Zumba Convention 2014 Schedule is LIVE!

To my fellow Zumba instructors, the schedule for Zumba Convention Orlando 2014 is LIVE!

Zumba Convention 2014 Schedule

They’re doing things a little differently this year. Firstly, the schedule is up, but registration doesn’t open until April 16th. So, you have time to research the sessions you want to attend.

Zumba Convention 2014 Schedule

Next, they’ve made several changes to the schedule:

  • They’ve changed the schedule structure. There are different numbers of sessions on each day. I like how there’s only one session on Sunday now – this will make travel and hotel check out so much easier!
  • They’ve introduced new sessions, but they’ve taken away a couple of the ones I’ve enjoyed in the past. Of the new sessions, I’m curious about many, including LatinTronika, A Tribute to the King/Queen of Pop (not sure who the queen is – Madonna?), Pop Madness, and Arabian Nights. I was sad to see Be the Inspiration by Steve Boedt gone, and I’d heard good things about the fusion class last year and was hoping to attend that one this year. Perhaps it’s on the schedule but under a different name? I’ll have to wait till the descriptions of each session are available.
  • I’m excited to see so many Latin Pop sessions – that’s definitely my favorite as far as the session closest to my teaching style and songs I tend to favor. I think there was only one Latin Pop session per convention for the last two years. Go Lindsey!
  • They’ve added more Jam and other non-flavor sessions.
  • They’ve added more master classes, including a set that happens later at night (roughly 7-8-ish).

I’m also tempted to do an instructor training on one of the days, if I can pull myself away from the sessions (which I really enjoy, so that will be difficult). The cool thing about convention is that you can do trainings with a ZES that you couldn’t’ as easily reach from your hometown. As much as you may like a particular ZES, it can be difficult to find the time and money to travel to do a training with them, especially if they’re very far from you.

Anywho, I love Zumba Convention! It’s my can’t-miss conference of the year because it’s so much fun, and I always learn so much to improve my classes. This will be my fourth year attending! Can’t wait!

***

You can read about some of my past Zumba Convention experiences here:

I blogged multiple posts from each convention, but I’ve linked one above for each year that should be able to get you to the rest. Use the Next/Previous links at the end of each post to get to the others. I think I posted the most detailed descriptions of the class in last year’s posts.

***

Who else is going to Zumba Convention this year?!?

Jang Su Jang {Duluth, GA}

Sis and I are taking a weekend road trip to Atlanta, GA, and we found a great stop on the way in Duluth, GA. We were up for a food adventure and decided to try Jang Su Jang, a Korean BBQ restaurant.

Jang Su Jang - Duluth, GA

Neither of us have had Korean food before, but we’ve heard such good things. We were both very excited to try it out. I wasn’t sure if it would be an Americanized or traditional type of restaurant. Happily, it turned out to be the latter.

JangSuJang-2393.jpg

JangSuJang-2409.jpg

For drinks we were given the option of water or tea. Sis and I opted for the tea, which was delicious and served sans sugar. It reminded me a bit of how the tea is served straight up at dim sum restaurants, too.

JangSuJang-2371.jpg

We lucked out and had a very friendly waiter named Calvin who helped us make our dinner selections. We decided to start with some steamed dumplings (Mul Mandoo) and to try a combo with the tofu soup and bulgogi.

JangSuJang-2376.jpg

I let sis pick which soup to try, and she opted for the Beef Soon Tofu.

JangSuJang-2406.jpg

Very shortly after ordering, our table was quickly filled with an assortment of Korean side dishes. We weren’t sure what to do with them. Did we start eating them or wait for the rest of the food came out? Do you eat the side dishes straight up or mixed with stuff. Anyone know?

JangSuJang-2378.jpg

JangSuJang-2380.jpg

(Not sure what this one is – does anyone know?)

JangSuJang-2383.jpg

JangSuJang-2385.jpg

JangSuJang-2384.jpg

JangSuJang-2390.jpg

We even got two kinds of kim chi. Calvin also mentioned there’s another kind of kim chi made with (I think it was) beets or radishes that comes with the bossam.

JangSuJang-2395.jpg

The dumplings were a big hit with us. We’re big dumpling fans, in general, but these were really tasty, and we liked the dipping sauce, too.

