Toes in the water, ass in the sand...

We spent a long weekend in Cape May earlier this month and Lulu got to experience her first time on the beach. While she seemed to enjoy the sand and breeze, she was not a fan of the ocean water. I had some major concerns about bringing a 5-month-old to the beach because of the sheer amount of "stuff" needed, but we purchased this sun shade tent thing, and that was a breeze to set up and take down, and mostly Lu just chilled out under it and took some naps and woke up to eat from time to time. In August, we're heading back to Cape May again with my parents, which will be fun! I'm hoping Lu is more open to dipping her feet in the water next time. Check out more photos from our trip below. 


The breakfast sandwich SALAD

Guys...this salad. This salad! I keep making it because honestly it's like a restaurant-quality salad but you can make it at home in about 10 minutes. Do you see it, semi-runny egg yolk, melty cheese, perfectly ripe avocado, crispy chunks of bacon and then under all of that deliciousness is the some fresh peppery arugula dressed every so slightly with the tangy juice from a lemon. Yum yum gimme some. Get the full recipe below.


Baby, you're a firework!

This post is long overdue, but I can't let all of these great firework photos go to waste! We spent the Fourth of July holiday weekend with my family on Sacandaga Lake and took the Lulu Bug out for some boating adventures. She loved it, and by loved it, I mean that she fell asleep every time she went onto the boat. I just adore being up in the Adirondacks -- the air is fresh, the water is crisp and the campfires are magnificent. Oh, and did I mention that my friend Lindsey (the one that lives in EGYPT) came to visit me and meet my offspring?! Check out more photos from our weekend below: 


Parenting Fails

I try to be authentic on here. If this blog is nothing more than that, it is at the very least honest. With that being said, the ugly stuff in life sometimes isn't as fun to share. I read blogs and I see beautiful tablescapes (that's when a dining room table looks more like Martha Stewart pooped out rainbows and butterflies on it and less like a place you actually sit to have a meal.) I see perfectly styled outfits, food photos that looks so delicious you want to lick your screen, scantily clad ladies giving workout tips, and adorable little rosey-cheeked babies in adorable bows smiling and laughing for their semi-annual photo shoots. But sometimes all of that happiness and perfection makes me feel kind of lousy about myself. It makes me think that there are women out there holding it all together, looking fabulous, kicking ass at work, cooking gourmet meals at night, working out daily, and handling parenthood with the patience and grace of the pope. 

You know what? They're not doing that, and neither am I. 

If this blog, or anything I do in my life leads you to believe that my life is not a chaotic clusterf*ck of just trying to get through each moment of each day, then I apologize. Sometimes I make dinner and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I have time to bake a cake but most of the time I don't. Sometimes I put together something that resembles a cute outfit, but most of the time I'm just trying to find a shirt to wear that doesn't have spit-up on it. 

My point is, it's messy up in here and if anyone tells you they don't have a messy life, they are lying to your face (or they deserve to be punched in theirs.)

So without further ado, and because I will NEVER claim to be a perfect mother, I'm sharing some of my most recent parenting fails.

1. Luisa went through a full week of daycare before we realized that we had never paid them for it. #parentingfail

2. I've dropped my cell phone on my baby's head... twice. That's how I learned what her "pain cry" sounds like. #parentingfail

3. One day I took the baby to daycare, dropped her off, drove halfway to my destination and received a call that I left her with no bottles for the day... #parentingfail

4. I've forgotten to change my baby's diaper during the day, I'm not going to share how long she went without being changed, because it's embarrassing, but it's also kind of her own fault. If she had cried or indicated that she was uncomfortable in some way, I obviously would have come to the rescue with a fresh diaper. #parentingfail

5. I have taken my baby to a few not-so-baby-appropriate places like to a movie theater to see Jurassic World and bars #parentingfail or #parentingwin? #youbethejudge

Tell me about your parenting fails!!! I seriously want to hear them, a) because it will make me feel better about myself and b) because they will make me laugh. 

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Southern Sunday Y'all

BryGuy wanted one thing for Father's Day and that was homemade coconut cake. Seeing as though it was his first Father's Day, I thought granting his dessert wishes would be a nice thing to do. And since the weather forecast looked pretty good, he decided to smoke some ribs and some pork butt. While the meats were cooking, I whipped up some coleslaw, and Bry mixed up some tasty bourbon cocktails... and my friends, Southern Sunday was born. Check out more photos from our Father's Day below. Also, if you're interested in making the most refreshing bourbon cocktail in your own home, here's the recipe for a Whisky Smash.


Bathroom makeover

So this is our downstairs bathroom. I love having a bathroom on the first floor because we spend so much time in the living room and kitchen, it's nice not to have to run upstairs every time you have to pee. Except, here's the thing, I hate that bathroom. I dislike using it so much that I actually choose to go up and down the stairs to the second floor bathroom instead of using the one that was just a room away. 

I always told Bry that this bathroom was a down-the-road project for me, but when I found myself not even wanting to step into it, I knew it was time for a change. I went to the hardware store, looked at paint chips for about two seconds, picked one that looked okay and went home and started painting. A fresh coat of paint was all it took to give this room some new life. Check out the before and after photos below. 


Family photo shoot

Meet my happy baby. She has quite the personality these days. You'll most likely find her growling when she's hungry, babbling or squealing when she's all excited about nothing, or trying to lick everything she can get her chubby little hands on. We put Lulu in her Sunday best and took her to the backyard for a quick photo shoot this past weekend. Of course, halfway through the photo shoot she decided that was the perfect time to spit up all over her top, pants, and mommy's pants as well, but we went with it and still were able to get some good family pics! Check out more photos below: 


Finding the right real estate agent

When BryGuy and I started to get more serious about our house search -- besides just looking at million dollar homes on Zillow and drooling -- we knew we needed guidance. We had never done this before, we were as they say, "Property Virgins" (Sidenote: Can I just say that I love that show and pretty much all shows on HGTV...except Love it or List it and Flip or Flop, they are the worst.) Despite my wealth of knowledge learned from HGTV I actually had zero idea on how to go about the whole thing. Do you just start looking at houses first? Do you meet with your bank? Do you get a real estate agent? All of those questions were so overwhelming to me that I would freeze up and be like, "it's too complicated, we can do it." 

And along came Ana, who not only happens to be one of my very dearest friends, but is also a licensed real estate agent. I started to pick her brain with questions about the process. In all honesty, Bry and I weren't sure about whether or not we wanted our close friend to be our real estate agent. What if we weren't happy with the search process and didn't know how to tell her? What if something went wrong down the road and we felt uncomfortable, would it create tension in the friendship? 

After thinking about it long and hard, we decided that it was better to have a trusted friend on our side than a complete stranger, and it was one of the best decisions we've ever made. Not only did our agent/friend find us the home of our dreams in record time but she provided sound advice, kept us on budget, and made a complicated and overwhelming process feel straightforward and easy. 
Although I'm no expert at buying a home, I can tell you what worked for us and I think that if you're not lucky enough to have a close friend that can be your agent, that you should shop around for someone that's going to be the right fit for you. After all, this is one of the most important decisions and biggest purchases you will make in your life! 

In my opinion, these are the qualities that are most important when looking for a real estate agent:

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