Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Holidays!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! 

We leave this morning for a little after Christmas camping near St. Augustine, so before heading out, we just wanted to wish you the happiest of holidays from our home (and home on wheels) to yours!! We pray you had a wonderful weekend celebrating with your loved ones and that you have a fabulously wonderful New Year! 
See you all in 2017!! 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mending Relationships and Forgiveness at Christmas

I posted this over on Instagram originally, but figured I would share it here as well for those that don't follow on IG. I know Christmas can often become heavier the older we get, so if the following is one of the reasons it seems harder each year, I hope that this leaves you feeling a little lighter and knowing that you aren't alone... 

I saw the above words on the wall the other night at The Coop and they been on my heart ever since, because it is so very true; it really is never too late to mend... After my brother died there was still something about our relationship that needed mending; a forgiveness that was needed, both towards him and towards myself. Once I was able to forgive the hurt that I felt he had caused our family, I also realized I needed to forgive myself for some of the hurt I am sure I caused him when my anger at his addiction got the best of me.


Mending that, for me, changed a part of my heart and while it doesn't make the loss of him at Christmas any less hard, I can now simply feel the hurt of loss at the moments he isn't here for, instead of holding onto some of the bitterness. I can approach the holidays with reminders of happy memories, because that was one thing about Christmas, whenever we were together, even if every other day was a battle, Christmas Day seemed to always just be a good one!


So please know that if you're hurting this season, if you are missing someone or if there is a relationship that needs to be mended, if there is someone you need to forgive or ask forgiveness from- be it a parent or child, a friend, a spouse, a sibling, or even yourself- it is never too late... after all isn't that what Christmas is all about? God fulfilling a promise to mend a broken world. Christmas is the ultimate mending of a relationship, when a Baby was born and laid in a manager, to set a course that would mend our relationship with God once and for all! And I am so very thankful for that!


If you find yourself hurting this Christmas, please know that my prayers and thoughts are with you. I hope that you find small moments of happiness to balance the heavy and make the load a little lighter. 

If this helped your heart and you would like to read further thoughts on past Christmases since my brother has been gone you can read them here; both the heavy moments and the lighter ones

Friday, December 16, 2016

Five on Friday! Camping and Birthdays and Giveaways, Oh My!

Happy Friday Friends!! 
It has been one whirlwind of a few weeks since we got back from our trip on the Allure of the Seas, so I figured we would do a little catchup with some 5 on Friday fun today!

Here is a peek into my world recently... 

~Camping with Friends~ This past weekend we headed down to Fort De Soto to do a little camping with our friends, Amanda and Dustin. This was the first time we went camping with another couple since we got Flo and we has a blast! We introduced them to Geocaching, they introduced us to the wonderfulness that is hammock-tent camping (this is on my Christmas list for if we ever go backpacking); we explored, relaxed and ate all the foods. It was a wonderful time, in the great outdoors, with like-minded people.

~Yummy Barbecue~ Anytime we go camping we try to pick a different BBQ place to try near (or on our way to) each destination, so on the way home from Fort De Soto we stopped at Deuces BBQ in St. Pete. YUM!! This place was not only super cute (a little blue building with picnic tables out back for those who enjoy to eat outside like us), but also had a really authentic, home-cooked BBQ vibe. The smoker was out back and the guy was still cooking when we got there (we actually arrived a little before it was open). It must be a really knit together community, because they knew we were from out of town. They guys running it were great and the food was delicious! There is some kind of distinct seasoning combination they use, because I could taste it in everything I got from the mac-n-cheese to the sweet sauce they had and it made it a truly unique and delightful experience. I love when BBQ places have their own flavor combinations, because it makes them stick out in my mind. They also had AMAZING sweet tea!! I was sold and would definitely go back again. I got the pulled pork sandwich and Babe got the rib sandwich. They load you up, so you could also totally share! 

