Beach Must-Haves

This summer, I’ll be going to the beach. Many of you, I’m sure, will find yourself traveling to a land of sandy shores and dancing, salty waves. The car will be packed full with luggage, floaties, and your entire family crammed into one small space! There is one question critical to the success of your summer trip: what should I bring to the beach?

I’m glad you asked! 😉

1. Fashionable Swim-Suit

Anyone who has ever gone to the beach, knows that it is absolutely 100% necessary to have a swim-suit. However, there is a clear line between swim-suits you should stay away from – in my own personal opinion of course – and ones you should grab off the rack as fast as you can! There are some awesome choices, and here are a few tips if the swim-suit search has been rough.

For starters, don’t give up! It can be daunting, especially for women, to try on swim-suits and not feel satisfied. Let’s make one thing clear, Hollywood has a SERIOUSLY warped idea of what a normal, realistic girl’s body is like. I mean, c’mon. Size zero? Really? It’s like they’re asking people to have an eating disorder! And that is not, something I admire. So, when the swim-suit season comes, let’s have fun with it! Wear something that makes you feel beautiful (note: this does not mean that I am advertising for anyone to wear swim-suits that make them look like they’re so desperate for attention, that they come across as vulgar. Please don’t take offense at this, I’m not saying that’s what they think, do, or EVEN WANT. All I am saying, is the message certain swimsuits send, is not positive or classy).

Here are some swim-suits I love.

2. Stylish Cover-up

If you have a swim-suit, you’ve got to have a cover-up! There are so many cute, fun options! Recently, I bought myself an army green cover-up at Francesca’s that I love! I also have a pair of crochet/lace black pants that I put over my swim-suit. And though my detail-oriented heart would love it, not every cover-up is going to match your swim-suit. That’s ok! For example, my army green one doesn’t really go with any of my swim-suits – but I’m definitely still going to wear it! Now, my black pants are pretty much going to match anything since black is a neutral color.

3. Flip Flops and Sandals Galore!

Alright. Confession time. I love shoes, well, shopping in general really xD Honestly though, for the beach pretty much the only shoes you’re going to need are flip flops and sandals. You can bring a pair of tennis shoes if you want to, but that’s more of a personal choice than necessity.

Tip: If you’re looking for a really comfortable pair of flip flops, Yellow Box should be your go-to! I have a pair and they’re super comfy, plus, they can get wet (at least in my experience xD).

4. Ocean Toys

What’s the beach without the ocean? I’ve always loved boogie boarding, especially when I was younger. Other fun toys to bring in the ocean are inflatables!

5. Sun Coverage

It never fails. Every time someone goes to the beach, somebody in the family gets sunburned. Bring sun screen, aloe – absolutely a lifesaver for bad sunburns, and use it! Trust me. You don’t want to be miserable when you’re at the beach from a painful burn!

6. Reading Material

The beach is the perfect spot for reading! Even if you’re not the most avid reader, the lulling ocean waves serves as the perfect medication to help you dive into the pages of a story. Some of my favorite books/series are Love Amid The Ashes by Mesu Andrews – a biblical fiction book about Job, absolutely wonderful and very eye-opening; First Date by Krista McGee – an awesome, hilarious tale about a girl who gets caught up in a TV show about a group of young women, all vying to win a date with the president’s son and how she finds God in that; and The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn, about a girl’s journey through middle and high school, college, marriage, and beyond, through friends, struggles, embarrassing moments, and learning how to live a faith-filled life.

If you really cannot stand reading fictional books, bring a magazine! HGTV and Food Network are great options! Fair warning, you might be hungry and feeling the urge to DIY by the last section 😉

I hope this has been of some help! 🙂 Comment below for any other questions or remarks! Are you going to the beach this summer?

~ Southern Dreamer

My Trip to Boston

Well, this is a little overdue (ok, a lot. Several months XD), but better late than never, right? 😉

At the beginning of November, my dad had a work thing-a-ma-bob in Boston, and so my mom, brother, and I decided to tag along!

