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Beach vacation hacks that’ll make your next trip a breeze

We’re in the middle of peak vacation time and as such, we’re sure that you’re probably getting ready for your big beach vacation! Trips to the beach can be a ton of fun. After all, the memories we can create with the people who matter most can last a lifetime.

However, if you’re not totally prepared, that beach vacation will be, well… no day at the beach. Luckily, we’ve put together a few beach vacation hacks to help you better manage your time and do what’s most important: enjoying your vacation.

Let’s jump right in!

Tip #1: Keep a dust broom in the car

Look, we all like the sand, but sand has its place in the world – and that’s on a beach, not in your car. Buy a soft bristle dust broom and keep it in your car. You’ll be able to brush off feet, clothes and footwear before you climb into your vehicle. Trust us – this prevents a pretty big, ongoing mess from forming.

Tip #2: Invest in a sand-free beach bag

We 100% recommend you make the investment and get yourself a sand-free (mesh) bag for the beach. Just like with the dust broom – you’ll have important things you’ll want to bring with you – and you won’t want to have sand serving as a hitchhiker along the way. Mesh bags allow you to simply give them a shake and be sand-free.

Tip #3 Sit near the lifeguard

This is a great safety tip that can take a lot of the anxiety out of your day at the beach – for both you and your kids. Sitting near the lifeguard does two things: 1.) It keeps your kids within the primary line of sight of the lifeguard. God forbid anything happens – it’ll happen directly in front of the lifeguard. They’ll have a clear line of sight and path if the worst happens. 2.) For your kids, it gives your kids a market to figure out where you are. Kids get distracted and lost on the beach frequently. This way, they’ll have a market to identify where you are, making it far easier for them to find you.

Tip #4 Plan for hungry kids

When you’re at the beach the sun will be out, it’ll be hot and your kids will be using a ton of energy. Make sure you have a full cooler packed with drinks, juice – and yes, even food. We absolutely recommend healthy foods – cheese sticks, apples, oranges and grapes. IN addition, be sure to pack a little extra. Children are social beasts and will likely make some friends while they’re at the beach, so pack some food for them, too.

Tip #5 Plan your exit

If you want to save yourself dramatics when you leave, then we totally recommend keeping your kids’ expectations in line with your schedule. Tell them when you’re planning on leaving and give them updates. That way when 5pm comes, no one’s sitting there shattered in tears that they’re leaving the beach or worse yet – throwing that always fun end-of-day temper tantrum. Give them a 15 minute warning and begin picking up some of their belongings. You should be done in time to give them 10 minutes to romp around while you’re all set to go. Then once it’s time, everyone’s tired and ready to go home – fulfilled by a great day at the beach.

Hopefully these tips will help make your next trip to the beach a little more enjoyable. Have fun, wear your sunscreen, go shelling and good luck!


 

Shelling tips from the pros

While we’d love to tell you that shelling was some sort of exact science, it just isn’t. Most of the time, it’s just about being in the right place, on the right beach at the right time. Some would call it ‘getting lucky.’

That being said – good shellers have processes and know how to – shall we say – increase their luck – when they go out. More often than not, shelling is simply a matter of practice and process producing good results cumulatively over an extended period of time.

Here are some tips some of the pros would give you so that you can find the best, coolest, most desirable shells. Let’s jump right in!

Tip-1: Go early in the morning

Low tide is the best time to go shelling – and low tide occurs in the morning. Like we said – finding good shells is a matter of being in the right place at the right time and the best time is almost always when the tide is out.

The other benefit is that you’ll be beating most of the crowds – so the competition for the good shells won’t be quite as significant. And oh yeah – not having the sun beat down on you while you shell is pretty convenient, too!
Tip-2: Take your time

An old adage in shelling is that you don’t find the good shells, good shells instead will find you. People often rush from beach to beach instead of just taking their time in one, specific place. Take your time sifting through that pile of shells. Comb that same 20 or so yards. Taking your time and paying a little more attention to the details is better than a speed run.

