Life's Sweet Journey: Happy Things
Showing posts with label Happy Things. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Happy Things. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Things to Do at Rainbow Springs State Park

At the end of last month we took a little FloRida trip, out towards Ocala, to have a little fun at Rainbow Springs State Park and do some tubing. There are so many things to do at Rainbow Springs State Park. It was the bomb!! Here's why... 

Where We Stayed: 
We LOVE staying at state parks and Rainbow Springs State Park just added to the reasons why! It was a beautiful park! It doesn't matter if you had an RV or a tent, the sites were so spacious and very nicely maintained. There was still a good community park feel, but with the right amount of privacy. We love getting to see everyone at the park, but we don't love being able to see in people's windows, ya know?! Pretty much every spot at Rainbow Springs State Park had a private little alcove, with bushes to separate you from your neighbors. There were also plenty of very nice bathrooms spread throughout the park. Though we didn't use them, for those that do, there will always be a bathroom just a short walk from your site (with laundry facilities and everything)! We also LOVED that our spot had it's own black tank hookup (a bonus surprise). For all fellow RVers out there, you know that's like gold!! We got up the morning of departure, got Flo all fresh and clean, and headed out without having to fight a line of others leaving. There was also a really nice dump station at the front of the park (double-sided, pull-thru), with nice hoses for washing your rig if needed. 

What We Did:
RIVER TUBING!! And lots of it! Rainbow Springs is located in Dunnellon, Florida and the river is pretty much the main means of entertainment- for good reason!! The river is beautiful and, because it is spring fed, it flows really fast; fast enough to tube down. The spring feeds into the river which means you aren't just floating on the spring itself, so the waterway is nice and wide, allowing for plenty of room to sit back, relax and not feel like you are right up someone else's rear-end. You do share the river with boaters, but they are mostly float boats and for the most part they are very mindful of the tubers.

We had brought our own tubes, but the park does have them available for rent, along with a tram ride that will take you from your car to the drop in point (cost is $15 per person). We chose to save the money and, because we were staying at the campground (the drop in point for tubers), Andrew was able to drive the car down to the main park entrance and then bike back to the site. He did that for each of the 3 trips we took down the river. The bike ride only took him 5-10 minutes and it saved us a bunch of $$$! We like saving money! If you aren't staying at the park, this option is still doable. You can either bring two cars, take one to the drop-in site and leave the other at the get-out point, or you can bring a bike with you and have one person drop everyone off with the tubes, drive the car down and then bike back. Yes, you would then have to pick the bike back up once you get off the river and to the car, but depending on the size of your group it can save a good bit of money for just an added 5 minutes. Remember though, this only works if you have your own tubes!! If you don't yet, I say invest in a good one! I love my flamingo tube, not only because he is cute, but also super functional (he makes the best head rest)! Babe is itching to get a double tube with a cooler. We saw a lot on the river and they definitely looked to be where it was at, in terms of ultimate river relaxation! 

When we first woke up on Friday morning we did take a little bit of time to go up and check out the other part of the park. Rainbow Springs State Park is divided into three sections and the headsprings is one of those (with the main part-for getting tubes- and the campground being the other two). It is a beautiful spot where you can swim, rent kayaks (also available and the campground) and walk around the grounds of what use to be an Old Florida attraction. The maps showing what all use to be at the park are really neat! You can walk around and explore the waterfalls and the remains left behind from when there was a zoo and other attractions at the park. It gives the park an almost eerie feel, once you get past the waterfalls and deeper into the old park, and I love me a good spooky thrill! There is just something about an abandoned place, thinking about all the stories that it holds, that builds up my adrenaline and makes me feel alive. Definitely a neat place to walk around and explore! It is also very family friendly as most of the trails are paved and therefore easily accessible by both strollers and wheelchairs! We saw a family pushing their grandpa through the park and I had to wonder if he had seen it in its hay day. 