~Birthday Extravaganza Weekend~ Babe turns old TODAY!! He is currently out kicking-off the celebration with his sister at the new Star Wars: Rogue One movie. When he gets back we are officially celebrating the beginning to his 33rd year of life! Then on Saturday we celebrate my big day. I will be turning the big 3-0 on Sunday (eek)!! I can't believe I am going to have been alive for 3 decades!! We took the cruise as my main celebration, so we will spend the evening with a few close friends and call it a close. #BonVoyage20s

~Trip Planning~ We are heading out the day after Christmas for a little camping near St. Augustine and I am so excited!! While we will spend most of the time at Faver Dykes State Park, we are going to head into St. Augustine for one of the days. I really want to see the fort (surprisingly enough I have never been there, despite the fact that it is typically a Florida field trip right of passage) and we were told to see the Christmas lights on the bridge, but other than that I am not sure where else to go or what to eat. Too many options can make me go a little bonkers!! Has anyone been? Any recommendations for places we must see and food we must devour?! I would love some tips in the right direction!


~Happy Feet and a Giveaway~ So, I received these cushioned foot pads to try from a company called Sole Patches. Maybe it has something to do with being almost 30, but y'all, my feet hurt! My poor little piggies are so tired and worn out by the end of the day. I was excited for the chance to give these a try and I am so happy I got the opportunity. Game changer!! Sole Patches come in a set of 6 for $9.95 (you can get them through their website or on Amazon for those with Prime) and in my mind that is pretty reasonable for how well they work and how long they last. There are two options for wearing your Sole Patch. You can apply it directly to your foot for day of use or apply it directly to a shoe and it will stay until it's worn down, which would take a while (at least at the rate I wear my heels). I tried it on my foot, under the ball of my foot where I tend to get the most discomfort, and wore it with my tennis shoes. Honestly, I have been needing to invest in better shoes for a while now, but haven't taken the time to get a pair. The Sole Patch helped to keep me comfortable and even provide a little support. I applied another pair directly to my heels. 


Guys, these heels are the bane of my existence! I wear them maybe once a year, mostly because I dread putting them on so much! My feet slide forward and they feel hard as rocks. The Sole Patch changed that completely!! They kept my feet in place, so that my toes didn't pinch in the front and gave me the cushioning I needed to not feel like I was walking on needles. Does it mean I will be wearing them every weekend?! Doubtful! I'm a woods girl, not a downtown gal, but the Sole Patches will come in handy for big events, like weddings or my birthday this weekend when girlfriends try to convince me I must wear those horrible beasts of a shoe. Sole Patches definitely made my feet far more happy!

And now you can have the chance to make your tired toes happy too!! I am giving away a box of Sole Patches (and a pair of cute cozy socks) to one lucky winner! Just enter below. The winner will be chosen and emailed on Monday. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!! 
What's going on in your world recently?


**This post was sponsored by Sole Patches and BrandBacker, but all opinions are entirely my own. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

#TravelTuesday 11.5// A Year in Review

Happy Travel Tuesday... Again!! 
So, apparently when you go away on a cruise and enter back into reality, you tend to have no idea what month day week you are in. I went ahead and added a whole extra week to the month of December and thought that last week was the second week of the month. 
Newsflash to self: It wasn't! 
Anyways... I had posted this month's travel linkup a bit early and because of that error I am posting another linkup on this post so you still have two weeks left to join in (the linkup in last weeks post is now closed), but hey just meant that we had an extra week this month. If you are going to add an extra week to any month I guess December is the one to do it! 

Since I already shared a post last week, I thought that it might be fun to take a look back at the year and relive all of the adventures!
So, here is a year in the life of my travel fun... 


~January~ Georgia fun! We traveled to Savannah after Christmas last year and did a little parking lot camping in the heart of Savannah and then spent some time along the gorgeous Ogeechee River at Fort McAllister State Park

~February~ I finally got around to sharing some of the highlights from our honeymoon in Greece and Turkey... nothing like a post 6 years in the making! 

~March~ We had our first true boondocking (camping with no hook-ups) experience and it was definitely one wild time! 
~April~ I spent a little time talking about traveling fears and international travel.

~May~ I shared about our trip to Highlands Hammock State Park and some seriously amazing roadside barbeque! 

~June~ There was no linkup in June, but I did share some of my favorite Summer must haves and a few resources for fellow RVers. 

~July~ We did a little horseback riding to celebrate my sister-in-laws 30th and our time at Forever Florida was a true trip back in time! 
~August~ We travel to Georgia every August with my nieces and nephews, so I shared 5 great North Georgia day trips that are kid-friendly. 

