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A Lovely Little Summer Afternoon…

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” -Henry James

As the early afternoons of summer get underway, Little Lovely and I are settling into a new routine with a little less structure and a little more time for fun. At 21 months old, Eloise is a busy toddler with plenty of energy and curiosity, so I’m constantly on the lookout for outings and activities to keep us both happy.

Of course the pool is a popular destination (in fact, the first thing Eloise asks about when she wakes up lately is if we’re going to the pool). We’re lucky that our local pool has a designated baby pool that is the perfect size for Eloise to play with her toys and splash around with friends. She’s also quite fond of the snack bar.Our city is fortunate to be home to Riverbanks Zoo, considered one of the best zoos in the country, and last year we purchased a family membership making it a go-to for a #zooplaydate. Right now Eloise gets excited to feed the giraffes and visit some of the animals we read about in one of her favorite books, Pat the Zoo.On rainy days, a trip to the children’s section of our local library branch is a good spot to color, play and peruse books.

Another indoor option we are planning is to catch a family flick at Regal Cinemas as part of its #SummerMovieExpress. Starting this week, participating theaters will show popular kids’ movies at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings for $1, and proceeds go towards the Will Rogers Institute. 

For something a little out of the box try family “happy hour” at River Rat Brewery. The outdoor space features a playhouse, toys and games for all ages. There is a relaxed vibe, and the summer menu now includes Prosecco and popsicles from King of Pops. 🍾


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Lovely Little May…

Does the calendar really say June 1? The last month was busy as we celebrated family birthdays, Mother’s Day, the end of Eloise’s first school year and turning 21 months old, a fun beach week, play dates with friends, and Memorial Day weekend to kick off summer. I’m grateful for all of the happy memories we made and excited for the sweet summer ahead!

Beach fun 🏖:
{Special birthday date at our favorite spot, Chive Blossom}

{Mother’s Day tea ☕️}

{Celebrating Nonni’s birthday 🎂}
{Birthday dinner with the sweetest girlfriends at new favorite, 1801 Grille!} 


{Play dates and pool days with good friends 👭}

{21 months old!}

Memorial Day fun 🇺🇸:

Happy summer!

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A Lovely First School Year…

School’s out for summer! Last week, Eloise finished the 1’s class at her nursery school, Kilbourne Park, marking the end of a wonderful year. While this might not count as true school, she gained many new skills this year – from music to arts and crafts, Gymboree, playing on the playground and of course making new friends.

{First day of 1’s, August 2016, A Lovely First Day of School}

It’s remarkable to compare her first and last day of school pictures. Eloise could not yet walk or talk and was so nervous when we left her in the classroom on her first day, and now she’s a full fledged toddler asking to wear a bracelet with her  Prim & Proper dress and walk into the classroom on her own. I’m so thankful to her teachers for helping her develop this year and am so proud of the little girl she is growing into each day.

Happy summer!

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A Lovely Little Labor Day…

Labor Day traditionally marks the end of the lazy days of summer, so our family headed for the coast to spend a final beach weekend soaking in the sun, sand, and surf. Luckily, Hurricane Hermine blew through before the weekend began and left behind some amazing, cooler weather and azure blue skies.

Usually we are in a rush to get to the beach, but this trip we took our time and stopped for lunch in Historic Georgetown.
A bit of a well-kept secret, this charming city is dripping with picturesque homes, quaint restaurants and shops as well as rich history. My mother has always been fond of Georgetown and was sure to include a stop on our family beach visits, so I’m very familiar with the iconic Rice Museum on Front Street, fresh vegetable plates at Thomas’s Cafe and eerie ghost tours explaining about the town’s notorious haunts.  We enjoyed the gorgeous weather with an outdoor lunch at Alfresco Georgetown Bistro, which was quite accommodating to Little Lovely, and then strolled along the waterfront.Our destination for the weekend was Debordieu where we joined a few other families- 6 babies and one on the way- for some beach fun.    Eloise had a ball splashing in the water and digging in the sand, and mommy and daddy enjoyed taking in the beautiful view from the porch while she napped.  It was wonderful watching all of the children play together and having some adult conversation too. Happy Labor Day! 

 

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A Lovely Weekend Away…

A weekend away is good for the soul and especially when it’s spent in lovely Amelia Island, Florida. For the past few years, I’ve been a lucky spouse tagging along with Jody to a legal conference held there at the Ritz-Carlton.One of the most southern of the sea islands, Amelia boasts wide powdery beaches, moss dripping oak trees and the quaint seaside village of Fernandina Beach.

With baby staying home in the great care of our trusted sitter and her sweet grandmothers Jody and I were able to relax to the fullest- beach walks, reading, and sunning filled our days (as well as some conferencing).    

 The Assistants was a fun and light read where the clever girls win!

We were also able to enjoy cocktail hour and dine a little later than the early bird special visiting some of our favorite spots in Fernandina, including Espana and the most charming Le Clos.  

 
 A clambake on the beach at sunset was the perfect way to end the trip! Time away provides much needed rest and connection, but I must admit that we daydreamed a good bit about Little Lovely and our future family trips in Amelia. We know she’ll love it as much as we do.

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A Lovely Little Gingham…

Although there is some debate of where the fabric originated gingham made its way to Europe in the 17th century from Dutch colonizing Malaysia. In fact, the word is derived from the Mayla “genngang” meaning striped. The lightweight yet durable fabric was first produced in stripe and later adapted to the check pattern we know today. 

Many countries claim ties to the textile. In England and later colonial America, gingham began to represent the rustic countryside and was used widely for household tablecloths, aprons and clothing. During the Industrial Age, gingham was manufactured in the U.S. and even became a symbol of patriotism- especially in blue/red/white checks. 

Some memorable characters have worn the fabric well, including my favorite heroine, Dorothy Gale, on her way to Oz. Bridgette Bardot notably donned a pink gingham wedding dress in the 1960’s sparking a fashion craze.

I associate the delicate checks with summertime and have added a few pretty pieces to mine and baby’s wardrobes this season. 

 

Marco&Lizzy pink pique popover set // Petit Bebe pink gingham bubble by Anavini // J.Crew ruffle hem silk top (50% off final sale today with code: SHOPFAST) // Derby top by CollynRaye // J.Crew Factory gingham shell top
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A Lovely Little Beach Week…

“Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly.” -Van Morrison

For a week my little family and I did just this, relishing our first beach vacation together. My childhood summers were always spent at Litchfield Beach near Pawleys Island on the South Carolina coast, so it was special bringing Little Lovely to the place where so many of my happiest memories reside.  

 

The week was full of memory making of our own- long morning beach walks, fun family dinners, trying our first taste of ice cream, shopping the Lilly sale at The Joggling Board, and of course watching Eloise play in the sand and fearlessly jump waves with her dad. It was a delight seeing how she gradually felt more comfortable with the sand and surf each day. And being such a personable baby, she sweetly smiled and waved to everyone along the Grand Strand.

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
  
   

While the days of baking away under the sun and plowing through a stack of beach reads might be on hold for now I love creating our new, family traditions and can’t wait until next year.  img_6793-43