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 : Let me tell you about the worst vacation I have ever been on

So I took a week off from writing – My husband and I were going on this incredible vacation and of course we were also spending time with friends and family for turkey day. ANYWAYS THAT SAID – sit back and let me tell you about the worst vacation I’ve ever been on and ALMOST died during. (Spoilers)

To preface this, let me tell you our actually plan:

Saturday morning leave around 7AM and drive up to Savanah, Georgia for lunch. Then continue driving to our campsite in Asheville, NC before 5PM. Set up camp, cuddle and make s’mores . There was a meteor shower that was happening this night! So we were planning on staying up late to see it.

Sunday morning wake up and see the sunrise over the mountains at our campsite. Then drive further up north to Grandfather Mountain to do a little hiking before lunch. For lunch, drive back to Asheville and check out this taco joint downtown. Head back to the campsite, enjoy a hot dinner and get a good rest.

Monday morning wake up and pack up camp. Head back to downtown Asheville and find somewhere to have breakfast. After eating, start driving to Charleston, SC for lunch and site seeing. After lunch, head home and be home before dark.

It sounded like a perfectly simple plan. Super relaxing. Not over-planned (like my usual style) So let me tell you what actually happened:

We packed up our little Kia on Thursday, Friday we pre-made our meals and packed the cooler. We were prepped! We don’t normally drive our Kia, my husband and I are blessed enough that we don’t need a second car. But our little Kia is there in case we need it. So it doesn’t have many miles on it and it’s relatively new. (I’m going somewhere with this – just hang on).

Friday night: we couldn’t sleep. This vacation was going to be AMAZING. Around 3AM on Saturday, we decided “HECK we are up – Let’s just go!!” So we did. Tinsel the dog, my husband and I pilled into the small Kia crammed with our camping gear and we headed off to Georgia.

Around three hours in, our car starts giving out. The Kia is sputtering down the highway and we make the call to turn around. Still staying positive, we decided to head home and pick up a rental car. As long as we were back on the road by 9:30AM we could at least make it to our campsite before dark.

My husband pre-paid for our rental car and set a time for us to pick it up. We got to the dealership early and two ladies got there before us! They even cut our place in line, spent 45 minutes inspecting the car (it’s honestly like they never saw a car before) and we still didn’t get a car until 10:30AM!!! (Ok calming down). We finally made it back to our house with our rental car, we moved over all of our camping gear and got back on the road.

At this point we decided to forgo seeing Savanah, Georgia because we simply did not have enough time. We knew at this point, that we would have to put up our tent in the dark. Surprisingly still optimistic.

We drove straight to Asheville; a full eight hour drive. We got to the point where “google maps ends” and we had to follow the written instructions up the mountain side to our campsite. (In the dark, while it was raining, in a unmaintained gravel road).

Saturday 7PM: Our campsite was BEAUTIFUL. A fully fenced in, private deck overlooking the mountains. Oddly, the wind was picking up? We had no cell phone service and it looked like a storm was rolling in. At this point, we had no choice but to set up camp. We didn’t know how to get back down the mountain side, we had no cell phone service and the storm was starting to pick up.

My husband quickly threw me the tent. I grabbed it and quickly tumbled down two flights of stairs to our deck. Luckily, it was so cold – I felt no pain 😂😂 (to update currently: my wrist is swollen, along with a severely bruised knee)

We set up the tent and the wind started getting worse. We decided to take all of our camping gear out of the car to help weigh down our tent for the night. My husband finally got a little phone signal and was able to look at the weather for a split second. We were in a dangerous wind advisory – 50-60 MPH winds were going to hit us directly on the mountain cliff and we were stuck. We had to open the windows on the tent in order to allow some of the wind to pass through – which meant we were drenched from the rain. It was dropping bellow 30 degrees and the wind was tearing apart our tent. We could feel the deck shifting below us due to the strain. We could hear our car slipping and sliding in the gravel above us. The tent was lifting us off of the ground. And we were trapped.

We didn’t sleep at all. Around 2AM we heard two loud SNAPS. Two of our tent poles collapsed under the pressure.

Oh did I mention? Tinsel (our pup) got so terrified she peed. She peed all over me. Fantastic I know.

