New Orleans: A Double Take

This post is so long, sorry. Everything in bold is that areas/places that I recommend to check out. We only had about 18 waking hours TOTAL spent in New Orleans and did all this- with a baby. We will definitely be back for a longer trip because I just know there’s so much more to see!

Spots to Check Out in New Orleans | The Lowcountry Mama

After stopping in Atlanta our next stop was New Orleans. Neither of us had ever been there before so we were really excited. I got a great deal on a hotel right off Canal Street downtown so after the 7-hour drive (during which I needed ALL of my resources) we decided to head straight there, drop off the bags quick and start exploring.

Spots to Check Out in New Orleans | The Lowcountry Mama

Parking in New Orleans is kind of a bitch, and it’s pretty expensive- our hotel’s garage was $30 for one night. I went on the BestParking website instead and found a nearby lot for $15, so I’d recommend the same to other visitors. We parked at a meter near the hotel entrance to check-in and carry up our things for about a half hour, and then headed to the garage I found. When we left, we just brought the car back to the hotel and parked at a meter again while we loaded it up. We did the same thing on our return visit to save some money, it really wasn’t a big deal.

TAKE ONE

We immediately headed to Bourbon Street because duh, right? I was kind of already in a stressed out mood because the baby was freaking out after the ride from Atlanta, and we thought our car needed an oil change, e.t.c. … but Michael looked up a bar and lead the way. The GPS took us through an alley with a ton of crackheads and I started getting more stressed out, then when we got to the bar (Carousel Bar) it was super crowded so we went to Bourbon Street instead.

Spots to Check Out in New Orleans | The Lowcountry Mama

I was really put off by how dirty it was and how bad it smelled, and all the porn shops and strip/sex clubs with strippers just chillin outside, who weren’t exactly easy on the eyes LOL. This was like 4pm on a Thursday, and it was pretty wild. I’ve been to my fair share of stripclubs (including The Clermont Lounge– you don’t even want to know) and lived in the ghetto and went to weird gross bars in the hood so it is NOT easy to shock me- but at this particular time there were just soooo many drug addicts (like not drunks, drunks are fine lol) and homeless people legit rolling around on the street in front of me smelling like cat pee. One guy had a sign that said “Beer for asshole”- DA FUUUUQ?! I was just in a serious WTF state of mind. I was expecting more of a Mardi Gras feel I guess- more college kids and touristy, not so much dirty dive bars and homeless people. There were a few street performers as expected but it was a 50/50 mix between actual performers and people with no talent just chain smoking and wearing something weird hoping to have some $$ dropped in a hat…..

But, like Savannah, you can drink on the street, so we got a daiquiri obvs.

We headed to Jackson Square then to the river. Again, there were a LOT of homeless/train hopping people asking for money. You know- the ones wearing like combat boots and hiking gear, always with a dog, begging for cash yet they have iPhones in their pockets. Then I saw this and I 100% believed it was actual coke because of all I had just seen:

Spots to Check Out in New Orleans | The Lowcountry Mama

It wasn’t. It was sugar from Cafe du Monde. Clever though.

We just weren’t getting a great vibe and decided to get another drink, head back to the hotel and eat some food. Per Macy’s recommendation we ordered takeout from Daisy Duke’s and it was the most unhealthy feast ever but totally delish.

The next morning, I saw a guy about our age passed out on the ground with his head laying in the street, body on the sidewalk. That was our first impression of New Orleans.

TAKE TWO

On the way back from Houston we stopped in New Orleans again to break up the trip. We stayed on Canal Street and this time, it was a Monday, and we got there a lot earlier. I researched some spots that I wanted to check out so after settling in the room, we headed straight to Bourbon Street again to give it another chance. It was MUCH better- still smelled like puke, but at least the strippers were inside. I wanted to see the “oldest bar in America” called Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop so we headed all the way down Bourbon, and it was super interesting to see the area get more residential as the blocks went on.

