Beach Day, Baby + 10 Things

How was everyone's Memorial Day weekend??

The weather here was SO beautiful! It really felt like Summer and it got me so excited for all of the fun outdoor adventures that we'll be having with James! We went to a beach near our house and it was so fun seeing how excited James was. He was having such a blast running around on the stones and stepping in the water and watching Gunner dive for rocks. :) It also got me really excited for Summer clothes. This dress is so comfortable and lightweight - perfect for a hot Summer day. It's also under $30. You can get it here.

I've seen other bloggers do "10 things" types of posts and I always really enjoy reading them. So I'm going to start doing them every now and then as well! They'll just be 10 random things on my mind.

  1. I'm having SO much fun picking out all of the details for our new house that's being built!! But it's also a little bit stressful, if I'm being completely honest! I'll share more in my new real estate series that I'll be kicking off soon!
  2. James has learned how to fake laugh and it is the CUTEST thing ever. It makes me laugh so hard, which just makes him do it more!
  3. Ben and I just finished watching 'The OA' - so creepy and weird and GOOD! Looking for new show recommendations, so send them my way!
  4. James has started napping much more regularly and for longer periods of time, which has been really nice because I've been able to get so much more done! But, I MISS him while he's sleeping!! haha
  5. I feel like I'm in a bit of a slump at this point in the Bikini Series...needing to snap out of it and find my motivation again! A new bikini, perhaps?? Stay tuned for my Swim Lust List, coming soon! ;)
  6. I want to go to Italy so badly! I've been seeing all of these beautiful pictures lately of Lake Como and am planning us a trip there because - SO BEAUTIFUL!!
  7. I'm planning out all of the things that I want to make sure to document/do for James' 1st birthday! We aren't having a party, but I for sure want to do a smash cake, and maybe a ball pit for him and do something super fun on his Birthday. What are MUSTS that you other mamas recommend absolutely doing/documenting for a little one's first??
  8. I shared in a recent blog post that the mini pill was making my skin break out and giving me horrible cystic acne, which I've never dealt with before! I switched birth control pills, and my skin is definitely getting better, slowly but surely. I've also found a few products and tricks that are helping, and I'll do a blog post about them soon.
  9. Ben and I have been talking about FINALLY trying to do an overnight getaway without James...but we both really dread leaving him over night!! It's going to be so hard, but I think once we're gone, Ben and I would have a blast. So we're working on planning that for sometime in the near future.
  10. I haven't done my toe nails in over a month now...what in the world. #momlifeI should probably go get a pedicure, STAT.

Have a wonderful day!

Travel Diary: The Big Island

Four Generations!

Where the heck have I been the past week or so, you may ask. Well, I was in paradise.

My little family and I jetted off to the Big Island of Hawaii!

My grandparents live near Kona, and we went to stay with them. It was our first time seeing their new house, and it was a DREAM. The views were out of this world and they have the best little jungle pool in their yard. Seriously...the entire trip was heavenly. My mom was even there for a few days, which was so fun! And it was SO nice to get to spend time with my grandparents!

I had only been to Oahu and Maui before, so the Big Island was new to me. It is SO different from the other islands that I've been to, and I LOVE it! There are so many different types of terrain and things to do and amazing features and places to explore!

This was our first time flying with James. I will write a blog post soon about our experience flying with a baby and some tips I picked up, so check back for that...probably next Monday!

Anyways, James did so well traveling such a long distance, and although there was a bit of an adjustment for him with the time difference and new place and everything, (PLUS he's TEETHING), he was such a little trooper! We had the best time adventuring with him!

Ok, I could ramble on and on, so let's dive right into it:

First things first: coffee.

Our first morning in Kona, we found the. best. coffee shop. Seriously. Look no further, next time you're in Kona. Just head to Green Flash Coffee. Every morning (except two mornings when we made the mistake of trying different coffee shops) Ben, James, and I headed to Green Flash Coffee at the crack of dawn. I fell in love with their croissant breakfast sandwiches with ham, and Ben and I got coffee cake to share. And we got coffee...of course.

Some mornings we enjoyed our coffee and breakfast at the coffee shop in their outdoor courtyard, and some mornings we brought it all with us to the beach. Regardless, every morning we headed to the beach and swam, laid in the shade, and watched the body surfers. James LOVED playing with his toys on our big beach blanket. Ben took James into the ocean for the first time. We made such great memories.

After our morning outings, we would head back to my grandparents' house and my grandpa made us his special oatmeal and we would eat fresh papayas and read and relax...it was the best.

