Essentials for an Easy Peasy Beach Trip

Hey there! Happy Thursday 🙂 🙂 aka Friday Jr! And welcome back to our little blog.

The other day I was cleaning out, going through, and replacing some things that are in my ‘beach trip kit’, and I thought, ‘hey! this would be a good thing to share with everyone on the blog!’ Sooo. Here I am – sharing with you guys some things that, if you keep them on hand, you can have quick and easy peasy beach trips on the regular!

Now, first of all keep in mind that I live in Ocean Springs, MS. My house is about a 10 ish minute drive to the beach. I can literally scoop up the kids, jump in the car, and be settled in the sand in 15-20 minutes from the time we step out the door. I say all that to say, that what I’m sharing today does not apply to like an all day event at the beach. I’m not talking about bringing drinks and snacks and supplies for the long haul in the sun. I’m talking about spontaneously deciding on a Wednesday morning that it’s a beautiful day, and that it would be an even more beautiful day if we spent a couple hours on the beach then make it back home in time for an early afternoon nap. 🙂

These things live in my car. Sometimes we even just start out at the park, but we end up on the beach. So, it’s just crazy convenient to have my ‘beach kit’ in the trunk – ready at a moment’s notice.

Ok! Enough with the blabbing…let’s get to the goods shall we?

These two bags hold alllll the essentials. The one on the right is filled with an assortment of sand toys. There are some actual beach/sand toys and then just some random trucks and figures from the kid’s toybox that have found their way to the bag. 🙂

What’s in the striped bag? Ohhh all the important things:

  • Two large towels (these towels never get wet on purpose – they are for dusting off sand)
  • A sheet and small blanket for laying on the sand to sit on while I watch the kids play
  • A bottle of water
  • Bubbles (essential and easy kid entertainment!)
  • Dry bag for my phone
  • Draw string bags to hold wet, dirty, sticky, etc things that I don’t want touching other stuff in the bag when we leave (like a leaky bubble gun)

And that is it. It’s really that easy. I can easily hold both of these bags plus grab the hands of my littles while we cross the street to the beach.

If we plan on actually getting wet at the beach, I’ll grab two t-shirts for the kids and two extra towels. The extra towels are for drying off. I just take their bathing suits off right outside the car, wipe them down, and then pull on the dry t-shirt for the quick ride home. I don’t like getting the towels I keep in my bag wet, because I like to be able to just let them live in the bag with minimal wash times.

Before I was a parent, I always always said that I’d take my kids to the beach as much as possible. The sun and sand are good for your soul, and its FREE and ENDLESS entertainment for me and my littles.

A few more beach trip tips?

  • Don’t get caught up in worrying about sand in your car. Take your car to the car wash the next day and suck it out. Just live in the moment and embrace the mess and joy that is sand between your toes and in your  car carpet. 😉
  • Apply sunscreen BEFORE you leave the house. Especially on the kids. Cause when they get to the beach they are not going to have any time for your to make them stand still while meticulously applying sunscreen.
  • Go to the beach as often as you can. 😉

Thanks so much for reading along today! What are some of your essential items to take to the beach?

 

What We Wore Wednesday

Hey hey! Welcome back to another Wednesday where we show you guys the things we’ve been wearing lately. Wednesday also means its time for our weekly live broadcast on Facebook that we call “Wine Wednesday”…so make sure you go like our page so that you can come join in on the fun tonight at 9Pm!

But for now, let’s get to the outfits. 🙂

Ashley –

Top: Mixtape Boutique Earrings: N&S Blank Canvas

Top: Mixtape Boutique Earrings: N&S Black Cutouts

Top: old Target Chambray [similar] Pants: Dark blue jeggings [similar] Shoes: Kohl’s Earrings: N&S Leopard

Rhonda –

Top: Mixtape. Jeans: Ross, not even sure of the brand. Shorts: Target, not available. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Tee: Walmart. Jeans: Old Navy, no longer available. Shoes: Converse. Earrings: Nickel & Suede. Hat: Rangers Pro Shop. Jacket: Target, no longer available.

Top: Mixtape. Jeans: Old Navy. Shoes: Target, no longer available. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Top: Mixtape. Jeans: Old Navy. Boots: VERY OLD KMart.

Life Lately

Happy Monday, party people!  It’s time for a check in, where we fill you in on the last couple of weeks in our lives and you tell us what’s new with you!

