Thursday, May 5, 2016

Five Family Friendly Florida Getaways

I get asked quite frequently where to visit in Florida that's good for families.  Florida is huge and there are so many gems, so it's hard to narrow it down.  These are some spots I'd recommend if you are traveling with kids.  In no particular order (;

1.  Anna Maria Island:  I may be just a bit partial since it's just down the road from us.  But it's pretty close to heaven on earth.  There are no high rises, and no chains.  It's like you are stepping back in time. 
Where to stay:  I recommend reaching out to Sato real estate to rent a house for the week, or booking a place at Anna Maria beach cottages if your stay is shorter.  
What to do:  My favorite beach is on the north end, but you really can't go wrong.  
Rent a bike, golf cart, kayak, etc at Beach Bums AMI
Shop and eat on Pine. 
Ride the free trolley up and down the island 
Where to eat:  I love Poppo's Taco's and The Donut Experience (both on pine)
The waterfront is delicious
Rod & Reel is a whole in the wall / water (; that makes my favorite grouper sandwich
Sign of the Mermaid has a great brunch and they love children it seems!
Worth the trip off the island:  Starfish in the fishing village of Cortez

2.  Boca Grande:  This is another slice of heaven.  Again, here you have no high rises, and it feels quite like old florida.  The homes are absolutely gorgeous, most people get around via golf carts, the shopping is great, and I love the whole atmosphere.   
Where to stay:  The Gasparilla Inn is one of my favorite places to stay out of everywhere we've traveled.  Everything is adorable, quaint, and decorated to a T.  The Innlet is also a great, less expensive option.  
What to do:  The beach is gorgeous here.  A big perk if you are staying at the Inn is the beach club. It feels more like you are in a resort in the Caribbean than in Florida.  
The open air library is amazing!  It's so peaceful and beautiful.  Seen in the picture above (:  
If you golf, the golf course is incredible.  So I've been told by my dad, brother, and JB!
Shopping is good for such a small island!
Rent a golf cart and tour the island is a must.  
I love the little thrift shop on the island.  I bought JB my favorite tie on him there!
Where to Eat: The temptation is my favorite place on the island.  The brussel sprouts with grouper, oh my!
The Pink Elephant is a fun environment, and a great spot for a Hummer (the islands signature drink).
The Outlet is perfect for lunch.

3.  Key Largo:  It's the easiest of the keys to get to if you are driving and loaded with family friendly fun.  
Where to stay:  Ocean Reef Club is the only one I have experience with, but there are quite a few other options.  
What to do: One of the things I loved about Ocean Reef Club is how much there is to do.  For every age!  We are headed back here in a month, and I can hardly wait.  It has a playground right on the water, so many pools, a splash pad, hammocks, kayaks, you name it!  
You can also book a fishing trip or a snorkeling trip to snorkel a reef!
Where to eat:  Anywhere in Ocean Reef Club was excellent but expensive.  The best meal I had though was at the Raw Bar.  

4.  Amelia Island:  I have to be honest and say I prefer my coast for beaches, but Amelia Island was just lovely!  
Where to stay:  We stayed at the Omni and I can highly recommend it for traveling with families.  I've heard great things about the Ritz there as well.  I also have friends that rent a house every year.
What to do:  The Omni was loaded with things for every age.  
They had a bonfire with s'mores the first day.
They have a kids club if your kids like to do that.
Little cabanas and chairs to rent on the beach.
The pool is pretty amazing!  see above (:
They have a great golf course.
There's also this little nature center with lots of animals to meet (:
Take the quick drive to fernandina beach with such a cute downtown and lots of fun restaurants.
Where to eat:  I loved getting a cheese plate and a drink (While grandma had Tuck) at Seaglass.  The view there is beautiful!  I had my best meal at Oceanside.  
In fernandina beach we ate at Cafe Karibo which was so good!

5.  Naples:  Naples has it all!  Beautiful beaches, the best shopping, and great dining. 
Where to stay:  The Ritz I have heard is incredible.  We stayed at the Naples Grande last year and I wouldn't 100% recommend it.  Also worth looking into renting a house for the week.  
What to do:  The zoo is world class there.  You can even ride a camel!  (: 
The Naples Depot Museum is perfect for tiny train enthusiasts.  
The beaches are gorgeous!!  
5th avenue shopping and dining is super fun both day or night.  
Where to Eat:
Bayside for rooftop dining
Crayton Cove for yummy family friendly dining
Jane's Garden Restaurant - perfect for eating outside and super cute
Brooks on 5th Avenue - great burgers

Have Any recommendations to add to these places?  Other Florida spots to check out?  I'd love to hear!!  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

mom uniform volume 1

I've been so inspired by  Natalie Borton's "Legit Mom Style" series, that I thought it could be fun to do one of my own.  I've mentioned before how I've struggled to rediscover my style since having Wesley.  It's hard to find things that are appropriate for errands, school pick up, playdates... mom life.  For this series I will only feature things that I'd wear to those kind of events.  Bonus points if they work for a date night like this little number.  Dressed down with sandals or up with some heels.  
This cotton romper I picked up from off fifth for $50.  It also comes in Navy!  It's not nursing friendly but could be if you took it to a tailor.  I've seriously thought about it!

{the romper is affiliate linked!}

Monday, May 2, 2016

Florida Living

{the boys sunglasses are  babiators c/o // both of their life vests are puddle jumpers (coast guard approved) // both swim trunks are TBBC // my coverup c/o cabana life }

Summer is here!  And Wesley's beach bod is ready (;  
Watching Wesley explore the beach is the sweetest thing.  He falls down in the powdery sand a hundred times, and dips his toes in the water and then high tails it outta there.  Tuck was mostly busy putting seaweed in his pail and then dumping it into the ocean.  repeat x100.  Little busy bodies. 
My favorite weekends are always those on or near the water.   I can't believe how much I take for granted living here sometimes.  It's such a beautiful spot to grow up.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

favorite devotionals part two

A couple people have asked for devotional recommendations recently.  I did a post a few years ago, and I still read these at times as well.   But here are the ones in my current rotation:  

Pressing Pause: 100 quiet moments for moms to meet with Jesus - I just added this in the last month.  It's quick, relatable, and gets my mind set on Jesus - even in the hairiest of mom days.  

The Power of a Praying Wife - I'm going through this with friends right now and it's been a great read.  This book is valuable no matter where you are in your marriage.  I had read The power of a praying woman probably ten years ago now, and also I have Stormie's Prayer Bible that was a gift in college.  Though to be honest, I love my tattered, plain old Bible the best.  

Savor:  Shauna Niequist is an amazing writer, and I love these short thought provoking devotions.

The One Year Uncommon Life by Tony Dungy:  This is one JB and I have been going through and it's great for both of us.  

Closer to God Each Day by Joyce Meyer:  I keep this one in my car and read it in the pick up line at Tucks school.  

I'd love to know what you are enjoying reading!

**affiliate links are used in this post**