Top 12 Orlando Granola Hangouts

Top 12 Orlando Granola Hangouts

For when you and your friends feel like being hippies for a day.
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You would be hard pressed to find a city more granola friendly than Orlando, Fla. When even your neighborhood hardware store sources its honey locally, you know the granola culture is strong.

But what is granola? Granola culture is like the Matrix. No one can be told what it is. You have to see it for yourself. Thankfully, Orlando shows much love to its granola inhabitants, so you can visit the following locales and get a taste of living the eco-friendly, co-op life—if only for a day.

1. Dandelion Café

Come for the fluffernutter sandwiches and sweet potato burritos, stay for the community feel. If you like the art on the wall, ask about it: it’s on display for sale by local artists.

2. Full Circle Yoga

Make sure you bring water if you plan to practice Bikram. Bikram, or hot, yoga instructors raise the room temperature to warm your muscles and make your stretches easier. After your first hot yoga class, regular yoga will feel like a breeze.

3. Park Ave CDs

Does your town have a vinyl record store? Yes? Is it full of iconic David Bowie posters? Maybe? Does it have your favorite Cards Against Humanity expansion packs? You should fix that.

4. Lazy Moon

Your eyes are definitely bigger than your stomach. You’ll understand the meaning behind the name when you’re too full of pie to move your lazy moon.

5. Drunken Monkey

At this popular “study spot,” you probably won’t get much work done. You probably will get caught up talking with randoms about everything from English lit to organic chem before realizing it's already 11:30. Then again, your library doesn't serve coffee this good.

6. Stardust Video & Coffee

Another “study spot,” though to be fair, you actually might accomplish work here. If your mind starts wandering, Stardust has plenty of passive decor to distract you briefly before returning to work. Just don’t sit at the Pac-Man machine-turned-sitting table, or you can kiss productivity goodbye.

7. Café de Frutos Selectos

This recent addition to Hannibal Square has a hazelnut latte that comes staff recommended. CFS also partners with local producer Living Vitalitea Kombucha to bring you their tangy fermented tea.

8. Create Your Nature & Foxtail

Both operate out of the old State Auto Shop on Orlando Ave. Sit inside, and you feel like you’re sitting in a super upscale distillery; outside, and you enjoy the Florida weather shaded by a large umbrella. Açaí bowls and coffee are on the pricey side, but there’s no more delicious way to go vegan for a day.

9. Vahalla Bakery

A pastry paradise for vegans: apple crumble, lemon bars, banana cream cupcakes—the works. While you’re at it, check out their punny animal magnets and laugh about cartoons that are you.

10. East End Market

Restock your Mason Jars with smoothies from the Skyebird Juice Bar and burn healthy fats munching on Farm-Haus avocado toast.

11. Downtown Credo Coffee

Pay your way at this coffee shop—and maybe someone else’s while you’re at it. You can find recommended prices for everything, but you can choose to pay more or less. Make somebody’s day—or let somebody make yours.

12. Baldwin Perk (Coming Soon)

Located in Downtown Baldwin Park, Baldwin Park plays its name off Central Perk Café from the hit show Friends. Not sure yet what it’ll look like, but one can only hope it’ll be something like this:

Cover Image Credit: Megan on the Move

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6 Huge Ways Your Life Changes After Escaping A Small Town

"Don't let small-town life make your life small."

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I've read a few articles on small towns and some statistics show that 20-30% of Americans live in small towns and 80% of the nation's population lived in one of the 350 combined metropolitan statistical areas.

After growing up in a small town myself, I think it can sometimes be difficult to be the person you want to be while trying to please all of your small-town fans. This is the first time in my life I've moved away from my small town with the intention to stay away for a very long time.

Why would I do something so silly?

Over the past two years, I realized how my hometown was stopping me from growing and accomplishing my dreams. Hanging out with friends generally became a gossip session because we were together so often and had nothing more to talk about. Neighbors knew where I was or who I was with. There was always some type of pressure to please everyone. There has always been someone to compare my life to or to be like.

