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thE florida issue

Issue 22 June/July 2012



From kitchen sink to your favorite boutique: How Leila Larsen turned her dream into reality with Silly Lips

+ Discover Somewhere New Adventures with ben

culture climax guide to summer events contemporary guide to the sunshine state’s music culture • BRINK • 1

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brink Features

16 Adventures With Ben Have an adventure and discover top destinations with Ben 20 Guide to Sunshine State’s Music Culture We pick eight Florida artists that you need to know now 24 SILLY LIPS Leila Larsen shares her entrepreneurial business, Silly Lips, with BRINK lip balmloving readers

Every Issue 9

the buzz

19 30 seconds or less 22 words with friends 38 Street Style 40 style ringer 46 The last page The Barometer, Twitter Feed and our June/July poll

26 Culture Climax Culture Climax shares thier 25 biggest central Florida events for the summer 36 shopping rite Melbourne, FL shop Standard Collective opens their doors to its trendy boutique 42 nICK sUaREZ Photographer Nick Suarez shows us a snapshot of his work


Dress Her Up Tammy Jo Fashion Lets Us In On How To Mix Personal Relationships And Business Relationshsips Within A Growing Brand Cover Photo by Garrett Frandsen Jill Parise-Rudzik / Hair Stylist at Nube Nove Idalis Rodriguez / MUA • BRINK • 5

editor’s note Welcome to the June/July issue of BRINK!

Right now, if you’re reading this, you might be saying to yourself, “self, something feels different at BRINK.” Well, I’m here to tell you and your inner “self” that we made a few small tweaks and changes to our layout. First, we changed our contents page to give our cover feature more of a special look and feel. After all, we feel strong about the people that we put on the cover and those cover stars signify everything BRINK stands for - entrepreneurship. Second, we moved my “Editor’s Note” over here on a following page to make more room for the aforementioned restructured contents page. Third, this is the first issue where nearly every photo is original for BRINK. The BRINK team is stronger than ever, and we wanted to ensure that our voice was heard for what we want to share with you, our valued readers. Fourth, ok, I’ll stop, I just like numbered lists.

Next, our summer issue is so fun, and we had the opportunity to make this issue an all Florida issue. From front page to back cover, everyone in this issue either lives or once lived in Florida. We kick things off with our cover feature Tammy Jo Fashion and her business partner/real life partner Oscar Trinidad. We’ve got

original photography spreads from Jessica Castro and Nick Suarez. The album reviews, film reviews and everything in between are all Florida-based. No matter where you live or what you want to do, it’s attainable. Lastly, now that my column has relocated over here, I have a little m o r e r o o m. With that said, I realized our readers really enjoy checking out where BRINK goes and what events we attend, so I’ve included some of our Instagram images below. Follow us on Instagram (brinkmag) to view more and join in on the fun. Enjoy the issue!

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BRINK Magazine P.O. BOX 2371 Orlando, FL 32802 PUBLISHER/editor-in-chieF kyle m menard EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT steven ozer, camille chu BEAUTY EDITOR michelle cameau Copy Editor jacqueline ford Photo Editor garrett frandsen Fashion coordinator leah davis community relations manager nicole girata community relations - new york valerie navarro blogger mary winkenwerder Senior Writers katie bassham kevin cortez peter murphy caroline st clair Contributors kris gilpin brandi murray kesi p. contributing photographer jessica castro Interns frankie alduino, gamil cyrus, brianna key, taissa rebroff, ashley roberts Find us online LIKE US ON facebook Follow us on twitter WATCH US ON YOUTUBE

Kyle M Menard Editor in Chief

From left to right: BRINK attends Community for Workforce ribbon cutting, Full Sail media event for WWE, a visit to Max King Events warehouse and some of our new summer interns who helped with this issue!

From left to right: BRINK attends Snap! 2012 Photography Exhibit, our Twitter contest winner attends BRINK sponsored “A Cause for Fashion,” Internet Week New York and Orlando Fashion Week.


advertising 407.456.4813 General love, questions, Comments Additional words applicable.





Disclaimer: The views expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of BRINK magazine, or its management or owners. BRINK magazine has not verified the accuracy or completeness of the content of the submission but has relied on the warranty of the creator as to these factors. Please address any comments directly to the creator. No part of this publication may be reproduced or copied by any method, electronically or otherwise, without written permission from the publishing company. All information within is deemed to be true and reliable. The Newsstand Orlando LLC., and all those associated with this publication assume no financial liability for any misinformation or typographical errors in advertisements. We may at times recommend various businesses that advertise in the pages, but we make no claims as to their promises or guarantees or products or services. BRINKmag 2009-2010 contents The Newsstand Orlando LLC. • BRINK • 7

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BRINK buzz


Get Branded We could all argue that notebooks overall are very unstylish, but thanks

to new May Books, this will no longer be an issue. These notebooks are customizable, eco-friendly, with custom pages and durable binding. These trendy trinkets are the new best friend of journalists, great gifts for graduates, or an incredible custom gift for yourself. Preview any book with their easy to use generator at — Gamil Cyrus • BRINK • 9

check this!

Florida Vintage Map

The Row $Prices Vary

When we came across this vintage 1930’s map of Florida on Stories and Divinations Etsy — we knew we had to put it in “The Buzz.” Oranges and palm trees bask in the eggshell and turquoise colors as sailboats come into the harbor and young children frolick on the land. Sounds good, right? We thought so too. Add this to your collection and represent the Sunshine State. $21

Ashley Kate & Mary Olsen are at it again! They have created a prestigious luxury apparel, eyewear and accessories brand called The Row, sold exclusively at Edward Beiner stores throughout Florida. The collection is manufactured in the USA with handbags and knitwear made in Italy. Celebrities such as Beyonce Knowles, Alicia Keys and Heidi Klum have worn this brand and now it’s your turn. — Gamil Cyrus

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Say It Right Jacksonville is known for two things: being the largest land mass city in the nation and tampering with children’s minds on the TV show Fringe. Besides that, it’s also known for its killer entrepreneurial spirit and Right Soap falls into that category. Vegan Soap, Unscented Soap, All Natural Soap, Handmade Soap, Fragrance Free Soap, Cold Process Soap — RightSoap has it all and it smells just right. $Prices Vary

walk about

walking and shopping is alive and kicking, so be sure add these shops to your next to-do list when visiting miami.