JangSuJang-2399.jpg

JangSuJang-2397.jpg

{bulgogi – shredded beef BBQ}

JangSuJang-2401.jpg

The tofu soup was something the restaurant specializes in. It had pieces of soft tofu and beef. The funny part was the egg. I read online you’re supposed to crack the egg into the soup while it bubbles (it comes out boiling hot). So, once the soup came out, we cracked the egg into the soup, and I started stirring it around. This was before confirming this was correct with Calvin. He came out to check on us shortly after this, and I asked him, “So…I cracked the egg into the soup. Was that right?” He confirmed that was correct to our relief as Sis laughed at me.

JangSuJang-2403.jpg

JangSuJang-2407.jpg

And here’s dessert – a small, chilled yogurt drink.

***

Overall, we had a great experience trying Korean food for the first time. I can see why everyone loves it so much. The soup and dumplings were our stand out favorites, but we enjoyed everything quite a bit.

If you’re ever in the Atlanta area or just passing through, Jang Su Jang would be a great stop. It’s even close to the highway if you’re just looking for delicious food on your next road trip.

Artisan Coffee at Due South Coffee in Taylors Mill {Greenville, SC}

Since we have Not Just Coffee in town, I’m spoiled with delicious coffee. I now look for high quality coffees with latte foam art wherever I go. Imagine my surprise when just such a coffee popped up on the @visitgreenvillesc Instagram account. Could it be that I could find a coffee shop like NJC when I visit my family in Greenville, SC?

Yes, as it turns out, I can thanks to Due South Coffee opening up just one week before my last visit. I had to check it out before heading home, so I grabbed hubby and my sis for a quick stop.

FromDueSouthCoffee.jpg

Due South Coffee is actually in Taylors, SC, which is not incorporated as a city, but you may need to know that if you’re looking it up on a map/GPS. (Use “Taylors” in the search instead of “Greenville”)

The coffee shop is in an up-and-coming new area of town – Taylors Mills. More on that at the end of this post, but they’re in the early restoration stages. As we pulled onto the mill property, sis and hubby were skeptical that we were in the right place, but you just go to the Dock 3 sign and take a right. The sign is small, but it’s just there on the left on the inside corner. It looks a little like you’ve entered an abandoned property, but the coffee shop is there, and there are more businesses coming soon!

DueSouthCoffee-Table.jpg

The scene is very mod-industrial. I loved the homage to the past visible throughout the space. For example, there was a glass-enclosed display on one wall asking if you “knew your parts.” Inside were little metal (what looked to be) machinery pieces that were labeled.

AtDueSouthCoffee.jpg

Currently, there’s one main bar area where you can sit or order drinks. There’s a large couch section, and then a couple round tables throughout.

DueSouthCoffee-HotChocolate.jpg

{I had enough coffee that day, so I opted for the hot chocolate, especially after I found out they make their own chocolate!}

But, the main attraction is the drinks. They have a real artisan touch since Due South Coffee roasts their own coffee beans and makes their own chocolate. Each drink is artfully created. Due South Coffee serves up the usual suspects like lattes and pour-overs, but they also have unique offerings like a coffee flight (espresso served three ways) and a speciality drink called the Southern Hemisphere, which features chilled espresso with rosemary infused milk and grapefruit syrup.

Do I even need to tell you that our drinks were delicious? They were! Hubby tried the flight, and Sis and I got hot chocolates. I can’t wait to try an espresso drink next time!

TaylorsMill-Sisters.jpg

There’s a property company currently working to renovate the space, the old Taylors Southern Bleachery, as a new hot spot for luxury living, restaurants, and a huge art scene. There will be event space, artist studios, and more! You can check out the Taylors Mill Properties web site for more information and updates.

Welcome, Due South Coffee! And good luck to Taylors Mill Properties with the rest of the renovation. Love what you guys are doing!

Grand Brunch at Jasmine Porch (With a Special Vegan Meal)

On Sunday, we enjoyed the most expensive brunch I’ve ever had.

