Monday, September 25, 2017

6 FREE OR CHEAP INCREDIBLY FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA

Hello all,

There are so many things to do here in Florida. But many are so expensive. If you're on a budget like me, you are always looking for free or cheap fun things to do. I found 6 local places that your family will love! A few I have been to already and are well worth the trip. Enjoy:

1. Florida Botanical Gardens - The Gardens showcases and educates by showing flowers and fauna in motivational surroundings. It has 12 gardens in all and even has a butterfly garden. It is open most every day of the year and admission is free. It is located at 12520 Ulmerton Rd., Largo. (727)582-2100.

6 FREE OR CHEAP INCREDIBLY FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - FLORIDA BOTANICAL GARDENS






2. Heritage Village - This is a 21 acre open air living history museum. It has 31 historic structures to explore, some dating back to the 19th century. Admission is free. It is open Wed.-Sat. 10-4 pm, and on Sunday 1-4. It is located at 11909 125th St. N., Largo. (727)582-2123.



6 FREE OR CHEAP INCREDIBLY FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - HERITAGE VILLAGE






3.Leepa Rattner Museum of Art - This small museum has 8 galleries featuring art from Rattner, Leepa, and Ester Gentle. Admission is $7. They are open Tues-Sat from 10am to between 4-8 pm. Sunday it is open 1-5 pm. It is located at 600 Klosterman Rd., Tarpon Springs. (727)712-5762.



6 FREE OR CHEAP INCREDIBLY FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - LEEPA RATTNER MUSEUM OF ART






4. American Victory Ship Museum - You can come aboard and explore the entire ship with its 3 cargo holds, radio and gyro rooms, bridge, crew cabins, mess hall, wheelhouse, captain's quarters, and all of the other rooms you expect to see on a battleship. They even have rare artifacts, photos, and exhibits to see. This is one of my family's favorite places to watch fireworks from on the 4th of July during their Family Fest. Admission is $10 adults, $5 for children. It's open Sun-Mon- noon to 5pm. Tues-Sat from 10 am to 5 pm. It is located 705 Channelside Dr., Tampa. (813)228-8766.



6 FREE OR CHEAP INCREDIBLY FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - AMERICAN VICTORY SHIP MUSEUM






5. Wildlife Survival Sanctuary - I have been here many times. This place provides sanctuary to many exotic animals. They have tigers, leopards, cougars, deers. emus. ostriches, a pot bellied pig, and lemurs. They take donations for their tours that you have to call and set up in advance. All of the donations are used for the care of their animals. A great place to go with the kids! You need to call (352)797-4785 to schedule a tour. They are located at 18212 Booming Rd., Springhill.



6 FREE OR CHEAP INCREDIBLY FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - WILDLIFE SURVIVAL SANCTUARY







6. Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center - Many manatees seek out this area to stay warm in its discharge canal waters. Big Bends discharge canal is a federally designated manatee sanctuary.  They are open Nov.1st - April 15th. They have a rays touch tank, an observation tower, a boardwalk, and a habitat trail along with its viewing center. Admission is free and are open 10 am-5 pm daily. They are located at 6990 Dickman Rd., Apollo Beach. (813)228-4289.




6 FREE OR CHEAP INCREDIBLY  FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - TAMPA'S ELECTRIC MANATEE VIEWING CENTER

Thursday, September 21, 2017

HOW TO MAKE SCARY LIFELIKE WITCH FINGER COOKIES

Hello all,

One thing I love to do this time of year is bake. There are so many recipes to try. The spookiest time of year is coming up, so here's a spooky recipe. I made these and they were a big hit! The recipe is for severed witch finger cookies. Aside from the fact they're delicious, they are easy to make and the end product is so life like and amazing. Take a look -


When I made them I used a roll of store bought sugar cookie dough, but if you want to make your own dough, here's what you need for that -


INGREDIENTS FOR COOKIE DOUGH:

1 cup of softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 2/3 cups of flour


THE REST OF THE INGREDIENTS:

sliced almonds
coca powder
tube of red decorating gel


DIRECTIONS:

Roll out small amounts of cookie dough on a floured surface. Roll it into thin strips. Remember, they will spread out when they cook. Press a sliced almond into one end of the cookie. This will look like a fingernail. Scour the cookie in the middle with a knife for the knuckle. Dust with a little bit of cocoa powder around the knuckle and nail. It gives the fingers the appearance of being dirty. Bake as directed on the package or at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes until done. Let cool. Then add a little of the red decorating gel on the ends to give the appearance of blood. Enjoy!