What’s it about: “South Florida’s flagship independent record store.” What you’ll find: Pay attention folks, because this brick and mortar retail shop is what

1102 Lincoln Road Miami Beach, FL 33139 What’s it about: “ser•en•dip•i•ty (n) the art of making happy discoveries or finding the unexpectedly pleasant by chance or sagacity”

Uncle Sam’s Music 1141 Washington Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33139

Serendipity 3

we call a “music store.” A music store holds items known as compact discs and a selection of vinyl. Seriously, Uncle Sam’s is a testament to the club scene in Miami as the vinyl selection consistently improves and CDs still flourish.

What you’ll find: The famed New York City restaurant famous for its signature frozen hot chocolate has headed to

Miami. The food is great, service is on par, but as mentioned above — it’s all about the frozen hot chocolate.

score 727 Lincoln Road Miami Beach, FL 33139 What’s it about: “The premiere bar and nightclub experience in world famous South Beach on Lincoln Road.” What you’ll find: No puns needed for the name of this hip little lounge that has been on Lincoln Road for many years. Dance, drink, talk — whatever your goal is for a good night,

this is a great place to start or finish depending on your mood. Score is mostly known as a gay bar/lounge in the front with a dance floor in the back, but you’ll find many girls bringing their straight boyfriends in as the front of the space provides great conversation and stiff...drinks. Ok, one pun needed.

Dash 815 Washington Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139 What’s it about: The fabulous Miami boutique run by the Kardashians. What you’ll find: The Kardashian klan opened their new Dash retail store lokation a couple years back and

while the initial launch had some hikkups — vandalism — they seem to have found their footing. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, anyone kan admire their entrepreneurship and business savvy skills, now lokated in Miami. [We tried to add a “k” where we could for proper branding.] • BRINK • 11

Florida Wanderlust

photographer jessica castro models nicole kay clark mandy murphy

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Adventures with Ben

Ben Reed has ventured to 16 countries on six different continents, that’s over 320,000 miles traveled — but that’s not all. This busy travel blogger is also the president of his own business (Adventures with Ben LLC), a prolific writer, newspaper columnist and conference speaker. Discover Ben’s top Florida adventures, travel tips and inspirations! By Sarah Francois With Taissa Rebroff Photography by Garrett Frandsen

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What inspired you to start traveling? When I was growing up in Massachusetts, my family always went on a summer vacation. Sometimes it was to neighboring New Hampshire or New York, but my parents always made a point to take us somewhere. As we grew up, the distances grew longer and the travel bug hit. I try to travel for pleasure to one, new international country (currently I’ve hit 16) each year, and to a new place in Florida twice a year. Once you get started, you soon discover that the world has an infinite number of surprises and adventures in store for you.

let me plow through their unclaimed luggage warehouse to search for my bag -- with no luck. I fought tooth and nail with the airline to cut me a check to replace my items (which they did eventually). About five months later my bag arrived at Port Canaveral here in Florida. It had traveled to Paris, North Carolina and the Caribbean. Everything was in tact, minus one African mask and a bottle of alcohol. Unbelievable. Now, every bag I travel with has two luggage tags with my contact details and a laminated paper on the inside with the same information in case the tags get ripped off.

Why did you initially create Adventures With Ben? In the beginning, my travel blog was written as an online journal for myself. I wanted a place to capture the photos and stories of my travels. But the more I wrote, the more people started to follow, and in the nearly three years I’ve been working at it, the site has grown tremendously. But what I’ve always tried to do from the beginning is highlight some of the best experiences around the globe and encourage others to seek out their own adventure.

What is your goal with Adventures With Ben? Where do you see yourself and your site within the next couple of years? After three years of hard work, has reached a point where it is generating measurable revenue, and lots of daily traffic. All of which will enable me to introduce some new features later this year. I’m in the midst of writing two eBooks and will introduce a few new products to my already existing online store -- which has travel related products. Ultimately, my travel blog is a laboratory for me to experiment with for running my own, physical business in the next few years!

Out of all the wonderful places you’ve visited and lodged in, could you possibly have a favorite? Every destination you visit gives the traveler a feeling unlike any other location. It could be the wonderment of seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time or the sense of escape on a beach in Thailand. But for me, the destination that resonates the most is South Africa. Any visitor can see a true sense of community, pride and excitement within its people as the nation emerges from a post-apartheid era and prepares to make its mark on the global stage. And after one trip to the national parks, where you see animals in their natural environment, the Spirit of Africa will linger on forever. I’m sure you’ve seen some very interesting stuff on the road. What’s the most shocking thing you’ve come across? Any frequent traveler will tell you that at some point they have become numb to ‘surprises and shocking things.’ One of the skills you learn as a traveler is open-mindedness and flexibility. With that being said, one of the all-time shocking moments was in Dawson City, Canada. Located in the Yukon Territory, Dawson City has a drink called the Sour Toe Cocktail. The cocktail is made with a local whiskey and real, human, petrified toe. Now to be clear, you don’t drink the toe, but rather as the saying goes “drink it fast, or drink it slow, but your lips must touch the toe.” I’ve effectively ended many conversations retelling this story. The photos and video are posted on my site too. Your site contains a lot of very useful tips for travel. What are some things you had to learn the hard way? I made a rookie mistake a few years back and didn’t properly label my checked baggage. On a trip home from South Africa the bag was lost with about $1,500 worth of clothes, souvenirs and other personal items. On a subsequent trip back to Johannesburg, the airline actually