After our trip to the headsprings, we were on the river the majority of the rest of our trip! There is a nice hike at the campground, which took us about 30 minutes, but the rest of the time was devoted to the water. We did one tube on Friday night and two on Saturday. My advice for those looking for a more intimate float, go Friday night! There was barely anyone on the river and we saw tons of wildlife, including 3 otters who were frolicking in the water! Saturday morning is definitely very busy with boaters, tubers, SUPs and kayaks. Since we weren't doing the tram we were able to time it right and wait until the tram unloaded and that group got started before we took off, so we were further away from clumps of people who had attached together, but it was still crowded. Saturday evening was quieter than the morning, but still more crowded than Friday night. So if you can get there for a weekend away definitely hit the river Friday night before the crowds come in. I would love to see what it looks like during the week!! I am trying to convince Babe that we should be camp hosts there one summer! 

And one last piece of advice! JUMP! Keep your eyes peeled along the river for swing or jump trees (on the wild side of the river; no swinging off peoples property, that's just not polite)! We found one about halfway down the river and, even though the river patrol had cut the swing and taken out the first wooden board for climbing, we were able to get up in the tree to jump out (I, of course, had to be boosted by Babe... note to self, strengthen upper body). Just do it, you will thank yourself once you are down! It was such a rush that we of course did it as many times as my climbing arms could handle! 

Where We Ate: 
We typically try to eat at a local BBQ joint on our way to set up camp, but we had left after I got off of work late Thursday and so, sadly, we didn't get to try any local fare. However, we drove through town a little bit and found a few spots to check out on our next visit, including The Blue Gator, which is along the river. We love a good riverside dive! 

We LOVED our trip! After a very go, go, go summer, it was nice to have a relaxing trip that allowed us to just sit back and soak in some of Florida's best features!! If I have anything to say about it, we will be going back again very soon!! 

Other Florida Adventures

Happy Travels! 
Where have you been off adventuring lately? 
Share your link below 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 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. August's fave was from Away She Went, because I am itching to get to Glacier National Park! It has been on my bucket list for ages!! 

Excited to explore the globe with you all!!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

{Giveaway} My Favorite Camping Happies!!

Happy Thursday Y'all!! 
Friday is so close I can almost smell it!!

But, until it gets here, I figured it was time to share a little happiness with all of you! 
In honor of all things camping, this weekend's upcoming Flo adventure for our 6 year wedding anniversary and the fact that the destination is unknown (to me anyways)- and because who really even needs a reason to share happiness anyways- I am partnering with some awesome companies to share some of my favorite FloRida-trip-happies with you! 
When we go RVing there are a few essentials we always take with us, for one reason or another. Most of these essentials also seem to translate over into our "docked" (at home) life too; so, whether you are out adventuring, snuggled up at home or trying to make it through a busy day these are all pretty good things to have around!!

But for us, here are the main reasons we keep them on-hand...
Jerky- Jerky is the perfect snack for long hikes as it keeps us fueled and ready to go, but it's also perfect for a mid-morning work snack! Field Trip Jerky is seriously the best stuff around!! With no preservatives or added MSG this stuff is so fresh and good and has that "just-right-jerk" texture that I look for in a good jerky! The first time we tried this stuff we were floored in comparison to the typical stuff we used to get. 
Popcorn- If you have followed me for a while you know how much I love my popcorn!! Seriously, I can't make it through the week without at least one popcorn-for-dinner night! That translates over into our travels too and we usually have one popcorn night while we are in Flo. And the best, and really only true way to enjoy popcorn is stove top popped! If you don't have a Whirley Pop, get one!! I swear by mine (and never washing it out)! Then you can pop these yummy Jolly Time popcorn kernels anytime! Another popcorn trick I love: cutting open a back of microwave popcorn, with the butter and oil all mixed in, and popping that over the stove (or campfire)!!
Honey- Y'all!! Honey and cheese night (and of course a good bottle of wine) is Flo's specialty! Without fail, cheese and honey night happens every, single night! And if you have never tried honey on your cheese before you are missing out on a whole segment of life! Try it! And I recommend starting with Savannah Bee Company's whipped honey! I love the thickness of the whipped honey when paired with cheese! My favorite pairing? A good havarti or Vermont sharp cheddar! 
Cards- Because cheese and honey night should best be enjoyed over a game of rummy!! Our game has been going on over 2 years now. I am currently in the lead (for a while now), but Babe is slowly creeping back into the game! Current score: Me- 10,310 Babe-10,100
Adventure Mug- Every morning needs a little 'Adventure Fuel' happiness to kick-start the day!!
Coffee- Because the mug just isn't complete without the coffee to go in it! I know Seattle's Best is just your run-of-the-mill, grocery-store-shelf-find, but I love the taste. It's strong without being bitter, goes done smooth and soothes my soul! Even better, sweeten it with a little bit of that honey and you have what I call "coffee-bliss"!! 

