Friday, June 30, 2023

Five on Friday - Cute Top, Waterpik, Reuseable Water Balloons, and More

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Happy Friday, y’all!  We’ve finally had some sunshine in our lives this week, and it has improved my mood tremendously.  Unfortunately, the sunshine has also meant temps near the hundreds all week, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers.  I’ll take what I can get! 

Today, as always, I’m sharing some favorites from the week… here we go!

O N E – Cute Top

This top that’s been on my wish list for months happened to go on a lightning deal earlier this month, and the price was so great that I decided to grab one.  I’m so glad I did because I could not love it more!!  The quality is good, the top fits perfectly (it’s true to size… I’m in a small), and the colors are rich and beautiful.  The sleeves can be worn on the shoulder or off the shoulder, and either way, I do wear a strapless bra with it.  Otherwise, my bra straps show slightly in the front. 

For the first time wearing it, I paired it with my beloved white Spanx jeans for church last weekend, and the combo is just perfect for summertime!  It would also look great with a skirt or cutoff jean shorts.  It comes in tons of different colors and patterns, and there are loads of long-sleeve options as well.  I already have a brown floral short-sleeve version and a purple floral long-sleeve version on my wish list for fall!


T W O – Waterpik

As you all know, I had braces put on my teeth earlier this year, and I’ve been struggling with plaque building up around the brackets on my bottom teeth since then.  I have been flossing and brushing and using mouthwash consistently obsessively since the braces were put on, but no matter how thorough and frequent I am with my flossings and brushings, the plaque is still building. 

My orthodontist told me some people are just more prone to it than others, and he suggested that I purchase a Waterpik to help with the issue.  While the Waterpik hasn’t seemed to help much with the current buildup, I have noticed that I haven’t had any new buildup occurring since I’ve started using it, so I think it’s working.

This Waterpik has rave reviews on Amazon (4.4 / 5 stars with over 51,000 reviews) and the price was good for the quality.  It was super easy to set up and use, and my teeth do feel cleaner over all, so I highly recommend this if you want to take your dental care up a notch! 

Now I’m just counting down the days until my dental cleaning in July so I can start over with clean teeth.  My ortho has been removing some of it at each of my visits, but I don’t think it’ll be completely removed until my actual dental cleaning.


T H R E E – Reuseable Water Balloons

These reuseable water balloons have been all over social media and blogs all summer, so I decided to grab some for our kiddos to see what the hype was all about. 

Y’all, these are SO MUCH FUN!! 

They are super easy to fill in a bucket of water or body of water (the pool, a lake, the ocean, etc.), and they close with magnets all the way around.  All you have to do is drop them in the water, and they fill and close by themselves.  It’s suuuuper easy… much easier than filling traditional water balloons!  And the entire thing is super soft (even the magnetic edges) so you can throw them at people like traditional water balloons and they don’t hurt.  Our kids have been loving them.


F O U R – Note Folding

I was going through some old pictures that I’d put aside to revisit, and I came across this one that I meant to include in my favorites months ago.  As you can tell from the jeans and sweater that I’m wearing, clearly, this picture was not taken recently.  Haha.

But anyway, when I was cleaning out some stuff, I found this little note that Jacob had written, and, y’all, look how it’s folded!  It brought back all the memories from middle school and high school when we used to write notes and fold them that way!  It’s good to know kids are still using those same 90’s folding skills.  ;o)

F I V E – Olivia’s Drawing

This was another picture that I’d put aside and never did anything with, and when I saw it earlier this week, it got me soooo excited for fall!  Once July 4th is over, I flip the switch to longing for fall and all things Halloween, so I’ll be ready for that in t-minus four days.  Haha. 

Anyway, Olivia did this drawing of the Sanderson Sisters last fall, and I just thought it was the best thing!  Look at all of that detail!  She totally nailed each one of the sisters right down to Winifred’s and Mary’s hair and Sarah’s mole!  Coming across this gem was definitely a favorite from the week!

Friday Funnies

On the Blog This Week

30A Summer Beach Trip 2023  Days 1, 2, & 3

Our Week – The One with Summer, Week 4 (Last Piano Lesson with Jacob's Teacher, a Playdate, Girls Night, a New Brewery, and Mini Golf)

Happy Friday, y’all!

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

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Our Week - The One with Summer, Week 4 (Last Piano Lesson with Jacob’s Teacher, a Playdate, Girls Night, a New Brewery, and Mini Golf)

Well, I’m happy to report that this past week was better than our week before last.  It still wasn’t my favorite week – I’ve mentioned that I’ve been in a funk lately – but it is what it is.  My friend and I were having a conversation the other day about how life is full of ups and downs and when you’re stuck in the downs you just have to ride them out and know that things will eventually look up again… they always do! 

