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 : Orlando Museum of Art’s Festival of Tress

I’m sorry I’m one of “those people” and Christmas can never come early enough. This is why we’ve already started our Holiday Traditions Bucket List 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

This weekend we visited the Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art! Basically a Christmas Wonderland of trees, gingerbread houses and a craft fair. You can pick up your tickets online or pick them up at the door (we ordered online – because it was WAY easier. The lines for tickets can get pretty long). $15 per person and $5 (cash only) for parking – you can see more information here .

Don’t get swept up when you first walk in. Head straight for the raffle booth (if that’s your thing – like it is ours). We frequently visit the museums for free so we don’t mind giving them a little extra money during the holidays.

Did you know that you can visit all of your local museums for free the first weekend of the month? In any state?? If you are a cardholder through Bank of America – check out their “Museums on us” site and see what places are free in your area!

ANYWAYS RAFFLE TICKETS – $1 per raffle ticket. Throughout the museum there are small gift boxes for you to place your raffle tickets in. To give you the chance for winning that particular tree, gingerbread house OR gift from a local vendor. Choose your boxes wisely!

We grabbed out raffle tickets and we were off! We visited each room and checked out each tree. Look closely at a lot of the trees and wreaths, they have incredible detail

Throughout the museum they even have small “craft fair” shops set up. Perfect for grabbing some early Christmas gifts for family and friends. They even have their very own Santa for kids to take pictures with – the lines were pretty long though so be warned.

Some trees even had incredible themes – like the World Travel themed tree above.

We had so much fun on our first Christmas Tradition! Visiting the Festival of Trees was an incredible experience and WELL worth the price. It really got me in the mood for the upcoming holiday season….who knows maybe I’ll put up my own tree this weekend 😏😏 SO if you are looking for something to do with your family this weekend – stop by the Orlando Museum of Art for an incredible festive time!

Do you have any holiday traditions that you love to do with your family? I would love to hear about thembelow!!

Exploring the Orlando Neighborhood : The Orlando Eye & I-Drive

OMG I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. IT’S FINALLY FRIDAY!!! I know you’ve all been waiting for this week’s date inspiration 😉

This date inspiration is part two of last weekend’s trip to the Sealife Aquarium (part of the Orlando Eye Complex).You can see that article in the “Exploring the Orlando Neighborhood” tab on the right of the screen under categories. <<<<<
ets get to it! We visited Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum and had such an incredible time! It’s a small exhibit, but it’s well worth it. Again this exhibit you can sign up for a photography pass card, allowing a professional to take pictures of you and the celebrities throughout the museum (for a fee of course). I’m all about saving cash, so we always just skip that part and opt for taking cute selfies instead!

Take your time and make sure to look around each exhibit. There are normally crates or chests filled with props for you to take pictures with. The Elvis wax figure has some fun rock accessories, like an electric guitar and OF COURSE a studded vest to match.

Honestly we only came to see Tom Hanks dressed as David S. Pumpkins. But we still managed to take some pretty hilarious selfies!

ey not only have celebrities, but they also have your FAVE Universal Characters too! You can even take a seat on ET’s getaway bike, take a photo breaking out of Jurassic Park AND even get kicked by PO the Panda. Each time my husband and I visit, we always have a blast. These are serious Profile Pic Goals.

n see more information about the museum and ticket prices here! If you are to add on the Sealife Aquarium or the Orlando Eye, they offer a TON of bundle discounts. Constantly check their site as well! Some weekends, like last weekend, they had a Latin Festival out on the lawn and to ride the Eye was only $5! They have a monthly calendar on their site for different discounts and events! Of course – I did not visit the Orlando Eye, because I’m straight up terrified of heights and cried the first time I rode it….

We love visiting this museum and they are always changing out celebrities and photo opportunities! Have you ever visited Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum before? I’d love to see some of your photos in the comments below!!

(I’ll end this article with this little beauty below! Talk about #womancrushes 😻😻)

Exploring the Orlando Neighborhood : The I-Drive Aquarium

Hello! You made it! It’s Friday and time for another #DATENIGHTINSPIRATION. Of course I like to keep our dates affordable and always something you can do with the kids. Last weekend we went on a date down at the Orlando Eye! We visited the Sea Life Aquarium and had a BLAST!

Okay here’s the break down:

Tickets are $20 and $18 for Florida Residents. It’s a pretty small aquarium, so I defiantly suggest adding on all of the other experiences (The wax museum and the Orlando Eye) You can see more information about pricing and group rates here.

You have two options when entering the aquarium, you can sign up for a photo adventure thing (and win a prize at the end) or you can skip all of it and just head straight for the exhibits (which is what we normally do). For the adventure thing, you get a small “passport” to take around to each location, to get stamps. Fill up your book and you get a prize!

