Friday, May 19, 2017

DC Planning and a FriYAY Giveaway!

Happy FriYAY!
We made it! In just a few short hours the weekend will officially begin! 
I figured I would kick off the celebrating with some 5 on Friday fun! 


* Why not start it all off with some GIVEAWAY happiness! There is one day left to enter the 'Adventure Fuel' Giveaway that I am hosting, over on Instagram. Head over and share your upcoming adventure plans with me to be entered to win this mug and a $10 Dunkin gift card! 

* We are planning a trip to DC the first weekend of June. Babe has to go for work and this is the first time that I will be getting to tack on the weekend before and go with! He has gone just about once a year for the last 7 years, so to say I'm excited is an understatement. We have a few things on our list of "to-dos": brunch at the W, strolling the National Mall, maybe a trip to see the pandas, a visit to the post office museum aka "hello PostSecret exhibit", but that's about it so far. We haven't really begun planning, those are just on my list. Anything we need to add when we sit down to really talk it through?! Any favorite spots for lunch or coffee stops we need to hit to keep us fueled?! We will be there less than 48 hours so we will be trying to pack in a lot! 

* I recently started a new job, teaching English to kids in China, through VIPKID. I am still working at the church currently and also nannying, but this is a huge step to maybe getting us on the road. The great thing is, I can work anywhere there is wifi! I can also set my own schedule (for the most part- because of the time difference I can only work mornings and evenings) and work as little, or as much, as I want. I have been having a lot of fun with it!! If you enjoy working with kids and are interested in finding a legitimate work from home opportunity, VIPKID is currently hiring. It is 30 minute classes, one-on-one with a student, and the curriculum is all preset and provided. If you use my referral link you will get a sign-on bonus if you get hired. I do have an education background, but it is not required. If you do have one it will just help you to start at a higher hourly rate, but I am pretty sure that the least you will start out at is $15/hr. If you have any questions you are welcome to email me! 

* This weekend is going to be cray! Seriously, our weekend is jam-packed starting tonight and going forward through Sunday. It's all good things, but I am sure by Sunday night my feet are going to be praying for reprieve. We are heading to St. Cloud tonight for some time with my bro/sis-in-law, tomorrow we have my nieces dress rehearsal, tomorrow night we have a fundraiser event for Agua Viva Serves (want to big on auction items? Check them out here), I work Sunday morning (not typical), then have a meeting for a team I am leading to Kenya at the end of the Summer (YAY KENYA), then it's back to work again for our evening services! Around 9pm Sunday I will be able to kick my piggies up again. It will be a whirlwind of a weekend, but I am not sad about it in the least! So many good things, with so many great people!! 

* I am still loving Chasing Slow as my morning devotional! Seriously, this girl speaks right to my soul! It may be that it's also been a really long time since I have done any kind of morning quiet-time routine and just needed it, or that I typically have a hard time with anything non-fiction, but I am just completely engrossed! Any books you are loving lately?! 

That's about it for my Friday! 
What's going on in your world?! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

#TravelTuesday 16// Great Camping near Orlando and Central Florida

Happy #TravelTueday!! 
I know, you're thinking, "but it's Wednesday?!" 
Yes, this month's link up is going live a day late, but... life y'all! I just couldn't get my ish together enough this week to have it up yesterday. Thanks for being patient with me! 
So excited to see where you have been adventuring though, so don't forget to leave your link below so that we can all adventure together! 

This month I am sharing some of my favorite camping spots in and around Central Florida. They are no more than a 2.5 hour drive from Orlando, so there's less drive time and more play time!! So, in no particular order... 

1.) A Quick Getaway- Moss Park (in Orlando)

Moss Park is actually an Orange County Park, but it is one of our favorite places to go when we just need a quick getaway. We have gone for one night when we just need to shut the world away for a bit. We have spent full weekends there for Babe’s triathlons. It’s a beautiful, quiet park, with the camping tucked back away from the public access part of the park. There is a beautiful lake, both for boating and other water activities (the campground has it’s own boat dock if you have a boat to bring), as well as a roped off spot for swimming. There is also great hiking, both in Moss park and at the adjacent Split Oak Mitigation Park through an access trail. It’s only $18 per night if you are an Orange County resident ($23 otherwise) and only about 20 minutes from our house, often with open spaces, even last minute. For those from out of state or further away in Florida, looking for a great place to camp that is close to all the theme parks, it’s a great alternative to some of the pricey spots out closer to all the craziness. It’s quieter and beautiful and not a bad drive into the parks at all (about 30 minutes). (Moss Park YouTube Review