When we first got there, my mom, brother, and I headed to see Harvard. Now, most people today say that this school was not started by Christians…#false. In Building Godly Nations by Stephen K. McDowell, he says,

“Started in 1636 by the New England Puritans to train Godly ministers, they thought the greatest curse that could come upon the land would be an impotent, ignorant clergy. Even while struggling to survive as a colony they undertook this task.”

Interestingly, McDowell continues with an excerpt from some of the rules to be observed at the college.

“Rules, and precepts that are observed in the college: 2. Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life, and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, John 17:3, and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.

And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him Prov. 2:3.

3. Every one shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day, that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein, both in theoretical observations of the language, and logic, and in ability; seeing the entrance of the word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple, Psalm 119:130.”

Fascinating isn’t it? Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and John Quincy Adams all attended Harvard to name a few.

I bring that up, because when we visited Harvard, we noticed something very interesting.

image-6I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture, but engraved on the arch is a phrase that says, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:32, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

They may try, but you cannot deny the incredible impact that Christianity had on our nation.

But yeah, we thought that wasimage-8 so cool 🙂 Another really neat thing that we got to see, was a printing press – that actually worked! Y’all, I thought I had patience, but the guy working there said that if you dropped it or messed up on ONE letter, you would have to re-do the whole thing.

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Bless the people back then who had the patience to do that lol 😛 Cause I’m pretty sure I would not haha.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE sweets…and chocolate. So when I saw this in our hotel, I pretty much was celebrating. Who doesn’t love truffles???

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Does that not look so good? 😉 And I will confirm your assumptions, the chocolate covered strawberry and the chocolate truffle I tried, were absolutely delicious!

Lastly, the REAL highlight of my trip was getting to see my best friend, Laura! She lives up north, so image-15we don’t get to see each other a lot (shoutout to all my TPS friends who will understand this! 😉 ). She and her mom drove down so we could get together for the day. Being the shopping-loving girls that we are, we headed straight for the mall.

Now…in a hysterically sad turn of events, we are both directionally challenged. And I am ashamed to say that we wondered around this mall for quite a bit, trying to find this nail salon before giving up XD

But that’s ok! Because after that, Laura and I went to Sephora. This was both the best decision and worst decision of our lives, because, I have decided that Sephora is the Hobby Lobby of the make-up world. They have a bunch of AWESOME deals, but you end up spending a ton of $$$ because the deals are so good.

image-17Therefore, when our moms wondered in, we probably looked like we had been caught red-handed lol 😛

Oh, and in the picture on the left, we had gone into a chocolate shop where they show you how they made chocolate back in the Revolutionary days. It was so cool! And yummy.

I had such a great time in Boston! I honestly did not realize how much there is to do there, and hope to go back someday and see some more of the history!

~ Southern Dreamer

Journal Entry 5

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Many years ago, my family and I went to the Red Wood Forest in San Francisco, California. It was beautiful. The trees were massive – reaching as far up into the sky as they possibly could in all of their natural finery.

Despite the cold temperature (who knew it could be cold in the summer?), we were all excited to see such an amazing part of God’s creation. As we started down the wide, gray pathway – clearly meant for visitors, my brother pointed out another path. It veered straight up and to the right. Unlike the larger pathway, this one was not as wide and had dirt for its bottom.

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For some reason, the thought did not occur to us that this was not the normal pathway to take, and so, we switched directions and headed on up. And we certainly went up! The sun’s rays spilled out in bucketful’s of warm, buttery happiness with the birds occasionally adding their own little tune.

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After about an hour of hiking, we all began to wonder ‘when is this going to end’? Surely it could not last for much longer…right? We were practically at the top where the pathway had shrunk so much so, that it was now only wide enough for one person at a time. And we were literally the only people on this path – save for a couple, several yards ahead.

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Hello small pathway and drop off to the left.

Tick. Tock. Two more hours went by.

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#ontopoftheworld

By this point, we were done and ready to say adiós to the Red Wood Forest. Thankfully, we finally, reached the end of the pathway.

And that is the story of how my family and I got lost in the Red Wood Forest.

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