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!

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

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! 😚

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!

Life Hack : 3 Basic things you should know about caring for your dog

It’s said in older tradition that your dog is your soul mate in life, your partner. When your dog passes, it’s soul is passed on to another dog and your souls will reunite. I always found this comforting. I know that Tinsel and I only have a certain time together in this life time, so I spend every day making sure I am giving her the best life possible.

Just a little background.

Tinsel and I met six years ago, when I was volunteering at an animal shelter. Our souls met and it was one of those “there you are” moments in life. We have been attached by the hip ever since.

If you are a new rescue parent or you decided to pay for a puppy (don’t honestly get me started on that) there are probably a few basic things you should know about proper care for your new family member.

FIRST: Tinsel is a pretty big girl, weighing in at about 70 pounds. She takes a lot of physical stimulation to keep her happy. I sacrifice up thirty minutes of my morning, waking up around 5:15 AM to take her on a walk. Tinsel and I walk about 2.5-3 miles each morning. This is all part of my husband and my morning routine to keep our house running smooth you can read about that here.

This does two very important things:

  • It wears down her nails, so we never have to trim them. Less work for me, less stress for her.
  • It also makes it so we do not have to kennel her. Which I find the practice of kenneling your dog HORRIBLE. That said, YES you should have a “safe space” for your dog like a kennel or for Tinsel a nice quite dog bed in our walk in closet. This her space and she is free to come and go, I never enter her space nor do I force her to go in it; with us it’s all about mutual respect. My dog is well rested, so she just relaxes at home until we get back from work. Other than her teething when she was a pup, Tinsel has never had ONE accident or chewed up anything in my home.

SECOND: I feed her well but I am restrictive. Tinsel eats all natural, organic kibble that we pick up in bulk from BJ’s Wholesale. Again, with our relationship it’s all about respect. She waits patiently for me to pour her food and then “release her” to eat it.

Practicing this does one very important thing:

  • She learns to wait to be told to eat. No matter if I drop something on the floor or give her a treat, she waits and respects my space until I’m ready to give it to her.

THIRD: Mental stimulation. Sometimes…..she gets on my nerves. She wants to cuddle constantly when I’m trying to work and well….I love her but…IT GETS OLD. So I’ve come up with games she can play on her own. This way she’s happy/busy and I don’t feel so guilty about not paying her enough attention. You can see all of my DIY Puppy Games here.

I know my time is limited with Tinsel, so I try and make sure each day is the best for her. I make sure that most of my travels she can come with and we find hobbies we like to do together like hiking! Read our latest hiking trip here, seriously we have been OBSESSED with this hiking trail.

Are there any special traditions you do with your pup? Honestly – I just want to see pictures of your little ones below! Oh and be sure to hover of the image and Pin It! for later!

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Healthy Living : 10 Things I Just CANNOT live without

Just to pre-face this – this is not in numerical order at all. I do have an addiction to Starbucks, but I’m working on it. OK?

  1. My go-to Starbucks drink: a venti iced green tea latte with skim milk, two packs of stevia and very very light ice. I get this each morning on the way to work and I’m pretty sure this is why my pants hate me.
  2. Speaking of Matcha. My beta fish, Matcha. He keeps me company while I’m cooped up in my office. I’ve almost killed him twice, but he forgave me for it. He’s a real champ.
  3. My best bud, Tinsel the Dog. I’m pretty sure this goes without saying.
  4. I guess my husband is alright too (I feel like I’m obligated to put him on this list, because he will eventually be reading this too). PLUS he bakes me the BEST chocolate chip pity-cookies – the kind you get when you are filled to the brim with pity and want your pants to hate you EVEN more.
  5. Microsoft Excel. Something is soooo satisfying about creating a perfect, color coded budget sheet. I guess it’s the admin in me, but I seriously love me some Excel.
  6. Yoga pants. What else do I have to say about this? Everyone loves them. If you don’t, then we probably aren’t friends.
  7. Spin class. Currently I have the BEST instructor and hit up my favorite spin class three to four times a week. Burning close to 500 calories per class, it makes me sleep like a baby. Plus it’s the best way to relieve some stress after work.
  8. My job (duh). My full time job (besides writing) is an easy desk job, 8:00am-5:00pm with some pretty incredible friends. I’ve worked for my company for almost ten years and I’m in love with it. It’s easy, it’s laid back, I get a 25% discount at Starbucks and I enjoy every single minute of it.
  9. Arts & Crafts. I am the host of all of the “Fun Group” activities for my department of 800 people. I normally host 3-4 events each week to include things like an Adult Coloring Club, Craft’N Lunch and even a Knit Wits Club. I love teaching my peers and sharing my love for crafts. Even though I have gotten in trouble, countless times, for spilling paint on the conference room floors….. #sorrynotsorry #worthit
  10. Long, hot Showers. It’s where my best, funniest articles come from. I’ve also just discovered this “Shower Wine Glass Holder.” Why, honestly, would I ever leave?