2.) Relaxing, Cool-Off Getaway- Rainbow Springs State Park (1 hr 40 min from Orlando)

Rainbow Springs State Park is one of our favorite spots when we want a more relaxing weekend! Known for its river tubing, it is a great place to go when you really just want to kick your feet back. It can be really hard to get a spot in the summer, so this is definitely a spot you need to plan ahead for (we booked 6 months in advance), but it is totally worth it as a spot to beat the Florida heat! There is a tram that runs from the campground to the river pull out, but you do have to pay $15 to use that service (also includes a tube). To find out how we tubed for free, as well as more in-depth details of the park and amenities, check out our full post on Rainbow Springs State Park

3.) A Day with the “Dinosaurs” Getaway/ *Best spot for camping with kids- Highlands Hammock State Park (a little less than 2 hours from Orlando)
Highlands Hammock State Park was such a fun spot! Though the campground was very crowded when we went, and we found the spots to be a little too close together, the park is simply stunning. The trees there are thousands of years old and huge, some you can even stand inside of. I felt like I was walking through a scene in Jurassic Park! The trails are all really unique and very neat. We loved the catwalk trail, with the cut off boardwalk that ran through the swamp. The park also included a tram ride through ranger only park land, a museum all about the creation of the state park system, and a craft morning for kids (select weekends).

4.) A Historical City Getaway- Faver-Dykes State Park (1.5 hrs from Orlando)
We had been trying to find a spot to stay near St. Augustine, so that we could go explore the city and the history and eat all the yummy foods.  Anastasia State Park (just 5 minutes from St. Augustine) can be really hard to get into. Luckily, Faver-Dykers isn’t that much further; an easy 20 minute drive. It’s not only a convenient spot to get close enough to spend the day exploring St. Augustine (check out this post to see how we spent our 10 hours in the city), but the park itself is also great. It’s right off the interstate, but tucked far enough away that you would never know. There is a gorgeous river to spend the day paddle boarding on and a few fun trails to explore! The wifi is patchy, but that just makes it all the better in my opinion, because you can truly unplug. The spots are spacious and wooded and very well kept! (Faver-Dykes State Park YouTube Review

5.) A Beachside Getaway- Fort De Soto County Park (2 hours from Orlando)
Fort De Soto was actually the first place we ever took Flo, and we loved it so much, we were back just a year later to enjoy it with friends. The spots are great; most of them right on the water. From your spot it’s a super quick car (or bike) ride to the beach. They also have the old forts to explore, as well as a museum that discusses the history of the forts and the park. Babe and I love exploring old forts and ruins and learning more about the history of Florida (well, he loves reading all the signs and learning all the facts; I love exploring all the nooks and crannies and pretending like I was living in the forts back when they were actively used). There is also a ferry that you can take to Egmont Key, an island accessible only by boat, for a day of more fort exploring fun, a more private beach experience, and the possibility of wading with the stingrays!

6.) The Perfect Paddle Getaway- Manatee Springs State Park (2 hrs 15 mins from Orlando)
Manatee Springs State Park, though the furthest on the list, is a great spot to do a little river paddling. Manatee Springs has an outdoor outfitter that you can rent canoes or kayaks from right there in the park. Anderson's Outdoor Adventures will provide you with an rental equipment (or you can bring your own) and they will then take you up river by van so that you are paddling back to the park with the current. It's a ten mile paddle back to Manatee Springs from where they drop you off so it is still a good full morning of paddling, you just don't have to fight the currents! If you leave early enough in the morning you can be back in time to get some super yummy BBQ that they make right there on property. We each got a meal, but they are so big you could definitely split one between 2 people. They also have the MOST AMAZING SWEET TEA that I have ever had (and I like to think that I have had some good ones)!! There is also a swimming/ snorkeling spot in the park, as well as a system of underwater trails for anyone who is scuba certified. 

Honorable Mentions
Though we prefer to stay at state or county parks, because of cheaper rates and having everything right there (hiking, outdoor activities...) these two Thousand Trails resorts get honorable mentions. Even though the price per night is a bit more they were super clean, had full sewer hoookups and great resort amenities! 
* Crystal River RV Resort- right on the water with the ability to rent pontoons and in close to proximity to being able to swim with the manatees!! 
* Clover Leaf RV Resort- We stayed here and then drove over to Weeki Wachee for a day with the mermaids!! 


