5 Fun Things To do Around Gulf Shores When you Aren’t On The Beach.

There are so many fun things to do in the Gulf Shores. Most people go to enjoy the beaches, but when you aren’t on the beach, don’t think you have to stay cooped up in your hotel room. Here are 5 fun things we found to do in the area.

The Drowsy Poet :

The Drowsy Poet was such a cute and fun coffee shop to visit. It’s in the heart of Foley (about 20 minutes from Gulf Shores’ beaches) but there are tons of fun things to do in Down Town Foley after you go grab coffee.

Atmosphere:

I loved the atmosphere of this little local coffee shop. The walls were white and the windows had no covering, letting all of the natural light pour in. I also liked that there were 2 rooms. There was one room that included the merchandise, the barista work space, and a little extra seating. The other room was full of seating and had a book shelf and lots of games. I liked this set up because it allows people to have a space to hang out and be a little louder while also offering space for people that are planning to work and make phone calls. They offered all kinds of different games… which makes this an ultimate girls coffee night or couples coffee date location.

Service:

The service was amazing. The baristas greeted us as soon as we walked in the door and as we were leaving. They also had quick service. I noticed that both of our drinks were done before we had even finished paying.

Coffee:

I got a tiramisu iced latte. It was so difficult to choose what flavor I wanted because they had so many unique flavors (I knew this was for the blog, so I wanted to try flavors that I don’t normally see at coffee shops). My top 3 options were all on the “Locals” menu: bananas foster, bushwhacker, and tiramisu. It was a difficult choice, but I wasn’t upset with what I chose. The initial presentation of my latte was beautiful. They even did the chocolate powder on top. (as a former barista, I appreciate this extra step being taken) The latte had great flavor if you are into a sweeter coffee (I am all about the sweets, so I loved it!)

Bike around Gulf State Park:

We loved the bike rides . We originally showed up to go for a short walk with Maggie, but found some free bikes. Once we tried them with my dad, we knew it would be a fun way to spend our days since it was too cold to enjoy the beaches.

The bikes were ran off of the Bloom app. We did have some technical difficulties at first , but the bikes were free (so we couldn’t really complain) and it was a great way to exercise and explore the park.

You can also choose the difficulty and length of your ride. If you are looking for a quick ride to the beach, there is a way to get there in a few short minutes. If you are trying to make a day out of this and see the beach at the end(because maybe it’s too chilly to spend the whole day at the beach) you can take the long route with is about 25 miles.

Papa Roccos :

This little hole in the wall restaurant is easy to pass up. But the food and the environment is so good that you will make it one of your go-to restaurants for every family beach trip to come.

It is a little hole in the wall Italian restaurant . The have some amazing pizzas and their oysters are also delicious. When we went, the was a live musician and the entire place had a small town family charm.

I have come to Gulf Shores almost every summer of my life and somehow have never been here. Don’t miss an opportunity to get some authentic, local Italian food and show a small business restaurant your love.

Gulf State Park Pier:

This pier is great if you are trying to spend the day at the beach without staying on the beach the entire day . You can stop by the pier to take a little walk with a view or grab a bite to eat. It is also a great place to go fishing if you are into that. The restaurant on the pier serves a watermelon beer that tastes like a jolly rancher and was a hit for all of us and their pizza did not disappoint.

Flora Bama:

We didn’t get a chance to stop by the Flora Bama on this trip, but it is such a fun place to go . I think everyone should experience it at least once. If you are looking for somewhere to bring your dog, they allow dogs on the bottom floor because it is all beach. But, there are also multiple floors with multiple dining areas and each of them has a different live band playing. If you are 18 or older and are visiting gulf shores put this on the top of your list. It is perfect for a girls night out or a casual, fun date night.

So, there isn’t a ton to do in Gulf Shores, but the food and the coffee are enough for me to enjoy…. especially if you are adding the beach to the mix. Don’t let the cool weather bum you out. Take time to see some of the things this area has to offer. You can fill in the gaps of your trip by visiting any of these 5 great places. I hope you found something that you hadn’t heard of before and this post sparks your interest to explore the areas you visit a little more often.

