A Day At The St. Augustine Alligator Park & Zoological Farm

Thanks so much for all the kind words and support about our new house. We are so excited and like I said in my last post, I can’t wait to share all the changes, updates, decorating and more as we make it our own.

Right now, I’m going to spend some time recapping you up on our trip to St. Augustine, Florida we took a few weeks ago. I’m excited to catch you up on our visit – it was our first time and we did lots of really cool things. I’m going to compile my favorites in a list in another post, but today I wanted to highlight my very favorite thing we did while we were there –

St. Augustine Alligator Park & Zoological Farm

Ok, if you are thinking “What is this mama talking about” – Hear me out! We stumbled upon this place when we were looking for an outing for the boys. I had zero expectations and I was legit blown away by how awesome it was. Hence, my need for an entire blog post dedicated to our day there – because if you are in the St. Augustine area, I HIGHLY recommend checking this place out – it was that good.

This place is over 100 years old and so much thought and effort and soul has been put into it – it’s unbelievable. The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is the only place in the world where you can see every living species of crocodilian! They also host a wide range of other animals, as well as birds, reptiles, fossils, and more!

There are tons and tons of alligators + crocodiles, but there are also lots of great interactive exhibits and shows for the kids to enjoy.

On the day we visited, there were three main shows throughout the day, which were incredible – more on those shortly – but in between shows we made our way through all the impressive exhibits.

My favorite of which would have to be Maximo.

Maximo is 15 foot 3 inches, 1,250-pounds – the largest animal at The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

A saltwater crocodile, or “Saltie” as his species is called in Australia, Maximo hatched from an egg collected by aborigines along an Australian river bank. He grew to his adult size at the Cairn’s Crocodile Farm. The underwater viewing window is an amazing way to view him up-close and personal.

Another amazing area is the Native Swamp. Here there are HUNDREDS – Seriously Hundreds of alligators all around you. There is a wooden pathway raised above the water you can walk along to view them sunbathing, swimming or eating a meal – ‘gators of all sizes!

One of the reasons I was so impressed with the facility was just how LARGE it is! The zoo is HUGE. I honestly didn’t except much when we pulled up and then was blown away by how well done and the overall size of the zoo. It was a great way to spend an entire day with the kids.

And when we went it was a big time for nesting birds. There were 100+ photographers there to take pictures of these little guys and their beautiful blue eggs. I wish I caught the name, but it was great to show the boys!

See all the white birds in the trees above the alligators? Its a good thing they are kept well fed!

Along with all the reptiles in this zoo, there were so many exotic bids to be able to see up close and personal. Like this blue beauty.

Another really cool spot that the boys got to enjoy was the KidsZone. There was a huge outside play area where the littles got to get the wiggles out. They were excellent seeing all the wildlife, but after a while these boys want to run and jump and climb – which is just what this area allowed them to do.

All in all, it was a fabulous day. We didn’t expect it to be as much fun as it was, but we all had a great time and would very much recommend it to anyone in the area. I saved a bunch of the highlights from our visit in my IG Stories on my profile – Under St. Augustine – which includes some clips from the three shows we got to see.

The shows were amazing because we got to see the trainers interacting with the gators and crocodiles, which was thrilling at times. We learned tons of facts about them and each show was super entertaining and different.

I think the coolest part was when we got to see the Alligators being fed! That was really special and I will never forget how high they jumped and with so much force!

This is not sponsored – it might sound that way with how much I am saying I love it – but we just had an amazing day and I seriously recommend it to anyone visiting the St. Augustine area. It was such a treat to find and I am so glad we got to include it in our visit there!

More on the rest of our trip coming your way this week – if you have any questions or anything you want me to include in the post, send me a message and let me know!

Now I’d love to know – What do you think of the Alligator Park? Is this something your kids would enjoy?? Please share!

The One About New Beginnings – We Bought a House in the Suburbs!

So it’s been little extra quite around the blog these days because we’ve been having a pretty busy few weeks!

We bought a HOUSE.

Yup, we are trading in city life for everything suburbs and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

So I have been slightly off social media and everything online lately because we’ve had A LOT going on with the buying and selling and moving and packing and everything that goes along with it.

We have closed on our new house and have a few more weeks in the city in our current house – so basically spending the next 3 weeks of June soaking up everything city. Spending time with all our friends and neighbors, visiting our favorite restaurants and bars, enjoying all our best city spots – we’ve got lots to see and do, and then do again one more time while we are living here.

