st. augustine, florida - st. george street

I have big dreams of traveling around the world with my kids. In fact, Pippa at the age of 3 has already been to England, France, and Mexico. We've taken a brief hiatus from globetrotting since moving across the country, starting new jobs, and having 2 more babies, but that doesn't mean we can't be explorers in our own city and state! 

We live fairly close the nation's oldest city, St. Augustine, FL, so we often find ourselves bringing visitors there. You could spend a week in St. Augustine and not get bored with all of the historical landmarks, attractions, parks, museums, beaches, and restaurants, but we like to start simple, especially when toddlers are involved! If we only have a few hours to spend in this charming city, we like to wander around the downtown area, specifically St. George Street.

With my mom in town to help with the older kids while I have a baby and recover from a C-section, we thought we would head over to St. Augustine and enjoy some quality time with Pippa and Teddy before their little brother arrives. We went early on a Monday morning, which was the perfect time to go! The streets were empty, and the shops were just opening up for the day, so letting Teddy run around and splash in puddles wasn't a problem at all! 

The best part about St. George Street when you're with kids is that it is only for pedestrians, so I can let the kids wander a bit without worrying about them accidentally stepping in front of a moving vehicle. I can honestly sit back and enjoy the picturesque Spanish architecture and the palm-tree-lined streets filled with ice cream shops, cafรฉs, restaurants, boutiques, gift shops, and a few historic sites, like the Oldest Wooden School House.

We ate our way through St. George Street, starting with gourmet popsicles at The Hyppo. They're made with fresh fruit and cane sugar, so it's the perfect cool treat for a hot Florida day. The courtyard in back was shaded, and they even had a tiny picnic table for the kids to enjoy their ice pops! We went with Strawberry Basil and The Elvis, which was a peanut butter/banana/honey flavored pop. 

When the kids got hungry again at lunch time, we ducked into Burrito Works Taco Shop for some shredded beef tacos, then made our way over to Le Macaron French Bakery for macarons, since Teddy was chanting, "Cookie, cookie, cookie!" Who am I to deny my one-year-old the pleasure of a colorful macaron cookie? 

Other favorite restaurants on St. George Street include Prohibition Kitchen - (I wrote about it here), Tedi's Olde Tyme Ice Cream, and the Spanish Bakery and Cafรฉ

The rest of our morning was spent browsing shops and trying to keep Teddy from pulling breakable things off store shelves. It was absolutely the perfect way to spend a day, even at 39 weeks pregnant. 

I truly look forward to the day my babies are little older, and we can travel the world. Until then, we will keep finding ways to explore our little corner of the world! 

friday favorites #15

Happy Friday! It's been a beautiful week here in Northern Florida, and I'm loving the warm weather. The kids and I have been laying low this week, since I've been experiencing some end-of-pregnancy fatigue and discomfort. I've actually kind of loved our quiet mornings putting together puzzles, baking banana bread, and attempting to go for walks but turning back after 1/2 mile. 

Also, I have to go on record to say that the pregnancy brain is REAL at this point! My OB appointment was supposed to be yesterday, but I showed up a day early with both kids in tow. I was mortified, but they were so kind to squeeze me in since I was already there. I guess it's better than showing up a day late! 

Hope everyone has fun and relaxing plans for the weekend ahead! And now for the good stuff...

Friday Favorites!

This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you use the links provided, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

1. Honest Company deodorant spray

Last weekend I was looking for button-up pajamas at TJ Maxx when I stumbled upon this adorable deodorant spray in the personal care section. I was intrigued, since I love everything I've tried from the Honest Company, but skeptical because every natural deodorant I've tried hasn't really worked for me. At $3.99, the price point was low enough to give it a try, so I threw it in my cart. I can honestly say I'm so impressed with this stuff! It smells amazing (even my OB complimented me on how good I smelled at my last checkup this week ๐Ÿ˜‚ - she's awesome!), and it holds up all day which is a miracle for a 38 week pregnant woman in the 85 degree Florida heat. I got the Vetiver scent, but they also had Lavender Vanilla and Bergamot Sage. Oddly, I couldn't find it on their website (I wonder if it's discontinued?), and it's kind of expensive on Amazon, but check TJ Maxx if you have one near you! (Side note - any other recommendations for natural deodorants that work well and smell good?)

