If I could go back to my 16 year old self, I would tell her to stop going to tanning beds & lather up on the SPF girlfriend! We travel so much with the kids, I want them to know how to keep their skin protected daily. Today unofficially kicks off Skin Cancer awareness month & I have partnered with one of our favorite SPF swim Brands Cabana Life to share the important message! We love their entire family line & how the swimwear is 50+ UV Protection. See below for what we are doing & how you can help!
1. Cabana Life will be offering $20 off every purchase of $75+ with code PROTECT from May 6-12.
2. Simultaneously, Cabana Life and the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund are teaming up to bring awareness to the importance of sun protection & UPF clothing during Skin Cancer Awareness Month. For every share of the “Dear 16 Year Old Me” video on Facebook or Instagram from May 6-12 that @cabanalife is tagged in, Cabana Life will donate $5 to the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund.
I was born & raised in North Carolina. I went to school in North Carolina (except for a semester in Hawaii), and I now live in North Carolina with my family! When it comes to traveling around the state, I find myself doing the same things I am so use to and grew up to know. I wanted to break out of the ordinary and start traveling my own state like I do other cities. These next couple months I am so excited to do several “Stay-Cations” in North Carolina and see some sides of these towns I haven’t before! We have some upcoming trips to the mountains (Blowing Rock & Asheville) over these winter months so keep an eye out for those travel guides.
In NC, fall/Winter blend together for the most part. I wanted to show you my basic travel packing list for the kids when going on short one night stays in the area! Here’s whats in their suitcase:
Jackets: These Merrimane Jackets have been a life saver, not too hot, not too cold, perfect over the clothes jacket that’s so soft. It also has a chic look too it, so we rock these jackets to church too :). * Fun Giveaway happening on my Instagram page, head over there for a chance to win a Merrimane Jacket!
Basic Tees/Leggings: My go to is H&M/ Carters for basic black/white tees for layering
Pajamas: Babybreez– I always try to put the kids in jammies when traveling for comfort.
Proximity: We chose this hotel due to its convenience to downtown and tons of restaurants within walking distance.
Kid Friendly: If you saw my stories on my Instagram, they didn’t do it justice. This hotel comes with a complete underground basement with a basketball court, Bowling Alley, Slide, ping pong tables, and so on. Anyone from kids to adults could spend hours in this area having a blast.
Pet Friendly: This hotel allows dogs. Its rare that I am at a nice hotel that also allows pets, so bring your fur babies!
Rooms: We stayed in a large king room, the showers were amazing with kids- double sided no fights!
Buffet Breakfast: Starts at 8am, I would have preferred earlier because my kids are early birds but nonetheless it was delicious and easy!
Amenities: Their Indoor Pool & Whirlpool was the hit of our stay with the kids. I love when a hotel has a pool indoors because you can keep the kids entertained no matter what time of year it is! The place was huge and stocked with towels.
Restaurant on site: Their new restaurant 88 Oaks was an easy choice for dinner & Breakfast.
Service: Everything was perfect from check in to check out, to getting us anything we needed quickly.
Rooms: We had a king bed room and the bed was very comfortable, I usually toss and turn not sleeping in my own bed and didn’t wake up at all here. The bed felt like a cloud.
Proximity: This location is within a mile from North Hills shopping, and we happened to stay the night of the Tree Lighting at North Hills! A lot of fun action happening around this area for kids to be entertained.
We went to the Christmas parade in downtown Raleigh yesterday and then scooted over to the North Hills Hilton! There seemed to be a ton of events going on. A tree lighting at North Hills Shopping center with a ton of vendors/events going on, and at the same time they had one in Lafayette Village we didn’t get a chance to check out.
The Kids are wearing their Merrimane Jackets in these pictures I mentioned above- giveaway happening on my instagram page!
Upcoming Events I am excited to check out and share with you, check them out if you’re in the area!
Ever since Lainey turned two she started coming into our room at night. She constantly told us when she turned “4” she no longer would need us and would sleep in “Bunk Beds” if we got them (bittersweet) :). So ofcourse I couldn’t wait for her “4th” birthday to come around and surprise her with bunk beds + more sleep for mama! I had been eyeing these stress free bed sheets from Beddys Beds and I immediately started researching all about them! They Zip Up, hassle free, and it comes with a comforter and the softest bed sheets inside for your little one to feel like they are snug & secure in their own little sleeping bag! It’s genius, and I cant believe I just learned about them. I don’t know of any other bed sheets that zip up on the side like this. You can read more about them here too.
