• book review,  Books

    Summer Reads: Beach House For Rent

    We are into our third week of summer vacation and everyone is slowly adjusting to a slightly less frenetic pace. This is the time of year that I’m looking for leisurely reads and beach books to get me in the mood for our upcoming annual trip to the Outer Banks and I will be sharing them with our here! Mary Alice Monroe is one of my favorite authors in this genre, and her newest novel doesn’t disappoint. Read on for my review of Mary Alice Monroe’s Beach House for Rent. ********     Review of Beach House For Rent This novel is the  fourth in a well-loved series. Picking up…

  • Travel

    Family Travels: The Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

    We hit the Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun over spring break with our kids – and a whole bunch of college students. Confession: Cancun didn’t immediately come to mind as a family destination, and I don’t know why because it’s a fabulous spot. Spring break snuck up on us so I handed the planning reins over to my favorite travel agent with instructions to find me something warm, family friendly, and a short flight from Dallas. Cancun fit the bill, and of all the options, the Hard Rock Hotel topped the list. What I found is that it was a decent mix of family and partiers, and for the most…

  • visiting-OBX
    Travel

    Visiting the Outer Banks #OBX

    If you were to look at the photographs from any given year of our vacations at the Outer Banks, you would find some version of this photo: Every year we rent chairs and umbrella from a local company. Every year, the chairs and umbrella look the same. I find comfort in this sameness, this constant in our trips. It is as dependable as the fact that, at some point in the trip, the skies will darken and the wind will churn up the surf, a signal of the rain to come, one child will get a sand rash from hurling their small bodies at the waves, the other will likely sunburn a body…

  • beach-rubbish-picker
    Books

    Beach Rubbish Picker

    We have many traditions when we come to the beach. My daughter is a keen collector of beach shells, and her idea of “beautiful” is a lot less selective than that of yours and mine. To her, EVERY shell is beautiful. This results in an extensive shell collection at the end of the week, making it very hard to select a tiny few to bring home. As we flew in this year versus making the trip by car, space is at a premium, so narrowing the collection is a necessity. Another tradition we have is our evening walk on the beach. It’s quiet, with a few families lingering, some older ones…

  • Uncategorized

    Dear So and So

    Dear Pea: Thank you for cooperating and not dawdling or fussing so we could get you to school at such an early hour (for you) to meet the bus (which still wasn’t there 15 minutes later.). Wish every morning could be like today!!!! Love, Mommy * * * * * Dear Mother Nature: Please give our lovely school kids a break and, if you can’t make the sun shine at least give them a break from the rain? They’ve been looking forward to this beach trip all year and for some of them it’s the only time they see the ocean. Love, A Hopeful Mom * * * * *…

  • Uncategorized

    The Gallery: Chillin’ Out

    I’m a Type-A kinda gal. I probably need to “chill out” a bit more than I do. When I do need to take a break, my FAV place is my big, comfy chair. Curled up with a book, a cuppa, and a biscuit. Or two. (Don’t judge.)  Add an afghan if its chilly, and maybe the puppy draped over my feet on the footstool.  Perfect.   However, my ultimate chill out (which we won’t quite get this year) is on the beach at the Outer Banks, with a book in hand. Not the prettiest self-portrait ever, but at that particular moment, I just didn’t care. Now THAT is chillin’ out.…

  • Uncategorized

    Make Me Laugh Monday – Oh, the Things These Eyes Have Seen

    I realize that some Europeans may well consider that Americans are….prudes when it comes to swimwear and/or nudity. Let me tell you, given what I have seen today, this is NOT a bad thing. I would have appreciated a shared sentiment of prudishness when I saw the 60+ nana poolside…topless. Or the very, very, VERY rotund gentleman wearing a very, very, VERY small swimming costume. Lying on the beach, legs spread-eagle, propped up on rocks, arms crossed behind his head. *shudders* I do not have pictures. That may have damaged my camera. I’ve seen a lot of grannies in bikinis today. Power to them, girlfriends…. The upside of all of…

  • Books

    Finding a Warm Memory

    I don’t get people who throw parties with the theme of “Christmas in July”. Don’t get me wrong – I love Christmas. I love parties. But seriously? What I don’t like is cold weather. I don’t like it at all, (and don’t give me that crap that I grew up in Chicago, so I should be used to it) and I sure as heck don’t want to be reminded of it when I’m (finally) warm, wearing short sleeves and have sandals on my feets. Basically, I’m one of those people who are cold ALL THE TIME. So here I am, huddled next to the puppy, under an afghan, teeth chattering…

  • Travel

    OBX 2010

    In my post-college years, I went on cruises with my friends every year. I’ve been to some beautiful beaches and islands, but when push comes to shove, one of my favorite places in the world are the Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina. My husband took me there a few years before we got married; he grew up going there with his family every summer, and when I went with him the first time, his big brother had recently begun taking his own kids there – continuing a family tradition, if you will. This year marked our seventh year doing to the OBX as a family – Boo’s first visit…