Friday, July 31, 2015

Wrightsville Beach, NC {Day 4 & 5}

If you'd like to read about the other days our our vacation you can do that HERE (day one), HERE (day two) and HERE (day three).

While on our vacation we ate out a few nights and one night we knew we wanted to eat at Dockside, one of our favorites.  This restaurant has a casual, laid-back feel and it is right on the water.


We love being able to see the boats come and go as we eat and we always take a walk out onto the dock after dinner to check out the boats.


Not only is the atmosphere and views great, but the food is fantastic, too.  Fresh seafood is always on the menu and you can't pass up the chance for a basket of hush puppies.  


As we promised the kids, after dinner we took a walk on the docks to see the boats up close. 



On our last day of vacation we soaked up last much fun in the sun as we possibly could.  The kids kept saying they wished we lived at the beach and I have to say I agreed with them.   I don't know what it is about being near the ocean, but I just love the coastal-Carolina vibe that this town exudes.  It brings back so many memories of my childhood spent on this beach and I love that I'm able to share it with my kids today.  



The girls collected shells all week long. We just kept putting them into a bucket, but since we were heading home the next morning we washed them all really well outside with the hose and I sent the girls on the porch to have them dry. I was expecting they would just dump them out and spread them out a little bit.  When I went out to check on them I was shocked by how organized they were.  They were SO proud of their collections and have many plans for them at home.  



Late that afternoon a storm rolled in and it was the only rain we had all week.  We could not have had better luck with the weather.  After dinner the storm had passed and at the girls were excited because it meant they could go on one last walk with my mom (and pick up just a few more shells, too!).  They are sporting their new t-shirts, which was what they both picked out as their souvenir from WINGS earlier in the week. :-)


We had a wonderful week and were all sad to go home, but with school right around the corner, it was time for us to head back.  I'm so thankful my kids love the beach as much as I do and I'm already looking forward to our next beach trip!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and don't forget to enter our Bison Cooler giveaway HERE!  The winner will be announced next week!
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wrightsville Beach, NC {Day 3}

You can read about the other days of our vacation HERE (day one) and HERE (day two).  

One thing I was so happy to have with us on this vacation was our Tommy Bahama Beach Cart.  Most mornings I made my way out to the beach alone with the kids because the Mr. was working, my dad was working, and my mom was working out.


There is no way I could have gotten everything down there that we needed without the help of this handy cart. I bought ours a few years ago at Costco, but you can find it on Amazon, too.  It has big wheels that are perfect for the sand, a small insulted bag I used for snacks, a large basket are I put all of our toys, boogie boards, towels, etc. and a spot to put chairs on the other side.  It is well worth the money!!!

After spending a few hours on the beach we came back to the pool area. I was amazed by how well my little Boo-Boo was doing all week long.  His swimming has come such a long way this summer.  Here we were hanging by the pool late afternoon (and if you can't tell, he is all into making funny faces for pictures now).


After our day in the sun the girls got showered and cleaned up so we could go souvenir shopping.  We were all matchy-matchy in our Lilly for Target.


My girls spent over an hour going through WINGS trying to decide on what they wanted for themselves and their friends.  It was exhausting, but fun at the same time!

After dinner we went down to the beach to fly kites!  Our kids always want to fly their kites at home, but it is so rare for us to have a day that is windy enough.  They all go the kites up (with some assistance) right away.  Boo-Boo lost interests and preferred rolling in the sand and chasing sea gulls to flying the kite, but it was still a super fun evening!




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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wrightsville Beach, NC {Day 2}

This week I'm sharing all about our vacation last week at Wrightsville Beach, NC.  Click HERE to read about day one.  

On our first full day we enjoyed sleeping in a bit and then got ready right away for the beach.  You'd think that would mean throwing on swimsuits and heading out the door. But, you'd be wrong.  It always takes longer than expected and although the kids were itching to get out there, I had to pack lunches, get the cooler ready, get everyone's sunscreen on, gather the beach toys we would use that day, make sure I had everyone's hats and sunglasses in my beach bag and a million other things.  I know all of the moms are nodding their head in agreement because we all do it, right?

By the time we finally got to the beach the kids were thrilled.  I sat in my chair and soaked up the sweet view in front of me.  I watched them play and play and play.  Seriously they had the best time and that continued all week long.  They hunted for shells, swam, we built sandcastles, boogie boarded and loved every second of the beautiful weather and gorgeous beach.