2. Easter Outfits

I was so happy with how the kids' Easter outfits turned out! Pippa's dress was a hand-me-down from a friend at church, and I just added the flower headband from the Dollar Spot at Target (couldn't find the same one, but this one is similar), and the sandals from Old Navy. Teddy's bowtie was also from the Target Dollar Spot (it's a dangerous place, I tell ya!), but the shirt and shorts I ordered from Crazy 8 (Extra 15% off your entire purchase with code FRESH15).  

3. Teddy's "Please!" Face

I was trying to teach Teddy how to say, "Please!" and showed him an action along with it. He still refuses to say the word, but whenever he wants something from me, he makes this adorable face and it's almost impossible to say no! Unfortunately the only picture I got of this face is blurry, but you get the idea!

4. Visitors!

We were so happy to have Justin's sister come visit for a few days over Easter break! The kids followed her everywhere and had so much fun playing with her! Plus Pippa always loves showing off her favorites spots around town, like our local donut shop and the beach. There are lots of cousins on that side of the family, so it's nice when the kids can get some one-on-one time with any of the aunts, uncles, or grandparents, because when we're all together, it's beautiful, wonderful chaos! 

Now we've got a countdown going until my mom comes to visit for a few weeks to help take care of the kids when the baby comes. That's one benefit of a scheduled C-section - you actually know when to have family book flights to come visit! A few other family members will be joining us for the baby's baptism shortly after. 

5. MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palette Refill Pans

Seriously...get an eyeshadow palette from Mac! The refill pans are only $6, and the quality and pigment of the eyeshadow is so much better than most eyeshadows you'll find at the drugstore...and this is coming from someone who buys all her makeup at Target. (Just make sure to look for the Pro Palette Refill Pan). I just ordered one refill this week with free shipping, AND got a mascara sample. I was looking everywhere for a shade similar to Omega, and just couldn't find what I was looking for at Target or Ulta, so I finally just decided to reorder from Mac. Not sure why I didn't just do that in the first place!


That's it for this Friday! What's got you smiling this week? Have a wonderful weekend!

Linking up with Carolina Charm and Hello Happiness for Five on Friday, and Andrea from Momfessionals for Friday Favorites!

pregnancy meal plan: a day in the life

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was determined to make it my healthiest pregnancy yet. I knew I would be stretched to my limit taking care of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, teaching part time, and running my business and blog, so I needed all the extra energy I could get! 

Unfortunately, my plans were derailed when morning sickness set it, and lasted until well past the halfway point. Bland carbs were all I could stomach for the longest time, and walking was the only form of exercise I could manage. I was tempted to feel guilty about it, especially when I read articles and blog posts that claimed eating healthy and exercises would "cure" morning sickness. (Whoever wrote those articles has never thrown up at the mere sight of a green vegetable). Instead I decided to make the best of the second half of my pregnancy. 

As I reach the end of my third pregnancy, one thing I realize about healthy eating while expecting is that it's all about equipping yourself with the tools to succeed. When I plan our meals, and only buy the items we need at the grocery store, there's no chance of me going overboard with chips, cookies, or candy. And even though I'm exhausted by the end of the day, my husband and I both know exactly what needs to be made for dinner, so we don't end up stopping by a fast food joint. If we keep junk food on hand, however, my willpower and energy are gone by the time the kids go to bed, and I know I won't be able to resist. 

With those thoughts in mind, I would love to share what I eat on a daily basis as a pregnant woman. Keep in mind, I am not a doctor or dietitian, so this is not meant to be advice to anyone else. This is also not EVERYTHING I eat ever day. I never count calories - I simply eat when I feel hungry, and do my best to make informed, healthy choices. 

