Tampa, Florida with Kids

Are you still looking to plan your family vacation this summer? I’ve put together our must see places with kids in the Tampa area to share with you! The best part of visiting the sunshine state, is that most of our favorite places are open year round! And I hope you’ll see that Florida has lots more than just the mouse land and crazy rides.

Our Top Must See!

  1. The Florida Aquarium
  2. Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park
  3. Glazer Children’s Museum
  4. Clearwater Beach

 

1 // The Florida Aquarium

Located in downtown Tampa, this is the perfect place to take the whole family. It gets you up close to many of the animals that live in Florida! Ever wanted to pet a sting ray, or meet a penguin? You’ll be amazed at just how close you can get to all the lovable creatures! How would you like to drive in and swim with the fish? No experience needed, you just need to be six years or older!

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2 // Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park

Voted #1 Family Friendly Zoo in the US by Parents Magazine, this is a must visit and probably our favorite place in the Tampa area. If your children love animals, they’ll have a great visit here! They have special animal encounters where you can feed many of the animals! We can’t wait to try many of these.

 

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3 // Glazer Children’s Museum

Even your littlest ones will find lots of great games to play, and things to explore at the children’s museum. Three floors of activities, climbing adventures, STEM activities and interactive play.

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4 // Clearwater Beach

Clearwater beach is about 20 miles of beautiful white sand, and clear water. We love coming to this beach and playing in the sand.

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BONUS

If you’re looking for even more adventures, head over to Area Attractions.

What are your favorite places to visit? Do you like the beach, visiting animals, or doing creative arts and crafts when visiting new cities?

xo,

Christine

Nordstrom Sale

If you haven’t already scooped up a few items, I’m helping you avoid going through the 200 plus pages! Below are my picks, lots of feminine ruffles, flattering high-waisted shorts and pieces that go from office, to playdate to dinner date.

 

 

Ruffle Hem Stripe Skirt | Ruffle Stretch Cotton Blouse | Ruffle Shorts | Twist Front Tee | Perfect Roll Tab Sleeve Tunic | Lace-Up Ruffle Miniskirt | Raw Edge Side Slit Tee | Cascading Ruffle Top | Ami Stretch Ankle Skinny Jeans | Wrap Top | Ruffle Sleeve Top | Matera High Waist Shorts | Tie Front Shorts | Whisper Ditsy Ruffle Sleeve Top | Eyelet Ruffle Hem High Waist Shorts | Steve Madden Carrson Sandal | Midnight Hours Short Robe | Lilith Satin Robe

 

There you have it! My top picks, plus a few great items for new moms! I hope this is helpful, leave a comment below of your favorites!

Beach Packing List for Toddlers

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We’re going up, up, so high on an airplane this week to visit Florida! Andy and I just celebrated our fourth year wedding anniversary are so excited that busy season is finally over! Yay! For those of you that are new around here, Andy works in the accounting world as an auditor, and they are slammed this time of year with lots of extra hours. Which means, a little vacation is well deserved for all of us!

I’m so excited to be visiting my mom and spending a week with her going to the pool and the beach! We have gone to visit before, so this isn’t our fist trip. However it seems we continue to need to find new ways to keep her entertained on long trips. You know what I mean? Toddlers are busy little people always learning, always on the go!

I’ve rounded up a few of our must haves, plus some new suggestions from friends we’ll be trying out!

 

Clothing

 

 

We love sundresses, and living in the south we are obsessed with Lilly Pulitzer. I love their bright colors and patterns, especially for beach trips in the summer! Two of our current favorite designs are this toddler shift dress and this adorable baby girls dress. The best thing about being two, is you can still wear 24 month sizes and toddler girl sizes too! Yay!! Our two very favorite bathing suites are these from Target; coral and waves!

Accessories

 

 

 

Minnie Mouse Sunglasses | Straw purse | Wide-brim Hat | Tropical Hat

Adventure Sandals | Swimming Vest

 

Travel

 

Minnie Mouse Umbrella Stroller | Stroller Fan| Water-resistant Sunscreen

Magna-doodle Board | Fun Magnetic Board| Leak-proof water Bottle| Snacks to Go | Reusable Activity Pads

 

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Carrying it All

Freshly Picked Butterscotch Beige | Skip Hop Caramel

At the airport or going on a road trip, it’s great to have a place that is convenient to keep everything your little ones might need handy. These are both great bags that look stylish and help moms and dads make parenting look easy!!

