We went to The Springs in the Summer!                                                                                        

Summers in Florida.

I LOVE summers in Florida.

Sunshine, warm breezes, cold drinks & long summer nights! Every and anything you can think of that you can do outside- that is summers in Florida.


My sweet man with the beast of a white truck planned the most amazing surprise trip! He packed everything and planned the entire weekend.

We headed out on the open road after work, and set up camp at Ichetucknee Springs State Park. We did a Spring in the Summer!


We got to the campsite just as the sun was setting so we set up our tent at our tucked away little campsite and got to the important tasks- dinner!


We stuffed our faces with burgers that night that we cooked on the grill and made a nice toasty bonfire and ate S’mores under the stars. We stayed up all night talking and enjoying the woods all to ourselves. Sitting by the fire at the picnic table with a cold beer and the local country radio station playing in the background mixed with the sound of the cicadas. One of the best nights I’ve had.


The next morning we slept in, made breakfast on the grill- eggs, hash browns & bacon- this man does not skimp!


The thing about Florida is we have awesome weather-basically all year round- but the summer is truly the best! Yes it is very hot- but if you’re a Floridian- you wouldn’t have it any other way. We had such beautiful weather that weekend!

Once breakfast was done and cleaned up we got ready to head to the springs! Ichetucknee camp site does not have Springs on site (Like some other Spring Camp sites- Like Ginnie Springs- another favorite of ours!) so you do have to drive a very short distance to the springs.

We started off at the Ichetucknee State Park at the first spring- Devil’s Eye!

A spring is any natural situation where water flows from an aquifer to the Earth‘s surface. It is a component of the hydrosphere.


This spring was beautiful! it was more circular and not too big – but was big enough for people to swim around. It had stone sides you could walk down and lived true to it’s name- springs are cold! When it is 95+ degrees out- cold water is a must! We swam and snorkeled the spring for about an hour before heading to the next spring: Blue Hole.

Can you guess? Yup- it was a big blue hole!


This spring was a little different as it was more of a spring in the middle of another body of water. From up on land you could tell the distinction the best- it was literally this light blue circle in this larger darker body of water! It went down pretty deep and snorkeling the top of the spring you just watched as everyone took turns holding their breath to see how far down they could go! Mr.Handsome dives and swims a lot- so of course he took on this challenge and was pretty impressive!


After all the spring exploration it was time to refuel! We headed back to our campsite for lunch: sandwiches, hummus, beer and fresh cut fruit. Perfect summer time staples.


Post lunch we headed back out- this time for some Tubing!

We headed back to the same park and filled up out River Rat Tube and hit the tubing trail. This park does not allow alcohol on the river (unlike some others- again like Ginnie Springs) so we had to get creative! The tube had a built in cooler that just so happened to be big enough for my large pink camo tervis tumbler that was filled with yummy Florida golden sunshine- aka an Arnold Palmer. It gets hot out there- gotta stay hydrated! I really think he enjoyed my special straw I brought along for the trip- it really brought the drinking experience to a whole other level. You’re welcome Mr.Handsome.


We finally drug the tube out of the water after a long day of water activities and headed back to the camp site to shower and make dinner- his specialty- bacon wrapped grouper kabobs. I promise you one thing- he knew the way to my heart was for sure through my tummy- the man could cook & made sure I was never hungry. Ladies, get yourself a man that can cook! So he made dinner and another camp fire and it was the end of another beautiful Florida day!


The next day was another morning of a delicious cooked breakfast on the grill and another day of tubing! We were leaving this day (all good things must come to an end- oh but why!?) so after breakfast we broke down the campsite and packed up the Beast for the ride home. We headed out to the same park to tube again- another beautiful day of weather and a relaxing tube down the river with our trusty pink tervis.



After tubing we started to head home with a pit stop in Mr.Handsome’s old home town- its named after a delicious condiment better known as MAYO. I know-it’s strange- but it has grown on me. It’s a teeny tiny town with one main road, a lot of fields, and not a whole lot more. We stopped at Fort White to get one more spring in- this was probably the coldest spring we went into and it was full of divers doing their dive class checkouts. It was super shallow and we got some pretty cool photos.


We were completely tuckered out after this spring and started the road trip back home.

It was after this trip- just the two of us spending a whole weekend all alone together ( I was personally terrified- what if we ran out of things to talk about?!) that I felt we really grew closer and realized how many common interests we shared. He had a way that made me feel like we had known each other our whole lives-it was effortless and oh so refreshing. He had planned the whole trip without any of my input -bold move mister- and it was the epitome of a perfect weekend in my eyes. He got me- and I was so dang happy about that. I knew I was so in trouble!


It was a weekend of  Water, woods & bonfires- a pretty successful camping weekend in Florida!

