A bouquet of beauty in Florida Humidity

I love peonies. Just head over heels in love. They are beautiful, big blooms and soft and sweet. They can survive hard winters and make amazing bouquets.

Sadly, I live in Florida and we don’t have cold enough winters to keep peonies thriving. So what’s a girl to do?

We plant Ranunculus instead! Deemed the Southern Peonies, they can survive in colder winters, but thrive in the mild winters and spring. Just as pretty and feminine as peonies, just more suitable to Florida’s climate.

Hydrangeas will make an appearance along side my azaleas and Ranunculus. I can’t wait to get planting! Now if these thunderstorms would move on out, I can sweat my booty off while gardening!


Mermaid Water

I love birthdays. I really love summer birthdays. Especially mine! I like to create a new alcoholic beverage for all the adults at my parties. This year was Mermaid Water. Because those that know me, know I’m part mermaid. 😉 This drink made a nice size pitcher and even those who don’t really drink (like my mom) even found it to be refreshing. We enjoyed ours lounging by the pool. 

Mermaid Water


3 shots of Spiced Rum

3 shots of Coconut Rum

3 shots of Blue Curaçao

1 bottle of Pineapple Juice

3 limes, sliced 

1 lime juiced



Place a half the sliced limes along the bottom of the pitcher. Full halfway with ice. Add the shots of both spiced and coconut rum. Add 3/4 of the bottle of pineapple juice. Add the juice from the limes. Top with remaining pineapple juice. Add three shots of the Blue Curaçao. Garnish glasses with limes, add ice and serve! 

You can always adjust the amount of alcohol and pineapple juice to fit your taste. As always, drink responsibly! 🍹 Cheers!! 

Next drink up will be my newest favorite: Dirty Shirley Temple!

There’s Got To Be More Than This…

I feel trapped in a cocoon of heavy wool and I’m struggling to break free. I feel the sobs crawling up the back of my throat, threatening to escape. In the depths of my soul I’m clawing my way out, but I can’t seem to make a dent. I’m choking on complacency. The very marrow of my bones are crying out. I’m planted in sand and one whoosh of water will overtake me. 

There’s got to be more to life than this. I have got to be designed for so much more. This can’t be all that there is! 

I ache for change. A sign that points me in the direction I was created for. I cry out for relief from the mundane. I crave crazy love and wild adventures. Passion and exploration. I need more than this rut I’m in.

No one understands. Or even tries to. Stuck in the race, content for ordinary. Someone save me!



I have a severe case of wanderlust. I get these days were I feel like I need to break free from the mediocrity of life. The mundane, every day crap of life. Now, don’t get me wrong, my life is good. I have great children, a job and my necessities are taken care of. But, deep in the marrow of my bones, I am a wanderer. A nomad. It crawls on my skin, soaking into my soul, to wander. I am not meant to stay in one place.

However, being a parent limits my ability to wander. I have to stay rooted, for now, and give my children stability and security.

That will not keep me from exploring with them. Giving them the desire to see new things, explore, wander, travel, learn, and soak up all that there is in this world. Experiences outweigh stuff.

My soul longs for the road less traveled. I am in love with places I have never been. I get restless, unable to stay in one spot. I want to move, see new sights. Eat new foods. Be completely wrapped up in another place, like a warm blanket swaddling me in the comfort of travel. I need to break free.

I have been told that I am depressed or bi polar or unable to cope with life. I will agree to some extent. I have suffered depression, and when I am high, I am high, and when I am low, it’s very low. However, I know, my heart and soul cry out, that I am a wandering spirit. I can’t be caged into one place. I have to be free to soar. Let the wind take me where it desires.


I am a nomad. I have a serious case of wanderlust and it can’t be tamed. While for now my life must have roots and stability, one day, I will run and wander until I am content. Which I hope will be never.

Travel Is Better Than Therapy

BallonTravel has a way of putting life into perspective. Those worries and insignificant details of every day life fall away when you are experiencing another culture. You become so immersed with their lifestyle, that you realize that what you thought really mattered, really don’t matter at all.