~September~ We went on a river tubing adventure at Rainbow Springs State Park. Probably one of my favorite Florida trips! Can we go back now?! 

~October~ I shared some of my cruise must haves to get ready for a girls cruise with my mama, sister and cousins. Sadly, Hurricane Matthew had other plans and we did not get to sail, but now I just have more cruise fun to look forward to in April!! 

~November~ I did a fun ABCs of Travel experiences survey. If you haven't done one, it's a great way to take a fun trip down memory lane! 

~December~ Babe and I took a trip on the Allure of the Seas and I shared a little sneak peek at some of our favorite moments! 

It was really neat to take a look back at all we have done this year and makes me realize how truly blessed I am to get to spend so much time out on the road! I replayed a few of my RoadTalk videos and have also come to realize how much a learning process every new adventure can be! Some of those earlier videos make me cringe laugh out loud, but I guess that's the fun in it. It had been one heck of a year, that much is true! 

Are you planning to try anything new in the New Year? 
What travel fun have you had in 2016? 

Share your link 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
~No real 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. Leave a little love where you like! 
~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. November's fave was from Emma Eats and Explores, because a wine tasting in Tuscany totally makes me go goo-goo eyed and gets my wanderlust flowing! 
 


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

#TravelTuesday 11// Fun on the Allure of the Seas

Happy Tuesday Adventurers!! 
It's time for another #TravelTuesday Linkup and I can't wait to see where everyone has been! 

This past week we packed our bags and headed out on the high seas! A week aboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas was the perfect getaway. Babe surprised me with the trip as a way to say bon voyage to my 20s, since I turn 30 (eek!) on the 18th. While I can't wait to go into all the blissful details and each adventurous, exciting moment from each port destination, I am still playing catch-up around these parts. So I figured I would start by just sharing my top 5 favorite moments from the week and dive into the details later! 

So here they are (in no particular order)...
1.) Our very first balcony room!! We LOVE to cruise, but had yet to opt for a balcony because (1.) they are typically crazy more expensive and (2.) we are never in the room and therefore didn't think they would be worth the $$. Y'all, we were wrong!! So, we get on the boat last Sunday morning and here I am planning for an interior room and dreaming about the amazing sleep I will get since those rooms let in absolutely no light. Well, we start walking towards room 208 and I start to realize all the even room numbers are on the side of the ship that I keep seeing balconies in (the doors were open because people were still cleaning rooms). I turn a give Babe a "what's going on" look, but he looks clueless and so I assume at some point we will hit the end of the balconies and be at our room. Enter room 208 and there is sunlight streaming in through the sliding glass door! That stinker splurged and surprised me with a balcony as the cherry on top of our adventure and it was worth every cent! We had breakfast out there pretty much every morning, enjoyed coffee with views of the ocean while still sitting in our pjs, and were able to enjoy the most glorious sunsets while getting ready for dinner. With an interior room we were always planning around sunset to enjoy the beauty, even if it cut close to an event we had scheduled that we needed to get ready for. With the balcony we were given constant access to the stunning views! Though we won't be opting for it every time (it's still expensive, yo!) it will definitely be something we fork out the extra cash for when it's an extra special celebration (so maybe in another 10 years or so)! 

2.) Time to RELAX!! We usually read through the itinerary for each day and pick a couple activities to keep us busy (trivia, dodge ball, ping pong tourneys...), but this trip we ended up doing a whole not-a-lotta! We laid out in the sun, splashed in the pool, soaked in the hot tub and basically didn't leave the sun deck until it was time to go get ready for dinner. 

I even managed to read this month's book club selection, even though when I first started it at the beginning of the month I hadn't been sure if I would read it. I am really glad to say I did! Two from Galilee is a great book for the Christmas season. Though hard to get into at first, about 1/4 way through I ended up hooked and was crying by the end. It is a historical fiction story about the life of Mary and Joseph, as Mary finds out she is going to give birth to Jesus. It was really interesting to read about Mary through the voice of a young girl, coming of age and falling in love who then must shoulder this huge blessing and responsibility. It made her seem so much more human to me. Though it is fiction, it played closely to biblical scripture and to be given glimpses into what Mary may have been thinking and feeling really pulled at my heart strings, so that by the time they flee to Egypt I am in tears on the my lounge chair trying to not look like a blubbering baby on a cruise ship! 

