Last week, Ava and I headed to Cocoa beach to hang out with my parents for a few days. Unfortunately, Joey couldn't make it for this trip and we sure did miss him. I made sure to take LOTS of pictures to show him when we got home.
Prior to going I imagined my beach vacation being filled with days of me relaxing at the beach, sunbathing in my lounge chair while drinking a Pina Colada and reading my book while Ava napped. Hahaha...who was I kidding? I am a Momma now!
This is what it really looked like...
Going to the beach with a baby is a lot of fun, but can also be a lot of work! They one beach bag cargo you used to have is now multiplied to several bags, diapers, wipes, bottles and the list goes on. So much that the famous beach wagon is a must. However, all of this work and luggage is worth the joy of seeing your little one enjoy a day at the beach. Here are the items that helped us survive the beach with a baby.
Beachcomber Wagon: This is at the top of my list. The wagon served many different purpose than just toting around our beach essentials. Once we made our way down to the beach and unloaded all of our bags we used the wagon as a play pen when Ava was tired of the sand and to help us keep her in one spot. We also used it for wagon strolls down the beach, and as a crib for Ava to drink her bottle and take a nap in. I think the cheapest place we have found it is atBed Bath and Beyond (don't forget your 20% off coupon).
The spray bottle helped us rinse Ava's hands and face and cool her down when she got really hot. I used it quite a bit too! It was just nice to have some fresh water on hand.
This sunscreen is a must have for us. We use the one they have for adults and Ava has been using this all summer long. It works so well and is recommended by pediatricians. It's also great for babies who have sensitive skin or eczema. It's also on our Summer Time Essentials List. You can read that blog post here.
I usually use the reusable diapers for Ava when playing in the water but hers have gotten a little small on her and are hard to take off. So I thought for the beach I would try the disposable diapers to make things a little easier. They worked really well! One pack lasted us for the three days we were there with some leftover.
We use this all the time when on the go for Ava's formula and it worked great for us at the beach.
This is another one of our on the go essential. We carry one of these with us filled with her favorite snack puffs all the time! I forgot it one day at the beach and needless to say I ran up to the room very quickly to retrieve it.
These sand toys worked out great for Ava. You get several pieces for a great price and they come with a bag to keep them all in. They are petite in size and great for little ones to play with at the beach.
Hats are great to keep their little heads from getting sunburnt. This hat has a pull on closure, with UPF 50+ fabric, is light weight and has a tie closure under the chin.
Baby Food Pouches: These are awesome for the beach. No bowl or container needed. Your child can squeeze it straight into their mouths or you can squirt it on a spoon for them and then just throw away when you are done. Also right now Happy Baby has a coupon for buy 1 get one FREE. You can find that coupon here.
This blanket was perfect for the beach. It folds up very easy and small making it easy for storage. It's also water resistant and the sand slides right off of it. We seriously use this blanket all the time throughout every season of the year! It's one of my most favorite baby items we own.
Other Recommended Beach Essentials...
Here are some more baby beach essentials that were recommend fellow moms and bloggers that we didn't bring to the beach but they might come in handy for you!
What's one of your beach baby essentials?
So I am a little late getting this Five on Friday up because I had no clue today was Friday. I am summer mode and lost track of what day it was. I guess that's a good thing! On we go with my Five on Friday...
1.) At the beginning of this week Ava and I headed to the beach to visit my parents for a few days and get some salt water in our hair (and mouths) and some sand between our toes. We had a really great time. Ava loved the beach and loves the sand. Joey didn't get to come with us this year and I have to say it just wasn't the same without him. We missed him dearly! I think Ava even brought home some sand for him hidden in her diaper. Haha! Next week I will be posting about our beach essentials and what helped me survive the beach with a baby so check back soon!
2.) Ava just received her first pacifier clip from Luci & Leavi. This is the first clip we have used for Ava. Oh my goodness! Why haven't I used a pacifier clip before? These have literally changed our lives as parents. Some how we have gone from 20 million pacifiers (it sure feels like that much) to two! We were constantly trying to find her pacifier and digging under couches, chairs, and her crib. With these pacifier clips we don't have to worry about that anymore and she can keep them right next to her and use it when she wants. These clips are awesome! Sometimes Ava will just chew on the leather as a teether and forget about her pacifier. They currently have a deal on them! You can find them here. Go check them out!
3.) Lately Ava loves anything that stacks, rolls, or anything that you can put together and take apart. She just received this toy and it does all of the things she loves in one toy! It has become her new favorite thing.
4.) This week I posted the recipe for this Not 'Yo Mama's Caramel Corn. It is delicious! I warn you now that it is addicting. Go ahead and pin it now and bake later...or heck bake now! You won't regret it. You can find the recipe here.
5.) Cold brew coffee has become my new addiction. I love this brand I found at Publix. My favorite it their sweetened bold and smooth. I add a tab bit of milk to it and it taste so yummy! No added sugar needed. It is sweet but not too sweet.
Happy Friday Everyone!
That's right! This irresistible caramel corn is my husband's recipe. This stuff is so delicious! Seriously, I will never buy caramel corn again. It's light, airy, sweet, salty, buttery caramel taste will have you wanting to eat the whole batch.
