Archive of ‘30a’ category

Halloween 2014 in Seaside

What a bright and shiny Halloween it was for us! Like most of the other girls her age, Emery has had a full-on obsession with princesses and all things sparkly. I was sure her love for “Frozen” would mean she’d dress up like Elsa or Anna, but in an attempt to offer other ideas, we browsed “sparkly girls costumes” on Pinterest. We came across an over-the-top rainbow-y unicorn that was definitely not Emery’s style, but the idea stuck. I set out to find the most sparkly dress a Google search might turn up and found it here as part of a mod costume. We discovered the most adorable unicorn horns by Brooklyn Owl on Etsy and ordered silver with pink on the ears to match the silver dress. With a little glitter spray and silver ballet flats we already had, this was the makings of my favorite girls Halloween costume to date!

Scroll through for an overload of “Emery-as-a-Unicorn” photos and a golden Halloween scene in Seaside. It was a perfect evening!

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray -Unicorn Costume

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

Pretty curls for a sparkly unicorn!

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray - Unicorn Costume

Sparkly Unicorn Halloween in Seaside


30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray


30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

30A Seaside Halloween - Emery - Jami Ray

Mommy-Daughter Shopping in Rosemary Beach, Florida

Rosemary Beach Mommy Daughter Day

Fridays are always fun. Emery doesn’t have daycare and I try to wrap up my work projects as early as possible so we can find an adventure for the day.  On this particular day, our to-do list included shopping in Rosemary Beach. How fun! Since I had to stop in to drop off a printing project, I figured we would browse the Merchants of Rosemary Beach and shop for a new bathing suit for Emery.

This girl was a little grumpy when I woke her up from a nap, but a lunch date at Cowgirl Kitchen (and their Mac n Cheese) made it all better. 

Cowgirl Kitchen Rosemary Beach

I love getting the Nachos with extra fresh jalapeño, but today I ate every bite of the Drunken Shrimp Tacos. They are so good I could eat them twice.

Cowgirl Kitchen Rosemary Beach 2014-04-25 12.49.21 HDR

With full bellies, we strolled next door to Gigi’s Fabulous Kids’ Fashion & Toys. This store just puts a smile on your face. Bright-colored toys and games overflow onto Main Street and adorable clothes, toys and accessories fill the store. This is Emery’s “Mommy, can we please go in here?” dance.

Gigi's Rosemary Beach

Rosemary Beach, Florida Gigi's

Emery loved the model train that makes its way around a track on the ceiling. She took time to look at every item in the store – even the boys section – and carefully picked out her favorite swimsuit. Eenie meanie miney mo!

Gigi's Rosemary Beach

Gigi's Rosemary Beach

Of course, all the toys in the store are like a dream come true for a kid. Gigi’s even has retro games I remember like a See & Say, View Master and Slinky. I told her to narrow it down to just one favorite. Gigi's Rosemary Beach

Gigi's Rosemary Beach

How could I say no? After Gigi’s, we wandered down to Eastern Green with Emery running her heart out. I love the way everyone just parks their bicycles on the green before running down to the beach (located just beyond the dune here).

Rosemary Beach, Florida

As usual, it was a beautiful 30A day. The white sand is magic!

Rosemary Beach, Florida

I love this view of the town from the boardwalk with The Pensione Inn (the red building) on the left and The Pearl on the right.

Rosemary Beach, Florida Western Green

Rosemary Beach, Florida

We decided we better finish our errands and hightail it home so we could enjoy an afternoon in the sun. I couldn’t resist peeking into Willow Boutique as we strolled back to the car. The bright prints they have in stock right now are so fun and I love anything Mara Hoffman.

Willow Boutique Rosemary Beach

Mara Hoffman at Willow BoutiqueWillow Boutique Rosemary Beach

After one super quick stop at Fitz & Emme (where Emery played tea party while I browsed the clothes), we headed home for fun in the sun.

Fitz and Emme Rosemary Beach

That’s one happy customer and one happy mama!

Jami Ray

Tutus and Toes in the Sand | Seaside, FL

Emery and I made a little extra time for the sunset today, just because. Her ballet class is about 100 steps from the beach, so it’s practically illegal not to skip over and check it out. Of course, a sweet treat is almost always involved and today we went for Dawson’s yogurt with sprinkles and M&Ms. It was perfection. Emery and I ate every bite, then she demonstrated her newest ballet moves as if she had an entire audience. This mostly involves lots of clapping her hands and saying, “Okay. Okay. Okay.” as she thinks of the next plié or pirouette. I love every minute. These are the moments I just want to pause and savor!

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30A Dining: CUP in Blue Mountain Beach

30A Food: CUP  |  jamiray.comAfter meeting the sweet owners at Rosemary Beach’s Cottages for Kids ribbon cutting several weeks back, I finally stopped in Blue Mountain Beach long enough to sample one of 30A’s newest eateries, CUP Food You Pick Up. I can already tell this place is going to be a favorite.