Monday, June 19

Monday, Brian was off of work for Juneteenth, so we slept in and had leftover donuts for breakfast.  We woke up to strong storms yet again for the 84,000th day in a row, and the whole day was just gloomy and gross.  The weather we’ve had the last two weeks has definitely played a significant role in my funk… it has just been awful here for too long!  There’s a reason why I don’t live in Seattle or anywhere else where it rains much of the year.  I LOVE a good stormy day every now and then, but my gosh, not 14 days in a row.

I used the gloomy morning to finish the book I was reading, and the kids watched cartoons and played.  We all had a light lunch at home, and then the afternoon was spent getting a few things done around the house – laundry, rehanging Olivia’s canopy over her bed, blog work, etc. 

Mid-afternoon, I got showered and ready for the day, and then the kids and I headed to their music school for Jacob’s last piano lesson with his teacher and Olivia’s voice lesson.

Jacob’s teacher kept things really light and funny because he knew Jacob was going to be sad, and because of that, Jacob ended up doing really well.  His last lesson was still bittersweet, though.  Jacob had written his teacher a sweet note to give to him, and his teacher also gifted Jacob with his piano book that Jacob had been borrowing.  We snapped a picture of them together and they hugged and high-fived a bunch of times, and I think it was just the closure that Jacob needed.

If you read my Five on Friday post last week, then you’ve already heard this story, but I figured I’d include it in this post again since it was a part of our week.  His teacher loves to play pranks (mostly on me to make the kids laugh), so while I was talking to the front desk getting Jacob scheduled with a new teacher, his teacher kept dumping all of his leftover Dum Dum lollipops in my purse by the handful.  Apparently, everyone in the office was watching and thought it was hilarious (especially the kids) because I was completely clueless as to what was going on.  When I finally sat down in the lobby after Jacob’s lesson, I opened my purse to grab something, and about 20-25 Dum Dums came tumbling out.  Haha.  Jacob started laughing hysterically and his teacher came out of his next lesson to see my reaction and they thought it was just the funniest thing.  That also helped Jacob leave on a fun note rather than a sad one.

After that, Jacob and I sat in the lobby together while Olivia had her voice lesson (she doesn’t like for us to come in with her like Jacob does), and then afterward, we spent a few more minutes with his teacher and did one last round of hugs and goodbyes.  His teacher did mention that he may consider doing private lessons down the road once he settles in to his new job, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed for that as well.  Then maybe I can jump on board, too!  That’s the dream!

After music lessons, we headed home, and I got started on dinner – macaroni and cheese and hot dogs (fancy!  Haha) – and then I went upstairs to work out on the stair stepper. 

I was still feeling yucky after the previous week we’d had + all of the gloomy weather + the whole Jacob being sad over his teacher leaving thing + a few other random things that have been going on, so I ended up working out really hard and I broke my own record for calories burned on the stair stepper.  Working out always helps clear my head and it usually improves my mood, so it’s always my go-to when I’m feeling down.

After my workout was over, I realized that the rain had finally stopped and the actual sun was out (even though it was setting), so I stepped outside for a short, leisurely walk just to get some fresh air.  B and the kids watched an episode of Weird But True while I was gone, and then we got them in the bed when I got back home.

B and I ended up chatting the rest of the evening, and then we got in the bed early-ish because we all had to get up early to get him to work since we’re sharing one car now after his was totaled in his wreck (B is okay in case you missed that post).


Tuesday, June 20

Tuesday morning, we were up bright and early almost like it was a school day, and the kids and I got Brian dropped off at his office.  We swung by Fresh Market to grab their on-sale chicken after that, and then we headed home. 

It was dreary yet again, so the kids watched some cartoons while I worked on blog stuff and did laundry, and then they played the rest of the morning until I made them do some more summer homework. 

After that, we had lunch, and then after lunch, we squeezed in a short walk while the sun was briefly shining.  There was more rain in the forecast for the rest of the day, so I wanted to make sure we got some fresh air while we could.

The rest of the afternoon was spent working on the blog and doing laundry while the kids played video games and worked on some random crafts/coloring/hanging out and being bored.  Good old-fashioned boredom is always good for our kiddos because they tend to be the most creative when they’re “bored.”

I wrapped up blog work for the day around 4, and then it was time to start getting ready to cook dinner.  Brian was able to catch a ride home from a co-worker, so that was very convenient… otherwise we would have been eating dinner super late.

I made one of my favorite one-pan dishes – chicken, potatoes, broccoli, and carrots, along with a loaf of beer bread – and then after dinner, the rain had stopped so we were able to spend some time outside. 

