Sunday Beach Day

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We’ve just concluded a successful first week back to school, and I figured a trip to the beach was in order. Amelia had a stellar first week as a first grader, and my step daughter started middle school. (yikes!) Maggie starts back to preschool after Labor Day. I made a big breakfast this morning of bacon, potatoes, and eggs, then we drove to Clearwater Beach to swim in the ocean, and play in the powder white sand. I hope you and your kiddos are having a smooth transition back in to your school time routines. 

A Beachy Craft

Yesterday was the girls first official day of summer break. We decided to kick it off right with a trip Honeymoon Island for some fun in the sun. We found some beautiful shells like the ones above, but we also decided to search for some less than perfect shells, with holes in them, so we could do a fun craft when we returned home.

You can use any string or yarn you might have around the house, we used twine, and let your kids put their favorite shells on by themselves. The result is a fun and funky shell necklace that your kiddos will love.

Mother’s Day 2014

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I had a lovely Mother’s Day today. We went to Honeymoon Island, and enjoyed beautiful weather, and warm gulf water. I feel so lucky to be a mother to Amelia and Maggie. They are both such sweet and loving girls, and have showered me with kisses, homemade cards, and snuggles all day long. I had a nap this afternoon, and then the girls and I swam in our pool while Beau cooked steaks for dinner on the grill. Pretty great day indeed.

I am wishing all of you a very Happy Mother’s Day, too!

Sunset & Gelato

The girls and I have had terrible summer colds. We woke up today, and felt better, finally. To celebrate, we decided to pile in to the car after dinner and drive the ten minutes it takes to get from our house to Clearwater Beach. Our goal was to eat gelato, and watch the sunset. I didn’t put the girls in their bathing suits, so I let them play in the tide pools with their clothes on, which they thought was pretty fun. It was so nice to get out of the house, and I am happy to be able to resume our summer activities. Here’s to a snot-free rest of the summer. Fingers crossed.

Sandpearl Resort, A Love Letter

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I’ve just returned home from three days at the Sandpearl Resort on Clearwater Beach. We take a beach staycation every year around this time to celebrate the warmer weather, and my birthday. Yesterday, I turned thirty-six. I have spent the last few days eating gelato, drinking Blue Hawaiians, dining on seafood, swimming in the warm Gulf of Mexico, and not having a care in the world.

I have been very fortunate to have traveled quite a bit in my life, and I can easily put the Sandpearl Resort at the top of my favorite hotels ever list. This resort just takes care of you, and no detail goes unnoticed. The hotel itself is beautifully appointed, with large hotel rooms, super comfortable beds, the deepest bathtubs I’ve ever seen in a hotel, an awesome zero entry pool, and wonderful restaurants. You receive complimentary champagne upon check in, and the girls received buckets and shovels for the beach. At sunset, the resort comes alive with music, a fire pit to sit around, and they ring a bell when the sun goes down, which was one of Amelia’s favorite things. The hotel staff is very helpful and friendly, and you receive turn down service at night, complete with chocolates and bottled water left by your bedside. The Sandpearl has set the tone for you to feel pampered and relaxed. I arrived at the resort wound tight, and left feeling like a wet noodle. I am very lucky to live just 10 minutes from Clearwater Beach, but I have never experienced it like this. We will definitely be back, and may stop in just for a meal, or drinks and a sunset viewing in the very near future.

I love you, Sandpearl Resort.

If you go: We had two meals at the resort. The first was breakfast at Caretta on the Gulf. We had the breakfast buffet, and it was spectacular. We requested a table outside, and it was the perfect way to start our day. The buffet price is $21 per adult, including your beverages, and children 9 and under are free. This meal was well worth the price. The second meal we had at our resort was at Tate Island Grill. We sat outside and enjoyed the view of the beach from our table. I had the pulled pork nachos, and they were yummy.

Next door to the hotel is Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill and the Palm Pavilion. Both restaurants are favorite spots for locals, and have amazing food. Buffalo shrimp & she crab soup are two of my favorite dishes at Frenchy’s.

Now, let’s talk gelato. I had the best homemade gelato of my life at Gelato Bello, which is also located next door to the resort. Try the pistachio, it is heavenly. In the same plaza as the gelato is a small restaurant called Clear Sky Beachside Cafe. This is a great casual spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

*This is not a paid post. The opinions are 100 percent mine.

La Dolce Vita

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This morning while scrolling though my Facebook feed, I was reminded of how uncertain life can be sometimes. A second cousin of mine passed away recently, and today would have been her 36th birthday. I will be 36 in three weeks. It inspired me to blow off my to-do list, keep Amelia home from preschool, and head out to the beach.

I didn’t know this family member really well, but I like to think today was a little tribute to her. My girls and I celebrated life & love today, and I although I can’t thank her for the inspiration, I hope she is smiling down on us in heaven.

Family Beach Weekend.

We’ve just returned home from a long weekend vacation at the TradeWinds Resort on St. Pete Beach, here in Florida. It’s about a half hour drive from our house to this beautiful beach. I highly recommend this resort for families, it is super kid friendly with lots of things for the littles to do. We ate all kinds of yummy food, took early morning walks on the beach, viewed beautiful sunsets, swam like fishes, danced at a pirate party, took naps, rode around in paddle boats, fed swans, hunted for seashells, and had some good quality family time without any of the usual distractions. Three days off from cooking & house cleaning was just was this Mama needed to recharge her batteries.

Hello, 2012.

I hope everyone is off to a fun start this year! We spent yesterday being lazy, taking naps, and ordering take-out, although we did manage to take down the xmas decorations. I knew that we needed to get outside today, since tomorrow will bring our coldest weather of the season, a high in the 50’s with a low in the 30’s. Brrrr, this is super cold for west central Florida! We are lucky enough to live close to the beach, so we took the girls to their favorite beach spot, the playground.