August 20, 2021

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Brand new backpacks & matching shoes, be still my heart! These babes are back in school this week and it's been a week! I always forget how much of an adjustment the first week is. We're all extra tired and stumbling around this new routine we're trying to create. 

Lia was pretty nervous to start 6th grade but our saving grace is that she didn't have to change schools! The kids' school is K-8th so they get to stick together for awhile. Nico had no nerves about starting first grade but the lack of sleep in the mornings isn't his favorite thing! Though, ironically, any other morning he pops out of bed bright eyed at 7 AM...

They both came home saying the first day was great. Nico is most excited about Lego Lab with L's old 4th/5th grade teacher. He's currently trying to convince her they need to watch Lego Masters in class!

Lia admitted that middle school isn't as bad as she thought and I hope it stays that way for her! I remember some awkward times of my own in middle school. I think math class and art class are going to be her favorites again this year. 

I couldn't resist making a festive snack board for after school either! Target always wins with their themed sugar cookies. 

Here's to finishing out the week strong (and healthy!) and finding that routine we so badly need. Sending all the mamas a big hug and cheering you on! 

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What I Read In July

August 19, 2021

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Summer burnout + the start of school + being 8 months pregnant means I haven't been reaching for books like I want to! I'm hoping a cozier, calmer Fall will do the trick.

For now, I'm trying to dive in the last few beachy reads I had on my list for this summer. I tackled a few in July and they were all good!

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel - This one gave me all the Dirty Dancing vibes! Summer at what once was an exclusive club in the Catskills sounds incredibly dreamy, right? Of course, those clubs aren't what they used to be and this story follows the two families that own the Golden Hotel during it's last summer. I loved it!

The Personal Librarian - This wasn't a beachy read but it was a based on a true story of a librarian that climbed her way to the top while keeping hold of a major secret.  

Malibu Rising - Another Taylor Jenkins Reid winner! Loved the characters, loved the setting, really enjoyed it overall!

Between Two Kingdoms - Another non-beachy read but this memoir about a cancer diagnosis, putting your life on hold, and what happens when your life restarts. It was heavy at times but incredibly well-written. Read it! 

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August 18, 2021

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I'm no expert on Amelia Island but we've been a few times in the last couple of years and have a growing list of favorite must-sees and must-eats! 

Grab a quick bite for lunch at Tasty's. It's an old gas station turned into a burger shop with a good variety of burger styles, fries, and milkshakes! 

Take a walk down the main street downtown and pop into all the local shops. 

Eight Flags Antique Market is great for wandering around in. The kids always find something to look at that entertains them!

Hudson & Perry is a tiny shop full of charm! I dream of taking one of everything home each time I am in there!

Villa Villekulla is the kid's favorite shop to pop into! From the marble run set-up to all the fun little toys to explore, this is a must-stop for us each visit. 

Of course, a family trip wouldn't be complete for us without a stop in a book store. The Book Loft is another store oozing with charm. The kids gravitate to the children's section in the back immediately. 

Stop by Fernandina's Fantastic Fudge for a sweet treat after all the shopping! Their fudge is amazing but they offer ice cream and other chocolate treats too. 

When you're ready for some sight-seeing, take a short drive over to the original Pippi Longstockinghouse! This is a must-do for L every year. She's loved the story of Pippi since she was 3 or 4. 

Another short drive away is the lighthouse. We've never taken a tour of the actual lighthouse but we've lucked out driving up and getting up close views and capturing some great photos with the kids! 

the cutest blast from the past

Then, head over to Fort Clinch State Park. It's just $6 per car to enter and you could really spend all day there! We usually spend a couple hours hunting for sharks teeth and taking in the gorgeous scenery but there's the fort to be explored, several beach areas, and lots of biking/hiking trails!

Finish the day with dinner outside. Our favorites are The Salty Pelican for your typical steak, seafood, bar-type food and Pepper's Cocina for delicious Mexican food.

There's so much to do and explore there. These are just a few of our favorites! 

We keep adding to our memory bank every time we visit this sweet little island. 

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August 10, 2021

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School starts next week and we're going to have a 6th grader and a 1st grader! It seems impossible and yet, here we are.

We tackled all of our back to school shopping with the exception of a few small things (mostly teacher wish list items and a planner for L to track her new middle school schedule) and I feel like after years of having kids in school, I've got a few favorites in my back pocket to rely on. 

