Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday Friends!!!  So happy to have this day finally here.  It's the last day of our swim team, the end of a busy week, and we're looking forward to heading out of town next week, so lots of great things going on this Friday!
  

As usual, we're linking up with some of our favorite bloggers to share our Friday Favorites.  I've got a random assortment of favorites to share today. 


Our sweet friend, Kathryn, at Feathered Nest Boutique sent us these gorgeous handmade oyster shell necklaces and we've been swooning over them ever since.  She has flash sales on her site every Sunday evening at 8 PM where she offers one of a kind necklaces similar to these.  Once they are gone, they are gone!  Be sure to check her out and check on Sunday for these beautiful necklaces! 

Some of you may remember that a while back I shared about Smile Brilliant for my Mommy Maintenance series.  It is my favorite way to whiten my teeth and I love using my trays to help maintain my white smile every now and then! They are offering a gift card giveaway right now for our readers.  One lucky reader will get a $25 off gift card to put towards your own teeth whitening kit.  Click HERE to enter. 


Sleeping in.  Need I say more?!   While we still have to be up for swim team practice, summer training sessions for soccer and other camps and activities, we're definitely sleeping in more than we would during the school year and that is just making us all very, very happy.  Sleeping in is probably my very favorite morning activity and this guy's, too!

Last Friday I shared about our Summer THING which is most definitely swimming as much and as often as we can.  With us I always have Fruit Shoot® packed in our cooler.  You can't beat the resealable sports lid for pool days and the fact that there is no artificial flavoring and no added sugar is a bonus!  My local grocery store has it, but to find a retailer near you check HERE

I drink a lot of water throughout the day and there are times when I want a little something added to it for some flavor and just to switch things up.  I also snack a lot now that the kids are home for summer, which isn't always the best thing.  Not long ago we were introduced to LiquiSlim 24 which is a brand new crave-busting and mood-boosting water drop. It is supposed to help promote weight loss by helping diminish carb cravings, control blood sugar levels and promote a healthier lifestyle.  All things that are a bonus in my book.  Plus, it tastes really great, too so I love adding it to my regular and sparkling water.  To learn more check out their website HERE

 

DIY projects are always some of my favorite posts and I have a little project I've been working on that I hope to share next week!  This was my inspiration.  


It should be no shocker that Jen and I both love all things magnolia and I've been eyeing these magnolia wreaths for ages.  Now that our basement is almost complete, I finally have a place for one (or two).  However, last week I was in my favorite craft store, Hobby Lobby, and got a wild idea to create my own instead of purchasing them.  So far, so good and I'm so excited to share the finished product.  


We hope everyone has a great weekend!!!!  
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Jumping into Summer Safely with Stearns® Puddle Jumper

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JumpIntoSummer #CollectiveBias

Living in the South, being on the water is a way of life, and like most people in the Summer months we tend to spend more than the normal amount of time in or around a body of water. From lakes to oceans to the nearest pool, you will find us floating somewhere trying to ward off that infamous heat and humidity of the deep south.

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Keeping Safe While Having Fun

Because we spend more near larger bodies of water we stress water safety to our littles ones from a very young age. We don’t want to diminish their familiarity, but we don’t take any chances when it comes to their well being. We try to establish boundaries that they understand, and give them tools that keep them safe while they are having fun swimming. One of my all time favorite swim safety aids is the Stearns® Puddle Jumper.  

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Cute wore one when he was younger, and now both the girls wear one anytime we are in or near the water. We have done our fair share of testing water safety devices, and the Puddle Jumper is by far our favorite for beginning swimmers.  

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I love the Puddle Jumper because they are a U.S. Coast Guard approved PDF (personal flotation device) rated for children weighing 30-50lbs. That means it can be used in any water excursion we might find ourselves in, and gives me great ease knowing that is it one of the safest water safety devices for my little ones to be in. I pack them in my beach bag for the pool or the beach, and even use them on our boat!

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The kids love this because unlike other PDFs the fabric is super soft and the Puddle Jumper itself is extremely comfortable. Because of the unique construction of the Puddle Jumper it doesn’t ride up around their necks or have rough straps throughout to keep it in place, which helps to eliminate all that uncomfortable chafing that might occur when wearing a PDF for a longer length of time. The more comfortable everyone is the more fun we can have!

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Give the Gift of Safety

I love the Puddle Jumper so much that I often give them as gifts to little ones. I usually create a little water safety gift basket or - my personal favorite - create a Water Safety Cake to gift. It’s fun and everything is usable to help create a safe and fun summer, and in just a few easy steps you can create your own too.

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Supplies
  • 1 regular sized beach towel
  • Swim diapers (We use approximately 75 size medium diapers. Amount will vary.)
  • Large rubber bands
  • Ribbon
  • Optional embellishments: sunscreen, goggles, safety whistle, etc.

