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Pensacola

Family, Food & Wine, Health

Weekend Baby Fix & Fun Pensacola, FL Hot Spots

This weekend I took a little trip to visit my sister and her new baby. She has to be the most beautiful infant you ever did see, but hey I might be partial.

Little Sloane turned a month old about a week ago and I was just so excited to meet her. We won’t be bringing my kiddos around to see her until November. I guess we’ll let her get a little more durable before these toddler kids  of mine try to start handling her. I know both my kids can hardly wait, and when I told my son I was going to see baby Sloane he told me, “But I NEEEED to see her!” I just think we all can’t wait for our little munchkins to hang out together.

We FaceTimed my kiddos one morning and little Sloane had a lot to say.

She’s just the most laid back baby. Here are a few pictures of my visit if you’d like to see.

Every morning I had a lovely decaf coffee. Most mornings my mom brought it to me in this beautiful guest room of hers that I stayed in. Doesn’t that sound amazing? My mom spoils me!

My mom also made me smoothies almost every day (which I saved for the afternoons) with a concoction of all of these little goodies.

On Saturday we made a trip to the Farmer’s Market (pit stop at this downtown coffee spot) and then the Pensacola Wine Bar for lunch for $3 mimosas.

The coffee bar (with my sister in front) had these beautiful mini cheesecakes (below)- I ordered a cashew caramel coconut cheesecake to split (AMAZING) and a yummy decaf honey latte with almond milk (I’m still craving another one).

My sister is indulging me in a photo, but doesn’t she look amazing postpartum???

The Farmer’s Market boasted BBQ Sauce, flavored popcorn, meats, produce, and even homemade crepes.

The Pensacola Wine Bar is one of my favorite stops when I make it to town. They have wine (of course), but very economical food, a huge variety, and an indoor and outdoor space (in a brick alley) that makes for the perfect lounging atmosphere. Plus, $3 mimosas!!! And this is the avocado toast- YUM!

On Saturday night, Sloane had her fist sleepover with me and my mom (her Gigi). We had to steal her away, and had the best time taking her out for dinner to this family and kid-friendly restaurant and rocking her in her favorite chair. But her soft velvety hair though!

We made a trip to the most talked about George’s for brunch on Sunday and squeezed in a visit with my grandmother, Sloane’s great grandmother. My sister and I took Sloane for a long walk in the afternoon on their walking path by the beach to CB. There was a cross-fit competition going on in the main section of the beach and we had fun eyeing all the ultra-fit competitors.

Snuggles with Great Grams!

 

Doesn’t my brother-in-law’s “coffee Sunday” from George’s look amazing. They also have Popsicle champagne sparklers.

And on Monday I indulged in some much needed relaxation, headed for a run, enjoyed a book. Finally the girls took sweet Sloane out shopping at one of our favorite stores- TJ Maxx! Pensacola has one of the nicest stores I have ever seen (even compared to Miami and Memphis).

It was a sweet and short trip and I’ll be missing my family, especially our newest member sweet little Sloane. So long Pensacola!

Here’s a recap of all the restaurants and places I visited (and recommend) in case you’re in the area.

Red Fish Blue Fish

Fosko’s Coffee Barre

George’s Artisan Bakery and Bistro

Wine Bar on Palafox

Casino Beach Bar overlooking the beach (they also have brunch!)

Rotolo’s

Palafox Market (Farmer’s Market)

TJ Maxx in Pensacola

Pensacola Beach Walking and Biking Trail

 

~Ashley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family

Toddler Boot Camp: One Fun Aunt Lives to Tell Her Story

My son is four, and he has been going to visit my sister, Erin, and her husband Justin, since he was two. So far these visits have been working out, and people often comment about what a fun aunt my sister is and how creative she is at finding fun ways to entertain a toddler. We even joke about how she needs to start a kid’s camp, and her Facebook comments have hit an all-time high for photos featuring my son in his element during his stay with her [I’m not gonna lie, some comments are from jealous adults  asking for permission to join her camp]. She’s great about going out of her way to make the weeks she spends with my son very special, tailored just for him, and inclusive of all his favorite things. I asked her to share her experience and tips for running a toddler boot camp.


I heard you run a camp for toddlers (wink, wink). What made you decide to keep your nephew for spring break and during summertime?

My nephew, Graham, lives far away and I don’t get to see him that often. Since the day he was born I wished he lived closer so I could have a relationship with him. I’m fortunate enough to have a week off every four weeks and I thought it would be a perfect time to spend some quality time with him.

You have a plan when he comes to visit. Tell me about your goal for the week.

Graham goes to school everyday when he is at home, and I know that kind of schedule can be taxing on a kid of any age.

My plan involves relaxing with him in the morning. We take our time eating breakfast and getting ready, and then we get out of the house to do something fun and exciting the rest of the day.

Is there anything that worried you the first time you kept your nephew?

I worried that he would miss his parents and want to go home. Since he lives seven hours away, getting him back home wasn’t really in the cards for us, but surprisingly he has always been comfortable being away for a week since a very young age.

How do you decide which places to explore?

I see stuff that my friends do with their kids (posts on Facebook) and save them on a list for the next time my nephew comes to town. I look at my local city kid’s activity page (Pensacola With Kids Facebook page) for ideas as well. It usually has events that are going on each week so I can plan accordingly.

What are your top three favorite places to take/top things to do with a toddler?

  1. The beach! I love the beach and so does he….it’s a win, win!
  2. The bounce house (in Pensacola). It’s not necessarily MY favorite place to be, but I love seeing how happy he is when he’s there and it seems to really get all his energy out, which means an extra-long nap in the afternoon.
  3. The zoo. As an adult you just don’t go to the zoo and I hadn’t been since I was a kid. Even I enjoyed seeing all the animals and riding the train.

What do you pack for your outings?

Healthy snacks and bribery snacks. Also a change of clothes.

What is your success criteria for the week?

I like to make sure we meet up with other kids, try a few new places/things, and of course I have a personal goal to wear him out.

For the meet up with other kids, we try to schedule a play date with my friends who have kids at least once while he’s with me for the week. Trying new activities can be a struggle, since Graham usually wants to head back to the places where we’ve had so much fun already.  He usually ends up loving the new places too, once I talk him into going.

Do you have any rules for your camp?

No whining, no hitting, say please and thank you.

What are the top three most requested snacks at your camp?

Cheetos, Orange Chips (Doritos), gummys, jelly beans, and mac and cheese.

Is there anything you’re looking forward to doing with your nephew next time (or when he gets older)?

I can’t wait until he is old enough to take him to a water park, bowling, putt-putt golfing, and roller skating. I know his Uncle Justin is looking forward to teaching him how to surf.


Thanks Erin! Erin’s camp is expecting a brand new camper in August, the month she will be welcoming her new baby girl. My hope is that if you’re a parent, you consider letting a fun, responsible and capable family member take your kids adventuring! If you’re a fun and energetic family member to a kid, take the opportunity to treat them to their own special day or week!

What are your tips for fun things to do with kids?