We did so many fun things while we were there! We took a tour of the Kona Brewing Company, Ben and I went out for a couple of date nights in Kona, we went and watched a dolphin show with my grandpa, and we went on a snorkel tour!

The snorkel tour was amazing! James did so well on the boat, we saw humpback whales, and SO many gorgeous fish. I highly recommend this tour if you're going to the Big Island. Click here for all of the info!

One day, Ben, James, and I drove around the entire island. It was such an amazing day! We went to Rainbow Falls, fell in love with the town of Hawi, (go get sandwiches at Kohala Coffee Mill!!!) and we saw SO many beautiful sights, including this black sand beach.

I had never seen a black sand beach before and it was so pretty! We were going to stop by a green sand beach, but the parking area was SO crowded, so we decided to continue on our way.

We also went to the southern most point in the United States of America. For a few minutes, we were the southernmost folk in all the land. Which was a pretty cool feeling. And very neat for James, at only 5 1/2 months old!

On our way back home after our drive around the island, we stopped at this cute, nice restaurant called The Strawberry Patch. It was some of the best food I've had - I had the Spring Salad, and Ben and I split the Rustic Roasted Garlic Bread. So yummy. BUT the service was reeeeeaaaallly SLOW.

That night we saw the most unusual sunset as we were driving back to my grandparents' house. I didn't manage to get any pictures of it, but it was magical.

We saw so many beautiful sunsets while we were on the Big Island. One evening, my grandpa took us to this beautiful spot where we had pina coladas and watched the sunset over the ocean. Our last night, my grandpa took us to another beautiful place...a rocky beach where you could wade out and look down and see fish swimming around. And the sunsets from my grandparents house were unreal.

Our last morning, we got our coffee and breakfast and headed to the beach for one last family beach morning. It was a gorgeous day.

After that, we headed to Huggo's On The Rocks for a farewell drink and to soak in the view. It was such an incredible trip and I'm leaving out so many details because there is just no way that I could get them all down in one blog post. But it was just the best and we love the Big Island and can't wait to go back some day!

We really want to go to the volcano and the space observatory, but we couldn't this time because James is too little. Next time! There is so much more to do and explore!

This trip was the BEST way to kick off 2017...this year is already shaping up to be one heck of an amazing ride! Soo many exciting things in store!

Swim Lust List

With summer just on the horizon, it’s time to start planning ahead and stocking up on swimwear! I LOVE swimsuits - I have way more than one girl needs. This year I am really into all of the cute, flattering, and stylish one pieces that are out there! One pieces have quickly become the “it” swimsuit style. I have to say, I’m kind of excited that this happened around the time that I am having my first baby. ;) Once my little man is born, I am preparing myself for the post-baby pooch that will inevitably be hanging around for a few weeks after I give birth. I think one pieces just might be my go-to in July and August this year! 

Here are a few swimsuits - bikinis AND one pieces - that I’ve got my eye on this season! 

Scroll through the gallery below, and click each image for more details!

Let me know YOUR favorite places to shop for swimwear! I'm always looking for new places to look!

xo, Anna

How To Bring Home Some Island Vibes

What are you to do when tropical vibes are desired, but jetting off to an island isn't on the weekend agenda? Bring the vibes to you, of course! Here are a few ways to satisfy those tropical, beachy cravings, and tie you over for the time being!

1. Throw on a tropical print! Wearing a tropical print is an instant way to infuse a beachy island vibe into your day! 

Volcom shorts

Volcom shorts

Wildfox sweatshirt

Wildfox sweatshirt

2. Slather on some coconut oil. Coconut oil is not only really great for your skin, but it smells like a tropical dream. Smell like a coconut, have silky soft glowing skin, feel like you're on an island... win win win. 

3. Paint your nails a bright, exotic color. Or, if you're feeling REALLY creative (and you have a steady hand) you can try out one of Goldfish Kiss's fun tropical prints! Get the DIY on her blog, here!

4. Make a sea salt hair spray and rock some mermaid hair! Try this DIY Mermaid Hair Spray recipe:

  • 1 tbs sea salt
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of conditioner (I like Suave's Tropical Coconut conditioner for the yummy tropical scent)
  • 1 clean spray bottle

Mix all ingredients together in the spray bottle. Spray a fine amount all over hair and style as desired. Scrunch your hair up with your hands for some messy beach hair, or add in some loose waves with a curling iron. You can also braid your hair and then take it out after a few hours for some kinky, beach waves. 

