Friday, June 12, 2015

St. Maarten Here We Come | What is in My Suitcase

I can't believe our vacation has finally arrived.  I feel like we booked this trip so long ago. I am so excited for so many reasons but mainly because it will be the first real adult only vacation Matt and I have taken since our honeymoon 8 years ago.  We went to St Thomas and St John then and absolutely loved the Virgin Islands, so I can't wait to explore St. Maarten.  I welcome any restaurant or island recs if you have traveled there.

I am thrilled that one of my oldest and best friends and her husband will be joining us as well.  Since we had our kids we only see each other maybe once a year.  It will be such a treat to relax together and catch up.  Plus all 4 of us get along so well, we always have a blast together.

I will be taking the week off from my blog but I will post a few snippets on instagram (@snoopnattynat) so follow along there and I will be back in a week with a fun recap!

I did a little last minute shopping this week and found the cutest Maxi Dress at Loft.  I have to admit my luck at Loft is hit or miss sometimes.   Their clothes don't fit my body that well, but this dress was a perfect fit.  The colors are just stunning.  It runs on the large side, I am wearing a size 2 so order down a size.  If you sign up with your email you can take 25% off your order.

I figure most of our vacation we will be in cover-ups and bathing suits lounging at the beach or pool.   But of course we will get slightly dressed up for a few dinners out.
I also packed a few workout clothes in case we hike or walk the island, that are not pictured.
Here is what I am packing as of last night, although I am sure I will add in a few more things before tomorrow.  I am notorious for over packing- I like to have options while I am away:)

Can't forget some fun accessories!! 
If you are local my friend Jenny from Theodosia made the first two necklaces.  They are a Summer Favorite of mine, I toss them on with everything!  You can call and order if you live out of town as well. The third necklace is from LOFT and a total steal.

Have a fabulous weekend and I will be back next Monday with a full recap of our vacation.  Now wish me luck for the flight:)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Inside my Mind.

I have mentioned on here before that I am a worrier.  I swear this is hereditary.  My mom and grandmother were both huge worriers- well my mom still is:)  I am able to control my worries and thoughts so they don't consume my day but at night they are the worst.  With our upcoming vacation I have already been laying in bed at night worrying about the flight and leaving my kids. I also worry about all sorts of non-important things.  Luckily I married Matt who is a non worrier.  I swear not much stresses him out so he helps keep me in check about what should be real concerns.

I know people have so many real problems and major issues in their life and these are trivial, that is why I enjoy writing them out, it helps put things in perspective and makes me laugh at my crazy mind that never stops.  Prayer and meditation help me immensely.  You have to trust that there is a higher power and I do trust God's plan. 

I thought it would be funny to give you a peek inside my mind and what goes thru it on a daily basis.

 - Of course right before our flight they announce the TSA standards are not up to par for flights.  The department of homeland security said he was deeply concerned.  Now I am even more freaked to fly.  Like breaking out in sweats scared.  I truly hope I don't have a panic attack on the plane.

- Will my phone work while I am in the Caribbean??  I need to be able to talk to my kids and text.  This majorly stresses me out.  I added an international plan for the week but they still say service can be iffy.  

- I know I will enjoy myself on vacation but I have such attachment issues with my kids.  I don't worry at all about leaving them with my parents I know they are in good hands, I worry about me being without them for a few days.  We are together all day everyday and I know this is gonna be hard.

- I should have really done that detox cleanse before our vacation.  I had big goals of having a toned stomach and proudly rocking my bikini.  Instead this week because I have been stressed out I have eaten processed foods and had wine.  Hello flabby belly.  I will wear a bikini you just may not see in any pictures of me in it.

- I truly trust my parents 100% to watch the kids while we are gone but my kids are a handful.  I worry that it will exhaust my parents.  I worry I am imposing on them asking them to keep my kids so many days.

- How is Sterling going to adapt at kindergarten next year??  Yes this is 2 months away but I think about it every single day.  He will have to make all new friends and I know that is hard.

- I really want to buy a new couch for our den.  Where should I even look?  The process of buying big ticket items stresses me out because it is such a big decision.  Will the size be right?  Will the color be right?  Or should I wait til my kids are older because they will most likely ruin it.

- Frances seems fussy.  I hope she is not sick.   That would be my luck she gets sick right before we leave.  Maybe it is teething.   Her teeth are spaced so far apart.  I am sure it is from the paci.  We need to ditch the paci soon, but man it makes my life easier.  I wonder if they will get closer together once she stops the paci.

- The cashier at the grocery store told me he had the stomach bug and was laid out for THREE days.  Now I am terrified because he touched my credit card the germs are still active and I will catch it.  Whydid he come back to work so soon and why did he tell me this??

- Did I pay all the bills that needed to be paid before we leave??