I have always wanted to throw a beach party for Lainey since she has an August birthday and most of our friends live at the beach! This year worked out perfectly to do that on Labor day weekend! I thought it would be fun to treat it like a mini “bachelorette” and get matching suits for all the girls! We also told everyone to BYOF (bring your own float) and we floated outside by the dock the entire day. Lainey’s favorite thing about the party was the Pelican Sno Balls we had unlimited, as was mine (it turned out genius to make alcohol drinks with the shaved ice too 🙂 ) Below are the vendors we used, and several images from the party.
*If you’re in Wrightsville/Wilmington area and are throwing any type of party, make sure to contact these vendors below! Everyone was phenomenal, on time and very responsive.
Photographer: Visuals By Helen Helen came for about an hour and got all the photos I needed easily! She even sent me 3 sneak peak ones that evening, super fast and loved all the images she got!
Moana 2-layered Cake- One Belle Bakery I told them my vision, sent a few sample inspiration photos, and boom, they delivered an awesome cake that tasted just as good as it looked!
Mermaid- FairyTales and Dreams by the Sea We booked for one hour, and felt like it was the perfect amount of time for her to interact with our small crowd of 8 kids! They loved her reading to them during “Story time” and she danced and stayed right by the birthday girl! It was the perfect something “Extra special” birthday treat I am glad I booked for all the kids.
Pelican Sno Balls station: We booked the starter package and I felt like we had more than enough extra shaved ice left, we invited all the neighbors over to even have some!
Personalized Swim Suits & Tumblers: Etsy: Parkerryandesigns One of our good friends Andrea has been running this etsy shop for awhile and I casually mentioned I was looking for personalized swim suits, and what do you know, she said she could easily make them! She is one talented girl, if you need something personalized (from clothes to cups) shoot her a message on etsy!
Water trampoline/Slide O-zone Water bouncer: Rave Sports We have been loving this all summer, but I got this Water Bouncer specifically for lainey’s birthday bash! The kids and toddlers loved it! You can see why we love it on this post I did awhile back here.
Letter Board: Felt Like Sharing I love the pop of color their letter boards add to any event and photo!
Hair: I had my hair styled in braids by Set Blow Out Bar
I always go by here when I am in wilmington to get a blowout, so figured I’d get a braid style for the party too. Lainey was supposed to come, but she was already enjoying the festivities when it was time for our appointment so I went solo :). They do Mommy and Me styles too!
We are only halfway into the summer and we have been loving this summers round up of toys! You cant go wrong with any of these purchases below when at the beach or lake with the kids to keep them busy.
1. Rave Sports Water Trampoline:
This was the best purchase I have made to date for the kids. We saw it on someone’s dock during memorial day, and I could not for the life of me find a company that rented these. Luckily a few google searches later and this bad boy came up on Rave Sports site! There are so many options for water trampolines, but I went with this one specifically since it was designed for smaller children. They can bounce on the trampoline, climb up the side themselves and go down the slide all.day.long! The shipment came fast and it was easily inflated. Once you are done using it, just deflate for easy storage! You can find them on instagram here as well.
*The kids Water wings are from Otterwings, you can use code BECCA15 at checkout!
2. Isla Bikes: We switched to this balance bike (the Rothan) for Roman and this bike (the Cnoc) without training wheels for Lainey this summer and it couldn’t have been a better decision! I was very nervous about both, since they were loving the training wheels, but Ive already seen so much improvement on their balance since using these! Roman loves just walking on his own on the balance bike and Lain loves me holding her waist while learns to balance without the wheels. My favorite thing about the Cnoc bike, is they personalize your childs name on the side, genius! You can find them on instagram here.
Talk about practicing balance for little ones, my kids are obsessed with these boards from kindfeets! If you have little surfers, or ones you want to get into boarding, highly recommend. Besides Balance, mine use the kinderboards to roll cars down the side and make little tunnels for toys. It is definitely a multi functional toy that builds the imagination, and an easy thing to store at the house! We also are loving this cargo trike they make, perfect for strolling around other toys in the house :). Find them on instagram here.
5. Pulse Safe Start Scooters:
Ever wanted your little toddler to be able to just press a button on the scooter and go? Well here you have it! These electric scooters are perfect for the kids that cant master a real scooter yet. We have the PJ mask one, and we charge it every night for the next day! Find them on instagram here.
