Jensen Beach

Over the Summer our family has done a lot of traveling and I’ve been dying to incorporate that into my blog. We’re having some of the best times making memories and finding some of the funnest places. One of our first trips this summer was a random weekend at Jensen Beach. It’s only about 2 hours from our house in Celebration, and it was so nice and peaceful.

Being from Florida, I love a good little beach town that’s popping full of party people as much as anyone else, but sometimes I want to get away from the hustle and bustle of tourism for something much more calm. Jensen Beach was just that. Most tourists go to Cocoa or Daytona Beach on the East coast, so this east coast beach was a nice wind-down weekend retreat.

We stayed at the Courtyard Hutchinson Island Oceanside/Jensen Beach which was right on the water and we got SUCH a great price. They average about $150 a night and you can get special rates if you’re a Florida resident or Marriott Rewards member (I’m both), so the cost of a weekend away is minuscule, especially for a place directly on the beach. We got there Sat. afternoon around 3pm checked in and immediately rented a nice set of cabana chairs for $20 for the rest of the day.

James took the boys down to the water while I soaked up some rays and literally just chilled for a couple hours. After we watched the sun set on the water, we relaxed in the hot tub at the hotel. Cash loved the waterfall feature and everyone really enjoyed just time to decompress and enjoy each other’s company.

We changed and loaded up the boys after about 15 minutes of hot tub time and headed out for dinner. Both kids fell asleep in the car so James and I decided to just order to-go from a local restaurant, Kona Beach Cafe. The service was really quick and we enjoyed the food from the comfort of our room while watching a movie as the boys slept.

Sunday morning we put on our suits and picked out laid-back attire to throw on after so that we could spend a little more time at the beach before we headed home. James got the car packed up while I got the boys ready, then we rented the same cabana for a morning of sandy fun. The hotel also had a Starbucks Cafe just inside close to where our cabana chairs were, so we were able to sip on some lattes and the boys enjoyed a muffin for breakfast on the beach.

I didn’t get a great picture of the room before the boys managed to pull everything out of our overnight bag, but the whole design of the hotel was gorgeous. The interiors had a very modern feel mixed with great little vintage touches. Check out this adorable faux rotary phone in the lobby!

 

It’s now safe to say that Jensen Beach is my new favorite beach in Florida. It’s the perfect laid back little beach town that not too many people know about, so Jensen Beach makes such a great weekend getaway. Have you been? What’s your favorite beach?

Continue Reading

Easy Table Centerpiece

This is the first time in my life I’ve ever had a round dining room table and I LOVE my table and chairs so much. One of the most difficult things I’ve come across owning this table is creating cute centerpieces that don’t look “off” on the table. I put together this super easy centerpiece one night and it cost me less than $10 and took all of 2 minutes to create!

I baked some box-mix blueberry muffins for the boys breakfast while they were sleeping and wanted them to wake up to a cute breakfast at the table. Spending time together as a family is so important, and meals are a great way to get rid of screens and just enjoy each other’s company. The boys are usually so happy in the mornings right after they wake up, so having breakfast together is such a wonderful time.

For this display I got ALL of these items in the Target One Spot. I used a cake plate, a cupcake stand, and a wooden sign. The cake plate has lasted me over a year and was only $5! The cupcake stand and sign were $1 each, making this centerpiece $7 plus the $1 bag of muffin mix. Super affordable and they’re items that you can use over and over again for various baking and displays, so purchasing the items was a no brainer for me. I already had these small sheets of burlap (and any kind of burlap placemat would work just fine) but you can get the sheets at Michael’s in a booklet for $5 if you have no burlap at home (gasp! lol).

I arranged 5 pieces of burlap sheets in a circle in the center of my table, then placed the cake plate on the center of the circle. I formed a circle on the cake plate with my muffins, then added the cupcake stand to the center of the cake plate. Finally I topped my cupcake stand with this adorable positive sign. Fun Fact: When I started dating James I thought it was hilarious how much he used the term “Heck Yes” and now our entire immediate family uses it nonstop, so this sign was just too perfect to pass up.