1.) This has been my first week of summer break and I made sure to hug my family a little tighter and held on to them a little longer. I told them I loved them over and over again. I prayed non-stop for everyone involved in all of the tragic events in Orlando. My heart aches for them. I can't imagine the pain and heartbreak they are experiencing. I ask that you take a moment in your day today to pray for Orlando. You never picture something like this happening in your hometown. It's crazy to think that my high school is just a few miles down the road from the Pulse night club, or that Joey and I recently attended a concert at the Plaza, or that I have been to the Grand Floridian hotel. It's just so sad and I can't even imagine the heartache and pain they are all feeling. I pray that God help them through this time and I ask that you do the same.
2.) Today Ava turns 10 months old! I can't believe she will be one soon. We are proud to say that we have a crawler on our hands! That's right...she started crawling the other day and has been on the move. She loves finding cords and chasing after Georgia's tail.
3.) On Monday Ava and I will be heading to the beach for a few days with my parents. We can't wait! I ordered the book, "The Coincidence of Coconut Cake" from Amazon that was recommended from another blogger. I am hoping I will have some time to read it at the beach while Ava is napping. Although that could be wishful thinking. I have to admit when I first saw the book I thought it said, "Confidence of Coconut Cake". HAHA! I thought...hmmmm that's interesting. What are some books your reading this summer or have read that you recommend? I love romance novels!
4.) Last weekend some friends of ours had a pool party to celebrate summer. It was so nice to see everyone and spend time with some wonderful people. Ava got to see one of her best buddies and have a play date, then she took a dip in the pool with her new float and she loved it! She also met a new friend named Luna. Poor Luna might be missing a few hairs. The pool party was a great start to summer break!
You can find Ava's new float below. It's easy to blow up and folds up for easy storage!
5.) It's true what they say about the love you encounter by watching your husband be a dad. Every day, every second, every moment that I see Joey being a father to Ava my love for him grows deeper and deeper. We are beyond blessed to have such a wonderful man in our lives.
I also want to take a moment and thank my dad for being the best dad a girl could ever wish for. One of the greatest gifts he gave me was believing in me. My dad has always believed in me and taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. Whether it was when I wanted to be a tap dancer when I was little, a great athlete growing up, a teacher, a wife, a blogger, and now a mother. My dad has always believed in me and encouraged me to the best ME and because of this I am the woman I am today. Thank you dad!
Happy Friday Everyone!
The past few weekends we have been getting out and about and enjoying this beautiful weather. One weekend we stopped in Dade City, FL and picked peaches on our way home from the sunflower maze. Our peach picking experience didn't last very long due to the weather that was rolling in, but we were able to get some delicious peaches and let Ava experience picking her own fruit.
The peaches were so juicy and sweet. Ava enjoyed them with her oatmeal throughout the week.
The next weekend we headed out early in the morning towards Clermont, FL. To pick some blackberries. We read online that it's best to get there early before they are picked out. Picking peaches was fun but I LOVED picking blackberries and will definitely go back next year!
Ava helped us pick blackberries and did a really good job. We just need to work on her grip. She likes to squeeze the heck out of things these days and we might have lost a berry or two.
I decided with all the blackberries we had that I would try and make my first batch of homemade blackberry jam! I used this recipe here and it turned out to be delicious!
I froze my leftover blackberries to make this blackberry crisp one day!
Well our fruit picking adventures were a success. If you haven't been I recommend going. It's a great way for you family to get out and about and create some memories while picking your own fresh fruit!
1.) Coupons! Just recently I started couponing and I have been saving money like crazy on baby food and diapers. This week I was able to get two boxes of Huggies diaper (both 102 count) and two things of wipes (72 count) for about $20! Then I bought 24 of these Buddy Fruit Pouches for $8. And last but not least my most favorite deal. I bought 20 of the Sprout all organic baby food pouches for….you ready? Wait for it…….wait for it…..for $4!!! Those pouches are cost between $1.49- 1.69 a piece! I normally make Ava’s baby food but at these prices it has been cheaper for me to buy the baby food.
You want to know what has helped? I bought all of these items at Publix. I have used multiple manufacturer coupons that you can find in the newspaper, at coupons.com, on the manufacturers website, and Publix digital coupons as well as the coupons that come in their flyers. Right now Sprout and Happy Baby have a buy 1 get 1 free coupon on their websites. They usually only let you print two coupons per computer so I have been asking my friends and family members to print me some coupons. It has been worth the extra effort to get as many coupons as I can.
2.) Ava Update: The other night I went to put Ava to bed and I discovered that she knows how to go from her belly to sitting up all by herself! Apparently she has been doing this for about a week now. It makes bedtime a little harder and we need to lower the crib mattress, but we are loving watching her grow and learn new things!
3.) National Ice Tea Day: Speaking of coupons. Today is National Iced Tea Day (I think there is a national day for everything these days). If you go to this website sipyoursummer.com you can get a free bottle of Snapple Iced Tea today.
4.) Bible Study: These days it is hard for me to join a Bible Study. We are always so busy and the times just don’t work for me. Last week on Carolina Charm’s Five on Friday she mentioned an online 21 day study from Proverbs31 Ministries, that I am going to sign up for. The study kicks off June 20 and I'm inviting anyone looking to bless their husband and their marriage to join me.
You can buy the book on Amazon.com
5.) Summer Time: Today is my last day of work before summer break! I have loved transitioning from an elementary teacher to a middle school teacher. I am so ready to spend the summer watching Ava learn and grow. This is a picture of Georgia and I from last summer when I was pregnant with Ava. I can’t wait to see what this summer looks like!
Do you have something to confess today?
Join me in my journey as a wife, new mom and a baker as I learn to balance all of life's aprons.