Why Sweet Tea Serendipity??



a nomadic or free-spirited person.

You know, it’s funny…when I was younger I wanted to be a gypsy so bad.  No, I’m not talking about those chicks on My Big Fat American Gypsy WeddingI don’t want any part of that.  Guys groping you…literally groping you as a form of courtship until you give in, get married and are then expected to live in a trailer and cook, clean, and raise kids while you hubby gets to do as he pleases out in the world.


No judgment. To each their own. I’m just not much of a cook so that’s caput.  I can clean well enough when my selective OCD kicks in (I don’t think it kicks in often enough). The most important reason I’m not that girl is I want a family AND a career and I’m not willing to settle for less.  Alright, enough of that soap box before I get carried away…

Back to the point, I’ve always been fascinated with the wanderlust aspect of gypsies.  To pick up at the drop of a hat and explore new places sounds marvelous!  I’ve lived in rural desert communities of Arizona.  Communities that were so new to the desert landscape that we had to be on the look out for rattlesnakes and scorpions…INDOORS!  I’ve lived in the over-crowded city of Los Angeles (more specifically, Hollywood).  A place where it could easily take someone 30 minutes to drive half a mile down the street if you are on the road at the wrong time (which happens to be most hours of the day).  I’ve lived in the sunny beach cities of Orange County, California or “The OC”. Where every other car driving down the road is a Mercedes, BMW, or Range Rover.  People pay a lot to take in all the beauty it has to offer.  When I talk about its beauty I mean the landscape and the people.  It’s a feast for the eyes!

Recently,  I’ve found myself at a cross roads. I feel a need to put down roots now more than ever. I’d like to do so in a new place that feels like a compilation of the places I’ve been and I’ve come to a conclusion…drumroll please….that place is Nashville, Tennessee!  It’s the best of both worlds, the country and the city.  The wheels were set in motion a couple months ago when I took a trip to Tennessee with my dude and I fell in love with both him and the city.  Correction, I was already in love with him, but the city unexpectedly stole my heart.  In the short time we were there we made a trash can turkey (that’s a whole other blog post in itself), chased cows around the hills in a Rhino, fired shotguns at inanimate objects, went to Broadway street and heard live music pouring out of every bar, stayed at a gorgeous lake house, and explored a historical mansion turned event venue.

Here are some pics from the trip, including the trash can turkey!!


Being woodsy in my borrowed coveralls!


A man and his toys.




My second boyfriend, Gabe the dog.


Needless to say, I’m hooked! Oh yea, and I’m moving at the end of THIS MONTH. No big deal…AHHHHH!!!

This brings us to the name Sweet Tea Serendipity.  It’s crazy how one minute your life is in shambles and you don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel and the next thing you know everything is falling in to place for a beautiful future!  That whole “everything happens for a reason” saying could never be more real for me.  Serendipitous, one could say.  Get it? “Serendipity”.  As for “Sweet Tea”, well it’s definitely a country thing and it’s just, plain delicious, so there ya go.  Sweet Tea Serendipity has gone from being a blog about my favorite things to a blog about this next chapter in my life.  I have two weeks until I pick up and leave California, my home state of the past eight years.  I’ll be traveling to a new place where I can count the people I know on both hands, if that.  New place. New people. New job. New experiences. New Lynsie.  That’s a whole lot of NEW!  Here I come!!



The Great Outdoors

Ralph Waldo Emerson

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

From an early age I was fascinated with the great outdoors.  Even when I couldn’t go out and play I would beg my Grammy to pitch my mini, pink tent in our living room and “camp” with the dogs and me.  This was no easy feat for a 70 year old woman, mind you.  She had to set up the tent, as I was too young to be of any use. Then she would have to lower herself to the ground as best she could after wrangling our white German Shepard, Rosie, and American Eskimo, Poochie, and zipping it closed so they wouldn’t make  run for it. We would spend hours camping in the living room.  She would have to pretend that she could see the stars I would talk about, build a fake fire, eat pretend camp food, and ultimately take naps with me. Needless to say, my Grammy was pretty awesome. Also needless to say, every kid should have a tent/teepee! Here’s 15 Ways to make a tent from Craftionary!

