Play More

Play More | Gentle Parenting | The Lowcountry Mama

You might’ve noticed that my posts have went from every weekday in the morning, to four days in the morning, to three days in the morning, to now whenever I can get them up. This isn’t a permanent thing (I hope!) but rather just a reflection of how my summer has progressed.. from a good routine, to a routine slightly interrupted by travel, to getting home and trying to get a routine back, and finally to having no routine whatsoever and just trying to make it work.

My little one isn’t quite ready for just one nap a day yet, I don’t think, but she’s like at this in between stage where two naps is too many and one is too little. Therefore, night time is kinda crazy. Yesterday we woke up for the day at 10:30 because she woke up at 4:30am and went back to sleep at 8. I have no clue what’s going on, I’m just rolling with it. Seriously thank god I don’t have to work. And of course, remember that she doesn’t sleep alone, for naps OR night time, so it’s not like I’m doing anything productive during those times haha.

On top of that we’ve just been trying to get so much done on the house. Too much, probably. We had tree guys this week come and cut down two giant trees and trim a few others. They had so much machinery and for a few days our yard looked like a tornado passed through.. it’s CRAZY how they cut these things down. I had an emotional breakdown crying over the loss of one of my oak tree’s branches the other afternoon. I’m over it, because now I’m used to it, and I actually like it, but all this change at once is just too much. There is totally such a thing as too much change, even when you’re the one that initiated it.

So like, my house is changed, my routine is changed, and then I look at my baby and I’m all like WAHHH you’re changed too! She’s 13 months old and she’s starting to look like such a little girl I can’t even. She understands us, she’s talking, and she’s really starting to interact so much more like a toddler than I could’ve ever imagined. She’s not walking yet, but I’m totally ok with that 😉 All of this just makes me want to appreciate every moment even more than I usually do.

I want to read her more books. I want to make playtime more regular. I want to go on walks and go outside. I want to make bath time last longer and play with the dog more. I want to let her lead the day and learn from her. She’s growing before my eyes and time is going so fast. I want to take note of this special time; her as my only little one, not yet walking, not yet a toddler but no longer a baby. It’s a short but sweet span of time I think.

Whenever I’ve heard an older parent say what they wish they did more of with their kids, it’s play. Getting things done is NOT going to matter in years to come but the memories we make with our children will. Besides, play is how kids learn. This is one of the reasons I’m planning on unschooling, because I really believe in the importance of play, and I want my kid to enjoy being a kid. She’s showing me that she enjoys play more and more.. play time is now a part of the rotation when it comes to making sure your baby is happy (diaper, sleep, eat, play.. idk that was the rotation I always kept in mind when she was a newborn haha). I don’t want to be 50 years old sadly saying “it goes so fast…”, thinking back on how I should’ve spent my time differently. I want to be able to say “it goes so fast, but make the most of every moment, I sure did!”.. preferably with my daughter right there with me, because like, duh =)

So, sorry if blogging is weird over here for a little while. I’m going to be playing with my daughter (between random naps) and try to make the summer last longer than the blink of an eye. I’m thankful for all you fellow blogging mamas who give me great ideas for activities as my daughter gets older, and I love reading about all the fun things you’re doing with your littles this summer.

Have a great weekend!

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DIY Breakfast Nook Bench

The other day I shared a few pictures of our living room progress. I haven’t had a chance to take really good pictures of the entire thing yet but I am ready to share how we (Michael) DIYed a breakfast nook from scratch in two-ish days!

DIY Breakfast Nook Bench | The Lowcountry Mama

I didn’t get a picture each step of the way, but will explain it as best I can.

What you need:

2×4’s for the frame
Plywood for the tops
Cushion foam
Batting
Fabric
Hinges
1/4 round moulding
Beadboard
Chair rail & other moulding as desired
Lots of tools…

  1. Start by building the frame out of 2×4’s – Cut the plywood to cover the tops. Building the frame is WAY harder than it sounds even though I’m counting this as one step. He attached it all with screws to each other and to the wall. The plywood tops are not attached, because they lift with hinges for storage.

DIY Breakfast Nook Bench | The Lowcountry Mama

2. Time for the beadboard/wainscoting whatever you want to call it. We put it on the wall with chair rail and also covered the entire bench with it.

