Little Black Swimsuits.

Bathing suit shopping is never really fun. It always seems to come astonishingly soon after the holidays, when the sugary coat of treats is still clinging to my overwintered skin. Alas, this year beckons with a set of circumstances that are even more varied for me personally, because I've got a nice layer of newborn baby fat that will be joining along for summer's joyride. I'm okay with it - nursing my baby is a gift and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be doing this gig again. (And while many people believe breastfeeding helps you lose baby weight, many people don't know that breastfeeding also keeps you from losing the last bit of that weight in an effort to cling to excess fat stores for the baby. Good times, guys.) I would absolutely be lying if I told you I'M TOTALLY FINE WITH LOOKING THIS WAY, because that's not the case. Don't we all want to be the best-looking, fittest version of ourselves? But in my case, the best version of myself is exactly what I am right now - healthy and happy and sustaining 2 human lives. Boom.

Enter the black (bathing suit) market.

I've tried on a handful of these, and I'm still mulling over sizing and whatnot because it's only April and I want to buy suits that will work for me throughout the summer. Who knows what size I'll end up being at the end of the summer? Exactly what size am I am right now? I have no idea. But I do know that black is a gal's BFF and one-pieces will be my jam this summer. So here we go, a few that I loved in a range of price points. Hope you find something you've been looking for, too!

Will you guys let me know if you like posts like this? I'm happy to share more roundup-type posts if you find them helpful and inspiring - but if they're a bore I'll just keep my online shopping to myself :) Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you! And happy spring break shopping to you!

10 (Inexpensive!) Spring Break Staycation Ideas.

It's time for Spring Break! If you don't have any plans that are beckoning you to the beach (although I'm sure we all wish we had those plans...), I've compiled a list of fun, inexpensive things to do for a staycation. Next week is Everett's preschool spring break, and I was getting a little worried that I would feel kind of trapped at home for a week with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Truth be told, we love to travel, and most of the time I would have planned a trip for the week. However, I think it's really important to be able to make fun at home and explore what's right around at home. I think it teaches kids to be creative with what they're given instead of always needing a new toy or exotic trip to create excitement for them. And let's be honest, I should be flexing my mom magic to make everyday things a little bit more magical :)

Amicalola Falls State Park, in all it's glory.

Amicalola Falls State Park, in all it's glory.

1. Explore State and/or National Parks.
This is the perfect time of year to visit a state park in Georgia because it's not too hot yet! Come June, you practically need an IV drip to stay hydrated while you hike around, but in April? The weather is perfect (other than the pollen, but hey, you can't win em all). While admission to the park might cost a few bucks, this is a great way to get outdoors with your family and hike, fly a kite and enjoy a packed lunch. A few of my favorites in this area are Sweetwater Creek State Park (we went glamping here once :), Cloudland Canyon State Park, and Amicalola State Park (we hiked this last summer and it was sooo hard!) Also, I like to follow @exploregeorgia on instagram to get inspired about new places to visit in our great state ;)

2. Take advantage of the Local Library.
This might sound a little lame, but have you been to your local library lately? It's worth exploring, especially if you have little kids. Every library is stocked with resources and classes - I had no idea that our local chapter offered so many art & music classes, story time, language lessons and technology-based learning games. Of course, Everett always makes a beeline straight for the giant stuffed animals and then the kid computer (he likes the headphones), but usually I can pry him away to read a few books and try some other activities.

3. Try Geocaching.
Want to go on a treasure hunt? Did you know there are treasures hidden all around you, called "caches", and they are meant to be found? It's a really fun concept! Download the app and go on a "treasure adventure" with the whole family (it's like the first generation of Pokemon Go). If you want to know more about this little activity, you can watch this 75-second video. It helped me realize this is kind of cool and not at all weird :)

Everett learning to throw a frisbee last summer. He makes me laugh so much.

Everett learning to throw a frisbee last summer. He makes me laugh so much.

4. Play Sports.
This is not rocket science. Get outside and play! We love to go over to our local frisbee golf course on random week nights, because Stevie is a hippie in his heart and he's teaching Everett how to throw. Play a game that the whole family can enjoy, like wiffle ball (or baseball for those of you with big kids) in the back yard, basketball in the cul-de-sac, or soccer at the park. Sometimes the simple stuff can be really wondrous fun.

5. Back Yard Camping.
Camping with little children can be intimidating, but pitching a tent in the back yard is the perfect solution. You can still use the restroom in the house and cook up a big breakfast in the morning! This is actually a great way to "trial run" a camping experience with your kiddos if you've never taken them before, and it gives you the opportunity to pull out all your camping gear and explain it to them.

6. Explore museums.
Most museums have "free days" during certain times of the month - a list can be found here. I personally love going to the High Museum here in Atlanta, but there are tons of others that are worth checking out, like the Coca Cola Museum (a classic), the MLK Museum, Fernbank Museum and of course, the Children's Museum. Ha, just bring hand sanitizer.