My Pregnancy Meal Plan - A Day in the Life

Breakfast

My day has begun with a nutrient-dense chocolate meal replacement shake for the past 3 years, and that doesn't change when I'm pregnant! I absolutely love them, because they can be a meal all by themselves with the perfect balance of protein, carbs, and fats, packed with vitamins and minerals, and surprisingly filling. Even when I'm going out of town, I'll bring a canister of shakes or some individual packets with me, because I crave them, and can tell a difference in my energy levels when I don't drink them. This was one of the few things I could stomach when I had morning sickness. Slowly sipping on a shake helped give me life again. I have read that protein is so important when you're pregnant, and these have 24 grams of very high quality whey protein in them. My doctor suggested chocolate milk to help my morning sickness, and when I asked him about these shakes instead, he was delighted! Most days I just drink a plain old shake blended with water, but other days I'll blend it super thick and make it into a protein bowl drizzled with natural peanut butter to add some extra calories (like the picture above).

Second Breakfast

I have my shake at 5:30 in the morning right when I wake up (otherwise I feel sick). By the time my toddler wakes up around 7:30 or 8, I'll have a small bowl of cereal or a piece of whole wheat toast with a banana. This is also the time I take my prenatal vitamin, because my 3-year-old asks for her kid's vitamin, and it reminds me that I need to take mine, too!

Of course I also I have my small cup of coffee everyday with a few tablespoons of natural creamer in it, but usually don't even end up finishing it. I enjoy it more for the comfort and the routine, and don't necessarily feel the need for caffeine. I'm getting better about drinking a whole water bottle before I even have the chance to sip my coffee, so that I'm not feeling dehydrated for the rest of the day!

Lunch

My lunch is spent supervising students most days, so I need convenient, healthy options. Some weeks I might make myself a crockpot of chicken tortilla soup to last for the whole week. On the weeks I'm not as prepared, I'll grab a nutrient dense meal replacement bar along with baby carrots and some sort of fruit, like grapes or berries. The bars may not look like much, but they are surprisingly filling and packed with whey protein (18 grams). Some days I even take the dairy free options made with plant-based protein - somehow they are still so delicious, and don't even have a weird texture! 

Dinner

Our dinners are basically the same every single week. We are busy, have young kids, and are on a budget, so we keep things simple. One of my favorite healthy, easy dinner options is burrito bowls! I make shredded crockpot salsa chicken, rice, and quinoa. Then we chop up veggies, and add toppings like cheese or sour cream. Each person can build their own, and the only requirement for the kids is that they have to include at least one veggie. I love mine with crispy green bell peppers! 

Snacks

I end up getting hungry about every 2 hours, so I make sure to have healthier snacks packed or on hand in the refrigerator so I'm fueling myself throughout the day. Nothing worse than an energy crash from too much carbs and sugar! (Unless it was from a donut...in that case, worth it). I have learned from lots of reading on the subject that it's best to pair a protein with a fruit or veggie for a snack to help stay full longer. 

Some of my favorite snack options are greek yogurt with a bit of granola and a fruit, an apple with natural peanut butter, chopped veggies with string cheese, or my homemade protein balls or clean eating mini muffins. 

Drinks

Besides my morning cup of coffee, I mostly stick to water throughout the day. Lately I've been carrying around a gallon jug of water to remind myself to keep drinking. If I don't, the humid Florida weather causes my hands and feet to swell, which can actually be kind of painful! I don't always hit 128 ounces by the end of the day, but even so, my water intake has improved tremendously. I plan on carrying this habit over to post-baby, when I'm nursing. I refill the gallon jug once or twice throughout the week so I'm not spending a fortune at the grocery store. 

If I feel the need to switch things up, or if I feel like my energy is dragging a little bit, I'll add a few scoops of an all natural electrolyte drink and 1 scoop of my favorite fruit supplement which is loaded with cold-pressed super fruits like aรงaรญ berry, mangosteen, noni, pomegranate, and wolfberry (and only 1 gram of sugar per serving - that's a win in my book!). I can't wait to add the greens back in after baby is born, but unfortunately they're not recommended during pregnancy. Goodness knows I need all the help I can get when it comes to consuming vegetables!

And lest you think I'm a perfectly clean eater (ha!), I had to make sure to throw in some real life. I am not immune to grabbing a few of my kids' crackers, or sneaking a few chocolate eggs from their baskets. It's about balance, right?