3. Cut and attach the molding all around the bench. We used quarter round at the bottom and basic molding around the tops. We also created a small door on the side, to put shoes inside. We did this by cutting a piece of square plywood, putting molding around the edges and attaching it with a hinge and cabinet hardware.

4. Paint!

DIY Breakfast Nook Bench | The Lowcountry Mama

5. Upholster the tops. I put the foam down, covered it with batting by using a staple gun, and then covered with the fabric I chose with a staple gun.

DIY Breakfast Nook Bench | The Lowcountry Mama

DIY Breakfast Nook Bench | The Lowcountry Mama

6. Attach the hinges to the tops (for storage underneath).

7. All done!

DIY Breakfast Nook Bench | The Lowcountry Mama

Ok so first of all, my in-progress pictures are bad I know. When we’re doing a project I just don’t want to stop and take pictures, let alone good ones. Plus, everyone’s measurements and preferences are different, so this is just the gist of it. You can basically see how he got from bare wall to breakfast nook- and if you really need exact plans there are a ton on Pinterest!

Before:

dining_orig1

After:

DIY Breakfast Nook Bench | The Lowcountry Mama

Amazing right? Now keep in mind, that first picture was over two years ago, and the wall, island, e.t.c. have all been completed in steps. Up until just recently we had a completely different color scheme. I still have a lot to do (like the chandelier for example, and that blank wall straight ahead), but it’s looking pretty great, and I love how it’s more informal and cozy now. Plus, a ton of extra storage, which is always good!

Overall, the project cost around $200 and two-three days. Not bad =)

Opinions needed: we’re getting a new light fixture to replace that chandelier. Do you think we have to move it to be right over the table, or should it stay in the center of the room?

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This Weekend’s Projects

Hey yall- please bear with me on the infrequent/inconsistent posting and commenting lately, and in the coming weeks. I think baby girl is transitioning to one nap a day.. eeeek. So, this is really new for me, because ever since she was born I would blog during her first morning nap. And obviously, “transitioning” means unexpected and irregular nap times and lengths, sooooo it might take a little while for a new routine to unfold!


 This weekend we took a fun day trip to Myrtle Beach and worked on some more redecorating projects on our rainy Sunday. Well, until the power went out for three hours. There is still a lot to finish, and I’m planning on taking trips to Hobby Lobby and Target this week for some finishing touches, but I can share a sneak peak at the progress so far.

I covered our old pillows with DIY pillow covers, made from osnaburg. See the tutorial for the rosettes here. I’m second-guessing my decision because dog + baby + textured fabric things on couch = not the best idea ever. So, I might end up going a different direction, but osnaburg is cheap so that’s fine.

Coastal Farmhouse Living Room Redo | The Lowcountry Mama

We bought a new rug at Kirkland’s

We replaced the coffee table I made a while back with a storage ottoman (no sharp corners for learning-to-walk baby haha)

Coastal Farmhouse Living Room Redo | The Lowcountry Mama

I made some curtains out of fabric and DROPCLOTHS!

Coastal Farmhouse Living Room Redo | The Lowcountry Mama

I covered our existing roman shades in the dining room with new fabric.

Michael built an entire breakfast nook!

…and refinished our entire dining room set.

Coastal Farmhouse Living Room Redo | The Lowcountry Mama

To look back at the transformation, see this post. Yes, that’s really the same dining room set, crazy right? It’s all coming together so wonderfully and exactly as I had imagined. However, I am kind of ready to just be done with the transformation and enjoy it a bit =) When it’s all finished, I’ll share a full reveal!

Linking up with Biana for Weekending. Have a great week!

 

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Baby-Led Weaning: Food Ideas by Month

Last week I talked about the basics of baby-led weaning and why it was a great decision for our family. I know one of the hardest things when you first start is deciding what foods to give your baby. Here are a few ideas based on what I chose to do with my daughter. Other parents may get a little more involved and actually make recipes but personally, i just started with plain foods, mostly fruits and veggies, and worked her up to what we were eating. So, this is not an all-encompassing list, but rather what worked for me and it can show you the progression of how we got to one year, when she started eating whatever we do!

Baby-Led Weaning: Food Ideas by Month | The Lowcountry Mama

6 months:

Avocado, soft baked sweet potato, very thinly sliced pears, quinoa

At 6 months she was more into playing with food and not so much eating it. I was afraid of choking, so I didn’t give her much, probably only once per day while we ate dinner so she’d be occupied. The thinly sliced pears are what taught her to chew, I believe- I would cut off the skin and slice them thin with a cheese grater. There were a few times she gagged, but that’s normal, and yes I had a heart attack but all was good =) Like I said, it’s important to know the difference between gagging and choking and also learn how to dislodge something + infant CPR.