As a travel blogger at, I’m always on the lookout for great adventures in the state of Florida. And living in central Florida, you have the convenience of being close to nearly everything awesome in the state! With that being said, my top five Florida adventures are: 1 • Miami Beach From the architecture on Ocean Drive, the nightlife at some of the country’s top clubs and pristine beaches, Miami never disappoints. And if you’re traveling with a group of friends, split the cost of a hotel room at the Fontainebleau or The Perry for great pools, people watching and luxury indulgence. 2 • Tubing Down the Rainbow River On the exact opposite end of the spectrum from Miami Beach, is tubing down the Rainbow River. Caravan up with your cars loaded with inner tubes (or rent on-site), a picnic lunch and your swim suit and drift lazily down the refreshingly crisp and clear Rainbow River. Arrive early as parking fills up fast, and leave your worries behind. A must-do for any local. 3 • Silver Moon Drive-In Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to go to a drive-in movie theater. Unfortunately, they are few and far between. But an hour from Orlando, in the city of Lakeland, you’ll find the Silver Moon Drive-In — and it’s so perfect, like I always imagined it to be. For just $4 per person, you get a double feature with first-run movies. You can’t get a better deal than that! Bring your lawn chairs, dinner (or purchase at the snack shop) and cuddle up with that special someone. It’s a gem that you’ll want to visit again. 4 • The Daily City Food Truck Bazaars In the past year, Orlando’s Food Truck scene has exploded. And while it’s not a long-distance trip per se, it’s always an adventure. It’s not uncommon to see 20-30 trucks lined up ready to please the most discriminating of taste buds. From BBQ to fish, cupcakes to tacos, homestyle comfort food and everything else imaginable, it’s always a win at the food truck bazaars. You never know who you’ll run in to and what culinary treasures you’ll discover. 5 • Theme Park Events Sure, the theme parks are the big behemoths in town that are sometimes criticized for their saccharin-like take on reality and out-of-control prices, but they are a sure-fire crowd-pleaser when family from out of town comes to visit. Plus, if you visit for a special event like the Epcot Food & Wine festival, you get a bit more value for your dollar. The nighttime shows are fantastic and Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village is one of the best restaurants in the area. • BRINK • 17



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seconds or less

music John Mayer Born and Raised Out Now John Mayer’s fifth studio album releases, with leading single “Shadow Days.” The album is coproduced by Don Was (The B-52s, The Rolling Stones, Elton John) and features the return of Mayer’s superb guitar talent and melodious songs. Download: “Shadow Days” Curren$y The Stoned Immaculate Out Now Rapper Curren$y seems to be releasing hits, mixtapes, and singles non-stop for the last two years. With many guest appearances and producers, The Stoned Immaculate may be a staple record for 2012 in hip-hop. Download: “What It Look Like” featuring Wale. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Here Out Now “Home” was perhaps one of the biggest and catchiest singles to get airplay within the last four years, so fans are eagerly waiting what type of folk rock the group can cook up now. Download: “That’s What’s Up”

Book Regina Spektor What We Saw from the Cheap Seats Out Now Mike Elizondo stands in as a producer for Regina’s sixth studio album, whose previous work includes working with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, Eminem, and The Game… so this release should be an interesting one. Indie rock and folk tendances and perhaps even hip-hop influences? Sounds very interesting, to say the least. Download: “All the Rowboats,” “Don’t Leave Me (Ne me quitte pas)” Japandroids Celebration Rock 6/5 Pitchfork-approved noiserock band, Japandroids, will release their sophmore album for all to enjoy and play loudly. The two-piece guitar/drum act promsies more of a polished loudness than before, banging on instruments in a small studio that sounded as if it were solely a garage and micrphone being used. Download: “The House That Heaven Built”

Patti Smith Banga 6/5 Patti Smith may be 65, but that surely isn’t going to stop this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer from releasing anymore records. This is the first CD Smith is releasing of new material that also features a tribute track to the lategreat Amy Whinehouse. Download: “April Fool” the hives Lex Hives 6/5 The Hives are releasing their fifth album independantly, providing raw and garage sounds with a little help from Grammy winner Andrew Scheps (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Adele). Josh Homme, Queens of the Stone Age frontman, is also co-producing a song if their independent return didn’t win you over already. Download: “Go Right Ahead”

Beware the Ex-Varto (Holiday Shakespeare) by Bess auer

bobby womack The Bravest Man In the Universe 6/5 The raspy gospel/R&B singer is throwing some new electronics into the mix, thanks to Albarn, and though the singer soon turns 70 it doesn’t show one bit through his music.

film hawk is dying 2007’s The Hawk is Dying, from the book by one of my fave writers (Harry Crews -- born in Georgia, taught in Florida, and who recently passed away) was filmed in Gainesville and stars Paul Giamatti as a man obsessed with training a red-tailed hawk. Michael Pitt is his slow nephew who drowns in his waterbed after spending a mysterious evening with P.G.’s friend, Michelle Williams. Paul won’t eat or sleep and subsequently goes halfinsane until he gets the hawk to eat. There are some beauty close-ups of the bird and all the acting is top-notch -- especially Giamatti, who gives one of his best, most impassioned performances here and spends most of the film with a flapping hawk on his arm -- and if you also like hard-hitting Southern fiction, please check out Harry’s great compilation book, Classic Crews. This is a wonderfully, totally nonHollywood type film, so if you’re in the mood for something quite different but very intriguing, and if you’re a Paul G. fan, check this little-seen indie out. And R.I.P. Harry! — Kris Gilpin

— Kevin Cortez


Central Florida isn’t just known for its attractions and shopping, but also its thriving media-loving residents. Included in that group would be social media savvy Bess Auer, formerly of Central Florida Top 5. Bess has taken her love of writing and published her third book, Beware the ExVarto (Holiday Shakespeare). BEV is a great summer read for anyone looking to escape the doldrums of their everyday life and sink their teeth into a fun YA fantasy. Out now | Available on Kindle

Fla. Kristory: Note from your brink critic As a teen, I haunted Coral Gables’s Cinemateque Theater in So. Fla., where I saw imports like early Wim Wenders’s road films (Alice in the Cities, Kings of the Road), Antonioni (L’Avventura), Bergman (Persona), 1900, La Grande Bouffe, Performance, Seven Beauties, Werner Herzog (Aguirre, The Wrath of God), Peter Greenaway (The Baby of Macon), etc. I also loved the Grove Cinema in Coconut Grove. Run by 2 brothers, it showed off-beats (El Topo, Man Who Fell to Earth, Boy and His Dog, Ken Russell’s The Devils, Harold and Maude and Where’s Poppa?) and early indies (Putney Swope, John Cassavetes’s Faces, John Byrum’s Inserts, John G. Avildsen’s Joe, Carpenter’s Dark Star, Paul Bartel’s Death Race 2000, and Warhol’s Blood for Dracula/Flesh for Frankenstein). Years later I was in Orlando, where I all but lived at the Enzian Theater for 8 years, watching non-Hollytrite things like Rushmore, Scanner Darkly, Synecdoche New York, Shaun of the Dead, Let the Right One In, etc. As an adult, I have been surprised to realize how many foreign/indie films I’ve seen by being from the state, which remains my favorite memory of living in Florida. — Kris Gilpin • BRINK • 19