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Will you be traveling this summer? What would you add to the list? Leave us a comment below, or join us on Facebook and Instagram for more conversations! Looking for our other post on our minimalist packing list? It’s here: A Minimalist Guide to Stress-Free Traveling with Toddlers & Babies

xo,

Christine

 

Current Trends We’re in LOVE with!

I’m so excited for this spring’s trends, big hats, gingham and blush have always been some of my favorites as a kid. Inspired by childhood heirlooms they’re taking kids and mom’s fashion by storm! A few of our favorites include:

Bathing suits

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I love the laid back style that crips gingham gives. Pairing blush slides with this swimsuit & top for example. And a straw hat makes any photo insta-ready!

 

Mommy and mini sets

 

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I love the splurge worthy on trend sandals from Australia being worn right now, but I’m in love with these just as adorable pair from Old Navy! Mommy and mini can wear complimentary shoes and still keep family budgets on track! That’s a win in my book!

 

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I’m also loving mommy & mini rompers that have come out this season! We took a fun girls trip to our local outdoor science and technology museum and had so much fun wearing these not-so-matching rompers together!

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If you’re looking for more spring / summer trends subscribe to our blog! We’ll be sharing more soon.

 

Spring Skin Care Updates

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Our current skin care obsessions are from Lancôme! We received these samples complimentary for testing purposes and couldn’t be happier with the results! A perfect tinted moisturizer you can wear all by itself, no other make up needed! (I use Golden Sand.) This amazing serum  that helps improve skin’s radiance, elasticity, firmness, skin tone, and smoothness. And this awesome firming and dark spot correcting moisturizer with sunscreen! If you like a little shimmer on your lips, you’ll like this prismatic plump lip gloss. Thanks so much to Influenster for sending these amazing skin care products our way for testing!

 

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What are your favorite trends right now? Share them below or join us on Facebook or Instagram for live conversations!

xo,

Christine

 

My Favorite Shoes for Spring!

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I’m so excited to share a few of my favorite new spring shoe trends! Blush and Gingham are current favorites. I’m sharing my shopping tips, and tricks to get you looking  on trend, without breaking the budget!

 

Blush Mules

Splurge-Worthy Blush Mules

Budget Friendly Sueded Bow-Tie Slide

 

On Trend- Gignham

 

On Trend, Splurge-Worthy Report Espadrille Slide Sandal

Budget Friendly Gingham Slides

 

Canvas Sneakers

Splurge-Worthy Converse Sneakers

Budget Friendly Blush Canvas Shoes

 

A Shoe You’ll LOVE

If you’ve shopped budget friendly thus far, way to go!! However, can’t wait to show you this last pair, because sometimes its ok to splurge a little. After all, Mother’s Day is coming up!! Maybe you’ll put these on your wish list!

You’ll fall in love with this sexy, date night worthy Vince Camuto, Cachinta Open Toe Bootie! The heel is wide enough you’ll feel like you have enough support to walk down old town cobble streets for a dinner date, or across a grassy field for an evening concert in the gardens.  This neutral color is perfect to go with any dress, rockstar white jeans or that sexy romper you just bought!

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Please comment below if you love our picks, or if you have a few must have trends you would add!

 

xo,

Christine

 

How to Host a Carousel Themed Party

One of my favorite memories as a child was ridding the merry-go-round with my parents. There is something so magical about the beautifully painted horses as they glide through the air with riders on their backs gleefully giggling with delight. Even as adults when we ride a horse, a bunny, perhaps even a lion or a giraffe carousel animal, we are instantly transported  back into some of our sweetest memories of childhood.

We have a wonderful park in our city that has stunningly maintained a beautiful carousel that was the theme for our party. I love how versatile a carousel theme party can be. From bridal showers and baby showers to a child’s, or even a sweet sixteen birthday party, and everything in between anyone who loves whimsical  parties can host a beautiful carousel themed party!

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I’m sharing some of our favorite design tips and how to DIY almost everything you see here! Including how I created stations around the house to keep the party guests flowing from room to room with different points of interest.

Our show stopper pieces were these huge mylar happy birthday balloon letters. There was no doubt you had arrived to a children’s birthday party. (If you were doing a different theme- you could easy change out these letters for a different party celebration.) We also kept the big toys like this fun ball pit and our daughter’s new rocking horse here so the adults could lounge on the sofa, recliner and chairs placed in the room while the children played together.

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The Decorations

A team of helpers makes every party to be more successful, and these handmade carousel horse silhouettes and the larger than life number two are the perfect example of this.