7 months:

All of the above, oranges, bananas

A lot of people say don’t do citrus this early but my daughter was fine and loved eating those little Cuties oranges. Also, we started using those mesh feeders around this time for some things. Don’t use them for banana though- I made that mistake and had to throw them out. For the bananas we just cut thin slices and she picked them up and ate them.

8 months:

All of the above + kiwi, apples, pasta, meatballs, plain Greek yogurt, carrots

I thought kiwi would be sour but she LOVED it and it’s soft so perfect for baby to chew. For apple I would slice them thin but not as thin as I used to with the pears, because she was chewing pretty good by now. This was the first time she had beef (meatballs) and she loved that too. For the carrots I would just steam them until they were super soft, and she’d pick them up and bite little pieces off.

9 months:

Tomatoes, oatmeal, and she was able to eat chips and stuff at this time (non- or lightly-salted)

I’m not saying feed your baby chips, I’m just listing that to show that by this time, she already had chewing down pat and we could give her something like a tortilla chip without worry. I remember because we went to a Mexican restaurant and she was occupied by the chips haha.

10 months:

Strawberries, chicken, peas, scrambled eggs

I didn’t know strawberry was such an allergen at the time but she was fine thankfully. At this time I started to give her chicken a lot. I also wasn’t afraid of her inhaling peas since she was chewing so great so steamed peas kind of became a daily thing haha. Scrambled eggs too- start with just the yolks. At first my daughter reacted weird to the yolks so we stopped eggs altogether (around 8 months) but by this time, she was fine with yolks, not with the whites yet. Now, at one year, she’s good with the whites too! This month we started 3 meals/day.

11 months:

At this point, pretty much everything. Pancakes, pizza, beans, grapes cut in half, blueberries

12 months:

Everything! I can literally just give her a small portion of what we eat. She is even able to kind of use a spoon and fork now.


I hope this gives some ideas. She also ate other things but most of these were the regular foods that we kept coming back to. I could’ve started some earlier, some later, but this is just when we discovered she liked them. She’s still nursing throughout the day and night, and for other drinks I try to give her water in a sippy cup whenever she’ll take it, but nursing is her beverage of choice haha. I don’t want to give juice yet.

I went light on the carbs the first year.. especially white bread, rice, potatoes, e.t.c. Most of her carbs were sweet potatoes, quinoa, pasta (whole wheat or the veggie kind). This is because I’m trying to stop using white flour more and more for my family in general. And last but not least, I still haven’t given her more than a miniscule taste of any sugar. I would like to hold off on that as long as possible- I have a major sweet tooth, I think it’s addicting and I would like to break the habit (for myself) before she’s at the age where she’s actually asking for it and seeing that I eat it so much. See our watermelon smash cake alternative for her first birthday here.

As for spices: I started with pretty much none, and then when she started eating our foods we noticed she pretty much liked it all, so I don’t go light on the spice (except for SPICY, and salt). OH and a note on dairy: I tried cheese around 8 months and she got hives, so I held off on it until now, and after a year she seems to have lost that intolerance =)

What was your baby’s favorite first foods?

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DIY Chalk Paint

A couple of months ago I decided on a whim to paint a piece of Michael’s grandma’s furniture all white. I wanted to use chalk paint, but as usual, I was too cheap to buy it, didn’t want to travel all the way to the store, and wanted to do it NOW. So, I made my own. It’s so very easy and I wanted to share it with yall.. 90% of the projects I’ll be posting within the next couple of weeks are painted with our DIY chalk paint.

DIY Chalk Paint with Baking Soda | The Lowcountry Mama

There are a ton of recipes out there. Many use plaster mixed with paint, others use grout, and then there are the baking soda ones. The standard recipe I have written down is 1 cup of paint + 1/2 cup baking soda + 3-4 tbsp of water. However, at the time this weekend, I couldn’t find that paper, and I have no patience and didn’t want to get online to look up the recipe- so I winged it.

We started with 1/2 gallon of flat white ceiling paint (it’s just what we had laying around- if you have semi-gloss or something I’d just add more baking soda)

We added 1 cup of baking soda

We also added 1/2 cup of water

And mixed it all up!

