Cow to Cone

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Temperatures are on the rise, and I can’t help but fantasize about large quantities of ice cream. I listened to an inspiring interview last night with small business owners Jess Eddy and Crista Freeman of Phin & Phebes Ice Cream in Brooklyn, NY. Lucky for us, these ladies treat ice cream making as an art form. Did you know there is such a place as an Ice Cream University? I immediately picture Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory… only colder. I looked it up this morning and sure enough, Penn State offers a week long intensive course on the science and technology of ice cream production– everything from flavoring to freezing to manufacturing. If I had known I could have majored in Rocky Road, I may have chosen an alternative college career path. As it is, it has taken every ounce of will power in me not to serve up two scoops for breakfast during the making of this blog post.

And so, to further my knowledge on the subject, I may need to do a little more “research” today. Anyone want to join me later at Cold Stone for a crash course in Ice Cream Appreciation?

{Image via Phin & Phebes}

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From Samba to Scraped Knees

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This morning, I took the kids to see the dollar viewing of Rio at Regal Cinema. It reminded me of the time I was in Brazil. Trust me when I say that when Brazilians aren’t protesting the rate of public transit in the streets of São Paulo, they are having one rip roaring good time in the night clubs. I never was much of a club- goer even when I was single and still looked decent in a tube top. But, apparently night clubs in Brazil are about as common as Waffle Houses in Georgia. And well, when in Rome, right?

I wish I had pictures of my Brazilian night club experience, but it is probably better for my witness that I don’t. Picture wall to wall bodies dancing until the wee hours to a live Funk band that would make G Love cry in his Special Sauce. Dancing all night will make a girl hungry. Not to worry. The clubs stay open until 10am and they serve breakfast!

Funny how watching two squawking animated birds can bring the memories flooding back.

Snap to reality: We interrupt this little stroll down memory lane to bring you a nasty fall and the last of the Shrek band-aids. My how we’ve come a long way from Samba to scraped knees.

{Image via Rookie of Life}

Read the Summer Away

Hello and Happy Monday! Did you see the supermoon last night? It reminded me of one of my kids’ favorite books right now.

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Other popular titles by Eric Carle include, Do You Want to Be My Friend, The Grouchy Ladybug, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Each of these has been a huge hit with my kids. What are your kids reading these days?

Ready For the Weekend

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It’s date night, and I am still glistening with sunscreen from this morning’s pool party with the kiddos. I see pub food and casual conversation in our near future. What are you doing this weekend? Here’s a few links that made me click twice this week.

He with the most Facebook friends wins apparently.

Nicole Kidman– the early years

Clark and Mia dead ringers

My kids new favorite book

Invite for my next At-Home Date Night

Butter in coffee?

Good advice for summertime runners

The Happy Movie just made my instant queue

Well, that’s all for now….I hope you enjoy the official first weekend of summer!

{Image via Indulgy}

Paralyzed Without a Chute

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I can remember feeling this way only one other time in my life.

It was six weeks from my wedding date and all I had was a ring, a dress, and a groom to prove it. Not a single flower had been ordered, invitation had been sent, or bridesmaid had been squeezed into overpriced satin. See, I was not your typical bride that had envisioned her wedding from the age of 6. The truth is, I never really gave my wedding much thought before I actually agreed to get married.

No vision + No money= Planless-ly paralyzed bride-to-be.

Instead of looking forward to my wedding day, it felt as though I was 6 weeks away from jumping out of a plane without a chute.

… which is exactly how I feel presently.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you might assume we’ve taken up relocating as a new hobby. Last month, I announced that we would be moving for the FOURTH time in three years. Well, we are exactly three weeks from said move–

… and all I have is a few cardboard boxes to prove it.

I spent the latter part of May scouring the countryside for rental properties. We’re a bit high-er maintenance this time around now that Salem is getting his speech and occupational therapies through the county school system, and we’ve limited our search to three top elementary districts. Not to mention, if you’ve spent any time on the streets of Atlanta, you know that unless you live within a 15 minute radius of where you work, you will die a slow and premature death from the stress of the rush hour commute. So, we mapped our 5-ish mile radius and Mia and I drove our real estate route every morning after we dropped Salem off at school. It became so much of a routine that Mia would ask to, “go see da pwitty houses” before I could even find my car keys. I tried to keep my chin up about it, but you know what I realized pretty quickly?

There are a lot of DUMPS for rent out there.

After we completed our Curbside Drive-by Tour each morning, I wanted to jump out of the van and kiss the pavement of our current residence. It has nothing to do with size or luxury or comfort or status. It has all to do with spending 95% of my waking hours raising small children under one roof. I want to feel safe. I want to feel at rest. I want to pull up the drive and enjoy that feeling of “Ahhh– we’re home.” Not to romanticize brick and mortar too much, but I want to feel even mildly inspired within my immediate four walls.

