What we bought at Buc-ee’s.

Have you ever heard of Buc-ee’s before? I haven’t heard of the place until a few months ago when I saw it all over social media and the internet. I didn’t know too much about the place but was curious about it for sure. We were on our way to Florida, which you can read more about here and here, but stopped at a hotel in Alabama first. Since we couldn’t check into the hotel until late afternoon, we decided to make a pit stop to the Athens, Alabama location!

I wish I would’ve taken more pictures of the place. It is ginormous! Buc-ee’s is a massive gas station with 90 something gas pumps, 50 something bathroom stalls that is manned 24/7, 20 something cash registers, 4 Icee machines, and you can purchase snacks, drinks, and fresh food made daily. They also have the world’s largest car wash, the one we went to was closed but would’ve totally done that too! We spent around $100 there but could’ve easily spent way more.

Here is a rundown of what we bought!

BUC-EE’S PILLOW – Hadley picked out this pillow over a hat. It’s right up her alley, tie-die, and colorful.

BUC-EE’S TSHIRT – Kevin picked out this shirt, I like it!

NAPKIN HOLDER – I picked out this napkin holder, and I thought the napkins were the normal dinner size, but they are a little bigger than a cocktail napkin. Wasn’t a huge fan of the salt and pepper shakers because we don’t have any green in our house, but I’ll still use it!

BUC-EE’S SIPPY CUP – Had to get Huxley a little something! And all the prices were very reasonable, which is why we easily spent $100.

BUC-EE’S WAX BOTTLES – Hadley picked out the most random type of candy, these things are gross! But she was happy, so we got them. The selection of things here is overwhelming, there is so much to choose from! They are known for their beaver nuggets, which is a caramel coated corn puff, and I wish I would’ve snagged a bag!

BUC-EE’S KEYCHAIN – Hadley loves keychains! She put this on her travel bookbag as soon as she got in the car.

You have to get a picture with the beaver himself!

Buc-ee’s is like no other gas station you will ever go to! If you are ever near one, set aside some time to go in and check it out. It’s amazing. The employees are super kind too! They just built one an hour from where we live in Ohio, and I want to check it out so bad!

Have you been to Buc-ee’s? I’d love to know what other locations are like!

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Our 2023 Summer Beach trip – Days 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9

I recapped the first half of our beach trip earlier this week, and today I’m wrapping up the second half!

Tuesday, August 15
Worked out in the condo this morning, just wasn’t feeling the beach walk this time. Huxley stayed up at the condo this day, with him being just one years old going to the beach everyday can be a lot. Hadley and I chilled at the beach together, and then Kevin came down later with her. Kevin has always done the laundry when we’re on vacation, I don’t know what that’s all about, but I’ll take it. For dinner, we went to Boshamps! I saw this place on Instagram and wanted to dry a drink they have called “the dreamsicle.” The drink consisted of Titos vodka, vanilla ice cream, and orange juice. Even though I’m not a huge fruity drink fan, it was good! Kevin had a burger, and he said it was one of the best he’s had. He’s not a huge seafood guy, so yes, he got a burger at a seafood restaurant. I got a shrimp basket, it was good! They had a really cool place outside to hang while you waited for your table, sand for the kids to play in, big chairs, and could walk along the docks to see all the boats, it was fun.

Wednesday, August 16
We changed it up a little bit today and went to a pier! We found out about this place from a family we met at the condo pool. You pay $2 per person to go on the pier, and you literally see so much sea life! We went early, like eight in the morning, and there were already so many people fishing. We saw a few sharks, small fish, and jellyfish! It was so cool to see sharks so close up! After the pier, we stopped at a local cafe for breakfast. I tried my favorite chai tea latte, it was good! I love trying chai’s at different places! After breakfast, we headed back to the condo. Kevin and Hadley headed out for their day date, they did go karts, swings, water bumper cars, and just had fun being together just the two of them. After they got back to the condo, and Huxley took his nap, we went down to the pool to swim. We ate dinner at the condo, and then just hung out on the balcony. I could sit out there all night!