Tip-3: Go where others don’t

We’re not going to tell you to scale a dangerous cliff or anything, but we WILL say this is just like a business or a baseball game. In baseball you hit ‘em where they ain’t. Same in shelling. If you know one place is getting abused by mass waves of shellers, go somewhere where they’re not. When the shells zig, you zag. If you’re on a beach with lots of other humans, climb over the jetty and go comb where they’re not combing.

Tip-4: Go where it’s wet

You’re going to find the best shells in or below the wrack line on a beach. For those of you who are beach gringos – the wrack line is the wet area where the tide was the night before. Usually, it’s the wet area in the sand with all the debris in it. That’s where you want to be. You’ll find shells in the dry sand, too – but they’re usually pretty beat up – or they’re in an area where the good ones have all been picked out. Stay where it’s wet!

 

Like we said – shelling is an awesome hobby and an even better one-off beach vacation activity. Either way, the best things in life are always most enjoyable when you’re sharing them with the people who matter the most. Spend time with your kids and your family and make it a team activity. Have fun shelling and good luck this summer!

Going on a beach vacation on a budget

Going to the beach doesn’t and shouldn’t have to cost you a small fortune. You don’t need an all-inclusive, you don’t need to get on a plane and you don’t have to worry about draining your savings account to have your fun in the sun.

Today, we’ve put together some tips for you as to how you can plan an awesome beach vacation without breaking the bank. Simply put – here’s how to do the beach on a budget! Let’s jump right in!

Plan now

The most important thing is to add up what the vacation will cost you. Transportation, rental fees, gas, public transportation, shopping, food, entrance fees – add it all up. Once you’ve got a handle on what you’ll need to have an ‘ideal’ vacation, you’ll be able to start trimming back to what you truly need in order to enjoy yourself.

Avoid peak times

Major holidays and weekends are honestly a pretty terrible time to go to the beach. Yes, the weather is going to be a lot better, but the crowds will be bigger and the prices will be A LOT more expensive. If possible, consider a weekday getaway or at the beginning or towards the end of the season. You’ll save a ton just avoiding the masses and oh yeah – you’ll avoid the masses! That’s more of the beach to enjoy for yourself!

Air BNB is your friend

With all the options out there today – there is almost no reason to light a few hundred dollars on fire by staying at a hotel. You can rent beach homes – or any place that you need, really – on Air BMB or VRBO. Look for places near the activites you want to participate in. Trust us, you’ll spend about half (or less) of the money you normall would at a hotel.

Go off the beaten path

While the hot spots are fun, we’re big advocates of traveling off the beaten path. Not only will it save you money and help you avoid crowds, but you’ll also get the chance to have a much more authentic experience. While vacation is great for relaxation, you’re also traveling – and traveling should be an opportunity to experience some new things and create memories.

Find what’s free

Snorkeling, surfing, discount lessons and activities – they’re everywhere in even the most bustling beach towns. Bring your own beach toys and pack and go to places where picnics are permitted. Not everything needs to cost you an arm and a leg!

 

Beating the heat and enjoying the beach doesn’t have to be expensive. We hope these tips will help you plan out a more enjoyable and fun family experience this summer! Good luck!

What to do at the beach when it’s raining

In April and early May, we’re at peak rain season and for some of our most avid beach-goers, that can really dampen the mood if you know what we mean! But guess what? It shouldn’t. Even on rainy days, there’s a lot that can be done at the beach and there’s lots of fun to be had.

Here are some things you can do when the weather won’t cooperate and make the best of a less than ideal situation. Let’s jump right in!

Shelling!

Our bread and butter is shells – whether that’s making things out them, selling things made out of them or helping you find things involving them – we’re all about shells all the time. So take it from us when we tell you that the absolute best time to go shelling is right now when it’s raining. The sea gets churning and you never know what you’ll find of the beach. Some of our best finds are in this same sort of situation – so long as it isn’t lightning out – throw on a poncho, grab a bucket and go at it!

Take a walk

Folks, this is the beach we’re talking about. You’re going to get wet anyway – so take a walk and take in a new experience! No one is going to be there, so you’ll enjoy the solitude for one – and two – there isn’t anything quite like listening to the rain and the waves all at the same time. Pack a warm drink in a thermos and take a stroll!