B and the kids played basketball while I got in a few miles.  I partially walked, partially jogged… my knee/hip/SIJ issue is still a problem, so I’m afraid I may need to see a doctor.  I’ve had similar issues in the past, and I’m thinking a round of physical therapy should help. 

We ended up staying outside pretty late, and then the kids and I all got showered (after I squeezed in an arms workout, too), and then we got them in the bed a bit early since we all had to wake up early on Wednesday to get B to work.  Right before bedtime, the bottom fell out yet again and it stormed for the rest of the night.  I was so glad that we were able to get in some outdoor time before that happened again!

Brian and I started the show Platonic Tuesday night since we still have Apple TV from watching Ted Lasso, and we ended up watching two episodes of that before bed.  It is hilarious, but it is definitely raunchy.  It reminds me a little bit of the movie This is 40, which is one of my favorites.  It is laugh-out-loud funny!

On another note, Olivia (who is not a fan of reading) found a book that she loves so much that she has been reading voluntarily all week.  I LOVE walking by her bedroom and seeing this!

Wednesday, June 21

Wednesday morning, we were up bright and early again, and the kids and I got Brian off to work and then headed home.  It was gloomy yet again, and it rained a little here and there throughout the morning. 

The kids played video games for a bit when we got home, and then they played in the playroom while I got some blog work done.  We all had lunch together, and then after lunch, the three of us did some reading.  Jacob started his book for summer reading, Olivia finished hers (she’s actually been reading on her own lately because she loves this particular book so much!), and I started a new one… The Soulmate.  It is SO GOOD and it reeled me right in from the very first chapter.

Once reading time was done, it was time to meet our friends at my parents’ neighborhood pool.  The weather was still super sketch as it was dark and gloomy, but there was nothing on the radar, so we decided to risk it and try to get in an hour or two of swim time. 

Well, after arriving at the pool, we quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen because the water was green and cloudy… probably because it has rained for 40 days and 40 nights and nobody has had a chance to clean it.  Sigh.

So, we decided to pivot and hang out at Khristina and Noah’s house instead.  That ended up being really nice.  Khristina and I sat on the front porch and watched the rain roll in (LOL, I guess our pool trip probably would have been ruined even if we had been able to swim), and the kids played outside in the back yard in the rain since they were in swimsuits. 

We stayed for a couple of hours and then headed home to start dinner.  I made fettuccine alfredo and steamed green beans, and we had leftover beer bread from the night before.  B and I also indulged in a mid-week glass of wine. 

After dinner, cleaning, and a few minutes of hanging out, it was STILL raining, so I just decided to go for a run in the rain.  There was no lightning, so I figured there was no reason not to.  I ended up getting in two miles, but I was really struggling because of my hip/knee/SIJ issue.  Also, probably because I had a glass of wine.  And also, probably because it was raining.  Haha. 


After my run, I was soaked, so I got showered and ready for bed, and then we watched some of America’s Got Talent with the kids, got them in the bed, and then B and I watched two more episodes of Platonic.


Thursday, June 22

Thursday morning, we got up early and got B to work, and then the kids and I came home for yet another gloomy morning.  Ugggghhhh.  The weather was horrible last week… and the week before that.  I’m so grateful for the sunshine we’re finally having this week as you’re reading this… even if the temps have decided to rise into the hundreds later this week. 

When we got home, the kids watched cartoons for a bit while I did some blog work, and then after that, I spent some time playing piano with Jacob while Olivia colored. 

The kids did an hour of summer homework after that, and I spent some time reading since my book is so great.  Then we all had leftovers for lunch.

After lunch, Olivia settled in at the kitchen table with her paints, and Jacob and I spent an hour in his room cleaning out a few things, getting some things into place, and rearranging his bulletin board so he could hang his new Back-to-Back National Champions flag!  Go Dawgs!  ;o)

After that was done, the kids settled in to play some video games (they’ve been playing the new Zelda game and they are both obessesed), and while they did that, I video chatted with an old coworker for a bit, and then I worked on a couple of blog posts and got some Amazon returns ready to take to UPS.

A little after 4, we left to run a couple of errands – the library to return and pick up a couple of books, and UPS to drop the returns – and then we headed to Brian’s office to pick him up for the day.

When we got home, I got myself freshened up, and then I headed to meet all of my girlfriends for dinner.  Usually for girls’ nights, we go to one of the nice local restaurants to have some drinks and apps and dinner, but Thursday night we went to… Publix.  Hahahaha. 

