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LITTLE BEACH, BIG HEART

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OUTER BANKS MOM APPROVED

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December 10, 2019

Most of you already know that we are BIG on crafting around here. Penny is constantly looking for a new project and she's desperate for her own YouTube channel but for now, she settles for blog features from time to time.

She has been a collector of tiny random objects since she was old enough to understand that her pockets could hold things and she loves to find new ways to repurpose just about anything. Oftentimes this means she has an abundance of homemade crafts and she loves to gift them to everyone and anyone that she loves. This makes giving Grandparent gifts super easy and extra fun for both of us. 

This year, our Grandparent holiday gift idea came from our trip to Sanibel Island a few years ago. Penny saw cute little bird frames in a gift shop and she just loved them so we book marked them for a craft for when she was a little bit older since she would need to use a hot glue gun. 

On Sunday afternoon we stopped off at the Dollar Tree and grabbed some simple 5x7 frames. We h...

December 2, 2019

After all of the Black Friday shopping and Small Business Saturday, I know some of us are all shopped out! This year, I found some great deals on the stuff that all little girls want this year like LOL Dolls and Barbies but I really try to limit the amount of the same old toys that only bring them joy for a short period of time. Our kids love to be outside in the playhouse, finding a new adventure or playing pretend. They love to create art projects and they are practically professional living room fort designers. Don't get me wrong, our girls love their baby dolls and puzzles and ALL of it, but the imaginative toys are ruling our holiday this year! These are my top toy picks for kids who usually tend to have more fun with the boxes than the toys themselves! 

1. Three words: FLOOR IS LAVA! All of my kids, ages 2, 7 and 15 will get in on a good game of floor is lava. Until Christmas, they will continue to play this family favorite with my white couch cushions but come Christmas morning,...

November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! This Fall has flown by and I am so excited to get into the kitchen with my family and put together our favorite meal. We love Thanksgiving and honestly, we don’t reserve this meal for once a year! We often make more than one turkey feast in November. Weird, right? But we love to cook and try new recipes so it’s always changing! But as much as we love to cook... Is there anything more daunting than cooking the night before Thanksgiving? With all the prep and shopping, the last thing I want to do is cook dinner tonight!


Enter Two Roads Tavern! Y’all, I have been craving their burgers this pregnancy and luck has been on my side. Wednesday is 1/2 price burger night at Two Roads during the off season and I’ve been indulging! Two Roads Tavern is locally owned and they make it so easy to dine out with kids. Probably because the owners have their own children so they know what it takes to enjoy a meal in a restaurant! Their food is delicious and we have always had awe...

November 25, 2019

When it comes to teenagers holiday lists they either want everything or they are really difficult to shop for. Some years, Joey comes to us with a list of dozens of things. But the last few years he really hasn’t asked for much and I'll tell you one thing, I really don't like gift cards and cash as gifts! I know sometimes they are just trying to save for a larger item but cash and teenagers don't always mix. I always like to have meaningful gift ideas for grandparents and extended family that may want to give the kids a gift too. Joey is a pretty content kid. Give him a soccer ball, a surf board and his bike and he is good to go but this year I’ve done a little digging and I’m super excited about some things that I know he will love! I’m continuing my 2019 gift guides this week with my top gifts for active teenagers! All of these things would be awesome gifts for both girls and boys, even if they aren’t OBX kids!

#1 Anywhere Hammock - One of my favorite things about having a kid that lo...

October 23, 2019

It’s been a while since I shared a Spanish Immersion update. Some of you may know that our (almost 7 year old) daughter, Penny attends school in Spanish. Every time I blog about her school I get the same questions, so I’m going to clarify a few things here. Her school day is the same as a traditional 1st graders. She arrives to school and learns all of the traditional subjects, but her teachers are speaking Spanish. She started Kindergarten in this way and she absolutely loves her teachers and her learning experience. This year her teachers are from Costa Rica and Colombia and while I don’t speak Spanish fluently, I have been able to help her with her Spanish so far with the knowledge that I have from high school and college classes. I know that those days are numbered though so I am focusing on sharing other pieces of Spanish culture with her. 

Since we had last Friday off, I planned to make a traditional Colombian recipe with her with our extra time. I checked in with her teacher...

July 13, 2018

When we first started our list for the Outer Banks Mom Approved program, we knew that The Rundown Cafe would be at the top! This invitation only partnership requires that a restaurant be locally owned and lovingly cater to families! 

I can honestly remember when we first moved here and I received my first paycheck.  I had asked my then co-worker, Ryan, if he could recommend a great place to eat in Kitty Hawk for my husband and our son. He quickly suggested The Rundown Cafe and from that point on, we were hooked! We sat outside on the Hula Deck and had an awesome meal together. 

Since then we have had so many great experiences here with our family and friends, especially on that same beautiful Hula Deck enjoying music and the ocean breeze. The Rundown Cafe is Outer Banks Mom Approved because they truly do enjoy having families dine with them. They are great with the kids and love seeing the little ones dancing to the music on the deck and feeding the koi fish by the pond. A...