And that is the time we went to the Springs in the Summer!

Sticky S’more kisses,

Spacey

See I told you!

 Summers in Florida are simply the best.

Bullets, beer & wings              

have not spilled my guts in way too long. Like way, way, way too long. Crazy how life can take over and do it’s own thang.

I have so much fun things to share that have happened over the last year or so.I just read through my posts from before and it was a fun jog down nostalgia lane. My my how time flies! 

I vow to continue my chronological order of events- so lots of catching up to do! Let’s go Space- get your tush in gear!

Bullets & Beer!

Littel girls are made of:Gun Powder& Lead


It doesn’t sound like a good combination but if you do it in that order and not at the same time it works out pretty well.

There’s a local shooting range called Shooters World [Tampa,Fl]that loves the ladies and every Monday we get to shoot for free. 

My Swedish BFF & I find this as a perfect excuse to get together after work and practice our aim. Our guys come along and bring their toys and everyone is happy!

We switch guns back and forth and practice on each others and shoot until we all run out of ammo. 

For anyone that has never held or shot a gun- I highly recommend it if it is something you have wanted to do. 

I have shot shotguns at a skeet range, in the woods and on farms. I have shot hand guns only in a range. It’s something I love. It’s fun practicing and I like feeling comfortable and not afraid and knowledgeable. 

I did take a class to receive my concealed license-something I also highly recommend. Even before that it is not something I went into blindly. It was always with others that owned and knew their weapons. 

This can be a very fun hobby but still always taken with great caution and respect. 

Enough seriousness- onto the good part!

Every Monday is Ladies Night at Shooters World AND it’s all you can eat wings & 2 4 1 beer at Gator’s Dockside! Doesn’t really get better than that! 

So shooting after work with friends and then stuff your face with friends- solid Monday evening. 

instagraming your food is essential

A Swede & a Puerto Rican walk into a gun range…

the guys showing us how it is done

The most handsome shooter I ever did see


 So if you’re looking to shake up your Monday evenings- here ya go! 

Fellas it’s also a GREAT date night! Mr.Handsome took me shooting on our second date- one for the books! 

See ya on the range-

Love, kisses, shoots & never misses, 

Spacey 
 

Family beach time

 Only family can love a face like this…

Good thing I have an amazing family that does! Good looking bunch too!   

My Aunt Maria wanted to celebrate her bday with her sisters! (4 out of 10 pictured!)

Ciani and Maria being silly sisters!

My mom is always the life of the life of the party…my cousin Tina (in green) can’t help but laughing at her Tia.

 

The younger ones showed them how it is done.
She will always be my rock, best friend, and rule enforcer!   

The day we got there it was a little overcast, and not the best weather but we made the best of it. We walked the beach, picking up shells, and of course a little yoga.


The beautiful birthday lady!   

I am always super uptight, and take life way too serious.

Post beach walk we decided to enjoy the sunset with some bubbly and present opening.   
Some days we do not want to get out of bed, or do our job, or even speak to another human being. We all have bad days, bad weeks, and feel like the world is falling down around us. I know… I feel this way on average about 3 times a week.

Yet, days like this remind me how blessed I am that I was able to wake up that morning, and live another day. I woke up in a comfortable bed, with a roof over my head. There was food in my fridge to eat, and my car turned on and drove me to work that morning. No we don’t always feel like working, but I am grateful for my education, my job opportunity, and that I get a pay check every two weeks.

I was fortunate enough that after work, I could drive to the beach and stay the weekend at a hotel and give my Aunt a wonderful birthday surprise.

Sometimes we just need a fresh breath of salty air, a glass of champagne, and day full of laughs to remind us of the pure simplicity in being happy and alive.
Sunsets on the beach are the best.   
  

My mini me.
Two is always better than one, yes?   

Next morning, we made breakfast and I got to enjoy my coffee looking at the ocean. Bliss.

Afterwards, mom and I went for a run while Tia Maria enjoyed sleeping in.   

Of course I had to throw in a little yoga, I mean lets be serious.

Then I worked on my tan lines and studied my Dive book! Ahhhh, the life of a mermaid.   

We headed home afterwards.

It was a fantastic weekend staycation. You can never go wrong at the beach.

Stay tuned, and pass it along.

Love, Peace, and mermaid kisses,

Spacey

Under the water, that’s where it’s hotter…

Say hello to Mr.Regulator, Mr.Tank and Mr.BC!

These became my new best friends for 5 weeks.

I am not afraid of very many things…except heights, dark waters and being eaten alive.

Besides those things not much… so the thought of diving was never something that came up on my list of things to do…well because two of my three fears involves diving.

Yet somehow my Swedish lovebug somehow convinced me it was a great idea, I should face my fear, and accomplish this new goal! – Thanks Sofie


It all started here in this pool, we learned all the skills we would need to master diving in the “Big Blue”.

