It's so hard to believe our baby is two! A couple of weekends ago, we celebrated a few days early with a pink gingham party at the farm! Old McFaye's Farm is located just outside of Wilmington and is the perfect location for any farm-loving littles. We went to a birthday party there a few months back and Virginia Parker loved it, so it seemed like the perfect spot to celebrate her!

The farm allows the kids to feed the animals - including goats, pigs, bunnies and more, offers a pony ride, and a hay ride. Everyone had two hours to explore, play and celebrate and while rain had been in the forecast all week, it ended up being the most beautiful spring Saturday morning we could have ever asked for!
I wanted to keep things fairly simple since everything was outside but also create a fun, girly birthday party so I accented with pink details to match her party invitation. I tried to do as many disposable options as possible to make for easy clean-up, so I went with plastic pink gingham tablecloths and found some plastic serving pieces at our local dollar store. 

For cakes and cookies, I lucked out with my friend Graysen Pinder of Gimme Some Shugga. Graysen works for me now at ZIA, but is beyond talented and was the Season 8 Kids Baking Champion. I sent her a few ideas for cookies and she created the sweetest cookie favors as well as cupcakes and a cake. We kept the cake simple so I could add the most adorable cake topper thanks to Little Happies - they made us the perfect keepsake topper to match with our theme! LH offers custom toppers as well to match your party perfectly.
To keep food the rest of the food easy, we served some of VP's favorites: Chick-fil-a nuggets, homemade pasta salad, a fruit and veggie tray and of course Uncrustables and pouches for the children. 

We couldn't have asked for a prettier day to celebrate with friends and family!


Location: Old McFaye's Farm
VP's Boots: Amazon
Zelle's Dress: ZIA Boutique
Invitation: designed by Zelle, order it here
Cakes: Gimme Some Shugga
Cake Topper: Little Happies

For months, Stephen and I have been wanting to take a family vacation. I kept putting off getting our daughter a passport because the task seemed daunting, but finally in January, we decided to get everything together to get her first passport and get mine renewed, and with the expedited process, it was way easier than I expected.

We still were dragging our feet in booking a trip because I was worried the passports wouldn't come. Finally, they both arrived and we made a very last-minute decision to book a trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas. We booked our trip about 10 days before we left, and despite the last-minute planning, we had the absolute best time!

Where We Stayed

Atlantis offers five hotels all within the resort - The Cove, The Reef, The Royal, The Coral and Harborside Resort. I've been to Atlantis in years past and stayed at both The Royal and The Cove, but I wanted to make sure we picked the best option for traveling with a toddler. 

Ultimately, we decided that The Reef was the best fit for us and I would absolutely stay there again if we took Virginia Parker back. The Reef offers studio, suite and penthouse rooms. We chose an ocean-view studio and that ended up being a great option for just the three of us. It had two refrigerators, a stove, dishwasher, microwave, and more - all set up to make a little home away from home. We didn't utilize some of those options as we ate out for all of our meals aside from small snacks. 

We also had a balcony on our room which was perfect for naptime. VP would nap inside the room with draperies closed and Stephen and I would sit outside on the balcony so she could get rested sleep without us being in there and we could still enjoy some of the scenery. 

We requested a crib when making our reservation. They delivered it up to our room after check-in and before bed that night, I wiped it down with wipes and packed our own crib sheet and sound machine to make it seem a little more like a home-away-from-home. 

Though The Reef is the furthest hotel from some of the amenities, it is still walkable to everything (there are also shuttles running continuously). The Reef and the Cove also have access to a private strip of Paradise Beach which is right out the doors of the hotel as well as The Cascades Pool, a zero-entry pool that's exclusive to guests of the Cove and the Reef. 

If you are traveling with littles, I would highly recommend The Reef as it is very family friendly!

What We Did

We stayed on property throughout the majority of our stay! Atlantis has so much to do and we also tried to keep our usual nap-time schedule with our toddler. Parts of our day were just spent exploring - there is so much to see so we would put her in her stroller and take off walking. 

If we were to go back, we would probably book an off-site excursion, like a powerboat adventure tour. We considered it and were even invited to go with friends, but with a toddler, we decided to play it safe at the resort. 

The Cascades Pool
Though we walked the entirety of the resort almost daily, our days started out at The Cascades Pool as it was right out the doors of our hotel and has a zero-entry area that's perfect for toddlers. We ended up meeting a few other families our first full day and everyone came back to Cascades each day. It was fun watching the littles play together each day, sharing (and sometimes not sharing) their toys, and meeting others. We were able to eat poolside each day and grab quick drinks from the bar. It was the perfect base for our activities each day!

Paradise Beach
Right off of Cascades Pool is a beach strip that's exclusive to guests of the Reef and Cove. Despite VP loving the beach at home, she preferred the pool on our trip so we spent less time out on the beach but still enjoyed the gorgeous views. 

Aquaventure Waterpark
VP is still pretty little for most of the waterpark things but we did head over for Stephen to do a few slides and for VP to check out Ripples Pool and Poseidon's Playzone. Ripples had a couple of small slides I did while holding VP while Poseidon's was full of splashing activities and a water play fort. 

Marine Habitats
The many marine exhibits were beautiful and captivating. We all loved walking through the Predator Lagoon - a tunnel which gives you up-close, underwater views. The Dig features many exhibits from lobsters to jellyfish and more. Our exploring also took us along the reef lagoons where we saw many turtles, sharks and more. 

