Summer is here and it’s time to switch out the old winter and spring clothes and get out your summer wardrobe. As I was trying to piece together outfits this week, I realized how difficult it is to hold a glass of wine and try on different styles at the same time. So, I thought I would share my best ideas for summer so y’all don’t have to figure it out yourself. After all, your wine is much more important.
Although it might be easy to throw on some shorts and an oversized t-shirt and call it a day, I’m going to tell you how I make myself look presentable while also managing three kids. Here are four summer outfits that work for any occasion.
- A sundress and sandals: It’s easy, classic and stylish. Let me tell you from experience, it’s way easier to wash one piece of clothing than it is to wash two. Dresses are so easy to throw on and walk out the door. One of my favorite local boutiques to get dresses from is Crimson Blue Boutique. They have the cutest sundresses for our hot summers in the south!
- Jeans and a seersucker shirt. This is an easy one to dress up or dress down. To dress it up I suggest a cute pair of booties or wedges along with a few big statement jewelry pieces. Chunky gold is so fashionable right now. My favorite places to find great quality jewelry is Goldstein’s Jewelers in Mobile, Alabama and Jubilee Gift Shop in Daphne, Alabama. To dress it down I throw on some sandals or flip flops and top it off with a cute belt to really pull the whole outfit together.
- Coastal Jewelry is a favorite of mine. Actually, coastal style anything! During summer what better place to wear your coastal style jewelry than at the beach, pool or summer get together? Those octopus or seahorse earrings that have been sitting in your jewelry box all winter are dying to get some sunlight! Pair them with your favorite summer outfit and you’re sure to get tons of compliments.
- Lastly (my favorite of all): a swimsuit! Whenever I can’t find anything to wear, I put on my favorite swimsuit and yell at the kids to get in the car so we can go to the pool. If you take nothing else from this list, a cute swimsuit is a MUST for summertime. Let your kids run around and get all their energy out while you grab a book, get a tan and relax with a glass of wine or a cocktail.
So, save this list for the next time you can’t find something in your mess of a closet… and when worst comes to worst, just put on some pajamas and go back to bed. I won’t judge.
Quarantine: Day 26
If you’re anything like me then you’ve lost all track of time. You don’t know what time it is and you keep mistaking Tuesday for Wednesday. You don’t know the last time your house was quiet. You don’t remember a time that you weren’t telling your kids to go play outside. But what you do know is: Easter is on it’s way! Being stuck in the house all day with the only people in the world that can LITERALLY annoy you to death isn’t easy. So let me share with y’all what I’ve been planning to do to keep Easter somewhat calm and organized.
I have created a list. It’s a list of random, fun things to do to keep my family busy on Easter. No one is going to be bored on Easter, we are going to be completing the whole list in one day.
So here it is for y’all: The Easter List
- Easter Egg Hunt – okay so I decided this year to do it indoors. Ours will be simple. But for all of you over achievers they have some really great ideas for indoors Easter Egg hunting on Good House Keeping’s Website.
- Dye Easter Eggs– If you haven’t dyed Easter eggs with your kids yet, what better time than on Easter day?
- Go For a Walk –In your Easter clothes. Say hi to everyone while maintaining the 6 foot apart guideline!
- Eat a Snack -okay, so what if all you eat today is chocolate, peeps and sweet tarts? Don’t judge me, Chocolate goes nicely with my wine, it’s Easter!
- Build a Fort – Grab the pillow and blankets! We are building a fort! Then we are going to crawl inside and read our bibles and say something we are thankful for!
- Movie Time – Pick out your favorite Easter movies and let’s have a quiet couple of hours! Here are a few I have picked and will let the kids pick from this list.
- The Dog who Saved Easter
- Iceage: The Great EGGscape
- Color a Picture: Let’s face it, even on Easter I need a little me time! Here are some great Easter coloring pages – Free Fun Easter
- Read a book– Read the Bible or an Easter story or anything you can read as a family!
- Coffee Time – Self Explanatory. Happening all day long, I might add.
- Play With the Dog and/or Baby -Let’s face it, pets and little kids are cute and cuddly and more than likely they will probably be wearing the cutest Easter outfit or bunny ears ever!