Rhonda –

It has been an amazing couple of weeks over at my house.  Holy moly, what a busy month.  And to think, Stuart and I thought April was going to be boring and quiet.  HA!  We don’t know how to do boring; that’s for damn sure.

We hosted a 30th birthday party for our friend Jenn.  It was a nice laid-back cookout with friends and I think she really enjoyed herself, which is all we wanted.

We dined out a couple of times.  We don’t do that often, but make sure to do take them out as much as we can.  It’s important to me that my kids don’t grow up the way I did, afraid to even order from a server.  We make them order themselves and teach them to be patient waiting for their food to arrive.  They definitely still need practice.  Lawd.

We also are working on decorating and upgrading some furnishings in the house.  We hit up IKEA and loaded as much stuff into the Flex as possible.  What you’re looking at is a bookshelf, a dresser, a dining table, six chairs, and a sideboard!  Holy moly.  I’ll be so glad when we are done putting it all together.  We have been so busy doing other stuff, that we haven’t been able to dedicate enough time to assembly.  We will get there though!

As usual, we have spent a lot of time outdoors and Harper, Quentin, and I all got new bikes!  I was completely surprised by mine and I am also surprised by how much I enjoy riding it!

We wrapped up this past weekend by taking the kids to their first professional baseball game.  The Rangers defeated the Mariners and we had a great family time!

Ashley –

Gosh. I feel the same as Rhonda…seems like so much has happened over the past couple of weeks.

Obviously the usual of work and school took place. We’ve been having hit and miss Spring weather (like most everywhere…) so whenever we can we are outside enjoying the sunny days.

The weekend before last we had my Papa’s funeral which was super sad but it was also really nice to get to see family that I don’t get to see often. My cousin has a son who is only a month younger than Sophie, so it’s always really cute to see the two of them interact in person. We do a lot of snapchatting to each other about the two of them. 🙂 Sophie is SO tall though. She’s a good five inches taller than Krystal’s son and weighs 12 pounds more!

That Saturday after the funeral, I hopped in my car and headed to Destin, Fl to see friends of mine who are in the band, Light Up the Moon, play at Aj’s in Destin. It was so much fun. They aren’t local – they’re based in PA – so it was really nice to get to see them again!

Cooper got this bubble gun for his birthday from his Aunt Marie and her crew, and it has just been a huge hit around here. I went out and got a similar one for Sophie to use in order to curb and fights over whose turn it is to use it, BUT we are just loving playing with them. We’ve taken them to the park a couple of times and all the other children really enjoy it too. So, if you’re looking for an easy and relatively cheap form of entertainment, go to Walmart and get a bubble gun…or two! We’ve always played with bubble…but having this little battery powered bubble blower has made the whole experience even more enjoyable AND less messy. Those are two major wins in my book.

And then this past weekend the weather was beautiful. Things were back to routine after three weekends of dealing with deaths and funerals. The kids got to go stay with Grammy and Ppop on Friday night. And Saturday night I got to hang out with some of my fave adults, my sister – her husband – and our friend Michael. We did dinner and drinks followed by a night at the Chill Bar at the IP Casino. 🙂 A wee bit too much wine was consumed, but it was lots of fun. 🙂

Anddd that’s about it! What have you guys been up to?

Eat Happy : Chicken Queso Dip

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Tuesday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?



Hey Hey! 🙂 Today’s post is all about Anna’s Chicken Queso Dip. Let me just say that I was super excited to make and eat this. It’s got my most favorite ingredients: chicken, spicy peppers, and cheese. What’s not to love?

This was probably one of the MOST simple things I’ve made since we began this journey of cooking through Eat Happy which is saying a lot because the recipes in this book are generally not complicated. I love that. Cause cooking is not my favorite thing to do…so the less steps the better.

The dip did not disappoint me. It was super yummy, and made the perfect dinner. I used some pork rinds and extra crispy bacon to scoop it up with. Easy peasy peeps.

While this dip would be great to make on any week night for your family, I think that it would make a great addition to any party or get together.

And I mean really, that’s all I have to say about this fabulous dip! Go get yourself this cook book and start treating your body to some yummy meals that are grain free and sugar free. I promise you’ll feel and look amazing. 🙂

Until next time!


If you want to read through our other Eat Happy posts…I’ve got them all lined up for ya!

