by christine victoria alexander

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

PHOTO DIARY FROM KIAWAH ISLAND

We spontaneously decided to visit Kiawah Island on our way home from Savannah and found an airbnb available just a 4 minute walk from the beach. Kiawah is beautiful! It was a our first time here and the beach was so pretty. Very clean, not too crowded, family friendly, lots of people riding bikes to and from the beach. We are huge Hilton Head fans and I think Kiawah has a similar feel, but I was disappointed there was not a single health food grocer anywhere nearby. I searched for a Whole Foods, Fresh Market, even a Publix and couldn't find anything. So I love Hilton Head just a teeny bit more because it caters to health nuts like me that drink smoothies and buy organic!

We had mostly cloudy weather which was actually pleasant because we spent all day on the beach but didn't feel fried at the end of the day thanks to all the cloud cover. 
Olive played from the moment we touched the sand to the moment we walked up to the house. She doesn't stop - it can be freezing water or cold and windy and she will have fun! She has become incredibly independent over the last year and will march ahead of us leading the way or leave the tidal pools to go dig near the "big waves" with her bucket and shovel. 
Rosie enjoys the water but if she's cold or tired she curls up in a towel in her beach chair and snacks on pretzels or people-watches. She likes to be close to us and cuddle. She would love nothing more than to spend the whole day wrapped in a warm towel snuggled up with Isaac and I. She really really loves physical touch and closeness. 
Madeline was such a joy to watch this year - the beach is still so new to her and she loves it! Tidal pool queen! She sat and splashed and played with the little ice cream sand toys we brought. She rolled on her belly and pretended to swim and kick her feet. She ate the sand. She tried to pick up the hermit crabs. She waved and smiled to everyone. She walked up and down the beach with me picking up shells. I loved watching her take everything in and explore. 

Here is my short photo diary from the trip... 







After a particularly sandy day on the beach the girls all hopped in the shower with me to rinse off. Afterward, we sat on the deck eating cherries while Isaac cooked dinner. It just felt like one of those moments that I'll hold onto for a long time. The girls all licking their stained fingers and spitting their pits out laughing at who got theirs the farthest. Madeline discovering cherries for the first time. The salty air. The best memories really are made in the simple little moments between all the big ones. 











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Friday, June 26, 2020

HAPPY FRIDAY!


Hi there! I know it's been a couple of weeks. I took a little break from posting while we were getting ready for our vacation. I'm back and sharing some fun links with you this morning!

1. First up, I am just wild about the new Chasing Paper x Ariel Okin wallpaper collaboration! If you haven't seen it yet hop on over to Chasing Paper. (It's peel & stick / removable wallpaper so don't be scared!) My favorites are the Chinoiserie, Jungle Toile and Palladio prints. Which one is your favorite? 

2. The Trader Joe's gluten free vegan cookie mix. Have you tried it? Even if you're not gluten free or vegan it's worth picking up a box (or two). The ingredients are pretty clean (almond flour, coconut sugar, semisweet chocolate chips, tapioca starch, coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt) and you only need a little butter/coconut oil, vanilla and milk on hand to mix them up. So good! I like mine chilled in the fridge. 

3. I ordered two really cool Montessori style quiet books for the girls before our drive to Savannah and they ended up being a huge hit! Even if you don't have a road trip coming up they would be great for waiting at a restaurant or during nap time to help littles play quietly. They sent me a coupon code for 15% off if any of you want to order. 
CODE: 15CCKIDS 

4. So excited about these linen sheets from the new Casaluna collection at Target. They are about half of what you'd pay elsewhere for linen bedding. The idea of linen sheets is so attractive to me - they're supposedly perfect year round and get softer with every wash. Adding these to my list!

5. One of the girls got a wart a few weeks ago (the first wart of my motherhood journey) and we had huge success removing it with 1 drop of thieves on a bandaid every day for 2 weeks. Painless, easy and no mess. Just thought I'd share in case any of you are in the same boat!