Where We Ate

The only issue we really had with booking last minute was dinner reservations. As soon as I had our trip booked, I hopped on to the Atlantis website to see what was available in terms of reservations. Not all of the restaurants accept reservations but many do, and all are booked through OpenTable. We were able to get two reservations for dinner so we booked those and then decided to figure out a dinner plan for the other two nights when we got there. 

I had Poseidon's Table on my list for breakfast each day but we never actually went! There is a Starbucks in the lobby of The Reef, so VP and I would head out to the pool to our spot and Stephen would grab coffee, bagels and fruit for us to have poolside. That honestly worked out so well for us with a busy toddler. 

We were creatures of habit on this trip! As soon as we arrived, we grabbed lunch at one of the little poolside grills at the Cascade Pool. It ended up being our lunch spot daily as it was convenient and yummy - we had the jerk grilled chicken sandwich the first day and we all loved it so much that it became a daily thing!

  • Carmine's - Marina Village - (reservation) If you love Italian food, this is a great option. Everything is served family-style, so it was honestly too much food for our little family but would be perfect if you're with a party of four or more!
  • Bimini Road - Marina Village - (reservation) This was a great option for easy dinner. Everything we ordered was great. It was definitely packed and everyone coming in without a reservation had at least an hour wait so I'd recommend trying to get a reservation.
  • Sip Sip - Marina Village - For one of the nights with no reservation, we decided to walk to Marina Village to see what we could find. We walked into Sip Sip and were able to grab a table. To be honest, this was not my favorite. The restaurant originated on Harbour Island and we've heard it was wonderful there, but wasn't overly impressed at the Atlantis location. 
  • Dune at The Ocean Club - (no reservation, but recommended) Prior to leaving, a customer of mine highly recommended eating at The Ocean Club (The Four Season). I didn't make a reservation and then was wishing that we had! I decided to call and while they didn't have any open spots, they recommended coming early and getting a spot in the bar. We were able to get a perfect table that overlooked the ocean and couldn't have imagined a more perfect view!
Other restaurants we wanted to try:
  • Nobu
  • Seafire Steakhouse
  • Carna at Baha Mar

Traveling with a toddler

Most of the questions I received was the general experience of traveling with a toddler. I honestly went into it with the mentality that it was a trip, not a vacation, and also tried to have low expectations in terms of what to expect because we had never done this big of a trip with our daughter before. 

Virginia Parker ended up doing so great - she was adaptable and adventurous the entire trip, up for each new thing we tried. She was, of course, still a toddler who didn't always want to leave the pool, get in her stroller, or sit in her high chair, but we were so impressed at her ability to adapt to our on-the-go schedule. That's not to say it won't be different the next time we travel, but we were very proud of her and loved getting to make incredible memories with her. 

Children under the age of two can fly as an "infant in lap," which is what we decided to do. We booked middle and window seats for each flight and she would mostly sit with me by the window. Even though she's a tall toddler, she was great sitting in our lap and even preferred it on one of the flights that we had an extra seat in our row. Our first flight out of Wilmington was her very first flight ever, so that in of itself was enough distraction to keep her entertained! Thankfully, on our second flight, she fell asleep almost immediately and when she woke up, it was just about time to land. Our flights home weren't quite as easy, but they were manageable. 
  • Screen Time: If you let your child have screentime, this is a game changer. VP watches plenty of shows but we introduced an iPad for the first time with pre-downloaded shows and games and she loved it.
  • Window Clings: On our trip home, this occupied her way more than watching shows. I found some window stickers on Amazon and she loved playing with them.
  • Naps: We lucked out that she was tired both to and from the Bahamas so she napped in my lap.
  • Snacks: Pack snacks, snacks and more snacks. I packed this snack spinner and lots of pouches. I packed them in her diaper bag in a ziplock bag along with milk boxes so that I could hand them directly over to TSA when going through security and we had no issues!
  • Pacis / Sippy Cups for Takeoff and Landing: VP has sensitive ears and is prone to ear infections so I was really worried that the pressure would bother her. She loves her paci so we let her have it the majority of the flights and had no issues! I also gave her a sippy cup of milk at the start of one of our flights and that may have helped as well. 
VP is a fairly good sleeper, but does still love to rock each night to settle down. Because of that, I wasn't sure how well that would work out but we made it work! She took every nap in the crib that we requested from the hotel but ended up sleeping with us more often than not at night. Because it was temporary, we were okay with it and she actually slept really well, as did we. I was worried it would disrupt our sleep routine when we got back home, but I think she actually was glad to be back home with her own crib.

We have many friends who love the SlumberPod! If it was something we had used earlier on, I think it would work well for us, but I didn't even consider it as I knew she would probably not love me laying her down awake being enclosed.

The Best Week

As a whole, we had the best week. Unsure of how traveling with a toddler would be, we booked a 4 night stay, but by the time we were leaving, I wished we had at least one more night! I would definitely recommend Atlantis to those who want to travel both with children and without!

One last note - we actually were charged incorrectly at checkout - we ended up getting charged for both our dining charges as well as someone else's. After a few phone calls, Stephen was able to get it resolved and the staff at Atlantis was very helpful in getting those excess charges reversed. I add in this note to say that it's always important to double check your statements when traveling as it's easy for a quick mistake to be made!

Outfit Details & Sources:


Virginia Parker:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig