facebook and Instagram. Getting the shipping items and everything else needed to start promoting costs under $50. Now, of course, the most expensive items for my business were the vintage Louis Vuitton's; however, that initial investment WILL pay off, and I've already sold my first wallet, doubling my profits.

    It's 2021, start an online business, start that business that you keep thinking about, start that business that people say you couldn't do. Lift your head up high, don't overthink it too much, and remember one of the most important steps is starting. Taking that extra money and putting it into a new business is a savvy investment.

    

    When it comes to this, always remember one question, "Do you remember 2020?". I hope that through all that 2020 had to offer us, we all learned the importance of having a stash of emergency funds to cater to the unknowns. David Ramsey, financier legend, always encourages people to have AT LEAST $1,000 in an emergency fund for unexpected dire situations. Having an emergency fund should be of the utmost importance with everything happening today, and you shouldn't sleep on this savvy move.


    This is a savvy way to spend some extra coin! A capsule collection is basically all the essentials needed to make basic outfits in your wardrobe. Last summer, I spent under $150 on Amazon for all the basics needed to create over 25+ outfits. Honestly was the best money spent at that time because I got the staples needed to create SO MANY outfits. Here are some of the links I used to get my Capsule Collection on Amazon:

    This should always be priority number one, always! There are many great platforms, such as Skillshare, that you can pay a small amount of money and learn a new skill. It's never a bad idea or never too late to learn a new skill or take on a new interest. You wake up with yourself every morning, and you take yourself to bed every night, so why not increase your knowledge to better your life? Small investments in yourself lead to big outcomes!

    I'm sure by now it is safe to say that everyone has heard of Bitcoin. Fun fact, Bitcoin's starting price was mere pennies in comparison to what it is now. There is an app I use called Coinbase that I personally use and love. Coinbase's cool thing is that you can actually invest infractions instead of paying for an entire stock. In other words, you can buy .25 of Bitcoin instead of having to purchase one whole Bitcoin for tens of thousands of dollars.
    
    Having little to no previous knowledge of cryptocurrency, Coinbase made it easy to understand and research different options. There is no minimum to invest, which is a nice perk. This could be a savvy avenue to invest in given research and good judgment.

    Redecorating for the change of seasons, changes in one's life or just a need for a change are all great reasons to redecorate. I love a good redecorating moment! A savvy way to spend some leftover money is to invest in your space and revamp the vibe. One of my ALL time favorite places to shop is definitely Target for revamping a space. For my balling on budget queens, Dollar Tree has amazing things to decorate with, all for only $1.


    You only have one body. Period. So taking some leftover money to invest in your health is honestly crucial. Whether that means investing in a gym membership, setting up an at-home workout space, or buying workout clothes that will motivate you to hit those fitness goals, that is true money that is well spent. During quarantine, I bought a jump rope and, for $9, got the best workouts in and lost 10 pounds during the madness of the stay-at-home orders. It got me in shape and made the situation way more bearable. Here is the jump rope I purchase and use regularly:

    Look, we all use them, and if you're like me, I'm constantly on mine. It is worth spending that extra money on a reliable device and can get everything you need to get done DONE. A word from the wise, aka me, always get a phone case... that's being REAL savvy with your money. 
        
    Did I deliberately put a puppy photo to make you want to donate? Yes, I did. If you're looking for those feel-good vibes that radiate throughout your life, then consider doing something exceptionally good with your money, donating! There are so many ways to donate and so many great causes to contribute to. So why not bless a good cause or some puppies?

    I saved a perfect one for last. Whether you're in a relationship or trying to build a relationship, doing good for others always gives you that warm sense of accomplishment that you did something selfless. It's never too late to try to reconnect with someone or reach out to someone you haven't spoken to in a while. Of course, calling, texting, and messaging on social media are free ways of communicating, but spending a few dollars to write a letter with a card to mail out is always so impactful. Maybe taking some of that money to get someone flowers will do more for that person than you know. 

    Never underestimate the power of doing random acts of kindness for others. It's wonderful and powerful! So before you go to Chipotle for the third time this week, think about a person that you could make things better with or truly cherish and instead buy a cute gift for them or something as simple as a card with a heartfelt message.

   Another post in the books y'all! Thank you for clicking and reading the post. I hope I shared some new savvy ways to spend left other money from your budgeting. As always, please share this if you think it could help someone! I would love it if you subscribed by placing your email in the subscribe tab at the bottom of this page. Thank you! - CorofCor

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Quarantine Workouts



      With all the chaos of stocking up on supplies and social distancing in place, the one thing we can always focus on is our fitness and well-being. Now I know with the COVID-19 spreading it's best for everyone's health to stay at home as much as possible but this doesn't mean we should give up on our fitness altogether. Of course, the gym does make it convenient and easy to workout BUT you don't need the gym or fitness classes to get a hard intense workout. The workouts in this post can easily be done in a bedroom, a backyard, or in a park. You won't need any fancy equipment, just the willingness to push yourself to the max.

     HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training workouts are my favorite because they make the workout interesting and fun by constantly changing up the type of exercise. HIIT workouts pack a lot of energy exertion during a short amount of time thus you burn more calories... that's right, less time burning more calories... its the cure to that bottomless mimosa bar you indulged in last weekend. I get bored easily, especially doing the same workouts and with HIIT you can customize it to how hard of a workout you want.

    It's so intensive (depending on how hard you do it) that you don't and probably physically won't be able to do it every day. Doing a 30-45 min HIIT workout will wipe you out if you truly do all the exercises with all the reps. If this is your first time doing it I recommend starting to do two to three HIIT sessions a week because you'll be sore and you'll need to rest your body. Raising your heart rate is fundamental to the workout itself. Just tell yourself "it's only 30 min I got this" you'll be golden and you'll thank me later.

    Here is a break down of an at-home workout, again no equipment or weights needed:
    *If you're not sure how to do an exercise reach out to me or drop into a web browser for proper form. If you're doing the exercises right you WILL feel the burn so keep that in mind as you're going through the workouts.

  By this point, you're probably really feeling it and that's the whole point of HIIT. Make sure to drink lots of WATER and not sugar-filled drinks afterward. At this stage, you're wiped and will need to cool down. Sugary drinks can lead to muscle cramps which will hurt more than all those squats you just conquered. Enjoy the "high" you get after enduring such an intense workout!

    Feel free to add more reps or switch out the type of exercises out, for instance, if you hate jumping squats as much as I do, you can switch it out for wiper abs instead.

    If you live in an area where you're able to work out in the park then check out my YouTube video:
       

    If you're looking to shed weight it's best to do HIIT sprints first thing when you wake up on an empty stomach BUT since it burns so many calories, this route will also burn little amounts of muscle if you're doing it on an empty stomach.

   Want to see more? Be sure to drop some comments down below. Subscribe to my new Youtube Channel and Instagram @CorofCor




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Monday, January 20, 2020

Where to take a date in Orlando


      Whether you're married, engaged, dating, in a relationship with yourself, or taking a special someone on a date for the first time, you've thought about where to go on a date. Orlando can be overwhelming with options, and let's not forget that Orlando is really broken up into the "Tourism" side and the "Local" side. Both share different experiences that are great for dates! My friends ask me all the time where they should go for dates, so here is a list of the best places and ideas for dates in the Orlando area. I broke down the list from spending a modest amount $ to going all-out $$$.

Flexing on a budget $
(From $0 - $40)

  1.  Picnic at Lake Eola (Directions here)

        I love this idea, being outside with the lake setting with someone you care about, it's just really cute. There is free 2-hour parallel parking on N Eola Dr. or you can pay a few dollars for the metered parking along Central Blvd. There are many grassy areas at Lake Eola to choose from, some are more secluded than others. The best spots are located on the peninsula that jets out onto the lake (See photo) and underneath the trees in the field on the East side of the park, just make sure to bring a blanket. There is a Publix off of Central Blvd that is across the street from the park so it's perfect for getting your picnic food, I always suggest ordering Publix subs because you can never go wrong! This is perfect for a cute lunch date or a sunset date... your welcome!



          Don't overlook the Orlando eye! It is 23 minutes to ride, and you get a great view from 400 ft above ground. It is also climate controlled so it won't mess up your date's hair, so it's a win-win situation. It is actually really cool at night and it's pretty affordable compared to other attractions in the area. If you time it right you and your date can see the fireworks at Disney World and Universal Studios at night which is a nice touch to date. The Sea Life Aquarium is actually a cool experience and it's not as small as you would think. You and your date can definitely spend a few hours going around and seeing the different tanks and exhibits! Sea Life Aquarium is at the same location as The Orlando Eye and they always have deals on Groupon to do multiple attractions, click here to check out their deals. Florida residents pay $19.95 per person to ride The Wheel and $34.95 per person to do both, The Wheel and Sea Life. Definitely a memorable, not your average movie or putt-putt golf type of date!



         
          I can tell you first hand that it's always a good time. The shows are a good length where you and your date can enjoy the show and not feel bored. For $20 general admission you'll wonder why you haven't been after all this time. Definitely a great idea if you want a lighthearted date with your crush and not a typical dinner date. 