Thursday, August 17
We had an exciting day today! We headed out bright and early again, stopped for donuts for breakfast. We rented a pontoon boat and headed out to Crab Island. I don’t know if I’ll be able to say everything I want to about this day, but it was quite comical on the pontoon. You see the photo of Kevin talking to the guy about the pontoon, and how to get to Crab Island, etc. The trip to Crab Island should’ve taken twenty, maybe thirty minutes? It took us an hour. An HOUR! Let’s just nicely say, that my human MapQuest of a husband, is amazing at directions on the road, but on water? Not so much. After an hour of driving around, just enjoying the ride (lmao), we finally found the island filled with boats! It was so cool! A bunch of boats in shallow water, and a tiny little store in the middle of the water, where you can pay to bounce on a ton of floaties! The really terrible thing about the trip was the water was filled with jellyfish! Kevin got in, and dunked Huxley a few times to cool him off. Hadley and I did not get in, it was so hard, but I was not about to get stung. It was a huge bummer, because we rented this pontoon and barely stayed because of all the jellyfish. It was fun though! If there were no jellyfish, we would’ve stayed and swam until it was time to return the pontoon. Definitely doing that again, during the non-jellyfish season though!

After Crab Island, we got Chick-Fil-A for lunch on the way home, and then Huxley took a nap. Hadley and I went down to the pool, she swam with the friends she made earlier in the week. For dinner, we went to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurant. We sat outside and watched all the boats go in and out of the harbor. After dinner, we walked around the boardwalk. Hadley got frozen yogurt, and then we went back to the condo. Kevin put Huxley to bed, and Hadley and I walked on the beach. We saw a few sandcastles of mermaids and octopus. And then I came up to the condo, and Kevin and Hadley took a night swim in the pool and hot tub! She loved all the one-on-one time with each of us!

Friday, August 18
Our last full day! We started out the morning by eating breakfast on the balcony. Hadley loved the hanging seat! And Huxley’s travel seat was so easy to move around wherever. We basically just hung out at the beach and pool off and on all day. We would take turns with Hadley at the pool, and the other at the beach, or up at the condo with Huxley. At the pool, Hadley met these siblings that she had so much fun with all week. The parents were so nice too, they were from Connecticut! They didn’t want the night to end, they swam for so long together. When it was time to come up to the condo for the night, they both went to each other’s condos to check it out, and they exchanged home addresses in hopes to keep in touch! It was so cute!

We ate dinner in the condo, and then Kevin pretty much packed the van, so it was all ready to go in the morning. Hadley was so tired; she was out and looked so peaceful in bed I had to take a photo.

Saturday, August 19
Left the condo bright and early! We stopped at Subway for lunch, and I took a picture of Hadley because her eyes looked super blue, and she got so tan! I sat in the backseat the last few hours of the trip. We decided to push through, and just drive the entire way home instead of stopping at a hotel again. Hadley and Huxley were troopers on the way home.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and even better water on this trip! We had rain one time, but it was at night while we were sleeping. The water was sooo clear, it was gorgeous! I’m not sure I could ever go anywhere else, with the water as clear as it was. Just beautiful! It was a great vacation. As Huxley gets older, vacations will get easier. He did amazing sleeping in a pack ‘n play for a week too! We love the ocean, it’s so calming and relaxing, I never want to leave!

Thanks for following along our vacation journey!

Read about the first part of our trip by clicking here – 2023 Summer Beach Trip Days 1-4.

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Birthday date with Hadley #8.

Hadley and her dad had her birthday date in Florida! We weren’t able to get it in before vacation, so they had a day date and decided that was going to be for August. It was a fun place that had all kinds of things to do outside, like go karts, putt-putt, swings, and water bumper cars. Hadley sprayed Kevin when she was in the water bumper cars, she drenched him! He said it felt amazing because it was so hot!

