Friday Favorites

Tropical Storm Cindy came through this week, so we did not have any exciting adventures outdoors.  Instead, we hung around inside with the doggies and went to bed early – who doesn’t sleep better with a little rain?


Here are a few things that brought me joy this week:

Creating a Livable Community

My father-in-law wrote a wonderful article in this week’s Beachcomber stressing the importance of making Destin a nicer place to live rather than just advertising for more and more tourists, which is what our local Tourist Development Council has been doing.  Give it a read here.

Staedtler Fineliners

I had been hearing about these pens for awhile, as they are a favorite of the Bullet Journal community (post to come on bullet journaling), and when I saw a multipack on sale at Target, I bit the bullet (hahaha) and bought them.  The colors are vibrant, the writing is smooth, and the carrying case is so cute and convenient.  I am definitely a fan!

Rockabye Baby!

I learned about Rockabye Baby! from an Instagram friend who has a son the exact same age as Carla May (her blog is here).  Rockabye Baby! is a music production company takes parents’ favorite music (think Grateful Dead, Beyonce, Metallica, Bob Marley, etc.) and records it as children’s lullabies.  We have really enjoyed listening to these, our favorites so far being “Proud Mary,” “No Woman No Cry,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Badfish,” “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” and “China Cat Sunflower.”  Even if you don’t have kids, you should check these out!

How was your week? What brought you joy?


Scenes from Our Weekend

We had a busy, busy weekend and a very special one celebrating Chatham’s first Father’s Day as a dada!

On Friday at the office, Carla May was having a ball in her pack n play.  She loved standing up and giving me “kisses” through the mesh.


We started swim lessons on Saturday, and I was sure that Carla May would just love it, since she gets so excited for bathtime or any other activity that involves water.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.


There were about 30 pairs of parents and babies in the class.  Carla May kept getting mistaken for a boy since her swimsuit is blue (I guess they didn’t notice the ruffle butt? Grrr).


She was excited initially to get into the pool, but as soon as the coaches had me lay her on her back, all hell broke loose!  She was screaming and kicking and struggling, but luckily she was in good company – most of the babies in the class had the exact same reaction.


In between exercises, she would cling to me like a little koala bear.  I probably have bruises behind my arms from how tightly she was grasping me with her tiny little fingers.  It was actually pretty adorable.


Chatham came to join in on the fun and try on Carla May’s sunglasses.  I may make him get in the water with her next week.


She was so happy to get out and sooo pitiful.  She went straight down for a three hour nap when we got home… she was worn out!!!


Chatham has started a new exercise routine consisting of running to Dewey Destin’s Snowballs (about 3 miles from our house) and then walking back after he has a snowcone.  It was super pretty out this weekend, so Carla May and I drove over after his run and joined him for a snowcone.  She loved her first taste of ice and pure sugar, of course!



Since we were in the neighborhood, we stopped by and visited Chatham’s grandmother afterwards.  She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and she always keeps plenty of toys around for the great-grandbabies.


Sunday was Father’s Day, and Carla May surprised Chatham with a wagon full of gifts and a mouth full of words – she said da-da!!!  The rest of the day was spent relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.


How was your weekend?  Did you do anything special for Father’s Day?


Monday Meme Round-Up

A couple good doggo memes and a kitter to start your week of right…

Golden pupperinos doin an escape (can't wait to see what's in store for us) @doggosbeingdoggos

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I'm gonna go ahead and say they all did flipping great. @memes

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prepare to die (thx for following @chaos.reigns_)

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Friday Favorites

We had a great week this week!  My sister Mellie, Carla May, and I went up to the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center on Wednesday for a tour with some of our friends with the Florida Wildlife Federation who were in town.  Neither Mellie nor Carla May had ever been to the Center, and it had been a good 8 months since I had been, so we all had a wonderful time visiting with the staff and the animals and seeing what new things are going on.


Here are a few more things that brought me joy this week:

My Sister is Here for the Summer!

I mentioned this in my post on Wednesday, but I am so excited that my sister Mellie is living with us this summer!  She studied abroad in Spain all spring semester, so it had been quite awhile since I had seen her.  She is interning this summer at Nokuse Plantation studying gopher tortoises.  Here is a cute shot of Mellie before she left for her first day:


Date Night with my Husband

Chatham and I went to a wedding in Alys Beach last weekend and had a blast.  Now that we have a kiddo who goes to bed between 6 and 7 pm, we don’t get to be out and about much after dark, and especially not with just the two of us.

Right after we parked the car and were walking in, my shoe broke!  The footpad separated from the wedge and the shoes were no longer wearable.  It takes almost an hour and a half for us to drive from our home in Destin to Alys Beach in summer traffic, so there was no way I was going back.  I considered walking in barefoot, but decided that I am already Alabama enough…  The wedding was supposed to start in 10 minutes at this point, so I told Chatham to go ahead and I’d figure something out. Luckily there is ONE store in Alys Beach and they had ONE pair of wedges available.  I sprinted over to the Alys Shoppe barefoot, paid WAY more than I would prefer to on sandals, and shimmied into the wedding right before the bridesmaids began walking down the aisle.  Whew!  Despite this minor hiccup, we ended up having a fabulous time (and I got so many compliments on my cute new shoes!!).