7. Host a Family Film Festival.
It's time for blankets, pillows and popcorn! Vote on 2 movies and make it a double feature with pizza in the living room :) It's not like it's all that different than a Saturday night after the kids go to bed (true story, if you're over here in our shoes), but it's a really fun way to cozy up with the whole family together and watch something fun. We recently watched Finding Dory and Everett keeps asking to watch it again and again.

8. Check out local markets/fairs/festivals.
Our local farmer's market is really fun - there is usually live music and locally-made treats (hi, King of Pops!) to be enjoyed. But each community around the Atlanta area also has a slew of characteristic festivals in their area - check out a comprehensive list of Atlanta-area festivals here. So much fun to be had in the springtime here in Georgia!

9. Go fishing & canoeing.
If you live near a body of water, take advantage of it! Post a quick Facebook message and see if one of your friends has some gear you can borrow. Then trek out to the back yard and dig up some worms for bait (if you have little boys, they will love this). Again, ages of your kiddos matter - I won't be taking a newborn on a canoe anytime soon - but as long as everyone has a life vest, this would totally be an adventure.

10. Go biking and have a picnic.
This one sounds so simple, but it's so much fun. We loved when Everett got old enough to ride on the back of Stevie's bike (this bike carrier and this helmet), and he was totally mesmerized by the experience! Since the weather has started to warm up, they've been back on the bike again lately. We have amazing trails throughout our entire city that we can ride on (one of the reasons why we love living here), but there are also some great biking parks to check out, including Callaway Gardens (where I biked and was so sick last year - that's how I knew I was pregnant!), the Chattahoochee River Trail and the Silver Comet Trail. Pack a delicious lunch and bike until hungry. Make sure to pack lots of water and sunscreen, too.

There you have it! 10 ideas to get your juices flowing, outside of the normal activities like going to the zoo or getting ice cream.

Many thanks to my sister-in-law Lauren, who helped me brainstorm these ideas (so that we don't go out of our mind next week!) Any other ideas you have? Please share in the comments - I'd love to hear from you!

Happy Spring Break, everyone! xox

TBT to That Time We Escaped Winter to Surf in Puerto Rico.

TBT That Time We Escaped Winter to Surf in Puerto Rico.

It was really, truly, very cold in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was the unbearable month of February, which can be an almost hopeless time in that town. Not close enough to spring to believe that the warmth could ever again penetrate my paled, dry skin again. The days turned dark at 4pm. The blizzards continued to howl their wrath down upon our top-floor apartment. I would stare out the window in horror, praying to God that the weather would calm enough just so I could scamper across the street in my gigantic puffer coat to snag a bag of coffee. Forget about groceries. The dirty slush caked up on the sidewalks, making the 8-minute walk to the subway to get downtown to work almost impossible. Impassable. Inconceivable.

I needed a break. We needed a break.

For a couple of Georgia-born kids, the winter was really beginning to take it's toll. A toll on our souls.

So what did we do? We cozied up in a quilt, got on Hotwire, researched flights, and booked a couple of ridiculously cheap tickets to anywhere warm. Spring break was next week. We had. To get OUT.

And that "anywhere" turned out to be Rincon, Puerto Rico. The trip that saved our sanity in the midst of yet another torrential nor'easter blizzard.

And this was a seriously, seriously adventurous trip.

Our hunger for fun and adventure even surprised us. We hiked to mountainous waterfalls. Swam with sea turtles. Snorkled in the coral reef. SURFED FOR THE FIRST TIME. Had the raddest time with our great friends and seriously considered not getting on that return flight back to reality. It just felt so good to be surrounded by sexy Spanish accents, hot hot heat and gorgeously exotic views. Throw in the fact that we took barefoot walks on the beach every night to a little shack on the water where we watched the sun set, ate fish tacos, drank cheap margaritas and talked about LIFE, and well, we were ready to drop our anchor right there in paradise. We sat out on that beach for hours, talking about the future as if it wasn't already happening to us. As if we weren't living the dreams we had so long dreamed about. As if anything was possible.

Yes. Stevie's shirt.

Surf's up!

Hiking with friends in the tropics.

Of course there was a hidden waterfall.

Of course Stevie had to jump off the hidden waterfall. These were the days of pre-baby risk taking people.

Obligatory lip smacking photo. Because PUERTO RICO!

Yeah, Stevie wore that shirt a lot. It was like being married to Jimmy Buffet for a week.