Instructions
1: Purchase a Puddle Jumper. The Stearns® Puddle Jumper 3D Life Jackets from Target are my favorite. The patterns and 3D designs with characters the kids love just add to the fun.

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They can be found on the water sports aisle and are available year round.

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2: I pick out a coordinating towel, purchase the other supplies and then am ready to begin construction of the water safety cake.

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3: Roll up towel and secure tightly with one of the large rubber bands.

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Once secure stand upright leaving the folding side at the top.

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4: Place a large rubber band around the base of the towel. Roll from top to bottom a swim diaper and insert rolled swim diaper centered into the rubber band.

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Repeat until you have the base of the towel completely surrounded.

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Add an additional rubber band and then add a second layer to create a larger base. Repeat the process for a second and third tier until you have the shape of a cake. The top of the towel should be slightly exposed above the top layer.

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5: Attach the Stearns® Puddle Jumper 3D Life Jacket around the center layer.

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Using the Puddle Jumpers on strap is the easiest way to secure it to the cake. Simply adjust the back strap as necessary.

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Once completely assembled the items should resemble a cake with the Puddle Jumper as the centerpiece.

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Note: Attach any optional items during this step.

6: Use ribbon and to hide the rubber bands holding the safety cake together. Place on a tray or wrap as desired. Make it fun!

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7: Gift and let the water fun begin!

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How do you plan to celebrate water safety and jump into your summer?

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To learn more about water safety and Stearns® Puddle Jumpers:


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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Family Vacation to Hilton Head Island: Part 2

Yesterday I shared the highlights from the first part of our family vacation to Hilton Head Island, and today I will share a few more from the back half of our trip. And all this sharing is making me wish I could be right back on those sandy beaches.


Links American Grill

When we aren't beaching it seems like we are eating. Usually we frequent the same few places each year, and then sprinkle in some new ones to try. This year we planned a large family dinner since my whole family would be in town together for at least part of the trip. We had our eyes set on Live Oak, which we fell in love with last year, but sadly learned that they no longer offer dinner.


So we switched gears and decided to try Links American Grill located in the Harbour Town Club House, which just happened to be a short walk from our rental.


The food and drinks were yummy, and the service was excellent. I think my favorite part though was letting the kids take in all the golf memorabilia and letting them play on the golf course afterward. 

Alligator Tour

My little ones are nature lovers. They can tell you facts about animals I've never even heard the names of (Thank you Kratt brothers.). Alligators are everywhere on the island. They frequent golf courses, and most fresh bodies of water in Sea Pines. It's not hard to spot them, and as frequent visitors of the island we know how to spot them and keep to a safe distance. The Cutes think it is so fun though, and this year we thought we would sign up for an official alligator tour.


We made reservations for in the morning, and as many times as I've been on the island I've never done one of these tours or stepped into the Sea Pines Forest Preserve.


I've been missing out.


The tour is via boat, and takes place on one of the lakes in the preserve. It lasted right around an hour, and was perfect the length for our little ones age group. 


The guide was informative, and so knowledgable about all the wildlife on the preserve. So even if we didn't come across an alligator at any given time, he was quick to point out other animals, and share interesting facts. He was also kind enough to answer each and every question The Cutes threw at him. Including L.C.'s deep ones like, "Why are alligators alligators?" or "Why do turtles swim?".


The Cutes were captivated each and every time we spotted an alligator, and I was amazed at how close we could get. It was hard to photograph, but we saw big alligators, small ones, and even new little babies.


It was a fun tour, and the preserve itself is one destination we want to explore more on our next trip back. If you or your little ones love the outdoors or wildlife I would add this to your itinerary if you are on the island. 

CQ's Restaurant

And again, if we aren't beaching it seems like we are eating. Thank goodness for all that island bike riding and walking or else we'd put on twenty pounds with all the delicious food available. How I've never eaten at this next little gem is beyond me. CQ's Restaurant was by far our favorite meal of the trip. 


Mr. Cute and I were able to sneak away for a little date night our last night on the island (thanks family!), and decided to walk to CQ's. The restaurant is located in an old historic home from the 1800's that belonged to the lighthouse keeper at the time. If you are into ghost stories, do a quick google about the homes history and the tale of The Blue Lady.


As a restaurant though the atmosphere had a romantic historic vibe to it, and the food and wine were excellent. I highly recommend grabbing a meal or three here if you are lucky enough to sneak away for an adult only meal.



Other than these few highlights the remainder of our trip was filled with nothing but playing games on the beach, lounging (a.k.a. getting splashed) poolside, and soaking in every single gorgeous sunset we could. We already are counting down the months to when we can venture back to our favorite low country spot, but until then I will have to settle vicariously through one of the 1000's of photos I took...



Have you been to Hilton Head Island? What are some of your favorite things to do, see, eat?  

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