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5 Easy and Popular Party Foods

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I know I have been talking a lot about food lately, but it IS the holidays and good food is everywhere ! I just can’t help myself. I won’t be sharing any recipes today but I will be sharing some easy, fun foods that I love enjoying at any holiday party! I always have great ideas for parties and party foods, but when it comes down to it, I just procrastinate a little too long. These are some party foods that I can always turn to if I am running behind and looking for a treat that will be loved.

1.Pepper Jelly Dip.

My first pick is so easy, yet so good. Pepper Jelly Dip is perfect for when you are throwing together a quick party or forgot to make a dish for tonight’s Christmas party. All you need is a block of cream cheese, a jar of pepper jelly, and some crackers to dip in it. Go ahead and bring a serving knife or butter knife because cheap plastic knives and a cracker won’t cut through the cream cheese easily.

2. Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Need I say more? So easy & you can find the recipe online for cooking instructions. These take a little more time to prepare, but they don’t require a lot of ingredients and they are a crowd favorite at every party we serve them at. You just need bacon, a pack of smokey sausages, brown sugar, and tooth picks.

3. Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Cody’s mom always makes these around the holidays. They are great if you have a sweet tooth . I have made them for teachers as Christmas gifts and we have served them at parties. You just use chocolate chip cookie dough and a peanut butter cup and place them in a mini muffin pan & POOF!! You have a perfect sweet treat for any holiday event.

4. Deviled Eggs

Okay, so these are kind of hit or miss but my family and I love them. They are a staple at any family gathering. Once the eggs are boiled and peeled, the prepping process is so easy. They are a great finger food to have at any party.

5. Cake Balls

Homemade cakeballs are always a hit. Never fails. You almost can’t mess this one up. They have to be baked and frozen, but they are so simple. The hardest part is the chocolate coating, but even if they look bad they are still usually a hit because they taste so good.

I hope some of these holiday food ideas save you at this year’s holiday parties. We love these items at almost every party and they are usually the things that people gather around and clear out before the party ends. If something caught your eye and you do want me to make a recipe post, leave a comment. Happy holidays !

5 mistakes I made at my Bob Ross Paint party.

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For my birthday I had my sisters and some of my girl friends over to have a Bob Ross paint party. I had it complete with wine, halloween candy, pizza, and mimosas. I used Google to find which episode to use. There is a list of episodes by painting that has the picture of the finished painting next to each episode. (I thought this was so cool!) Since this was my first party like this, there were a few bumps in the road. So, today I am going to be sharing some things that I would’ve changed.

The first thing that I would have changed is time. I am so bad with procrastinating. I picked my episode, bought supplies, and food the day of. If I could do it over, I would have picked the painting at least a month before and ordered the EXACT colors online. Looking for the colors in hobby lobby the day of was ….oof!!

The next thing that I would have changed is the amount of paint that I bought. I read a blog that said to buy a small bottle of each color for each person…. I did not need that much. We had five people there and we didn’t even go through 1 small bottle of each color. (I also used 8Ă—10 canvases…so this might be why?)

Scrapers!! Oh my goodness the scraper. Bob Ross rarely uses an actual paint brush. I bought paint brush sets for each person and in 90% of the video he was using his scraper. Figure out what exactly he is using and get it for everyone… it seriously would have saved us so much trouble. We ended up using finger nails, butter knives, or whatever else we had on hand.

Next, he talks and moves fast. You, most likely, are not going to follow along easily. We paused it, but we made a mistake. We were using acrylic paint, which dries easily, and when we would unpause we would end up having to “drag the brush across” to smear some of the paint colors. By the time we unpaused, our paint was completely dry and no smearing was happening. I suggest that if you use acrylic or fast drying paint that you wait until he is fully finished and had moved on to the next step of the painting…. if you have to pause. If not, keep it going…you got this!

