Category: Events

Apr 22 2017

Beautiful with the wood, large windows, and open floor plan!

My husband and I recently had a weekend away in Cleveland, Georgia while the girls were on a school field trip to Charleston, SC. The Oasis Cabin we stayed in was beautiful!  It was in a great location with the peacefulness of the woods and mountains while conveniently located near Helen, Georgia if you wanted to go out to dinner or exploring.  We ate at the Cowboys & Angels restaurant while in Helen which was very good.  It was a much needed weekend away together.

The cabin was perfect and furnished with a lot of fun extras.  It had simple yet beautiful decorations, not the typical “bears, fish, and other cabin decor”.  The bath robes were very comfortable and we enjoyed playing several rounds of pool together.  We played board games, ate out on the deck, and relaxed together.  We could occasionally hear the construction workers who were building a couple of the surrounding cabins, but nothing too distracting.

There were some cleaning issues that we had with the cabin, but after emailing Cedar Creek Cabins with the information we originally felt like it was worth visiting Cedar Creek Cabins again to see if the experience is better.  Now we are not sure if we will visit any of their cabins in the future.

We are still very thankful for a special weekend together.  We went home refreshed and relaxed!  Just wish the people taking care of the cabins followed through with their promises and that the cabins were cleaned better.

View from the pool table – looking towards the kitchen and bedroom areas

PROS:

  • Gorgeous cabin with a spacious floor plan, huge windows and a lot of nice features
  • Pool Table & Board Games
  • Fairly Private Back Deck
  • Charcoal Grill
  • Keurig Coffee Machine was really nice + they left a few coffee K-Cups to use as well as a re-usable one if you brought your own ground coffee
  • Washer & Dryer
  • Blender – wasn’t aware of this one prior to arriving, but we love smoothies
  • Plenty of Storage for Food & Snacks in the cupboards
  • Comfortable King Size Bed
  • Super Soft Bath Robes
  • Automatic Recliners in the Couch
  • Fireplace
  • Jacuzzi Bathtub the huge tub that was really comfortable, does take awhile to fill up though!
  • Large Walk-in Dual Shower
  • Hot Tub on Deck nice, but needed more chlorine had a mildew growing in it by the second night so we did not get into it again after that night
  • 2 TV’s – one over the fireplace and the other by the bed & jacuzzi tub
  • Nest Thermometer was easy to use
  • Landscaping looked freshly done and really nice (new mulch)
  • Nice Loveseat Wicker Furniture on the Deck could sit or lay down on it.  We played games on the deck, ate snacks, and relaxed
  • Small Community Playground – it was small and a little faded, but was a nice touch for any families coming to visit with small kids.
  • Nice neighborhood – We felt safe enough to walk through the neighborhood and found several other families doing the same as well.

Super soft bathrobes!

CONS:

  • Check the Dishes prior to using!  We found a lot of dirty dishes that had been put away, possibly from the previous renters, but most of them should have been noticed by the cleaning staff.  For example – Several of the knives in the knife rack on the counter were very dirty with chunks of food on them.  Multiple items (plates and cups) in the cupboards had food chunks on them and the bowls had liquid in them.  If you opened the silverware drawer it was obvious by just looking that the silverware was not cleaned prior to being put back into the drawer.  After pulling out several dirty items we ended up washing everything before using it.  Thankfully we brought extra dishwasher soap and a bunch of disposable items because we ended up running all the silverware and a bunch of dishes through the dishwasher prior to leaving.  If you are going to require guests to wash the dishes prior to checking out then the housekeeping staff really should do a quality inspection of the dishes when cleaning the cabin to make sure that they are actually clean prior to the next guests arrival.  Honestly, it was gross and would have been an easy thing to correct while housekeeping was already in the cabin cleaning.  We realize that it was most likely the previous guests that put dirty utensils, pots & pans, and serving items back in the cupboard, however, it was pretty obvious just by glancing that the dishes were put away dirty especially when opening the silverware drawer or pulling a plate out of the cupboard or a bowl with standing water in it.  No one wants to wash dirty dishes from the previous guests in a cabin while on their vacation.
  • Top rack of the dishwasher was missing the right end cap causing the rack to come off the roller or get stuck in place.  Wasn’t a big deal other than it made using the top rack of the dishwasher more difficult to use.
  • Bring extra toilet paper! We had 2 partial rolls of toilet paper that was supposed to last for 4 days for 2 people (the one on the roller was almost gone and the one on the back of the toilet was already half used).  We ended up getting more toilet paper to get us through the weekend.
  • Fireplace thongs would be very helpful when maintaining the fire.  Not a huge problem just would make it more convenient for the guests staying in the cabin.
  • Basic Cooking Supplies especially if you plan to cook.  Maybe we cook more than the average guests or have stayed in cabins with a lot of “extras”.  There was no cooking spray, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or pyrex dish or pie plate to cook in.  One jelly roll pan and a set of pots & pans was it for baking.
  • Ability to be a Gated Community, however, the gate was never locked (even though we were given a gate code) and we were in and out multiple times every day
  • Rough Road with a lot of large pot holes the last half mile or so to the entry of the entrance.  This is probably more of a county maintenance issue, but visitors need to be aware of the road condition as it is one you’ll want to the cabins so take it slow to avoid potholes.
  • Some construction noise. This cabin community was obviously still being built.  Several cabins next to us were still being built, overall the noise from construction was minimal (mostly hammers, saws, and normal construction noises).  We could hear one of the workers radios playing if we were outside, there were several port-a-potties near our cabin, and they did work on both Saturday and Sunday so there was construction activity even on the weekend.
  • No Cabin Signage. Had to call them to figure out which cabin it was because there were no signs and we drove around the entire complex twice.  They told us where it was located and said that the construction workers had knocked over the sign and one was on order.
  • Need updated directions. Followed the directions exactly, but it appears that they have added more cabins and roads since writing the instructions because they did not lead to the correct cabin.
  • High Speed Internet – while they did have internet it did drop a few times or was really slow.  It may have been from all the construction around us because we noticed it most on Friday of our stay.
  • Landline Phone – while it was nice having the phone in the cabin we got multiple phones call from people trying to solicit money and/or services.  After a day we ended up unplugging the phone because the only time it rang was when someone was trying to advertise their services and we had our cell phones that worked decently while at the cabin.

