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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Grayton Beach Getaway

A few weeks ago, Christopher & I got a wild hair and decided to book a last minute beach vacation.
By last minute, I mean we decided to book it on Tuesday & left on Thursday!
It was a whirlwind getting everything ready and the house cleaned up so we could be gone, but it was so worth it.
I wanted to walk y'all through where we stayed, what we did, and all the good things because this was the best vacation!

We ended up using VRBO to book the beach house pictured above, Dune Watch, in Grayton Beach, Florida.
We have always vacationed in Panama City, but have fallen in love with the 30A area over the years and decided that Charlie's first trip was the time to make the switch to a little quieter area that is more family oriented.
Our master bedroom was so tranquil and beautiful, plus the bed was really comfortable!
This was the second of three bedrooms. We actually ended up inviting our friends and their little boy and they surprised us by agreeing to come last minute-so this was their room during our stay.
This was the third bedroom which had a twin & full size bed in it (which would be great for the boys to share in several, several years 😂). For now, we sat Charlie's pack-n-play & his slumberpod up in there and let him sleep in that room.
This was the outdoor dining area, a screened in portion of the large porch that fronts the house.
We had breakfast and dinner out here every night of our vacation and it was just so nice and relaxing.
This is the living area for Dune Watch, one of those sofas is also a sleeper sofa so we really could've packed a lot of people into this house if we had needed to.
It had so much seating and we were really able to spread out which was great for us and the kids.
This is the dining area, just off the living room and kitchen.
We personally didn't use this area for eating (why would you when you could enjoy that screened porch?!) but it is really pretty!
This is the gorgeous kitchen, which we cooked breakfast in each morning & served supper in each night. It was roomy enough for two cooks and very well equipped.
I loved how close it was to everything else because I could watch Charlie or talk to the guys while we cooked, if we needed to.
This is the stunning view from the non-screened part of the porch.
Directly across from the house is Grayton Beach State Park, which is protected so that's why there is nothing built across from the house and it's all those beautiful dunes.
You can see the beach access at the top left of this picture so we were very close to the beach and could see it from our porch.
The beach access was like walking to Heaven, seriously so beautiful.

And absolutely stunning views no matter which way you looked.
There were two groups of people on the beach the first afternoon Chris, Charlie, & I went down and it didn't get much more "crowded" that than the entire weekend.
At the top of the picture, you can see more people on the beach. That's because there is public access there & also a location where people can drive their vehicles directly onto the sand.
Charlie's first time putting his feet in the sand!
Sweet sandy toes!

The first sunset we enjoyed on our porch.
I will share all the places we ate and what we did at the end of this post, it'll be easier to group it that way!
Family selfie before going out to dinner!
I wish I had a good picture of us, especially Charlie's outfit that night because he looked SO stinkin' adorable and now he's outgrown that outfit. 😭
We intended to wake up for sunrise that first full day, but ended up being a few minutes late. The view over the water and dunes was still glorious and Christopher & I enjoyed taking in a few minutes on the porch before the rest of the house woke up.
I got a little work in while Charlie took a morning nap.
And then, we beached!
Charlie ended up LOVING the sand.
His sweet little shark beach chair is from Target & has a fin on the back of it-it's the actual cutest thing ever.
Just some Daddys playing with their boys!
We bought Charlie some cheap sand toys at Wall-Mart when we got down to the beach since we didn't have any; there was a scoop & bucket and this little plastic dump truck and he loved them all!
Just like with most of his toys, the dump truck ended upside down so he could spin the tires.
Daddy & Charlie had to take a little stroll through the sand.
He wants to take off walking SO bad, but isn't quite brave enough yet.

He adored the water and wanted us to let him go!
We brought his life jacket & honestly should've put him in it to take him near the water, but we had no intentions of going in deep enough where we would come close to letting him go.
I was just in awe of having the entire beach pretty much to ourselves. It was so, so beautiful.
The sunsets over those dunes & the gulf totally made all the work that goes into a weekend away from home (with a one year old!) worth it.
On Saturday, we headed down the 30A to Seaside for the Farmer's Market.
There were so many little vendors set up; we sampled snacks and chatted with the farmers about their wares.
It was a really joyful atmosphere, like Seaside always is.
I always love walking through the market they have set up and looking at all the bags, hats, jewelry, and clothes. I could spend a lot of money there!
And then of course, that afternoon we had to sneak in a few more beach hours!
The weather was mild, there was an awesome breeze, and we just soaked up our last little bit of beach time.
Snacks on the beach are the best kind of snacks!