3.) Dragon Tail Coaster! On Royal Caribbean's private island, in Haiti, there is the option to do this bobsled mountain coaster thing. So. Much. Fun!! It's twists and turns down the mountain and gives awesome views of the beauty of Haiti. You control the speed, so of course when it was Babe's turn to drive he is literally full-throttling it around each turn (even when it says to break), but it made for one wild ride! More specific to come later! 

4.) The BLUE HOLE in Jamaica!! Jamaica is a beautiful place! We chose to go to the Blue Hole, which was an awesome spot for any adventure lover! There's cliff jumping, waterfall hiking, waterfall repelling and so much more to explore. I could have stayed all day! Sadly, our window of time was short, but at least our time was packed full of adrenaline loving moments!! 

5.) Broadway on a boat!! Typically we cruise Carnival; it's just become our preferred line of cruising. We love the variety and endless options at any hour of the day, but one thing we find lacking is the headlining shows. Royal Caribbean takes shows to another level and this cruise we got to watch Mamma Mia on the high seas! When Babe first told me I must admit that, while super excited, I was also a little skeptical. Mamma Mia is my all time favorite Broadway play. I am not sure how many times I have seen it (and no, I am not counting the movie), but I think this was probably my 6th time seeing it. Needless to say, I was hesitant that a cruise ship production would do it justice. When I say I love it I mean that I have the original cast recording on CD, know every lyric to every song (which helped me win the If You Know It, Sing It Game Show on board actually), can repeat most of the cast lines and had a mother-daughter dance to " " at our wedding. The first time I went my mom (being a die hard Abba fan) literally had to drag me to it, but 10 minutes in and I was hooked! So I like to think I know when it was done right and when it wasn't. The cast on literally KILLED IT! They were amazing! Though there were a few I thought could have been better cast, most of the characters were actually the best I had ever seen! I was singing, I was half ready to burst forth from my seat and start dancing in the aisles, I LOVED every single minute! Royal Caribbean tends to be a bit more expensive than Carnival cruises, but with shows like that it isn't surprising. "Mamma Mia, here I go again, my my, how can I resist you?" I couldn't! I was entranced!

It really was one great trip and I can't wait to share more about all the awesome happies soon!!

Happy Travels! 
Where have you been exploring lately? 
Share your link 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
~No real 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. Leave a little love where you like! 
~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. November's fave was from Emma Eats and Explores, because a wine tasting in Tuscany totally makes me go goo-goo eyed and gets my wanderlust flowing! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

It's that time of year again! 
It's pumpkin seed season!! 

The time of year where I start hoarding pumpkins, asking friends if they will be using the ones they had sitting on their porch steps now that Fall is ending, and seeing if I can make them last into the new year. Last year I was still baking pumpkin seeds in January! This is not an exaggeration! I love me some pumpkin seeds, so I figured I would share my favorite recipe again, for anyone who loves them as much as I do!! 

Ingredients
Olive oil
Honey
Garlic Salt 

I am not a measurer of things, so if you need precise, then I'm really sorry. I kind of just throw in a little of this and a lot of that depending on my feelings in any particular moment. So here is a general overview of my step-by-step process... 