Sunday 5AM: The sun was starting to peep out. We had enough light that we could finally leave. Our tent shifted so much, the tent door was now on the roof and we were pilled under our belongings. We quickly threw all of our belongings into our car and headed off to town. We found a Starbucks about 45 minutes away and quickly filled up on warm beverages; keeping the heat on full blast in the car.

My husband (being the real hero of our whole trip) stayed positive. He asked me “Ok so last night sucked. What else is on your list?” I knew the answer to that one – hiking Grandfather Mountain. So we hoped into the car and headed off. As we were driving up, snow to fall ! (For this Florida girl – it’s a HUGE deal). Tinsel got to play in snow for the very first time and had a BLAST.

We had an incredible time playing in the snow – but now we were even more excited about hiking in it. So we kept driving. We made it to the state park and started driving up the mountain. The car slipped in the ice and slide right into a ditch. We tried to get it out, but the car was saturated in ice and was unable to move. We had to call our AAA service to help us out. The good news? Our nice warm car had no cell phone signal. We had to leave Tinsel in the car and walk a mile down the mountain side to get cell phone signal. The even better news? The towing company wants us to stay by the cell phone service in case he needs to call us. The even better better news? It was going to be two hours before he could help us. See that cute little black dot walking down the road? That’s me

For those that are uncomfortable about things: just skip this paragraph all together. Remember that venti Starbucks beverage? Well yeah I finished it and now we were stuck on the side of the road waiting. I had to PEE. I had to pee more than I have never needed to pee in my entire life. I HAD TO GO. So I took that venti Starbucks cup and I FILLED it.

We waited. We waited some more. We played in the snow. We waited and waited. AND FINALLY the tow truck guy showed up! He pulled us right out and we were on our way in less than 30 minutes!

Exhausted and fed up. We decided the best bet would just to head home. We were exhausted, our tent was destroyed and we had little supplies that were not ruined. The three of use pilled back into the car and headed towards downtown Asheville for lunch. We wanted to get a good meal before another eight hour drive.

We stopped at the White Duck Taco and got well…..tacos 😉. We ate while driving. About three hours into the drive, my husband looks at me and says “I don’t feel so well.” Yeah you guessed it – poor guy got food poisoning it time. We are still trying to stay optimistic- so we get a hotel room in Charleston, South Carolina. We decided to make the most of this terrible trip and stay over night in Charleston. This way, we can still go sight seeing in Savanah and Charleston AND make it home before it gets dark (driving exhausted in the dark down the highway is not one of my favorite things).

Monday morning: Charleston is beautiful. Stunning. So many perfectly colorful buildings. Incredible architecture. I love this small town filled with southern charm. In Charleston, we hit up Rainbow Row (the beautiful colorful buildings in the top picture) AND we got to see the famous Pineapple Fountain in their Central Park. We stopped off in Charleston for breakfast and to refill our caffeine fueled hearts and we were off to Savanah, Georgia for lunch.

Fueled up, warm and fed: we finally made it to Savanah. We stopped to sightsee their Forsyth Park for a bit and take in the old oak trees. The weather was finally starting to warm up as we wandered back to our car.

Overall this was an insane trip. My car died, we almost died on a mountain camping,our car needed to be towed out of a snowy ditch AND we got food poisoning. But you know what? We didn’t argue once and we stayed positive the entire trip. I’m a little worn out still (and a bit bruised up), but next time we will be better prepared! We are currently in the midst of planning our next road trip, Florida to the Alamo!

Exploring the Orlando Neighborhood : Botanical Gardens & Foxtail Cafe

So happy it’s FINALLY Friday! I hope you’ve all had a great week!

Let’s jump right into it here! This week’s date inspiration – We made our first stop this small cafe name Foxtail, you can see their menu here. If you know me at all, you know I have a…..slight obsession with matcha tea – so of course I had to try their matcha latte on for size (sitting at about $6 I was hopping that this small 16oz was going to be worth it) & OMG IT WAS SO WORTH IT. The best matcha latte that I have had. My husband ordered a salted vanilla caramel cold brew over ice and was unimpressed – I thought the brew was incredible.