Spots to Check Out in New Orleans | The Lowcountry Mama

We got a hand grenade at Tropical Isle (so yum) and then headed into the Marigny neighborhood, which was fun to explore. It reminded us a lot of an in-town Atlanta neighborhood, with a Charleston feel, mixed with more European influences. Our favorite thing ever is just to walk around new cities and explore- New Orleans is so perfect for this, and we don’t have to hide our cocktails in Coke bottles (kidding, kind of).

Spots to Check Out in New Orleans | The Lowcountry Mama

Once we hit Frenchman Street life started making more sense- and we started realizing what our friends who have been here and used to live here were talking about. There were bars, restaurants and cafes that probably weren’t “locals only” per se, but much less crowded and less of a shitshow. If I were to go out at night barhopping in NOLA, this would probably be where I’d go, to avoid the old people having mid- and late-life crises on Bourbon.

Spots to Check Out in New Orleans | The Lowcountry Mama

We then hit Decatur Street where there were even more shops and bars, and Michael stopped in one to get some beers to-go, and spoke to a bartender who gave us more insight on the city. We explored the French Market, which is a total twin to Charleston’s Market Street. I felt at home with all the tourists and random knick knacks haha. I mean, there was even a Pepper Palace, just like Market Street here.

Eventually we ended up at Cafe du Monde and I don’t know if it was the drinks or what, but my husband actually agreed to stand in the line so I could eat some fried sugar. It was around 2pm, and the line was 20 minutes or so, not too bad. It was cash only so we couldn’t get anything more than one order of beignets haha. They were really good and we ate them on the steps near Jackson Square.

When in NOLA, you drink a Hurricane, so we got a Hurricane, and started walking the other way, out of the French Quarter and towards Canal. We headed down Tchoupitoulas Street, got coffee and planned on getting dinner on Magazine Street but by that time little lemon had had it, and we made our way back towards the hotel.

After a quick nap we headed out again and ate dinner at Johnny White’s on Bourbon Street. We just wanted somewhere outdoors- and after Pat O’Briens was too crowded, we went there instead because it was the closest place and the little was HUNGRY. It was typical American food but the upstairs balcony has a great view and it’s not really expensive. On the way back to the hotel we walked down Royal Street and Chartres Street. Whew- it was a busy day.

Spots to Check Out in New Orleans | The Lowcountry Mama

The next morning we went to the Garden District and explored Magazine Street. There were SO many shops and restaurants- you could easily spend a whole day here walking up and down the entire stretch. We stopped at District Donuts and ate the BEST donut I’ve literally ever had in my life, Vietnamese Iced Coffee it was called. The coffee was also amazing and we tried a kolache for the first time. I actually dropped it in the trash by mistake, but it was wrapped up tight, so I grabbed it out right quick and still ate it. Ha.

Spots to Check Out in New Orleans | The Lowcountry Mama

We ended up uptown and saw some gigantic mansions, then headed towards City Park where the art museum is located. There wasn’t enough time to check it all out, but next time. The park has a place called Storyland that looks super cute for kids, too.

By no means am I an expert on New Orleans, but these are just my recommendations, especially if you have a limited amount of time like we did. I would hate for someone else to be like us and almost give up on it after one quick stroll down Bourbon and through the touristy areas- it is SO much more than that and so worth another chance!

It’s also worth noting that we did ALL of this on foot, but the transit system seems easy enough and really affordable. We just like walking ha.

We’re super excited to plan another trip back, preferably a week long or more!

PS I haven’t recapped the weekend with our house showing and all but will soon. We’re going to see it again this week, and then I’ll elaborate a bit more. Right now it’s all up in the air so I don’t want to get ahead of myself =)

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Five on Friday 5/27

Hey yall! I wanted to do a quick Friday Five today to update you on what’s going on over here.

