Monday, April 19, 2021

2021 30A Spring Break Beach Trip – Days 1 & 2

Another year, another beach trip in a pandemic.  As much as we would have loved to explore a new beach for spring break this year, we didn’t want to risk doing something new and not knowing what to expect with regard to Covid safety measures.  We have been going to 30A for years and know the area well, so we know which places are safe and which places to avoid, so we figured we’d just go there again!  We are so grateful to be within a short driving distance so that we could travel safely multiple times during this pandemic... it's not lost on me that so many people aren't able to do so.  

In case you’re not familiar with 30A, there are a bunch of little beach towns all within a 10-ish mile strip, each one only covering a couple of miles of beach front, so you can easily navigate from one town to the next on foot, by bicycle, or by car.  When we stay in 30A, we always visit many of the different towns including Inlet Beach, Rosemary Beach, Seacrest Beach, Alys Beach, Santa Rosa, Seaside, and Watercolor, so it really doesn’t matter where we stay.  We pretty much stay somewhere different each year.  This year, we stayed in Santa Rosa, which is probably my favorite because it’s near one of our most favorite places to eat and hang out, and it’s also central to the beach towns we visit.

Ready for the recap?

Sunday, March 28 (Day 380 of Quarantine)

My nephew had spent the night with us Saturday night (you can read more about that here), so Sunday morning, he hung out with Jacob and Olivia all morning while B and I packed.  My dad came to pick him up just after lunch, and then we hit the road.  The weather wasn’t looking so great, and sure enough, just as we pulled onto the highway, the rain started to fall.  About 30 minutes into our trip, it was pouring so hard that we could barely see the road, so we pulled over for a few minutes until it slowed down.

Thankfully, it only rained for another 30ish minutes after that, and then we were in the clear for the rest of our drive.  We arrived at our condo right at check-in time, and we immediately got to unloading.  We hadn’t originally planned to travel for spring break, but the thought of staying home for 10 days when we’ve been staying at home so much for the past year, just didn’t sound enticing, so we booked our trip at the very last-minute. 

Since we booked at last-minute, it was slim-pickings for condos, and we weren’t really sure exactly what we were getting ourselves into.  The pictures of our condo didn’t look great on the website, so we were pleased as punch to see how adorable it was in-person.  The entire family room and kitchen were totally updated and beautiful, and the master bedroom was nice, too.  The other two bedrooms weren’t anything special, and the bathrooms all needed some SERIOUS updating, but overall, it was a great place.  We were just grateful to be there! 




And yes, I said THREE bedrooms.  Lol.  We typically book a condo with just one bedroom (the kids sleep on the floor in sleeping bags or in the bunk beds if there are any), but as I said, there were barely any condos available when we booked, so we took this one because it was (surprisingly) in our price-range.  B and I stayed in the master and the kids stayed in the room with two beds, so that worked out perfectly.




Once the car was unloaded, I ordered pizza from Angelina’s (one of our favorite local pizza places for takeout) and B ran out to grab that while I got everything settled in.  We ate dinner in the condo, and then ran out to grab groceries for the next few days.  The grocery beach trip is always the WORST part of the trip, y’all!  Haha. 

The Publix in Santa Rosa (and in every other beach town, for that matter) is always packed, and it’s completely different than any other Publix I’ve ever been to which makes it impossible to find anything.  They’re always sold out of lots of items, like bread, so we ended up having to grab some weird substitutes for items we normally get.  By the time we left, I was frazzled (as I always am after a beach or mountain grocery shopping trip), but still just grateful to be at the beach! I was also happy to see that most people in the store were wearing masks… definitely a good thing since it was so packed.  When we went last June hardly anyone wore a mask anywhere.


When we got back to the condo, we got the groceries put away, and then we all had M&M ice cream cookies that we’d gotten at Publix.  It was nearing bedtime at that point, but the kids were dying to get out on the beach, so we headed down there for a few minutes.  It was cloudy and windy and so chilly out there, and I only lasted about five or ten minutes before heading back up to the room.  The kids would have probably stayed out there all night, but B rounded them up after about 30 minutes, and then we all piled on the couch and watched some of American Idol that we’d recorded. 


We’ve started bringing our Roku with us when we travel, so we always have all of our recorded shows with us as well as Netflix and Disney+ and Amazon, etc.  We’re usually too busy to even think about turning on the TV when we’re on vacation, but we’ve been taking things a lot slower since the pandemic started. 

Monday, March 29 (Day 381 of Quarantine)

Monday morning, we were up early to get to Donut Hut before the line got too long, only to find that Donut Hut was no longer Donut Hut anymore.  The name had changed, as had their entire selection of donuts, and unfortunately, things hadn’t changed for the better.  Boooo.  We grabbed a dozen to give them a whirl, but they just weren’t as great as they used to be. 