Blondie could have spent the entire week in the sand hunting for shells.  If she kept up with the rate she was going on, there wouldn't have been any shells left by the end of the week.  


Boo-Boo spent most of his day "surfing" like the other people he saw out in the ocean.  So many times he would get knocked over and tumble under a wave and I would hold my breath.  But he got up every time with a smile on his face and went right back for more.


Little Mama was the brave one who did it all.  She found shells, swam, dug holes and boogie boarded the day away.


After spending the day in the sun we got cleaned up and were ready for dinner.  We met up with all of my extended family that was in town and it was so nice to see everyone.  I did not take one picture at dinner, but did snap a few ahead of time on the porch before we left.

The kids were loving having Mimi and Dadaw with us all week long.  We don't see them often, but the times we do see them are wonderful!




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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Wrightsville Beach, NC {Day 1}

Happy Tuesday Friends! Last week our family took a fun beach vacation and had the absolute best time.  We went to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.  This is the beach I grew up going to and it is where my parents and a lot of my extended family live now.  So, not only did we get to enjoy the beach, but we also got to visit family, which was an added bonus!

Wrightsville Beach is a quiet beach community.  It's not commercialized AT ALL and it is so peaceful and relaxing there.  It's about a seven hour drive from Atlanta.  My kids did pretty well in the car, but they asked at least 100 times if we were almost there and we made it about 4 minutes before they started asking for snacks.


We made our regular road-trip stop at Zaxby's for lunch (it's always our go-to) and arrived at the condo late afternoon.  We were so excited to see the boats, the water, and the welcome to Wrightsville Beach sign when we arrived.


The kids immediately put on their swimsuits and were ready to go swimming.  Since it was later in the day we decided to forgo the beach this day and just stick by the pool, but we still had a gorgeous view of the dunes, sand and ocean.


They had so much fun swimming, playing in the water with my dad and brother, and we even ordered pizza at the pool so that the fun didn't have to stop. It was a great start to our vacation and the fun just got better as the week went on.  Be sure to check back tomorrow to read more about our trip. I'll be sharing all about it all week long!



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Monday, July 27, 2015

Share Your Summer: Battle the Boredom


Happy Monday everyone! Today's Share Your Summer edition is all about Battling the Boredom. 

Fortunately, The Cutes are still pretty young and usually don't get too bored during the day (or at least don't know that word yet to tell me). Our summers here are so short and so far ours has been packed out. We've been to the beach, had camp, spent days at the pool splashing away, and done tons of playing with all of our favorite little friends. 


It's also been nice that we can often take the summer fun outside. It hasn't rained much at all in our neck of the woods so outside play morning, noon and night is an easy activity to achieve. Our littles can play outside for hours! Even if it is 100 degrees with 80% humidity and I feel like I am going to pass out from heat exhaustion in .2 seconds, they keep going and going and and going. 



And when in doubt we bring the water balloons and sprinkler out. :) 

Still even with all that available fun, I can tell some days that The Cutes get tired of the normal summer lazy routine. A couple of times I have joined Carrie Beth on her summer bucket list mission, and often I have referred to our summer activities list, but at home I have a few tricks up my sleeve too. 

We have a closet in our hallway that I store games and activities. This closet has a child proof doorknob on it so that they can't go in it freely. I choose to use this closet as something of a special treat so that they get excited about anything coming out of there. If any time I see The Cutes are starting to act out out of boredom or need something new to do, I ask them if they want to choose something from the special closet. 


Here are some of their favorite activities and games that I have stashed in the closet...

1: Playdough - We have a huge tub of Playdough and accessories and they could play with this for hours. What child doesn't love Playdough. Mommy just can't handle all the mixing and crumbs that get everywhere. Limiting this to a special treat makes it more fun for them and mommy's OCD can take a back seat to all the squealing and smiles. 

2: Kinetic Sand/CraZsand - Carrie Beth has mentioned this sand before, but it really is fantastic. Both littles love it and we can play it inside and outside with little or no fuss. And clean up really is minimal unlike real sand. 

3: "Who Shook Hook?" - This game is one of the kids absolute favorite. Cute received it for Christmas and loves it. It's based on the Jake and the Neverland Pirates show from Disney, and the object of the game is to get some of Hook's treasure without waking him. When Hook falls from his hammock the game ends and the kids usually think it is hilarious. Great for little ones who are trying to work on fine motor skills. 

