Friday, September 28, 2012

Carriage Ride in Savannah

Matt's family very kindly offered to watch Olive and Silas one evening so we could have a date night. (It had been a very long time since we had been out, just the two of us!) We drove into the historic district of Savannah and took a lovely sunset carriage ride around town.

To top the evening off we ate at Jazz'd Tapas Bar which turned out to be a pretty hip, happening little place. It was below ground, and dark and jazzy. A jazz singer sang Sinatra songs live, and the atmosphere made you feel like you were in an old black and white movie. Oh, and the food was so, so good. If you're ever in Savannah and want something a little eclectic, we'd highly recommend it!

We loved Savannah, and wished we had more time to explore this trip. I guess we'll just have to come back!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sunset Cruise

Tonight we took a sunset dolphin watching cruise, and it was so, so beautiful (and so fun!) We were nervous about taking the kids, especially in the evening when they're wearing out, but they did extremely well. I think they enjoyed the wind, the dolphins and the gentle rocking of the boat.

The dolphins were a little shy, but a few popped up to say hello. Exciting. What I loved best though  was seeing the beautiful islands, lighthouses, and breathtaking sunset.

Can I just say, Hilton Head Island is awesomely wonderful? If you ever get the opportunity to visit, you really MUST go!

(P.S. Yes, the way Silas eats is pretty ridiculous. The boy can not stay still for a second!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Of Beaches and Bikes

I finally convinced Olive to wade in the ocean, (she's always been too scared to even put her toes in without flipping out) and before I knew it, she was trying to drag me out to where the waves break. I think she's falling in love with this whole beach thing.

We've also been doing a little biking around the island, which is SO. MUCH. FUN. I love being able to bike into town to get coffee or ice cream, or just biking down the beach in the sun! It's just wonderful.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Island

We're on Hilton Head Island this week. The weather, beach and plant life are so lovely. We're so excited to spend this first week of autumn here!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Art of Traveling

This weekend my family is hitting the road yet again, for a long road trip to Hilton Head Island in SC where we'll be hanging out with family for a week.

I feel like since Matt and I got married in 2006 we have earned the titles of "professional travelers." Since being married we have hopped planes, trains and automobiles galore (several times with our very young children, which let me tell you is no easy feat.) I love to travel, though I hate the work (packing, ugh...UNpacking, double ugh.)

Road trips I think are the hardest, especially with kids, because they drag on such a long time and it's easy for everyone to get bored. (And boredom inevitably leads to crankiness.)

We've learned some tricks along the way to make long road trips easier (and dare I say, fun?) So I thought I'd share.

Travel Comforts [For the Kids]

In the past we've downloaded movies or kids shows onto my iPhone for Olive to watch in the car, but then that leaves me without my phone (no fun) so for this trip we invested in an affordable portable DVD player. We got this one off Amazon and it looks very kid friendly and durable. (LOVE that the screen folds down over the buttons! We could probably even mount it in the car eventually.) 

We also bought this volume of Looney Tunes (we hardly own any DVDs since we don't watch much tv, and when we do we just use Netflix) and I'm excited to relive my childhood watching them with the kids. I mean, I just love those ridiculously violent, politcally incorrect guys, don't you?

[For Him]

Nothing makes a long car ride pass more quickly than a good audio book. For this trip we downloaded an Elizabeth Peters mystery to try out, and the first book of Ralph Moody's "Little Britches" series. 

Some other great audio books we've enjoyed over the years are:

1. Anything by Agatha Christie (The Miss Marple books read by Joan Hickson are the BEST.)
2. Killing Lincoln by/read by Bill O'Reilly (love him or hate him, the guy wrote a fascinating book about one of the most fascinating presidents ever. We loved this book so much that we took a trip to Washington DC just to visit Ford's Theater.) 
3. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett. (These are ridiculous, hilarious, and great for all ages. The ones read by the author himself, are of course, superb.)

[For Me]

I love a good, girly magazine (Lucky, Vogue and Nylon are my favorites) but when do I have time to read them? Never. Oh wait, except when I have to sit in the car for several hours! 

The funny thing is, I cannot read a book in the car without getting horribly car sick, but I have no trouble with magazines. (Yay!) A good, thick magazine makes hours in the car just whizz by. 


Good music is a MUST for any road trip. The hard part is getting everyone to agree on what to listen to. We love old Christian greats like Keith Green, Don Francisco and Rich Mullins. We also love "The Buena Vista Social Club" album. (Never gets old.) 

I have been working hard lately trying to get Matt to become a Beirut fan. (I think I'm slowly starting to sway him over. He really likes "Gulag Orkestar.") I am also loving Devotchka lately and am hoping to get to listen to them a little this weekend. 

Last but not least, you must remember the most important element needed for an enjoyable road trip:

Coffee. Lots of it.

You can guarantee I'll get my pumpkin spice latte fix this weekend. Probably more than once if I'm lucky.

What things do you do to make a long car trip fun? I always love new ideas!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September MyGlam [Now Ipsy] Review

This month's MyGlam subscription bag (their company is now called Ipsy) was better than August's, (though the bag itself wasn't that cute.) I was thrilled that it came with a professional eye brush!

September Contents:

1. London SoHo New York Smudge Brush

2. jane. Sparkle Gloss (in Sparkle Pink)

3. Circus By Andrea's Choice Nailpolish (in Tightrope)

4. Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Split End Sealer

5. Mirabella Eye Shadow (in Semi-Formal)

So, the "good" - again, I love the eye shadow brush. I've (embarrassingly) always used q-tips to apply makeup and after getting really frustrated when I couldn't achieve the look I wanted with them I've finally dipped my toe into the world of makeup brushes (which I've found are expensive and really confusing.) This looks like a really good brush and I can't wait to experiment with it.

I'm excited to try the split end sealer by Carol's Daughter. (I thought that brand name was kind of funny because my Mom's name is Carol, haha.) In May I bleached most of the bottom half of my hair to get an ombre effect and it went horribly, horribly wrong. I ended up dying over it, and my hair has not been the same since then. It's very dry and I'm very susceptible to split ends, so it will be interesting to see if this stuff helps.

I also like the color of this month's nail polish a lot more than last month's traffic-cone shade. And the Mirabella eye shadow is a lovely, shimmery brown.

Now, the "bad" - I am a bit disappointed in the lipgloss by "jane." It is so, so sticky and heavy, and the color is just "meh" (though I have to say, it does smell pretty darn good.) 

I also kind of raised an eyebrow at being sent another nail polish by the same brand. It would have been nice to have gotten something new.

But overall, it was another fun experience and I'm going to stick it out and get an October bag. 

Do you do any subscription packages? What are your experiences with them? I'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The One Where I Post Pictures of Some of the Great Gluten Free Food We Ate in MI...

Exhibit A - The Brick Road Pizza Company in East Grand Rapids.
If you're ever in East Grand Rapids, GO THERE.
Great service and great food.
We shared a quinoa salad, cheesy gluten free bread and a small gluten free pizza.
And yeah, we were stuffed at the end of that pig-out-fest.
(There's also a great coffee shop next door called The Sparrows if you're too full for dessert!)

Exhibit B - Awesome gluten free baked goods at Lemonjello's in Holland.
Words cannot express how much I loved Lemonjello's.
I wanted to try every gluten free item they had for sale, but there was not enough time.
Which is AWESOME. Because that means they had a LOT of gluten free items!
We shared a gluten free chocolate chip cookie, a fruit crumble bar,
and a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin. So good.

Oh, and their coffee was amazing too. Excellent Americanos.
And I love a coffee shop that serves there "for here" coffees in real mugs.