Friday, June 30, 2017

Five on Friday - Favorites

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Happy Friday, friends!  It’s been a long week and I’m looking forward to the weekend even more than usual.  All week I kept thinking it was a day ahead, so it has felt even longer than usual.  We are looking at yet another rainy weekend, but that surely won’t stop us from enjoying it!

And now for some favorites on this Friday…

O N E – A New Door Mat

About a year ago, I got rid of our original door mats and I bought these door mats for all of our entryways, thinking that they would control the amount of dirt and grass that gets tracked into the house.  Unfortunately that’s not the case and the kitchen floor by our back door stays absolutely filthy, so I’m hoping that adding this mat outside will help.  I had an Amazon gift card leftover from my birthday, so I figured, why not?  It doesn’t hurt that it’s soooo cute either.  And it comes in tons of other fun colors and sayings, too!

T W O – Two Link Up Features

This week, I was excited to be contacted by two different bloggers letting me know that my posts had been chosen from their link-ups to be featured.  Exciting, right?  You can see the features here on The Dedicated House for Make it Pretty Monday and here and here on From Play Dates to Parties and Jenerally Informed for The Happy Now Blog Link Up. 

T H R E E – Lara Bars

Um, why haven’t I ever tried these before now?!  I have, of course, seen them in stores, on blogs, and all over social media, but I have never actually sought them out to try them.  Last week, B and I stopped by Trader Joe’s when we were in Atlanta and we just so happened to walk by a whole display of them, so I thought, why not?  I grabbed one of each of the flavors that they had – Apple Pie and Cherry Pie – and you guys, these things are so amazing!  For those of you who have been in the dark like me, these are all natural, and they are made from whole, real ingredients.  And they have the consistency of a fig newton so they are way more satisfying than say, a granola bar.  They’re also gluten free, soy free, dairy free, vegan, Kosher, and non-GMO so basically they’re awesome. 

After enjoying those two flavors so much, I grabbed a few more flavors at Publix earlier this week – Blueberry Muffin, Cashew Cookie, Coconut Cream Pie, Lemon, and Cookie Dough.  The Lemon and Cookie Dough bars were excellent so I’m sure I’ll enjoy the others, too.  Apparently there’s a Banana Bread bar somewhere, too… I’m going to need to try one of those immediately!  They seem to run around a little over $1 apiece, but you can get them on Amazon for way cheaper if you buy them in bulk!  I just added these to my cart and they come out to $0.73/bar because Amazon also has a 20% off coupon for them right now!  Load up!

F O U R – A New Graphic Tee for Christmas

That’s right, you just read that correctly.  I have already bought something festive for Christmas.  I realize it’s only June and almost a half a year away, but when my girl Beth, shared the link to this adorable graphic tee that’s on sale for only $6.59 with free shipping I had to jump all over it.  It arrived Wednesday and it is SO cute.   I might have also ordered a couple of other graphic tees, too.  They were all so cheap!

F I V E – Amazon Prime Day

Amazon announced that they will be doing another Prime Day on 7/11 this year!!  I haven’t been super impressed with many of their deals in the past, but you better believe that there are a few items in my wish list that I will be watching like a hawk to see if they go on sale:

The book Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own PersonShelly recommended this book this week and I think we could all use a little bit of positivity in our lives!

Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast – I have wanted to try this for so long, but it’s just so expensive and I don’t even know if it’s going to work

Bona Hardwood Floor Spray Mop – I’ve been dying for one of these ever since we moved in our house almost eight years ago.  I need to just go ahead and buy one.

Stand Up Desk – I use something similar to this one at work because sitting KILLS my back, and I would love to have one at home as well. 

Well, that’s all for today!  If you’re looking for me this weekend, you can probably find me in the back yard with a hammer, some nails, and a bunch of two by fours building an ark.  ;o)

*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites,  September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday, Meet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, and Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Panama City Beach, FL 2017 - Day 5

The sun finally decided to come and join us on the fifth day of our trip, and it was definitely a sight for sore eyes. 

We headed out to the beach bright and early to make the most of our day and to beat the crowds.  We always rent chairs from the condo to ensure that we get chairs along with an umbrella, so we weren’t worried about not getting a spot… we were just wanting to have some time down there before everything got too crowded.  For some reason this year the crowding on the beach was extra bad.  It has never been that bad before, and it was actually kind of miserable because there wasn’t much space for the kids to spread out and play.  Next year I would love to go somewhere a little more private, mostly just so we can have that extra space on the beach!

