eating around the outer banks

eating around the outer banks

We love the beach.  The fun with family, the relaxation (if you can get it) and the escape from every day life!

One of our favorite beach spots is the Outer Banks.  It is a bit of a drive from our hometown of Charlotte, NC, but totally worth it.  You may remember Heather’s post from a while back.  Horses, relaxing, eating and more.  Life is slower there, you do not get the overly crowded beaches and it is, in our opinion a great place to escape to.

Last month I packed up our new family of 4 and headed to Nags Head for a family trip.  My dear friend was getting married and I knew I couldn’t miss it!  We stayed at this adorable house we found through VRBO – my favorite way to travel as you may remember – and enjoyed the beach, local spots and amazing food.

nags head, outer banks

When we vacation or visit any new city, we always look to YELP for recommendations on restaurants, things to do, shops, etc.  We are RARELY disappointed.  We eat at dives that get great ratings and below I have shared a few spots we really enjoyed.

THE SPOT

When my sister lived in Hawaii she turned me on to acai bowls.  You guys, these are bowls of amazing blended fruit topped with anything from fresh fruit, to coconut and granola, or even peanut butter.  They are refreshing and filling at the same time.  So when I saw there was a local spot walking distance from our vacation home in OBX, I knew we had to go.  This place was everything I was looking for.  Acai bowls, smoothies and even poke on the weekends.  My husband now has me make bowls at home and my two year old LOVES them.  Add it to your OBX places to go.  Photo: The Spot

the spot

TORTUGA’S LIE

So.. confession time, my husband and I love watching the Food Network and one of our favorite shoes is Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  So, we figured if Guy had been there, why not give it a try and just like that we found Tortuga’s Lie.  This place is just what we wanted, low key, amazing food, great atmosphere and easy for our boys.  I am currently staying away from dairy for my 4 month old’s allergies and they were more than accommodating!  If you go, try the beans and rice… I am not sure what they do to those beans, but they are the best we have ever had!  Photo: tortuga’s lie

tortugas lie

FOOD DUDES KITCHEN

Finally I’ll share this small, hidden in a shopping strip, piece of heaven.  This was another yelp find and was probably our favorite.  The freshest sea-food, great local beer selection and great for families.  It was tight, but our boys handled it well.  I got a tuna burrito that was one of the best I have ever had.  It was the special of the day, so maybe try that as they work with what is in season.  Don’t forget those rice and beans – seriously the OBX has those down pat.

food dudes

What about you?  Do you try yelp?  Do you have any favorite places to eat in the Outer Banks?  Any favorite places to stay?

best organic sunscreen

best organic sunscreen

A baby changes you.  Your mother having cancer for no reason scares you.  Your family members having to have pieces of their skin cut out because of sun damage scares you.

With that said… this mama is making changes.  We eat healthier, we exercise regularly, we live a balanced life, and we do research as to what some of the best sun protection lotions, sunscreens, SPF clothing, and beach gear are.  We do the best we can with what we can and we protect our families, our babies, and ourselves the best we can.

I have done some research on what I feel would be safe for my kids and for myself.  Note that I am not an expert, just a mom that has talked with other moms, read online and done some research on what I would feel comfortable using myself.

wedding pictures are worth it

wedding pictures are worth it

If you have read the blog for a while, you will know that I have a strong opinion on photography.  Engagement, Wedding, Maternity, Child Births and Milestones.  I have even gone as far as encouraging you to hire a videographer.

Well,  I knew that photography was going to be one of the main “must haves” for my wedding.  After all of the planning, all of the details, all of the check lists, phone calls, and decisions, the day comes and goes.  It is almost like you blink and then it is gone.

We recently celebrated 2 years and I can honestly say that am so thankful for my photos and my video.  Except for our memories, that is all we have left!

My wedding photographer, Crystal Stokes, is one of a kind – she made us feel so comfortable in both our engagement photos as well as our wedding photos.  I wouldn’t have traded our experience with her for anything!  The pictures below speak for themselves…  Every moment, every detail – all captured perfectly!  Below are a few photos from our special day.

This wedding was filled with special moments.  I hand designed and hand painted (with the help of my sister) my invitations, my mom and sister made the butters as party favors, instead of one wedding cake our aunts made their favorite cake or desert, and I hand wrote all of the signage and party favor tags.  It was filled with love to every inch!

To our surprise over the years a few blogs have picked it up and featured us as a “DIY Bride“, a “Vintage DIY Wedding” , “Shabby Chic Colorful Wedding“, and a “Crafty Floral Wedding”  I would say that those words definitely describe it!  I wanted bright, fun, vintage, and hand made to show through and I guess it did!.

Thank you to the amazing blogs that all have our wedding featured on it.  I was honored with some of the large names that chose our wedding.

