The Shell Hunt

I love shell hunting, I think I am the only one in my whole extended family that likes to but I can’t help myself -I love it.  I am not sure if it is the hunt, possible awesome find, the anticipation, the curiosity of what could be out there, maybe missing out on something or just walking the beach.  I would guess it’s a combo of all those things because I love a good sale too-which are the same reasons as above (minus the awesome view of the ocean!!)

So I have been hoping at least one of my kids would take up the love for shell hunting but I am not sure it’s working.  Every time we go to the beach I plan and research where to look, what time of day, what is the best beach, what we are looking for-hours of time on good old GOOGLE.  Drives the husband nuts.  So this vacation was no different.  We came to Outer Banks last year but we really just looked at the beach where we were staying.  We didn’t find much on the beach BUT we did find an absolute gem of a shell shop called Shipwreck.  It took a lot of digging to find this place and it is a bit out of the way depending on where you are staying but definitely worth the trip.  Great assortment of shells (though most not local), great prices, very mom and pop shop.  I will warn you though if you are looking for great customer service, this is not your spot.  Both trips we have made we weren’t spoken to until we were at the checkout but to me the experience, the variety of shells and items makes up the difference.  Check this link for their information:   Shipwreck Shell Shop

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This year, I didn’t do homework ahead of time because I didn’t know if I wanted to bother with making a trek to some random part of the island and coming up empty handed.  But once we got to Duck I was determined yet again on this vacation to have a shell hunting adventure. I googled like crazy our first night at our rental house for about 3 hours.  I found some beaches that were supposed to be good spots but ALL of the pages I looked said (of course) shelling is partial luck, partial weather, and partial location.

The next morning off we went!  We started in Duck, OBX and we headed down to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse area (We wanted to visit the lighthouses too).  The drive was about 1 1/2+ hours so we arrived around 10.  (We lost Kid #1’s flip flop somewhere in the house and after 30 mins of looking we just bought a new pair on the way but that put us behind!!)

We got to the beach we could see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the background-so cool!!  It was cloudy and a bit cool but still good shell hunting weather.  As soon as we got there we found an awesome screw shell.  It wasn’t in perfect condition but I was ecstatic, one of my all time great finds!

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The kids and hubby weren’t as excited as I was to find all the shells especially since we haven’t had great luck at the last couple of beaches for shells.   The boys played in the ocean, dug some holes, then would look for some shells and then go off to play again.

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The baby LOVED the beach, the ocean and the shells!!  Once she realized what we were doing she was picking up all kinds of shells and adding them to the collection.  It was a great success at the beach and while I might still be the only one with the true love of shell hunting, it was still a great family adventure!!!

And then off to the lighthouses we went!  We got to see Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Bodie Island Lighthouse.  We didn’t get to climb them because the 2 youngest weren’t tall enough to climb so we walked around outside and took in all that was around the Lighthouses.  Definitely a great day!!!

Once we get them all cleaned and dried we are going to work on some fun craft projects with our shells, we will post once we complete them!!

If you are ever in the Outer Banks and like shell hunting I highly suggest checking out the beach and shell store!  Happy Hunting!

The Mini Triathlon-Too cute NOT to watch!!

I wanted to think of a way to get my kids involved in my triathlon race and fundraising.  I decided what would be better than doing a “mock mini triathlon” for them and some of their friends (that I know are allowed to be recorded and put on YouTube!!!)  So the Mini Triathlon came to life.  I made them each a race bib (not sure if you can see but they all are some from of 48-Kids FAV #, no clue why!), set the date and Boom!  Here we go!

We tried to get the bibs on and line them up for some pics *Not an easy task, it was after 6:30 on a school evening so we were asking for trouble!  We did better when we asked them to do something silly or fun-

Like saying, “We are #1!”

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Based on timing and well all participants under the age of 6 we didn’t do it in “real triathlon” order.  We did the bike, then run, then swim (2 days later!).  They had a blast and of course we had some tears (well everyone but 2 I think-Blame it on too close to BEDTIME!!)

So please take a minute and watch this too cute video of my little munchkins and their besties-if it doesn’t make you smile You Crazy!!!!

Dads Birthday (Not my dad!!!) 2017

This year the kids decided to make Dad some homemade cards (that were very decorative!!) and we made a personal pillow. I found a pillow at Walmart (for $5!!), it was an outdoor decorative pillow which was great because it was a synthetic material so the paint stuck perfectly.pillowWhile at Walmart I also got some multi surface craft paint (under $1.00) and we were set to decorate our pillow! paint923c850e-f47a-4ecb-b3b3-39c7693f9fb0_1.a82129ad3f0cfa55136199e4096eb3cf

The first thing I did was check to make sure the paint would work on the pillow so I made a little dot on the pillow, let it dry then tried to rub it off.  It didn’t smudge so we were ready to go!

We did a practice round and I brushed the paint on to their hands, FYI it apparently tickles when this is done 🙂  We practiced on some paper so I could figure out the right amount of paint to put on their hands.  Then I did the oldest (Pdawg) first (biggest hand!), then middle man (Mr. J) but when I got to baby girl I didn’t know if I should do hands or feet.  She isn’t a fan of things that feel “weird” so she tends to ball her hand up.  On the practice try she did good but from past experience I wasn’t sure I wanted to take the risk because I only had one shot with the pillow!  So I decided to do her feet instead.  She DID NOT like that at all.  Poor girl cried the whole time.