Anyway, the kids wanted to go straight down to the water when we got there, so we got settled in by our chairs and then walked down.  They both splashed and played and looked for shells and it was wonderful!  In year’s past, they were both terrified of the ocean and wouldn’t get anywhere within 50 feet of it.  I’m so glad that they love it now!  My, how much has changed these last few years…  

We spent the entire morning playing in the water, picking up shells, and playing in the sand.  B took turns taking Jacob far out in the ocean and then taking Olivia.  Momma doesn’t go that far out in the ocean.  Nope.  I’m an excellent swimmer and the undertow doesn’t scare me, but there’s just something about swimming in rivers/lakes/ocean with other living beings in there that freaks me out.  Don’t let a fish brush up against my leg!  Lawd, I would die.  And no, I’m not scared of fish, I’m basically scared of the unknown.  I’ll hang out in the knee deep water and that’s about it!  #NoShame

Once the kids tired of the beach, we headed up to the pool, but neither of them were very interested (which was odd), so we didn’t stay long.  That was fine with me because I figure, why spend much time at a pool when you’re at the ocean?!  I’d much rather lay out there!  We have plenty of pools back home!

Lunch in the condo was next – sandwiches, chips, and fresh fruit – and then it was bath time for the kiddos followed by nap time for Olivia and quiet time for J.  I grabbed my book and hat and headed straight back down to the beach for some alone time AKA reading in peace.

After a couple of hours, I headed back up to the condo, showered, and got ready for the day, and then we headed out for dinner.

We have been to PCB oodles of times but we have never been to one of their most popular beachside restaurants, Schooners, so we decided to try it.  It was a pretty good haul from where we were on the strip (considering most everything else is within three miles) so it took a bit of time to get there, but it was worth it!  I got the BLT flatbread and it was delicious.  It was loaded with spinach, bacon, tomato, feta, and alfredo sauce.  Mmmm.  

After dinner, we headed to St. Andrew’s State Park to try to find a good spot to take family pictures and to watch the sun set.  We had never been there either, but it was something that I feel we’ll definitely be going back to do again!  Since it’s a state park, there is wildlife everywhere.  I saw more deer that evening than I have in the last year back home and they were only 3-4 feet away from us!  They didn’t even run when our car drove by.

We parked, crossed the boardwalk to get to the beach, and then settled in to wait for that perfect evening light for family pictures.  Some of the pictures were taken earlier on when the light was too harsh (we were testing the tripod/automatic timer setup), but they still turned out cute.

After family pictures, we watched the sun go down and it was a sight to behold.  Panama City Beach, FL has some of the most gorgeous sunsets I’ve ever seen in my whole life.  And pictures can never do any of them justice, that’s for sure.  We even got to see the moon, which was either full or almost full that evening.  It was huge and just beautiful.

At dark, we loaded back up in the car and then set out to find a place to ride Go Karts.  Brian had mentioned it to Jacob earlier in the week and he was super excited, and of course, Olivia wanted to do whatever big brother was doing, so we went ahead and bought tickets for her as well.  I was not appropriately dressed and I was also worried about my back getting irritated since they are so bumpy, so I didn’t ride.  B took Jacob for his three laps first and he LOVED it just as we knew he would.  Olivia’s three laps were next, but she only made it around one time before she told Brian that she wanted to get out.  I don’t think it was the speed or the ride itself that scared her so much as it was the loud noises.  Girlfriend HATES loud noises so I was worried it would freak her out.  Look how serious she is in the picture below.

By that time, it was close to 10 PM back home and it was way past the kids’ bedtime, so we skipped dessert and headed back to the condo for bed.  It was the one and only night that we skipped dessert on the whole trip, but don’t worry… we made up for it the next day by having ice cream after lunch AND dinner.  Haha. 

I’ll be back to recap the last full day soon, and it’s the post that you have all been waiting and asking for… I will finally be telling the story about the bottle of marijuana that we found on the beach!  Hehe.  Stay tuned…

And if you missed the other recaps, you can find them below.

*Linking up with Sparkles and Lattes for Confessional Thursday and Home of Malones for Thoughts for Thursday.