One "happy camper" will win all of this great goodness! 
It includes: 12 bags of Field Trip Jerky + a super comfy American Apparel Field Trip Jerky shirt, two bags of Jolly Time popcorn kernels, travel pack of Savannah Bee Company's whipped honey in different flavors, a pack of Bicycle cards, an Adventure Fuel mug and a bag of Seattle's Best Coffee! 

Happy Entering! 
Entry options below image! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Things 2016 Linkup// February Happies!

Happy Monday Y'all!
It's the last Monday of the month, and the only Monday February 29th for the next 4 years, which means it's time for another Happy Things 2016 linkup! 
So here's to big things for Monday!

My happy things included lots of time outdoors this month and I couldn't be happier! 
Here are 5 of my happiest highlights... 
~Weekend Camping Sunsets~ We had our first true Florida boon-docking experience and enjoyed some gorgeous sunsets while we were camping at the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area. We had one wildly, beautiful time and I can't wait to share all the adventurous details with you in a later post! 

~Geek Moment Happiness~ My Harry Potter Illustrated Edition finally came! Or more like, I finally bought a copy! I had added it to my Christmas wish list, but a copy could not be found. So I used a gift card to treat myself to this joyous, wonderful book. If you are a Harry Potter fan and don't have a copy, you need one! If you are not a fan, now is the perfect time to discover the amazing world you are missing! What better way to enjoy Harry Potter than with stunning illustrations! Even better news, it's currently on sale for under $25 over on Amazon

~New Shop Giddiness~ I am pretty stoked about the new item that will be coming to my little, growing shop! I love the "you keep me safe & I'll keep you wild" quote and can't wait to wear one of these new goodies on our next hiking adventure! While I grow my shop, I thought it would be fun to share in the love with all of you and offer my prices to you while I grow. Not only are prices low, but there are more color and style options to choose from now than there will be once they hit the shop. You can look through these links here (flowy tee, tank, long sleeved, tshirt) to grab one at the discounted rate or help me decide what should make it's way over to the shop. I am trying to decide which color options I should get and I would love to hear your thoughts. I am leaning mostly to the white and coral tank and the gray and teal flowy tee, but would love to hear from you! What color/ style option would you most like to see? 

~Afternoon Day Hiking~ Babe and I spent this past Friday afternoon hiking nearby at a place called Isle of Pine. It's only about 20 or so minutes from our house and makes for a nice, short afternoon hike. We ate lunch at home and then got there right around 1 o'clock. There are two separate trail head locations located near each other (we are hoping that they are working to connect them). The first spot (off of Lacebark Pine Rd) is less shaded and took us about an hour to complete. It runs alongside an orange grove, which made for a yummy mid-hike treat. The second spot (where Lake Mary Jane Rd. dead ends into Fresno Dr.) is more shaded with views of the lake. We did both and were gone by 3:30. For any Orlando hike lovers looking for a good, quick afternoon hike adventure, Isle of Pine is a great spot to check out! 