What’s great about this is that instead of dirtying up an dish for a muffin, you can pull out a piece of the burlap, set the muffin on top and enjoy! Then clean up is as easy as dusting the crumbs off the burlap sheet into the trash! I’m all about using as few dishes as possible to save on housework later.

 

That’s literally all I did! I told you it was super easy and it ended up looking SO cute! I really love all the great finds from the Target One Spot and all the different things you can do with them! What’s your favorite One Spot find?

Continue Reading

Clark Crib: A Batman Bathroom

While I’m honestly not too much into kitschy character home decor, Cash has always had a thing for Batman, he gets that from James. To give the boys something a little fun and personalization when it comes to their own spaces, I thought allowing a little fun in their bathroom would be a great way to do it. I should note that we do have a separate bathroom downstairs for guests, so this bathroom is completely just for the boys!

While I still need to find a few more odds and ends for the countertops, here’s what we did for an adorable and only slighty kitschy Batman bathroom! So far we have this cute striped toothbrush cup and these funny Little Tikes Joker’s (need to find the Batmobile one obvs haha)

I started with this really cool Black Batman Symbol shower curtain, it’s nice and easy to wash, so with black shower curtain rings, it fit a superhero bathroom perfectly. I also added a black rug by the sink to make it a little more cozy.

Since the bathroom is much smaller, and really isn’t being used that much right now, we didn’t need to add a bunch of frills and space saving items yet. The black hand towels match the room perfectly and were SO cheap for the quality!

 

Above the towel rack I finished off the bathroom decor with a mini-gallery arrangement. A lot of these pieces I just designed on PicMonkey then sent to the Walgreens Photo Lab online and printed out in different sizes. To keep it cohesive I made sure each piece had a black frame, and there’s no more than the width of my hand between each picture.

Pretty basic stuff over here in the boy’s Batman bathroom, but sometimes it’s the simple ideas that kid’s enjoy the most. I’d also rather put my money into spaces that get a ton of use than do-it-up like crazy in their bathroom at this point. What do you think!?

Continue Reading

The Clarks 2017

I talk a lot about my family, as if you all already know them. We had our very first round of professional family pictures taken with Laura Davis Photo at Brando’s first birthday party and they turned out so good I wanted to share them with you all. Since it’d be weird to just have a post with a ton of personal family pics, I thought it would be nice to share some fun info about us, the Clarks, and what’s going on with us in 2017.

 

In March we moved to Celebration, aka “Disney’s Town” although Disney doesn’t own it anymore unfortunately. We live within walking distance to a community pool, Starbucks, and tons of local restaurants and shops. James and I love taking the boys out for longer walks around the neighborhood, and try to walk for 1 hr at least once a day.

James and I are currently on a huge health kick. He’s down 15lbs and I’m down 15inches so far! We practice a low-carb lifestyle, but don’t count the carbs in fruit or green veggies since that’s where the bulk of our nutrition comes from. I do one Team Beachbody workout a day, 6 days a week, and James hits up the gym for an hour daily M-F. It’s so amazing to have such a supportive and health-conscious husband. We keep each other on track when we’re having our weak moments.

 

Brando just turned one, he’s super into all food related things and basically just wants to do anything and everything big brother does. He’s so close to walking I can’t stand the wait anymore. He stands on his own and does this funny “crab” like crawl, so I know he’ll be running around very soon! He’s much bigger size wise than Cash was, Cash takes after me and my small frame, while it seems like Brando is taking after Daddy. In fact, even though Cash is almost 4 now, they can basically share clothes.