I was happy with how the prints turned out but it needed something else.  So I wrote each kids initial by their print and added the year and month.  Presto DONE!!!

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Their Dad loved it Successful Birthday gift complete!

1 month into training

Well I have been training for a little over a month for the Triathlon and I would say I am doing OK, I have gotten on the bike a few times (see picture with the kiddos in tow!!)

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and have been running regularly improving my time!!!  BUT I have yet to even put my toe in the pool.  I’m not gonna lie, the Y pool is COLD and the May weather in Ohio hasn’t been cooperating so the thought of getting in a cold pool to then go outside in the cold hasn’t been very motivating.    I also had strep (AGAIN!!!) this past month so that set me back a bit.  BUT I vow to get in the pool in the next week!!!  HAHA I have also said I am getting up at 6am every morning from now on (ask me how that’s going!!!!) but the pool is the least of my worries.  I love to swim laps and once I start we will be good to go!!!

My bike has a tune up and I have semi new shoes but I haven’t found my swim cap yet (I THINK I know where my goggles are!).  I also need to start to think about what I will wear for the actual triathlon.  When I did my first one, I was sooooo unprepared.   I believe I kept my swimsuit on the entire time-Holy Chapping!!!!  Stay tuned, I need to do some research.

So stay tuned, the husbands birthday is coming up and we gotta do something crafty!!!

Until next time.

The Plunge

I had my last baby 15 months ago and I have been trying to get back into shape.  Right before I got married (14 years ago) I signed up with MIT for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to do the DAM (It was my personal DAMN) Triathlon and had NO CLUE what I was doing.  I was getting planning a wedding, helping my mom refurbish their 200+ year old house, moving to a new city, trying to train for this (DAMN/DAM) Triathlon and raise funds.  I didn’t know many people so I did a lot of random things to raise money.  I did bake sales, I printed letters and walked around neighborhoods and spoke to people and talked to family members.

As for the training well let’s just say I was clueless.  I tried to train and I felt good about the swimming but the stamina I had no clue about.   Nor did I have a clue about how the whole transitioning from event to event worked… So after I raised the money, off I went to the DAM (DAMN!) Triathlon.  The hotel was cool and the people were super nice. I can’t say at this time I remember much more.  My mom and sister came to support me which was fantastic.  So when the guys were unloading our bikes one commented about mine being a mountain bike (So?  It’s a bike right? apparently NOT.)  They told me not to worry about it, I should be fine (uh-oh).

The next morning the Triathlon starts and I start off strong with the swimming.  I am freaked out though because I never swam outside, just in the nice pool at the Rec center.   I did fine, mom said I came out in first 25% of the pack so I was happy.  I didn’t swim in a swimsuit because I didn’t want to change so I just put on a pair of shorts and tank top and off I went on my bike.  Everything I heard and read said the bike is the easiest part and that is when you can catch your breathe and refuel for the run.  So I was feeling good.  But remember the mountain bike thing?  Oh and when they pulled it off the bike one of the bike tech guys said my brake was leaning on my wheel just a little bit and he TRIED to fix it but wasn’t sure it would be permanent because he didn’t have all his stuff with him…UH-OH.  So without going into to too many details basically it was miserable, the bike wasn’t a break, I didn’t get to refuel and I when I thought I was done after going up the HIGHEST bridge I have ever seen (probably not but it felt like it on my bike) the volunteers at the race yelled, “good job on the first loop!” Wait, WHAT????  I had to go around again?!?!?!  I almost broke down and cried right there and then.  I was so exhausted and the thought of the bridge again just crushed my soul.  That is how this became and will always be known (by me) as the DAM/DAMN Triathlon.  After the race I found out my brake was on my wheel the whole time just a little but enough to slow me down especially going down hills, uh.  AND a mountain bike is NOT a good bike for a road race-common sense eluded me.   To finish, I finished exhausted but I had done it.

So fast forward back to today.  That was not a great experience for me so I need some revenge!  I don’t know if they still do that particular Triathlon (not gonna lie, didn’t look too hard!) But I found the Chicago Triathlon and it looks awesome!  AND I can raise money for an great charity!  (more about this in another post).

So please follow my blog as a navigate through this Triathlon training, hopefully much smarter than the first time!!

And if you feel compelled to contribute to my race below is my Link, anything would be awesome, thanks so much!!!

http://fnd.us/11DYAa?ref=sh_f2C48c

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The Beginning

This is my first ever blog post.  I like to keep things short and sweet so my blogs will be just that, it’s who I am!

IMG_1132 I plan on writing about things that I enjoy and the new experiences I plan on having with my family.  I have a 2 year old and an 8 week old, currently on maternity leave from my fashion retail job and loving being with my boys.  Last week I celebrated my 10 year anniversary.  We took the boys to Build a Bear because the day before our wedding both me and my husband went to build a bear (separately) to make a bear for each other.  It was a new store so I guess we both thought it was a great way to have memories of our wedding day.