- WINE – Wine down time for all you Moms! (The blood of Jesus Christ amirite?)
- Call Loved Ones – Call loved ones and wish them a Happy Easter! Facetime a few of them so they can see yours and the kid’s Easter outfits!
- Chalk -Send the kids out to draw Easter drawings with chalk! (So I can sit on the porch and drink my wine.)
- Bake – Fun time in the kitchen! You can find all sorts of easy recipes here – Butter With a Side of Bread.
- Dance Party – Okay so this is really for the kids, so they can wear themselves out!
- Church – This is the best one on the list. Getting to sit down and listen to your Pastor
preaching is the best feeling. It makes things seem more normal. It reminds us of who we are celebrating on Easter.
Listen, my oldest is home from college and she seems to be the only one who hasn’t turned into a zombie. She’s constantly asking us to play ping pong or board games or make beaded bracelets… but if she asks me to play water pong one more time I might die. She’s always baking and feeding me sweets. All the other people in the family (my 11 year old son and my husband) choose to play video games. Constantly. For hours and hours. I don’t know how they don’t get bored with it. They yell at each other and the T.V. for what seems like days. So, when Easter rolls around we will be having forced family fun. Everyone must participate and everyone is going to have some Easter spirit. Happy Easter y’all!
When life throws you eggs, make some deviled eggs.
Who doesn’t need a vacation? Weekends away are the best for some much needed vacation time without taking time off. If you feel like you’re falling into a pattern or getting into a rut, a weekend across the bay could be just what you need. Looking forward to your getaway will release endorphins that will get you back to feeling stress free. So sit down and buckle up, because I’m about to show you the best weekend away in the best place possible.
So… if you’re looking for a getaway, look no further! Mobile, Alabama, is the place to be. From the art museums and historic architecture to the opera and ballet company, there’s something for everyone. And don’t forget the nightlife, Mobile has it all. The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa is a great place to stay for the weekend. They offer a pool, fitness center, are pet friendly and have (my personal favorite) a full spa! You can also make a reservation at The Trellis Room restaurant inside the hotel or enjoy the lounge and some cocktails.
Once you’re settled in make plans to attend the Mobile Symphony Orchestra at the Saenger Theater. They put on amazing concerts and productions. Check out their schedule for this season: Concert Calendar & Tickets.
Now let’s talk about all the history packed into this place. Some of my favorite museums to visit are:
- The Mobile Carnival Museum: this museum shows the history of the Carnival tradition in Mobile. Because we will all go to our graves screaming that Mardi Gras originated in Mobile and NOT New Orleans.
- The Gulf Coast Exploreum: yes it’s for kids and, yes, it’s the greatest place ever. Go as an adult and have a good time.
- The Mobile Medical Museum: is pretty high on my list. It’s full of fascinating medical artifacts from the past.
- My personal favorite museum is the Battleship USS Alabama. It is a WWII submarine, a B52D bomber, Air Force and Coast Guard rescue aircraft museum. It is an amazing experience that you have to visit for yourself.
Mobile is also well known for its cuisine! Here are my suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Spot of Tea, The Ruby Slipper Cafe and Brick and Spoon are all great choices for breakfast in Mobile. These locales are also known for being locals favorite brunch spots. For lunch, I would suggest Loda Bier Garten or Dauphin’s. They are both super great family friendly places to get some lunch. For dinner, I only have one and only one suggestion: NoJa. NoJa offers beautiful, tasty and fresh food. Be sure to try their famous Altieri cocktail. Their entire menu will make you want to slap your mama.
What better way to enjoy the nightlife in Mobile, AL, other than Alchemy Tavern and Hayley’s Bar. These are two amazing places that are a locals favorite. If you want something close to your hotel, Royal Street Tavern is connected to the Battle House and is also a great choice! If you follow these suggestions you should expect to go back to work on Monday refreshed and ready to conquer your job only to count down the days until it’s Friday again.
As the New Year begins to roll out, so do the resolutions. Sure, every year you SAY you’re going to exercise more and eat healthier, but what if you went in a whole different direction? Like, instead of taking the Bay Way of starting off the New Year, the long and accident prone way, you take an alternate path, like the Causeway route of starting the New Year. You know, same direction but with better views and less chaos. Here are some ways you can kick off the New Year on the right foot.
