Category Archives: Uncategorized

30A Is The Place To Stay!…….Beach Photos

One last 30A post! To remember this vacation, we had family photos taken on Rosemary Beach. The sunset and beach created the most breathtaking scenery; and a wonderful photographer and friend captured these beautiful moments for us.

If you are staying in the Florida Panhandle or South Alabama area, I highly recommend Micha Everett Photography for the most beautiful photos (family, engagement, wedding, etc.). Micha is an amazing and outgoing woman with tons of talent. Our photo session was a blast!

Here is a preview:

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I can’t wait to see the rest…..there were so many great poses and fun ideas! Visit Micha Everett Photography on Facebook too! Micha, you are wonderful and next time drinks are on me!

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I wish you all happy vacations!

 

 

 

30A Is The Place To Stay! Part III (Recreation)

30A (and the Destin area) is filled with so many fun-family activities. There’s never a boring moment, even when relaxing at the beach.

Beaches
-Water rentals: Each beach has paddle boarding and boat rentals (2-hour rental minimum).

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-Relaxing: Most beaches offer rental chairs and umbrellas (rent by the day or week).

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-Bring your own fun: Cornhole, Wiffle Ball, Boogie Boards, Rafting, Snorkeling

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Transportation
Along 30A, everyone either brings or rents bikes.

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Shopping
-Farmers’ Market (Every Sunday from 10am – 1pm at Rosemary Beach…and some Thursdays too)

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-Each 30A beach has it’s own shopping district (very high-end).

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-Seafood Markets (Goatfeathers)

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Kid Fun
-30A beaches will have afternoon children’s activities during the week. They also have evening camps posted too!

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Nightlife
Each 30A beach has free outdoor movies/concerts and firework displays.

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Destin
While we were in Destin, we enjoyed the Buccaneer Pirate Cruise for our lil buc.

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We also enjoyed more shopping and two restaurants.

Shopping:
Silver Sands Premium Outlets
Destin Commons
Grand Boulevard

And a shopping trip to Destin would not be complete without a visit to Alvin’s Island for souvenirs.

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Eats:

To celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary, Mr. Modhousewife and I enjoyed a wonderful meal at Beach Walk Cafe. The food and the ocean view were incredible. I highly recommend this restaurant for a romantic getaway.

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And finally we enjoyed a great lunch at a well-known Destin establishment, Hog’s Breath.

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We really enjoyed 30A and Destin; and I believe your family would love this beautiful area of Florida too!

Happy Vacation!

30A Is The Place To Stay!

My family just returned from a wonderful vacation; and stayed along the Florida Emerald Coast area most commonly referred to as 30A. Scenic Highway 30A is 30 miles of white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico coastline in Northwest Florida’s Walton County.

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Throughout this week, I will be blogging about the lodging, recreation and eateries on 30A (including a few Destin locations too). Today, I am writing on accommodations.

We stayed on the boarder of Seacrest/Rosemary Beaches in a rental housing community called, “The Water’s Edge at Seacrest Beach”. This area is filled with condos and houses that can accommodate small to even the largest families.

We stayed in this rental houseand my favorite amenities included the full kitchen, large bedrooms, easy beach access and private pool. Plus, the house came with beach rental chairs and umbrella.

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For other rental properties to review click here.

We were so happy with this location and housing that we plan to visit many more times in the future.

Loving Florida!

To My Future SIL…..Words of Wisdom

1890636_10102055835491150_850088122_oI am happy to announce that next spring, I am finally getting a little sister. My brother proposed to the most wonderful woman, Rachel, and we can’t wait to welcome her into our crazy family.

Rachel is the founder of An Eventful Life. Her new blog feature is Wedding Wednesdays. She is looking for “words of wisdom from a Mrs. to a future Mrs.”. So, my neighborhood moms group came together to offer advice and display our wedding photos.

 

 

Modhousewife – June 5, 2004 

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Wedding Advice: The week of the wedding, have a date night. Relax, eat some good food and DON’T talk about the wedding.

Marriage Advice: Always have date nights to reconnect has a couple….leave work and kids at the door. Plus, add an element of surprise;)

 

 

 

Jenni – August 6, 2005

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Wedding Advice: Delegate!! And officially let go of anxieties and expectations the day before. What will be will be, and you want to remember all the fun and laughter that filled your day, even if the cake implodes! You don’t want to look back and think, “gosh, that was a very stressful day!!”