Spread your wings a bit

The beach doesn’t have to be the only thing you spend your time doing. In almost every coastal town there are plenty of businesses, shops, restaurants and other activities dotted all along the shoreline and what better time to visit them than now? From old arcades, to boutique shops to a simple bar with the game on – there’s always something to do!

Family time

While most of your beach-side forays are likely to include time with loved ones, sometimes there’s just something to be said for curling up on the coach and watching a movie, playing board games or choosing an activity as a family. One of the deepest connections your family will have with each other are the memories they create and its times like these they’ll remember.

 

So if you’re on vacation and the weather won’t cooperate – don’t worry! You’ll be fine. Coastal living isn’t just what you do – it’s a state of mind. And taking it easy and going with the flow can help you get the most out of your vacation. Good luck!

For spring beach goers

For us shell shoppers and coastal fiends – we can’t wait to get out to the beach as soon as possible! It’s Spring and there isn’t snow, so isn’t that enough? Well in some places – particularly here in northern Florida – it is!

Today, we’re going to discuss some useful tips for you early beach-goers and what you can do to get the most enjoyment out of your time. Let’s jump right in!

Find the right beaches for you

Especially in areas like ours, there is a ton to consider and choose from. The beach you choose should really depend on what you like in life. There’s beaches for nature, beaches that are great for family and beaches that are great for activities. The most important thing you can do is lineup your destination with your interests. Especially in the spring.

Beach events

The great thing about going to the beach early is that there are not only a lot of really cool, early events going on – but you can also get great deals on them because it’s early. Depending on the beach and it’s location (Galveston is famous for this) – you can find a whole calendar of events ranging from sand architects, food truck events and family friendly activites just waiting to be taken advantage of.

Weather

In the Spring, the weather tends to be at its most volatile. Today’s 70 is tomrrow’s 50, so be sure that when you’re getting ready to go, that you’re planning around the weather. And we say ‘around the weather’ because even if it’s cooler out – there’s lots you can do and activities worth enjoying!

Enjoy the silence

The best thing about the beach in the Spring is that you’re going to be dealing with significantly less beach traffic than at any other time during the year. If you’re someone who likes space for their beach-side activities, then the Spring will be the time for you to enjoy them the most!

The beach in the Spring can be a relief, especially for those of us who feel cooped up in the winter! It might take some planning, but some of the best memories to be had seaside can be had in the Spring. With a little advanced planning, it can be one of your best trips yet. Enjoy!

The benefits of beach vacations

Its late winter. Here in Florida it’s great, but if you’re reading it from just about anywhere else – it’s flipping cold out! You’re probably sick of it, dreaming of a nice, relaxing period of time on the beach, toes in the sand and at least a few worries less than what you arrived with!

Vacations are awesome, but they can also be really healthy for you. We work hard for our time off and if you ask us – travel should be a sacred experience. Beach vacations in particular have a special way of rejuvenating our souls and giving us a sense of perspective.

Here are some reasons that your next vacation should be spent at the beach. Let’s jump right in!

For your health!

According to psychologists – blue space (think, the ocean) actually calms our mind. If you’re ever sat there staring out at an ocean and feel a little more distanced from the problems you deal with day to day – it’s because, well – you are. Biologically, our bodies thrive on the beach, so don’t deprive them of the experience!

Fresh air

Most people today work indoors, in cubicles with fluorescent lighting. Over half of us don’t take lunch breaks. That’s some scary stuff, when you think about it. The beach will give you a sense of wide open space, salty-sweet smell and a cool breeze and sunlight that your body needs and frankly – should get more of.

Beach towns and Island people

Whether you’re in a beach community off Cape Cod, in San Diego or right here in Florida – they all more or less share one, very important thing in common: the overall energy in each is more relaxed. Tank tops, shorts, straw hats, sandals – people in the mood for rest, relaxation and fun. The moral of the story is that life should be simpler! Let beach people remind you of that fact.