6. Last, but not least, I just ordered this pretty $30 dress on Amazon and I'm very impatiently waiting for it to arrive. I was influenced by Julia Berolzheimer, who has impeccable taste in clothes. Hoping I can channel some of her chicness when I wear it! 

That's it! Hope you all have a great day and a fantastic weekend! 
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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

EXPLORING SAVANNAH: WHERE TO STAY & WHAT TO DO


Last Sunday we whisked the girls off to Savannah for a much needed family vacation! We have visited Beaufort, Charleston, Litchfield and Hilton Head but have never been to Savannah or Tybee Island before.

We stayed in the prettiest suite located over a waffle and coffee shop in downtown Savannah. It was walking distance from nearly everything and right across the street from a small park where the girls could scooter and get the wiggles out every night. If you're planning a trip to Savannah I cannot recommend our host and this beautiful suite enough. Everything was so pretty, comfortable and clean, and the bathroom was fully stocked with Public Goods' (natural/clean!) shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, etc. 

We had originally planned to tire the girls out every day and then pack us all into the big king bed at night and hopefully all pass out together. (Except Madeline, of course. She was in her travel crib.) That idea did not work and at 1am the first night Isaac and I hopped out of bed (because clearly we weren't sleeping) and made up the pull out couch in the next room for the girls. They did great together and we kept that arrangement for the rest of the trip! We are not currently an "all in one bed" kind of family. 😅





Here's a link to the airbnb: 

If you don't need the extra pull-out couch there is another rental in the same building for just two people that I'll link here. Can you get over how gorgeous these rooms are?! 





We are not, by any means, seasoned travelers or experts on the city of Savannah, but I thought I'd include a list of the places we enjoyed if you are planning a trip of your own!

The Paris Market / hands down my favorite stop on our whole trip! Named "The Most Beautiful Coffee Shop in Georgia" by Architectural Digest. It's like all the best things from Paris came together in one store: pastries, macarons, antiques, children's pieces, collectibles, jewelry, kitchen wares, ribbons, oh my goodness, I could have spent hours here. 

The Coffee Fox / delicious coffee (according to Isaac), fresh gluten free muffins, conveniently located right across the street from The Paris Market. What's not to love?

Henny Penny / sister company to the The Coffee Fox - it's a coffee shop / bakery combined with an art space for kids! I so wish the girls could have sat down and created something here but the art space was closed due to you know what. That didn't stop us from grabbing a bag of gluten free muffins, peanut butter cookies and energy balls to-go!

Leopold's Ice Cream / famous ice cream shop owned by movie producer, Stratton Leopold. The line was out the door every time we went by - definitely a local favorite. The only reason we stopped in was because they offer a dairy free ice cream which is rare to find at any ice cream shop. I thought it was a little sweet but I have heard rave reviews about the real stuff.

Sekka Bikes / next-door to Leopold's. We didn't end up renting bikes since we brought a stroller and scooters with us, but a bike ride is one of my favorite ways to see a city. 

Forsyth Park / the "Central Park" of Savannah. 30 acres of fountains, trees, walkways, playgrounds, and more. The ultimate gathering spot for locals and visitors. 

Ellis Square / there are lots of little historic "squares" in downtown Savannah. This one has a splash pad for kids and a life sized chess set. It's right next to the City Market and a block away from Paula Deen's retaurant, The Lady and Sons. 

Johnson Square / a couple of blocks down from Ellis Square. This one has a big fountain and a ton of benches. Would be a nice shady spot to eat your lunch!

River Street / full discloser: we totally forgot to see River Street. It was on our itinerary but somehow we missed it! I would have loved to watch the boats pull in. 

Wormsloe Plantation / we didn't forget Wormsloe. The iconic live oak backdrop is even more incredible in person. If you have small children just go take a picture under the oaks (for free) and then be on your way. If you're up for a walk, purchase a pass and enjoy the extensive walking trails all over the property. 