Girls, you get this. I know you do.

With each passing day, I would return home more discouraged. With the Moving Day Skydive fast approaching, I was nearing the edge of panic. And then one morning, I was running through a neighborhood and I stumbled on a quaint little cul de sac with a home for sale. Fast forward: Quaint Little Cul de Sac House is being sold, flipped, rented out for a decent rate AND it is in a great school district, AND it is 6 minutes from Clark’s work, AND the next door neighbor doesn’t have a garden gnome in his yard holding a sign that says, “TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT ON SIGHT’ {which is more than I can say for some rentals we considered}. Problem solved, right?

No, problem not solved.

There’s a catch. There’s always a catch. The buying investor has yet to close on the property which means the home is still technically unavailable. We technically have to be out of our current residence in 3 weeks which means I’m technically contemplating voluntary admission under the Baker Act..

Plane. No chute.

I feel like I’ve turned back the clock 8 years and I am reliving my Planless-ly Paralyzing engagement. In wedded hindsight, I wish I would have had a more matured sense of adventure– perhaps a white mini dress and sneakers, a tandem bike and the downtown JOP with a black bean burger reception following at the Vortex in Little Five Points. It might have made for a great story and even better pictures. But the sheer gravity of making the single most important decision of my adult life had me thinking my wedding day ought to be a bit more sacred than sporty. S-a-c-r-e-d for us was spelled 30 people, a three-day weekend, and a vow-exchange on the side of a mountain. It was spontaneous and intimate and “us” and I wouldn’t change a thing. I loved my wedding. And I am sure that I will love our next address, but in the Land of the Uncertain, I’m beginning to worry we might become a family of couch surfers– party of four.

So, I’m calling in for a little perspective reinforcement. You don’t have to come physically pack up my underwear drawer or anything. What do I need here? A greater sense of adventure? A back up plan? A motorhome perhaps?

In the meantime, I am off to look at some more pwitty houses.

 {Image via Beyond the Screen Door}

Hilton Head Island City Guide

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{Sorry for the last post today. My computer called in sick today.}

I am still reeling from our beach vacation last week. So, I put together a little city guide for those of you that are condering Hilton Head for your next vacation destination. If we weren’t enjoying our Hilton Head Beach Villa, we were exploring the best the island had to offer.

Let’s start with the food. Here’s what I recommend at Coligny Plaza–

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Frosty Frog: Live music on the patio and a local dressed as a giant frog in a snow cap– what more could a family ask for? The waitress said, and I quote, “There’s not a lot of healthy food on the menu.” When was the last time you saw someone balancing their checkbook at the craps table at Caesar’s Palace? Exactly. You’re on vacation. Count your calories at home.

And if you’re feeling a bit fancier than sandy flip flop feet:

Steamer Seafood is next door. Great menu. Great atmosphere. Outdoor seating next to a duck pond. But a 45 minute wait on a Friday night would likely send my two hungry kids bobbing for ducks. So we we headed to The Frog, and we weren’t disappointed.

Mia ice cream

Hilton Head Ice Cream : Speaking of your checkbook, you might break yours on three single scoops of Hilton Head Ice Cream. The good news is, I sampled a lot of ice cream last week, and Hilton Head Ice Cream Brownie Cheesecake was by far my fave. So budget accordingly.

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And in Harbour Town–

The Quarterdeck: At the base of the Harbour Town Lighthouse {don’t blink or you’ll miss it}, sit outside under the covered patio and enjoy the views. {The view wasn’t too shabby from where I was sitting.}

Clark at Quarterdeck

The menu features offers a wide variety, and the wait staff is so inspiring, your four-year-old might raid every open table of cloth napkin-bound silverware and scatter it all over the deck like mine did.

I like to think he is exploring his professional interests.

If your pants start fitting a bit more snugly after all that ice cream, rent a bike and hit the trails. They are clearly marked for directionally-challenged people like me who get turned around in a walk-in closet. But be sure to steer clear of the Island Mascot.

Hilton Head gator

I snapped this pic while I was on an early morning run. Once I detoured from the footbridge, I stumbled upon what I like to call Antique Consignment Row on Arrow Road. I am happy to report that all limbs are still in tact, and I was able to enjoy some early bird window shopping.

If ice cream and antiques and biking and gator-dodging are not your thing, you can always relax by the Atlantic and let the beach work its relaxing magic.

beach at Hilton Head

Thanks, Hilton Head. We will see you next year!

Running in the Rain

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Running in the rain today. Yeah, I’m hardcore like that…

{image via Oofos}

Reality Protest

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 My body may be home from vacation, but my mind is still far away. Have patience with me while I savor the escape.

Have a cheery Monday!

{Image via I Am A Mark’s Tumblr}

Have a Great Weekend

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The Beasleys give this vaca two thumbs up!

Really? Really.

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I think I’m in love.

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