Miracle in the Mundane | “Tourist in Your Own Town.” 🌞

Hello my lovely bookish friends,

I hope you are all having a magical Tuesday so far! A couple of weeks ago TarcherPerigee Press reached out and was kind of enough to send me a copy of Tyler Knott Gregson’s new book Miracle in the Mundane and I was beyond honored (and flipping excited). For any who follow me on Instagram know that I enjoy reading poetry on a daily basis. It’s a small way to add some beautiful words or thoughts to your day. Tyler Knott Gregson has captivated and touched so many people with his typewriter poetry, myself included. But in Miracle in the Mundane we don’t just get poetry, Gregson challenges us to look beyond ourselves and challenges us to look at the beauty around us and be mindful of it.

There are so many brilliant challenges in the book. My wandering heart was called immediately to the “Be a tourist in your own town” challenge. I called my cousin up, and we took it upon ourselves to explore a part of town we haven’t been to in a while, Historic Sanford, Florida. This part of Central Florida reminds me so much of one of my favorite cities, Savannah in Georgia but SO MUCH CLOSER TO ME. It’s full of gorgeous old homes and plenty of restaurants and local breweries. Now, we originally had plans to go see a play, but when we decided to slow down and enjoy lunch and take our time, we ended up doing things we usually never do: ran into friends at a local indie market, had refreshing drinks on a hot winter day (the kind of winter you can only get in Florida), and had an amazing lunch at a German restaurant. It was absolutely lovely.

The day started with some much-needed lunch at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe, a little slice of Germany in Florida. Although I have been to this cafe before, my cousin never has so it was a lot of fun trying out the food with her for the first time. The crowd is so friendly and it was definitely busy but we found a spot real quick. They had live music and we were lucky enough to sit right in front of the musician!



I treated my cousin to some Kleiner Feigling which is a fig schnapps and so DELICIOUS AND SWEET. It goes down way too easy (haha). We cheered to the beautiful weather and to the hearty lunch we were about to have.

We walked around the neighborhood and there were so many people outside on their wide porches enjoying the weather! We passed by this beautiful house and my cousin convinced me to take a picture in front of me. I was kind of nervous at first because… well… people live there. But everyone was friendly and just waved at us! Seriously, guys, it was so cute and looks so much like Savannah! All the houses are different shapes and colors, flags billowing in the breeze, with plenty of yard and porches to entertain. I want to buy a house and move here and have a drink in my hand and wave to people too!

We obviously are not good at taking pictures but oh well!

After lunch and walking around a bit, a friend saw that I was in Sanford from my Instagram and let me know that there was the Sanford Indie Market that day, RIGHT DOWN THE STREET. I looked at my cousin and was like “shall we?” We met up with one of my friends, Nihan who had a booth that day. She makes harem pants from reclaimed fabrics in Turkey (where she is from) and also makes head scarfs and jewelry! You can check out some of the things she makes here! My cousin bought a scarf that looks so pretty on her and I bought sunglasses straps. Everything is made so beautifully and delicately. There were also a lot of other vendors there with so many cool handmade things! We ran into a group that had turned a trailer into a photo booth and we took our picture. They are called Rutledge Photo Co. and they had a lot of cool props to play around with!

It was indeed a magical, tiring, but serendipitous day. We cooled off with some drinks at Celery City Craft and couldn’t help but smile. Thank you to Tyler Knott Gregson for pushing us to seek beauty where usually think there is none.

Until next time friends!

Read something wonderful and stay curious…

xo, Gisela

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🍂 Fall In Love with Reading 🍂|Book and Drink Pairings

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Hi friends, I hope you are having a lovely Tuesday! 

🍂 It is officially autumn, although sadly I still feel like I’m melting away in the Florida heat. But I still try my hardest to make it feel cozy and get in the spirit of the season. Number one way… make up your own cozy and find the best places around your hometown that make it feel like fall. Number 2… bring ALL the books with you, get comfy, and read.

If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me wandering around Winter Park with my friend Isha! She runs an Instagram, @willflyforchai that is all about the food scene in Central Florida and her travels! A little more about her:

I’m originally from India, but have lived in Orlando, FL for the past 17 years. My husband and I are vegetarians who absolutely love to travel and eat.
“Will fly for Chai” came about from a need for a unique and diverse perspective on the food culture. This blog focuses on all things food, travel (for food), and cooking food- all with an emphasis on vegetarianism. – Isha
She was kind enough to show me a few places that would be great for grabbing a drink and sitting down to read. I also paired a few of my favorite fall reads to get in the mood. First stop…
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New General I’ve been here a few times before, rushed and running with a to-go cup. Today, though, we arrived a little after 11:00 a.m. Walking in, I noticed there were only one other couple and the girls working behind the counter. Plenty of comfortable seating, and nice folky music playing in the background. I kept it classic and order a cappuccino and brought out one of the first books I think of when I think of autumn, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Sigh… the mention of cooler weather and sipping coffee instantly makes me feel cozier. ☕
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Domu After sipping my coffee, and Isha and I feeling slightly full and but extremely content, we headed off to her next recommendation. Domu is nested in the East End Market in Audobon Park and the whole place feels very homey and has a lot of outdoor seating which I’m sure will be lovely when the cooler mornings and evenings make an appearance. There are many other shops and local food stores as well, but for those that want to get cozy with a book and drink a stronger libation, Domu was perfection. They have a menu of fall drinks (yes! my people) and I order the Black Lagoon which I paired with A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis because they are both deep and dark. If you are wanting something scary but that is a little closer to home, A Madness So Discreet will give you the chills when you realize what it is truly about. No ghosts, no witches, no ghouls…
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We stayed at Domu the longest because honestly, the drinks were good and the atmosphere helped us get in the autumnal mood. The next drink we tried was The Fig Easy and I paired it with The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle, which has an equally autumnal setting. If scary reads aren’t your thing, but you still want something moody for the season, The Accident Season provides a bit of magical realism to your every day. You won’t know what is real and what is not once you read about the lives of the Cara and her friends. I read this during the hurricane last year, and I have to admit, I was a bit spooked.
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The Heavy The last stop of the day was The Heavy, the reformed Lombardi’s Seafood warehouse that is now a plant paradise. They also have a pop-up coffee shop by the flower bar (adorable). We perused the plants for a bit and walked around with some Hometown Blend which immediately woke me up from the afternoon stupor. I decided to pair my coffee with Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Pride by Ibi Zoboi. I’m super excited to read Pride soon because I am a bit obsessed with re-tellings. I love that re-tellings give readers a chance to see classics in a new light. This book pair matches up pretty well with the setting we found ourselves in, amongst the flora and fauna of The Heavy that used to be filled with fish!
After The Heavy I was feeling a bit heavy (haha) and so Isha and I ended our day there (plus I had to go grocery shopping because responsibilities). I had such a great time and Isha helped me pick out some of the best drinks and now I have an arsenal of places I can go to and relax with a book and a drink.
You can go follow my friend Isha on Instagram @willflyforchai or on Facebook.