Treat Yo’ Self!
After spending the season (and all of your money) on loved ones, it’s time to switch gears and start thinking about who really comes first…you, of course! Admit it: If you don’t put yourself first more often, then you’ll always end up second (or dead last or just dead). Start by upgrading your health with a visit to Peak Alkalinity in Fairhope for a taste of the detoxifying benefits of ionized alkaline water. And, while you are on the fresh-tasting bandwagon, finish your day with a meal at NoJa in Downtown Mobile. Their menu offers an eclectic fusion of delicious Mediterranean and Asian dishes.
Fix Your Finances
Filling up on your holiday favorites may have left you with an empty wallet. So, now is the time to fix those finances! Care Financial has a staff of financial gurus who can help with your investment planning, retirement, debt and even insurance policies.
Freshen Up Your Home
Here’s a quick and easy design tip: Take your home and throw it out, the whole thing, all at once. Then visit Home Design Center and Direct Design Group with Lolie and Mo in Foley for inspirations to update your space. Their interior design experts can help you revamp any room with a wide selection of design accents, furniture, lighting fixtures and more.
And speaking of freshening things up, schedule an appointment with Keith Air Conditioning. These guys know a thing or two about improving the air quality in your home. Brighten up your home’s exterior and interior by calling the pros at Professional Electric for LED outdoor and indoor lighting.
You spent the entire holiday season cleaning your plate (with no shame, thank you stretchy pants), so now it’s time to start the New Year with a clean slate. You know, start fresh, set goals! New Year, new you! And if you’re a business owner, don’t let the stress of the New Year kick you in the pants…get on the right foot this year with Southern View Media!
It’s here. The season our children love, but we parents spend running around losing our minds for almost two months trying to ensure sheer perfection for our little ones. With a new baby in the house, life is already a bit more hectic than usual. To say it might make this holiday season a bit more of a challenge would be an understatement. But, I’ve come prepared for the holiday madness and am here to share my tips for staying stress free with all of you who may already be feeling the anxiety of the upcoming days!
Tips to Staying Stress Free this Holiday Season
First things first, make a list. You might think you don’t need to make a list and that you are able to remember everything you need to accomplish during the busiest time of the year! But you may be surprised how helpful it is to make a to-do list. From buying gifts, holiday parties and everything in-between, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks. Making a list (and checking it twice) will help you stay organized and stress free during this holiday season.
Say no to long lines and the stressful shopping times. Holiday shopping is great. I love seeing the stores decked in holiday decor, and hearing Christmas music on the radio. But the huge crowds on weekends and after work can make holiday shopping incredibly stressful. So, unless you just absolutely love the stressful shopping times, kick them to the curb. Long lines and overcrowded shopping areas are a surefire way to kick the stress levels up a few notches. Avoid the lines by running your errands early in the day or shopping online!
Know your limits. Unfortunately, there is only one of you and that remains during the holiday season. You can’t be everywhere at once. So, know that is is definitely okay to say no! If you can’t make it to a friends holiday party due to prior arrangements, send kind regards and they will definitely understand. There’s no point in stressing yourself out when you simply just can’t do everything!
Get Focused. Keep in mind the reason behind the season. Don’t spend all of your time stressing out about gifts and parties. Focus on spending time with your loved ones and making the most out of the holiday season together.So, when life hands you grapes this holiday season head to the mall and purchase a gift for yourself just not during rush hour!
Fall is slowly sweeping in as summer finally starts to wind down. Don’t fret! Even though beach days disappear, there is an abundance to love about fall in Mobile. All of these qualities make fall one of many people’s favorite seasons.
Take a Stroll around Mobile Memorial Gardens
Fall finally allows us to cool down from the hot weather that summer brings yet we’re not confronted with being too cold just yet. We can finally go outside to take walks and not suffer from heat exhaustion after the first five steps. Take this time to visit your loved ones and pay your respects to others as well. Mobile Memorial Gardens in a beautiful place to walk around as they offer a variety of beautiful gardens. They also host Flags of Glory event that honors America’s military service personnel in November.