5. Fake a tropical glow. Spend some time exfoliating and then apply a self-tanner. Instant beachy-glow, minus the sun damage. My current favorite brand can be found at Target

6. Crank some island music. A little reggae can instantly transport you to an island the middle of a turquoise sea, lounging beneath a palm tree.

7. Make a 'Beachy' Pinterest dream board. Pin your little heart out and make a board dedicated to all things beachy and tropical. Dream away, beach babe! Check out my beachy Pinterest dream board here!

4133a8b61971906048972696c4b93c35.jpg



Here's How To Feel Comfortable In A Bikini

Bikini season is right. Around. The corner. It is so close you can taste it. Summer days full of sunshine, warm breezes, salty hair, sandy toes, and bikinis...all of this is quickly approaching.

I would venture to guess that every girl feels at least a small pang of panic when thinking about donning a bikini for the first time after a long winter. The quest for the perfect "bikini body" and the best slimming and toning secrets begins. So much stress and anxiety goes into trying to ease our fear of wearing a bikini and baring so much for the world to see. 

Well, I am not here to talk about a new workout, diet, or treatment that will get you that "perfect" bikini body. Rather, I am here to tell you that the very BEST way to feel comfortable in a bikini is to learn to LOVE yourself and your body, and to embrace your inner confidence! You - yes, YOU, are perfect just the way you are. If you want to wear a bikini, then you should, and you should wear it with confidence. Because, you see, there is no "bikini body". There are just bodies. Many, beautiful, unique, different bodies. 

Luckily, society is starting to catch on to the fact that every woman is built differently, and every body is beautiful. So, I'm here to say that if you want to spend a fun day in the sunshine, swimming and playing and lying on the beach, all while rocking a bikini - or ANY type of bathing suit for that matter - then DO it! And do it with confidence! You deserve to let loose and feel comfortable.

Here are a few quick tips on how to feel your very most comfortable in a bikini:

1. Do not compare yourself to others. Each of us is different. We each have different body types, different skin tones, different shapes, different curves... Different everything. And that's beautiful. You just focus on being the BEST you, and on being confident about who you are and what your body looks like. You are gorgeous and worthy of fun, carefree beach days! It's SO easy to make comparisons. But trust me. Comparison is the surest and fastest way to dissatisfaction and discontent. Avoid it.

2. Remember that you are your own worst critic. You notice flaws on your own body more than anyone else does. Don't be so hard on yourself! There are SO many amazing things about you that you can focus on instead! When you focus on what you love about yourself and about your body, your inner confidence will shine through. Which brings me to number 3...

3. Head high, shoulders back! Rock that bathing suit with confidence! Confidence is the most beautiful thing. Smile, be kind, and be confident in the fact that you are strong, beautiful, and totally worthy of wearing that suit and of having a fun day in the sun! 

4. Ignore the meanies. If for some reason someone makes a mean comment on Instagram about your bikini picture that you posted, or someone gives you a rude look at the beach, make a conscious decision to shake it off and let it go. Realize that people put other people down because they feel badly about themselves. Don't let other peoples' opinions have a negative impact on you. If you feel good in that little bikini, then rock it unapologetically with confidence! And have FUN!

5. Build others up. One thing I have learned is that the more I build other women up and compliment them and treat them with kindness, the better and more confident I feel about myself! AND, the nicer they are to me! You get what you put out, and if you dish out genuine kindness, love, and encouragement, you will receive the same back. Nothing feels nicer than a heart-felt compliment.

Wearing a swim suit is about feeling comfortable and about being able to enjoy a sunny day, splashing in a lake, river, pool, or the ocean! It's not about a competition, or about striving for "perfection", or about working towards some ideal body type. So embrace yourself and your body! Don't be afraid of swimsuit season! Put on that bikini and dive right in and have the time of your life! 


Summer Time Beauty Hacks

972134_10200936723692136_965079205_n
972134_10200936723692136_965079205_n

Summer time is all about effortless, carefree, easy, light beauty. It's about sun-drenched days, and heat that permeates all through the night. It's about going barefoot, living in a bikini [or whatever type of swimsuit floats your boat], and being easy-breezy.

But summer time can do a number on different parts of your body. Here are some ways to keep yourself looking fresh, low-maintenance, and beautiful all summer long.

1. Skin: In the summer time, the heat and the constant cycle of being wet, then dry, wet, then dry can do a real number on your skin. Not only can your skin become dried out, but constantly being wet from swimming can wipe off important good bacterias that live on your skin.

