Maggie’s Fourth Birthday Party

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This weekend we celebrated Maggie’s fourth birthday with family & friends at a favorite park. Maggie requested a Littlest Pet Shop party, and I was happy to make her birthday wishes come true. My mom made the beautiful pull-apart cupcake cake, and I put together a pet shop buffet, with cheese for the mice, carrots for the bunnies, goldfish for the kitties, and chex mix in a dog bowl for the puppies. The weather was gorgeous, and everyone was happy to be together enjoying the warm sunshine on our shoulders. My sweet Maggie had a super fun day, and that makes my mama heart happy.

Staycation Clearwater Beach 2014

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Last weekend, we stayed a few days at our favorite beach motel to celebrate my birthday, and the beautiful weather. Although we had some rain to contend with, we made the best of it with activities like swimming in the rain (our pool was heated), eating delicious seafood at our favorite beach restaurants, bird and boat watching from our balcony, and a trip to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to visit Winter, the famous dolphin from the movie A Dolphin Tale. (I will do a separate post on that outing, later). We love our local beach, and it is always voted amongst the top beaches in the country. Our sugary sand, and beautiful, warm gulf water make it the perfect place for a family vacation.

We’ve just returned from a long weekend on Clearwater Beach for my birthday. I feel relaxed and happy, so my 37th year is off to a great start. I took ALOT of photos, and will be back later this week with a post about the sweet little retro motel we stayed at, our visit with Winter the dolphin from the movie A Dolphin Tale, and of course, our time on the beach. In the meantime, here is a favorite photo I took of Amelia. High-res

We’ve just returned from a long weekend on Clearwater Beach for my birthday. I feel relaxed and happy, so my 37th year is off to a great start. I took ALOT of photos, and will be back later this week with a post about the sweet little retro motel we stayed at, our visit with Winter the dolphin from the movie A Dolphin Tale, and of course, our time on the beach. In the meantime, here is a favorite photo I took of Amelia.

Our Easter

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We had a very nice Easter Sunday. The girls awoke early to find that the Easter bunny had left them a basket of goodies, and eggs to hunt in our backyard. Later in the morning, my family came over for brunch, and after they left, we had a lazy afternoon watching Easter Parade, and taking cat naps. We will have a week of warm weather, and I hope that it is warming up where you live, too.

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.