Marriage Advice: Let’s go with… Love is dynamic … The love you feel today will be different from the love feel 5, 10, 15 years from now. That’s ok! You choose to continue falling in love with the same person over and over as you grow and build a life together! Also, if you have kids, let dad be on bath and bedtime duty from the beginning. An awesome way for him to bond and build special rituals with your child(ren) and a nice nightly break for you!

Tricia – May 26, 2001

1622395_10202206520659077_1022624579_oMarriage Advice: Don’t do anything the first year of marriage that you don’t want to continue the rest of your marriage. Don’t set unrealistic expectations from the beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

Stacy – July 30, 2005
1798605_10152238462978396_1992377038_nWedding Advice: Get a king size bed!

Marriage Advice: Get a king size bed!

 

 

 

 

 

Jen – September 30, 2000

1794663_10203197503999791_243553310_nWedding Advice: DO NOT diet/take diet pills or supplements or do anything that will make you drastically lose weight the couple months before your wedding. Even with all the dress fittings, your weight is not consistent, partially due to stress. Combine the two & when it’s go-time and the dress does not fit you. The most important dress of your life is too big, you will regret it forever.

Also, your wedding day will go by in the blink of an eye. For all the months of preparation, it’s all over in a matter of hours. Tell yourself to mentally capture each moment like watching your sisters walk up the aisle instead of fussing with yourself before your big moment. Enjoy & actually LIVE the day because there’s not much you can change on the wedding day itself – if something is going to be a wreck that’s just going to happen anyway. It’s you & your hub’s day no matter what the flowers end up looking like.

Marriage Advice: Embrace each others’ differences. It actually took me a while to really understand that my dear husband (let’s call him DH) simply does not need nor want to surround himself with friends & people out all the time, like I am inclined to do. Conversely, he didn’t get why I wanted to go somewhere with ‘other people’ every weekend. The old marriage advice stands: do not think you can change your spouse once you are married. When I finally got that about DH, we both looked for ways to compromise so we both felt like our needs were met.

Diana – May 15, 2009

1898035_10203340942154843_761027233_nWedding Advice: Don’t party so late you miss your flight to Jamaica!

Marriage Advice: And to use that advice and carry it through, never stop having fun!!!!

 

 

 

 

Michelle – June 15, 2002

1596660_10203049781308049_1760567869_oWedding Advice: Hire the best photographer to capture the candid moments. The day will go so fast. Take a moment to sit back and take it all in. Watch your guest enjoying themselves and dance the night away.

Marriage Advice: Keep date nights and don’t go to bed angry (that advice was given to us by a couple married 55 yrs). So true.

 

 

 

Kat – September 20, 1997

1415229_10203178206317060_1716190749_oWedding Advice: Hire a photographer you really like, because I hate my wedding pictures!

Marriage Advice: Ask yourself, “Is it better to be right or be loved?” I’d like to add the caveat that it’s even better to be funny!

 

 

 

 

Jacinta – December 31, 2002

1972439_812540358761830_421934623_nWedding Advice: Enjoy yoursel! Don’t spend all of your time saying hello to every guest on your list (trust me, some of these people you won’t talk to in 10 years). So make the most of the night with your family and friends. Also, something won’t go right, but just let it go and have FUN!!!

Marriage advice: Get in the habit of giving each other compliments. I think men need them just as much as women; and we all need a cheerleader in life, be that person to your husband. Also, always say “I love you.” Three simple words, but a great habit! We say it before bed, before leaving the house, when we get off the phone, and now our kids say it too. It always adds perspective when you are angry or sad and hear those words.

Shelly – January 28, 2007

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Wedding Advice: Relax, enjoy every moment, and be okay if everything does not go quite as planned. 
Marriage Advice: Always remember that love is more than a feeling. Love is a verb and requires action. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brett & Rachel,

I hope you both have fun reading all the wedding and marriage advice. Enjoy your engagement and the whole family is looking forward to the big day!

Love Your Big Sister

The Windy City


Planning on a trip to Chicago soon? If so, here are a few places I highly recommend after spending a wonderful weekend visiting my brother and his girlfriend in the Windy City (Lincoln Park area).