Exploration and activities

Snorkeling, surfing, jet skiing, looking for seashells, tubing – you name it – there’s an endless number of fun activities that await. It provides us with the perfect excuse to get outdoors, get active and have some fun with the people who matter the most.

Rest and renewal

Beaches are ideal and known for their total gift of rest and relaxation. It’s a day of reading, reflecting and enjoyment with your loved ones, a shower and falling asleep as your head hits the pillow. It’s this sense of relaxation that can bring us back to real life with a renewed sense of purpose and a mind that has less clutter.

So if you’ve got some time off coming up soon, think about getting to the beach. Your body and mind will love you more for it!

 

 

Design tips for the perfect coastal living room

By now you know we love all things coastal. We love the décor, we love the design and most of all – we love the lifestyle. Nothing is as liberating as the feeling of rest and relaxation at the beach. For us coastal-holics, we’re constantly searching for new ways to incorporate that feeling into our homes – whether it’s a weekend getaway or within our permanent home.

The nerve center of any home is the living room. There, we enjoy each other’s company, relax, talk, roughhouse, argue, run through, take in stories – everything happens there. How can we take that space and make it more coastal? Well, that’s what we’re here to discuss today. Here’s how you can take two great tastes that taste great together – and combine them into a dynamite coastal living room design.

Let’s jump right in!

Color schemes

Our favorite schemes usually revolve around natural coastal colors – whites, blues, greens and browns. Not only are these colors more relaxing, but they compliment each other in a number of ways. In juxtaposition – they fit, but they fit with each other without overwhelming the other colors and your senses. Anything that goes into the space should fit somewhere within that color scheme.

Textures

When we think about the coast, we think about rough things – tactile things if you will. From hot sand, to smooth, wet sand, drift wood, beach detritus, sea weed and the like – the beach plays with so many of our senses. Don’t be afraid to get creative using glass accents, wood, wicker and even seagrass. In fact, the more texture the room has, the better. Make your space a tactile experience.

Plants

Green plants will really make everything else in the room explode. Not only that, but they’ll create a genuine, organic feeling like you’re really at the beach. Ferns and palms particularly can help bring your space to life – quite literally.

Go organic

When it comes to your décor – well, you should know how we feel! So much can be done, used and implemented just from exploring a beach for a few hours. Sea Shells, drift wood and other beach detritus can quickly become a paper weight, picture frame or centerpiece. Get creative and just like with the textures – go tactile. The more authentic the décor- the more authentic the experience.

Nothing says you’re home quite like a place where you can forget about the worries of the world. Follow these tips and you’ll find yourself blissfully nodding off in the living room of your dreams. Good luck!

 

Adding coastal flair to your home

As we head into January, we’re about half way through the colder/cooler weather and soon it’ll be time to get the warm, summer months rolling! Bring on the sunshine, beach days and pinna coladas!

For some of us that means heading out to our special new beach home and for others that can mean vacations and the like. But if you’re having a hard time waiting until then, we’ve put together a few décor and design tips that’ll help add beach house flair to any home regardless of the time of year!

Let’s jump right in!

Wallpaper 

Did you seriously just say wallpaper? Yep! Not all beach house walls need to be painted white, aqua and the like. Sometimes tastefully done wallpaper can totally transform the look and feel of a room. The right pattern used in consort not only helps to liven up your home life, but they can also help you compliment much of what’s already in your home.

Get creative with your colors

Going off of the first example – don’t be afraid to experiment with new colors outside of just turquoise and coral. Navy Blue and bright reds – when used properly – can give certain spaces a spectacular sailing look and feel. Colors like yellow and pink can bring warmth and light in ways most would be surprised to hear. Like we said above – not everything needs to be the usual palate of colors. Think outside the box!

Go more natural

Hey, that’s what our specialty is! Sprinkling in the natural elements like coral, bamboo – and yes – seashells – can add significant beachfront feel to your décor. From using them as door stops, picture frames, centerpieces, or simple wall decorations – the sea provides us with many things that can make our home look, and feel like we’re a part of it. We’re biased, but this is our favorite part! Get creative!

