Wanderlust: North Florida Edition

So I have a bit of a wandering spirit and love to see the beauty of God’s creation pretty much wherever I can find it. I had a chance about a month or so ago to have a bit of a staycation because sometimes you just have to get away to get away.

Here are a few highlights from my trip to the Palm Coast/ Mantasas Shores, and Washington Oaks Gardens State Park.

Washington Oaks Gardens is full of beautiful gardens, hiking trails, an amazing gazebo and just a chance to be in nature and relax if you just love nature like I do or just need to get away.  Truly a beautiful place for a date, wedding/engagement and maternity photo shoots (saw several people doing such during my trip) and just in general a serene beautiful environment that is available to you for the low cost of under $10. Any other frugal Farrahs out there who look for inexpensive ways to entertain yourself or your family?

On the opposite side of the national park is a beautiful beach that is not super crowded and  boasts some of the most beautiful coquina rock you will ever bear witness to. I mean it literally looks like something dropped straight from a picture. This was a perfect day of self care, spiritual renewal, fun, relaxation, exploration, and just in general a great way to get away from it all. It was too good to not share!

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Washington Oaks Gardens 
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Gazebo at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park 
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One of the fountains throughout the garden section of the park 
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Beautiful trees near the entrance of the park, not sure what type 
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Entryway leading to more gardens and a beautiful photo opp 
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Beach side of Washington Oaks Garden State Park/ Mantasas Shores/ Palm Coast 
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My first time seeing coquina rock 
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More coquina rock! SO AMAZING! 

 

My absolutely fabulous trip to Seattle

I recently took a really exciting business trip to Seattle, Washington! I had an absolutely fabulous trip and wanted to share some of the highlights!

This will be as close to a day-by-day recap as I can remember as I am just recovering from my the time difference and getting back into the swing of things.

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I am going to throw this one out there for free…. It rains pretty regularly in Seattle. But being the fashionista I am I caught sight of and later visited the local Macy’s in Downtown Seattle. I really became enchanted with their street set up and planning (more on that later)

This was the first day there as we were breezing by to grab some lunch.

Speaking of lunch! YAYYYY!!!

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So this lunch was everything! This was from a local Thai restaurant called Mae Phim Thai. This was their Pad Him Ma Pan. I had them add pineapple and rice to this but the vegetables were so fresh, the food was full of flavor, and everything was prepared quickly and the service was awesome! Perfect local cuisine that is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area. It wasn’t super expensive and I love Thai food so I always like to support small businesses when I go places as much as possible because I love getting a taste of the local flavor!

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My photo bomber proves my point exactly about the rain. But don’t you just love the architecture and buildings?  This is off Pike St near Palomino.

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All bundled up to do a bit of exploration. #selfietime

It was cold and rainy the first few days but I still enjoyed each of those days and gave me an excuse to wear my rainboots! For the win!

thumb_img_5155_1024YAYYYYY FOR MARIOS! If you’re a fashion fiend like I am then just seeing some of the street front stores gave you a bit of a thrill! Eeek!

thumb_img_5158_1024SPEAKING OF WHICH….. NORDSTROM FLAGSHIP STORE!!!!! Fashion girl heaven!!! Probably one of the most beautiful Nordstrom’s I’ve been in to date. The product offerings were amazing so of course I grabbed a piece of memorabilia. Let’s be honest. A fashionista never really needs a reason to shop. LOL  But I did grab a Ted Baker tote. Yayyyy! It was really useful this trip since I packed light (only my computer bag and my carry-on luggage)  and didn’t bring a handbag so it carried all my materials and goodies while I was there.

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Barney’s!!! Again a fashionista’s dream all within a square mile of each other!

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The planning and walkability is definitely A-1! Everything was in walking distance. Pacific Place boasts both shopping, dining, and entertainment with an AMC attached! Again the beautiful buildings were everything to ME!

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So getting back into the foodie scene! I really loved the Juicy Cafe because they are all about good vibes, good food (salads, wraps, bowls,) and even better smoothies and juices! I loved this quote and I went back later in the week for a green smoothie because I had a craving for one during the trip.

Truly about their natural food offerings. LOVE IT!!!

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This is a Mexi-Cali bowl with eggs, broccoli, salsa, spinach, cabbage, black beans, avocado, cumin lime greek yogurt, and cheddar cheese over brown rice. Tasty and fresh!

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This huge flower was sooo cute to me! I am not sure what it is but I love it so like the tourist I was it made the cut. It was off Union and 7th.

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The Great Wheel of Seattle overlooking Elliot Bay! Breathtaking view!