Eat Happy: Bacon Wrapped Dates

Eat Happy: Broccoli Dip

Eat Happy: Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers

Eat Happy: Kale Chips & Deviled Eggs with Greek Yogurt

Eat Happy: Cheese Biscuits

Eat Happy: Sausage Stuffed Mushroom

Eat Happy: Tzatziki Dip & Almond Meal Pita Chips

Eat Happy: Super Guac! & Smoked Salmon w/ Coconut Flour Blini

Eat Happy: Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches & Cheese Crisps

What We Wore Wednesday

Welcome back!  It’s Wednesday, also known as Wine Wednesday around here!  We are beyond ready to rock out our live show tonight at 9 pm. Be sure you follow our Facebook page so that you can be a part of the shenanigans.  And now, a look at what we’ve been wearing on these back-and-forth-weather days.

Rhonda –

Tank: Mixtape. Shorts: Target, not available. Shoes: Target.

Tee: TJ Maxx maybe? Jeans: Old Navy Rockstars. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Tee: Mixtape. Shorts: Target, not available. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Top: Mixtape, no longer available. Leggings: No idea! Shoes: Converse, old and dirty AF.

Ashley –

Meanwhile, I’m over here forgetting to take pictures of myself.

Cardigan: Target [similar] Shirt: Mixtape Boutique Earrings: N&S Black

Shirt: TJ Maxx [similar] Earrings: N&S Red

 

 

4 Food Shows on Netflix that You need to Binge…ASAP

Hey boo things. Sooo, it’s Tuesday. And if you’re a regular around here you know we are doing a series where we post our experiences cooking through the Eat Happy cook book. However, I’m a slacker and don’t have my post ready for today.

I forgot. Blogger fail? I will for sure for sure get to it later this week, but listen it’s just not happening tonight.

I do have something else foody and  fun to share…if you’re interested? 😉

I don’t know about you, but I love watching food shows. I like watching actual cooking shows, HELLO PIONEER WOMAN, and I also like just watching shows that are about food…eating it…talking about it…experiencing it… etc etc. Food is life. Literally. And figuratively.

Since I have a mild obsession, I thought I’d share with you some of my absolute favorite food shows on Netflix that I feel like you need to begin to binge watch ASAP so that your life will be complete.

Sound good? Cool. Let’s get to it shall we?

  1. Ugly Delicious – This is like a food documentary/travelouge that follows James Beard Award winning chef, David Chang on a journey hitting up really fantastic restaurants that have non main stream but super successful food concepts. It’s just so good. They eat food that I’ve never even heard of, and it’s just so much more than a food show. They talk about the cultural impact that food has had on us as a society and in different countries.
  2. The Great British Baking Show – y’all. I love this show. I actually just finished season two, and I’m in desperate need of more. It’s basically a baking contest consisting of 12 (or 13 for season 2) amateur British bakers and tests their skill and knowledge over the course of several weeks. One by one the bakers get eliminated until only one baker remains as champion! It’s funny and full of dry humor that I love.  I also really like how it’s only filmed on the weekends. That’s just so realistic and practical. The contestants aren’t holed up and being kept away from the real world. They don’t have to quit their day jobs to participate. Everything about this show is great.
  3. I’ll Have What Phil’s Having / Somebody Feed Phil – These two shows follow Phi Rosenthal, the creator of Everybody Love’s Raymond, around as he journeys all over the world trying new food or revisiting places he’s been to and loves. The thing that makes these shows? It’s Phil. He’s so so so funny and amusing to watch. His facial expressions alone are worth a couple episodes of your time. Not to mention he knows a lot about food and great places to eat all over the world.
  4. Nailed It – This. Show. Is. So. Funny.  It’s a cooking competition show wherein contestants are brought in to recreate some Pinterest worthy food creations to the best of their ability. As you can imagine things don’t typically turn out Pinterest worthy which is hilarious in and of itself. BUT the best part of this show is the host, comic Nicole Byer. She seriously makes me belly laugh while watching this show.

Andddd I could go on, but we will save those for a follow up post…cause between these four shows – you’ve got quite a bit of binge watching ahead of you. 😉

What are some of YOUR fave food shows on Netflix? Fill me in. Give me some suggestions.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Tuesday was fantastic!

What We Wore Wednesday

Here we are again, to show you what we’ve been wearing lately.  We would love some comments and feedback from you all… what do you like?  Do you get any inspiration from these posts?  Do you own any of the same pieces?  Do you also do a lot of shopping at Target?  HA!