Cash is as crazy and wild as ever. He loves watching movies, especially Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Storks, Angry Birds and anything featuring the Minions. He’s gotten very imaginative playing with his toys, making up the craziest situations, and making all of them fight each other. His favorite toys right now are these creepy little robot bugs called Hexbugs, they crawl all over your floor just like real bugs and I am so over it, lol. He’s also starting to speak in sentences, his favorites are: “Mommy what are you doing?” “Mommy let’s go buy bugs at Target” “Mommy I stole your seat” “Oh, Hi Daddy” and “What the Helk”.

This year, James and I are trying to figure out exactly where we’d like to buy a house, we’re really unsure when it comes to making such a large purchase, so we’re traveling A LOT these days, leaving no location stone unturned. We just spent a week at Topsail Beach in NC, and next on the agenda is the Cape Cod area.

So that’s us this year in a nutshell! Tell me a little about your family in the comments! Shop this post:

Continue Reading

Semi-Homemade: Naked Red Velvet Cake

Last month we celebrated Brando’s first birthday with a farm-to-table foodie themed birthday party. Brando has ONE major interest right now and that is food, so the theme was super appropriate and really simple to pull off at my Grandmother’s property where they used to raise cattle in Plant City. I thought a naked red velvet layered cake would make the perfect dessert for this rustic party, and it turned out super delicious and was REALLY easy to put together.

While I really like taking my time and making things from scratch, I made EVERYTHING for this party, so I knew time wise, using a store bought cake mix would be much easier for me. While you can use any store bought mix, I prefer Duncan Hines for Red Velvet because the red color is much richer than other brands. I followed the directions on the box to prepare the cake, except I used chocolate milk when it called for water. This made the cake much more moist and enriched the cocoa flavor of the red velvet.

I used 2 boxes of cake mix which netted me 3 8in rounds, which I used for the main cake and 2 6 in rounds, which I used to make Brando’s smash cake.

Since cream cheese icing is very simple to make from scratch, I made that myself so that the cake did have that extra “made with love” feel to me. Here’s my easy recipe:

Ingredients:

8 oz cream cheese

6 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 cup butter (softened slightly warmer than room temp)

2 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp lemon juice

Prepare:

  1. Beat together butter and cream cheese until perfectly smooth, make sure there are no clumps or lumps whatsoever.
  2. Add in vanilla extract and lemon juice
  3. Beat in confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time, until smooth

Since this was a “Naked Cake”, I made sure to let my cakes cool extra long (overnight) to ensure that when they were leveled and iced there would be absolutely no crumbs showing. I was heavy handed with the icing in-between each layer to ensure that the icing:cake ratio was on point since I didn’t ice the sides of the cake. If you have a little pour over with your icing like I did, just use a butter knife to smooth it out, honestly I think it just adds to the homey feel of the cake, so don’t stress out if it isn’t perfection.

Finally to top each cake and flow with the farm-to-table theme, I sugared some berries to add to the top. This is super simple and fun way to top a cake. Simply dip berries in fruit juice of choice (I used lemon juice), then roll them in white sugar, then freeze for 1+ hrs. The longer you freeze them, the longer they will look nice and icey. Being in the FL heat my berries unfortunately didn’t hold their “glittery” look for long, but they still looked great.

This cake is great for any kind of occasion and if you’re not a red velvet fan you could also try this with a great spice cake or carrot cake for the fall. I’m really happy with how it turned out. So many people at Brando’s party came up to me to compliment the cake and couldn’t believe I made it myself. It’s a great way to impress your guests that’s for sure and Brando LOVED having the whole smash cake to himself!

 

 

All photos were take by Laura Davis Photo. She’s freakin’ amazing guys.

 

Continue Reading

#BlogHer17

Today marks the start of a huge event that I’m super excited to attend. #BlogHer17 starts today with check-in, registration, and the kickoff keynote! Speaking tonight are some heavy hitters, such as Gabi Gregg- an amazing style blogger, Starr Barbour of StillGoing, and Chelsea Clinton.

Following the keynote kickoff speeches, we’ll walk around for an evening at the expo, meeting some of the sponsors and making connections with brands we’d like to partner with in the future.

