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!

Making Lasting Memories

I recently had my second baby boy and sadly this will be my last. Part of me would love #3 and a chance for a baby girl but it isn’t in the cards for me.   I have started putting clothes into piles as he grows out of them: donate, give to friends and sell.  I still have that fleeting thought of a keep pile but not sure what I would do with them.  There are 2 outfits I just can’t part with and I am sure you know where I am going with this: the clothes the boys came home from the hospital in.  They were from 2 of my favorites stores too: Gap and Carters.  A sweet little penguin one piece with a matching hat both sweater material.  The second was super soft baby blue 2 piece with an elephant and matching striped hat.  I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these outfits!   Every time I look at them it reminds me of those special days and I can’t part with them.

I thought about trying to make a blanket or pillow with them but really thought that would look weird so I asked a girlfriend if she was saving hers.  She said yes and that she bought teddy bears that she was going to dress with the hospital clothes.  While I liked that idea I didn’t think that really went with the feel of my house or my decor.  I tried to Google the topic but really didn’t find anything.  I also looked on my favorite site, Pinterest but nothing came up on that either.  I couldn’t think of anything all that great to do and put them back in the closest.

Then about 2 weeks ago I found a shadowbox I bought when boy #1 came along.  I had put a picture, his little cap from the hospital and a couple other things in it.  To be totally honest, it was a hot mess!  It didn’t flow together and just looked all hodge podged.  That’s when the clothes I saved came to mind, perfect!  The shadowboxes came with velcro but that didn’t hold up I found from my first attempt.  So I grabbed some push pins and got to work.

I took the outfits and centered them in the box.  I tried to lay them out to give it some dimension instead of laying flat in the box.  I redid it a couple times (and probably will continue until I love it!) I pinned in several places and tried to hide them or at least use colors that the tips would blend.  I then took the matching hats and put on the left side and the hat the wore in the hospital on the right.  I also put their hospital bracelets on the left arm of the outfit.  I have a baby ring from my dad that my mom gave me on my wedding day that was attached to my bouquet with a strip of my baby blanket.  I bought a baby ring for my son and attached it also which I put in the box also.  I don’t have one for baby #2 but I plan to add it soon.

I have two different styles of shadowboxes because I bought them at different times but I plan to get both to match eventually.  I bought them at Michael’s (which is one of my least favorite places EVER) and the quality is blah but it is close and they have coupons but that is another story for later.

So below are pictures of my final project, I put them on the wall tonight and am happy with my outcome.  I put them in each of the boys rooms and boy #1 was so excited to see it on the wall (let’s be clear it is the first thing that has gone on his wall so that might be why too!)

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While I still am holding on to a couple other outfits these will stay with our family forever and the boys will someday appreciate-I hope:)  I may come up with another idea for some other favorite outfits and if so I will share when it comes to me!