Our Dive instructor John walked us through the steps of removing our Buoyance Control Device (BCD), properly attaching our Regulators, purging the mouth piece, and the always favorite clearing of our masks!

Sofie is so excited to finally become a mermaid too!

She was my diving buddy too!

  Alijah wanted to join a session!

I am such a rebel!

Those weeks flew by…next thing I knew it was our first open water check out dive at Blue Grotto springs!

We stopped in Tarpon Springs to pick up our tanks and wet suits from the awesome Narcosis Scuba shop.

We showed the Swedes around the Sponge Docks!

Aren’t they adorable?

Gyros for everyone!

Is it good Nick? I can have a bite?
  Full from Gyros, greek burgers, and spanakopita from Hellas (best place at the sponge docks-GO!) we headed off for our dive!

John was patiently waiting for us, because in good Spacey fashion we are always late…
  He is so stinking adorable.

Team work! Scuba Steve assisting George with his tank. Such sweet guys!
  Backteman’s are geared up and ready to dive.

The 12year olds are ready to go too!
  We swam down to 35ft and practiced our skills on an underwater platform, and we even met the local turtle! We came back up to land, and then we switched out our tanks and headed back down to 55ft this time! We got to go under a ledge this time(EEEK), and hang out on a large rock formation known as Peace Rock. We practiced using our compass, and I successfully cleared my mask underwater at 55ft, no issues! YAY! This means I completely took off my face mask, then put it back on full of water and was able to blow out all the air so it was completely cleared of the water! With some practice this becomes super easy-meaning sitting in a corner by yourself until your a pro. Promise.

Sofie and I holding down the 35ft deep platform like bosses!

Diving with your best friend, is the best.


Blue Grotto was absolutely breath taking, and a wonderful first dive! The staff was super accommodating as well as our session ran longer, and they allowed us to stay and complete our second dive.

The tanks were loaded up in the Beast and we headed home! We stopped for sushi along the way back, and decompressed with everyone about the dive. Everyone was super excited for our ocean dive!
Sunday morning was perfect weather! Sun was out, and the water was flat. Off we go to dive off of Fish Balls Ledge.

 John and Nick taking awkward photos is the best! 

My favorite Swedish Dive buddy!

My view never sucks.

Matching Mermaids!  

Sofie about to wide stride off the boat!
Here I go! Scared out of my mind! Sharkies please don’t eat me! Please!  

And…

First dive complete!   

Diving partners stick together!

Then I switched partners, haha. Another adventure in the books with this guy.

Second dive complete: we are officially PADI certified divers and mermaids!

Time to celebrate! Cheers!
  Gear cleaned up and drying!  

It was a sunny, salty, and successful adventure!

I only lost my marbles a few times in the process, and luckily it was during the pool session! I made great memories, friends, and now have a lifetime certification!

Bucket list: diving CHECK!

NEXT DIVE TRIP:

Key West to catch us some lobster! Stay tuned folks.
Mermaid on a boat.

Spidey visits Tampa

 

 My 6 year old Godson is the sweetest, smartest, and cutest boy ever. Ok, fine I am biased…a little.

But lets be serious, your heart doesn’t melt looking at that face?

I was able to snag him away for a day when he came to visit from Texas, to see his Momma. We spent our first night cuddled on the couch eating subway and watching Spy Kids. Try not to be too jealous.

The next morning I made pancakes and we headed off to the pool! Of course on our trip to Publix for some snacks he saw  a Spiderman set he HAD to have. I just can’t tell him no.

Meet Spidey.

   I loved testing out my brand new hot pink Lifeproof case that is water proof! We had a blast posing underwater.

Try not to get too jealous of the super model photos we took.

Hi, I’m Alijah and I am a stud muffin.

 

  He is basically a spiderman fish.

  He has my whole heart. I don’t think he will ever realize that since the day I saw his baby cone head in the viewing room, the day he was born he stole it, all of it, my whole heart.

  Clearly we took over the pool.

  Spacey and Spidey photoshoot!

  Here come the super hot photos…

  He’s perfect.

  Don’t mind me.

  His dad’s smile and his mama’s nose all day.

  We had too much fun.

  Dang, look at that model!

  Always choose to be yourself, unless you can be a mermaid. Be a mermaid. #Mermaidlife

  Making friends!

  And fighting crime underwater!

  After, it was lunch, naps and cuddling to SpongeBob!

Check out those sweet Spiderman pajamas!

Post nap time we were ready for some Froyo!

  And apparently he wanted another nap after.

I had an amazing day with my favorite booger. I can not wait until I get those sweet hugs again! Ugh, I am just so in love.