Try this: Since none of us are going to even consider giving up long dunks in the lake or mermaid time in the sea, instead, try shortening your showers a bit. Try to keep the water temperature as cool as you can handle it. Also, find a moisturizer that works for you! My favorites are St. Ives and Ponds. I also have an amazing home made balm that mixes coconut oil, beeswax, vanilla, and a few other natural things to create a creamy, moisturizing dream.

2. Face: Tend to break out more in the summer? That can happen. No worries, there are some things you can try.

Try this: Try eliminating your moisturizer a night or two a week. Or, if you're like me and you can't even imagine not moisturizing every night, then try just limiting your moisturizer to areas of your face that feel particularly dry. Also, try to only wash your face in the evenings. Instead of giving it a good scrub in the mornings, just lightly rinse it with warm water to freshen up before starting your morning beauty routine. Also, make sure you are drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water every day to stay hydrated! There is no better way to make your skin glow!

3. Makeup: Summer time makeup should be easy, natural, effortless, glowy... basically you want to look like you just rolled off of the beach - but still put together. Leave the heavy eyeliner and cakey foundation for the office. As soon as you get home from the office, wipe your face clean with a cleansing wipe, [I like Yes to Cucumbers wipes, available in drug stores], and get your summer face on.

Try this: Start with a clean slate. Then apply a moisturizer with SPF [at least SPF 20, if you ask me]. Next, rub on a thin, moisturizing BB cream. The BB cream offers additional sunscreen benefits, as well as giving you additional moisture, AND acting as a bit of a concealer. It smooths out your complexion and hides any blemishes. Next, add a bid of cream blush to your cheeks and the bridge of your nose. Brush on a bit of bronzer if that's your thing. Swipe on some waterproof mascara, a bit of lip balm, and you're good to go. This should only take about two minutes to do, and you'll look natural, dewy, glowing, and like you're having one heck of a summer. Which you are.

4. Feet: Living barefoot and in sandals all summer can make your feet a bit... less than pretty. Your heels can get cracked and dry, which isn't cute. Keep your tootsies nice a smooth with these tips...

Try this: Whenever possible, try to wear socks and sneakers. Hey, wearing them with cut-off shorts is cute and summery. Or you can rock the "just got back from the gym" look and wear running shoes and yoga clothes. Comfy, cool, AND your feet are safely sheathed in soft socky-barriers. Moisturize your feet at night and try soaking them in Epsom salts or another kind of foot soak that works well for you. Use a foot scraper to remove dead, dry skin every once in awhile. Or get a pedicure.

5. Hair: Hair is exposed to so much sunshine [UV rays], salt, heat, and water during the summer. This can be harsh on your strands.

Try this: Wear a hat whenever possible when you are in the sun. This will protect your hair from harmful UV rays. Also, if you have highlights, guarding your hair from the sun will help to make the highlights last longer. Try washing your hair less - every other day will do. Just use a dry shampoo if your hair starts looking a little greasy. Use a deep conditioning treatment every now and then on your hair to help it stay hydrated and soft. A nice Moroccan oil is my favorite. It keeps the ends of my hair glossy. Also, try to avoid using a hair dryer [because who needs one in the summer time, right?], straightener, or curling iron [rock the touseled, natural mermaid waves], or any other tools that may expose your hair to additional heat.

6. Body: Most importantly, protect your WHOLE body from harmful UV rays and cover up with sunblock any time you will be outside. No one wants wrinkles. Or skin cancer.

SUP: Why You Should Do It

420649_10200715255115560_302190599_n

420649_10200715255115560_302190599_n SUP: Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

 

By now, you have probably heard about SUP, or seen people cruising by on their stand up paddle boards as you watch, intrigued, from the shore. I remember thinking how boring it looked the first time I saw people doing it. But finally my curiosity got the better of me and I gave it a try. Now, several years later, I am hooked on SUP and here's why.

1. The benefits of SUP are endless. First of all, it's the most incredible workout. Balancing on the paddle board requires a lot of core strength and after a SUP session, you will feel it in your abs, arms, back, butt, legs... you get the idea.

2. SUP is a great way to get out on the water when you normally wouldn't have a way to do so. You can do it on a lake, a river, or even in the ocean. No watery expanse is off limits!

3. You can do yoga on a SUP. I have tried only a handful of times, and have ended up splashing, ungracefully, into the water on each occasion. It's challenging, and worth trying, and if you master it, nothing looks cooler than some killer SUP-top poses.

4. Quench your competitive thirst. SUP races are becoming all the rage. Visit www.supracer.com to find a race near you.

So I recommend giving stand-up paddle boarding a try if for some reason you haven't yet. You've got nothing to lose, except, perhaps, your pride when you fall in the first time you try it - and if you don't fall in on the first try, kudos to you. You rock!