Overall we had a refreshing and relaxing time together.  The cabin itself was gorgeous and other than the kitchen the rest of the cabin was fairly cleanThe housekeeping not checking the dishes and the property managers failure to follow through with their promises were our biggest disappointments, really all else was minor and expected with a new community.

We contacted the property managers and they were apologetic regarding the dirty items in the cabin.  They also offered to give us a discount on our next stay in any of their cabins.  We let them know that we were staying at another one of their cabins again in April with our kids.  Gave them the dates, the cabin we were staying in and everything, but never heard back from them again regarding the discount.

We held off posting the review because we wanted to give them a second chance prior to posting it.  We feel like they dropped the ball in a few ways and not convinced that it would be a company we would use again which is sad because they are within a reasonable driving distance from home making it a convenient weekend place to visit.  Plus the cabins could really be a wonderful relaxing and enjoyable place to stay especially if you don’t have to clean up the previous guests messes!

PLEASE for the sake of your future guests make sure that the cabins are cleaned better no one wants to pull out dishes with the last guests food on them AND don’t offer to fix issues or offer a discount on future stays if you do not intend to honor that promise.

View from the kitchen & dining area bedroom, jacuzzi tub, and shower

Relaxing on the deck lounge.  Comfortable and relaxing!

Decorations were simple and elegant.  Not the typical “cabin” decor which was really nice!

Loved hanging out with my man for the weekend!

Relaxing on the couch in front of the toasty fire!

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Dec 25 2016

Joy Garland:

Photo Credit

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Sep 17 2016

Glacier Bay National Park and New Holland Zaandam Alaska Cruise Family Vacation

 Happy Birthday Jake (AKA Daddy)!!! XOXO

I am just now getting our pictures updated from our last big adventure, so yes a little later than planned….  Our family was able to celebrate Jake’s birthday this year while on our Alaska Cruise vacation!  Thankful for an opportunity to spend time with the whole family.

We surprised Jake and had the chef on the cruise ship make him a birthday cake!  It was big and extra rich chocolate!  The crew sang him “Happy Birthday” in Indonesian which was really cool.  He was so thrilled that we made a big spectacle of his birthday celebration.  We were so full after the delicious meal that we ended up taking the cake back to the cabin to eat later that night after all the other activities that evening.

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SURPRISE!!!  Happy Birthday Handsome!

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 Celebrating Jake’s birthday with the whole family.

Thankful for a wonderful time together and for this amazing man who I get to live my life with!

Love you JACOB!!!  Happy Birthday!  Wishing you many more healthy, happy, and fun adventures!

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Sep 17 2016

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Pool and inside deck area on the ship!

Once we were back on the New Holland Zaandam cruise ship after exploring the town of Seward, Alaska we were able to check out more of the ship.  The girls were thrilled to see all the cool activities and places on the ship.  They couldn’t wait to try out the pool deck, play a little bit, and try out the different foods as well as fun activities that were coming up that week.  Thankful for the opportunity to spend this time with the family.  We had a blast spending time together.  It was a wonderful family vacation!