We took them back to the condo, and once breakfast was over, I spent some time reading and enjoying my hot tea.  We don’t usually take it that slow in the morning at the beach because we like to get down to the water as early as possible to beat the heat.  But since this trip took place in March, it was still very chilly out, and we weren’t anywhere near ready to go down to the water.


We finally decided to head down to the beach around 10 AM.  At this condo, they have a chair and umbrella service, but instead of setting up just the ones that people reserve for the day, they set up a TON of them, even if they’re not reserved.  That meant their chairs stretched from one end of the beach to the other, which meant there was no room for anyone who brings their own stuff (like us!) to set up, unless we set up behind their row of chairs.  Obviously, we don’t like to be behind other people because the kids stay in the water nearly the whole time.

We weren’t sure what to do, so B ended up talking to the guy who manages the chairs, and he pointed us to a spot in front of several sets of chairs that weren’t yet reserved.  We decided to set up there and hope that nobody else came along and reserved those chairs, because we would have hated to be blocking their view of the ocean… especially when they have to pay an arm and a leg to rent them (they’re usually around $40 per day for two chairs and one umbrella).  Thankfully, nobody ever reserved any of the chairs around us, and we ended up having so much space to spread out… there was nobody on either side of us for about 25 yards! 

The weather was decent all day, but not ideal.  There was a mix of clouds and sun, heavy on the clouds for the first part of the day, so it was pretty chilly for a while there.  That surely didn’t stop the kids, though… they were all up in that freezing cold ocean and they were loving every single minute.  I literally only touched the water one or two times the entire trip, and I couldn’t even bring myself to stick more than my toes in… it was so freaking cold, y’all!




We headed back to the condo midday for a quick lunch of sandwiches, chips, and fruit, and then we headed straight back down to the water.  We loved how close the condo was to our beach setup this time around… it was the shortest walk we’ve ever had! 

The sun finally decided to come out and play after lunch, so that warmed things up a bit.  The kids built sandcastles and played in the water, and B and I sat and relaxed, and I read.  We stayed out until 4-ish our time (3-ish beach time), and then we headed back to the condo to get ready for dinner. 





We chose Seaside for our first evening there, and it was the perfect choice!  We stopped at the beloved toy store, Duckies, to let the kids pick out souvenirs, and then we headed to our favorite restaurant there – Bud and Alley’s Pizza Bar.  We planned all of our dinners early again on this trip, which allowed us to avoid the crowds… otherwise, we wouldn’t have eaten out at all.



At Bud and Alley’s we sat out on the patio, and B and I tried some new beers along with their fried Brussels sprouts as a starter.  Those Brussels sprouts were SO DANG GOOD and I could have just made a meal out of those alone.  B and I ended up splitting a pizza as we always do, and the kids got their usual pasta for Jacob and pizza for Olivia, and it was such a treat.  As y’all know, our family loooovvvves to go out to eat, but we’ve not been going since the pandemic started, so it was nice to be out and about!  Little things like that have been making me feel human again after this very long, weird year of being cooped up.  I feel like when this is over I’m going to want to do all the things and go all the places all the time! 



After dinner, I wanted to take a few family pictures on the beach, but nobody was feeling it, so we opted to snap a quick one on the boardwalk instead.  


After that, all the kids wanted to do was run around on the big green in the heart of Seaside, and then they begged for ice cream.  They obviously didn’t have to beg, though, because B and I wanted it just as much as they did.  Haha.  As we ate our ice cream, we were treated to the most beautiful sunset, and then at dusk we headed back to the condo.  When there’s not a pandemic going on, there’s often live music on the green in Seaside that we like to stick around for, and I can’t wait until this pandemic is over so we can all gather safely in crowds and do that again! 










By the time we arrived back at the condo, we were all worn out from a long day of sunshine and beaching, so we watched a bit more of American Idol and then we called it a night.

I’ll be recapping the second half of the trip soon, so stay tuned!

Happy Monday, y’all!

*Linking up with My Glittery HeartThe Other Side of the Road, and The Sirois Family for Hello Monday.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Five on Friday - Hey Y’all, Diffuser Blend, and Inspiration

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Hey, y’all!  Happy Fridaaaay!  We have a super fun weekend planned, and I’m looking forward to it so much!  But first, some favorites…

O N E – Hey, Y’all Mug

I’ve been wanting this mug for years because this is my catchphrase, y’all!  Unfortunately, it’s been impossible to find, probably because they get snatched up immediately here in the south.  My sweet friend, Heather, came across one in her Homegoods a couple of weeks ago, and she was kind enough to grab it and ship it to me, and I’ve been using it nearly every morning since!  It has definitely been a favorite from this week.  Thank you so much again, Heather!!