kid tent

I vaguely remember my first, official camping trip. I went camping in Arizona with my friend Jessica and her mother.  Jess’s mom was the first single mom I knew and she was incredibly independent.  She could do anything.  She could even run a camping trip for two prissy little girls that had never been.  I mean, we went fishing and played outdoors in our neighborhood, but had we ever peed in the wild…nope, definitely not.  That in itself is a journey.  Hah!  I remember Ms. Genaro introducing us to this toilet seat on stilts. Literally, just a toilet seat that was propped up off the ground so you hopefully, don’t pee on yourself. We fought using it and we held it for as long as we could, but eventually that seat was put to use..


 It was terrifying for me.  I had to lower my bare ass onto that thing and hope that no animals scurried under me while I already had a bad case of stage-fright. (That hasn’t changed, actually. If you ever hear water running in the bathroom it’s more than likely yours truly taking a leak in the stall next to you.) That’s all I specifically remember about that trip…that damn seat.  I did enjoy the trip though.  NO complaints!  It was beautiful out in the mountains of Arizona and I was hooked.

I hadn’t been camping for years until recently, when I went camping with my dude.  He’s super outdoorsy, so that’s great!  For one of his Christmas presents, I got us a campsite at Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu, CA. Our reservation was for February 8th and we were really excited for our fist camping trip together!  This was also our first over night trip with each other, which added a little extra pressure for me to be awesome.  I wanted to be outdoorsy, and fully capable of any challenge the wilderness decided to throw my way…so I may have over prepared a little.  I researched everything from the best way to pack your food in a cooler to creative lighting ideas for your tent. I had it all covered. I put together a master shopping list and we headed off to Walmart and Grants for Guns to grab our supplies. There were some outlandish items on my list which caused JL, my dude, to snicker at me.  These items were as follows..

1) Hand warmers

hand warmers

2) Emergency Blanket

emergency blanket

3) Headlamp


I guess to the rugged outdoorsman, these seem frivolous, but let me just tell you how each item became an integral part of that trip.

Let’s start with the hand warmers, shall we? California is a place where you rarely need hand warmers.  Okay, you NEVER need hand warmers. Our forecast pretty much stays sunny and in the 70′s year round. Yea, we’re spoiled. Being from Arizona, I still tend to get cold pretty easy. So instead of crying, screaming, or practicing both simultaneously in moderately chilly weather I decided to keep myself as snug as possible. Mind you, the temp had been in the high eighties, but I wasn’t taking any chances. Nobody needs to witness a whiny Lynsie.  Man, I was glad I brought those suckers!  February 8th ended up being a pretty overcast and cold day.  When the sun was setting JL even asked if I had any extras. Did I have any extras?! I bought ten of those things!  You’re welcome, darling. The hand warmers stayed hot from sun down to sun up. They are tiny miracles!  I will now purchase these in bulk and take them everywhere, just in case.

Moving on to the emergency blanket…this was imperative to our happiness come 1am.  As we drove into Malibu Beach earlier in the day and the skies started getting overcast, JL made the joke that “It would be really funny if it rained on us!”  We both laughed at the idea right up until we unpacked the tent I borrowed from my friend, Pat.  That is when the tent laughed at us. It was a two person tent that had no coverage. I’ve never seen anything like it and hope to never see it again.  90% of the “roof” of this tent was mesh…just mesh…no coverage whatsoever. As we stared in awe of this, the sky grew darker and more ominous.  We realized that the chance of rain in our sunny, southern California was actually, highly likely in that moment. We drove everywhere searching for a better tent that we could purchase on the spot, but we came back empty handed. We decided to leave it to fate. “If it rains, it rains”, we said to each other. Well, IT RAINED!