Events Hosted by Bellingrath Gardens
Many events are hosted all over Mobile during the fall. Many people love getting out and being active while the weather is pleasant, and one of the best places to do so is at Bellingrath. Bellingrath is a beautiful place to walk around and even have a picnic with family or friends. Their events are held all throughout the year, but the ones held during the fall really seem to shine. They host yoga, paint parties, a Halloween party and the largest display of chrysanthemums blooming in the nation. So get out and enjoy these wonderful events!
Enjoy Great Dining at NoJa
Seasonal servings are offered at many restaurants in Mobile. NoJa is a very popular local restaurant in a gorgeous and comfortable setting during any season. NoJa is a great place to hold a meeting with a client or boss, to sit and chat with friends or family or to go out on a date night. You surely will not be disappointed with NoJa. Be sure to try their maple leaf duck breast and save room for dessert! This fall is definitely a great chance to experience Noja with its wonderful atmosphere and Mediterrasian menu.
The View at Boudreaux’s
The views on the shores of the Mobile Bay are stunning no matter the season, but they are definitely more enjoyable when it is not 100 degrees outside and you have a nice breeze. At Boudreaux’s, catch beautiful sunsets every evening from a beautiful outdoor deck/porch and enjoy some of their amazing cajun cuisine while sailboats traipse across the bay. They serve some of the most authentic cajun food around. I recommend the Crawfish Etouffee!
Pumpkin Spice Everything
Pumpkin Spice is known as the taste of fall. All throughout the season, every company is advertising pumpkin spice-flavored this or that. Starbucks, Serda’s and many other coffee shops make their signature lattes all season long, while donuts and cakes take on the flavor in local bakeries and pastry shops. If you aren’t a big fan of pumpkin, well then this season just is not for you or your taste buds, but there are of course many other things to enjoy, like the fall, harvest and Halloween themed cookies from Mobilians’ favorite local bakery, Pollman’s. There’s a ton to love about fall in Mobile. Don’t forget about Halloween or Thanksgiving! Gather friends and family to go out and enjoy the season or do it yourself. Hopefully you will fall more in love with this beautiful season as we get closer to winter.
Maya Angelou once said, “The best comfort food will always be greens, cornbread and fried chicken,” and she wasn’t far off… Southern food comforts you like nothing else. There’s no better way to support a new mom or welcome a new neighbor than a giant southern casserole. Here’s a few of our favorite places for Southern comfort along the Gulf Coast.
This Mediterrasian restaurant has some of the most unique dishes that will make your mouth water. Be sure to try the Maple Leaf Duck Breast or the Kansas City Strip! Both will make you fall in love with Noja and the unique experience they provide. The atmosphere, flavors and service will leave you in awe and will make you keep coming back for more. Noja is one of the longest running restaurants in Downtown Mobile and serves food with the freshest ingredients. Check out their website or their Facebook page to find out about their seasonal menus.
Boudreaux’s is a classic cajun restaurant located in Daphne, AL. While cajun food is very closely associated with New Orleans, now you only have to travel a short trip across Mobile Bay to satisfy your cajun cravings. They have bands playing all week long and a wonderful view of the water to enjoy as you have a Bourbon Street-inspired cocktail. Be sure to try their cheese fries, crawfish and beignets! With family ties from the Bayou and a passion for food done right, this is surely a place to go whenever you crave anything cajun.
At Loda Bier Garten, you can enjoy a night out on the town! They have two locations that offer a vast selection of beers which will pair perfectly with your burger and leave your mouth watering. Specialty burgers decorate the menu along with classic appetizers that you can not get enough of. They have TVs and a lively staff working open to close. One time my friends started dancing and the staff joined in! There is definitely no place like Loda!
Bozo’s is a classic seafood restaurant in Pascagoula, MS, that has been around for generations. Bozo’s actually has a seafood market and a restaurant, which are conveniently located right next to each other! You can call and place your order at the market or just walk in. Live music is played outside on the patio for a great open air dining experience. They have a wide variety of seafood at both the market and the restaurant, so stop on by and enjoy everything Bozo’s has to offer!