         Disney Springs is really cool for a date because it covers so many options. Disney Springs itself is free to park and enter... it's what you do at Disney Springs that adds those dollar signs $$$. There are some great places at Disney Springs that top off a date like Ghirardelli and Earl of Sandwich! This past summer I went on a date at Disney Springs and it was fun walking around getting Ghirardelli and then hopping on a bus to one of the Disney Resorts to catch the firework show by the lake which is cute to do with your date.

   5.    Kings Bowling    (Directions here)

      Wanna have a fun inexpensive date? Go to Kings Bowling! It isn't your average neighborhood bowling alley. It almost resembles a nightclub inside, they play fun music, a full bar, and they have other games like billiards available too. Order a pitcher of beer and bowl the night away, you both won't regret coming here!

   6.     Lazy Moon     (Directions here)

       Lazy Moon Pizza is a cute place for a first date. The pizza is always bombs and they have interesting beers on tap as well. It's a laidback atmosphere so your date probably won't feel as uptight as they would going to an expensive dinner on the first date. They also play good music so it isn't so awkward in case the conversation goes South on the date. 
     
  
        One of my favorites because wine is always a good idea! Located right along N Park Ave it's like a wine fantasy land inside. I would compare it to the Dave & Buster's of wine because you can upload money onto a card and they have wine dispensers throughout that you go up to and swipe whichever type of wine you want. It is really cool because for like $30-$40 you can sample a bunch of wine. They also serve food here and its always been amazing. People mainly come here for the wine though and once you go and do the card dispenser you'll see why.


A night out on the town $$
(From $40-$70)


  1.   Painting with a Twist   
          Show your creative side when you take your date to Painting with a Twist. It is a great time, they have an instructor that shows you step by step how to paint the design you choose AND there is a wine bar in the lobby so you literally drink wine, paint, they play music and its a really fun time! I can't paint to save my life but I was impressed with my artwork when it was finished. Skip a boring movie date and spend a few hours painting and getting to know your date better. They provide all the supplies, canvas, paint, etc. and the wine is very reasonably priced too. There are multiple locations in Orlando and they all offer different paintings on various days. Paintings range from $25-$39 per person depending on what you choose.

     2.    Cooper's Hawk  (Directions here Idrive)

          Looking for a more upscale date? Cooper's Hawk offers different wine tastings at the bar and it's a great way to try a variety of wines as well as engage with your date. It is a great place for dinner too and they often offer you free wine samples, so between the wine tasting and the samples you get at the table you should probably just Uber there. Cooper's Hawk is a perfect date venue and you certainly won't be disappointed! Wine tastings excluding dinner cost anywhere from $14 per person to $40 per person depending on which one you select. 

     3.    Dave & Buster's   (Directions here)

           If you've never been you're really missing out on a fun time. Dave & Buster's is like Chucky Cheese for adults. It is a huge arcade with a bunch of games to choose from, a full bar, and a restaurant in one. If you're looking for a variety and a memorable date that is far from boring then this is a great option for date night. They're always offering promotion deals where if you purchase dinner you also get a play card to use in the arcade area. Prices for the promotion range from $20-$36 per person.

     4.     Earl's Kitchen   (Directions here)

           Another more upscale place to take a date, and it's a personal favorite of mine. The food is awesome and they offer a wide variety from avocado toast to sushi rolls. I'm a true fan of Earl's Kitchen because their drinks are so good. I recommend getting their Moscow Mule, its to die for. They have a $5 alcoholic drink of the month that they switch out and their Happy Hour, in my opinion, is one of the best in Orlando. 

     5.     AMC Dine-in theater  (Directions here)

            If you're going to take a date on a movie date, then take the extra step and take your date here. It isn't your "average" movie theater, it is basically dinner and a movie. The chairs are big and spacious and there were like 4 chairs in a row making the experience more comfortable. You press a button and you have your own server who grabs you whatever food and drinks you order off the menu. It is more expensive than your normal movie theater but you're getting a luxury experience with superb service, a great way to impress your date. The ticket for the movie is around $15-$20 per person and of course, food/drinks are an added cost.

   
He/She is the one $$$
(From $70-$100+)

     1.     Topgolf   (Directions here)

            You don't have to be a professional golfer to enjoy Topgolf! You and your date would have your own bay, which has a sitting area and a server. They offer a full food menu and drinks by the pitcher/bottle or by the glass. The bays are rented off on an hourly basis so you can get a few games in with two people. Depending on what time you go and order off the menu this can cost upwards of $70+ for two people. It is definitely worth it if you're serious about your date and want to have a fun time! 