There were some absolutely beautiful homes on the beach & that sunset below was just to die for.
I could watch that every single day & most likely never tire of it.
Now for what we ate:
Night One:
Hurricane's Oyster Bar-Christopher & I had been craving oysters for so long and theirs were really, really good. We devoured two dozen raw and a half dozen baked with crabmeat.
Day/Night Two:
AJ's Grayton Beach-This place was only about a 3 minute ride from our house, so we thought it would be a quick lunch idea. The food wasn't bad, but it also wasn't amazing. It seemed like pretty basic beach tourist food.
Goatfeather's Seafood Market-We decided to just grab steamed crab legs & boiled shrimp, potatoes, and corn from a local market and it was delicious. It was also much cheaper than a group of four adults going to dinner and we were able to put the boys down for bed before Chelsea and I ran out to grab the food and we could come back and sit on the screened in porch and enjoy the evening.
Coldstone Creamery-This is totally a chain, but there is one right next to Goatfeathers and so Chelsea and I snuck in a quick mom's treat while we waited on our food to be ready the first night! Their sweet cream flavor is my favorite!
Day/Night Three:
Bud and Alley's Pizza Bar-We were hunting our favorite taco stand, but they are doing so much construction in downtown Seaside right now that it was honestly a little frustrating to deal with.
Our friends also wanted to have somewhere indoors because their little guy was getting hot, so we settled for a patio with lots of fans at the Pizza Bar. The food was pretty good, I love a pizza that is not quite the "usual". I do wish Chris and I had shared & just gotten something Charlie would've been okay eating because it was really pricy. Also, the frose' that I ordered came with a paper straw which wasn't big enough to suck the pieces of ice through and so it was melted by the time I could drink it. Don't recommend that at all.
Goatfeather's Seafood Market-We ordered the same thing as the first night & y'all, it was still so good. I will say, things were seasoned and cooked better the first night so I think it depends on who's cooking. But you can also go in and order at the counter to make sure things are cooked properly and to your liking.
Morning Four:
We left out on Sunday morning, so Chris didn't ask me to cook him breakfast.
We ended up going to The Donut Hole and y'all-it was so good.
I got tomato gravy & biscuits with country ham and they were delish. Charlie and Chris both enjoyed their food, the service was really good, and we got some yummy (and inexpensive!) donuts on our way out for the road!

I think down the road (maybe in the Spring) I'll do a little guide on what we brought to survive our first beach trip with Charlie, but I'll wait on that one! If y'all have any other questions (or suggestions for future 30A spots to check out!) I would love to hear them!

Until next time. . .

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Ten on Tuesday [No.62]

