Archive of ‘30a’ category

paper cuts and more at studio b.

Last week I ventured over to studio b. with one of my co-workers to take in the “Paper Cuts” exhibit by Panama City Beach paper artist Heather Clements. If you’ve never visited “the b” as its called, there is always an inspiring, creative something happening from art displays to culinary classes to fashion design and bike building. In contrast to the brilliant white of the surrounding courtyard homes of Alys Beach, the hanging photos, vivid canvases, intricate paper cutouts, eye-catching jewelry, even animated iPads are full of color, pattern and plenty of vibrance. Here’s a mini tour of the studio from pictures I snapped on my iPhone.
Bird cutouts from the outside. What a fun way to jazz up a window!
Submissions from the annual New Year’s Day studio b. camera phone event

Hi! Even the stair tiles look like paper cut-outs!
Cutouts from the inside.
Paper Dolls by Amy Werntz were also on display. These might have been my favorite.
I love these detail shots, especially the use of color around the eyes and lips.
Gorgeous!
art reflection
studio b. light impressions = 40 iPads featuring iPhoneography
Paper Cuts! Sorry about the light reflection.
Paper jewelry
a bamboo bike from a recent studio b. bike-building event
If you want to check out more of the fun stuff going on at studio b., hop on over to their website here.

woods and water

Some weekends start with a bang and are so action-packed you can hardly catch a breath cramming in one thing and another before you realize it’s 10 pm Sunday night and you have accomplished exactly NOTHING. (Maybe that’s just me?) Luckily, this weekend wasn’t like that at all. It was laid-back, relaxing, and full of adventure, yet still, those two wonderful days rolled by at a pace just lazy enough to enjoy before it was all over and Monday starts calling.  
It was a mix of white sand, sunshine and salt air Saturday as I was hubby-free and baby-free at the beach, followed by dirt, trees and hunting dogs on Sunday as Emery and I accompanied Hunter on a day of deer tracking. The weekend was the epitome of life lately. Mixing in my beloved beach days and South Walton fun with Hunter’s country days and good ol’ boy ways. As different as they are, they seem to work. They offer a welcome variety and one side totally helps me appreciate the other, so that I’m able to get caught up in the scenes, the sounds, and really living in that moment. Let me tell you, it’s a wonderful thing.

Emery and I woke up with the sun (she is her father’s child, after all) and rode down the driveway to get the newspaper. Yes, people still get newspapers delivered in the country and Emery absolutely loves to take an early ride to pick up the paper (even if I’m more likely to read it on my iPhone).

After a morning of a bit of housework and playing with Em’s new Christmas toys, Hunter’s mom picked up my sweet girl and left me to relax with peace, quiet and no diaper changing for the day. It was just perfect. Even in January, it was 70 degrees, sunny and breezy. I couldn’t have designed a better day myself.

Where was I off to? I headed straight to Seaside and stopped to shop at the Farmer’s Market. It is one of my 2012 resolutions to eat more veggies, after all.

I grabbed lunch from my friend Abby at Barefoot BBQ. I’d recommend any of the Airstream trailers in Seaside for a bite to eat, but the BBQ truck is definitely my favorite.

Hey, Abbs!

After lunch, I went straight to … where else … the beach! It was only the first Saturday of the year, but it seemed like the first day of spring break. I sat back, closed my eyes, and enjoyed every single moment of the warm, sunny day and the water twinkling in the background.

There’s something about digging your feet in the sand that instantly degrades your stress level. It didn’t hurt that the beach was all dolled up with its finest on display. The sun, the water, the sand, the clouds – everything – was just perfect.

Instead of camping in the woods like he usually does, Hunter surprised me by coming home last night, just as I was making my way in from the beach so we could have a little date night while we had a babysitter. He actually said he missed my cooking (can you believe that?!), so we decided to stay in, cook at home and watch a movie from the couch. It was completely relaxing and just what I needed.
The downside to agreeing to ride along and hunt with him is the 4:30 am wake up call. We woke up earlier than any normal person ever should and hit the road to the hunting camp. We picked up Emery from Hunter’s mom when we got there, got situated in the truck and watched all the excitement, listening to the guys talk at light speed on the radio and racing down dirt roads. Most of the day involved driving around, watching for tracks, releasing dogs, listening for dogs, picking up dogs, and doing this over and over and over. It’s a lot of hurry up and wait, but still fun to see my hubby in action.

