Once in a Blue Moon…

…does a full moon rise twice in the same month, and how often does that happen at sunset,  on a New Year’s Eve?
Next Blue Moon on New Year's Eve will be in 2028...
(photo borrowed from NPR)

I was prepared to get my perfect shot – that blue moon emerging from the mighty ocean into a twilight sky –  though the prevalent cloudiness did show weak patches of blue and light   as the afternoon rolled into evening.  I wandered the streets of the Beaches Town Center, going in and out of the shops  and taking pictures of the street scene on this mild late afternoon.   I knew my blue moon photograph existed now solely in my mind and not on the front page of The Beaches Leader or prominently on my Flickr page.
Luckily, The BookMark was open so I spent some time fondling all the books I wish I had room for in my home.

In fact, I wish I had a library wall like this at home…but that’s unlikely so I’ll content myself with a few good titles and some interesting book talk with the staff who always have some recommendations.  Owner Rona Brinlee is interviewed by Susan Stamberg of NPR twice a year for a segment on a group of independent booksellers’ recommended reading for summer, and the holidays.  If I can’t have a library wall at home, an independent book store in my home town is the next best thing.  I can honestly say I love the both the library, and the book store in equal measure.
(can you find Jeannie in this picture?)

After The BookMark I went over to the beach.  What if the clouds happened to break for a few moments and I missed it?  Well, they didn’t but it was still nice to spend some time at the beach on the last day of the decade, even if that darned blue moon won’t come round again until 2028.
It was damp and a little misty by the time that blue moon rose behind the clouds, but the beach was calling me so I walked  over and stood on the Neptune Beach side of Atlantic (what happened to the c ?) Blvd.
A few people were out and about as the weak winter sun left a washed pink glow in the western sky.
It was a nice way to end the decade, actually.  We moved to Atlantic Beach in early 2000.  I was determined that we would settle at the beach, and I’ve never for a moment regretted that choice.  I remember looking at homes that were bigger and better…but they weren’t here and having this wonderful place to call my home has been worth the trade off in square feet and granite.  The beaches – Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach – have a true sense of place, with a genuine history and not from some developer’s master plan.  In 2010, I’ll be treating you to glimpses of our area that’ll have you planning your next vacation or day trip to our beaches and shops.  Whenever we come home from our trips away, I’m always thankful that this is where we get to come home to: atlantic beach-life.

post edit:

(another blue moon will come in 2012; but another blue moon on New Years Eve? 2028.  i hope i’ll be alive to see it.)

Atlantic Beachlife Tee Shirt Leaves for the Panhandle…

…to the home of the recent tee shirt giveaway winner, Tami.

Tami lives near the Emerald Coast in the Panhandle, a place I’ve never visited but have always longed to…photos of that lovely green/blue water with white sand is so alluring.
Tami, I’d love to see a picture of you wearing the tee shirt on your favorite beach.  If you e mail it to me I’ll post it here. Fun!
Atlantic Beachlife and Jacksonville Beachlife tees are selling well at MOS in Jax Beach.  If you want one and can’t make it there, let me know and I’ll take care of you.  They really are great looking tees (okay, I’m biased, but still).

Wrapping Up A Christmas

Another Christmas come and gone; the days go by so fast.  Life seems to leapfrog from holiday to holiday so it’s nice to spend a few days holed up in the house, with a big ole lighted tree, a spot of gloomy weather, a comfy couch with cozy throws, and a soft pillow for napping.
The new things will find their way into drawers and closets while the no-longer-needed stuff will be discreetly tucked into the Goodwill bag and hurried to the drop-off center, nobody around here the wiser.
This is a good time of year to check out the inventory at Goodwill; when I saw what others had discarded last year when I brought in my own donation of good-quality stuff, well, let’s just say I had my consciousness raised a bit.

Last Minute Gift Ideas

What about Bob?
Bobby Brady, that is.
If you love Scrabble and The Brady Bunch, then this hand-made mosaic belongs in your home.  I’ve seen it twice, displayed at arts events and it is clever and unique.  It’s waiting, I know, for just the  right person: it has to be someone who is passionate about Scrabble, who grew up with the Bradys and who appreciates art.  This is a conversation piece, whimsical and beautifully set.  If I was the artist, I wouldn’t sell it to just anyone. It’s far too unique to go to someone who didn’t fully understand the piece.  Have a look, and if you’re interested, I’ll make contact with the artist for you. (No, it’s certainly not me.  I could never create something so artful and amusing.  If only…
I did, however, create these:
And wouldn’t they make a great stocking stuffer!
Merry Christmas, y’all.

Scenes From a Living Room Before Christmas







Christmas At The Beach


The Adele Grage Center hosted several artists showing their work during the recent Holiday Art Walk.

