Park walks and a recap on Easter

Friends in the north, I’m apologizing in advance for the warm pictures. If it’s any consolation, the humidity has hit and there is no hiding the sweat.

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WHAT A WEEK! Am I right, or am I right? I hope you all had a lovely Easter spent with loved ones, good food, and long lasting memories.

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We spent the holiday hunting for eggs, going to a memorable church service (those in the area- if you haven’t gone to a service at Momentum, contact me so we can go together!), feasting with great friends, going to the beach while the littles had their first real swim on the season, and later on had an impromptu moms night out (nope, definitely not sharing pictures from that (; )

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Overall, we had such a fun Easter. It is a complete game changer when you spend the holidays with an awesome and absolutely adorable toddler, good friends, delicious food, and nice weather. We are so fortunate to have met the people we have met, and to be where we are now. In other news, Aspen and I are finally settling into a routine since Scott’s departure. This is helping so much with mine and Aspen’s sanity.

We spend our days literally working or playing. When we’re not at mamas work, we are at the beach, at a friends house, or at home playing with blocks and coloring. We wake up around 6am, eat a healthy breakfast, spend a few hours at work, go home to cuddle and/or take a nap, clean up the house, run errands, spend time outside, then come home to dinner and a movie before getting ready for bed. These are the good days, and i’m trying to soak them in. We won’t be here forever. We will move (eventually, hopefully), Aspen will grow, our friends will continue on, and our current will become past, and our adventures will become memories. This is a reminder to myself, as well as all who may read this- love your moments. Even the unbearable ones. Someday they will only be pictures in our heads of what life used to be like. So cherish them, hold them for another moment longer, and release them with a smile of content on your face.

THANK YOU again to Pink Blush Maternity for collaborating on this post. Guys, If you have not checked out their motherhood line, you are missing out. This dress can be found here .

As a side note, that hat was gifted by my grandma after she decided it wasn’t to her linking anymore. It’s now one of my favorite accessories. Somehow handed down “vintage” items are always my favorites. 

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Surviving Tourist Season on the Emerald Coast

There are so many wonderful things about living in a Spring Break town. One of them being, you don’t have to leave when Spring Break ends… #Ilivewhereyouvacation BUT… there are also some negative aspects to this, like you know, Spring Break itself. With our Spring and Summer holidays approaching, we will be expecting a lot of out-of-towners and vacationers, making traffic on our beloved 98 unbearable, beaches over crowded, as well as a lot of trash left behind.

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After living on the emerald coast for five years now, I have come to find out that there are a few things that could help keep the locals and transits from losing their minds with all of the tourists vacationing to our gorgeous beaches.

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OUTFIT DETAILS: Dress- sold out, similar here // shoes 

  1. MORNINGS WILL SAVE YOUR SOUL. Set those alarms and get that coffee ready to brew first thing, because this is the most helpful tip I have under my sleeve. Why? Because let’s face it, most vacationers are vacationing. That means ignoring their alarms, and getting some extra rest in the AM. So, while they sleep, we play. Anytime I need to run errands to Destin or Pensacola, I leave bright and early and get there when the shops open, otherwise I am stuck in traffic for hours (literally). It’s hard to do, but it is worth it. This tip doesn’t just work for traffic though, it is also helpful to get to the beach early. Typically, the only people at the beach before 10AM are older couples and beach runners getting in an early run before it gets too hot. Either way, getting out before the tourists do will be a life saver this season.
  2. Fill up on gas, incase you get stuck in traffic on a shopping trip to the mall (No, I’m not kidding..)
  3. Keep snack in your car in case you get stuck in traffic and get hungry.
  4. A friend mentioned that getting groceries via Publix Delivery or Walmart pick up is very convenient on the days it’s too difficult to get out and about early.
  5. Save your travels for the weekdays. The weekend traffic will be unbearable.
  6. Noted by a few local realtors: Saturdays are the #1 condo turnover day, which basically means that everyone is leaving town then. So this will be the worst day to drive, but best day to go to the beach because, well, everyone is driving back home.
  7. Ask for local pricing. I have heard through the grape vine that some businesses will raise their prices during tourist season, and that asking if they have a local price is never a bad idea.
  8. More than likely, our lovely tourists will not take as good of care of our beaches as we do. It is such a great idea to bring an extra trash bag on your beach outing just incase you see a few pieces of trash near by.
  9. Join in the fun. Seriously though, the amount of fun things that the Emerald Coast has for entertainment during vacation season is absolutely crazy! There are concerts, movies at the beach, community BBQ’s, fun runs, and so much more! So although the crowds might not be your favorite, acknowledging that once the crowds leave, so does all of the outdoor entertainment might help make the glass look half full.