Long Strange Trip

long strange trip

Chatham, Mellie, and I have been watching Long Strange Trip all week (only one episode to go) and it is utterly fascinating.  Long Strange Trip is a documentary series on The Grateful Dead streaming on Amazon Prime.  The series delves into the history of the band and how their music and fans have evolved.  Band members share their stories and commentary throughout the show, and there is a ton of never-before-seen footage.  I have learned so much about the band, about the music production process, and about the jam band culture that The Grateful Dead inspired.  It is interesting to learn how jam music was first created by The Dead and compare that to the music and performance styles of jam bands still touring today, like Widespread Panic, Phish, and String Cheese, bands of which The Dead is probably their biggest influence.

There is also a soundtrack to the series streaming on Apple Music that I have been listening to all week long.

How was your week? What brought you joy?



How to Prepare for an Intentional Summer

This weekend, my sister Mellie got into town.  She is living with me this summer and interning at Nokuse Plantation, where she is researching gopher tortoises. As soon as she arrived, we sat down with stickers and fun markers and pens and started brainstorming.  We put together a Summer Bucket List, with the goal of making this summer an intentional one.  I am so used to my usual routine that if I don’t change things up, the Summer season can easily pass me by… well, not this year!


If you’re wondering what XL Shakes Shakes are, check out Shakes Destin’s website.  Their  frozen custard milkshakes are like no other.  They are so rich and creamy and decadent that you can just feel your thighs expanding (but soooo worth it).  We decided this would be a perfect end-of-summer treat.

After creating our bucket list, we were motivated to start checking things off immediately.  Our afternoon consisted of a yummy lunch with a friend at The Local Market, followed by a trip to the playground. Carla May loved the tire swing, and we enjoyed it, too!


It was a hot hot HOT day, so we set up the splash pad in the backyard next and had a BLAST!  Carla May loves water, and I adore watching her splash around.  We got the splash pad for $20 on Amazon (I think the brand is Bonzai?), and I can already tell we are going to get our moneys-worth this summer.


Another thing Carla May and I did this weekend was buy more flowers at Lowe’s.  We always have fun looking at all the plants, especially the succulents.  While she was napping, I replanted my flower beds with vinca and salvia.  I had unfortunately overwatered the last batch and killed most of them… Gardening is certainly a learning process, but I am determined to turn this brown thumb green!


Have you ever created a Summer Bucket List?  What do you want to accomplish this summer?

Also, please share your gardening tips with me!



Friday Favorites

unnamedThis week, we transitioned Carla May from the smaller Dockatot to the bigger Dockatot.  She kept rolling over in the smaller Dockatot, and I got worried that she might get stuck, since the cushioned barriers don’t allow for much movement.  I thought the transition might interrupt her usual 11-12 hours of sleep for a night or two while she got used to her new sleeping arrangements, but I did not need to be worried – my good sleeper stayed a good sleeper!  These days, I try not to take anything for granted and rejoice in the little things!

Here are a few more things that brought me joy this week:

Mac n Cheese with Bacon and Peas

Chatham has been working a lot this week, so I haven’t prepared any special dinners and have been mostly using up what we have.  In doing so, I stumbled upon a great recipe that I’m going to have to add to our regular rotation because it was so easy and delicious:



1 box Annie’s White Cheddar Shells

4 slices bacon

1/2 bag frozen peas

2 tbs butter

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

1 minced garlic clove

3 sprigs of thyme leaves


Boil Annie’s pasta as instructed on the box.  Two minutes to completion, pour in frozen peas. Drain pasta when finished.

Meanwhile, slice up bacon into small pieces and fry until crispy.  Place bacon pieces on a paper towels to soak up the grease.

In the saucepan you used to cook the pasta, melt butter and add garlic and thyme.  When garlic is fragrant, pour in milk, sauce powder from Annie’s box, and cheeses.  Stir and add pasta, peas, and bacon.


This Article

Some of you may have watched my Instagram Story this week about the mockingbirds tormenting my cat.  Well..  not only have they gotten worse, they’ve also started tormenting ME when I take the dogs out.  I did some research (aka Googling) about territorial mockingbirds and came across the funniest article describing the phenomenon that was written a few years ago.  See if you can read the whole thing without laughing: Dive-Bombing Mockingbirds Terrorize South Florida


This week I went through all of my clothes Marie Kondo-style and got rid of everything that doesn’t bring me joy!  Now, all of my clothes fit in only one closet and it is so easy to put together an outfit every morning.  I did not realize until I finished the project and was looking at everything left in my closet that all of my clothes are the same colors: blue, blush, black, white, tan, or gray.  I guess I know what I like, huh?