- What should I blog about ??  Sometimes it is hard to come up with fresh topics- suggestions always welcome.

- Will I ever get to meet Adam Levine.  Or Zac Efron.  Maybe I will see someone famous on our vacation.  That would be awesome.  Hopefully Beyonce and JayZ will be at St Barths and I can catch a glimpse. This is not a worry more of a dream- haha.

- My eye sight has gotten so bad.  My contacts always irritate my eyes, I am terrified I am going to have to have that cornea transplant surgery they told me I will probably eventually need.  Eye surgery freaks me out.

- My arm pit still hurts, is this something serious.  I should make a doctor appointment.  Is there such a thing as arm pit cancer??

- I hope the weather will be good while we are on vacation, crappy weather will suck.  What will we do all day if it rains?  What if a horrible storm comes and we get stuck on the island.

- I still think about that third baby often. Will I be completely happy and ok with just 2 kids?   I am also scared of the journey to even try and get pregnant again and scared that if I get pregnant something may be wrong with the baby since I am at the magical age of 35 where all the risks increase.  I feel like a ticking time bomb. 

- How is it possible it is Summer already. The older I get the faster the years fly by and that scares me.  I feel like I blinked and Sterling was 5.  I need to savor these moments more while the kids are young, instead of feeling stressed out.

- I have a million emails I need to respond to.  I really need to sit down and respond.  With the kids out this Summer it is so hard to have time to work and respond.

- Should we move or stay in our house.  This consumes my mind a lot.  We love our neighborhood and our neighbors and ideally want to stay here but we need more space.  An addition intimidates me, I would not even know where to begin or who to hire.  and then where would we stay while they did the work?  On the other hand nothing is for sale in any of the neighborhoods near us.

- Current conern what should I eat for breakfast.  Toast?  Do I need the carbs with this bloated belly?  Cereal? Too processed?  Eggs? Don't feel like cooking them.  The breakfast struggle is real.  Wish I had bacon:)

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Gigi New York Friends and Family Event

This week is the Gigi New York Friends and Family Event.  I am a huge fan of their line.  I actually had the pleasure of meeting the owners when I was in Dallas at a blog conference and they are such nice gracious people.  The quality of their bags and accessories is impeccable.  You can't go wrong with any of them.
I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites.
Use code FRIENDS15 for 15% site wide.

This is the perfect everyday tote.  My mom and sister liked mine so much they bought one too.   My sister uses hers for work and you can actually fit a laptop inside.
It comes in so many great colors.

This is what I have been carrying the past few months as my everyday purse.  It actually fits way more inside than you would think.  I love the two different strap options as well.
I have the dessert rose color and it is the perfect neutral.

This is my go to bag for a night out.  You can carry it as a clutch or cross body.  I have the harbour blue color.

I pack this purse whenever I travel.  It is small enough to easily fit in your suitcase and great for a night out or during the day.

This was a gift at our conference and I have to say I am loving it.  It has a detachable iphone case inside the wallet.  The phone case matches the wallet and sometimes I just carry it and leave the wallet or carry both.  I chose the dessert rose color, it is my favorite neutral.

This is the perfect over size clutchYou can fit everything you need inside in.

A few other favorites.  The sale ends this Sunday so take advantage of the discount while you can.

Soba Noodle Salad with Creamy Peanut Butter Dressing

I love pretty much any sort of noodle or pasta salad.  I also love peanut butter sauce, so this recipe was a no brainer.  The sauce is freaking amazing.  It has so much flavor.  Sterling and I licked the bowl clean after we made it.  Speaking of kids helping to cook, this dish is totally kid friendly.   Both my kids devoured it.  I have recently come to really love soba noodles, they are fairly bland but have a slight almost nutty taste. I think they are the perfect noodle for this salad but you could use spaghetti or rice noodles as well.
The original recipe calls for snow peas but I used edamame.  You could really use any sort of veggies you want.  This was almost even better the next day, I ate it chilled right out of the fridge and it was so good.  Perfect for a Summer Picnic.  This our main meal but it would be awesome with some grilled chicken or shrimp.

Heads up | my favorite entertaining store, Open Door Shop, is running their Half Yearly Sale starting tomorrow but offering early access for you today!  You can take 15% off the site with code SUMMERTIME. 
I love the terrafirma line, the bowl I used for this salad is terrafirma.  I love all the fun patterns and they can go in your dishwasher!  They are my absolute favorite serving dishes and a great time to buy them at 15% off!  Open Door Shop carries so many other fun entertaining pieces as well.

|| S O B A   N O O D L E  S A L A D  W I T H   C R E A M Y  P E A N U T  
B U T T E R  S A U C E ||

1 ounces dried soba noodles
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 cup shelled edamame
1 cup grated carrots
4 sliced green onions
1 red bell pepper

cook the noodles according to the package instructions, drain and rinse.