Step 1) Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. 
Step 2) Cut open pumpkin and scoop out seeds. Then place all the seeds in a bowl of semi-warm water. I let the seeds soak for a minute or two and swoosh them around the get the stringy pulp separated. The pulp should settle to the bottom and then I fish the clean seeds out and place them on a paper towel. I like my seeds to be cleaned (no thick pulp), but not too clean (still a little orange film), because I think it adds more of that pumpkin seed yumminess when finished.  
Step 3) Pat the seeds dry with a paper towel. I will usually do this twice, transferring the seeds from the first paper towel to a second in between patting (that way the seeds aren't sitting on a wet paper towel). The new paper towel will help to soak up some of the extra moisture, but I don't ever wait for the seeds to dry. Some people will tell you that's a thing (and that you must wait), but I am too impatient to have that be one of my things, so they are still moist when I stick them onto their baking sheet and this method hasn't failed me yet! I prep the baking sheet with aluminum foil and a sprinkle of olive oil (makes cleanup a cinch).
Step 4) Place the seeds in a plastic bag and pour in just a tad of olive oil, quiet a good squeeze of honey and about two shakes of garlic salt. I close the bag and get to shaking. I shake (and knead) until all the seeds are coated, check to make sure I feel they are evenly coated (if not, or I just feel in the mood for more, I will add a dash more salt and honey) and then spread them evenly onto a foil lined baking sheet. *Note: You could mix in a bowl, I just find the bag helps to spread the honey and salt evenly and makes cleanup a lot easier!
Step 5) After making sure they are evenly spread (not a lot of seeds overlapping) I will sprinkle more garlic salt on top so that the seeds have an even coating of salt. Then for good measure, I squeeze just a bit more honey to give it a good pop and then place the pan in the oven. 
Step 6) Bake for 12 minutes and then take the pan out and flip the seeds. Pop back in oven for another 12-15 minutes or until golden brown (or crisped to your preference). Babe prefers his seeds a little more crispy so sometimes I will leave them in a little longer for him. Just watch carefully, they can go from brown to burnt real quick! 
Step 7) Voila! Just let cool and enjoy!! 
  
How seeds look going in... 
How seeds look coming out! 
Pumpkin seeds are one of my favorite fall snacks! 
Happy munching!! 
How do you prepare yours? Any other sweet and salty recipes I should try?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

#TravelTuesday 10// 27 Great Travel Experiences aka My ABCs of Travel

Happy Tuesday fellow travel lovers!!
It's time for another #TravelTuesday linkup!! 
Can't wait to see where you have been adventuring lately!

This month I am taking a page from Sea Salt Secrets blog and taking an ABC's of traveling survey, because I thought it looked like so much fun! So here goes...
Age of first international trip: 23 for our honeymoon in Greece
Best foreign beer Beach you've visited and where: I'm much more a wine gal than a beer drinker, so beer to beach seemed like a good trade! My favorite beach so far has been this little hidden oasis we found in Grand Turk (off a trail behind the lighthouse), with a little natural swimming pool, where we had the whole place to ourselves for the entire afternoon. 
Cuisine (favorite): Costa Rican; I have gone on two different mission trips to Costa Rica and while working, the people in the community we are serving in cook lunch for us and then we all enjoy a meal together. Best. Food. Ever!!
Destination (favorite): Oh gosh, this one is hard! Each destination has it's own uniqueness that makes it a favorite for different reasons. Though not a specific destination, I think some of my all time favorite moments happen on quiet trips in our travel trailer, Flo, or while we are on a cruise. There is just something so calming about being unplugged from the rest of the world. I really loved Grand Turk and Aruba!
Experience that made you say wow: African safari in Kenya!
Favorite mode of transportation: Large scale; cruise ship! Small scale; the back of a scooter (driving freaks me out!)! Overall; driving in Flo, so that we are always carrying "home" with us! 
Greatest feeling while traveling: Just taking in all the beauty the world has to offer; the different scenery, diverse and unique cultures, etc. That feeling that you can make you seem so small in comparison and yet so full and connected as well!
Hottest place you've ever traveled: Am I allowed to say home?! Florida is hot, y'all!! Though actually out trip to Savannah was super hot and muggy, so that might beat it?!
Incredible service you've experienced: The people in both Costa Rica and Kenya were so hospitable. Their caring hearts and welcoming nature was far better, in my opinion, than any "first-class" service at any resort ever. They open their homes, hearts and community to make you feel like you are part of their family! 

