Exploring the Orlando Neighborhood : The Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, Kissimmee Florida

Tinsel and I (not so much my husband) love to hike and we are always looking for new adventures to go on. This weekend we finally had perfect weather and hit up the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek > Kissimmee, Florida! This place has been on my bucket list for a while and I was so excited to finally get to check it out!

Just a 30 minute drive from the heart of Orlando, with minimum time on dirt roads this short weekend adventure was well worth the trip. Here’s the link to their website for more information!

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We arrived at that trail around 10AM on Sunday morning and the parking lot was virtually empty. There were a few vans parked out in the lot and to our surprise there were A LOT of families with small children. If you are bringing your dog along that does not get along with children, be sure to pass on this trail. There a lot of bikes, children and families picnicking! The good news? There is not many dogs, so if your pup is like mine (not friendly with other pups) this trail is for you!

ALWAYS BE PREPARED: Even when on shorter trails it’s important to have the essentials. Interested in what kind of day pack I use for trips like these? “>Here’s the exact day pack I use on my day-ventures with this cutie. (Affiliate link). I always carry a first aid kit (for myself and Tinsel), a pop out bowel for her to drink from AND PLENTY of water! I’ll be posting a “day packing guide” later on! But you can see all of our hiking and camping adventures here.

Start off straight from the parking lot and hit up the first .8 mile loop (short I know). Make sure to take lots of breaks with your pup, the path is made of crushed shell rock and might tear up your pups feet. After the loop, keep left and follow the longer “brown” trail markings through the picking area. The brown trail will lead you to a multitude of other trails, all around 1-2 miles round trip. Pick and choose your trails, these are fully pathed. Great for biking too! There are plenty of picnicking spots along the paved path; next time we will bring a packed lunch!

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There is a historic pioneer village in the middle of the trails (that is NOT dog friendly), but great for kids! That part of the park hours vary, so be sure to check before arriving.

We had a blast checking out all of the trails this park has to offer and you should too! Perfect for familes, safe for solo femal hikers (like myself) AND perfectly suited to bring your best fur buddy along. We hiked just under 3 miles, but we were EXHAUSTED. Next time, we plan on starting a bit earlier in the morning to avoid the heat.

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Have you checked out this trail before? I would love to hear about it in the comments below! 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 Thank you all for reading! Be sure to check out Tinsel & my Instagram @TheTangledTinsel to see all of our weekend adventures!

Life Hack : A look inside my private writing (and hiding) space 🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️

My husband, Tinsel the dog and myself live a medium sized condo – we have one bedroom and one bath. Although we love living in our smaller lifestyle (Less cleaning/maintain everything), sometimes I feel like I have no “me space.” A space for me to focus on my writing and meditation. AND to also find somewhere I can show off my cacti collection 😏😏

So I set my mind to it this weekend. I wanted to create a my own zen space. I started off by collecting some floor cushions, I was lucky enough to have been given these by a friend FOR FREE! I snagged an extra shelf from our storage closet. I picked up these ADORABLE black and white printed outdoor rugs from IKEA for $15!

Aren’t these rugs freakin’ adorable?? This is my second set of these same rugs….since my little bunny nibbled on the last set 🐰. I set up a small couch with the floor cushions, added some throw pillows AND BAM! Wondering what that black fence thing is in the background? That’s my DIY bunny fence. I can easily pull it out and pin him on the patio for a little bit of fresh air and exercise. Normally he stays out here during the day, getting some much needed exercise and fresh air. I even make him cardboard box houses to play in (OK so he doesn’t look happy – trust me he just has RBF). 🤷🏻‍♀️♥️🐰

So that’s kind of it. I now have this incredible zen-like work space. Especially that I have been sick, this is my sitting space to get some much needed fresh air. OH and space for my cacti collection (see below)….now that I have a bit more space….I think it’s time for another trip to the Florida Cactus Company – Check out my article about them here.

What’s your zen space look like? Do you have a little reading nook or hiding space away from the kids? I’d like to hear about thembelow!

Travel Tuesday : A Cabin in the mountains

My husband Andrew and I are two VERY different people. I enjoy the outdoors; hiking, kayaking; basically roughing it. Andrew on the other hand enjoys video games, his board game collection (obsession) , tacos and well that’s just about it; he’s real easy to please. For our honeymoon we knew that we wanted to celebrate each of our personalities something adventurous outside for me and something relaxing for him.

We took a little over two weeks off from work; a few days for our wedding, a week for my honeymoon and a week for his.