Ashley –

Lately when I get dressed I’ve had to ask myself, now which MIXTAPE Boutique shirt will I wear today?? 🙂 Seriously though, you should check out Rhonda’s site and grab some of her cute pieces!

Jacket: Green Bomber from Target Shirt: Ash Shirt Earrings: N&S Blank Canvas Leggings: Lauren Conrad at Kohl’s Boots: OOOOOLLLDDD lol

Cardigan: Forever21 from forever ago TShirt: LUTM Band Tee Earrings: N&S Black

Rhonda –

Like Ashley, my Mixtape clothes are in heavy rotation. Of course.

Top: Mixtape. Jeans: Old Navy. Shoes: Converse, old as dirt. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Top: MixtapeJeans: Old Navy, old. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Top: Mixtape. Jeans: Old Navy, old. Boots: SUPER OLD. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Life Lately

Hey hey! Every other Monday we spend a little time catching you guys up on what’s been going on in each of our lives.

Ashley –

Hey Hey! Gosh – I feel like we have done SO MUCH over the past two weeks. We’ve had holidays and birthdays and parties which were all filled with so much happiness and love – and then we had some grief and sadness in the form of some loved ones passing away. It’s just really been a whirl wind!

Me with my Pawpaw MANY years ago. Don’t I look just like my Sophie??

Let’s do the heavy stuff first though? My paternal grandfather, aka Pawpaw, passed away on March 29th. It was a very unexpected thing, and I expounded upon my thoughts here in this post.  His funeral was this past Friday, April 6. While we were riding to the VA Cemetery for his final services, my Mom got a call that her father, aka Papa, had passed away that morning. I mean. It was incredibly emotional. And just all so unexpected. Death is a part of life, but it’s never easy to see your loved ones leave.

Balancing at the park. 🙂

Some light things? We had a fabulous Easter that was filled with celebrations of life and family and multiple Easter Egg Hunts. Cooper even had an Easter Parade that his PreK 4 Class put on for the rest of the school. The kids each wore an ‘Easter Hat’ that their parents made. It was super cute. 🙂

Easter Parade!
Egg Hunt at Beauvoir in Biloxi, MS
Painting Easter Eggs for the Bunny

Coop was on Spring Break this last first week in April, and I stayed home with him Monday – Wednesday (well BOTH kids…lol). We had a lot of fun. We made several park trips. Cooper went to the doctor for his big boy 5 yr old check up that included shots 🙁 , we went to the beach on Tuesday, and Coop even had his first sleep over with Aunt Grace on Tuesday night.

Egg Hunt at Grammy and Ppop’s

Then along with my Pawpaw’s funeral being on Friday – we had a jam packed weekend. The following Saturday, I ran around all morning getting together last minute stuff together for Coop’s Bday party that Sunday. Saturday night we went to my Aunt’s engagement party. And then Sunday was Cooper’s Party at the Mullethop Trampoline Park.

Bed Head at the Beach 🙂

Then Sunday night it was back to reality with getting things together for the upcoming Monday filled with work and school. 🙂

 

Rhonda –

I can’t even adequately describe the insanity of the last couple of weeks.  God bless.  For starters, I have been sick the entire time.  So that’s awesome.  I got well for literally like 2 days then started feeling awful again.

Easter was a lot of fun though.  The day before was supposed to be Claudia’s fourth birthday party, but we were all too sick to have people over.  So we celebrated her with some cupcakes and a couple of gifts, then let the fun spill into Easter.  I made a huge feast and Stuart and I hid eggs for the kids.  I can’t believe how much fun we all even when things are just kept low-key.

I launched my boutique a week ago and that has kept me extremely busy, as you can imagine!

When we finally had her birthday party, we all had the best time.  We got to know some of our neighbors and hang out with our usual besties too.  I am so thankful for friends you never want to leave.

We watched a lot of sunsets and did a lot of porch front sitting.

What We Wore Wednesday

Here we are again, to show you what we’ve been wearing lately.  We would love some comments and feedback from you all… what do you like?  Do you get any inspiration from these posts?  Do you own any of the same pieces?  Do you also do a lot of shopping at Target?  HA!

Rhonda-

This week, I feel like doing something a little different.  I am going to give some backstory or narrative behind the picture or items in the outfits.

The mess is my office was a result of Claudia’s gifts piling up and me crafting some wall decor for the room.  