HOW TO MAKE SCARY LIFELIKE SEVERED WITCH FINGER COOKIES







Sunday, September 17, 2017

4 CREEPIEST FLORIDA URBAN LEGENDS

Hello all,

Each state in our country comes with its own unique set of stories and urban legends. Since we are coming to that spooky time of year, I  just wanted to share a few of Florida's with you. I think the last one is the creepiest:


1. FLORIDA SKUNK APE  - Some place have Bigfoot, Florida has the skunk Ape. In 1959, three Boy Scouts came out of the Ocala National Forest saying their camp was attacked by a big hairy monster having the face of a human and the body of an ape. Since then there have been hundreds of sightings. One in particular was from a trucker who claimed he was pulled from his truck by a hairy creature that smelled awful. He said he was carried a few yards and kicked himself free. He then ran to his truck and scared it away by blasting his air horn. Two anonymous photos of the creature snooping around in a backyard sent to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office kept the legend alive. The photo below was taken by Dave Shealy in 1998 and published in the Smithsonian magazine.In 1959, three boy scouts emerged in a panic from  or a skunk. It’s this skunk-like stink that gives the skunk ape its name, although old timers in rural areas often refer to it as a “swamp monkey.” My theory, if this thing reall exists, is that when the creature is upset it gives off musk. This is not just a slight scent, wit
5 CREEPIEST FLORIDA URBAN LEGENDS - SKUNK APE

boy scouts emerged in a panic from the Ocala National Forest with a wild tale of having been routed from their camp by a





2. FAIRFIELD OAK-  Legend says back in the 1800's in Ormond Beach a majestic oak tree was on property owned by Norman Harwood. He killed himself under the oak tree by committing suicide.   Years later James Ormond II bought the land and built a plantation on it he named Damietta.  A few years later Ormond was also found dead under the same tree, a suicide as well. People say when you go under the tree you feel intense sadness and have  suicidal thoughts. Sometimes you can see a ghostly figure under the tree also. The tree sits in the Bulow Creek State Park.







5 CREEPIEST FLORIDA URBAN LEGENDS - FAIRFIELD O






3. SPOOK HILL - Centuries ago, a legend states a native American chief fought in a battle with an enormous alligator to protect his village. It ended with their deaths and a giant sinkhole formed on the spot. Pioneers later started calling the spot Spook Hill because their horses were laboring too hard riding downhill. In later years, a merchant parked his truck on the hill and was terrified to see his truck going backwards up the hill on its own. He blamed it on "Spooks" and that's how the hill got its name. Today many people come from all over. They park their cars on the white marked line, put their car in neutral, and see them roll up the hill backwards. The hill is actually an optical illusion, called a gravity hill. The area makes them appear to roll uphill when they are actually rolling downhill. Spook Hill is located on the east side of N. Wales Dr./5th St, about 1/4 mile south of Burns Ave./Hwy. 17, Lake Wales.






5 CREEPIEST FLORIDA URBAN LEGENDS - SPOOK HILL






4. DEVILS CHAIR - There sits a red brick bench in a cemetery that is on the borders of the towns Cassadaga and Lake Helen. They call it the Devil's Chair. The devils is said to speak to anyone who sits in the chair. Also if you sit in the chair around midnight, you supposedly cannot move from it for a whole minute, like it has a hold of you. Some people say if you leave an unopened can of beer on the bench overnight, when you return the can is empty with the can never have been opened. The town of Cassadaga is a strange little Florida town. It was founded in the 19th century by a medium from Iowa named George Colby. He is buried in the same cemetery. The town has become a haven for spiritualists and those who say they can speak with the dead. The Devil's Chair is located at the Lake Helen Cassadaga cemetery in the Thatcher plot, at Kicklighter Rd. and Root St., Lake Helen.





5 CREEPIEST FLORIDA URBAN LEGENDS - DEVILS CHAIR






Thursday, September 7, 2017

3 DELICIOUS FLORIDA SEAFOOD RECIPES

Hello all,

Florida is famous for it's beautiful weather, theme parks and sandy beaches. But it's also famous for it's delicious seafood. I found 3 mouthwatering delicious Florida seafood few recipes to share, enjoy;


1. Grouper is one of my husbands favorites. he said there is nothing quite like the taste of a grouper sandwich. Though Goliath Groupers are off limits, regular grouper is always on the menu in Florida seafood restaurants. Try this recipe from Fresh from Florida for a classic grouper sandwich:


INGREDIENTS:
8 thin sliced grouper fillets
Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper
Rolls and mayo

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat a saute pan over medium heat.
Season the fillets with cajun seasoning and salt and pepper.
Add cooking oil and fillets.
Cook two minutes on each side until golden brown.
Serve on rolls with mayo.