ONE

My husband has been using my computer all week for work until his new one comes in, hence my late posts or even lack thereof (like yesterday). The posts that I did write took like 15 hours because I was using either an ancient slow laptop or a miniature tablet. Bear with me.. his computer is coming in soon ha. I’m reading a lot of your posts but not commenting because literally, it’s taken me like 15 minutes to wait for a page to load, so I’ve been reading on my phone and commenting from there is annoying.

TWO

I have a first birthday party coming up next week! So I’m going to be soo busy because I’m the ultimate procrastinator, and I’m also MAKING her birthday present from us- this cute DIY baby swing! I hope it turns out good =)

THREE

This weekend we’re going to look at a house that I stumbled upon in some real estate listings and I’m SO excited. Yes, we bought our house only two years ago, but when what seems like my ultimate dream house popped up I just can’t resist. It’s not on Zillow or technically on the market yet, but a real estate friend of ours gave us a heads up. More on that next week! (It has a ton of acreage and is a legit 1800s plantation house. Bye)

FOUR

I’m working on a post/guide to Charleston’s best farmer’s markets, so I’ve been hitting them up pretty much daily. Although ideally, I’d like to grow ALL of our own produce, I seem to suck at gardening. So for now I’m sticking to farmer’s markets because grocery store produce goes bad on me in like a day, and I don’t want to eat strawberries from another country, thanks.

©The Lowcountry Mama

FIVE

Yesterday I randomly decided to try making my own cheese. It was supposed to be mozzarella, but at this point is more ricotta-like. I hope I can master this. I’m losing my mind…..

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Even though I’m not working anymore, I feel busier than ever right now! I hope I can chill a bit, especially after baby’s first birthday =)

Have a great weekend!

Linking up with Amanda; Katie, Tif, Della, Caitlin; Karli and Amy; Liz, Christina, Natasha, and Darci; Andrea, Erika, and Narci

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Favorite New Atlanta “Attractions”

We all know how I used to live in Atlanta for 5ish years before moving to Charleston. At the time, it was pretty sketch, and in that area it still is, but there were also a ton of huge projects going on around the city that still weren’t complete when we moved.

Our first stop on our vacation this past week was Atlanta, and we finally had a chance to check out some of the brand new places that didn’t exist when we lived there. I wanted to share some of our favorites- I’m actually really proud of the city for finally getting their act together and making it NICE. Atlanta isn’t just World of Coke anymore.

New Atlanta Attractions | Things to do on a trip to Atlanta | The Lowcountry Mama

The Beltline

This is one of the best ideas that the city could have ever come up with. If you know anything about Atlanta, it’s huge in terms of area, so most of the neighborhoods are really spread out, and you pretty much can’t get around without a car. Marta (the train system) is unreliable and 90% of the people who live OTP (outside the perimeter, in the burbs) refuse to use it so they’re commuting to work every day, hence the worst traffic and rush hour I’ve ever seen in my life. Literally I used to not leave my house between the hours of 2pm and 8pm because that was rush hour. Morning lasted from 7am-11am, no lie.

Anyway, the Beltline is a bike/walking path built along a historic railroad corridor that is a big circle within the city, connecting a bunch of neighborhoods. It’s still not completed, but in the short time that we’ve been gone, they’ve completed A LOT and the development of new parks and businesses along it is amazing. There is public art on overpasses and along the trails, and it’s even lighted in areas so that it’s safe at night. We were able to walk 2 miles exclusively on the Beltline to get to an area that in the past, would’ve forced us to walk along highways and through the projects. I’m so excited to see it continue to grow and connect more neighborhoods!

New Atlanta Attractions | Things to do on a trip to Atlanta | The Lowcountry Mama

New Atlanta Attractions | Things to do on a trip to Atlanta | The Lowcountry Mama

Krog Street Market

Krog Street is an area in a downtown neighborhood we used to live in. It’s “famous” for its tunnel that is continuously painted with graffiti. Like you can go back every day and see something new. We had a photo shoot in there once.. to build my friend’s portfolio. I am not showing you the pics because we were 19 years old and just too cool haha

When we lived there it was just a bunch of (seemingly?) abandoned warehouses but now the historic building has turned into Krog Street Market. There are a bunch of restaurants and coffee shops inside and bars too. We were there to early to see the stores but there’s some shopping too. I really just liked seeing how they repurposed an old warehouse- it’s worth the visit.