These are just some of our favorite, easily accessible spots, from here in Orlando. There are still so many to explore and we can't wait to do just that! What are your favorite spots for a weekend in the woods?! Any good camping near you we need to check out? 

What adventures have you been up to? 
Try a new restaurant in your own backyard? 
Taken a day trip in your home state? Journeyed to far off lands? 

Link up below and let's travel together!! 

~On the 2nd Tuesday of every month I will be sharing a new travel post and would love to see where you have been exploring!
~Any linked posts will be pinned under Travel Tuesday on my Pinterest account. 
~Please leave a little love on the post directly before yours and then anywhere else you like! That way we can all grow this community together :) 
~Not many other rules, as I am not a huge fan of those sorts of things! Just add any travel related link and I encourage you to peek around and see where everyone else has been. 
~Feel free to grab the image from the sidebar and add it to your post so others know where to link up. 
~I will also be sharing my favorite post from the month before. April's fave was from Anne of In Residence, because her trip to Malta looked absolutely stunning and has me itching to visit! 


Friday, April 28, 2017

FriYAY Fun! Life Lately!

HAPPY FriYAY!!
I feel like Friday has become post day for me, but hey, what can I say?! I LOVE Friday! So why not share that with the world! I'm joining in for some more 5 on Friday fun with a little peek at my world recently... 

1.) My bestie left and moved to another state and I am sad, sad, but we did get some good quality time in before she left with a stay at Disney's Swan and Dolphin. Staying there had been on my Disney bucket list, because it had been one of my grandparent's favorite resorts, not to mention one of Disney's original hotels. Though now managed through Marriott, it was still a magical Disney evening! We dined, we lounged and we soaked up every last bit of fun together that we could! 

2.) Next weekend we head towards the Florida Panhandle for a stay at Torreya State Park. We had originally planned it for last weekend, when I didn't have to work Sunday, but had to switch to this weekend. We will have a little bit of a shorter window, as we will have to leave early on Sunday for me to make it back in time, but looking forward to journeying a little further from home. Any North Florida tips on things we should do? 

3.) I have been reading Chasing Slow recently and y'all?! You NEED to read this. So, so good! I usually have a really hard time getting through anything non-fiction. I grab a devotional or inspirational, self-helpie book with the best of intentions, then I get maybe a couple pages in and can go no further. They just can't keep my interest. Chasing Slow though?! Totally different story. Maybe it's because I feel like she is speaking my kind of language; speaking about a found love for less, talking to my heart about the letting go of the fast, rat-raced "American Dream" for a slower, life-lived journey. Maybe it's her story-like, laid back writing style, but whatever it is, I can't get enough. If you find me quoting strange things soon, that's what it's from... "The thing about the American dream, about marital bliss, about any rewarding pursuit in this world, is this: it isn't a given. It's a gift. When you forget this, when you forget to handle this gift with care, you will see that the American dream isn't a dream at all. It is a nightmare, and you have been thrashing through it, your twisted sheets a noose. And you question whether you can live with the snooze button." 

"We are young and a little dumb. Mostly, we are just young enough to think we aren't dumb at all." 

"Sometimes the most holy thing we can do is to be still. To sit down and twirl the fork and eat the pasta we're given." 

Seriously you guys?! This book (on sale on Amazon right now) is a must for any of those looking to slow down and wondering if less really is more... spoiler alert: it is!! 

4.) I tried Bulletproof coffee recently and let me just say, "game changer!" I started with just the basics: grass-fed butter, coconut oil and added a little creamer and almond milk, then blended it all up. Amazing, frothy goodness!!! It really did seem to help with my mental clarity and held me off until lunch. I now add a little bit of protein powder (just a smidge) and I "bit the bullet" (pun totally intended) and bought the official Bulletproof coffee Brain Octane Oil. I will let you know if I find it to be any more "powerful" than regular Publix coconut oil. 
5.) Because it's Friday and because I am trying to be productive today and plan all our upcoming adventures and do all the things, I thought it was time for a little Sweet Journey Shop perk. You can head over to Etsy and use the code FINALLYFRIDAY for free shipping through Monday! 


Happy Adventuring All!! 
Any fun plans for your weekend?!