In High Gear: Construction of Ace Cafe Rolls Toward Spring 2017 Opening

Central Florida is First North American Outpost of the World’s Most Famous Cafe 

Three-Acre Motor-Centric Dining, Entertainment, and Retail Destination Will Feature Full-Service Restaurant, Bars, Live Music Stages, Retail Stores, Dealership, Gallery and More

Ace Cafe Orlando LogoAce Cafe Orlando, the first North American outpost of the celebrated London-based motor-diner, is rolling toward its scheduled spring 2017 opening in Central Florida. Construction workers are in high gear completing the 35,000-square-foot motor-centric dining, entertainment, and retail destination, reinvigorating a key parcel in downtown Orlando and bringing more than 175 new jobs to the local economy. The Ace expects to draw over 400,000 people to downtown annually.

Since 1938, Ace Cafe London has been a mecca for those passionate about cars, bikes and rock ’n roll culture. The original location on London’s North Circular Road began as a simple roadside cafe for truckers, then evolved into a popular destination for rock ‘n roll-loving teens riding motorbikes during the ’50s and ’60s. Today, the Ace has a multi-generational appeal from motorsports enthusiasts from all over the world.

Ace Cafe is located on a three-acre parcel in downtown Orlando at the corner of West Livingston Street and Garland Avenue, now known as “Ace Corner.” The Ace is renovating and refurbishing three 100-year-old buildings – once home to Harry P. Leu’s supply company – preserving the structures’ authenticity and even repurposing its original materials (for example, every table inside the Ace is made from the wood and heavy timbers reclaimed from the barn on property) – while also evoking the essence of the original Ace Cafe London. “We’re thrilled to welcome Ace Cafe to downtown Orlando,” said Thomas Chatmon, Jr., executive director of Orlando’s Downtown Development Board and Community Redevelopment Agency. “This entirely-new destination’s unique blend of restaurant, bars, retail, live music and event spaces will entice a variety of demographics to downtown. The Ace’s economic impact will be immeasurable.”

Much larger than its London namesake, Ace Cafe Orlando spans two floors and will feature a full-service restaurant, two kitchens, four bars, a coffee bar, a communal counter, a mezzanine that overlooks the main floor dining area and stage, and private and semi-private spaces for groups both large and small. Rounding out the offerings inside the Ace are Rockers Speed Shop (selling official branded Ace gear and apparel); a BMW motorcycle dealer; Dainese D-Store (Italy’s most famous high-tech riding gear and accessories brand); EagleRider motorcycle rental company (the world’s largest motorcycle tourism company); and Stonebridge Motorgallery, selling an ever-changing line-up of original motorsports and rock ’n roll-inspired artwork, photography, sculptures, and memorabilia, as well as collectable vintage and one-off custom motorcycles. World-renowned artists including Michael Lichter, David Uhl, Antonio Merinero and Makoto Endo, as well as local favorites, will be represented.

More than a restaurant, Ace Cafe Orlando connects great food and dining with a passion for motoring and rock ’n roll, providing a totally unique guest experience found nowhere else in the U.S.  Under the tutelage of Executive Chef Christopher Truesdell, the Ace’s menu can be defined as American Gastro-Diner fare, featuring made-from-scratch home style comfort food with a twist that captures the authentic spirit and flavors of some of the best diners and backroad joints across the country, all at an affordable price point. Of course, there is also a nod to Ace Cafe’s roots with authentic British favorites like Bangers & Mash, Fish & Chips, and Chicken Curry. A carefully-curated list of house-made specialty craft cocktails, fresh juices, Super Martinis, wines, cold-pressed and hot spiked coffee drinks, spiked and non-spiked fresh gelato milkshakes, and an amazing beer list of craft, domestic and imported brews across 104 taps headline a bountiful array of adult beverages available from four fully-stocked bars. The Ace is also family-friendly, complete with sharable appetizers, fresh super food salads, Gluten-free options, and a children’s menu, not to mention all the eye-catching cool cars and bikes on display on any given day. Ace Cafe Orlando is destined to become a popular destination for all ages in the middle of the City Beautiful.