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(3) Hot Water Music (1) Hot Water Music initially began in 1993, where they first grouped together to create musical anthems consisting of sing-along verses over catchy dual guitar work. That sound became a staple in the 90’s and early 00’s punk rock scene, becoming one of the pioneering post-hardcore groups of their time. In 2006, that course ended, as lead singer Chuck Ragan left the group and Hot Water Music disbanded shortly after. Luckily, the band decided that after six years of being apart, they really wanted to make great music again. The Gainsville post-

hardcore group will be reuniting to put in their first album in eight years, titled Exister, due to release in mid-may. Random Encounter (2) Probably one of the nerdiest things you could do is wield an accordion in a band that covers music featured in Final Fantasy, Zelda, and Metroid. But for Orlando band Random Encounter, it could also be one of the most talented feats and coolest features. Progressive rock intertwined with video game theme music means constant variation in tempos, insane switches in

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time signature and even genre changing on occasion, lots of nostalgia, and above all, exciting live shows.

Surfer Blood (3) California isn’t the only state that can cook up surfer jams. Hailing from West Palm Beach, Surfer Blood made big noise in the indie-rock scene with their debut album, Astro Coast, in 2010. With acclaim from Pitchfork Music, Rolling Stone, Spin, and many other publications, Surfer Blood are known for their surfer anthems and lo-fi lacings. 2012 is the year Surfer Blood head back to the studio to record their sophomore album, produced entirely by Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Built To Spill), due later on Warner Bros.

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(4) Astronaultilis (4) Born in Jacksonville, rapper Astronaultilis is a genre-bending artist who draws inspiration from indie rock, electro, (5) and other sounds. His delivery is that of talkin’ blues, similar to Beck, and has described himself as “historical fiction hip-hop.” To say the absolutely least about Astro would be to simply call him interesting. He’s toured with Tegan and Sara, who helped boost his popularity majorly – so much that his newest single is now in rotation on MTV. He’s also sparked talks for being a huge talent for freestyling at live performances, with crowds picking the subject matter he raps about on spot. XXYYXX (5) 16 years old and Orlando’s most promising young talent, XXYYXX is a dreamy electric artist who’s slowly blowing up. With multiple singles and an album under his belt, XXYYXX has been featured on Indie Shuffle, Earmilk, and most recently, the YouTube music review channel, The Needle Drop. His music consists of snaps,

(7) handclaps, screwed or sped-up samples, and can easily be scribed as catchy, calm, and cool. XXYYXX definitely is an artist to look out for in the future horizon of Florida music. (8) Raffa and Rainer (6) Miami isn’t just home of thumping night life and kingpin rappers, it’s also the home of one of Florida’s best folk duo’s I’ve ever had a chance of hearing: Raffa and Rainer. The folk duo consists of soft blissful singer Raffa Jo Harris and the guitar noodling Rainder Davies. While the two only have one album titled “No Mercy,” the release will supply many for an infinite number of relaxing nights. Afrobeta (7) “Avant-dance,” duo, Afrobeta, musically bring the feeling of Miami partying through the sound of their latest free-release mix, “Wig Party.” Fun mash-ups and dancing is plenty with Afrobeta, who recently

performed at Miami’s Ultra music festival back in March. Afrobeta blends funk, synth, smooth trance notes, and disco all into one for all a massive Miami club life inspired dance-party. Rachel Goodrich (8) Probably one of Florida’s most underrated musicians, though her music has been connected with a Crayola commercial in recent times, Rachel Goodrich is one of the best Florida has to offer. She’s classy and very catchy in the pop sense, calling her style “shake-a-billy,” and offering music for anyone and everyone to listen to and enjoy. • BRINK • 21

Words With Friends With Peter Murphy Photography by Robyn Von Swank “Harold-ed” by many in the comedy community as one of the greatest improv teachers and performers of all time, Billy Merritt was rooted in Florida where he was raised, but blossomed in New York where he became one of the first students at The Upright Citizens Brigade. From humble, humidified beginnings, Merritt is instantly recognized by most as “That guy from MTV’s Boiling Points” and many of his other guest-starring roles on shows such as Weeds, Parks & Recreation, Workaholics, and Key and Peele. However, improv performers and comedians alike will recognize Billy as a member of arguably the greatest Harold Team ever assembled (The Swarm), a teacher of such comedy stalwarts as Aziz Ansari, Bobby Moynahan, Abby Elliot, Ben Schwartz, and countless others who you have heard of and will soon hear of, and most importantly, a foodie. Billy Merritt shares a few words on his time in Florida, his stage techniques, and where he would like to die. What do you remember most about growing up in Florida? Nature. The beautiful outdoors — whether it’s the beaches, or the Everglades, or the freshwater springs. I’m a bit of a bird nerd, and some of the best bird watching can be done in Florida. I look forward to someday coming back to retire. I feel I would have an upper hand on all the retirees, I know all the good early bird restaurants already; I worked in a lot of them. If a theatre like the Upright Citizens Brigade was available to you in Florida, do you think you would have stayed in the sunshine state? I think it’s more than just the UCB that defined my training, it was the experience of living in New York for 12 years, learning from multiple schools of acting and improv, and seeing and doing things you would never get a chance to do if you never leave home. A good improviser needs to have lived an interesting life in order to share that on stage. Not to say it’s not interesting in Florida, but you need to experience different cities with different cultures and attitudes. If the UCB had a theatre in Florida, it would be awesome, and I would have taken classes there immediately, but then I would join the Merchant Marines or something. When did you decide to move to New York and start studying comedy? I really wasn’t in to comedy in Gainesville. When I moved to West Palm Beach, I was kind if looking for some direction. I went back to school at Palm Beach CC and found that the theatre department there to be really good. [I] met a lot of like-minded people that loved Improv and sketch — we all had a fondness for SCTV — and we put together a little group that grew into something. We were self-taught, and in retrospect, we were horrible. We got to the point of a ‘big fish in a small pond’ mentality. We knew we had to go to either Chicago or New York. We had friends in NY, so that’s where we went. I don’t think I could of done it on my own. The group of us thought we would go to the city and make it big. Then I had to eat the others when we ran out of money. What prompted your move to Los Angeles? The business of show bizzness. There is just so much more work out here in LA. And Tacos!