JasminePorchBrunch-8594.jpg

We were originally going to hit up the Italian restaurant at Kiawah Island, but they were closed for a private event. So, back to The Sanctuary we went. The choices were the pool restaurant or Jasmine Porch. With my dad being vegan now, we decided to explore Jasmine Porch. There wasn’t much on the menu dad could eat, so he talked to one of the managers who said they’d take care of him. And they sure did! (see near the end of the post for his special vegan plates)

Just twist my arm to support the restaurant that works with local farmers!

JasminePorchBrunch-8574.jpg

The brunch includes a mimosa bar complete with orange juice, champagne, and fresh fruit.

JasminePorchBrunch-8600.jpg

I didn’t take photos of every single item on the brunch buffet, but here are some of the highlights…

JasminePorchBrunch-8544.jpg

JasminePorchBrunch-8545.jpg

{smoked salmon and caper frittata}

JasminePorchBrunch-8549.jpg

I started with a very small plate of breakfast items. I didn’t want to fill up!

JasminePorchBrunch-8547.jpg

JasminePorchBrunch-8540.jpg

JasminePorchBrunch-8556.jpg

Brunch is always better with an ice sculpture.

JasminePorchBrunch-8562.jpg

This was a playful version of shrimp and grits, which was my sister’s favorite.

JasminePorchBrunch-8541.jpg

An incredibly moist pork tenderloin was available at a carving station, along with peach BBQ sauce.

JasminePorchBrunch-8557.jpg

JasminePorchBrunch-8564.jpg

I enjoyed a plate full of the lunch-like dishes, the collards being one of my favorites, before hitting up the dessert table.

JasminePorchBrunch-8591.jpg

I loved the earthy display of the dessert bar.

JasminePorchBrunch-8580.jpg

{Mini coconut cakes}

JasminePorchBrunch-8582.jpg

{Individual bread pudding}

JasminePorchBrunch-8585.jpg

{Chocolate covered pretzels and a mini strawberry shortcake}

JasminePorchBrunch-8584.jpg

{(I believe) lemon merengue tarts}

JasminePorchBrunch-8589.jpg

Sis got a nice plate of sweets, including a slice of peach pie.

JasminePorchBrunch-8595.jpg

{My dessert plate}

***

And now for the vegan plates!

Dad ended up speaking with the chef and mentioned loving lots of vegetables. The chef and staff took care of all of us at a level I’d relate to the Ritz – top-notch! Dad got to enjoy a few specially created vegan plates for his brunch.

JasminePorchBrunch-8553.jpg

They served a play on their chick pea salad with extra vegetables.

JasminePorchBrunch-8572.jpg

And this dish was super fun – quinoa with swiss chard, tomatoes, in a mushroom broth.

Dad also enjoyed a bowl of their refreshing gazpacho.

JasminePorchBrunch-8597.jpg

And for dessert, they served up their vegan sorbets – watermelon, coconut, and a side of fresh fruit. Dad was incredibly happy with his delicious, vegan brunch.

Thank you to Jasmine Porch for making my birthday weekend delicious for our entire family!

Birthday Lunch at Jasmine Porch

After our beautiful morning on the beach at Kiawah Island, we decided to enjoy a birthday celebration lunch. We opted for a lunch instead of dinner, which worked out well since many of the restaurants on the island were shut down due to weddings and private parties.

JasminePorchLunch-8443.jpg

We decided to visit the restaurant that most caught my eye – Jasmine Porch. I loved how the restaurant is big into supporting local farmers, so they had my vote.

JasminePorchLunch-8397.jpg

JasminePorchLunch-8399.jpg

Lunch started off great with a basket of breads and two kinds of toppings…pimento cheese…

JasminePorchLunch-8402.jpg

…and (I believe) honey thyme butter.

JasminePorchLunch-8394.jpg

We decided to share an appetizer and entrée for extra variety.

JasminePorchLunch-8408.jpg

We started with the Summer Tomato Tasting – “Heirloom Tomatoes, Sol Haven Arugula, Garlic”. This is half! They went ahead and made things easier for us by splitting our dishes in half.

JasminePorchLunch-8392.jpg

For the main event, we shared Lunch on the Porch – “Crab Cake Slider, Roasted Beet Salad, She-Crab Soup.”

