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Favorite Things Friday {7.20.18}

1. Matt had nothing but ugly things to say about both Poppy the Flamingo pool and my pretty blue hammock when I brought them home. He is a minimalist and would be perfectly happy to have absolutely nothing in our backyard but his grill and one chair. I’m the opposite and since happy wife, happy life is a real thing we have a yard full of fun stuff. And yet- here he is enjoying both the pool and the hammock. Uh huh. Busted. 

2. Life with girls. It’s an experience. I swear every time I turn around I’m being asked to take pictures and then retake the pictures when they don’t meet approval. Poor Matt- he’s so confused. He was raised with all brothers so this is like an alien universe to him. 

3. I bought a Venus Fly Trap recently to help combat the flies in our backyard. I named her Phoebe, followed the directions, and waited for the show. Turns out Phoebe is a princess who doesn’t believe in catching her own food. Just what I needed- another mouth to feed in this house. Phoebe better get a grip. 

4. Speaking of Poppy the Flamingo pool- I emptied her out, scrubbed her, refilled her, and got her all ready for another week of fun. I didn’t take into consideration how hard it would be to completely drain a 6 foot pool. Ha! But it was worth it. I spent at least 2 hours soaking in her, reading a book, while the kids splashed around. It was glorious. 

5. Now that the World Cup is winding down and there are less games to watch I’ve been spending more time out in the hammock reading books. I have a huge list of books I’m trying to get through this summer and I can’t think of anywhere better to read than in the hammock enjoying the sunshine and blue skies. 

Life Lately: Beach Trip Days 3 & 4

Day 3 started out bright and sunny with some very tired kids who we had to drag out of bed at 10am again. Matt bribed Maia out of bed with promises of Starbucks coffee. One of the reasons we love this hotel so much is the Starbucks coffee shop in the lobby. Once her caffeine craving had been satisfied we hit the beach. The kids were anxious to try out their new boogie boards. 


The kids LOVED the boogie boards. And I had the best time sitting in my beach chair watching them. Even Matt took a few turns. Zoey and Mason really figured it out and could surf a long way to shore. I packed a cooler so we could eat lunch at the beach which worked out perfectly. I think we spent at least 8 hours down at the ocean before anyone wanted to go get dinner. 

We hit our favorite steakhouse/tavern for dinner that night and since we went before 5:00 the kids ate free and we only had to wait 15 minutes for a table! Early birds for the win! 

After dinner we hit the beach again and took another long walk to the pier. The kids collected seashells and we enjoyed the sea breeze. 

The kids tired of the beach finally after a few hours so we went back to the room to eat lunch and then hit the pool (and the pool side tiki bar!) for the rest of the day. I had a mango pina colada and OhMyGosh it was delicious!

We ate dinner at the tiki bar that night too. The grilled bacon cheeseburgers smelled too good to pass up! After dinner we hit the beach for a long walk on our last night. Walking on the beach at night is one of my favorite things. One day I will find a way to live at a beach somewhere. 

And that’s a wrap on beach week 2018! We had a blast and I can’t wait to go back again. 

Life Lately: Beach Trip Day 1 & 2

Back at the beginning of summer we took a trip to the beach. It was not great timing with selling our house and moving but I booked the trip on Groupon back in March before we knew when we would be moving. Anytime I see our favorite hotel come on Groupon for 60% off room prices- I BOOK IT! Ha! Tyler stayed behind with a friend because he had work and football and apparently going to the beach with your parents isn’t cool when you’re 17. Who knew? But the 3 other kids were excited and still think their parents are semi-cool.

We dropped the dogs off at boarding and left late morning. It’s so nice having big kids, y’all. We didn’t stop at all on the 4 hour trip. Nobody had to tinkle, or eat, or was whining out of boredom. It’s awesome. They slept, listened to music, watched movies, or read books the entire time. I don’t think we heard a peep out of any of them for at least the first 3 hours.

We checked into our hotel earlier than expected, checked out the view from our 9th floor room, and hit the grocery store to stock up. We do not eat out for every meal at the beach. It’s just too expensive. We eat breakfast and lunch in our room and then eat dinners out. We always do a quick fast food type dinner our first night and last night, we do one big seafood all you can eat buffet, we do one night at our favorite steakhouse/tavern, and we do the hotel restaurant one night. It works well for us.

We ate a quick dinner and hit the ocean first! It was cold but these kids loved it. Crazies. We spent probably 3 hours on the beach before hitting the pools and hot tubs and lazy rivers. The best part of going to the beach early in June is that most public schools are still in session so it’s less crowded. We get out before Memorial Day so we can take advantage of those couple of weeks when most kids are still in school. It’s great! 

We didn’t get back to our room until the pools closed at 11pm. The kids crashed almost immediately. I love the beach. Matt and I sat out on our balcony, listened to the waves, and relaxed. The kids were up bright and early at the hour of 6am….ha, just kidding. We dragged those fools out of bed at 10am so we could hit the beach. 