Emery loves the doggies!

This little girl thinks she can drive. Sorry honey, not until you’re 15 and even then I’ll probably have a heart attack.

Please excuse my appearance below. Did I mention I woke up at 4:30 am? Ponytail – check. Sweats – check. I can handle  my normal morning routine anytime after 5:30, but an hour earlier means all that goes out the window.

My Hunter man didn’t score a big buck this day, but lucky for us, we have PLENTY of quality organic venison in our fridge and freezer.
Now, here we are, Sunday night, back at home, baths complete, PJs on, stories read and ready for bed. After a fun, leisurely weekend, it’s safe to say, we’re relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to face another week. Monday, here we come!

lounging on the lawn

I love the holidays. I love days off work. I love leisurely afternoons involving sunshine, picture perfect beachside towns and my sweet little girl. Most of all I love that I was able to combine all these with the treat of having my sister in town, even if it’s only for a few days for Christmas. We’re so much alike, we’re practically twins. We finish each other’s sentences, make the exact same sounds at the same moment, laugh alike, talk non-stop and can just as easily sit in silence knowing precisely the thought the other has. It’s glorious. I recommend everyone have a sister.
This Tuesday was unlike most. Instead of emails, meetings, conference calls and deadlines, the day included sleeping in, a much-needed pedicure, a tasty lunch in Grayton with Jennifer and Mike and rolling around Seaside’s lawn watching clouds and people, without a care in the world. Actually, our only worry was deciding who had enough room for dessert and who would walk across the lawn for Dawson’s yogurt. In the end, we all did and we all went.  Ahhh. What a life. I wish all my Tuesdays were this fancy-free.

Emery slept through most of our pedicures

…decided she likes limes

Jennifer and Mike

sam bush jam sesh

Took a little time out yesterday to enjoy a fabulous evening in Grayton Beach. All I can say is Sam Bush + Red Bar = WOW what a night! You may recall that the Red Bar is no stranger to musical super talent with Sara Evans popping in to sing some Patsy Cline and Jason Aldean showing some love on CMT. Word got out that he was going to pop in and jam out Sunday night and that he did.
My friend Jess with Proffitt PR has been working with Sam this weekend for an event and even got to witness some musical synergy as he and local musician Donnie Sundal recorded some tracks yesterday. What a talent Sam is. He’ll be back at the beach in January for the 30A Songwriters Festival (along with 100+ other artists), so this was like a festival preview (without all you visiting fans). There’s something about live music that always gets me. It adds a little buzz to the air and a feeling of excitement, like anything can happen. Add fun players like Boukou Groove, amazing guitar talent, sweet lyrics and an awesome intimate setting like the Red Bar, and it feels like magic. It was truly enchanting and soulful and magnetic all at once. It’s safe to say this Sunday Fun Day hit the perfect note.

Don’t miss the video at the end!

Jami and Jamie!

Ainsley’s new toy

seaside saturday

It was one of those mornings when extra coffee is not an option, but a requirement. I desperately needed the caffeine boost and every time I saw this little Christmas tree pop up at the bottom of my mug, I went straight for a refill. It’s only Saturday, but I knew I would need to keep my energy up and let’s face it, it’s been a long week.
This festive mug helps perk up my morning.
You’ve heard the saying “Work to live; don’t live to work.” As much as I love what I do, I wouldn’t trade mommy time with Emery for anything. The two full days of chasing after her, changing diapers, tickle time, giving bottles and talking in every silly voice I can muster are priceless. She’s so inquisitive and wants to explore everything. She crookedly crawls all over the place (one leg bent, one leg straight) and grabs my leg to stand up and look around every moment she gets. She likes to be part of the action. Emery is a big fan of anything shiny or sparkly (naturally) and carefully inspects all my jewelry choices on a daily basis. 
She also likes to eat the shiny, sparkly things I wear. No big deal.
This morning, we made our way to the Farmer’s Market in Seaside and I’m fairly sure that it was the coldest day of the year we’ve had thus far. Even so, I decided to park and walk for a bit. I love walking around and seeing the sights. Lovely homes, cute signs and the beauty of scenic highway 30A.
It was f-f-f-freezing outside at the Farmer’s Market, but we made the rounds and picked up the essentials we needed. 
Had to pick these up for my hot chocolate-loving husband. 
A sweet little owl girl all bundled up.
While I was in the neighborhood, I took a peek into Pizitz Interiors. The color palette inside was decidedly white and neutral and the shop even included some nice budget-friendly items along with their high-end selections. I love these Seaside matches!
I want these stools!!
If you’re looking for a fun place to try in South Walton, check out Raw & Juicy for healthy goodies. It’s really the originator of the Farmers Market and helped it grow to the level it is now, impressive for our small beach town.
Raw & Juicy
Decked for the holidays!
I wanted to get a picture of Emery in front of the Seaside post office, but she was out and this was all I could steal.
Despite the unpleasantly chilly temps. the beach looked so nice and inviting. I, for one, am already counting down and looking forward to a warm early spring. For now, I’ll just settle for the pure views. 
Perfection!
 By this time, my sweet Emery was fast asleep and looking like an angel. 
 I packed her up, squeezed our FSU Fight Song- playing horse Renegade (or Ren Ren as we now refer to him) into Emery’s lap and headed home with our purchases in tow. I have to say I’m most excited about the Ocheessee Milk and the goat cheese made from their cream. Yum, yum, and double yum! I may or may not have popped open the cheese and sampled a healthy portion on the way home. 
And before I go, I had to share this. Emery is now holding her bottle up by herself, not just with two hands, but with a little added support – her feet!  That’s my girl! Growing up so fast, one Saturday at a time.

