What to do in Key West

Thursday, August 16, 2018

I've had lots of messages and emails about things to do and places to eat in Key West. I posted recently about our favorite restaurants in Key West and today is all about what to do on the island.

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+ First things first, rent bikes at Eaton Bikes. Having bikes is key to getting around the island and being able to explore. There is absolutely zero parking available so don't waste money renting a car. There are places to lock your bikes up outside all restaurants.

+ Get a drink at Sloppy Joe's Bar. A Key West landmark and a must visit while you're there! There is live music at all times. It is such a fun and loud atmosphere.


 + Ride the Conch Tour Train. Super touristy but a fun way to see the entire island and learn the history behind everything. The perfect way to relax and spend a morning.

+ Take the boat to Latitudes at Sunset Key for happy hour. You have to call Latitudes restaurant to make reservations for happy hour and they will put your name on the list to get on the ferry boat to the island. You board the boat right near Mallory Square and its a quick 5 minute ride to Sunset Key. The cocktails are divine and there's a reason it's called Sunset Key. This is my favorite activity that we do every trip. A must!


+ Walk Duval Street. Start at one end and make your way down. There are tons of neat shops with handmade souvenirs but also some decent shopping like Banana Republic factory, Gap factory, etc.

+ Throw a quarter into the fish's mouth outside of Captain Tony's Saloon. There is a huge fish at the entrance of the bar and it is said that if you toss a quarter and make it into the fish's mouth, good luck will follow you until you leave the island. After a few of Captain Tony's famous rum punches, this makes for a hilarious time.


+ Visit Mallory Square at sunset. Every single night, 365 days a year, people gather for live music, drinks, magicians, jugglers, food, and it's basically one huge party. It is the best place on the island to watch sunset and a must when in Key West.


Ever been to Key West? What fun things am I missing?

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Weekending: middle of August

Monday, August 13, 2018

Happy Monday friends! How is it already the middle of August? Time is flying and I can't believe fall is right around the corner. While I will definitely be sad to see beach weekends come to an end, fall is my very favorite time of year so I'm looking forward to cooler temps and all thinks pumpkin!

Friday we were up bright and early for a doctor's appointment. When you have to go to the doctor every single week your babysitter options get used thin so I've been lugging my little sidekick with me and thankfully she's 2/2 on being an angel.



I have also been super busy delivering cinnamon rolls around town. Together with my sweet friends Justine and Emily, we have raised over $2,000 for precious Charlotte and her family. My very favorite part of blogging is how it has connected me with so many amazing women and April is one of the very best. Their recent news about their daughter has just wrecked me completely and I'm so thankful that we have been able to do just a little bit to help. Local people, let me know if you want some delicious homemade cinnamon rolls!


 Friday afternoon we were beach bound! It was the prettiest weekend and Vivi is a total water baby. She has NO fear and will run straight into the ocean, totally unaware of the fact that she is going to get crushed by waves. She will also jump right in the pool even if we aren't in there yet which is completely terrifying! She definitely keeps us on our toes.


Saturday night we attended an engagement party and had the best time. It was at a gorgeous house right on the water. We enjoyed cocktails, delicious food and great friends. It was really fun to have a parents night out!


How was your weekend?!

Infertility rears it’s ugly head... again

Thursday, August 9, 2018

I’ve been so bad about blogging lately but we have had so much going on and I honestly have just been in a weird place for the past few weeks. It’s so hard to feel interested in the latest lipstick colors and the best Nordstrom sale deals when you’re in the depths of infertility. It just completely consumes you and your thoughts. We were so hoping to be sharing a pregnancy announcement in the next few weeks but instead we are mourning the loss of what would have been our second baby.

Sharing our journey has been both the hardest and most rewarding decision. I am an introverted, private person by nature but I prayed that our story would help at least one other couple and since sharing in spring of 2016, I have connected with hundreds of women going through the same thing. God is definitely using our story for good! And I would be doing a disservice to only share the highlights and successes of our infertility journey, because it doesn't always have a happy ending.

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We always knew we wanted our children to be close in age. We decided that 2 years apart would be ideal so back in March of 2018 we made the all too familiar 2 hour drive back to our RE’s office to come up with a game plan. We met with our doctor and set a July 2018 transfer date. In late May I went back to UNC for a saline ultrasound, mock embryo transfer and bloodwork. Everything looked great and we were ready to start meds!


I started taking birth control (seems so ironic right?) and then late June I had an ultrasound and bloodwork and started estrogen 3x a day. The goal of the estrogen is to make your endometrial lining nice and thick, a healthy “cushion” for baby to grow in. We went for weekly ultrasounds and bloodwork and everything progressed perfectly. Five days before our embryo transfer I started intramuscular progesterone injections in my butt nightly and let me tell y’all, those things hurt. They hurt much worse than I remember. We were all set for transfer!


The morning of transfer we woke up bright and early to make the drive and have a breakfast date before our appointment. I chugged lots of water (you need a full bladder for the procedure which is the most uncomfortable part) and we were ready to go. Everything went perfectly and we headed home and I relaxed on the couch the rest of the day. We were so excited and optimistic!


