Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Poplar Grove Plantation

There is one thing I am learning very quickly in the South, local tourist attractions will often be plantations. The East Coast is the center stage for a good portion of America's early history. It's going to be fun learning more and showing the kids all the historical places they read about.

We are still getting settled in North Carolina. We don't even have a permanent home yet. Which makes me want to cry but that is a different post. This post is a picture tour of Poplar Grove Plantation right down the road in Wilmington, North Carolina.

I did my research and discovered a Wednesday visit to Poplar Grove Plantation would make it free. You read that right Free On Wednesday, if you are in the area! I wasn't quite sure if the visit would be worth it; so, I decided  to visit on a free day. Plus, the plantation hosts a farmer's market on the same day. And I do love a farmer's market!

I didn't take the actual tour of the house but snapped some pictures from the outside. I love the Southern Charm of these old houses. I would like to take the house tour of a bigger plantation in the future.

The backside of the house. I love that porch and the staircase that reaches between the levels of the house.

On the grounds surrounding the main house are many different out buildings. The kitchen is kept outside the house in a separate building. If you think about it, then you realize what perfect sense given the fire hazard. 

A tenant house. 

Old Barn

Horse Carriage.

Gazebo. In my mind, this is where the magic happened :) 
Gone With The Wind. North and South.
Were men really that charming once upon a time? 


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Kitschy Beachy Superstores

First let me say, not a fan of the mega beach stores. Second, why so many?!? We live in a small town now, like not even a Walmart kind of small. I'm not sure why the need for four crap or kitschy beach stores within a 1 mile stretch of road. My only thinking is when the beach crowd comes in this Memorial weekend and hangs through the summer then stores cash in.

My daughter was bored and wanted to do something. I am game to check everything off my list. I haven't been in these kind of stores because a.) North San Diego county doesn't have them and b.) I haven't really been to the beach outside of California. I can confidently say I do not feel the need to go to any more beach stores. It's mostly junk. Can I say that without sounding like a total B?

I did find this amazing captain's hat. I just felt like it spoke to me :) Like, hey, I run this ship. Don't mess with me!

And a possible Christmas gift for my niece. I know my sister just loved it when I sent her a photo. 

The thing with beach stores is they really do up the outside of the store. The potential for being something awesome is there. Then you walk through the doors and are met with a mass of swim stuff.  Camouflage, fringe, confederate flag, you name it. It's really interesting. If I have to walk through an alligator to get inside your store, I want to see some animatronics or an aquarium or something substantial. 

There are such quirky things you find when you are new to an area. Have you been in an area with these type of beach stores?


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Lovin These Libraries

Yes, it's true, I've been ripped away from my community and friends and work. Everything I got comfy and familiar with for 15 years. Thank you Marine Corps! I landed in the biggest contrast I could imagine next to a foreign country. Lush, water logged coastal North Carolina. 

And I'm bored. My kids are in school. My husband is at work. I'm either cuddled up with a book or roaming around aimlessly. There isn't much to see so I started looking for Little Free Libraries.

Are you familiar with the Little Free Library? The best way to explain them would be oversized birdhouses filled with books. As a patron, you take a book and leave a book. They are taken care of by generous community members who love reading and want to make books more available in their neighborhoods. 

(Little Free Library #4065)

I was introduced to the Little Free Library organization through two bloggers I follow earlier in 2016. I am so sorry I can't specifically recall who they were :( I hate when my memory fails me like that. But those bloggers had posted about their own Free Little Library discoveries where they live.

I went on a little research mission and found all this really great information. (https://littlefreelibrary.org) Now I'm convinced I need to join the cause and get my own Little Free Library. In the future, of course. Until we get settled enough for me to get my own library, I've been driving around looking for LFL in our new town. We have the two shown above. 

Before we left Cali I had checked out a few in our area.

Little Free Library #27027

Little Free Library #26186

Library #29960

Little Free Library # 22195

Little Free Library # 20669

Isn't this the best idea? Have you heard of the little free library? Have you visited any in your town? 

Why Arkansas?

Arkansas may not be on your travel list but it should be! This state is gorgeous. Trees, mountains, rivers and waterfalls are all here. Arkansas is one of those states I've never traveled to or through. When we made our PCS travel plans, the whole route was planned so we could drive through Arkansas and explore. The bonus of PCS-ing is a free vacation along the way.

