7.30.2014

FROZEN Fun

I know some people out there are tired of FROZEN (say whaaatttt???), but not the W family!!  We were beyond excited to head out with our besties to meet Arendelle’s royalty at a local store.  Sweet little Nutty even had her mama spray her hair white for the occasion.  I’ve already claimed her as my future daughter in law, in case you were wondering.

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We got our Little Golden Books signed by the princesses and managed to sneak in an extra for little CeeCee!!
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And afterwards we celebrated with some fro-yo.  You know, in keeping with the whole FROZEN theme.

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While I’m on the topic of FROZEN, per my littles’ summer bucket list, we’ll be hosting a FROZEN in Summer themed back to school party with bestie M.  You can find the invitation in my etsy store.

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And, let me just mention that I was able to snag a coveted Meet Anna & Elsa FastPass+ time for our fall Disney trip.  Wahoooooooo!!!  I got the Seven Dwarves Mine Train too.  It was super stressful seeing as I had been asleep for two hours by the time my window opened and could barely think much less figure out what time I’d actually want to do these things.

xoxo

7.29.2014

Go BIG! Go Six Flags!

It has become a little tradition for my sweet friend A to take our big boys out on a little back to school day of fun each summer.  And this year the outing of choice was SIX FLAGS!!!  This worked well considering John earned a free ticket for participating in a reading program this past school year :-) 

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It turned out to be the perfect day for coaster riding and water sliding!!  The high was only around 80 and the humidity spared us for the day.

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We loved old favorites like Monster Mansion (has this changed in 30 years?!?)…

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And got our thrills on rides we were just tall enough to do like Acrophobia!!  (Hello, 200 foot plunge…)

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We were all excited to give the slides a run at the new Hurricane Harbor as well.  It was so clean and new!!

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In the end we spent almost EIGHT hours in the park.  A super fun and memorable way to wrap up summer for these two sweet friends!!  They are already plotting next year’s adventure…
xoxo

7.28.2014

Easy Chalkboard Labels

I’m holding out on y’all a bit… my custom desks are done but I haven’t been able to photograph them between cloudy days and our beach trip!!  They are coming VERY soon!  (It might have to wait until after the littles start school and I have some time on my hands.)  In the mean time, I have been trying to outfit them for maximum functionality.  I scored a few seagrass baskets at Michael’s for 40% off PLUS an additional 25% off but they seemed a little blah in the all white desk cabinets.  Enter a can of Rust-Oleum chalk board paint, my new handy dandy spray paint handle (these are AWESOME!!  No more painter’s finger!!), and some dollar switch plate covers  …

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…for a couple of durable and easy peasy chalkboard labels!!!  I used a little raffia I had on hand to tie them to the baskets.

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I’m super excited about how they turned out and can’t wait to finish up this entire room!!
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And seriously, the whole thing took about three minutes!!

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We've got a fun day ahead - movies, mini-golf, pool, who knows what else.  The world is our oyster.  (Or at least our neighborhood!)
xoxo

7.27.2014

Sunday Supper {Homemade Pizzas, Ice Cream + Magic Shell}

Since we’re back home a few days earlier than intended, we made a pact to do nothing but have fun and spend time together.  (My “fun” time was spent at the grocery store and doing laundry.  LOL)  And since we’re on a serious count down to school, it’s high time we tick the last few things off of our summer bucket list.  Hence tonight’s Sunday Supper of homemade pizzas, ice cream and magic shell!!

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We had such a fun time with the pizzas.  I bought two bags of dough from the bakery and cut each in half so that we had individual pizzas to work with.  We made a quick list of toppings this morning and I cut everything up in advance.

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It’s nights like this when I’m in love with my convection oven.  I really wanted Honey to cook them on the Big Green Egg (it’s SO delish), but we were all starving and ready to eat.

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They were SO SO yummy and we have leftovers for tomorrow night.  Yeehaw!

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Earlier in the day we set to work making homemade ice cream and nutella magic shell.  I’ve been dying to try the Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home and it certainly did not disappoint (much like Jeni's over on the Westside - always delish).  It’s decadent and rich and just the right amount of sweet.  Honey was scared to try it, but three scoops later (hello, tummy ache) was smitten. 

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Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • Roasted Cherries


1. Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the goat cheese, cream cheese, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
2. Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
3. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese mixture until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
4. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy (20 minutes for me). Pack the ice cream into a storage container, alternating it with layers of the cherries and ending with a spoonful of cherries; do not mix. Press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.


