A Family Beach Day, A Day in Photos

A family beach day is so cleansing to the soul. Sometimes, words aren’t necessary when the photos tell their own story. This is one of those occasions, and I’ll enjoy this photo journal for years to come! Random thoughts from a mom after a day at the beach.

family beach day

Sometimes, just letting them enjoy each other’s space is enough.

family beach day

And most of the time, just letting them be them…well, it’s enjoyable for both of you. I dig his style!

family beach dat

Bubbles! What’s a beach day without bubbles? What’s any good day without bubbles, actually?

beach family day

A day without bubbles is like a day without a beach ninja. I mean, it’s not even really a day, is it?

family beach day

The only sad part of the day is when you look through the lens and realize they might be growing up too fast. It all goes by too fast. Until…

family beach day

You realize that one of them is looking back at you, from inside of a sand hole, enjoying life like only a small child can, and you realize that there are still many years of joy, and frustration, to come. Be still my heart!

b burying kylee edit

And then there’s this. THIS is the beginning of a memory in the making, with a man that you adore making memories with.

beach family

It ended way worse than this, of course, but I was too busy unburying my baby (face and all) to get a photo. Sometimes, like this time, it’s not OK to just sit back and be the spectator…because…buried alive?!?!

beach family

And just when you realize you’re absent from your own online album, all of your family photos, you see that you were there all along. In their reflection. Capturing every moment. While they looked adoringly at you, and you realize you’re doing exactly what you were meant to do all along. Take care of them, love them, enjoy the moment, and capture the memories in their reflection while they reflect on the love that you give them.

In the end, that’s all that matters. The memories, their love, capturing their beauty. When you realize you’re doing what you love…while you’re watching the ones you love the most…enjoy themselves? That’s when you know you’ve made it. That’s when you know your life, your world is complete. That’s the moment you realize you’re living the life you intended, the life you’ve always wanted to live. That’s when you know love.

I know all of these things, and I’m glad my camera reminds me daily. I’ve made it. I’m happy to be in their reflections. I’m just happy. Not everyone achieves that level of success in life. I’m content that I’ve found my success from within my own little world.

Are you?

DIY Aurora Queen of the Moors Crown

This DIY Queen of the Moors Crown was inspired when I received an early release copy of Disney’s Maleficent from Click Communication to help promote the in-store release on November 4th. All opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own.

DIY Queen of the Moors Crown, Aurora crown, Maleficent crown, Maleficent crafts

“For in the other kingdom, the Moors lived every manner of strange and wonderful creature.

And they needed neither king nor queen but trusted in one another.”

Maleficent is my new all-time favorite Disney movie EVER! That’s saying a lot. I’m a Disney freak. One might think it’s because I have a million kids so I had to learn to embrace them, but that’s not true. One of my very first vivid memories as a child was going to the movie theater with my mom and my sisters to watch a Disney movie. I was hooked at about the age of 3 and things haven’t changed since, and I never miss a single new release. Unfortunately, because there were questions about whether Maleficent was completely kid friendly, I opted to skip it at the theater *SIGH* and anxiously await the release of the DVD in store. And that time has come! Disney’s Maleficent will be available on Disney Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD, and On-Demand November 4, 2014! I got an early release copy, and I’m not going to ruin it for you if you haven’t already seen it, but I’m going to tell you…again…I loved it and have watched it several times. And for the record, there was nothing even remotely frightening to my 8 year old daughter in the movie and she loves it too! We loved it so much that it inspired me, a total craft hater, to craft an Aurora’s Queen of the Moors Crown. Want to make one for your little princess before the in-store release? It’s super easy. If I can do this, anyone can!

diy maleficent queen of the moors crown, queen of the moors crown, maleficent, aurora crown maleficent

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Thick, bendable wire
  • Electrical tape
  • A random assortment of leaves (the fake foliage you can buy at any big box store)
  • Random embellishments (I used a few beads and some sparkly gold twigs)
  • Scissors
  • Gold spray paint
  • Hot glue gun

