Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Travel List: OBX Edition

Hey ya'll! With summer upon us, I thought I'd do a spotlight on one of my favorite vacay locations.  I absolutely despise summer, sweating, humidity and heat (diva I know but give me Fall or give me death) unless my hiney is planted on a beach..preferably in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We've been coming to the OBX since I was a little girl and I absolutely adore it. Of course its grown and become such a tourist hotspot but I even love it in the winter. I lived there for two summers as well - one during college and one after and they were my absolute favorite summers.

While my favorite part of the OBX is the northern pars of Southern Shores and Duck, we also stay on the Southern end at Nags Head. We always do a week in Nags Head with my in-laws and the Otey clan an then Mama and I do a week in the northern part. Two weeks a year in the OBX? I'll take it! Hubs and I often look at real estate there just because we always joke that we could totally live there year round! Anyway, with our trips quickly approaching, here is a list of my list of must-sees and must-eats in the OBX.

#1 - I adore Duck, NC and the Sanderling Resort and Spa and its restaurant on the sound Kimball's Kitchen (formerly known as the Left Bank) is my absolute fav. Its all more on the pricey side but if you're looking for a pampering, fine dining getaway then this is it! (I worked here for both summers I lived in the OBX) The tasting menu with its seasonal local flare is ah-mazing and the French 75 is my long-time fav cocktail there!

The Sanderling Resort, Duck NC
at Kimballs Kitchen on the blonde onyx bar 

As for other restaurants in Duck and Southern Shores - these are a must:

The Blue Point (excellent martinis)
Aqua (wonderful dishes and outdoor sunsets - spent my bachelorette here!)
Tommy's Market (best wine selection and made to order lunch! Never leave without their steak seasoning!)
Steamers  (Such a fun place with delicious seafood bisque)
Sunset Bar & Grille (Karaoke and fun drink specials with take home cups!)

Also shop the never-ending shops at Scarborough Fair shopping village and all the shops on the soundside as well that are overlooking the water. (there's a Lilly signature store there as well!)

Family friendly favorites:

The wild horses in Corolla + drive on beaches
The Lighthouses
Dolphin watch Cruises
The Lost Colony Play
Kitty Hawk Kites/Sports Rentals 
Jockey's Ridge State Park
Wright Brothers Memorial 
Roanoke Island Aquarium

Now moving on down to Nags Head and the more southern parts - here is a list of the restaurants we always make sure to visit. And lets not forget about the Tanger Outlets - ALWAYS a rainy day must!

Miller's Waterfront
Tale of the Whale
The Brewing Station (excellent food and nightlife)
Basnight's Lone Cedar (great for big families!)
Tortugas Lie (was on TV!)
Rundown Cafe  (fun cajun flare)
Black Pelican (killer greek salad)
Barefoot Bernies  (get the MD crab dip!)
High cotton BBQ (best value and always love their fried okra)

Tale of the Whale, Nags Head

Basnights Lone Cedar, Nags Head
Tanger Outlets 

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Weekending: HU Takes Crown

Hey ya'll and happy Monday! I must say that I'm sort of excited to get this week going because next weekend is the first weekend in 4 weeks that I have ZERO plans and zero travel planned. We have been so busy this month that it will no doubt feel good to slow down. However, this weekend was such a blast! Mama and I (the menfolk couldn't make it) headed into Roanoke for the 2017 Miss Virginia pageant. Ya'l know how I feel about pageants, especially this one, so I never miss it. Also, it was my good friend Hanna's 10th anniversary since her win in 2007 so we obviously had to be there to celebrate.

This year there was an unbelievable amount of talented young women and the one that took the crown goes to my college! It was no-brainer! Miss Cecili Weber will be this year's Miss VA and head on to compete for the Miss America title in September. This organization is the largest in the country for scholarships for women and ya'll just remember that Miss A is slated to be Miss VA 2037 ok? (hehe)

Mama and I got all dolled up, headed to my favorite restaurant downtown for dinner and then headed over to the pageant. We had so much fun! Afterwards, we attended the after party with all the contestants and the new Miss VA for a meet and greet. We definitely had a little too much fun because Sunday's hangover was one for the books. Why do I do that to my OLD self? WHEW! Overall it was simply wonderful and I'm so excited to follow the upcoming journey of a fellow Hollins woman!

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WHW: Fun Prints

Hey ya'll and welcome to another What's Hap-'Pinning' Wednesday! Jenn and I want to thank ya'll again for joining us each week and sharing with us what's going on in your lives! Today I'm sharing some of my favorite summer trends: fun prints! I adore color and have always been a fan of Ms. Lilly P so these loud and colorful trends are right up my ally. The bottom jumpsuit I could never pull off just because I'm 5'2 but how fun is that thing?! I just want to try it on! Anyway, grab our button and link up below and let me know your favorite summer trends. 

#1 via                #2 Trina Turk Romper via                   #3 via

#1 Ralph Lauren Jumpsuit via                                                                #2 Romper 

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Monday, June 19, 2017


Ya'll - that was one BUSY weekend! We had a jam-packed weekend but it was so much fun! I'm totally exhausted though and ready to sleep until maybe Wednesday. Friday we had a festival we went to and this year we took Miss Andi. Its our local chicken & beer festival (I know, so country) but its so much fun. All you can eat and drink with lots of vendors and two fabulous bands. Andi enjoyed hamming it up and showing everyone her newly acquired dance moves. She made it so much fun for us - gah I love that little girl!