JasminePorchLunch-8411.jpg

Can you believe this is half?! Everything on the plate was so delicious and handmade save the ketchup. Hubby thought the crab cake slider was the best crab cake he’d ever had. I had to agree. We also enjoyed all the other components of the lunch as very happy eaters. I was impressed to learn the even the french fries are made from scratch at Jasmine Porch – sliced on site, breaded, frozen, and fried. They were also seasoned perfectly, as was everything else on the plate.

JasminePorchLunch-8414.jpg

Dad got vegan pasta that was made with cornmeal and flavored with lavender. He also got a side of watermelon jalapeño gazpacho.

JasminePorchLunch-8416.jpg

Sis got the burger with a side of fresh fruit. The burger was gigantic!

The table was pretty quiet when the food arrived – a sure sign of everyone enjoying their delicious lunch.

JasminePorchLunch-8423.jpg

Near the end of the meal, we were happily surprised with complimentary champagne…

JasminePorchLunch-8440.jpg

…and crème brûlée. Not only was the plate beautifully decorated, the dessert was delicious – creamy and speckled with vanilla bean.

The lunch couldn’t’ have been more perfect. From the wonderfully prepared food to the exceptional service (ask for OT!), I was one happy birthday girl.

JasminePorchLunch-8487.jpg

From inside, we could see butterflies floating all around. They’re all over Kiawah Island, but there were extra behind the restaurant where they have a butterfly garden.

JasminePorchLunch-8473.jpg

We walked around the grounds of The Sanctuary hotel to see more of the butterflies.

JasminePorchLunch-8483.jpg

JasminePorchLunch-8491.jpg

Just behind the restaurant is a sign with distances to the farms used in the restaurant.

JasminePorchLunch-8503.jpg

It was beautiful there! We’d love to stay here sometime. Maybe one day?

JasminePorchLunch-8531.jpg

After dinner, we definitely had birthday cake! All in all, it was a great way to spend my birthday! I was very appreciate of the experience and the quality time with my family.

Visit to Kiawah Island Beach

What better way to spend your birthday weekend than at the beach?

KiawahBeach-8223.jpg

For this year’s celebration, we rented a villa in Kiawah Island, SC with my parents and sister for the weekend. We arrived late Friday after working during the day and road tripping it in the evening, which is when we visited that yummy German restaurant.

KiawahBeach-fb-8125.jpg

My sister spoiled us Saturday morning by making breakfast for everyone, including scrambled eggs and a giant stack of pancakes.

KiawahBeach-8132.jpg

Beach fuel!

KiawahBeach-8143.jpg

The villas were beautiful and tucked into a lot of green space with swooping trees and bushes everywhere. Even the villas seemed to have a natural feel with muted woods that almost disappeared with the plants all around.

KiawahBeach-8156.jpg

It seems like most of our beach trips are on popular strips with high rise after high rise overtaking the skyline. I liked feeling more embedded in nature at these villas. It was so quiet and peaceful and just what I needed as an escape from the busy week before.

KiawahBeach-8160.jpg

We took a short walk to the beach after breakfast.

KiawahBeach-8183.jpg

I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never been to Kiawah Island before. Whenever we visit Charleston, we typically hit up Isle of Palms in search of beach time. And this may sound stupid, but I’m generally not a fan of beaches north of Miami. That crystal clear water and white sand gets me every time.

KiawahBeach-8314.jpg

And though this beach had neither white sand nor clear water, it was gorgeous anyway.

KiawahBeach-8220.jpg

Bailey loved it!

KiawahBeach-8232.jpg

He had a blast jumping over all the (baby) waves and swimming around.

KiawahBeach-8263.jpg

The weather was nearly perfect – warm but not terribly hot. The water was cool but comfortable. The skies were full of bubbling clouds and the beach seemed to stretch on forever.

KiawahBeach-fb-8306.jpg

I wanted to stay here for weeks.

KiawahBeach-8272.jpg

KiawahBeach-8328.jpg

KiawahBeach-8380.jpg

We enjoyed soaking up the sun and relaxing for awhile before heading back to the villa to get ready for lunch.

Next up – my birthday lunch, complete with locally sourced ingredients – my fave!

Related Posts with Thumbnails