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Nutella Magic Shell

  • 2/3 cups Nutella
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil

1. In a small bowl, combine Nutella and oil.  Microwave for about 20 seconds until you can easily stir.
2. Pour into a small mason jar and store at room temperature.  If it solidifies in storage, microwave for a few seconds to liquefy before pouring on top of ice cream.

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I’m backtracking a bit, but I spent the afternoon hanging with the Class of 2027 at the baby’s Kindergarten Social.  He hid behind a bench for the first fifteen minutes until his little friend C showed up.  I wanted to just pick him up and bring him home forever, sweet shy boy.  I think this outing made me more nervous than ever about him starting school. :-( 

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Speak of the devils, I can hear that they are still awake and suppose it’s high time I go in there and lay down the law…
xoxo

7.26.2014

Rosemary Beach House

We arrived back in Atlanta late last night (three days early), but before we loaded up and bid farewell to Rosemary, I snapped a few quick pics of this year’s rental…

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At the ground level, you enter into a floor with two master bedrooms (queens I think), a room with two twin beds (we loved that it had a door and was not bunks), and a fourth bedroom with another queen.  The last two share the hall bath.

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These pics were as we were leaving so all of the beds have been stripped (what you have to do when leaving.)

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The laundry was also on this level and led out to a covered porch and the sizeable back yard (by Rosemary standards.)

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Heading up to the second level is the main living space.

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The den and kitchen were huge, very open and full of light.  It did seem that some of the furniture was missing, as was a lot of the art.

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We loved this little powder room with the glass tile wall and oyster shell mirror.  We did not love that the door fell off the hinges…

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Heading up again, there was what was listed as a “sitting room” but, again, the furniture and electronics were missing.  This level also had a bunk room with four twin beds.

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We loved the fenced in yard with hot tub, grills and space to ride scooters.

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As lovely as it looks in these pictures, I would not recommend this particular house.  We’ve probably visited Rosemary 15 times over the last 9 years and this one had lots of little things wrong with it compared to all of the others we’ve tried. 

Now, I’ve had loads of questions about where we stay in Rosemary.  Here are a few tips and tricks:
  • We rent a different house each year on vrbo.com.  There are a few that we’ve stayed in 2-3 times, but we love trying new things each time.
  • Read the descriptions carefully if you want to stay inside of Rosemary Beach.  We always do!  We love their pools, beach and amenities and that we can ride bikes everywhere.  There are quite a few that say Rosemary Beach, but are really in one of the neighboring areas. 
  • Staying on the other side of 30A from the beach has been no problem for us.  We find it to be a little quieter than the gulf side.
  • A few of our repeat house rentals include: Cabana House, Timeless, The Little Beach House, and Oasis Cottage.  There are quite a few more that we’ve rented and we’ve been happy with all (except this years) but these are ones we go back to time and again.
  • Consider the cleaning fee, insurance (some require), and other costs before choosing.  These can add up fast.  Also, consider those that offer free bikes (savings of $55-85/week per person) and other amenities. 

If you have any specific questions, just comment here and I’ll try to answer!!

As to why we are back early… bestie B badly injured her shoulder so we weren’t able to make our annual trip to Pensacola after leaving Rosemary.  The littles were SO SO upset – and Honey and I were pretty bummed too.  We’ve got a few fun things in the works here at home to help pass the time :-)  Please say a quick prayer for a speedy recovery for B! 
xoxo

7.25.2014

A Little Bit of Everything

After a lovely iced coffee al fresco with bestie E, I biked back to the house to find everyone geared up for another pool and beach day.  On the way, the girls in the group made a pit stop for Posh Sicles.  I shared by banana cashew cream dipped in chocolate with CeeCee and darned if she didn’t eat all the chocolate off of it.  That baby knows the good life.

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Back at the pool it was all fun games…

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After lunch at the house we hit the beach for a little boogie boarding.  The waves were wild and the littles adored it!  We spent a little more time with bestie E and her sweet family too!!  And when a little rain blew through it was the perfect excuse to hit Sugar Shak.  Again :-)

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We headed out to dinner at another family favorite – La Cocina.

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And afterwards we stuck around for the music on the green and the “Sour Flusher” candy that the littles hunt high and low for each and every summer.  If you will recall, this is the same mini toilet that we caught the baby trying to use in the back seat on the way home last year.  Yeah, that happened.

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Part of our bike brigade.  Have I mentioned how much we adore parking our car on arrival on Saturday and taking bikes everywhere we need to go for the next week?  Sister and I did trikes this year and they were perfect for carting beach and pool gear.

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The hot tub is calling my  name …
xoxo
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