For us though, we like to just wander and take our time. My first stop is always the jellyfish wall, still so breathtaking and beautiful.

We seriously love this aquarium. It’s super small, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in exhibits! My second favorite stop are these smiley little devils. I’m literally like a child and giggle each time they pass with those goofy grins. Part of me just wants to take a dry erase marker and give them small mustaches 👨🏻

The aquarium has so much to offer! They have touch tanks with marine biologists to answer questions, they have jellyfish, sharks and everything else in between!

After visiting the aquarium, take a stroll around the Orlando Eye area. Tons of window shopping, ice cream bars and burger joints. This place is a perfect way to spend date night! Especially now that the weather is cooling off a bit, it’s great to be outside!

Next week I’ll dive a little deeper (see what I did there 😏) into Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum so stay tuned! I’d also love to hear how your date night went down in the comments below! If you want to see last weeks #Datenightinspiration you can check them out on the “date night ideas” on the left under categories!

This week we are visiting the pumpkin patch (because I’m fall-obsessed)! SO MANY SELFIES to check out on Instagram @ TheTangledTinsel 👩🏻‍💻♥️🐶

Woman Crush Wednesday : An interview with Christy

Hi! Starting this week, I will be publishing a special guest interview of the most powerful, influential women I know. So look out each Wednesday morning for a new interview!

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing  Christy! She is currently an independent retailer for LuLaRoe! Christy and I met a few years ago and actually worked together for a bit! She truly is one of the most feisty, beautiful people I know and it was an honor to have her for my very first interview!

So let’s started! 😚

1. Tell us about your business? What’s your day to day look like?

I’m an independent retailer for LuLaRoe. I help women find their confidence by matching them up with clothing that is comfortable, unique, and stylish. The great thing about my particular business is that I can fit it around my lifestyle instead of the other way around. I’m a mom first and foremost so I work on invoicing while Maggie (my toddler) eats breakfast, or take photographs of new inventory after she is asleep. Sometimes, I’m sitting on the playroom floor creating graphics on my phone while she builds Legos.

2. Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I love to travel and am always saving money for my next trip even if it isn’t planned yet. So far, I’ve been to 3 continents, 16 countries and 34 states but there are a LOT more places on my list!

3. When did you start your business? 

I launched my business in January of 2017.

4. What inspired you to start your business? 
After a long battle with postpartum depression, I realized that I needed something to help me respect myself again. Starting this business gave me a reason to talk to adults, to get out of the house, to take care of myself, and basically to help rebuild my own confidence. It’s allows me to be the best version of myself so that I can teach my daughter and the women around me how to be the best version of themselves.

5. How do you handle having a family and working full time? 

I really only work my business part time but I have two or three items in each area of my life that are absolute musts and I focus on making sure I get those right every time and allow myself to let the other things go if I have to. So, for my business I focus on great customer service but don’t worry about packaging each item with bows and tissue paper and packets of unicorn poop, or posting constantly on every social media platform in existence. As a mom, I focus on having a happy healthy kid and let my house be “clean enough” (which it isn’t always but it’s not one of my main priorities so I don’t stress about it)…. it’s about knowing what is REALLY important to you and spending your time & energy there.

6. How do you handle leading a healthy lifestyle and still working your business? 

Like everything else, good enough is good enough; I focus on being better instead of perfect. I try to make it easier for myself to make healthy choices (like using a grocery pick-up service so I don’t have to wander past all the junk, or doubling a recipe and freezing half so I have an easy healthy dinner ready in the future).

7. Have you had any set backs? How did you overcome them?

Sure, things happen but I don’t believe this business (or life in general) is about finding THE right answer but rather about finding THE NEXT right answer. Setbacks just give me the kick in the pants that I need to try something new!

8. What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
Every time a customer tells me how amazing or confident she feels in her new clothes, my heart swells. It’s amazing to see someone’s face light up when they look at themselves in the mirror, especially when shopping is usually a source of stress for them.

9. What would tell other woman about starting their own business? 
Find your own lane. It’s easy to get caught in the comparison trap and feel like you have to “keep up” with everyone else. If driving 90mph in the left lane isn’t your thing (or takes too much time from your other priorities), then go 60mph in the right lane instead. As long as you keep moving, you will get there eventually just the same!

10. What woman do you aspire to be more like? 
J.K. Rowling. She doesn’t give up, she’s creative, a philanthropist, an activist, and wickedly clever to boot.

11. What is one of your favorite quotes?
“We’re all stories in the end.” I heard the quote on Doctor Who and it resonated so much with me that I actually have it tattooed on my wrist!

If you’d like to know more about Christy or her business, you can check her out on Facebook @LulaRoe Christy Pino 

Here’s a cute pic of her and her ladies! 😍

Travel Tuesday : Eight States in Three Days 

I know I’m not alone on this, but sometimes I just get that need to jump in the car and drive, that yearning for adventure, the need to see something different.