~Flo's First Bath~ Flo got her first bath this past weekend and it was pretty exciting! Her adventures make her pretty dirty, as they should, and we had yet to have time to give her a good scrub. So with beautiful, sunny weather and a bucket of suds, we set to work! With Babe's no-nonsense cleaning instructions, she was shining like new in no time!! She is so excited to be all pretty and sparkly for her next big adventure!! Where should we go next?! I am hoping to check Myakka River State Park or Devil's Den off my Florida bucket list really soon!! 

Other happies: best friends with babies visits, seeing musicals with my man, honeymoon memories, beach days with cousins, ice cream treats and soccer days

What happiness went on in your world this month?
Linkup and let's spread some cheer! 
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 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

Friday, February 26, 2016

5 Fun Facts for Friday!

Happy Friday Y'all!! 
I hope today is going beautifully for you! 
I thought today we would do a fun little "get to know you" post for any new faces around here! 
1.) I'm Melanie and that's Babe (or Andrew if you must!)! This may not be the best picture for really getting a feel for what I look like, but this is a great "us" picture! My Likes: selfies with him, trying to get him to like selfies, trying to get him to smile for selfies// His Greatest Like: hating pictures in general... so therefore, meet us! Me finally turning to mean mug him for not smiling & that's when he decides to flash some teeth!
2.) I LOVE adventures!! We bought an RV about 6 months ago and named her Flo (it's short for FloRida Reva) and we are thrilled to have her as part of the family. We spend as many weekends as possible traveling Florida and chasing solitude and the great outdoors. In fact, we are heading out for a mini-venture (that stands for sans Flo) to do some hiking once he gets back from the gym. Him: such a gym person// Me: probably should be, but so totally NOT! 
3.) I may love adventures, but I am also perfectly content with a good book! I believe that reading is one of the greatest adventures you can take and you don't even have to leave your chair (or the tub) to be able to go on one! Give me all the books!! Currently reading Red Queen and I am hooked!
4.)I'm all about the !!!!! (sorry, but not really, for their serious overuse)!
5.) I discovered this week that I can drink coffee black AND actually like it; I am neither excited or unexcited by this realization. Sure it's good I can drink it when I don't have the added fluff (honey & cream), but in my mind it means I am a true adult, gah!!! How did that happen?! I'm not even thirty yet! Seriously, I'm only 29 and 1/4! Other Adulthood Signs: the wrinkles, the need to hit the gym, the fact that my parents have started letting me pay when we go to dinner together// Kid Forever Facts: Disney lover always, my popcorn dance (there's one for tacos too), I get giddy over really cool playgrounds and tree houses

Also, 1 fun added happy! 
My giveaway, for the new shop happy that's coming soon, ends today. Head back one post to find out how you can enter to win one (or even snag it at my price) before it hits the shop!

Well, there's a few get to know me facts! 
What about you? 
Adulthood come knocking for you yet?! Any fun likes, dislikes?!
Share some "you" things, because I would love to know you better!

Have a wonderful weekend friends!! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Just be Thankful// 10 Thankful Things for a Monday!

If I am being honest, last week about knocked me clear off my feet. There was no reason in particular; the more I tried to pin it down the more frustrated I became. You know those weeks, the ones when you post happy things, wear a smile and try your hardest to turn it around, but it simply feels like trying to cover a cut with a bandaid that is just too small. And so we escaped for the weekend and I spent some time in the middle-of-nowhere-Florida, refueling my soul. Alas, Monday came at me with a cold and my "lovely lady visitor" all at once. And so, I am meeting it head on! Remembering to take the time to be thankful works wonders for me. Here are 10 things I am thankful for right in this moment... 

1// A weekend away with Babe! and Flo! 

2// The ability to explore & hike & adventure, to climb fire towers and just breathe in God's gorgeous creation!

3// Mondays that include breakfasts with best friends!

4// Having one of my childhood besties back home for a visit (she now lives out of state), this time with her sweet baby boy in tow!