I hope these tips help you this Summer, and hang in there. The rest of the year these gorgeous beaches are ours!

PS- This time of year is also the perfect time to go on a mountain getaway. We typically go to Northern Idaho to escape the crowds and heat. More on that soon!

 

coastal vacation look with Pink Blush

Plan on taking your family on a coastal vacation without leaving the states this year? Down bellow I have a list of beach side towns along the emerald coast that are worth your visit.

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Shop My look: Dress // Sandals // hat


I’ve lived on the emerald coast for five years now. In the past five years I have done my fair share of venturing to near by towns and exploring what they have to offer. Today I’ll be writing about the few I think are worth the visit.

The three larger and more touristy cities along the emerald coast are: Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City. But between these cities are numerous smaller towns that are equally worth the travels. Among these are: Gulf Breeze, Navarre, Okaloosa Island, Miramar Beach, and the 30A towns. The cheaper of these would probably be the first three: Gulf Breeze, Navarre, and Okaloosa Island. These destinations might not have the ziplines and shopping malls of the bigger cities, but they are only a short drive away. These towns instead, offer a much more laid back and slow paced feel, allowing you to have a truly relaxing vacation.

Some hotels worthy of your stay:

Portofino Island Resort on Pensacola Beach

SpringHill Suites by Marriot on Navarre Beach

Palms of Destin Resort in Destin

The Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach

Grand Panama Beach Resort on Panama Beach


Thank you to Pink Blush Maternity for influencing this post

 

Family time in Seaside

Guys, I freaking love my life.

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My life is far from perfect. I have really bad days, I get frustrated with my daughter, mad at my husband, make a terrible meal, cry myself to sleep, and ocassionally feel like I’m falling into a black hole like any other normal person out there. But I also feel on top of the world and in total bliss while raising such an easy going child, a hubsnad that goes out of his way to please, cooking bomb ass meals, and frolicking in the grass in a coastal town. Life is rough, and life is great. We all go through so many emotions just on a day to day basis, but please, even on the Black Hole days, remember how much you really love life, and how much life really loves you.


This dress was thrifted (for $8!) but you can find a similar here and here. My sandals can also be found here.

Spring in 30A with Pink Blush

30A is my favorite place along the Emerald Coast. Between the shops, the food, the pretty southern homes, the plenty of parks, and the beach near by, it is undoubtedly the most perfect southern town in my mind. 30A is the type of place that makes me want to live here forever.

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We spent the weekend in Seaside, which is a small coastal town along Florida’s highway 30A. It is one of the sweetest and most quaint little towns I have ever been to. There are numerous food trucks, pizzarias, coffee shops, gelato shops, and local restaurants. In Seaside, everyone has come to the realization that cars are for losers. Instead, nearly everyone there rides beach cruisers to get to their destination. I have never been so in love with a town in my life (well, I mean, Sandpoint Idaho is also a personal favorite).

Because I was traveling for Valentines day, Scott and I decided to delay our date to Seaside until the weekend. We woke up early, Scott made a large breakfast filled with bacon, sausage, eggs, and fruit, and we packed our bags to spend the day on 30A. We first went to one of the many green grass parks and sat by the water fountain while playing tag with Aspen. Afterwards we walked further into town and ate some gelato, and eventually made our way to the historical and locally famous church. We let Aspen let loose and play in the grass before we started our trek back home.

