This month I wanted to highlight my favorite work out gear that I have in 3 different shades! You can find all shades currently in stock at shopbop here, so make sure to grab them while you can. I love wearing these outfits when traveling anywhere because it is so light weight and easy to throw pieces on or take them off if traveling to warmer weather 🙂
This month I wanted to share with you my top brands that are also the “most hearted” on Shopbop right now here. These are styles we have taken on trips around the world and still function great after several washes.
This Wrightsville Beach guide is a long time coming! When I say a long time, I mean this was the first beach I ever went to with my family when I was a baby and continued to vacation for 30 years :). Being born and raised in North Carolina you come to love Wrightsville beach and Wilmington NC area because it is the closest beach right off highway 40 when you head to the coast. Not only is it super convenient, it also has always been the most developed North Carolina Beach town with some of the best restaurants and shops to me. This post is also going to be hard for me to write because there are SO MANY good places to go, visit, and eat. For that simple reason, I am going to do two blog posts. This first one I am going to highlight options to stay and things to do with the kids. The next one will showcase where to eat around town, so stay tuned for that too!! So without further ado, below is some info on WB!
How to get there:
You can fly into ILM airport and easily be at the beach in 20 minutes depending if summer/traffic etc. If you are driving, you head straight down 40 East till you arrive in Wilmington. North Carolina is not complicated to figure out 🙂 The best weather in NC typically runs from April-October. The hottest time of the year is typically July-August, with highs touching the 90s.
(pictured here is the Holiday Inn Resort at Wrightsville Beach)
If you want to stay on the beach, any area over the bridges is an easy walk to the ocean.
If you want to stay near restaurants/bars, choose the streets right off of Lumina, or anywhere behind the beach bars (located by Jerry Allens, or Tower 7)
The Southend of Wrightsville is more quiet and secluded in my opinion.
The North end (shell island) has more larger house rentals/full time residents and two hotels on that end.
If you have a boat, look at renting docks by the north end/”lollipop area”
We recently stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort at Wrightsville Beach. I loved this hotel because they have so many amenities on site for kids: Playground, indoor/outdoor pool, hot tub, onsite kids camp/playroom, and an arcade room open 24/7. The rooms also have a balcony over looking the pool & ocean!
We have also stayed at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, which is on the south-end of the island. They recently renovated the hotel & the entire outside area is gorgeous.
What to do:
Rent a Boat/Car from Bluewater Transport Charters: One of my favorite things to do in the summer is go out on a boat to some of the neighborhood islands. The closest one is Mason’s inlet, which has small tide pools for kids to play in. On the islands you can bring your own coolers, dogs, and tents year round & spend an entire day out there! You can rent a boat for the day, do a sunrise tour, and even arrange luxury car transfers if a special occasion.
Visit the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History: Located at 303 W. Salisbury, find this museum in the middle of the Historic Square of houses all built in the early 1900s. The homes that make up the Historic Square are some of the last survivors of the Great Fire, which roared through
the island in 1934 including the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History. The Wrightsville Beach Park is right behind the Museum, so take the kids right after the blow off some energy! Wrightsville Beach Park has a new all-inclusive playground geared towards children with disabilities as well as two outdoor basketball courts, four tennis courts, three sand volleyball pits, one softball field and anopen area for soccer/flag football.
Explore Airlie Gardens: “Encompasses 67 acres of beautiful Gilded Age gardens and lakes. Admire the azaleas,gaze at the camellias, stand in the shade of the 450-year-old Airlie Oak, experience nature’s most delicate and ephemeral creatures – butterflies – in the region’s first
permanent butterfly house.” Airlie Gardens has special events year round, including the famous “Garden Party” which is hosted Azalea festival weekend on that Friday. They also do “Enchanted Airlie” during the holidays where you can pay for a car full to drive and see all the lights!
Book a Cave room with Native Salt Caves & Wellness: This was a really cool experience to take the kids to detoxify your body! From the site, since they can explain their process better: “Providing Himalayan salt caves for halotherapy, Native Salt Cave and Wellness offers the choice of two caves: one for a massage treatment room or children’s cave, and the other for adults to sit and relax enjoying the benefits of breathing the salt-infused air surrounded by Himalayan Salt. The salt used in the halogenerators, found in both caves, is pharmaceutical-grade 99.99% sodium chloride, the same that is used in medical saline solutions. The main Salt Cave holds tweleve. Inhaling dry salt air for a period of time has been a traditional wellness practice. Signature events: Classes, or group sessions, held in the main cave combining massage, light and sound techniques to enhance the salt cave experience.”
The Shopbop Spring sale just went live for the public and lasts until this Saturday! Since bathing suit season is right around the corner and you know that is all my family basically lives in when we travel, I wanted to share my top pics and styles you have seen me wear constantly! Shop all the swimwear on sale here and see below for favorite brands!
Here is the breakdown on the sale: Starts: Monday 3/2 7:18AM Eastern Time (New York) Zone. Ends: Saturday 3/9 4:00AM Eastern Time (New York) Zone.
Up to 25% off full-price styles with code SPRING
15% off orders of $200+
20% off orders of $500+
25% off orders of $800+
(this was the before! Scroll for all the pictures after the makeover!)
We styled our downstairs Suite room at the beach house over the last couple months with The Home Depot & I am so excited to share the before and after results! Everything you see in this room was shipped directly from The Home Depot & styled by one of our favorite designers Upstaged Wilmington. I wanted something cozy & bright with a more updated feel. See below for all the updates with links to the specific products to easily shop!
I used the Hook Strap Black Rolling Barn Door Hardware Kit in 5 inch wheel from The Home Depot and had a local contractor create a chevron barn door to give the room a southern beach feel. I have always wanted to have a barn door in my house and I was so excited The Home Depot’s hardware was so easy to install with my vision.
I also bought these additional Amerock Carrione Marble White Drawer Pulls I plan to switch out in the future on the dressers & Nightstands for a pop of white! The Home Depot has so many options for hardware choices to be creative!
My sister (Frances) and new brother-in-law (Brandon) had the perfect set up for their California wedding at the Rincon Beach Club in Carpinteria a month ago! ! From my own kids walking down the aisle as ring bearer & flower girl to the groom being the DJ at the reception, everything was so magical! We partnered with Jenny Yoo for my maid of honor dress & to feature my daughter’s flower girl dress. Scroll below to see all the images & also the details of the wedding! You can also see videos on my Instagram stories here.
Huge shout out to their photographer I Heart My Groom for capturing all these images!
Favorite Moment: The highlight of our reception was when the groom started his DJ set and got the party started! The excitement and celebration in the room created an incredible energy on the dance floor, and you could tell how much fun everyone was having. Towards the end of his set, he played the bride’s favorite song then joined her on the dance floor.
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!