3  DELICIOUS FLORIDA SEAFOOD RECIPES - GROUPER






2. Alligator is another you can find on menus in Florida, especially ones made with the tail. Here is a delicious recipe also from Fresh From Florida for the grill, because you know how us Floridians love to grill. This one is grilled gator kabobs:


INGREDIENTS:
!/2 cup of oj and 1/4 oj concentrate.
2 tbsp light soy sauce and brown sugar.
1 tsp cumin, and 1/4 tsp cayenne.
1 pound alligator meat cubed.
Fruits and vegetables.

DIRECTIONS:
Combine oj and concentrate, soy sauce. brown sugar and spices in a bowl for the marinade, save some for basting.
Add cubed meat and coat well. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Thread cubed meat and assorted cubed fruits and vegetables onto skewers that were presoaked in water for 10 minutes.
Grill 6-8 minutes, turning once and basting.




3 DELICIOUS FLORIDA SEAFOOD RECIPES - GATOR KABOBS




3. Amberjack are found throughout Florida's offshore environment. I have never tried this fish, but it has a mild taste that requires little seasoning. Here is a recipe from All Recipes for blackened Amberjack.


INGREDIENTS:
1 pound amberjack fillets.
1 tbsp paprika.
1 tsp of each  dried thyme, dried oregano, and black pepper.
2 tsp of onion powder and garlic powder.
1/2 tsp of red pepper and cooking spray.

DIRECTIONS:
Combine the spices and dredge the fish in spice mixture and let stand 5 minutes.
Add oil to a cast iron skillet. Over high heat add fish fillets and cook 3 minutes.
Turn and cook for 4 more minutes until the fish flakes easily and looks charred.




3  DELICIOUS FLORIDA SEAFOOD RECIPES - AMBERJACK

Sunday, September 3, 2017

7 IMPORTANT TIPS FOR HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS



Hello all,

For us Floridians hurricane season is upon us. It runs from June 1st to November 30th. The peak period is from August to October. It's never been more evident than right now with the storms that had happened in Texas and some that are brewing in the Atlantic right now. With that said, I thought it would be a good idea to post important preparation ideas and tips for the storm season:

1. Check your insurance coverage and make sure its up to date and consider adding flood insurance or other insurance in case your house is uninhabitable after a storm.

2. Make copies of proof of ownership documents like your home, cars, etc. Its better to be safe than sorry. You should also have some type of documents of the contents of your home via either a video or manifest. In case you need to file a claim, it makes things easier. You should store these items in a safe or a hurricane proof  kit.

3. Protect your home and property by having either having hurricane shutters installed or you can fix 3/4 inch plywood panels to cover your windows. You can also use hurricane straps or clips to help hold your roof down. You should  also stow away lawn furniture or any other debris on your lawn that can do damage to your home in high winds.

4. Have an emergency kit ready. This should include items such as a 2 week supply of water and non perishable food for every person and pet. It should also include items such as a manual can opener, first aid kit, important medications, eye glasses, battery powered flashlight with extra batteries, personal hygiene items, change of clothing, sleeping bags, a cooler for ice, and plastic tarps and tools. You should buy some items such as bottled water well in advance. I cant tell you how many times we've waited for the last minute to buy items to find the grocery store shelves emptied of all bottled water and batteries.

5. Have an evacuation plan. The main reason people are evacuated is because of a storm surge. Be aware if you live in a hurricane evacuation area, and what shelters are available in your area. Be forewarned, only a few evacuation shelters take pets, so make sure you have plans for them. Most people living in mobile homes or high rises still may have to evacuate even if they don't live in an evacuation area.

6. One thing often overlooked is your electronics. It is strongly encouraged to back up your electronics and if able data should be stored at an off site location so it can be recovered if your computer is damaged.

7. Lastly, make sure you have your important information with you like your ID's, SS cards and health insurance cards. Make sure you have cash on hand, and make sure you fill your car up with gas. You never know if gas stations will be open or not.

Hopefully with these tips we can all stay safe and prepared during this hurricane season.