So, according the the original recipe, this was MUCH less baking soda than called for (8 cups paint in 1/2 gallon would mean 4 cups of baking soda according to my original recipe). However, it worked out great, and I think more baking soda would’ve been way too gritty. My advice is add baking soda until you’re happy with the sheen and texture. Then add 1/4-1/2 that amount of water.

Test it out before you paint something super valuable- I wasn’t afraid to just go for it and didn’t care if it wasn’t perfect, and I wanted a matte finish. If it’s gritty, you just sand it a bit at the end, and then you can also get a distressed look, which I love. I think store bought chalk paint is a bit more smooth? I don’t know, but this has worked for me so hopefully for you too!

Here is the first project I was talking about:

DIY Chalk Paint with Baking Soda | The Lowcountry Mama DIY Chalk Paint with Baking Soda | The Lowcountry Mama

And here is a sneak peek at our in-progress dining set that we did this weekend:

 DIY Chalk Paint with Baking Soda | The Lowcountry Mama DIY Chalk Paint with Baking Soda | The Lowcountry Mama

For the little dresser I didn’t coat it because I didn’t really care, but for the table and chairs we are polyurethane-ing a ton. We used spray enamel for the chairs and did two coats. For the table, we are using regular polyurethane and doing like, 50 coats. Ok maybe like 5. Stay tuned for that big project!

Have you ever used chalk paint?

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How to Make a Wreath Without a Wire Frame

All weekend we’ve been working on redecorating pretty much our entire house besides the bedrooms. I wrote about the style I was going for a couple months ago, and it’s turning out amazing. We’re pretty much halfway there, and I promise to share pictures soon! This week I think I’ll be posting all decorating DIYs, instead of trying to recap the weekend’s projects in one post.

How to Make a Wreath Without a Wireframe | DIY Decor | The Lowcountry Mama

I wanted to make a wreath out of some fake flowers that I’ve had for a while, but I didn’t want to go out and buy a wire frame (wire form? idk) because a) it would take too long b) I wanted it to be free and c) baby hates the car so the less car time, the better. Here’s what I did:

How to Make a Wreath Without a Wireframe | DIY Decor | The Lowcountry Mama

I wrapped my wire three times around the base of a really dusty lamp I have, cut it and twisted it at the ends. You can use whatever round thing you have depending on what size you want it. I was thinking a paint can, maybe a trash can, anything round.

How to Make a Wreath Without a Wireframe | DIY Decor | The Lowcountry Mama

Let me take this opportunity to apologize for the bad pictures in this post =) I’ve been so rushed, and as you can see my little one doesn’t stop moving and wanted to “help” haha

Then, I proceeded as usual. I gathered a few branches and wrapped the stems in and out of the wire.

How to Make a Wreath Without a Wireframe | DIY Decor | The Lowcountry Mama

I continued around, covering the previous branch’s stems with the flowers of the new branch.

 How to Make a Wreath Without a Wireframe | DIY Decor | The Lowcountry Mama

Turned out pretty good right?

How to Make a Wreath Without a Wireframe | DIY Decor | The Lowcountry Mama

How to Make a Wreath Without a Wireframe | DIY Decor | The Lowcountry Mama

Ignore the caulk, thread, e.t.c. on my kitchen island haha.

Just a quick post for today- we’re going to continue working on everything throughout the week. So far, I made all new curtains, Michael built a breakfast nook, cut down our bar-height table and chairs to standard height, refinished and painted them, and added a wooden top the the table. I still have a lot of reupholstering to do. It’s WORK but should turn out really nice =) Hope you had a good weekend!

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Baby-Led Weaning: The Basics

Now that I have a one year old I think I can finally say I’ve navigated the waters of baby led weaning super successfully. Well ok, the weaning part isn’t a thing at all, but one day that’ll happen haha. If you haven’t heard of baby led weaning before, basically it’s just feeding your baby food and skipping the puree stage. You can read more about it online but it’s said to encourage motor skill development, get your baby used to different flavors/textures earlier, make them less picky eaters in the long run, teach them how to eat until they’re full instead of overeating, and hey, it’s less work for me- I don’t have to make, buy OR feed purees. Win win win.

Baby-Led Weaning: The Basics | The Lowcountry Mama

Some basics:

At first, I was super scared of choking. I recommend before you start you learn how to recognize the difference between gagging/choking (gagging will 90% happen at some point), learn how to handle a choking situation and learn infant CPR. This will just make you feel more confident in general. Of course, it’s also important to start with foods that aren’t choking hazards.