Peace, love and mermaid bubbles!

xoxo,

Spacey

He had me at bacon wrapped…   

 


 So the first time this man cooked for me it consisted of bacon wrapped scallops and shrimps. Yeah he was slick.

Although flowers and chocolates are nice and all…but bacon? Can’t go wrong.

(My mom is a vegetarian but at one time in her life I know she ate it! No hate to those that choose the meat free life ✌🏽️)

Stop drooling over my bacon wrapped scallops..they are all mine… Muahahahaha!

Now back to the bacon…

So we have an ongoing joke that we apparently only liked seafood as our dates had consisted of… Salmon, Grouper, crab legs and more fish! I guess this was his way of switching it up? He also made seared tuna as well. Droooollll I know. He has a way in the kitchen, and right into my belly,errrr I mean heart.


The pups want some bacon too.. can’t blame them!

 

So after the night of bacon…

He went spear fishing and came home with a cooler full of grouper and hogfish…oh darn what are we to do with it all?

I guess make fresh fried grouper nuggets, huh? Alright if we must!

I think my favorite part was that when I showed up to help cook, ya know eat… there was a can of gluten free mix sitting on the counter. Seriously it’s these little things that make the world go round. Little thoughtful gestures mean so so much!

Ok back to the goods… look at those beauties!

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Yes, he always wears boots… even cooking.

Well those golden nuggets didn’t last long…Whoops.

IMG_1149

 

So not sure if you are seeing a trend…

We kind of, sort of, really  have a huge crush on seafood, and we eat it way too much.

Who doesn’t love sushi? Who doesn’t love sushi when you get to make it your way at home? Well we love it.

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Bring on the sticky rice, smoked salmon, avocado, and cream cheese please!

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It really is easy to make your own.

  1. Make sticky rice (add wine vinegar to cooked white rice)
  2. gather ingredients- whatever you want to roll into those suckers!
  3. flatten rice onto dried seaweed and lay seaweed on cellophane, and layer your choice of ingredients.
  4. Using a towel (like us cheapos did) or a bamboo mat slowly roll the rice over the ingredients
  5. use a sharp wet knife to slice the roll into pieces
  6. serve with soy sauce and yummy sauce and enjoy!

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By the way… as much as I love bacon- as I mentioned earlier… a lady still loves getting surprise flowers for no reason!

You can find me floating on cloud 9, munching on some crispy bacon.

Peace, love, & bacon grease,

Spacey

Protein packed pops! 

Say that 5 times fast!! 

These are actually protein balls or bites. Think- gooey peanut butter, sweet honey, and robust coffee. Yes please! 

Roxi wants some too!

 
I love having these on hand as a snack or an extra boost before a workout. I’ll even have them for breakfast as a side. 

They literally look me 5 minutes to mix. 

20 minutes in the fridge chilling.

5 more minutes to roll and put in a container.

 Step One- gather your ingredients and a large bowl to mix. Please feel free to exchange out what you may not prefer or may not have on hand! Examples: add coconut flakes, dried cranberries, crushed nuts, etc!  Your measurements will depend on how many you want to make. I just wanted enough to get us through the weekend for a snack on the boat. This yielded about 24. Also depends on the size you roll. 

  1. 1 cup oats (I use Gluten Free)
  2. 3/4 cup of peanut butter
  3. 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds
  4. 2 tablespoons Chia or flax seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  6. 2 tablespoons of Raw local honey 
  7. 1 heaping scoop of protein powder your choice of flavor (I used chocolate!)

  
Mix all the dry ingredients together first…
 
Next add the peanut butter, honey and vanilla! 

  
Mix it all up! It’s definitely more of a folding technique as the peanut butter is not easy to “mix”. I used a fork and SLOWLY ( I don’t say this because I mixed too hard and half the ingredients landed on the counter..no not Spacey) started folding the oats onto the PB and then used the fork to flatten it out and fold over again… Until it looks like-

  

Waaaaalaaaaa!!

Stick this in the fridge for 20 minutes and go pour yourself a glass of wine! 🍷  
When you take the mix out of the fridge get a piece of wax paper (or plate) and grab a handful of mix and squeeze then start rolling. 

Again I have small hands so be cautious on the size you want. As you get to the end it’s does get a less sticky consistency so the mix doesn’t roll together as easily. Get your guns out and just squeeze harder a few times before starting to roll. The last bits on the bottom- same rule as when you bake a cake- chef gets to lick the bowl! Or tip the bowl back and eat the reminents as I did. No shame. It’s healthy people! 😜

 

Then you try not to eat them all before you can pack them up,and you show your dog your hard work! Now go pour another glass of wine, you totally deserve it. 

Ps half my bag is gone and it’s barely noon. Hopefully they make it to Sunday on the boat! 

Love and chocolate kisses,

Chef Spacey & Roxi