We aren’t going to be too far from Philadelphia, but nothing will ever be the same or as easy as it will be now as actual residents. So we are trying to maximize our last few weeks here while we can.

Since we have a bit of an overlap in between places, it’s been nice to sort of move in slow and take over things with each trip to the new house. We have movers coming to take the big furniture over on our actual move day, but we’ve been making progress with the time we have, which has made things very busy – but will make things way easier day of the move.

It’s going to be a big change going from a city home to a big house in the ‘burbs. We need to furnish so much more space! And we are planning to do some work to our new home sort of soon – a kitchen renovation, a bathroom remodel and maybe another thing or two along the way.

We’ve got a few ideas that we really want to work on the first few months we are living here, to really help make it feel like home. It’s going to be a little overwhelming at times, but we are excited to get started.

There are tons of moving pieces at the moment, so much going on and lots to do in the coming 3 weeks – but today I wanted to pop on, give you a reason for my recent radio silence, and share some of my favorite features of our new home with you!

First up – Check out that front door up above! It’s LEGIT.

Also, this Dutch Door in the laundry room out to the back yard is a thing of dreams.

Speaking of the backyard – its so much beautiful, wonderful, fabulous space for our whole family to enjoy and especially for our boys to run around and play.

They have been LOVING their time outside here each time we visit. They can’t get enough of their new, big yard. It makes me so happy to see them playing outside and loving it – and I can’t wait until this is everyday for them.

And Jackson has been loving it too – Spot him in the pic below !

Back to the inside – I can’t decide if I love the Dutch Door or the Juliet Balcony more in the new place – so for now let’s just call it a tie. But seriously, how cool is this little detail in our Master? I can’t wait to update the window treatment and make this a cozy little space I can enjoy everyday!

Back to a few of my favorite details – These doors are solid wood and they are amazing. And these handles are on every door in the house and they are fabulous too. You twist them to lock and unlock the door and I think they are such a unique feature throughout.

Check out that wallpaper – It’s sort of crazy, but the more I see it, the more it grows on me. It’s also the least offensive wallpaper in the house, so there’s that to give you a little color on the rest of the situation.

Next up – these Tiles. I was told where they are from and apparently its somewhere special and unique and now I can’t remember where to save my life, so if you know – send me a message and I’ll love you forever!

They are nothing I would ever pick, but they are original to the house and I think they give some surprising character to the fireplace in the living room we will use everyday.

Check out this stained glass. It’s in the smaller family room leading out to the screened in porch and I think they are very random and again, unique. Nothing I would ever pick, but I appreciate the detail and it does give the room a little pop of something.

We’ve got a lot of work to do and it’s going to be a crazy road ahead, but we are excited for our future in the ‘burbs. And I’m excited to document all the changes, renovations, decorating and more of our house as it becomes our home.

If you’ve got any tips, tricks, favorite blogs, websites, podcasts or shows for decoration and home renovations, I’d love to hear them. I need all the inspiration I can get!

And thanks so much for following along all this time. It’s been a crazy 6 weeks, and I know the next few months are going to be even crazier but I am so excited for what lies ahead and what this move means for our family.

I’ll be sharing it all along as we go – stay tuned and buckle up! It’s going to be a wild one!

My Favorite Top 11 Spring + Summer Sandals, Slides & Shoes at Benjamin Lovell

I am so excited to share with you a fun little project I was working on the week with my friends at Benjamin Lovell in Philadelphia.

I’ve partnered with Benjamin Lovell Shoes before – in the Fall, sharing my Boot + Bootie Picks – as well as when I worked with Earth Brands in store as well. I’m not going to lie, working with shoe brands and shoe stores for the blog might be my favorite.

I’m COMPLETELY a Shoe Gal over here. So the opportunity to focus on an entire blog post – I’m IN!

I love being able to partner with my friends at Benjamin Lovell Shoes because of the wonderful experience shopping there. The staff is always so helpful and lovely – and I always find new + amazing shoe brands that I’ve never seen anywhere else. It’s always a treat!

There are SO MANY shoes + styles + colors to choose from in the Benjamin Lovell selection. But I did my best to narrow it down to my Top 10 picks for the season {give or take a few} I kept things neutral and I’m excited to share with you what I found and what I loved.