Saturday we relaxed a bit and prepped for our first babysitter that wasn't in-laws or my parents. Riley is a family friend that goes on vacay with us each year (technically family haha) and she agreed to keep Andi since our parents were tied up. It was fun because I haven't, until now, been able to leave a note with instructions for a teen sitter, etc. you know, the phone numbers and all that old-fashioned stuff haha We left her snacks and everything and they did great together! We had an alumni meeting at my high school at 5:00 and then headed straight to the Summer Garden Opera which is literally one of my favorite events that our town puts on each summer. Great food, everyone in town attends and the outdoor opera performance is just the icing on the cake!

Sunday we headed to church before splitting our time between both sets of families for Father's Day celebrations. Hubs headed to work by 2 and Andi and I joined my family for a big seafood cookout before heading home and crashing by 10pm. It was packed and busy but so fun!

Linking up with Biana & Meghan for Weekending

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

WHW: Summer Fun

Hey ya'll and welcome to What's Hap-"pinning" Wednesday where you join Jenn and little ole me for a fun linkup weekly to tell us what's going on! Today I'm sharing some fun summer activities we've been up to lately and also some bucket list items I hope to do by the end of the summer. With that said, if you have any fun, toddler-friendly ideas or activities for the summer - send them my way! I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Last Friday our little town kicked off its Summer under the Stars series where each month they play a different movie at the outdoor Crute Stage. You can bring blankets or lawn chairs and concessions are available as well. Its right in the heart of downtown off of main street and it is so fun ya'll! Last Friday, to kick off the 20th anniversary, they showed Disney's Beauty & the Beast. My parents took Andi because it was also rumored that Belle was going to make an appearance to meet all the little ones. She had SO much fun and Belle even gave her a rose. She also sat through the entire movie which was shocking because it was way after her usual bedtime since they have to wait for it to get dark. We're already looking forward to the next one for sure!

Can we talk about how tall my little girl looks here? WAH!

Also a summer staple, popsicles are a must in this heat! Back in the 90's, my Mama always made those simple plastic-holder, freezable popsicles with me and I was so happy when I saw them at Target the other day. I snagged a few and we introduced Andi to the simple goodness of homemade popsicles. This go-round we used Apple Juice and they were a huge hit but there are so many concoctions out there using fresh fruit, edible flowers and more!

Summer bucket list wise, I'd love to take Miss A to the zoo for the first time. Actually, I'm dying to take her to the zoo and I can't wait. She loves animals so I know she'll be in heaven. The beach is a must in our household so that's obviously on the list and the pool but what other fun summer activities should I plan with her? Help a Mama out ya'll!

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Monday, June 12, 2017


Ya'll, this weekend was seriously SO much fun! As you know (because I've mentioned it 50 times out of excitement) we had our annual girls reunion trip. We spent the weekend in our college town and hit all of our favorite spots plus some new ones as well. Friday night we got dolled up and had a fabulous dinner before hitting the town. We were all doing ok until we got to Metro (one of our fav bars) and the DJ started playing EVERY popular song from the 2005-2009 era...basically making it feel like we never left college. It was perfect! And then we shut down the bar.....yup, that happened.

Saturday we recovered and lounged by the pool while being served mixed drinks and I have to say it was pretty darn fabulous. I even took a nap - yup, hashtag parent life. We got dolled up again and had the best dinner overlooking the city and the Roanoke star and literally ate so much good food and wine. The chef was spoiling us with dishes to try and the wine was perfection. We had wine sent up to the room and actually stayed in that night. (I know, so old) It was fun to be in pajamas, sipping wine and lounging on the fluffy beds while having movies on in the background though. 

Sunday we got up and made a loop around our campus one last time before heading out. Next year we're all thinking Florida and hopefully more of us will be able to make it. If you want to do something similar - pick a weekend and a guestlist and tell the girls that the weekend will always stay the same no matter what but the location will change each year to accommodate everyone in the group. It has really worked out for us between weddings, babies and life in general. Girl time is seriously good for the soul!

Linking up with Biana & Meghan today for weekending 

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Hey ya'll! Happy half way mark and welcome to another What's Hap-'Pinning' link up with Jenn and little ole' me - I"m still coming back to reality from a wonderful long weekend away at the bay and its making it hard to focus on end of the month reports and travel at it my Friday though - bless! (and hubs did get to join for a night over the weekend!) We really did have a blast and the weather was absolutely perfect. Andi is such a beach bum like her Mama and the dynamic was great since she had other children to play with this time. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge just how darn grown up she looked though! Ya'll - that ponytail and those long legs? Where in the world is my tiny baby girl? AH!

Andi starts swim lessons tomorrow so pray for us ya'll! June is so crazy hectic for us because I'm also getting packed and mentally prepared for my annual girls reunion trip this weekend. We leave for Roanoke on Friday and I'm seriously so excited for some pampering, girl time and cocktails. I also have something planned for the last two weekends (Chicken festival, Summer Garden Opera and Miss VA pageant which takes me back to Roanoke for a 2nd trip) which means we never get a weekend home this month...whew!

With that said, meal planning has been a little more on the forefront lately just because we're all so busy - we need to make sure we eat! I've been thinking freezer meals and summer crockpot meals lately so that there is less prep and cleanup. Here are some that I have been pinning lately. Send me your favorite summer weeknight go-to dinners if you don't mind! (Lord knows I need any and all suggestions haha)

30 Amazing Summer crockpot dinners

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