Driving through Atlantic Beach at Christmastime is no different than any charming small town anywhere. No snow, sure, and a beachy backdrop, but I’ve never found the Christmas spirit lacking due to absence of snow and cold weather.  Around here, we do get Fall Fashion Weather (finally you can break out the sweaters and boots and long sleeves though my kids still run around in flip flops and shorts with their hoodies), and Fall Fashion Weather suits me just fine.

At the center of town –  Town Center – is a roundabout, where the cities of Atlantic and Neptune Beach meet. The ocean is just a few yards beyond this point.  The grassy center there is perfect for something permanent, like  a large sculpture but those arguments have been made and the cities council  tossed away their chance to place the ‘Girl with Sea Turtle’ there.  It would’ve been great, a real focal point to complement the attractive and walkable street scene and as prelude to the beach…but that’s all history now, and we do still have the lovely Christmas tree to greet us at this time of year.  

The other night as I was slowly circling the roundabout in my car, I paused for a few seconds to take two photos of the Christmas tree.*  The person in the car behind me honked their horn at me to ‘hurry up’.  (You can discern the ‘HURRY UP I AM NOT WAITING’ honk from its more polite ‘tap-tap’ counterpart: one’s defiant, the other’s a nudge.) 

In the roundabout, where one inherently drives slowly,  I took two photos: the first one flashed from my car window into the dark night; I proceeded a few feet, then paused to shoot one more, and then: HOONNKK. The car following me just had to show its impatience.  Can’t a person shoot two pictures of a prettily lit Christmas tree (taking all of 7 seconds tops) without someone blowing his horn petulantly behind her?  
Last week  The Beaches Leader reported that a drunk driver actually plowed into this tree, knocking it askew and toppling the “gifts”, and then drove onto the beach and into the night, eluding the police!  

The cities straightened up the mess and now it’s nice again, for those of us who want to admire it… I think it’s de rigueur to drive slowly through the roundabout, take one’s time and admire our towns’ Christmas tree.  I really couldn’t believe the audacity of that driver behind me!  What makes you actually honk your horn at someone if it’s not an authentic traffic situation?

Since we just painted our house we didn’t do much exterior decorating this year (well, that’s my excuse anyway). The truth is my husband abhors the whole process of stringing exterior lights, so few years ago he bought two non-photo-worthy contraptions made of wire and lights and meant to resemble a snowman and some other gaudy thing (a gumdrop snowman?). He likes them because you just take them out of the box and plug them in and the kids like them because they create an instant-Christmas ambiance (for them) so I’ve kept my mouth shut and try not to notice them.  It’s the least I can do since he does so many other things without complaint.  I have a better idea for next year’s exterior, and I love a palm tree done up right for the holidays.  This home and its trees caught my eye tonight:

Merry Christmas from the neighborhood.

*two pictures were taken in one drive-by, the third, tonight.

Beachlife Tee Shirts Now Available

This one’s for the locals (but the rest of you, stick around!) Do you know this store?  If not, you should.  I’ve been a fan of it for a long time.  You might remember it from its more visible location a few years ago,  on Third Street, just south of Beach Blvd. – the big yellow house?  It’s now a pediatric medical practice and MOS is twelve blocks west of Third St., south of Beach Blvd. at 29 12th St South, in Jacksonville Beach ~ 247-6672.
I’ve loved MOS long before it displayed the Atlantic Beachlife and Jacksonville Beachlife tee shirts.

 But here is where you can find them and they’re the perfect fit for her shop: interesting, eclectic, unique items for your home, a few distinctive things to wear, plants for your tabletop and plants for your landscape, wonderful accessories to trim your home all year around – really, the perfect browsing shop.

I arrange activities itineraries for visitors sometimes and it’s fun to put together a shop-the-beaches tour.  The first time I did this was for a group of auto dealer wives, and MOS was one of our stops.  I started going there again regularly this Fall, when I found her new location.  I love to just wander the place, looking for inspiration.
I love coming in with a Starbucks,  plop myself down on the couch that’s situated near the back of the store and page through her House Beautifuls for a while. I feel like I’m in a cool conservatory, filled  with plants and eclectic home/garden design items, and I’m comfortable there, daydreaming for a while. Later, I’ll meander the shop, marvel at owner Lourdes’ creativity, and think about how I’d  interpret things at home. More than a few MOS items live with us now.   Spending time in  MOS  ignites my ideas, helps me to  create something special and unique  in my home. It’s fun, and it makes me happy.