 

T W O – Peppermint + Lime

Y’all, I’ve been using essential oils for two years now, and I’ve come up with lots of different diffuser combinations that I absolutely love.  I don’t know why it took me so long to try this one, but I’m kicking myself for not thinking of it sooner... peppermint and lime together are heaven on earth.  Heaven.  On.  Earth.  I’ve been diffusing it nonstop for several weeks now and I just can’t get enough.  It’s uplifting, invigorating, refreshing, and it gives off aaaallll the happy vibes.

The more I use oils, the more I love them.  I never thought I’d love oils more than candles, but here we are.  I haven’t burned a single candle in over a year now… not even my favorite Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin one during the fall.  I was able to create my own fall blend from oils, and I actually prefer it to my beloved candle.  Never in a million years did I think I’d speak those words, but I’m happy I’ve come this far to kick those candle toxins!



T H R E E – Yoga

I started doing yoga about a year ago as a way to pass the time and keep my mental health in check while in quarantine.  I ended up loving it so much that I did it pretty much every week for several months.  Around the holidays, I fell off of the yoga wagon as it just doesn’t burn as many calories as cardio or weight-lifting, but I recently jumped back on because I miss the way it makes me feel.

I’ve noticed that on the days that start with yoga, I feel much more centered and calm throughout the day, and my anxiety seems to stay in check more easily.  I had also gotten more limber when I was doing it consistently, but since I’ve stopped, my muscles have tightened back up.  Yoga makes me feel better in my body, and that makes it one of my favorites!  I’m hoping to start doing it at least once a week again. 

My favorite person to watch is Yoga with Adriene on YouTube.  She has an entire library of free yoga workouts for everything you can imagine - yoga for hips, yoga for lower back, yoga for clarity, yoga for peace and calming, etc.  If you're wanting to get started, she has plenty of beginner workouts, too.



F O U R – Calm + Tabitha Brown

Do y’all follow Tabitha Brown on Instagram?  I found her several months ago, and she is one of my absolute favorite people on there.  She is always bursting with love and light and positivity, she’s authentic, and she has the absolute warmest, best personality ever. 

She announced last week that she’s teaming up with Calm to do sleep stories, and I am STOKED.  I started using the Calm app over a year ago for my daily meditation, and I love it so much that I bought a lifetime subscription to it.  Calm + Tabitha Brown are just two of my favorite things, and I can’t wait to listen to that velvety voice of hers!


 

F I V E – Danielle Coke

I’ve mentioned Danielle Coke here on the blog before, but I just wanted to share some of her latest words and art with y’all to end these Friday favorites.  My word for 2021 is LIGHT and I’ve been trying (and struggling) to train my mind and actions to live in the light, and it’s been a huge challenge with everything going on in the world. 

It’s hard to keep sight of the positive things when there are so many negative things going on in the world, and I’ve lost sight of the light time and time again, but seeing words like Danielle’s in my Instagram feed have provided much needed inspiration for me to strong and stay the path. 


Friday Funnies





 

On the Blog This Week

 Our 2021 30A Beach Trip by the Numbers

Our Week – The One with Quarantine, Week 56 (Second Vaccine, Last Birthday Celebration, and Sunday Dinners are BACK!)

Pink and White Dot Dress 



Happy Friday, y’all! 

*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Pink and White Dot Dress

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

I posted about this dress in a Five on Friday post, and I had several requests from y’all to take some pictures of myself in it, so here they are! 

This dress originally showed up in an ad in my Instagram feed one evening, and all I have to say is, well placed, Amazon, well placed.  I couldn’t click on it fast enough, and I don’t ever shop from ads on social media.  There’s nothing that screams LINDSAY more than pink and polka dots. 

I’m happy to report that the dress exceeded my expectations and I couldn’t love it more!  I didn’t pay much attention to the fabric before I ordered, and I had assumed that it would be that light satin/polyester blended fabric that so many Amazon dresses are made from, so I was super pleased to pull it out of the bag and find that it’s actually made of cotton! 

The fabric is thick enough so that the dress isn’t see-through, and it has the slightest amount of stretch to make it comfortable.  The buttons are functional which makes the dress so easy to get on and off, and the color is even prettier in person.  It fits true to size... the small fits me like a glove. 








The dress was significantly less expensive when I bought it, but it looks like Amazon has raised the price a bit since then.  In all honesty, I would still purchase it at the higher price point because it’s just that good.  It comes in 20 different solid colors and patterns, so there’s something for everyone, and it is THE perfect spring and summer dress.  I’ve already worn it once at the beach!

You can buy it here from Amazon, and it’s less than $30!

 Pink and White Dot Dress

Studded Sandals (similar)

Gold Star Necklace

Apple Watch Band

Bracelets (similar)

Handbag

Happy Wednesday, y’all!