Start with the wire. Measure the piece around your queen’s head and cut it accordingly, overlapping by about 2 or so inches. Take the electrical tape and tape the overlapping wire together. Be sure to cover the whole area to avoid sharp edges.

maleficent, maleficent crown, queen of the moors crown tutorial
Cut the leaves off of the stems, spray paint both sides gold, then start hot gluing them on the wire band as randomly or neatly as you see fit until the entire band is covered to your liking.

queen of the moors crown, diy maleficent queen of the moors crown, aurora crown maleficent

Clip your other, smaller leaves, twigs, etc. and hot glue them as you’d like to get the desired look and depth of the crown.

diy queen of the moors crown, maleficent craft, kids crowns, princess crowns, diy aurora crown
That’s it! When you’re done, you have a golden crown inspired by a movie that you either already love, or you’re going to love as soon as you see it on November 4th! This was a fun project that my daughter was able to help with and she absolutely adores the results.

maleficent craft, diy queen of the moors crown, aurora crown

November 4th is just around the corner, hurry up and preorder your copy of Maleficent today, and then head to the store to pick up supplies to make your own Queen of the Moors Crown before it arrives. In the meantime, check out all of the buzz about Malefient on Facebook and Twitter. If you’ve already seen the movie, I’d love to hear what you thought of it. If you’re anxiously awaiting the in-store release, let me know what you think of it as soon as you see it. Seriously y’all…Maleficent FTW!

DIY Orange Sea Salt Scrub

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own.

DIY orange sea salt scrub, sea salt scrub, bath salts, orange scented bath salts

When I was in Arkansas for a recent conference, they had the most amazing sea salt scrub in all of the bathrooms at the hotel. Let’s face it folks, I don’t get out much, so I’m not overly accustomed to this sort of thing. Then B took us (yes, all of us) out for our 11th anniversary last week, and a sea salt scrub was awaiting me in the restaurant bathroom too. Bug and I washed our hands, used this scrub, and talked about how wonderful it was. Then I saw a post by my friend, Censie from Building Our Story, and she shared how easy it was to make her Lavender Vanilla Scrub at home.

I had a plan. You might have guessed by now that it involved sea salt and some super soft hands. You might (OK, you were) have been right.

DIY orange sea salt scrub, sea salt scrub, bath salts

I wanted this stuff in my house. I wanted my guests to feel as special as I do every time I step into a bathroom with this hand-softening magic. She made it look SO easy. And guess what? It really is! I used Censie’s initial “recipe” and changed it up to fit my color and “flavor” preferences, and it was a huge hit with me, with Bug, and with my neighbors (more on that later).

DIY sea salt scrub, orange sea salt scrub, sea salt scrub, DIY bath salts

Want to make some for yourself?

What you’ll need:

  • Sealable glass or plastic container (I used mason jars)
  • 2 cups Epson salt
  • 2 cups course sea salt
  • 3 tbsp orange extract
  • 1/2 cup olive or coconut oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 5 drops red food coloring to give it the orange glow (this is optional and you should never use too much or your hands will show it).

DIY orange sea salt scrub, orange sea salt scrub, DIY bath salts
What you’ll do:

  • Mix the Epson salt and sea salt in a bowl. Make sure you get rid of any clumps.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the orange extract, coconut (or olive) oil, and food coloring together.
  • Pour the liquid mixture into the salt mixture and stir thoroughly.
  • Carefully put the mixed salts into a mason jar (or container of choice), and you’re done.

This stuff is ah-mazing and I use it every day. So does Bug. It’s great for making your guests feel special, it’s super easy, and it’s an awesome gift. We were invited to a cookout over the weekend and I brought a mason jar full to the hostess. She put it out on her bathroom sink and by the end of the night, every women in the place was asking if I sell it. It’s that delicious to your hands.

The possibilities are endless since there are so many scent and color combinations you can try. Who knew feeling this pampered could be this simple? Not me, until now anyway. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think. Sure, you can buy this in the store, but I honestly think this DIY version is even better than the stuff I used in those hotels and high-dollar restaurants. My hands have never felt, or smelled, this good!