Alaska, Alaska Cruise, Zaandam, New Holland, Wildlife Conservatory

Testing out the courts…..they had fun even in the rain! 🙂

Cruising on the Alaska Trip - New Holland Zaandam - Summer Vacation

 Brina enjoying her first dinner on the cruise.  She found out that although the window views were nice at dinner it was a little chilly and she needed her jacket!

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Our first night on-board the ship and heading to dinner!

p1680531cBrina and I trying to stay warm at the evening meal.  We were trying to get used to the cooler weather after coming from the 100 plus degrees we were having that week in South Carolina!

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Jake and Karlie having fun at our first dinner on the cruise!

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Jul 11 2016

It was wonderful starting last week off with a Holiday!  We were able to get some extra items done around the house and spend some time together as a family.  Having the holiday on a Monday did through off our week a little bit, but we adjusted just fine!  We had a spontaneous dinner and gathering midweek with extended family which was a lot of fun too!  The girls had fun at bike camp while Jake and I tackled projects at work.  We’ve been busy working through a lot of items and project around the house as well.    Here are my goals for this week:

Last week’s goals

Family Goals

  1. Finish reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein to the kids. – finished reading it, the girls loved it!
  2. Read 7 more Stories from the Bad Pets on the Loose by Alan Zullo book to the kids.
  3. Go through 7 more Brain Quest Flash Cards with the kids.
  4. Read through 7 more pages of History Trivia with the kids.
  5. Reflect on our blessings and prayer time with kids every night.
  6. Plan one special activity with the family
  7. Play a Game with the Kids
  8.  Attend After Work Activities
  9. Lunch Boxes packed the night before work & other planned activities
  10. Prep for upcoming Family Adventure(s)
  11. Prep & Figure out Schedule for upcoming Summer Break
  12. Work on family projects together
  13. Daily 15 minute “Speed Clean” for entire family to keep the daily clutter under control

Kid Goals

  1. Have kids do work in their Summer Workbook(s)
  2. Encourage Kids to read independently at least 30 minutes a day
  3. Have kids work on our approved educational websites to encourage growth (at least 2 hours for the week)
  4. Have kids work for at least 1 hour on this week on improving their typing skills
  5. Each kid finish creating at least 2 blogs posts for their Fun with Sis blog
  6. Spend time Monday –Friday encouraging the kids to find creative ways to learn and grown their skills
  7. At least 30 minutes of outside play, fresh air, or activity time a day

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water each day
  2. Keep up with my FitBit Goals
  3. Do yoga at least 5 times a week – not so great on this one, got out of my regular routine
  4. Go to my Appointments Scheduled this week
  5. Update Counting My Blessings and Other journal entries daily
  6. Tackle some lingering projects on my “to do” list
  7. Read over the kids blog posts

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. All laundry for the week washed, folded, and put away in one day – it took more than 1 day with everything going on this week
  2. Weekly Dinner Menu planned out for the week
  3. Clean House (Focus – Clean Living Room)
  4. Organize Chaos (Focus – Label & Hang Up Kids Necklaces)
  5. Yard / Garage Cleanup (Focus – Pick up Sticks found in the yard from the past couple of storms)
  6. Pet Care (Focus – Work of the Goat & Dog Fences)
  7. Repairs – (Focus – Check on Water Heater Recall Notice we received) – haven’t been able to do this one yet

Business Goals

  1. Work on ideas for upcoming blog posts
  2. Respond to Inquiry – Business Relation Emails
  3. Keep up with the day to day items that need my attention
  4. Work completed for clients – need to wrap up one more
  5. Notes typed for work – need to update with new information
  6. Meeting regarding work goals and upcoming tasks completed – update and review
  7. Folders Labeled for work – working on it
  8. Training on new projects – making progress
  9. Desk drawers organized – getting it there
  10. Do at least 5 blog posts this week
  11. Catch up on Hootesuite
  12. Upload pictures from last few weeks and update – have more of them completed

Ministry Goals

  1. Meet a friend or family member for Breakfast or Lunch
  2. One-on-one quality time with Jake (talking, date night, or doing an activity together)
  3. One-on-one quality time with Brina (talking, date night, or doing an activity together)
  4. One-on-one quality time with Karlie (talking, date night, or doing an activity together)