Hadley and her dad love doing these kinds of things together! I love the special time they get together too!

She loves the idea of having special one on one time with her parents each month. We are going to take turns each month so we both get a chance to have our time with her throughout the year. I’m not saying we don’t get one on one time with her; I get a lot of time with her with my husband’s work schedule, but there is something special about planning something each month with her. It can be as simple as playing board games in the basement, coloring for an hour, going to a playground and eating dinner, just simple things. The point is, to be with just her and give her our undivided attention.

Previous birthday dates:
Birthday Date #1
Birthday Date #2
Birthday Date #3
Birthday Date #4
Birthday Date #5
Birthday Date #6
Birthday Date #7

Our 2023 Summer Beach Trip – Days 1, 2, 3, & 4

Recapping our summer beach trip from a few weeks ago! We’ve gone to Destin, Florida twice now, and just love it there! The water is so clear, it feels like you are in the Caribbean crystal-clear waters. There is so much to do there, we just love it.

Friday, August 11
We left our house bright and early Friday morning. I bought Hadley one of those plastic lap desks for the car and she pretty much used it the entire time we were in the car. We stopped about two hours in for breakfast and gas. We let the kids walk around as much as we could, even let Huxley stand in the booth when we’d stop to eat so he could stretch his legs.

We had the plans to stop in Birmingham, Alabama and stay at a hotel. We weren’t quite sure how Huxley would do in the car, so we had a plan. Since we couldn’t check into our hotel until 3pm I think it was, we decided to take a pit stop and visit the infamous Buc-ee’s! We went to the one in Athens, Alabama and it was amazing! If you ever get the chance to go to a Buc-ee’s, go. It is one of a kind, huge, and a bit overwhelming. But so so cool. I plan to share what we purchased while we were there, to give everyone a taste of what they have.

I was a little anxious how Huxley would do in the car for long periods of time, but my loving husband stopped for all the things. Breakfast, lunch, and diaper changes. Huxley did pretty good! He had his moments, and I even had a bag full of new toys he had never seen before, and they would last maybe 3 minutes at a time. Towards the end of the drive to the hotel, I did hop in the backseat in between Hadley and Huxley and entertained him a little.

We arrived at the hotel, checked in, and went up to our room and changed into our swimsuits. Went down to the pool, ordered pizza, and ate dinner outside. I’m not a huge fan of sleeping all together in one room with kids. One reason, I’m a very light sleeper, and don’t sleep the best anyways. We put up the pack ‘n play in the corner of the room, shut the blinds, turned on the sound machine, and he went to sleep.

Saturday, August 12
On the road again bright and early! We took our time checking out at the hotel, they have a really great breakfast at this particular hotel, so we relaxed and filled our bellies before heading out again.

Huxley has never been a big napper in the car, for this trip he only slept 30 minutes the entire trip! I guess it’s better than nothing but was hoping for a longer nap. We brought the travel sound machine we’ve had since he was a newborn, stuck it in the side of his car seat, and turned the radio down. It worked because he fell asleep, just didn’t stay asleep!

We arrived at the condo and walked straight out to the beach! The water was amazing! Hadley was so happy, and Huxley wasn’t so sure. I love staying at condos that are right on the beach, with a very very short walk to the beach. When you have kids, they come with lots of stuff to bring to the beach, so the shorter the walk the better. In my opinion, you can’t really go to Florida without staying at a place with a view of the ocean, right? After dinner, we took a walk on the beach and the weather was amazing.

Sunday, August 13
Started the day with a walk on the beach! It felt amazing to be by myself, and I luckily forgot my headphones for the walk, so I literally listened to the sounds of the ocean and just took it all in. It was so relaxing, while I was sweating my booty off!

Kevin and Hadley went down to the beach and set up the umbrellas and tents. Little man wasn’t a fan of the sand! He would either sit on a chair or stand on the mat and barely move. It was pretty funny as the days went on, but he loved the water!

