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!

Healthy Living : The Best Stress-Relieving Teas You Need To Try ☕️

I’m a bit of a stress monster. Partially beacause I cannot handle change. Partially beaucae I suffer from diagnosed OCD. I can stress over small stuff like wrinkles in sheets and I can stress over BIG stuff like being late to work or a meeting.

Stress is so common these days. With technology, deadlines, the work week keeps breaching into the weekend and of course social media telling us we NEED to do MORE. MORE. MORE.

I wanted to put end to at least a little of my anxietyn ridden, suffering so I’ve added in a new yoga routine (you can read that article here) AND I’ve learned how to meditate (this article is here). On top of all of it, I’ve even added a new “tea routine” to my diet. Sipping on warm herbal teas at night to help me unwind and de-stress from the day. So here’s my list! My list of favorite unwinding, relaxing heart warming teas.

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“>Lavender & Honey > A Yogi Tea my absolutle #1 favorite stress releaving tea. It even says so right on the box 😉 Just be warned, do not drink this at work or while driving. Just. Few sips of tea and I was completely asleep. Best paird with warm milk and a splash of honey.

“>Zen > A Tazo Tea beautiful green tea paired with lemon grass. A almost minty/lemon favor and is absolutely delicious. You can drink this straight, warm or iced. If you like it a little sweeter add a “>“>teaspoon of organic stevia.

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“>Lavender Early Gray Black Tea > A Revolution Tea if you are looking for a good nights sleep after a stressful day look no further then this tea. Beautiful bitterness from the black tea paid with beautiful sweet lavendar.

“>Carmel Bedtime Tea > Antoher Yogi Tea! Sweet like desert, but will put you right to bed. This is a yummy, tantalizing Carmel tea ☕️ Pair this with a spool full of honey and it’s better than desert!

Speaking of deserts: I’m an emotional eater (I mean who isn’t??) but I’d rather not eat sweets before bed (sugar, for me at least tends to make anxiety and stress a lot worse). Instead, I sip on the very best desert flavored teas. “>Tazo makes three of the BEST desert flavored teas that are offered > Glazed Lemon Loaf, Buttersoctch Blondie AND Vanilla Bean Macaroon. Who says tea is just herbal? Try these delicious deserts to curve your sweet tooth. I’m a weirdo and paired this with honey and warm coconut milk 😍😍


What are your favorite stress releaving teas? I would love to hear about them in the comments below! Thank you all for reading! 👩🏻‍💻♥️🐶 Be sure to follow us on Instagram too 

Id love to hear from ya, cause your my cup of tea 😉

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!

Exploring the Orlando Neighborhood : Duck Doughnuts

I love doughnuts. Seriously who doesn’t? We fell in love with Duck Doughnuts on our trip to Washington D.C. You can check out that trip here.

What makes a better date then long talks over good coffee? Nothing.

We were excited to find out that Duck Doughnuts opened a location right here in Florida, so we decided to make a trip! Just about a 30 minute drive to Kissimmee from Orlando. If you are looking for you local Duck Doughnuts, here’s a link to their site.


Okay so let me lay this out – walk in and grab a menu (use this to mark on). You start off with a base cake doughnut and on basically anything you can dream of.

My fave: Lemon glaze & fresh shredded coconut

My husband’s fave: Strawberry Glaze & Oreo crumbles

We normally only do a half dozen. I’ve never, honestly, been able to eat more than two without hating myself. Oh and make sure to order a iced coffee! It’s fresh brewed and INCREDIBLE.

After handing off your menu, each doughnut is made fresh and hand made to your order.


And here they are (starting top right) Strawberry glaze with Oreo crumbs, Dark chocolate glaze with marshmallow drizzle and graham crackera, Vanilla Bean glaze with dark chocolate drizzle, lemon glaze with fresh shredded coconut, cinnamon sugar with dark chocolate and lastly dark chocolate glaze with salted Carmel drizzle 🤤🤤🤤🤤

So there it is – A perfectly delicious date idea to try out this weekend. Want to check out last weeks date idea? You can see that here! Have a great weekend 😘😘

DIY : Leather Christmas Ornaments

A few weekends ago my husband and I visited the Orlando Museum of Art’s Festival of Trees event – where I was completely captivated by this tree. Stunning, hand-cut leather ornaments – with kind of a “mermaid scallop” look.

I mean at this point you should know me pretty well – I just HAD to try this out for myself. I knew that I could make this myself for WAY CHEAPER. So let’s get started here with the shopping list. Of course most of these items can be found at the Dollar Tree you can pop these items into your shopping cart here! Also just because your reading this & probably have a LOVE for the Dollar Tree like me – be sure to check out their free in store pick up option here and save yourself some time! (Seriously – the only way to do it!)

Let’s get started with the supply list!

– Clear plastic ornaments! As many as you want for your tree or gifts! ($1 at Hobby Lobby or use any of your old ornaments at home)

– A hot glue gun and glue refills. Did you know you can also pick these up from the Dollar Tree? Seriously. Never pay more than a $1 for hot glue refill unless you are buying the pumpkin spice scented sticks from Michaels….. 😏

– Fake Leather (please) fabric. You can pick this up from your local hobby store like Hobby Lobby. I found this in the Upholstery Section and paid $1.75 for a quarter yard

And that’s seriously it. See below picture for the inspiration for this craft! (because I’m a bit selfish) I’m making these little guys for my tree at home instead of gifts.

Our Christmas tree is just a little different from normal Christmas trees; my husband and I are pretty particular when it comes to ornaments. I was inspired by my Grandmother’s tree growing up; each ornament matched – matching bulbs in different patterns, dim white lights and each piece matching the next. My Grandmother never really had cartoon or themed ornaments – everything matched and was breath taking. SO our tree is the same way, we have several different grey and white bulbs (some glitter and some with a matte finish). We have beautifully dim white lights and strung sparkly pine cones.

I remember being mesmerized by my Grandmother’s tree growing up. Everything iced in white, with the dark green fir tree peeping out underneath.

ANYWAYS – I wanted to make these leather ornaments. Stunning, matte leather ornaments to go with our current tree. You can see what our current tree looks like below 😻😻

So let’s get started sha’ll we? First start off by plugging in your hot glue gun – your gonna need it.

Second – Start off by cutting the leather fabric into small circles. For this craft, I’m sizing each piece to be about the size of a quarter (I used a flash light butt as a measurement). Depending on how many ornaments you are creating, will change the amount of circles you will need. For one ornament I cut about 25 quarter-sized circles.

Last step – Start off at the bottom and glue the circles onto the ornament. Row by row work your way up to the top of the ornament hook.Take your time ☺️ I know it’s always hard with me and crafts; I always rush through it with excitement!

And that’s it! We made these precious leather “mermaid scalloped” ornaments! Perfect for a holiday gift, ornament exchange party or even for your own tree at home! I would love to see how your ornaments turned out below and if you have any other ideas for crafts you’d like me to make – just let me know if the comments below!!! Feel free to check out any of my other DIY series here as well

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! 😚