New Atlanta Attractions | Things to do on a trip to Atlanta | The Lowcountry Mama

New Atlanta Attractions | Things to do on a trip to Atlanta | The Lowcountry Mama

Ponce City Market

This was the most amazing new place in my opinion. After we lived in the area I just talked about, and before we lived in the hood, I had an apartment down the street from the new Ponce City Market. At that time, it was a HUGE abandoned building (the old Sears headquarters) filled with homeless people.

Now, it’s the most amazing mall I have ever seen. Filled with independently owned (no chain) restaurants and designed PERFECTLY, it’s like hipster + historic + industrial + shopping. The concept of a “mall” that I grew up knowing is seriously on its way out- I hope. This place is just a great example of our generation taking over the reins- and repurposing instead of destroying, designing instead of advertising.

Oh, and you can walk around with drinks inside. Like stop.

Granted, the stuff isn’t cheap so it’s like this new-age concept but only old rich ladies can afford anything, so that’s ironic. And the stores aren’t local or anything- Anthropologie and West Elm are two examples. However, I guess those are companies that can afford the place, and they definitely put thought into the stores they allow- they don’t have like Spencer’s like a typical mall ha.

So worth a visit, and it’s on the Beltline!

New Atlanta Attractions | Things to do on a trip to Atlanta | The Lowcountry Mama

New Atlanta Attractions | Things to do on a trip to Atlanta | The Lowcountry Mama

New Atlanta Attractions | Things to do on a trip to Atlanta | The Lowcountry Mama

Atlanta Streetcar

This was being built when we lived there, and I was super excited for it at the time because it was going to allow us to get from our apartment to our favorite bars without, again, walking through the ghetto. However, it wasn’t completed before we left so we took a little ride on it when we visited.

Although I wouldn’t consider it a “must-see”, I like the concept, and the fact that the city is focusing more on the actual downtown area. Mostly tourists were on it and it doesn’t go very far, but if they expand this a la New Orleans, I think it’d be great for the city’s major traffic problem.

Serenbe

This isn’t really in Atlanta, at all, but many of the people who live here work in the city or are from there, and I thought it was worth a mention. My friend works here and I wanted to visit- it’s a planned community all based around aspects such as sustainability, local businesses and organic farming to name a few. They preserve the natural landscape and obviously don’t allow mainstream commercial development. The houses are like, $600k and up but I think it’s a nice place to visit to take a break from city life for a day or weekend.

We walked through their wildflower fields and went to see the animals. They have goats, sheep, rabbits, pigs e.t.c. and a cute herb garden near the on-site B&B type thing. They supply some of Atlanta’s best restaurants with organic produce. Like I said, a great place to visit for a quick break from the city, and only like a half hour drive.

New Atlanta Attractions | Things to do on a trip to Atlanta | The Lowcountry Mama

Those were some of the highlights on this trip. We also went to Turner Field for the last time (WAH!) to see a Braves game before they leave for a new stadium. I don’t even know what’s going on, I just eat cheese fries drink beer and stare at the view:

New Atlanta Attractions | Things to do on a trip to Atlanta | The Lowcountry Mama

New Atlanta Attractions | Things to do on a trip to Atlanta | The Lowcountry Mama

One day I’ll cover some more things to do in Atlanta- oldies but goodies such as the aquarium, Coke world and the ferris wheel. There are some new attractions too such as the Civil Rights center and the Football Hall of Fame, and soon the new Georgia Dome. I would be bored to tears in a football museum so I’ll likely never go, and I’m thinking the Civil Rights museum is a good future homeschool field trip.

Hope this gives you some ideas if you visit Atlanta!