taste of south walton, part 2

taste of south walton, part 1

I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. 

Weekends like these make it so easy to repeat this and who wouldn’t be proclaiming their affinity for work when it means spending three days wining and dining throughout South Walton, galavanting from one beach neighborhood to the next sipping fine wines and tasting creatively concocted dishes that are just as delicious as they are presented. Life. Is. Good.
Enough chatting and mouth-watering. Let’s get to the food!

First stop: Seagar’s at Hilton Sandestin 

Started with a brief tour of the Hilton Sandestin before arriving at the elegant Seagar’s Restaurant
First Course: Caesar Salad prepare table-side 
Sizzling steaks at the end of our table. Smelled delicious!
The flaming table-side prep of my favorite Bananas Foster.
Oh. My. Word. Now this is heaven in a bowl. 

Seagar’s was amazing. The tasting was a sort of tour of the menu, so the portions were perfect to ensure we made it all the way to the dessert. I should note: Not one person had an ounce of leftovers when the plates were collected.

After a full night of sleep to recover and make room for more goodness, we met at Watercolor‘s Fish Out of Water for breakfast the next day. Have you ever been? They have two fun swings in the lobby wait area that are hard to resist.  Rachelle Lucas of The Travel Bite was one of our visiting journalists and she and I hit it off. I loved hearing her travel stories and discussing our addiction passion for social media.  I have so much Twitter love for you, Rachelle! :) One thing we did not have in common: she is a fabulous cook and as you know, I’m…. culinarily challenged.

Rachelle & me at Fish Out of Water
A beautiful breakfast view from Fish!
I think everyone was inspired!

Crispy Rice-Crusted Bourbon Vanilla French Toast

Baked Eggs Florentine

Love this glass decor/art in the lounge

From Fish Out of Water, we went on to Mac Farms, a local grower that supplies some of the fresh produce used by many of South Walton’s restaurants. Check out this setup!

microgreens!

Loving Rachelle’s shoes!

 We even took a little souvenir on to our next stop: lunch at Viking Cooking School. This place was wonderful and fascinating and confusing all at the same time. I didn’t know what most of the kitchen gadgets were or how in the world to use them, but it made me want to learn! The instructors were so personable and informative that I actually felt like I could cook a gourmet meal when I left. Yes, they were that good.

I’ll take this Viking kitchen.

Delicious red snapper for lunch.

Our Mac Farms greens!

Fresh and tasty

 Definitely felt the need for a quick walk on the beach after that one. Wow, was it good!

Next on the agenda was a trip to the top of the Luau condo at Sandestin for a small taste of this picture perfect view. We sipped champagne, snapped pics and felt like we were on top of the world

Beautiful!

From there we went on to the Village of Baytowne Wharf.

Had to put on flats for this segment.

