Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May Favorites


So many things that I can say are my favorite, that I've used this month or seen.

Here's a few on my list!

These  adorable cactus soaps


This delicious beer! I'm a beer fan and I'm picky. We recently discovered this summer ale and it is light and refreshing! 


These super cute men's swim trunks. On my list for Father's Day gifts. 

This color is everything to me lately and these are to die for! 



These are too cute to eat... maybe. ;) 


This stuff... it's everything. I am in LOVE with this cream. It gives you a mega glow and it smells delicious! 


And these graphic tees! Maverick is a brand rep for The Little Owl Nest Co. (one of a few that he recently landed) and she has the CUTEST stuff! So soft and adorable! 
If you find something you love, use code TLONMAVERICK15 to save 15% off of your order! 















Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Beach Vacation Meal Plan





One of the things I love about our beach vacation week is that our largest expense is the house itself. I plan our meals out in advance and do a big grocery trip on the day that we arrive.

We have a few restaurants that we always like to visit while we're there, so I take those in account as well.

The first few years we went I bought too much food, didn't plan our meals well and on Friday evening we threw out way too much food.
I now have a much better system in place, in my opinion! 😏

Here's a snap shot of my menu.

 I plan breakfast (loosely) lunch and dinner. On our Lulu's day we'll have something simple for dinner, hot dogs, etc. We always tend to eat and drink a lot at Lulu's.

As far as our meals go, I found this system on Pinterest and decided to put it to use. You start with one main meal, write those ingredients down and then branch off.




For example, on Sunday I always make a Dr Pepper Pulled Pork roast and we make sandwiches with it, we will then eat those leftovers for lunch at least two days. No waste! I planned tacos for one evening, buying enough ground beef to also do a spaghetti night, along with that we'll do salad (lettuce will also be used for tacos and lunch salads) and French bread. I'll buy enough French bread to go with the shrimp and corn chowder (our other big meal) and French Bread Pizzas on Friday (which is also a fridge clean out night) so basically eat whatever is left over!
The shrimp and corn chowder calls for shrimp (locally bought on the island and so yummy) corn (produce stand purchase) and bacon, that bacon I'll also use for BLT's one day for lunch and possibly some for breakfast one day.

Planning it out like this hopefully eliminates waste and saves us money!

Here's the plan in case you may want some inspiration

Saturday: (arrive and grocery) Island Rainbow Pizza day
Sunday: B; bagels/cereal L; Lighthouse Bakery D; Dr Pepper Pulled Pork
Monday: B; bagels/cereal L; Lulu's D; hot dogs and a pasta salad
Tuesday: B; bacon and eggs L; left over pulled pork D; Tacos
Wednesday: B; biscuits &a gravy L; BLT's D; spaghetti
Thursday: B; pancakes (I'll pack just enough mix with us) L; Miguel's D; shrimp & corn chowder
Friday: B; Lighthouse Bakery L; picnic at beach D; French bread pizzas and fridge clean out.

I hope I helped a little on a vacation meal plan. If you plan ahead and have it all mapped out, hopefully you can save a bit and not waste as much!
Happy Planning!



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Sunday, May 14, 2017

My Summer Beach Favorites


The smell of summer is in the air. It's getting light much earlier and staying light out until nearly 8pm.
Summer means no real schedules, do what we want and ROAD TRIP!

We're about a month out from our annual beach vacation so naturally I'm thinking ahead to packing and purchasing (if there's anything I may need to buy)
Which leads me to this list of favorite things I've found!




1. This super cute beach towel from Amazon. It's so bright and cheery, it makes me happy just looking at it! And one can never have too many beach towels!

2. This super handy toy bag. It is mesh which allows for all of that pesky sand to fall through. Hopefully leaving less sand in the bag!

3. This sun tent for babies or toddlers or hot older children. We had one the first year we took Maverick to the beach. I knew that we would need some shade at some point during our time down at the water and we needed a place to feed him and if he decided to nap (which he never did)

4. & 5.  I am a huge reader. When it starts getting warmer and summer is approaching I find myself looking for books that are fun and easy to read and that usually have a beach theme. This book is on my "to read" list. I'm a huge "judge a book by its cover" girl, I can't help it. Packaging is a giant motivator in making a sell with me.
Where is Baby's Beach Ball 
Hide and Seek Harry at the Beach

6. This giant wagon to haul all of this stuff down to the water. :D

7. I love summer, I love the water and the sun but dang I do get hot. And babies get really hot and usually need cooling off pretty often. Well how cute is this pineapple beach fan? I need it!

8. This incredibly adorable pineapple float! Need I say more?

9. We have had so many mishaps with phones and water that I usually take ziplock baggies and put everyone's phone in that. But look at this phone bag! Adorable! Need.

10. A good sunscreen is a must.

11. These super cute rose gold sunglasses!

12. Last but not least this handy cooler bag! We don't usually take a full lunch because the house we rent is right off of the water, but drinks and snacks are always a must. This is so nice and handy!