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Looking Back One Year Ago

Last night, I was up at 2am with my daughter, sitting in the rocking chair in her nursery while she played around on the floor. We’re at the point now where she’s waking up in the middle of the night about once a week, and for some reason she just wants to be awake so I sit there quietly and let her play until she crawls up to me and wants to go back to sleep LOL. It’s the cutest thing, it really is.

Looking Back One Year Ago | The Lowcountry Mama

I thought back to exactly a year ago when I was 41 weeks pregnant, sitting in the same rocking chair at 2am, soo anxious to meet her and desperately hoping for labor to start. It was like deja vu- same place, same time, only this time the baby that I used to imagine was actually sitting there playing right in front of my eyes. Every morning for two weeks, I’d wake up so sad that I still wasn’t in labor. I don’t know if every mama feels this way past her due date, but I did because I wanted a natural birth so bad and the law wouldn’t let me deliver in the birth center if I hit 42 weeks. Finally, I went into labor at 41 weeks 5 days, and my daughter was born the day I turned 42 weeks, naturally, unmedicated, in the birth center exactly how I imagined.

I often think of how crazy it is to be at a certain point in your life and not know what’s ahead, then when you look back, it’s weird to think of yourself not knowing what was to come. Does that make sense? Like exactly a year ago, I didn’t know when I’d go into labor. I didn’t know if I’d be able to have an amazing natural birth that would change my life. I didn’t know what my baby would look like. And I didn’t know the first thing about how wonderful motherhood would be.

A year is a long time. A looooong time. A year goes by so fast but then when you look back at a year ago, life is just completely different. It’s crazy.

I would’ve NEVER imagined I’d be able to be a full-time stay at home mom at this point in my life one year ago. I know I’ve touched on that like a hundred times but it’s been my dream for so many years.. I still can’t believe it.

Now I think about the future and it’s strange to think that I don’t know how many kids we’ll end up having. I think about how we don’t know where in the world we will end up living, what our house will look like, what my daughter will be when she grows up. I think about how when you meet someone, you have no idea if one day they’ll be your best friend or if they don’t have any significance at all to your life.

Next time I will be more patient if I go past my due date. In the back of my mind I knew that everything would turn out just fine, but I couldn’t help being anxious. If I could’ve looked forward to one year in the future, to today, I wouldn’t have worried at all =)

Here I am, getting all deep. I guess being awake at 2am does that haha.

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Tips for a Road Trip with Baby

I’m going to begin my vacation recaps with one of the most prevalent aspects of the entire trip: the car. If you read my blog before I made all my monthly baby updates private, you might remember that my daughter (now 11 months) has despised the car since birth. We tried everything but she would just scream scream and we’d stop every five seconds because I can’t bear to hear her cry. Finally, around 8-ish months, she got a lot better, and we were able to travel to Atlanta for the first time since she was born. She still doesn’t like it, but obviously it’s semi-alright because we just drove all the way to freakin Houston and survived haha.

Tips for a Road Trip with Baby | The Lowcountry Mama

Comfortable Car Seat

We started out with the Graco Click Connect and I continued to use that with her stroller (the few times we actually used a stroller) but around 6 weeks I ended up buying the Chicco NextFit convertible car seat and that’s what we’re using now. It’s made of a more breathable material and if I was a baby, it’d definitely be my preference. It fits up to 65lbs and has 9 recline levels for both rear and forward facing. It’s SO easy to install and the seat belt feels more sturdy to me and easier to handle.

DVD Player

We don’t have TV at home, but in the car it’s fair game. Bubble Guppies, Curious George and Little Einstein are the faves at this point. And who could forget her favorite YouTube video- Hoopla Kidz.

LOTS of toys

I bring a ton of toys in the car because my daughter gets bored within like 3 seconds and needs something new. Teething toys are good and I also make sure to have some shakers in there. When all else fails, I hand her a sparkly credit card and she really likes playing with that haha!