Farmer D produce

Needless to say, I went home full and happy!

birthday fun and v

What a wonderful and relaxing day I had yesterday! It was the first day of my twenty-eighth year and I so relished kicking my feet up, floating in the pool, spending a lazy day at our new home and being treated to a fabulous dinner by my handsome husband. Life is surely sweet and I’m currently riding a blessed sugar high.
We spent the morning in the pool, splashing in the water, laughing and watching the clouds roll by. It was heaven. Emery was well slathered in sunscreen and her bright pink hat while I was hoping for a sun kiss.

 How cute are those pink ruffles and giant chubby cheeks?

It takes her a little while to decide that she likes the water, but once she does, she can’t get enough. She even tries to lick the water droplets off the float or her hands.

 After lunch we took a family ride in the mule down to the scuppernong vines. Hunter’s grandparents owned a nursery years ago and still pride themselves on the variety and deliciousness of these succulent fruits.

 


We eat them right off the vine.

…and take a bowl-full home to snack on later. 

 Hunter had to stop at one of his deer food plots and toss out a new bag of corn.

He takes his hunting preparations very seriously.

Meanwhile, Emery and I hang out in the mule and she sees how tightly she can ball her fists.

Then we head back to the pool. It is August after all and just under 100 degrees. There’s our house in the distance! Can you see it?

 More fun in the pool, this time without the pink ruffles.

Before I knew it, the day is done and we were dropping off Emery at my parents’ house. Being treated to a romantic date with my hubby was just what I needed!

 The sunset over the bay was gorgeous!

Of course, we had to stop at Bud & Alley’s before dinner to watch the end of the sunset and reminisce.

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were enjoying our second first date at the rooftop bar and even less time since this handsome man was down on one knee with a shiny ring in his hand. It’s definitely a special place for us and one full of fond memories.

Cheers to all of the fun we’ve had and all the fun to come! (If you’ve never tried the Mo-garita, you’re missing out!)

We went on to dinner at V Seagrove and proceeded to indulge in more tasty cocktails and delicious food than  two people should be allowed to enjoy. Our taste buds and bellies were happy!

We love to support local farmers and fishermen!

Our seats were at the Chef’s table, which overlooks the kitchen and gives an amazing, fast-paced show of organized chaos while we ate. I loved it!

 After an appetizer of shrimp…

… I had the tuna…

… and cheese grits… 

… while Hunter had what he said was one of the best steaks he’s ever eaten. (And he’s eaten a lot of steaks!)
By the time dessert rolled around, my iPhone died and I was enjoying myself way too much. It’s probably better that there isn’t photographic evidence after this point. It was a wonderful dinner with my man, a perfect day with the family and a birthday treat I was so thankful for.

Ruskin’s First Friday

There are so many cool spots in South Walton that are well known to families from Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas and beyond (hello, Red Bar!). These places have become a visitor and local staple. You only have to drive through Seaside’s section of 30A to see sidewalks lined with the picturesque Seaside Post Office, the vintage cool Airstream Row and sunset favorite Bud & Alley’s. The amphitheater and main circle there are almost always packed. The sweet little spot not everyone has discovered is just beyond the main circle, behind Great Southern Cafe and Heavenly Desserts; it’s the shady side of Seaside, the Shops of Ruskin Place. These Shops are the epitome of New Urbanism’s live-work philosophy with artsy shops along the tree-lined park and lovely eclectic apartments upstairs. On each month’s first Friday, the businesses all stay open after-hours to share their wares with light hors d’oeuvres and live music drifting through the small park. It’s such a leisurely, relaxing atmosphere. On this Friday, my new friend Shantell Martin was exhibiting her Message in a Bottle art through the Art of Simple Gallery and stores like An Apartment in Paris, Albert F’s and Focus Gallery all had their doors wide open. Check it out:

What a hit this photo booth outside Focus Gallery was! So colorful and fun.











Dietrich’s Fine Food Truck. This deserves a post in itself. Just enjoy this lone snapshot for now.

Preferred mode of transportation in Seaside and 30A.


Albert F’s




Magpie’s


the Art of Simple

Shantell’s Message in a Bottle show included more than 100 bottles she recycled and painted while in South Walton.





She even paints shoes…

…and faces!


Such a cool afternoon hanging in the shady side of Seaside. :)

duckies galore

On another of our walks around Lake Defuniak, Emery and I got plenty of fresh air, sunshine and even duck sightings. We don’t usually walk right by the water and I didn’t realize there were so many duckies around the lake! Next time I’ll have to bring bread crumbs…
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We took a note from the day and let Emery sleep with a few duck buddies of her own.

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