What is the difference between improv in New York and improv in Los Angeles? There is an old saying about acting differences in NY and LA. You go to NY to learn how to Act and you go to LA to learn how to get paid to act. The same can be said in the improv world. NY is a wonderful city to learn in; the UCB facilities are much better. They have two stages [and] your chances to sharpen your chops are greater. The distraction of showcasing your talents in order to get work is not as strong, so the improv becomes more important. The city provides a wonderful back drop for refining your observation skills. You actually meet a lot of people not in the ‘business.’ LA is about going to work; it’s about getting your voice out there to be marketed. There are a lot of great schools of improv, sketch, and comedy in LA, and I feel you can grow and develop out here as a performer. But I have also seen people plucked too soon — when they weren’t ready — and I feel this town can be a little less forgiving when you get in over your head. You believe improvisers fall into three separate but equal groups - Pirates, Ninjas, and Robots. Describe each category and how it helps build a scene. Pirate: A performer who has no fear, initiates scenes even if [they] don’t have an idea. They are happiest when they don’t know what’s going to happen next. They provide the energy for the group. Robot: The straight person. The great justifier. They provide logic to the scenes. They are the conduit between the comedy and reality. Ninja: Dances between both worlds. They steer the show, they edit the scenes, [and] do all the

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small things (without ego) that make the show a whole performance. [More descriptions can be found on Billy’s Blog:] Do you ever have difficulty “turning it off,” so to speak, and not treating every conversation as if it were an improv/ comedy scene? At this time in my life? No. I love to turn it off. But as I was developing my improv and comedy voice, you have to keep it on — keep working it. Some of my fondest memories are sitting around the bar doing bits with my teammates; that’s how you grow. That’s how you start to define what the ‘game of the scene” is. That’s where sketch ideas come from. Remember to turn it off though if you are dating someone not from that world. They will not be amused. If you were on death row, what would be your last meal? I have thought about this, and it would be a Florida food feast. Conch fritters, grouper fingers, pan-blackened snapper, fish dip, Cuban sandwiches, yucca fried and stewed, plantains and Cooter. Boy, I sure do hope they kill me in Florida. • BRINK • 23

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Super Capacity Smiles

If you’re like me, losing different tubes of lip balm and lip gloss becomes a weekly ritual, and at the end of each month, you find yourself with five or six open flavors of lip relievers at the bottom of your bag. Sometimes, each tube is in there for different reasons: to replace a missing one, add shine, relieve cracked/dryness or strictly for the smell – and in some cases – taste. For the many individuals that are like me, fret no more. Local entrepreneur, Leila Larsen, has put an end to all of our lip troubles! Developing a fantastic brand of lip balm right here in Orlando called Silly Lips, Leila’s journey to creating lip perfection was not done overnight. Decreasing my lip balm blues and introducing me to a superb way of luscious lip-living, Leila comes to the rescue and informs BRINK on just why Silly Lips isn’t such a silly idea after all. By Kesi P. Photography by Garrett Frandsen When did Silly lips launch? Silly lips officially launched in April, but it has been in the makings for six years. It began in my kitchen back then, and in 2008, I finally had enough money saved up to start the company. What was the reason for it taking so long for the product to launch? I’m a perfectionist. Everything had to be perfect. I changed the packaging a few times too and made sure that it was a good quality lip balm. That was the hardest part. How many flavors of Silly Lips lip balm do you have? Right now there are three flavors to choose from that are all named after and inspired by my three best friends. There’s Kinky Katie – a vanilla mint flavor, Bangin’ Bekah – the strawberry flavor, and Tasty Tracy – the coconut peach flavor. We went off of what each of them liked to create the flavors. Each of the scents are amazing and do not include sweetener. When sweetener is added, it takes away the benefit of the lip

balm by making you lick your lips. Our motto is, “No sweetener added so you don’t lick away the benefit!” Each lip balm comes in a sleek tin that goes along with the vintage theme. It’s a lot easier to put in your pocket or clutch and more appealing for show than the typical lip balm applicator.

Is Silly Lips being used in any capacity outside of retail sales? Silly Lips lip balm has been used in national commercial shoots by make-up artists who love the product. We’re hoping to build that type of usage up in the near future! Where do you see the direction of Silly Lips headed? Ultimately, I can see Silly Lips on the shelves of Sephora. It fits in with that type of ‘boutique balm’ and would be perfect for the use of make-up artists. Our goal is to show a presence in the market and be known as a brand that is a good and fun product for all. Find Silly Lips at • BRINK • 25


summer’s 25

t s e g big events

“What are you doing this summer?” Whether you’re planning a vacation or staying in Orlando, summertime is an excuse to have a little extra fun in the sun. Even though it may not seem as crowded in the streets of Orlando, we find some of our favorite events popping up and making a stamp with locals during the summer months. Trips to the beach, summer tours and daytime parties like Sunday Funday at Sky60 are at the top of our Climax Events list. selected a handful of events from our new monthly feature Climax Events: Top 25 to help you answer that question in the headline and get you to reach your Summer Climax. Yelp Orlando’s Summer Street Soirée

Downtown Orlando (On Pine St., between Court Ave. & Orange Ave.) Saturday, June 9 from 4pm 6pm (FREE, ages 21+) Sip on refreshing cocktails and beer at this Yelp-hosted free street party in the heart of downtown! Featuring local DJs, beatboxers, a dance troop and more. Location: Pine Street between Court & Orange.