We have a brand new Publix that just opened here (we already had, like, 4 or 5 regular Publix stores), but this one is a super huge, fancy one, and they have tons of lunch and dinner options including chicken and veggies and rice bowls and poke bowls and sushi and salads and sandwiches, and tons and tons of other stuff.  They also have a large restaurant area upstairs with indoor and outdoor seating on a balcony, so you can take your food there to eat it. 

When deciding where to go for dinner, one of the girls jokingly suggested going to the new Publix, and then we just took it and ran with it, and ended up actually going to dinner at Publix.  Haha. 

Everyone was able to get exactly what they wanted – I opted for a sub because nobody makes better subs than Publix! – and then we hauled all of our stuff upstairs to the little café where we proceeded to hang out for the next two hours. 

As always, it was wonderful getting to see all of them, and unfortunately, we didn’t take a single picture to document our most unique girls’ night ever.  Haha.

When I got home, B and the kids were just wrapping up an episode of Weird But True, and then we got them in the bed, so B and I could have the rest of the evening to hang out before heading off to bed ourselves.


Friday, June 23

Friday morning, Brian worked from home, so we didn’t have to get up early to get him to the office.  Instead, I slept in until 7:30, and then I squeezed in a stair stepper and an arms workout before the kids got up.

After that, it was breakfast and a shower for me, and then I headed to my appointment with my therapist.  Chick-Fil-A is right down the street from her office, so I swung by there to grab lunch for everyone on the way home, and then we all ate together.

After lunch, I went to grab the mail, and Olivia had received a letter from her beach pen pal!  She was so excited!  She had sent her a little friendship bracelet which I thought was the sweetest thing!  Olivia is going to make one to send back to her.

The afternoon was spent doing some summer reading.  I ended up finishing my book because it was soooo freaking good I couldn’t put it down.  If you haven’t read The Soulmate yet, I cannot recommend it enough.  It is a page turner like no other and I flew through it in just three days.  That is super-fast for me.

Later in the afternoon, the kids did their video game time while I did some blog work, and then when B got off of work, we headed to a pizza place/taproom that we love so much to celebrate my father-in-law for Father’s Day!  We were originally going to celebrate him on Father’s Day weekend, but we ended up having to postpone until Friday. 

After a yummy dinner, my father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nephews all came back over to our house to hang out for a bit.  Brian had made homemade chocolate chip cookies using his grandmother’s recipe since they’re his dad’s favorite.  We all had some cookies and we played cornhole in the back yard until nearly dark.  It was finally sunny Friday afternoon and evening, so it was really nice to be able to spend some time outside after so many days of rain.

After everyone left, the kids got ready for bed, and then after they went to bed, B and I watched two more episodes of Platonic before hitting the hay.  That show is just so dang funny, y’all. 


Saturday, June 24

Saturday morning, we all slept in, and I made homemade waffles to start the day.  After that, it was a leisurely morning of hot tea and reading, laundry, and a mixed cardio workout.  Brian got ready and left the house mid-morning to go test drive some new vehicles since his was totaled.


While he was gone, the kids did their laundry, we got the house tidied a bit, the kids and I had lunch together, and then the three of us headed outside for the afternoon.  I read in the sun for a bit and the kids played with the hose and some other random outdoor toys, and B got home about halfway through that.  It was so nice to let my bones soak up some vitamin D!

Brian had been able to test drive two of the three vehicles he was interested in (the new Bronco Sport and a Subaru SUV that one of his friends had highly recommended), but the third he had wanted to test drive wasn’t available.  The one that wasn’t available was a Kia Telluride.  Apparently, those are still flying off the lots and they’re impossible to find.  They’ve been in high demand for years now, and I do honestly understand why. 

I currently drive a Kia Telluride (I got mine in 2020) and I love it so freaking much.  (And yes, Brian drives mine, so he knows how it handles, but he still wanted to test drive a new one to see how they differ from the older models.)  I am constantly singing its praises and I’ll talk about it to anyone who will listen.  Haha.  It is THE BEST vehicle I have ever driven, and it truly feels like a luxury vehicle without the luxury vehicle price tag (although the price has gone up significantly since we bought mine due to the high demand).  It’s also #1 in its class for safety, which is obviously the most important thing to me.  I love our local dealership and service department so much, too, and I received free tires for life with my purchase, so it has just been the best experience!

Brian loves the Telly, too, so he had that on his short list of vehicles to purchase, but sadly, our dealership was completely out of stock, and they aren’t getting any more in until mid-July.  When they do get some, we don’t even know if they’ll have the trim/colors he wants, so he decided to cross that one off the list. 

He ended up loving the Bronco, and it’ll be less expensive than a Telluride anyway, so it just made the most sense for him.  They didn’t have the exact one that he wants in stock, though, so he had to table it for the weekend.