#1 – Birkenstock “Arizona” in Copper Leather

As soon as I saw these Copper Leather Arizona Birks I knew they had to be on my list. I have had my eye on them since they were released in all their rose gold beauty last year. They are so comfortable and I love how Birkenstocks are having a moment right now – I’ve got a few pairs and I love them all – add in some Copper Leather and they are pretty much perfection.

Do you love them as much as I do?

#2 – Pikolinos “Alcudia” Lace Up Sandal in Stone

I was IMMEDIATELY drawn to these lace up sandals in the store. I’m a massive Pikolinos fan – I literally want every one of their shoes out now – and I love the look and style of these so I had to try them on. They fit like a dream, are super cute with pants, shorts or a dress and come in a few amazing colors. Love.

#3 – Earth Shoes Ivy Sahara in Coco

Having worked with Earth Shoes a bunch in the past, I’m already a fan. When I saw these block heel booties on the shelf, I knew I had to give them a try! They are beyond comfortable and the incredible detail, heel and buckle makes it a super stylish shoe. These are great for ANYTHING!

#4 – Taos Trulie Wedge Sandal in Golden Yellow

I totally wish there were more mustard yellow sandals out there at the moment because I LOVE this color so much. These wedge sandals are so comfortable and come in A MASSIVE selection {23!!} of colors to choose from. This was my first time trying Taos footwear in a sandal and it did not disappoint. I also love the weaving detail on the straps and the slightly wedged footbed is different than most others out there – I really liked it!

#5 – Pikolinos “Mykonos” Platform Sandal in Stone

These were one of the last sandals I tried on, and I’m really glad I did. I’m usually not one for a platform sandal, but the leather on these is so dreamy, it felt amazing to wear! In true Pikolino style, I love the fit and the look – the detail of the corked footbed and tan back strap only make the shoe even cuter!

#6 – OluKai “Pehuea” Slip on Sneaker in Tapa

OluKai is a completely new brand to me, and I’m so glad my friends at Benjamin Lovell introduced it to me! This slip on sneaker is different because of the incredible fabric – it’s super breathable and casual chic! I love that you can wear it as a sneaker or a slip on shoe {as the heel bends down for an easy slide on!} It comes in a bunch of beautiful colors, but I love the neutrality of the Tava for summer! Love these!

#7 – Aetrex “Hailey” Studded Sandal in Deep Taupe

Another completely new to me brand – Aetrex! These studded sandals were so much fun to try on. I loved the deep taupe color – a little grayish purple, but still completely neutral for everyday wear. Also the suede and the studs elevated these sandals a bit, which I liked! These also have amazing arch support and the straps are completely adjustable too.

#8 – Wirth “Coast” Python Slide in Nude

Yet ANOTHER completely new {to me} brand. These are a classic slide silhouette that – if you can believe it – I don’t own anything like it in my closet. I love the look and the python detail gives it a little extra visual interest. Not to mention the Italian leather is BEYOND.

#9 – Pikolinos “Jerez” Skimmer Flat in Brandy

The attention to detail on these shoes is incredible. The stitching and the design are so unique. I love the look and the easy style – they come in a variety of neutral colors too. I originally wanted to try on the Champagne Leather, which is more of a gold, but they didn’t have my size – and I really like the brandy color shown. What do you think about these?

#10 – Pikolinos “Santorini” Laceless Oxfords in Brandy

Another shoe, another Pikolino.

I told you I loved them. It was actually hard NOT to do the entire post of just Pikolinos. Because they are that good.

These laceless oxfords aren’t as spring + summery as the other sandals shown. I even posted about them before in my previous Benjamin Lovell visit this past Fall {in a different color} – but they are so good, I’ve kept coming back to them. They are so comfortable, like walking on a cloud {seriously} and they are an amazing transitional shoe between the seasons, another reason why I love them.

#11 – Wirth “Hispanita” in Tan/White

Another Wirth style because I thought these were so cute – I can see them being worn with all the summer dresses and they would still be so cute with shorts or jeans! They are very comfortable and the leather is so gorgeous. These scream summer, but they come in a really fun black + metallic option as well!

So what shoe did I go home with?! Well, it happened to be a style I loved in a color I didn’t previously show you!

I went with the Pikolinos “Alcudia” Lace Up Sandal in Coral!