So that's my daily meal plan while pregnant! It's not perfect by any means, but I strive to find balance and continue to make healthier choices. My main purpose is to fuel my body to be able to complete my work to the best of my ability, and the foods and beverages I choose during the day have such a big effect on how I feel!


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easter weekend

Good morning! Hope everyone had a joyful and relaxing Easter weekend. I've said it about other holidays, and I can't help but repeat it about Easter: it is so much fun to experience it with small children! I had a lot of fun putting together Easter baskets for the kids, and trying our hand at dyeing eggs (big mistake with a 21 month old, btw), but even better was the chance to share with them why we went to church 3 times this weekend, and why Easter truly is the most exciting day - and not just because of the chocolate!

While the kids may not grasp the intricacies of the fall into sin, God's grace, and Jesus' ultimate sacrifice for us, they can absolutely understand the most basic pillar of our faith: Jesus died to take away our sins, then 3 days later he rose from the dead! Now we get to go to heaven! Although I will say that Pippa thought that Jesus dying on the cross meant he took away the power at church since the lights were all turned off at the end of church. When we pulled into the church parking lot on Sunday morning, she asked, "Did Jesus bring the power back when he rose from the dead?" Well yes, yes he did! 

F R I D A Y

We spent a very relaxing Easter weekend with my sister-in-law who came to visit, and it was so nice to have the extra help with the kids since my baby bump is basically taking over the world right now. We started the morning leisurely sipping our coffee on the lanai before deciding to hit up the beach, and our favorite craft donut shop. Justin basically won Husband of the Year award by packing up for the beach by himself, and remembering to throw in a beach chair for me, so all I had to do was relax and listen to the waves. 

When I started to feel some cramping while sitting in the beach chair, I thought I would take a stroll along the beach to see if the "contractions" were the real thing or not. By the time I got back, my belly was still as tight as could be, but the cramping had subsided. We finished the day with some afternoon naps, pizza for dinner, and our Good Friday church service. 

Pippa's Good Friday outfit

Pippa's Good Friday outfit

Teddy's Good Friday outfit

Teddy's Good Friday outfit

S A T U R D A Y

I spent Saturday morning as I do every single Saturday morning of my adult life - grocery shopping! I knew Justin and his sister had the kids at the park, so I decided to take my sweet time and hit up a few other stores while I was out. I wanted to pick up some nursing-friendly pajamas for my hospital stay, and a few other travel-sized toiletries for when I can't get up to get ready in the bathroom post-surgery. 

After nap time we decided to dye Easter eggs, which turned out to be somewhat of a disaster. Teddy really wanted to help, but just ended up smashing eggs and spilling dye. We mostly spent the entire time trying to distract Teddy while Pippa dyed every single egg pink. Ah, Easter with young children. 

S U N D A Y

Sunday began bright and early, as Justin was out the door for the sunrise Easter service to sing with the choir. The rest of us finished getting ready and out the door for the egg hunt and brunch at church before the Festival service began. The kids behaved so well, which surprised me, since we were basically at church from 8 a.m. until well after 11. 

As soon as we got home, Pippa and Teddy got to search for their Easter baskets and open their little gifts. They got hats, sunglasses, puzzles, and candy, which kept them busy until lunch and nap time. It was a perfectly low key afternoon after the excitement at church! 

Sunday was bitter sweet, as we were sad to see Justin's sister head home in the afternoon. Pippa takes it especially hard when people leave, since she loves having an extra playmate around the house. However, we more family visits to look forward to when baby comes, especially the weekend of the baptism. 

This is what happens when you get to church 20 minutes early to get a seat on Easter Sunday, and your kids steal your phone to take selfies.

This is what happens when you get to church 20 minutes early to get a seat on Easter Sunday, and your kids steal your phone to take selfies.

Now it's back to reality and trying to restrain myself from eating all the Easter candy, at least for a few days while we wait for baby to arrive.

What did you do this Easter weekend? Any fun family traditions? 

friday favorites #14

Happy Friday everyone! We have had the past week off from school, but still kept busy with social plans, church activities, and getting work done to prepare for the upcoming weeks. If anyone was wondering, (I know you were!) the countdown is now 12 days until baby comes! And it can't come soon enough. This very pregnant mama's sleep is suffering! Not that the sleep will get any better with a newborn, but at least we'll have a sweet babe to snuggle!