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Happy Tuesday, y'all!
It seems so hard to believe that October is almost gone...before we know it, it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then time to decorate for & celebrate Christmas, and then 2020 will be here-it's insane how fast time seems to pass these days.
Let's round up some of my favorite things from around the internet and that have been going on lately!
We recently got to take a quick, last minute getaway to the beach with some of our friends and y'all-we had the most fun!
It was Charlie's first beach trip and he just loved the water and the sand, it was everything I ever could've hoped for.
I'm going to do an entire blog post sharing where we stayed, what we did, and what we brought for our one year old so be on the lookout for that!
I loved this story on Facebook about Cinderella & her glass arm.
Such a beautiful way for girls to see that princesses can look like them no matter what!
 Can y'all believe that we finally cut Charlie's hair?!
I've been honestly trying to get it cut since he was like 8 months old, but not many people will cut it before a baby is a year old.
So I made two different hair appointments, but we got the last minute opportunity to go to the beach & then we had to cancel for a funeral, so we just let it go and decided to try again later.
Thankfully, Chris & I have a sweet friend (who's name just happens to be Charleighe, too!) who just graduated from her cosmetology program and she offered to come to our house to cut his hair.
I'm just saying, if you have the opportunity to have your little ones first haircut at home, do it!
He didn't cry, he just sat in his booster seat and played with my phone and his monitor (two things he never gets to play with) and was pretty good. He was obviously wiggly, but not scared which was so important!
And most importantly, he looks like such a handsome big boy now!
Well, I've finally discovered a name for what I am...Grandmillennial 😹
That article I linked there describes me to a T-I even took the quiz to double check, definitely me.
Case in point; Chris tolerates taking me to estate sales and antique stores ALL the time. I love it so much!
A few weeks ago, my friend Chelsea and I hit up Kids Market & Mom in Irondale and I grabbed lots of goodies for Charlie for the Fall & Winter.
I spent right at $100 and got everything you see below, plus a book for my niece & a book for Charlie and a wooden pull toy that's shaped & painted like a John Deere tractor that I'm saving for him for Christmas!
 Three of the four shirts above are Ralph Lauren button ups that I got for great prices!
The bottom right is a Carter's/Osh Kosh and I loved the western vibe.
 Charlie needed a few new jammies in the next size up, so I grabbed him this dog set of two pjs that are originally Carters and the center ones are adorable smocked "C" pajamas that he looks so cute in and were so much more affordable than if I purchased them from a pre-order group or website.
 Since Charlie is a big boy now and is all about playtime, especially outside, I knew I needed to snag some play shirts for him.
The one in the center is from a favorite of ours, Carhartt and the outside shirts are Circo brand. I love that they are thermal so they'll be warm when it cools off for good!
 Halo Sleep Sack Size Large
I was so happy to find this light blue sleep sack for Charlie in 18-24 months because it's the perfect lightweight layer for over his pajamas that don't have feet. This size should last us a long time, too.
 You know you've got a big boy when you have to buy sweatshirts for him to play in at the farm, like this sweet John Deere one.
The Auburn one is so cute for cooler game days and was brand new with tags, too.
 I still need to work on Charlie's pant-wardrobe, but I got him two pairs of corduroy pants that are reversible with red gingham prints and two pairs of Old Navy pants, a dark brown & a bluejeans.
And lastly, some of my favorite finds were this sweet corduroy long-all with a C embroidered, a long-sleeve train tee with a C, and a rodeo cowboy sweater vest.
I don't get to go to coffee shops very often anymore, but when I do get to snag a Starbucks I love their pumpkin sweet cream cold brew and their bacon gouda breakfast sandwich-they are both so good!
Also, I'm still adoring my Freshly Picked diaper bag. I've had it over a year now and don't see myself stopping using it anytime soon.
I've got lots of favorites I could mention from Scarlet & Gold, but I think this blanket is my latest obsession-I think it would be precious for Charlie!
Scarlet & Gold Auburn Elements Blanket
If you don't like Auburn (what's wrong with you?! Just kidding!) then they have Alabama themed blankets, blankets that aren't team related, and simple football themed blankets that would be cute for any team.
If you purchase anything from Scarlet & Gold for the rest of the month of October, you can use the code ITSGAMEDAY for free shipping!
I have several podcasts that I listen to, but my latest binge-worthy one has been 22 Hours: An American Nightmare.
It is a true crime story and done by journalists, which was such an interesting take. It goes all the way through the crime, to the courtroom, and beyond. Very well done and I flew through it.
I'm getting to the point in the season where I'm ready to swap out my pots and planter boxes on the back porch with Fall plants and this article from Better Homes & Gardens gave me lots of good ideas to use!
Walmart Mulled Cider Candle
Okay, hear me out. I know everyone probably already has a million Fall & Winter candles from Bath & Body Works, but this one (that's less than $5 at Wall-Mart) smells so good!
I was able to grab it through grocery pickup, which makes it even easier and I've enjoyed burning it in my kitchen.
It gives a bright, spicy, punchy apple scent that will take you through Fall all the way into the Christmas season.

Well, I hope y'all enjoyed my Ten this week!
Until next time. . .
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