I fell in love with this little beauty in the gold/stone color – but my heart went soaring when I saw the red. The gold was amazing and neutral but I am loving the classic red color pop in these shoes. Plus, I’m wearing lots of grey, white + black these days {as shown in this photo!} so it’s easy to wear with all of that – but for the record, I wouldn’t normally wear the red with the green vest.

The metallic is amazing, I’m still dreaming about them and might have to keep an eye on them if they go on sale, because they were beautiful – but I fell hard for the detail in the red + coral color.

Maybe it’s a Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz thing – And Her Little Red Shoes Too. What can I say – I love a theme!

So there you have it – my Top 11 favorites and the ones I went home with! I can’t wait to wear these all Spring + Summer long – you can bet I will be styling them all the time, so be prepared to see a ton of them!

A huge thank you to my friends at Benjamin Lovell for having me in store, for introducing me to some incredible new shoe brands and for my new red shoes – I love them so!

Now I’d love to hear what shoes you are loving from my Top Picks – Are any of these brands your favorite? Which shoe style did you like best?!

Send me a message or comment below what you think! I can’t wait to hear from you!

Friday Five Favorites: Marika Activewear, Trader Joe’s Cold Pressed Juice, Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods Concert + More

Hello and Happy Friday! We made it! Woohoo!

The hubs + I have a fun, kid-free weekend ahead – as my parents are taking the boys for an overnight before we have our family Easter celebration on Sunday.

We’ve got a date night in the works, going to cross a few things off our to-do list on the house and maybe find a minute or two to do absolutely nothing.

Dreams.

So before all that fun stuff can start, let’s get into this weeks Friday Five Favorites!

First up is actually a trio – this new workout set by Marika. Everyone loves a fresh outfit to workout in and I am no exception. So when my friends at Marika sent me this set as a little pre-Mother’s Day treat, I was more than excited to take it for a spin.

This brand is really cool because it’s designed for women by women and I can honestly say it fits + feels like a dream. I love the Lexi Seamless Sports Bra – it has amazing support and feels great on. It’s paired with the Raven Singlet – this is fun because of the navy pop in the bra – I can totally see myself wearing this on a hot summer day, it’s SO LIGHT!

Both the sports bra and the top were great compliments to the Westwood Leggings. They are super soft, breathable and have great detail to them. I also enjoy the high waist! Smoke Blue wouldn’t be a legging color I would pick out for myself – but I love them! They are really fun to wear.

A TON of great Marika products are found on Amazon – Hello 2 Day Shipping! – And I will also be adding some of my favorites to my Amazon Store. Most of the leggings are around $20 or under – super affordable and great quality! Any and all pieces would be fantastic Mothers day gifts for that sporty + trendy mom in your life – it’s never to early to start shopping!

Friday Favorite #2 – This amazing cold pressed juice from Trader Joes. I ALWAYS get it whenever I’m shopping there – it’s my favorite little treat. If you haven’t tried it yet, be sure to pick one up next time you are at the store – it’s fantastic!

Along with my new activewear and favorite green juice – do you sense a trend? – I am OBSESSED with this appetizer serving tray. I have been filling it up with fruits and veggies each morning and it’s become my go-to snack container for the boys. Whip it out when they are hungry and we are good to go. It comes with a lid to keep things fresh during the day and I can just pop it back into the fridge for them to grab whenever they want.

It came in a 2 pack – super affordable and great quality for under $15! I was impressed! I’ve also added it to my Amazon Shop – it’s going to be great for summer snacking.

#4 for the week is the Justin Timberlake – Man of the Woods Tour.

Swooooon.

I’ve been a N*SYNC fan forever {and continue to be} I think Justin and his music is awesome, fun, inspiring and great to watch. He was originally supposed to be in Philly in November, but he was sick and rescheduled to this week. I scored $50 tickets a week before the show – we sat in the upper level, but we were first row. Amazing seats and a great show.

I’d expect nothing less from my man Justin. If you have the opportunity to see him – Do it!

And obviously this shirt was the perfect one to wear to this concert.

Boom.

For more pictures of my evening + some videos of Justin singing a few songs, check out this IG post! Where my JT Fans at?!

And my Friday #5 – These two little bunnies. We saw the Easter Bunny at the mall and the boys were pretty pumped. I love seeing them so excited for ever little thing.

They are the best.

Off to get my weekend started – I hope everyone out there has a great Friday, Saturday + Sunday! Catch ya on the flip side + thanks for following along!

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