Hadley could live in a pool, like she would rather swim at a pool all day instead of the ocean. She loves the ocean, but not as much as a pool. We compromise and spend most of the day at the beach, and then one of us goes up to the condo with Huxley while he naps, and then the other one of us goes to the pool with Hadley. It all works out!

We went to a place called Fudpuckers for dinner, we’ve been to this place before Huxley was born. You can feed the alligators while you wait for your table, and they have places for the kids to play. For dinner, we got seated right away so we fed the alligators after dinner. Kevin ordered a bucket drink which consisted of vodka and lemonade. I did a fun poll on Instagram and asked everyone who they thought ordered the drink, me or Kevin. Everyone voted me which I thought was soo funny, because Kevin ordered it. I’m not a fruity drink person, and this drink was fruity! Hadley loved her meal; it came with tiny alligators on her food.

After dinner, we went to feed the alligators. Hadley loves to pet animals, so of course she wanted to pet the alligators they brought out. And then she fed the alligators! While she was feeding them, Kevin was holding Huxley because it was super-hot out and let’s face it, I hold Huxley all the time! Huxley felt the need to take his ballcap off and toss it in with the alligators! We were laughing so hard! Kevin told the employees just in case if the alligators decided to eat the hat and by no means did we want or need the hat back! Well, the employee used this huge net to get the hat out of the water! They said that alligators get super territorial over things like that, and they’d rather get something out of the water, than leave it in with them. It was a memory we won’t forget!

After dinner, Kevin stayed at the condo with Huxley and put him to bed. Hadley and I went to get ice cream, it was such a cute little shop. After ice cream, we stopped at Dunkin Donuts to get breakfast for the next day. At the condo, we love to sit out on the deck and just listen to the ocean!

Monday, August 14
Started the day with another solo walk on the beach! I just love how the walk to the beach is so close, I can’t imagine going to the beach and not staying so close can you? Kevin and Hadley went down to the beach to set up the stuff again, I stayed up at the condo and got Huxley ready for the beach. He ate so much sand, he started **itting sand, it was insane! I can’t get over how amazing the water is! It’s crystal clear, and it was the perfect temperature! Refreshing, not too cold and not too warm, it was perfect!

I’m so glad we brought his floatie we use at the pool for the ocean; it was a lot easier than holding him or putting him in a life jacket. The water was pretty calm most of the time, so we felt comfortable putting him in a floatie.

Kevin and I took turns going up to the condo with Huxley and to feed him lunch. We brought a travel highchair that was perfect. It folded up like a mini camping chair, so it didn’t take up much room at all. The condo was very nice, I wish I would’ve taken more photos of the inside. The only complaint we had was it wasn’t the cleanest, and the door to the entrance looked like a tiger had a little brawl at the front door! The condo is an older building, and needs some updates, but we still loved it.

After Huxley went to bed, I ran to the store to get some more Titos. I had to take a photo of how much cheaper it was in Florida than in Ohio! Like ten dollars cheaper! And I took a photo of the “reddy ice”, which isn’t the best ice because it melted so fast. I like the home city ice in Ohio, it stays super cold! This was the end of day four!

Check back later this week, to recap the rest of our trip! Thanks for following along.

Happy Monday and thanks for reading!

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Friday Favorites.

Hi friends! Happy Friday! Here are the favorites this week.

I saw a video of someone using this mascara on Instagram and it was amazing. I’m always curious how stuff like this will work on myself. Mascara can be found here.

A little obsessed with Stanleys, and I love the ones that have this handle at the top. Much more leak proof than the 40oz that I have. Stanley can be found here.

I don’t think I would ever use this, but I think it’s hilarious! Why can’t you just use a bowl and sit it next to your Stanley? I guess this would be used in the car, but then how would you drink it without everything falling all over the place? Too funny to me. Snack ring can be found here.

Huxley would love this when he gets a tad older, it’s super cute and looks so fun! Dump truck can be found here.

