Family Beach Week 2014

Olivia got to go to her second family beach week this passed week.  We had so much fun!


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Hunting Island State Park

 IMG_9666IMG_9704Fotor0804214810IMG_9698  We took a day trip to Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina.   The park is right above Hilton Head and below Beaufort.  Only an hour and a half drive.  It has a wonderful beach, light house you can walk up to the top to, walking trails and so much more!  Olivia loved the water.  She hadn’t been to the ocean since last years family beach week so I’m sure she did not remember it.


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Guess who turned one today!  My sweet Olivia Rose.  This year you have made me a better person and I hope that you keep teaching me.  Being a mom is the best thing ever and I’m just so fortunate that you are my daughter.  You are the sweetest, silliest, most fun little girl in the whole wide world.  You are so beautiful, your blue eyes and 8 teeth smile light up the room!  This year has been incredible and we can’t wait to see what each new day brings with you in it.  Love you little string bean!

Love Always,

Your mama.

Five on Friday

It’s that time of week again!  Love Fridays.  We are in NC visiting both of our parents and going to a UNC football game.



Can you believe it’s September already?  It has been so hot here in Georgia.  It’s hotter than it was during the middle of the summer.  These Vineyard Vine Whale koozies are just so adorbs for the beach.  I need them since it is still beach weather here…


glossyA Kate Spade bag that has Glossy on it.  OBSESSED!


543437_643280065690330_153999405_nKinfolk announced on Tuesday that they have created their first cookbook, THE KINFOLK TABLE: RECIPES FOR SMALL GATHERINGS.  It will be out October 15 on Artisan Books.  It is a collection of 85 delectable recipes spread over nearly 400 pages from creative types around the world.  I’m sold.

Pre-Order here:


Screen shot 2013-09-04 at 2.19.03 PMJust received this trunk organizer.  I have seen so many trunk organizers that are just basic cubes to put things in.  This one has a cooler in the middle.  The cooler can be removed if you don’t need it and the whole thing is fully collapsible.  I saw the exact same one on One Kings Lane for $59!!!  I got mine on Amazon for only $19.99 + free 2 day shipping with Prime!



Yum, yum, yum!  Tropical passion sangria is my new fav!

  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • ½ cup Bacardi Coconut Rum
  • ½ C Pineapple Simple Syrup (See recipe from link)
  • 1½ cups Passion Fruit Juice
  • Sparkling water (optional if you want fizzy)
  • Fruit : Pineapple, mango, green grapes, limes (1 cup each, sliced, diced, peeled, however you want) for the pitcher of sangria. 1 cup each to divide amongst serving glasses and for the fruit skewers
  • Ice
  1. In a pitcher combine about a cup of each fruit. Add in the wine, rum, syrup and passion fruit juice. Stir well and chill several hours up to overnight. Before serving add in the sparkling water if you like fizz. Add some fruit to each glass and some ice. Fill with sangria. Garnish with a fruit skewer if desired. Enjoy!


Weekend Shenanigans

{one}  Started our weekend off with a real bang!  A tree took out a panel of our fence.  Just wonderful.
{two}  Olivia learned all about Adam and Eve in our family worship night.  She kept getting really big eyes every time she saw Eve.  “No she didn’t!”
{three}  The Bark Park I am a board member on is hosting a Yappy Hour Fundraiser and I got a friend to create amazing flyers for it.
{four}  We slept in our crib for a few minutes this weekend.  Just a few.
{five}  We went to the beach at St. Simon’s Island today.  She was all smiles until we got out there.  We only lasted an hour.
{six}  I got beer tumblers monogrammed for us so we no longer have to worry about glass on the beach.  So fun.  Will post more about them later.
{seven}  Ate amazing shrimp in a little historic town.  Population like five but the restaurant we kept hearing about was beautiful.  Right on the water with an amazing deck.
{eight}  We have been fighting the crazy cowlick all weekend.
{nine}  We went to the Honda dealership to look at some Honda Pilots.  I fell in love with one.  We will see.
Sami's Shenanigans

Beach Week Essentials

Just got back from our annual family beach week.  Boy was it a different experience having to worry about our 7 week old baby girl the whole time.  Gone are the long drawn out days on the beach soaking up sun.  We were able to take Olivia out to the beach for short periods of time during the day all thanks to some last minute purchases.  I have compiled a Five on Friday list of some baby essentials for taking a newborn to the beach.


I purchased a Coleman Road Trip Beach Shade from Amazon using my Prime account which gives me free two day shipping.  I read on a mommy blog that if you signed up for an Amazon Mom account you would get three free months of Prime.  Great deal that I have been capitalizing off of.  I got the Coleman beach tent for only $45 plus free two day shipping.  I needed it ASAP because we were leaving in just four days.  I didn’t even think about using a beach tent until I saw a friends Instagram who had used one for their newborn a few weeks ago.  We usually use an umbrella but our base was missing from the move and the tent seemed like the perfect replacement after reading the reviews.  It has a shade floor that can convert to a privacy wall when needed (for breastfeeding or sleeping), and a rear window that allows for even more circulation.  You can use stakes or the sand bags that come with it to keep it on the ground.  I was shocked at how well it held up against the major gusts of wind we had last week due to storms in the area.  It did not once feel like it was going to blow away which our beach umbrella seems to do at least once every summer.  The tent also offers UPF 50+ sun protection for a newborn that shouldn’t wear sunscreen yet.  I plan on using it not only for the beach but for camping, picnics, sporting events and other outdoor occasions.  Best buy all summer.