Each decoration is made from items you can easy purchase at your local craft store! Here’s what you’ll need to make a large number for a birthday party:

Supplies:
▪️Foam Board
▪️Modge podge
▪️Foam Brush
▪️ X-acto knife
▪️Tissue Paper
▪️Paper plate
▪️Ruler & Protractor

For the number we measured 8cm from the bottom of the board to make the bottom of the number two. Then measured from the top of the foam board a radius of 17cm for the circle of the 2. We made it a bit like one would make a cake by following the shapes. The only cutting we did was the outside shape. For the tissue paper we cute 2 inch squares and using the modge podge glued them onto the foam board.

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To create these beautiful carousel horse sillouets we made them in stages, and the paint we let dry overnight.

Supplies:
▪️Foam Board
▪️Modge podge
▪️Foam Brush
▪️Yellow paint (can be spray paint)
▪️Glitter
▪️ X-acto knife
▪️Carousel Horse Templet
▪️Floral Foam
▪️Tissue Paper
▪️Empty gift wrapping paper tube
▪️Tule
▪️Ribbon
▪️Container for the Base

I drew free hand the horse design modeled after these coloring pages we printed out for the children. This was by far the most challenging decoration and will have to be followed up with its own separate post. Please send me a message directly if you have urgent needs and we can discuss further!

 

DIY Balloon Arch

This was so much easier than I thought it was going to be! If you’re interested in trying it- I would highly suggest do it for your next party!

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Supplies:
▪️Balloon Arch Tape
▪️2-3 packs of 12” balloons
▪️3-4 packs of 5” balloons
▪️ Helium tank
▪️Greenery
▪️Push pins or command strips

I chose several colors of balloons as my base for this arch, then added pops of accent colors. I followed this tutorial online, I think it was super helpful!

Note: This should not be made in advanced. Latex balloons have a short life and if you want this to float- be sure you build it as close to party time as possible.

Kids corner

The children had their own special area set up including their own kid-sized table and chairs and this cute buffet table!

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We ordered these Paper Mini Candy Pink Striped Popcorn Boxes to match our carnival theme and filled them with kettle corn! Most definitely a must have food for a fun carnival party! I also filled a fun flower pot with fruit snacks, and each child had their very own fun birthday cup with lid and straw at their seat at the table! (That was the cautious mom in me, ha!) When it was time to go home, everyone took home a goodie bag. I added the little gold horses to look like they each had a merry-go-round horse on their bag!

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At each seat was a coloring sheet and lots of crayons. Our birthday girl had a crown and special birthday pin! The balloon flowers were made same day, but the blue paper flowers happen to live up on our wall year round.

 

Food and Drinks

What type of food might you serve at a carousel themed party? Let’s start with the fun stuff! We already talked about the kettle corn, but there were also colorful jelly beans and yogurt covered raisins! I absolutely love macaroons. They’re on a later photo placed next to the cupcakes and cake. I love freshest strawberries in the spring and made a platter of the plumpest ones I could find. The favorite carnival type dessert was most definitely the amazing white chocolate dipped apple slices with sprinkles. I don’t have a photo of them because they were all eaten before I could take their photo! They were a huge hit!

For those that might actually be hungry and not want to dine on sweets only, I couldn’t resist making delicious tea sandwiches like these to go with our party theme. We also made our own super easy ranch dip by mixing a packet of hidden valley ranch seasoning packet with sour cream. Also, I have a new obsession with cocktail tomatoes. Have you ever tried them? They’re a little sweeter than cherry tomatoes and have a slightly thinner skin. We also had carrot chips and baby carrots with more cucumbers for dipping. For the main part of the meal my wonderful husband grilled four pounds of chicken seasoned with Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning. We offered guests the option to build their own chicken sandwiches- yum! For the kids we ordered a party platter of chick-fil-a nuggets with the chick-fil-a sauce because they really do it best- yum!

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The Sweets

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This birthday cake might just be my favorite part of this party. Our little girl just loves to ride the carousel horses and I knew this theme would make her so happy. The cake was the center of the party, and my inspiration. I’m blown away at the talent at our local Whole Food store. The entire cake is made from vegan-buttercream! This is their black and white cake, without the chocolate ganache on top (which is amazing if you haven’t tried it!).  The Cake Topper took me the longest to find. From the angle of this last photo, you can see there is some clear wrapper on the bottom and there is a slight gap, that’s because this is a musical cake topper! And will make the sweetest keep sake for years to come!

The cupcakes were perfect for all the little hands. Every child could easily help themselves when we placed them on the kids table! And the whimsical horses on top were the same ones I used on the gift bags! I was so fortunate to find them at the ThePinkPapermill and the owner Randee was such a pleasure to work with! The cupcakes are entirely home made using a Southern Living Magazine recipe! My daughter and I baked these ahead of time and I made the frosting the day before. Doing as much prep-work ahead of time can help you keep your sanity!