Saturday evening, we went to 5:30 Mass, and then we went out to dinner with my Aunt Joy and Uncle Greg + Mama Cass to our favorite pub down the street from church.  My parents weren’t around Saturday evening because they had a dinner to go to, so they didn’t join us.  We always joke that my Aunt Joy and Uncle Greg are Jacob and Olivia’s backup grandparents when my parents can’t be there, so we had to take a picture of them together to send to my Momma and Daddy.  Haha.

After dinner, we headed home, hung out for a bit, and then got the kids in the bed.  We watched the last episode of Platonic that had been released (apparently the episodes for season one are still being released, one per week), and then I fell straight to sleep on the couch. 


Sunday, June 25

Sunday morning, we made cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and then I settled in to watch the sermon from another local church that I watch every Sunday now.  I started watching it about six months ago, and I’ve really been enjoying it, so I have stuck with it even though we do go to our own church on Saturday evening.  You can never spend too much time in God’s word!

After that, I got in a yoga workout, and then I got showered for the day.  My MIL and step-FIL didn’t cook Sunday lunch, so our family of four went out to lunch instead.  We ended up at one of our favorite local restaurants downtown, and I had my favorite BLTA that I love so much… it’s the best one in town!

After lunch, we were torn between checking out a new brewery in town and playing miniature golf (I wanted the brewery and the kids wanted miniature golf – haha) so we decided to do both. 

First up, was the brewery!  The place itself is really great – there are multiple indoor areas as well as multiple outdoor areas, some of which are covered, and some of which are not.  They have a big bunch of twinkle lights strung outside along with cornhole boards and other games like foosball, ping pong, shuffle board, giant Connect 4, and many other things for the kids to do, and there is loads of seating all over.  The vibe is super casual, and you can bring your kids (and your dogs!!!!), and it’s just a really great place.

B and I opted for a beer flight, and we loved that you can purchase any quantity you’d like for the beer flight.  We decided to go with four different IPAs, and then he and I sat and shared those while the kids played foosball. 

Once the beers were consumed and the kids were played out, we headed to play miniature golf.  It was HOT on Sunday so thankfully we have a place with an indoor course… it’s always a nice thing to have for hot or rainy days. 

B ended up beating me by one stroke (our usual lately), I beat Jacob by one stroke, and Olivia… well, let’s just say that she lost.  Lol.  On the last hole, if you get a hole-in-one, you get a free cookie, and somehow, I ended up getting one.  I’ve played that course tons of times in my life (it’s been there since I was in my early teens), and I’ve never seen anybody get a hole-in-one there.  They had a siren that went off and everything so the kids were very excited.  Haha.  After our game, we headed to the diner to redeem my coupon for a cookie, and I let the kids split it. 

On the way home, we swung by my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s house to pick up my BIL’s truck.  Brian has clients in town this week and needed his own vehicle and, thankfully, they had an extra one that he could borrow until we’re back to having two vehicles. 

I spent the next hour at home wrapping up some blog stuff, and then we went to my Momma and Daddy’s house for Sunday dinner.  My Mama Cass and Uncle Billy joined us, and Momma made pepper steak, rice, broccoli, and cheesecake for dessert.  It was all soooo delicious.

After dinner, we all sat around chatting, and then around 8:30 I got an alert on my phone that we were under a thunderstorm warning.  Not a watch, but a warning, which meant that one was upon us.  It had been mostly sunny all day, so I wasn’t expecting it at all, and none of us had noticed that some very ominous clouds had rolled in and it was pitch black outside. 

A quick check of the radar showed that it was coming from the north and it was almost here, so my Mama Cass hopped in her car and headed straight home to beat the storm, and we did the same.  By the time we arrived at home, the wind was crazy (there was already debris on the road) and the bottom fell out shortly after we pulled in the garage.

We spent a few minutes on the back porch taking in the storm, and then the kiddos went to bed.  I still hadn’t made my meal plan and grocery list for the week ahead, so I did that after the kiddos went to bed, and then B and I got in the bed early, read for a bit, and called it a night!

And now for a few current things…

Currently Reading


I read four books this month and I’m almost done with my fifth… 


First up, was Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score.  I thought this book was just okay.  There were parts that I really enjoyed, and I loved the male protagonist as he reminds me of Roy from Ted Lasso – hahahaha.  I did like the story line okay, but I thought the book was waaaayyyy too long.  I think if the book had been shorter, I would have enjoyed it more.  It was just a little too slow at parts and I feel like much of it could have been cut out.  I gave it three stars on Goodreads.