Baby led weaning is messy, you’ll just have to deal with that =)

Know what to avoid- like honey before one year, allergenic foods especially if there is a history of allergies in your family (I’ll talk about our weird experience with allergies soon), and excess salt, just to name a few.

Baby led weaning is a gradual process. At first I only gave her some food at dinner like 3 times a week, and mostly she just played with it. Around 8 months old we branched out a bit and she started eating solids daily. By 10 months she was having three meals per day plus snacks, and by 11 months pretty much everything was fair game and now she eats it ALL.

My baby has had only 8 teeth since 7 months, and she can still eat everything. Those gums are strong, so don’t think only babies with teeth can eat solid food.

We started at 6 months, and that’s the earliest you should start. She was beginning to grab at our food and she was sitting unassisted, she lost the extrusion reflux, e.t.c. so we knew she was ready.

Follow your baby’s lead. This is the most important thing and the whole point of baby led weaning.. they go at their pace. Some babies don’t even show an interest in solid food until 11 months or so. “Food before one is just for fun,” remember that. They’re still getting the majority of their nutrients from breastmilk or formula so no need to make sure they eat “enough”.

Oh, and my last piece of advice: you don’t need to read a book or anything about this. I see other moms ask for recommendations on where to start with baby led weaning and I’m just like.. nowhere. Literally all you do is just, feed your baby food haha. Sometimes I feel like this shouldn’t even have a term associated with it because it just makes people think too much. I know a lot of parenting choices involve a lot of research, planning, e.t.c. but frankly this just isn’t one of those things. There’s no regimen or processes involved, you just follow your baby’s lead and decide as a parent what foods he or she is ready for, how much to give them, e.t.c.


 Next week I’ll talk about our favorite foods from 6-12 months, month by month. We’ve pretty much tried it all. Overall I LOVE that we chose to go with baby led weaning, it’s just so easy. Even our pediatrician, who isn’t natural-minded like me at all, recommended baby led weaning before I even brought it up. It was a great decision and now people see my one year old eating chicken or whatever and they’re like OMG are you sure she can eat that?! I laugh, then she chews it up and smiles at them like yea- I got this =) And they’re always surprised and it’s hilarious.

Did you do baby-led weaning?

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New York City Highlights

As mentioned yesterday we spent a day in the city when we went up to New Jersey. New Jerseyans call it “THE” city, because growing up you were taught that there was legit no other city that mattered other than New York. Ok I’m kidding, well, kind of not really.

New York City Highlights | Travel | The Lowcountry Mama

My sister lives up there so we headed up the evening before and spent the night in her 500sq ft $2500/month apartment. Triple my mortgage but hey it’s New York haha. It’s super cute and has a beautiful view. We spent the night walking around Hoboken and got some pizza, which we ate probably 75 times during our 10 days up there- I mean you just have to.

New York City Highlights | Travel | The Lowcountry Mama

The next morning sissy headed to work and me, Michael & baby caught the ferry into the city bright and early. We had a limited amount of time so we decided to see some things that we had never seen before. The first stop:

The High Line

Go here! It was such a welcome break from the crowded sidewalks below. It’s relatively new I think, so I had actually never seen it before when I used to be in the city all the time when I lived up there. It’s shady, there’s some beautiful views, and the entire mile and a half is continuously changing with new plants, art, and plenty of seating to just sit and chill for a minute. I don’t know if it’s always so nice and relaxing, or if we just got lucky, but we were able to walk at our own pace without getting run over which is a big deal in New York.

New York City Highlights | Travel | The Lowcountry Mama

New York City Highlights | Travel | The Lowcountry Mama

Coffee in Greenwich Village

I know it’s totally not normal to walk all the way from Midtown to the Financial District, but we like to walk, so on our way through the village we stopped at a cute little coffee shop called Jack’s on 6th Ave. The coffee was amazing, organic, local all my favorite hipster shit lol and it wasn’t even expensive for New York. We gave little babe a banana and she was happy as can be.

New York City Highlights | Travel | The Lowcountry Mama

Once when I was in high school I walked all the way from the Upper East Side to Canal Street IN HEELS. I couldn’t walk for days after that, no joke. Like I thought I was Gossip Girl or something I think; I always would wear heels to the city. Just don’t do that. This time I wore flip flops and it was equally dumb, but I’m kind of known for making the worst shoe choices ever in all situations, and my shoes literally break everywhere I go. That’s just the way it is.