 They tell you not to POAS (pee on a stick) at home after an embryo transfer because it can be falsely negative. They like you to wait until 9 days after transfer for your blood test but I'm way too Type-A to wait that long. I POAS at 5 days post-transfer and it was a BFN (big fat negative). The worst feeling ever. I felt like someone knocked the wind out of me. I knew 100% at that point that it had not worked. I had a positive at that point in time after our transfer with Vivi so I just knew. I had to wait 3 more excruciating days before my blood test when I already knew what the results were going to be. There is nothing worse than continuing to take meds and injections when you already know it didn't work.


We got the call from our doctor that our blood test was, in fact, negative and we officially had an unsuccessful transfer.  Having our sweet baby has definitely made this more bearable because I don't have the overwhelming thoughts of "will I ever be a mom?" However, infertility is awful and never gets easier and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. The emotional and physical toll it has on your body is tremendous. Not to mention the financial aspect that is so unfair and stressful. We were and still are so sad but we are picking up the pieces and will try again!


If you have any questions about IVF or our infertility journey, don't hesitate to email me at davisduoblog@gmail.com. I'm happy to talk!

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Use #thoughtsforthursdays on Instagram and tag us @homeofmalones , @eastcoastnat and @mrsordavis. Link up starts at 7 am EST.
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Tarheel chocolate pie

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Last night I took dinner to one of my best friends who just had TWIN baby boys! And because every new momma deserves a delicious dessert after dinner, I whipped up the easiest chocolate pie. She said it was a huge hit so I figured I'd share the recipe! Literally so easy and yummy!


Tarheel Chocolate Pie

Ingredients:
-1 stick butter
-1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup flour
-2 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
-Melt together the butter and chocolate chips on the stove
-Combine sugar, brown sugar and flour in large bowl
-Add the chocolate mixture to the dry mixture and stir until well combined
-Add eggs and vanilla
-Pour into pie crust and cook on 350* for about 35-40 minutes
-Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Life Lately

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Bear with me... this is going to be a long one. I didn't anticipate taking a semi-break from blogging recently but we have been busy. Traveling or on call every weekend and there just hasn't been enough hours in the day. So here's a looong catch up about what we've been up to lately!

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First up, my very best friend asked me to be her matron of honor! And she asked Vivian to be her flower girl! Holy cow my heart just can't take it. Vivian's middle name [Kate] is after her so she is just so special to me and I can't wait to stand beside her next year, and watch Vivi make her way down the aisle, which I'm sure will be a hilarious scene.


Vivi had her first set of pigtails and I just about died over the cuteness. 


We have been spending lots of time with my sister and her kids and they are like the three stooges. They love each other so much! And Vivi thinks she is the cat's meow hanging with the big kids.


We have made it a priority to go on at least one date night a month sans baby. And I'm happy to report that we went on two this past month! A few weeks ago I got home from work after a particularly long and stressful day and I just needed some time to relax and reconnect. We asked my MIL to stay a little later and we snuck out the door and enjoyed sushi and lots of good conversation. Then this past weekend we went out to dinner and had the best cocktails and appetizers. Date nights leave me feeling so recharged; they are absolutely crucial for our marriage and quality time is 100% my love language.


I get the most hilarious snapchats from my mom when she's keeping Vivi. This girl is busy and keeps us all on our toes.


Last week we got her this sandbox because we spend so much time outdoors and she has loved it! She doesn't understand the concept of not throwing or eating the sand but hey, we are getting there. We picked up a few bags of play sand from Lowes and these sand toys and she was like a kid on Christmas morning when we showed her.


We spent 5 days at the beach over the 4th of July and had the best time. My mom and my older sister and her kids were there the whole time and the daddies joined us Friday after work. We swam, played in the sand, went to the aquarium, got ice-cream, sat on the porch and watched sunsets [and sunrises]. 


 The adults even got to sneak away for a yummy dinner Saturday night which was so fun. We went to Full Circle in Morehead and we all loved our meals and drinks.


 So that's where I've been and what we have been up to. This weekend I am headed to the lake with my group of best friends [since preschool!] and I couldn't be more excited for a girls weekend. What are you up to this weekend?! Don't forget to link up with us below with your Thoughts for Thursday post!

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Use #thoughtsforthursdays on Instagram and tag us @homeofmalones@eastcoastnat and @mrsordavis. Link up starts at 7 am EST.
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3 cheap and easy activities for toddlers

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I am officially over the NC heat and humidity... temps are in the 90's-100's and the humidity takes your breath away. I just cannot stand to be outside in the afternoons so I was desperate to find [cheap] activities for us to do indoors. These 3 fun activities can be made by things you probably already have at home! Super cheap and easy and Vivi has loved these new "games".

1. Card drop game
What you need: large oatmeal container, box of cards
Just cut a slot in the top of the oatmeal top and watch your little one drop the cards in. Working on their fine motor skills without them even knowing it ;) When they are all done, throw the cards in the container for super easy storage.


2. Pom pom tunnel
What you need: paper towel rolls, painters tape, pom pom balls
Just tape the paper towel rolls to the back of a door and they will love watching the pom poms go through the tunnel. I just leave the paper towel rolls taped to the door and store the pom poms in a ziplock bag.


3. Pipe cleaner plate
What you need: large paper plate, pipe cleaners
Poke very tiny holes in a paper plate and help your toddler weave the pipe cleaners through. Vivi still needs some help with this one but she loves when we do it together and thinks the pipe cleaners are so fun! I store the plate and pipe cleaners in a large ziplock bag together.


Ok mamas, what other cheap and easy activities am I missing?! 

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