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SKIP’s Franchise Art Gallery Show XL Gallery May 3 – June 21 (FREE) Orlando B-Side artist/musician SKIP presents his 2nd solo art show experience “Franchise” at XL Gallery on Lake Eola featuring a vivid blend of satirical social commentary and corporate pop art. The Movement The Peacock Room Saturday, June 2 & Saturday, July 7 @ 9pm ($7, ages 21+) Plan to release yourself on the dance floor once a month at The Movement! First Saturday of every month at the Peacock Room is your perfect escape from the 9-5. Brought to you by the one and only Lazy Afternoon and guest DJ, Rich Medina. Hyper Exclusivity Death By Pop Street Wear Boutique Saturday, June 2 @ 5pm (FREE, all ages) This is an epic collaboration for Orlando street wear! Diversitile and Kickboard Kouture present Hyper Exclusivity, a limited product release party taking place at Orlando’s newest street wear headquarters Death By Pop. One day only discounts, BMX Demo by Heathen Brothers, DJ, exclusive kicks competition, skate ramps, giveaways, live graffiti wall and free beer. Sunday Funday Sky 60 Every Sunday, 4pm - 10pm (FREE, ages 21+) The best Sunday Funday party in the city! Culture Climax is a proud sponsor of this infamous rooftop daytime party hosted by the only and only Barnard Fleurima. No cover, great drink specials and the best music draws the hottest crowd in Orlando, every Sunday! Central Florida Pork & Wings Bash & Competition Central Florida Fairgrounds Friday, June 8 from 5pm- 10pm & Saturday, June 9 from 11am - 10pm (FREE, all ages) Good BBQ is a summer necessity! Taste the grilled flavors, see cooking demos, and get inspiration for your summer cookouts. Childish Gambino Hard Rock Live Orlando Tuesday, June 12 @ 8pm ($23, all ages) Childish Gambino has excelled in all forms of entertainment and has had recent success as a hip hop artist. Buzzing Detroit hip hop artist Danny Brown is also taking the stage. Classics Happy Hour NV Art Bar Every Wednesday 8pm-12am (FREE, ages 21+) Eat, drink and listen to the best of hip hop

R&B, pop, and old school music from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Plus they are opening up the NV rooftop so you can party on the rooftop this summer!

comedy. Hosted by Doug E. Fresh and live performances by Keith Sweat, SWV, KCi & Jo-Jo and Guy. Fireworks Fountain of Lake Eola Wednesday, July 4 from 4pm - 10pm Kick off your 4th of July at Lake Eola’s 4th of July festivities with live entertainment, a kids area, food and a fireworks display at 9:30pm.

Curren$y’s Jet Life Tour 2012 The Beacham Friday, June 15, 7pm ($20 advance, all ages) Hip hop’s smooth-talking stoner, Curren$y is always welcome in our city. Real Dope Entertainment hosts him and the rest of his Jet Life crew at The Beacham. Summer Swap & Shop, Presented by Yelp & Other People’s Property Friday, June 15 from 6pm - 9pm Reduce your fashion footprint... bring your old clothes and leave with some new ones. Located at 1300 Brookhaven Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. $5 advance tickets with clothing donation at Urban Rethink, $10 with clothing donation before 7pm on June 15th. Bacon-Off Audubon Park Garden District Sunday, June 17 from 12pm - 4pm ($30) Orlando’s Big Wheel Truck is going head to head versus the C&S Brisket Bus in “The Battle of the Bacon” on Fathers Day! A first event of it’s kind, the ticket includes a bacon sampler plate from each truck with tastes of bacon in 5 different categories, plus you get access to the buffet and free beer! YUM!

LMFAO Illustration by Coco Fernández

B-Side Artists 5th Annual “Sell Out” Art Show City Arts Factory Thursday, June 21 from 6pm - 9pm Orlando’s own B-Side Artists will be suited up with all new ground breaking works of art in Downtown Orlando at City Arts Factory. Come out and see what the B-Side Artists are all about and witness the progression of each show, every painting, the individual artists & their eclectic vibe. Lakeridge Winery Harvest Festival Friday, June 22 – Sunday, June 24 ($2 donation recommended, all ages) The 22nd annual Harvest Festival is one of Lakeridge Winery’s most popular events! Stomp some grapes, sip some wine, taste some delicious cuisine and enjoy arts and crafts from over 80 local vendors. Phat-N-Jazzy Presents Signed, Sealed, Delivered: A Stevie Wonder & Motown Tribute Saturday, June 22 @ 9pm ($7, ages 21+) The Gerry Williams Band will be performing 2 sets: one with their funky originals & a late set of Stevie Wonder hits. DJ BMF will be spinning nothing but classic Motown soul throughout the night.

Coke Zero 400 Daytona International Speedway Saturday, July 7 @ 7:30pm ($45-$157, all ages) Enjoy the fireworks on and off the track as the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series head to Daytona to celebrate the Independence Day holiday weekend.

LMFAO Amway Center Saturday, June 23 @ 7pm (Starts at $27.50, all ages) Don’t ever apologize for partying! The Party Rocking Tour features LMFAO, the Party Rock Crew, Far East Movement and more!

The Hostile Takeover Tour with Tech N9ne & Machine Gun Kelly Firestone Live Sunday, June 24 @ 6pm ($27, all ages) The tour also features Krizz Kaliko, MAYDAY!, Prozac, and Stevie Sloane.

Tommy Davidson The Improv Orlando July 19 @ 8pm, July 20 @ 8pm & 10:30pm July 21 @ 7:30pm & 10:15pm July 22 @ 7:30pm ($20, ages 21+) Comedian Tommy Davidson takes the stage at The Orlando Improv for 4 nights!

Orlando aLive The Social Monday, June 25 Monday, July 23 from 8pm - 12:30am ($5, ages 18+) Orlando comes aLive with live music, art, fashion, street wear and a cultured crowd at The Social. We are proud to sponsor and put together this event that showcases Orlando’s most talented artists, designers and musicians. Visit OrlandoaLive for more info.

Celebrity Mascot Games Amway Center Friday, July 20 @ 12:30pm Saturday, July 21 @ 2pm Thirty mascots from MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA and the Arena Football League compete in a variety of games to raise money for Orlando’s non-profit organization A New Hope For Kids.