5// Getting to visit with said out of state bestie and our moms for the morning!

6// Getting to see my brother and his pregnant wife, who were also in town from Georgia!

7// Finding out the newest little addition to our family ^^ is going to be a sweet baby girl AND that she will share my middle name! Way to make an aunt's heart feel really big!! 

8// A strong cup of coffee!

9// A warm blanket!

10// The fact that this list could go on... but that I also have a free afternoon to say that this is where it ends, because today gets to be one of those 'get in a warm bath, in the middle of the afternoon and read an awesome new book, while I soak away my aches' type of day! 

Hope today finds you feeling renewed!! 
What things are you thankful for today? 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February Currently!

Well Hello February! How did you get here? I can't believe it is already the second month of 2016! Hoping you are all having a wonderful Wednesday! I'm linking up with Anne and Jenna again today to share what my February looks like currently. Grab a cup of coffee and join me?!

Sending~ That sweet little adventure mug pictured above to the winner of my instagram giveaway for my blog shop grand opening! 

Eating~ Last night I ate some Kraft mac-n-cheese, which Babe refers to as powdered goop! So needless to say he didn't eat any. And do you want to know how much was left? Oh just about a spoonful! Powdered goop or not, I love me some Kraft mac-n-cheese! Maybe it's nostalgia and reliving my childhood, but I eat it every few months or so and something about it is just so comforting! However, we have really been trying not to eat tons of preservative, so today I am detoxing with walnuts and banana for lunch. 

Dreaming~ Of far off places and life on the road! This is pretty much a constant in my life right now. I am always planning our next mini Florida adventure, while also dreaming big of convincing Babe to head way out west and spend time traveling from one gorgeous park or BLM to another! I wanna see all the places!! All the places!!! 

Smelling~ the cup of coffee sitting next to me! It may or may not be Christmas blend! Who said Christmas had to end in December?! 

Hearting~ My new little shop! It is small, but I am so excited about seeing how it will grow! I was so humbled over the outpouring of love I got when I opened it last week. I was nervous and scared and excited all at same time and the support from friends and even strangers meant so much to my heart! Everyone was so kind and I can't be more thankful! 

Feel free to take a little peek (shop link in navigation bar)! I am covering shipping costs between now and Monday. Yay for free shipping! Yay for new adventures! And yay for coffee!! 

Hoping you have a beautiful day!!
What does February currently look like for you?! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Shop the Journey!

Today is a big day! The feels are running crazy right now; scared, excited, nervous, anxious, happy... 
Today this little space now has its own little shop (shop link above in navigation bar)! It is all still a work in progress- and a learning process- but I am really excited about it! I am excited to share my journey moments with all of you, because that is exactly what they are to me- little bits of inspiration that come from life's journey moments! 

I never thought I would open up a shop. I wasn't even sure how that even all begins. But then, I found myself making a tank top (not actually in the shop yet) to wear for a run my dad was hosting, in memory of my brother, to help raise money and awareness for those in addiction recovery. I created the shirt (for myself mostly), but I shared the link online for people to purchase it through the site I created it on (with proceeds going to support the run) and a few did. From there the idea grew. 

I took the image that I had created for the tank top and decided to make it into a mug to give to my parents for Christmas. So I designed the mug and ordered theirs, along with a few 30 extras. And the Serenity mugs became my first shop item. 
Addiction and recovery is a large part of my story, but it also strongly tied in with things that are hard and hold heavy meaning for me and my family. Being able to use that pain and try to turn it outward to encourage others is something that means a lot to me, but I also didn't want that to be the only basis for my shop. 

I also wanted my little shop to hold something that brings me joy and uplifts my soul on a personal level. Something that could be a daily reminder of light and fun and happy thoughts! It was out of that inspiration that the adventure side of my little shop was born! I figured what better way to start the Adventure line than with a little Adventure Fuel! 
And so the shop only has two items currently, but they are items that mean a lot to me and that I hope will bring you a little smile and daily inspiration as well!! 

