Thursday, August 13, 2015

Kingfish Grill

The Kingfish Grill is located at 252 Yacht Club Drive, just off of the Vilano Beach Bridge and boat drop.

The Kingfish Grill has become a bit of a traditional spot for us when we stay at Camachee Cove Marina. We can walk right from the marina to the restaurant and have excellent service, food, and atmosphere.

A recent trip was not unlike any of our previous trips - we sat outside (even in the middle of the summer!) and enjoyed watching the boats come in from a day on the water, play a little corn hole, and listen to great, island-style live music.

We were in no rush this particular evening, so we sipped gin and tonics and watched as the sun began to set before we placed our orders.


When we finally did get around to ordering (by the way our server was OUTSTANDING! We were not rushed in any way and she kept our drinks full!), we started with the Oysters Vilano - in fact, one order was not enough. We placed a second order because they were so good! We also ordered the Conch Fritters. Very delicious.

Though there were 4 adults at the table, we all ordered the same two things! Shrimp, Crab, and Florentine and Horseradish Encrusted Mahi Mahi.

First, the Shrimp, Crab, and Scallop Florentine. I am not a huge scallop fan, but the flavors of the shrimp and crab mixed with the Florentine cream sauce just melted together like a flavor sensation. At first, I was like "bread, really?" when the plate arrived, but after I realized that the Florentine sauce was THAT GOOD, I understood why they served it with bread!

Second, the Horseradish Encrusted Mahi Mahi. Huge portions. Crispy, yet not greasy. The butter sauce over the top made it absolutely perfect.

I have only the highest praises for the Kingfish Grill. All great marks from our party. Food was served quickly and with no issues. As I mentioned before, our drinks were always fresh and full. And we loved watching the sunset while our kids played by the shoreline. We could not have been to a more relaxing location.

(Excuse my arm in this sunset picture)...ahh...goodnight St Augustine.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Freshened-Up Linen Closet {Loving Your Home #1}

After 10 glorious years in our house, we've decided to stay.

What? OK. Thanks for sharing. Right?

No seriously, we have talked and talked and TALKED about moving to the beach. For years. But after looking and soul-searching. We've decided to stay in our house, 15 miles from the beach.

That means - it's time to REFRESH and REDO a lot of stuff. Over the course of the next year or two, we'll be tackling one room at a time and refreshing and redoing each and every space. Some spaces will need a lot of help, some will not. We don't have gobs of money to spend, but we do plan to spend wisely and invest in what we replace.

So, to start off this journey, I'm going small. super small. I'm talking about the Linen Closet.

I have amassed tons of sheets, towels, and blankets, in varying colors and sizes over the past ten years. It is time to get that crazy-town in order.

Go Shopping!

The first thing I did after I created a blueprint for what I wanted my closet to look like (thanks Pinterest!), I went shopping. I knew I would be replacing all of my bath towels. Hint: Towels are REALLY expensive. If you live in Florida, Bealls runs AWESOME sales on linens probably about once a month.

I counted one towel for every bed that we have in our house. Huh? Well...if we have guests, I wanted to make sure that we had one towel for every guest that would have a legitimate sleeping space.

I have eight legitimate sleeping spaces. (If more come, they get to use a beach towel.) Eight towels it is! But did I really need eight hand towels and wash cloths too? I found a great deal at Target for a pack of white wash cloths, so I went with 8. However, for hand towels, in most circumstances, no, individual hand towels are not necessary. I figured on 4 hand towels. 1 for each guest bathroom.

I bought toilet paper and tissues in bulk, a covered glass jar for sample sized toiletries and a basket for the washcloths and hand towels. I also needed a few random pillow cases.


I emptied the entire closet. Holy moley - I have no idea how that much stuff even fit in there. I then got rid of took all of the towels and extra random blankets (apparently 16 blankets was necessary in a house that regularly holds 3 people), I threw them in yard trash bags and loaded them in my car. We donated them to the local pet shelter!