If you're already tuned in to the awesome sport of SUP, let me know what YOU love about it in the comments below.

Looking for a great board? I'd recommend one from Perfect Wave Surf Shop. That's where my beloved Slice Series Ruby Red is from and it is perfection.

Salty. Sandy. Happy.

image
1016485_10202782585077517_1232275104_n

I've come to the realization that life is best when one is covered in sand, and one's hair is salty and sun bleached.Where can one get said sand, salt, and sun? A tropical island, of course. I've spent the last week on the North Shore of Oahu. When most people hear Oahu, they think Waikiki and Honolulu - tourist hell holes. However, take a drive up to the northern tip of the island, and you will find a completely different setting.

523592_10202790882004935_932488100_n

The North Shore is famed for world class surfing and the fabled Pipe Masters, a surfing competition that takes place in the winter in which the best surfers on the planet can compete for the ultimate bragging rights. The quaint little beach town of Haleiwa is at the heart of the North Shore, and it feels a lot like a second home to me.

1964855_10202789629933634_393708155_n

I have been going there for years now with my family and every time we get back into town, I can feel myself beginning to relax. Haleiwa and the North Shore have a much more laid back vibe than the busy cities down south. The locals are super friendly and make you feel like one of them. It's a sleepy, sunny little place with some incredible restaurants and fun activities. Some of my favorite things to do are find new hikes around the northern end of the island, swim with sharks [www.hawaiisharkencounters.com], visit Waimea Valley, get a massage from North Shore Mobile Massage [they will come right to your beach house and set up their massage tables in your own back yard if you want!], and pick up some lumpias and fresh coconut from the local road-side fruit stands.

But honestly, my favorite way to spend the day on the island is holed up at our beach house, soaking up the rays and body surfing with the sea turtles. Nothing beats being a beach bum for a week and a half.I don't know if it is the balmy air, the vitamin D, or the salt water, but I always notice my skin clearing up after just a few days of being here, and my attitude clears up too. So, first chance you get, book your flight, pack your bags, and head to a tropical island - any one will do. Submerge yourself in the turquoise waters, lay in the sun, let your hair get bleached and let your body get sandy and just...let go.

10215_10202782587077567_1607915738_n
1236695_10202772326341055_1870009560_n
1487387_10202788749751630_1273012609_n

Mountain Peaks and Salty Seas

988666_10200953527592223_2031224901_n

Balance is an important thing in life. Sometimes people can take the concept of balance to an unhealthy extreme, but that's a topic for another day. The balance that I want to talk about is the kind that involves terrain. When it comes to getting out there and exploring the great outdoors and all that it has to offer, don't limit yourself!

1017226_10200937314066895_201498708_n

I think that we all need a healthy serving of mountains, and a side of tropical beach. These two types of terrain are polar opposites in most ways. But both are good for you, both physically and mentally.

971854_10201105293186268_724834956_n

        The mountains are jagged, mysterious, challenging...they allow you solitude and the chance to prove your abilities to yourself. You can conquer new heights, scale new cliff sides, and lose yourself (voluntarily, of course) in the cool forests. Mountain air is clear, crisp, and enlightening. You can listen to the cry of an eagle echoing through canyons, and watch an elk making it's way through a wide open field. You can wander for hours or days, uncovering new sights that will take your breath away.

972134_10200936723692136_965079205_n

Tropical beaches give you something else. They allow you to feel the sand between your toes. You can submerge yourself in the turquoise waters of the ocean and explore underwater caverns. You can swim with colorful schools of exotic fish, test your nerves in a shark cage, and watch the sun set into the ocean while sipping fresh coconut milk. Salt water does the body and mind good, and nothing beats floating, spread eagle in the sea with the sun beaming down on your smiling face.

1017676_10201141515771810_133056726_n

Balance is important when it comes to being an adventurer. To take advantage of nature and appreciate it in its' full capacity, I suggest making time for both mountain peaks AND salty seas. Trek up that treacherous terrain, stare up at that wide expanse of starry sky as wolves sing you a lullaby, bask in the quiet and the coolness and the unknown of the mountainous wilderness. And lay in the sand, soak up the Vitamin D (with a healthy coating of sunblock, of course), eat fresh, tropical fruit, dive in the sea...

Balance, brah! It's a beautiful world with so much to offer! Be sure to experience it all!

1011740_10200942461955589_1366810265_n