Financial Goals

  1. Schedule a meeting with the Financial Advisor – narrowing down the schedules
  2. Payoff Other Outstanding Debt – working on it
  3. Pay Bills & File Paperwork
  4. Go grocery shopping one time this week and stay within budget – went more than once with the impromptu family dinner with 17 people on Thursday night! 🙂
  5. Sell, giveaway, donate, or through away items no longer use – making good progress, but still have a ways to go
  6. Take items to the recycling distributor
  7. Make meals with items from pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to use up what we have and eliminate any extra spending

My goals for the upcoming week

Family Goals

  1. Finish reading The Forgotten Filly by Karle Dickerson to the kids.
  2. Read 7 more Stories from the Bad Pets on the Loose by Alan Zullo book to the kids.
  3. Go through 7 more Brain Quest Flash Cards with the kids.
  4. Read through 7 more pages of History Trivia with the kids.
  5. Reflect on our blessings and prayer time with kids every night.
  6. Plan one special activity with the family
  7. Play a Game with the Kids
  8.  Attend After Work Activities
  9. Lunch Boxes packed the night before work & other planned activities
  10. Prep for upcoming Family Adventure(s)
  11. Prep & Figure out Schedule for upcoming Summer Break
  12. Work on family projects together
  13. Daily 15 minute “Speed Clean” for entire family to keep the daily clutter under control

Kid Goals

  1. Have kids do work in their Summer Workbook(s)
  2. Encourage Kids to read independently at least 30 minutes a day
  3. Have kids work on our approved educational websites to encourage growth (at least 2 hours for the week)
  4. Have kids work for at least 1 hour on this week on improving their typing skills
  5. Each kid finish creating at least 2 blogs posts for their Fun with Sis blog
  6. Spend time Monday –Friday encouraging the kids to find creative ways to learn and grown their skills
  7. At least 30 minutes of outside play, fresh air, or activity time a day

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water each day
  2. Keep up with my FitBit Goals
  3. Do yoga at least 5 times a week
  4. Go to my Appointments Scheduled this week
  5. Update Counting My Blessings and Other journal entries daily
  6. Tackle some lingering projects on my “to do” list
  7. Read over the kids blog posts

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. All laundry for the week washed, folded, and put away in one day
  2. Weekly Dinner Menu planned out for the week
  3. Clean House (Focus – Family Room)
  4. Organize Chaos (Focus – Laundry Room)
  5. Yard / Garage Cleanup (Focus – Blow off deck, sidewalk, & driveway)
  6. Pet Care (Focus – Refill Goat & Dog Food)
  7. Repairs – (Focus – Check on Water Heater Recall Notice we received)

Business Goals

  1. Work on ideas for upcoming blog posts
  2. Respond to Inquiry – Business Relation Emails
  3. Keep up with the day to day items that need my attention
  4. Work completed for clients
  5. Notes typed for work
  6. Meeting regarding work goals and upcoming tasks completed
  7. Folders Labeled for work
  8. Training on new projects
  9. Desk drawers organized
  10. Do at least 5 blog posts this week
  11. Catch up on Hootesuite
  12. Upload pictures from last few weeks and update

Ministry Goals

  1. Meet a friend or family member for Breakfast or Lunch
  2. One-on-one quality time with Jake (talking, date night, or doing an activity together)
  3. One-on-one quality time with Brina (talking, date night, or doing an activity together)
  4. One-on-one quality time with Karlie (talking, date night, or doing an activity together)

Financial Goals

  1. Schedule a meeting with the Financial Advisor
  2. Payoff Other Outstanding Debt
  3. Pay Bills & File Paperwork
  4. Go grocery shopping one time this week and stay within budget
  5. Sell, giveaway, donate, or through away items no longer use
  6. Take items to the recycling distributor
  7. Make meals with items from pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to use up what we have and eliminate any extra spending

I think it is important to share and encourage each other as we seek to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.  I want to live intentionally not just hope all my dreams and goals come true.  When I focus on small steps of improvement I am able to see results as I get closer to my goals.  Some weeks I get closer to the goals I have in my life and other weeks a take a few steps back (life happens, emergencies occur, people get sick).  Once the goals are written down and shared it provides a guideline for what I aim to accomplish this week.

Why Share My Goals?

  • To keep me accountable
  • To share a piece of my life with you as I strive to be a better Child of God, Wife, Mom, Friend, Homemaker, Entrepreneur and the many other roles I have each week
  • To have my goals consistently written down so I can gauge progress more accurately
  • Create healthy habits in my life
  • To encourage you to share your goals with me as you continue to grown and learn

How did you do this week on your goals?  Feel free to share or link to your list of weekly goals.

The picture above is one that I created for my own purposes, however, The “SMART” acronym was originally coined 30 years ago by Peter Drucker in his classic work, Management by Results

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