Our Toddler Beach Bucket List


Luna recently returned from her second annual family vacation to Hilton Head Island, SC. This summer vacation was a different animal compared to last summer. Last year, Luna was a 6-month old not-crawling-yet baby. This year she is a fearless running wild toddler with a will to jump in deep water at a moment’s notice. Meaning? This year’s beach trip was the best (and sometimes scariest) one yet.

Luna had such a good time that I decided to compile a bucket list of her (well, my) favorite beach activities.

  1. Watch the sunrise on the beach. Luna and I did this a few times because someone likes to wake up at 5am, but one morning we shared a special sunrise time with some of our favorite people and we added champagne.
Champagne sunrise!
Champagne sunrise!

2. Let the littles swim naked. Luna’s favorite skinny dipping time with during the sunrise.

IMG_7185 copy

3. Take lots of bike rides and stay active. We rode bikes every single day around the island, and while it may not look like it, Luna loved being pulled around in her private cart.

She is clearly overjoyed...
She is clearly overjoyed…

4. Buy a puddle jumper and let them swim. Luna LOVES her puddle jumper. She begs to wear it, and I love it even more. Luna went swimming in the pool and in the ocean every single day.

I swear she normally looks more graceful
I swear she normally looks more graceful

5. Get a little dirty. What else would you do on the beach if not play in the sand?


6. Dress that baby in white and force them to take a photo on the beach. You’ve just got to do it.


7. After the photo, let them just be their silly selves and get that new white dress all broken in.


8. Finally, spend as much time with your crazy family as possible. Even if it means learning weird new yoga poses. This is one of the few times you are all together and that everyone gets to bond with that toddler of yours. Embrace it and enjoy it.


Anyone else have any fun beach traditions or activities to share?


Ready for the beach? (Winner!)

Yay! Another giveaway has come and gone and now I finally get to randomly select one of you to win this super pretty and fun coverup from Lozasun!


The winner is….


I LOVE this piece! Gorgeous! I would wear it to the beach or to my sister in laws house when we bring the kids swimming over there! Perfect to throw on so your not just in your suit! Super cute!

Congrats Anessa! I hope you love it as much as I do! Just email me (positivelypanicked@gmail.com) your mailing address and I’ll have it shipped to you ASAP. BTW, I’m at the beach now and am definitely enjoying my own Lozasun coverup!


Thank you so very much to Cindy from Lozasun for offering this giveaway. Everyone be sure to check out her Etsy shop.



I grew up on the Gulf of Mexico where I was about a half hour drive from the beach, about a five-minute drive from the closest river, and maybe 15 minutes to the nearest lake. Needless to say, many childhood, high school, and even college memories were made on the water.

My Dad is an avid fishermen, as are most men in my hometown. The majority of people owns boats, or a beach house, or a lake house, or at least knows someone who does. Swimming, fishing, tubing, skiing, sunbathing, and wakeboarding were some of my favorite past times.

In fact, the first time Husband came to visit me in my hometown, we went tubing on the back of my Dad’s boat. My Dad, attempting to make his first experience extra exciting, hit some pretty large waves. As expected, we flew off the tube and crashed into the water. Not as expected, Husband kneed me in the face, causing me to bite through my bottom lip.

After riding around for another 45 minutes, because I was trying to be tough, I finally caved and admitted I was starting to feel woozy. We ended up in the emergency room, and I ended up with stitches in my bottom lip, and a scar that Husbands still enjoys pointing out. True Story.

I still love tubing, I just prefer going solo now.

It’s no surprise that when we made the decision to move to NYC my one complaint was “It’s so cold there!”

I dreaded the winter here more than I dreaded going through airport security. I never even owned a real winter coat until I was in my twenties. So, I guess the silver lining here was having a real excuse to shop for a new winter wardrobe.

This winter turned out to be one of the mildest winters in Manhattan history, and before I knew it we were all complaining about our window units not being able to properly cool down the apartment. At work, co-workers began discussing trips to the beach.

The what?! I mean, I know my geography well enough to know we are pretty close to the water, but I never pictured the coast looking like a beach…a beach where people lay out, swim, and get sand in their swimsuits. That’s just not what people imagine when thinking about summer in NYC.

So, this weekend, Husband, a friend, and myself took a day trip to Long Beach…one of the many nearby beaches. The weather was 94 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, and a train ride to this beautiful beach took only 45 minutes.

Turns out every single person in the city had the same idea. I swear the only people on the sidewalk at 9am were in swimsuit cover-ups, carrying fold out chairs, and reeking of sunscreen.

At the beach, we constantly heard comments about how “We’ve never seen the beach THIS crowded before!”


It didn’t seem to bother us or anyone else though. We still got a space right near the water, and I was hit in the face by only one volleyball. We brought our own football, trashy magazines, iced coffee, fresh fruit, and cameras to keep us entertained. It was ideal…


For the most part.

NY may have nice beaches, but the water is NOT like the Gulf of Mexico. The water here is freezing. FREEZING. Husband and I debated whether the water in Sweden was colder or warmer than the water here.

It was hot enough that we, and lots of other New Yorkers, swam anyways. As we were splashing around, surfing the waves, and turning blue I got the most excruciating pain in my right foot. At first I thought, jelly fish. Damn jelly fish…or maybe a sea urchin?

I stood still for a moment, concentrating on the pain, and decided it wasn’t a sting…it was more internal…like a bone, but I hadn’t kicked or stepped on anything, yet I couldn’t put any weight on my foot.

I tried to shake it off and continue frolicking with the others, but it kept getting worse, and I finally got to a point of panic. (Shocking I know.)

I hobbled back to our towels to examine it. It was not swollen or red or anything really. Yet, I was in awful pain, and could not even wiggle my little toe without wailing.

Pain doesn’t bother me too much. I have a really high pain tolerance, what bothers me is the unknown. I tried to relax and ignore the pain, but my mind goes wild, and within minutes I imagine myself being forced into foot surgery and in debt. After a half hour I was convinced I had come down with a rare foot disease that was either incurable or would take years to heal.

What happened to my relaxing day at the beach!?!?!

After 45 minutes, the pain disappeared…

Now, I risk sounding incredibly foolish, but turns out it was just a really long cramp.

That’s right. No water or breakfast, lots of coffee, and very cold water equals a REALLY long intense foot cramp, AND me blowing everything out of proportion. Seriously, who gets a Charlie horse that lasts an hour???

I was so thrilled to no long be handicapped that (after a couple bottles of water, trail mix, and an orange) I got back in the water for a round of football.

At the end of the day, we had a blast, could barely stay awake on the train ride home, and Husband was the only one with a sunburn, and I spent most of the day relaxed with my toes in the sand.