Top: Mixtape. Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar, this style no longer available. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

I know, you can’t see much on this dress, but I’ve posted it before.  TBH, I only included these pictures because I rarely wear necklaces and I liked that my Grandma’s necklace that I only wear on holidays (Easter in this instance) is front and center.  Oh, and that LIP COLOR.  Swoon.

Dress: Mixtape. Earrings: Nickel & Suede. Necklaces: (top to bottom) FabFitFun Summer 2017 | Amazon | Family Heirloom.

So, I got dressed to run errands, then noticed when I went into my office to take a picture that my tee had a mustard stain.  Tied up the kimono to cover it.  Also, you will notice I wear Old Navy jeans a LOT and often they are no longer available.  That is because they last FOREVER and I wear them to death.

Tee: Target. Kimono: Hope’s, not currently available. Jeans: Old Navy, this style no longer available. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

 

Ashley –

Shirt: Old Stitch Fix Earrings: N&S Signature Gold

Sweat Shirt: Target (no longer available) Earrings: N&S Champagne Shimmer

Shirt: Walmart Earrings: N&S Leopard

Cooper is FIVE

If you’re a regular reader you’ve seen me remark from time to time over the past couple of months about how I couldn’t believe that my baby boy was going to turn five this year. And now…just a few short months into 2018 we are here on his birthday with an official five year old. I just can’t believe how quickly time passes when you measure it against the aging of your children. I’m going to be melodramatic about it today, so I thought maybe you guys would indulge me a bit while I spend a couple hundred words talking about my freshly turned five year old. 🙂

Cooper with his dad. 🙂

I had so many ideas of what parenthood would look like. I was for sure one of those judgy non parents who thought she had it all figured out. The thing is I was pretty much wrong about 97% of all those pre parenthood ideas. These little human beings that we make and then proceed to raise are their own people. They are born with personalities and agendas that have nothing to do with the way we pictured things unfolding. I’m grateful for that though. And I’m so grateful for this little boy that I get to call my own. He’s my first born. He made me a Mommy. He’s been the one who taught me how to be parent and how not to be parent.

It’s crazy to think he’s been here five years already. It’s unbelievable that just five short years ago he made his entrance into the world at 3:30 am. He came unexpectedly about a week and a half before his due date which is too funny because Cooper doesn’t really care for unplanned life events. 🙂 His dad and I were scared to death. Neither one of us were really “kid people”. Neither one of us had held a baby that young. Neither one of us had changed a diaper. Neither one of use had ANY clue of what we were getting ourselves into – but both of us agree that he has made us better people and made our lives more rich – more full – more exciting – and more worthwhile.

Some things about our boy?

  • Cooper is one of the most…ok maybe THE MOST stubborn person I know. Everything has to happen in his time. It has to be his idea. Otherwise? It’s not happening. Whatever it is. You could want to take him to Chuck E Cheese, but if he’s not ready…he doesn’t want to do it.
  • Cooper has got a phenomenal memory. This child remembers things from when he was under a year old that I have even forgotten about until he brings it up. My sister and I were just talking about how he for sure will never let her live down that one time she was babysitting and thought she’d poured tea into his sippey cup, but she’d actually poured some cold brew coffee in his cup and insisted that he drink it. LOL
  • Coop is so incredibly thoughtful and sweet and he loves wide open. He loves fearlessly and passionately. On the flip side? He does the opposite of those things pretty dang passionately as well. 🙂
  • He doesn’t put any priority on sleep and bounds out of the bed before the sun comes up on most days. I should say – sleep in his bed. A longish car ride will knock him out it .2 seconds flat.
  • He is loving playing video games and also has this wonderful imagination for coming up with play scenarios that often involve the adults around him.
  • He had a rough time transitioning to starting Pre K 4 from being at home all day with his grandparents, but we are astounded daily now with the leaps and bounds in progress he’s made.
  • He talks NON STOP. Like literally. He’s always got something to say and he knows it all. When you ask him where he learned something he’s talking about, he will say “Nowhere. I just thought it up!”
Cooper with his great grandmother – aka Mimi – from whom he gets his middle name which is her maiden name.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here and just say that I’m so proud to call him my son and am grateful for every moment I get to call him mine.

Love you Cooper Grice Catchot!

And if you want to read more about Coop, turns out I’ve written about him a time or two before this. 😉

Cooper is Four

Speech – Cooper’s Journey

The Often Untold Story about Preschool Drop-off

5 Things We Learned on our Journey to Pre-K

Let Him Wear a Bow

When One Becomes Two