FOOD

If your baby is eating solids, then food is almost always the answer. We nurse every time we stop, but in the car, I give her food that she can’t choke on. This past road trip was the first time I gave her Happy baby organic puffs, which dissolve in her mouth, and I also brought my homemade granola bars that I broke into little pieces. I bought this self-serve cup that she can get snacks out of, but it doesn’t spill them everywhere! I also always have a sippy cup full of water.

Plenty of stops

When you have a baby in the car, you’re just not able to drive for very long stretches! We stopped on average every two hours for a diaper change, nursing and a little bit of outside time.

Timing

If your baby is on a predictable schedule, try to time your drive like an hour or so before the next nap time. I found that we got an hour of happy/drowsy baby, then average 1.5 hours of nap, before she woke up and got mad haha.

Sit in the back

It’s cramped and it kind of sucks but I spent a lot of time in the backseat just doing weird things to entertain her- like throwing my grenade from my drink on Bourbon Street in the air and making her laugh. Whatever works.

Patience and leave plenty of time

Above all, just KNOW that your baby is probably going to be totally over it at some point, and nothing will work except getting out of the car. It helps to have a timeline that is not strict at all- leave early and always plan for at least an extra hour or two on top of what the ETA says. Also remember time change- I totally blanked on that when we crossed into Alabama ha.


 Overall, it was way better than I expected! We are all completely happy with not having to get into the car again as long as possible, but we made it and had fun along the way =)

Would you add any other tips? I’d love to hear.

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There’s No Place Like Home

©The Lowcountry Mama

I’m BACK! And I’m literally exhausted. Traveling is cool and all but I have absolutely no clue how some of yall do it so often.. I’m drained, mentally, physically and financially haha. Like I’m actually dreading looking up my bank account numbers right now. I used to only feel that sense of dread after a night of feeling cool and buying tequila shots for all 50 of my brand new friends.

Anyway, I know I was kind of sketch about the way I was calling this a “road trip” and didn’t really tell you where I was going or for how long. When I was a kid my dad always told me to never tell my friends when I was going on vacation, because then they’ll break into your house. This often resulted in my friends thinking I fell off the face of the earth when I wasn’t in school for two weeks and wouldn’t answer their calls, but that’s besides the point. I guess it’s kind of pointless now especially with Instagram too. I’m still an overly protective freak about telling anyone when we leave, even though my in laws were house sitting. Thank you father for the wisdom/paranoia 😉

Here’s a simplified recap of the past 10 days:

We drove to Atlanta and stayed for two nights

©The Lowcountry Mama

We drove to New Orleans and had an interesting first-time experience

©The Lowcountry Mama

We drove to Houston for my brother’s graduation

©The Lowcountry Mama

We drove back to New Orleans and had an awesome experience

©The Lowcountry Mama

We drove back to Atlanta for two nights

©The Lowcountry Mama

And yesterday, we finally made it back to Charleston.

©The Lowcountry Mama

40+ hours in the car with an 11 month old who does NOT like the car was.. intense. Intense but tolerable for the most part. Towards the end of each trip segment she would usually freak out a bit but we made it, and we had a fun time =)

Thank you all for your sweet comments on my post about becoming a stay at home mom. It still hasn’t hit me but I’m really excited. I haven’t checked my email in at least a week and I know I have some from you guys- I’ll be answering this weekend promise!

I’m SO looking forward to catching up on your blogs and getting back to regular blogging {and sleeping in my own bed}. I have a lot of pictures besides these that are all from Instagram, and have a lot to talk about and recap!

Have a great weekend =)

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My 101 in 1001 – Update #2

Happy Monday! I’m hosting the linkup today with Macy for Update #2 on my 101 in 1001 list. I’m still out of town but will be back later this week and posting regularly!

28. Bake Bread

I’ve done this twice in the past couple months and it’s easier than I thought! I’d like to start doing it more often.

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  1. Make an outdoor paver patio

Instead of a paver patio, we decided to go with a deck. Michael and my dad finished it in a week and I absolutely LOVE how it transformed our backyard.

