Catching Up with Former Coworkers

I’ve never been one to go out to lunch during the work day. I always bring my lunch to work, mainly because it saves a lot of money. I also genuinely enjoy preparing a healthy and delicious lunch.

That being said, whenever I do go out for lunch, it feels like a special treat and a little vacation from my typical work routine.

Today I met my friends Ryan and Ashley for lunch at Dexter’s, a casual but trendy restaurant located in Thornton Park.


I worked with Ryan and Ashley for a little more than a year at the Orlando Museum of Art when I first graduated college.

The three of us comprised the museum’s marketing and public relations department (Ryan was the manager, I was her assistant and Ashley was the graphic designer).  Ryan and I have both since left the museum and Ashley is finishing up her last week there, but we all fortunately still live and work near downtown Orlando, so we try to meet up for lunch to keep in touch every so often.

Lunchin' Ladies

(You may see recaps of our previous lunch dates here and here and pictures from Ashley’s wedding in January here).

I arrived at Dexter’s planning to order a big salad until I remembered that they offer a “create your own sandwich” option that I adore.

I opted for a sandwich that included:

  • Turkey
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Sprouts
  • Cucumbers
  • Dijon mustard

Make-Your-Own Turkey Sandwich

I had it prepared “Cuban style” (pressed) because I was in the mood for something warm (which is odd considering it’s in the 90s today…).

Lots o' Veggies

I ate every last bite!

Along with my sandwich I enjoyed several handfuls of sweet potato chips that Ryan ordered for all of us to share.

Sweet Potato Chips

I definitely had my fair share of these bad boys. I ❤ sweet potato chips!

All in all, lunch was great and so was the company. There’s never a dull moment with these two ladies!

Question of the Afternoon

  • Do you stay in touch with people you used to work with?

Museum Memories

To me, the hardest part about leaving a job is leaving behind a group of people that were such a big part of your life, day in and day out, for quite a while.

My first job when I graduated college was working in the public relations and marketing department at the Orlando Museum of Art. I really enjoyed working with many of the people at the museum and we still make an effort to get together to catch up every so often.

What was your first “real” job?

The last time I saw a bunch of the museum folks was at my friend Ashley’s wedding in the beginning of January.

Today three of us met for lunch at Caffè Ritazza in downtown Orlando.

Caffe Ritazza

This is one of my favorite lunch places in Orlando. It’s very popular and always has the freshest ingredients and yummiest soups, salads and sandwiches.

Me + Ryan

Ryan + Tim

We all ordered salads full of veggies.

My Salad

My salad contained:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber

After topping it with balsamic vinaigrette, I shook it up so everything was coated in the yummy dressing. Mmm!

We all enjoyed catching up over lunch and it was nice to hear that everyone is doing well! I hope to see the museum group again soon. 🙂


If you’re interested, head on over to VeeChats to see an interview Vee posted with me this morning. She asked some pretty neat questions and I really enjoyed answering them. Thanks for selecting me for this week’s interview, Vee!

Day Date: Festival of Trees

As I mentioned previously, Ryan and I take turns planning one extra-special date for each other every month. October was his month and since his date involved a proposal, I think any date I plan following that amazing experience will never quite match up.

To begin my date, Ryan and I headed to the Orlando Museum of Art for the annual Festival of Trees event featuring lots of intricately decorated trees, vignettes, wreaths and holiday decorations.

Festival of Trees

When I graduated college in the spring of 2007, my first job was working at the museum in the public relations and marketing department, so I have a special place in my heart for events at the museum. Plus, when Ryan and I went two years ago, we had a blast!

After paying admission and entering the winter wonderland, the very first tree we saw ended up being our favorite.

The Best Tree

All Smiles

We then headed into a room sportin’ lots of Christmas decorations, including an elaborate gold place setting. I snapped a picture immediately because I am in love with the chairs and want the same ones at our wedding reception! 🙂

I Love You, Chairs

We passed many gorgeous trees on our way to the room full of gingerbread houses.

Pink Poodle Tree

Bright and Beautiful Tree

The gingerbread houses were truly amazing and must take hours and hours to assemble (not to mention tons of patience).

Gingerbread Mansion

Check Out the Detail

This One is Bigger Than Our Apartment

We managed to exit the room without sneaking any bites. 😉

We then headed to the holiday boutique to check out the goodies for sale. On our way we passed this photo:

Spooky Girl

Ryan said this girl will haunt his dreams. She’s kinda spooky, no?

The holiday boutique didn’t have any creepy photos or paintings but it did have these hilarious napkins:


All in all, we had a great time at the Festival of Trees, but both agreed it wasn’t as good as years past. They weren’t even playing Christmas music, and there were areas of the museum without trees when it used to be completely full. Oh well, it was still a fun day date!

Dinner Double Date

Our original dinner date plans at Season’s 52 expanded a bit and we made it a double date. Ryan’s cousin Daniel and Courtney, a really sweet girl he is dating, joined us for a fun and delicious double date.

Season’s 52 is probably my favorite restaurant in Orlando. All the food is so fresh and tasty and with each dish under 475 calories, you know you’re eating a normal portion entree, not excessive amounts of food.

I ordered the pork tenderloin with polenta, spinach and cremini mushrooms.

My Plate

I practically licked my plate clean!

On our way home from dinner we passed Jeremiah’s Italian Ice and just had to stop.


This place serves the most amazing gelati. Our huge helping layered vanilla soft serve with cookies ‘n’ cream gelato and pumpkin pie gelato on the top. It was delish, as always!


After Jeremiah’s we stopped by the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for turtle pumpkin pie I will be making for a Thanksgiving potluck party tomorrow.

Unfortunately I forgot two main ingredients and will be waiting until the morning to do some baking. Oh well! Stay tuned for some yummy-lookin’ pies tomorrow rather than tonight. 😉

Hopefully everyone is enjoying a fun-filled weekend before the Thanksgiving craziness sets in! 🙂