And then there’s the great outdoors at Ace Corner — the siren call for motor- and music-lovers, alike. Guests can drink and dine on a large outdoor backyard patio, or grab a Julius Meinl coffee while admiring hot rides through giant garage doors that open onto a large “car park,” (parking lot) where the coolest vehicles will become the focal point each day for car club and bike meets and mingling. Parking is free for Ace guests, with several public parking garages also in close proximity. When complete, the entire three-acre area can host up to 7,000 guests.

Following the opening of Ace Cafe, attention then turns to completing two key spaces inside Ace Corner, now under construction and on track for a summer 2017 opening: an 8,000-square-foot, one-story live music and bar venue called The Blue Cap Shack, also home to the area’s first Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ, the Kansas City-based BBQ restaurant voted “Best BBQ” by Anthony Bourdain, Chef Wolfgang Puck and USA Today; and a Backyard Beer Garden featuring an outdoor stage for live music accommodating up to 1,200 people, ideal for bike and car meets, concerts and private parties.

“As we get closer to opening, it is so rewarding to watch this multi-faceted project come together,” said

Mark McKee, CEO and Chief Gearhead of Ace Cafe North America. “We are building something so special, a place that’s focused entirely on the Central Florida community.  From petrolheads and aficionados to would-be enthusiasts who want to take a rental spin on the weekend, to concert-goers who want good music and specialty cocktails, to families searching for a fun and affordable dining spot – the Ace is for everybody.”

About Ace Cafe North America / Ace Cafe Orlando

Ace Cafe is the most famous motor-diner on the planet. Ace Cafe North America holds the exclusive licensee rights in North America and South America for this world-famous brand. Ace Cafe Orlando is the first North American venue for Ace Cafe. For more information, visit www.acecafeusa.com, and connect on Facebook and Twitter @AceCafeUSA, Instagram @acecafeorlando_official.

THE MUMMY – In Theaters June 9, 2017

The MummyTom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy.

Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.

From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters.

Cruise is joined by a cast including Annabelle Wallis (upcoming King Arthur, television’s Peaky Blinders), Jake Johnson (Jurassic World), Courtney B. Vance (TV’s American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson) and Oscar® winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator).

The creative team on this action-adventure event is led by director/producer Alex Kurtzman and producer Chris Morgan, who have been instrumental in growing some of the most successful franchises of the past several years—with Kurtzman writing or producing entries in the Transformers, Star Trek and Mission: Impossible series, and Morgan being the narrative engineer of the Fast & Furious saga as it has experienced explosive growth from its third chapter on.  Sean Daniel, who produced the most recent Mummy trilogy, produces alongside Kurtzman and Morgan. www.themummy.com

The Jungle Book – Family Movie Adventure Night

In a new segment hosted by The Disney Driven Life, Family Movie Adventure Night takes your ordinary movie night & transforms it into a unique & new experience…one that your whole family will enjoy!  With fun activities, themed recipes & decorations, all you need to add is your family! So what are you waiting for?

photo credit The Disney Store

photo credit The Disney Store

The Jungle Book is a movie my family has seen countless times. We have owned different versions on many sources of media; VHS, record stories, DVD, tape stories, books. The idea of trying a movie night with a story line so very familiar sounded daunting at first. Watching a Disney movie in our home is sacred, but the inevitable seems to take place – attention spans drift during the familiar dialogue, often with the movie playing in the background while other activities take place. Up for the challenge, I went straight to my favorite d.i.y. website, Spoonful, and started planning!

The Spoonful website is great – tons of ideas, from recipes to arts & crafts, to games & more!  Neatly categorized by themes/movies/characters, this is definitely a stress-free way to plan a Disney themed event. Due to the release of the new Diamond Edition of the movie, the official Jungle Book Diamond Edition site also had activity & recipe ideas. I picked 3 Jungle Book crafts : an individual craft that could be done while I was making dinner, a craft that we could do together after the movie and a color sheet, in case the “inevitable”  happened.

Table decorations

Table decorations

Every great themed movie night needs great decorations, right? Wrong. Every great movie night needs the right decorations. And for this, I called the pros- my littles. As a mission, I set them off into our vast “jungle” of a play room & told them to come back with what they though they would use to help make our adventure feel like we were in the jungle.  Returning armed with books and jungle themed toys, our table was creatively set.