Next up, was Happy Place by Emily Henry.  I LOVED this book and I read it in just a few days while we were at the beach.  I loved all of the characters so much and I thought that Emily Henry did a beautiful job capturing love in all of its different forms.  I highly recommend this one.  I thought it was beautiful from start to finish.  Five stars!


Third, was The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave.  I enjoyed this one a lot.  It was suspenseful and it was an easy read.  I wasn’t completely obsessed with it like I was a couple of the other books from this month, so I gave this one four stars on Goodreads.  It’s definitely worth the read, and it’s also now a mini-series on Apple TV… we’ll be watching that soon!  My Momma said she enjoyed it.


Fourth, was The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth, and OHMYWORD I couldn’t put this one down, y’all.  I was literally reading every single second that I could because I needed to know what was coming next.  Friday, I ended up reading for an hour straight to finish it even though I had a million other things that I needed to be doing.  It was definitely worth it.  Haha.  Five stars.  Read this one if you want something that you can’t put down.


Finally, I started and should finish Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano by the end of this week.  I have heard great things about this book, but y’all, I’m about halfway through and I’m not all that impressed.  I’m actually finding it to be a little bit boring, but I’m going to keep on trudging along.  I’ll have to report back once I’m done. 


That also reminds me that I started Lessons in Chemistry this month, made it a third of the way through, and quit it because I was bored to tears.  I rarely quit books, y’all, so it’s not like me to do that, but I just couldn’t bring myself to waste my time when I have such a massive stack of books on my nightstand just waiting to be read.  I have heard nothing but rave reviews for this book, but I just don’t get it??  Have you read it??  Should I try to pick it up again??


In addition to those, I’m also still making my way through Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by Craig Groeschel.  That one takes a lot of self-reflection and critical thinking, and there are lots of questions to reflect on and fill out, so I’m taking my time with it and really digging in to do the work so I can get the most out of it.    


Currently Watching


With B:  This month, we finished the final season of Ted Lasso (fantastic – all the tears!), we started and finished season one of Shrinking (amazing, incredible, highly recommend), and we started and finished as much as we could of season one of Platonic (a little raunchy, hilarious, highly recommend if you like that sort of stuff… think This is 40, Wedding Crashers, The Hangover… that kind of stuff).  Platonic is still being released weekly, so we’re not quite done with season one yet.  I think the last episode is released in mid-July.  We also started season three of Trying.  We watched seasons one and two years ago and we liked it (I wouldn’t say I loved it, but it was worth the watch), so we’re giving season three a go.  In addition to those, we’re also still catching up on a backlog of Shark Tank when we have spare time and nothing else to watch.


With the Kids:  We’re still rolling through Weird But True, but I’m sitting a lot of those out because I’m not a fan.  Haha.  We also started the new season of America’s Got Talent, and that new show Hotwheels: Ultimate Challenge.  I’m not a huge fan of that one either. 


Alone:  I’m still just watching The Wedding Planner on repeat when I’m not listening to music, and I have zero shame admitting that.  Haha.


Currently Listening To

One thing there is no shortage of this year is new music!!  Between Ed Sheeran and Dave Matthews Band releasing new music in May, and then Phillip Phillips releasing a new album this month, I’ve had lots of good stuff to listen to!  I’ve pretty much been alternating among those three, plus throwing in some random 90’s playlists every now and then.  We also listened to our summer party playlist at the beach and that consists of a lot of country and some pop and hip hop stuff.  I also downloaded the album Hymn of Heaven (Acoustic Sessions) by Phil Wickham and it is a beautiful album from start to finish.  I’ve listened to praise and worship music here and there throughout my life, but it’s never been one of my top genres.  Lately I’ve been finding myself turning to it a little more than usual, so if you have any good recommendations I’d love to know!

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

Monday, June 26, 2023

30A Summer Beach Trip 2023 - Days 1, 2, & 3

I’m finally taking the time to recap our beach trip from a few weeks ago!  We go to the same place every summer – an area called 30A in Florida – because it’s just so beautiful and there’s so much to do that we can’t imagine going anywhere else.  It’s paradise and we’re grateful because it’s only a short drive from our house.

Every time I post on Instagram or my blog about this trip, I always get numerous DMs and emails about various things we do/places to eat/etc., so if you have any questions that you would like answered, check out this post here… it’s all about the 30A area!  And if you still have questions after reading that post, feel free to send me an email!  :o)

Saturday, June 3

We can’t ever check into our condo until PM 4 CST, which is 5 PM our time (EST), so we always sleep in the Saturday that we leave, spend the morning packing, and then we usually leave right after lunchtime to get to the beach.

Our trip down to Florida this year was uneventful, and we had great weather and minimal traffic, so we made it there in record time.  On the way in to town, we decided to go ahead and swing by Publix to grab groceries so we wouldn’t have to go back out once we’d gotten to the condo. 