Journey that took the longest: Kenya, for sure! But it would have been worth so much longer. Such a beautiful place, with beautiful people! Even though many were living in what were the poorest conditions I have ever experienced; people were smiling and inviting and just so loving!
Keepsake from your travels: We don't like spending much on souvenirs. Instead I like to find little treasures from each place we go; sea glass from Mykonos, shells from Grand Turk, neat stones I find while we are out hiking. I do like to get ornaments from different landmarks if I feel like they are affordable. Hanging them on the tree each Christmas brings back all the memories!
Least favorite destination: Honestly, probably New York City (or maybe Athens, Greece- minus the ruins). Too overwhelming for my senses! I am definitely more of a great outdoors kind of girl, but I love a good city with great restaurants and food close at hand (I mean I do call Orlando home... for now), but I think those cities were just a little much for me. Large crowds of people make me nervous and I start to feel claustrophobic and no matter where you were there just always seemed to be tons of people.
Moment when you fell in love with travel: Oh man, I don't know! I think it's just always been ingrained in my heart. But I think when we got our travel trailer was when my thirst to really "just go" fully kicked in.
Nicest hotel you've stayed at: Honestly, I prefer renting a house or little villa to a hotel. One of my favorite places we have ever stayed was this little cozy cabin in North Carolina. It had a little creek running through the backyard, a lovely fireplace and a tree swing. It could have had just the swing and I would have thought it was the best little place. Give me cozy cabin over fancy hotel any day! 
Obsession (what you take pictures of most while traveling): Honestly, the people I am with... I know there are so many great sights to capture, but I love experiencing it all with the people I call mine. I want to stop that memory, and the feeling that came with it- even if just for a moment- so that I can always look back on it and think, "yep, that was a happy moment and we were all together!"
Passport stamps (how many & where from): I can't seem to find my passport (eek!), so this will be updated when I get my life together and can put my finger on it again!! Soon (fingers crossed)!! 
Quirkiest attraction you've visited: I love a good road-side attraction! I really want to hit up Route 66 someday, but I think so far the quirkiest (and possibly sketchiest) thing would have to be when a friend and I stopped at this little road-side farm/commune when we saw a sign for "piglets for sale". That was one strange little place for sure! A big bus that had been painted all kinds of colors and turned into a type of bedroom (non-ACed and in Florida), huge pigs roaming around, chickens, watermelons for sale, and the list goes on. 
Really frightening (a place you have felt insecure/uneasy): Athens, Greece; there was some political unrest when we were there and a bomb went off not far from where were eating one night. The city itself wasn't super welcoming and I just felt uneasy. I could not have been happier to get on our cruise ship and tour the islands. 
Splurge (something you have no problem spending $$ on while traveling): FOOD!! And drink! Gimme all the yummies and please fill my cup!! 
Most Touristy thing you've done: Oh man, I am horrible! I have since tried to blend in better, but being from Orlando and an avid Disney lover I don't think there is a touristy thing I haven't done. I mean we got engaged at Disney. But, I think forcing Andrew to wear Mickey ears and matching t-shirts would probably take the cake. 
Most Unforgettable travel memory: I am horribly indecisive (as if you couldn't tell already) and these questions are killing me! Maybe our adventure in Aruba, with cave touring and cliff jumping or my entire Kenya trip or the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul... there are just too many things flashing across my brain. 
Best glass of Wine: I am a sweet wine girl and haven't stepped it up to the fancy stuff yet. One of my favorite wines is from this little vineyard in Georgia called the Watermelon Creek Vineyard. Their Lane's Bridge Red speaks my kind of language!

eXcellent view: Snow-capped mountain views give me all the feels!! And the Baths in Virgin Gorda were some of the most awesome views I have ever taken in. 
Years spent traveling: I've always been a traveler, even as a young kid my family made it a priority to see new places. Babe and I have been traveling fairly regularly for the last 5 years, with much more planned in the future.
Z is supposed to be Zealous sports fans, but given that I am not a watcher of the sports I am going with place you get the best ZZZZs: On a cruise ship, no doubt! The darkness of an interior cabin added to the gentle lull of the ship on the water and Andrew literally has to force me awake most mornings (around 10 on ship day; don't judge)! 

And that's a little peek into my travel history! If you've never done one of these it is really fun! If you decide to take it for yourself feel free to add it in below for this month's linkup (or share any travel related fun in your world lately)! 

Happy Travels! 
Where have you been exploring lately? 
Share your link 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
~No real 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. Leave a little love where you like! 
~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. October's fave was from Global Girl Travels, because the Grand Canyon at Sunset? Yes, please!! 



Friday, November 4, 2016

November Currently!

Happy Friday Friends!!
Can you believe another new month is already upon us?! 
It blows my mind that we only have 2 more months left of 2016. 

What's up for November?! I am linking up with Anne for Currently's November edition!