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Really cool statue and more amazing buildings! I definitely got my steps in on this trip! LOL

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I love that they have a biking program! I love any city that has a biking program! Great planning and healthy lifestyle options! Woot woot! And as you can see some of the bikes are already gone so some other people love that they have a bike program as well!

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Partial view of Smith Tower which was historically one of the tallest buildings in Seattle.

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Full view of Smith Tower

thumb_IMG_5184_1024A slightly blurred vision of a teepee in Pioneer Square and the Pioneer Building in the background.

thumb_img_5191_1024A clock tower in Pioneer Square

thumb_img_5190_1024Some beautiful stone pavement in Pioneer Square

thumb_img_5194_1024Century Link Field

thumb_img_5196_1024Look how colorful this street trolley is!

thumb_img_5197_1024I love trees so these trees in Pioneer Square were everything to me!

thumb_img_5198_1024This really dope statue in Pioneer Square!

Famous Pike Place Market! Got some great souvenirs #winning

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I’m a sucker for a cute sign! This was the sign at this amazing crepe place we went to one day for lunch! They were super yummy!

Sooooo remember when I said that I loved the Juicy Cafe and their offerings? Green smoothie on deck!

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thumb_img_5228_1024The Roosevelt Seattle

thumb_img_5221_1024We stumbled upon this really cool pizza place that allows you to put unlimited toppings on  for $8.99 Eeek! It’s called Mod Pizza and if you are ever in the area it’s definitely worth the trip.

thumb_img_5222_1024Here’s my pizza! Yum!

thumb_img_5205_1024A view of Downtown Seattle from my hotel.

thumb_img_5213_1024The original Starbucks! How cute and vintage is this?

thumb_img_5231_1024Made it to the Space Needle!

thumb_img_5236_1024Beautiful views from the Space Needle of Seattle

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thumb_img_5256_1024Space Needle Selfie with this lady who photobombed me and I started laughing after I realized it! I love a good photo bomb and her’s is super confident! LOL

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Selfie that represented what this trip was about… working and WERKING! Woot woot!

thumb_img_5214_1024Beautiful sunset overlooking Pike Place Market

I definitely enjoyed myself in Seattle and could see myself going back for another visit! I saw a lot but there’s still so much I wanted to see. But there’s always next time! So till next time Washington… and the movie title was true to form because I was truly Sleepless in Seattle.

What are some hidden treasures that you’ve visited in Seattle? What are some of your favorite things to do in Seattle?  Let me know, I would love to hear from you!

Why my single life is just as fabulous and beautiful as married life

If you’re single like me you’re probably used to the following narrative and questions:

” We need to hurry up and find you a husband”

” When you getting married?”

” You live alone, all by yourself? That doesn’t get lonely?”

” I know you got a boyfriend, a man or something”

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

And the list goes on……

For the most part, I take these comments and questions in stride because the majority of the time, they come from people who I am certain mean well but just want what they perceive is best for me.

But I am here today to state that my single life isn’t something I am DESPERATELY trying to shake free of  nor is it some type of death sentence that I believe God unfairly punished me with until a significant other arrives. I am in love with the life that I am currently leading because I realize love and happiness starts with ME and spreads abroad and I’ve got a lot of things that I am passionate about and that God has placed in my hands to steward and tend to in THIS MOMENT.

Society has put us into a mode where as single individuals we are constantly bombarded with the idea that you haven’t arrived until you have a husband or wife, 2 and a half kids, and a house with a white picket fence  and if you don’t…. WELL then you’ve clearly missed the mark. Or God doesn’t love you. Or you must have something wrong with you. But your worth comes from a lot more than just the mere notion of your marital status or what you’ve achieved in life. I’ve found that my worth is in Christ and in Christ alone and when I attempt to place it in anything else or look elsewhere for it then I always come up empty.

Don’t get me wrong I desire companionship and REAL LOVE. And there will definitely be a time to be married to an amazing man that adds to the amazing life that I already have and pour our love and Christ’s love into our offspring.   There will be a time to  build a beautiful life as a great mother and wife and carry out my individual and collective purpose with my husband that God placed me on this Earth for.  Those are roles that I believe are so honorable and beautiful and God graces each individual for. But that’s not the entirety of who I am and desire to be. Both of those roles take great preparation  and maturity to truly serve in the capacity that I believe God creates them for .

And what better time to prepare and love my life then right now in this very moment? Whatever issues I was dealing with as a single woman don’t magically disappear when I get married. If I don’t use this beautiful time right now to love myself, find myself and the things I love, and truly appreciate my own identity I may make the mistake of idolizing my future blessings of marriage and children. As a result I may also lose my sense of identity and wholeness misusing the gifts God has given me to steward in the long run.

