Our Trip to Hampton Beach State Park, New Hampshire

I haven’t been to the Hampton Beach State Park in New Hampshire since my teen years, and even then I don’t recall actually stopping, getting out and enjoying the place. Recently I decided that would be a fun day trip to do with the kids, what made the trip even more fun was that my daughter took along her bestie and we also brought my sister as well as my baby niece with us. There was my Town & Country packed full with five kids and two adults headed to make the over hour drive to Hampton Beach State Park.

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip

After spending hours trying to find a parking spot near the Sand Sculptures and main beach area of Hampton Beach, we decided to drive further down and let the kids jump the waves, swim in the ocean and play in an area that didn’t have lifeguards but had open parking spaces. Sadly, I didn’t plan for parking meters appropriately so I only had enough quarters so we could swim at this end of Hampton Beach for about an hour and fifteen minutes. I feel that was really plenty of time, though, to be honest.

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The four big kids had such a fun time out in the ocean, little man was dancing in the waves, Aj was smiling and laughing, the two big girls were floating around enjoying the cold water from the Atlantic Ocean. This was so worth it after our couple hour drive that it took us, then more hours trying to find parking. This view made that drive and time in the van well worth it.

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip 2

I loved watching my oldest laugh and let loose in the ocean waves, she really is an over achiever during the school year, so I try to ensure she enjoys her Summer time during her childhood years! I love seeing the smile on Aj’s face here as the wave came rolling in crashing upon the kids.

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After using up our meter pay, we hopped back into the van and got the kids all ready to travel back towards the main stretch of Hampton Beach State Park. After all, one of the things we really came to see was the huge sand sculptures from the competition that had just happened the week prior. Since it was later on in the day, we found a spot quickly and proceeded to head to the beach.

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The sand sculptures were amazing, I must admit Olaf was my favorite. I just love Olaf from the movie Frozen. The kids loved how large the sculptures were and had a blast taking pictures and walking around looking at all of the scuptures

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Next up, we had to feed the tribe, while I did bring some PB&J sandwiches and sis brought some snacks too, we still needed to feed the tribe something. I bought one large pizza from a place on the strip of Hampton Beach State Park and we all enjoyed one decent size of cheese pizza as well as some drinks. This is the crew sitting down to eat at one of the stage areas on the Hampton Beach Strip.

Blue Ocean Discovery Center Hampton Beach State Park NH

After lunch, we decided to head over to the Blue Ocean Discovery Center that is located at Hampton Beach State Park; they share with you information about the ocean animals and work to help keep our ocean animals safe. With their hands on touch tank, the kids had a blast! This place did cost $1 per person, except Livy my niece was free since she is under age 2.

Blue Ocean Discovery Center Hampton Beach State Park NH starfish

This was such fun, watching the kids hang onto starfish and crabs. I loved listening to the nice ladies who worked there explain things and my children watched, listening along learning so much from them.

This was certainly a great day trip, while we did learn a few things from the trip on how we can make another trip better, we all enjoyed ourselves fully. I think the kids didn’t end up asleep til closer to midnight that night, but to watch how happy they were and the fact that this was a first time experience of the ocean for my baby nice — made this day priceless!

Remembering a Wonderful Summer of So Many Changes

This Summer brought on changes for my family because we not only blended our family with the boyfriend and his children, but we moved to a new house. Having a lot of changes at once can be overwhelming for adults but especially for children of any age. That is why we worked hard to ensure this Summer was as fun as possible, and probably why we have more boxes still unpacked than I would like to admit. It was important to Lee and I to ensure our children blended together happily, while everything went really great at first, at the moment we have an issue with one of our children which may or may not be resolved with time and space as well as a listening ear. The summer though? The memories we made, while the times were great …. and I can only hope next Summer brings on less changes and more finances to get out to more places in the New England area.

sand castle

We built sand castles on our many trips to Sunapee State Beach. We went swimming out to the deep end of the Lake Sunapee while I watched the boyfriend cringe at first seeing his children so far out. I think after this Summer Lee has loosened up a bit when it comes to his children being out deeper than he originally was okay with. I wouldn’t ever put or let any of our children get in harms way on purpose, it was just something he had to let go with and he did, with time.