We usually stop at the Publix on 30A in Santa Rosa, and it’s always a nightmare.  The parking lot is congested and busy, the store is tiny and bonkers packed, and the setup of the store is just really strange, so the whole experience always tests my patience… to put it nicely.  ;o)

This time on the way in, we discovered that they had constructed a new Publix on the back road in Watersound since last summer when we visited, so we decided to stop at that one instead. 

Best. Decision. Ever. 

It was HUGE and not packed at all and the whole experience was much less stressful than normal.  We were in and out in just a few short minutes.  The only downside to grocery shopping on the way in is that we never have a place to put the actual groceries because the car is packed with all of our luggage.  That meant that they all had to go in…

My lap.  Haha.

No big deal, though, because the rest of the drive was short and sweet, and we were pulling up to our condo in no time. 

When we arrived, we got everything unpacked and then got the groceries put away.  There was no exploring to do because we’d already stayed at this exact condo in this exact same unit back in 2020.  It’s my favorite one of all time!

On the drive down, I had ordered pizza from Angelina’s (our favorite local takeout place), and told them to have it ready for us at 6, so Brian went out to pick it up shortly after we were settled in.  While he was gone, I pulled out a beer and enjoyed it on the balcony overlooking the beach.

After dinner, we each enjoyed a mini ice cream cone that we’d picked up from Publix, and then we went out for our first walk on the beach.  The sun was setting, and the temp was perfect (actually a bit chilly to me... you can see the chill bumps on my arm in the picture I took of my workout), and it was a lovely time.  A sweet lady saw us walking along, and she offered to snap some pictures of us, so we took her up on her offer!  She took the family picture, the one of B and me, and one of the kids.

We came in just before dark and got in our PJs, and then we watched some of America’s Got Talent along with the new Hotwheels show that started recently, and then we all headed to bed.


Sunday, June 4

Tuesday morning, we were up at 7 AM CST (8 AM our time), because we wanted to make sure that we got an ideal spot out on the beach.  Brian headed straight out to set up our chairs and umbrella, and then he headed to The Donut Hole to pick up our first round of donuts for breakfast.  While he was gone, I did my morning meditation and quiet time, and the kids watched some cartoons. 

When B got back, we enjoyed our donuts in the condo, and as always, they were delicious.  I look forward to those Dutch Crumb donuts all year!!  I wish we had a donut place that had something similar.

After breakfast, we all got changed into our swimsuits, we got the beach bag packed and ready to go, and then we headed down to the water around 9 AM CST.  The rest of the morning was spent lounging in the sun, reading, and playing.  It was a gorgeous day and the temp maxed out around 81.  The humidity was also miraculously low for Florida, so it actually felt really pleasant at times… borderline chilly in the shade!  The water was placid and crystal clear and it looked like something straight out of a magazine.  It was the most beautiful it’s ever been on any of our trips!

Around 11 AM CST (noon, our time), we abandoned our stuff on the beach and headed to the condo for a little break.  We had a light lunch of sandwiches, chips, and fruit and took a quick bathroom break, and then we headed straight back down to the beach for a couple more hours.  Neither of the kids wanted to leave, but we wanted to go into Panama City for the evening, and it’s a bit of a drive from where we always stay, so we wanted to get a jump start on the evening.

After everyone was showered and ready, we hopped in the car and headed in the direction of Pineapple Willy’s – it’s one of our traditions, and we’ve been eating there every single summer since Jacob was born.  I’ve been going there since college.  Haha.  It’s been around forever. 

On the drive over, it grew pitch black, and it proceeded to POUR down rain all the way there.  We were second guessing our plans since we intended to eat outside and then play mini golf, and I was worried we were going to have to pivot, but miraculously, the sky cleared right as we pulled in the parking lot, and it remained sunny for the rest of the evening!  We were able to enjoy our dinner on the pier at Pineapple Willy’s and we were treated to a beautiful rainbow over the ocean.  As usual, the pictures don’t do it justice.

After dinner, we headed over to a new-to-us miniature golf place.  We are creatures of habit, and we tend to go to the same places over and over again when we find something we love.  We typically go to a place called Pirates Island – we love it because it’s so fun and the course is nice and unique and clean – so we never stray.  But this year, we decided to go to Coconut Creek to change it up, and we were so glad we did.  The course was just as nice and clean, and we had a great time. 