I woke up at one in the morning to water pouring through the mesh coverage of our tent, directly onto my face. JL was in a deep sleep so I poked him until he woke up then said “now what?”  We had no time to brainstorm due to the storm happening outside and therefor, inside our tent, This is when I remembered reading “Reflects body heat back to the body” and “Wind and waterproof”. THE EMERGENCY BLANKET! I grabbed it from my back pack and we threw it on top of the tent.  JL also grabbed the camping hammock he purchased (basically a big tarp) and placed it on top of the emergency blanket.  Within a matter of minutes we had taken our open air set up and ghetto-rigged it into a nice, warm cocoon.  We slept just fine after that!

Before shot:

pre tent

After Shot:


Lastly, the headlamp. Yes, I was INCREDIBLY excited about purchasing a headlamp, if for no other reason than to be able to say, “I purchased a sweet headlamp”. There was no miracle solution created by my headlamp, but it was fun blinding JL every time I tried to make eye contact with it on. It also creates a really nice, ambient light for your tent when you strap it to  large water bottle. Try it sometime!

headlamo light

I look forward to camping more in the future!  It’s pretty rad when you can get rained on, in cold weather, while sleeping on the rock hard ground and still thoroughly enjoy an experience with the one you love.  I wouldn’t mind giving glamping a try at some time. A nice airstream/sweet camper parked next to the beach for a week or two. Umm…yes please!


That’s it for now. Until the next adventure into the great yonder, I’ll leave you this golden nugget of advice.  You can never, and I mean NEVER over-use a headlamp!


My roots


My roots, and I’m not referring to that solid inch of dark brown hair showing up at the top my mane…

I currently reside in Orange County, California, but I was born and raised in the dry, desert heat of Arizona. I can take the heat, but forget about the cold.  NO ONE wants to be around me in the cold. I grew up in Chandler, Arizona in a development named Pecos Ranch. Now, Pecos Ranch is surrounded by shopping centers, restaurants, and even a hospital, but back in the day it was surrounded by cotton fields, ponds, and dairy farms.  I realize how strange it is to say “I miss the smell of cow crap”, but hey…sometimes I miss the smell of cow crap.  Judge away…


Chandler was a great place to spend my childhood. We went fishing for catfish in our community ponds, and rarely caught anything. We searched for crawdads in the canals, and ended up falling, face-first in the muddy ditches instead of snagging those little suckers. We played street hockey on a daily basis, rollerblades and all. “Game on!” Childhood in Chandler groomed me into a “tom-boy”, for sure.  Not to mention, my mom hooked me up with a “pixie cut” aka: I looked like a dude too.  Thanks again mom..


 I was once asked by one of my peers on the playground, “Are you a GIRL or a BOY?!”  I answered his question, in style, when I punched him in the stomach. That also probably led him to believe that I was, in fact a boy.  Oh well…can’t win’em all!  My childhood definitely explains the rugged outdoorsman in me. I love roughin’ it up!  Don’t get me wrong, I can be incredibly high-maintenance and prissy at times too. I blame beauty pageants, dance and cheerleading for those characteristics, but that’s a blog post for another time.

Thanks to the experiences from my youth I learned to do what makes me happy and enjoy the simple things in life.  Life is not about what car I drive (although a G Wagon would be nice), where I live, or the material things I have. It’s about the moments spent with my friends and family.  Money never made my experiences in Chandler memorable.  It was the laughter and stories that I am grateful for, to this day.

I have been fortunate enough to enjoy moments like these in Southern California too!  Here’s a list of some great spots where you can kick back and connect with nature.

1) Leo Carrillo State Park, Malibu Beach

2) Back Bay, Newport Beach

3) Top of the World, Laguna Beach

4) Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

5) Tide Pools, Laguna Beach

Hopefully you can check out these places if you haven’t yet been.  If there are other destinations you’d recommend to connect with the great outdoors, let a chick (me) know!  I’m always looking for new places to explore. Alright, that’s it for now. I’ll leave ya with this gem..

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”

~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Yours truly.

leo carillo3

My dude.

leo carillo2

My Pa.


Molly dog and Me.

back bay

Dylan dog and Me…and my headlamp.


Now git!

leo carillo