Archive of ‘beach’ category

Three Things

Some days are so crazy and some weeks so busy that there’s seems to be no time to pause, reflect or even stand a chance at making it all the way down that lengthy to-do list. Throw in the annoying head cold that everyone seems to be passing back and forth and, well, it gets a little rough. It is these times especially that I have to force myself to take a breath, look forward to the light at the end of projects and stop and smell the roses (or in my case, the salt air). Three things that I am thankful for this week:

1. Five minute trips to the beach, even if it’s just to stand at the top of the boardwalk in the cold wind and take it all in.

2. An extra cup of coffee in my snazzy new home-made mug.

3. An extra snuggle, smooch and tight hand-hold from this little bundle, who always smells so fresh, mumbles absolutely the sweetest things and is turning into such a little lady. (Notice the must-have baubles and the obligatory tiny pinky in the air.) She is my heart!

 
Now, if that extra dose of caffeine will keep up the momentum going until her second birthday, I’ll be GREAT!

 

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!

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!

toes in the water

While Hunter and I were in Tallahassee watching our Seminoles play, his mom Michele took Emery to the beach for the annual Coastal Clean-up. One little girl was so excited to see everyone doing their part to pick up trash, throw away garbage and help keep our beautiful beaches just as pretty as they should be. 
She looks like she’s ready to run down the boardwalk!

 I love this little smirk!

 There’s my pretty girl! I like to think she loves the ruffly dress and will appreciate the girly things in life.

 I’ve taken Emery to the beach far enough to stick her toes in the sand, but hitting the water this day was a first. I’m not sure she knew what to think.

 Emery likes to clench her fists when she’s nervous or upset and look how tight her little hands are closed!

There’s the first wave of clear water hitting her foot. I think she likes it now!
So sweet! She’s just hanging out, letting the waves splash her legs. I’m thinking she’ll be a water baby for sure.

 Kelli, who I work with, was also at the clean-up with her daughter Ali. Ali wanted to look after Emery and Kelli said when she thought no one was looking, Ali was telling Em all the important life lessons a girl should know. Kelli heard Ali whispering to Emery things like, “You have to blink your eyelashes like this,” and ”Always ask the daddy for things you really want.” How cute is that?

New little friends.

Kelli took all these adorable pics, and I’m so thankful. I love to see the little moments I miss and these were definitely some sweet ones! Thanks, Kel!

I Heart America

Happy Fourth indeed! I LOVE celebrating Independence Day! Red, white and blue infiltrates every avenue and the perfectly crisp and patriotic color palette looks sweet as can be on everything from food to fashion to the night sky. Navy and red become favorites and stripes…. oh stripes. I can’t get enough! I love finding spirited ideas for tasty bites and fabulous outfits. Of course, Pinterest only fuels this fire, so here I share a few of my pins for the Fourth.
For Emery, of course…


Yum! Strawberry star cupcakes.

South Walton artwork from the Blue Giraffe in Watercolor

The annual Seaside parade goes right in front of the picture perfect post office and is so much fun to watch.
…and, of course, what is the fourth without fireworks? Beautiful!

Images via my iphone / thetomkatstudio / nordstrom / kraftrecipes / The Blue Giraffe / Pinterest / appolinas

at least Mondays are good for sunsets…

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What a busy day at work! At least busy days fly by and at least busy days end with skies like this one over the bay. Seems a little harder to complain, huh?

Honeymooning

St. Lucia was fabulous!! It was wonderfully relaxing and romantic. The beach was pretty and the people were all so nice. For the most part, we were just bums, going from the beach to the pool to the bar to eat and to sleep. It was great. The only picture I didn’t get was of my favorite frozen drink while we were there — the Bob Marley! The song “One Love” was like a constant soundtrack everywhere we went. I miss those days already!
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Rodney Bay…
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Before our private dinner…
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Happy Friday!


What a gorgeous day today is, following yesterday’s wet and rainy mess. I’m so glad it’s Friday and I can’t wait to enjoy the weekend! TGIF!

Pretty Cold Sunset

The temperatures are still freezing as the sun goes down, but I braved the wind and chill to snap a few sunset pictures on the way home from work. It was just too pretty to resist!

Perfect December Days

As much as I’ve been complaining about the dreary Seattle-like weather we’ve had at the beach lately, today has been one of the nicest days in a long time. It’s the middle of December but the sun is out and the temperature is in the 60s. Just gorgeous! Wish you were here….

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