4: Let's Go Fishing Game - This game, or a version of it, I remember from when I was younger. Well the classic entertainment has held true for future generations because both Cutes love playing it. 

5: Super Sorting Pie - I actually saw this game in Cute's preschool class a few years ago. His teacher used it to help students with their pincher grasp and fine motor skill practice. Cute loved the game and often talked about it at home so we purchased one. Now years later he still loves it, and so does Little Cute. It also helps with sorting, color identification, and counting. 

The closet has a ton of other goodies and arts and crafts, but these are the ones they usually pull out first and get most excited to play with. 

Summer fun is coming to an end soon (sooner than we would like), but know we are going to savor these last few weeks we have. We have tons of fun little activities planned so hopefully that end of summer wall that most kids hit keeps at bay, and then it's time for school. 

How do you and your little ones battle the boredom over the summer? 

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Kitchen Confessions: Cedar Grilled Salmon



Sunday dinners around here are all about the grill. Truth be told in the summer our grills rarely get a break. Whether we are at home, at the beach, or relaxing lakeside the first thing our hubbies usually do on the weekends is head to the grocery store, and plan out our weekend grilling menu.

Like any family though, sometimes we get into a meal making rut and make the same things over and over, and then over again. Even as much as we love grilling this usually happens as well. Burgers and chicken are on repeat and by mid-summer everyone becomes a little burnout.

And you guys have read about my lack of mad cooking skills. Thinking of new meals on the spot obviously does not come easy to me.



A few weeks ago we did our weekend grocery shopping at Food Lion, and learned of the new Food Lion website. I tabled the information for later and when I was mindlessly trolling the internet one evening I decided to check it out.



Talk about inspiration! The internet can be overwhelming with the amount of information at hand, and Food Lion has made a clean user friendly website that makes planning for meals so easy at the touch of a button. I love how you can effortlessly click on what category you are looking to make and that you can save your favorites for later.

We've tried a few things people have posted and all have been simply yummy. While I am no chef extraordinaire, when we grilled a new recipe over one night this week I thought it would be fun to pay it forward, and share.


We made this super yummy Cedar Grilled Salmon. And by "we" I mean I told my husband what I thought sounded yummy, and he crafted away with his mad grill skills.

CEDAR GRILLED SALMON






This recipe is super easy to make and both prep and cook time were super quick. To check out the full recipe visit the recipe placed on the Food Lion Recipe Portal, and enjoy it as well as tons of other scrumptious options. 



What recipe are you looking forward to trying? 
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Date Night

Today was a fun Saturday, and to cap it off tonight Mr. Cute and I were able to sneak away for a very rare date night. We always say we need to take time away more, but life often gets in the way. Plus having seriously cute fun loving kids is hard to leave behind, right? :) 


Our first order of business was to eat a meal at a place that does not have a playground attached to it. We chose a local restaurant - Salt Factory. If you live, or visit, the northern part of metro Atlanta it is a must try. There are two locations - Downtown Woodstock, and Historic Roswell. We've been to both and they are delicious with a yummy drink selection and a fun laid back atmosphere. 



On this visit I enjoyed the London Broil and Mr. Cute enjoyed the Ahi Tuna. 


We wrapped it up with a decadent Brownie Cake, but we must have been so entranced by it's chocolatey goodness that we didn't even stop to take a photo.


After we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant, we made our way to the movies to see a non-animated movie. Not a fan of sic-fi flicks or anything to do with dinosaurs, we opted for comedy and saw Trainwreck. Complete with a large popcorn. 


THE STORY:
A raunchy yet heartfelt comedy from director Judd Apatow about Amy (Amy Schumer), a commitment-phobic binge drinker living in New York City, who must reevaluate her feelings about intimate relationships when a sports doctor pursues a romance with her.

REVIEW: 
We laughed non-stop! The movie was exactly as described and definitely had its raunchy moments, but it was also a cute story and we thought Amy Schumer was hilarious. We hadn't really seen much about the movie before we bought the tickets, but it was funny how many people were in the movie. There were tons of sports stars sprinkled throughout the film, and my husband loved this. 

Lebron James was one of the surprises for us and played a fairly big role. James was also super funny throughout the movie. He made fun of himself a lot and had a very likable character. 

Overall we had a great time seeing Trainwreck and I would definitely recommend it for a fun date night out as long as you don't mind a little naughty humor here and there.

Have you been to the movies lately? What did you see? 

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