Looking back on this trip now, I have to laugh at the incredible bliss we felt. Sometimes you can't possibly appreciate the level of adventure that you're experiencing until you step away from it, take a moment to observe it, and then step back into current life, refreshed with vision. A bit of perspective awakened. This little last-minute escapade to Puerto Rico came at a time where we needed that fresh perspective, needed a contrast, needed to see each other in a different light. Needed to see ourselves in a different light. Thank God that light was from the sun and not another halogen lamp.

Life is a little different these days. Instead of taking spontaneous adventures to sunny islands, we are taking a few hours every other week to have a quick dinner date in our sweats. It's normally fajitas at the local Mexican joint, and the margaritas aren't quite so cheap. But they taste better than ever. And I wouldn't change this season of life for anything! Because I know our adventurous days aren't just behind us, they're looming somewhere ahead, too. Those adventures are still brimming on the horizon of our hearts, waiting for us to take another dive into the joyous spontaneity. And I can feel myself readying for another season of "anything's possible!" Thanks, Puerto Rico, for giving me that bit of reprieve a few years back. And thanks for the memories, because they're living on in my head and spinning up all kinds of adventurous momentum in my heart.

Here's to ALL of our adventures. May they live on.

Happening Lately.

These two. A little reunited party :)

Happening Lately.

Good morning! Happiest of Mondays, to you. My little family just got back in town from what I like to call "the dueling spring breaks" - Stevie was in Istanbul for a wedding this past weekend, so I hopped in the car and headed down to my sister's place in St. Augustine! I am still soooooo jealous that he got to take such an exotic trip without me, but we didn't think it would be a great situation to bring Everett all the way over to Turkey and then not have a babysitter for the wedding. Womp womp. So he spent the weekend batchin' it up and eating Turkish Delights with his buds from business school. I had a blast, playing with my sister and her kids, taking Everett to the pool FOR THE FIRST TIME, and of course enjoying the ocean and the grand town of St. Augustine. We sent each other the silliest photos - me holding Everett in various swim hats, he taking selfies outside of mosques. He's going to share about his whirlwind experience in Istanbul here on the blog later this week, but for now, a few photos of Spring Break with my little man.

Time at my sisters' place includes jogs to the beach, exotic flowers in bloom everywhere, 5 o'clock mojitos, and yes, I'm aware that this isn't real life. But it's real fun.

Top: Everett attacks my sunglasses. Middle: We might have given him his first hair trim. Ah! Bottom: He attacks my sunglasses again. I wizened up and bought a cheapo pair that he can gnaw on to his heart's desire :)

Other Life-ish Things:

*New Site Coming!

I am soooo excited about the work that the lovely Maiedae ladies are doing on my new site. I can't wait to show you! I got a sneak preview of it over the weekend and it's going to be RAD. Much cleaner design, simpler navigation, and more robust user interface. So that YOU can access recipes, travel guides, etc. much easier - woohoo! Yaay for growth! I'll keep you posted on the switchover :)

*Future Travels.

Our fam is gearing up for a handful of travel dates over the next several months. I am most excited about our May trip to Madrid and Rome! If any of you have advice for traveling abroad with a baby, I am all ears! I've been researching and compiling lots of info, and so far this and this have been super helpful. The last time Stevie and I Eurotripped, we did it totally hippie-style, with backpacks as our only luggage and an eternally long list of "must-sees" - I have a feeling this little adventure (with a BABY) will be quite different.

*This Week.

I've got another great "salad"-ish recipe, our experience at The Color Run, and of course, Stevie's Istanbul trip, coming at ya this week. So many fun things to share! Hope your Monday is magnificent!

(Late) Morning Musings

// Mail-order Makeup from Sephora // Teacups I just couldn't resist bringing home // Impromptu Facetime dinner date with my dear friend Meredith // Waited 1.5 hours at an audition // Magical day at the Magic Kingdom (more to come on this delightful adventure!) // (Finally) a sunny jog along the Charles River //

I've been lazily enjoying Spring Break this week. My husband has a week off from school, so we have enjoyed the time away from the normal everyday hum-drum. Ha, I say hum-drum, but I really wouldn't describe our life that way. There is always something going on! Which is why it's been a lovely break this week :-)


// This tasty treat has really been perking up spirit in the midst of the woeful wintery blues.


// "Oh, the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Suess. I read it aloud (twice) to my sweet nephew Ollie and I was the one weeping at the end. Oh Auntie Kristen. Seriously, though, every adult should read this book once a month. It's so inspiring.


// How does one garden in urban spaces? I gave my sister some seeds for flowers this week and it really got me inspired to grow some herbs when we move to NYC. Shouldn't be hard, right?


// All kinds of springy clothes, especially items that could be worn over and over again in Europe, like this and this...


// Spring! I love the warm dry sunshine, running out doors and the pastel water-y colors I'm seeing everywhere. This is probably my last Spring Break so I am totally enjoying it. Although...  I feel entirely too old for this!

What are you celebrating about Spring this week?