While the noodles are cooking in a small saucepan over low heat, whisk the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger together until the peanut butter melts and the dressing is smooth.

In a large bowl combine the noodles and dressing, toss until evenly coated.  Add the edamame, carrots, red bell pepper and green onions.  Garnish with toasted sesame seeds if desired.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Father's Day Gift Ideas Part 3

Happy Tuesday Friends.  I am back with the third and final Father's Day gift guide.  This guide features all sorts of great gift ideas for any Dad at several different price points.  I broke it down into categories. 
Often my brother and sister and I split a gift so we can get my dad something a little bit nicer. He only gets one gift but it is usually something he really wants.  So while some of these are pricey, you could share the cost.  Can't wait to celebrate my Dad and Matt in a little over a week!

For The Tech Loving Dad
I am pretty sure any Dad would love a gift from Bose.  Their products are amazing.  My Dad swears by the noise cancelling headphones.  He travels often and always packs them.  


For the Dad that likes to Groom
I always think gift sets are a great gift because it allows them to try multiple products.  I love Kiehls and have heard fabulous things about Jack Black and The Art of Shaving Products.

dads 2

For the Styling Dad
Matt has been wanting a new briefcase and I love the idea of that as a gift.  The one below is a favorite.

David Donahue Dress Shirt | Prada Sunglasses | Braided Robe Belt | David Donahue Tie |
Leather Briefcase | Stripe Suspenders | Enamel Cuff Links | DD Bowtie

dads 3

 For the Dad that Loves Shoes
You can't go wrong with a pair of Sperry Shoes.  They are favorites of my Dad and Matt.  Their boat shoes make a great gift and their flip flops are such a great deal.  My Dad loves his Sharktooth pair.

Sperry Gold Cup Driving Shoes | Cole Haan Driving Shoe | Sperry Baitfish Flip Flop
Camo Tennis Shoes | Sperry Sharktooth Flip Flop | Original Boat Shoe
Cole Haan Britton Loafer | Sperry Sneaker | Sperry Classic Boat Shoe 
mens shoes

Cool Gifts
A few really cool and different gift ideas.
Fitbit | Portable Grill | Bowling Game
Wooden Ipad Stand | Water Resistant Speakers | Wine Set

mens gifts

All these fabulous gifts can be found at Nordstrom.
Always free shipping and returns.

Thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Scenes From Our Weekend

Dear Monday, you always sneak up way too fast.
Thank you for all the great book recommendations.  I just downloaded several of them and can't wait to start reading them.  I love a good book.

We kicked off the weekend with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, since Friday was national doughnut day.
Frances went to town with hers.

Followed by a some time at the park, to burn off the sugar high.

We met the nicest police officer who let Sterling get in his car and work his lights and sirens.
It made his day, he was so excited.

Chilling with Sterling.

Friday night we headed out for date night.  
Trying to talk Matt into a picture- as you may notice he does not like to be photographed.

Ended up with this cheeseball smile.

We tried out Screen Door, a new restaurant on James Island.  The food was really good as was our server.  The delivery of the food was a bit slow and oddly spaced we got our meals before our appetizers, but they were so apologetic and comped our apps.  They apparently have two kitchens and are working on syncing them up.  As far as food we had the egg pizza, the pork pizza, cheeseburger, hanger steak, ricotta app and wings.  Everything was delicious.  I will 100% be back, plus the atmosphere was cool.
Below is the egg pizza which i ordered for my meal, I devoured the entire thing.  Don't be scared off by the anchovies on it, they give it great flavor.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early to run.  I have almost reached my goal of 4 miles I made it 3.8 miles.

Threw on my favorite tee again.  The pink is my new jam.

Enjoyed the best Shrimp po boy from The Glass Onion for lunch.

One of my oldest and dearest friends stopped through town and we were able to catch up.  Nothing better than picking right up with old friends. Lauren and I lived together in college and I miss her so much now that she is in California.  We don't get to see each other often so it is extra special when we do.

Sunday was low key.  We went to a family breakfast at Bagel Nation and grocery shopping.  Then we hit up the pool!
I had several request about my swim suit.  I bought this 4 years ago after I had Sterling and I still love it!  The fit is great, and I always love rouching for disguising belly flab.
 Frances loves the water, actually is scary because she has no fear and will just walk right in.  
Looking adorable in her flamingo suit- I found this at the Gap Outlet.

Today the Gigi New York Friends and Family Sale starts! Use code Friends15 to get 15% off the site!

I own several Gigi Purses and love them all.  Fantastic quality and love their color selection too. A few of my favorites.

Happy.Monday.  Hope you all have a great start to your week.