 

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Party Planning Tip:  How do you get a bunch of kids to come sit down to sing happy birthday when they’re so busy playing? Well, cake usually does it, but we wanted to have everyone sitting and what better way than to read a story aloud! Children love to hear stories, and this one happens to be our daughter’s favorite! We read On the Night You Were Born and all the children loved it!

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Here’s my favorite photo of the birthday girl ready to blow out the candles! 

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In addition to the party bags, we also gave away the ribbon wands we made in advanced that were on the dessert table. And on their way home, each little girl also got to pick a pretty little Party Ring to take home!

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I really hope you enjoyed our tips for hosting your own carousel themed party! Please let us know in the comments if you tried any of these decorations or delicious food ideas!

As always, we love to hear from you, you can find us on Instagram and Facebook, use #DelightfulSouthernMoments to join the conversation live!

xo,

Christine

My Spring Routine + Must Haves!

Spring is finally here! At least in our state, how are the temps where you are?

This week we have highs in the low 70s and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been testing several new products that I can’t wait to share with you all, plus a few favorites I had to bring out again. Ready to rev up your spring skin care routine?

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I am so excited to share with you some of my new favorite skin and hair care products. Let’s start with my tried and true must haves! I have been using this Neutrogena® Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser For Sensitive Skin since my dermatologist recommended it. I love that it doesn’t dry out my skin, is strong enough to wash away makeup and sweat from the day, and doesn’t cost through the nose like so many other doctor prescribed cleansers. My best kept secret that I found a few months ago is this MARIO BADESCU Plastic Bottle Drying Lotion. I am not kidding when I say this is the best acne fighting product I have ever tried. Even the product the dermatologist recommended for me isn’t as awesome as this. And my newest obsession is this R+F MICRO-DERMABRASION PASTE. I found out about this through an online group I’m part of and I’m obsessed. As we age, our skin is slower to regenerate, and in my case removes excess tissue which leads to pore blockage. That is why I’m obsessed with this R+F paste. It helps remove dead skin leaving my face feeling so amazing. I use this once a week at most, it’s that awesome.

 

 

My Two Favorite Life changing Favorite Products.

R+F MICRO-DERMABRASION PASTE and Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo

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If I could only buy two items, these are the two I could buy. I love this dry shampoo. It makes my life as a mom so much better. I’ve tried several dry shampoos including some good brand name ones. But none are as reliable as this one.

 

My second favorite mom-hair helper is this Caviar Style Satin Rapid Blowout Balm. I love that it cuts my hair drying time in half. And it plus my leave in conditioner makes my hair feel so silky soft!

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A couple of my other favorite new and tried and true beauty products are the Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer Light Sand , Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel and Lady Like ESSIE Nail Polish!

I can’t say enough about the CC+ cream, I love the coverage, color and feel of this foundation. This brow gel is my go to, probably because it’s so easy to use. I have a bare minerals eyebrow filler that I love, but when i don’t have time, for all that- I love to just use this gel. It’s that good. And can we talk about my favorite new under-eye concealer? I tried a new color, Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer Light Sand  and couldn’t be happier with the coverage! I love how much it brightens up my dark circles, which due to genes I still have even if I sleep 9 hours at night!  I love this nail color, can we talk about all the pretty colors this spring? I love this color and I think this is a fantastic color that works for most skin tons!

 

Fertility

I was really struggling with posting this item. But I’m hoping it will open the door to other ladies that one to take control of their bodies, reduce their chemical intake and take charge of their health. Many of you may have read about our family’s loss late last year. Miscarriage occurs in 1/5 pregnancies, but there is still a lot of  fear (?) in speaking about. Even if you are not trying to conceive- owning your own fertility is so empowering. I’m so excited to use the Clear-blue Fertility Monitor this spring, and encourage you to find a way to connect further with your body.

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Forever in Love

The last thing I want to share with you all is something near and dear to my heart. If you and your loved one are ready to take the next step in your life and are looking for the perfect ring, I can’t speak highly enough about choosing moissanite for your gem stone. I received my hand-crafted beautiful rose-gold ring nearly 5 years ago and it still sparkles as it did the day I was gifted it. Diamonds may be a girls best friend, but I’d rather have something big and sparkly to share with all my friends.

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And that’s it- you now know all my secrets. What are your favorite spring skin care or beauty products I may have left off? I’m looking for a new blush and am always in search of a good lip color. Please comment below and share your favs!

xo,

Christine