1) Butcher and the Burger   This eatery has the most delicious burgers. Choose from bison, elk, beef, etc along with your choice of seasoning, toppings and buns. One order of fries can feed of family of four; and the establishment is BYOB.

 

 

2) Sweet Mandy B’s I have been to many cupcake cafes but this one is my top pick! The cupcakes are moist and flavorful; and the homemade buttercream icing is creamy and sweet. Plus, they offer cakes, carmel apples, cookies, etc.

 

3) Lincoln Park Farmers’ Market On a beautiful sunny Chicago day, make sure to visit the Lincoln Park Farmers’ Market for amazing and unique produce, cheeses, flowers, drinks, bacon cookies, etc. Then walk a quarter of a mile to the Lincoln Park Farm in the Zoo to pet cows, goats and chickens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Southport Grocery  This is the place for a posh brunch in a very eclectic neighborhood. Go early or there will be a wait. But the Brisket and Biscuits, Cupcake Pancakes and Bread Pudding Pancakes are worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, if you think I ate my way through Chicago, I did! Worth every calorie; and I worked it off with a shopping trip to Michigan Ave.

Happy Travels!

 

 

 

Tips to Enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth

Last week, my family vacationed at the magical Walt Disney World. The week was perfect even though a tropical storm threatened to dampen our fun.

Throughout the planning and visit to Disney World, I learned some tricks that I would like to share with you!

1. If you are able to plan your Disney vacation months in advance, make sure to call or visit the Disney website to make your reservations for popular attractions 180 days from the start of your visit. Example: I called 180 days in advance and was able to get my dinner reservations for Be Our Guest at my requested time.


 

 

 

 

2. When making your hotel or restaurant reservations, make sure to tell your Disney Operator if you are celebrating any specials occasions. Plus, at any Disney Restaurant (price packages available), a special birthday celebration can be arranged for your prince or princess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. If traveling by plane and staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, take advantage of the Disney Magical Express (free service) to get you from the airport to your hotel and reverse. Plus, Disney will take care of your luggage; and it will be waiting for you in your hotel room.

 

 

 

 

 

5. Disney Meal Plans – Typically, you save 15%. We chose not to get one since we don’t eat large breakfasts and we wanted alcoholic drinks for dinner. No real savings for my family. Warning: Cinderella’s Royal Table takes two meal tickets per person. (My favorite meal was at San Angel at the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot.)

 

 

 

 

 

6. Everyday a different Disney Theme Parks opens early at 8 a.m. Get up, throw a hat on and get there. There are less lines for some of the most popular rides. Example: At Disney Studios, the Toy Story line wait is normally 2 hours. We waited 25 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

7. This is my favorite tip for vacationers. Get up early and do the parks. Then around 11:30 am/Noon eat lunch either at the parks or at your hotel; and then relax by taking a nap or swimming at the pool. Around 4 p.m., arrive at the parks again and enjoy your evening. At 3 or 4 p.m., when we were entering the parks, lots of people were leaving. Again, we were able to ride popular attractions fast and then enjoyed dinner. Plus, if you stay at a Disney Resort Hotel, the extra relaxation will enable you to enjoy park extended hours.

 

 

 

 

 

8. Buy ponchos and don’t be afraid of the rain! We had heavy downpours for a few days, but that didn’t stop us. The lines for rides and character visits were short. As long as your clothes stay dry, the rain doesn’t matter. Example: At Epcot, we rode Nemo’s Adventure and participated in Crush’s Q&A without the hours of waiting.


 

 

 

 

9. Participate in the Disney Subculture: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/07/sorcerers-of-the-magic-kingdom-trading-card-game-coming-to-walt-disney-world-resort/   Receive free trading cards and map at the Firehouse in the Magic Kingdom. Go to locations in the park and watch movies relating to your cards. People were trading and wanting very special cards that were only available during Halloween and Christmas celebrations.

 

 

 

 

 

10. Finally, while at the Magic Kindgom, head to Adventure Land and enjoy a Dole Whip.

 

 

 

 

 

If you are planning a Walt Disney World vacation, I hope my tips helped with your itinerary. Disney is truly a magical place that brings out the kid in all of us.

Happy Vacationing!