I was able to plan out my whole experience on my phone with the new BlogHer App and it made everything so much simpler! This is my first BlogHer experience and I love that the app keeps me organized and on top of what comes next, as I tend to get overwhelmed at huge events.

To say that I’m excited pales in comparison to how I actually feel. Being around other bloggers is just an altogether great experience. Everyone is one their phones documenting all the goodness together, and no one minds taking #OOTD pictures for you! I can’t wait to kick it all off tomorrow night. As far as outfits go I’m a little last minute when it comes to packing, but I’m bringing about 3 outfits per day, so 9 total outfits, plus athleisure for morning exercises, cute jammies, and poolside options. Can’t wait to show you what this amazing conference is all about! Be sure to follow me on Snap (xoxo_bnc) or InstaStories (@_xoxob) to see what I’m doing each moment, who I’m meeting, and what I’m wearing!

Also if you’re a blogger going to #BlogHer17 in Orlando this weekend, feel free to shoot me an email and let me know if you want to sit together at lunch! <3

 

Continue Reading

iFly US – Tampa Event

One of the greatest perks of being a blogger is getting to attend some awesome events. A few weeks ago at the Tampa location of iFly US was one of those fun perks. Local bloggers were invited to go out to iFly and experience what they have to offer as well as go indoor skydiving with a guest. Naturally, since James is terrified of heights, I took him.

When we got there we were invited to sit in their party room and munch down on some refreshments as the event host explained to us in detail all the different event options that they offer. You can rent the whole place out for a corporate event (that’d be such a fun company team building bash), or even host your child’s birthday party there, where they can provide everything but the cake!

After chowing down, we watched a short video about what the hand signals meant, as we were with one of their professional flight instructors during our time in the tube. The instructor gave us hand signals to help us perfect our flying position in the wind tunnel. We then suited up and got ready for “take off”.

Honestly I was really nervous about flying in the tube. I was anxious about what it would feel like, and also worried I may not get my position perfect or would injure myself in some way. Stepping up to my turn I actually almost turned around thinking “I can’t do this”. However, I’m so glad I took one step forward instead of reverse, because once I got in I had SO much fun!

It doesn’t feel scary like when you’re on a roller coaster, you actually more so feel like the weightlessness of swimming with the wind blowing all around you. Your stomach doesn’t drop to the pit of your belly as I was imagining it would, which was a nice relief. We each got to fly for 1 minute each, and we took two turns.

On the second turn, James- who had a tough time with his positioning the first time around, decided to sit out, and good thing he did, because the instructor flew us all individually up to the high part of the tunnel.

I had a blast, and thankfully the amount of wind blocks noise because the first time we went up I think I screamed like a little girl. I span upwards and downwards in the tunnel in a kind of circle formation with the instructor, Alex. He was great and so helpful! After our flights we all got flight certificates and links to pictures and videos of our flight sessions! Check my video out here!

 

I’d definitely recommend a trip to iFly as a fun family or friends outing. The experience is truly a memory maker and it’s safe for kids as young as 3 to fly!

 

Continue Reading

Spring Patio Ready

Since moving to this new home in Celebration, I’ve gotten into this minor obsession with home decor. When we moved we decided it was best to start with a clean slate all around, so we got rid of a lot of our old things. Knowing the kind of space I was working with, and with the help of my super interiorly superior Mother, I began to slowly but surely piece together what would become the elements for my dream home.

 

The Patio is one of my favorite spaces, especially around this time of year. It’s always cool, breezy and in the mid 70’s in the evening, so I really like to sit outside, light some candles, and get some blogging done at the end of a long day with the boys. For this patio my inspiration was modern bohemian and my most important element was comfortable chairs.

Patio chairs can say a lot about your personality, and while I love them in other people’s homes, Brown Wicker furniture with red/terra cotta cushions just isn’t my aesthetic. I found this set of two extremely soft and comfortable black rope chairs with a modern design and plush gray cushions, and basically designed the rest of the patio around them.