7 IMPORTANT TIPS FOR HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

6 OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN FLORIDA

Hello all,

It's almost that time of the year. Time for fall camping and ghost stories around the campfire. Almost time for the spookiest time of the year. Florida is home to many places claiming to be haunted. In September, I am planning on a trip to St. Augustine. It is the oldest and most haunted city in the US. I have a few ghost tours planned, and I can't wait to share those videos with all of you. Until that time, here is a list of haunted place you might want to check out yourself!


1. St. Augustine Lighthouse- There are reports people were killed here while the lighthouse was being built. Many visitors report hearing children's laughter and feeling their clothing being tugged on. People have said they smelled cigar smoke when no one was around. Some have reported seeing images of former lighthouse keepers, and of one of their daughters who had slipped on the rocks below and died. You can also hear the sound of footsteps and see lights flickering going on and off. When we visited this place we witnessed a light going on and then off in an empty room. We also heard noises that couldn't be explained.



6 OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN  FLORIDA- ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE



6 OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN  FLORIDA - ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE



2. The Old Jail in St. Augustine-  Tour guides and visitors here have reported feeling cold spots and hearing the sounds of shuffling feet and shouts and wails. Some have reported seeing a large shadowy figure standing in a cell who is believed to be Sheriff Perry. It has been featured in many paranormal investigations. Many have gotten strange pictures inside and out of orbs, streaks of light, and shadows.



6 OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN  FLORIDA- -OLD JAIL IN ST. AUGUSTINE




3. The Pritchard House in Titusville- People have observed strange noises,disembodied voices, objects moving, and a broken grandfather clock that still chimes.. Some say one of the ghosts who haunts this place is Lola Pauline Smith Pritchard. When she was alive, she hated people visiting her home.



6 OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN  FLORIDA - PRITCHARD HOUSE IN TITUSVILLE




4.Ma Barker's House in Ocklawaha- Ma Barker who at one time was listed as the #1 most wanted fugitive in the U.S. died here. Her and son Freddy were killed in a shootout. It is said 2000 bullets were used that day. It is said there spirits haunt the home. People have reportedly hearing voices.




6 OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN  FLORIDA - MA BARKERS HOUSE




5. BELLEVIEW BILTMORE HOTEL IN CLEARWATER- One couple who stayed at the hotel caught a picture of a ghost. In the picture there is a mist that resembles a person standing at the top of a staircase. One ghost hunter who was doing an investigation here reported seeing a misty figure of a woman in 1930's era clothing. He also heard a female voice saying "Don't go up there, they're mad at me." I have read they have recently demolished the historic landmark, and moved a preserved portion of it 230 feet to incorporate into a boutique hotel.



6 OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN  FLORIDA - BELLEVIEW BILTMORE HOTEL




6. Hamburger Mary's Orlando-  The building dates back to the 1800's and was originally a hardware store. Staff have reported seeing the ghost of a young girl dressed in Victorian era clothes. You can see her late at night, skipping around, waving at people and tapping on windows.




6 OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN  FLORIDA - HAMBURGER MARY'S ORLANDO


There were hundreds of haunted places to choose from for this story. I chose the ones with the most sightings. Any one you choose I'm sure you'll have a hauntingly good time!




Thursday, August 24, 2017

MY REVIEW OF THE HANGO INSULATED LUNCH COOLER BAG

I received compensation  in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.


Hello all,

I have been in the market for a food quality lunch bag. My husband takes them to work and he goes through them like water. He gets them very dirty and greasy, or they rip or the zipper stops working. What a mess! So I was thrilled when I got to review the Hango Insulated Lunch Box Cooler Bag. It comes in a set of 2, one larger size for your lunch. The smaller size is for snacks.

I am thrilled with this high quality product. The bags have the best thermal insulation, so your food stays cold. The zipper is made of durable stainless steel. That was a major issue with me for other lunch bags. The zipper would always break. And to top it off, they offer a lifetime warranty! This is the only lunchbag I am aware that does that! When you buy it now, it comes with it's own pretty cotton pull string gift bag.

I love the durability of this lunchbag. You can feel the material and tell its a high quality product. I love how it comes in a set of 2 sizes. My husband carries his lunch in one, and other items in the other. Very handy! So if you're tired of wasting money on other cheap lunch bags that just don't last, give this bag a try. You'll be glad you did! It's available on amazon for $15.99 through this link https://www.amazon.com/Hango-Insulated-Lunch-Cooler-Sizes/dp/B071V6FHLW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501174764&sr=8-1&keywords=lunch+bag .



MY REVIEW OF THE HANGO INSULATED LUNCH COOLER BAG



MY REVIEW OF THE HANGO INSULATED LUNCH COOLER BAG