The concept is simple. Delicious, healthy meals are prepared fresh and packaged for your convenience. Just grab a cup, shake it up and eat it up. Getting food on the go really could not be any easier. Forget greasy drive-thrus (which don’t exist around here anyway), CUP is 30A’s version of fast food. With quality in mind, the ingredients and dressings are made in-house and even those on gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free or meat-free diets can find a CUP to suit. Even the cups themselves are biodegradable.

30A Food: CUP  |

Check out some of these delicious looking cups.

30A Food: CUP Tune Up Cup |

Tune Up Cup

30A Food: CUP Stuck Up Cup  |

Stuck Up Cup

30A Food: CUP  |

30A Food: CUP  |

30A Food: CUP  |

30A Food: CUP  |

One other element to CUP that I love is the “Give it Up” component. Each month, CUP selects one local charity and displays the mission and information for that charity in the restaurant all month long. All tips collected at the register in a “Compassion Cup” are donated as well. It’s a really thoughtful way to support the community that supports the business.

30A Food: CUP  |

While there is a bright, sunshiny dining area and even a Warm Up station for those who decide to stay and eat, I was running between meetings and grabbed the Tune Up Cup and a water to go.

30A Food: CUP  |

30A Food: CUP  | This is what my CUP ingredients looked like when poured into a bowl. Sesame Crusted Tuna, Cabbage, Pineapple, Quinoa and Edamame with a CUPlement of Ginger Wasabi Glaze. I should have taken a picture of the empty bowl as an “after” shot because the entire contents were gone in about 6 minutes flat. Easy AND delicious!

30A Food: CUP  |

CUP is located at Redfish Village in Blue Mountain Beach. Check it out when you’re in the neighborhood.

30A Street Style Fall / Winter E-zine


I’m a happy, happy girl today! Have you ever experienced a magical moment of synergy? When something so impulsive and spur-of-the-moment becomes something amazing and exciting? It was an idea that popped up out of nowhere, “Hey, let’s make a magazine. Wouldn’t that be fun?” That’s essentially how the very first issue of 30A Street Style came about on a whim this summer.  Sometimes recreating those totally awesome unplanned moments don’t always work and I’ve been trying to organize the follow up to what was an out-of-the-blue debut. We had so much positive feedback and enthusiasm that I didn’t want to put out a second e-zine unless it was as good or better than the first. What eventually came together is an issue that I truly love and am so proud of. It has fashion. It has real people. It has our gorgeous beaches. It has usable tips. And (I think) it has fun. At the very least, I had fun creating it. I was lucky enough to chat with the lovely Cassie Kelley of Womanista, the talented Mychael Knight of Project Runway, local blogger Sarah Powers of Closetini and put together plenty of fun fashion with my girl Caitlyn Ward. Please take a moment to check it out and let me know what you think. Click here to jump to the full e-zine.


Fall Sunsets at the Beach


After a busy day of ballerina time for the Flutterby Festival, the obligatory trip to Target and plenty of 30A sunshine our Saturday was topped with a pit-stop to the beach just in time to catch the sunset. Emery’s favorite part? “Giving sand back to the water.” I just love the way she thinks!

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Cottages for Kids 2013


My friend Shaye so graciously invited me to attend a kick off party for the annual Cottages for Kids display in Rosemary Beach. First of all, Rosemary is one of my favorite places on 30A, full of fun for both little ones and adults. Every year, the town plays host to the most amazing and adorable playhouses, on display for a few short weeks before traveling to their new homes where kids will undoubtedly spend hours upon hours playing and making sweet memories. One of our local charities, Children’s Volunteer Health Network, partners with area builders to coordinate the design and construction of these cottages that look like they are straight out of a fairy tale. Even better? Anyone can bid on these and help make a difference for local children. Funds from the sales go straight to CVHN where school-age kids in need receive medical, dental, vision and mental health services from volunteer providers at no cost.

Emery tagged along with me and “tested” each playhouse until the sun went down. I can safely say each and every cottage is not only Emery-approved, but really impressive. From Seaside and Rosemary Beach architecture to a pirate ship, there was a lovely mix of styles that also included features like a rock-climbing wall, slide, television and plenty of stairs for endless climbing. The cottages are open weekends through November 30, so if you’re anywhere nearby, be sure to make a stop and let your little ones enjoy all the fun. For more details, visit the Cottages for Kids site here.


BID NOW for a chance to win this Cottage!
Generously built and donated by:


BID NOW for a chance to win this Cottage!
Generously built and donated by:
Heritage Builders and The Merchants of Rosemary Beach
Designed by HGTV’s Vern Yip


There’s Vern! What a fun and friendly guy who also happens to love Rosemary Beach. This playhouse is modeled after the real house he’s building with his family in Rosemary.