©The Lowcountry Mama

  1. Finish painting the mudroom and put the last tile in

We did get basically our entire house except the bedrooms repainted.. and Michael finally put the last tile in the floor haha.

  1. Refinish a piece of furniture

I repainted this small dresser that used to be Michael’s grandma’s and I really like how it came out.

Screen-Shot-2016-05-08-at-3.44.59-PM

  1. Go to Houston for my brother’s graduation

We’re probably driving back from there as you’re reading this. Recaps coming soon!

  1. Family zoo trip

In March we went to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia.

©The Lowcountry Mama

  1. Have a family beach day

On Mother’s Day we had our first full daytime beach sesh with the baby AND the dog!

  1. Go to New Orleans

We stopped there last week on our way to Houston!

89. Grow my following to at least 500 on Bloglovin (198/500)

90. Get 1000 Instagram followers for the blog (231/1000)

91. Get 1000 followers on Pinterest (341/1000)

92. Get 1000 Instagram followers for Artsibaby (162/1000)

93. Sell 100 pairs of Artsibaby slippers (15/100)

99. Not need my income anymore

As of this week I am officially a stay at home mom! I think “not need my income” was the wrong way to put it but basically I just mean not work anymore. I didn’t think this would happen for YEARS so this was an amazing surprise.


 I’m feeling pretty good about my progress =) It seems like just by making the list, and not even really looking at it all the time, I find myself checking things off. Looking forward to seeing how much you all have accomplished so far!

My Original 101 in 1001 list
Update #1

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A New Chapter

Mom Poem | The Lowcountry Mama

Today is the beginning of a major new chapter in my life. I talked about it a few months ago but didn’t get into the details: I’m officially a stay at home mom!!!!!@#%!@#^@!#!!! I’ve been a work at home graphic designer for the past three years after graduating college, and I absolutely loved it, but once the baby started crawling things got crazy. If you’re new here, she doesn’t nap by herself, I have been wearing her and bouncing on a yoga ball during every nap for the past 11 months, sooo yea =)

Even better, Michael is now going be working from home! What more can I ask for? I’ll still be doing one website or so per month as time allows, but he will be taking over as graphic designer in chief (totally a thing), and also he will have MUCH more time to paint (he’s an artist, and has some shows coming up).

You guys, I’m SO excited to be able to do things with my daughter without stressing over whether or not I have an urgent project. Granted, my mother in law has been giving me much less work the past couple of weeks (if you ever read this I don’t know if you think I realized that, but I did and I thank you haha).. so it’s been more of a gradual transition for me, but for my husband it’s a really big deal. It’s going to be so great having him home, and I’m so excited that he won’t be stuck in an hour-long commute during both morning and evening rush hour. Like, I can take a shower every morning, that’s huge.

I’m also really really really excited that this is what my baby(s) are going to remember. They’ll remember daddy working from home, and mama giving them all of their attention. The guilt I felt whenever I was on the computer working was pretty intense.. and I know I shouldn’t have felt that way but I just did. Working from home is HARD, I guess especially when your baby doesn’t sleep alone haha. But other than that it’s just that there are so many other things staring at you: laundry, dishes, dog. I’ll continue to blog during naps but I just don’t want to be on the computer so much anymore, which will be a welcome break for my eyes too.

This week through next we’re taking a trip so things may be a little quiet around here.. I didn’t have a chance to round up guest posters and I’m a posting procrastinator. However, I’ll definitely be here on Monday for the 101 in 1001 linkup with Macy.

Have a great rest of your week <3

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4-Ingredient No-Bake Granola Bars Recipe

We’re about to go on a long road trip.. so I’ve been trying to plan in advance some snacks to bring so that we don’t have to stop a ton and spend a lot of money + get baby in and out of the car seat at inopportune times. I came across a lot of granola bar recipes but 90% of them had either honey, nuts (peanut butter) or sugar in them, and those are three things that she can’t have, so I decided to make up my own. This was a total gamble and I had no clue what I was doing but they actually turned out amazing.