Jansport & L.L. Bean backpacks // In the past we've done Pottery Barn backpacks for the kids because they loved the prints but this year I decided to stick to simple, solid colors that we can get a few years of use out of and Jansport was a no-brainer. Free shipping, life-time guarantee and a great brand to backup their product. L.L. Bean is another great quality backpack! I used one for my entire high school career. 

Pencils, crayons, & folders // We buy the Target brand for the majority of the kids school supplies. Their plastic folders are always priced well and they last the entire year. However, we do splurge for good name-brand pencils and crayons - Crayola and Ticonderoga are perfect to get your kids through the school year!

Vans slip-ons // Both kids have chosen slip-on vans for their school shoes recently and we all love them. I know they aren't struggling with laces throughout the day and Nico can put these on by himself. A huge bonus because bending over to put shoes on him at 8 months pregnant just isn't happening! If actual sneakers are your thing - these New Balances are another one our top choices. 

Classic polo shirt // Our school district requires uniforms and we have tried so many brands for polo shirts. Children's Place is well-priced but they shrink! Target is okay but haven't been our favorites. We stumbled on these Izod brand polos and they were so soft and great quality (and very affordable on sale!) so here's hoping these are a winner. I love other pieces from their brand so I feel pretty good about these.

Jogger pants // Gap quality has always been good for us and these joggers are the perfect uniform pants to get Nico through our short-lived winter season. 

Pleated skirt // Our favorite uniform skirts, hands down. Izod brand for the win. Very affordable when you catch a sale (and I haven't had any issues finding them on sale), super comfortable, and no ironing needed! They check all the boxes for us. L has used this style skirt since Kindergarten! They also sell extended  sizes online when you get to that weird stage when your kid is between kid clothes and adult clothes.

Fulton lunch bag // This is a new style for us but I've eyed them for awhile at Target and they have great reviews. The selling point for us was the removable hard insert. L had a few issues with food leaking inside her lunchbox last year resulting in bringing home a damp lunch box. 

Bento style containers // These are great! Well-priced, easy for kids to open and close, and dishwasher safe! My kids don't love when their food touches so these give us the ability to pack a range of foods in the same container. They also have different styles online (like 4 compartments and even 5 compartments) and they fit in most lunchboxes. 


The kids backpacks are filled with supplies and patiently hanging up in the closet. They are excited and nervous about their first day of school and we're all hoping for a smooth year! 
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Babymoon In Disney

August 9, 2021

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We've got about 6 1/2 weeks to go until our sweet babe makes her appearance into the world! And there was no better time for a quick baby moon than last week. 

Setting up a sitter for the kids was the easy part, leaving them? Not so much! I'm a big fan of adult trips to Disney but I do always feel a little guilty going without the kids. There's just something about witnessing the magic through their eyes. 

We still did it, though! We drove down on a Tuesday morning and did a little shopping at Disney Springs before grabbing dessert at Gideon's and then dinner at The Boathouse. I highly recommend both places! We were planning on going back to Gideon's for their evening only special of hot cookies served up with ice cream but we were so full from dinner and I was exhausted. Next time!

And, we capped off the night with a quiet evening at the pool and The Incredibles on TV in the room.

Wednesday morning was all about the magic! We had reservations for Magic Kingdom and plans to spend the entire day there. I cruised around in a rented electronic wheelchair because, as much as I didn't want it, there was no way I'd get through all the walking. If you're very pregnant at Disney, splurge for one. 

I was able to ride most of the rides there and didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. We got to spend the day together without the kids, eating all my favorite park snacks and dodging mini rain showers here and there. 

We saw some of the Halloween decorations already up and I'll admit, I wasn't hating the cozy, fall vibe they were giving off! The one time we went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party a few years ago was the most fun and we've all wanted to go back again for another Fall season. Then, we capped the night off with our last viewing of the Happily Ever After fireworks (our favorite!) and took our very sore + tired selves back to our room.

We headed back home the next day with a few stops (like Ikea!) built-in to our trip. We couldn't wait to get back to the kids and they couldn't wait to have us back and get their souvenirs! 

Disney isn't the most usual place to babymoon at but if you love Disney like we do, it can be perfect. It was a great way to celebrate our magical little babe!

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