This photo came up on my Facebook page, it’s called a “Blessing bag”. It’s to keep in your car in case you see someone in need. Items like gloves, socks, crackers, candy bars, toothpaste, wipes, deodorant, all things you can get at the dollar store. I thought this was soo cool! I love doing things like this, especially paying for someone’s meal in the drive-thru!

Happy Friday everyone, have a great weekend! And as always, thanks for reading!

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a very small commission if you click through or make a purchase.

Linking up with Erika.

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Outdoor Movie Night – The Parent Trap

We hosted our second neighborhood movie night a few weeks ago! We figured summer is coming to an end, and it’s a fun way to celebrate the ending of summer. We chose the Parent Trap movie!

I made this invitation, and we walked around the neighborhood and passed them all out by hand. Hadley loves doing this part, and it’s a great way to meet the neighbors each time.

The snacks for this movie were so fun to make! I did vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting and sprinkled crushed Oreos on top. I made a mini tent and stuck a small plastic pine tree in each one. I loved how they turned out! In the movie, the girls’ favorite snack is Oreos and peanut butter, so I had some of those out. And my favorite part of the movie when the girlfriend has a lizard on her Evian water bottle! I ordered plastic lizards and taped them on each water bottle, the kids loved them! The next morning, I found a few laying around in the grass. I made a small s’more bag also, just a few marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. And last but not least, candy! We went to the Dollar Tree and Hadley picked out some candy.

We met some new neighbors this year, and it was fun to see everyone come and hangout. The kids had a blast, and Hadley loved hanging out with all the kids. It was a fun way to celebrate summer coming to an end, and just get together for something different!

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Third grader.

We have an official third grader! First day of school today. Hadley was beyond excited; she couldn’t wait to start school and see her classroom. Second year in a row she’s said she wants to be a marine biologist when she grows up!

We got her teacher a small gift, we always do each year. Teachers deserves it!

The morning before school, we had donuts for breakfast! And some cute signs and things to make the morning special! These years go by so fast, and I want to make them memorable for my kids!

The traditional front porch photos! I look forward to these photos every single year, they are just the best. I love watching her grow up.

We all drove to school together since Kevin was off work. I walked Hadley into school while Kevin and Huxley hung around outside.

I think we are passed the tears phase of the first day of school, she was super excited and all smiles. She was not nervous at all! She didn’t want me to take a photo in the classroom, so I stood in the hallway and snapped one real quick! I mean look at that smile! So excited.

After school, Hadley was a little bit riled up. It was a long day, getting up early! She came home and showed us her planner, her folders, and the teacher newsletter explaining all the things.

Happy new school year to all the kiddos!

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Our 2023 Summer Beach Trip by the Numbers.

We had a great trip to one of our favorite places, and today I’m recapping the trip by numbers! This idea is from Lindseys Sweet World!

9 – Days we were on our trip

1 – Night we stayed at a hotel

7 – Nights we stayed in the condo

2 – Bottles of Titos were consumed

5 – Twelve packs of Zevia were consumed

3 – Donuts consumed by mainly Hadley

1 – Time we got takeout and ate in the condo

3 – Restaurants we ate at on this trip for dinner

2 – Times we ate inside at a restaurant

1 – Times we ate outside at a restaurant

2 – New restaurants we tried on this trip (BoShamps and Margaritaville)

4 – Walks on the beach at night

8 – Crabs seen on our walks

2 – Dolphins seen in the ocean

4 – Bottles of sunscreen we went through

2 – Holes-in-one made during Hadley’s mini golf outing with Kevin

5 – Times we made lunch in the condo

1 – Time we had Chick-Fil-A for lunch in the condo

30 – Hours spent on the beach during the day

200 – Pictures taken on the trip with my iPhone

32 – Videos taken on the trip with my iPhone

Infiniti – Jellyfish we saw in the canal and ocean

6 – Shells found

89 – The lowest temperature we saw during the whole trip

99 – The highest temperature we saw during the whole trip

I’ll be recapping our trip from start to finish in the next few days!

Happy Monday!

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