The course was a little less challenging than the one at Pirate’s Island, but it didn’t really make it any less fun, and it was nice to do something different for a change.  Brian got three holes-in-one, I got two, and Jacob got one, so it was an exciting game.  ;o)  The weather was incredible, too.  If you’ve ever been to Florida then you know how hot and humid it usually is, but we were never hot on this entire trip… it was just as cool and breezy as could be even though it was sunny… in June.  Unheard of, y’all.

After miniature golf, we headed over to The Pink Pelican for ice cream.  It’s one of our favorite places for ice cream ever because they have TONS of flavors and they’re all so unique.  I haven’t been eating ice cream much since I lost my sweet tooth after I had Covid last October, but I couldn’t resist getting it there because they have one of my favorite flavors of all-time that I can’t get anywhere else – Banana Crème Pie.  Oh my word, it is delicious.

After ice cream, we made the long drive back to our condo, and by the time we got back it was almost dark out.  We finished the episode of the Hotwheels show that we’d started the night before, and then it was bedtime for one and all.  We were all exhausted from all of the sun and fun of the day.


Monday, June 5

Monday was much the same as Sunday… up at 7 AM CST to get the chairs out on the beach, leftover donuts for breakfast in the condo (and hot tea time for me), beach all morning, lunch in the condo, and then back down to the beach for the afternoon.  Again, it was clear and sunny, the humidity was low, the water was insanely gorgeous, and it was just an ideal day to be at the beach.  I cannot believe how blessed we were on this trip with good weather and good water.

Mid-morning, we got this text from my parents back home... they had just picked up Maui to take care of her for a bit, and they were just checking in!  Got another one of her in a snuggly blanket later in the afternoon, too.  ;o)

We headed back up to the condo around 2 PM CST to get showered and ready and have some snacks on the balcony, and then we headed into Seaside to spend the evening. 

Seaside is probably my favorite little town in all of 30A, although, it’s impossible to choose because there are so many and every single one offers its own unique vibe with an abundance of things to do. 

We found a place to park, and then we headed straight to Great Southern Café for an early dinner.  We were seated at the perfect table out on the covered porch, and again, the weather was pleasant and pretty much perfect.  We always hit up Great Southern Café at 4 PM CST (which is 5 PM our time, so it’s not all that early for us) because they have happy hour prices on cocktails until 5 PM CST. 

They are famous for their cocktails, especially their mojitos, but B and I both opted for an Old Fashioned because theirs are the GOAT.  Sometimes I still can’t believe that I’m a whiskey drinker now.  I truly never thought I’d see that day!  And somebody kept trying to steal the cherries out of ours, so our server brought Olivia her very own little bowl of cherries.  I thought that was so sweet!

The first round went down quickly, so we grabbed one more round before happy hour ended, and then we had one of my favorite dinners everrrr.  They have so many great things on the menu, but their southern veggies are always my favorite, so I always get a veggie plate there.  This year, I opted for the gouda cheese grits, the fried okra, and the garlic green beans.  Brian got the same thing, but he also added the fried green tomatoes.  It was so delicious, and we were all stuffed by the time we’d finished.

After dinner, we walked over to Duckie’s (a cute little toy store), and the kids each picked out a souvenir.  That is one of their favorite places, so they look forward to going there all year.


After Duckie’s we walked down to Sundog Books, an independent book store that is the cutest and quaintest little place, and we browsed for a bit.  I had been hearing amazing things about Happy Place by Emily Henry, so I wanted to scoop up a copy while we were there.  And while it would have been much cheaper to find it at Target or Walmart (or just have Amazon deliver it), I do love to support local places like that one when I can.

By the time we’d finished shopping, the kids were asking for dessert, so we grabbed ice cream for them at Dawson’s, but B and I didn’t partake because we were still too stuffed from dinner. 

After their ice cream was consumed, we decided to walk and find the house from the movie The Truman Show.  That movie was filmed in Seaside, and even though we’ve been to Seaside a ton of times, we’d never taken the time to go find the house.  It was just a short walk down the way from the food trucks, and the house really is the cutest, quaintest little place!  Fun fact, the day we were there, we found out it was the 25th anniversary of the movie’s release, and we didn’t even know it!  Side note, Brian thought this outtake was hilarious, so I thought I'd pop it in the post for all of you to see.  Haha.

Once that was done, we headed back to the car and drove back to our condo, and then we spent the evening on the beach.  We went for a nice long walk, and we also spotted a few crabs.  A couple of them appeared to be out of place a very long way from the water, so Olivia carried them to the water to “save them.”  Hopefully they were grateful.  Haha.

We headed back up to the condo at dusk, and then we watched two episodes of Weird But True, and that was the end of day three!  I’ll be back Wednesday and Friday with other posts, and then I’m hoping to get the rest of our beach recap up next week!  Thanks for following along!

Happy Monday, y’all!