Fun fact: my feet were 2401725 times dirtier after walking through New York in flip flops than when I walked through downtown Houston barefoot when my shoe broke. Crazy right?

World Trade Center Memorial

This was amazing. I think the design is just perfect and SO moving and powerful. To me, it’s a must see. We didn’t go in the museum because we were on a time crunch and there was a line but just viewing the waterfalls was so intense.

New York City Highlights | Travel | The Lowcountry Mama

New York City Highlights | Travel | The Lowcountry Mama

A note to the disrespectful people taking duck face selfies in front of the memorial and not even viewing it with their own eyes sans camera lens: you suck. You really suck and you’re stupid and I think you’re all idiots.

Little Italy

For me, a trip to New York isn’t complete without lunch in Little Italy. I think at this point I’ve eaten at every restaurant but it never gets old and I love it there.

New York City Highlights | Travel | The Lowcountry Mama

New York City Highlights | Travel | The Lowcountry Mama

New York City Highlights | Travel | The Lowcountry Mama

Canal Street has definitely changed; I used to buy fake purses from guys on the streets out of suitcases and once I even followed a guy behind a disguised fake wall to buy a purse. The cops must’ve cracked down on that because I didn’t see them- and I don’t really care for purses anymore anyway haha. I also got my fake id when I was 18 from a guy on Canal Street behind a fake wall. Just like, don’t go behind disguised walls with random dudes, k? Not the smartest thing.

After that we headed back up to my sister’s work and ate at Pennsy, a new food court type thing near Herald Square. We headed back to New Jersey that evening to my parent’s house for the weekend.


 We didn’t have enough time to go to any museums or anything and we completely skipped the whole Times Square deal because I just get stressed out there. Haha every time we go to New York we start talking about moving there, and then an hour in we’re like uhhhh thanks but no thanks. My sister spends more money in one day on food, transportation, and randomness than I spend in one week. I love New York, and it’ll always have a special place in my heart, but I’m just not sure I could make it work forevs 😉 I wish it was closer and we could head in to explore every once in a while, but maybe we can do that in the future especially if Michael can get a gallery there.

What’re your favorite things to do in the city?

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Monthly Recap Linkup | June 2016

It’s time for the first Monthly Recap linkup with me and Macy! On the first Tuesday of each month, stop by for our Monthly Recap linkup and let us know what you’ve been up to during the last month. It’s the perfect opportunity for photo dumps, favorite post roundups, and goal progress reports. The only “rules” are to follow To Travel and Beyond and The Lowcountry Mama on Bloglovin, link back to one or both of our blogs and stop by a few other bloggers’ recap posts. We hope you join!

The Lowcountry Mama

 This month started out really busy because I was getting ready for my daughter’s first birthday! I reflected on my motherhood journey so far and we celebrated with all of our family and friends on her real birthday with a watermelon smash cake. That weekend we had a garden-themed birthday party and it was perfect and so much fun.

First Birthday Garden Party Theme | Birthday Ideas | The Lowcountry Mama

We spent some more days with my family while they were in Charleston, and Michael and I even got in a date night at a fancy restaurant! The night my family left, our two friends from Atlanta arrived at like 3am. They stayed for a few days and we had a full day downtown with them, drinking, eating, shopping, the works.

The next weekend we spent Friday night downtown with some drinks, dinner and gallery openings- always a good time. Obviously a lot of time was spent downtown in the beginning of this month.

Monthly Recap Linkup | June 2016 | The Lowcountry Mama

Me and baby went to a local kids’ drum circle where I’m convinced she learned her new swaying dance move.

I randomly got sick two days before we were about to leave on a big trip to NJ.. so I could hardly pack and couldn’t clean the house at all. We ended up having to leave on our trip with a messy house which I really don’t like coming home to, but oh well. We tried to go out to dinner one night at one of our favorite spots and I thought drinking this bucket of rum would kill the germs that were making me sick but it didn’t really work.

Monthly Recap Linkup | June 2016 | The Lowcountry Mama

Then we left on our trip! We stopped in Richmond for one night and were pretty proud that we made the 6-hour trip in about 8 hours 😉

The next day we woke up early and headed to Washington, D.C. You can read a recap of our day in DC here.