We picked up our drinks and tapped the Mead Botanical Gardens address into Google Maps (just about a five minute drive from the cafe). It was a perfect combo – delicious beverages while we visited a local garden 🙌🏻🙌🏻

The Mead Botanical Garden is the PERFECT spot for a picnic. I was upset we didn’t pack a lunch to enjoy here. The gardens open up at 7:30AM and are open until 10:00PM with free parking AND free admission. When entering the park, drive straight and DO NOT park on the right hand side – you’ll want to park further down to awards to gardens. Be sure to pick up a map of the gardens as well, from the first information kiosk you see. There’s a lot to do in the park!

We hit it off by visiting the Monarch Butterfly Garden, then walked the full length of the boardwalk around the small ponds and creeks.

There are so many beautiful over run bridges and pathways, so be sure to watch where you are walking. We spent about 30 minutes walking the board walks and visiting the butterfly gardens until it started to rain! We honestly did mind the rain too much, there was so much tree coverage that we didn’t really need an umbrella.

Near the back of the park, there was a small lake where we were able to see an otter playing and some larger birds catching fish. Be sure to bring your binoculars! Although the signs clearly say that there was no dogs allowed into the park, we did run across a LOT of dogs. I don’t believe it’s a strict rule, but I would be cautious when bring your fur-kids.

We had such a beautiful time sitting here by the water, especially with our delicious drinks! We will be sure to bring a picnic lunch next time we visit! Have you ever visited the Mead Botanical Gardens or Foxtail Cafe before? I would love to hear about it below! Happy Friday again and I hope your date night this weekend is incredible! 😚

Happy #Makemonday! This week I’m sharing a tutorial on how to make a DIY Beast (From Beauty and the Beast) costume!

Hello! I LOVE Mondays and getting to share with ya’ll my favorite DIY crafts! This month I had the pleasure of creating ADORABLE costumes for my friend Michelle’s two little boys (A Gaston Costume – you can find the tutorial here). I’m literally so happy to be sharing this tutorial, I had a blast making it!

Of course let’s start off with a shopping list! As always, I promise mostly ALL of these items can be found for a dollar or less! I focused on creating the shirt and Michelle paired it with a Beast mask (she picked up off Etsy), tan pants and fur gloves.

For the shirt here’s the list

– One sheet of Beige felt – more if you are making a larger shirt

– A blue shirt – any size that you need

– One sheet of yellow felt – more if you are making a larger shirt

– A hot glue gun

– Scissors

To Complete the costume

– A Beast mask or follow a at-home makeup tutorial

– Tan pants

– Fur gloves

So let’s get started! First step: Cut three strips of yellow felt on the long side. These should be pretty thin, about an inch and a half. Gently hot glue one strip of yellow along the bottom of the shirt and up the direct center of the shirt. Also cut two very small, three inch strips to create “pockets” on the shirt. Like below. It doesn’t need to be perfect! Most of the top will be covered by more felt.

Let’s work on creating the neck scarf next! Pick up your white or beige felt and create a triangle shape. Round each point to a curve and carefully glue the scarf on the top of the shirt like below.

Next step is to finish off the neck scarf, with a small “mermaid” like tail for the bottom. Cut a small triangle out of white or beige felt and create a scalloped edge. Hot glue this piece on the end of the neck scarf.

Now to create the yellow collar! Cut two yellow, thin rectangles just about four inches long and about an inch and a half wide. Round the edges and taper the pieces to be thinner at the bottom. Repeat the process to create two identical pieces. These pieces will be glued next to the edge of the beige scarf.

Go over each piece and make sure they are secured properly. I was making this costume for a child, so I made sure to firmly secure each piece. The very last step in making this top is the buttons! I created three small circles out of the beige felt and glued them at the center of the scarf and along the middle of the shirt.

And that’s it! An ADORABLE DIY Beast costume! I would love to see how your costumes turned out below! You can see all of my other Halloween DIYs on the DIY tab to the right! Hope you have a CRAFTY Monday 😻😻

Curious about where I learned about how I set this article up and the techniques I used? Check out the exclusive coupon below!

DIY : Gaston Child Costume 🥀

Hello readers! I’ve been knee deep in felt scraps, putting together a Gaston (From Beauty & the Beast) costume for my dear friend Michelle’s son. I’m currently working on a Beast costume, that tutorial will come later promise!