This month I am... 
~Discovering~ A new found love for audiobooks!!  I always swore I was never a fan of audiobooks; I love the feel of a paper book in my hand, the smell of it's pages, the ability to turn down the corner of a page to remember a favorite quote later on. I didn't think an audiobook would keep my attention unless I was on a long car trip (as the driver). Maybe it's my old age, the busy schedule and the inability to find time to sit down with a book, but I am loving audiobooks recently!! Hoopla is an absolute dream! If you don't have Hoopla, it is a free app that allows you to check out multiple audiobooks, e-books and even music and movies. You do have to have a library card to use it, but it has some really great titles! I am currently binge listening to The Hunger Games series and falling just as much in love with it as I had the first few times I read it. I listen while I drive (I have a 30 minute drive to work), while I cook, clean, shower... it's amazing how quickly all that time can add up. I just started book two last night and am already over 2 hours in. 

~Wearing~ The serenity prayer shirt that I designed to help raise money for the recovery run that my dad is hosting. I will have it on all day tomorrow as we get together to cheer each other on at the MBS Recovery Run, as we run to raise awareness and funds to support those struggling with addiction and making the choice to live in recovery. 

~Celebrating~ A ton of birthday's this month; it's my best friends 30th and my bro-in-law turns 21, so we are taking him out for a night on the town! I see a lot of slow mornings in my future! This gal just can't hang like she use to! Then Babe and I are headed out to sea to kick-off my own 30th (eek!) birthday celebrations! 

~Starting~ To count down the days until our cruise!! Only 25 days left!! Can't wait to pack my bags, kiss the clock goodbye and unplug for a full week of sun and adventure!! 

~Googling~ Things to do on the cruise... our ship docks in Jamaica, Haiti and Cozumel! Any recommendations for things we must see?! We have been to Cozumel multiple times and will probably use that day to stay on the ship and have the boat to ourselves, but if you have any off-the-beaten path, hidden secrets send them this way!! The more adventurous the better! Also, if you have any Royal Caribbean insider tips, please share! We typically cruise Carnival, but have only done Royal Caribbean once and that was years ago. 


Hope you are gearing up for the holidays! 
Happy November!! 
What are you up to this month?! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Running for Addiction Recovery// MBS Recovery Run

If you have been following this blog for awhile, you may have read my thoughts during the years following my brothers death from a drug overdose {these can be read in the heading A Recovering Family}. For those of you that are new here it has definitely shifted to become much more about my current lifestyle and the travels Babe and I take in our travel trailer, Flo. However, my families history with drug addiction has shaped a lot of who I am today and recovery is something that I am still passionate about. Because of that I hope you will grant me a break from travel posting to share something that means a lot to me. 


Last year was the first ever MBS Recovery Run and it is now time for the second. Below is a post I wrote to share the race last year and I am going to share it again, because the video paints a clear picture of what the race is intended to be. My daddy is the sweet man at the end, the one holding a picture of my brother. Addiction is a beast, one that can tear and kill and destroy. That is why I am so proud of my dad, the men of MBS Surf Co. and the amazing team of people that put this video together for the Recovery Run. Take a look...




This year's race is to be held this Saturday, November 5th, at 8:30 am, in Baldwin Park. Last years event was so full of people out to support one another; some who knew John Wayne and our family personally and many who had simply heard of the race and came to run for a  that had touched their own life in someway. Just seeing the amount of people there to cheer for one another, and to run to show support for those living in recovery, was amazing. 

Photo Credit: MBS Recovery Run Facebook
Recovery is so important! It is a lifestyle that you have to choose every single day, but it is one that is so much more than worth it. It truly is a choice of life and death. I am looking forward to seeing the turnout for this years race and to seeing another year of people run for those saying "yes" to recovery! 

If you would like to donate, sponsor or live locally and would like to run you can sign up at the race website. You can also support the race by purchasing a Serenity Prayer shirt or mug. I made them to honor my brother's memory and to help raise money for the race. Proceeds from the sales through these links go directly to the race and to addiction recovery. 

For more of my thoughts about the race and the battle against addiction you can read this post written prior to last year's run.
And for those in the throes of addiction, helping a family member or friend on their recovery road, or making the choice each and every day to stay in recovery my prayers and thoughts are with you. Recovery isn't easy, but it's worth it. It is so worth it!