The Perfect Summer Salad + Beach Hats, Baby Pools and the Best Cover Up + Tips for traveling with a baby!

Welcome Summer!  We went to the beach last week, and I have just not gotten super motivated to come back and write an awesome blog for you guys, so as I've done the last few weeks, I've got a lot of info for one post... so let's get going.

We drove 7 hours in the car to get to the beach, and I picked up some tips for you guys for traveling with a baby:

  1. Kissy faces can always melt my heart and erase any transgressions (squeezing an entire yogurt onto his car seat).
  2. If you decide to take this opportunity to teach the baby a new word, be prepared to hear it 100+ times during the trip - so choose carefully or you will feel like you are riding with a parrot ("Hello!"  "Hello!" "Hello!").
  3. Feeding the baby a grilled cheese is an excellent idea and can keep the baby happy for up an hour (we went to Zaxby's).
  4. Too much water CAN lead to a leaky overnight diaper... twice.  Who knew?
  5. Listening to Secondhand News by Fleetwood Mac 40+ times IS better than listening to the baby cry.
  6. Go back to the infant idea of when the baby sleeps you sleep...  It's best for baby, mom and dad! - 20 minutes of silence!
  7. When your baby's idea of a good time is dropping toys over the side of his seat, you cannot bring too many.  When you husband asks, "do we REALLY need the entire 25 piece farm animal set," the answer is YES.

Hopefully all those tips are useful.  Just remember to keep your eyes on the prize.  The car ride will be over soon and you'll be on the beach!

Now for a few of my favorite buys this summer.

The hat Oliver is wearing in the above photo is by the Beaufort Bonnet Company.  My friend Meredith taught me about the company, and we own several beach hats.  If you've ever sprayed sunscreen all over your baby's scalp to protect it from the sun, only to find yourself in a difficult baby shampoo situation later, then you will really see the value in these hats... plus they are very cute!  They are available here.

My step-mother found the perfect baby pool!  It's a crab that shoots water.  I'm not sure what could top that.  I was so impressed I bought one for us at the beach.  It's a hoot to watch the baby splash in the water, so I consider it a win win.  Plus, it's under $15, so it's basically free ;) Another score from Target.  Available here.

In the above picture you can see my sister in law wearing the cutest cover up from J.Crew (the blue cover up on the right).  Jimmy and I picked it out for her birthday (Happy Birthday Mimi!!!), and by the end of the week everyone wanted/was borrowing the cover up!  It's very flattering and not too hot (my biggest concern on the beach).  I've heard all the backlash this week about how people are hating on J.Crew, but this is great!  It's now 30% off.

And now for the perfect Summer Salad.  Last week Wine Awesomeness - first mentioned here-  sent me a box of wine selected for an outdoor BBQ, and so I was inspired to create said BBQ.  The wine went really well with the meal.  I love Wine Awesomeness' service.  You get a box of wine every month with a selection to fit the season.  To get your FREE box of wine, go here.

 I've always loved to cook, but my real specialty is a salad, and this one is perfect for Summer!  It features Summer tomatoes and mozzarella.  What could be better? 

A major thank you to Fermob for the beautiful orange table in the picture :)

And now for the ingredients: 

I got all of this at Trader Joe's.  It's basically lettuce, small cucumbers (I think they have more flavor than the bigger ones), some type of heirloom tomato (again, I like the flavor more), lots of fresh mozzarella cheese, and sunflower seeds.  If I'm making a salad at home for dinner, 99% of the time I use this dressing.  It's great on everything.

I've served this salad twice this week, and it was a big hit both times.  If any of you try it and like it, please let me know!

And finally...

My sister Kate and I are headed to Disney World/Universal Studios for her graduation/21st birthday trip.  As I said in this post, I am VERY proud of all of her accomplishments.  She is the author of the famous blog Puppies and Brunch.  She recently wrote a post about my step-mother's chicken salad, which is legit off the chain.  I also get a pretty major shout out for being an awesome sister, which you know I love.

She and I are both MASSIVE Harry Potter fans, and I promised her this trip to the Wizarding World a year ago.  Her last year of college and my first year of motherhood delayed us quite a bit, but now the trip is upon us.

I'm working with the unbelievable Four Seasons Orlando on this trip.  They hooked us up with a room for the weekend, and we are as excited about the hotel as we are about the parks.  It was originally going to be a trip where we flew in one morning, went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter all day, and flew home... but then I realized I'm not 21 anymore and don't have that kind of energy.  I am overjoyed the Four Seasons agreed to work with us.  We are planning on staying for two nights and going to both Disney and Universal.  Honestly, we are AS excited about the hotel as we are about the theme parks.  There is a lazy river for crying out loud!

Please follow me on Instagram for up to the minute news on our adventure!  See you guys next week!  Have a wonderful weekend!!


If you liked this post, you may also like:

Life Lately - Walking, Wedding Vows, and the Miracle Bathing Suit (for those of you who want to know about the perfect swim suit)

24 Hours in Palm Beach (for those of you who want to learn more about my TOTAL obsession with Four Seasons)

5 Ways to Improve your Grilling ('tis the Season)


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