Floridian Charm

Say what you will about Florida, yes, it is hot, humid, and a bug haven, that is true, but  it’s “wetlands” appeal to me.


I don’t live by the ocean, but I do live by a large freshwater lake. The lake has its own charm and benefits.

mal and el on the dock

Living on the lake and having a house with a view of the eastern horizon means I do not have to leave my house to catch a breathtaking sunrise!

Crystal blue persuasion, mm-hmm It's a new vibration
Crystal blue persuasion, mm-hmm
It’s a new vibration

I am convinced that there are huge neurological benefits to the visual display of colors from sunrises and sunsets as well as by listening to the sounds of the lakeside wildlife  and watching the movement of the water. In my busy and frequently chaotic world, this morning ritual of watching sunrises starts my days in a peaceful and grateful mindset.


It soothes me to ride on back-wood country roads and enjoy the scenery of wild flowers, thick swamps, and large trees that bend toward each other and create a canopy over the roads. I really favor the less populated towns like Brooksville, Mount Dora,  Plant City, and Lakeland. In these places the residents are striving to preserve or recreate that “old Florida” way of life. The towns all have a local farmers market in their downtown areas that showcases the local produce. Many artsy types offer unique arts and crafts. To my delight, antique and shabby chic are trending again.

If you enjoy the wetlands, then the state is a photographer’s dream! From St. Augustine’s historical landmarks and charming history, to Panama City’s white sand dunes, to the diversity of Miami beach, to the gulf beaches of St. Petersburg and Clearwater – all offer endless photography opportunities. The multi-cultural make-up of the state is evident from its earliest beginnings. Some areas have undergone a transformation from old Florida to modern urban city life-like Tampa.

2013-02-23 14.40.37

Key west and the entire Florida keys offer the residents and visitors an opportunity to escape the cities and experience island living.  My favorite  places in Florida are the towns that still have that “old-Florida-cracker” life style. These are the less popular cities like Polk City, Plant City, and Lakeland.


Yes even the tourist magnetism of Orlando beacon me to click my shutter.


I started this post with the intentions of writing about the charm of living in a historical neighborhood and am not sure how I ended up  here. I guess my passion for Florida seeped out from some sub-conscious realm of my mind and spilled out onto my blog post. It happens.


Paper Anniversary!

Paper Flower for Paper Anniversary!

Paper Flower for Paper Anniversary!

Yesterday, May 4th,  Tom and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary by taking a drive over to Brooksville, Florida.


We found a cool little eatery at The Hawkins House. The Hawkins House contains two shops and a restaurant.

The shops carry southern style shabby chic folk art and flowers. MOF_8771-2

When you enter the shops prepare to encounter amazing arrangements of flowers and artfully painted “Southern Sayings”. These are cleverly positioned on table tops, shelves and hung on walls. As you meander through the displays on the left, in the rear of the store, there is a great Vera Bradley collection. Towards the middle of the establishment you encounter women busy sorting and arranging flowers. Everywhere is the happy chatter and laughter of women engaged in work they are clearly enjoying.

Somewhere between my excitement about finding this really cool shabby-chic world and obtaining permission to photograph it, I notice the enticing smells coming from the kitchen. Yum! Welcome to Mallie Kyla’s Café`!

This is a delightfully charming little eatery.  Tom and I were seated in a little quaint room that is decorated with old Florida collectibles and historical memorabilia.

Tom ordered a chicken wrap sandwich and I had a tuna on rye with cucumber slaw and, what else — SWEET TEA!  Yummy! After lunch we headed to the Saxon house to enjoy some photography.

Saxon House Wedding and Event Venue

The Saxon house is a local wedding and event venue. It is that kind of southern victorian style of architecture that we both love and we spent quite a bit of time clicking our shutters there.

Later we took a drive through downtown Brooksville which is the location of the annual blueberry festival. Tom wanted to  take a few pictures of the courthouse. While he was doing that I took a quick walk down the block and captured a few cool messages from the universe type of art that I found in window displays. Wow! I’ve been practicing listening for messages from spirit and looking for omens! There they were waiting for me to find them. I love when that happens.

Next Tom wanted to find a road he knew about that had trees that grew together to create a canopy over the street. Along the way we found some old bungalows that were pretty deteriorated but priceless to shoot . It is sad to see so much potential go to waste.  Nonetheless, the houses still have so much charm! I find them architecturally interesting in a whimsical kind of way.  Enjoy and Soar!