Life's Sweet Journey: March 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Things 2016 Linkup// March Happies

It's the last week of another month! March is ending and April is beginning and there are some BIG things going on around here! And by big I mean like elephant and giraffe big. March went from being this quite little unassuming month to a month full of BIG happy things and it all kicks off with...

Not the greatest quality, I know, but... Africa! 
AFRICA!! Y'all! This girl is going to Africa! And I leave in just over two weeks. At the beginning of the month I had no plans to go anywhere out of the country, let alone to Africa. And now, I leave in two weeks. It's a crazy story that I will go into in more detail very soon because I am sure I will have lots of feelings to share as I journal through my trip, but the short version is this... God works in crazy ways! I feel so humbled (and excited and nervous and scared and happy and...) to get the chance to head to Nairobi, Kenya, mid-April, to learn about some amazing work being done to serve and work alongside the marginalized poor. I am preparing my heart for what I am sure will be a roller coaster of emotions as I travel out of my comfort zone and learn from people with stories that I can't even begin to comprehend. I said yes to this trip with a twisted knot of fear in my stomach, because traveling out of the country has always scared me, but since saying yes I have felt such a surge of peace. I have heard so many wonderful things about Kenya- about the amazing people I will meet and the things I will see- and my excitement is building by leaps and bounds. And yes, I am super stoked to maybe see an elephant or two, or fifty! 

I'm not really even sure how to follow that now (hence why Africa is getting it's own post- or segment of posts- really soon), but there have been some other great happies this month too!

EASTER!! The celebration of the Love conquering death! Though what leads up to that glorious day is hard and sad, it only makes the glory of Jesus' resurrection that much sweeter! He took all of that pain and suffering on for us, for me- undeserving, often sinful, broken, wandering me. I couldn't be more thankful for a God who Loves that BIG!! 

NEW SHOP HAPPIES!! The new goodies are now officially here! I couldn't be more in love with the "you keep me safe & I'll keep you wild" shirts that have just been added to the shop!! If you love them too, head over, take a peek and maybe grab yourself a happy this month!! 

Those are the biggest happies for the month of March in my neck of the woods! 
How was your month?! 
Link up below and share any happy posts from your month! 

Other March happies: a beautiful sunrise (as an avid non-morning fan I don't see many), Fun Spot spring break fun with framily, spring flowers, Quack Attack on Poverty 5k, spa day fun with the bestie

January Happy Things
February Happy Things
Link Up Rules: 
- Share a post (up to 2) about anything happy; it can be 5 happy things, 1 happy thing, really just anything for the month that has made your heart smile! 
- Feel free to share the image above, or link back, so that others can link up their happy things too!
- Leave a happy comment on at least one other post
- I will interact with all posts in some way (comments, pinning to Happy Things 2016 board...)
- Share your happy things on Instagram using #happythings2016
- Come back on the last Monday of each month to share your happy things for that month and start a community of people who are adding a bit of cheer to Mondays! 
- Link up will be run through Friday of the same week

Thursday, March 17, 2016

You Keep me SAFE & I'll keep you WILD Shirts are Here!!

They're here, they're here!! 
I am so excited about these beauties!! 

My new shop happies, "You keep me safe & I'll keep you wild" shirts are in!! 
Head on over to the shop and take a peek!! 
I am in LOVE!!

With all the excitement I am taking shipping off of all shop items through the weekend! 
No shipping from now until Monday! 
Happy St. Patty's Day y'all!! 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Happy Thursday!!

Happy Thursday Friends!! 
Hope your day is going beautifully! 
I am guest posting for Natalie over at A Tiny Traveler today and I couldn't be more excited!
Head over and peek around a bit and show her some love!

And for all my travelers out there, don't forget to join in for this month's #TravelTuesday Linkup
It will be up for another week and a half! Can't wait to see where everyone has been!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Central Florida Boondocking: Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area

We had our first true Florida boondocking experience at Three Lakes WMA! Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area is part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They offer a few free, dispersed camping options throughout Florida. Here's how it all went down... 

Where we stayed
Boondocking in Florida Three Lakes WMA
Three Lake Wildlife Management Area is located off of N. Canoe Creek Rd. in Kenansville, FL and the hunters loop where we stayed was about two miles before (coming from Orlando) the main entrance to the WMA. Pay close attention as you're driving, because you can get lost in the beauty of unspoiled Florida and miss the turn (like we did!). We had a hard time finding a spot to turn around with Flo attached. There will be a big green sign and other trailers parked, so just look out for those. We originally drove in to the Three Lake WMA entrance looking for a place to camp there. While the spots seemed plenty big enough for an RV, that part is tent only! So if you are RVing it has to be the hunting loop. There is plenty of space to spread out and you just find  your own spot! It wasn't too crowded as there was no active hunting season, but there were still quite a few travelers escaping winter weather who had been there quite a few weeks and we still had plenty of space for our own private spot! The other RVers were all very sweet and invited us to the potlucks and happy hours that they arrange with others who had been staying for the winter. We just had to pass since we were out hiking!

*Note on dumping: There is no dump station at the loop. We heard that you can use the one at the RV park about 10 miles down the road (heading right leaving the loop) for about $10. We weren't heading that way, so we thought we would try the RV park we had seen on our way in. However, the office was closed on Sunday. We ended up going by Moss Park on our way back into Orlando and we were able to use theirs for $5!! 

What we did: 
Hiking! Lots and lots of hiking! 
The trails were very wet this time of year, but in my opinion that only adds to the adventure! 
Boondocking in Florida Three Lakes WMA
The first night we got there we just went out from where we parked Flo. We walked to the back of the loop, where the road continues out into the expansive prairie that I assume is where the hunting takes place. I wouldn't recommend hiking there during active hunting season, just to be safe. For that hike we were pretty much just walking the road, though we did find a couple of beautiful cut through trails! This space would also make a beautiful drive if you wanted to take it easy one day. The roads were still accessible by car for those looking to make the drive to the lake to fish. 