I can’t end this post without thinking my amazing photographer, Crystal Stokes.  All of the photos used in this post are a thank you to her!

The amazing flowers are by Springvine Design, planning by Magnolia Events, and the wedding was at the beautiful Brawley Estate.

let’s throw a virtual birthday party for mandi

let’s throw a virtual birthday party for mandi

It’s Mandi’s birthday today!  Yay!  Happy Birthday Mandi!

Happy Birthday Mandi

It’s also Mother’s Day, so happy day to all of the baby mamas, furry baby moms, grandmas, soon-to-be moms, and wishing to be moms!   Mandi is a super mom, and her little guy just celebrated his first birthday.  Happy Birthday Hudson!

Super Mom Costume

So, for Mandi’s birthday, I thought we should throw her a virtual birthday party!  First, let’s dream up some fun party decorating ideas. Pinterest is THE BEST party planning place ever.  Follow our “Party On” board on Pinterest for a ton of great party ideas.

Painted Pineapples

Painted Pineapples from Life, Love and the Pursuit of of Shoes

Yay Cake Topper

DIY Pom Pom Cake Topper from Momtastic

Design Inspiration from Ruffled Blog

From Simply Savannah Events via Ruffled Blog

Also, some great ideas on a past post of ours – 10 Easy DIY Party Decor Ideas

Now, let me share some favorite birthday gifts to give these days, or shall I say some of my favorite things lately!  (Mandi, I have one of these goodies in a birthday bag for you… see you soon!)

Creative and Funny Birthday Gift Ideas

  1. Alter Eco Sea Salt Truffles
  2. 25 oz. S’well Bottle (it holds a whole bottle of wine!)
  3. Fitkicks Active Lifestyle Footwear
  4. LZ Pencils
  5. Leather fold over clutch from Sans Map Bags
  6. Unicorns are Jerks Coloring Book (hilarious!)


Virtual Birthday Party for Mandi

Happy Birthday Mandi 2016

Now, let’s party!  Please take a moment to leave a comment below and wish Mandi a very happy birthday!  You can also connect with her on Twitter and Instagram and send some birthday wishes her way.

 

family, work and slowing down

family, work and slowing down

First, hello.  I have missed the Sunny Slide Up blog!  It has always been a fun, creative outlet for me. I’m so happy to be back.

What have I been up to?  Wow.  Where do I start?  I can’t believe it has been a year since posting last here!  And at the same time – it seems like time has flown by.  My dad got very sick at the end of last year.  It was very scary and I dropped everything to help him.  I was happy to do so.  That’s what you do when your family needs you.  Especially your parents that helped you through so much of your life. I am happy to report that my dad is doing amazingly well now.   The whole experience brought us so much closer together.  Love you Dad!

family quote

(source)

 

Can you believe that is it already November? The holidays last year were a complete blur with everything going on.  Then before you know it the new year was here.  Unfortunately, I found less and less time for my creative outlets like this blog and I was working nonstop.  My business was going really well, so I can’t complain…but I needed to slow down.  I sometimes think I am superwoman and I can do it all.  Don’t we all, ha.  Well I am trying to be more realistic these days and stop over-commiting!  It is a fault of mine. I stopped saying yes to everything and started adding more turnaround time to by work projects.  I schedule my downtime.  I need a lazy Sunday every once in a while…or every week.  It is amazing how refreshing a day at home with no project deadlines and plans can be!

 

slow down life quote(source)

 

This past summer flew by without enough beach vacations.  That is what I always end up saying.  I love the beach and will totally live by one someday.  Talk about slowing down.  I could sit on a beach everyday soaking up the sun.  It is one of my favorite things ever.

And now fall is here with its beautiful leaves.  It has been raining here in Charlotte this week which has been kind of blah, but I welcome the cooler weather when I can wear my fuzzy sweaters and have my fireplace on every evening.

 

Fall Favorites

(source)

 

Halloween is over and the countdown to the holidays begins.  Only 22 days until Thanksgiving!  Need some turkey day ideas?  Here are some from when I  hosted Thanksgiving a couple of years ago.  Gobble!  Gobble!

I’m super excited for this holiday season.  I just love buying/making gifts for people.  I gather gifts all year long and stuff them in a box in a closet – then it is so exciting when I open the box to see what I have collected all year and start the wrapping!  And the decorating – I would leave my Christmas tree up all year long if my husband would let me.

I’m going to try to remember my “slow down” motto through the rest of this year.  The holidays can get so rushed.  I’m going to sit back a bit and enjoy.  And I am really looking forward to sharing some of my favorite finds from this past year with you and playing a bit of catch up here on the blog.  More to come.  Cheers!

(P.S. – have you entered our giveaway this week yet?  There is still time!)

 

Heather Johnson - The Creative Stack