I learned very quickly to make use of a state's welcome center along the state lines. They are a wealth of information, not only for the area but the entire state. 

We made a couple hikes in the Petit Jean State Park. This one was Bear Cave Trail. I'll give you one guess why...

Yep, the caves. You're so smart!

We also hiked Cedar Falls Trail which ended at...you guessed it, Cedar Falls! My little daredevils hiked all the way around that rocky terrain to stand under that waterfall. I suppose if you are going to take the time to hike to a waterfall you better have the experience of standing under it. 

Another thing I was reacquainted with in Arkansas was humidity. I thought my straightening lotion was going to conquer. You can see how that worked out. I'm a curly haired girl and I'm not going to be able to fight it in my new home. Because it's May and the humidity is insane already :/

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

April 2016 Ipsy Glam Bag

Are you an Ipsy GlamBag subscriber? It's the best $10 you will ever spend! This is one subscription service where you get more product than what you pay for. I'm putting my referral code in here if you want to sign up. I don't get free stuff or money but maybe points towards samples. I'm not even quite sure ;)
Referral code: https://www.ipsy.com/new?cid=p_share_ref&sid=link&refer=wswla

Every month Ipsy sends out 5 beauty items tailored to you in a cute little makeup bag. Sometimes the items are full size stuff, sometimes trial size. The best part is the products are all good stuff! No dollar store cast offs. 

My April GlamBag included:

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Creme in wonder (Love)
Harvey Prince Organics Keravegan Repairing & Hydrating Masque
Pro belle Nail Lacquer 'In or Out'
OFRA Bohemian eyeshadow
L.A.B2 Just Blending In Brush

Everything in April's GlamBag was great. Tarte is definitely a brand I am interested in exploring. Which is what I'm looking for with the glambags, my little arrow pointing me in the right direction ;)

Need more convincing? Here are previous GlamBags:

March 2016
February 2016
January 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


What is a road trip without visiting roadside attractions? It's the world of cement dinosaurs and the world's largest "insert thing". Have you been there?

I think Bearizona on Interstate 40 through none other than Arizona (see what they did there!) qualifies as a roadside attraction. We were so pumped for the treasures Bearizona had in store for us. In the end, we saw more wildlife in Tennessee driving through the Smoky Mountains for free. But, hey, support small business and all that. Have some fun. Enjoy America. Words to live by!

What is Bearizona you ask? It's a drive through wildlife park near Flagstaff Arizona. A real big attraction in that area according to the billboards. It was cute enough but the animals were a little too comfy in their protected home. Which equates to animals who just lay around, stand around, or eat.

A special shout out to the goats! They were the highlight of the day :) 


Do You Live At The Beach?

If you follow me on Instagram, the question may have crossed your mind. I've been posting a lot of pictures of our walks along the Carolina coastline. The answer is no but kind of yes. One of those PCS woahs--turning lemons into lemonade- kind of things. We are waiting on our permanent house here so instead of continuing to slowly run our family dynamic into the ground we got a house on the beach.

The house is a little lack luster. An 80s throwback really, but everyone has their own bed and the dog is allowed. Honestly, it's cheaper than a hotel room, so no complaints! The back porch faces out towards the Atlantic Intercostal Waterway (not sure if I'm saying that correctly) and the front of the house faces towards the Atlantic Ocean. We are on an island that is no more than 4 city blocks wide. The beach is close and the weather is warm (aka humid). So the beach it is!!

Our pathway to the ocean

The other reason for all our beaching-ness is the lack of entertainment. I can not express to you how small this town is. I'm not referring to Jacksonville which is big is size but the small town where we will make our home. People, there isn't even a Walmart in this town, and I thought every town had a Walmart!?! I have to drive 26 miles to go to Target which is my store (despite the controversy).

It is very clear to me I will need a hobby and a job and some friends ASAP. My sanity depends on it.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

We Have Arrived

We arrived in North Carolina...two weeks ago. All you PCS empathizers know the chaos of settling so I don't need to explain right? There has been house issues and school issues and adjustment issues. Things are starting to settle. And I have lots to say! But later :)

For now, you get this young man who is always up for personalizing any blog photo.