Saturday, June 30, 2012

Scenes from Florida

baby palm tree by Banana River
our temporary home (aka Drew's grandparents' condo - we're spoiled)
pretty flowers outside the condo
Tropicana Field in St. Pete - home of the Tampa Bay Rays!
At the Rays v. Tigers game! And we won!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Greetings from Florida!

We've finally arrived in Florida!

After spending all day Thursday loading all this:
into our storage cube, Drew and I spent the next two days driving from Saginaw, Michigan, to Cape Canaveral, Florida (our temporary home until we find an apartment in Orlando).

We arrived on Saturday night, alongside tropical storm Debby. So, unfortunately, it's been overcast and rainy since we arrived and we've been holed up in the condo to stay dry. We even closed the hurricane shutters on the patio last night just in case (things have cleared up enough for the sun to at least peek out a bit today, though).
Debby sure knows how to make us feel welcome in our new state...
As far as getting settled here, we pretty much feel like we're on (a storm-affected) vacation right now, although my first job interview in Orlando is tomorrow! So hopefully all goes well and we'll be able to move into our own place shortly. Stay tuned for an update on our job hunt and how badly Debby terrorizes us.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Big Move

For those of you who haven't heard yet, Drew and I are moving to Orlando this week. As in Orlando, Florida. Yes, this is a huge change for us, but it's something we've been considering pretty much since right after the wedding.

Since we met in Orlando over two years ago when we were living there to intern at Disney, we're familiar with the area (and the weather). We miss being able to visit the parks whenever we want and we want to live in an area with plenty of amenities and things to do and explore.

Around March or April, we finally decided to figure out the logistics to make this move happen, and have been slowly plotting our move ever since. Now we're only a few days away from packing up and heading down South!

I'm sure you have plenty of questions about our big move, so I'll do my best to answer some of the questions we've received the most since announcing our plans to various people.

Where are you going to live?
Our goal is to end up in Orlando, since that's the part of Florida we're familiar with. Plus, given the fact that Florida has hurricane season, we figure it's not a bad idea to avoid the coast. We're incredibly lucky that we get to stay in Drew's grandparents' condo until we figure out exactly where we want to live in the city. Anyone have any nice, safe apartment complexes to recommend in Orlando? Hopefully we'll be looking soon!

What are you going to do when you get there? Do you have jobs?
We're going down to Florida totally blind on the job front, so, no, we do not have jobs waiting for us when we arrive. Drew's job up here ended with the school year, and I quit my job. As of right now we're both completely unemployed, which has been nice for packing and finishing up the final details of our move.

Don't get us wrong, though, we realize the risk we are taking and are as prepared as we can be to deal with our unemployment. One huge thing working in our favor right now is that the Orlando job market for marketing/advertising jobs (the field we both wish to work in) is significantly better than it is in Michigan (go figure). In fact, I already have two interviews lined up for after our arrival. We know we're optimistic, but for now that can only work in our favor!

Are you going to go to Disney World all the time?
Oh, heck yes. After finding jobs and an apartment, I think it's safe to say purchasing our annual passes is next on our priority list.

Are you insane?
Okay, no one has asked us this. In fact, everyone we've talked to about our plans has been incredibly supportive of our decision. Especially our families, which I'll admit was kind of a surprise. But, as I mentioned, the job market in Michigan is not in our favor right now, so taking this leap is pretty understandable. We know this is probably the only time left in our lives when we'll be able to just pick up and move like this, so we're taking advantage of the opportunity. It's now or never, basically (you know, #YOLO and all that).

So that's what's going on in our lives right now. We're really excited for this change, and can't wait to be settled in our new home in Florida. We will absolutely be keeping everyone posted about the move, our job search and our new lives in Orlando. And, of course, we'll be back to the midwest plenty to visit family and friends.

Anyone else picking up and moving to a new state or have other big changes in their lives? We can't be the only ones...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Recipe Review: Homemade Chick-fil-A Nuggets

A few weeks ago I tried out a new recipe in honor of our upcoming move down South: homemade Chick-fil-A nuggets. I've seen this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats floating around for awhile now, and finally decided to try this recipe out.
I hate when all of the food on my plate is the same color. Does this bother anyone else, or am I just weird?
I've got to say, I was a little worried about this recipe at first. I've never fried anything before, so I was concerned I'd either burn my arm off or burn the nuggets. Turns out, that part of the process was really simple, so I had nothing to worry about. 

Also a concern? Part of the marinade (and apparently the secret behind the taste) is pickle juice. Huh? Sounds a little weird, and now we have an uneaten jar of pickles in our fridge since we had to purchase them just to use the juice in this recipe. Luckily, the final product didn't taste pickle-y at all.
The verdict: I honestly couldn't tell you when the last time I ate at Chick-fil-A was, so I have no idea if these taste like the real deal. But they were pretty dang tasty. I would recommend not using whole wheat flour, though, since the coating was a little more gritty than we would have preferred. But that's what I get for not following the recipe exactly.

Overall, this recipe was simple to follow, quick to prepare and pretty tasty! Now I'll have to order some real Chick-fil-A nuggets when we get to Florida to get a better comparison.