Briquettes Steakhouse is one of the best steakhouses in the South. They are locally owned and operated, and deliver an amazing experience all around. They have many entrees that are so delicious that is hard to choose just one, but when you order a side I strongly recommend the sweet potato casserole as it is to die for! So next time you want really anything go to Briquettes as they have so much to offer. The South has many options for wonderful comfort food, especially here on the Gulf Coast. Each and every place has a special item that is exclusive to their restaurant, so try anything and everything! The more you try the more you’ll fall in love with every bite.
To some, the South may seem like its own country. We have very different traditions and ways of doing things here that you won’t find anywhere else in the world: strangers speaking to you in the supermarket; (we’re just being polite, ya’ll.) children (and adults) replying with “Ma’am” and “Sir.” Here are a few things that sets the South apart.
If you’re not from the South, be careful when you order! We like our tea as sweet as can be. Sweet Tea is a southern staple. Pitchers always have at least one cup of sugar poured into them. In many places, sweet tea might just be labeled “regular”. Unsweet Tea is considered unholy and unnatural.
If you haven’t experienced Mardi Gras, you are missing out on one of the greatest southern traditions of all. While several cities in the USA celebrate Mardi Gras, Mobile, AL, and New Orleans, LA, are where the celebrations began and captured the attention of all revelers. Contrary to popular belief, the birthplace of Mardi Gras is actually Mobile. It started in 1703 – 14 years before New Orleans was even founded! It would travel over to New Orleans around 1722 and grow over the years into what it is today.
Biscuits, cornbread, collard greens, grits, fried chicken, gumbo and more! Known in some places as “soul food” or “comfort food” these dishes will have you feeling fat and happy! Old family recipes are passed down from generation to generation, and almost everything has sugar, butter or bacon fat in it. We try to fry anything we can, including cheesecake, pickles and Twinkies. (try them, they’re awesome). And while food in the South may seem unusual, chances are you’ll love it!
In the South, we will put a monogram on anything we can! From ball caps to jackets, clothing, towels and backpacks, we firmly believe in monograms. This southern tradition can be seen on people of all ages, from toddlers to adults. We want our initials on everything!
Many phrases we use in the South are not common in other parts of the US. We have a different dialect and well of euphemisms to draw from that separates Southerners from the rest of the country. We say, “y’all” and other things like, “Bless your heart,” or, “Miss.” To us, these are just common formalities. We even create new words of our own like “tumped,” a combination of “turn” and “dumped” used to describe something falling over and spilling its contents everywhere. Accents vary, you could have a Savannah drawl, a Cajun mixture bubbling out like gumbo or even a panhandle hard on flat vowels and sharp consonants. The South is a linguist’s playground!
The South has many things that are exclusive to the area. These unique features of Southern culture can be a bit of a shock to those that move down here, but many get used to our customs and find themselves enjoying fitting in with the crowd. The South’s hospitality offers a warm welcome (a humid one, too) to all who wish to experience what this region has to offer!
The Fourth of July is considered by some to be the top dog of summer holidays. You have all of the makings for a good time rolled into one day (minus football). Food, drinking and fireworks are synonymous with the holiday, but the fun can quickly fizzle if you are not on your A-game. Make your July 4th dazzle like a roman candle by following these helpful tips!
Don’t Lose a Hand
Nothing ruins an Independence Day party like a firework accident. Use firework safety practices by having a designated (sober and adult) firework administrator and keeping items away from:
- Small Children
- Drunk Uncles (or any impaired person for that matter)
- That cousin who *really* enjoys lighting matches
Other “handy” firework tips (see what I did there?)
- Keep a bucket of water nearby, or preferably a hose with a spray nozzle
- Don’t point a firework at anyone or any living thing or even objects. Fireworks are meant to be viewed from afar, not up-close-and-personal.
- Make sure they’re legal. Fireworks made non-professionally are more likely to send you or your friends to the hospital. Purchase your holiday pyrotechnics from professionals.
Drink Responsibly. Not Ridiculously.