Near the beginning of June I got that “Let’s just go” feeling. Of course My husband, Andrew, and I cannot take off work for more than a day so we had just a three day weekend to make this happen.

I packed just one suit case for my husband and I, we stuffed our cooler into the trunk and filled up the car with gas! The plan? Driving from Orlando, Florida to Indianapolis, Indiana in just three days/two nights.

(I LOVE road trips if you couldn’t tell)

Saturday morning we left at 5:00AM from Orlando, Florida headed towards Atlanta, Georgia. Just about an eight hour drive, our first stop was downtown Atlanta. We strolled around Central Park, refilled our Starbucks cups and jumped back into the car. Atlanta is beautiful, but it was our first stop and we were anxious to get back on the road!

Next stop Nashville, Tennessee! What we didn’t plan for? Actually checking the community website before visiting. We planned to walk around Nashville during the CMA (Country Music Awards) festival. The town was PACKED. We found a few secluded parks and decided to only stay a few hours in order to make the last stretch to Kentucky.

Bowling Green, Kentucky is the quintessential small, southern town filled with cobble streets and small cafes. Why Bowling Green? Kentucky was the perfect stop before reaching Indianapolis and a five start hotel on a weekend cost us under $100 for a night (can’t go wrong with that!).

After a good nights rest we started driving towards Indianapolis (of course stopping to refill our coffee cups along the way – I don’t have a problem 😉). The drive to Indianapolis is LONG, there isn’t much to look at and it seems to go on FOREVER (about a four hour drive). We ended up stopping for lunch along the way, packing sandwiches and chips is a road trip standard for us. Not to mention – currently McDonalds has drinks for $1! Fill up on unsweet tea and keep drivin’.

We finally made it to Indianapolis just after lunch! We strolled along White River State Park over looking downtown Indianapolis, we drove over enormous bridges and marveled at the city’s architecture. Indianapolis will defiantly be on our list to see again next summer.

Headed to out next stop on Sunday afternoon – St. Louis, Missouri. Seeing the Gateway Arch was on my bucket list, so this was a huge deal for me! Another four hour drive we finally made it to St.Louis to see the Arch. They just refurbished the area to include a beautiful walkway and a brand new dog park.

Tinsel and I loved strolling around cobble streets;we could not have asked for better weather.

If you are in Missouri,you have to stop to see Lafayette Park. A breath taking neighborhood of perfectly lined town homes and a quite park. Take a stroll downtown or stand mouth-open like I did, day dreaming of living in this neighborhood.

Our last stop on Sunday was to find somewhere to stay for the night, closer to Memphis, Tennessee.

My #1 suggestion for road trips – the Stay the Night app for iPhone. This searches your area for hotels that are looking to fill their rooms for the night for a discounted rate. It’s perfect for road trips, when you are done driving, turn on the app and it will hook you up with the best deal at your location. (They also have a filter for dog friendly hotels!)

The first hotel that popped up for us – Elvis’s Guest house right on his property in Memphis. $125 for the night in a five star hotel. The last leg of our second day – just over two hours and our hotel was just what we needed to refresh us. The hotel was RIGHT ON Elvis’s property and our room overlooked his estate. A beautiful room, with a rain shower and deluxe bed (heaven).

Our very last day, Monday morning. We started early, well rested from the night before, around 5:00AM. We started off strolling along The Mississippi River. We loved Memphis, but after all of this driving we were starting to get a little home sick and WE WERE WAY SICK OF MEAT SANDWICHES.

Our very last day, we wanted to see Alabama on the way back to Florida.

My #2  for road trips – download the Gas Buddy app on the iPhone. Open it up while you are on the highway and it will give you the best price for gas in your area.

Our VERY last stop was in Georgia. Providence Canyon State Par has been sitting on my summer bucket list for years and we finally got to visit. The State Park is well known as the “Mini Grand Canyon.”

Just as we’re standing at the edge,  a short walk from the parking lot, it started to downpour. This Canyon took my breath away, as it started to rain the deep orange rock started to change color to this beautiful rusty orange. We stayed right there in the rain to enjoy it, reluctant to get back into the car.

Another five hours and we were finally home in Orlando. Soaked to the core, covered in red clay but this trip was worth it. We saw eight new states, 12 cities and made memories to last a life time.

It never takes much to travel, just the willingness to get yourself out there. Overall for this weekend we WOULD have spent around $800 on gas, hotels and food.

BUT we saved on hotels by booking the day of, we saved on gas by using an app and we saved on food by packing our cooler. What we actually spent? Just under $400.

Pack up your car. Take your dog. And get out there to see something new!