Being able to pick up a little something special is what I value about the sole proprietor boutique store, and that’s what I love about being in this shop. Everything there is distinctive and is displayed with such a  creative twist.  I’ve watched Lourdes work with  customers – she’s got an easy rapport with people – and they leave the store with a great gift or thing for their home, wrapped up prettily, and mighty pleased, too.  Because you’re not going to find these cool pieces or a creative partner at Home Goods.  And, you sure aren’t going to find your Beachlife tee shirts at any other store besides MOS.

  

MOS is a  shopper’s gem, but seriously, don’t worry if the whole shopping thing just overwhelms you.  It’s the perfect venue for the non-shopper too. If you need a gift, or just want something new for your home or garden, go over to MOS and put yourself in Lourdes’ hands. She’ll set you up with whatever you need in short order and you’ll be on your way in no time: mission accomplished, happy, and carrying something interesting.  I love shops like that, too, when I’m not in the mood, or in a terrible hurry but need something good. 
It’s a space filled with simply something for everyone.
 Atlantic Beachlife and Jacksonville Beachlife tee shirts are $21.99.  Lourdes loves them, I love them, and if you show your love them by buying them, then I’ll get some Neptune Beach tees  there too. They look great worn alone, or now, when it’s chilly, layered overtop a long-sleeved tee shirt.
If you can’t make it to MOS (like you live in Texas or the U.K.), message me at jeannie@atlanticbeachlife.com and I’ll get you set right up.

Atlantic Beachlife Tee Shirts Winner

…. is the last person to comment before midnight (and thank goodness, otherwise I’d be shipping an Atlantic Beachlife tee shirt to the U.K., sorry Sammi!).  I used Random Number Generator but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to import it to show you that I really am honest; I’m not all that experienced doing giveaways and whatnot and the winner really is number 8.  Tami and she says she is like me, she likes her shirts to fit longer and snugger, too. A girl after my own heart.
In other exciting tee shirt news I now have Jacksonville Beachlife tees also available which will only be of interest if you live around here!  Cost: $21.99.  Message me if you want them before Christmas!

I have the shirts exclusively at MOS (one of my very favorite boutiques at the beach, a great vibe)  It’s just twelve blocks west of the ocean on the north side of Beach Blvd. 12th Street South is developing into a trendy little shopping street.  Two doors down is the new Elie Bing, vintage and current jewelry and accessories, always fresh and one-of-a-kind.  It’s a tucked-away street but not for long.  There’s foot traffic in and out of MOS (aptly named My Own Store by Lourdes, who seems to know all of her customers, and they,  her;  as they come in looking for  a they-don’t-know-what and leave with something Lourdes helps them decide on.  I know; I’ve spent more than a few dollars there.

My December atlantic beachlife Day


The pictures will tell my story for today…but I’ll have the last word.

Presenting: Atlantic Beachlife Tee Shirts and a Giveaway


Introducing my first run of the series of ‘beachlife‘ tee shirts starting with ‘atlantic beachlife‘.  ’neptune beachlife‘ and ‘jacksonville beachlife‘ are being worked up by my graphic designer right now!
I’m a stickler for fit, and these tees are ones that I am willing to wear in public. The tee shirts shown are styled for women and are form-fitting   without being too tight.  The white ones are Soft Style, Ring Spun by Gilden. They weigh 4.5 ounces, have a nice crew neck, and are longer-styled. They seem to run small, and they do shrink the first time they’re washed and dried.  The fit is fantastic.
(the logo above measures 10″ x 5″)
(this logo measures 7″ x 5″)
I’m showing the tan-colored shirt because I’ve got some  American Apparel on order, in a cream color.  The fit of this shirt didn’t pass the Jeannie test, so I won’t even foist it off on you in a giveaway!

For the guys, or girls who prefer a traditional, roomier tee shirt, I have ordered some heavier weight Gildan tee shirts and the logo can be put on the back or the front.  I also have some Gildan Men’s slim fit shirts en route. I’m looking forward to the arrival of the American Apparel and other styles of Gildan, and making them available in colors and with neptune  and jacksonville beachlife on them.
Interested?  Well, I’m going to give one of them away, just for fun.  Let’s keep it simple: leave a comment if you want one, and feel free to give me some feedback.  How do you like your tee shirts to fit?  Do you even care? What type of tees do you like to wear?
I’ll let this giveaway go run until Thursday (December 17)  at midnight, when I’ll use the random number generator to pick the winner. If you prefer your shirt to have the ‘neptune beachlifeor ‘jacksonville beachlife‘ logos just let me know.

You may leave your contact information in the comments section or email me at jeannie@atlanticbeachlife.com, and do leave a comment here if you want to win one of these cool tees!


[Fine Print:  This logo - its style, its 'beachlife' concept paired with a beach-town's name is my property, trademark pending.  Please no copying of concepts; that's just not cool, nor is it legal.  Sorry, really, but I had to put it in writing.]
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