A fan is very important to have when you are out in the summer heat.  A newborn has a harder time controlling their body temperature.  A baby could develop an angry heat rash or have a heatstroke. Since a baby doesn’t perspire effectively, they can become overheated far more quickly than an adult.  Overheating has also been linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).  “Babies sleep deeply when they’re hot, making them difficult to arouse, which may increase the risk of SIDS,” explains Bruce Epstein, M.D., a pediatrician in Pinellas Park, Florida.*  Scary thought.  I purchased a portable battery operated fan from Amazon (I can’t get enough of the two day free rush shipping).  It is really light weight and easy to adjust where you want to point it.


A wide brimmed hat will block the suns rays.  Babies little face and eyes need protection.  We made sure to have a hat on little Livie when walking to and from our beach house down to the tent.  The sun is really bright for me even with sunglasses on so I can only imagine how bad it was for Olivia.  I got this white eyelet newborn hat at Old Navy on clearance for only $5 back in spring.  It has a chin strap that Velcros to help secure it.  I’m so glad it had the strap because every time Olivia was in the sun, she would start to flail about.


A cute bathing suit is a beach requirement for anyone but especially for little ones.  You will be taking a lot of pictures so don’t even think you can just let them sit their in a diaper all naked (they probably will get naked but at least start off on the right foot).  I purchased two newborn bathing suits at a local consignment shop for Livie.  They were only $3 each and I can trade them in after Olivia outgrows them for bigger sizes.  Steal!  I knew she wasn’t going into the water but ruffled pink bathing suits on a newborn is just too cute of opportunity to pass up!


The most important thing to have besides extra diapers, wipes, a bouncer or blanket for them to lay on and other baby care items is to have plenty of water for mama to drink.  You cannot get dehydrated if you are a breastfeeding mama!  Your little one depends on you for nourishment so make sure you are taking care of yourself first.  The beach intensifies everything and the sun can just zap all energy and water out of your system.  Drink plenty of WATER (not caffeine or alcoholic beverages) to keep you and your little one safe.



First Date Night

frying panNed Leary Photography

Last night we went on our first date night since Olivia was born.  It took us 6 weeks to do it but we went.  It was so reassuring to have four mama’s in the beach house all around to watch her.  I didn’t have to worry about only one person caring for her and getting overwhelmed.  She does good taking a bottle (aggressive eater) but she tends to get excited after she is done eating. I usually have to nurse her for a minute of two to calm her down to go to sleep when Jamie feeds her.

Jamie took me to a new restaurant a town over from the beach we are staying at.  It is a little town on the coast where we got married.  We love to go back to Southport, NC every time we stay at the beach.  It gives us a chance reminisce.  We have been able to attend three other weddings of friends and families who fell in love with the town after attending our wedding.  I couldn’t think of a better place to have your first date night after having a baby.  If you would like to enjoy this cute little town from the comfort of your living room, just watch I Know What You Did Last Summer, Summer Catch, A Walk To Remember, Weekend at Bernie and most recently Safe Haven.  In Safe Haven they even have a party on the deck where we had our reception.  Check out a sneak peek of the set HERE.

date night

The restaurant  we went to was called the Frying Pan.  It is right on the water on stilts so the view is spectacular!  They served us hushpuppies as soon as we sat down but I sadly could not enjoy them because Olivia has put me on a dairy free diet.  Jamie and I split a seafood combo meal of crab cakes, shrimp, flounder and oysters.  It was fantastic and just enough to fill both of us.  I drank my second beer since giving birth which made my night.  After dinner we took a stroll along the waterfront where we got married.   We sat on one of the swings they have along a waterfront park for about an hour and just talked.  It was a beautiful night!


We were only gone for two or three hours.  It was so relaxing to go to a restaurant and not have to worry about sitting out in the open just in case Livie wanted to nurse in the middle of dinner.  I could just order and beer and enjoy the sunset.  All of the moms I know that have little ones always are telling me how hard it was to leave their babies for the first time.  They almost all say they cried.  Is it terrible that I was relieved?  I knew she was in good hands.  Their were four mamas at our beach house and 15 other people looking after her.   All of them family.  If anything were to go wrong we were only 15 minutes away.  I was not stressed out at all. I probably should have been but I did check Instagram twice while we were out to look at photos my sister-in-laws and Jamie’s cousin were posting.  She was sleeping in all of them.  When we got home they gave us a stellar report.  She had mostly slept and had taken the bottle.

After a minute of being back and hearing my voice, this is the face she woke up with:


If that doesn’t make you feel guilty for leaving your baby to have a night on the town,

I don’t know what will?