After the great purge, I began the process of folding and reloading. Oddly enough, the hubs and I have two different folding styles for towels. I am giving in and going his way (takes up less width in the closet!). And folding sheets. HA. We have every size bed in our house that you could imagine. King down to Twin.

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

I can't fold a fitted sheet to save my life. My mother in law can. Like a champ. And she has tried teaching me on numerous occasions. I just can't get it. Until I found this video from Garnet Hill. This was the easiest method I've ever seen to folding a fitted sheet.

Refolding all of the throw blankets was also interesting. We have many different shapes, sizes, and thicknesses, so I decided to fold in such a way as to keep them. We have three hand made blankets - those had to stay. 

Finally the bed blankets - you know when the weather gets into the 60's, we've got to bundle up at night. I needed one for each legitimate beds, but since they aren't needed but once or twice a year, I put all of these on the top shelf with a few extra pillows (for our pull-out sofa beds).

In the End

Finally, everything was in order. Nothing was preventing the closet from closing, all of the towels matched and were fresh, and you didn't have to open up a bunch of random plastic wrappers to find the toilet paper!

COST: I spent less than $100 dollars on this closet because I didn't go in for all of the bins and baskets to keep things neat and tidy, but I did replace all of the towels. We'll see if I ultimately invest based on how well this closet stays refreshed.

Friday, August 7, 2015

6 Things to Pack in Travel Kits {Ages 6-8}

As kiddos get bigger, it becomes more difficult to keep them entertained on car trips. The typical coloring books, movies, and car games become less exciting and more "Bor-Ing" - to quote my soon-to-be 8 year old.

We recently embarked on our second major road trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains. I had to figure out something that would occupy both she and her BFF while we were on the 9 hour journey.

I didn't want anything major, because this is just a token for biding time, but I didn't want anything boring either. We're going on vacation. To spend time together in the great outdoors. I didn't want any expense or to overindulge.

The 7-9 age group seems to be into a few things right now, and I would bet that this could go either way boys or girls. Jokes and Potty Humor.

So a quick search around Amazon and I came up with some really fun items to throw into a travel pack.

By the way, rather than buy new travel bags, I recycled our drawstring travel bags that the girls got from the Oceaneers Club on our last Disney Dream cruise.

Age Appropriate Coloring, Art, or Puzzle Books

I am in love with the new trend in adult coloring for stress relief. The patterns are intricate enough that they will also keep younger/older kids interested without being too hard.

If coloring books aren't their thing, try a puzzle book (Sodoko, Cross-Word, Word Find), etc. YES, they may have an APP for that, but I wanted to get mine out of electronics!

New Markers, Crayons or Colored Pencils

There is no sense in starting on a long journey worrying about whether your crayons are sharp, your markers are dried out or if you have a pencil sharpener for your colored pencils. Start off with something new!

We are hysterical over the Mr. Sketch Scented Markers commercial right now, so I thought it would be a fun idea to include some skinny Mr. Sketch markers in the packs. *Giggle Giggle*

Joke Book

We have a rising third grader in our house and her BFF is a rising second grader. Jokes are the rage - and their reading skills are just. solid. enough. that the adults in the car won't have to do too much intervening for words that are too hard to understand.

The rising second grader is having a really difficult time getting the concept of a knock-knock joke down; Knock Knock? Who's there? Ground. Ground who? Ground Beef. - see what I mean? is that a knock knock joke? *sigh* Let's help this poor child along.

I picked out two Rob Elliott joke books for the girls. A knock knock book for the troubled second grader and a joke book for kids for the rising third grader. This could get interesting.

Mad Libs

This should be a no brainer. These were awesome and hours of fun when I was a kid. How could that not be the case now? And with so many options and themes. Shoot, buy two or three.

Mechanical Pencils

Don't laugh. Yes, I actually put this on the list. Why? Because, each girl is getting 5 mechanical pencils in her travel kit. No sharpener? No problem. Lose a pencil? You have more.

Cheap-o Plastic Figures

Because who cares if any of them get lost on the trip? I found our Magical Ponies figures in the Dollar Spot at Target. When they want to play, but you don't want to lug along any toys. These will do the trick.