We spent hours on the beach before a pit stop in our room for lunch- a fancy spread of sub sandwiches and chips. Then we hit the pools again. 

Again, I have to say how awesome it is to have big kids. Nobody requires a float or life vest, they don’t need constant line of sight supervision anymore, and I can sit on my sun chair and relax while they have fun. 

We went out for our big seafood all you can eat buffet the second night. We always go to the same restaurant and it’s so good! We have pictures of the kids with the pirate who stands out front from years and years ago. It’s so fun to go back and see how much they’ve grown. Look at that delicious plate of crunchy fried goodness. Can’t you just feel your arteries clogging? I have no regrets. I enjoyed every single bite.

After dinner we took the kids to the strip to a souvenir store so they could buy boogie boards for the ocean. They were on sale 3 for $10 so SCORE! We had enough time when we got back to the hotel to hit the ocean and pools again. We always go eat at 4pm so we still have time to swim afterwards. We let the kids swim for awhile and took a long walk on the beach towards the pier. I love the beach.

Favorite Things Friday {7.13.18}

1. I’ve been working on getting the kids rooms done. Maia’s new bedding arrived and it’s perfect for her. She’s too old for cutesy but not old enough for the basic grandma quilt that I used to stage her room in the old house. I finally found something she loved and it’s amazing. Llamas. She loves it. Zoey chose a super cute comforter set and she’s so happy. Her old set was a hand me down from Maia and Zoey wanted to pick her own. I found a great hanging tapestry for Maia’s room and then on a whim bought a Llama head that really freaked out Zoey. Ha! I started the wall decor for Zoey this week and I’m waiting on a few pieces to arrive from Zulily. I can’t wait to show the full room reveals!

2. I’ve been working hard on getting the two front rooms done. I have all the furniture purchased and most of the decor. I’m just waiting for everything to show up so I can put it all together. We picked up the wine cooler this last weekend when it went on sale and the bar was delivered this week. I cannot wait to see it all come together. This is my favorite part- putting together all the pieces and creating something amazing!

3. Word of advice- never leave your phone unattended around a teen girl. Or you’ll come back to find 400 selfies taking up space on your phone. Sigh. 


4. There’s been a steady stream of kids and teens in our house for the last month. Maia, Zoey, and Mason’s best friends are here all the time and there’s always a herd of teen boys raiding my pantry. I love it. We enjoy their friends so much. Moving closer to school and their friends was the best decision we ever made. 

5. I’ve been trying to limit screens this summer. It’s been a challenge. The little kids haven’t been too upset about it but Maia….you’d think I cut off her hand. She’s the one who needed the detox more than anyone else. She only has her phone for an hour a day right now and that’s it. And guess what? Her moods have improved drastically. I’m tempted to get rid of the phones completely….for the kids, of course. I’d die without mine. Haha!

Life Lately: Fourth of July

We had an amazing Fourth of July! We are determined to do new things, make fun memories, and enjoy life this year. So much stress has been relieved since our big move and we are having more fun than we’ve had in years. This year we decided to take the kids to Carowinds for the big fireworks show. We bought Gold Passes earlier this summer so we can go whenever we want and park for free. We didn’t even leave our house until 5:30pm. There was no rush, no pressure to ride every ride, no frantic pace. It was just an easy stroll through the park, riding whatever rides we wanted, and having fun. 

Mason rode his very first roller coaster- The Intimidator! He loved it! Maia and Matt went on it with him. Zoey isn’t tall enough and I don’t like to pee in my pants. So we waited from the safety of the ground and took pictures.

We spent a lot of time in the Camp Snoopy section because Zoey is tall enough for all of those rides. And honestly, it was fun! We all enjoyed the Pirate Boats, the Hot Air Balloons, and the Spinning Cups. Camp Snoopy is just my speed. Ha!

We talked Zoey into going on her very first roller coaster too- the Woodstock Express! It’s like a mini roller coaster. It took her a few minutes to warm up to it but she enjoyed it! We even took a selfie to commemorate the occasion.

After Zoey’s roller coaster experience we left Camp Snoopy behind for dinner and then let the big kids hit a few more of the thrill rides. They did a few more roller coasters and big rides before we took a break at the fountain to listen to some live tunes and wait for the fireworks show to start. 

The fireworks were great! We had a great view and the kids loved them! It was definitely worth the drive and fighting the crowds.

After the fireworks we still had a couple of hours until the park closed so we hit up a few more rides and waited for the crowds to thin out. 

It was a great Fourth! This was the first year we haven’t attended our neighborhood’s annual party at the pool so we wanted to start a new tradition for the kids. Tyler had previous plans so he didn’t join us but the rest of us had a blast.