Shudders – your secret weapon

We’re a huge fan of using shudders in any coastal design theme because they not only give you a great, coastal vibe – but they are also versatile. If you feel like you’ve had your feel of the beach, well then if you decide to change things up, the shudders you’ve used can be carried over. You can use them as actual shudders, wall accents, doors and a whole range of other things. They can be painted, worn down and have that heady, but light feel that we’re always going for when we’re going coastal. And best of all – they’re cheap!

We hope you found some inspiration in this blog! Good luck and have no fear – the warm weather is coming soon!

The heart of coastal design

When you’re playing with the idea of going coastal with your home décor, there’s a lot of ‘inspiration’ to be had out there – with all sorts of tips and tricks as to how you can bring your vision to life. You’ll find plenty of it here, that’s for sure. But this month, we wanted to step away from the whimsical and get a little bit more practical; focusing instead on what coastal design and décor should be all about.

At its core, escaping to beach living for most is about shedding the trappings of modern life; opting instead for simplicity and a pared-down life without the clutter and helter-skelter of the real world.

More often than not, this gets left behind – and instead decorators and DIYers get lost in reaching for simple toolkits filled with things like anchors, oars, prints and yeah – sometimes shells, too! While it sounds simple in a wide range of ways – people can often overdo things. There are other, more subtle ways of giving your home that cabin or cottage-on-the-coast feel.

Beach décor – heck, ALL design – is about creating a mood as opposed to using props. It’s great to use classic elements, but don’t depend on it. Great beach design should echo back to what we discussed – a simple departure from the complexities of life.

The other, powerful message that coastal design can send is a comfort with imperfections. Like the spaces we’re attempting to create, as individuals – we’re all weathered in one way, shape or form and coastal design can help leave us at ease with that feeling, leaving us comfortable in our own skin.

At the end of the day, what’s most important is that whatever you choose to do with your space – that you make it authentically yours. You can’t fake you, after all and our spaces more often than not should be a reflection of us and our loved ones. They should tell a story. You should have things in your space that are conversation pieces or that call back to memories, feelings or experiences. They should make your feel proud and most important of all – make you happy.

We talk a lot about what you ‘should’ do with your coastal design, but reality is that we’re simply here for inspiration. What you should do – is you.

Creating the perfect coastal bedroom

When we think coastal living, we think ‘relaxation’ and when we think ‘relaxation’ – the bedroom is probably the first room that comes to mind. That’s what we’re here to discuss today. Here are some tips on how you can give your bedroom the perfect resort feel and look.

Let’s jump right in!

Have a place to kick back

The best bedrooms don’t just have a bed – but also a place where you can kick back and relax. Think about creating your own space with an upholstered bench, sette, chasie or even a pair of comfy chairs that are perfect for that morning book and coffee.

Window treatments are your friend!

While you’re here to relax and enjoy the wonderful light and weather, the room does need to serve it’s functional purpose – and that’s allowing you a place to sleep. We recommend not shying away from blackout-lined curtains and pair them with airy, sheer drapery that’ll give you privacy without sacrificing light flow or beautiful views.

Lighting is everything

When it comes to lighting any coastal home, be sure to stay away from overhead lights. The light is more stark, often too bright, and simply too harsh for the mood and tone you’ll want to go for. Lamplights cast a softer, more inviting glow to the proceedings. Also you can incorporate dimers that’ll help you find the perfect light – whether it’s night or day.

Focus on the view

Nothing beats a room with a view. In fact – what’ll make your bedroom really pop – isn’t anything in it – but how you use what’s in it to compliment and highlight what’s outside. Use your view as the room’s focal point and design and arrange around that. Even if you’re not on the water itself, you’ll be able to find plenty of eye-catching scenery that can take your room from hum-drum to spectacular.

Colors yet again

Coastal colors are those that’ll help you unwind, relax and appreciate what you have. Blues, greens, whites and neutrals will be your go-to’s and believe or not – it’s those colors in combination that have proven to (scientifically) induce relaxation.

Nothing beats a great beach home and the heart of it should be the place where you lay your head for the night. Good luck!