Family Beach Photos for Sophia's Second Birthday

August 07, 2020
Happy Friday, friends! This weekend we are going to be celebrating Sophia's second birthday and I'm honestly very emotional about my baby turning two! Whoever said the days are long and the years are short, lied - it all goes by too fast! While these last few months have been quite trying with everything going on in the world, I am so grateful to have seen Sophia grow up right before my eyes every day. It's not always easy and those toddler emotional ups and downs are a doozy, but the minute she comes over and say's "Mommy, you okay?" or "Mommy give Bia a kiss and huggy," I am putty in her hands and she knows it! 
Throughout the year, Sophia went from crawling, to taking a few steps with our help, to waddling on her own, to full on running! What a metaphor for life, starting out really needing others and then slowly becoming self reliant. 

Just as it happened in her first year, there were things that I did for the last time and when it happened I didn't even realize it, until one day you go from baby food to making the same thing for your toddler that you are eating yourself. She's such a little lady and doesn't like to be dirty, loves to explore the world around her and there is no song she won't dance to! 

I love that I can soothe and calm her more than anyone, that she looks for me in the room and then will keep playing. I love that she watches what we do then copies it - like workouts, talking on the phone or even making food. I live for her little voice saying "hi" to everyone or watching to "touch" every puppy that comes our way. She has a heart of gold and that pureness is just magical. 

I love that you can see her little personality come out in these pictures - equal parts sweet as she is sassy! I'm so happy that Molly from Molly J Photography was able to take these photos for us while we were on vacation last month and to celebrate another year with the little love bug! 

My dress
Sophia's Dress from The Red Wagon
See her first year photos here.

Sister's Getaway | Newport Travel Guide

August 05, 2020
At the start of this year, my sister and I planned a Nantucket getaway to celebrate her birthday a little early. The hotel was booked, the ferry tickets were ordered and I was really excited to spend a weekend on the island - especially since neither one of us had been before. Well, I think we know that COVID happened and we had to cancel. Once things started opening back up, we still didn't think we could escape to Nantucket, so we booked a quick getaway to Newport, one of my favorite places to visit! My sister hadn't been in years and since it's only a little over an hour away, it was perfect. 
Gurney's Resorts has been on my radar for quite some time and after looking through their COVID precautions, we booked two nights away! They have two properties - one in Montauk an one in Newport - both looked incredible online and on Instagram! 
Gurney's is located on Goat Island and while no goats were spotted while we were there, they do have two on the property! 
I'll be completely honest, when we arrived it felt like the hotel was operating at more of a capacity than I was expecting. I think we got there when people were checking out and checking in so the lobby felt a bit overcrowded, but everyone was wearing their masks. With our room not yet ready, we dropped off our bags and headed to get some lunch. 
Perhaps it was the weather or that it was a weekend, but the downtown area seemed very crowded, but again everyone was wearing masks, but the way the sidewalks are - you felt like people were really close. We found a spot at the Black Pearl  for lunch and then did a bit of shopping before heading back to the hotel. 

Once our room was ready, I was really happy with not only with our view, but that everything appeared to be very clean, but that didn't stop us from wiping down all the surfaces with our own stuff. Before our dinner reservation at the hotel, we went down near the water to relax, drinks some wine and take in all the scenery! It was so peaceful and relaxing - we both just kept saying how nice it was to just be.
For dinner we ate one of the most incredible meals of my life, no exaggeration there! Scarpetta is the Italian restaurant on the property and requires reservations at this time. We got a prime spot on the deck and shared a few bites. We split the burrata and blue crab pasta. It was incredible! The pasta was melt in your mouth delicious and I learned that they make all their pasta in house daily. 

Any hotel that has a cafe on the property makes me happy. On our way to lay out, we stopped to get some coffee and breakfast before parking it away from the pool for the morning. Those two hours went by so fast, but we were ready for lunch and little more sight seeing. We stopped for a quick lunch at Nikolas Pizza. It was easy, quick and most of all perfectly tasty. 

Then it was on to the Cliff Walk! This is probably my fifth time doing the Cliff Walk and we always start at Forty Steps - lots of parking and it's a great starting point in my opinion.  Even though it was overcast, it was really hot and humid out, so we didn't walk too far - about a 1.5 miles and then it was off to Castle Hill Inn.

Castle Hill Inn is absolutely gorgeous! I wanted to get lunch there, but the timing didn't work for us and they actually didn't have many open times, but the great thing is that their lawn is first come first serve. With COVID precautions they aren't allowing people to just linger on the lawn, you need to actually have a spot. I think going at an off peak time was the right call because there were hardly any people there. We sipped some drinks and just relaxed - not having to be anywhere or do anything is really pretty special. 
For dinner that night we decided to stay at the hotel and eat at the Fire Pit & Lounge. Everything looked so good on the menu, so once again we split a few of the items. The calamari, cheese board and tuna tartare was pure deliciousness. I was actually pleasantly surprised with how great all the food was at the hotel. 

After dinner we went back to the lounge chairs and just relaxed and also needed time to digest all the food we'd inhaled! 
With an 11:00 AM checkout that still gave us the morning to lounge by the pool. They do have a limit to how many people they will allow in the pool area, which opens at 8:00 AM. We were in line right at 8 and there was already a long line, so much so that we were actually one of the last pairs to be allowed in. I really appreciated the precautions they took out at the pool area and people were nice and spread out. 

This sister's getaway was just what we needed! It's hard to believe that it took us this long to have a trip with just the two of us, but it certainly wont be our last time! Newport is one of my favorite trips to take every summer, typically it's just a day trip, but having a bit more time to actually relax was perfect! 

I think it's important to note that we drove to Rhode Island and were not only coming from a state where numbers weren't rising, but were going to a state where numbers weren't rising. We also didn't have to quarantine for this reason and were extremely careful with not only our surroundings but extremely diligent about wearing masks and washing our hands.

July Through the Camera Roll

August 03, 2020
Happy Monday, friends! Here we go onto the back half of summer, which is pretty mind boggling. Last month I shared a look back at our month in photos I never got to share on the blog and I thought I'd do the same thing with July- just so these memories don't get lost. I'm really excited for the content I have coming in August - I rarely have my month of posts planned out, but it's pretty much all squared away now!

Happy to report that we are still getting a ton of use out of our little outdoor pool!  I was joking with my cousin that I have been to the beach more this summer than all 10 years I've lived in Boston, combined!
We continued to explore some of the reservations in our area and added Alewife Brook Reservation to the list. 
I made two healthyish recipes not really following any recipes if that makes sense! 
I had everything on hand to make my first every chicken noodle soup and it was so delicious! 
I was really craving some greens and tossed together some grilled chicken, spinach, arugula, avocado and tomato - some olive oil as a dressing and it was the freshest salad!
Just may have a budding soccer star on my hands!

Made it to downtown for the first time in over 4 months, I forgot how much I love working down there. We walked down the greenway to the little splash pad, outdoor seal exhibit at the Aquarium and then to the Greenway Carousel - I was clearly more excited than Sophia! 

Throw in the Fourth of July, a week down at the Cape and a little escape with my sister that I still have to share - it was a quick but great month! Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!