Red Hot & Boom Crane’s Roost Park in Uptown Altamonte Tuesday, July 3 from 4pm - 11pm (FREE, all ages) Each year, the city of Altamonte Springs hosts a 4th of July event with a live concert, delicious food, games and of course a overthe-top fireworks display. Fresh Music Festival Amway Center Tuesday, July 3 @ 8pm (Starts at $40, all ages) The Fresh Music Festival is a celebration of the best in R&B, hip-hop, soul and

Lupe Fiasco Universal Studios Saturday, July 7 @ 8:30pm ($59.99 for FL residents, all ages) The Universal Studios Summer Concert Series is bringing Lupe to Orlando! Buzz has been swirling about Lupe’s next album Food & Liquor 2 and this show will surely get you in the mood for some good hip hop!

Nappy Roots The Social Saturday, July 21 @ 9pm ($13-$15, ages 18+) Southern hip hop group Nappy Roots will be performing live! Vans Warped Tour Central Florida Fairgrounds Friday, July 27 @ 11am (Starts at $35.50, all ages) Over 90 bands will be rocking out at Central Florida Fairgrounds like Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory, Machine Gun Kelly, We The Kings and TONS more! • BRINK • 27

Tammy Jo Fashion: Making It Work By Brandi Murray Photography by Garrett Frandsen Jill Parise-Rudzik / Hair Stylist at Nube Nove Idalis Rodriguez / MUA Hope Roberts /Model Rebecca Rodriguez / Model

How the dynamic duo of Tammy Jo and her business partner/real life partner, Oscar Trinidad, make being entreprenurs look easy

Tammy Jo and her husband Oscar Trinidad are a dynamic duo with a nitch for fashion. Tammy Jo Fashion is a product of stepping out on faith. Recreating garments that have already lived their lives into new pieces, the couple have created a business that can flourish in any environment. Thriving on a will to make moments to remember and clothing to never be forgotten, Tammy Jo Fashion focuses on sustainability. Whether hanging on the racks of Etoile Boutique — the only flagship where she can be purchased — working tables at local Earth Day events, or just hanging out with the artistic crowd, Tammy Jo makes you fall in love with her vision. How did Tammy Jo Fashion emerge? TAMMY JO: I quit my job in 2008 due to some changes at work and realized I had no clue what my next step would be. Oscar, of course, thought I should become a designer and casually suggested I look in to the industry. At the time, I had never considered designing as a career because it was something I had done for so long as a hobby. It was just something that I loved. How did you convince yourself to give it a shot? TAMMY JO: Aside from Oscar, a good friend of ours, Michelle, suggested that I give it a try because for years she had been a fan of pieces that I had made for myself in high-school. I started researching what a designer was and what being one entailed, but what I found was the total opposite of who I was. I did not want to be the ‘stereotypical’ conglomerate designer. I wanted my designs to be a recreation of my own style — I wanted it to feel like Tammy Jo. How did you know when you had finally created what you were looking for?

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TAMMY JO: I had secluded myself in a creative space working nonstop on making the perfect piece. Every time I thought ‘this was it,’ Oscar would send me back to the drawing board. OSCAR: I was her quality assurance department. TAMMY JO: He knew who Tammy Jo was and what her brand represented; I just needed to find her. [Soon] after, Flo was born — the first piece in the Tammy Jo Fashion line. [It’s] my signature — a flowy, free spirit, no bra necessary kind of girl. OSCAR: She names each of her products with names you don’t often hear in this generation — Flo. Ginny. Gail. TAMMY JO: When I create a piece, I give it a personal touch. I talk to them as if they are people. I want my client to feel as they can be ‘that’ girl. Where do your creativity and inspiration come from? TAMMY JO: Oscar believes that my creativity comes from my dad. OSCAR: He was a poet; He had to be creative. TAMMY JO: I think my creativity comes from my mom. She was a seamstress and so was my grandmother. I guess it was in my blood. OSCAR: What about the prints?

“Creativity is found in the weirdest places; do not be afraid to venture out.” • BRINK • 29

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TAMMY JO: Have you ever seen a Union tag in a garment and gotten excited about it? I see prints and pieces with these tags, and I think of the old U.S. — home of the sewing mills and the maker of one of fashion’s oldest, most timeless pieces: jeans. I get a sense of pride because my grandmother sewed flags for the Union, and my other grandmother sewed Dutch-made fabrics in the 50s and 60s. These pieces were quality garments. The U.S. was known for their quality, precision and structure. A Mecca for their craftsmanship. So where do you see Tammy Jo Fashion in five years? TAMMY JO: In a brick and mortar building with five long tables lined with sewing machines, employees who are happy to be at work, [and] a small warehouse stocked with fabrics and designs — all attached to a small shop with a rustic design. [And] industrial washing machines! The kind you see when you sneak into the hotel’s laundry room. I see my design’s developing to include maybe tiedye and restructured denim. What has being in Florida done to enhance your vision and your goal of being an entrepreneur? TAMMY JO: It’s an untouched market. However, I believe that if Tammy Jo Fashion can be a success here, why not be the catalyst? For the brand, being in Florida presents a big challenge because the people tend to not understand [the] concept but when you live day by day and trust things will happen, you continue to push. I could have went to New York where I would be one of many. But being in Florida, I help to provide a new way of thinking — a sustainable way of thinking. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in the business? Oscar and Tammy Jo: Quit your job! OSCAR: It puts fear in you. TAMMY JO: It puts you in survival mode. Stay true to what you believe. You must be passionate every single day. [Have the] drive every day you wake up, or you will lose it. You must know you will have moments where creativity does not flow, but on those days, find your secondary creative space and get out of your usual element. Don’t give up! Start sacrificing now so you have the ability to do what you have to later. Anything else you would like for readers to know? TAMMY JO: If it wasn’t for Oscar, I would not be who I am or where I am. He creates moments of truth even though they are in random passing by. We are an inseparable duo. Find Tammy Jo Fashion at, • BRINK • 31

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shopping rite

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The not so standard Shop The standard collective raise the bar on shopping in florida By Gamil Cyrus Photography by Garrett Frandsen