Okay so let’s start off with a shopping list:

– Yellow and black felt (for this medium child’s shirt I used two sheets of each color, of course the larger the shirt the more felt you will need)

– A hot glue gun and lots of glue replacement sticks!

– Scissors

– A red plain T-shirt (any size will do!)

STEP #1: I started off laying out my supplies on my living room rug (I normally don’t craft on our dinning room table lol). I thought I was going to sew the pieces together with a beautiful blanket stitching, but I HATED the way it was turning out. SO I decided to hot glue the pieces together and really loved the results!

STEP #2: Let’s start with the collar. Lay the shirt flat on top of the yellow felt and out line the shoulder length with a pen. Trim along the line, make sure not to trim off any extra length of the felt. You’ll be able to trim it later and line it up properly.

STEP #4: insert the yellow felt inside the shirt, trace the collar (like below) and trim! Now the yellow felt should line up perfectly with the shouldered and collar! Now, carefully place a glue line on the shirt along the the shoulder line and around the collar. With light pressure, line up the yellow felt on-top of the glue and hold it for a few seconds. DO NOT glue the shoulder line down, you will need to trim this later! GO ahead and trim the access felt now and create a pretty yellow collar! With the extra felt I created a small “button” to add to the middle! Feel free to use a real button or anything else!

STEP #5: Okay let’s work on the belt! For larger shirts (like this one) I had to use two separate pieces across the belt, hiding the connection underneath the belt buckle. Start by cutting two medium/thin-ish pieces length wise out of the black felt. Gently glue them one the midsection of the shirt.

Really use your best judgement on belt size here, you can even measure the width against a belt you (or your child) own.

STEP #6: The belt buckle! Cut a small square out of the yellow felt, this should be just a bit wider than the belt. Gently glue the belt buckle on top of the black felt (hold for a few seconds and really let it set). Now cut a “C” square shape (like below) out of black felt and apply it to the top of the belt buckle.

And just for your reference? Tinsel is hard at work making this costume happen. Just look at her. (Her life is so hard, I don’t think you truly understand) 😂

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’s how the Gaston costumed turned out! I’ll be sharing the Beast costume shortly so please stay tuned! I would love to see how your costumes turned out! Have an idea of another costume you’d like to see? Message me! I’d love to make it!

Also please make sure your signed up for the Tangled Newsletter up top! I’ll be giving away some pretty incredible Halloween prizes this month!

I’ll be posting a picture of the kiddos in their costumes soon on social media, so keep an eye out because they are freakin’ adorable!

Exploring the Orlando Neighborhood : Wonderland

Be ready for this well worth-it belly ache, bit PERFECT date (to bring the kids along too). The only raw (safe) cookie dough place in Florida and it is MIND BLOWING. Downtown Celebration in Kissimmee, Florida is a ideal date location. You can check out my other date night idea here as well! (Adorable bike through their many exclusive biking riding trails). Park down town in Celebration and let’s get snackin’ 🤤

Preview Wonderland’s Menu Here

Downtown Celebration is breath taking, there are so many small shops and cafes to explore! Normally there is plenty of parking and you can park right in front of the Wonderland Shop. Just $7 per scoop and HUGE selection of flavors, it can be sooooo over whelming. (They even have a new Pumpkin Spice flavor!)

The ladies in the shop were so wonderful too, they let me taste all of the flavors I needed to make a decision. I cut my bangs a bit too short, but deal with it. Here are my new friends 👯👯

With all of the southern charm this shop has to offer and such INCREDIBLE women; leave these little ladies a nice tip! They were so cheerful; I mean who wouldn’t be? Surrounded by cookie dough is a DREAM. The staff manager made this adorable tea pot ☕️

My husband and I grabbed our sweet treats (Mint chip & Cookie Dough) and headed towards the water. Just as a storm was rolling in, we enjoyed our cookie dough coma near the water. Exploring these beautiful pastel buildings and incredible wildlife; seriously I love everything a bout Celebration.

So grab your sweetie and kids and head to Celebration in Kissimmee, Florida and get munching! I’d love to see your date night photos below! Check out my other Celebration Date Night idea here ♥️ Have any other favorite date night ideas? I’d love to see them below!