May 14, 2018

When I first moved to the Outer Banks, I knew that I had arrived in paradise. I knew that it was a beautiful place geographically but I didn’t have any idea of the incredible beauty that was within the community. As the years have gone by, I have made incredible friends that have taught me lessons of love and the value of a community. The Outer Banks is home to some incredible people and I am blown away by the beautiful beach-mamas that I am fortunate to do life with here on the Outer Banks! It is my absolute honor to get to introduce you to a few of them this week in honor of Mother’s Day! Let’s be honest, Mamas really should get a WEEK to celebrate! 

First up is the incredible and beautiful Renee Landry! Renee has lived on the Outer Banks for 25 years. After art school, she came to the Outer Banks to stay in her Dad’s cottage in Kill Devil Hills while she looked for a job. Luckily for so many of us, she began her company, Renee Landry Events where she creates unbelievably beautiful fl...

March 23, 2018

In honor of National Puppy Day, we are celebrating our sweet and wild puppy, Jetty! 

Our Labradoodle, Jetty is the king of catching surf and talking long walks but I was seriously struggling to get out and about with him when I was with our girls. It's so hard to push the jogging stroller and hold a leash and pick up the Sippy cup that Eloise throws every eleven seconds! Enter SportLeash! This leash was a game changer for me! With the hands-free design I am able to clip the leash around my waist and I am still able to run with the stroller and Jetty since my hands are free. The leash can also be unclipped to be used as a regular hand leash. We love the entire line of SportsLeash products for so many reasons but mostly because of the neoprene lined collars and leashes! With the lining made of the same fabric as our wetsuits, Jetty can play in the ocean all he wants and we don't have to worry about his collar getting smelly! Win-win in our book! Want to WIN one of these ama...

March 22, 2018

People always ask me why I take vacations when I already live at the beach and honestly 10 years ago, I would have asked myself the same question. We were just about to make the move to the Outer Banks and since Corolla was always our go-to vacation spot we couldn't imagine that we would really go anywhere else on vacation. But shortly after our first year we were itching to take a vacation. It's funny how quickly this felt like home and became cluttered with the everyday life events and appointments. While we still feel like we hit the jackpot by being able to create a life here we are always looking for new beaches to explore and new waves to catch. It's so important for all of us to take a collective deep breath and put our feet up before we begin a new busy season of serving those that come to the Outer Banks for their family vacation!


Ft. Lauderdale, Florida is one of our "new" go-to vacations. Since my sister lives there, we have been there several times but this was the first ti...

March 19, 2018

If there is one awesome way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the little ones, it’s with Kindness Rocks! We are absolutely loving the Outer Banks Rocks idea and we have been painting rocks left and right. Penny decided that she wanted to use some St. Patty’s Day colors and paint rocks to hide around town. 

The idea of kindness rocks is spreading like wildfire! By painting rocks and hiding them within plain sight, people are reminded to be kind to one another when they see the rocks.

Is this something that people are doing in your town? When we were in Sanibel a little over a month ago we found out that they do Sanibel Shells with the same idea! Penny was over the moon when she found a painted shell. 

I love that you can post a photo of the rock that you find on Facebook and the painter of the rock can potentially see who found it! I like reminders that the world is actually quite small! :) 

Since the Outer Banks is so highly visited by tourists in the Summer, I just love the idea of vaca...

February 23, 2018

If you're anything like me you are grateful for this February sunshine that we have had here on the Outer Banks. It has felt so amazing to feel the sun warm my skin after a few months of frigid temps! But these warm days are also the reason why I am reaching for the sunscreen and with tiny humans I'm pretty selective on which brand we slather them down with! Being a beach mom, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is about sun safety and with new sunscreens hitting the market every year, I am in constant pursuit of the best sunscreen, cup of coffee and beach access ;) 

These are my go-tos for 2018 and you won't find my beach bag without them! It's so easy to use the spray on quick sunscreen fixes but if we're spending hundreds on the best carseat and buying organic baby food... we need to be thinking about what we're covering our own skin with! 

ThinkBaby is my #1! I haven't found it locally yet but I really do think it's worth the Amazon snag. It's free of all the usua...

November 16, 2017

I don’t know about you guys but I have been in the mood to break out my Christmas decor since we walked in the door from Trick or Treating on Halloween. I’m just ready! Usually I don’t even think about Christmas decorations until Thanksgiving passes but I am seeing so many more friends and family members decorating early this year so I know I'm not alone in this! 

I’m feeling like maybe it’s the current state of the universe that has made us all so ready for the joy that the holiday season brings. I haven’t ordered my turkey yet but I’m breaking out the tinsel and the tree. My garland is hung and the cozy Christmas blankets have come out of hiding. There is just something magical about Christmas. It's not the gifts or the food or even the decorations but a sense of togetherness and love fills the airspace. As I drive up and down my street and see more and more Christmas decor I can't help but wonder why everyone seems to be so eager for Christmas this year. 

It seems to me that as the...

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