Tybee Island / a quick 25 minute drive from Savannah. I won't say it's my favorite beach but it was nice to get out of the city for a day or two and be on the beach. Tybee Island Lighthouse & Museum are located towards the north part of the island. 

Kayak Kafe / vegan and gluten free options, great choice of salads, sandwiches / panini, and tacos. We ate here twice because it was so easy to grab and go. 

The Grove / "sophisticated-casual restaurant" with a rooftop bar. Super fun vibe and delicious food. Isaac said he would drive 4 hours in a minute just for their fried okra. Gluten free menu made it easy for the girls and I. We waaaay over-ordered here and had to roll ourselves home. 

Fox & Fig Cafe / another sister company to The Coffee Fox and Henny Penny shops. A vegan cafe featuring "locally roasted PERC coffee, Leopold's coconut cream milkshakes, house made cashew hemp lattes, wine, and a brunch-centric menu served all day." I reeeeeally wanted to eat here but it just wasn't Isaac's thing. I should have mentioned the milkshakes a few more times. That probably would have convinced him. If you're a health nut at all go here for me and tell me how it is! 





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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

A GARDEN TOUR OF THE FARMACY


Today I am so excited to share my very first garden tour with you all!

My parent's backyard, fondly referred to as The Farmacy, is bursting with flowers, herbs, berries, and vegetables! There are charming pathways leading between different areas of the yard, scents of lavender, thyme, oregano and mint waft through the air, birdhouses hang on the trees, bees buzz from flower to flower, and against the house a small potting bench is tucked in next to a rain barrel.
It didn't always look like this. I remember helping my mom with her garden about 20 years ago when it was just a few rows of vegetables on the far side of the pool. We built a bunny fence together and painted it blue. 😊
Fast forward to today and the gardens have grown quite a lot! My parents will tell you it has taken years of hard work to bring this garden to life, but my goodness, what a reward for all their effort!

My mom was kind enough to walk me through everything they have growing and answer a few questions for the blog. Pour yourself a drink and enjoy this tour through their beautiful backyard garden. It's a real treat!

Christine Alexander (CA): Mom, when did you become interested in gardening?

Allyn Squicciarini (AS): I've always been a nature girl! When we moved into our first house, with my mom's enthusiasm and expertise, it seemed like a natural extension of my interests. 

CA: A garden this size must be a lot of upkeep. Is it worth it?

AS: It is to me! I always want to be outside. I love watching things grow and I love to cook! It is also great exercise! Plus, now that Joe has joined me in tending it, it's an activity that we do together. I love sharing the joy of gardening with my husband!

CA: If someone wanted to try gardening what are some easy plants to start with?

AS: It depends on the season! Spring would include: lettuces, chard, and kale. In Summer: tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Those are just a few of many vegetables to try!

CA: What is your favorite part of gardening?

AS: Harvesting! I love going around looking for ripe veggies. When I bring everything inside it's like a giant "Chopped" basket! 

CA: What's next at The Farmacy?

AS: This fall we will have to rebuild a few of our older beds that are rotting away. We are also going to build a bed with a hinged greenhouse cover that will extend our fall crop into winter and help us get an earlier start in the spring!

Let's take a walk through The Farmacy!

Enter through the back gate and you'll be greeted by this pretty pathway leading you around to the first set of raised beds. 

In the bed to the left: carrots, bush beans, and baby cucumber vines just starting out. To the right; peppers, kale, chard, onions and beets. 




Behind these raised beds is asparagus, followed by two more beds filled with herbs, lavender, onions and eucalyptus.




Behind the garden, towards the back of the property, stretches a bocce court my dad built a couple of years ago. Blackberry bushes border one side of the court and beyond them, eleven blueberry bushes covered in berries.







To the right of the pool is a long row of raised beds planted with tomatoes, eggplants, yellow zucchini, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, beans, lettuce, and more peppers.




A massive butterfly bush, heaps of hydrangeas and a bluebird house finish off this corner of the backyard. 



I hope you've enjoyed this garden tour! If you have any questions or comments for my parents feel free to leave them below and I'll make sure they see!


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