On Saturday, we woke up and spent a gloriously lazy morning drinking coffee made over the fire and then geared up for our day in the main hiking area of Three Lakes WMA/ Prairie Lake Unit. A portion of the Florida Trail runs through this part of the WMA and there are two 6 mile loops to choose from, along with a few short out and back trails that run to the lake. We saw quite a few people fishing along the river that can be reached from the road. There is also a public boat ramp. Our hike was beautiful!! We hiked in so many different landscapes on our loop. We choose the 6 mile loop that included the FIRE TOWER, which is best reached by parking at the information sign when you first enter the WMA. The trail starts right there. We crossed the road and started the loop that way, so that we came out at the side where the car was at. The fire tower is located maybe a quarter of the way in. Climb it!! Seriously amazing views!! And such a rush!! (Unfortunately the tower is not actually climbable. I was alerted by park staff, in a comment, that the tower was not actually meant to be open for climbing and that it poses a safety hazard and will typically be locked. Sorry :/ I am glad we got to climb it, but don't want people to plan to head that way in the future hoping to go up!) You can see some of the fun in the video! The trail also included hiking through pine flats, open prairies, shaded spots along the river, quite a few ankle deep water spots, and a boardwalk through marshland! There is a section where the first 6 mile loop bypasses a connector to the other 6 mile loop. So, if you are early morning hikers preparing for a full day, there is always the ability to do both! 

Boondocking in Florida Three Lakes WMA
Across Canoe Creek Road, as you leave the WMA, the Florida trail continues for through hikers. After finishing our loop we crossed the road and walked a small portion of this trail. The trail was definitely less maintained than the trails in the WMA. Babe loved it because he felt like he was forging the trail! We were definitely bushwhacking through some of it and, in certain spots, it was hard to tell if you were actually still on the trail, but it was still a lot of fun. We went in maybe a mile or so before turning back! Overall, this entire location was a beautiful spot for some Florida hiking! 

Boondocking in Florida Three Lakes WMA
Each night we wrapped up our day by the fire, playing our endless game of Rummy (not to toot my own horn, but it's seldom that I am winning at anything over him, so I just had to share the current score// Me: 10,020 Babe: 9,760)! Though there weren't actual fire pits at the loop, people had made their own and we did the same. The ground was so wet that we didn't really even have to dig. We just made a circle in the dirt with stick and then built a ring in the middle of the ring. The fire burned, but never even reached the perimeter of our circle. Anytime flames would shoot out and heat the ground outside the ring they would immediately burn out! If you go bring plenty of wood and make yourself nice and toasty! 

Where we ate: 
Boondocking in Florida Three Lakes WMA
Though we really just ate while we were hiking (lobster and burgers on the travel grill! Our go to camping happies!), I thought it was noteworthy to share the BBQ joint Babe introduced me to on the way through St. Cloud on our way on Friday. Fat Boy's BBQ is off the chain!! Seriously, Florida friends?! Florida travelers?! You have to try it! Babe use to go all the time apparently back when he was mowing county roads and they had a contract near there. I can't believe he hadn't taken me before! They have been there forever and I don't think the menu has ever changed! The prices are low, the portions are high and the food is YUMazing!! The atmosphere is awesome too! Wood paneled walls lead into a dining room style open room, with a fireplace along the the back wall!! If you love BBQ, you have to give it a try! There's even an old wooden rocking horse at checkout that's perfect for even the biggest of "kids"!

And that was our most recent Florida adventure!! 
You can find another great boon docking favorite in this post from our time in Idaho.
We had an amazing time and I can't wait to go back and give boon-docking another try- though maybe this time with some solar panels or a generator! 
Boondocking in Florida Three Lakes WMA

Where have you been adventuring too recently?! 
Linkup and let's travel together!
~On the 2nd Tuesday of every month I will be sharing a new travel destination 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 your 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. 
Excited explore the globe with you all!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March Currently// Beach Bound Happiness

Linking for another currently edition with Anne and Jenna

For a beautiful, sunshiny weekend! I am heading to the beach to celebrate a friends birthday. Our Florida weather has been stunning lately, but it seems that every time I prepare to head for a weekend at the beach the rain decides to head this way. So I am wishing for the weather to stay just as it has been all week: sunny with just enough of a breeze to keep you from getting hot, but without making you feel cold! 

Some yummy oysters by the beach!! Gimme all the oysters!! 

To the beach!! Yay for New Smyrna Beach and all the comes with it! The Garlic, JB's... oh my food loving heart will be in heaven!! I am also currently planning our next Flo adventure! I am thinking Myakka River State Park, for a walk among the treetops! 

My new shop happiness very soon!! Tomorrow is the last day to grab my new "you keep me safe & I'll keep you wild" beauties at my cost; the price will go up after they hit the shop! Plus, there will be fewer styles and colors to choose from, so take a peek here and here and grab a pretty for yourself! Also, which colors are your favorite? I am trying to nail down the final choices that will make it to the shop and would love to know what people like!

About how all this small business owner stuff works! I have taken a few courses to try to learn the ins and outs of small shopness (totally a word), read through dozens of how-to and what-not-to-dos, and played around with all kinds of ideas. I'm still not sure about how it all really works, but I think that's half the fun. So I am taking it one day at a time and am excited to see how my little shop will grow! I am learning a lot about myself and about stepping out of my comfort zone this month, in more ways than one! This part is the part I can share for now and I am excited to share more in the near future!