(Our wedding was incredible you can see that here; but let’s skip to the good stuff)

My honeymoon was first!! I decided on a week stay at a small cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Shockingly, renting a cabin is cheaper than renting a hotel room in Georgia or Tennessee. For about $100-$150 a night you can rent a two to three bedroom cabin perched in the mountains with the most breath taking view. Most of these cabins even come with hot tubs. Think you don’t need a hot tub? Let me tell you, you do! Sitting in a hot tub, mimosa in hand watching the sunrise? Need I say more?

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It was my first time renting a cabin in the mountains. With quick research I found this website that you can chose a cabin to rent for the weekend. My mistake was not calling the company first to verify that the cabin was what I was really looking for (it seems to be my running trend). Call the company first and tell them what you are exactly looking for; because “rustic,” “secluded” or “romantic” might sound like your cup of tea; but it isn’t. We accidentally started off in a completely different cabin, surrounded by wasps….CALL FIRST.

Click here for a EXCLUSIVE discount on renting a cabin! Just in time for the holidays use the code “Universal Discount” to receive 10% off your rental!!

We drove about seven hours from Orlando to the Cabin Rental Office. Stopping at High Falls State Park on the way up of course (check out my post here).  You will need to stop at the actual Cabin Rental Office to pick up your keys and welcome packet first. To celebrate our honeymoon; the company gave us a gift basket with organic apple jam from a local farm and biscuit mix. Picking up the keys was easy and they gave us written instructions to our cabin; do remember that you will not necessarily be able to use your GPS because of the mountain interference, you will have to rely on an actual map.(WHICH I STRUGGLED HARD WITH)

Yes – we had a custom “Just Married” vinyl sticker made for the back our car for the trip! My father made this for us, but you can also buy them off of Etsy!

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Four bedrooms, a living room, a fire place, a dining room, a massive kitchen, two giant wrapping patios, a HOT TUB, a basement with a pool table and big screen TV

– We hit the jackpot.

The Snuggle Inn.” (I know we are ADORABLE)

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We slept upstairs in an open loft with a soft tucked into a queen sized bed; we took naps between sipping on wine in the hot tub. Each day we packed up our car with our cooler and pup and we just drove around Georgia. We stopped at each little picnic area, each short hiking trail and each monument we passed. We just got lost and would head back to cabin to soak in the tub when we wanted.

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Our cabin came with a full kitchen, so we made sure to bring plenty of food! Be sure to check ahead and see if your place has a grill! WE LOVED OURS. Grilled steaks, mimosas and hot tubs.

HEAVEN EXISTS: IT’S ME SITTING IN THIS HOT TUB WATCHING MY HUSBAND COOK MEAT.

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It was such an incredible week! Surrounded by nature and taking as many naps as possible; we had such the perfect start to our Mega Honeymoon Adventure. I also loved to be able to spend this time with Tinsel too. It’s nice to get out and see something different!

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Above picture is from the start of our trip compared to the below photo from the last night. I think we exhausted her?

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Exploring the Orlando Neighborhood : Kayaking Shingle Creek, Florida

A suggestion from a friend led us to kayaking Shingle Creek two weekends ago in June. Off of Highway 192 in Kissimmee is a small kayak rental shack called The Paddling Center. ($13 for a single Kayak/$16 for a tandem kayak – for two hours). You will have to reserve your kayak eight hours in advance; but they are pretty easy going and will allow you to call in less time and reserve if they have a kayak available.

(they allow you to sign all of your waivers via email before hand – this saves A LOT of time)

Right off of Highway 192 you will find the entrance. Enter the park and travel down a steep hill and into a dirt parking lot. Parking is limited. After you check in at the wooden shack, the team will lead you down to the beach and push you off into the water. At the time that we were there, the second route was closed due to too strong of a current, so they told us to head straight under the bridge towards the first route.

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Head straight underneath the Highway 192 Bridge (there was a lot of homeless people under the bridge, which was kind of off-setting) and paddle upstream. The water was murky and there was not much wild life; I am amusing due to the proximity of the bustling city. We paddled for about 30 minutes upstream before we hit the “turn around here, No Entry” signs. That was it. We let the current take us back to the launch point, drifting slowly. We still did not see any wildlife. Overall the adventure took us about 45 minutes and was actually disappointing for what we paid.

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The Paddling Center also offers bike rentals if you are in for that as well! I defiantly would call ahead first to see if all of the kayaking trails are open before spending the money. Even an inexperienced person on a kayak would not be able to fill two hours worth of time. My husband and I will be back to try out the second route eventually this summer, but we will call ahead to see!