It’s pretty easy to get carried away with the Fourth of July festivities of fireworks and ice-cold beverages. It’s also easy for you to get carried away by the cops for overindulging and irresponsibly using fireworks. Most of the more powerful fireworks need a licensed professional to be present. Most municipal jurisdictions also do not allow fireworks to be used without a permit within city limits. It’s best to be as far away from the public as possible when shooting fireworks. Police units around the country are highly alert to any public disturbances during the biggest of summer holidays. Drive the speed limit, always have a designated driver and don’t drive on the beach!
Plan a Manageable Spread
You’ve spent months on Pinterest pinning away those super delicious recipes for your star-spangled celebration. But where do you start? The red, white and blue fruit kabobs? The sheet cake decorated like an American flag?? Keep calm, plan a simple spread and don’t freak out if your sandwiches for the kids aren’t star-shaped. Honestly, they only care if it’s not pimento cheese (which means more for you). You can make the meal fun by having a hot dog bar full of toppings such as chili, relish, onions and a smorgasbord of other condiments.
Plan an Escape Route
No, I’m not referring to the party your neighbor invited you to that quickly went downhill after she got into those appletinis. Think about that fireworks show you thought was a good idea at the time. What lasted about six minutes ends up feeling like six years when the whole crowd descends on the parking lot at the same time. All the excitement will quickly fade as you sit in the car waiting for someone, anyone, to let you out. Oh, and someone will HAVE to potty regardless of how many times you asked. My tip? Park furthest out from the show (and the crowd) and stay close to your vehicle so you can try to be the first ones to exit.
Remember, the Fourth of July is more than another summer holiday. It’s the one time of year we come together to throw a party for America with our closest friends and family. It is also a pretty good excuse to drink and blow things up (it’s what the forefathers would want, but responsibly!).
The South is a unique place and not because we have warm winters and we prefer our vegetables fried. We pretty much have our own language and a somewhat odd way of doing things (Would you like some peanuts in your bottled Coke?). While our peculiar phrases and traditions may leave the rest of the country confused, only we understand why it’s perfectly normal.
Sweet Tea is King
Nothing is unholier than unsweet tea and chances are you’ll be damned into eternity if you drink it on a Sunday. Down here, we make it rain with delicious sugar in our glass pitchers.
Humidity Always Wins
Nice blowout you got there…it’d be bad if something were to…ruin it. Yes, you can spend a good chunk of money on the best celebrity-endorsed hair product but humidity will always triumph.
Nothing Compares to Maw Maw’s Cooking
Maw Maw could teach many of these highfalutin, Michelin star eateries a thing or two. They probably don’t know about the magic of biscuits and gravy and that bananas are better covered in pudding and whipped cream.
The Less We Say the More We Mean
Phrases such as “bless your heart” actually mean, “boy, you are dumber than a bag of hammers. I sure you hope you don’t plan on procreating.” “Fixin’ to” doesn’t mean we’re actually going to fix something. It’s more of a phrase about what we’re planning to do in the next hour, week, month, 10 years…you get the picture.
Want to know how a wooden spoon feels to the back of the head? Just try not saying “yes ma’am” or “no ma’am” the next time you’re at Maw Maw’s house.
It Will Always be Hot
Southerners know it’s perfectly normal to wear flip flops in December. Sweatin’ while hanging your stockings? Then call Daycool Heating and Air for the best in air conditioning maintenance and repair.
Southerners didn’t just invent porch sitting as a way of cooling off from the sweltering summers. No, we use it as a way to socialize, drink sweet tea and gossip…in a polite way, of course. Does your porch need sprucing up? Call the pros at Professional Electric for an estimate on services such as outdoor lighting.
There Will Always be Mosquitos
Mosquitos are like that creepy second cousin we all have…except we can’t kill him. But in the South, we smack so many mosquitoes it almost sounds like an applause.
Fall Weekends are for Football
Good luck with planning that fall wedding. While Paw Paw and Maw Maw really love you the most, your autumn nuptials doesn’t stand a chance. Free food and drunk groomsmen speeches don’t hold a candle to a Southerner’s favorite football team.
Fried Food is a Food Group
Did you know that Southerners are magicians? We can take a perfectly healthy vegetable and instantly make it unhealthy…and probably more delicious. I mean, there is a reason why okra is MUCH better fried.
Sure, none of this makes any sense anywhere else but would you really want to live there? Nope, I didn’t think so.