Since we got rid of a lot of our “knick-knacks”, a lot of our spaces are dangling on the minimalist line, but I like that everything serves a function and there’s no “junk”. The black and white striped rug really reflected to me that sense of modern minimalism and clean lines with an edge.

Rather than purchasing pricey outdoor end tables, I grabbed two $30 planter stands from Target to serve as end tables for us to set our beverages and candles on. They work really well in the space, and the iron legs reflect that clean look we were going for.

As far as accents go, I wanted the space to not be cluttered, but wanted to incorporate some fun and functional pieces. I grabbed these two matching gold lanterns which are perfect when lit at nighttime outdoors, and a simple black/white squiggly lined planter pot, I haven’t yet committed to which plant I’m going to try to grow yet though, so leave me some suggestions if you have a green thumb.

Being that our patio sits in an open place and is visible from the street to several tourists that come through the area, I wanted it to stand out and reflect the fun personality that embodies our family. This space makes me so happy.

The two pack of my specific chairs is only sold in select stores, but I’ve linked similar chairs and the big patio sets of my specific set! <3

Continue Reading

A Halloween Playdate

halloweenfood9

Being at the house with the boys on a daily basis can get dull I must admit, which is why I like to go all-out for every holiday you can think of! With Halloween being the kick-off to the holiday season, I always get started with fun holiday crafts & baked goods the very first week of October, to maximize holiday fun!

halloweenfood3

Our first Fall playdate was so much fun, planned with my best friend Amanda & her daughter, Liliana. Lily is very close to Cash’s age so they love playing together right now with Dinosaurs, colors, and watching Disney movies. I wanted to celebrate the upcoming holiday and get some seasonal baking done with Amanda so our families could enjoy delicious treats, so naturally, I bought basically ALL of the Halloween treats display so we could bake and decorate cupcakes with our littles. You’ll see regular chocolate chip cookie mix and yellow cake mix, to make these things Halloween-y I added 3 drops yellow/2 drops of red food coloring to the yellow cake mix to make them appear more orange, and I also let the kids pour Halloween sprinkles in the cake & cookie mix, semi-homemade “funfetti” 😉

halloweenfood

Setting up this in an organized way was essential to not create a HUGE mess. When you take on the task of letting toddlers play with frosting and sprinkles, remind yourself that it’s about the memories, and let the mess happen.

halloweenfood7

Lily and Cash helped prepare the cookie batter by mixing all the ingredients in the big bowl, then forming cookie circles with clean hands, before putting them on the baking sheet. While our cookies and cupcakes baked, we sat down with crayons, and they each colored and added sparkly pumpkins to small “CANDY” themed canvases. While our cookies and cupcakes cooled, we made “Boo Bark”.

halloweenfood5

Boo Bark is really simple to make and great for letting little ones explore their love of the kitchen. You simply melt almond bark and pour it onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. While it’s still hot, let your kids add fun sprinkles, seasonal themed candies, and whatever else they want to, to make it a special experience and to promote their uniqueness. Once all toppings are added, pop it in the freezer for 30-45 minutes then break it apart!

halloweenfood1

Once all of our treats were cooled, Mommies iced the cupcakes using large Ziploc bags & Halloween colored icing. We set up a system so that once we iced a cupcake, the kids would add the sprinkles to the top. They had the MOST fun with this part (though both Lily & Cash attempted devouring 3-4 cupcakes before we even got the icing in the bags hahaha) as sprinkles are one of Cash’s favorite things, and Lily was so excited to be “making the cupcakes pretty with sprinkles”.

halloweenfood2

They both were so proud of themselves for assembling such wonderful treats for our family members. Not only was it special to create these memories with our little ones, but it was also wonderful and heartwarming to see them take such great pride in their accomplishments at such an early age.

halloweenfood6

Have you tried baking with a toddler? What did you make?

Spooky Spirits,

B

Continue Reading