In keeping with the simplicity of decorations, we did the same with the menu. There are great jungle themed, tropical dinner recipes to choose from, but instead I let the littles plan the menu. They chose chicken nuggets (Mickey shaped, of course), cheddar & broccoli rice & kaa-rots (carrots). This kept dinner prep time to a minimum, allowing me to spend more time enjoying our adventure.

Fun leaf patterns & designs

Fun leaf patterns & designs

This simple Jungle Book crown was a great way to get the littles excited before the movie. The simple pattern of the leaves left plenty of room for customization, as you can see. There were also “buttons” or “jewels” (depending if you have a prince or princess) with character pictures that could be colored & added as well.  This was the pre-dinner activity, because every Jungle Ruler needs a crown to wear while in the jungle. The “Meet the Characters” activity sheet  found on the official Jungle Book site was great to use before the movie.  I  had the Kaa, Python Party Favor, ready to do after the movie. This craft was a little tricky for smaller hands, so everyone had a job to do. I  pre-cut the pieces, while the littles assembled with the glue sticks. It was fun to do this craft while playing the music features on the bonus part of our DVD(I have not purchased the newer Blu Ray version yet).

Our movie night was  a huge success. The color sheet was sent to the art bin for another time. The littles were happily engaged in a movie they have seen dozens of times in a fresh, new way. We all worked together, ate together & played together. We are completely looking forward to our next Family Movie Adventure Night.

Have you done a themed family movie night? Are you planning to try one? Be sure to share below!

This post is linked up at The Disney Driven Life – Family Movie Adventure Night



Buzz Lightyear Spaceship Cake

Here’s an easy and inexpensive cake to make for your Buzz Lightyear fan. No special cake pans are required; the design is very basic.

I modeled this cake after a toy I found through a google search.

Bake your favorite cake in a 13 x 9 pan. Allow your baked cake to cool 10 minutes, then invert onto a baking sheet.

Cut the cake into three sections.

Move the 2 small pieces from the top of your rocket down to the base…attach them with a couple dollops of icing.

Crumb coat the entire cake.

Etch guide lines into the iced cake with a wooden skewer. Then decorate with colored icing.

I added a couple of small clean PVC figures to my cake. Not amazing so much, but definitely fun and easy!!

See? So simple. And I promise, your little spaceranger will love it!

These gorgeous pink and white Mickey Mouse cookies were given in lieu of cards at my family’s Valentine party this year. My favorite aunt brought them.

She used the cookie recipe on the Disney site and topped them with a colorful rolled fondant. The cookies turned out perfectly and looked too good to eat! Somehow, we all managed. 😉

I’ve copied Disney’s butter cookie recipe here:


2 cups of butter (4 sticks)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt


Beat butter together with the sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.

Add egg yolks and extracts and mix well.

Sift flour and salt together and add to butter mixture, beating until just combined. Wrap well with plastic and chill until firm (if rolling or shaping).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make cookie cutter cookies chill dough until firm (at least 1 hour). Roll dough to about 1/2 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes.

Cool on waxed paper and decorate

Welcome to the first edition of “Repurpose It!”

For my birthday, my wonderful husband replenished my Sharpie addiction with the big 24 pen bonus pack. If you can imagine, I have tons of crafting things.  So, where to keep 24 Sharpies (all colors of the rainbow, btw) was a predicament.  A trip to the recycle closet was in order.  And inspiration hit.  15 oz vegetable/fruit cans would look lovely on my shelf with some pretty paper wrapped around them.  Cans are so useful for holding things of that nature!


What you need:

2 15 oz veggie cans – cleaned well.(note – its not too important to get all of the paper off the can. The little bit that is stuck to the glue will be covered up with the scrapbook paper)

1 12×12 sheet of scrapbook paper

mod podge or decoupage medium of your choice

foam brush

embellishments (optional)


What to do :

I have a pre-cut template of 4″x10″  for my scrapbook paper. That should fit a standard can. Since every can could be different, test your template before you cut your paper.

  1. Cut your paper to fit the cans.
  2. Using a moderate amount of medium, cover part of the can, paying close attention to the ridges.
  3. Start wrapping the paper around the can.
  4. Smooth the paper around the can, pushing out any bubbles.
  5. Repeat these steps until the can is covered.
  6. Let the can dry for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Once dry, apply a thin amount of medium over the top of the paper.
  8. Allow to dry before applying another coat.