4-Ingredient No Bake Granola Bars Recipe | No Honey, Nuts or Sugar- Safe for Baby! | The Lowcountry Mama

After I put them in the baking dish I actually did throw them in a 400 degree oven for like 2 minutes because I was baking something else at the time and wanted to experiment.. but then I decided that was unnecessary and just put them in the fridge for a while before cutting them.

Here are the steps in pictures:

4-Ingredient No Bake Granola Bars Recipe | No Honey, Nuts or Sugar- Safe for Baby! | The Lowcountry Mama 4-Ingredient No Bake Granola Bars Recipe | No Honey, Nuts or Sugar- Safe for Baby! | The Lowcountry Mama 4-Ingredient No Bake Granola Bars Recipe | No Honey, Nuts or Sugar- Safe for Baby! | The Lowcountry Mama 4-Ingredient No Bake Granola Bars Recipe | No Honey, Nuts or Sugar- Safe for Baby! | The Lowcountry Mama 4-Ingredient No Bake Granola Bars Recipe | No Honey, Nuts or Sugar- Safe for Baby! | The Lowcountry Mama

Then I cut them with a pizza cutter:

4-Ingredient No Bake Granola Bars Recipe | No Honey, Nuts or Sugar- Safe for Baby! | The Lowcountry Mama

Seriously SO easy and they’re so good! I kept them refrigerated because of the banana but I’m undecided if you have to.. what do you think? I guess it depends how fast you eat them.

4-Ingredient No Bake Granola Bars Recipe | No Honey, Nuts or Sugar- Safe for Baby! | The Lowcountry Mama

4-Ingredient No Bake Granola Bars Recipe | No Honey, Nuts or Sugar- Safe for Baby! | The Lowcountry Mama

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4-Ingredient No-Bake Granola Bars Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: About 15 bars

4-Ingredient No-Bake Granola Bars Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups organic oats (like this)
  • 1/2 cup organic flaxseed meal (like this)
  • 2 smashed ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in mixer and blend thoroughly
  2. Line 9x12 baking dish with wax paper
  3. Spread mixture evenly in dish with rubber spatula
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour
  5. Slice with pizza cutter
  6. Enjoy!
http://www.thelowcountrymama.com/4-ingredient-no-bake-granola-bars-recipe/

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Baby Girl Swimsuit Picks

Hope you all had an amazing weekend and an amazing Mother’s Day! We spent Saturday looking at a house in the country (more on that later) and Mother’s Day at the beach =) It was our first time having an all-out beach sesh with baby AND the dog, and it actually went better than expected!

A few weeks ago I shared my list of things to bring to the beach with baby, and now I want to share my favorite baby girl swimsuit picks! I know boy moms, I’ll get there one day haha..

Baby Girl Swimsuit Picks | Baby Style | The Lowcountry Mama

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven

Some of these look like dance costumes I realize.. but they’re just so super cute! I especially love the little sailor swimsuit, and I plan on making a matching dress with some really cute fabric I found a few weeks ago at Hobby Lobby.

I think a long-sleeved rashguard is a must-have for the beach. For the most part, I try to keep her in the shade either under the umbrella or tent, and I use mineral-based sunscreen, but I’m still paranoid about her getting sunburn. I’ve been searching for a cute rashguard for a while now and I finally found this blue one, with matching bottoms and a matching swimsuit too!

As far as diapers go, I still love the swim diapers I found on Amazon. They are super cute and one diaper costs the same as a pack of disposables, so for a cloth diapering mama like me it’s a no brainer.

We definitely have too many bathing suits, but in my defense she’s getting a lot of use out of them, and it’s only May! I also think swimsuits are really cute gifts for summer babies, so when I really can’t buy anymore for my own child, at least I can pick out cute ones for friends haha. I hope this summer weather comes up to the rest of you guys soon =)

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