I was able to experience a top 10 life moment at Ocean Adventures Marine Park in Mississippi as I got to meet my favorite animal – a dolphin – in an up-close encounter!
The four of us (husband, friends and myself) had our dolphin interaction with Apollo, who playfully greeted us with a curious peek over his pool wall when we first arrived to the encounter.
Apollo the dolphin is almost deaf and would not survive on his own, according to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies – a nonprofit that is associated with Ocean Adventures Marine Park and exists to educate, conserve and research on marine mammals in the wild and under human care. Our guide told us Apollo was found stranded on the beach and had been there so long that he got a sunburn. The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies took him in and gave him a home (and a ton of fish).
Apollo had us (especially me) giddy as he chased footballs, splashed us and let us get a hug and kiss from him.
Along with dolphins, Ocean Adventures MS also provides up-close experiences with sea lions, sharks, sting rays and birds.
I’m so glad I got to meet my favorite animal here and share this experience with friends!
One of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had and you can find it at Onyx Coffee Lab in NW Arkansas. The atmosphere at all of Onyx’s locations is light, airy and hip – the perfect spot for that midday coffee break-away.
I tried the salt mocha made with chocolate, black salt, espresso and milk. Let me tell you, that black salt adds just the right touch.
KYYA Chocolate is a bean-to-bar chocolate company in NW Arkansas. They try to work directly with farmers as much as possible. It pays off in the chocolate they make.
It was SO fun going into the KYYA Chocolate shop in Bentonville in late 2018. I told them I was a dark chocolate fan and they let me try nibs of so many wonderful sweets, each with a unique flavor and story. My experience was like a wine tasting…. but with chocolate. Wonderful experience!
Let MCH Artwork in Central Arkansas brighten up your home! She captures moments of fun, of joy, of hardship, of childhood, of life in the most unique way with her drip paintings.
I actually learned about her after a friend at work commissioned a unicorn piece for her apartment. I wanted MCH Artwork to be the first piece of original artwork I bought for my home.
My husband came up with the idea for our commissioned painting – a Ferris wheel – and MCH Artwork brought it to life in the most colorful way! It hangs in the sunroom and brings the quirky vibe we were wanting to this special place in our house.
Pictures of her studio give me all the happy vibes.
Loblolly Creamery is one of the first local spots we visited when we moved to Arkansas. It is popular for a good reason. Homemade sweet treats crafted with local and seasonal ingredients. They have options for everyone – including gluten-free and vegan sweets.
Their ice cream is amazing, their hot chocolate is soul-soothing and their marshmallows are a great topping. There are so many more treats for me to try!
I recently found out about Savoy Tea Co. through the Bell Urban Farmstand and I am in love with their products. According to the Savoy Tea Co. website, they “source tea from tea gardens and family farms all over the world: China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, South Africa, Argentina.” They also turn their tea into candles. That’s right – CANDLES. And I’m not kidding when I say these candles smell more fragrant than Bath and Body Works candles.
Started out of her own kitchen, Rosalyn’s Crafty Confections is bringing us cozy vibes this season with her hot chocolate bombs! You can get flavors such as White Chocolate, Chocolate Peppermint, Salted Caramel, White Chocolate Peppermint and Classic Milk Chocolate. You can purchase a hot chocolate bomb by itself or in a gift set with a mug!
We tried the chocolate peppermint and salted caramel and it was the best hot chocolate we had all year. It was perfect for a night by the fire. Rosalyn is also working on more flavors and thinking up other yummy goodies! Check out the Rosalyn’s Crafty Confections Facebook page to place your order!
Magically Chic Shop in Arkansas is THE go-to place for all Disney-themed accessories! She can make tumblers for you and for your little ones, straw toppers, keychains, coasters, earrings – you name it! They all come at a reasonable price. Check her Instagram to see what all she can do!
Below is my tumbler that I bought! I didn’t want to go with a Disney-theme, just something super shiny! I picked the glitter and Magically Chic Shop worked the magic!
There is SO much to love at Little Rock’s Bella Vita Jewelry! Their handstamped jewelry, jewelry made from vintage buttons, geode jewelry – you will always walk away with a unique piece. The list goes on!
But Bella Vita has even more! They have a Nourish corner (perfect for a treat-yo’self-pick-me-up), the support other local businesses AND women-owned businesses.
The Bell Urban Farmstand in Arkansas is an all local foods grocery store that officially opened its storefront in November 2020. They source the freshest products from local farmers and artisans all over the Natural State. They also have a kitchen to serve locally roasted coffee, kombucha, ice cream and more.
I’ve stopped by the farmstand so many times as they were working on the inside of their store and got awesome goodies – tea, bread, pumpkins, candles, purple rice, flowers, etc. It definitely brightens my day when I get to visit.