Sometimes all it takes is just getting away. You don’t have to jump continents or fly across the country to travel. Seek out adventure. Take a weekend road trip and let another area soothe your weary soul. Take time alone. Find out who you really are away from the madness of daily life. Yes that madness will still be there when you return, but you will have taken the time to tend to yourself. Let another culture, surrounding, environment wash over you.

You see, once you step away from all the things that are pushing you down, you start to see more clearly. You realize your strength and ability. Your worth and what you really want from life. You meet other people and listen to their stories and find out that we all struggle with the same problems. But seeing it in a different light, it helps you see how small they really are in the grand scheme of life.

Being a single parent has limited me to some extent on my ability to travel, alone and with my kids. But, BUT, I have found a way to do both. Weekend trips with the kids and a week long cruise with my family helped center us as a unit. I gave my kids the gift of an experience over the gift of monetary items. We bonded and shared memories that will last longer than their electronics.

I took a trip to Mexico without my kids. I have been to Dayton, Chicago, and Denver. Without my children. And in those moments, I have found out who I am, aside from being a mom. I was able to reconnect with my soul and fill in what I was missing.

 Life is too short to stay in one place. Go out! See life!! Even if it’s just for a few days. You are important. Take care of yourself. Experience life. Realize that memories and experiences are more valuable than anything you can buy. One quote I have heard that fits perfectly; “Travel is the only thing that cost money, but makes you rich.”

Come back refreshed and renewed. And start planning another trip!

Around the Dinner Table

Life moves so fast these days. In the age of fast food and smart phones, we neglect the most simple pleasures we have in this life. Julia Child summed it up perfectly. Sharing a meal with those you love is a delight. Despite the craziness and those relatives you don’t really care to see, something happens the moment everyone is gathered at the table. Life pauses for just a moment. Take a deep breath, and a sip of wine, and take stock of what is set before you. 

Sharing a meal is the most intimate expression of love without any strings attached. Confessions are made, plans are set in motion, love is declared and life is celebrated all over a meal shared together. 

Today, being the day we give thanks, take a small amount of time away from the TV, smart phones and distractions. Look around your table and really take the moment in. Indulge in life’s most simple pleasure; sharing a meal with those who really matter. (I know this repetitive but sometimes we needed to be reminded.)

Give thanks that not only do you have a meal set before you, but that you have someone to share it with. Because deep down, we all need the love and support of those we love. Take nothing for granted and in all things, give thanks.

More travel; Less stress


Lately this has been more kitchen than road tripping. Travel is sometimes hard to do on limited funds and with those dreaded responsibilities. I would love to be out exploring and immersing in local culture instead of the daily grind and domestic duties. But alas, such is life right now. 

However, I will start making time to get out more. Even if it’s just a day trip to a state park or some small town off a less traveled highway. Life is too short to stand still. 

I have big dreams. I want my very own bookstore. I want my own books on the shelf. I want to travel and experience life outside of my bubble. And somehow, those dreams will happen. For now, I save, and write, and read, and plan. Never giving up hope or relinquishing my dream to never ever land. Get out and see what this world has to offer. You won’t be disappointed.

Fresh Local Emerald Coast Fare


I love eating local. What’s even better is when you catch it yourself! I am not much of a fisherman but having the opportunity to get out into the Gulf of Mexico and catch some big fish was more than I could pass up. This picture really doesn’t do it justice as to how amazing this fillet is. Amberjack is a thicker steak fillet with a mild white fish taste and it pairs very well with local white Muscadine wine. (My favorite is from San Sebastian Winery in St. Augustine, FL called Vinter’s White.) I chose to blacken this particular batch, and it was hit in our house.

Blackened Amberjack:

Two to three fresh Amberjack fillets (I soak mine in milk for at least 4 hours prior to cooking to help tone down the fishy taste)

2 tsp. Olive Oil

Season Salt (to taste)

2 crushed garlic cloves

Pepper (to taste)

1/4 cup of Garlic Herb Marinade


Heat the pan to medium heat and add the 2 tsp. of olive oil and garlic. While the oil is getting hot, take the milk soaked fillets, add the seasonings and pepper. Cook the fillets for about 2 minutes on each side, add the marinade and cook for additional 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through and fish flakes.

I paired mine with sauteed broccoli slaw and sauteed fresh green beans, but Amberjack pairs well with a variety of veggies and pastas. Get creative!