Washington DC Highlights | Travel Ideas | The Lowcountry Mama

After our day in DC, we headed to NJ. Baby girl slept the ENTIRE 4 hours to NJ.. literally that was the longest nap ever in her life. She was probably exhausted from the day before walking around so much. We arrived to my parent’s house early in the day and got to see everyone and eat some amazing New Jersey pizza.

While we were there it was my mom’s dance studio’s 20th annual recital. My daughter LOVED watching the dancers but she also loves screaming as loud as she can in large rooms sooooo that was a problem sometimes haha. Everyone loved seeing her and the shows were amazing.

Father’s Day was spent by the pool at my parent’s house just relaxing and my dad grilled. We went to our favorite ice cream spot and got a cake and sundaes for everyone.

We stuck around the rest of the week at their house; Michael worked and I spent time with everyone, and we ate all of our favorite New Jersey foods, which is a lot ha.

Then we headed up to my sister’s place in New York for the night and ate pizza in Hoboken. The next day we spent in the city all day long while she was at work. Recap coming soon!

Monthly Recap Linkup | June 2016 | The Lowcountry Mama

That weekend I had a bridal shower for my cousin, and the next day we began to head home. We were going to try to make it in one day but the traffic on 95 was terrible and we kept hitting accidents, construction, literally everything imaginable. When we were about three hours from Charleston, it was 9pm and we hit traffic again, so we called it quits and stopped at a hotel for the night. The next morning we made it home by noon and have been home cleaning, food shopping and trying to relax ever since.

Monthly Recap Linkup | June 2016 | The Lowcountry Mama

The last day of June was our pup’s birthday (by our calculations) and we celebrated at home while I tried to make some mozzarella cheese but failed again =)

This month, my daughter has learned and grown SO much. Whenever someone asks me how old she is she holds up her finger “1”. She can say ouch, Lacey (to all dogs lol), ball, mama, dada, and she growls when you ask what does the tiger say? hahaha. She’s not walking yet but does along furniture and stuff; it’s kind of my fault probably because I’m always holding her and haven’t really been encouraging walking all that much I guess 😉 She climbed the entire staircase at my parent’s house, and she has this new cute smile where she scrunches up her entire face- it’s my favorite thing ever. She dances to ALL music by swaying her head back and forth and bouncing.. she even dances when you say the word dance. She nods her head yes and she can do the itsy bitsy spider. WHEN DID THIS ALL HAPPEN?!

Here’s to July!

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Thoughts on the Fourth of July

I was going to do a Fourth of July post today on cute recipes but then I figured let’s get deep with it and talk about why I love this country so much. Sure there’s some weird shit going on with this election and everything but when you forget about all that nonsense, the fact is that we live in the greatest country in the world- no matter how much our Facebook friends like to complain.

Thoughts on the 4th of July | The Lowcountry Mama

I’ve talked about this in the past- being born in America is like winning the birth lottery. Think about how much people go through to live in and/or become a citizen of this country, it’s kind of crazy. Things that we take for granted, like clean water or internet access, are a serious struggle to obtain in other parts of the world. We’re allowed to follow our passions and work towards whatever career path we desire. As much as I reject conventional medicine and all that, I’m still thankful that we have some (most?) of the smartest doctors, scientists, e.t.c. in the world here in our country. We complain about the traffic but forget that in other parts of the world, people don’t even have roads. We complain about police, but forget about the people living in parts of the world where there is no law whatsoever.

I feel so lucky for our freedom- to be able to even write this stupid rant on the internet, to be raising my daughter in a town where the cops’ biggest worry is overgrown weeds. I’m truly living the American Dream at age 25 and it’s such an amazing thing. I’m thankful for yall who fight for our freedom and I’m thankful for all of the choices we have as American citizens.

So, to all my Facebook friends, please stop bitching and put things into perspective. This country has its issues (and sure I think the government takes way too much taxes from me too ha) but the fact that you’re able to even voice your opinion about them is a serious privilege. Think about how lucky you are to be drinking beer in your own backyard on this 4th of July and think about what the holiday really means.

Have a WONDERFUL fourth of July weekend with your friends and family! Make sure you come back here on Tuesday for the Monthly Recap linkup with me and Macy (the first Tuesday of each month). Also, if you’re in Charleston, my husband’s first gallery opening is tonight =)

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