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

I’ve also been a single woman who’s been in the WRONG relationships. I’ve known what it feels like to lay next to someone and have your very worth and being taken for granted and to be greatly undervalued. I’ve known what it feels like  when the very things you do for someone are not GOOD ENOUGH and neither are you. I’ve felt hurt and pain and sense of being lost due to being in the wrong relationships and not being able to truly hear from God.

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I no longer desire those things for myself, thanks be to God and his great sense of deliverance and freedom. I am content to enjoy my single life until God orchestrates a meeting with a man worthy of who and what I am as a person. A man who is not threatened by those things but encourages and breathes life into those things as I do the same for him.  (talk about a beautiful God honoring partnership) And I say that in the most humblest terms possible.

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

The next RELATIONSHIP I enter into will be intentional and it will be to a man who honors the God I serve, me, my womanhood, my accomplishments, the love I give and all the wonderful gifts and talents that I will bring to our relationship.

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

Until then I am excited to:

  1. Grow deeper and stronger in my intimate relationship with God and be about my Father’s business.
  2. Learn from healthy and happy married couples what it takes to sustain a God filled marriage with a purpose filled partner.
  3. Travel! (woot woot)
  4. Learn to live fearlessly and bold and walking in faith
  5. Try new foods and cook new recipes
  6. Chase my dreams and make my career exactly what I want it to be with God’s discernment and wisdom
  7. Eat cereal for dinner if I feel like it (lol)
  8. Stretch out in my bed
  9. Dance around my apartment
  10. Sleep in
  11. Building amazing friendships
  12. Spend time with friends and family and fostering and growing those relationships
  13. Serve in my community
  14. Check out local treats and restaurants (yay! fun! )
  15. Workout as much as my little body can stand
  16. Make random trips anywhere
  17. Tinker with starting a business
  18. Write books and blogs and whatever else God puts on my heart
  19. Splurge guilt free on my heart’s desires
  20. Come and go as I please
  21. Read books, learn, grow, become a better woman FOR ME
  22. Move across the country or around the world
  23. Go wherever God may be calling me to serve his people
  24. Last but not least live my life abundantly as that is what Jesus died for me to do

I challenge you if you are in a relationship that in your heart you know you shouldn’t be in or has you living below the life  God intended for you, (short of your marriage because you in that thang till death do us part lol) I encourage you to examine whether you can truly live the divine life God intended you to with this person or if you are operating out of a place of loneliness, desperation, or boredom. I’ve been there and desperation will only detour you to dead ends. Trust the process, grow, learn, take care of yourself, figure yourself out, find out what you’re called to do and GO DO IT! Your life doesn’t start when you get a ring on your finger or your marital status changes, it starts every morning God breathes fresh breath into your body. Get busy! You never know who God may be using you to impact.

And my my,  what a special thing when you do encounter your future spouse (if God has placed that as a strong desire in your heart I believe and stand in agreement with you that he will honor it) if you’ve been busy enjoying your life and growing in God excelling in those gifts and talents we’ve all been blessed with.

So go enjoy your wild, fabulous, beautiful and blessed single life!  It’s so worth it!

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

The working girl’s weekend wind down: What could be more fabulous than breakfast in bed?

I’m a little late posting this but I just was thinking how there is nothing quite as sweet as winding down from a busy and packed week at work. #workinggirlchronicles

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I think often times we (myself included) are so wired to believe that everyday should be bustling with activity of some sort, that we forget how wonderfully fabulous, and necessary actually doing NOTHING can really be. It’s freeing, it’s salacious, it’s inviting and it’s a vital part of self-care just to be able to get away from it all,  and be able to attune to your own thoughts and desires into what is actually good, healthy, and beneficial for you and your soul and body. And can I say  I truly indulged in my NOTHING Saturday. I know the next couple of weekends I have coming up will be jam packed with activity so I NEEDED to just unwind and let loose and RELAX.

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My greatest desire all week was just to lounge around in my sweats and a tank top once the weekend hit. Friday night  I got a real craving for breakfast but I was so out of it I could only find the energy to have a bowl of cereal (yayyy for Cinnamon Toast Crunch) and hit the hay. But that desire stayed with me all night so I was like why not turn this into an all out lazy Saturday complete with a breakfast I normally wouldn’t have time to enjoy during the week? So that brings us to where we currently are. My fabulous personal version of breakfast in bed complete with a scrambled egg and potato veggie bowl, green smoothie and watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Directly following this, I had a wonderfully rejuvenating mid-morning nap and munched on some snacks and just lounged around my apartment.

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What are some of your fabulous ways to wind down from your week? I would love to hear from you!