Thursday, January 22, 2015

anna maria island: hanging at our beach house.

With a family, renting a house is so much more relaxing than squeezing into a hotel room. And luckily, on Anna Maria Island, the beach houses are pretty affordable! Perfect! We had so much fun in our little home, and I was super sad to leave it!

As much as Weston loved the sandy beaches near the ocean, he also loved our private little pool. It was the perfect size for a toddler, complete with a shallow playing area. He loved sitting in the water, "jumping" into our arms in the deeper water, and sitting in the waterfall. I think he could have spent all day every day in that pool...

We were in Florida for 8 days, and it was so nice to able to just "hang out" as a family at the house, make some meals, and watch movies (we'd watch 2 movies every night after Weston went to bed! It was amazing!) Weston can only eat so much restaurant food before he's completely over it, so it was nice to have all of his favorite foods in the fridge at all times. Plus, it saves money! Bonus!!

We didn't stay at home the whole time though! We did some fun stuff... check it all out tomorrow!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

anna maria island: the beach.

** get ready for a very picture heavy post filled with sun, sand and my happy little family! **

Anna Maria Island is a tiny little island off the coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico.
Both sides of the island are covered with gorgeous white sand beaches.

 The weather while we were there was around 65-70 degrees each day, which was perfect digging in the sand weather for Weston! Holmes Beach was just a block from our beach house, which made it the perfect beach to spend most of our time. We would go there in the morning to hunt for shells, play in the waves and chase birds. 

We watched the sunset on the beach most nights on Holmes Beach, and it was so peaceful. For some reason, this beach never seemed busy or hectic... it was almost like our own private beach!

One morning, we decided to venture up to the northern tip of the island, and check out Bean Point. Bean Point is the beach on the northern edge of the island, and all access points are in residential areas, making it harder to access. Because it's a smaller beach that isn't as easy to get to, it was so quiet! That was where we found our best seashells (and a couple sand dollars!).

We liked the solitude of Bean Point so much that we decided to check out a sunset there as well. Weston was a little crabby that evening, but it was a gorgeous sunset. 

These quiet moments on the beach were definitely my favorite part of the trip. Our lives are so chaotic, and to just take a moment and appreciate the amazing life we've been given was jut what I needed.

Writing this post, organizing the pictures and remembering every detail of our trip seriously made me tear up. I love our family so much, and these simple memories are so magical to me. It boggles my mind what a fun, smart and silly child Weston has turned into, and being his mommy is my proudest accomplishment. Time is going so quickly, and before I know it, Weston will be grown up and starting a family of his own, so I want to treasure every moment we have with him when he's little and his mommy and daddy are his whole world.
(sorry about the sappy mommy moment. apparently vacation recaps will do that to a mommy.)


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

anna maria island: we're back!

You may not have even realized, but Jake, Weston and I just got back from our Anna Maria Island getaway!! 

It was such an amazing eight days with my two favorite boys, and I can't wait to share all the fun with you!

We absolutely loved Anna Maria Island. It's an adorable island in the gulf of Mexico, about 50 miles south of Tampa. The island prides itself on it's "old Florida" feel, which basically means it's filled with local businesses, adorable beach houses and no chain hotels or restaurants. It was heaven. I couldn't get over all of the adorable houses!

I could have taken a million more pictures - there were so many cute ones. I loved the bright colors, the pretty trim and all the fun details they each had. We rented a small one bedroom beach house, and it was the perfect size for our little trio!

We rented our beach house through Anna Maria Vacations, and were very pleased with them. When we go back to Anna Maria Island someday, we plan to use this company again! Their customer service was great, the quality was excellent and the price was very competitive! I'm not being compensated at all to say this, but I would definitely recommend them!!

We spent our days on the beach, wandering around town and swimming in the pool. It wasn't exciting, but it was relaxing and perfect for our little family. Since a lot of our days looked very similar, I'm going to recap by WHAT we did, instead of WHEN we did it. Tomorrow is all about the beach and some awesome sunsets! I can't wait!


Monday, January 19, 2015

treat the pups this Valentine's Day

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TreatThePups #CollectiveBias

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We love our dogs, and treat them as our children.
Their lives have changed quite a bit since Weston was born, but we make sure to give them plenty of hugs, kisses and love all the time. Cooper and Grace spend all day, every day showing us how important we are, so I decided that since Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, we should treat our sweet dogs to show them just how much they mean to us. 

I went on the hunt for some yummy dog treats, and found a huge selection at Walmart.

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I decided on Milk-Bones, Milo's Kitchen Chicken Jerky Strips and Milo's Kitchen Steak Grillers. Milk-Bones are a staple in our house, and the chicken and steak treats sounded like something Cooper and Grace would chomp right up!

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As soon as I got home, Grace and Cooper used their magical "I know there's something for me in that bag!" powers, and were so excited to see what sorts of treats I brought them. I asked my best little assistant to come help, and the dogs got their treats.

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#shop #cbias #TreatThePups
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Needless to say, their day was made. They spent the rest of the evening trying to convince Weston to give them more. :) It was a little gesture, but it made their furry little hearts happy, and that's what's important! No matter how many human children join our household, our dogs will always be our loved little fur-kids, and we always want to make sure they know it!

I had some Milk-Bones left over, so I decided to use Big Heart Brand's Valentine printables to make some special treats for a few of Weston's best furry friends. They are going to be so excited! 

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There are a ton of adorable dog treat ideas - check them all out here!

If you have dogs, you totally understand where I'm coming from. Dogs are a part of the family! What are some of your favorite ways to show your pets that you care?