6. Nutcase Helmets:
To keep your little ones head safe, I am loving these helmets from nutcase for all the above toys! I love how the kids are excited to put them on because of their bright designs and their easy under chin clip. Find them on instagram here.
Continued from last weeks post on our favorite beach essentials, I wanted to include other necessities we are loving in and out of the water during the summer!
1. Vestal Watches
Obsessed with these tide watches! My husband started wearing these over a year ago since he is on the boat a lot and he is able to track the tides of up to 200 local beaches. If you haven’t found a gift yet for that beach lover, this is a winner! I have the surf watch, and I love that I never have to take it off (waterproof) for the win. You can use code BECCA30 at checkout!
2. Freestyle Watches- My kids are loving their shark leash children’s line! Once they see us wearing something, they usually want it. This watch was the perfect solution for them to have on at all times on the beach or pool and think they can tell time 🙂 They come in so many bright colors and adjusts to my two year old’s wrist!
3. Otter Wings
Does anyone else’s child get mad when you take off their water wings or try to put them on? What about when they slip off in the water? Otter wings came up with a simple solution, removable clip water wings to an SPF shirt! genius. I love their simple coloring! They just restocked the line for the summer, so head over there to grab some!
4. Hats & Beach Bags, Sandals:
– Hatattack match your mini with hats like below and loving this beach bag from them, seen in all my pics!
–Love this hat from Ofonesea! Romans wearing below!
-These Sandals I am living in, from Beek
I rounded up some of our favorite beach accessories we have been loving this year and linked them all below! We go through towels like crazy when at the beach, so I mentioned several different kinds we use. With kids, its nice to have everything organized and ready to go when planning a beach trip/vacation. Hopefully this makes packing easier for you guys! Next Week ill include more beach accessories we are loving!
We love their simple striped towels for kids! Cozy & Chic.
Bali Market towels-
These are so lightweight, and sand comes right off these when I shake it. I was surprised how absorbent the towels are and how well they pack up for a beach trip. They are Turkish towels that believe in keeping a minimalist lifestyle, and I’m all about simplicity!
Henry & Bros
They are adorable, top of line, affordable blankets! My kids (and me) love these towel blankets because they are so large that you don’t have to lay two towels side by side on the beach. They are also so soft that you can wrap the kids up and they’ll nap peacefully. Sale happening now on their site!
House of Jude:
Loving their roundie towels at the moment on the beach! You can use as a scarf in the winter too! Lightweight and breathable, love how the charcoal color hides any dirt from the kids or sand. We just got this in, so stay tuned on my page for more images of it!
Poncho & Parker “Born out of necessity (needing a functional and fun cover-up for our babes), we designed the poncho to be carefree for the kids and functional for the parents, while of course staying super chic. Poncho + Parker ponchos are made out of the original Turkish towel, which is extremely absorbent, light weight and quick-drying. Perfectly packs in a suitcase for vacation or easy to throw in a beach bag for the summer. Our littles also favor it as their post-bath lounge wear!” We love the vibrant shades they have!
Discount 50% happening now! Use code: SUMMERSALE
Another Poncho Brand we are loving for those that like the basic white/neutral shades! These are extra thick and I love how the arms are closed in on these! We will be rocking these soon on my page 🙂
Picnic Time Chairs:
When towels aren’t cutting it and you just want to sit normally, I recommend these beach chairs by Picnic Time! I cant wait to try them out, stay tuned to see them on my page!
-Fully-padded with adjustable reclining backrest
-A zippered pocket, large enough to hold magazines and personal items such as a wallet, keys, or shirt
If bathing suits aren’t an option for my kids, they are usually in Pajamas. If by some miracle I get them out of those two, we are rocking the latest clothing styles on Instagram! Below are a few of my current brand crushes and trends we have been loving when we are not in the water! Most of them keep that beach vibe look we love:
1. Shop Harbour:
-Made in the U.S.
-$1 from every purchase is donated to help foster kids / gives back
-conscious mission and design
-perfect for coastal living
If your family is like mine, everyone is in better moods in the water….. therefore I like to stay at the beach as much as possible! So of course I am bathing suit obsessed, and styling my minis is my favorite thing ever. Below are the brands I have been crushing on and you’ll see my kids in all summer. Some of them have promotions and special discounts listed below! Go grab your favorites for the summer and be the most stylish kids on instagram, tag the brands when you rock them!