Building on that, I would change the paint I used. If you have the time, use a slow drying paint or oil paint. It works alot better for this type of party so, if you have the time to let it dry…take advantage of it !

I want to leave this by saying that this party was a blast. None of our paintings looked like his, none looked the same, but we all had fun being creative. Support your friends when you have this party and let them know that it won’t look like his and that is ok.

Thanks for reading along and I hope this helps you if you have been thinking of throwing a Bob Ross party. It is so fun and can be as strategic or relaxed as you want to make it. Just have fun. Until next time, have a great week!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Teen & 20 something Girls

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Christmas is less than two months away. With it coming up so quickly, I figured I would share some gift guides every couple of weeks to help you with ideas if you are stuck. I have four sisters between the ages of 14 and 21. Sometimes buying for them is so easy, but other times it can be hard because their interests and styles change so quickly. So today I will share five gifts that wont break the bank too much (most will be under $20) and will be a home run with any young woman in your life.

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My first option is the new ‘rock’ pop socket. Pop sockets have been popular for a while now, but this new pop socket looks classy and stylish, while still accomplishing the same thing (preventing you from dropping your phone).

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The next item on my list is a belt from Pink Lily. It just recently restocked, too! We all know that Gucci Belts are in high demand in the fashion industry, but Gucci is not what I would call affordable, so this is a cute and stylish alternative that your girl will still love. It looks almost identical and is only $22!

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Kendra Scott jewelry is a little more on the expensive end, but it is always a hit with this age group. You can buy pretty much any type of jewelry for a good price and it is pretty hard to get something that they wont like. They have so many different styles that you are sure to find something for everyone.

If you are looking for something a little more affordable and you want to support local businesses I highly recommend that you visit @silassistersco or @c.cain_art on instagram for some beautiful handmade clay earrings that are under $10 and stylish.

Fab fit fun boxes are also a really great gift idea for this age group. You could get them the subscription that will give them 4 boxes throughout the entire year or you can also just buy one box per person. It is full of tons of goodies that you can handpick to make the box special for the girl you’re shopping for. You can find these on fabfitfun.com

I hope this post gave you some inspiration when Christmas shopping this year. Thanks for reading along. Have a great week & make sure to follow me so you don’t miss any of my new posts this holiday season.

Going Back to Work After Three Months: What I Wish I had Done.

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Monday made one month since I went back to work after exactly three month off. This is something that most of us are facing or are going to have to face in the near future. In today’s post I’m going to share a few things I wish I had done before going back to work and over all how this past month has been for me.

The first thing I wish I would have done is get my sleep schedule back on track. During self quarantine, my sleep schedule got really confused. I was staying up until 4 a.m. and waking up at 11 a.m., sometimes even 12 p.m. I am a barista, so I have to be at work as early as 5 a.m. some days. Not fixing my sleep schedule bit me in the butt and over all made me exhausted everyday for the next two weeks.

The next thing I wish I would have done before starting work is get into some type of routine that fit work into it. My quarantine routine worked great. I got all my housework and school work done everyday , worked out, went on a walk with my husband, and was ready to hangout and relax by 10 p.m. that was my routine. When work got thrown into the mix it put everything to a halt. I still haven’t gotten caught up on dishes and I haven’t worked out since I started work again.

The last thing I would have done is write more. I would have gotten caught up on my school work and on my blog posts, so I wasn’t hustling to get everything done each week. I’ve gotten in a good groove with all of these things recently, but when I first started work again, it was awful.

Over all, this month at work has been a challenge. I have worked more often than I planned to and been exhausted everyday when I got home. I just recently (about a week ago) got into a good groove and got my whole daily routine and schedule planned out. I have seen more productivity from myself in the past two weeks than I had the 2 months before everything shut down.

If you are starting work again soon, go easy on yourself and give yourself lots of grace. Things around your house are probably going to be chaotic for the next few weeks. That is okay. It will get better. Thanks for reading and if you have already gone back to work, leave some comments below about what you struggled with or advice you may have!