York Beach Maine

We all went on a day trip to York Beach, Maine where Lee’s kids had not been before. It was a nice treat for all while we splashed around and some swam in the Atlantic Ocean on that fine Summer day. We brought our lunches and snacks as well as drinks so it was literally just a day that cost us some gas, and with my new wheels it wasn’t that much in gas money spent. Memories were made, laughter was had. It was a wonderful time.

water balloon fight

We had a water fight in the backyard one day when there wasn’t much gas to go anywhere and I had a blast watching as the boys chased each other around smiling, without fighting for once. They had such a blast just laughing their butts off getting each other {and me} soaking wet in the process.

We had a lot of days just hopping into the van and heading to VT for a swim at my Dad’s house where we would spend hours and I got a lot of exercise in that pool this Summer. The pool days were by far close to my favorite days, it was so much fun to watch how confident our kids were in the water. I also enjoyed racing with the boys across the pool.

Ice cream

We always remembered to break for ice cream whenever the chance was there. While I am not a huge ice cream fan, the kids are and so is Lee so a nice, cold ice cream cone treat was always a messy yummy extra this Summer.

ant farm

We became the proud parents of an Ant Farm as we won this at the local library during the Summer Reading Program, and I believe our ants have finally passed away though. They stayed alive in this ant farm a lot longer than I thought they would.

Chili Home made

I started cooking from scratch using a $5 Dinner Mom cookbook as well as other recipes I found along the way. Above is the chili I made for the first time and it was well enjoyed. I love that the family is taking to my recipes because cooking from scratch is healthier, plus it allows for a lot of left overs, usually!

Baby Time

You can’t forget that I became an Auntie for the first time too, miss Olivia pictured above is seven months old there and currently. We were sure to get in as much ‘baby time’ as possibly this Summer in addition to our family fun times.

first loose tooth

And lost but certainly not least, my Aj lost his first tooth. The big tooth is already growing in as shown here, he has anther loose tooth to the right of this one with the adult tooth coming in behind it, so we will see if that comes out soon! The tooth fairy brought him $1 for his first tooth, he was so happy.

Of course, our families did a lot together as a blended unit of one this Summer, but I can’t even begin to share everything in pictures. We took hikes, we went swimming in various places, we played board games, video games and we simply spent the Summer getting the kids introduced and hoping to find a way to get the kids to understand “family is not just about blood”, while blood family is totally awesome, sometimes in life you are introduced to a new way of living; such as a blended family unit where no matter what you are welcomed as if each and every one of you grew up together. That is the type of family life Lee and I are trying to promote; the fact that when all people are here or away, this is part of their “real family” too. I look forward to seeing where this year leads us … altogether!

I Rocked This Fresh Produce Dress at Sisters Wedding @freshproducenow

My sister was married on June 2nd and it was a rainy day so I showed up at my sisters wedding with this beautiful pink dress from Fresh Produce but had to wear a sweater over it most of the wedding due to the rainy, cold day. This was the perfect option of their casual outfits for my sisters casual wedding.

This is one of the pictures taken a couple of days after the wedding to share what the dress looked like as a whole. As you can see in the below picture, I had a black and white sweater over it due to the rainy cold day on June 2nd, but since then have worn this dress a few times casually for every day wear!

Now that the wedding event is over and I have a casual dress to wear every day when the Summer weather is slightly cool, I am on the lookout for beach dresses so that when we venture out to York Beach, ME for our traditional visit to the Atlantic Ocean with the kids I have a cute dress to wear when walking along the sands on the beach.

Another great clothing line that is perfect this Summer for someone like me who lives in a bathing suit almost daily with the kids is the beach cover-ups! My favorite pick is the Platinum Flip Flops Pockets O’Plenty Tank Dress that would work well right over my bathing suit this year! Love the idea of a dress having inset pockets, I usually have to find a place to hide my keys so I have two hands free to hold my two son’s hands while walking along the beach!

Fresh Produce is a company I had worked with previously on some Spring clothing lines and since then I have learned that they ship to 200 countries so that many places can take advantage of the comfortable and stylish selections offered at Fresh Produce!

Don’t forget to check out Fresh Produce Blog, their Twitter and Facebook streams as well to keep up to date with their latest news!

I received the dress pictured on me above for free. All opinions are based on my own personal style selections and that of my own 100%!

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