Sunuva Swimwear: It is a london designed in house company and features a huge safety factor for your kids with their stylish swimwear that is UPF 50+. We love the bright colors, playful designs and how you can mix and match siblings! They have a variety of options, from rash guards to clothing on their site. One of my favorite suits lainey has on below features beads on the neckline, its all on the details! Instagram link:
Current discount CODE: BECCAINGLE T&Cs: Use code ‘BECCAINGLE’ for 20% off on sunuva.com. Please note this code is not valid on outlet, web exclusives and the boutique items. It cannot be combined with another code or promotion. The promotion expires at midnight Sunday 30th June 2018.
Pearl Street Swim:
They are a northern based company with beautiful light shades! Their suits are designed for active children and come in unique, hand illustrated patterns and matching solids that are SPF 50, chlorine and sunscreen resistant. I love their rashguards and adjustable boy trunks! The suits feel so soft. Instagram link:
Of One Sea:
This line is based out of North Shore, Oahu and radiates all things Hawaii that I miss. (I used to go to school at University of Oahu!) Their inspiration comes from the simple forms and beauty found in nature which they aim to translate into comfortable and stylish pieces for the whole family. I love the matching daddy and son line, and their whole vibe on style for clothes! If your a hawaii lover like myself, this brand is for you! Instagram Link:
If your looking for simple classic styles, you have found it here! I love the coloring tones of the suits and the simple looks for boys and girls. Made and designed in California, minnow is a contemporary children’s swimwear label that embraces clean lines, simple details and crisp seaside breezes. Instagram Link:
Summer 18 Collection just dropped here! We are obsessed with the nantucket red! They are having a huge giveaway contest on their instagram right now!
Bermies: For the moms that want to twin with their son, you have found it! It is lifestyle brand which combines style and adventure with a concern for the well-being of our oceans. Bermies are made from the highest-quality materials in swimwear and celebrate your confidence, in style and comfort. These swim trunks are not only bold and stylish but they will make you look and feel like you’re in paradise. Our trunks are stretchy, breathable, fast-drying but most importantly extremely comfortable. They donate a portion of their profits to clean up oceans! Instagram Link:
You will be seeing me and Roman rocking their matching styles found here! Current sales going on: 15% discount on Monday 11 and until Sunday 17 for Fathers Day using code LOVEDAD at checkout
McKenna Swim: Australia Based company, that is too cute for words! High-waisted with crop tops for your mini? Did I wake up dreaming? They have the most stylish little girl swimsuits I have ever seen. From the crop tops, to the open back, your girl will be the cutest on the block! I love their matching sibling styles too! Instagram Link:
This adorable shop has worldwide shipping and has all the latest trends on their site! All their brands range from swim to clothes and even toys! Get everything you need for summer in one quick online shopping cart! Instagram Link:
Olivia & Ocean:
They have the cutest mommy & me line I’ve seen lately! Its hard to find cute swimwear that matches your mini and covers a mom the way we want! They are dedicated to crafting swimwear as cute and stylish as it is functional. Prints are custom pieces of art created exclusively for each season’s collection. Swimwear is printed, manufactured, and hand finished here in Los Angeles by seamstresses who are paid a fair wage. They donate a portion of the proceeds from every swimsuit sold to Water.org on your behalf. Instagram Link:
Can a Kid ever see Santa too many times or have too many cookies or wear enough Christmas jammies?? Answer still up for grabs, but we got close.
If you’re like me, the Holidays were jammed packed for the month of December and went by way too fast! I think I might have slightly over done it this season, but I have serious FOMO (which I blame from my dad) and I didn’t want my kids to miss one bit of action going on in NC! Most of these events I had to start planning back in the Summer, because moms are all over it when it comes to Christmas activities around here in the south apparently :). Mark your calendars for next summer because you are going to want to get tickets for these events next year!
Events around NC that sell out in advance typically:
-Pullen Park Holiday Express
-Polar Express Train- I know there are two locations in NC.
-Tea with Santa (Umstead)
-12 days of Christmas Carolina Inn
-1870 Farm santa/animal hayrides
-MapleView farm icecream santa hayrides
-Chetola, Blowing rock NC -Santa & Carriage Rides
-Tweetsie Christmas (this was the first year they opened this!)
-Disney on Ice- PNC arena
-Feel free to let me know if i need to add any more high demand ones!
Some photos from the holidays of these events are below, and ill remind everyone when these tickets go back on sale!
12 Days of Christmas Carolina inn (We did brunch with Santa and Sugar Plum Fairy afternoon tea):