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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Weekend Pause


Little Olivia Rise has to have a procedure done on Monday back home in North Carolina. Thankfully we are staying with my parents but it is going to be a long weekend of me overly worrying. We do get to go watch a UNC basketball scrimmage and a football game which takes my mind off things. Needless to say, we pushed the pause button on our home reno for the weekend. I will be back on Tuesday and will catch up on the days I missed for the 31 Day Challenge. I will basically blast your feed as I play catch up. Hopefully the procedure goes well and we will be right back to working on our home.

Thank you for understanding,

Weekend Shenanigans


Little Livie got to enjoy her first UNC tailgate experience on Saturday.  We used to have season tickets for a few years before we moved away so it was exciting going home for a game.  We really needed to put to good use our UNC tent, tables, chairs and other tailgating equipment this year.  Jamie was so excited to take her back to his old campus.  He went not only for undergrad but also for his Master at the University of North Carolina.  So when I say ‘he bleeds Carolina blue…’ I mean he BLEEDS it!  It will always be in his blood.  Jamie’s parents and sister Mika drove up for the game and my parents also went.  It was a noon game so Olivia and I had to go home after she got to experience a UNC tailgate.  She got to meet the real Rameses, a Horned Dorset Sheep and the cheerleading Mascot at the new Victory Walk.  It was sad not seeing the Old Well Walk but I kinda of liked the idea that the first year the school is starting new traditions was the first year for Olivia to join in on the festivities.  We had the opportunity to make new traditions with her.  Jamie and his dad cooked (GIANT) steaks and BBQ chicken on the grill.  We had rosemary potatoes that were so yummy and other fixins.  I am so glad that Jamie got to share a very important tradition with Olivia and show her around a place that he loves now that we live almost 400 miles away.  When everyone went to the game, Olivia and I got to cheer on the team from my parents house.  We even got to see Daddy on TV in the stands!

Sami's Shenanigans

Five on Friday

Little Livie and I are drove home from Florida yesterday.  We had a blast visiting family.
Olivia got to meet so many new faces.

Here is my Five on Friday for the week!  Short and Sweet.


2 month

I cannot believe little Livie is 2 months old!  Where has the time gone?!?  She has developed and grown so much just within the last week.  I want her to stay this small forever!



Meeting Great Grandparents.  Olivia has met all but one Great within the past two weeks.  Their faces just light up so much when they first meet her.  The only one she hasn’t met is my mom’s mom who lives all the way in Washington state.  It is so fun seeing all of the generations together.



I have been listening to this cover of Grimes’ “Oblivion” by Franz Ferdinand all week. I love the original but this cover is great!



I am OBSESSED with Catbird stackable rings!  They sell the whole alphabet in silver, gold and rose gold.  I really want an ‘O’ for Olivia, a horizontal bar of diamonds, an “I ❤ u”  and a heart.  I really could have them all!!!!  They are so delicate and simple.  My ring finger is a size 4.5 so I can usually only pull off thin and slender rings.  I have been hinting at Jamie for awhile now.  Wink, wink…



Even though we got a big L for UNC’s first game of the season, it is still fun to dress little Livie up.  We might be watching it from home but that doesn’t stop me from accessorizing!


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.



Five Years Later

We went back to Southport with my parents today for a little afternoon trip.  It was a rainy day at the beach so we just went to the little shops and took a walk along the waterfront.  We went back to a dock where we took most of our wedding pictures and took a picture with Olivia.  I can’t believe how much things have changed in five years!  I plan on going back every year now to take a picture in the same place so we can watch our little family grow.

five years


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?