I am really excited to see where this will go and how it will grow! I am excited to use this little shop to hopefully encourage others and to also help support missions that hold a special place in my heart. My dad and his friends run a company called Mind, Body and Soul Surfing Club, whose goal is to help those in addiction recovery through surfing. A portion of all Serenity line sales will go to supporting them and the work that they do. A portion of all Adventure line sales will go to support Agua Viva Serves. Costa Rica is a wonderful place to explore and adventure, but it is also a place where families living there do not have access to the same healthy drinking water that we do in the states. Agua Viva Serves works to bring clean water to communities in Costa Rica. 

I really believe that the work they are doing matters! I really believe in this little space! I really believe that our stories can be used to encourage others! It is my hope that this shop is just another facet of that. I pray that today you are encouraged! I pray that today you take one more step towards whatever dream it is your dreaming! 

Happy Tuesday Friends! 
In honor of the shop opening I am hosting a giveaway over on Instagram for one adventure mug! Head over and check it out and let's get fueled for whatever adventure today may hold! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Happy Things 2016: January Happies!

Happy Monday Friends! Hoping that Monday has you pumped and ready for a new week, but if not, maybe a little dose of happiness will help! Today is the first of my Happy Things for 2016! I would love to have you join and share yours too!
These 5 things made me really happy in January!
1.) Flo's first out of state adventure was a huge success!! We loved our trip to Georgia and can't wait to adventure again soon!!

2.) It is finally cold enough to have a fire in the fireplace! Not only that, it has stayed cold enough! Florida is freezing y'all!! We have had a fire in the fire place every night for the past week. And the make it even happier, we moved our bedroom into the living room. We usually do this once it stays cold enough. We take the mattress off the bed and plop it right next to the fireplace. We build a fire big enough to last well into the night and I fall asleep with my face only about a foot or two away from the flames! It's absolutely lovely; the flames dance and create a colorful display behind my closed eyes, while the pop of the burning embers play music that lulls me to sleep. Seriously, if you have a fireplace and have never done this, you need to! Especially if you have kiddos! We don't, but piling into the living room when my nieces and nephews are over and having a "camp-in" by the fire while play games and watching a movie= perfection!
3.) Teaching my niece to play Sorry! Sorry was the game we grew up playing as a family. Last week I ran into her and her mama at Publix and they came over to play by the fire for a bit. She is almost 5, so it was really fun to have her actually grasp how to play and for her to get to play by herself (with our help). We would give her the best options and she would get to pick how she moved. It was hysterical to see her little brain decide who she would "Sorry!!" Apparently, I was the big target! But in the end it came down to the two of us (kicked poor Uncle Andrew right out of the running), literally both of us waiting on a 3 to get our last man home. Ultimately I ended up winning, so it was also really neat to get to teach her how to be a good sport. It's something I have trouble with myself sometimes, so I told her it was ok to want to win but that a true winner is one who can lose with grace! A good lesson for both of us for sure!!
4.) Seeing The Sound of Music with my sweet mama!! I love going to plays and this was the first time getting to see the stage version of Sound of Music, as well as the first time in our new downtown Orlando theater! My Sound of Music loving heart was very happy!!!

5.) Orlando day hikes!! I love adventuring and I love getting to go away in Flo, but it also makes my heart really happy when Babe and I have days off together to explore in our own backyard! So the other day we did just that and headed up to Little Big Econ State Forest to go to Kolokee Trail that a coworker had recommended to me. It was a beautiful day! Weather in the high 60's and sunny. The loop cuts through some of the Florida trail and was really well maintained (probably one of the most maintained trails we have done). It was a great area to check out for any of you local Orlando hikers!

Other happies: beautiful sunsets, lots of oyster eating, best woman wedding accepting fun, farmers market days, 4Rivers dates with friends we met on the road

What are some of your happies?!
I would love to see! 
Join the link up and share your happy things for 2016!! 
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 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