    2.    Orlando Magic Game  (Directions here)

          Sporting events are always cute for date night even if you don't understand sports per se the vibe you get at a live professional event is exhilarating! You can dress up cute at Magic Games, they have multiple bars to grab drinks and depending on the game you choose to go to you can score decent seats for around $50+ a seat. Even if you and your date know nothing about basketball, I promise you'll enjoy the vibe you get from going to a live NBA game.



    3.    Helicopter Tour  (Directions here)

        Nothing like a little... or a lot of adrenaline to spice up a date! Doing something you've never done before with someone you like is memorable and who really wants to do the same thing over and over again?! You may get some hesitation or mixed feelings about it upfront but once you fly over Orlando and see the attractions you'll definitely get points for thinking outside the box and being spontaneous. Tours start at only $35 per person to $140 per person.

    
 4.     Eddie V's Prime Seafood   (Directions here)

        One of the best seafood restaurants in Orlando located along the prestigious "Restaurant Row" in Doctor Phillips. Pulling out all the stops with this restaurant, if you both enjoy seafood then this is one of the premier choices. They do offer a Happy Hour from Monday-Sunday 4 - 7 pm... however starting price per person for dinner is $60+. 

 5.   Four Seasons, Dinner at Capa      (Directions here)

       If you want to really make an impression on your date then you reserve a table at Capa on the outdoor terrace. Elevated on the 17th floor of the Four Seasons, you'll be able to get picture-perfect views of the Disney fireworks and have one of the best fine dining experiences that Orlando has to offer. Easily starting at $40-$50 per person.

(Four Seasons)


That completes the wide range of date possibilities in the Orlando area. If you liked this or found it helpful then please repost and tag me! Also, leave a comment below and tell me what you want to see next. If you haven't already follow my Instagram at CorofCor and be sure to subscribe so you can constantly stay in the loop for all my Orlando guides and travel posts! 

- CorofCor
   



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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

How to take an amazing selfie


       Let's be real it's 2019, and we still see people who can't take a decent photo of themselves. Time and time again we browse our social media accounts and we see bad angles, poor lighting, or just awkward photos of people. I am personally annoyed by these bad photos on the dating app platforms, you're trying to make a good impression and instead, people are distracted by the terrible picture and from that will most likely swipe left.

     In this post, I will show you how to take not only a good photo but, also how to edit your photo. For years I have perfected taking self-portraits of myself and editing them in a way that you would never guess that I did them all myself. Here are some of my favorite photos that I've shot of myself and edited myself.






        These were all shot in 10-second intervals on my Sony Cybershot on a tripod... in other words, if I can shoot these incredible pictures in 10 seconds, then you can take a good selfie in the matter of minutes with these tips and tricks. With the advancements in cellphone cameras, you don't even need a crazy DSLR camera anymore to achieve impeccable photos.

Let's start off with what not to do and some real-life examples of just bad photos. If you're going to take a selfie and post it to social media or a dating app then own the photo and be confident.

           Covering your face with your phone doesn't show confidence and blocks out the lighting. Know your angles, sometimes a simple head-on shot is a winner.
You should be the focus of the photo not the background. The background simply illuminates your presence in the picture, it shouldn't be the other way around.
If the hat was tilted a little more upward and the sun covered his face then the photo would have been a lot better. We would be able to see his features more clearly.
Make sure the lighting is in front of you and not above you directly. If the background is noisy don't be scared to just take a photo on a blank wall, that way you remain the focus of the photo.

***Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to these photos. I don't know these people personally and they were found on the World Wide Web.

       Now that we covered what not to do, let's cover the basics. You should have good lighting in your photo. We should be able to see your face clearly without awkward shadows. I'm not saying go out and buy a ring light, but you should position yourself either in front of a light or allow sunlight or whatever light source to illuminate your face. Don't worry if the light washes out your skin tone, that's what editing is for and I'll show you how to do that. You also don't want the light to be behind you either, again this creates shadows and we want to see all of you! In my experience of shooting my own photos, and doing photography for other people it's best to have too much light than not enough light in a photo because when applying filters and editing you have an easier time manipulating the lighting to how you want it. You can even filter in how much light you want in your picture on your iPhone before you take the picture.

    By holding the screen and scrolling your finger up and down you can filter how much light you want in your photo. This also focuses on camera more on you by placing yourself in the box like so.