I usually apply 2 coats of medium over the top of the paper.  If you are wanting to add embellishments, apply accordingly. On these cans, I used sparkle paint, and this should be applied after step 6. To add ribbon or gems, add once the entire can is completely done.

These can be very unique, decorative items in your every day life & look at how green you can be, too! Get creative – there are many different can sizes out there!

Do you have decorated cans in your home/office? What do you use them for?



Happy Monday!

If I have learned anything over the years, music makes the day so much sweeter! I love having music in the background when I do anything. Well, the same theory goes for toddlers & preschoolers as well.

While there are so many different types of music one can listen to, the best kind of music is the song that you can sing along to! Kids love to sing. And you don’t have to be a singing superstar, either. Kids do not mind!

Props are great to go along with the songs, too! It helps teach the children to retell the song/fingerplay/story. My favorite Christmas song with a prop is “There’s a Little Elf”

There’s A Little Elf
Original Author Unknown
Sung to: “If You’re Happy & You Know It”

There’s a little elf that’s sitting on my nose,
There’s a little elf that’s sitting on my nose.
He is sitting on my nose,
Then off away he goes.
Now there’s no little elf on my nose.

There’s a little elf that’s sitting on my knee,
There’s a little elf that’s sitting on my knee.
He is sitting on my knee,
Just watch and he will flee.
Now there’s no little elf on my knee.

There’s a little elf that’s sitting on my head,
There’s a little elf that’s sitting on my head.
He is sitting on my head,
Then away he goes to bed.
Now there’s no little elf on my head.


The prop is a little elf made from simple art supplies :pipe cleaners, green, white & red beads & a small styrofoam ball. sequins & small straight pins or hot glue are also needed.

How to make Elf prop:
You will need:

pipe cleaners
Green, Red & White beads (approx. 38)
small styrofoam ball

What to do:
Use the pipe cleaners to make a body for the elf. Use a stick-figure as a model. Twist the pipe cleaners together so it makes a torso, arms & legs.

String 2 beads on the pipe cleaners for the torso. Stick the Styrofoam ball to the top of the pipe cleaner body. You can use whatever bead pattern you like. I used approx 6 beads for each arm & 12 beads for each leg. When done, twist up the end of the pipe cleaner to “hook” the beads in place.

Using sequins, create the eyes, nose & mouth. (I used very small straight pins to secure the sequins in place). This is definately a prop that requires supervision if you use straight pins. Hot glue is another method.

When you are done, use this elf with the song. He can sit on your nose, knee & head. When it comes time to put him in bed, be sure to whisper that part quietly & pretend to rock the elf to sleep.

Have fun!

With the holidays around the corner, there is so much fun to be had with arts & crafts & traditions! One easy craft to do (usually around December 1st) is the 25 Days of Christmas Countdown. This is an easy project, but does require adult help if using a stapler.
25 Days of Christmas
You will need:
-25 Strips of construction paper in green & red.
-A cut-out of a bell (usually in Yellow)
-A stapler or paste
-25 Days of Christmas Poem
The size of your paper strips will depend on the size of your paper chain. I tend to use small strips so the chain is not too big. Usually 4″x1″.
Place the strips of construction paper on a table & have the child sit with you. Using a stapler to fasten the strips (it seems to hold better than paste), have the child hand you alternating colors of paper strips while you make the chain. This is a great counting activity as well.
Once you have made a strip of 25 links, attach the bell to the top link. I printed out the poem & stapled it to the back of the bell so it is handy every night.
Every night before bed, I have Princess Peanut rip a link off & I read the poem to her. The we stand by the Christmas tree for a picture, as the chain will get smaller & smaller each night.

This project can be done at any time during the Christmas season. Of course, if you do this project after December 1st, just adjust the amount of paper links so when your child reaches the bell, it is Christmas Eve!

The 25 Days of Christmas Poem


December 1st til Christmas is the longest time of year.
Seems as though old Santa never will appear.
How many days til Christmas?
Its so mighty hard to count!
So this little chain of ringers will tell you the amount.
Clip off a ringer every night when the Sandman casts his spell
and Christmas Eve will be here by the time you ring the bell!