How did Standard Collective emerge? In October of 2010, I came up with an idea to open a lifestyle boutique in the Melbourne Sq. mall. My intentions were to come in for the holiday season and see what kind of response I could get. By early November, I had all the product I needed to get up and running. I opened mid-November under the name The Standard, but I felt [it] was missing something. About a week after I opened, I was having conversation with an amazing artist and human, Ryan Speer. I explained to him that I really wanted a name that captured exactly what the store was about. That night it hit me: Standard Collective! The ‘standard’ meaning we are setting the standard for an extraordinary, unique shopping experience. A place where people can come and feel comfortable shopping or just looking around at all the beautiful art. The ‘collective’ meaning art, fashion, [and] music forming a whole, which creates an atmosphere that represents our lifestyle. How did Standard Collective evolve into what is it today? Growing up in Satellite Beach, one of my goals was to support [the friends I’ve made] and show Brevard County how many truly amazing [and] talented [creative] we have in our own backyard. Through word of mouth and conversations with customers, I started meeting more extremely talented people who wanted to sell their merchandise in my store. A huge part of who we are and what we want to do is support locals doing something they love. Having said that, I [also] carry national and worldwide brands, such as Insight, TWLOHA, Vestal, Matix and DVS, as well as smaller independent clothing brands. All of these people are a huge part of the success of Standard Collective. Is Standard Collective a solo business or a team? Standard Collective is definitely a team. Without my wonderful employees and all of their hard work, I wouldn’t be here! My manager Alana Robey has been a huge help from day one, plus she keeps me in check. Clay Misner is a phenomenal artist and great dude. Danielle Stevens has been a great addition to the team with her retail background and our newest guy Jordan Gagnier is our little heart-breaker. It takes a team for any business to be successful, and I feel like I have a wonderful group to help me. How do you select garments for inventory and do you use any Florida designers? When it comes to buying girl’s clothing for the store I usually buy what I would want to see

a girl wearing. At the same I am very aware that some people may not have the same taste as me and we need to cater to all women but still stay true to who we are. I have to be equally open-minded about guy’s clothing as well, just because I wouldn’t wear something doesn’t mean somebody else won’t. It’s definitely challenging to get the right mix of styles, but I feel we do a pretty good job catering to all demographics. As far as Florida designers are concerned, I do have a few brands: TWLOHA (Satellite beach), Strata (Jacksonville), Society of Style (Melbourne), Fish & Kicks (Melbourne), Love Never Fails (Satellite beach), Paper Root (St. Augustine), Conforti (New Smyrna/LA), and we are building Standard Collective as a brand as well. What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to open a traditional brick and mortar shop? I would love to see more brick and mortar shops open. The best advice I could give is to make sure you open your store in a great location. Usually the better locations are more expensive, but you don’t want to put your store in a location where there is no foot traffic. It doesn’t matter how cool you are or how great your concept is if people don’t come in. Make sure you hire people you trust with all of your heart. The last thing you want is to constantly worry about your business when you are not around. How does your store appeal to your city? Standard Collective appeals to our city because we support the lifestyle and culture of the city. I feel that the concept of Standard Collective could appeal to any city because of its support of local artists, athletes and fashionistas. Every city has all them; it’s just a matter of finding them and making it happen! What are the biggest misconceptions about running and owning a store like yours? When I leave the store after I’ve worked my shift that my job is done. I usually go home and work on marketing ideas, new t-shirt graphics, make jewelry or [begin] other business related projects. I truly love what I do, so most of the time it doesn’t feel like work. What accomplishments do you look forward to within Standard Collectives in the future? We are working with an amazing local artist named Derek Gores on an art show that will open mid-August. We are also working on an artist collaboration t-shirt line with our good friends in a band called Le Blorr, as well as Anthony Conforti, called Vision Quest. We have a web store up and running. It needs a lot of work, but it’s a start. The best way for people to keep up with us is on our Facebook. We constantly update [Facebook] with new collections and events that we are putting on or part of.

Shop Standard Collective 1700 West New Haven Ave. Melbourne Sq. Mall Melbourne, Florida 32904 Store Phone : 321.759.7826 • BRINK • 37

street style Photography by Ashley Roberts

Michael Newman “I feel my style is an unpretentious comfortable dressy casual”

Kristen Bogeajis “Elegant, but quirky. Very ‘I Love Lucy’”

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Elizabeth Grace “Edgy with a splash of girly”

Mariangelix “My style is retro, fun and a little daring! I like to mix prints, colors, vintage, new - pretty much anything! I was definitely born in the wrong era!”

Steven Bonilla “My style really has no defined structure...pretty much if I dig it, I’ll throw it on and hope for the best!” • BRINK • 39

style ringer

we give you the blueprint and you make these looks your own

photography / Claude LaGuerre Jr at claude studios stylist / leah davis mua / safia michelle at lipstick mixtapes hair / Briana Danielle model / andrea wong with prodigy Model / Casey Leslie with BMG Models 40 • BRINK •

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Name: Nick Suarez

Occupation: Photographer Age: 21 Astrological sign: Scorpio Favorite libation: Tequila Ideal subject to shoot: People Favorite location to shoot: NYC What you stand for: Integrity

Models: Megan Hair/Makeup: Luisa Valdes Model: Amanda Hair/Makeup: Luisa Valdes Styling: Bhoranie Seide • BRINK • 43

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the last page


the barometer


@the818 Ambition is a real pain in the ass.

Help reduce your fashion footprint through this fun Orlando event: swap your non-used clothes & shop vintage. Orland-based Chef, Emily Ellyn, is a finalist on the Food Network show.

@hellogiggles What The Things That You Bring To A Holiday BBQ Say About You by @megsokay on @hellogiggles

Food truck meet-up every Tuesday in Orlando’s growing Milk District.


Movies starring Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers) and Dwayne Johnson (Pain and Gain) filming in St Pete and Miami! @VFShopInsider I’m headed to Vero Beach, Melbourne and Merritt Island next week to check out the shopping - any recommendations?

Yikes! Orlando is ranked the smuttiest city in the U.S., while FL shows up on the list numerous times. Man eats another mans face in Miami.


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We asked on

What is your favorite summer cocktail?

35% mar gari ta 46 • BRINK •

5% Mai Ta i 20% Beer/ wine

10% daiqui ri

10% skin ny girl

5% s a n


mo ji to

g r i a • BRINK • 47

help support and maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails

(and naturally sweetens the deal at zero calories*.)

packed with flavor, not calories * zero calories per 8 fl oz serving 48 • BRINK •

June/July 2012  
June/July 2012  

The June/July issue is a special themed "Florida" issue featuring Tammy Jo Fashion, Silly Lips Lip Balm founder Leila Larsen, Adventures wit...