        As you can gauge from my self-portrait pictures, a background can add value to your photos tremendously. You should decide on whether you want a simple background like a solid-colored wall, or a textured background like rocks or trees, or even a landscape background. For the pictures above, I wanted them to be dramatic and wanted them to feel like they were taken for a magazine so I mimicked my backgrounds to mirror that image. For let's say a Tinder or dating app profile picture, you could wear a colorful outfit and snap a picture in front of a white wall. The colors would contrast nicely and adding in a candid laugh makes the picture feel less posed and more natural. So you should think of a general theme for the photo, whether you want it to be simple or a little more complex.
   I wanted to add depth to the picture so I incorporated the buildings in the background with the road. The background adds to the photo, yet I'm still the focus, that's how a good selfie stands out over a mediocre one.

       This next part of the photo is critical. To avoid looking awkward, or "too vogue" work on your poses and make them look natural. Want a cute smiling photo? Then my tip to you is to literally laugh out loud... sounds stupid I know BUT you will honestly get the best results for a natural unposed smiling/laughing photo. For iPhone users, you can hold down the shutter button to take burst photos to get the perfect candid pic. Burst mode is amazing for walking or action shots that you want to look more natural instead of posed. If you don't have an iPhone or want to try a different method you can shoot a video and screenshot the stills that you like as well. Either method expands on the notion of getting a candid natural photo without a superposed vibe. The pics smiling/laughing pics below were taken using the "laugh out loud" method... and you would think a friend told a funny joke and you snapped the perfect picture in that exact moment...

   For the selfie I took for this post, you better believe I was fake laughing to get that candid natural smile.

  Techniques
    For camera pictures, invest in a cheap tripod and utilize the self-timer function. You'll probably have to take like 20-30 pictures just to get a few really good ones but it's well worth it. You can also get a tripod for your phone. iPhones have a self-timer that you can use in the same way as a camera. The self-timer technique is great because it's not like anyone can tell you took it yourself.  

For smiling/laughing pics  -  Burst mode or take a video and screenshot

Walking/motion pictures   -  Burst mode or take a video and screenshot

Take advantage of the golden hour in the evening for bright lighting, also overcast days provide bright lighting that is excellent for photos.

If the self-timer function isn't your thing you can plug your headphones into your iPhone, open up your camera and use the volume switches to take photos, this way you can take a fuller picture and you can snap as many as you want without having to reset the self-timer.

Another inexpensive tool that does wonders is a Bluetooth photo clicker. They're $6 on Amazon and you use it to sync to your phone. It works similar to the headphone jack method, you open your camera and press the clicker which takes your photos automatically after pairing the clicker through your phone's Bluetooth. This is an excellent way to take self-portrait shots from a full body view and capture the background. The clicker is small enough to conceal in the palm of your hand out of view from the photo itself. Shutter Button Via Amazon
   
     Editing
    Editing is such a fundamental step of photography whether it be a selfie or a fashion editorial. I will show you two ways that most people use to edit their photos that isn't complicated like photoshop.  In recent years, Apple has really advanced its iPhone editing tools and it is pretty spot on. Using the unedited picture I took, in the beginning, let me walk you through the steps of using the iPhone editing functions to get the most out of your selfie.


      I wanted the picture to look a bit more vibrant without looking too filtered. Auto can be a good starting out tool for editing, but I would still brush up on the exposure, brilliance, and highlights.
 Shadows and the black point feature add more depth into the picture and makes the photo more defined. A little saturation and vibrance add some more color without being too overbearing.

  The end result is that I don't look as washed out and the added color makes the picture pop more. Less than 3 minutes of editing on the iPhone and the picture looks more lively and not overexposed.

   Another really popular application that I've used for years for my own photos and for my clients whose photos I've taken is VSCO. It is a free download with the option to purchase more filter packs. Taking the same photo, let me show you how to properly edit your selfie to get the best results.


     So for this edit, I chose a filter that wasn't too warped, which made the blue sweater look good and added some color to my pale complexion. The hint of the blue filter sits well for the entire photo, and I like how the vignette allows a slighter focus on the subject without it looking too edited. 


     It is a little duller in color than the iPhone edited picture, but it creates a slightly different vibe. It is still a better photo than the original, again, took less than 3 minutes to edit.

If you're serious about your pictures and what a consistent theme to work off of then I recommend getting a preset and using Adobe Lightroom. I bought mine off Etsy for $4 and it has changed my content and Instagram theme for the best. I highly recommend it and you simply just apply the preset to the photo and it pretty much does all the work for you, it's well worth it in my opinion if you're looking for a constant look and theme to your pictures. Check out Esty's preset selection here.

    I hope this post helps your selfie game and gives you the tips and tricks to take confident effortless pictures. If you liked the content in this post please repost and tag my social media handles. If you haven't already please subscribe at the top so you can get notified about all my new posts! Also, comment below and tell me what you want me to cover next... Till next time

- CorofCor
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