BID NOW for a chance to win this Cottage!
Generously built and donated by:
Chuck, LLC

BUY RAFFLE TICKETS for a chance to win this Cottage!
Generously built and donated by:
Davis Dunn Construction & Studio:A:Architecture with CUP Food You Pick Up & Redfish RenderingCottagesForKids-RosemaryBeach7


BID NOW for a chance to win this Cottage!
Generously built and donated by:
Freeport High School Key Club & Randy Wise Homes



Finally, after circling the entire Cottages for Kids area at least 50 times playing in all the playhouses, we headed for the car. Emery’s eyes lit up at the sight of the fountain and she begged me to find change so she could make a wish. (I don’t make this stuff up!) Of course, I couldn’t even find a penny, but she made do by throwing in about 8 acorns. Little moments like these make my heart so full and happy.  I wonder what she wished for? Perhaps, a fun new playhouse?CottagesForKids-RosemaryBeach9

Ballet and Seaside Sunsets

30 Days of Thanks. Day 5: thankful for time to unplug to enjoy little moments and big beauty

Tuesdays have quickly become a frontrunner for favorite day of the week. I know it’s hard to beat a relaxing Saturday or a lazy Sunday, but lately our Tuesdays have involved pink tutus, buns, ballet slippers and adventures in Seaside. Emery’s Itty Bitty Ballet classes take place at The Studio in the heart of Seaside. While she’s in class, I get to take a time out to grab an Amavida Coffee, browse Instagram, Pinterest or (more often) peek in to watch the class. These little ballerinas are adorable!



After class, we could easily wander over for a Frost Bites sno-cone, yogurt at Dawson’s, mac n cheese at Barefoot BBQ or a quick trip to the beach. It’s literally across the street. With the fall-back time change, we have just enough time to cross over to one of Seaside’s gorgeous pavilions (see more here and here) and make our way to the top of the dunes to see the clouds and water undergo their daily transformation.




While I like to soak all this in…AfterBallet-SeasidePavillion9

…my excited little ballerina is just as fun to watch.AfterBallet-SeasidePavillion2



Here’s the view from the West Ruskin Pavillion looking east toward Bud & Alley’s…


…and the gorgeous view looking west toward the Pensacola Pavilion and Watercolor in the distance.AfterBallet-SeasideView

Halloween in Seaside 2013

This year leading up to Halloween, Emery and I spent a lot of time talking about costumes. Specifically because after seeing a big Bulldog mascot at a few football games and (apparently) a very intimidating rodeo clown, the idea of wearing her own costume was one she wasn’t wild about. After explaining that each of those scary figures were just nice people in costumes, my solution was to search for sweet Halloween outfits on Pinterest and let her choose her own. We scrolled past dragons, super heroes, princesses, witches, pumpkins, chickens and all sorts of other ideas. Finally, Emery said “Ooh look! A kitty! Mommy, can I be a kitty?” And that’s how this costume came to be. Lucky for me, it was super simple and budget friendly. She even carried her new purse as a candy basket.  Aside from the scary monsters and a few other creepy costumes, Emery loved trick-or-treating at all of the merchants in Seaside. We stopped at Duckie’s, Modica Market, Seaside Kids, Perspicasity, DeJa Vu, La Vie Est Belle — really every single shop in Seaside. I loved seeing her gain confidence from store to store and sassing it up a bit. What a cute little kitty cat!





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We managed to make a run for the car just as the bottom fell out of the sky. Fun memories and a handbag full of candy. What more can a girl ask for?

Sandestin’s Passport to Fashion

If there’s one thing I can’t turn down it’s an event that involves shopping and adult beverages. Cue Shop Sandestin‘s Passport to Fashion event last night. All of the Sandestin Family of Retail Shops were open exclusively to stylish VIPs for a fun fashion tour of Barefoot Princess, Island Clothiers, Sandestin Gear, Toys & Treasures and Coconut Kids. PassportToFashion2


(photo above by Sara Lyn Photography)

At each store, we browsed the latest fall fashion, sipped delicious (and much-needed!) wine and noshed on the tastiest bites including my favorites Prosciutto wrapped Dates with Smoked Almonds and Goat Cheese and Shrimp Cocktail Skewers. We had our passport stamped at each stop and turned in the completed invite for a chance to win a $1500-value Ultimate Sandestin Staycation.







I loved catching up with friends like Sarah Powers of Closetini. Check out her blog and Instagram for daily doses of outfit inspiration. I just love her style! I’m wearing the Lilly Pulitzer Elsa Top in Va Voom Purple that I bought at Barefoot Princess a few weeks back. If you can’t stop by the store in person, you can find it online here.PassportToFashion9

AND since 10% of proceeds of all sales went directly to the Sandestin Foundation for Kids, I couldn’t resist snagging this colorful Trina Turk top on a major deal. I’d say the night was definitely a success!PassportToFashion10

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