For me personally, dates do not have to be elaborate or expensive. I much more appreciate some quality time with family in a gorgeous area, taking in the views and good weather with my two favorite people in the world.


Shop my dress here


Thank you so much Pink Blush Maternity for influencing this post. 

Wine not Wednesday Vol.2

Happy Wine not Wednesday! Today I’m going to start with a few places on my Bucket List, and end with some of my all time favorite books.

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Today I am drinking Noble Vine’s Rosé

Bucket List Destinations:

  1. Provence, France
  2. Ireland
  3. Santorini, Greece
  4. India
  5. The Virgin Islands

Favorite books:

  1. “The Island” by Victoria Hislop
  2. “The Birth of Venus” by Sarah Dunant
  3. “Last Light over Caolina” by Mary Alice Monroe
  4. “Dreams of Joy” by Lisa See
  5. “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown

Coffee Chat Sunday vol.2

HAPPY SUNDAY, FRIENDS! I hope you have had a great week, a better weekend, and are anticipating another fantastic upcoming week. Today is #2 of the Coffee Chat Sunday series, and I am so excited to be sharing my thoughts with you.

Today’s topic: (my) kid(s) and technology

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Yup, this is real life. 

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My face every time I don’t get to drink coffee in peace.

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But, by golly, I love this kid.


Ready for this? Okay, here we go….

First of all, there is NO proper way to raise a child. Every child, mom, dad, household, and circumstance is different, and what I do in my journey of motherhood may not be a good fit for you and your journey, and that’s OK. But I do want to go over my thoughts on technology in my own home with my little family, and I ask that no one takes any of this personally, because, again, we are all different.

So, regrettably, I am the biggest hypocrite when it comes to this topic.

I love to act like the “crunchy, no TV, all outdoor play, super enthusiastically involved mom”. And the truth is, I want to be that mom. I also am that mom on the occasion. But at the same time, I work, I write a blog, I’m trying to plan a few other things (I’ll let you all know later on!) for my life and business. I am also a wife, a home maker, a chef, a friend, a daughter, a sister, and my gosh, I am also human and enjoy a bit of free time! So how do I manage all of this while also staying true to what I believe in when it comes to limiting screen time? Well, that becomes tricky.

Why? Because each day is different.

I’ll admit, days it’s raining, Aspen gets a lot of screen time. Day’s I’m sick, we watch movies all day. Day’s I have deadlines with companies and shops that I am collaborating with, she ends up watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Bubble Guppies for a while. But how I try to control and limit all of this is:

  1. I put her first. If she asks to go outside, I take a break and go outside.
  2. I try to prioritize and plan out my work. A great way to do this is to make a list the night before, and wake up at least an hour before the kiddo to get a head start on the work before she wakes up. I also like to make sure my work schedule is  consistent for the week, so I can plan around that.
  3. We have dance parties and read-athons. I try so hard after each episode to push pause and let her move around or read a book, or color in her coloring book so she’s not just watching TV.
  4. We go on daily walks, no matter what to break up the day, talk, and enjoy the sun for a bit (weather permitting)
  5. I also make it about me. This sounds narcissistic, but I promise it’s for the benefit of both of us. When I say that I make it about me, I mean I like to think about the outdoor and fun activities I love to do, and figure out a way to get Aspen involved in it as well. This way, I am more likely to be connected to the adventure and disconnected with the rest of the world. Examples are our beach days and trail walking days. These are things both Aspen and I love that gets us out of the house and involved in nature together. I try to plan a fun day like this once to twice a week.
  6. And lastly is to not feel like the worst mom in the world for letting her watch a little bit of TV, because at the end of the day, I am making sure she is still having a quality, fun, and present childhood filled with good memories, and it’s okay to balance technology in that as long as it is a balance.

Guys. I try so hard to be a perfect mom, and I fall short daily. But that’s okay. God did not make us to be perfect. He made us to rely on Him. And every time I am reminded that I am sinful in nature and that I don’t have a handle on everything, is when I am reminded to lean on God’s mercy and grace. Which I think is the point all along.

Keep on keepin’ on mama, you’ve got this.