Note: There are two types of people – those who care if their hangers match and those who don’t.  I am obviously in the latter category.


Getting rid of clutter, choosing versatile clothing styles that all go together, and organizing a closet are three things I enjoy, so this was a really fun project for me.  Any local friends who would like to organize their closet, please call me!  Seriously, I’d love to help!!!

How was your week? What brought you joy?



Children’s Book Round-Up


Carla May has recently started paying attention when we read books together, rather than just trying to eat the pages, which has been a delightful development!  One of the things I looked forward to most about having a child of my own was snuggling and reading together. Anyway, here are some of our favorite children’s books that we have been enjoying lately:

My Favorites

Dragons Love Tacos – Adam Rubin

Dragons Love Tacos is an adorable story about the eating preferences of dragons and instructions about how to throw the perfect taco party for dragons.  The illustrations are whimsical and fun.  I find myself laughing out loud every time we read this book.



On the Night you were Born – Nancy Tillman

This book is just all-around beautiful – the illustrations, the poetic narrative, and the feelings it evokes.  It has a few interactive parts that I think we’ll like more and more when Carla May gets old enough to understand (“wiggle your toes,” “whisper your name,” etc.).  I just love this book.


Owl Babies – Martin Waddell

This is a special book that we received as a gift from my godmother.  The illustrations are gorgeous and it tells the story of three baby owls who wake up to find their mother is nowhere to be found.  The books is mostly their discussions as to where she might have gone.  I especially liked the rhythm and the cadence of this book – it just feels good to read it aloud.

Carla May’s Favorites

Who Wears What – Kathy Ireland

We received this book in our May Bookroo box, and Carla May just loves it.  It is a great touch-and-feel book with bold colors, interesting textures, and simple descriptive words.  Who Wears What seems to be out of stock everywhere if you want to purchase just one copy, but you can still purchase them by the case if you buy directly from the publisher (have a lot of children’s birthday parties to attend?).

Squishy Turtle and Friends – Roger Priddy

This book was a gift, and what a wonderful gift it was!  Squishy Turtle and Friends is a cloth book with a crinkly cover and lots of touch-and-feel textures throughout.  It is only about 6 pages, but each page features a different sea animal and a new tactile detail.  Carla May’s favorite is the seahorse whose fin you can lift off the page (just like a tag!).

Love you, Hug you, Read to you! – Tish Rabe

This book has a sweet rhyme and pretty illustrations of animal parents reading to their children.  It also lists off questions you can ask your young reader about the pictures.  Carla May really likes the illustrations in this book and seems to enjoy being asked questions, even if she can’t answer them yet!  This was another one from the Bookroo May box.


Have you read any of these?  What are your favorite children’s books for a 6-9 month old?


FYI: If you decide to purchase any books from this post, I recommend you buy them from a locally owned bookstore if that is an available option for you.  If you decide to purchase from Amazon by clicking on any of the book covers in this post, I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you).  Also, if you sign up for the Bookroo (which I highly recommend) by clicking on any of the links in this post, we get some free books. Thank you!

Monday Meme Round-Up

Best doggo memes of the week… Enjoy!

Doggos do an investigation (what is the purpose of this sharp ocean friend) @doggosbeingdoggos

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@artthecorgi you are NOT a good boy. Would still snuggle immediately though. Pup @artthecorgi Via @bark

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what have I become, my sweetest friend (thanks for following @chaos.reigns_)

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Friday Favorites

17D01-2Short weeks are always busy weeks for me, and this one was no different!  When my to-do list gets longer and longer, I sometimes have to remind myself not to stress about the tasks that need to be accomplished and instead remember to enjoy every moment.  This sweetheart is a wonderful reminder.



Good Pictures you didn’t Know About

Chatham had taken this photo a few weeks ago on his phone and did not share it with me until this week, so discovering it was such a nice surprise.  I’m not in a ton of photos with my daughter since I’m usually behind the camera, so it is nice to have one of us together, especially one in which Carla May’s expression is so sweet!



My sister Mellie sent me this the other day and it is SO true!  Carla May slept in (all the way to 6:30 am) the other day so I was able to enjoy the final square:

Livin' the good life, adult style. By @adriennehedger

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House of Cards

Image result for house of cards

House of Cards is one of the rare shows that Chatham and I love to watch together.  Season 5 came out this week, but rather than binging on the new season, we decided to re-watch all of the seasons.  It’s amazing how many nuances and instances of foreshadowing you pick up on by watching the episodes a second time.  We are only on season 2, so please no spoilers on the new season!!!

New Countertops!!!

When we purchased our home, we bought a house with a wonderful location and amazing old oak trees but we had to settle with dated features.  As we can afford it, we have been fixing up the house and making it our own.  Last year, we had all the old, nasty carpets pulled up and upgraded our floors to engineered hardwood.  This year, it is finally the kitchen’s turn for some love – we picked out recycled glass quartz to replace our awful fake granite laminate and I couldn’t be more excited!

Sample is pictured below, lying on top of our laminate:


How was your week?