2015 Pumpkin Pics


It's my favorite time of the year, and I need all things pumpkin - including pics of my kiddos around a ton of them. Our annual trip to The Arboretum is in the books, so I just thought I'd share...

One of my children shares my enthusiasm for pumpkin season.

The other one? Not so much.

So the first born will entertain me and pose for pics.

And, after about a million frames and lots of distracting, we get a decent shot of them together!

With, let's be honest here, the bribe waiting at the end of the session.

T-Ball Time


Since most of my sporadic posts have centered around shopping and vacations, I thought I'd spend a couple of posts catching up on life around here.

This is officially our first BUSY school year. Two kids, two different schools, two different extracurricular activities. We'll get to our girl in another post, but first I want to talk about HUT.

He's my sensitive child. He takes his time to warm up in any scenario, but, when he does, it's magic. Last weekend he played his first ever T-ball game. I can assure you that I was more nervous because I truly don't even think he realized he was about to play in an official game. They'd had one practice and, due some unforeseen incidents, his poor team had a rocky start.

But this kid? His first practice he absolutely loved it. After about 45 minutes he began to lose focus, but, hey, he's four. Most of the time he dreads going back to the activities that I've tried with him. This time? He really, truly enjoyed it.

Don't ask me if they won or lost - anyone who has experienced T-ball and attest to the fact that it is both filled with hilarity and chaos. I do know that HUT scored a run and left a happy kid. That's a win in my book.

So, here we are, T-ball parents. Who knows how long it will last, but as long as he's enjoying it? We'll be right there cheering him on from the stands.

Halloween Buckets


Just in case you don't follow me on Facebook or Instagram, just had to spread the love for these amazing Halloween buckets that I bought for our kiddos this year.

They might look familiar - that's because she also made our Easter baskets earlier this year.

$25 for a bucket or $35 with the bow. And she ships. I figure it's worth the investment because my kids will use them for years to come. The personalization is just so stinkin' cute. She'll work with you on the color, Halloween character, etc.

Check out B. Bell Designs on Facebook or Instagram to place your order. But hurry - she's only doing a limited amount this season!

Holiday Cards 2015


Short and sweet post.

If anyone, like me, already has their pictures and/or design for holiday cards in hand, you might want to head on over to Zazzle today. 50% off of all cards (use the code EARLYSPECIAL) - whether you purchase one of their designs online or create your own.

I designed a little something, got the approval from the U that he liked it, and placed my order this morning. Here's a little, teeny, tiny, teaser...
I've never had an issue with their printing, and they have some great options for paper and cuts for your invitations. Happy early shopping!

My Thoughts on 30A


So, we survived a road trip to the east (two months ago). Barely. Before I begin with my recommendations, can I just say - Florida's heat and humidity is, by far, the most insane thing I've ever experienced in the late months of the summer.

The beach was beautiful. The towns were full of adorably unique boutiques. The food (majority) was delicious.

But never, ever, if you only get one vacation a year, choose to go to 30A at the end of July. Especially if you're looking for some heat/humidity relief. Holy mother of God that place is a sauna. One day in and I all but gave up on makeup and hair. My sunglasses were always fogged up the minute I stepped outside. My clothes were damn near drenched after five minutes.

Once you step foot on the beach, though, it's like an "a-ha!" moment. I get it. The beach has a great breeze. The sand is so fine that it feels like powder. The water? Oh so clear and blue with temperatures that anyone would enjoy and waves that don't pull you under.

For this trip, we stayed in Rosemary Beach. I had heard of it from several people and the pictures looked like Europe, so I had my mind set that it was where we should stay.

The house, my friends, did not disappoint. It was beach home meets Fixer Upper (not the age of it, but completely Joanna Gaines style). And it had an outdoor shower with a pool - completely necessary for post beach recovery.

Rosemary Beach seems more "uppity" than the other beach towns on 30A, so if you're looking for something a bit more like a relaxed California beach town, you might want to check into some of the other areas around 30A. I know we will next time.

But, I digress.


I could shop in these little towns for hours. The boutiques were all filled with unique items (especially the children's stores) and, had I not been introduced to the beach, I'm sure that this is where I would have spent the majority of my time. We limited shopping to only two days, so we hit up all of Rosemary Beach and most of Seaside. (BTW if ever we go again, we'll stay in and/or closer to Seaside. It seemed much more our vibe.)


Let's not discuss my issues with my small camera on this trip. 
I consistently had it on the wrong setting and I was horrible at taking pictures. I'll try better next trip.

We experienced good and bad. Everywhere we went was family friendly - even the places that I'd consider date-night worthy at home. Here's where we went:

Donut Hole - best. breakfast. ever. We went to the Inlet Beach location for breakfast and everyone enjoyed it. Super packed, but we got a table relatively quickly.

Great Southern - best. grits. ever.

George's - expensive, but delicious. Also, really great atmosphere and good for kids. We went on a rainy night and, thank God, early, because most of their seating is outside and we were lucky enough to snag a great table inside.

Edwards - this looked like it was for a date night. Both the U and my mom were hesitant to take the kids in, but I was so over picking places to eat and they promised they had kid options. Luckily, our kids behaved really well at meals out (thank you iPads), and it was, hands down, one of our best meals.

Cowgirl Kitchen - everyone raves about this place. We actually didn't eat at the restaurant, but bought casseroles to go at their little shop across the street. The Mexican Lasagna was good, but the King Ranch Casserole was nothing to write home about. Pricey, but that seems to be the name of the game in this area. Also, salsa was not on par at all. But, then again, taking our family to Mexican food is just not fair. We are very biased.

Wild Olives - amazing live music, but better for drinks/apps. Food was overpriced and not terribly special, service lacked. It was a few doors down from our house, so we went here out of convenience but were enamored with their musician and how happy he was to have the kids dance and participate.

Sugar Shack - we went right after family pics and the line was out the door. Ice cream looked delish, but my kids were stoked to grab some candy from their massive selection and call it a night.

Acme Ice House - over priced. Food was decent, service was great. Again, kid friendly. Also, was literally a short walk from our house, so super convenient. I highly recommend going to the little center of Seacrest Beach after and grabbing a glass of wine/beer and listening to live music. A couple of the little shops stay open. They also had a pizza place with a wood oven that smelled incredible. We should have eaten that with booze and let the kiddos dance.


Although the crowd in Rosemary Beach isn't our usual types that we hang with, you'll find out that the people who live and work in 30A are, majority, so kind. Hell, you live on a beach, how could you not be happy? And, let's face it, this entire area is kid friendly. Rosemary Beach was filled with people of all ages riding bikes all day long. They have daily activities for the family, including movie nights, and not once did we feel out of place with our kids.

I feel like after 7 days, we still didn't hit the tip of the iceberg with fun things to do in this area. Maybe I didn't research enough, maybe the beach just called to us more since anything inland was miserably hot, but I know there are a million more places/tips/things to do that we just didn't get around to.

Would I go back? 

Yes and no. Yes - everything is family friendly, the beaches are beautiful and clean, there is so much to do. I will, I repeat, never go again at the end of July. I want to get out of the humidity this time of year and, well, the opposite happened.

As always, I did manage to book a little photo sesh like I do when we're somewhere new. So here are a few from Sarah Lyn Photography. She and her husband were uber nice - we opted to just do a mini session with them, which was perfect. After 30 minutes my kiddos were DONE with the photo thing, so it was timed perfectly.

I'm saving the best ones for the Christmas card this year. :)