What are some of your favorite summer things? Leave me a note in the comments! I'd love to check them out.

























































Monday, May 8, 2017

24 Hours in Mobile Alabama

On our annual trip to Dauphin Island, we can't get it driven in one day. It's only 10 hours from our driveway to the island, but with four kids (one being a toddler) stops are in order and I think a 10 hour driving day would be a nightmare. Therefore, sometimes we do it in two days, sometimes we take a bit longer and do it in three. When we do it in three we stop on the last night in Mobile, it is an hour from Dauphin Island.
It's such a great city. It's a big city with a small town feel. Very southern and quaint. It's our absolute
favorite.




Since we usually are there not even 24 hours, I thought I'd touch on a few things to do and places to eat there if you have minimal time.

We always stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites downtown. It has a great pool, a really nice breakfast and you can not beat the location. The price of the rooms are great as well, depending on the time of year. For us, a family of six, we need two queens and a pull out sofa. A suite is even better. We always end up with a nice suite there and even better if we get a corner room and one with a balcony! Check them out, you will NOT be disappointed!



Where to eat:

We always make a visit to Buck's Pizza while we're in town. It's right off of Dauphin St and we really enjoy it. It's a short walk from our hotel, they have great beer and super good pizza!

Our first year visiting Mobile we had breakfast at A Spot Of Tea  seriously delicious! Total brunch lovers dream! Get the eggs benedict or the bananas fosters french toast, you will not be disappointed!

You MUST visit Panini Pete's and have some beignets. Holy moly! They are the best. Well, I haven't visited New Orleans yet, but I'm betting that they are pretty dang close! And they've been featured on Diners Drive Ins and Dives.


Panini Petes, Mobile Alabama

This adorable little place has some pretty delicious pastries! If you have a sweet tooth it's worth your time to visit Cream & Sugar

One thing I can never do without on vacation, or any day, is coffee. While the Hampton Inn is decent coffee as far as hotel coffee goes, we stopped in here last year and were pleasantly surprised! Serda's is located right across from our hotel, super convenient and delicious! 

As far as things to do, we are never there for long. We are always there on a Friday night, simply because we check in to our beach house on Saturdays. Saturday mornings we will walk around downtown, they have a pretty awesome farmer's market that goes on, and there is a cathedral downtown that is breathtaking. Totally worth a little stop in! 




The first year we visited Mobile we did the submarine. Located right off of the downtown district is the USS Alabama.  It is a bit pricey if you have more than a few in your family, but history wise and just in general, it's totally a must see. Just to say you've been on it. 

USS Alabama

USS Alabama

USS Alabama


I hope this made you a little curious about this completely charming southern city. It's simply beautiful and very near and dear to my heart. It's worth a little weekend trip to visit! 


mobile alabama, cathedral

mobile alabama

masonic temple, downtown mobile alabama

all light up, downtown mobile alabama








Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Apps to Make Your Road Trip the Best Ever!



Summer is coming and that means one thing for this family, ROAD TRIP! We usually take at least one big road trip a summer and maybe a few small ones. This summer we're doing two large ones, Dauphin Island in June and Disney in September, and we can not wait!
Part of the excitement is getting there. Yes riding in the car with a family of six is not always the most fun you'll have, but we see so much more and make memories.

Here are a list of road trip apps that will make your trip even better!

 Roadtrippers

This app is a must have for anyone wanting to see the sights as you travel! You enter where you want to go, make selections depending on what you want to see and the app creates a customized map just for you! They have landmarks along the way, restaurants, etc. We use this app and love it! We've found things we probably wouldn't find on our own.

Hotel Tonight

Last minute discounts on top rated hotels. You can only book a week out, so it's not for the planner, which we are when we drive, but it's a great app to have just in case!

Gas Buddy

Super important for saving money on gas. Put in where you're going (stop wise) and it will give you all of the gas prices for that area, then you can compare and find the cheapest!

iExit

I haven't used this app yet but you can bet I'll download it for our June trip. It tells you what's ahead at each exit while driving on the interstate, where to eat, gas, etc. A must have! We're constantly trying to find spots while driving to pull off and have a bite.

Field Tripper

This app runs in the background of your phone, alerting you to locations to fit a "field trip": historical, sites, architecture, entertainment, etc. It will base your recommendations by a thumbs up or thumbs down from you.

Netflix

Pretty self explanatory. Riding in a car for 6 hours a day can be pretty boring, this helps break it up a bit. I can watch almost a whole season of something in a car ride! Binge ride, yes please!

TV Food Maps

I'm new to this one but you can bet I'll be downloading to use! We love new and interesting food spots. I hate to go to a new city and eat at a chain restaurant that we have at home. We usually try to scout out the local places, not chain restaurants, as much as we can. This app shows you places that have been featured on popular food shows and let's you plan your trip around them. Totally giving this one a try!

I hope I helped you a little bit, ease the boredom of road tripping and make it fun. It's the thing we look forward to the most!