Top 10 Beach Trip Tips

 We have had so much fun playing at the beach this summer.  I wanted to share some of my best {little} tips with you (and help myself remember them too!) that have made our beach trips even more fun!
First, let's talk food.  Everything is better with food!
1- Individually pack your snacks for each person--this is so sand only infests one {little} snack bag at a time.  It only takes one person's sandy hands to make all the food gritty!
One of our favorite snacks to take is fruit-so refreshing!
Note to self: a Pringles make a great container for spitting cherry pits into!
 2- Water.  You won't last long in the sun without your water bottles.  And related....know where the bathroom is BEFORE you pick your beach spot!  I also keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with us.  My little boy is always finding things like bird feathers and I want to keep him healthy :)

3- Beach toys--My best advice: keep them in basket with holes (see below.)  The idea is that you don't fill your car with sand if most of it shakes out of the basket before you leave!
4- IKEA bag for your towels (and other stuff too!)  These big blue bags are less than $1.  They are perfect for carrying beach towels and other beach stuff because they don't soak up water and the sand shakes right out when you are done.  Love this because it's so nice and big!
FRAKTA Shopping bag, large IKEA Easy to clean; just rinse with water and let dry.
5- Use a snow sled to slide the stuff.  Want an easy way to carry everything across the sand?  Pile it all onto a sled!
Pelican Snow Glider With Leash
6- Take care of your eyes: Don't forget your sunglasses or sun hat.  And if you put your sunscreen on before you leave for the beach it will actually have time to soak in before you want to get into the water (so it doesn't wash right off).  Kids hate waiting!  And our most sunburned spot? Right under the eyes-don't forget that spot!
7- Safety first! Don't forget those life jackets, or floaties for the kids.  If it's crowded at the beach it can be harder to keep an eye on little people.  Make sure you have the peace of mind knowing the little ones are protected.  
Know the limits of safe swimming in the area of the beach where you are too, as well as what the swimming abilities are of those in your group.
8- Shade!  You will enjoy your time at the beach more if you aren't melting under the sun.  But the trick to keeping your umbrella in the sand on a windy day?  Plastic grocery bags!  Fill them with sand and attach them to the pole!  Keep a few in your blue IKEA bag so you'll always have them.
9- Comfort!  Make sure you have comfortable chairs to sit in.  I love our bamboo mats (from Target a few years ago) for the ground.  Neither our mats or chairs hold onto sand.  The mats are nice because the sand can get very hot on your toes.  They are also a great place for kids to sit down as well as to keep our things on since it's not right in the sand.

10- Sand!  Wet sand is such a pain when you are ready to leave.  If you aren't careful, it will all end up in your car!  I keep a bottle of baby powder in our sand toys basket for drying it out so it brushes right off when we are ready to go.   We just pour it on feet and legs and rub it around.  It dries the sand right out and brushes away!
I like collecting sand from the different beaches we visit-each sand has its own look.  If you do too, keep a container for storing sand to take home.
Let them dry!  Let swim clothes and towels dry outside when you get home, instead of coming right home and washing them.  When they are dry shake the sand off before taking them in.  This keeps all the sand from ending up in your washing machine!

 These are {little} tips we've collected over the past three years.  They have made a big difference in how much we enjoy our beach trips.  I hope they help you have a wonderful time too!
If you have a favorite tip, add it in the comments.
Have fun making memories at the beach!

Updated! The Best Granola (yum!!)

Making granola is a weekly {little} project at our house.  I have tried quite a few granola recipes and my husband LOVES this one the best.
Today was the day to make a new batch, and oh how I love the smell of baking granola!
I've shared this {little} granola project before with the details of how I store it and such.
 If you decide to try out the best granola ever, be sure to check that one out.
But I have updated my recipe and wanted to repost it with the changes I've tried.

One thing that I love about granola is that it lasts in your belly.  When I feed my kids cold cereal they are hungry again in about an hour.  But when they eat granola, it lasts until lunch time. 

In the winter, we add some dried fruits (it's very yummy on it's own too!)
But in the summer cutting fresh strawberries, peaches, or blueberries into this granola is divine!  Sometimes we eat it with yogurt, sometimes with milk.  It's yummy to snack on dry too!
 One of the main revisions to my recipe is the number of cups of old-fashioned oats.  I have increased them 3 cups since the last time I shared it.  And we can't tell.  There is still plenty of sweet and lots of taste.   Of course, adding more oats makes it go further, reducing the fat content too, a nice bonus :)
 You can use sweetened or unsweetened coconut, depending on your taste. 

Granola is one of my favorite "go-to meals" to share.  It's perfect for a new mom, a thank you gift, birthday treat, etc.  It isn't a hot meal so it can be enjoyed anytime.
Once again, I have put two on a page because I promise that once you try it and share it with anyone, they will want it too!
Jedda’s Granola 
It's yummy!  Enjoy!

Baby Guess---It's a .....!

Last week I shared how we keep track of our Family Night fun with this little project for our "jobs."
We recently found out what the gender of our baby is.  But to make it more fun for everyone, I made this {little} worksheet for us to do during Family Night.
I wanted a way to preserve all the things the kids were saying about the new baby's name, size, and gender.  So I made this worksheet so that everyone could record their guesses.
Feel free to use it with your own family too.  I kept it simple since I was out of colored ink ;)
We can monitor who's right with their guesses all the way up to the baby's birthday with {this little project} and everyone had so much fun.  
I can tell now that it will be fun to look back on these.  I think they will definitely make it into this new {little} one's baby book!
And, for the record.....It's a Boy!!
Jay couldn't be happier.  After 2 sisters, he's ready for a brother :)
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