Finally, I realized how detrimental this mentality was to my success.

After a series of events this year, I finally gathered the courage to pick up my life and move somewhere where I was a “no one." Somewhere where I could start fresh and never have to worry about pleasing someone down the street. I can vouch that this has been the biggest change in my life and the best possible move I could have made.

So what things actually change?

1. You find out who your true friends are.

This one will shock you. Remember that person you used to go to dinner with or spent countless nights finding a party or get together to go to with? That person magically fades away. The convenience of you being down the road is no longer an option and that person has now found a new acquaintance who has replaced you. Your genuine friends will continue to invite you to be a part of whatever and most will plan to spend time with you or come see you.

2. You no longer have a close-minded perception of everything.

I remember going to a grocery store and hearing the small town gossip from aisle to aisle. I remember how one-sided most issues were and if you weren't on board, your opinion was irrelevant. Now I can go to the store and not know a single person and have an opinion about anything I want and not have to worry about being shunned.

3. You suddenly turn into a mystery.

This one is great. People will start wondering where you went or what you've been up to. When I call my parents, I always get a good laugh from the conversations they've had with others who wonder what I'm up to. My favorite quote that relates to this is, “The less you reveal, the more people can wonder."

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Adult Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

4.You are suddenly a nobody in your new community, and it's great.

I have a bad habit of trying to avoid people I know, so when I go into stores or do anything in public, I love being a nobody. I love being able to do all of my grocery shopping without being interrupted or asked about school.

5. You appreciate the small hometown things more.

I'm not going to lie, I cringe thinking about making a trip home, but that pizza place I had four times a week and those margaritas that my friends and I would gulp down when celebrating everything from a birthday to making it through a rough day at work suddenly become luxury items. You enjoy those country cruises and those salty fries so much more when you're away.

6. You start to find yourself.

I left this one for last because it's by far the most important thing that's happened to me. I got stuck thinking I needed to be married by 22 and have a family by the time I was 27. I no longer think this. I finally have a bucket list that involves so much more than beating my best friend in a keg stand at the annual town bonfire. I have found who I am through solely relying on me and the things that make me happy.

SEE ALSO: 8 Things You Realize After High School


Don't get me wrong, I love my hometown. It's made me who I am today, but even if it's only for six months, escape your small town. Get away and experience the world. Don't wait until it's too late. It's great out here!

Cover Image Credit: 10 Best Media

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In The Words Of Casting Crowns, My Life Will Be For 'Only Jesus'

"Only Jesus" by Casting Crowns has inspired me to live my life for Jesus.

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When I watch the music video for Casting Crowns "Only Jesus" I am reminded of the reason why we are on this earth, alive, breathing air through our lungs, our hearts beating, and time going on and on.

We are on this earth, not to seek our own glory, our own accolades, and our own selfish greed, but to know God, love God, and to make Him known in this world, through sharing how God's son Jesus has set us free from our sinful lives and has resurrected us spiritually.

At the beginning of the video, we see Mark Hall, the lead singer of Casting Crowns, driving down a road, eventually driving into a junkyard. The junkyard is both a setting for the music video and an allegory. The junkyard is allegorical to show that everything we obtain in this world, both material things and in achieving our own selfish pursuits of self-glory, self-pride, and self-adulation, will one day rot away and decay into nothingness.

No one will remember you in 500 years when you are dead and gone. The only exception to this is if you do something spectacular with your life that makes you famous. Only then will people remember what you did, not the person that you really was.

But living for Jesus and dedicating our lives to the "good fight" is the everlasting legacy we should pass on.

We should be remembered how we dedicated every minute of our lives being fishers of men for Jesus. When Christian men and women live this way, their children learn about God's love, which in turn causes them to surrender their lives to God, then passing God's love to their children, repeating this infinite loop of love for all time until Jesus comes back. Only Jesus is eternal. Only His love is eternal.

So when I die, "I don't want to leave a legacy. I don't care if they remember me, only Jesus."

Because my Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit is the only thing that matters.

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