Easter weekend is upon us, and I am very much looking forward to a quiet celebration with our family. Hope you've got some wonderful plans for the weekend as well! 

Before I unplug (kind of) for the weekend to spend time with family, I wanted to share some things I'm loving this week!

Friday Favorites

1. Daytona Beach fun!

We spent an afternoon earlier this week wandering around the Daytona Beach boardwalk, and had so much fun with the kids! We have so many exciting places to visit here in Florida, but sometimes forget to take advantage of them, since it's always a bit of extra work when young kids are involved.

So I armed myself with 15 snacks in my bag, water bottles for everyone, and my nice camera and we decided to give Daytona Beach a go, and we didn't regret it! Believe it or not, these photos are barely edited - the water really did look that blue, and the sand really was that white. Pippa couldn't stop talking about how soft the sand was. Next time we're bringing our swimsuits! (Ideally when I'm not 37 weeks pregnant). 

It also helped that we bribed the kids with ice cream and salt water taffy from a local sweets shop, and morale improved significantly whenever we mentioned it! I think the adults needed it, too. Eating ice cream overlooking the ocean with sunny weather in the mid 70s was the perfect way to end the afternoon.  

2. Date Day

Earlier this week I took Pippa to see Beauty and the Beast as part of our mother-daughter date, while the boys had a father-son date at the park and beach. We wanted them to have some quality time with us and some memories and pictures to cherish once the baby comes and their lives are turned upside down. 

Anyway, Beauty and the Beast was fantastic! I was a bit worried that it would be too scary for Pippa, and there were a few parts that she had to cover her eyes. However, she ended up being enchanted by the majority of the movie. Afterward she couldn't stop talking about Belle's dress, and how Gaston was her favorite character. Why my child always identifies with the villain in the movie is beyond me. We both wore "Belle hair" to the movie (half up, like in the scene where she dances with the beast), got a giant bag of popcorn which basically gave me a hangover, and had a blast spending time together. 

Meanwhile, the boys went to the park where Teddy got to eat his first Happy Meal, then to the beach to burn off some more energy. After we all crashed at home for a power nap, Justin and I headed out to restaurant overlooking the ocean for a much-needed date night thanks to some generous friends. I looked on enviously while Justin enjoyed a tropical beverage, but made up for it with the most incredible chocolate lava dessert. 

3. Gallon of water

This is kind of a strange favorite, but we had some gallon jugs of water in our garage from hurricane season, and I have been experiencing end-of-pregnancy edema thanks to the weather here in Florida, so I decided to really focus on my water intake. I am filling up a gallon jug of water at the beginning of the day to make sure I drink enough water. It's been so convenient to just reach in the fridge and fill up my Yeti!

4. Kids' Summer Clothes

We just received some awesome hand-me-downs from 2 families at church, which helps tremendously in getting the kids' wardrobes ready for summer. I wanted to wait until we sorted through those clothes before making any purchases online. Now that I know what the kids have, it's just a matter of filling in the gaps with good deals online. (This section contains affiliate links).

Gymboree still has the everything under $14.99 deal going on,

Crazy 8 has a BOGO 88 cents deal on any regular priced item, so stock up, mamas! 

Old Navy has everything on sale up to 50% off. I'm eyeing up muscle tanks and chambray shirts for the boys, and play shorts for Pippa. 

5. Holy Week

This weekend we get to attend two of my favorite church services of the year - Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Such a great time to refocus our minds on the ultimate sacrifice our God made for us, and to celebrate the joy of the resurrection. Our weekend will also include dyeing Easter eggs and Easter baskets with candy, but we want to make sure they also know why we celebrate this holiday. Here's a post I wrote 3 years ago talking about having a different perspective on Holy Week as a parent. It's not my best writing or photography, but the sentiment remains the same.

Have a very joyous and blessed Easter weekend, everyone! 


That's it for this Friday! What's got you smiling this week? Have a wonderful weekend!

Linking up with Carolina Charm and Hello Happiness for Five on Friday, and Andrea from Momfessionals for Friday Favorites!

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